Do You Need To Change Your Dirt? – Alkalinity vs. Acidity- Part 1

BahamasCruise4-14-16

Beautiful Atlantic Sky

As I was on a cruise a few days ago to Nassau, Bahamas, dirt and death came to my never resting mind while sailing over water of all places. I began to think about all the people whose remains are in the ocean for whatever reason and I prayed for them. I begin to think about water balancing the ship and just thought ‘wow’. Ok, so I think too much.  However, I am amazed at how the Holy Spirit makes me think deeply about things on another level. All I saw was water and cloud formations I’d ne’er seen before as we sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. I love watching the sky. It was beautiful and it felt beautiful. It was a feeling of serenity being close to God’s creations that he spoke forth “In the beginning.”  God is the best balancer and protector of all.

Seeing the ocean also brought to mind the parable of the sower in Luke 8 and Mark 4 (TYHS)  Dirt is something we hardly ever give much thought to (especially when out on the ocean)unless  you are interested in digging graves, disturbing ancient graves, in the field of agriculture/forestry, or organic gardening to say the least.

I would go far as to say that dirt is of our essence because Genesis 2:7(KJV) reads- And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Has anyone given much thought to how many weeds have been marketed as “healing” grasses lately?  How much dirt can be found in oceans?  or Is their really “light at the end of the tunnel?” Those are my off the path thoughts. 

 

Room view Atlantic

Beautiful Cabin Porthole View Bahamas

 

As my travels were coming to an end, I thought about and realized many things that were very Holy Spirit inspired.  I’ll share three of them with you. I need to change my dirt, hence this blog. I have no fear or regrets when death presents itself. (For sure now, my children better not let others persuade them per my private pre-planned arrangements or else)  Lastly, for once, I need to focus on me. If you didn’t already know I’m a NATURALLY CERTIFIED caregiver, protector, and thinker for/about others. I even cry for those who start wars and I feel so sorry for the devil and his minions.

Now let us move on to definitions and other information about the A words before sailing any further. It’s back to the classroom science time kids.

 

 

 

 

Alkalinity – (n) – the quality or state of being alkaline
Alkaline- having the properties of or containing an alkali;
Alkali – (Agriculture): a soluble mineral salt or a mixture of soluble salts, present in some soils, especially in arid regions, and detrimental to the growing of most crops.
Acidity –  1. the quality or state of being acid. 2. sourness; tartness; bitterness
Acid – a sour-tasting material (usually in a solution) that dissolves metals and other materials; an acid is the opposite of a base and has a pH of 0 to 7. 
Brief rundown about pH     Reference Used

Simple Definition- pH is a logarithmic measure of hydrogen ion concentration, originally defined by Danish biochemist Søren Peter Lauritz Sørensen in 1909 [1].  pH = -log[H+]  where log is a base-10 logarithm and [H+] is the concentration of hydrogen ions in moles per liter of solution. According to the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, the “p” stands for the German word for “power”, potenz, so pH is an abbreviation for “power of hydrogen”

Theoretical Definition -pH has been more accurately defined as  pH = -log aH+  where aH+ is the hydrogen ion activity. In solutions that contain other ions, activity and concentration are not the same. The activity is an effective concentration of hydrogen ions, rather than the true concentration; it accounts for the fact that other ions surrounding the hydrogen ions will shield them and affect their ability to participate in chemical reactions. These other ions effectively change the hydrogen ion concentration in any process that involves H+.

More important NOTES to think about from this article I found : How to change your soil’s pH
  • Below 7 is acid and above 7 is alkaline.
  • The soil pH is important because it affects the availability of nutrients in the soil.
  • Consequently, most horticultural plants grow best in soils with a pH between 6 (slightly acid) and 7.5 (slightly alkaline).
  • The standard measurement of alkalinity and acidity is known as pH. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, which is neither acid nor alkaline.
    The Big Note- But before attempting to raise or lower your soil’s pH, you should first conduct a soil test to determine your current soil pH. 

 

waysidedirt

Wayside and Rocky Soil

 

And now that brings us to the dirt port: Do you need to change your dirt?  If so, you will need to conduct a soil test. According to the parable, there were four types of dirt/soil: (1) wayside soil (2) rocky soil (3) thorn filled/ overcrowded soil, and (4) good soil. Jesus goes even further to explain how the seeds reacted to the soil upon which it had fallen. It is safe to conclude that the wayside, rocky, and thorn filled soil became full of acidity that changed its pH balance, which limited and/or killed growth activities.

