Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Beauty of Seasons

Seems that I just keep pondering on the theme of the seasons. The following is an excerpt from Singing Owl. She paints a picture of a place I would like to be. Go to The Owl's Song to read the full post.

Sunlight filtered through wind-tossed woods, casting dancing shadows across the highway. I almost expected the dappled light to scatter before my wheels like leaves. The trees, some flashing a spot of early red or gold, turned to farmland, red barns, and the occasional horses or cattle. The shadows of late afternoon stretched in elongated stripes, curving over the gentle contours of the fields. Except for the engine, it was quiet. I saw few vehicles and fewer people.

Stopping to stretch my legs, I stepped onto crunchy gravel at the side of the road. It was warm, even hot, but there was that awareness that fall is nearing--something in the breeze and the shadows and the sky. I gradually became aware of an almost undetectable sweetness in the air. Sniffing, I wondered what caused it--too mild to be called an aroma, exactly. Then I saw that on each of the four corners of the intersection was a different kind of crop.

To my rear on the left stood corn, tasseled and turning brown, loaded with ears that would become food for the cattle during winter. Behind me to the right the "spring green" of alfalfa grew in astonishing brilliance. In front to the left a field of soybeans, one of the loveliest crops imaginable, stretched to the horizon. In summer its leaves are a deep glossy green, but now they were turning to the characteristic mottled red, gold and yellow of fall. On the other corner stood a farmhouse. To the side of the wide lawn was a garden. Around the edges grew late-summer flowers--Gladiolas, Black-Eyed Susan's, Snapdragons, and many more I could not name. I was too far away to identify all of what remained in the garden, but I could see what I guessed were tomato plants along with the broad leaves of squash plants. I surmised that all these lovely growing things were what filled the air with that subtle freshness.

David at Pilgrim Scribblings shares a poem in his post about the seasons. One line that really strikes a cord with me is this one. "Summer is over and we can't call it back..."

Once we have passed through a season only the memories can be retrieved. The events of a season shape the season ahead. A hard freeze cuts down on the population of insects found in the spring. A springtime with ample rain and warm temperatures yeilds crops in abundance. A freeze in the springtime damages vegetation that is just beginning to bloom. A dry scorching summer is a sure obstacle for plant growth.

Spiritual seasons work in a similar fashion. Yet it is how we cope with the freeze that comes at the time of our budding. Or how we rebound from the drought that often follows the spiritual highs we experience. And yet another factor in our spiritual seasons has to do with the preparations we make to sustain ourselves in difficult times.

St.John chapter 15 tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches. He is the constant source of our life. We are never left alone in the seasons of our lives. Everything we need for growth is found in Him, but it our responsibility to seek Him, ask of Him, and receive from Him.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Looking for me?

You will find me Beneath the Ivy Wreath today. Somehow I just can't seem to post in two places on the same day. Besides, my sister needs a little traffic and a lot of encouragement.

The Word of God is always an encouragement so I leave Habakkuk 3:17-19 for you today.

17Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bible Verse Texting

Every day at least 2 or 3 folks hit here looking for text messages of the SMS kind. Occasionally someone will stay on to check out my blog. Most however just click out and move on to the next option given by their search engine. I really don't Njoy disappointing folks so here R 3 txt msgs 4 U.

U, Lord, r my shepherd. I will neva be in need. U let me rest in fields of green grass. U lead me 2 streams of peaceful water. (Psalm 23, verses 1-2).

Wrk hard at wateva u do. U will soon go 2 da wrld of da dead, where no 1 wrks or thinks or reasons or knws NEting. (Ecclesiastes, chapter nine, verse 10).

Respect ur father & ur mother, & u will live a long time in da l& I am givin u. (Exodus, chapter 20, verse 12).

I found these at along with info on how to receive the whole Bible in text messages. I haven't tried it, so I'm not putting my approval on it. If you do try it out, let me know. Thanks.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Seasons: David

This is a somewhat abbreviated sketch of David's life. For additional info see or read everything between II Samuel chapter 16 and I Kings chapter 2. The on-line Jewish Encyclopedia is another great resource.

