From time to time I am impressed with a need to record what I am sensing and feeling and usually in the beginning there are no visible connections. This will be no different. I was told from my earliest christian days that we learn from others by what is "caught not taught". Simple explanation is we learn more by example than by exams. Another truism is that you can read Scripture for a lifetime and until the Holy Spirit breathes life into it causing it to becoma a "rama" word all the reading is simple obedience to reading it and rote memorization. At the point the Word comes alive within you it becomes real, alive and redemptive. My fianc'ee Myralee and I were talking this morning and she made a very astute obeservation. In the parable of the Sower and the Seed the unspoken part is that a farmer doesn't just throw seed to the ground one time but spends countless time preparing the soil by plowing up the fallow grond, removing the stones and other debris and amends the soil to make it as fertile as possible and only then does he put his precious seeds into the ground and many times there are multiple plantings done to ensure a harvest. The seed is full of life in itself but to become a plant it needs the proper preparations of the farmer. Only God can draw the life from the seed once it is in the ground but we, like the farmer, need to take the time to lovingly and faithfully prep the soil. It is the same with the Seed of Eternal Life in the parable. The farmer didn't go out and demand the soil to get ready and he didn't threaten it with callous words but rahter he took tme to meticulously prepare the soil for the seed while knowing full well he couldn't cause a single sprout to come forth, That is God's part, but he took the time to do his part and faithfully prepare the ground. It is the same with the seeds we plant in the lives of others, you can't threaten the ground or curse it and expect positive results. 10,000 bible verses directed to someone is about as profitable as reciting the questions of a crossword puzzle. It is the life, and love, within the farmer that leads to healthy plants and the same is true of people as well. Advent is one of those seasons for preparing the ground for the Seed, not just in others but also within the fallow grounds within my own life. I guess I could try self deception and believe my heart is totally prepared to receive the seed but I would be like the hard ground beside the pathway that took seed but it died quickly or was stolen away by the cares of the world. That is an option I refuse to take, I have spent too much time in the past there that I will never get back.
Just got back from an afternoon with my daughter and grandson and it was wonderful. Seeing all the Christmas decorations through the eyes of a 20 month old little boy is liberating. He didn't care about all the booths or stores, he was totally facinated by the trees with all their lights and garland. He didn't yell or scream for gifts but oohed and aahhed over the simplest things. While walking through the mall with his little hand gripping my finger I caught myself looking at all the faces of the people around me, eyes full of hope, some filled with despair and many just empty of anything, blank stares of someone just going through the motions. I found the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel running through my spirit like it has been for several months now. I keep thinking about not just the bones but people they belonged to and realizing they were very much like people around today. So many people have been beaten down, wounded, traumatized and often left for dead by the people around them, some close friends, some family and some complete strangerrs. They may be walking around in the flesh but in the spirit they are all dried up. Ezekiel spoke the Word of the Lord that day and the dry bones miraculously came back to life and I am sensing God calling on His sons and daughters , just as Ezekiel, to be His vessels of life to our present day "dry bones". I remember Jesus when He called Lazarus forth from his grave, He was very specific who he called out and when Lazarus came forth Jesus enlisted Martha and Mary to clean him up, remove his grave clothes and help him however was neccesary. I believe God not only desires for us to "raise the dead" but to be willing to invest our time and our lives helping them come back to life. We have often heard of the tithing message where our finances are concerned but what about our time? I realize that our finances are a result of exchanging the hours of our lives for legal tender but is that really all we need to do? I think not Jesus invested all that He was to the laying down of His life in order to help others and bring hope and encouragement and salvation, if we are "christian" which means "like Christ" how does that really work if we only invest money and token Sunday mornings. I am condemning no one but I know I am personally feeling a need to repent from apathy and feeling indifferent to those around me, especially since they are sons and daugters of the One who created me. This isn't a plea for religious calisthentics or false showings but rather a challenge to live everyday with an expectancy in my spirit to be used to impart my Father's life to those I meet in a very natural and real way. I have been slammed and rebuked as much as anyone but I am finally realizing that this isn't about me but rather the prodigals, the lepers, the outcast and dry bones. Jesus read Isaiah 61, closed the book and siad this word is fulfilled this day. If we are to live like our first born brother Jesus isn't it time we embraced the calling recorded in that passage? Are we so afraid that if we step out and use the authority we have been given in His name that rather than risk embarrassment we quietly walk away from thee destruction around us? He said in His name we could ask and He would answer, is it His reputation we are concerned about or our own? I know these are very hard questions and please know I am asking myself the same ones. My desire is to leave a legacy behind for others to lay hold of and I desire to hear "Well done" knowing I have to the best of my ability walked out the destiny laid before me when I was created in my mother's womb. In closing I need to bring up the prodigal son, his father saw him from a far way off. His father was waiting, hoping and desiring to see the return of his son. Our heavenly Father feels the same way towards each of His children and when they come home they need to be received with joy and gladness as the prodigal was and not brow beaten and judged by harsh dead laws, Jesus fulfilled those laws so we could all come home and maybe this is the time to begin a family reunion with our estranged family members. Just a thought. Be Blessed and always remain true to yourself and the callings within you.