The Tumbleweed

Tumbleweeds. Perhaps you’ve never seen a real one. My father liked to watch westerns on TV, and quite often a tumbleweed would blow across the street. I saw my first ones when we drove through the Texas panhandle going to Colorado or Wyoming during December. When we made that trip in June, I didn’t know which plants were tumbleweeds because they have flowers and don’t show their characteristic tumbling. Only in late fall do they die, the roots separate from the plant and wind blows them wherever it wants. Why do tumbleweeds tumble? Because they broadcast their seeds over acres of land that way.

A few days ago I saw on Facebook the life of a tumbleweed. When it said at the end that when the plant dies, the wind can blow to spread its seeds, suddenly Galatians 2:20 popped into my mind. What? I’m looking at the story of a tumbleweed on Facebook fondly remembering the times we saw them and scripture interrupts my thoughts? Yes, the Holy Spirit immediately awakened me to the context of this plant dying and becoming fruitful.

 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels – a plentiful harvest of new lives (John 12:24.)

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 New Living Translation.)

 The more our old inner nature of sin dies, the greater Christ through the Holy Spirit will live in us. Then we’ll bear a good harvest of fruit for the Lord.

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The Dandelion

The Dandelion

 

 

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Photo by Jack Hawley on Pexels.com

“Get that weed out of my yard!” “Pull it up by the roots so it doesn’t grow again!” Most people don’t want dandelions in their neighborhoods because of their propensity for spreading when the wind blows their multiple seeds all around.

What if we look at the dandelion in a different way? Would I want to be one? Perhaps. Suppose we see the seeds of the dandelion as something good – like love and mercy. Imagine if I could live a life that spreads God’s love everywhere I go. That love would also bring forgiveness, compassion and responsibility. What if many people who call themselves Christians became dandelions, spreading the fruit of the Spirit all over our city?

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23a New Living Translation.)

Can we even begin to imagine the difference our country would experience if everyone who calls themselves by the name of Christ displayed this kind of fruit? Think I’ll plant a dozen spiritual dandelions in my yard!

 

 

Our Daddy-God Is Faithful!

 Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

 Old Faithful Geyser continually erupts every day and night, all year round, never missing a time. Eruptions occur about every 70-90 minutes with park rangers giving an estimate, but only that. A tall gusher reaches close to 200 feet but often follows a shorter one.

My husband and I have watched this fascinating sight many times with a couple of thousand people in late June or have seen it a few times by ourselves in December, always special to behold. The first winter I saw it, while mentally knowing Old Faithful blew all year, surprised me when I realized this great display happened with no one watching. Of course, I knew the Park didn’t turn it on for visitors, but a sudden realization hit me that it doesn’t depend on what people do.

In the same way, I think we often think God’s faithfulness depends on how “good” we are. We’ve read the Bible that says He remains with us at all seasons. During crisis times, however, we might feel like the harsh reality of winter hit and wonder if our loving Father knows our situation, just as I realized afresh that Old Faithful operates with no spectators as well as thousands. These times call for us to draw closer to our Daddy-God so we do realize He’s present. Often we tend to pull away in unbelief, but that hinders our remaining steady during the crisis.

Reviewing God’s Word helps me hold onto my faith in difficult circumstances, and these verses promise our Father’s faithfulness to us forever. All Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible.

Deuteronomy 32:3-4: For I proclaim the name of the Lord; Ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.

Psalm 36:5: Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

John 14:16-18: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

Hebrews 13:5-6: He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?” [Their emphasis.]

You might wonder why I call the Father of Christ-followers “Daddy-God.” In the New Testament, Jesus used this very term of intimacy when He prayed before the crucifixion. Since we are God’s children, He desires us to have this same intimacy with Him. “Abba” translates to our word “Daddy.”

Mark 14:36: And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”

Romans 8:15-16: For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

Galatians 4:6-7: Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore, you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

Yes, circumstances may go from bad to worse, but consider what our loving Father did: He gave his own beloved Son to die for us so we could be his children. Certainly then, He remains faithful to us throughout our lives. Situations make no difference. Our Daddy-God loves us!

 

A Watermelon or a Pecan

In the mid-70’s my husband and I bought a piece of land with many pecan trees on it about 70 miles from our home. That first fall, I picked pecans for several hours, delighted with the beautiful day and all the nuts. As I fell exhausted into bed that night and closed my eyes, I saw a huge pecan; it was the size of a large watermelon! I quickly opened them and then shut my eyes again, but the same thing happened. After the third time, I asked God what was going on. Continue reading

