Saturday, August 31, 2013

Plant Your Seed

“Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of other-ignoring God!-harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7~Message)

Planting seeds of love is a figure of speech referring to the process of growing love and compassion in other’s lives. Wherever we go in life, we really are planting seeds in the lives of other people. We might be given a hundred opportunities in a single day to plant a seed of God’s love, but if we are not careful we might miss out if we don’t slow down and take time out of our busy day to plant at least one seed of God’s love. Our words are sort of like seeds; the harvest of tomorrow depends on the seeds we sow today…

“Sow righteousness for yourselves; reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers His righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12

Seeds come in many different sizes, and all seeds require a few basic things to grow; sunlight, nourishment, love, and water. With a little patience and hard work, what may seem like an empty plot can be filled with beauty and growth! We have probably all planted seeds with enthusiasm and hopefulness; anticipating what we can produce with our labor and careful attention. But what about planting seeds of love and encouragement in the lives of others? Jesus talks about how planting seeds will sometimes grow, or fall on stony ground and not sprout or take off at all. Every thought we have is a seed being planted, and if we do not tend to our “gardens”, it doesn’t mean that our plants will not grow, it means that the wrong plants will grow. We can either plant seeds that grow into beautiful flowers, or we can plant seeds that grow into weeds.

“The point is this; whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)

None of us may ever know what grows from the seeds we plant, but that should not discourage us from planting them. Some of the thoughts and actions we planted will come back to us days, months, or even years later. We should never judge our gardens by the harvest that we reap, but instead by the plants we sow. Sowing seeds of love will benefit both the individual and the recipient, and we should…

·         Speak kind words and build others up…

·         Show compassion for the pain and unhappiness of others…

·         Lend a helping hand to someone who is in need…

·         Be patient with others who are facing challenges in life…

·         See the good qualities in others rather than pointing out their faults…

·         Express our love to others with our words and actions

With every deed we are sowing a seed and no matter the color or the size, they can grow into the strongest plants! Every time we share words of love and kindness, we plant seeds in the hearts of the ones who hear us. And even though it may take years for those seeds to grow and develop, God encourages us to keep planting, and sharing His unconditional love!
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Saturday, August 24, 2013


“He who can give thanks for little will always find he has enough” (Anonymous)

Sometimes it is easy to forget the little things in life that we should be thankful for, but if we take a few minutes to reflect on the good things that are in our lives, like…

·         Daily conversations with God…

·         Time spent with family and friends…

·         The first perfect cup of coffee in the morning…

·         Sleeping in on a rainy day…

·         Making someone smile…

·         Taking a bubble bath…

·         A comfortable bed to sink into…

…maybe our hearts would find more opportunities to celebrate the simplest things that happen every day!

The key to a happy and fulfilled life is not about achieving and having more, or obtaining power and authority, it’s all about being able to enjoy the smaller and simpler pleasures that can bring just as much joy and feelings of fulfillment as the larger things. Our attempts to “do it all”, “have it all”, and “be it all” have created a life that burdens us with too much, moves too fast, and delivers too little. If we are constantly yearning for “newer”, “more” or “better”, how can we ever be truly satisfied?

“For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:11-12)

Sometimes distractions and business prevent us from seeing, hearing, and feeling the simple joys in life. The more we are able to be present in the moment, the more we enjoy the simple things that life offers. Having less and enjoying our lives more can give us permanent and true happiness, but first we have to slow down and see what’s right in front of us, and understand where our true values lie. It’s so very easy to speed through our day, trying to accomplish and get more, that we miss the little things. Life’s simple pleasures can be overlooked, those everyday ounces of happiness that are right under our nose! Getting rid of everything that distracts us is what a simple life is all about; the simple, beautiful things that God has given us.

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” (Confucius)

When we are able to experience the pure joy that can only be found in the little things, we begin to grasp the simple pleasures that each new day presents and that were designed by God for all of us. When God is our focus, our lives will become simpler and we will be more content. Too often we are only thankful when something extraordinary happens in our lives, but we should really be thankful for normal things more often. May…just maybe…our thankful hearts should find more frequent opportunities for celebrating the simplest things that happen every day; that are without doubt, the greatest pleasures of all!

“I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil-this is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13)

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Good Medicine

The old Proverb “a merry heart is good medicine” echoes in all of us, because when we are happy in our hearts, our physical health seems to improve also. Likewise, if our hearts are full of cheer, we’ll likely have a joyful mind!

