There are amazing creatures that live under our feet every day that we never notice. I was sitting in my front yard enjoying the weather and I looked down at the grass. It was alive with ants and bugs. I saw one particular area that had constant movement of ants going up and down. It is fascinating how God created such small beings and that they have their part in maintaining this life that we have. A quick search on the internet showed me that ants take care of other insects, spread some seeds, cultivate the soil and are food.
Usually the only time I notice ants is when they bite me and then I am ready to do whatever it takes to remove them. During Easter some of my grandchildren hunted Easter eggs in my front lawn. We soon realized that we would have to check every plastic egg for little black ants because they had infiltrated the eggs through the small holes in the short time between them being placed in the yard and the children finding them.
They are a nuisance but I am not going to put a lot of chemicals on my front lawn to kill them off. They also deserve a place to live but maybe not in my front yard. I want to find natural solutions to this problem. And once again the internet does provide several suggestions. I am amazed how much information is on the internet for easy access to help with just about any problem.
I am also amazed that when I have a problem or need encouragement there is a place that I can go to understand how to solve the problem or get my encouragement. I am not talking about the internet now but rather the Word of God. Inside the pages of those 66 books lies all that anyone would ever need to live a fulfilling life. And yet so many people do not take advantage of this wonderful life giving item that God has given us. That makes me sad because I know that God’s Word brings life and life abundantly.
The ants may scramble around in my front yard until I find a way to remove them but I will do all I can to keep the Word of God circulating through my mind. I pray that I never reach the point where His word has left my mind, because on that day life will not be worth living.
We may not enjoy the pests in our lawn but we can enjoy our week and the Word of God. I will be back next week with more.
Have you ever tried to pull grass out of your garden? Some grass can be easy to pull but some is deeply rooted and impossible to pull with your hands only. Yesterday I managed to get my lawn chair close enough to our garden to be able to help my husband pull some grass. I am still being very cautious since surgery and trying to not hurt myself while I heal. The grass I could reach was deeply rooted and sends out runners which made it very hard to pull with bare hands. Needless to say I had a difficult time and could not get all the roots. I know some of this grass will come back.
This experience made me think about “grassroots” efforts and how strong they can be. I understand now the reference to grassroots as something that is very fundamental and strong. Grass does not have a hierarchy it is basic and down to earth, literally. 🙂
The early church was a grassroots effort. And it is still going strong today. Jesus even spoke of roots in Matthew 13 where He tells us the parable of the sower. In His explanation He talks about the seed from rocky places that is easily uprooted because it has no strong root. And then there is a seed in good soil that gets good roots and cannot be pulled out and it bears fruit.
I strive to be like that strong rooted grass, not giving up what I believe in and bearing fruit. I know to do that I need to never compromise or back down when it comes to my faith. God planted me in the good soil of His word I can take those nutrients and thrive while I let my roots grow deep in Him.
Keep your roots growing strong in God. And since it is the Memorial Day weekend won’t you also join me in remembering those who stood strong and gave their lives for our country so we could have the freedom to grow in our faith. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
Have you ever had weeds in your lawn and gone to the store to get something to kill or remove them? You go down the aisles and find that there are many dangerous chemicals that can promise those weeds will never come back. You might read the labels and chose the one that seems like it has the most potent effect on the problem or the one that seems it has the most natural ingredients.
In your mind you believe the weed to be the problem and you seek a solution. Did you know the weed may not be the problem? The problem could be that the soil is missing something. That so called “weed” could be God’s solution to the weakness in the soil. Our wonderful, all knowing God had a plan for sick soil. He caused certain plants to grow when the soil is missing something to replenish and heal it. However when we kill some of the plants that seem to be weeds we destroy the life giving healing that God set out for the ground.
So you see, a weed is in the eye of the beholder. Some so-called weeds have pretty flowers and some are prickly and cause pain, but they all have a purpose or God would not have created them. On a spiritual level we see weeds growing in our lives and maybe we spew poison on them trying to kill them off. We may try to hide them from others by suppressing them but they are still there. Until we take a deeper look to see what is causing this weed to grow we will not be able to remove them from our lives.
