Saturday, May 11, 2019

Thank You Moms!

This Sunday is that annual observance of Mother’s Day that keeps Hallmark, American Greetings and florists around the U.S. in business. Not intended to become commercialized, it was first established with its singular possessive spelling of “Mother’s” as a purposeful reminder of the individual nature between the mother and the child? As I thought about the impact of a mother, I thought of the apostle Paul as he set out on a missionary journey without his mentor Barnabas for the first time. Upon arriving in Lystra in Acts 16 he selected a disciple of his own to bring along with him. We read that he selected “Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer.” The reason he chose Timothy was because of his reputation as one who was “well spoken of” in the community.

Later, in Paul’s last letter before his death, as he wrote to encourage Timothy, he said “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” (2 Timothy 1:5) And the reason for this, aside from him growing in his faith was the firm foundation laid by his mother and grandmother as Paul reminded him, “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15)

This weekend as we once again celebrate Mother’s Day I am reminded of the great gift and rich heritage we have because of the countless intensely personal loving, attentive, and sacrificial lives that have been given for us by moms, whether they are held tight in our memories or currently serve in the clinches of little hands.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:” (Proverbs 31:28, ESV)

Happy Mother’s Day!!

This was first posted in Sherman County eNews Spiritual Matters on May 10, 2019

The Fruit of the Harvest

Last week we looked at the unrealized potential of what a perfect wheat harvest might look like. Farming is impacted in every way by this world from the labor and threats involved to the variability and market acceptability of the end product. Similarly, man struggles like wheat. There is so much that enters our lives that have the potential for destruction. Just like the stuff that grows from the ground, God created man who He intended to rule over the earth without ailment or defect. But when man chose to disobey God, sinned entered the world and everything changed. What once was perfect and intended for life became fallen and enslaved to sin, destruction and death.

Easter is more important than Christmas, because God chose to intervene in His creation by sending His Son to go to the cross and then on the third day to rise again. The cross is where God’s wrath against man’s rebellion was satisfied with the sacrifice of His Son when He who knew no sin became sin for us. The Bible tells us that we are saved by trusting in God’s truthfulness as we accept His gift of forgiveness and life. Jesus’ death wasn’t the end. His resurrection proved His claims and His power to restore life, but this life did not extend to everything. What it did do was to give forgiveness and life to those who believe and give the power to live in a fallen world until He takes us into His presence where perfection is once again realized. The reality is that this world will perish. But not everyone will perish with it.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NASB)  -- the real fruit of the harvest

This was first posted in Sherman County eNews Spiritual Matters on April 19, 2019

The Potential of the Harvest

At a recent Wednesday morning men’s study in Kent we read through another section of the book “Disciple” by Bill Clem. In it we read of the consequence of the curse of mans’ fall due to sin in Genesis 3:17-19, “Man was told that it will take pain and sweat equity to get earth to yield its harvest, and there will be thorns and thistles. There is no way for us to know how a pre-cursed garden looked or functioned, but it was surely a paradise. It is hard to imagine what fruits or vegetables would taste like in an un-cursed state.”

As a community reliant on farming for livelihood, you know the work that it takes to produce a harvest. Each year the hard work is done of preparing the ground, removing the rocks, seeding and spraying for those things that will hinder the wheat, feeding and caring for that wheat as it grows hoping for adequate water, proper temperatures, and freedom from things that threaten its outcome such as fires, infestations and equipment failures. Even with all of this, there is still no certainty that the crop once harvested will be well received in the market.

Just what is your real potential though? I’ve been told that if we were to get a June “Million Dollar Rain” that the wheat might even produce a couple of extra kernels per head implying that even what we see as good does not approach what might be perfect. Just what does perfection look like? This is a question we can’t answer because we live in a sin cursed world that the Creator of the world has also chosen to mercifully and graciously intervene in such that even in the trials, we might live with hope.

Next Friday we’ll wrap up this particular thought, so stay tuned. Be thankful for the rain, enjoy the green, pray for the sun, and look for the hope.

Originally posted in Sherman County eNews Spiritual Matters on April 12, 2019