Sunday, April 5, 2020
Some fell by the wayside. Birds came and devoured them, illustrating how the wicked one comes and snatches the seed away due to lack of understanding when someone receives it - the Word - by the wayside. This is the hard heart. Are you reaching out from fear, not really understanding Scripture, so when life returns to some semblance of order after this pandemic blows over, you will return to the lifestyle you led before it hit - without Christ’s love and protection… without a sincere life-changing commitment?
Some fell on stony places. Sun scorched and ended up withering away because they had no root. This illustrates how someone hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy, but due to not taking root endures only for a while. This is the shallow heart. When tribulation or persecution results - even after COVID-19 - will you immediately stumble?
Yet other seeds fell among thorns. They sprang up and were choked. A representation of those who hear the Word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke it out. This is the crowded heart. Will you become unfruitful… paralyzed… immobilized due to anxiety or greed during these and future uncertain times?
Then, the final seed. It fell upon good ground… good soil… and yielded a crop thirty… sixty… hundredfold! This represents those who hear the Word, UNDERSTAND it, and actually APPLY it in their lives, bearing fruit to exponential measure. This is the soft heart.
Jesus spoke in parables as a teaching method to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 13:11) The parable of soils is a parable of hearing. This parable warned that unless the mind and heart hears the Word of God the teaching of the parable would be meaningless. There is nothing wrong with the seed - it is the SOIL! Which soil are you?
He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 13:9) Will you choose to have blessed eyes - for they truly see, and blessed ears - for they truly hear?
Has this devotional stirred something inside you? Please comment below. I would LOVE to hear from you! Take care, stay safe, and stay healthy! 🥰
Sunday, March 29, 2020
“Are we so comfortable with exhaustion, that we can’t even enjoy a break when it’s thrust upon us?!” Priscilla Shirer, (Follow her on )
The Israelites led out of Egypt by Moses were given “… a loving, gracious gift that would break the chains... The gift was called Sabbath.” Priscilla Shirer, Breathe.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Have you ever found yourself so overwhelmed that even doing what should be routine, easy tasks - such as taking out the garbage, doing dishes, laundry, even just taking a shower or brushing your teeth, appear to be monumentous undertakings?! It is in those moments that the only thing that seems to fix it is to stop, and restart... with the basics. So it is as well with our spiritual walk. Truth be told, every major spiritual lesson I have learned has first started as a physical manifestation. It's as if it just won't "stick" if what I am to glean doesn't somehow initially affect me in the flesh.
By realizing the inability to do the simplest of tasks lately without struggle I am reminded that perhaps I haven't been faithful in my spiritual routine. While I almost always begin my day with a "Dear Lord" and a concluding "Amen" as my head hits the pillow, once school started this past August I must admit my daily reading of His Word has been hit and miss. As I "snack" on granola bars, bananas, or bagels and cream cheese instead of taking time for a solid breakfast, I equally find myself "snacking" on KLOVE's 'Encouraging Word' or Air One's 'Scripture of the Day,' neither occurring every morning. Not that I am knocking such little nibbles, but a steady diet of such can leave one malnourished - both physically and spiritually. I find myself hungry, tired, and at times grumpy. Without steady nourishment and proper exercise, our bodies cannot function optimally. Our souls also suffer without proper nourishment and exercise.
The word "remember" occurs 121 times in the Old Testament and 27 times in the New Testament (1). This tells me it's pretty important. The only way to become familiar with something enough to remember it is through repetition. That is, unless you have an eidetic memory. If you are around my age, I bet you can easily recall the words to this show's theme song, "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip. That started from this tropic port..." Did you find yourself saying or singing the rest of that verse?! If not that one I'm sure there are plenty of other jingles easily recalled, and I guarantee they didn't get "stuck" there the first time you heard them.
One of my favorite biblical stories I remember very clearly is that of Martha and Mary, the two sisters hostessing a visit from Jesus (2). Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to what He had to say. Martha was busy serving to the point of frustration, even pointing out her sister's lack of contribution to the tasks at hand and demanding Jesus to tell Mary to help her. Jesus pointed out that Mary chose the "good part, which will not be taken away from her," speaking of His Word. I am a Martha by trait, but can recall the first time I found balance between her and Mary. Martha likes to dominate from time to time, with such an occasion occurring recently, but I have always managed to get Mary back where she belongs. When I get so busy that I am unable to see the forest for the trees, I have to exit the forest and seek different scenery. This weekend I took a trip several hours away, where I was able to get a bit of a restart, become refreshed, strengthened, and return to a semblance of a more healthy routine once again. I found my Mary. I found peace. I was reminded there will always be work to do... we are expendable and our days are numbered. Getting back to the basics gives a better view to prioritize what is really important.
