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Seeds of Hope

Seeds of the Milkweed

When a troubled Solomon tried to make sense of the times and seasons of life, he observed that “there’s a time to plant, and a time to harvest (Ecc 3:2).

Got to thinking about how much of following Christ involves personally planting seeds of faith, hope, and love in the God whose story includes large amounts of time.

In so many ways the Scriptures teach us that both faith and hope must form in the absence of seeing the results we are looking for (2Cor 5:7; Rom 8:22-25). The same seems to be true of love, for Jesus talks about not just loving those who love us– but those who don’t.

Even in thinking of the fruit of the Spirit, it’s easy to look for immediate results. It can happen. Giving ourselves to the control of the Spirit can result in a quick change of attitude. But many of us have probably also seen that over time, even our understanding of what it means to be filled with the Spirit slowly grows with a resulting and deepening love, joy, peace, and patience.

Seems like the thought of personally and thoughtfully planting, watering, and weeding the small amounts faith, hope, and love that have been given to us is a way of letting God use seasons, time, and eternity to show us what he can do with the conditions that bring us to the end of ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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91 Responses to “Seeds of Hope”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Quoting in part from Mart’s original thoughts; “doubts grow out of the thought that there are only two possibilities: Either God is good, but not all powerful, or He is all powerful, but not good.”

    Speaking to everyone there is a third possibility, there is no God.

    Looking back over history, apart from, but not excluding Scripture, we can not deny that mankind has always wrestled with the question of whether there is a God, what is He like and why is it that things happen as they do.

    Every single ancient culture believed in a god or in gods, they tried to explain the mysteries of life and its fortune and failures connected to these deities.

    It is actually fascinating to read of the mythologies of ancient peoples and how these deities were much like us or rather we like them.

    In the Bible there is the story of the Tower of Babel, it is here that human beings get the idea that they can compete with God and joined together there no need to believe or worship God. Note I said “believe God” not believe *in* God.

    Lost in a sea of our own imaginations and limited understanding people *invented* their understanding of what a god of their choosing would be like.

    So after a long period of earth time God showed back up and bred a people through whom He would expose Himself to, so that they could expose Him to the world.

    The fulfillment of that process would be His becoming a man just like us and through Him we could learn about the true nature of God.

    In the desert Moses drew a line and said all who are with God come over to this side, all who are not stay on the other side.

    The result was life on one side and death on the other.

    Here we are once again in a world that wants to believe it can *create* a better world than God, make better decisions than He and have no real need of Him….Just like at the Tower of Babel.

    And just like in the desert God is drawing a line in the sand and offering free choice to all who will, decide this day whom you will believe…one choice offers life the other death.

    This final decision played out earlier in the Scripture to point to us the *right* decision to make, once in the Garden again in the desert and now in these last days.

    Is there a God? What does your heart say? Who is He? Find Him in the Bible.

    Decide then what and who you believe, there is no grey area in what the God of the Bible offers from Genesis to Revelation.

    Steve

    When I went to post I seen that the topic had changed,I have posted my comments, meant for the other topic, to this new topic only because they seem to thread together, forgive me if you do not.

  2. AmazedbyHis grace says:

    First, I wasn’t sure where to post my answer to your question on my song, “Bullseye.” It has a valid copyright and is on my FB wall, but I need a musician or a band to complete it and other songs. I’ve been blessed with talent of all sorts. If it’s the Lord’s will, I have a way for a band to be known nation and world wide.
    For now, I need prayer warriors for doors to open. Is there any way to get a hold of people here for needed prayer support, friendships w/out public posting my FB name?

    A view of “seeds of hope.” It’s the times when your spirit is downcast and suddenly you are filled with the Spirit. You are strengthened, your attitude becomes gratitude, you are filled and hope springs forth. Seeking the Lord further in this time could lead to more growth, you blessing someone, etc.

    Questions, coldhearted, lifeless ways follow questions that can’t be answered. Some know the bible so well that they begin to fail to see the author, the life in His words. Questions and study become one-sided. Many become so systematic, they forget their first love. They fail to see the need or let God’s Spirit guide them. Though probably saved, they become face value. Jesus has a warning for this.

    From what I have learned, the answer I believe is that you run wholeheartedly to back to the Lord, to the point of grace. He takes over from there. You must remain quiet in Him willing to listen for the answers He wants you to know. The willing and waiting is where we fail miserably and we stop short of our goal. Again, the answer is instead of “lying in the bed we made,” we must, by faith, pick up our mat and run back to the Lord.

  3. poohpity says:

    I wonder how we can plant seeds of faith, hope and love in God when one is trying to be everything to everybody themselves. They want to fix everyone’s problems rather than pointing people to God and His Words because they have found no hope or faith in them for their self or their circumstances. One has to have those seeds first to be able to plant or share why they have the hope, faith and love they do. Sometimes coming to the end of self may mean everything has to be taken away and reliance is the only things left. Reminds me of that song, “I look to you” coming to the end of self can be very difficult and painful for those who want to be in control.

  4. cherielyn says:

    Amazed…..
    My bro-in-law is a professional musician & a Christian, but I wouldn’t know how to get info to you without violating rules here. I don’t do Facebook or any of the other social networking sites out there.

    Mart, you have my permission to share my email address with AmazedbyHis grace if there is a way you can do that.

  5. narrowpathseeker says:

    I don’t know if I can put this into words that make any sense to anyone else, but I am going to give it a shot. Being a gardener, the use of dung to produce fruit didn’t escape me in God’s use of so many gardening terms to Instruct us. Luke 13:6 -9 6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? 8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

    I don’t think any of our suffering is all for the same reason…maybe sometimes we are suffering to relate and understand but a fraction of Christ’s suffering. Or it could be for testing, chastening, or just to help us grow and produce fruit. In retrospect to the horrors of a bad marriage, I now believe that my ex furnished the dung I needed to grow as well as for chastening and some testing. I didn’t understand ANY of it at the time, but now I understand that even if I don’t understand what is going on around me, God is the Only One that can help for real.

    I have been very concerned that I do not have any LASTING fruit. Again, I relate to my gardening experience of my fruit trees that only produce in season whether they are dunged or not. I have to wonder if that is why we are told to pray that our end doesn’t come in our “Winter”.

    Back to the bad and loveless marriage, the man did his own thing and came home but to steal, beat, and/or to manipulate with meaningless apologies to get his foot back in the door. SO, in addition to my reaching up and out to God and growing in that dung season, I can now use that experience to grow closer to God. I do NOT want to treat God the way I was treated by my husband. I want Him to know I love Him and I want to make Him happy and pleased…and not just use Him for self serving purposes. My efforts to make God happy, regardless how menial they may seem at times, have been more rewarding than I can express in words.

