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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Divine Agriculture


Each Sunday, I usually post a digested sermon by our Pastor Jerry.  Today my post will be brief due to unfortunate circumstances.

On Saturday there was a wedding at our church and the sound system was changed for the wedding, but was not put back as it should have been.  When our Sunday service began there was harsh feedback and regrettably I was not able to hear most of the sermon.  Fortunately I had the bulletin.

When it was time for the Joys, I had been impressed to share my story about the California Water situation and how we should speak to the rocks to bring forth water as Moses was told to do.

As the service progressed, one of our ladies was asked to read a Scripture from the Psalms, and I was amazed because this particular selection was a confirmation to my sharing.

Psalm 65:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
You visit the earth and water it,
You greatly enrich it;

The river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
For so You have prepared it.
You water its ridges abundantly,
You settle its furrows;
You make it soft with showers,
You bless its growth.


The bulletin contained the Sermon Title and the scripture and thus I present the digested subject from Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43.  DIVINE AGRICULTURE

Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God and he often spoke in parables.  On one occasion, He spoke about a man who went forth to sow good seed, but soon weeds sprang up.   

The servants asked if they should pull up the weeds. 


The tares will be gathered and burnt
 
The man said, no an enemy has sowed the weeds; just allow them to grow together until the harvest and then the weeds shall be set aside and burnt and the good grain will be placed in my barn.
His disciples asked Jesus to explain the story and briefly this is what He said.

1.The sower is the Son of Man (Jesus.)
2. The field is the world.
3. The good seeds are the sons of the kingdom.
4. The weeds are the sons of the wicked one.
5. The enemy is the devil.
6. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.


Pastor encouraged us to understand that good and evil happens to us all.

Tragedy, sickness, and death touch many of our lives, but we have a choice to decide the way we will turn.  We are free to make good decisions and we are also free to choose the wrong path.
We are free to serve and trust God through it all.  Our hope is in Christ Jesus.






 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Headlines Read – Wells Drying Up


Water from a Rock

Our Lake Oroville, the main water source for Southern California is very low.  A sobering thought is that there was not sufficient rain and a good snow pack to fill it.

A couple months ago, I suggested NOT to pray for rain, but to speak to the rain clouds to come and bring rain.  Yes God did send some rain, but not enough.  Then we all relaxed.  Many are thinking "maybe next year will be a better season."

The alarm and cries of the media and newspapers are; “We are in a draught – the crops will fail, we need water for our animals and for the people.
I am reminded when Jesus told his disciples to SAY (not pray) - Mark 11:23

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Consider another scripture story about Moses - - - God gave him specific instructions to SPEAK and sadly he did not obey and SAY as he was told.

Numbers 20:7, 8  Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together.  Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.”

Just for a moment let us expand our thinking and our believing and understand that God does cause water to flow out of rocks.  This is evidenced by tiny springs that bubble up from rocks and turn into creeks and by huge water falls that cascade into rivers.  It is a fact that water does come from rocks.

May I suggest not to pray for rain, but to SAY to the ROCKS in our mountains to crack open and pour out water to fill our lake.

What I am asking is for you to open your mouth and with your voice to speak to the mountain rocks to rip open and to flow forth water.

To some this may seem silly or foolish, but I am reminded that Jesus did many things that seemed irrational, and he was called all sorts of crazy names. 

If you are embarrassed to SAY in public, just SAY with me now, and continue to SAY:  “Rocks split open and gush out water into our Lake.” 

Not prayen but just SAYEN !! 

"If two or three agree as touching anything on earth, it shall be done."



 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Tricks for Old Dogs


Old Hound Dog Still Running
 
Apple Cider Vinegar has been publicized for many purposes including marinating meat over night before cooking it, to unclogging drains, killing weeds and even beauty aids such as a hair rinse. 
 
A popular use is to drink a tablespoon full in a glass of water daily to help with joint pain.  My brother and also brother in law both claim this helps their arthritis pain and is a simple and inexpensive aid for their health.
 


I have been giving my dog Bragg ACV with the Mother.

From reading the labels I discovered that the Heinz quart size is the real apple cider vinegar and is the most reasonable in price.  Heinz also puts out a larger bottle, but it is flavored and not the real apple cider vinegar.

I said all that to say this:  Our old hound dog has been limping and for months we have been giving him a baby aspirin morning and night.  It did seem to help, but I wanted to try something else.

 He gets 1/2 can of dog food and a cup of dry crunch morning and night, so I began to add a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to the wet food and mixing it in well. 

After a few days, I am amazed that he eats his food with no objections and is walking better than ever.


