Make the First Move

October 9, 2020  (Post #52)

(From Journal #6:  June 12, 2006)

Lord, I have so much to thank You for!  My recent CT scan was so good!  The lymph nodes have shrunk to 1/2 the size, my lungs are clear, and no other suspicious places showing!  And, I saw a cardiologist who did a new kind of test on me that shows if there is any soft or hard plaque in my arteries and it was perfect!  So even with high cholesterol numbers, my arteries are clear.  He’s having me wear a monitor for 30 days.  If there’s anything to be discovered, shine Your light on it, Lord.

For several days, I’ve had a thought “pop into my head” that I’m to ask the next door neighbor Libby to go to the Home Show with me.  The woman isn’t that friendly and barely speaks to me, but a week or so ago she caught me outside and did chat a bit; she even asked about my art.  Anyway, I’ve felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me to ask her to do something.  Lord, You know how much I hate doing these things… that’s why You’re after me, huh?  

I confess that I didn’t want to go, but I called her, hoping she’d say no.  But she didn’t.  The only available day of the Home Show for her was Sunday and I didn’t want to spend my Sunday afternoon with her.  I told her I’d call her after church to see if she was still up for it, and she said she’d still like to go.  Well, You sure taught me a lesson.

We made some small talk and I finally asked if she had kids or grandkids.  She began to tell me how she hasn’t spoken to her daughter in 4 years!  She was telling me this as we were leaving the Home Show and I felt You telling me to go to Sonic and keep talking.  I discovered why You had me do this.  We sat in the car with our drinks and she began to open up about her life, her husband’s health, etc.  She’s scared and lonely.  I told her YOU had me call her and that You love her a lot.

I’ve been painfully aware of how these mission trips to far off places aren’t for me. I’ve always admired those willing to go to dangerous places to share the Gospel.  Yet all You did was ask me to go next door and I whined and complained, after church!  It wasn’t China or Africa – it was next door.  Forgive me for my selfish attitude and poor witness. I pray the seed planted in Libby will be watered with Your love and Word.  I trust You will show me how and what to do concerning her in the future.  I am humbled to be used to reach out to her.

Don’t Dig Up Your Seed!

July 19, 2020   (Post #44)

(From Journal #4:  February 28, 2006)

I watched a teaching this morning from Mark 4:26-29 about “The Parable of the Growing Seed” and what it shows us about faith, growing and maturing.  It really caused me to reflect on how many times I’ve sadly “dug up my own seeds” because I didn’t allow the process of “seed-time-harvest” to come to fruition.

There are things I want to accomplish that I believe are seeds You’ve planted in my spirit.  The problem comes during the “time phase” which causes me to wait for the results.  Rather than submit to the process and allow You to teach, mature and prepare me, too often I get tired of waiting and then try to force the “harvest.”  Every time I’ve gotten ahead of Your schedule, it’s been a disaster and makes the wait longer.  

It’s the same in difficult relationships.  We plant seeds of love and forgiveness, but then if “that person” doesn’t change fast enough, or the way we want them to, we try to force the change in them rather than focus on the changes needed in us.  That’s manipulation and it never works either.  Your mercy, love and long-suffering are so much greater than we understand.  How many relationships have failed because we “dug up the seed” rather than wait in faith and allow You to work?  I know I’ve done it, Lord.  Forgive me.  

When we do this, it affects others too.  Genesis 16 is a good example. Look at the mess Sarai (Sarah) caused by pushing Abram (Abraham) not to wait on the Lord’s promise that they would have children, but to father a child for her through her maid Hagar.  To this very day, the birth of Ishmael is the cause of conflict between nations.

Lord, help me surrender by faith every seed planted, trusting and resting in Your timing, that my harvests produce Your crops!

Mary 4:26-29:  And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Psalm 130:5:  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.

Planting in Faith

May 3, 2020  (Post #38)

(From Journal #3:  December 7, 2005)

So much happened over the past week.  While in Atlanta visiting Pam, the strange pain that’s been off/on in my right side began to hurt about 10:00 p.m. and it didn’t ease at all.  By 2:30 a.m. it had become excruciating.  I’d been praying for hours and wisdom told me to wake Pam and go to the hospital.  Appendicitis kept coming to my mind.  The ER doctor feared appendicitis too because I had an elevated white blood count, and he would not release me without a CT scan.  He said the scan didn’t give a clear view of the appendix but he felt it was okay.  Thank You, Jesus!  I’d told him about being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and he saw one of the lymph nodes as 2×2.5 cm?  I believe that’s even more shrinkage from my last scan!

It was about 8:00 a.m. when we got back to Pam’s and just a few minutes after, I got a call from a friend in Texas.  She said she woke up around 4:00 a.m. with me on her heart and she’d been praying for me that morning and wanted to know if I was okay?  I was in the ER at that time waiting for the CT scan!  I know You woke her to pray for me and against the attack on my body!  Bless her for her faithfulness to pray and intercede for me.  I am so grateful Lord!  

I was glad to get back home finally but fatigued and a little overwhelmed from the pain and ER experience.  As an act of faith on healing, Saturday I worked outside in the yard most of the day.  I dug up off-shoots of crepe myrtles and replanted them where I want them to grow.  I planted mums and 5 flats of pansies. I could not have done this without Your strength. 

There was something very healing about planting and expecting these things to live, grow and thrive, especially the crepe myrtles.  It’s like planting little sprouts of faith expecting them to grow deep roots and grow tall, strong, and beautiful.  I worked like a healed, energetic, pain-free, focused person and it felt like I was making a statement to the enemy that he is defeated!  Thank You for being my healer!

Luke 8:15: But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

1 Corinthians 3:7:  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

Ephesians 6:18:  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Romans 8:26:  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.