From the seed …

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

(Mark 4:26-29, ESV)

 Seeds are quite interesting and intriguing. They come in numerous sizes, forms, shapes, consistencies and textures. Sometimes the hardness of certain seeds remains hard and impenetrable, cracking open only by fire or long periods of time. Sometime seeds open with the tiniest bit of moisture, ready to begin the continuance of their unique heritage and destiny. Sometimes seeds need to be planted and placed to grow. Sometimes they float on the wind letting the movement of the air determine their destination.

Generally it cannot be ascertained from the seed what a plant or tree will look like or the potential in that particular seed. Seeds can be recognized but their capacities remain mostly unknown. To unlock and release the potential of any seed, care must be taken in preparing the seed bed and in the placing the seed but any growth from the seed remains somewhat a mystery. Sure, we realize life comes through the processes of photosynthesis and the need for nutrients but we remain a bit baffled by it all.

Jesus relates this simple little parable as a metaphor about the Kingdom of God. As we see the seed and we can know of its potential. We can involve ourselves in the planting of the seed but we cannot make it grow or prosper. We are hopeless at doing much more than clearing weeds and aiding in nourishing the plant at times. It is God who created all things and it is God who makes all things grow towards their potential for harvest.

As children of God, we are involved with His love as we help in the planting of that love in the hearts of others; but all growth, change and harvest will come from Him. We are farmers and gardeners in the fields and gardens of His Kingdom but He alone brings forth life, grows and sustains the lushness and abundance of the children under His care. We cannot fully understand how He does all that He does or know what He will bring forth from all those growing under His care. We may not understand the mysteries God or all that He does but just as we see the fruit and harvest of each growing season; there will be a harvest from His love for His children. By the hand and the touch of the Master Gardener … His Kingdom on earth will produce eternal rewards. This is what Jesus the Christ, as our Savior secured on the cross and guarantees through His resurrection even if we cannot understand how it all works.

 Suggested Reading … The Parables of Mark 4


A summer blessing …


“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” (Malachi 4:2, NLT)

As the world around us begins its yearly cycle of new life, nourishment and growth; we see and sense the evidence of that reality around us. Tiny leaves come out of swollen buds while finches and wrens gather bits of grass and twigs weaving and fashioning nests to shelter their young. In the pastures growing greener each day, young calves frolic in the lushness of the hillsides. People bask and linger in the warmth of the sunshine as they spend more and more time outdoors.

Some people are busy walking as if they discovered something new and completely unique, while others are digging in the earth as if there is gold under the rich humus in their gardens and fields. They gold they are seeking, will not be found in the form of a precious metal notoriety but in the anticipation of the production and growth from the spring and summer seasons. The richness from the gold they are seeking will come later. The gold will come in the vibrant and intense color of mature marigolds in full bloom. It will come as the calves stand more squarely and stocky in a golden sunset. It will come as wagons overflowing with golden corn are being emptied in the fall harvest. It will come in our personal and spiritual lives as well. It will come as friendships are fostered through nourishing and bonding moments together this season. It will come as eternal gold, as our faith develops as grow in the teaching and love of our heavenly Father.

Seasons are part of all life and the changes and growth inherent in all of them will bring life. Seasonal rhythms have always brought life, as noted thousands of years ago by the writer of Ecclesiastes (3:1-8). The sowing of seed and its nourishment and care, have always been essential to all life, including all spiritual growth and life. Jesus speaks of this through his parables describing the sowing, the needs of sustenance, the interfering draining enemies to growth such as excessive heat, weeds and poor soil in the nourishing and harvesting phases of all life (Luke 8:5-15). There is a beauty in each lily that is difficult to describe and it flows from the provision of God in the nourishment He gives (Mt. 5:28-30). As we find joy in our relationship with God, a far greater beauty than any flower will the product and result of His provision, nourishment and shaping of our lives.
Eventually there will be a harvest from every season of our lives. What will be the result of the season before us? Will the harvest of from this season, be bright and colorful with the glory of God? Will the harvest be of the gold of this world or will it convey a richness of golden color from the goodness of God as He molds and changes our hearts as we grow in our relationship with Him?

I offer to each of you, a summer blessing. May God bless your sowing of new life in His word this summer! May the Holy Spirit nourish your faith richly in the warmth of the true Son, the source of light and life (John 1:4). May you not tire of doing good (Gal. 6:9-10) and may the gold that you harvest after this summer season be not of the perishable nature but of the nature of Christ (1 Peter 1:17-20). Amen.


God is more …

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, to all generations forever and ever. Amen”

(Ephesians 3:20, NASB).

      In the chambers of the human heart and mind are needs and thoughts that are both good and bad. In both our emotions and in our minds, there is a clamoring for more. Our sin, which enters our hearts and minds through our own human desires of lusting, coveting and greed, can be relentless in it clamoring for more. Our sinful heart always pushes and demands more even though we may find less in the empty and unfulfilled promises left from the effects of sin and its consequences.