  6. poohpity says:

    I think if we have seeds of hope, faith and love we understand there are behaviors we possess that need to be weeded out. If that comes from trails, suffering or tribulations or comes instantaneously, God seems to use all to produce in us a crop that can be fruitful to accomplish His purposes. Any gardener knows that weeds get in the crops or unless one prunes bushes they can over take the garden. Can you imagine if God left us without changing our behaviors and those behaviors seem to be totally opposite of what the world teaches.

    The world teaches if someone hurts you get em back, revenge, anger, resentment where the Lord not only asks us to be different but gives us the ability to be kind, forgive, be patient, return kindness for evil, finding hope in suffering, counting all joy when we experience trials and tribulations not because of the experience itself but because of the trust we have that God is in control and can use those things to change our behavior and cause us to come to the end of ourselves.

    If we do not have a change in attitude then will we ever die to self? As Mart said, “But many of us have probably also seen that “over time”, even our understanding of what it means to be filled with the Spirit “slowly grows” with a resulting and deepening love, joy, peace, and patience.” I know I have not reached that yet but I understand what Paul wrote about that process in Phil 1:6 NLT, and pray that as I sometimes give up that God never gives up on changing my attitudes and behaviors.

  7. foreverblessed says:

    Small seeds. Such good thoughts, we humans are way to impatient, and want great things fast.
    Just imagine that the great plan of redemption for mankind started with such a small seed, Jesus in the womb of Mary.

    Zechariah 4:10 “Who despises the day of small things?

  8. remarutho says:

    Good Evening Mart & Friends –

    Having just stoked the wood stove for a clear, chilly evening after worship and a church meeting, I see your new topic, Seeds of Hope. Mart, you wrote: “Got to thinking about how much of following Christ involves personally planting seeds of faith, hope, and love in the God whose story includes large amounts of time.”

    It seems to me we take this winter season as a time for rest from outdoors work and a time for reflection upon what the year ahead will bring. What come to mind are the seed and plant catalogues and the plan for planting we may begin at this quiet time. What will come later in the year depends upon what we choose to plant in the spring that will soon be upon us.

    My neighbor is pulling out a whole acre of blueberry bushes. She has a blueberry farm. So, I have been given two lovely blueberry plants for the yard. With the shock of transplanting, these blueberries will probably not bear much for a couple of years. So, patience, mulching and feeding will be part of the investment in a nice crop of berries year after next. Isaiah told the Israelites, “He who believes will not make haste.” (Isaiah 28:16) He goes on to say, “Do those who plow for sowing plow continually? Do they continually open and harrow their ground? When they have leveled its surface, do they not scatter dill, sow cumin, and plant wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and spelt as the border? For they are well instructed; their God teaches them.” (Isaiah 28:24-26)

    I hear what you are saying about quietly and consistently cultivating the soil of our lives to bear fruit for Christ’s kingdom. Consider the man Ananias of Damascus. The Lord spoke to him about healing and baptizing Saul of Tarsus. We can tell he was a disciple the Lord trusted because his first response was to resist what God asked of him. But, he was well cultivated in matters of the kingdom of Christ. His ultimate obedience is the fruit of that patient planting. (Acts 9:10-19)

    Blessings,
    Maru

  9. foreverblessed says:

    Narrowpathseeker, never thought about the dung! While my dad would make a heap of garden and vegetable waste, and put some dung with it. The dung should be dry and old. That would make the best compost. He also used chalk, and covered it with long grass. But no seeds would go with it.
    Now I think about it, a lot of things have to be done even before the seeds go into the ground. What a work there is before even the smallest fruit is visible! We should not grow impatient for not seeing fruit!

  10. SFDBWV says:

    There are a great many allegories used concerning the word *seed* and *hope* is just one of them.

    There are seeds of discontent, of despair, of fear, of confusion, of strife, of curiosity, as well as love and certainly hope. The list can go on and on, it starts there in your mind, perhaps generated from your heart.

    Crude farmers strew their seeds along the ground, some cultivate and loosen the soil before dropping the seeds and raking the dirt over them, more sophisticated farming uses a seed planter and as our friend Narrowpathseeker has explained many use fertilizer to enrich the soil in an effort to feed the seeds growth.

    In using the concept that an idea is a seed and that it can be planted in another, cultivated and eventually harvested is a superb example of manipulation or producing a desired result (fruit).

    The planting device we use is our ability to communicate, either by spoken or written words.

    There is a book that Adolf Hitler wrote called “Mein Kampf” that stirred a generation to murder on a scale unheard of before.

    Politicians are very adept at using words to plant *seeds* and manipulate people, it is the human use of this ability to plant seeds of ideas in people.

    President Franklin Roosevelt addressed a nation gripped in the “Great Depression” and said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” He began planting the *seeds* of hope in a nation of people who needed hope.

    What do we hear from Washington today?

    God speaks seeds of hope all throughout Scripture, and in Jesus’ use of a parable He explained that these seeds would fall upon different types of *ground*; some on rocks some on shallow dirt and some on deep rich soil. He explained the results each would produce.

    Even in the growth of plants Jesus says He has to cultivate the plant in order to produce *His* desired results…His!

    From our position, our seeds generate from our hearts and are spoken or written as they are planted into the hearts of another. It is then there in that person’s heart that they will either take root or not. All depending on what that seed is and whether it has a chance at taking root or not in the soil of our being.

    What kind of soil is in your heart, is it the kind that *hope* can germinate in or is it the type ready to receive evil under its many names?

    As to planting seeds, that is where our wisdom comes into play, what kind of seeds do we want to plant in another? If not hope, then what?

    Steve

  11. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    The greater marketplace has judged it “simple” to live a whole life by the turning of the seasons of nature. Violent passions and striving are the hallmark of our time. In the spiritual environment of sowing and reaping, some anxiety and self-contradiction are unraveled, if the heart can accept it. Many insist that they are different from a field or a flock or sheaves of grain. Humility is not a major value in the humanistic public square. It seems to me humility gets a fair bit of lip service, but is seldom practiced. Humility and humus both derive from the Latin word for soil, or earth, as Narrow says.

    Mart, God’s promises remain, and we can only seek a transformation of the inner man/woman, receiving in the measure we are able.

    Surely we do not accomplish this for ourselves. Faith and hope are deepened in hearts open to God’s application of “seasons, time and eternity.” It seems to me each one must see some difference between humility and humiliation. Our best hope is in our God, who moves through large amounts of time, as the post says.

    “Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we await for it with patience.” (Romans 8:24-25) Perhaps we need trial and testing to become someone God can trust.