This parable speaks on three things and its outcome; the Sower, the Seeds, and the Soils. Now, let me try to share my modern day understanding of what Jesus said about the first type of dirt. It’s all about hearing and seeing what you let into your heart and mind…alkalinity vs. acidity. It’s about a balance within the heart and mind. It’s about the tilling of your soul. Bottom line: “The sower soweth the word.” (Mark 4:14)

Wayside Soil

Have your spiritual pH fallen below 7?  Have you been trampled on repeatedly by many thus leaving you with a hardened heart even after being exposed to the word of God?  Have you become confused about your purpose in life due to stressors and or disabilities? Have you let some things just fall where they may; in turn allowing others access to come along and peck at the nutrients of your very being?  Have you had a negative change of heart about the word of God? If so, you have  quite possibly fallen to the wayside. Your level of alkalinity has given over to an all-time high acidic level. In other words, the devil has taken control of cultivating this soil.

Note – “The soil pH is important because it affects the availability of nutrients in the soil.”

 

A Soil Sample View–  As we know, nutrients are needed for all living things to survive and grow. This soil can represent ongoing stressors and or disability issues in a Believer’s/ Christian’s life that may harden one’s heart against the Word. It could represent people who have earnestly prayed  to God for answers and have yet to receive a reply. After all, we are all impatient humans. We grow tired of dealing with constant negatives and negative people. Negativity in many cases cause stress. It limits our ability to sow both physically and spiritually. Just take a look at the negative things sowing around the world.  

If a person believes he/she has no way of seeing the light of day, forget the light at the end of the tunnel; the stress and or disability in most cases will not allow the word of God to penetrate the heart unless therein exists a lit opening at the end of its tunnel. The devil dwells in dark tunnels which have no openings for light to penetrate its soil. He will come by the wayside and acidize the soils pH balance as he works to block penetration of the word (needed nutrient) of God.

heartburn

Heartburn

However, beneath the hardness, somewhere there used to exist a spiritually balanced and penetrable soil that allowed the Word to provide its nutrients. Can you think about when, who, why, and what caused your dirt/soil to harden? Do you often feel abandoned by God? Do you get tired of church folk saying “everybody is going through something?” That saying has become a programmed church motto pretty much telling you to go away. Such a response is also lacking the compassion that Jesus had for all that came unto Him.

In essence, fellow Believers are telling you that they don’t have time for your issues when those five words fall out of their mouth and not their heart. (Ok, shoot me!) Are we not suppose to be there for one another, if only to hear? Did Jesus say to anyone that approached him with a problem?… “Everybody is going through something.”  No. In the Holy Bible, we will find many instances of which Jesus only told one individual to go away, or “get thee hence” and that was Satan and/or Satan’s indwelling in someone. This is why I believe that saying is about as wayside as one can get! It’s kind of like that overly used saying- “I get it.” I get tired of hearing it.

Before you know it, sermons will be given via text message while sitting in church. “Hallelujah” and “Amen” replies will be sent via text. It will be a pity for those who don’t own a cell phone. People have mastered a way of avoiding face to face and voice to ear communication with fellow Believers. It’s all wayside. Gasp! (Ok, so maybe I’m overthinking it with this scenario or maybe not?)

Nevertheless the cause for the hardening, there is still the opportunity to change your dirt.  Jesus taught his disciples that whatever seed falls upon this dirt will experience this: “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” (Luke 8: 12 )

Therefore beloved,  be encouraged to “believe and be saved.”  Let not your heart be troubled by the acidity within it. Ye that once believed in God, can believe in Him again so that ye believe also in Jesus. The right pH level of alkalinity that is detrimental to your growth in Him is in His word, not by the wayside. 

Stay tuned next week for part 2- Rocky Soil

 

 

 

 

The Gift of Counsel from the Spirit of the Lord

Counsel – n- advice; opinion or instruction given in directing the judgment or conduct of another; Theology-one of the advisory declarations of Christ, considered by some Christians as not universally binding but as given for aid in attaining moral perfection.
Shelia’s Definition-  Correct decisions; You KNOW what you should do.

