Pursuing the Presence, Purpose and Power of a closer walk with Christ

Posts tagged ‘Harvest’

Perseverance to Harvesting Hope

Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5: 3-5 (NIV)
   We all need encouraging.
   I think the Lord may have wanted to encourage me this morning as I opened my Bible to the book of Romans.
“You’re encouraging me to persevere? Haven’t I been persevering? Or do I need to grow beyond the recurring challenges in my life?”
   The Lord sees what is in my heart. He sees what is hidden from my eyes, and what may be hidden from the view of others as well.
   Life can be both beautiful and difficult.
   Each day is filled with wonderful blessings from God. There are also days that include hardships. Hardships as tall as brick walls that you run into and they can become discouraging road blocks. Have you had struggles in your  journey that lasted way longer than you expected? Have you been hindered or delayed from reaching your goals, calling or duty?
   In 2001, an automobile accident interrupted the lives of our family. In fact, it more than interrupted, it changed our lives forever. My husband, Jerry, was knocked unconscious and suffered whiplash. Eight years later, the effects of the untreated whiplash progressed to spinal stenosis in his neck and required surgery to correct it. The surgery went well, but tragically, a blood clot caused his death two weeks later.
   The detour of our automobile crash occurred just two weeks before my daughter Rachel’s fifteenth birthday. She suffered much more than my husband or I. Her head injury quite severe. She needed an emergency last-ditch brain surgery to save her life.  Afterwards, she remained in the hospital five months to relearn how to swallow, eat, speak, dress and eventually walk.  The near fatal accident impacted her emotionally, mentally, and physically.
   It has been a challenge balancing the responsibilities of a full-time caregiver, mother, and guardian throughout her miraculous recovery these past fifteen years. More so has been widowhood these last seven years. I have struggled to care for an older home set in beautiful park-like surroundings as I’ve juggled the special care she requires long-term.
   Sometimes I’m able to accomplish what I need and/or want during the week within the few hours she is away at a supervised work or recreational care facility.  Others times, the reality of living with the effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury break-up that much-needed respite. I should be used to the setbacks. I should be a pro by now, right?
   Recently, I hit a “chuck-hole” in my journey and discovered I needed more perseverance. Last week, I bought paint for the exterior window trim. The next day, I re-injured my foot and strained the tendons in the back of my knee as I reached out to help some one.  Really?!  I waited a year as my foot healed and gradually returned to physical activity. It had only been a month since I was able to walk on the soft cushion of the lawn and ride my bike up and down the road for 20 minutes.
    The hobbling saga aside, the windows needed attention three or four years ago. The neglected wood trim was weathered and had dry rot in places. The caulking was cracked and falling off. The scraping, repair and painting of the window trim I planned to get done, was pushed aside while I attempted to manage the bump in the road consisting of phone calls from nurses and staff regarding the “seizure-quo” activity occurring in the last few days. My daughter began to grieve the loss of her step-dad with the onset of seizures.
   Thank God the reality of our ongoing circumstances have been wonderfully sustained with the abundance of his strength and grace. For the next couple of weeks, I continued with the management of her care by: talking with the doctors via phone, consulting with staff who care for her during the day, scheduling and attending appointments with specialists, transporting her to counseling and testing, making extra pharmacy trips for new seizure meds, providing home skill requirements and recreation, and dealing with the red-tape of tedious paperwork. (“Jesus, take me away!”)
   I tend to drive myself hard in order to finish tasks, and as a result, at times I’ve become burned out, depleted of joy, discouraged and parched. This detailed explanation sheds light on the poem, “Listen to the Rain” previously posted on A Beautiful Life website.
   I need to grow spiritually, grow more into Christ likeness, instead of complaining about my circumstances. I need to consistently praise God because, He is aware of all that goes on in my life. He doesn’t give me more than I can bear, after-all, he bears my burdens. His yoke is easy and his burden light. Matthew 11:28-30 (ref.) I need to respond with the power that is available to me through close communication with him. With his power, I’m able to have a mature attitude. Not an attitude with a capital A. Not a ranting, crying out to God for help in a dysfunctional way, as I try to cope with the challenges.
   My response of humble repentance has yielded a quiet character that hopes. My heart is renewed and filled with love poured out from God through the Holy Spirit.
   From perseverance to harvesting hope.
   It’s harvest time. When we harvest hope, others can also hope to grow into the person God intended them to be. Beautiful inside and out, because God desires to make something beautiful out of our lives.
   Let us be an encouragement to one another. Have you been challenged recently with road blocks in your life? Have you repaired any windows lately? Perhaps you’ve a story to share of how God closed one door and opened a window of opportunity.
   Incidentally, I finished most of the front windows of the house without breaking them or falling. Praise the Lord!

GreenGinger’s Green Garden

The Beginning of Greenginger's Garden

The Beginning of Greenginger’s Garden

 Greenginger's Green Garden 3 weeks later

Greenginger’s Green Garden 3 weeks later

Greenginger 's Green Garden 7 weeks later

Greenginger ‘s Green Garden 7 weeks later

I have been harvesting broccoli, cabbage, yellow squash, kohlrabi, rutabaga and potato from what I call GreenGinger’s Green Garden. The beans are about ready to harvest and I hope to get some put up before a brief vacation.

I will give more up dates in August and of course, you are welcome to stop by to help with some of the work.

