Do You Need To Change Your Dirt? – Alkalinity vs. Acidity- Part 2

Mark 4:5-6- And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

Jesus’ Explanation

Mark 4:16-17 -And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

 

Rocky/Stony Soil
Excerpt from HGTV- Is rocky soil turning your landscaping dreams of green to gravel? Rocks make for a great garden above ground, but when the soil below is made up of the same impenetrable stone, plant roots have a tough time getting the nutrients they need to survive. So what do you do if your yard is full of rocky soil? Homeowners across the country blast, backhoe and burrow their way through compacted soil, not always with satisfactory results.  Rocks aren’t all that biologically active, which means that they don’t enhance the soil’s productivity much.  Just as rocks can affect what you plant below ground, they can affect what you plant above ground, too. Rocks can create microclimates that may either help or hinder growth. 

Let me begin by sharing a few things I have learned from experience concerning rocks. Above ground, rocks can be used as an eye pleasing decoration in a flowerbed and over time they tend to work their own way into the ground. So I head back to Lowe’s to purchase more rocks. Grrr! Rocks can also block the sun that is needed for growth, so don’t put your plants too close to the bordered rocks.  Some plants need sunlight from the time the sun rises until it goes down. However, too much sun will kill any plant that is not planted deep enough to take root. 

This too happens in our lives when we have either no root in the word of God or we are improperly rooted by false teachings.  Jesus said, we “endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, IMMEDIATELY they (we) are offended.”   I know that I was offended by having to purchase more decorative rocks when my next spring planting came around. I also had to dig up some of the old rocks that became embedded in the dirt and I was a bit more than offended. What should I have done differently? Watch HGTV of course.

gardenWe begin to look for answers on how to make life changes sometimes with and/or without the Son.  We too, try often to blast, backhoe, and burrow our way through rocky dirt in our lives to no avail due to the fact that we haven’t rooted firmly enough in the WORD to apply it to our difficulties. It takes a lot of love. But, then there’s God, not Maude. 😛

Jesus said “…who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;” had me thinking…Is it wrong for us to quickly accept and be impulsive about sharing the gospel without thinking about the consequences? Then I remembered that Jesus also said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24)  It just so happens that when we are faced with problems and antagonism because of the word of God, we begin to lose heart; most stop coming to Jesus as they work their way down into a rocky place.  

We are excited when we join a church  and some can’t get beyond a certain growth spurt. They become stressed and yes, they are offended. Could it be because he/she didn’t deny self?  It seems to be a natural process for all humans when hard times hit. But when Believers are hit with hard times and fall away; is it because they didn’t take up his/her cross?  “Hard times flush the chump.  Everybody’s lookin’ for answers….  ” is a line that came to mind from the movie Oh Brother.   I took a moment to look up what that may mean. Here’s what I found courtesy of Ivy Sea Online Leadership Site:

  • It could also mean that people, feeling pressured or fearful, act out from their less skillful selves and are just unpleasant, intolerant or judgmental.
  • Or, like the movie’s Everett noted, hard times make people willing to believe just about anything. Here, he was referring to the overly naïve. Eager to delegate his or her own personal responsibility to someone else, rather than bucking up and taking action for him or herself, these folks are often fast-food for the charlatan
  • It could mean that challenging circumstances flush out the less committed, unfocused or risk-averse, those who don’t have what it takes (or find that it’s not worth it) to see it through. Hard times definitely flush those folks, probably for their own ultimate benefit.

As Believers, I believe that we have to face the fact that we have, we do, and we will fall upon rocky /stony periods in our life because we do not consider the outcome of choices made especially when hard times hit. I agree “challenging circumstances flush out the less committed…” But, as we continue to grow in the word and commit to the word, we learn what it means to show ourselves approved unto God.

We must admit that we can do nothing without the help of the Holy Spirit. We can’t even change our dirt without His help. I think the key to getting ourselves out from amongst rocky soil is to “deny” ourselves. The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives is detrimental to our growth in Christ. So to speak, He is the pH balance, the alkalinity that keeps us grounded in the word. Please note that while stony /rocky soil yields life to seeds sowed upon its ground, the growth is but for a short time.  You have to ask yourself, do I want to spend an eternity with God or do I want to spend “but for a time” with Him?  That leads me to my next thought.

running(Running for cover…Not) I also believe that the number one reason some fall upon this type of soil is that some of us tend to rely on the word of our shepherds, i.e. pastors, leaders, and other advisers. Some folks are too lazy to spend quality Holy Spirit led time in the word of God to find answers from the Holy Spirit of God.  When we rely on what others “said”, and have not spent “I” time (not me time) with God, we have no depth about what the word of God says. If you think about many incidents in the NT and the OT, if something were to be proven or questioned, they would always fall back to what “God said”  or what “God did”; many NT writers even referred back to the OT.  Jesus did it too.  

For the last four years I’ve heard quite a few people say during a testimony or just via a conversation with the biggest smile on their face, “Well, pastor said…. And I believe God will do it.” My response is usually to stare at them out of disbelief or I ask, ‘What did God say?’ I have a tendency to blurt out something when I am in utter disbelief. That’s some rocky dirt. Yeah I need to change that dirt! (TYHS) Remember what Jesus said to John and  James when they asked to sit at his right and left hand in the kingdom of God?  He said “Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” Mark 10

Question…Can you drink of that cup when you are taking root in rocky soul? Peradventure, some of us may need to change our surroundings, our employment, even so to the point of changing our place of worship. The lesson we need to heed here about this type of dirt/soil is that as Believers and Sowers of the word, we do not need to be in the vicinity of sowing amongst rocky dirt knowing that it hinders our growth period. Jesus has already given us answers  about what happens when we are sowing in this type of dirt/soil. Yes, “Everybody’s lookin’ for answers…. ” therefore heed the teachings of Jesus.

life flowerWhen it seems like the Holy Spirit is dormant in our garden (heart), it is time to change our dirt. It is imperative for us to grow in a more alkalized garden instead of continuing to push, backhoe and blast ourselves into finding root in an acidic garden. The only thing that I can think of growing on rocky soil is the church. 

Proof on the Rocks: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16

Do you need to change your dirt?

 

 

 

 

 

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