Here I sit on our back patio with a blue sky and white clouds floating overhead. The almond and mango trees are greening up the area over the walls. The wonderful aroma of baking bread comes from the bakery around the corner.
My cucumber and dill beds have not grown more than two inches. Lesson learned: soil is critical to seed growth. Next time I will not scavenge soil from the neighbor's ditch construction project. As I apply that lesson to my own heart, I beg the Lord to dig up the soil in my heart. If it is hard and dry and without life, nothing will grow. The parable of the sower and seed is doubtlessly true. If we want good fruit from our lives, there has to be good soil in our hearts for God's seed to grow in. That holds true for our children and those around us; if there is to be good fruit in their lives the soil needs to cultivated and fertilized - loved and disciplined.
Every evening while a team is here we have a special time together of singing and sharing and praying. For me it is one of the highlights of everyday. Ron Tunison brought song sheets and leads our singing time. Isn't God good to place different talents in each one of us that can be a blessing to others if we share them? Ron is a great guitarist and I've enjoyed and appreciated the new songs I have learned this past week.
We take turns sharing during our evening devo's. My mom shared first from Ephesians. The first 3 chapters of that book are about Right Believing and the second three are about Right Doing. We took a look at who we are in Christ and how He enables us to walk with humility, to grow up, to be renewed in our minds, to always give thanks along with many other things. The list is endless and you can read it in your Bible. Others have shared about the family of God and the unity we share that crosses denominational and cultural lines. When I stop to think about the family that believers in Jesus are a part of, it boggles my mind! God help us to love one another as brothers and sisters should!
Joe shared about keeping the unity of the Spirit from Ephesians 4. He impressed on us that keeping
the unity has the thought that it is already there and it is our job to keep it.
Ron shared about his desire to see the older generation connecting with the youth. He is active with the young people of his church and has a heart to see them follow Jesus.
Phillip shared last evening from Isaiah 58 and the importance of obeying God in reaching out to the oppressed, the hungry and the needy because God will guide, strengthen and satisfy our needs as we do.
These evening times of sharing have encouraged my heart and my walk of faith. I want to encourage you - Keep following Jesus! Get together with others who are an encouragement to you. Be an active part of His family. Let the good Gardener dig up the soil of your heart and fertilize the seeds that are there. Good fruit will be the result.
Just a note: if you have read all the way through this post then you must be interested in what is going on here. Some of us are fighting a little bug, myself included (which is why I even have time to blog this afternoon while everyone else is working). The bug doesn't last long. Dan and Mike Jesse are the ones who are recovering from it. Please pray that no one else gets it. Thanks for your interest in the work here and for your prayers!