Friday, March 23, 2012

TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON

This wonderful post was written by my friend, Lara Love, over at Walk by Faith Ministry.  I hope it blesses and encourages you as much as it did me.

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Resurrection of the Trees

I couldn't believe my eyes. Nor could I believe what the Lord had placed in my heart. Probably few people have been as excited, and humbled, by little buds of leaves on a tree. But I was. After all, I had been quite certain that the once glorious trees that form a long line across my yard were plain and simply - dead.

"God, please do something with these trees," I had prayed dejectedly, and not so sincerely, just days before. What could I possibly do with a bunch of dead trees? With the South Carolina climate bringing forth months of brutal heat and a large number of dogs that love the outdoors, I couldn't imagine what my life - and yard - would be like in the upcoming months since my trees had so obviously failed to revive this year.

Where would the dogs lie down and enjoy the shade of all these previously beautiful trees? How would I enjoy my yard quite as much when I looked out at a row of dead trees? How could the trees possibly be bare of leaves at this time of year? We have had plenty of warm weather and sunshine thus far in weeks past. Quite obviously, the trees had died. What could have killed them? I wondered as I perused their "legs" (trunks) and "arms" (branches) for signs of disease - not that I know much at all about trees. I can hardly remember saying a prayer, but somewhere amid my sad spirit I surely tossed one up to heaven.

But alas, the Lord knew my trees truly didn't need my prayer at all. The Lord, after all, knows the seasons of the year. He knows all of our needs, even the trees. He knows the life span of everything. He knows the cycles of everything and everyone. He knows the time of birth, and He knows the time of re-birth. He knows all about trees, and He quite obviously knows all about me.

Surely the Lord was smiling down from heaven as He watched His daughter murmur about the state of her trees. The funny thing is, they are not my trees at all. They are His. The yard is not mine. It is His. The dogs belong to Him, and so do I. He knew what was to come, and I can only imagine He looked forward to what would happen when I discovered the resurrection of the trees.

Yes, just today I saw it all. All the buds. The buds of leaves. The buds of leaves of trees I had assumed dead. How I smile to see what the Lord has done. But truthfully, the Lord has not resurrected the trees. The trees have produced their buds of leaves right on time. His time. And not only could I not believe my eyes at the sight of the buds on the trees. But I marvel at what the Lord has placed in my heart. Yet another lesson in faith.

How often in our lives do we presume something is dead? How often do we walk away from a person, place, or thing because we have no hope? How often do we give up praying for someone we love because we believe it is too late? How often do we put the brakes on a vision the Lord has given us because we have not yet seen it come to pass? How often have we imagined a dream has died and failed to give it a chance to come into being? How often have we turned away from a relationship because we would not wait for the Lord's appointed season for it to blossom?

I could have chopped down the trees in my yard because I had declared them dead. At the very least, I had given up on them. I was already morose over the loss of them. But such a short time afterward, the Lord showed me they were not dead at all. They are as alive as they have ever been. This is the time of their season.

Sometimes we give up on people, places, and things the Lord has ordained just a short while before God's appointed time for them. Other times, we turn away because we believe we have waited far too long. Sometimes God gives us a dream or vision for something so far in the future that we give up on it because we cannot imagine waiting that long for the vision to be born.

Do you have something or someone the Lord has put put on your heart that you have quite simply determined dead? Have you given up on a dream He gave you? Or praying for a person in dire need of prayer and love? Or a vision He keeps reminded you is for an appointed time in the future - not now. Please don't give up. Please trust the Lord that He not only knows the seasons of the trees. He knows your seasons also. And He knows your future, and mine. He knows the order, and cycle, and seasons, of all that He has created.

Perhaps the dream He has given you is not dead at all. Perhaps it is simply not yet time. Only the Lord knows.

I look out the window and smile as I see the trees with which the Lord has blessed me and the dogs. Sometime soon, I know, the Walk by Faith Ministry dogs will be lying in their shade. And I will watch them, and remember, that the Lord made these trees. And He has given them another season. And He has given me another reminder that His ways and thoughts are His own - and always the very best. In His time.

Ecc 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecc 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Ecc 3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
Ecc 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Ecc 3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
Ecc 3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
Ecc 3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Ecc 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

Reprinted with permission from Walk by Faith Ministry, www.walkbyfaithministry.com

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

AND THE WINNER IS...




The winner of my giveaway (picked by Random Integer Generator) is #2 -- Randi Fulton.

Congratulations, Randi!

Monday, March 12, 2012

COME TO JESUS

Just wanted to share one of my very favorites.  It so touches me every time I listen to it.  May it bless you too.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

GIVEAWAY -- THE BEAUTIFUL SIDE OF EVIL

"If anyone adds to these things, God will add
to him the plagues that are written in this book;
and if anyone takes away from the words of the
book of this prophecy, God shall take away his
part from the Book of Life, from the holy city,
and from the things which are written in this
book." - (Revelation 22:18)

I've been wanting to do a giveaway on this blog for a while, and this morning as I went through a box of stuff that had been sitting in a box on the floor of my den just waiting to be put away, I came across some extra copies of a book I had read many years ago when I was a baby Christian.

I thought back to that time and how difficult it was for me to accept that there really was only one way to be reconciled with God, and that that was through the Cross.  The cult I had just come out of quoted many Scriptures, particularly from the Gospel of John, and since I wasn't as familiar with my Bible back then as I am now, I didn't realize that some of the verses had been altered just slightly--a word here, a word there--so that John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life," for example, was quoted as "I am the way, the truth, and the light..."

The book I am giving away was what finally enabled me to let go of the one little doubt I had been struggling to relinquish.  The author, Johanna Michaelsen, had been involved in many of the same things I had been involved in on my path to the foot of the cross, and had believed the same lies.  In the beginning, neither one of us had known to heed the warning in Matthew 24:24, "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."

The following is taken from the back cover of the book.

Are all miracles from God, or is there a beautiful side of evil?  The blind see, the deaf hear, and the lame walk.  Is God always behind such miracles, or can there be another source?

This is a true account of a young woman who, while in search of spiritual truth, became a personal assistant to a psychic surgeon in Mexico for 14 months.  Then, in answer to her prayers, God revealed the true source behind the miraculous healings she witnessed.  Lifting the veil of deception, He allowed her to see the evil behind the outward appearance of beauty and holiness.  Johanna Michaelsen reveals how this deadly deception is not isolated to her unusual experience, but rather is invading our everyday lives, even in our churches.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment and an e-mail so I can contact you if you are the winner.  I will use Random Integer to draw a winner on Wednesday, March 21st, the 5th anniversary of my very first blog.

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

Powerful video I took from a friend's FaceBook wall.