Pruning

22 Feb

Image

The time had finally come. The mimosa tree that had been so lovely had finally encroached over the back deck and was headed over the rooftop. It would not be good if a branch fell on the roof or hit the deck. And all the gunk of leaves and seeds constantly falling on the deck was causing problems with keeping the deck clean and safe also. What to do? What to do?

So cold weather arrived and it was now time to deal with the problem. Pruning… So we held our breath and had it done. The tree will be better for it. The deck will be better for it. Our roof will be better for it. Of course we were reminded of the scriptural implications of pruning. We thought about those implications. Those implications are highly worth thinking and ruminating over in one’s mind. Several things about it for us and our spiritual lives are very obvious…

God prunes us because He loves us. Pruning brings forth more fruit. This mimosa was a tree that does not ever produce fruit. But I felt strongly that God was going to impart something to us in addition to those basic truths. And I told God that I really wanted to hear what He was going to teach us through this experience. We did not have to wait long to get a word straight from the throne room.

As soon as the pruning was over the one that was supervising the pruning and doing the actual cutting on the tree called me to come out and see his “finished” work. There it was. Far more severely pruned than “my” instructions were. Mouth hanging open, I let out a little sigh. But with an exuberant smile he looked me straight in the eye and pointed to the tree as it now stood. With a loud and firm voice for me and all around me to hear, “You will have no trouble with it anymore, It will grow up STRAIGHT now!” Isn’t that what I wanted? To grow UP? And to grow up straight? In the case of this mimosa there will be no more problem with the tree causing trouble with the roof or the deck. The tree can and will grow out and, in time, will look beautiful again. And I want to grow up in the things of the Lord and to grow up straight. The pruner… and God does a good work. Praise His name. Let us allow Him to do His work on and in us.

Image

“You will have no trouble with it anymore,
It will grow up STRAIGHT
now!”

John 15: 1-8;16

King James Version (KJV)

15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

——

16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

More commentary on the subject…
http://www.virtualpreacher.org/sermon-notes/sermon-why-god-wants-to-prune-us-john-15-1-8-16/

This link includes a wonderful sermon podcast on the subject:
(Note: The first two minutes of the audio sermon are a bit choppy.
The rest of it is fine.)
http://revth.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/be-pruned-john-151-6/ pruningfeb1301opt

Aside

Since I was beg…

6 Oct

Since I was beginning to hear that folks should generally keep an eye out for any massive drops in the stock market (like big average drops showing up day after day or week after week) over the next few months along with keeping a tab on the *financial cliff* scenarios for New Years…January 1, 2013 I am going to simply review quickly a *summary chart* like this one online: http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/stocks/

http://lucas2012infos.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/moneynews-billionaires-dumping-stocks-economist-knows-why-24-september-2012/

6 Oct

helmsdeep7:

The Paxton’s summer ministry update. A good report!

Originally posted on Len's Journal: Thoughts and Perspectives:

 

 

Hello Dear Friends,

What an amazing summer the Lord gave us……  Thinking of all He has done in the ministry takes my breath away.

From several music festivals all the way to preaching a major camp meeting in Topeka, Kansas, the hand of The Lord guided the course of our summer and He ordained each step along the way. I felt so humbled that the Lord allowed me to see many souls birthed into His Kingdom and many also delivered from bondages and made free and new by Jesus….   Many homeless and former Meth addicts are now in the Kingdom.. Thank You Jesus…..

Angie and I are so thankful for all our financial Partners who helped us to to go out and minister at these events and for the thousands of Bibles, New Testaments, CDs, and other Christian product we have been able to Give Away FREE…. When…

View original 195 more words

Looking After My Children ~ “Things aren’t always what they seem.” Part 2

2 Feb

So a dear friend sent this to me today and it really helped! I hope it encourages you as well!

A Conversation between me and God…
(copied ~ author unknown)

Me (in a tizzy) : God, can I ask you something?
GOD: Sure. …

Me: Promise you won’t get mad?
GOD: I promise.

