THE SOWER AND THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF SOILS – Luke 8:4-15

I needed to read this again at this time of life and in these circumstances. 🙂

Mission Venture Ministries

Jesus spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When He said this, He called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” (Luke 8:5-8)

The first thing to note is that Jesus was teaching about a subject that was very familiar to the Jewish people. In ancient times people passed through the countryside, walking everywhere they went or riding on an animal, and they had to…

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Jesus Cares for Us

Our church plays the song, “I Surrender All” on rare occasions. Every time I sing it with my family of believers, I cry. Why? Because I picture people and things I’m letting go of: family members, friends, possessions, health, youth- “all to Jesus, I surrender, I surrender all.”

I cry every time because over the months, “having my way” creeps back in and then I go back to the place of sacrifice. There’s an advantage to this letting go, this dying to the flesh, this sacrifice of praise to God.

When hard things come along, some of the sting, its power got muted months or years ago because I laid people and things at the foot of the cross.

Part of my coping ability with the COVID 19 virus is not listening to news and shielding my eyes on the Internet, for most of the day. I read (Proverbs 1:32, 33 NRSV) today in regards to the call of Wisdom: “For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools destroys them: but those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.”

My husband minored in math in college. After hearing the number of those afflicted by COVID 19 in America yesterday, it’s less than 2/10 of one per cent of the population. I am being careful, but I’m doing my best not to be overtaken with fear, and hearing those statistics helps.

Stress can cause disease. That’s why Jesus said in (Matthew 11:29 NRSV) to take His yoke upon us and learn from Him…and He will give us rest. The apostle Peter reminded all with a little different phrasing: (1 Peter 5:7 NRSV) “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”

I pray for God’s blessing to overshadow any anxieties that may try to rob you and me of peace and joy in this life. I’m also praying if people discover their previous activities were stifling their lives, that we’ll take time to consider new opportunities that will benefit ourselves and others.

God knows how we’re all wired. Jesus says to seek Him and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you, in Matthew 6:33, speaking of food and clothing and peace of mind. There are Scriptures that speak of God blessing believers by all sorts of folks in the world. I have a blessing I want to share. My neighbor hired a landscaper to plant daffodils in their side yard which I can see from my house. I didn’t do the work, I didn’t pay the bill, yet I get to enjoy the beauty. Hopefully, the picture I took to show you will copy here.

Daffodils in the Spring

Yay, my husband helped me!            

May God bless you!

HE WHO HAS AN EAR LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS TO THE CHURCHES – Revelation 2 and 3

My friend recommended this post and I read it and wanted to share it with others. Be blessed!

Mission Venture Ministries

Hearing and listening are synonyms but have different implications, because, you can hear someone without actually listening to what is being said. 

Listening requires a person to pay attention to the speaker and requires concentration, it means to understand what is being said and providing an adequate response to it, because when we do not listen there really is no communication and no understanding of what was conveyed. 

Jesus talks about “Whoever has ears, let them hear” many times in the Gospels (Matthew 11:15; Mark 4:23; Luke 14:35). “Having ears to hear” was a common expression that referred to those whose hearts were ready to act upon the truth they were given. 

Thousands were impacted by Jesus’ earthly ministry, but only a few people had “ears to hear.” In John 6:66, Jesus had again explained about who He is, but John records that, “After this many of…

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Does the Weather Affect You?

My husband and I drove to the mall today despite the one-degree Fahrenheit weather, because the blustery below-zero forecast-ed weather never arrived. We needed some office supplies and bulk items for church that our little town doesn’t provide.

So, I bundled up and my husband cranked the heat up in the car and off we went. The stores seemed a lot emptier than usual. We entered the traffic flow on the roads with ease. The weather forecasters warned of windchill at 27 below-zero, which made me hesitate to go out, but my guy wasn’t deterred, so I figured he’s not foolish and I promised my daughter that I’d sew a zipper in her son’s coat. I hadn’t bought the zipper yet and time was a wasting, as they say in the West or in the South or maybe it’s from my childhood.