    Maru

  12. BruceC says:

    This is interesting; this talk of “seeds”. My wife gardens and she uses nothing but ‘heirloom” seeds for her squashes. Some of the squash we harvest every year comes from seeds she saved from heirloom squash we purchased from Amish people north of us; and the rest from heirloom seeds she purchased. For our beans and other veggies she has used hybrids. The seeds from that “fruit” cannot be sown and produce the following year.
    So it is with life in this world. The good “heirloom” seeds that God sows in us are from His eternal truth. They produce fruit in our lives and then when seeds from that harvest are “sown’ into others they can produce fruit in good ground and the harvest is eternal. But the world sows hybrid seeds. Combining some of “this” and some of “that”; to produce a nice harvest, but one that doesn’t produce usable, eternal fruit.
    So from whom do we get our “seed” from; the Master Gardener or the master deceiver? The hybrid may “produce what appears to be a bounty” but in the end it leaves us hungry and spent.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  13. narrowpathseeker says:

    Bruce…WOW!! I think that your analogy of Heirloom and hybrid seeds is excellent and a deeply thought provoking contribution. Thank you

  14. poohpity says:

    I can not tell you how many times humiliation and embarrassment served to break down my pride because it was only when that seed had to die and continues to die that I find the seeds of hope, faith and life in God not in myself. God is the gardener, Jesus was the seed that had to die to give us life and the Holy Spirit is the fertilizer that continues to feed us. In Christ we find our life, purpose and desire to do the will of God but only when I die to self will God grow in my life. If it takes humiliation and embarrassment, suffering and trials over and over again I will take it as a gift to break me down so that I can be built up in Him alone. Grafted into the vine to produce the fruit of that vine in my life. Much weeding and pruning yet to be done but with His grace and mercy it will all be possible.

  15. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed. I am not familiar with the “chalk” and “long grass” with (no seeds?)method. I would like to hear more as I feel as though there may be something more there that could help me prepare the “soil” in my heart for producing the Fruit. Things are not readily clicking for me today. I am still in my PJ’s, haven’t showered nor had breakfast and it is already way past lunchtime! :-) BUT, I believe there is something more to your message that I need to hear. Thank you Forever.

  16. foreverblessed says:

    This topic is about seeds, but we are talking about preparing the soil, so maybe a bit off topic? But my dad would make a heap of garden waste, no seeds of weeds should be in there (as the seeds would give new weeds). He would make different layers on the compost heap, one of them was chalk, and one of them was dung, and it was covered with grass, to keep it moist, but not too moist. The point I wanted to make is that it was not only dung, dung was part of the compost.
    But how this would have a spiritual meaning I do not know, a few years ago I had this topic of preparing the ground for the seeds, because of a verse that struck me, Hosea 10:12
    For a long time I wondered about this verse, thought it was hard work, ploughing. But the devotion Jesus calls from two listeners it is said, that love and laughter are the way prepare the ground, in other words soften hard hearts. That is so different from the hard work I had in mind: love and laughter. But here also comes my hard time: I am not full of love and laughter, so the hard work is seeking God, and asking Him to give me more of His love and Joy.
    I know of woman in my church, who has gone through horrendous times, was almost dead, 2 or 3 times, but she was miraculously healed, and started a christian course, she is full of love and laughter, not superficial, but real joy.
    And all these things are essential before any of these seeds are sown in hearts.
    How this goes together with the garden waste and dung? Maybe the suffering that we go through, as this woman who is my example has been through, that prepares our heart, and makes it soft, and pliable, workable for God to work through us. So it is His work in us.
    So i guess that is we want to sow a seed of hope, that we should give it in a package of love and joy.

  17. narrowpathseeker says:

    Forever, I’m sorry.. it still hasn’t clicked for me as yet. However, neither am I “full of love and laughter” and I want to get the soil RIGHT so those GOOD seeds will grow. That is why I am wondering about the chalk…what was it’s purpose? Is it regular chalk like they use on blackboards? Is it used to break down the dung and old veggies like lime or does it have some other value? I could be “off the wall” but somehow it helps me when I have a mental picture of spiritual things in a format that I understand. I really can’t explain it as I don’t understand what it is that I am getting at myself other than it seems important to me to know the purpose of the chalk. Another thought I have is that maybe I AM off the wall. :-)

  18. foreverblessed says:

    Narrow, The chalk that is for the acidity of the ground, otherwise the soil is too sour. You are right, maybe it has to do with the joy, the more joy the less sour is the soil.

  19. BruceC says:

    Well it is 7 deg. here at 5:30 AM when I awoke. Took out the dog and shoveled the porch off as we had two inches of fresh snow. The wind is biting and the chill factor is way down. It began to sting my legs through my blue jeans. Can’t take the bitter cold as I could when I was young. And they say it will not even reach past 20 degress until Sat. or Sun. Woodstove is keeping things comfy in here though.

    Our Daily Bread today speaks about what gods we choose; or will we choose the true God of all. I think we face this every day. Will we walk in His ways or slip and follow the flesh or some trap of the enemy? Will we don our armor when we awake?
    Could we say “choose you this day what seed you will plant”; or allowed to be planted? If we rightly choose the Good Seed for our life, will we water it with the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate out the weeds?
    Will we share the fruit of it with those who hunger?
    Will they taste the fruit of God’s love in our life and see that it is good? Will we allow ourselves to be pruned by the Master Gardener? I pray that all of us do so and that our “garden” glorifies Him and “feeds” others who are in need of the Good Harvest.

    Brucec
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  20. s2inkzoo says:

    It is -3 this morning as I write this – really not good growing weather. But it is not that season . . .

    Wow, what a powerful thought that we have mere seeds of faith, hope and love that need to grow. And that there are long periods of time in the Christian life before we may see any fruit.

    Seems to me that much of the planting and watering comes from prayer, reading the Word, and fellowship. Through these, God helps nurture the small seeds of faith, hope and love we have by building our relationship with Him. I am not thinking the fellowship here as merely going to Church and worshiping, but in interacting with other believers, so we become “family”.

    Pooh mentioned the weeding part. I am thinking that we have seeds of sin that we have inside (or get blown into our lives by what we see and do) that we need to watch for. So, yes there is the weeding part (and when weeding the quicker the weed is removed, the easier and less likely to disturb the “good” plants), but there is also the planting and watering part. We need to make sure we are not doing things to nurture those seeds of sin, which I think of that start with Greed, Lust, Envy, Pride, Sloth, Gluttony and Hate/wrath. It is so easy to let them take root, and so easy to water and feed them.