Personal Moment– Last week while beginning this writing, it dawned on me that I have a habit that I have inherited from my mom. It was brought to my attention by my son and other people I know a few months ago. When giving advice, I always say “you need to do…” When talking to my mom she is ALWAYS saying “you need to” or “they need to.” I don’t recall hearing her say the words “you should.”  Last Sunday after church services, a person that used to keep me as a child, told my son that his 3-year-old daughter was “bossy like her grandma.” She went on to say “Shelia came out of the womb giving instructions.”  Convicted, I felt. I found it odd that I was reminded of this habit while writing about COUNSEL.(TYHS) I suppose it’s a gift from birth that I have yet to master to God’s liking. Yes, I should  work on being more like Jesus when “giving instructions” and making correct decisions, aka counsel.

hear me now 2

Ok, so we’ve arrived at our third gift from the Spirit of the Lord. Yeah! This is all a part of God’s grace leading us home. Amen.  It appears to me that once we receive wisdom, then comes understanding  leading us open to receive and use the gift of counsel in its correct form. Once the heart and mind is right with God, we are in a better place to receive and give counsel from the Lord. We will be operating through God’s perspective, not our own. It’s all about the Lord stepping into us and us stepping into others. “Can you hear me now?” 

 

This gift from the Spirit of the Lord allows us to do at a minimum at least two (2) things before becoming the maximum in Christ: use both wisdom and understanding before giving counsel. People with the gift of counsel are well-appointed to say and do what should be changed from bad to good.  For example- In the church, a few people have observed that there exist many dysfunctional and divisional ministries. Such ministries do not glorify our Lord. People that have received the gift of counsel have the ability and know-how to both offer a solution for and resolve problems.

Listen. Improper counsel opens the door for division in the body of Christ. When that door is open and godliness is shut out, anyone can come in and try to seduce members into their way of thinking how things should be running.(TYHS) Remember the letters to the seven churches? The Church in Philadelphia only appears to have operated using proper counsel received from God. Rev. 3:7-13 NIV ;  Rev. 3:7-13 KJV

God tells us that this church was weak and we also learn that NO church is perfect.  But, God said that he will keep such a church from the hour of trial/temptation. In my heart I believe this to be so because the church used the Lord’s gift of counsel to their best ability. Did you notice that even through their weakness, this church did two things: (1) kept His commands and (2)endured patiently…not just endured?

The greatest form of counsel we have received from our God is in the form of Jesus’ parables.(MHO) Let me share two parables and brief thoughts on His instructions. 

Matthew 9:16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

Change- Counsel BlogSelf- Check Moment 1- This is a habit infused in humans since the day of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. We try to patch up sin and things get worse.  None of us like to give up things, nor beings that we become attach to; nor the ways we become attached to doing things when outside the will of God. We are hardcore rebels when it comes to a good change. Did you know that rebelliousness rejects counsel and limits wisdom and understanding?  When we rebel against correct counsel, it is clear to God and others that we lack wisdom and understanding.  We are quick to give up on God’s counsel when things are not going the way we want them to go and when other options are presented to us that are not in line with God’s counsel. Jesus clearly counsels us on what happens when you mix the old with the new. When we are new in Christ, old ways should disappear. Change…He never said it would be easy.

Luke 6:46-49 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

doers 3Self- Check Moment 2-This parable counsels us by letting us know that we should not have the mind-set of “do as I say, not as I do.” As followers of Christ, we should both say and do what he counsels us to do to receive the gift of counsel which gives us the ability to counsel others. James gave us great counsel to back up Jesus’ teaching:  “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:”(James 1:21-23)

Word to the Children of God- The Gift of Counsel infuses us with the ability to look directly at our “natural face in a glass:” Let us stop being deceived and stop deceiving others by pretending that we have received the true Gift of Counsel from the Spirit of the Lord.

Can you find anywhere in God’s word that Jesus only spoke and did not do?  This counselor in training closes her case. 😛bible and gavel

 

 

Thank you for stopping by and spending time with me.

