Are You Hungry?

We have a growing issue within the United States where over 42 million people have food insecurity. While poverty and food insecurity are not the same, they are very tightly linked. Those in certain demographic and geographic areas have larger challenges. Especially in areas where affordable, good quality fresh food is available. While unemployment plays a part, another key issue is many of these folks are in food deserts. A food desert is a part of a city where a large number of people live more than a mile from a grocery store. Unfortunately, it mostly affects lower income areas where they end up buying most of their food from convenience stores whose food have very little nutritional benefit.  The 2015 numbers* are staggering:

  • 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.
  • 13 percent of households (15.8 million households) were food insecure.
  • 5 percent of households (6.3 million households) experienced very low food security.

With the resources we have in America, there should never be a hungry child.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’(Matthew 25: 27-40 NIV)

Those with resources of time or money have a charge from Jesus help those in more difficult situations. One Christmas, my brother and I, with our families, decided we wanted to do something for others instead of buying needless Christmas gifts. So we agreed to serve a breakfast at a local homeless shelter. We purchased the food, got there early and had the opportunity to prepare and serve a warm breakfast to about 75 women. We were able to show the love of Christ and make sure they had a warm meal in the cold winter weather. We then gave them gloves and socks to help keep them warm. We did not miss opening the gifts that Christmas because we knew that money was put to much better use.

Students at Oral Roberts University decided to turn Halloween inside out. Instead of getting dressed up and asking for candy, the students went to local neighborhoods and asked for canned food. The donations would be taken to a local food bank. The response from the community was so great they have made it an annual tradition. Not only do the students get to help feed the hungry, they are also on hand to pray for those donating the food. Everyone wins when we become the hands and feet of Jesus.

Today decide to go around your neighborhood and ask for cans of food or warm coats/blankets to donate to a local church or food bank. Not only will you help feed the hungry, you will also get to meet your neighbor. As a way to give back, ask your neighbors how you can pray for them. Watch how God moves in your obedience to serve the least of these.

* Note: Coleman-Jensen, A., Rabbitt, M. P., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. (2016). Household Food Security in the United States in 2015. USDA ERS.

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Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.

Peter makes this statement in Acts 3:6 when he heals a crippled beggar. He had no money to give the beggar, but he did have the healing touch of Holy Spirit. It has been a real comfort to me during this Christmas season. After nine months of unemployment, I found myself in a similar situation. I had no extra money to buy family or friends gifts, but I could give the gift of encouragement.

In many ways, not having money, has been freeing. While I came across many who were hurrying around trying to find that perfect gift for the hard to buy relative, I had no impulse to engage in the same activity. It was challenging to have an answer to the standard question, “are you ready for Christmas?” How do you answer that without going into the history of the past nine months?

What I found is by ignoring the presents, I was able to focus on the gift that God gave me…Jesus. Not only on Christmas day, but what He gave me throughout the year. Only God can orchestrate the year I had. It has been different then I ever imagined, but I would not want to change anything. What I could not do on my own with a full time job, God did when I was unemployed.

* I had the honor of meeting over 70 new people across Dallas

* God opened the door to publish two books (due early 2017)

* He moved us to a new house where 17 other offers were competing with us. We were not even the highest bidder!

* He put me in a men’s group that was a huge support for me during this time.

* He has 15+ folks following this blog, which I am very thankful for!!

These are the tip of the iceberg of God’s goodness to me and my family this year. I am so excited to see what His plans are for me in 2017. I plan to share them through this blog.

As I finish this year out, I want to share an encouraging word because that is what I can give to each of you reading this blog.

Through the easy and tough times, through he times of abundance and times of lack, through the times of joy and the times of sorry, our Lord and Savior is always with you. He longs to have you spend time with Him. Talk to Him. Sing to Him. Dance with Him. Shout for joy or scream in pain with Him. Jesus is there, ALWAYS! He loves you…really loves you. Feel it, believe it, hear it. He wants your heart, He wants your life. When you give it fully over to Him you will see the world and life differently. When He is made Lord over everything you will see miracles in your life. Believe and you will see Heaven invade earth. May Jesus pour out His love and blessing on your life now and into 2017. May the sick be healed, may the captives be set free and may each of you experience His presence and love in a new way.

I pray a blessing to everyone reading this. May Jesus capture your heart every day of 2017 and may He bless everything you do!