    But, back to the positive side, if it is God that makes it grow, then the potential is unlimited (Matthew 13:30-32, Matthew 17:20) and we should not be dejected. Which is why he can take the tax collectors, and fishermen and turn them into the evangelists that founded the faith. But, lest we forget, it is not in the size of the plant, but the fruit it bears that what makes the real difference . . .

    stu

  21. SFDBWV says:

    Watching a cat sneak up un a bird, the bird sometimes hunkers down and stays put not simply flying away to safety. The first time I witnessed that I yelled and chased the cat off and the bird. Over time though I have seen this occur many times.

    A rabbit will try and out run its predator, but as soon as it is struck it dies.

    On nature shows I have seen huge schools of fish for a ball and like a swarm of bees or flock of birds they swim in a tight circle packed together as their predator’s feast on them. I keep thinking if they simply scattered most would survive.

    Over time I have come to the conclusion that these creatures *surrender* to their fate and become what their purpose is, just as God has designed them.

    I wonder if this is the attitude and posture God wants us to adopt with regards of resisting Him.

    By surrendering to His Spirit our battle against our human nature gives way to accepting His nature and finally having that love, joy, peace, and patience Mart speaks of in his topic. And given as witness the 91 year old woman Narrowpathseeker speaks of in the last thread.

    Mart also mentions loving our enemies, as does Jesus in His comments in verse. This is not so easy and requires a special ability that God provides and it is for sure not something that is instantaneous. It has to develop and grow in us.

    However this posture of finding peace and forgiveness even for an enemy has a beginning and its seed is love and a desire to please God.

    It is 02 degrees as I write and dropping as the morning moves along. It is snowing and blue outside though nearly 8 am. I will be glad when these next few days are over.

    Steve

  22. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All –

    21° F here this morning. For this valley just east of the Pacific coastal basin, quite cold and clear, with forecast of 45 and sunny today. Wood stove keeps the place toasty!

    The seeds and the Seed is an endless and fascinating discussion, since Scripture seems to come up with so many poems and prophecies that speak in terms of planting and harvesting – good crop and bad crop. Steve, you wrote:

    “Over time I have come to the conclusion that these creatures *surrender* to their fate and become what their purpose is, just as God has designed them.
    I wonder if this is the attitude and posture God wants us to adopt with regards of resisting Him.”

    I enjoyed your image of the birds and fishes flocking and “schooling” as they travel through their environment. I have thought the behavior of gathering in that way is meant to create the impression of one large organism, and to make travel safer for the group. You are accurate to point out that when the predator bursts into the middle of the group, safety means fleeing in all directions. The eagle or the barracuda is probably going to get a least one meal out of the deal.

    I also have seen prey – I think of a rabbit – hunker down and get still, expecting the predator – an owl in this case – to fly on by unable to detect him. Is this surrender? I’m really asking, since human behavior seems more complex (mostly). I have always believed, though I’m ready to reconsider, that surrender to God’s will means moving with Him. I think, on the idea of a grouping of organisms, of a grove of aspen trees. They are networked in their root system, and in some aspects behave as one. Such mutual benefit seems to reflect a community that supports and sustains the individuals gathered there.

    When it comes to an attack from evil forces, it seems to me surrender to God in Christ is to run to a strong tower and a mighty shield. Are we not then, “oaks of righteousness – the planting of the Lord?”
    (Isaiah 61:2-4)

    Have a blessed day,
    Maru

  23. remarutho says:

    My Isaiah reference is Isaiah 61:2, 3, 4! Maru

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Maru I have heard and read of what *experts* believe that the fish are collectively doing when they form that ball and yet watched as every single one of them are eaten by attacking tuna or dolphin or sharks and even the gulls and terns from above.

    I have also heard or read the experts explain why the rabbit or bird stays still when they sense a predator is watching them. This type of action makes sense to *mankind*.

    Then I watch nature here around me all the time. I have a back yard filled with squirrels and birds and when I see suddenly all of them are gone, all I need do is look up and some where in a tree or circling above will be a hawk or predatory bird of some kind. Somehow they *know* and run off and hide, the one that sticks around will not survive.

    One of the most startling observations are when the deer stop feeding, all perk up and run away at a very fast pace, followed then by a couple of *predatory* type dogs loose come into view not barking and not aware that the deer had been there moments ago. Yet the deer *knew* and escaped long before the dogs were even into view.

    I have also seen birds’ fake injury to call attention to themselves and away from their young when a predator is near.

    In my learned opinion God has instilled survival as well as purpose into every creature of His creation.

    We too have survival skills and purpose instilled in us and as you rightly state, we are very complex, yet fall under the same rules of God’s purpose for our being as do all else.

    You mentioned the grove of aspens that are interconnected; my favorite nature story of trees are the fact that when caterpillars attack trees they *change* the way they taste to distract being eaten and that other trees in the area *not* connected by root or limb and of different species also *change* the taste of their leaves in a mutual defense against a common predator.

    I am sorry once I get into discussing nature I can go on and on, as God is seen beautifully in all of the nature I see.

    I guess what I was saying this morning is that we too have a God given purpose and once we recognize that and quit kicking against it by trying to follow a purpose of our own design we can surrender to His purpose for us and have that peace, joy and contentment God offers.

    Steve

  25. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    It seems to me we truly are part of the amazing biosphere that covers the earth — and it is wondrous and awesome to have such a home! Thanks for the nature notes.

    I am in prayer for the people of God to discern the body of Christ. It is a super-natural joining of souls and spirits of humanity. I agree with you totally that to seek and to surrender to God’s purpose for us is to become “peacemakers,” and to become truly God’s children. (Matthew 5:9) The time has come — and is long overdue — for believers to sow seeds of hope wherever we are. It surely is a long, slow work of preparing the soil, planting, cultivating and trusting the Lord. Perhaps the greatest challenge is accepting and “not just loving those who love us– but those who don’t.” Yours, Maru

  26. remarutho says:

    Meant to say Thanks for the nature notes, Steve! Maru

  27. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it amazing that it is God who imparts on His followers faith, hope and love and then it is only Him who can make those seeds grow as we come to the end of self? The more we trust and depend on Him the more open to learning, receiving and being cultivated for His purposes. What we bring to the mix is a broken contrite spirit and He makes the beauty. It seems the harder we try to achieve those things in life the harder our hearts become.

  28. poohpity says:

    Maru, we must have watched the same nature shows.

  29. remarutho says:

    Hey Pooh!

    Most likely! We were surely Mousketeers and fans of Captain Kangaroo…in the same days! :0)

    I hope it is within the rules of the blog to say I am excited by the Downey/Burnett “The Bible” 10-part series coming up in March on a well known tv outlet. I am excited that they have bold courage to produce such a saga — risking the contempt of worldly critics.

    TV is such a wasteland of putrid, toxic fare, I am excited that this mini-series will use the medium for what God would have us be about — sowing seeds of hope in Christ!