I Love You

Love Covers A Multitude of Sins

Anger Issues… Who Me? Who You? – Jonah 4

Jonah 4

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Psy 101- (courtesy of Wikipedia.org) Three types of anger are recognized by psychologists: The first form of anger, named “hasty and sudden anger” by Joseph Butler, an 18th-century English bishop, is connected to the impulse for self-preservation. It is shared between humans and non-human animals and occurs when tormented or trapped. The second type of anger is named “settled and deliberate” anger and is a reaction to perceived deliberate harm or unfair treatment by others. These two forms of anger are episodic. The third type of anger is called dispositional and is related more to character traits than to instincts or cognitions. Irritability, sullenness and churlishness are examples of the last form of anger. Please read more at your convenience- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anger

 

We learn in this last chapter why Jonah chose to flee from God. (vs.2) Oh my word! (TYHS) Doesn’t this remind you of the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)? Key words- “I knew… ”

** Main lesson learned- When it comes to God, it’s best that you KNOW, not “Knew” **

We also learn that Jonah became angry with God. After all that he went through…Who Jonah? He had the nerve to become angry with God? He is the one who took a chance to flee from his destiny, pleas with God; gets saved by God; is released from the belly of the great fish, i.e. blessed by God to serve Him as originally asked; chose to serve Him, and then have the nerve to become angry with God after serving Him? Whoa! Pull that reel back in before you fish for an answer! 😛  Step back and spell Mississippi the old fashioned way before you answer. For those who are not aware of the old spelling technique taught to some toddlers reared in the South. Here goes…

M- I- crooked letter(s), crooked letter(s)- I, crooked letter(s), crooked letter(s)- I, hump back(p), hump back (p)- I.. Mississippi. Put ourselves in Jonah’s wet clothes for a sec. We’ve all been there.

Now get in front of a mirror and ask self…Anger issues-Who Me? (pointing to self) Who You? (pointing to the mirror)

Lesson- God understands when we become displeased or angry with Him and with others. Don’t go sit your bottom in a corner, away from others, or under a tree sulking in anger because you thought you knew the mind of God. I used to think being angry period was such a terrible sin. Is there such as thing as righteous anger? (Spell Mississippi break)   I was reminded that several others became angry with God throughout the bible. Most are familiar with Moses’ anger. I was also reminded…Anger is one of God’s attributes. Many verses tell us that He is either “slow to anger” or “became angry.” We were made in His image…eh?

We have a tendency to overlook this verse that tells us who God actually becomes displeased and angry with. (Psalm 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. )This proves to me that anger is indeed one of God’s attributes, and that there is only ONE category of people that angers Him “every day.” You choose the correct answer… Wicked or Righteous? What’s intriguing is that we have either been in this category and/or some are still in it and deny it to self.

I have learned on this journey through Jonah that I did not know ME as well as ME thought I KNEW. Whenever you read The Book of Jonah, substitute your name for his. (TYHS) It is one of the books of the bible that place focus on the sole attitude and actions of a messenger God chose and called. It’s an “about me” book.  As Popeye would sing …“I yam, what I yam cause I…” Do you really know who you are? I also learned why my Papaw spent a lot of time with me showing me that God worked through him, teaching me that God Is, and training me to write his Sunday school lessons beginning at the age of 4.  PTL!!! As they say hindsight is 20/20.

I am glad that a challenge was put forth to our congregation for each individual to focus on their walk with God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit for 40 days. I also pray that others discovered who they are and how their actions as an individual affect the Body of Christ. I pray that those who are reading this make the same discovery when you choose to seek God and walk with Him. Leave NOTHING to chance, Choose GOD. If  more than 120, 000 can repent and be saved within a 40 day period, what do you think the odds are of 1 person repenting and being saved who can’t discern their right hand from their left? Look to self and choose God.

Lesson Goals

  • To KNOW God. Rend your hearts, it’s the only way.
  • To KNOW what The Lord’s Will for us is as an individual and to Do it. Only then, as a congregate on the ONE, will the Body of Christ be glorified. Do your part.
  • Be not angry at God and learn to accept His decision when He decides to spare the wicked. Keep your judgments of others to yourself, let go, let God. For it is He only who can prepare a gourd, a worm and a wind in a blink of an eye to teach YOU that His Will supersedes your anger issues and that He is ALWAYS in control. (Jonah 4:9-10)

Besides, who best of all would know to ask you, “Doest thou well to be angry?”

We have a lot of work to do with self ahead of us. I hope you have gained some insight through my journey with Jonah, just how great the Lord works period. Amen. Jonah knew not the hour of the Lord’s appearance (Jonah 4:5- So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city) We will not know the hour when Jesus returns (Matthew 24:42)  We know as Jonah did, He is coming.

Are you swallowed up in the big fish of Anger? Call out to God. Please pray with me Psalm 7, which I prayed as I closed out my Lent 2014 journey through The Book of Jonah.

 

Popeye: Hey, I wants me girl!Sindbad the Sailor: Oh, yeah? Popeye: Yeah!

