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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fruit Bearing Tree

The faith of our fathers was founded in patience. They knew what it meant to grow in Christ and allow Him to fertilize their spirituality. They waited in prayer as the Lord began producing fruit one at a time. They did not try to focus on how much fruit they would receive, rather, they looked to the root; to the foundation. They recognized when God had not allowed them knowledge in certain areas of their faith, and they patiently waited on His timing.

I wonder how many Christians today do the same thing. Or how many of us jump ahead in an area of faith we are not comfortable with and then become despondent with the results?

I know that even though God is pleased with my passion to witness for Him in an area I am not equipped with and that He smiles at my efforts even when I fall short, I recognize now that if I share what He has brought me through; something I have experienced firsthand with Him, that results will fabricate.

It is similar to my passion for cooking. I could teach you how to make lasagna that will melt in your mouth from memory. I know you would love it because I am experienced in it and have tried it. However, I can’t teach you how to make a Bolognese Chicken Pot Roast and guarantee you’ll love it without knowledge of the recipe and experiencing it first myself.

Sharing God with others is a passion. I want to set the world on fire for Him. I want to be the one person who encourages others to vow to change the world. Passionate to share the joy and peace only He can provide to the heartbroken and weary. I remain fervent to show negativity the beauty of hope.

However, in certain areas, I try to rush my growth in Christ. I think my spirituality should be as strong as the woman whose walk with the Lord is deeper than mine. I find at times I cannot wait with patience for the fruit of my tree to appear. I stand by and watch it, willing it to produce. Instead of being concerned with the root and its protection, I see that I am expecting branches weighted with production well before its time.

Psalm 3 “He shall be like a tree...that brings forth its fruit “in its season”…and whatever he does (then) shall prosper.”

All too many times I see where I am rushing ahead of Christ. I want to talk with someone about their problems and steer them on the right course, when I am not well equipped to handle their situation because God has not led me down that path.

No danger of frost. Well drained; soil that is not water logged. Direct sunlight in warm conditions; providing sufficient room to grow. Only clean roots, clean soil and fresh water in the beginning. Removing all damaged or rotted roots prior to planting. The root of the tree is where it all begins. It provides a foundation for growth. Protection and proper conditions are essential for the basis. A good fruit bearing tree will not thrive without the proper edification from the root.

“…but great and sturdy souls withal who managed to achieve satisfying spiritual experience and do a lot of good in the world in spite of their handicaps…” (From The Best of Tozer compiled by Warren Wiersbe)

A great and sturdy soul is one who is relying on the root planted deep in the soil. A greater witness, a more effective helper is one who waits patiently on the Lord to produce the fruit. And there are ways we grow our faith and learn patience.

We must be in God’s word.
Trust Him through our trials.
Recognize our hardships are learning experiences.
Rely on Him to help us produce greater works in His time.

A good life is a fruit bearing tree… Proverbs 30:11. A fruit bearing tree is taken care of and planted firm by the roots, growing and producing each bloom one by one, in its own time.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Right to Worship






Today; what is so special about it for me? I rose this morning with a heart full of peace and joy. The sun has been bright all day and the view has been clear and unobstructed. I felt elated in my heart for the chance to worship today. I spoke my love and joy aloud to the Lord and a peace came over me. I took my time this morning, not rushing the day. Avoided the “hurry up, we have to leave or we’ll be late for church” argument.
I felt alive and well as I walked in the double doors. I took my seat and sang my praises to God. My mind was clear from all outside thoughts; “What will we have for lunch?” “Wonder what time is it?” “What other things are on the agenda for today?” I was completely focused on the Word. My mind was free from distraction. As the final prayer closed the sermon, I snuck a peek at the clock to make sure it was really 12:00. Time flew this morning in Church and I honestly was not ready for its end.
I told my husband today how grateful I am to worship Christ. I have the freedom each day to pray as I choose, read Gods word, post blogs and witness via technology, and attend church services. It is a fundamental human right that can easily be taken for granted. Because we live in a country where punishment for our Christian beliefs is not a threat, taking this freedom for granted is a fleeting thought.
But what about those people who are punished for their Christian faith? What about the ones who are experiencing persecution as a daily reality?
The Bible tells us that John the Baptist was beheaded for his courageous preaching against King Herod’s disloyal marriage. James, Jesus’ brother was murdered for his unrelenting decision to stand for Christ. King Herod killed James, John’s brother by sword because of his faith; such barbaric acts for that era in our history. Would it surprise you to know that these and harsher kinds of persecutions and horrific acts still occur today? And because they do, what efforts are being done to bring awareness and stop these cruel acts against Christians?
Open Doors USA, is an organization that shares each year a breakdown of countries where being a Christian is a threat to someone’s life. Countries where people are made to leave their homes, kidnapped, threatened with prison or death, under constant surveillance, beaten, sent to labor camps, or executed; all in the name of Christ.
Open Doors provides leadership training, community developments, distribute Bibles and resources to the persecuted, and more. There are many ways that you can become involved with Open Doors. Follow this link to find out more and how you can help. http://www.opendoorsusa.org/content/category/2/23/153/
For a list of more organizations serving persecuted Christians, please go to
http://www.persecutedchurch.org/
Remember, just because we have our freedom to pray in public, attend services, hold studies in our homes and share God with others, doesn’t mean there are not those suffering for their beliefs.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bursting Forth

(In)Courage (www.incourage.me) is running a creative contest this month. It was really fun to be challenged and let my creative juices flow. Some of you may recognize the sonnet below is similar to my post "Lighthearted"

I wrote "Lighthearted" the other day out of nowhere and when I saw this opportunity, I just had to use bits of it. I felt so strongly the other day while writing "Lighthearted" not to make it in to a sonnet.

Presenting: BURSTING FORTH
fruits; vegetables filling my belly
grilled fish and chicken, gathering loved ones
splashes of lemon with side dishes, green
decadent desserts offering delight

flip flops the only defense for my feet
red Georgia clay dusting across my toes
tots in spring attire; little league games
invitation from the suns warmth received

wildflower bouquet in a Mason Jar
a dogwood’s bloom; the reminder of Christ.
sneezes from pollen a musical note
yellows, blues, greens, and reds create contentment

joy of this simplicity more than words
presents completion; He’s Resurrected

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Resurrection?

Oh, how selfish am I?
God has taken a hold of my heart this morning to show me how truly selfish I am. I am not in a place in my walk of faith that I need to be. I have worried over things going on in my life that are out of my control. Asking God to take hold, but trying to direct His way.
Worrying over what is mine and things I may loose. Convicted this morning that nothing is mine, it is all His and I have to surrender my everything. Take up my cross and follow Him. He took up His cross and said "My heart is ready, Father." He gave His life so that I could have mine. What an ultimate sacrifice He made.

This morning I stumbled across a devotional that touched me in ways I can not express. God led me to a place on His "Resurrection Day" that blindsided me. Thinking and wanting to be inspired by His death and resurrection led me to see what I must do to "die to myself" so that I may be reborn. Honestly, "my heart was not ready" for this. My conviction took hold of my heart and grabbed it like a vice, honest pain surged through me. Pain from shame and fear. Shame, for my actions and the realization that there are times in my life that I do not fully trust. Fear, that I would lose hope should I be called to suffer greatly for my Lord.

I ask that you read the following post:
http://www.incourage.me/2010/04/loss-and-resurrection.html

It really touched me this morning. It showed me where I fail as a Christian. I am thankful for Christ's ultimate sacrifice and His resurrection that showed me how to really follow Him.

May it show you the things in your life that you need to surrender so you may be resurrected. God Bless!