Redemption after our failures

When Abraham and Lot were deciding to split up because there herds had gotten too big, Lot chose to go to the plains of Jordan. This is where Sodom and Gamorrah were. Even at that time Sodom was known as a place where the men were wicked and sinning against God. I would not be surprised if God nudged Lot a little to be a righteous man in such a wicked place. This was a great opportunity to have a positive influence on a city and turn it around. Turn it to good.

So Lot goes and settles around Sodom. He is accepted and continues to grow his herd and stature. When judgement was pronounced on Sodom and the cities of the plain, Lot was given the chance to flee with anyone else who would go. His family was slow to hear the warning, so the angels forced him, his wife and daughters to leave the city. In fact, Lot was told to get out of the valley where all of the cities of the plain were.

Remember, God was willing to hold his judgement if there were just ten righteous people in the city. Lot, his wife and two daughters ended up being the only righteous in the city. Lot knew he had made a mistake in not influencing the city to turn from its ways. In a desperate act to save something, he asked to go to the city of Zoar. This was one of the cities of the plain and was arguably just as wicked as Sodom. His request to allow him and his family to go there saved the city of Zoar from the judgement of God for a short time. The rest of the cities of the plains, including Sodom and Gomorrah were not so lucky.

Lot, his wife and daughters ran for their lives and were instructed not to turn around. Unfortunately, his wife stopped to look at the destruction and was turned to a pillar of salt. Most experts would say that she was longing for the life she had just left and as a judgement on her, was also destroyed. However, I believe when Lots wife turned around to see Sodom it was not because she wanted to go back to the life there. Rather, it was because she knew she was to be the salt and light in that wicked place. Since she had not taken the necessary steps to turn the tide of the wickedness, she, like Lot, sat idly by while the city descended further into the depth of human depravity. So when she turned around with a deep sense of sorrow, she physically became the thing she was meant to be to the city as a follower of Yahweh. SoLot lost his home, his wealth, his friends, his status and his wife because he had not engaged to be a positive influence on the environment.

Lot didn’t settle in Zoar and try to influence them to be a city on a hill, shining the light of Yahweh. Again, Lot failed and historians believe God destroyed Zoar as soon as Lot left. This time, it was due to fear, not because of apathy or selfishness. Instead he runs away to a cave and lives the rest of his life in seclusion. The story thankfully does not end here.

Abraham loved Lot, and I am convinced he called upon the promise God gave him in Genesis 18:19. God is walking with Abraham and says, “for I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of Yahweh by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” I imagine Abraham interceding and praying for Lot, who was part of his household. Lots father had died, so Abraham took him under his wing and treated him like a son. He was family after all. I am sure Abraham prayed for the redemption of his nephew whose inaction destroyed a city. God is just and merciful. He also had a plan to make sure the lineage of Abraham was secure, since he was to be the father of nations. God chose to redeem Lot’s and graph it back into the line of Abraham. It took seven generations, but when the lineage of Abraham and the lineage of Lot come back together they produce the line of David and a direct lineage to Jesus.

Lots daughters slept with Lot in the cave to get pregnant. The older daughter gave birth to Moab, who became the country of Moab and wher known as the Moabites. Seven generations later, a woman name Ruth was born from the line of Moab. Ruth married into a family from Bethlehem. The father in law was Elimelech and the mother in law Naomi. We are not told which of their two sons Ruth married, but we know that one married Ruth and the other Orpha. Elimelech and Naomi had left Bethlehem due to a famine and had settled in with the Moabites. When Elimelech and both sons died, Naomi decides to go back to Bethlehem.

In Hebrew tradition, when a husband died, the brother was suppose to take care of the widow. Unfortunately, both of Naomi’s son die so there is no one to remarry Orpha and Ruth. Since Naomi was already older and did not expect to marry again or have more children, she wanted to spare her daughter in laws the pain of living the rest of their lives without a husband. Naomi tells both girls to go back to their fathers and get a new husband. Orpha thought that was a good idea and left. Ruth had other ideas. In an instant she made a decision that began the redemption of the lineage of Lot. She decided to take action, something her great grandfather (seven generations before) didnt do. She chose to stay with Naomi and live with her in Bethlehem.