      Beyond all sin and because our sin is redeemed by Jesus Christ comes a deeper desire in our hearts to be in fellowship and relationship with our Creator God. We were created in His image and we were created for relationship with Him. Deep down in all of us, there is a desire for the more that only God can give. When Jesus walked on this earth, as God in the flesh, we see many looking to Him for more because they were sensing in their hearts, He had more to give. Sadly many missed His purpose and mission because they wanted Him to bring more power to deliver them from the Roman nation.

      The truth, remains the truth today. Jesus as the Christ was more and brought more. The more He was and the more He brought involved truth, deliverance and victory in the deeper spiritual realms and matters of their hearts. Those who found the truth and life were those that desired more of His power over sickness, darkness and the demonic forces which oppressed and tormented them. Jesus saw their needs and time and time again, gave more healing and freedom than they could ever have imagined.

      It is sad to miss the more which God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit can give. God is vastly and abundantly more than we can imagine or comprehend and thus God can give more than we can imagine or comprehend. Since God is more, He will always give more. Since God is more, there will always be more of what we need for any moment and His grace will be more than sufficient for every day of our living (2 Corinthians 12:9). What an incredible relationship we are blessed to have with this Living God through Jesus Christ. Praise God, for He is always able to give more than we can ever imagine or comprehend.

     Our trouble often comes in our deficiency in seeing God as more. We at times, see God as less because we trust in our own understanding. Trust in the truth that God is more and can do more. The truth will always be truth. God is more and it does not change because we fail to believe and trust. God is able to do abundantly beyond all we can ask or think. We just have to believe and trust in the God who can do more than we can imagine or understand.

“God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand. If you understand, you have failed.” Saint Augustine

Suggested Reading … Ephesians 3



The flower before the leaf …

The flower before the leaf …

Fragile into the spring they push forth,
tiny sprigs of life with the palest of color,
topped with hearty tops of fluffy capkins,
while others droop and fall, tipped in crimson.

Before the leaf ever unfolds to soak up rays,
the miniature clustering flowers bloom,
waving and releasing pollen to begin the seed,
which someday will grow the mighty tree. srm


There is a point to all beginnings. There is a point from which all things stately and of significance originate from. Of course, substance and structure have accumulated in what is visible before us, but if the fragile beginning does not occur, there is nothing worthy to note.

All life has a seminal beginning but all life must begin again, over and over again to stay alive. Thus there is more than just a nourishing, coming from the sustenance of any given day or season. There must be a tapping into the reserves of the gathering of life growth over time and season. From this deeper rooting, life must draw from the past seasonal trails and blessings to begin again in each new season. All life must begin again, offering from a fragile beginning, new life to be truly alive.

All life must draw from all that has come before as all life must draw from outside itself as well. All life must access and utilize the sustaining nutrients while pulling life through its core thus enabling new life to come to the life that is.

All plant life including every tree; draws life, possesses life, exhibits life and offers life continuance through the seeds that will fall to the ground for life to continue. Our life begins as a gift of life from a Living God. Our living … draws life from the grace in the life sustained and nourished by God’s loving care and attention. As we seek the ways, truth and life in our Savior; we tap into new life. New beginnings are like the flower before the leaf which as it blooms promises life to come. God comes through His Word and Spirit with life now and forever. God also is faithful in leaving a legacy from our living as a seed for the trees that will grow up in faith from our lives. May we bloom, grow, leaf and prosper in the grace of our Loving Father.

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3, KJ21)

Suggested Reading … Psalm 1



Beware of the adulterous heart …

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God”
(James 4:4, NIV).

     What begins as a look, progresses in fits and starts as desire lurches increasingly towards opportunity. The imagined occurrence becomes a yearning and the yearning is given life, as it obsesses and gathers focus and energy. At some given moment, what was envisioned becomes available and will be greedily taken as a possession.  The after effects are seldom blissful, as the consequences begin to weigh on the evaporating and elusive vision of what was imagined. Often times what was; is lost in severed relationships and what was hoped for; becomes unwanted as reality reveals it as false illusions and empty promises. Such is the course of adultery.

Adultery is not just the sexual abandonment of a partner in a relationship. It can also be the abandonment of any covenant  committed role, love or affection in any relationship for a replacement in another relationship. It doesn’t matter if the adultery occurs in marital, a familial or even spiritual relationship. Much is lost midst the false illusions and empty promises … while very little is ever found. Jesus cautions us to never allow the tiniest of looks or footholds through lusting (Matthew 5:27-30) because lusting leads to adultery and adultery to dire consequences in all relationships. It is in the heart that all unfaithfulness starts and it is fueled by our own lustful desires. It is in the heart that all premeditated actions are birthed by our own selfish focus.