What could a weed be in my life? It could be suppressed anger or disappointment or many other things. No matter what the weed is if we don’t try to figure out where it started and learn what we are missing that caused it to grow we will never be healed. The weed can turn into a blessing, because it is a cry for help but left unchecked it can cause more problems.
For example maybe the weed grows when there is pride. A proud person does not want to be seen with a weed. It causes embarrassment of not being perfect which smacks pride in the face if the weed is allowed to be seen by the people around us. It causes humility, which softens our hearts and can cause us to grow into a more compassionate person. A real problem happens if the proud person hides the weed, which only causes the weed to grow bigger and bigger until it becomes a major embarrassment.
So next time you see a weed, don’t look at the weed, look deeper and try to figure out what caused it. Have compassion and mercy on people whose weeds are showing. Help them work through and grow and learn from the experience. I hope you enjoy the coming week and praise God for the weeds that help us heal and grow.
I love the fruit of the garden. I know it is early but we are experiencing the growth of squash and can’t resist eating immediately. Wednesday night for supper we had our first taste of squash from the garden. This was yellow squash that my husband planted in mounds in our back yard. It was tasty.
I really enjoy the spring and summer with a garden because we get to eat the bounty of what we planted. We do a bit of nurture preparing the ground, planting the seeds, transplanting the seedlings, watering, weeding and protecting from pests and disease and then we get to eat the fruit of all that labor. It is amazing.
Genesis 2:15 (NASB)
Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
That nurture comes naturally for most mothers. We have children, we feed them, clothe them and give them all they need to grow into young adults and then let them go out on their own and hope that we may someday reap the benefits of all that effort by being able to say without reservation “That is my child”. We enjoy the fruit that comes from our children and hope the rest of the world has opportunity to experience it also.
As a mother and grandmother I can tell you that I am very satisfied with the way my children have turned out so far. They have all gone different directions in life but all still love and respect their parents and siblings. They have kept the core values that were instilled in them as children and to me that is very important. Just like their parents they are a work in progress.
Proverbs 23:25 (NASB)
Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.
I believe God sees all of us as a work in progress and applauds our efforts to seek Him and His kingdom in our daily lives. He enjoys the fruit of His Spirit that comes from His children. He watches us bloom and enjoys the sweet aroma of our efforts, because he has nurtured us with His eye upon us and directs our steps.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
On this Mother’s day take some time to remember all those who have nurtured you especially your mother, and those whom you have nurtured. Remember that God gave us the ability to nurture. Happy Mother’s day, I’ll be back next week with more.
I am in the midst of experiencing pain, excitement and down time. After years of problems with my foot and months of trying everything short of surgery I was told that surgery was my only option left to relieve the pain. So, somewhat reluctantly, I got on board and started this process for healing. My surgery was on Friday May 5th and I am at home for a while healing. I have a three sided hard cast with a soft top on for now and then I will wear the boot again and then slowly back to normal walking with physical therapy. I have been told that it could take up to a year before my foot feels normal.
This is a long commitment but not any longer than the pain that I have experienced in the past. The doctor says that what he did should give me relief from the pain after I heal from the surgery. I will be honest with you, I did not hear him say this because I was out of it but I trust my husband and what he has told me.
As with anything, preparation is the key to making it work. I thank God that my husband agreed we should buy a knee scooter two weeks before the surgery, which enabled me to get used to it. It made a big difference. I am not going fast or far but I am able to go around the house as needed. I also had to prepare my mind in order to be able to make it through this time.
- First I had to realize that the pain in my foot was getting worse, all my other options had been taken and I was willing to put up with temporary pain in order to achieve my goal of healing.
- Then I had to decide that I believed the doctor could do what he had promised.
- Then I had to spiritually embrace the surgery and possible long road to recovery knowing that GOD is in control and I can trust Him. (Believe me I had been praying for a miraculous recovery all the way up to surgery, but since that did not happen I moved forward. Just like I am now praying for a miraculously quick recovery.)
