"So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time [IN DUE SEASON] we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit." Galatians 6:9. Use the talents and gifts God has given you and REJOICE in the harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal…..A time to break down and a time to build up. Ecclesiastes 3:3
If you have kids or a dog you can relate to this picture!
This dog is dealing with ‘fall out‘!
Fall out occurs when something explodes and debris scatters everywhere. It is the lingering effect of something radioactive or result of consequences. Something that looks strong and all put together is suddenly broken apart. Pieces fly in all directions.
Past hurts, rejection, disappoints leave ‘fall out’ in our life. When these occur we usually pick one of the following options. 1) We can run in all directions trying to put the pieces back together without success. Like this dog we want the soft, cozy, safe bed back in one piece, but how?? 2) We wish we could have a “do over”. We wish we could tear things down and rebuild from scratch pretending it never happened. 3) Or, maybe, we try to rebuild it ourselves with our own plan and tools, only to have a storm suddenly wash it away like castles in the sand.
Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1
God always has a plan.When He created the earth, He had a plan. When He told Noah to build the ark, He had a plan. When He told the Moses to build the tabernacle, He had a plan. Jesus had a plan. He wants us healed physically, emotionally, mentally. He wants us strong and whole. 3 John says “I wish above all things that you prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospers.” God is the ultimate creator, builder, architect. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth….” Gen 1:1. God always has a plan.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17.
Learn to enjoy the process. With building and restoration comes healing and renewal. Sometimes the healing and restoration process makes a mess. When you redo a room, there is sawdust everywhere from sanding out the rough areas and patching holes. It doesn’t look like much, but a good builder always keeps the blue prints with a vision for the finished product. Jesus, the master builder, has a plan for your life. Jesus did not cause the bad things in our life to happen, but Jesus will take our ‘fall out’ and turn it into a work of art.
“ Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6
Enjoy this song by Jason Gray as you allow God to make your life new:
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies…Proverbs 31:10
The first post is from my mom. All girls are first impacted by our mothers. Good and bad they have an influence. My mom loves the Lord, but she, like many of us, has had struggles through out her life that have stolen joy and peace. In many areas she has allowed God to restore that joy and peace. Other areas she still struggles, just like all of us. This is something she wrote that I promised I would share. It was written in 1982 so some references, i.e. ERA (Equal Rights Ammendment ) are dated. Mom stated that she woke up in the middle of the night and these words were going through her head and she put them to paper. At the time she was divorced with 2 daughters and not dating anyone.
Aprons, Green Berets, And Spiritual Warfare
by Caroline Churchill
Sept 1982 Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Every well trained army has always had its “special forces,” its secret weapons; its Green Berets. God, too, is forming an army, an army that is well trained and equipped for the battle that is at hand. In a quiet, most obscure place, hidden and ignored by the passing eye, camouflaged with an apron and a dust mop, God has been training one of his most strategic weapons; His women! In the seclusion of the laundry room, behind the kitchen sink, rocking the cradle, God has chosen His Handmaidens who have been willing to surrender their will to the authority of the Most High God. Women who have been “set apart,” whose heart attitudes have been one of recognizing that He is Lord and apart from Him they can do nothing in their own strength or power. Women who have said ” I place myself and all my affairs, lovingly into the hands of the Father. ” Women who have a teachable spirit, who are willing to be molded into the image of Christ. Women who recognize that their place is a place of walking beside their men as their ” helpmate, ” not usurping authority over them nor sitting at their feet as a slave.
God is calling forth these mighty women into their place of completeness in Christ. As in the Garden of Eden, when Eve walked beside Adam in the coolness of the evening and fellowships with the Lord. God is restoring this rightful created place of God’s women.
A woman who is not in competition with Adam, but who recognizes that her role is a completion of men. A virtuous woman, well equipped for the business world, who is able to buy and sell and who is able to give added insight to business men to complete the logical thinking of men.
Satan has tried to destroy this woman because he has always known that if he could lure her away- trick her with a tempting apple of ERA- get her out of her role as a helpmate and dazzle her into” worldly wisdom, ” seduce her with terms as “unisex,” “equal opportunity, ” that he would have an open target on the men.