Me (frustrated): Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?
GOD: What do you mean?

I woke up late

I woke up late

Me: Well I woke up late,
GOD: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start,
GOD: Okay….

Me (growling): At lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait
GOD: Hmmmm..

Me: On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call
GOD: All right

Me (loudly): And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak my feet in my foot massager and relax, but it wouldn’t work. Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?

GOD: Well let me see….. the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.
Me (humbled): Oh…

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that might have hit you if you were on the road.
Me (ashamed): …………

GOD: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.
Me (embarrassed): Oh…..

GOD: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give a false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered
Me (softly): I see God

GOD: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I’m sorry God.

GOD: Don’t be sorry, JUST LEARN TO TRUST ME………in ALL things, the good and the bad.

Me: I WILL trust YOU, God.

GOD: And don’t doubt that MY plan for your day is always better than your plan.

Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell YOU, God – thank You for everything today.

GOD: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I love looking after my children.

The Father KNOWS when the Bride is READY!

26 Sep
Wedding Photo

Wedding Photo ~ August 6, 2011

The Bride is Ready

The Bride is Ready

If

you had asked me a year ago if the six month engagement plans my older daughter Elizabeth was embarking on was an extremely fun, but busy and arduous process, I would have agreed. But now after the fact I can tell you this Father has been through all the ups and downs of the entire wedding machine.

Arduous:

1. requiring great exertion; laborious; difficult: an arduous undertaking.

2. requiring or using much energy and vigor; strenuous: making an arduous effort.

3. hard to climb; steep: an arduous path up the hill.

Yes, I have been involved in just a little part of the 6 month engagement process.

Yes, I have driven to numerous stores and witnessed countless tests of bridesmaids’ dresses, etc.

Yes, I have seen quite a number of Bridal Gowns and offered my encouragements as each one was considered.

Yes, I have looked at what might or might not go on the reception tables including, but not limited to, the tablecloths.

Yes, I have commented on what the invitations should and should not say. Like…“Please name mom and dad on them. If it were not for us there would be no YOU! ;- )

Yes, I have been shown swatches of colors and frames for photos and the lists of countless things went on and on.

And one begins to wonder how could anything begin to resolve and we could have a WEDDING!!!

Well, you know I am the father and… I KNOW there will be a wedding. I know that because I have a DATE and a TIME.

I even have signed papers for the Chapel for that date and that time and it WILL happen.

As our family went through this process, one begins to start thinking about spiritual things. It has been said that Jesus is coming back for a Bride. The Bible says that we are already made righteous, and are already sanctified. So then, The Church, in God’s eyes, is already ready. And The Church, His Body, is a guest at the marriage supper for this wedding already consummated with Holy Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:9-10

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

——————-

Jeremiah 3:14

“Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:”

Once again the prophet is addressing Israel and not The Church. Many times and even recently in our own church someone commented on “The Church” as being his bride, but as for when John the beloved wrote the book of Revelation…there was no church yet. Furthermore, the prophet says God is ALREADY married to Israel! So, maybe there is not a wedding in heaven later but only a marriage supper since there is no mention of a wedding for Jesus.

——————-

Of course the title of this blog is… The Father KNOWS when the Bride is READY!  I am father and have two children. And now having gone through the whole wedding process I can more clearly see some of the view that God sees. These things will NOT be held back by God at His appropriate time.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

The Greek for “caught up” harpazo, which means “to carry off,” “snatch up,” or “grasp hastily.” The translation from harpazo to “rapture” involved two steps: first, harpazo became the Latin word raptus; second, raptus became the English word “rapture.”

Source LINK: http://www.raptureready.com/rr-pretribulation-rapture.html

Either way we Christians will be called out to come UP! The timing of the rapture is not known. BUT THE FATHER KNOWS!!!