I recently found out I have another little blessing on the way, my thirteenth grandbaby. There have been too many days I misprioritized as a result of my Martha traits, and although God worked all things together for good (3), I missed a lot of what was really important. It's time for Mary to take the lead.
(2) Luke 10:38-42
(3) Romans 9:28
Sunday, September 17, 2017
I had begun to draft a post the Saturday after school started entitled, “First Impressions and Auto-pilot,” but never managed to complete it. The rest, literally, is history. But I digress. Here’s how it began:
Made it through the first week of school! This week was filled with enthusiasm, energy, introductions, and getting-to-know-you activities… I even had a student tell me what a good teacher I am, and then quickly thought, oh honey… let’s wait and see what you think when we round the bend to 180 days! But seriously, first impressions are important. However, we also need not base our entire perspective of someone on that first impression.
I then went on to say that Jesus made a good first impression, until His people decided He wasn’t going to do things their way.
What a different world we live in than when I was a little girl. I used to be able to play outside from dawn til dusk without a care. Perhaps that is also perspective because I can look back on my life and see on many occasion how obvious it was that God had a plan for me based on the messes from which He saved my very life. But the puzzling thing to me is how did we get to this place of thinking if we don’t agree with someone it must mean we hate the person…?! All I seem to hear about in the morning news is how North Korea is launching another missile. How the ANTIFA have violently tormented people, specifically an old man and journalists – including women. And yet another bomb injures many in the London Underground tube in England. What is going on?
Beth Moore said yesterday at her most recent world-wide simulcast that social media has created a disembodied society. We are addicted to our devices. In fact she said, “our devices have become our vices.” Beth mentions that our American “Body” is in critical condition. Exhorting us to not ignore Hebrews 10:25 because, “disembodiment leads to dehumanization… and dehumanization leads to disposal.” A remnant is unhappy, and we are on the cusp of change. What is going to change cynicism is the re-embodiment of the disembodied Body of Christ.
The only way we’re going to accomplish this is to become grounded in the Word and in prayer. I’m barely beginning my 50’s and I am just now sensing a new plateau I’ve reached in my relationship with God. Although I have been aware of Him my entire life, and even studied as a young child, it wasn’t til my 30’s that I fully surrendered from considering Jesus as my Savior to Him being my Lord. You see, while I didn’t give in to the hell and brimstone tactics, I also knew there was a difference between entering heaven with my tail still smoking and that solid confidence of having a place that is prepared just for me. I wanted the latter.
When the rubber meets the road we can rely on our auto-pilot, trained by THE Pilot through His Word and direction of the Holy Spirit! As we stand firm and don’t succumb to compromising our character, when those situations arise which distract or tempt us to sway from who we want to be, our “auto-pilot” will kick in and truly give the impression of who we are… despite, or in addition to, our first impressions.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Monday, August 7, 2017
The items on my summer task list were not life nor death, but nonetheless I could allow the unchecked boxes to weigh me down and I find myself at a crossroads. In one direction, I could let the feeling of failure cause a shut down in which I become ineffective and potentially sabotage this fresh start of a school year which is about to begin in a week and a half. In the other direction, I could look at the few things I was able to accomplish – from completely rearranging and reorganizing our music room and home office to successfully snaking both drains in our bathroom adding rudimentary plumbing to my résumé and saving a few dollars. Facing a “cup half full or half empty” analogy, I choose the positive outcome believing that what I did I was purposed to do in the given time. I additionally recall that despite our inability to travel as desired this summer, the opportunity to help with worship at a newly planted church about 120 miles away was an added bonus to our initial summer plans of hiding out and staying cool. Truth be told, it is something my husband has been hoping for that has now been realized.
I have a lot to be thankful for, and I must remember that His mercies are new every morning. Should I choose to regret not completing certain items not only is an insult to God and the blessings He saw fit to bestow and the given direction we should go over this summer vacation, I am also reminded that just because they were on MY “To Do” list, doesn’t mean they were on His. This isn’t a cop out, but an acknowledgement that He is a much better driver than I when it comes to fulfilling goals.
Philippians 3:13 states, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead…” 2 Corinthians 7:10 reminds us, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” And let’s not forget what it means to FAIL – First Attempt In Learning. (See my blog, “Failure is Not Final” https://goo.gl/Xh96iW)
Next week, I’m going to discuss some major circumstances that could tempt us to hang on a little tighter to regret.
So if you ever find yourself feeling down because you cannot find anything to show for your efforts, just keep looking up… and remember no regrets!
Until next time… ❤️