Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tares in the Heart

“Your words water things,” our pastor said Sunday morning.

Immediately, I grabbed my little notebook and began to scribble. We plant so many seeds in the garden of our lives. But, others plant seeds there, as well.

Ultimately, it’s our garden. We get to determine what grows there, we choose what to tend to; what to water.

To which seeds, seedlings or towering trees are we giving our attention and energies?

In the Bible we read, “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while the men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.: - Matthew 13:24-26 (KJV)

This scripture came to mind, simply to enforce the point that other people, whether we know them and trust them, or not, plant seeds – good or bad, in our garden.

In this parable, it was the man’s enemy planting tares (a noxious weed) in with his wheat to mess with the man’s harvest.

Whether the person sowing weeds in our garden is an enemy, or a well-meaning friend, a parent, a boss or coworker, a pastor or a neighbor you meet in passing along the road – and whether they plant the weeds knowingly or not, weeds will spring up in our garden.

Seeds, weeds or good plants, are otherwise known as words and idea.

Which plants are getting our attention?

The weeds are symbolic of anything that would distract us from what God wants to do in our lives. He gave us life, when we’re born again, we give Him back our lives, to do with as He pleases. Because, what He pleases is, ultimately, what’s best for us; it’s where we’ll prosper and grow to be more and more like Him. It’s where we’ll feel content and joyful; even happiest.

The weeds are symbolic of the problems that come up in our lives; problems set to distract us from living.

Those distractions can be different for all of us, but there are many we face in common. Though I’ve yet to meet a father who’s been distracted by it, I know moms who suffer intensely because of the empty nest syndrome; sometimes to the point of despair. It can derail us and send us in search of a new identity.

Demands for super-performance at a job, or at school, or sicknesses, or losses – can all distract us from even knowing who we are, let alone what we’re supposed to be doing.

We’ve all heard a phrase that says something like, “Don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is in the midst of them!”

Are we focusing on, (watering), giving our attention to – our problems, or to our God?

How do we refocus our attention?

Oh yeah; get our heads and hearts into God’s Word. What’s up with that? Do I think all of our answers are in there? You bet I do! I believe it with my whole heart.

Trust in the LORD with all of thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understand. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths. - Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

(Picture from Victory 91.5)

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sitting at the Lake

(photo from

Jesus looked more tangible to me today, more fleshed-out, as I read in Matthew, “That day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake…he got into a boat and sat in it…” -Matthew 13:1-2 (KJV)

Can’t you just picture a man who’s staying at a lake house, walking out the door, making his way down to the beach and sitting down beside the lake?

I don’t know what time of day it was, but from personal experience, walking out to the lake first thing in the morning, as the mist rises from the water, is magical. Sitting there, listening to the sounds of creation, watching birds dive into the water for their breakfast, smelling the pines – it all filled my happy tank to overflowing. 

(photo from

When God created the first Garden, He created man to take care of it. Clearly, it meant a lot to Him, right? I mean, as you’re reading Genesis, that’s the only reason I’ve noted, that God states He created us for: to take care of what He’d created. He takes as much joy in nature as we do, maybe more!

So, yes, this man at the lake house, ventures out and sits by the lake. Don’t you wonder what was going through His mind? Was He thoroughly enjoying His physical senses as He sat there? Sometimes we need to be reminded to be mindful of where we are; I somehow doubt Jesus missed a thing.

In the first chapter of John, we read that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, the Word WAS God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men,” (verses 1-4 KJV)

(photo from
Since Jesus is the Word, we can see that He is the One Who spoke everything into existence. I hardly think He sat there and thanked Himself, but rather, took in the beauty of what He’d created. (He really should have come to sit by a lake in Colorado! Ha! Who’s to say He hasn’t?)

For me, sitting there was about taking in what I saw, as well as thanking God for showing it to me, for allowing me to enjoy the breathtaking beauty, and be a part of it all.

Matthew doesn’t tell us how long Jesus sat there, but he does say that a crowd began to grow around him, so he got into a boat and sat down, then began to speak to them.

The very One Who spoke everything into existence was speaking to them! In the flesh, out loud in an audible voice, they could see and hear the very One Who’d created them.

For us, it’s an inner thing, an inner knowing that comes from the Word of God. Yes, our hearing comes from Jesus, Himself. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing from the word of God.” Romans 10:17 (KJV)

All of this, not to introduce you to what He was about to teach, but to introduce the notion that it was Jesus – the man, Who was speaking to them. The same Jesus Who speaks to your heart every single day, whether you’re paying attention or not.

Perhaps, by closing our eyes and imagining ourselves there with Him, by the lake, sitting at rest, taking it all in – we can hear Him a little more clearly. That opens us up to falling in love with Him, completely.