Quoting further from the raptureready.com web site page above:

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Before the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God)
“In Luke 12:36, the Word states that when Christ returns, He will be returning from a wedding. In Revelation 19:7-8, we read about the marriage itself. The marriage supper takes place before the marriage. According to Jewish custom, the marriage contract, which often includes a dowry, is drawn up first. The contract parallels the act of faith we use when we trust Jesus to be our Savior. The dowry is His life, which was used to purchase us. When it’s time for the wedding, the groom goes to the bride’s house unannounced. She comes out to meet him, and then he takes her to his father’s house. This precisely correlates with the events according to the pre-trib scenario. Jesus, the Groom, comes down from heaven and calls up the Church, His Bride. After meeting in the air, He and His Bride return to His Father’s house, heaven. The marriage supper itself will take place there, while down here on earth the final events of the tribulation will be playing out. After the marriage supper of Jewish tradition, the bride and groom are presented to the world as man and wife. This corresponds to the time when Jesus returns to earth accompanied by an army ‘clothed in fine linen, white and clean’ (Rev 19:14).”

——————-

Enough! Enough organizing and preparations, Enough adjusting of makeup, hair, and garments. Enough with standing in the wings and waiting. For that matter, my wife and I have been “MAKING her ready” since she was born. Everything has been a natural process up to the moment I give her away to the groom.

Its Time For The Wedding!

Its Time For The Wedding!

The day arrives.

Everything is in place and is ready! Her mother and others have been seated. I stand at the door and I see everything. The Father opens the door at the right time and he ushers the Bride in. Not a moment before! And The Father places the hand of the Bride in the Grooms Hand. All time stops…and it is done!
——————-
Source LINK: http://cdacoffee.hubpages.com/hub/Who-Is-The-Bride-of-Christ

CALL TO ACTION: (Part 2 of 2)

5 Apr
Jason Fox of the FoxTrot Comic Strip

Jason of the FoxTrot Comic Strip

8. Put the devil of jealousy far behind you. Deal with your personal insecurities in some other ways, but don’t put others down to make yourself look better.

9. Be loyal. Never allow yourself to tear down the kingdom of God by destructive, behind-the-back criticism of others.

10. Do extra little things that are nobody’s job. Be generous by volunteering—especially for the jobs for which there is no great reward.*

Putting these all together is another way of being an instrument of peace. Let us learn to tame too what is wild and violent within ourselves and the world around us.

Please look for and read:

CALL TO ACTION: (Part 1 of 2)

Source: From the bottom of the web page…

http://www.franciscanfriarstor.com/archive/stfrancis/stf_blessing_of_animals.htm

Who Gets the Credit?

25 Mar

Horse running

A Chinese farmer had only one son and one horse. Nothing else in life mattered much to him. One night his horse ran off. His neighbors came to console him and said, “What bad luck!”

Later the horse returned and brought twelve wild horses with him. The neighbors, hearing the news, gathered at his home and rejoiced with him saying, “What good luck!”

While taming one of the wild horses, the son fell and severely broke his leg. The neighbors gathered once again and with remorse said, “What bad luck!”

Soon after this their warlord was engaged in a battle and took all of the able-bodied men to war –except the son. None of the men returned. But the son, left behind, led a long and productive life.

Was it the Lord or was it luck?

Every event that occurs in our lives is open to interpretation. The discerning mind sees God.

Prayer: Help us, Father, to realize Your presence and power in our lives and see Your hand at work. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture: Romans 8:26

——-
Source:

Daily Devotional – March 25th, 2011

Dr. Michael A. Guido
Michael A. Guido, D.D., Founder

Visit the Sower’s website.
http://www.guidogardens.com/

Become a fan on Facebook…
https://www.facebook.com/michaelguidofanpage

…and follow their updates on Twitter.
http://twitter.com/guidosower

Visit the Sower’s new Bible Study blogs.
http://www.sowersbiblestudies.blogspot.com/

View The Sower’s sixty-second video devotion by clicking here.
http://www.thesower.com/dailytvspot.wmv

CALL TO ACTION: (Part 1 of 2)

9 Mar
Jason Fox of the FoxTrot Comic Strip

Jason of the FoxTrot Comic Strip

1. Focus on people’s good points. Tell all with whom you come into contact the good things you see in them.

2. Develop a positive approach toward life. Compliment more than you criticize.

3. Build a climate of trust and support in all your relationships. Cooperate with others instead of competing with them.

4. Use gentle, loving, respectful language dealing with others. They won’t hear your words if you’re too busy dodging your sharp tongue.

