Break Up Your Fallow Ground – But be careful!

Break Up Your Fallow Ground – But be careful! (Facebook folks, click on the link to see the entire post)

wheat and tares phlox 2

Here’s some fallow ground that needed breaking up in late winter. Looks like I could just go in and turn over everything and get ready for Spring. But if you look closely you see some things that aren’t weeds. So I had to be careful breaking  up this fallow ground.

This reminded me of Jesus’ Kingdom parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30). There was a field a man planted with good seed (wheat) and at night an enemy came and planted bad seed (tares) in the field. When the field hands saw it (later, when both had grown enough to recognize) they asked the owner if he wanted them to pull the tares up. The owner’s reply was to wait, since pulling up the tares may also pull up the wheat.

While, I had to be careful what to pull up, and pulling some of the weeds actually unrooted a good plant, it was clear enough I could pull the weeds and leave the plants. I’ll leave it to you to study more on Jesus’ parable since it goes deeper than good plants and bad plants. But, I’ll leave a warning that we be careful when breaking up fallow ground – whether physical, spiritual, or relationships. Be sure to look closely for the good and not take it away with the bad.

It’s summer now, and here are the white phlox that were hiding in the weeds.

Phlox in bloom

I Don’t Know What It Is

What is it?

What is it?

I downloaded the photos from my camera and remembered all except this one. I had no clue. If I was taking pictures with film and the developed photo looked like this, I would think there had been trash all over it. Or perhaps thought it was a shot from the movie Ghost that picked up the dark spirits passing by.

I reviewed the other photos from the download and retraced my day’s steps. Then I remembered this was a shot from the front yard and there was a flock of hundreds of blackbirds landing and circling in the peanut field across the road. Obviously my camera isn’t fast enough for rapidly moving blackbirds.

If you were able to tell what this was before I explained it, you were more perceptive than even me, who took the photo in the first place. But, I would think most folks were like I was at first – didn’t have a clue.

My confusion over the photo reminded me of Philip and the Ethiopian in the desert (Acts 8.) The Ethiopian was sitting in his chariot reading out loud from the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. Philip heard him read: “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living

Philip asked if he understood what he was reading, and the Ethiopian replied “How can I, except some man should guide me?” And Philip guided him through Scripture and he understood (in fact, came to saving faith and was baptized.)

At times we may feel like we don’t have a clue about a passage in the Bible. If prayer and meditation don’t provide clarity, that means it’s also time to ask  someone to guide us. And, on the other side, there are Scripture passages we understand clearly. Along with prayer and meditation, that may be the opportunity to guide someone else.

How can I, except some man should guide me?” Acts 8:31

 

Sometimes You Have to Take a Photo of God’s Creation

Cloud Over Tree Garden

Cloud Over the Tree Garden

These days smart phones have made it easy to take photos of anything and everything. Some worthwhile and some not. Here’s one I thought was worthwhile. I was cutting grass, listening to a Nero Wolfe mystery novel (on my smart phone). As I made the turn, this was before me. What a beautiful sight of God’s creation!

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1 ESV

What Big Eyes You Have! What a Big Heart God Has!

Eyed Click Beetle

Eyed Click Beetle

I found this bug while inspecting a power pole. (Looking for the pole’s birthmark – probably blog on that sometime). Since my head was rather close to the pole as I moved around it, the bug and I came eye to eye – and I flinched first. The fake eyes did what they were supposed to do, and made me back off.

I later looked it up and found it is an “eyed click beetle”. Definitely right on the eyes but didn’t get to hear it click.

All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weighs the Spirit” Proverbs 16:2

Big, fake eyes don’t see much. But, the proverbs says our “eyes” (actually referring to our mind’s eye) see what we want to see – making excuses for the wrongs we do. But, the Lord sees clearly into our mind’s eye and on into our heart. Yet, He is still faithful and just to forgive us when we confess.
Praise the Lord for His big heart!

 

 

Syrup on Pancakes – And Spiritual Gifts

Pancakes and Syrup

Pancakes and Syrup

You would think after sixty-two years I would know how much syrup to put on pancakes. Yet, despite the decades of practice, after the last bite leaves the plate, there will be a puddle of syrup left. The surplus amount varies, but it’s always there. Even on the few occasions I have wiped the syrup dry before I finished the last pancake, I’ve added what I thought would be just enough to finish, and ended up with the usual extra.

My wife, Sharon, though, has syrup figured out. She applies just enough so that when she finishes a plate, you have to look closely to see a drop here and there. It’s even difficult to know if she had pancakes. (When she reads this, it will be the first she’s known of my admiration of her syrup expertise. I’ve hesitated to tell her because she’s already aware of a long list of weird things I notice.)

I don’t think there’s a syrup gene buried in Sharon’s DNA that isn’t present in mine, but we are definitely unequal in our syrup measuring abilities. However, having differing abilities in some ways is a good thing.

In 1st Corinthians, chapter twelve, the Apostle Paul wrote about being different. He taught that God made us different for God’s own purposes. Just as the human body needs various parts with distinct functions to make it effective as a whole, the church, the Body of Christ, needs various people with different abilities (Paul called them spiritual gifts) to be effective as a whole.

So, if we find ourselves thinking “I wish I could do “that” (whatever “that” may be)like Brother or Sister whatstheirname,” or, a parallel thought, “I’ll never be as good as them at “that” so I may as well not try,” it’s time to stop and think and pray a bit. If we examine our motivation for thinking about “that”, we may find it’s from a selfish view and isn’t what the Lord would have us do. But, if the thought is from the Spirit, those statements don’t matter. With God’s help, we may be able to do “that” as well as Brother or Sister whatstheirname, or we may not. But, if we follow Him, He will give us the abilities we need to fulfill His purpose and THAT is what matters.

 “All these (spiritual gifts) are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills.” 1st Corinthians 12:11

Blooms and Scripture – Blueberries

Blueberries

Blueberries

It’s a great blueberry season – and still going. You can see other pictures on the blog of my structure and netting I built to protect these from the birds. There probably will be enough to share without using the netting this year.
Two things I did – during winter, I cut them back rather severely (we have six large bushes over 6 feet high), and also had a soil test done showing the bed needed sulfur – which I added. And, as I said, wonderful crop this year.

We truly have an abundance of so many things – mainly God’s blessings.
“May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field” Psalm 72:16
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!” Psalm 72:18-19

Blooms and Scripture – Purslane

Purslane in Pots

Purslane in Pots

Sharon bought me this neat little flower pot holder several years ago. It’s a simple copper rod with a base to hold it up. It took a few seasons to discover that purslane fits it perfectly.

A bit of assurance to start the day:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1