In addition I ordered some Joint soft chews from Entirely Pets  
“Joint MAX: Chewable Tablets pet joint supplement, containing Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, EPA, DHA, Creatine, Zinc, Manganese, Vitamin C and N-acetyl-cysteine in one tasty, chewable tablet.”


Also I ordered some capsules of Bromelain from Swanson Vitamin Company and I break open a capsule and give him 1/2 twice a day stirred in the wet food.  Bromelain is from pineapple and helps with pain and also digestion.


I believe that the most help is coming from the Natural Apple Cider Vinegar, and if your dog is limping from time to time, Vinegar might be something you would want to add to his food. 


 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tending the Seed


A Sower Went Forth Sowing Good Seed - - but - -


Pastor Jerry was reading from two portions of scripture.  Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23  was The Parable of the Sower and the types of ground that received the seed.

Isaiah 55:10-12 New King James Version (NKJV) God’s Word is the Seed.
10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower, And bread to the eater,  11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. 12 “For you shall go out with joy,  And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills, Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Does the Word of God make a difference in your life? 

Let us consider a few definitions of the Word of God”

1 A decree from God – His breath or a whisper.
2. An address to humans, a voice from heaven
3. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh.
4.  The written word was first given to Moses written with the finger of God.  Then Holy men of God wrote as they were given the words to write.

Does reading or hearing God’s word stir your spirit?
Have you ever heard from God and doubted?  Were you receptive? 

When the Word of God does not inspire or stir you that is sad. 

Often the reason we are not stirred, is we have heard the word before and it is not new, so we are bored. 

Likely the speaker failed to deliver the word in an exciting way, or the listener was not paying attention.  Perhaps we failed to zero in and focus on the meat of the Word.

Are we the church on Fire, or simply simmering along.

Now about the seed.  Are you ready to hear or to rearrange your receiving?  The seed was good seed and was randomly scattered.  It is ready to grow.

The Parable Jesus told addressed different types of soil. 
 
The wayside with shallow ground so birds devoured the seed; the ground with stones and no root, and ground with weeds and thorns to choke, and the good ground where those who understand and received the word with gladness.

In Jesus day, many of the hearers were farmers and they understood sowing and reaping.  The stories Jesus told were tools to reveal truth.

Human hearts are unpredictable, and we are the soil.  Often a bit of each type of soil is found in us.  We must arrange our thinking and be receptive.

Then at times we are the sower, and we cast forth the seed.  We can’t predict the soil will produce and there are many reasons.  The season must be right, and the seed must be watered, weeded and cared for.  The final results are left up to God.

To some people the message is offensive, others find it liberating, and encouraging.

The seed is precious and valuable, and as we sow, may we sow deliberately and extravagantly scattering widely and hoping for a result.

God has a different way of sowing.  He sowed to us Jesus so that we might enjoy newness of life and eternal life.

The message may at times be inconvenient when we are told to love our enemies, our neighbors and our families.

Are we really listeners and are we stimulated allowing our hearts to be stirred?

There are limits to sowing.  At times we tire and have no energy.  We select an easier place to sow where it is more comfortable.

The disciples of Jesus argued, and were not too happy when Jesus ministered to outsiders.

How about you?  Let those who have ears to hear receive what the Spirit is saying.  God has a purpose and His plans are accomplished by His Word.

Scatter the seed whether it is convenient or not. 
 
The word must be planted and then God brings the harvest. 
 
 

 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Prophesying a Blessing


May God Bless This Child !
 
The baby Shower for my granddaughter, was a long traveling distance away and I had agreed to drive my daughter and my niece to the destination. 

The day before the shower, we drove part way and arrived at our hotel where reservations had been made. 
 
The next morning after a good nights rest and a leisurely hotel breakfast, we journeyed 50 more miles to the place where the party would take place.

In the back yard, women, young and old gathered in the shade of trees and under large umbrellas while soon, the invitation was given to partake of salads, chips and small sandwiches that were ready and waiting.

My pregnant granddaughter sat across from us chatting with another young lady who was also obviously pregnant.   In my spirit I knew that I must give the unborn child of my granddaughter a blessing. 

My thought was to not be obvious but it seemed impossible.  A third young lady joined the two and she also was pregnant.  The three women were in a small cluster and at once it occurred to me to bless them all.

God had given me the words for my granddaughter, “May this child learn to love Jesus at an early age; and may she mature and become a mighty woman of God.” 

As I viewed the second friend, I knew her child would be full of joy and be used of God.