5. Take a genuine interest in the work and activities of others. Make a point to ask about new projects.

6. Listen patiently, with your heart, when others are talking. It’s Christlike to put aside one’s own interests for the love of another.

7. Learn how to refuse with a smile. If you have to say “no” to something, do it respectfully.

Putting these all together is another way of being an instrument of peace.

Let us learn to tame too what is wild and violent within ourselves and the world around us.

Source: From the bottom of the web page…

http://www.franciscanfriarstor.com/archive/stfrancis/stf_blessing_of_animals.htm

A *Pause* to “Rest” While Seasons Change…

23 Jan
A *pause* to "rest" in the music

A *pause* to "rest" in the music

 

My wife, Anne, has told me several times recently of a certain song that she and the church choir are practicing. It just so happens that it only calls on the basses to sing from time to time. Much of the time they just have to sit and wait until they sing again. And many times the bass line is so high many of them can’t sing it anyway. This has become food for thought for me and my wife and we have been thinking about how that applies to our lives. Well her devotional on January 22nd out of the book “Streams in the Desert ~ 365 Daily Devotional Readings,” (C)1997, The Zondervan Corporation, just happened to quote John Ruskin on this very matter. Let me share it with you here on my Helms | Deep 7 blog.

“There is no music during a musical rest, but the rest is part of the making of the music. In the melody of our life, the music is separated here and there by rests. During those rests, we foolishly believe we have come to the end of the song.  God sends us times of forced leisure by allowing sickness, disappointed plans, and frustrated efforts. He brings a sudden pause in the choral hymn of our lives, and we lament that our voices must be silent. We grieve that our part is missing in the music that continually rises to the ear of our Creator.  Yet how does a musician read the rest?  He counts the break with unwavering precision and plays his next note with confidence, as if no pause were ever there.

God does not write the music of our lives without a plan. Our part is to learn the tune and not be discouraged during the rests.  They are not to be slurred over or omitted, nor used to destroy the melody or to change the key.  If we will only look up, God Himself will count the time for us. With our eyes on Him, our next note will be full and clear.  If we sorrowfully say to ourselves, “There is no music in a rest,” let us not forget that the rest is part of the making of the music.  The process is often slow and painful in this life, yet how patiently God works to teach us!  And how long he waits for us to learn the lesson!”

~ John Ruskin

Note and Rest Values and Symbols

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal …
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance …
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
ecclesiastes 3:1-8

A father’s fun-loving, adventurous spirit

20 Jan
Ron and his daughters

Ron and his daughters

Insights from the fathers.com website electronic newsletter sent Friday, January 14th, 2011…

“Your kids need to see your own fun-loving, adventurous spirit. Sure, mom might shake her head, or maybe even disapprove. But sometimes the fun and the adventure are worth a little bit of risk. Does this mean we always know what’s best for our kids, and we shouldn’t listen to our children’s mothers when they tell us to be more careful? Absolutely not. We are part of a parenting team, and should recognize that mothers help us be more sensitive, aware fathers. So, there needs to be room for compromise.

But with that disclaimer in place, make sure you find ways to express your adventurous side with your kids. Why? Because that’s what dads do! That’s one way you build powerful and unique bonds with your children. Research shows your children will grow and benefit from that.”

Excerpt above taken from: “Have a Father-Child Adventure”
Written by the dads @ fathers.com

Read more:
http://www.fathers.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1047

http://www.fathers.com/

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