Personal seasons are easily seen throughout this list. Spiritual seasons are there but can be augmented by the Psalms of David. Please pardon the lack of scripture links. I figure the majority of this info is familiar to most. Only the references in Psalms are linked for you. For placement of the Psalms in the life of David, I used "The Chronological Bible" by Regal Publishers copyright 1977. For other references, use the Bible search link in my sidebar.

1. A man after God’s own heart I Samuel 13:14
2. Youngest of the 8 sons of Jesse I Samuel 16:10,11
3. Courageous shepherd I Samuel 17:34-36
4. Handsome I Samuel 16:12
5. Anointed to be king by Samuel the prophet I Samuel 16:12,13 Psalm 19 Psalm 8
6. Served as musician for King Saul I Samuel 16:14-23
7. Returned to his father’s house I 17:15
8. Became the champion of Israel by slaying Goliath I Samuel 17:25-53 Psalm 23
9. Admired by Jonathan, despised by King Saul I Samuel 18:1-9
10. Lived as a fugitive I Samuel 19 Psalm 59 Psalm 25
11. Displayed respect for the King in sparing his life I Samuel 24:1-15 Psalm 57 Psalm 108
and I Samuel 26:1-20 possible location of Psalm 7
12. Reigned as King of Judah in Hebron II Samuel 5:1-5
13. Became King of all of Israel II Samuel 5:3
14. Captured Jerusalem and made it the capitol city II Samuel 5:7 Psalm 118
15. God was with him and increased his territory II Samuel 5:10 I Chronicles 11:9
16. He took wives and concubines in II Samuel 5:13
17. Brought the ark to Jerusalem II Samuel 6:1-11 I Chronicles 15:1-29
18. Spurned by his wife Michal II Samuel 6:20-23
19. Enlarged the kingdom and won military victories II Samuel chs 8 &10
20. Committed adultery w/Bathsheba & had Uriah killed II Samuel chs 11 & 12
21. Rebuked by the prophet Nathan II Samuel chapter 12
22. Repented of his sins: Psalm 51 Psalm 32
23. Scorned by his son Absalom II Samuel chapters 15-18
24. Made preparations for building the temple I Chronicles 22:5,14
and I Chronicles 29:2
25. Forbidden to build the temple I Chronicles 28:3 Psalm 145
26. Appointed Solomon as his successor I Kings 1: 11-39
27. Charged Solomon regarding the kingdom and the temple I Kings 2:1-9
28. Died I Chronicles 29:26-28

When you read the accounts in the books of I and II Samuel, I Kings, and I Chronicles you get the facts of his circumstances. When you read the associated Psalms you can feel what he was feeling at the time. You can see the emotions including tears and rants. The Psalms reveal his spiritual condition and his faith in God. These are some of the recorded seasons of David's life.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Spiritual Seasons: Adam

Ask 5 people how they would define spiritual seasons and you would get 5 different answers. One might use qualifiers like lows, mediums, highs, or mountain tops. Someone else might use the terms ebbs and flows. Yet another might describe the seasons as dry or overflowing. Regardless how you label them, spiritual seasons do exist. They are part of God's plan to smooth our rough edges, purify our hearts, equip us for service, and adorn us as His bride.

This study will in no way be exhaustive. My point is to sketch out the seasons in the lives of some biblical characters. Then to take note of the transition factors, and the cyclical nature of the seasons. Finally, I hope to draw some insight as to what was to be learned or accomplished within each season.

Let's start with Adam. His first spiritual season had to have been his best. He walked and talked with God. No inhibitions, no upsets, nothing to hinder their relationship in any way. Must have been serene. Then....

Seasons change. Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Adam recognized his nakedness and he hid from God. The relationship became strained. God added to Adam's fear when He asked, "where art thou?" God knew Adam's whereabouts, but Adam didn't know that God knew.

Cursed by God, Adam learned of sorrow. Then he was separated from the garden and his Creator. Alienated from God, what a dismal season of one's own choosing.

Little is known about the rest of Adam's 930 years. Most every other reference to him is negative. In Eve's responses to the births of Cain and Seth, she acknowledged God as the giver of life. Given the record of Cain and Abel and their worship, we understand that they were knowledeable of God and were able to converse with Him. With this in mind, it is reasonable to assume that God still communicated with Adam and Eve. He instituted animal sacrifice as a means of covering their physical bodies and their sins against Him.