The Jezebel spirit has had the reign! But she is dying as God brings forth His women- His virtuous women, that He has crowned with glory and honor. As this woman comes forth, the men whose eyes have been blinded will open so they too will return to their role of keeper, protector of the Garden. For they equally have allowed this poisonous serpent to come in! But Christ came and ended all that ! For through Christ, their eyes and their hearts will realize that women need their strength, tenderness, compassion, and understanding. These women long for the Keeper of the Garden to put his protective arms around them and say “we understand.” We are here to guard and protect. These men will stand in the gap and recognize what a jewel they have been given.
God is coming forth with His women who He has trained, He has taught, He has spoken to. These mighty women are saying to Satan-“Enough!” You will not trick us anymore. We see you for what you are! You will not trick us anymore! You will not take our unborn children. You will not have our sons and daughters with sickness, drugs or alcohol, or worries and cares for the world. You will not seduce or accuse us anymore by your lies! We will keep our homes in order. We will train our young women how to care for and love their husbands. We will teach and discipline our children out of the power and love of our Heavenly Father.
Rest, oh women of God, do not press in this battle because God is going to use you as a mighty secret weapon, but He will be the power. He is placing you in the field where the harvest is ripe. He will show you the stones that need to be removed. He holds the plans for each one of you individually and as a group. Do not worry about the time, the place–you will be sent. This information will be made known to you when needed. Be thou ready, be trained in the Word. His strength will be sufficient for the task chosen for you. You will hear the call. You will flow in Him. For the battle is not yours He will be the victor. He will have all the credit and all the glory. And all the world will know that it was not by your strength or your might, but by Him! Praise to God forever more!
Where has God sent you ? How has He prepared and trained you to be His secret weapon?
A Time to Love and a Time to Hate…A Time for War and a Time for Peace. Ecclesiastes 3:8.
A time to love and a time to hate. Hmmm. So there is a time to hate? This was confusing for me. How many times have we told our children and ourselves not to have ‘hate’ in our hearts. Leviticus 19:17 says ‘ Do not hate your brother in your heart.’ I have seen the result of this in the town my mom was raised in. In the town there is a railroad track that runs down the middle of it. Jimmy Stewart in the movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, said that the sound of a train was one of the three best sounds in the world. My grandfather would have had to agree with you. He was a railroad man. He loved trains and delighted in taking my sister and me to the little park and ride the train that was there. If there was a model train displayed, he took us to watch it go around and around through the miniature mountains and small towns with figurines waving at the train as it chugged past. The railroad provided for his family and brought goods to the town and helped the town grow. The railroad also divided the town in half geographically and in the minds of the people. Proverbs 10:12 says ‘Hatred stirs up dissension.” That has certainly been the case here. Praise God, today He is bringing unity!
What does ‘hate’ mean?
‘Hate’ is a word that gets thrown around easily. I hate cleaning the bathrooms (when will boys ever hit the toilet, thank you very much!) I hate it when it is pretty and sunny and then rains when we go on vacation. I mostly hate it when I see people settle for second best. I hate it when people do not rise to their potential that everyone around them sees they have, but they don’t. I hate it when people can believe something for others but not believe it for themselves. I had a friend say once it is easy to believe for blessing for a business that blesses a ministry or for a ministry that is blessing other people, but not for their own family. Why not, does God not love their own family any less? Anyway, I digress. If God says there is a time to hate then maybe we need to find out what God hates.
First of all the word ‘hate’ in Ecclesiastes is the Hebrew word ‘sane’ it means to hate as in the case of an enemy; to despise, to turn against. In researching commentaries on this I found that some believe this was a ‘hyperbole’ or exaggeration. Others that it is not talking about heart attitude but rather a ‘distancing or separating’ . Regardless, there definitely seems to be a time when God says to distance, separate from things.
What are we to hate then?
In Proverbs 6:16 the same word is used for hate.
“These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.” (Amplified version)
What I don’t see on the list is race, politics, geographical region, income level, etc. With all the latest political talk the word ‘hate’ is easily thrown around today , but are we talking about the outside of the person or the inside. Interesting that the seventh one, the one that is an ‘abomination’ to the Lord, is ‘he who sows discord among his brethren.’ God is a god of unity.