On a spiritual plane, we must remember the fields that are white with harvest.

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest fields.”(Luke 10:2 NIV)

Horn of Plenty

It’s that time of year when farmers have harvested their crops,  gardens have finished producing their bounty and the home-canning season has come to a close.

The cornucopia pictured here is also known as the horn of plenty. It displays the abundance of harvest.  It is filled with fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains and one can’t help but be thankful for  all God provides.

With Thanksgiving upon us, I am reminded of another  type of harvest written about in the Bible.  ‘The Harvest is the end of the Age…(Matthew 13 : 39 NIV)

One of the songs of Thanksgiving in our church hymnal is “Come Ye Thankful People, Come” The second verse of this song is,

“All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto to His praise to yield; wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown.

First the blade and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear. Lord of harvest, grant that we Whole-some grain and pure may be.”

 The third verse continues:                                                                                        “For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;   

                                                                                                                                                       From His field shall in that day All offences purged away;

                                                                                                                                                      Give  His angels charge at last In the fire the tares to cast;

                                                                                                                                                      But the fruitful ears to store In His garner evermore.”

I’m looking forward to a Horn of Plenty Harvest  and that I will be able to thank God for taking me home.

How about you? Are you looking forward to an abundant Harvest?

Pick-a- Peck-‘o-Peppers

Harvest of this year’s fruits and vegetables are winding down as the season moves towards the next. And I can’t bring myself to say what that’s called at this time; it’s too grevious.

So I thought a picture of the bounty provided by a dear neighbor would be cheery.

I now have  stuffed peppers that are put up in the freezer for later. God surely has provided.  Any one for some of the pepper bonanza?

Blackberry Harvest Part-3

In my last post, I promised to tell you how you can have abundance. What is Abundance?

The on-line dictionary defines it as:

     1. an extremely plentiful or over-sufficient quantity or supply

The picture above is an example of abundance.  An abundance of blackberry fruit.

Similar to the blackberry abundance, is spiritual abundance.

To understand this concept better, I opened my Bible to the 15th chapter of John.

In verse 5 Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

He didn’t say a little fruit, he said “much fruit”.  That’s abundance.

Staying connected to Jesus is the key to abundance in our spiritual life.

In my next post I will expand in more detail how you can stay connected to Jesus and “bear much fruit”.

The Blackberry Harvest Part 2

Yes,  as you might guess from the picture of berries in this basket, I’m still picking blackberries.  But, as I promised to tell you in the earlier post, this is what I’ve done with the bounty so far.

I baked cobblers, a  blackberry kuchen served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and warm peach sauce, blackberry bars and made blackberry jam and jelly.

What an abundance of fruit!

Do you know we can have an abundance in our spiritual lives too?

What is spiritual abundance?

In my next post of the Blackberry Harvest, I will tell you how you can have abundance.

Is It Bigger Than A Bread Box?

   Have you ever played a game at a party where you tried to guess what the surprise was and another participant asked,”Is it bigger than a breadbox?” This phrase was popularized by the comedian Steve Allen when hosting the game show, “What My Line?”  At the time of airing this popular television program, the concept of a breadbox was well-known.

Would most people today know what a breadbox looks like?  Certainly, you could “Google” the term breadbox and find a variety of vintage breadbox selling on E-Bay. You could also find a fancy new breadbox online for about $100. Or you might find one at a garage sale.

 This past Sunday afternoon, I stopped at a garage sale after church. Normally, I would not be browsing the lawns, driveways or garages in my neighborhood on Sunday, but I was flagged by a huge sheet of plywood. ” “SALE” was painted in red letters almost the size of the piece of  wood.  I  put my car in reverse, (not recommended when cars have to go around you), and pulled in  the driveway behind another treasure hunter.

The need for more chairs around the dining table was in the back of my mind, but there wasn’t a seat in sight. What drew me further amongst the array of items was an old box. This was not your average garage sale find, it was made for a specific purpose and the sweet lady hosting the event offered its history.

She explained that it was once used to deliver bread. She showed me the embossed letters spelling “Vim Bread Company” on the lid. I couldn’t believe my ears or my eyes. It was just what I needed! Not to sit on, of course. I needed it to place the bread I baked in for the Bread of Life Ministry.

 ” The Bread of Life Ministry”  was titled as such because it describes  the act of ministering  the Gospel of Jesus Christ to my neighbors.  I have gone door to door in hopes of giving  a loaf bread that had been wrapped in foil and placed in a plastic bag.  Information was inserted into the bag that includes who I am, the recipe and a connect card from the Nazarene Church I attend.

This idea came from a lovely lady I never met. In a Revival service I had attended, an Evangelist, Lane Loman, retold the story of his beloved mother,  Pearl Loman. Pearl was a modern-day disciple of Christ who took the Great Commission seriously. She would go door to door showing her neighbors God’s love and giving them a loaf of bread she baked.  Ladies, this was before bread machines and the convenience of  Harvest Bread.

I hope to accomplish the same result as she: lives brought to Christ and transformed into His image. Some of the families in her neighborhood had made the decision to accept Christ as their Savior after praying with them.

 What would happen to our neighborhoods today, if there were others who followed the example  of this humble lady? 

 Those that make the effort to fulfill the Great Commission will have abundant joy in the Harvest, bringing their sheaves with them.

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