The thing is, it’s so cold outside that the walls are radiating a decided chill in the room where I sew. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer, so I’m putting it off until then. When we left our warm car, earlier in the day, I wore a heavy crocheted hat down lower on my ears than normal. The matching scarf covered my face so I could breathe. The later we stayed out, the brisker the winds got, but thankfully they weren’t moving much. It was the cold air that caused the discomfort. We made six stops over three hours, and by the end, we were both ready to get home. After putting the plates and tissues and file cabinet supplies away at church, we reached our house and put away the carrots and the tomatoes and the Worcestershire sauce, etc. I put the heat back up four degrees on the thermostat.

The photos came from: https://www.google.com/search?q=family-friendly+free+pictures+of+sunshine+and+clouds&client=firefox-b-1&tbm=isch&tbs=rimg:CRcYyASMpYT7Ijh7YkkCd5ykwazfYtmrwatmILh7KP5bPbNJjyu177igdB7NTeh27gBBCu51G97dJs-eHfPnzLgQLioSCXtiSQJ3nKTBEWmMsfn22mPzKhIJrN9i2avBq2YRhSZcwmD2XMIqEgkguHso_1ls9sxHAt5q5tU0YESoSCUmPK7XvuKB0Ec9rhnA5WMG9KhIJHs1N6HbuAEER1CKqJFYBCGcqEgkK7nUb3t0mzxHREv3p2sy-xioSCZ4d8-fMuBAuEckCTUiAKvGx&tbo=u&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiwq9Hk5JngAhWyUt8KHRpTCEoQ9C96BAgBEBs&biw=1366&bih=654&dpr=1#imgrc=mDN916denwfcvM:

As we drove, I told my husband the sunshine was beautiful. We live in Upstate NY, and not that long ago, we had over 60 days with clouds and no sunshine. Some folks suffer from S.A.D.-seasonal affective disorder. “Sometimes it’s called winter depression or the hibernation reaction,” according to this site:

Definition of Affective disorder, seasonal (SAD) – MedicineNet https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7720 .

I know folks who suffer from the lack of sunshine, so they purchase lamps with natural light bulbs. One variety I’m familiar with is OttLite.

When it gets really cold, with air from the Arctic circling down our way, many of the schools and churches close down for the sake of the walkers. More than ten minutes outdoors in the extreme cold can cause hypothermia, according to our local radio station’s weather man.

Image result for family-friendly free pictures of sunshine and clouds

When it’s frigid outside, too much of it causes me to feel grumpy or to feel grateful, depending on my state of mind and/or body. I’ve been so aware of the privilege of living in a house with a good furnace. Two years ago, I bought a warm winter coat for the low price of $20.00 at the end of the cold season. I remember many years ago, being sure the kids had warm outer-wear and getting along with less helpful protection from the elements because I didn’t go outside as much and they were little. A paycheck only goes so far sometimes.

Being covered in warm layers from head to toe takes the grumpiness away. When it’s normal winter weather, about 25 degrees outside, the fresh cold air is invigorating to breathe in. My husband likes to kid me. “You’d never make it in Alaska!”

That’s probably why I’ve never lived there. I hear it’s a beautiful state and some folks talk about the cruise ships they’ve boarded to see the wonders of the northern-most part of the U.S.A. I may get there one day. One never knows what life will bring, especially when I think of opportunities God has opened up in my life over the years. As it says in the Scripture: (1Corinthians_2:9 NKJV) But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

In this blog, I could have talked about rain or sunshine for most of the day, but we’re in the northern hemisphere and it is winter here. Do you have a weather-related story you’d like to share?

May God bless you!

Who’s Your Support?

I re-wrote an article today and then later, I wrote a memoir from my teen years. I’m thinking of publishing writing for some income. My husband worked all our married lives once we left college. I worked as a young mom for a while and when I saw an older woman working in the same department, I asked her how long she’s been employed there. “Oh, not long,” she said. “I stayed home to raise my children and then I sought a job after they left home.”

“That’s what I want to do,” I surprised myself by saying softly to myself. I looked around at the cubicles, telephones ringing off the hook. My co-workers hated their jobs, for the most part. And I left my young ones in the care of others. My youngest one was allergic to milk at the time and often, when he ate lunch, the sitter gave him macaroni and cheese, possibly thinking cooking the milk and cheese would change its allergic properties. I don’t know. But, I’d have to call off from work and treat his diarrhea. He hates bananas to this day because he’d have to eat a BRAT diet, bananas; rice; applesauce; and toast.

