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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Sower of the Word of God

It was a beautiful morning and all too quickly it was time to get started on homeschool with Ethan (5) and Anika (7).  On this particular morning, I felt it was important to teach the Parable of the Sower.  So we opened our day in prayer, thanking God for the freedom to love and serve Him in our country... we prayed for our Canadian authorities and we prayed a blessing upon the nation of Israel.

"Alright kids, I'm going to read you the Parable of the Sower.  I want you to pay attention to the types of soil/ground that the seeds are working with.  You'll have to tell me WHAT you think the ground/soil represents and what you think the seeds are.  Ready?"

"Ok, Mom!"
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."  (Mark 4:3-8)
"Alright you guys, what do you think the different grounds represent?"

Moment of silence as they contemplated.  "Hmmm... I don't know, Mom."

"Well don't worry!  Even Yeshua's apostles didn't understand so they had to ask Him what He meant by the parable.  Here's what Yeshua answered them:"
"The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear and do not understand it, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."  (Mark 4:14-20) 
"Do you remember how I told you that Yeshua came to teach the people the Torah of God, His righteous instructions, on how we are to live if we claim to belong to Him?"


"Yeshua came to teach us the Word of God, His Torah.  God told us His Torah is everlasting and unchanging, just like Yeshua, and that anyone who teaches contrary or differently from it is a false prophet sent to test our faithfulness to His word.  Yeshua is like the sower and He is spreading the seed of God's Torah, His everlasting Word, to everyone around Him.  The different grounds or soils are the hearts of people.  God's Word is to be in our hearts.  Do you remember how He promised He would write it on our hearts with His Holy Spirit in Jeremiah 31:33 and Ezekiel 36:26?  Can you tell me about the first ground, the path?  What kind of heart is that?"

"It's a path."

"What can you tell me about paths?  Are they made for people?"

"Yes!  And lots of people walk on them.  You can ride your bike or run."

"That's right.  If our heart is living to please people or ourselves instead of God, it will be hard to understand God's word... then what happens to those seeds?"

"Satan snatches them away!"

"Yeah... that's not very kind now is it?  What about the rocky ground?  What kind of heart is that?"

"Hmmm, is it sedentary rock or igneous rock?"

(laughter on my part)  "I'm not sure... let's say its igneous rock."

"Is it like when God says people harden their hearts like stone?"

"Hmmm, that's a good question.  Maybe it's rocky ground because when things get hard, like a rock, the poor seed doesn't last very long.  Is it always easy to do what's right?"


"Why is it important to do it anyways?"

"Because otherwise we are disobedient and that doesn't feel good."

"Well I'm glad to hear that!  Remember when we felt we needed to stop celebrating Christmas and Easter?  Was that easy?"


"That was a really hard thing to choose.  It made us feel different and alone, right?  Sometimes God asks us to live a certain way or to do things that can make us feel different and alone from everyone else.  And that can be really hard.  But do we obey anyways?"


"But can you understand why some people, despite loving God's word like the seed that sprouted, would choose to not make changes because it feels too hard?"

"Yes, we understand because sometimes it is hard... but it always feels good after!"

"Again, I am happy to hear that!!  What about the thorns?  What's going on with that heart?"

"Are the thorns like when we want things?  And stuff?"

"You're absolutely right.  The cares of this world are the things of this world like money and things made by our hands.  You know how sometimes it's easy to make having a toy more important than sharing it?  And sometimes it can be wanting to look pretty... mommy struggled with not letting the thorn of being 'thin' keep her heart from bearing fruit for God.  Or sometimes mommy worries about the bills instead of worrying about sharing what we have with others.  It's when we love things of this world that can't be given to God, more than God.  What happens to His word in those thorns?"

"What does 'get choked out' mean?"

"Let's look at our garden out the window... did we get a harvest?"


"What happened?"

"The weeds are everywhere!!"

"Yep... it's hard to 'make fruit' when the weeds take over, right?"


"But now what about the good soil?  What did that heart do with God's word?"

"It GREW!!!"

"It got some strong roots.  What would happen if strong winds came or if it didn't rain for a while?  Would that plant stay strong?"


"Not only that, but it made fruit for God's harvest, right?"

"Yeah!  Like fruits of the spirit, Mom, or fruits like apples and stuff?"

(Laughing again)

"Good question... I believe the fruits of the spirit.  Remember that God is not seen because He is spirit so His fruit are fruits of the spirit.  Just like God is seen by what He DOES, His fruit can only be seen by what we DO, especially towards others.  I can't put love in your hand, but you can SEE it when I treat others with love, right?  I can't put patience in your hand, but you can SEE when I am being patient.  Do you see the difference?"