Sindbad the Sailor: Who are you?

Popeye: [sing-song] I’m Popeye the Sailor Man! Who are you?

Sindbad the Sailor: Who am I?

Popeye: You heard what I said.

Sindbad the Sailor: WHO AM I?

Popeye: That’s what I said.

Sindbad the Sailor: Who’s the most remarkable extra-ordinary fellow?

Everyone: YOU! Sindbad the Sailor!

Sindbad the Sailor: Who’s the most phenomenal extra-special kind of fellow?

Everyone: YOU! Sindbad the Sailor!

Sindbad the Sailor: I’m afraid of nobody under the sun/ All I say is “Boo!” and my enemies run! Who’s the most remarkable extraordinary fellow? (Who Me? Who You?…LOL) 

Popeye: Popeye the Sailor! You got a long way to go, young fellow… (I love this response…ha ha ha. We can all relate)

Sindbad the Sailor: [enraged, grabs Popeye] Well, let’s see how brave you are!

[throws him into the talons of the roc] ”

“Electric Slidin” and “Boot Scootin” In our Steps to Follow Jesus- Discipleship

Thinking  Thinking Smiley    How did one think about this parable and dancing? I haven’t a clue.  I usually write what the Holy Spirit puts on the mind for me to understand the Word of God.

Yes, I am not normal. I was singing “Higher” trying to teach two of my grandsons the song and dance while waiting in a drive thru line one day. The 10 year old, Emanuel looked at me funny and said “Grandma, I told you, you ain’t gangsta, don’t even try it.” Elijah, the 8 year old said, “Manny, you know our grandma can dance and nope she is not gangsta.” I love my grand gifts the Lord has blessed me with sooo much. When they hurt, I hurt. When I dance, they dance. Most of all, I love that they are young disciples in training and they tell me everything (sometimes too much) going on with or around them.
If you know anything about dancing, I’m sure most of you have done or seen the Electric Slide and the Boot Scoot. The one thing I like about these dances is that you are moving in one accord even if one decides to add their own signature move or step off into another direction. You can join in the dances on either step if late. You will still come back in step with everyone else ending on one accord.

I warned you, I could take anything, any subject, give it a twist, and make it germane on another level in regard to our walks with Jesus without getting off the biblical path. Yes, the Holy Spirit dances too. Do you not know that you will be praising Him and dancing before Him should you be so blessed to enter into His Kingdom?

Have fun being a Christian in this life. There is no time in life to be stuck up, judgmental, and a deadbeat as a Christian. Here are two fun videos if you need step instructions:

Senior Citizens Electric Slide. http://youtu.be/RHYeNs9zUZo   (I think the man in the red shirt use to be on my dance team in my ancient days)

Boot Scootin–>  http://youtu.be/Qv8w8vtGnjI

Luke 14:25-35 – Cost of Discipleship

Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Words to Know:
Disciple– one of the 12 personal followers of Christ; one of the 70 followers sent forth by Christ. Luke 10:1; any other professed follower of Christ in His lifetime; any follower of Christ; A person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower:
Bearing your Cross-a full dedication to Christ for the cause of the Gospel. ( Keep dancing for the Lord even when your feet are tired and your heart is still dancing)
Consider– to think carefully about, especially in order to make a decision; contemplate; reflect on:
Forsake -to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert: 2. to give up or renounce (a habit, way of life, etc.)

When we make the choice to or are called into following Jesus, we need to consider the costs. In this day and age, you cannot just jump up without considering your ability to bear your cross and its costs. I was thinking…that would be so hurtful to our ego, knowing what is required and unable to bear our cross as a Christian. Jesus said it “whoever does not bear his cross and come after ME cannot be MY disciple.” Notice, Jesus did not say bear His cross… He clearly stated that the follower has to “bear his” own “cross”. With that in mind, this post is a bit different. This post will include questions for you to ponder while Electric Slidin or Boot Scootin in your steps to follow Jesus. This post is all about you and your dancing disciple skills. Remember even if you get out of line, you will still end up back in line with all other Christians on one accord, okie dokie? Let’s get dancing for the Lord!