“How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! It’s like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard, Flowing down Aaron’s beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robes. It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon flowing down the slopes of Zion. Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life.”(Psalm 133, Message version)
Some say they are over 40 things listed in the Bible that God hates. Forty in the Bible is a number for chastisement, not judgement. It points to action of grace leading to and ending in revival and renewal. So even if there are things God hates, His ultimate desire is to ask forgiveness and receive the His grace and have revival and renewal in our lives.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:1-10, NIV)
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God made us to love and do good works. I think God hates things that go against His nature and against the good plan He has for each of us. If anyone has kids you know what is like to want the best for your kids. You don’t want to see them hurt, let down, disappointed, getting second best. God sees us the same way. He has things planned for us, good things. The things God hates are things that keep us from experiencing those good things, they keep us from having joy, peace, love, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, righteousness, and truth. (Ephesians 5:9, 22). If liking things that God hates is going to keep me from these things, keep me from the good works Jesus has planned for me, then I am going to start hating some things. Unfortunately, I don’t see cleaning bathrooms on the list God! Oh well, need to get over that one.
A time to be born and a time to die, A time to plant and a time to uproot. Ecclesiastes 3:2
For some reason I have had a hard time putting this one together. I don’t know why. I grew up with gardens. My sister and I were in charge of sowing the seeds as dad made the furrows and tilled the ground. Hours were spent gathering the harvest, and preparing it for the freezer or table. I still wince when I think about husking corn and finding a worm, yikes! I have the muscle memory to snap beans in my sleep! The work was worth it. Come winter, we had fresh corn and vegetables on our Thanksgiving and Christmas table.
What kind of seed are you sowing? What kind of harvest are you looking for?
What I learned from this is that to reap something good, you have to first plant something good. If you miss the time to plant, you will miss the time to harvest. Some may be looking for a harvest and they have not planted a crop yet. “Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) In Colossians 1:6 we learn that “the gospel is producing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all truth.” Fruit comes from the inside out. You cannot produce healthy good fruit that last for eternity on your own. Only being led by the Holy Spirit and not by your own selfish desires will you produce fruit that is eternal. (Galatians 5:16-26)
What kind of soil are you planted in? What kind of fertilizer are you spreading in your heart?
In Hebrew, the word here for ‘plant’ also means to ‘establish, put down roots’. “So, then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Col 2:6-7) In order to reap an abundant crop, you need strong roots that can nourish the plant and the fruit it produces. You need light, water, and good soil . The Israelites had planted themselves in Egypt, the land of sin and idols, and it took God 40 years to replant them in the soil of the Promise Land. Planting in good soil and uprooting weeds takes courage and strength. There may be rocks and boulders that need to be cleared. God told Joshua three times to “Be strong and of good courage.” (Joshua 1:6,7,9). Think of the American settlers heading west. When they reached the prairie, they did not know how to develop it. Would anything grow? They kept going west to where there were trees, something familiar to them. As a result, the Midwest was one of the last areas to be settled. Today, the Midwest is known as the “Breadbasket” of the US. You may have areas in your heart and life that the ground has become so hard and barren that nothing can grow. Like the prairie, there is a crop of coarse grass and stickers. You don’t know where to begin or how to clear it for an abundant harvest. Or maybe you are going for what is familiar. It may seem easier to hide some things and not face them.This will only last a short while, for God desires abundant crops in all areas. Remember it takes work to clear land. It means doing something different.
What needs to be cleared? What needs to be uprooted? Are we watering what needs to be watered?
