Planted while In the heat!

It amazes me how God works! We get to see the short cuts the Israelites could of went through as we read the Bible, to get to the promises land! However, God knows what it would take to work out the old patterns in their lives as they learn to depend and trust Him with all their hearts! What the younger generation experienced must have been amazing with their parents while spending 40 years in the desert and extremely hard! They experienced God’s power and Glory as they journeyed to the promise land! He knew what it would take to grow the new generation up for Him as he met the old generation where they are and made sure they were completely taken care of! The flesh can be hard to please as the intense, hot and dry land must have been hard! They learned hands on lessons that they can trust God and depend on Him! He never left them! “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to given them light…Exodus 13:17-22NIV, “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. Moses took the bones of Josephwith him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”

God loves us so much, he doesn’t leave us or forsake us! God does and continues to do the impossible! As we try to escape the blistering sun, the cloud by day makes more sense! God protected them by giving them shade from the fierceness of the desert sun! It also, get so dark and cold at night and He led them with His guiding light as they kept warm! He surrounded them with His presence and great and wonderful love! Today, we don’t have the cloud or fire! The good News is we have the Good News “Jesus” who is the light of the world! His living Words through the Holy Spirit gives us guidance to our day. He is with us and He will never leave us, He gives wisdom, He gives us direction, so we never have to fear being left on our own to figure things out. He goes ahead of us, he walks with us, and He guards our ways! His Word is truth and life, it shows us the way to walk in this dark world. We are called to be the light of the world!

We all need to keep hydrated and need water to drink, especially in the extreme heat! I love how God teaches us through scripture how as our physical bodies need water, we need spiritual water where we will never thirst! What do we do, when we thirst in the hot and dry desert heat? What do we crave in the waiting for a rain that drenched us to the bone? Romana 12:2 NIV, “ Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.” What you chose to do in the waiting matters! Where we spend our time matters! We are not suppose to be just hears of God’s word but doers as well! James 1:22 NIV, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” God says don’t conform to the patterns of this world! What does this mean? When we break this down, you will see that what the world says is the opposite of what God says! God says, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous! When we seek God first, we are choosing to meditate on God’s words day and night as we live out what He says! We are filling ourselves up with His living words from the Bible while thinking and talking about them day and night! The world says empty your mind but God says fill it up with Him! But what we fill ourselves up in the waiting, matters and it must come from God! We need to guard our mind which flow into our hearts because out of the heart the mouth speaks! Philippians 4:8 NIV, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Not only do we fill ourselves with God’s living words while meditating day and night, we need to put them into practice in every part of our lives! Especially through the storms and trials in our lives! When you stand firm by being planted by streams of living water! You will be blessed because of God’s living words flowing into your life which gives you life forever in Jesus! Psalm 1:1-3 NIV, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” These dry and thirsty times are a reminder about who we hold onto while God walks with us as He molds us to be more and more like Him! We hold onto Jesus who is the author and perfectly of our faith! Who gives us living water where we will never thirst! In these thirsty days where the land even longs for a drop of rain! When the sand is so dense, the dust makes it hard to breathe or even see what’s going on around us! We need to remember, stay in God’s word and in relationship with our sisters and brothers in Christ! In Psalm 77, “I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion? Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. The waters saw you, God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The clouds poured down water, the heavens resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.
Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters though your footprints were not seen.
You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

When the storms in life are raging and they come in So many different ways and you’re going through trials, remember, stand firm on the solid foundation of Jesus who is the vine” John 15:5 NIV, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Trust God, who cares deeply for you! His thoughts for you are as numerous as the sand in all the world and nothing can ever separate you from the love of God! Even if the dust in the air makes it hard to stay focused, fix your eyes on Jesus who makes a way when there seems to be no way! When you meditate on God’s living words that give life, day and night, you will be blessed! You will be rooted in Jesus and will able to stand strong in Jesus, You will know what the world offers is temporary and won’t last like a sudden mist that comes out of no where! If might feel awesome but don’t be lead away from what your suppose to do! The mist really is temporary because it evaporates in an instant. 1 Peter 5:6-9 NIV, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

Through the dust storms, we need to stay connected to the vine (Jesus)! As we fix our eyes on Him by staying focused on the kingdom mindset! We will have peace and joy that can never be taken from you! Even during storms in your life! The sand of the world will become an overflow in our lives as it shifts and moves! But you will not be moved! The sand washes things away! If your not on guard by taking the full armor of God, you will be swallow up by every distraction or care of the world! It’s like waves in the ocean! But remember, Hebrews 13:7-8 NIV, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Even when it gets hard, don’t give up on doing good! Galatians 6:7-10 NIV, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Living out God’s love by living in His truth throughout our daily lives, will lead others to want to know God’s love too and we will be reminding each other not to give up! As we fix our eyes on Jesus and seek Him first in all we do, you do you will find Him, when you seek Him with all your heart! Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

We can’t depend on our own strength because nothing good comes from it! Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
It’s in our weakness that we bring God glory! 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 NIV, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” We must abide in Jesus who is the vine and God is the gardener! We will never thirst as our bodies do, because we are filled completely up with Him! We must cling to truth( Jesus)! Our bodies may struggles but we grow stronger as we grow spiritual fruit that bring God continual Glory! As I fall, I will stand, as I trip, I will remain! Everything we go through in life is an opportunity to grow more to know God’s love as we glorify Him!