Quickly I approached the three, and said, “I would like to bless your babies, and when you hear a blessing that is for someone else, you may also claim it for yourself. 
 
Then I touched my granddaughter’s protruding stomach and made my declaration,
 
“May this child learn to love Jesus at an early age; and may she mature and become a mighty woman of God.” 

Then I turned to the second woman and said, “Your child will love Jesus and be used of God and will be a person full of joy.”  For some reason she laughed and seemed to be sharing a secret with God.

At times making a proclamation or a declaration over someone, might seem to be a risk. 

What will people think?  Will I be received?  Is this what God is asking me to do?

Be sure the words are given to you by God and not just made up off the top of your head. 

The Apostle Paul said NOT to despise prophesy and rather to encourage and participate in the divine forecast. 

1 Corinthians_14:1  Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may  prophesy.


 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

SICK AND TIRED

(Names in this story have been changed)
 
Sam was looking so worn out. 

His wife Sally while waiting for hip replacement was being pushed by Sam in her wheel chair.

Weeks went by, the surgery came and went and after what should have been recovery, there she was still in her wheel chair being moved ahead by her husband.

Therapy came and she was instructed to use her walker and exercise those legs.  For what ever reason, she did use the walker for a time, but soon reverted back to her wheel chair.

One day I spoke to Sam, and told him that he was a good care giver.  He huffed and in exasperation said, “I am so tired and I need someone to take care of me.”

A few weeks later Sam was in the hospital and they were trying to find out what was wrong.  The Doctor said they decided to keep him longer for tests and try to help him.

I knew what the problem was - - Sam was sick and tired of pushing that wheel chair and the truth was, Sam just wanted to die. 

Sam finally was released from the hospital, and it was good to see them both again.  Yes, Sally was still in her wheel chair.

I knew it was time for me to give a word of wisdom to Sam, and God had shown me how to be gentle yet firm.

Sam was talking with some others and was not sitting with his wife, so when the opportunity came, I went to him and told him I was very glad to see him out of the hospital. 

Then I said, “Sam I want to remind you of something the Apostle Paul once said?  It was this; I am tired, and I would like to go to heaven, BUT it is important that I stay with you all, for I am needed here.”

Sam looked at me and said, “Thank you.”  I believe he got the message because we need both him and Sally to stay with us for awhile longer.

If you are tired, please pray for strength, because we need you here too!

 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

THE YOKE


 
Pastor Jerry was reading from Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

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

When our Pastor ministers at the pulpit, he wears a robe and stole most of the year except in the summer when it is too warm. 
 
He recalled that in June of 1978 at the time of his ordination, hands were laid on his head and a stole was placed around his shoulders. 
 
Why the stole?

In tradition the stole represents the “Yoke of Christ,” and the responsibility of the ministry.

The old time Calvinist ministers protested anything ordinate that would distract from the message.  A Black gown might be worn to signify education, and was to de-emphasize fashion, so the focus would be on the Word of God.

The Pastor noted when reading this passage of Scripture to read the before and the after regarding the yoke.  Jesus promised comfort when coming to Him and rest from heavy burdens.  Yes take the YOKE, but understand His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

The Yoke was a symbol of discipleship to hook up with Jesus and realize we are not alone, and He has also given us Spiritual tools to use.

Pastor gave an example of a man cutting down a tree using a fireman’s axe which has a blunt blade for working with fires.  His neighbor said, “You are using the wrong type of tool.  Here try my axe and it will surprise you how quickly the tree will come down.”

If Jesus were here today, he would use technology but he would continue to tell stories about mustard seed faith, lost sheep, wayward sons, fig trees, and moving mountains.

The yoke used for animals needed two animals for it to become easy.  One would struggle, strain and pull with great difficulty and not accomplish the task.  Two in the yoke, the movement would then flow smooth and life would become easy to endure.

Often we are under stress and even depression with relationships, jobs, health and life in general.  We work harder, multi-task, try to get it done.

To labor calls for the idea of work to exhaustion, being a heavy load of responsibility. 
 
Many try to work out their salvation and earn God’s favor – forgetting that Jesus has offered redemption as a free gift.

Then we realize we cannot reach God’s perfection on our own.   With the Yoke of Christ we can meet God’s standard, as we allow His yoke to be placed upon our shoulders, and his hands of anointing placed upon our head.

Some say, “Come to this idol, come to this god or follow this person."  In contrast to other religions, there is only ONE way to God and that is through Jesus, for He is the only door to heaven.

It is a cooperative effort to yoke up with Jesus.  This is the rest and the refreshing.

The yokes of this world are heavy, but the yoke of Christ is easy.