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.
Luke 8:15

I've been thinking about perseverance. The Greek word translated perseverance in the NIV and NASB is used 33 times in the NT. In The King James, it is translated patience 29 times.

I was asking myself why things just plain seem to go so slow usually. I know there are good answers like that the way we are built as humans, we need to slowly grow into things. I also know that paradoxically, many things happen suddenly. Suddenly, I found what I was looking for. Suddenly, I was healed of a debilitating illness. God is paradoxical and can ask us to be patient while also doing suddenlies in our lives.

In the text above, it says that a crop is only produced through perseverance. The meaning, according to my little Greek dictionary, is of a person "who is not swerved from their deliberate purpose and their loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings".

I notice the word "severe" within persevere. Per means through. Through severity.

So a crop or fruitfulness comes through severity.
You have got to go through severities or there's no fruit.

Plowing hard hearts

In the parable of the sower (Matt. 13 or Luke 8), the seed that fell on the good ground produced a great crop, while seeds that fell on other kinds of ground did not. I heard Joyce Myers the other day talking about all these agricultural metaphors and I heard plowing and realized that good ground is plowed ground. Plowed ground is soft ground and unplowed is hard. Seeds need soft ground for a variety of reasons.

In Matthew 13, when Jesus explains the parable of the sower, He also quotes Isaiah 6, explaining why he teaches in parables and in the Isaiah passage, hardness of heart as a phrase is used to describe people who are unable to receive teaching or be fruitful.

So my question is, how do we get our hearts plowed so that we are receptive to the Word and become fruitful? Do we do it or does God or do life's circumstances that come our way? Why are some people hard hearted while others are soft? Why are some people receptive and others are not?

God Alone

Psalm 62:1

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. (NIV)

God, the one and only--I'll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him,
so why not? (The Message)

I am still on this topic of rest. Rest is about resting your body and soul. Rest is also about resting from your efforts or resting in your efforts. What if being in Christ means that it is always Sabbath time?

I've been discovering- connecting the dots I guess- that when I am waiting on God, that I also need to be resting, resting in God. Faith is about believing without seeing. But it is not just a tough-it-out, cold-turkey type of a thing; but an intimacy of knowing God is there next to me and engaging with Him. God is the action God. He goes a gets. But He's also the waiting room God. He doesn't shut us away in a dark room or dry desert. He's there with us.

I'm coming to the conclusion that we are always to be waiting on and resting in God.

Strangers here

Strangers, pilgrims, sojourners, aliens. That's what Christians are. The reminder that we are (this) is a call to (that): a different lifestyle. Since we are this, we ought not act like that.

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
1 Peter 2:11

We are just passing through this place, now that we are citizens of a different place. This is not our home. To put it bluntly, we've been touched by God who made us in His image, and now we have more in common with God than animals, so we ought now act like animals any longer. Although we still live on the dirt, next to the animals in human bodies subject to the wear and tear of earthly life.

We live down here, but we belong to up there. We will live down here for a short time, but we will live up there forever. In the light of this, we ought to act like who we are, not where we are.

This is a call to holiness, that just makes a lot of sense. You act a certain way because
of who you are. You walk in your identity. It must take practice and reminding, otherwise we would not have or need verses like this one and I would not be writing on it.

Real rest

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Matthew 11:28-30

If I'm weary on life, even on religion, Jesus says that the thing to do is to come to him...
and everyone is invited.

Unforced rhythm's of grace. Not hard nor back-breaking. Jesus, who was the greatest person to ever live, superior to everyone else, calls me to his meekness-- "unforcedness".

I'm discovering or rediscovering how to take everything that is a burden- things that challenge me or bother me, to God. I'm learning how to be a matador and let things go into the red cape and not into me. It's not denial, but a sharing of every burden with papa God. I realizing that is the yoke that is light.

Turn back

"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength." Isaiah 30:15

This text for me, means that I need to take every thing, each thing that bothers me to God in prayer and let Him help me let go of it or watch it fade is His presence. It's repentance, turning away from my conflictual, sinful attitude. Turning away from sin. I think we nen to have a continual turning away from sin. Opportunities are constant for sin and we must be constantly turning away and abiding in God as His beloved. Finally I am abiding so much that I'm not needing to turn away from anything because I am adiding i the sinless one. Then something happens and I turn away and back into God and the journey goes on.

The church is a hunter

It is the LORD who created the stars, the Pleiades and Orion.
Amos 5:8
I got this idea that the church is like Orion. You know, the costellation named after a Greek demi-god. His dad was Poseidon and his mom was a mortal. He was a hunter, a lover, a song writer, and a story teller. He had a dog that followed him around named Sirius. You can easily spot Orion's belt of three stars.

E. W. Bullinger, a theologian who lived a hundred years ago, wrote a lot of interesting things about Orion: The Hebrew word is Chesil which means a hero, a strong one, or a giant. Of the 78 stars that make up Orion, their names help us to define who Orion is:
"The brightest, a (in the right shoulder), is named Betelgeuz, which means the coming (Mal 3:2) of the branch.

The next, b (in the left foot), is named Rigel, or Rigol, which means the foot that crusheth. The foot is lifted up, and placed immediately over the head of the enemy, as though in the very act of crushing it. Thus, the name of the star bespeaks the act.

The next star, g (in the left shoulder), is called Bellatrix, which means quickly coming, or swiftly destroying.

The name of the fourth star, d (one of the three in the belt), carries us back to the old, old story, that this glorious One was once humbled; that His heel was once bruised. Its name is Al Nitak, the wounded One. * Similarly the star k (in the right leg) is called Saiph, bruised, which is the very word used in Genesis 3:15, thus connecting Orion with the primeval prophecy. Like Ophiuchus, he has one leg bruised; while, with the other, he is crushing the enemy under foot.

* The star z (in the belt) is called Mintaka, dividing, as a sacrifice (Lev 8:2).

This is betokened by other stars named Al Rai, who bruises, who breaks (as in Cepheus); and Thabit (Hebrew), treading on.

Other (Arabic) names relate to His Person: Al Giauza, the branch; Al Gebor, the mighty; Al Mirzam, the ruler; Al Nagjed, the prince; Niphla (Chaldee), the mighty; Nux (Hebrew), the strong. Some names relate to His coming, as Betelgeuse and Bellatrix, as above; Heka (Chaldee), coming; and Meissa (Hebrew), coming forth.

Such is the cumulative testimony of Orion's stars, which, day after day, and night after night, show forth this knowledge. "

Interesting stuff! I found tons of information on Orion and the above was just an example.
He is a hunter. He's on the move. He is engaged. He is noticed by friends and enemies.



I believe I was supposed to have us talk about silence at church yesterday, but I didn't decode my marching orders till today. How do you talk about silence? Sounds like a paradox. I think we're supposed to sit in silence together.

I am reading Henri Nouwen's book, The Way of The Heart, wherein he writes about solitude and silence. Lately, I have been enjoying evenings with the television and radio off, and I like to drive with nothing on the speakers for a period of time every day.

I think that silence helps me to get centered on God, on His love for me. Bible study, worship, and other things do this too; but silence does it in a different way. The self life or flesh has to drop down in silence. I'm learning more about this.

Sky Links, 9-27-17