Looking back over our own experiences, we often see the heartbreak of adultery in our own lives or in the lives of others. Over and over in history we see people abandon their relationship with the Living God as they lured into adultery with other gods. They become adulterous partners to evil and false gods, forsaking what was true and real for what is often empty and full of despair. Adultery always leaves a distance in what was and what is. It always leaves a void in what was promised and what is delivered. In spiritual matters, a mighty distance or a gulf is left when we abandon or forsake the Living God for the countless false gods of money, position, power, pleasure and the many others that promise much and deliver little. The gulf is our sin and it becomes mighty gulf because there is little we can do to remedy the situation.

There is a mighty gulf between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of human beings. Yet over and over we see redemption and restoration coming from in the grace from a Mighty God. Over and over, we see God reaching in grace across the vast span of this gulf to redeem and restore the people with His mighty love. He does over and over again. In a greater way we see our Lord Jesus Christ by His grace reaching across every mighty gulf of separation from sin, to redeem and restore all people for all time. God reaches across any and every gulf we have created, when we have forgotten or abandoned His ways, truth and blessing to bring us again and again back into a grace secured relationship by His steadfast and mighty love. Only a mighty love could span the mighty gulf that all sin including adultery will leave in its wake. Thanks be … to our Mighty God, for crossing the mighty gulf of all sin to save, redeem and restore us.

“There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.” (Deuteronomy 4:28-31, NIV)

Suggested Reading … James 4

This “Thank God Day”

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength”

(Corrie Ten Boom).

      How do we start any given day? If a troublesome scenario lurks on the horizon, we may awaken with anxiousness and let the day be swallowed up in worry. If physical pain is the first thing we struggle with, we may drift into discouragement. If familial conflict and tension linger from unresolved issues, we may peer forward with trepidation, desiring mostly to escape the day and its trouble. If financial concerns are swirling around us while threatening to drown us in torrents of uncertainty, we may want to give up before we even start the day. If we have caused pain in others or damaged others with caustic and careless words, we may just want to avoid the staggering journey in asking forgiveness. We may have been injured or hurt by others, we have a raging battle deep within us as strain to forgive.

      We may look at the coming day as full of promise with great excitement and joy. The day before us may be  a special day and we might anticipate something memorable and truly special coming with the day. This day could be extraordinary. Every day comes new and fresh, even though we may sense the day becoming like other days. We may attempt to categorize and compartmentalized this day before the day has yet unfolded even as we do not really know what the day will be. The only thing we actually know about this day is that God has given us this day.

      No matter what the day will be, this day can be a “Thank God Day.” This day is given in grace to us from our God who is good. His grace and goodness do not change. Everything about the day may change but He does not.
Every day can be a “Thank God Day.” On the days when everything is going good, He is blessing us. On the days when everything is falling apart, He is with us. Every day God is good to us because He is a good God and His steadfast love is on us, regardless of whether we consider something to be a blessing or a burden.

      Giving thanks,  expresses our trust that we are in God’s hands and if He is allowed to work, He will do more than we can imagine or even ask of Him. Let this day be His, from your awakening to His purposes and desires for the day until you fall asleep in His loving arms realizing all He has done. Make this day, a “Thank God Day.”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

(Ephesians 3:20-21, ESV)

Suggested Reading … Ephesians 3

The One who meets us at the well.


National Gallery of Art, (Public Domain -NGA)

      He comes alone when all other companions are off dealing with the common needs of their day. Does He not have things to do? Why would He interrupt His day with my concerns? Yet there He is in the midst of our daily chores and needs. He comes and sits alongside us in the ordinary moment when we are a bit overwhelmed and lost in the drudgery of the tasks and concerns demanding our intention. There is a weariness to his look from all He has given to others but somehow everything about His presence and being, completely focuses on us.

      He looks into our very heart. Why does He concern Himself with us? Our thoughts began to race, “There must be more important people, than people like me.” Still here He is, the Holy One with the most un-holy in each of us. At that moment, in the ordinary and common, He gently asks for glass of water from each of us. Yet, a drink of water from us is not His desire. The truth is; His request has nothing about life-sustaining liquid but with slowing us down enough to pause and consider the “Water” which will give us “Life” at this very moment and flow freely with freshness and vitality without ever ceasing in the ordinary and the common in every day.

     We do stop with our tasks. Our concerns began to fade and dispel into the compassion radiating out of His overflowing love. He draws us into His love, tenderly speaking into our day with deep concern. He fascinates us, while quieting our anxieties. He disturbs us as He delves deeper than anyone has ever gone with His intimate knowledge of every one of our secrets. Still, even here, He offers His insights, not judgments. The “Living Water” begins to flow into our life …

     Our time with Him continues and He shines a light deeper still into our feeble attempts to say thanks. He gently assures us by pointing out that worship is not about a place, heritage or even sacrifice. True worship comes from adoration and thankfulness participating with the Spirit in praise for God among us. God is indeed with us … He is “The One” sitting with us, right now, at the well of our need. He is alive midst our daily living. At this moment, we realize, we have again found our “Messiah.” Be ever so thankful, find joy as our Savior meets us at the well in every one of our days. Take a good long drink again from the “Living Water” that He gives by His presence as He listens and offers His love and concern to every one of us.