"So God wants us to be like a tree for Him?"

"You got it.  A tree planted by His living water bearing fruit in its season for His glory... fruit that make Him SEEN.  Sometimes the fruit can cause more plants to grow!  Wouldn't it be great to be a tree that can help more trees to be planted for God?"


"So what kind of heart do you want for God?"

"We want the good soil."

"Then I will do my best to teach you His word diligently.  You will know to test for false prophets, you will be able to recognize why Yeshua says what He says, and you will be cared for by Him because you love Him.  I cannot give you any greater gift than the promise of life through Him.  I love you, my babies, and you are His little lambs placed in my care.  I will do my best."

"Mommy!  It's like you're our shepherd but with God as our real shepherd."

And this is where I choked up.  I have envisioned standing before our Messiah and presenting Him my children, saying "These know their shepherd's voice... behold, your little lambs."  He has trusted them in my care and it has been a painful process of letting them go from my protective grip and trusting His hands above my own.  He will look out for them better than I ever could and having them know His everlasting word, keeping it in their hearts, is the only gift I believe is worth giving to them.

I have taught them "test everything... even mommy and daddy's words one day.  If what we teach you is the truth, testing it will reveal that to you.  If what we teach you is wrong, then you will have an opportunity to teach us!"

Today, I spent quite some time drafting another blog entry.  When I was tucking Anika into bed, she asked if she could pray over me.  I was so touched by this.

"Adonai, thank you for my mother.  Thank you for the woman you have made her to be.  A woman who loves you and teaches us about you.  Help us to do your word and to be good.  In Yeshua's name, amen."

"Oh my dear Anika... thank you for that.  I'm sorry I was so busy on the computer today.  I should have been more diligent in spending time with you guys.  I was busy working on my blog and finding more verses to share."

To which she responded...

"Don't worry, Mom.  You were being a sower."

Yep... water works over here.  What wisdom is this?  What grace is this?  I am humbled by this beautiful and unexpected response!  Oh how I have been blessed by these little lambs!!  It is my privilege and honour to share their beauty with you.  I praise Adonai for their hearts whom He prepared... I am reminded of Yeshua's words that we are to have faith like children.  I see it through their eyes!

Without having to question our words and teachings, my children continue to teach me.

May you all be blessed out there.  I pray that your hearts be handled by His gracious hand and made ready for His Word.  I pray you grow strong, deep in your roots of faith.  I pray that even if you feel weak, you trust the hands of the sower that love you... that you may yield fruit for Him who has given you life.  Blessings to you all!!

Monday, 15 September 2014

On A Much Lighter Note

To lighten things up a bit, I do want to share with you a cute story when we were camping last month.  We were set up in our park site and some new neighbours were pulling in and setting up "next door."  Duane walked up to Ethan who was observing the whole thing.  My husband asked our five-year-old son, "Ethan, what are you doing?"

"Oh, just watching our new neighbours."

"Hmmm, well, do they have any kids?"

Without skipping a beat, our son (who acts like a 50-year-old-man trapped in a little boy's body sometimes!) replied:

"Nope.  Looks like they're adult orphans."

BAaaaaa haaaaa!!!!  The logic was priceless!  Just had to share the precious moment with you hoping that despite the heaviness of recent posts, life is beautiful here... blessed to the rim.... and I cherish every moment.  I will never be able to thank God enough for the riches I have known.

May you be abundantly blessed, too.  Shalom, peace to you all.

Anxiety and Poems (an Odd Mix)

Hello out there!  I'm going to confess something... since mid-August, I have been suffering from panic attacks.  You know what sucks about admitting this?  For one thing, I feel weak in spirit.. after all, "perfect love casts out all fear."  And secondly, I feel like it makes me look not-so-good in the sanity department.  Cue the humble pie, yet again!  So why panic attacks?  In short, whether logical or not, I feel like end times are imminent.  And I know it's a time of horrible suffering for everyone, my family included, and that terrifies me.

My logic says "no one knows the day or the hour" but live life "awake" and ready, loving others without condition and ready to shine His light of love to all of His creation.

But scripture tells me we will be hated.  Hated.  This just makes me so sad.  I think you all know enough about my imagination that it can be my worst enemy sometimes!  Well I will not even begin to tell you the horrific imaginings I've had and the worst part is for whatever reason, I can't just snap out of it.