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Ponder here after reading Luke 14:25-35:

1. What do you think Jesus meant by “does not hate”?
2. (a)As a Christian, can I be considered a disciple of Jesus? (b) What cost have I already paid if any to be a disciple?
3. What happens when one overlooks anything, not just overlooking the cost?
4. (Scenario-You just completed a dance floor in your new dance studio. Three weeks later you learn you will need to build a larger dance floor because more dancers (followers) than you anticipated signed up for classes at your grand opening. You do not have the funds anywhere in sight or hand to expand.) What beloved, would be your next course of action to take?
 5. (a)What experience have you had with a daily or ongoing battle? (b)After reading the parable, do you understand why the battle is ongoing and reoccurring daily?(c) Who does the battle belong to in the end?
6. What things in my life have I forsaken in the name of Jesus? (Make a list so you can view it in black and white or color if you prefer.)
7. What can I do to be like salt to follow in Jesus’ steps? Do a quick study on your own time about the properties and use of salt. (Salt does not lose its flavor, it is a mineral. Hear me out! This is where you will need the Holy Spirit to grasp an understanding of Jesus’ use of the word.) You may also go here–> http://gods-word-first.org/salt-earth.html

Action Item- Do you recall doing this experiment in a middle school class?  Pour about a teaspoon of salt in your hand and taste it. Put remaining salt in a glass of water and taste it again. Did the salt lose it’s flavor? What did it lose? My answer starts with a ‘C’.

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After a pondering self- evaluation and instructions from Jesus (Luke 14:25-35), are we ready to Consider Electric Slidin and Boot Scootin In our Steps to Follow Jesus?

 

LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS

Fishing for the Kingdom of Heaven and Serving the Lord

Matthew 13:47-52(AKJV) The Parable of the Net

 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:  which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.  So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

Quote Time- There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind. ~ Washington Irving

  • The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.  ~John Buchan
  • Fishing is a… discipline in the equality of men – for all men are equal before fish.    ~Herbert Hoover
  • Even if you’ve been fishing for three hours and haven’t gotten anything except poison ivy and sunburn, you’re still better off than the worm.  ~Author Unknown
  • Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water, and one-fourth is land.  It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as  taking care of the lawn.  ~Chuck Clark
  • There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse.  Either is a gain over just staying home.  ~Roderick Haig-Brown,   Fisherman’s Spring, 1951
After reading a few articles on fishing, I have determined that there are three basic rules for fishing. One must be (1)prepared (use the right bait or net), (2)be patient (focus and plan nothing else for the day), and (3)be thankful (if nothing is caught, you have the opportunity to fish another day). Even though it is hard work for those who make a living out of fishing, I’ve also come to the conclusion that at the end of the day, a fisherman’s blood pressure must be normal and he or she is at peace when sleeping, therefore out of habit, is ready for what the next day my bring or not. 

 How does one explain arising so early when going to bed so late after a 12-18 hour work day? It has been said that water has a calming effect on us all. We love to look at water or hear flowing waters. Water is a basic sustenance for the human life. Some of us fear water, but are still drawn to its natural ability to charm the senses. Then I began to ponder why??? It hit me, we live in a water sac for nine months (some shorter) without drowning before being presented to the world. Voila, we are in so many ways a “fish out of water” once birthed. Whoever believes and say that God doesn’t exist, should think again about how they came into existence.  Ok, back to subject.

I had never heard the term of endearment aka idiom… “fish or cut bait” until I heard a pastor voice the words. It means to stop vacillating (being hesitant) and decide to act on (do) or disengage (undo) from something. Let’s fish, no bait cutting allowed.

Mounting:

soapbox smiley

The line, bait, or net used for fishing is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The net must be cast in order to bring those to the knowledge of Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven. This is not just “a job for Superman”, but for all who call themselves Christians per Jesus in Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  If you are a follower of Jesus, the scripture is clearly telling us it is our job to be “fishers of men.” Amen?  

As in Jesus’ time and still today, many will be attracted to the net, many will wander off and return to the Word of God,  many will be false feeders and net throwers of the Word. Though many think so, not all will enter the kingdom of heaven. This parable clearly states there will be a separation of the good and bad and the old will be replaced  with the new.  Also look here…Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father   which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

May I suggest when fishing, do not be deceitful in words and actions so that you will not be judged as a worker of iniquity. Don’t even take on the task or be forced by others in or out of the church to serve in some form, just because they believe you have the ability to do so. That is one sure fire way to avoid being a worker of iniquity.