“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life’”

(John 4:13-14, NIV).

Suggested Reading … John 4


The man who forsook the heart of God.


National Gallery of Art (NGA Image, Public Domain)

“The fear of the LORD is a life giving fountain, it offers escape for the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27, NLT).

     The wisest king in the Bible missed the point.  Solomon was able to write chapters of wise thoughts.  Solomon was able to reflect philosophically on the many perspectives of life and he was able to reduce the complexities of relationships, priorities and values into wise reflections and directives of how to live a joyful and blessed life as a person who feared God.  Solomon was able to offer strong rebukes and warnings about falling into the traps and snares of sin. Yet, Solomon who was the wisest and richest King of Israel, missed the point of many of his own writings.

Solomon missed the point of life even though he was very wise about life. Solomon knew more about life than almost anyone. Solomon wrote more about life than anyone in the Old Testament other than the major Prophets, Moses and his father David. Solomon built more buildings, palaces and temples than any other king of Israel. Solomon had more money and gold than the other kings of Israel. Solomon owned more chariots and horses than the other kings of Israel but Solomon fails to let his heart be satisfied with his God.

Solomon in the very height of reign begins an endless, futile and insatiable quest for more riches, palaces and wives.  Solomon’s coveting, greed, pride and inability to find satisfaction in the accumulation and possession of more and more, led him to seek more and more.  In the end, Solomon’s more wives and possessions would leave him distant from having purpose in life and all of his more brings judgement upon him, from the God who had previously blessed him richly. All of Solomon’s  vast accumulations of more became pointless and vanity.  All of Solomon’s wives, palaces and riches were of little value because he had lost his heart for God.

Solomon has been since been labeled as  “The Wisest Fool” and “The Brilliant Failure.” While Solomon wrote brilliantly and profoundly about the folly of sin and the destruction, it would bring;  he misses the point of applying it to his own life. Even though Solomon writes “the love of pleasure will bring poverty,” he fails to see how poor he has become in his love for all pleasures of life.  He fails to realize he has turned away from the “pursuit of righteousness and loyalty” which would bring “life, righteousness and honor” (Proverbs 13:25) and finds his life void of righteousness even though it’s full of extravagant luxuries.  Solomon fails to see how much of the blessing of God, he has lost in the loving of his countless wives.  Actually all of Solomon’s wives, accomplishments, palaces, massive amounts of gold, horses and chariots could not satisfy him because his heart was far from his God.  All of the things of life, had taken him away from his God.  Finally, even though Solomon sees the fear of God as leading to life (Proverbs 19:23), he sets aside the life that the fear of God would bring.  Solomon’s life ends quite sadly because midst all that he had around him, he had lost the only thing that mattered.  Solomon had forsook the wise pathways of God’s ways that he knew and had written about because his heart was consumed by other things.  In the end, he had no room in his heart for God. All his things had taken the place of God in his life.  In the end, Solomon had lost what mattered most … midst the staggering abundance, shimmering riches and his many beautiful wives and their gods.  It was a sad end for such brilliant man of promise and blessing. Solomon’s life leaves a legacy as profound as any of his Proverbs. We need to be acutely aware of anything that would take our hearts away from our relationship with the Living God. The Apostle John at the end of his life, leaves us this simple truth, “Dear Children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts” (1 John 5:21, NLT).

Suggested Reading … Proverbs 14

The Psalm 130 Prayer

Dear Lord … I am in the bleakest of moments and my very soul is in anguish. I am crying out to you, Almighty God. Oh Lord, you are my Lord. From the deepness of my heart, I cry out for you. Listen again to your aching child and cover me with your mercy.

If you would ever remember my sins, I would be hopeless to even stand in this place, to ever come before You. Yet, I know of your infinite love and forgiveness and I honor You above all else, for You alone are God.

I wait for you, oh Lord. I sense You, as I wait for You. I know of You, for I know You. All my hopes rest upon Your promises. I wait in Your care. I eagerly wait as I yearn for You. I know You will come to me. Yes, I eagerly wait. I wait knowing you always come to as surely as the sun will come to the morning.

All who know of You, O Lord; hope in You. We know of your love, O Lord. It is steadfast upon us and we cannot lose your attention. We trust in You. With you, O Lord there is endless grace to redeem us and You alone, redeem the world from all sin. Thank you, O Lord, Thank you. Amen

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.
Psalm 130 English Standard Version