We may not know what to do with the land God has given us. We may not know, but God knows. Somethings may have to die in our hearts and lives for others to live. God has the nutrients and resources for an abundant crop. When you add the Holy Spirit and the blood of Jesus to your land that God has given you, the land will flow with milk and honey. Come to Him in prayer and lay them at the cross. When you allow God to fight your battles and clear your land, your heart, then you will see that there are things already there that have been planted. Things that are good. They were being choked out by the weeds in our life. There may be areas in your life that you have been trying to tend, weed, water, etc. but only in your power. If you just trim under your own power, it will come back with a vengeance. We trimmed a vine that my kids affectionately called ‘Plantzilla’. We thought it is gone. We were soooo wrong! It came back greener and more wide spread then ever. We didn’t get the roots. Only the Holy Spirit can pluck up from the roots. Allow the Holy Spirit to pluck up areas in your life that are crowding out the crop that God is planting. ‘Pluck up’ or ‘uproot’ in the Hebrew means to ‘render useless for battle’. Jesus already is the victor over the things that are waging war against us. On the cross, Jesus rendered them useless in our lives. (Romans 5:6-17) God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy spirit, whom He has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:5-6)Maybe you have built walls around your gardens. Don’t worry the Holy Spirit has a ball and chain that is capable of crashing down walls. God brought down the walls of Jericho for Joshua and the Israelites. He is capable of bringing down the walls of your heart.(Romans 8) In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us ….” (Romans 8:26)You will need to tap into the living water of Jesus.When you allow the Holy Spirit to do the watering then you will reap a harvest that lasts. Like Jesus told the woman at the well, you need living water that you will not thirst again. (John 4:4-13) Situations, things, people, work are not the problem. Not having a relationship with Jesus is the problem. God blesses the land as result of the relationship. (Romans 6:1-14) Think eternal. God does. Look for the bumper crop. Remember there is a “time to plant”, don’t miss that time and in so doing miss your harvest.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:9-15)
A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. Ecclesiastes 3:6
When I read this, all I could think about was sorting out the closets. You know how it is… 3 piles labeled “keep”, “give away”, “trash”. I guess it could refer to the closets in our hearts. It can also refer to relationships with others and our commitments we have made. The first part of the verse is sometimes translated ‘get’ for ‘search’. It is a verb which means action. In other words things are not going to be handed to us. The closets will not clean themselves. It can also mean to seek the king’s face as for a petition, request. We may need to seek the King, Jesus, face and find out what we need to keep, give away, trash. We will not be able to do it alone, we need Jesus and we will need the Holy Spirit. Cleaning out the closets of our heart can take time. If we don’t take regular inventory then it will get where you can’t open the door without stuff falling out, we can’t find anything, things get broken and lost.
What are you keeping that you need to throw away and what are you throwing away that you need to keep in your life. It is just as bad to throw away what is important as it is to keep what needs to be thrown away. The word ‘keep’ means to guard, treasure, protect. Are you protecting, guarding and treasuring in memory what God has put in your life and inside your heart. Are you like Mary and pondering all these things in you heart? Are you treasuring the pearls that are inside of you or are you throwing them away to swine? Throw away means to cast away, to shed. Allow God and the Holy Spirit to show you how to shed the things in your life that are taking up space that could be used by a treasure.
What we do with our time and focus shows where our heart is.
We invest time into what we care about and into what is important to us. If you have something you value you will invest time, money and energy into it. This applies to relationships as well as things. The question is whether you are investing in relationships that are mutually edifying and causing growth either in the other person or in you. You may need to love a person at a distance. Some relationships may just need to be shed. Seek the Holy Spirit to show which ones bringing destruction into you life and family. It doesn’t mean that you don’t pray or love the person. You just don’t allow the destructive relationship to come and steal what you treasure. Sometimes we keep what we need to toss. Take inventory of the relationships and the commitments in your life. Are they edifying? Are you edifying to others? Are you the best person for this commitment? Are they furthering the kingdom of God?
Remember we are organizing the closest of our heart and lives– keep, throw away, give away.
Is this thing, no matter how good, taking time and energy that could be used to keep, guard, cherish the treasures God has given me? Am I trading best for good? Set priorities in your life. I number mine. God first, spouse second, etc. I then put my commitments into the same priorities and choose those commitments based on where they rank on my list. Remember when you say ‘yes’ to something you are saying ‘no’ to something else. Make sure what you are saying ‘no’ to is low on the priority list. If you continually neglect thing high on your priority list in order to do things that are low on the list, then you will have a garden of weeds in your heart and in your relationships and commitments. Make sure what you are saying no to is not one of your treasures.
In case you are wondering…..after a month of looking, trying to get motivated, planning…… I finally cleaned out that closet. Took a while, like many of us I had too much in a small space and had many things that did not belong. Wish I had taken a ‘before’ picture. You could not walk into it at all. The next question is how long will it last. Three kids, a husband and a dog…..hmmm…
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33.
What are you keeping that you need to throw away and what are you throwing away that you need to keep in your life?