Give little heed to a spiritual gifts inventory list until the Holy Spirit moves you to do. It’s a fun and interesting list to complete, however, your task is not to please others, but to please God with the gifts the Holy Spirit has given unto you. I don’t recall anywhere in the bible where disciples were asked to complete a spiritual gifts inventory list. I’m just sayin!  Don’t be the fish to fall for the hook, line, and sinker and work outside of what the Lord has called and/are chosen for you to do.  Reminder- Do your best in the name of Jesus  when led by the Holy Spirit.

We as Christians are all called to serve and just like the fisherman we will need to be prepared, be patient, and be thankful for another day to fish and serve, Lord willing.  It is a hard (heart) job and your heart must be in it. Put your trust in the guiding of the Holy Spirit for He knows which gifts are 100% given to you to fulfill/do in fishing for and serving the Lord. Others may get mad because you are not doing what they ask of you  or think you should be doing in the organized church realm…keep it moving, follow the Holy Spirit and be in line with the will of God.

The fish will know the true bait of the fisherman to nibble on to be bound for glory. It is the Holy Spirit filled work done outside of the church that is beneficial for fishing for the kingdom of heaven. We are to bring those outside (off-shore swimming), IN to the knowledge and benefits of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (on-shore). Sometimes there are many fish swimming in the Christian church without fins (unnatural to be a finless fish). There is an urgent need for those finless fish to be thrown back off-shore, to grow new fins and be re-baited with the Gospel of Jesus Christ before the angels come forth and “sever the wicked from among the just…”

Have ye understood these things on Fishing for the Kingdom of Heaven and Serving the Lord?  

Dismounting….

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Choose Switch Off

 

LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS

Wheat,Tares/Weeds & Faith? – Part 1 – My Thoughts

My Heart’s Moment– Before I begin this blog, I wanted to share with you, that I speak to self as well when writing about my thoughts. The Holy Spirit guides me much in sharing messages via my blog and dreams. I don’t write unless I am moved by Him, not pushed by scriptures or events pertaining to us all.  The Holy Spirit MOVES. I am being made aware, learning, and/or convicted just as much as those who are reading along.  I am growing and learning right along with you ridding self of my weeds daily if not hourly.

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Tares – n – : Any of various weedy plants of the genus Vicia, especially the common vetch. Any of several weedy plants that grow in grain fields.; An unwelcome or objectionable element.: The weight of a container or wrapper that is deducted from the gross weight to obtain net weight. A deduction from gross weight made to allow for the weight of a container. (mass, extra stuff that cost more money and added stress)- Chemistry Moment.

Weed –n – : a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially : one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants: an obnoxious growth, thing, or person.

Weed – v – : to clear of weeds <weed a garden> : to free from something hurtful or offensive : to remove the less desirable portions of:

Our Agriculture Moment

Weed – noun (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any plant growing where it is not wanted. On land under cultivation, weeds compete with crops for water, light, and nutrients. On rangelands and in pastures, weeds are those plants that grazing animals dislike or that are poisonous. Many weeds are hosts of plant disease organisms or of insect pests. Some originally unwanted plants later were found to have virtues and came under cultivation, while some cultivated plants, when transplanted to new climates, escaped cultivation and became weeds in the new habitat.  (Gasp!)

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Wow, I learned something new about weeds…have virtues and came under cultivation…hmm? You know by now…..I love studying definitions to find a deeper meaning of words. I investigate to find an answer with the help of the Holy Spirit and quite often have a colorful perspective to share with you.  🙂

As a child I hated having to help plant and dig up dirt. I did enjoy putting the seeds in the holes, pulling the weeds and sometimes the flowers on accident when the plants grew. I loved looking at my grandparents lawns.  It was at that time, I was taught how to tell the weeds from the flowers.  I also became fascinated with clovers. Although we consider them a pest and they only look good in a field afar, it is something special about those wild growing plants that we call weeds. And….Even though it looks pretty together, can you spot the difference in the wheat and tares in the above photo, courtesy of photo bucket?

Here we go! So as I was reading Matthew 13 last night, I had my thoughts floating on verses 24-30.  Jesus’ parables are messages to us giving us a description of the “Kingdom of God”. Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ parable of the weeds and the wheat. If not, here it is.

 Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.  But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.  So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’  He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Are you ready to do yard work and learn a little chemistry and agriculture?  Grab your container of Roundup or Preen (it works better) a hoe, and some Holy Ghost matches. We are going to set ourselves on fire and rid ourselves of weeds through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Fancy that! “The weight of a container or wrapper that is deducted from the gross weight to obtain net weight”  ahem! Let’s go inside my thoughts here.