Her action enable God to repair the family line when Ruth met Boaz. Boaz came from the line of Abraham. God gave them a child named Obed, who had Jesse and Jesse had David who was a man after Gods heart and the direct lineage of Jesus. Where Lot failed to take action to save a city, God took action that saved the world through His son Jesus. I would guess that Ruth had no idea the legacy she would create by her actions. One thing is clear, we too can leave a legacy for future generations. We just need to listen to God, follow His leading and join Him in the works He is doing.

Gift of Knowledge

In John 3:11 Jesus was talking to a Pharisee named Nicodemus and says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen but you do not receive our testimony.” Nicodemus was having a hard time understanding everything Jesus was talking about. He was curious, but was having difficulty understanding what Jesus was saying because of his deep rooted teaching. Nicodemus had heard something so unbelievable that he was not able to reconcile this new teaching with his past teaching.

This is very similar to the first time Nick witnessed a Cirque du Soleil show. Cirque du Soleil is a circus that travels around the world and performs some of the most amazing feats of acrobatics that you can imagine. You almost need to see it first hand to truly understand the magnitude of giftedness of the performers. Nicodemus had his own “Cirque du Soleil” moment, when he hears what Jesus told him. He heard the words, but could not grasp the depth of their meaning.

Jesus was sharing the knowledge of Himself, via His testimony. Nicodemus heard Jesus’s testimony first hand. The Bible is the best way to read about Jesus. However, there are many good books that also reveal God in new ways. Mike loves to read. He’s always on the lookout for new revelation and great stories about his Lord and King. Whenever Mike finds a book that moves him, he wants to share it with those around him. When “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young was first published, Mike met the author at a conference and picked up his book. After reading it, he proceeded to buy cases of the book to give out to everyone he met. It had such an impact on Mike, and millions of others, that he just could not keep it to himself. He freely gave the new revelation to others so they could share in his amazement. He spread the knowledge of Jesus beyond his closest friends and had a positive impact on dozens of people through sharing the book.

Action for the day

Think about a book or music CD that had a profound impact on your life. Pick up a few extra copies and pray about who you should give one to. Let them know why it had such an impact on you and why you thought of them. Let them know how special they are and how you pray the book or CD will have the same impact in their life.

Prayer for the day

Jesus, I am glad you revealed Yourself through many different ways. You do it through the bible, through books, through music and directly to us. I ask that You put a name on my heart to share what I have learned through a book or through music that has moved my soul. I long to share it with others so they too can have the knowledge of You. Thank you for the work You will do in that person’s heart through the gift I am to share. It’s in your name I pray. Amen.

Tune in to those around you

Jeremy was a new college student learning to live on his own and become his own man. Being part of the selfie generation, the stereotype would be that he would be too self-absorbed to notice or understand what was going on around him. Being a follower of Christ, allows Jeremy to break all of the stereotypes and to be more in tune with those around him.

Jeremy has made a number of friends during his time in college. One of those friends is Sara. For college students, mid-terms and finals tend to be the busiest and craziest times of the semester. In this case, mid-terms were coming up which naturally introduces a higher level of stress into the college students’ life.  As Jeremy was hanging out with his friends, he noticed a change in Sara’s demeanor. Her thoughts were more scattered and she was not her normal bubbly self. The first time this happened, it just felt like a tough day. However, Jeremy was able to tune into his friend and realized something was up. So he made a point to ask her and she admitted she was stressing out over her upcoming exams. Jeremy made sure to pray for her right there.

A few days later Jeremy called Sara up, knowing she was going to be studying all day, and asked her what her favorite coffee drink was. He then proceeded to walk to the other side of campus to get Sara her favorite drink and hand deliver it to her. She was so thankful for Jeremy’s thoughtfulness and being aware enough to engage in her life when she needed a friend. Jeremy could have easily missed the signs if he was not in tune with those around him. Instead, he broke the mold and showed what a selfless generation looks like. A generation who put their faith into actions will show the world the love of Christ.

Action for the day

Today, ask Jesus to allow you to tune into those around you. Be aware of others moods, behaviors, actions and words that may be different then their normal self. Listen and observe those you know for any sign that something is different about them. Then do something that will bless them and show them Jesus is thinking about them.