Enduring Trials

The church where I belong is in Dickinson, Texas and I drive mainly on a highway that goes through town going to it, but yesterday when I left from helping hand out supplies to Harvey victims, I went a different direction going home. While I’d seen sheet rock and household belongings out on the side of the road in some places previously, I’d not seen something like this from Harvey. These things piled high on both sides of almost the whole three or so miles I traveled down that street. Likewise, all the side streets looked the same way. It reminded me a lot of the way Galveston looked when my husband and I went there about three months after Hurricane Ike hit and overflowed the island from the Gulf and the Bay. The tremendousness of the loss hit me anew, even though I knew that my church alone had helped 331 different families the last week. Continue reading

The Missing Mockingbird Song

A couple of mornings ago as my husband and I ate breakfast, I listened to the quiet. The hush awakened me to the silence of the mockingbird. Soon a dove cooed and I noticed how close and loud the dove sounded. Blue jays joined in the chorus but I missed the mockingbird’s sweet melody. Continue reading

The Mockingbird’s Song

As I sat to eat breakfast I suddenly noticed I missed something – a sound that delighted me each morning – so I opened the window. Then I heard the beautiful strains of a mockingbird’s song. On and on he went brightening an already beautiful morning. Today, however, he perched further away than usual so I had to listen carefully or I’d miss him. When a loud car went down the street, it overshadowed his sweet melody. Continue reading

The Nations Roar

My phone alarm jerked me awake with a flash flood warning. Since it was about 5:30 I got up. Within five minutes thunder roared, and the rain poured. Surprised since I wasn’t aware of any prediction of storms, I started reading my Bible. Bolts and flashes of lightning lit up the room as I instinctively put my hands over my ears when the noise far exceeded comfort level, realizing my reaction surprised me. With our 90-year-old home built on piers, one burst vibrated through the floors into my feet. Continue reading

God Delights in YOU

A few days ago my husband and I went home from visiting Rockport. Actually, he napped as I drove and had a time of worship, singing very quietly. I’d admired the wildflowers seen in spots along the road; after all, even in south Texas you don’t expect them at the end of February. They delighted me – just little spots of sunshine – and I’d mentioned them earlier to my husband. Continue reading

Blue-Eyed Grass, Part 2

blue-eyed-grass 

Looking closely at a blue-eyed grass flower, you notice how complex it is: inward from the outer three leaves with their notches is the light blue or violet flower-like part, then comes the deep purple, and finally the three yellow stamen. All this for a flower that’s only about one-half inch across. While it can grow taller, those I most often see are less than six inches. That’s a lot for a flower that’s often inconspicuous. Continue reading

Blue-Eyed Grass

 blue-eyed-grass

 Blue-eyed grass sometimes gets sown in a garden but often it’s found among other wild plants in a yard or field, being planted there by birds who drop the seeds. Some might even consider it a weed if trying to grow a lawn of only a specific grass. Even though it’s called a grass, this flower is actually a member of the iris family. Continue reading

The Hackberry Tree

After the birds planted a hackberry seed, when it came up right where we’d had an Althea bush, my husband moved it close to our back door. Too close, as it turned out, for either plant. As it grew, I realized its shape didn’t resemble our old Althea and wondered what  was this tree-like, former seedling. Continue reading

GOD Is Faithful

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Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park is so named because ever since people noticed how often it went off and started timing it between intervals, it erupted roughly at the same time. While that time period has changed slightly over the years because of underground vents flowing more or less, it has maintained approximately the same amount of time between intervals for several years at a time. Continue reading

End of the Day

God’s glory shines just before dark, reminding us that He is there to watch over us during the night hours. Our Father hears our cries when we call with an emergency or with a continuing broken heart. He hears and He comforts, wrapping His loving arms around us and holding us tight. Get to know the God of All Comfort well enough that you can run to Him when you need Him in the night hours.

A Glimpse of God’s Glory

Rising Moon @ Rockport

Neither the rising moon over the water nor the setting moon behind

Beautiful Full Moon

trees in my back yard compare to the amazingly huge rosey-orange globe I saw recently as I drove home from church one night. It appeared almost to touch the ground as it had only barely come over the horizon, and the color was amazing, past my description. Continue reading

Hummingbirds, Whooping Cranes and Mountains

My husband and I enjoy going to Rockport, Texas where in September we watch as thousands of hummingbirdscrop hummers gather to stock up on food before making the long trip to South America for the winter. These miniature jewels barely weigh 0.11 ounces, being only 3.75 inches long with a wingspan of 4.5 inches; yet many of them fly directly over the Gulf of Mexico. What a wonder our Master Creator made. Continue reading

Serenity

Mt Moran & Jackson Lake

Mt Moran & Jackson Lake

This sight speaks such calm, peace and serenity to me. I’ve always loved this view of Jackson Lake and Mount Moran with its Frying Pan Glacier. On our many trips to Yellowstone, we always go south to Teton National Park, where these majestic mountains rise 7000 feet above the valley. On this late June day in 2015, the wind had quit blowing, making the reflection perfect. Usually a ripple plays across the lake. Continue reading