Our body is the container. We are wheat at birth. Oh! Let me throw in the definition of “wheat” here. Thank you Holy Spirit! Pay close attention to the words in bold, please.

Wheat – /noun – the grain of any cereal grass of the genus Triticum,  especially T. aestivum,  used in the form of flour for making bread, cakes, etc., and for other culinary and nutritional purposes: the plant itself.

We have been planted for a purpose. That purpose is to do the will of God. We have been formed for His making to glorify Him. We do NOT come into this world with weeds.  Weeds/Tares just happen to be planted and even cultivated along the way when our guard is down. Tares/Weeds are in competition with the Wheat as stated above. They are snares, no matter how pretty some may seem. Our problem is that we feed them, forgetting that we have the power to also stunt a weeds growth and even kill them. Talk about us being lax. If animals dislike weeds and know that they are poisonous, shouldn’t we as humans be more advanced in knowing the hazard of weeds? Note what the scripture stated above in the parable, it is the ENEMY who plants weeds. I repeat…It is the ENEMY who plants weeds and He does it when we are sleeping, i.e. being lax. Jesus said it. Sometimes we miss that in reading the parable. Do you see it now? I see it. Thank you Holy Spirit!

We have been naturally given a net weight by God. What is net weight you may ask?  A great example would be our bodies. The net weight is the weight of our body without any piece of clothing (remember Adam and Eve before). Gross weight is the weight of our body with clothes or anything else we add on it.(Remember Adam and Eve after) Have you ever given any thought to weighing yourself before you eat and after eating to see if your weight remains the same?  Since the thought just popped up, I think I’m going to try a scientific experiment. I’ll let you know the outcome. 😛

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I’ve realized over the years that I/we carry added weights/weeds within our hearts and our minds. What are those weights? Gosh! Is this becoming a questionnaire post, self said to self. YES, since you asked. Thank you Holy Spirit!  Using my partial (3 college credits Psy 101) psychology background, I will dare to  fly out and say that unmanaged stress is the biggest weight/weed we add to our hearts and mind. Great examples of our unmanaged stress are anger, anxiety, bitterness, fear, guilt, hostility, and moroseness (aka moodiness). All of these descriptions are a form of one word- Sin. That’s my belief.  Did you know that we have the given ability to deal with and rid/weed ourselves of such extra weeds through our lifeline, Jesus? I’ll prove it. –

Commercial -Bible Break Proof

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 4:30-32

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Galatians 5:19-21

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 

Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging….. All of those things mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 are tares/weeds, gross weight of which we carry within our being. Those of us that believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit know in our hearts and minds that we cannot enter the kingdom of God with such weeds. Somewhere in the bible it is stated that the kingdom of God is within us. If we believe so, we know that there are neither tares, neither weeds, nor gross weight within us. We need to work on deducting the gross weight (tares/weeds) from our body to get back to our natural net weight. An exercise in futility is not an option. An exercise in humility will work it out.

Are there any weeds or tares in your life? What is undesirable in your life? What are you going to do to arrive back at your net weight? Do you realize what your net weight is worth to God? I challenge you as well as myself to recognize when it is time to reap and harvest in your day-to-day life. A time will come for us to set aside the tares, the weeds and burn them to ashes.  Let us start gardening, ridding ourselves of the weeds. Let us bring to remembrance what the garden was like before Adam and Eve (Genesis 2-3) sinned and what it will be like when Jesus returns to get our tare/weed free bodies (Revelation  2:7 and 22) Isn’t that a stress-free thought?

Sometimes it takes you removing yourself from those who carry the weight/weeds that can rub off and grow on you.  This goes for those who experience negative vibes from those in your work place, in your church(yes even there), and in your family and perhaps some relationship you have with another.  Sin, i.e. tares/weeds from the enemy does not care or “give a rat’s tail” (my grandma’s words) who or what it embodies as long as it finds a good growing place. Having Faith in Jesus and what you can do through him, with him, and for God can rid self of the tares/weeds in your life. Amen.

 I found it! Here it is—Read what Luke said about the Kingdom of God-

Luke 17:20-21

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary”(stress weeds…my thought), “they will walk and not be faint”( have faith). –Isaiah 40:28-31

An interesting read I came across- http://www.snopes.com/religion/soulweight.asp

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LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS