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Posts Tagged ‘harvesting’


Isaiah 24 – 27Elusive Antagonists

Monday, October 8, 2018

Written on February 25 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

Scripture persistently warns us about how to live, whom to follow, and what traps lie ahead to ensnare us.  All we have to do is to pay a bit of attention.

Each of us has our personal impediments to the progress of the soul.  All of us must come face to face with ourselves and the lives we have lived.  Our antagonists are sometimes in our faces, but more frequently they slip in among our friends and loved ones to betray us in our inmost heart.  Those who oppose us openly are easily identifiable; the more dangerous enemies, Isaiah warns, are those who come in the guise of goodness – and for this reason the Lord turns the world upside down . . . to see who shakes out, and who has learned the skills needed by the faithful.

If we have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, given shelter to the homeless and taken in the lost, we have been putting ourselves through our lessons well.

If we have mourned the dead, tended to the sick, ministered to the imprisoned and entered into the vineyard to do God’s work, we have becomes accustomed to living in mercy and compassion.

If we have witnessed to evil, rebuked our companions, atoned for our sins and made changes in our lives, we know how to live in God’s vineyard . . . and we will put our heads down, go indoors, and await the passing of the dreadful singing of the harvesting sword.

We ought not fear the obstacles we constantly stumble against for they are lesson plans that refine us.  If we have answered God’s call and accepted our work as remnant toiling in God’s vineyard, then we need not fear the coming of the day as we see it here . . . for with God all things are possible.  God will turn all that is evil to an end that is goodness, and we will know peace out of chaos, justice out of ruin, humility out of pride, love out of envy, and joy out of sorrow.  Our elusive antagonists who have hounded our heels and sent chills of fear through our bones will have honed our skills at kingdom building and as remnant . . . and we will find to our amazement, that we will have readied ourselves for the work of God’s eternal city.


A re-post from September 5, 2011. 

Images from: http://www.annerobertson.com/2009/04/naboths-vineyard.html

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gleaningFriday, July 25, 2014

Psalm 37:1-2

Gathering In

Don’t bother your head with braggarts or wish you could succeed like the wicked. In no time they’ll shrivel like grass clippings and wilt like cut flowers in the sun.

We are reminded that we must be pruned in order to bear good fruit but this psalm tells of a different kind of harvesting: the separation of the wheat from the darnel weeds. (Matthew 13:24-30) It is true that in our present reality we too often find that the foolish lead while the wise pick up the pieces; but it is just as true that none on our gleaning goes unnoticed.

God says: I am not blind to the evil that takes place around you and I see how you struggle against it. Although I know that you look for an easier way to gain strength, this struggle against odds makes you stronger. This struggle brings you many lessons that you have no other way of learning. I know that you wish that evil might disappear entirely but consider the parable of the darnel and the wheat. These two plants are difficult to distinguish with the human eye; but my eye sees clearly. The darnel withers and is tossed on the fire. The wheat is gathered into my barn. As you grow in the field where you have been planted, allow the weeds to wilt while I harvest the good grain in you.

Each time we meet an obstacle, rather than seeing it as a hurdle to overcome, let us consider it an opportunity for us to flourish as wheat rather than wilt as darnel. Enter the words weeds among the wheat or Gleaning into the blog search bar and consider the gathering you will do today.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Luke 8:15: But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

This story is familiar to all of us – seed sowed among thorns, between rocks and along pathways.  Thistles and hard places do not nurture freedom and growth; they stifle the burgeoning spirit.  Tilled, irrigated soil is the better nest for promoting mercy and many of us do not have the benefit of this kind of gift. Yet all of us have God’s forgiveness no matter our actions. Each of us is called to goodness no matter our surroundings.   All of us are loved by God no matter our circumstances.   

Let us look for fertile soil in which we might grow . . . today and all days. 

Let us respond to God’s call . . . with the noble and good heart that is God-given

Let us hear God’s Word . . . retain it, and persevere in it.

And let us produce with our lives a good and gracious crop that we might return to our loving God.

Select a word from the “word cloud” to the right, follow the link . . . and consider how we might respond to God’s Word and produce a good harvest.

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The Whirlwind


Sunday, January 15, 2012 – Hosea 8 – The Whirlwind

Written on May 20, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

When they sow the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind . . .

Today’s Noontime is about thinking that we are in control and forgetting that God is the creator and manager of all.  It is about making idols of the things we choose as important.  And it is about reaping what we sow.

Psalm 126 is one of my favorites because it reminds us that nothing worthwhile comes to us without suffering; it is in the turmoil and struggle that we best meet God.  Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy.  Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves. 

We cannot go much wrong if when we doubt we remain faithful to our relationship with God.

We cannot go much wrong when if when we are discouraged we place all hope in the timeless healing Christ brings.

We cannot go much wrong when if when we are angry we give our frustration over to the unifying force of the Spirit.

We arrive on the earth with our little bag of seed to be sown.  We search for fertile soil, sometimes forgetting that the best harvest is often reaped under our noses.  We lament the conditions in which we find ourselves; we curse injustice when we hear bad news and we weep as we sow, wondering if anything we do has any positive effect upon outcomes. 

Hosea reminds us to stay clear of corruption and deceit.  He tells us clear stories of others who thought they might keep their wicked transactions secret.  He asks us to hug close to home as we labor in the fields, and he suggests that we keep the one true God ever in our hearts and minds.

The wind goes where it likes, symbolizing freedom; yet . . . it is a freedom that comes at a high cost.  Better to remain in the leeward protection of the Lord, Hosea says, so that when the reaper arrives, he will recognize us as those who have toiled long and faithfully in his fields . . . and we not be swept away by the overpowering eddies of the whirlwind.

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