The babysitter also watched children that went to a daycare center part of the time. They caught lice, and my little one with a tiny covering of hair, had a bug crawling across his scalp when we got home. So, I treated him for lice and the rest of the family, as well. I told my husband-“that’s it, I’m quitting my job.”

He was delighted. I gave my two week notice and when I spoke to one of the supervisors, I said, “my husband wants me to quit my job.”

It required a lot of patience and love for some unlovely people, unfortunately. She sighed. “I wish I had a husband that wanted me to quit my job.”

Sometimes I don’t realize the blessings that I enjoy. It’s easy to take people we love for granted. When I pray about what I should do, because I want to help support my husband as we age, I feel as if the Lord gives me a quiet thought, Write.

Is the Lord giving you nudges when you’re pondering what you should do? I love Proverbs, chapter 3. It talks about trusting in the Lord and not leaning on my own understanding, which I need to hear now and again. I’m thinking this is going to be an exciting year.

By the way, as a young boy, after prayer, the Lord healed my son of his milk allergy. You should have seen his face light up the first time he tasted ice cream. His own and every other one we’d purchased at the ice cream cone stand. What joy.

May God bless you!

Light

This is Jesus speaking according to Matthew in the New Testament. I’ve been hindered from blogging, so I thought, I’ll just try to send this Scripture that encouraged me tonight. God bless!!

Mat 11:28  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Mat 11:29  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
Mat 11:30  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 

How a Reclaimed Cedar Chest Reflects God’s Grace

I met Jill about a year ago at a writers’ critique group. I love her writing. She’s been published by “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and elsewhere.

Anecdotes from Along Life's Road

cedar chest 03

Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

by Jill Printzenhoff

Reclaiming Memaw’s beat up cedar chest was tedious and dirty work. However, I was determined to redeem its battered condition.

I poured hours into removing several coats of old paint, sanding the distressed wood, and applying varnish. Solvent turned layers of faded paint to goo, which clung to my paint scraper or landed in wrinkled piles on heaps of newspaper. The hand sander kicked sawdust in the air, and the dust particles covered everything in the garage including myself. The sticky varnish claimed multiple brushes and rags.

messed up trunkNeedless to say, by the time I finished with the outside process, I had accumulated several bags of debris.

Once the outside was complete I turned my focus to the inside. After vacuuming the felt layer, the finished product was ready for use and display. I filled the cedar chest with blankets, and gave…

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Hindrances or Appointments

 

I’ve been north helping with my grandchildren. They all contracted fevers days apart from each other, so time stretched out.

Two nights ago, I asked my daughter if I could borrow her computer so I could blog. It wouldn’t work.

Then, I used my old computer which she has for a back up for her job. That didn’t work either. So much for blogging while I was away.

When I got home, I went straight to a meeting. In the morning, I arose early so my sister could get to the hospital for an operation which got delayed for three hours.

I’ve been reading a book on and off for over a year now. Today worked perfectly to finish it up. Now, I’m highlighting the significant parts of this non-fiction book and working the exercises.

One suggestion the motivational writer said that I read today, “Take care of yourself.”

I’ve noticed that the older I get, when I’m busy writing or babysitting or cleaning, whatever I’m doing, I may not pay attention to changing my position, or using correct posture, drinking enough water, exercising, or grabbing a healthy meal. I appreciated the reminder.

(I found this photo at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/thinking-for-a-change-john-c-maxwell with more letters and symbols for the address on Google.)

Years ago, I read a John Maxwell book entitled, Thinking for a Change, copyrighted in 2003, which I bought. Warner Books, Inc., New York, NY published it.

I thought my husband may like it as well, because he’s studied management principles and applied them to his life for years.

I don’t know if he read it, but I remember John Maxwell saying that he worked hard to achieve goals throughout his life so he neglected taking care of himself.

At that time, he realized he needed to work on his well-being or he’d be sorry. So, he too, recommended paying attention to one’s health.