Prayer for the day

Father God, sometimes it is hard to pay attention to those around me and be aware of their moods. Sometimes my own life and challenges prevent me from noticing the little things of those closest to me. Today Lord, open my eyes to see those around me. Allow me to tune into their feelings and moods. Let me see with Your eyes and feel with Your heart. Prompt me to engage and listen to them. Let me show my friends and family how much You love them by sending me to encourage them.  I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

DNA Test

In John 2:18-19, Jesus has just cleared the temple of the money lenders by releasing His righteous anger. In disbelief, the crowd at the temple look at each other and a brave person asks, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” The people are asking Jesus who he was. It would be like asking a man if he was really the daddy to his children. Of course, the man could show them a DNA test or just look at the facial features and see the similarities.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are a new creation. Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). In essence, we get new DNA from God. This new DNA transforms us into sons and daughters, as God did not want to leave us as orphans (John 14:18). Because we are new creations with different DNA, we look like Jesus. People begin to expect us to act like Him as well. The DNA inside us start to shine, the more we allow Holy Spirit to shine through us. This in turns draws people to you as they are attracted to Jesus, even if they do not realize why.

Nick was approached by a person who needed a ride home. The man was attracted to Jesus in Nick. Nick could have made an excuse not to help. He could have said he was already late or he was going in an opposite direction. Instead, Nick traveled down a road less travelled and help the man. Because Nick had agreed to help, it was much easier for him to share Jesus with the man and gave him tangible evidence that Jesus was real.

Jeremy had just moved for his fourth time during high school. As the new kid, he was not known by anyone. While the other students did not know Jeremy, they saw the image of Christ in him. Jake had met Jeremy and was in a couple of his classes, but really did not know him. When Jake needed someone to listen and pray with him, he sought out Jeremy. He didn’t know why, except he was drawn to Jesus and felt like Jeremy would be a safe place to get council and advice. We can all let our new DNA shine through to those around us. When we do, just watch how others are drawn to you, which opens the door for you to share the love of Jesus.

Action for the day

Today, choose to live like Jesus. Ask Holy Spirit to be evident in your life. Wherever you go, be sure to have the mind of Christ and interact with others the way Jesus would. Make sure the Fruit of the Spirit are evident today. The fruit are: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Let these be the guide as you go about your day.

Prayer for the day

Today Lord allow me to reveal Your fruit of my life. Let me live out love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in a tangible way that draws others to you. Let me join You in the work You are doing and draw others to me. Reveal what actions I should take to demonstrate Your love. Let Your DNA in me be evident to anyone who is in need of You. Let me be your hands, feet and voice. Thank you for being my daddy. I love you and ask for these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Faith in Motion

Let me ask you a question. Are you at REST with your faith? Not at peace. Not comfortable with your faith. But is your faith resting.

Newton’s First Law of Motion states (and I am paraphrasing a bit) that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless some outside force acts on it.

Lets restate that and substitute faith with body.

Faith at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, and Faith in motion will remain in motion unless some outside force acts on it.

So I ask you again. Are you at REST with your faith? Is your faith motionless? Has some outside force acted upon your faith to keep you from sharing it and having a positive influence on the bodies around you? Or is your faith fully in MOTION and being that unbalanced force that is acting on others to accelerate their own faith?

I am going to be honest. Too many Christians today are at rest with their faith. They are content to have it only activated on Sunday. I have fallen into that category and the only way to snap out of it is to allow Jesus, the unbalanced outside force to get us accelerated again.

I get it. I know it can take a tremendous amount of force to get a body from a resting position into motion.

  • It takes 7.2 million pounds of thrust to get the space shuttle from a resting position on the launch pad to full motion in order to break out of the atmosphere. The primary force working against the space shuttle is gravity. It is the force that is trying to keep the space shuttle at rest. Gravity weighs us down and keeps us from moving. Anytime we are carry the weight of the world, we are slowed down by gravity. Gravity can keep us at rest.
  • Now your car requires 8,000 pounds of thrust to get to moving to a speed of 60mph. While gravity doesn’t play a big part in keeping your car from moving, friction is the force that prevents a car from moving. Friction is the force that works against any object in motion. Any time we are stopped by some barrier we are being impacted by friction. The enemy loves to use friction to slow us down and get our faith to a resting position.
  • The acceleration required for Usain Bolt to get his world record race was 9.5 meters per second squared. This is equivalent of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Which is faster than the 2017 Chevy Corvett, Ferarri and Porche 911. While gravity and friction have some impact. The force that predominantly opposes a sprinter is his/her own personal will. Here we have an amazing athlete who’s will is the primary resistance to his motion. When he hears the starter gun, he must will himself into motion faster than anyone in history. Anytime we don’t have the motivation, drive, passion or dedication to get ourselves moving, we are impacted by our own will.