Adam had a long life and no doubt experienced spiritual seasons. Did he learn from his mistakes? There is no actual record of Adam being reconciled to God.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Seasons Change

Weather seasons change. God made the Earth and solar system to work that way. Genesis 1:14 states: "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:" In most areas of the world there are 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each having their own distinctions. In some places the seasons are more readily identified than others. The physical variances in the atmospheric temperature and the changes in the Earth's vegetation are the most obvious signs of each division.

But what of spiritual seasons? They do exist, but are they meant to be? Like the seasons of the Earth, there are notable physical signs of change that occur with each spiritual season. The causes of spiritual highs and lows are infinite. What ushers in a climate change for me may not affect you in any way. I'm not sure I even want to breach the subject, but it has been on my mind for awhile. Last week's Friday Five seemed to be a goad for me to begin this series of posts.

Bring on the comments, open the box, stir things up a little, and then we will see how the dust settles on this one.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Pay It Forward: Nice Matters

These folks are kind, compassionate, friendly, uplifting, and of course; they are nice.

Kari @ Healed Waters the originator of the Mercy Drop Award. Her posts are saturated with the love and compassion of Christ. They are like a drink of water to this thirsty soul.

Granny B @ Compassion to Sympathize is a homespun newcomer with a heart of gold. When it comes to being nice, she knows just how to show it.

Tami @ The Next Step is a member of Christian Women Online and participates in the daily themes. I particularly like her "Thankful Thursday" posts.

Godzheart @ Victorious Woman writes of her daily life and Christian walk. Her biblical study blog, Lessons from Life is well written and easily followed. Though I haven't met her, I picture her with a soft voice and a friendly smile.

CH Green @ Beneath The Ivy Wreath has time constraints that keep her from reading and commenting as much as she would like. Her comments may be few but they are always encouraging. She recently launched her poetry blog, The Ivy Wreath and welcomes your comments.

Cindy @ Inspirational Korner consistently posts uplifting and insightful posts. Her comments around bloggyland are also of the encouraging sort. Nice matters in blog design too. She changes the backdrop regularly to add a touch of class to her site.

Ordinary Christian is someone who is not afraid to reveal her weaknesses in order to strengthen others. No matter where her adventures take her, she always stays on the right path.

I'm not sure who created this award. All I have is these few words to go with it.
"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

Monday, September 3, 2007

Crucible of Praise

Everyone likes to be praised for a job well done. It is something that comes standard with the package of our humanity. Some folks become praise junkies. They go about doing things just to be recognized and rewarded. Others while they relish the compliments, prefer to remain anonymous in their well doing. Proverbs 27:21 sheds some light upon the power and purpose of praise. The Message states it this way: "The purity of silver and gold is tested by putting them in the fire; The purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a little fame."

I am still learning how to be gracious when receiving compliments. When I know I have done well, I tend to reward myself. Not necessarily in a tangible way, but I just have a deep satisfaction in my labors. Often I am perceived as being ungrateful due to my inadequate responses. In reality, I love the accolades but I don't want to let them swell my head. I am learning to say a simple "thank you" and/or "to God be the glory".

Praise can incite pride or it can work perfection. Pride is the automatic response of the flesh. Perfection is the result of yielding to the Spirit of God. Remember, everything He created is good. The Word says so. Yet there is no goodness about the flesh. It is merely an earthen housing for the Spirit of God. So the Apostle Paul adds that we must keep the flesh under the control of the Spirit.

Basically, I said all of that to preface this huge thank you to Rita at Saved by Grace. She has bestowed upon me the "Nice Matters" award. Let me also add, to God be the Glory, Great Things He Has Done. Without Him, I would be neither nice, friendly, good, positive, or influential.

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."
I have met so many nice bloggers in the few months that I have been in the bloggyhood. Those who are nice are also positive influences in the blogosphere. Inspirational is yet another word for various blogs I have read. "Feel good" blogs are as infinite as the stars in the sky. Finding 7 worthy recipients is easy. Keeping the list to 7 is the hard part. And.......Now........The envelopes please................Ooops! There must be some mistake. I have been handed some bills instead of the nominations for the "Nice Matters" awards. Sorry to disappoint you folks, but the hour is late, the awards will have to wait..... until my next post.

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