    Blessings,
    Maru

  30. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve and Maru, I also love observing nature and see God in it all, so of course I enjoy reading about your interesting observations. I also agree that we all have an individual purpose and it would seem that sowing good seeds is a purpose for all of us.
    A devotional this morning, sort of ties in with purpose…>>>
    ” I actually think there can come a point in your Christian life where you don’t need to go hear more Bible studies (now, don’t take that out of context). What I mean is, there can come a point when you are sitting down and having a meal, and it is time to push away from the table, digest your food, and let it be turned into energy to do something productive. <<<
    I guess as important as knowing what to do, is knowing when it's time to get out there and do it.

  31. narrowpathseeker says:

    Bruce, I can surely relate to not dealing with the cold as well as when we were young and it is cold here in Connecticut this week too. Besides not dealing with the cold, dressing for it is no easy and quick task anymore either. I have animal duty for my granddaughter who is off to Florida for the week. She lives next door but it’s a half mile round trip and too close to drive but too far to walk in this cold, however, I am choosing to walk it the 3 times a day…maybe not after dark though.

    After the initial shock of the stinging cold this morning I chose to look at God’s Hand in it…I am still ABLE to do this and I am getting the exercise that I NEED and wouldn’t get if I hadn’t agreed to do this. :-)

  32. phpatato says:

    Maru

    Thank you for letting us know about the tv mini-series coming up in March. I hope that it is available in Canadian airspace. I also hope that it isn’t like the weekly tv show that airs now. The producers of this show – the one where they make duck calls – edit the parts that are too religious. This family is purportedly always speaking the name of Jesus and it is only at the end of the show that you see them pray and end with In Jesus Name.

  33. phpatato says:

    Cold in my neck of the woods…tonight is forecasted to be -28c / -18f without the wind factored in. Right now it is -29c with the wind chill. This is good for ice conditions on the world’s largest outdoor skating rink…the Rideau Canal. Ottawa’s (my nation’s capital) winter carnival – Winterlude – is just around the corner and is dependent on cold temperatures for skating and ice/snow sculpting.

    I say Come on Spring!!!

  34. poohpity says:

    Maru, I hope it is true to the scripture not many are. There is so much in those pages that creatively adding sometimes is such an injustice to those watching but I guess if you haven’t read it who would know and it may be the seed needed to prompt a more thorough investigation. I will be looking forward to watching.

    I have occasionally watched the duck dynasty and they do know the source of all that they are and often give the Lord credit and it is funny too.

    I need to get my nose out of CSPAN. Filling my head with things that are out of our control can often lead to frustration and that sure is not thinking about what the Lord asked us to fill our mind with in the morning and in the evening and throughout the day which seeds us with peace and hope. Then I will not be sending so many letters to the white house and congress, lol!!

  35. poohpity says:

    It is in the lower 80’s here and my door is open to all those in the cold. We had 3 days of 21 degree temps then it got warm again.

  36. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh…80 degrees?!!! Can I come spend the week with you?!!

  37. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat, I remember getting out of work one night when it was 25 below with wcf!! I sat in my car for almost a half hour before I thought it was warm enough to drive it and it hurt to breath. We haven’t had that kind of cold for a very long time here…and I hope we never see it again!! Please stay in the house and keep warm, Pat.

  38. phpatato says:

    Narrow

    I just listened to the evening news and there is a frostbite warning issued until Thurs morning. It’s to get down to -35c /-31F with the wind chill tonight. I live in the country so I am expecting that it will be a degree or two colder than that. I am so thankful that I am Blessed with a warm house, a comfortable bed and a nice feather duvet. My thoughts and prayers are for those who are homeless; that they find someplace warm to spend the night. Although the city police sweeps the streets and take those they find to shelters, there is a chance that they’ll miss somebody.

    Thank you for your “warm” thoughts.

  39. poohpity says:

    narrow, I would be thrilled to have you.

  40. poohpity says:

    I have to go into the hospital Feb 4th to have a knee replacement but anytime before of after would be great.

  41. poohpity says:

    I meant “or” not “of”. lol

  42. phpatato says:

    I am sending an early GET WELL HUG Deb. And there will be more for you once you have it done. I will be praying that your operation is successful and your recovery quick.

    ((((HUGS))))

  43. remarutho says:

    Deb —

    Prayers going up over here — for the surgeons, techs, nurses, anesthesiologist — the whole team. May all be in the circle of God’s love with you. I am praying for their holy wisdom, insight and skill in the knee replacement procedure.

    May you wake with no pain — and a precious new lease on mobility and strength. May you rest in the assurance that the Lord is even now working in every aspect of your healing.

    Blessings,
    Maru

  44. phpatato says:

    Wow Maru that was such a lovely post. It touched my heart and brought a tear to my eye. Wow! You have a gift my friend. Those words are deserving of being written in a Hallmark card!

  45. narrowpathseeker says:

    Thanks Pooh. I wish I COULD really do that. ;-) I too hope your surgery goes well. After reading Maru’s prayer for you, I believe that you are going to come through this victoriously.

    I agree Pat in regard to Maru’s post to Pooh. Very nice.

    Are you in Canada, Pat?

  46. phpatato says:

    I am Narrow. I live about 45 mins south of Ottawa Ontario and about 25 mins north of the NY-ON border. I shop quite often in Ogdensburg NY and will make a trip to Watertown NY about 3 times a year with my sister. We even venture to Syracuse a few times to stay overnight just to make it a mini-holiday of sorts. A cousin did a genealogy search which traces roots to Middletown Conn. Hugh White in 1733.

    Oh dear this is way off topic. Sorry!

  47. remarutho says:

    Late back from meetings. Blessings, Mart & Friends —
    Praying with a woman who enters the hospital in the morning knowing cancer has invaded her liver and spleen.

    It may be Mart you are speaking of that moment when we cannot see healing as any material possibility. You wrote: “In so many ways the Scriptures teach us that both faith and hope must form in the absence of seeing the results we are looking for…”

    The Lord is the only one to give the courage to pray for ultimate healing — and stand sooner rather than later in His unveiled presence. Can it be that is what Elijah was asking for? (1 Kings 19:4, 5) And what Job longed for? (Job 10:18) Tonight the seeds of hope are in God’s hands. Please pray for Sharon and her husband John. God alone can have His way in this, bless His holy Name.

    In Him,
    Maru

  48. BruceC says:

    Maru,

    I will pray for Sharon and her husband. May God give her strength and wash away any fear and may she feel his loving arms around her regardless of what may lie ahead.

    Pooh,

    I will pray for your upcoming knee surgery. Rest in the Lord and don’t let worry gain a toehold and get you “out of joint”! :>)

    I went out today to go to town and get some things and when I got home I had to get some firewood. The cold is just about at the painful point. Still doesn’t come close to the minus 45 we had here years ago.

    God Bless All of you my family in Christ!!

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  49. davids says:

    Pooh, I pray for a successful surgery. So many people have been blessed by this type of operation, including some friends recently.

    I don’t have much time to post here. My New Years resolution is to read through the Bible again with commentary. I learned yesterday how much the “sacrifice” of Isaac pre-figured the death of our Lord.

  50. phpatato says:

    Temperature with the wind chill will be flirting around the -39/-40c mark overnight. Celsius and fahrenheit meet at -40 on the thermometer.

    It’s going to be a cold one. I just might have to close the window tonight. Just Kidding! lol But we are getting a small taste of what it’s like to live in the far north.

  51. poohpity says:

    I covet your prayers and am so grateful for all of you standing with me as I stand in prayer for and with you as well. Talk about seeds of hope and love as we come before the Father in faith.

  52. BruceC says:

    Davids,

    I too am reading through the Bible again. This time it is a KJV chronological version and I am really enjoying it.
    Whenever I get to a portion that I am not clear about I write it down on an index card and then look it up in my (Christamas present) KJV large print Life App study Bible. Or I go to my PC and look it up on E-Sword. It’s a free download and you can Google it up. Has commentaries, dictionaries, etc.

    Pooh,

    It’s a privilege to pray for you and others.

    It got to -14 early this AM and likely will will not get to double digits today. Still have not used the furnace, although I will have to when we go to town so our computer man can download some anti-virus, etc. onto our new PC. My wife and I are looking forward to using it instead of this 10 year old box we have.

    May our Lord water the seeds His Holy Spirit has planted in all of us so that we bear His fruit to this dark and dying world. God bless all!!

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  53. poohpity says:

    Mart wrote, “The same seems to be true of love, for Jesus talks about not just loving those who love us– but those who don’t.” The anit-virus we have in our lives is the love of Christ which John reminds us in 1 John 2:5-11 NLT.

  54. poohpity says:

    Mart are you MIA?

  55. pegramsdell says:

    I love you Debbie. Praying all goes well with your knee replacement. Pretty soon you will be able to go out dancing. Woo-hoo!

  56. poohpity says:

    Thank you peg. I dance now but I am usually sitting on my walker using the upper part of my body and my legs desiring to follow maybe now will get their hope. ;-)

    I was thinking about those who went to sleep in the Lord but never got to see their promises fulfilled from the Lord but many years after they came into being. I think sometimes we get discouraged because things we have prayed for do not get answered the way we would like but trusting in the Lord we know we get the answer He knows is best for us. What if giving me a body free from these problems would have lead to me walking away from Him then I would take how it is. Sometimes we may not know what could have been and longing for what we do not have rather than being grateful for where and how things are because this may have been the best place for us to be or God would have made that change. Maybe it may have prevented horrible things from happening we just are not able to see what the future holds but God can.

  57. dja says:

    Pooh,
    I’ve been away and haven’t had time to read all of the posts, but I saw where you are having a knee replacement. I had one 5 years ago, and my husband had both knees replaced. We are both so thankful to have had it done. Please know that I will be praying for you. The first couple of weeks after surgery can be hard, but it will get better and better with physical therapy. Again, I wiil be praying for you.

    Our furnace is on the blink. My husband has been working on it, but it’s not producing much heat. He had it going well, and then a coil broke, so he needs to get a new coil and do more repairs. Not fun when the temps are this low. Deb, your low 80’s sounds wonderful. I can only dream:-)

    Please know that although I don’t often write, I do think about you all and am praying for you.

    ~Della

  58. SFDBWV says:

    Some say love, it is a river
    That drowns the tender reed.
    Some say love, it is a razor
    That leaves your soul to bleed.
    Some say love, it is a hunger,
    An endless aching need.
    I say love, it is a flower,
    And you it’s only seed.

    It’s the heart afraid of breaking
    That never learns to dance.
    It’s the dream afraid of waking
    That never takes the chance.
    It’s the one who won’t be taken,
    Who cannot seem to give,
    And the soul afraid of dyin’
    That never learns to live.

    When the night has been too lonely
    And the road has been to long,
    And you think that love is only
    For the lucky and the strong,
    Just remember in the winter
    Far beneath the bitter snows
    Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
    In the spring becomes the rose.

    Thought you all may enjoy this beautiful poem, when put to music beame a beautiful song.

    Steve

  59. SFDBWV says:

    Della I hate to read you are having furnace trouble in the middle of this cold snap. Looks like Pat has had very dangerous temps to deal with.

    We have only gotten to -2 through this weather, with of course that never ending snow that just keeps coming.

    I am hoping that Mart is off on a vacation or one of his many trips around the globe and not having to deal with troubles of his own.

    I pray all is well for you all.

    Steve

  60. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Steve – that is a very pretty song. I’d like to share one of my favorites.

    In Christ Alone
    by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
    copyright 2001 Thankyou Music

    In Christ alone my hope is found,
    He is my light, my strength, my song;
    This Cornerstone, this Solid Ground,
    Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

    What heights of love, what depths of peace,
    When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
    My Comforter, my All in All,
    Here in the love of Christ I stand.

    In Christ alone! – Who took on flesh,
    Fullness of God in helpless Babe.
    This Gift of love and righteousness
    Scorned by the ones He came to save:

    Till on that cross as Jesus died,
    The wrath of God was satisfied-
    For every sin, on Him was laid;
    Here in the death of Christ I live.

    There in the ground His body lay,
    Light of the world by darkness slain;
    Then bursting forth in glorious day
    Up from the grave He rose again!

    And as He stands in victory,
    Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me-
    For I am His and He is mine,
    Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

    No guilt in life, no fear in death
    This is the power of Christ in me;
    From life’s first cry to final breath,
    Jesus commands my destiny.

    No power of hell, no scheme of man,
    Can ever pluck me from His hand;
    Till He returns, or calls me home,
    Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

  61. SFDBWV says:

    Tracey, thank you the words to “In Christ Alone” are very beautiful.

    This is a gift we can give to our Lord the ability to praise Him as well as see Him in everything.

    Music has the special ability to stir our emotions and touch our soul, when we combine that with our love for God we are able to enter into a very special place.

    Steve

  62. poohpity says:

    To think we are to be the words of a beautiful song that the Lord has written on our hearts. “You yourselves are the letter we have, written on our hearts for everyone to know and read. It is clear that Christ himself wrote this letter and sent it by us. It is written, not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, and not on stone tablets but on human hearts.” 2 Cor 3:2-3 GNT

  63. s2inkzoo says:

    I was just reflecting on the second verse of the poem that Steve posted, and realize that we have a tendency to neglect the seed of love for those fears. I read that description of how the church should be (1 corinthians 12: 26) where we suffer when others suffer, and realize that is what holds people back from letting that seed of love grow. They are afraid of the fruit it will bear and concentrate on the pain that comes. But that forgets the second part of the verse in that we share in their joys. They are just different seasons. Contrast that with what is shown of Jesus love in what Tracey posted.

  64. BruceC says:

    s2inkzoo,

    One of the fears that you speak of is ego. It may hurt one’s ego to truly love as we are commanded. To admit that if we looked upon ourselves as God does then that love for another would come more readily and easily because we would see someone who is as wretched as we are. But often that is not the case; and human nature tends to “hang” with those whose situation or personality does not require the sacrifice of understanding or the acceptance of that person’s differences. And so the church doesn’t live up to its potential and in many cases falls far short. Far too many stay at home because they feel they are just another face in the crowd; or they aren’t made to feel they have a part or are welcome.

    Bruce
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  65. SFDBWV says:

    In the song “The Rose” I shared with you all yesterday morning, it talks of love and we being its only seed.

    I thought it appropriate seeing that our topic is about seeds of hope, faith and love.

    In the uniqueness of being human we employ the ability to be the planter, the reaper and the seed.

    Jesus talked about some workers investing the valuable commodities of the master while the master was away; some doubled their worth some tripled and some just buried theirs afraid it may be stolen or lost and just sat on it for the master.

    In our topic the valuables are faith, hope and love and the way to salvation and everlasting life in paradise.

    None of these seeds can be planted unless we sow them among each other and no one can reap their benefits unless they are planted and we are held accountable for having these seeds in our possession and what we do with them.

    We have to be brave, take chances, look beyond the moment, past the winters and snows of many a desperate soul and plant seeds of love, of hope and yes of faith in those who need it and encourage those among us whom already have the seed buried deep within their own souls.

    Be strong, take courage have faith and tell someone today they are loved.

    Steve

  66. Mart De Haan says:

    Just returned from being out of the country. Catching up on so many helpful comments above. Thanks to all of you for keeping the conversation going and fresh.

  67. remarutho says:

    Welcome home Mart!

    Trusting the Lord is guiding your teams to the planting, watering and cultivating the Seeds of Hope in another field!

    Blessings,
    Maru

  68. poohpity says:

    I think the problems come when one only loves those who think, act and believe the way they do. Those that fit into the clique. If not then people find themselves ostracized even with adults similar to the days back in school. I think that is why Jesus said what He did in Matthew 5:46-47 NLT.

    Welcome home Mart!!

  69. s2inkzoo says:

    Steve, thanks for bringing out the planting of the seeds of faith and hope in others, and the fact they have the seeds there. BruceC mentioned the need to see ourselves as God sees us instead of propping up our ego. If we see others as God sees them, then we could see that those same seeds of faith, hope,and love are in them; the seeds just may need to take time to grow. And as Steve so eloquently stated, we have a role in the nurturing.

  70. narrowpathseeker says:

    First of all, I hope everyone is safe and well in this cold snap. I haven’t seen any recent posts from Gary, Bill, Pat, Cherielyn, Della, and maybe others that I can’t remember right now. Prayers for all of you.

    Steve, I would like to get that song, The Rose. Is there any particular recording artist that you think does it the best? Also, God used your post at 7:05 today to bring light to that scripture from an angle that I didn’t see before. Thank you.

    Tracey, thank you for providing the recording information with that beautiful song you posted. I plan to get that soon…

  71. poohpity says:

    It sounds a little like as human beings we are taking credit for something that is a gift from God and isn’t it Him who makes them grow within each of us? Although I do believe we can share what God has done in our lives. Faith is a gift from God so how can we make it grow in someone’s life, hope is given to those who trust God and the kind of love that God gives as in laying one’s life down for those who do not deserve it, our hands are off in those areas don’t you think? Jeremiah 9:23-24; 1 Cor 1:30-31; Eph 2:8-10 I would suggest if we have anything to do with it most of the time will cause the focus to be anywhere other than on God where it needs to be. How are those nurtured? By pointing people to God, His Word and His Spirit who is the source.

  72. SFDBWV says:

    Narrowpathseeker, I have not been able to post through MSN this morning so I tried a different avenue and it has worked. I am very pleased that you were blessed with the Rose.

    Bette Midler is my favorite singer of the song “the Rose”.

    We have ice every where this morning not a good day to go outside at all, it should warm up sometime later this morning.

    Be blessed
    Steve

  73. SFDBWV says:

    One of the several blessings God has provided me with is sight. I see God and especially the Hand of God in everything.

    I also hear Him in just as many places.

    Because I *preach* that for every thing there is an opposite, I must also state that there are a great many times I perceive those things which attempt to quell the spirit, silence His voice and blur the vision.

    Recognizing them for what they are enables me to have power over them.

    I always am encouraged by the passages found in Isaiah 58 in that He tells me *if* I offer up His desires for me, then He will be there to guide me through all kinds of *storms*.

    I can *see* and *feel* the nature and presence of God in the arts as well as in the natural world around me, I am very thankful that God allows me to see and pray that the seeds of faith, hope and love bloom in you and you are able to see where normal sight fails.

    Steve

  74. narrowpathseeker says:

    Thank You, Steve, I will be ordering that soon…I am excited about hearing that often and feeding on the words. Somehow, I have associated Bette Midler with being a comedienne and didn’t know she was a singer….this is an example of my jumbled memory… ;-)

    I have also had connection problems here the past few days. Hopefully THAT is the reason we haven’t heard from Bill, Gary, Forever, Pat, Claudia, Cherielyn, Amazed, Della and others and they are all well…just can’t connect.

    It has gotten a little warmer here, but we are expecting freezing rain this afternoon. I think the silver lining in this cold weather is that maybe my metabolism sped up trying to stay warm, walking back and forth to care for my granddaughter’s animals!! I lost 3 pounds!! Please tell Matthew that I thought of him the minute I read the scale. Have a great day and stay warm.

  75. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I TOO hear and see God in everything! I hear Him in MANY of your messages…I will think, read, or hear something and often within a short period of time, you will post something that I take as a confirmation.

    Your message about opposites this morning is a prime example. I was just reading a chapter in Luke where Jesus told His disciples that He had sent them out with no, script, money, nor sword, but now He was telling them to get for themselves those things. This was just before Judas betrayed Him. I was thinking…”Why tell them to get a sword and then tell them not to use it?” I know it has something to do with the narrow path and the varying circumstances and what applies one day may not apply to another similar circumstance another day. I just understand that when I am in a confusing situation that I just need to listen for His directive for that particular moment, because it may be the “opposite” of what it was on another day. I am losing my ability to articulate what I am trying to express, but I trust that you will understand what I have written. Some days I have it …some days I don’t…today seems to be a “don’t have it” day. :-)

  76. SFDBWV says:

    Narrowpathseeker, Matthew says congradulations he is very happy for you.