What about you? What is keeping you from putting your faith in motion? Are you carrying too much baggage and letting the weight of its graving keep you motionless? Are you allowing life and its challenges to be the friction that slows you down? Are you just so worn down and tired that you don’t have the energy to will yourself into motion anymore? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. The church is full of tired, heavy laden and beaten down Christians. How do I know? If Christians were fully in motion and active in their faith, the US and the world look different? Think about it this way. 75% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. With such overwhelming majority, why is it that our country is in the shape it is in?

We need to accelerate out of our resting position so we can shatter sound barriers, break through the atmosphere and change the atmosphere!  The church must be fully alive for Christ to get our faith in motion. Make a commitment today to give Jesus the things that weigh you down like gravity. Today, let Christ take care of the issues that are friction to your faith. Let Him renew your soul and will yourself into motion. Through Jesus, all things are possible if you let Him be that unequal force that propels you from your resting position.

Time for Reconciliation

There has always been division in humanity. Ever since Cain and Abel we have seen jealousy, fear, envy, distrust and misunderstanding. People have always had prejudices, which means pre-judge or to form an opinion that is not based on fact. Sometimes it is an unconscious bias against a person, race, or gender. It does not help that the media loves to stereotype people and people groups. None of this is new. In Galatians 3:28 is says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Even two thousand years ago people were labeled by race, gender and class.

When I was ten, we moved from Mexico to New Jersey. As a third culture kid and new to a small community, I stood out like a sore thumb. I tried my best to fit in, but the US culture was foreign to me. I had a number of misunderstandings with other kids, mostly because I really did not know any better. Somehow, one of the boys I had made an enemy of was the playground bully. He was also a third culture kid as he was originally from Puerto Rico. He called me out to a fight one day after class. I had no interest in fighting him and had no idea why he wanted to beat me up. I was much more interested in being his friend since I understood him more than the kids who had only lived in one place all of their lives.

As I walked home that day, a group of kids had gathered to watch the beat down. I had made up my mind to talk some sense into Nelson. When I approached him, I asked him why he was mad at me. He said I had called his mother a name. Besides not knowing what the name was, I denied ever saying anything about him or his mother. Apparently someone just wanted me to get beat up. Unfortunately, since a crowd had gathered, Nelson needed to do something to keep his reputation intact, even though he believed me. Choosing not to get a black eye, I decided to duck and run. Nelson landed a blow on my back as the crowd cheered and heckled me as I ran away.

The next day I approached Nelson to let him know that I had not said anything derogatory against his mother. It was not who I was. We talked for a bit and eventually reconciled our differences. We became really good friends for the next couple of years while I lived in the community. If I had not sought to reconcile with Nelson, I would have missed out on a friendship. While God does call us to reconcile with each other (Matthew 5:23-24), His ultimate desire is for us to be reconciled is with Himself. We are called to be ministers of reconciliation, where we are helping others be reconciled with Jesus. We are to help others know Jesus as their Lord and Savior so they can also be sons and daughters of God.

 Action for the day

Is there anyone you have an issue with? Anyone who has wronged your or you have wronged? Today, make the decision to reconcile with them. Raise the white flag of peace and go make it right with the other person. Maybe it is a family member or old friend. Maybe it is a co-worker or a child. Whoever it is, put on the mind of Christ, set aside any pride and make amends.

Prayer for the day

Jesus, thank you for loving us and reconciling with me. Thank you that you did not leave me as a sinner and an orphan. But I am now Your child and a royal priest. Father, I ask you to help me reconcile with those who I have wronged. Give me the courage to say I am sorry and let this bring You glory. Let this be the first step in our reconciliation, but also reconciliation with You. It is in your powerful name, Jesus, that I ask these things. Amen.

Share your testimony

If I am being honest with myself, I had been overconfident in my career. I had pedigree companies that I had worked for and excelled. I went around and shared my motto, “what is the worst thing they can do?” The answer, of course is fire me. My overconfidence led me to think that would never happen. Until it did. The saving grace is God had already informed me that change was in the air. He had even told my wife and I to sell our house. As we prepared to put the house on the market, I was called into the CEO’s office and we agreed I would leave the company. This is where my testimony of the single most disruptive season of my life begins.