These decisions parallel my salvation:
- First I had to decide that I wanted to be saved from my sins and gain eternal life no matter what that meant in my daily life.
- John 3:16 (NASB)For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
- Next I had to decide that I believed Jesus could save me no matter what I had done or was doing.
- And lastly I had to spiritually embrace the life changing decision, give up my control and know that I could handle anything that came my way because GOD is in control.
I hope my journey is an encourgement to those who read this blog. My main purpose is to share real life experiences that could encourage others to continue in their faith. Enjoy your week and I will be back this weekend with more.
Yesterday I got to practice picking things up and leveling ground with our sub-compact Kubota tractor. It was fun. There were two trash bags full of grass in the middle of the back yard that I thought needed to be moved. So I drove up to them lowered the bucket and tried to lift. My first attempt the bucket was not all the way on the ground so the trash bag just rolled. Then Bob came over and directed me and I scraped up the bag took it over by the compost pile and dumped it. Then I went back for the second bag. This one was a little more difficult and Bob ended up rolling it into the bucket for me but I was able to dump it out by the other one.
Then I noticed that I had disturbed the ground and made a bit of a rut. So I decided that I needed to level that ground back out. I asked Bob how to do it and he said that I should just play around with it and figure out what would work. So I did. Playing around with it gave me practice on the controls. By the time I was finished the ground was level and looking good. I wished there was more to do in the yard but there wasn’t so I parked it (another fun job) and quit for the day.
Just like I am new to running our small tractor and need some assistance until my skills have been honed, Christians can get guidance to help them get started but there comes a time when they must learn to “be” a Christian on their own. Christianity is a spiritual discipline and must be exercised or it will not flow freely in your life. You will forget what to do and how to do it.
As with any training program getting the right nutrition is important. The Word of God is food for those who embrace Christianity with their lives. But just eating is not enough, you must then exercise what has been learned in order to grow and mature.
James 1:22 (NASB)
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
I am working to become a very good tractor operator but that won’t happen without practice and discipline. Being a good and faithful Christian also does not happen without practice and discipline. Join me in this challenge to become more disciplined in a Christian life.
Enjoy your week.
Genesis 2 gives a view of a simple life with purpose. This is the beginning of time before the world got complicated and complex.
Genesis 2:5-6, 15 (NASB)
5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground………15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
Cultivate means to work or serve. Adam was to work or serve the earth. The earth was not to serve Adam. The earth sustains life and we should care for it so that life can continue. Adam as the first man was given a charge to cultivate and keep the land. This is a big responsibility and God never took back that responsibility from the human descendants of Adam and Eve.
To live a simpler life we must first each take back our responsibility of caring for the land with what we do. You may live in the middle of a city and don’t think that what you do affects the land, but you are wrong. Everything that each of us who live on this planet does has an effect on the earth that we live on and are to care for.
My husband and I are beginning to transform our back yard as the first step on our journey to a sustainable lifestyle. Part of our motivation is getting back to our roots and part of the motivation is to try to care for a piece of this planet that God has given us. We desire to find a way that the hustle and bustle of metropolitan living no longer takes all of our time and robs us of God’s purpose for this life.
Image with me being able to walk into your back yard and see the beauty that God put on this planet, as is documented in the book of Genesis. God caused all those plants to sprout. Each time I see a “volunteer” plant show up in my yard I praise God for allowing it to grow and allowing me to partake of its fruit. Our backyard has squash plants growing in our compost pile and in random places throughout the yard. Some Bob has transplanted into hills and some are still growing where they started.
Bob has planted tomato plants, pole beans, okra, lima beans and peppers. I am so thankful that God is helping us to figure out how to transform the dirt in our back yard into soil that produces fruit. Believe me when I tell you this will be a long road to turn dirt-which is just ground depleted of nutrients into soil–which sustains life because it has the micro-organisms and nutrients needed to sustain life.
Bob planted a peach tree in the back yard last year and this year it has peaches. We won’t eat many this year but next year we should be able to eat lots of the fruit of the tree. Won’t you join us in thanking God for all the wonderful plants that you see blooming and producing life sustaining fruit?
Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.