    Bete Midler also sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” though the first time I heard that song sung was by an un named soloist for the USAF Band.

    The Wind Beneath My Wings reminded me of the Psalms.

    The Ice is melting here and the temps reaching up to 40, snow by Thursday predicted.

    Steve

  77. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Narrowpathseeker, our lives are like a roller coaster as well as our spirit beings, up one moment down the next. But like a cat we can keep our eyes fixed on our Lord straight ahead and never lose ballance.

    Steve

  78. narrowpathseeker says:

    AMEN! That has proven VERY TRUE for me in these final weeks of my ex husband’s stay here. In a determined state to stay focused on Him I made it a point(in addition to emergency prayers at first inkling of contempt) to get on my knees first thing in the morning even before coffee, when I was as yet still wobbly from sleep. Bible reading and prayer followed in intervals throughout the day. I found a unique way(for me at least) to read the bible in bed, by putting a small firm pillow on my belly to support it so I didn’t have to hold it up…and fell asleep either reading it or praying. Thoughts of the past have been minimal and I am enjoying a more continual Peace with but minor interruptions.
    His apartment came through and he will be moving out next week end. While I am pleased with that, I am more pleased that God used this to bring me closer to Him and Showed me the Mega benefits of TRULY staying focused on Him.

  79. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, was Bette Midler also a comedienne/actress or have I mixed her up with someone else?

  80. SFDBWV says:

    Narrowpathseeker, you are not mixed up at all Bete Midler is a very muti talented person and began as a singer and moved on to acting, but still sings when it suits her.

    I have no personal knowledge about her only that I enjoy her talents when ever I get the chance to.

    I am glad your ex is moving along and happier that you recognize God’s use of him for you to grow stronger.

    Steve

  81. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Narrow for your concern, everything is alright. Was a little busy lately. Many things happening, people asking prayer, and weeing the prayer is heard. God is our seed of Hope. It is Jesus Himself. He is our Redeemer, our Saviour. He takes up all our cares if we give it to Him in faith, He forgives all, forgets all, gives us His Grace, if we turn to Him. And that is the story we can tell. I was listening to a lady in my church, who has a difficult marriage. It is hard to say: Look to Jesus, He will help, He is your Rock. How do you tell someone who is suffering in a marriage. She is a christian, and she knows it is God’s seed of hope for her. Take your eyes off from your mate, and look to Jesus. He is in charge of our lives, if we have surrendered them to Him.
    After a long talk, she realised: that is the only way. SHe was motivated, and encouraged.
    I wanted to share this, do not know if it helps anybody. But this is our witness: Jesus is or Rock, our Helper, no one else is.
    I was also having trouble with a relative, I prayed and prayed about it: God, I lay this in Your hands, I wait on You.
    And yes, after a long prayer it was all taken off from me! A miracle, God is so good, no one else does this: taking away our sins if we give them to Him. He is our God there is no other.

  82. foreverblessed says:

    Narrow, God bless you for having gone through this ordeal and sharing it with us, you a being a witness of our Lord and Helper: Jesus.

  83. foreverblessed says:

    We can sow seeds of hope: I was watching a program on Cambodia, a journalist has been going into the rural area for over 10 years, looking for people who had been active in the killing fields. He had found some, and filmed them when they showed the places where it all happened. They would be killed themselves if they would not kill. These men hated what they had done, the memories haunted them. One of them went into a Buddha temple, doing all the rituals that were required. But that did not give him any relief. He said: I know what Buddha said what will happen: in my next life I will pay for what I have done in this life, I will be in hell for a long time.
    What a wretched state he was in!
    Which god is there who forgives everything even the most hideous crimes but our God, who send His Son to pay for all our sins, and take up all our loads off our back if we turn to Him.
    What a great seed of hope! What a great message the Gospel is!

  84. bubbles says:

    yes

  85. narrowpathseeker says:

    Forever, I am glad to know you are ok. There are still many missing…even Poohpity. Glad to see Bubbles is ok too. Hoping to hear from the rest of the missing soon.

  86. phpatato says:

    Hi Narrow and All

    This past weekend was busy. On Saturday, I babysat one of my grandsons all day while the other gramma babysat the other. On Sunday, I babysat them both all day. A few days last week, I was also busy picking up their laundry, and doing it for her so that she had one less chore to do when she got home from work. While she has never gotten much sleep over the past 19 months, the boys felt the need to keep their mommy awake so much last week that she only averaged about 2 hrs sleep each night. By Friday evening, she was ready to hit the wall, unable to cope with anything more. We suspect teeth because they have a cold but really we can only guess as to why they aren’t sleeping. But please…prayers that they soon start to sleep through the night. My daughter is looking like a raccoon with the dark circles under her eyes. My deep concern for her has begun to affect me in as much as I try to give it all to God. January 12 in ODB, it talked about sleep being a gift from God. Although it seems that she has lately missed out on receiving this gift, I know that He will give her the gift of His strength to carry on. I’m holding on to that as tightly as I can.

  87. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat, glad you’re ok. I will pray for your daughter’s well being and her needed sleep. She may have missed out on the gift of sleep, but she received His gift of a helpful loving Mom …..and even a helpful (mother in law?)(the other grammy? ;-)

  88. phpatato says:

    Thank you Narrow for your prayers. She is today fighting a cold as well. Guess that happens when you are rundown. She is married so the other grammy is her mother in law. She does what she can to help out. Great thing is…she is an identical twin herself so she can relate to the boys from that side of the coin.

    Thanks again for your prayers. Sometimes it just seems so overwhelming.

  89. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, Thank you for finding the sign in window! I too checked other subjects but I guess I didn’t go back far enough, because they had no sign in window either. Unfortunately, now I forgot what I wanted to say pertaining to love. :-)

    Cherielyn, I am happy that things are looking a little better for you and I will be praying for Mike to adjust and find much happiness in his new home as well as for His peace for you free from worry.

    Pooh, hoping to hear that you’re home, that all went well with your surgery, and that your knee will be fully functioning and free from pain.

    Pat, I hope your daughter had been able to catch up on her sleep.

    Foreverblessed…..YOU HAVE BEEN A BLESSING TO ME!! Thank You…

  90. narrowpathseeker says:

    OK, have I lost it? I was replying to Gary’s post that isn’t here!

  91. narrowpathseeker says:

    Now Gary’s comments are here but not mine. This is quite mysterious.

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