Every ounce of my logic wants to slap myself across the face, then terror of "what's wrong with me that I can't snap out of this?" gets me in a downward spiral.  Why?  If it's end times, everything will pan out according to his will!  He warned, "some of you must perish by the sword, some of you to prisons but endure with loving obedience to the end, even unto death... because this is how you will make me known."

Suffering.  Death.

Reading about the events in Middle East has me crying out in prayers of supplication for all persons involved!  Both sides!  Surely love can conquer all things?  Surely we can see that we are all seeking after God the best way we know how with our limited abilities and not knowing which scriptural authorities we can fully trust.  But we seek!

Can't we help each other in seeking?  Can't we all ask ourselves "ok, I am human trying to understand the divine.... chances are even if He lays it out plain as day, I will be limited in my understanding... which only HE can give me... so I must always be open to reason!"

I can't claim to fully understand, and I can't imagine taking someone's life because they don't fully understand.  Especially given that this other life is God's very creation.  Doesn't He say that vengeance will be His?  Are we not suppose to try to win souls?  Isn't His mercy His greatest attribute?  He is just, absolutely, and that's what makes His mercy when we deserve so much worse... well... divine!

But I fear the suffering and I pray for those who are living it.  May God Almighty pour His spirit upon you and fill you with His strength.  May you see your adversaries with eyes of compassion, for they know not what they do.  Even they are fulfilling the part of the script that must be fulfilled.

I found the following two poems in a box in the garage tonight as though I needed to find them.  Deep down I think I've always known these days.  I share them with you now.  The first one was my first poem written soon after I turned 12.  During the ages 11 and 12, I experienced this same anxiety from sundown til the first rays of light in the morning.  It was a tormenting time for two years and bless my father who patiently endured my tears, my fears as I tried to explain what seemed unexplainable and bless my mother who looked into resources for help.  At age 13, somehow it all just stopped.  I am praying for this same restitution.  Even if end times do end up being imminent, I want to be living my life in the fullness of my faith... not my fears.

Here are some things I wrote during the anxiousness I felt.  Strangely, the poems would come out as though it was an adult looking back on their life.  I never understood that, but chose to just let the pen respond to what was in my heart.

Alone At Sea

In my little boat I steered,
the ocean was nice and mild.
But when the raging storm appeared,
it went from nice to wild.

When the boat tipped and turned,
I'd get all dirty and wet.
But when the boat began to sink,
It was then I fell and wept.

I thought, "my gosh well it's the end,
my life was sad and odd."
But then I sat and thought some more,
and began to talk to God.

"Lord, my Father," I began to say,
"My life was so hard to live.
I never took, I never fought,
but I would always give.

Sometimes I'd stop and take a break
to try to think things through.
But all throughout the life I lived,
I know, you know, I knew.

So tell me, Lord, before I leave,
why things were the way they were.
Cause all throughout the life I lived,
no peace did ever occur."

The Distance

On the road I walked upon
so long and never ending,
I saw the life I lived those years,
and how they were depressing.

I saw my years of loneliness,
of tears, of hurt and lies.
I noticed that the moon was gone,
and the sun still did not rise.

Through the darkness I kept my way,
but shadows would appear,
from there I got the strangest feeling,
a feeling of coldness and fear.

From time to time a light would shine
so very strong and bright.
But other times it got so dark
that nothing was in sight.

Sometimes I wondered where to turn
for in the dark, I did not know.
But something deep inside me,
told me exactly where to go.

Watching all those restless days,
I tried but could not grin,
so there I asked the Holy One,
to forgive my sins.

And there I saw three angels come,
so I followed like a sheep.
We walked towards the kingdom,
and since then I rest in peace.

There you have it, my dear ones.  A humble post confessing the weakness I feel these days.  Just know that wherever you are, I pray for you.  I uplift you with such love, knowing that whether we have the same understanding about God or not, I know He made both you and me from the same lump of clay... and His breath is purposed in you and its purposed in me.  He will fulfill all that He has said He would, and there is a terrifying awesomeness in that.  And someday, when the end comes, we will be given perfect understanding.  The best part?  Then He will finally be given the glory and honour He deserves.  I ache to love Him perfectly.  I ache knowing that no matter how much I yearn and seek, I am blinded by my human limitations and can only give Him what I know while praying He will continue to teach me and reveal to me where I can do better.  I sooooo desire to skip the seven years of tribulation and go straight to the light of His glory... but He is a God of His word and part of what's coming is to get everyone's attention.

From the bottom of my heart, God bless you all out there.  If you are feeling anxious these days, may He blanket you with His promised love and presence.  Peace be with you all, my brethren.