Hope

{Well, I began this post two weeks ago and am just now getting back to it. Maybe my next post should be on procrastination!}

HOPE. What do you hope for? In what or whom do you hope?

Hope in God green grass

We had been searching for a used garden tiller for a few months. We had bought our tomato plants, but our garden plot wasn’t ready yet to receive them. So, we kept them in pots until they could be planted in their summer home. Then, thanks to our friends Pat and Terry, we got some wonderful compost for our garden soil. All that we needed now was a tiller to get it all in the ground. So, before renting a tiller, we searched once more. We found a couple of possibilities. One we could see right away, the other later that evening. So, off we went to check out the first one. The owner said he and his wife were downsizing due to his recent diagnosis of cancer. He also disclosed over the phone that sometimes the tiller would quilt running. But that if he unscrewed the gas cap and then screwed it back on, it would be off and running again. So, since my husband (Pete) is a handy guy, we decided it was worth a look.

We met Gary and Nancy at their beautiful home. I don’t say that lightly. It was almost breathtakingly beautiful. The property and house were gorgeous and sat on a shared pond. A lot of work has gone into the landscaping and I could have stayed there for hours just enjoying the surroundings. And, to you guys out there, they have a 5-car garage – a handy man’s dream. But that beautiful home took a lot of work to keep it that way. Gary and Nancy were both wonderfully friendly down-to earth people and we enjoyed talking with them.

Well, Gary took Pete out to his garden to try tilling. It started and ran like a champ. No issues. While they were playing in the dirt 😊, I talked with Nancy. She shared some things with me about their family and Gary’s illness. Their children live out of state and haven’t yet been told about Gary’s cancer. They are coming for a visit this summer and they plan to tell them in person. She said that they don’t talk about it much. They just go about their days trying to stay positive and hope (fingers crossed) for the best. There was no mention of God or faith. Just keeping their fingers crossed that everything turns out ok. I was sad that luck was all they were holding onto in this trying time.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15)

Well, the guys made a deal on the tiller and loaded it up. I felt strongly that God would want us to pray with/for them so I asked if they would mind if we prayed for Gary. They said no, they didn’t mind at all. So out by the pond, we all held hands and Pete and I prayed. Afterwards, Nancy had tears in her eyes and said that their friends had been past the evening before and prayed for them. Do you think God directs our paths? He sure does! (Proverbs 3:5-6)

As we were driving home, I said that I thought God sent us specifically there just to water the seeds of faith that had been planted by their friends the night before. There is a reason we had searched for so long for a tiller. The timing wasn’t right. In our minds, the time was late, but God’s timing is perfect!

A funny thing happened after we got home and unloaded the tiller though. We got it around back and Pete started to till the garden soil. I’m telling you it was like a comedy show! He started it and before he could even step back to the handles, it died. That went on and on and on for so long that we were laughing. I know his arms and shoulders hurt from pulling that cord so many times in a row. It would have been quicker and much less effort to just shovel the dirt and compost together! We believe God has a sense of humor and we had to laugh. Eventually though, the garden got tilled and the tomato plants put in the ground. As we watch the garden grow, we will remember to pray for our new friends Gary and Nancy. Thank you, God, for showing us that following You always leads to blessings.hope in God

I am thankful that my hope is in the Lord. What about yours?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

05/20/19

 

Planting Seeds for the Harvest {4.4.17}

Two weeks ago my grandson and I planted some radish seeds in our garden. The soil had been well prepared. It was fed, tilled and ready for seed. The seeds were pretty small and we had to be careful not to let several fall into one spot. God brought the rain shortly after but I didn’t even think to check on the seeds until my husband asked about them. He’s the vegetable gardener in the family but because of a recent injury, I’m the backup plan. Anyway, sure enough – those little seeds had sprouted through the ground. Those tiny leaves were a beautiful sight. Only problem is that there are huge weeds mixed right in there with the seeds. It’s frustrating that the weeds grow so much quicker and larger than the plants! The dilemma…do I pull the weeds and the plants along with them since they are so fragile, or wait a bit. It made me think of God’s Word (seeds planted into our hearts) and the weeds that come in to crowd it out. radish plants

Matthew 13:3-8 “Then he (Jesus) told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Then Jesus explains the parable…

Matthew 13:18-23 “Listen to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

God’s Word and God’s Love are seeds that we should plant into our lives and the lives of others. I’m sure most of us have been recipients of seeds planted by others. The question is, what have we done to bring those seeds to harvest? While God will provide all we need to make those seeds grow correctly, we still have to do our part. Just like planting the seeds in the ground, we must plant God’s Word in our hearts.

Back to our vegetable garden – We also planted several rows of onions. Those were not seeds at all, they were what look like dried up onion bulbs. Those have not sprouted leaves yet. They are still soaking in the nutrients of that well fed soil. That’s what we need to do with God’s Word isn’t it? Soak it up, immerse ourselves in it so that it’s in our hearts and minds. Then the Holy Spirit will bring it to our remembrance when we need it in our daily lives. About those onion sets though…I realized as we were covering them up with dirt that some of them had been planted upside down. So, we had to go back and plant them correctly. Another reminder to treat God’s Word correctly. We can’t pull something out of it to make it fit what we want. It doesn’t work that way and we certainly won’t produce a good harvest. God tells us not to add to or subtract from His Word. We are also not to twist it around. The one who does that will be thrown into the pit of fire at the end. You can find that truth in God’s Word. Read it through to the end. It’s the greatest story ever told – a true story – a promise we can trust in – GOD IS FAITHFUL AND TRUE. He will produce a good harvest if we plant correctly.

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Now, I think I’ll go pull up those weeds – very carefully.

Pesky Wabbits {6.1.16}

Have you ever felt like you were living a children’s cartoon or story book? Lately, Elmer Fudd and Mr. McGregor have been in my thoughts.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the bests of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.”” (Genesis 1:26-30)

peter rabbitSo, we were created to rule over the other creatures. See, God proves it above. The problem is, the rabbits in our garden have somehow forgotten that! In recent weeks, I have felt like we were living out “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” and that we were Mr. McGregor. Our garden is really beautiful, thanks to the efforts of my husband and the blessings of God. However, the rabbits have eaten as much as we have so far! I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I have seen the rabbits simply walk down between the rows eating first from one row to their side and then another. So frustrating! They ended up eating ALL of the tops of the radishes. Finally, they had to be dug up because there
was nothing green on top. Once the radishes were gone, they started on the green bean leaves.

These rabbits are living large and their bellies show it. Part of the increased rabpeter rabbit and mr mcgregorbit problem this year is that the field behind our house was sold to a developer. Thus, no beautiful wheat blowing in the wind, no corn or bean rows, just waist high weeds. Lots of room for rabbits to live and multiply. Who knows what else is living back there! Yesterday I saw a rabbit just on the other side of the garden so I went outside and yelled and clapped my hands to run him off. He just looked at me. I seriously had to get within 8 feet of him, still clapping and yelling, before he finally hopped off down the back of the garden and towards the front yard. He was not one bit afraid of me. I know I must have looked a sight!

This scripture came to mind as I was thinking about our garden woes. “…Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)

Sin does have its consequences. green bean rows.jpg

Well, in our “Tale of Peter Rabbit”, we tried something new. We put moth balls down between the rows. I think it is helping. I have only seen one rabbit and he
was not eating bean leaves. Chalk one up for Mr. McGregor.

We might get beans to can after all.