Revelation 22:16-17 NIV, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Swimming in Weeds!!

I looked forward to the garden when I got home! I could not believe how much the garden grew in a short amount of time! It seems a lot can happen when your back is turned! Wow, Matthew 13:24-26 (NIV) came to my mind in a deeper way! “Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.” My children wanted to help with weeding while I was gone, but I explained just keep flooding the garden and don’t worry about weeding until I get back! It was early in the season and it was hard to see what was a veggi or a weed. When I got home, the garden looked like an ocean of weeds! The chickens got lost in the thick cover of the tallest spiky weeds I had ever seen. The weeds were as tall as my hips and shoulders. I decided to flood the garden with water and in the pursuit to find anything edible growing in the garden, I decided to carefully pull the tall weeds out one at a time! Suddenly I noticed one of the roots appeared orange. So, I gently peeled the weeds and dirt away like an onion to see why the roots were orange. I was surprised to find a perfect carrot completely encased by weeds! We need God’s living water to flood us to removes the weeds that try to entangle us! When we are filled with Him, we continue to grow even when the weeds try to pull you down. The weeds will lose its grip on you! It also reminds me of why the wheat and the weeds grow together. Matthew 13:29-30, (NIV) No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.I really wish I took a picture but it was one of those moments you just can’t capture on camera! I took a picture of the carrot. I’m thankful God wants not one person in the whole world to perish because he loves and cares for everyone so deeply In 2 Peter 3:8-10 (NIV) “8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” 7Let the wicked forsake their ways

It reminds me about what Isaiah explains about how we need to seek Him while He can be found. Isaiah 55:6-9 (NIV)” 6Seek the Lord while he may be found;call on him while he is near and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9”As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The time is short and we should take every opportunity to sharing the Good News about Jesus in love! Galatians 6:10 (NIV) “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” When we love all people who don’t know God’s love yet, they will be drawn in. Jesus will change how you see everyone and your focus will change too. It is the Holy Spirit inside you that helps you see everyone through a different perspective by focusing the inward qualities of the person and magnifying them, so they can see it too. Some people are so hurt that all they see is the lies about themselves and their mistakes. When all of God’s children come together being like minded in Unity in Christ, pouring love into people who can’t see their value yet, they will not only see their value but believe it. It’s the same Spirit in All of us. We are are God’s Masterpiece including every person! All are made in God’s image and are beautiful, special and have a purpose! The Holy Spirit searches all and knows the heart of all people! The Holy Spirit knows exactly how to lead us to reach people who can’t see how much they are loved by God. It’s only by our actions by living out what you believe, and how you react in situation and circumstance that are beyond your control. This will reach the broken hearted. A lot of hurt people believe a lie about themselves and are lead by how they feel. When there is Less talk and more walk through life circumstances, people who have heard the talk about God and who Jesus is, will see the evidence of who Jesus is in your life! It will be how you live your life going through similar circumstances as they are. God will guard you and reveal exactly what you needs to do or say.

When we love our enemies the way Jesus tells us to do, we won’t see them as our enemy because it’s not a flesh and blood war! Our flesh sees them as our enemy but the spirit show us who they are. When you see them through Jesus eyes, and you treat them the way Jesus does, it won’t make sense in their human understanding. They will wonder why you don’t return fire when they attack, join them in complaining or why you don’t join them pointing out all the bad things happening! Instead you will listen with compassion, pray for them and love them the way Jesus would!

My neighbors came over while I was in the garden and poured out their fears and hurt about the upcoming events taking place on the land. He expected me to be in the same state of mind but I just listened. He was outraged and deeply wounded by his past and soon calmed down. God’s overflow of kindness poured out as God prepared his heart to receive. I shared about how leaving this land might mean, I don’t see a fall or winter harvest and that it was ok. I said, “I will keep planting and watering while I’m in the waiting! The new people will be blessed while we step into something new! It might be hard but God has been preparing us for the next steps and I confident it will be good. God has worked out in advance all the details and I trust Him even when I don’t see what’s next. I explained the work on this land is finished! It is ready for the people who God wants to live here. He loves and cares for them just as much as he cares for you and me! God has no favorites. I said, “This isn’t my home, but God does have something for my family in His perfect timing” I’m thankful for where we are and all the blessing God has poured into us while we were here. The valuable relationships mean more to us then silver and Gold!

When you live a life in love and look past the mess, remember God doesn’t look at the outward but the heart! 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Sometimes the biggest outward messes is evidence of a miraculous change in the heart. Romans 12:2 (NIV) “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Don’t conform or join in the world meaning of love. We need to stand firm on what God says love is! I Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies,they will cease; where there are tongues,they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Revelation 21:6-7He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature a God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature b of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Matthew 13:36-43 (NIV) 36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.