These bodies we walk around in are truly amazing! It’s true that our heart is what makes us alive in a physical and spiritual sense, and when we feel happy in our hearts, physical health seems to improve also. There is so much evidence that good physical health has a huge impact on our moods and our feelings of emotional well-being. It only makes sense that when our health is good we have more strength, endurance, and energy to go about our daily routines with ease and joy. Other studies show the impact that humor and laughter can affect our health; when laughter is shared it triggers healthy physical changes in our bodies, and strengthens our immune system. As simple as it is, the ability to laugh is a major aid to metal and physical health! Similarly, a merry heart is not only good for the spirit but also for the body. Not only will it add life to our years in a spiritual sense, it could add years to our life in a physical sense!

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise Him.” (Psalm 28:7)

God created our souls for great joy, and even when we are in the midst of affliction, sickness, or emotional pain, we can still discover a merry heart. A merry heart does not necessarily look for the pleasures in life, but instead it rejoices in what God is doing, and looks at life through the eyes of faith. Whether in peace or conflict, comfort or misfortune, we can still have a merry heart by looking beyond our struggles and allowing the joy of the Lord to give us strength and to renew us even when we are in the storms of life. A joyful heart is a choice and an act of faith as we hope and trust in the Lord’s work in our lives.

What’s the secret to joyful heart living and to having fullness of joy?

A merry heart is a heart of praise, and the very best way to experience a joyful heart is to rejoice in God and praise Him! We enjoy the fullness of joy from being in the presence of God by praising Him in all circumstances. Rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks transforms our whole outlook about our life and in our world. God wants nothing more than for us to have a joyful heart and mind that is set on things that are positive. The more we praise and love Him and reside in His loving nature, the healthier we will be…a merry heart is like good medicine!!

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope” (Psalm 16:9)


This week I enjoyed reading Ceil’s post on Five Minute Friday...describing “small” in her words.
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Friday, August 2, 2013

The Good News

"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires, but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5)

Do you ever find yourself in a situation in which you are very likely (and do!) make mistakes? It’s not as if we are deliberately choosing to go down the path of disobedience, or consciously making poor judgment, but maybe we don’t try hard enough to avoid it either! Every Christian wants nothing more than to behave and conduct their manner similar to the way Jesus behaved. Unfortunately we are not free from the internal struggle and temptation of sin. Our flesh continues to serve sin, while the Spirit desires to serve uprightness; they are at constant war with one another tempting us to ask the question “do I give in to the flesh or the spirit; who wins this battle”? One thing I am sure we have all learned is that we must never underestimate the power of sin or attempt to fight it in our own strength. And the good news is that God does provide a way out so that we can stand up under it!

There are many times we can probably relate to Paul’s anguish and frustration of his personal struggle to defeat the sin of the flesh demonstrated in Roman’s chapter 7…

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (vs 15)

Regret…there will be many times that we will look back and wish we had done things differently, but we must seek forgiveness and not let it stop us from moving forward. Mistakes are bad enough on their own; there is no need to multiply the damage by dwelling or holding on to them. `

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” (vs 18)

We are desperate Christians who desire to please God, but our body seems to have a mind of its own. Thankfully God never demands perfection, but to those of us who are willing to admit that the sinful flesh is always with us and wants to control us, He will give us the grace, through faith, to defeat sin.

“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (vs19)

We have an amazing ability to make excuses, but we are all responsible for our own actions! And we do have the ability to reach out to God for victory over sin rather than trying to overcome it on our own.

“Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” (vs 29)

And so begins the internal struggle! We want to do good, but the flesh continues to serve sin. However the best we can do with the sin that dwells within us it to confess and learn from it, rather than justifying it and continuing to do it. We must realize that we are forgiven, and move on to a faithful life of obedience.

It’s all too easy to feel defeated and let our mistakes haunt us, but we should not become preoccupied with the past and let it cripple us. We have a choice; obey the old nature which is in the flesh, or obey our new nature which is in unity with the Spirit within us. The choice we make is the key to our relationship with God.                

"God gave us the law because He knows that the bad news of our terminal condition leads us to the good news: it's treatable; there's a cure. Best of all, the cure is 100 percent free! Small wonder it's called "good news". (Charles Swindoll)

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