Even as I was leaving the office for the last time, I believed it would be weeks before I found a new role. I would not have conceived that it would take over eight months and hundreds of hours of networking. My arrogance prevented me from seeing that God will open the right door at the right time. However, He was faithful throughout the process to guide us through the season. I knew He wanted us to sell our house, but did not know where He wanted us to move. He proceeded to tell me the city and He gave my wife the date we would buy the new house. When we found the house in the new city, there were 17 other offers. We were not the highest offer. Yet, God had other plans. We were selected, even though we had put in a lower offer and it was accepted on the date God had given my wife.

Throughout the whole season of unemployment, God kept closing doors with perfectly good jobs. The reason is He wanted me to write a book. During this season, I was able to finish the book and God brought a publisher that wanted to publish the book. He also had me work on my overreliance on a company to find my security. I now know that Jesus is my only security and He will provide all of my needs. It is a tough lesson to learn, but we have a good God that loves us and gently corrects us.

What I also found during this season is my testimony of what God was doing in the midst of a season of trial was encouraging to others facing the same thing. It was amazing to see how many people I ran across that were also looking for a job. My testimony was a help in growing faith in the other person. My testimony was highlighting what God was doing in my life in the middle of a trial and how He is always there. My role was to build up the body because of what I was going through. We can choose to have a “woe is me” attitude or come in a different spirit. I love how Paul talks about the process of going through trials in Romans 5:2-5, “We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!: (MSG). Our hope and joy, especially during trials, is infectious to others who are facing the same trail. So rejoice and share your testimony to beat back the enemy and encourage others to push on.

Action for the day

Today, share your testimony with one other person. Even if you don’t have a sensational God story, sharing what God is doing or has done in your life will encourage and help others see your faith. Maybe it is a family member, a friend or co-worker who doesn’t know Jesus. You can plant that seed because it is not your opinion, rather it is your experience. Watch how God uses your testimony to do something great!

Prayer for the day

Jesus, I thank you for always being present in my life. Even when the world seems to be crashing in, You are there with me. You are giving me strength and raising me up on wings like an eagle. You want good for me and will never leave me. I ask that you show me what testimony I should share and who I should share it with. I want to bring glory to the work You are doing in my life. Open the ears and heart of the person I share it with so they too can be encouraged and will see how You are working in their life as well. It is in Your powerful name, Jesus, that I pray these things. Amen.

Planting Seeds

One of my earliest memories of my grandfather is that he loved to garden. I would get to spend summers with my grandparents and every night I had the opportunity to pick the vegetable I wanted for dinner. It was at his house where I learned to love green beans, squash, zucchini and lima beans. It was always something I would look forward to. In fact, I would not eat green beans at any other time during the year. They had to be from B-daddy’s garden.

While I loved my grandfather’s garden, his passion for growing fruits and vegetables did not pass down. I don’t know the first thing about making a plant grow. I have never been able to get a seed to produce anything. I am good at harvesting, but I am not a seed planter or a good waterer. I don’t know how much is too much or too little. When we bought a new house, the previous owners were exceptional gardeners. They had built four garden beds in the back yard. At the time of the offer, the garden beds were just dirt. By the time we moved in two months later, all four beds were full of vegetables. Even though they knew they would not get to harvest, they decided to plant and water the garden until they left. We got to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor. We did not deserve such a luscious garden, full of tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, peppers, cantaloupe, onions and watermelon. However, we sure enjoyed every delicious mouthful over the summer.

I may not be any good at planting seeds when it comes to growing fruit or vegetables, but I am able to plant seeds when it comes to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am able to water the seed someone else planted. I have even been given the opportunity to harvest and see people accept Jesus as their Lord and savior. Each one of us can plant the seed, water it and harvest it. The key is to remember it is only God who can make it grow.  In Luke 10:20 we are told, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” God wants us to be His workers in the field. Too many of us have been waiting to be invited into the garden.

 

Action for the day

Your action for the day is to plant a seed, water or harvest. This action will look very different depending on the situation.

  • Pray with someone who is hurting
  • Do something nice for someone and let them know God loves them
  • Help someone in need with a physical or spiritual matter
  • Give someone an encouraging word

It can be anything; the key is to make sure the other person knows it is from God.

 

Prayer for the day

Jesus, thank you that you have invited me into the kingdom of Heaven. Thank you that I am now your child and have the opportunity to share Your love and joy with someone around me. Show me who I can plant a seed or water. Let Your will be done today! Let me join You in the work You are doing in someone else’s life. Amen