I love spending time with my grandchildren and my children, but after almost twelve full days together I told my son I hadn’t done any writing and sometimes I feel like time is slipping away. He asked me, “Don’t you think this week with the kids is the best use of your time?”

That stopped me longing for working computers. I began the first book I mentioned while the children slept. So, I did do something else besides cooking, washing dishes, babysitting and laundry. Also, we played games and read books and I got to understand the rhythms of their lives in a way I didn’t comprehend before.

Plus, extended time with my grown children is a rarity, which I thoroughly enjoyed as well.

It’s amazing how a well framed question can turn my thoughts in another direction.

My sister’s surgery went well today and she is recovering for a day here unless New York weather gets so bad that the roads get closed down tomorrow. Then she’ll be here for two days. I don’t remember such crazy weather. February had been so warm. I wonder if that’s why so many folks have been sick. Warm spells and then a few days of cold and back to balmy weather. A few years back, we had a warm winter, but it was consistent.

Well, God knows what He’s doing in regards to the climate. He knows what He’s doing in regards to my schedule. I’d been feeling like I needed to play some games and relax. I got to do that with the children.

May God bless you and watch over you and protect you.

A Day Like No Other

I wrote a blog for today a couple of days ago. I recently wrote about Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims book, Organize Your Day: Time Management Techniques That Will Work for You, published by Revell Books, Grand Rapids, MI and copyrighted in 2009. The problem is, when I went to write this one I realized that I never posted the “Organize Your Day” blog.

My husband and I recently returned from a vacation and while he watched football, I pulled out my computer and wrote a blog post. My son is an IT guy, so I texted him and asked if he ever used the internet at a public place on his private computer and he said, “No.”

He’s probably got more security safeguards on his than I do on mine, so I saved the blog. Out of sight, out of mind, as the old cliché goes.

I plan to post the article about the book tomorrow, but for tonight I just want to say, I decided to take Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims up on the idea to keep a running tally of how I use my time for a week in half hour increments, and it is eye opening.

I knew I was going to rest after a full two weeks of being gone because we kept irregular hours and I caught a cold, plus I got up early to prepare for Bible study this morning. I wanted to join my husband as he entered his office today because his secretary called me while we were away to ask for his favorite paint color. They wanted to freshen his office for him and re-decorate a bit. I was sworn to secrecy. I wanted to see his reaction because even though he’s low key, I knew he’d appreciate the effort they went to and he’d surely like an office in his favorite color.

He kidded one of the board members, “I need sunglasses in there now.”

The previous pastor chose a darker wallpaper with lots of trees on it. They chose a color just a bit darker than a pastel.

So, we celebrated our return with a lunch date at a new restaurant in town and then his secretary called to tell us that when our church had a number of police around it today, as we studied God’s Word oblivious to our surroundings, they were making plans to re-capture an escaped convict. Apparently, he’d been seen in the vicinity of our building. She asked how long our doors had been unlocked and was there any chance he could be hiding somewhere inside. I told her we would have heard him. She wasn’t so sure. We had talked, read out loud, laughed, reminisced, and then prayed. I told her all the places I’d been, looking for supplies and even for a can of paint in a storage room out of the way, before and after the study.

The next time I called her after taking a moment to consider, I thought maybe she should leave if she felt nervous. When she didn’t answer, I thought, Ah, she’s gone, good.

I texted her about leaving and she texted back: “I’m at the dentist and I won’t return until tonight’s Bible study.”

I went home to have some time with God and to do light housekeeping since I chose to rest. Occasionally, I called my husband to see if there was any news. “None that I know of,” he responded.

I’m praying the convict gets returned behind bars. It makes me wonder how he happened to escape and to hope he’s not a violent offender. I’ve been praying he’ll get saved if he’s not already, and that he won’t hurt anyone. I love the fact that God stays with us, no matter what we go through. It occurs to me that if I’m that curious, I could search the news to see if there’s any change in the situation.

I hope you had a nice day, one in which you didn’t hear of escaped convicts possibly hiding right nearby. I expect to share a little about our vacation, but I never know what a day will bring.

God bless you!