31Days

No Mercy for the Enemies of the Harvest #31Days

We head out to the garden and animals every morning. 7:30 sharp, well most of the time. I don’t carry a reputation for punctuality. This morning I lovingly made biscuits. When I opened the oven, they were burnt. To the touch, they were still soft. So, I ushered the children in to gobble some up before they cooled to the stiffness of rocks.

Yum… fresh biscuits, slightly dark, but that’s okay. All is well.

Then sang the series of yucks! Yuck! Gag!

Heavy on the baking soda.

“Oh, well. Chicken food! That’s what I just spent my time doing,” I’m thinking as I survey the mess of a kitchen…

“Baking chicken biscuits.”

Sigh.

8:00

“Quick! Quick! Outside guys! Grab the biscuits. Let’s go.”

We moved into this house out in the country ten months ago to start a little homestead. We’ve learned to garden… I mean GARDEN. We are producing enough food that I am canning and freezing consistently. We even have a second garden- a fodder garden! Eek! I love the sound of that. This garden grows food for the livestock. Bless my soul just about sums it up. My previous garden in the city would squeeze out a small, often pitiful harvest. Now, to grow food for the animals, too… May I just say: Beside. Myself. Really, I am.

I’ve always loved dirt, used to eat it, in fact. Some say this is evidence of a mineral deficiency. Nonetheless, I can clearly remember as a child sampling the soils in various places. I was on a little hunt for just the right flavor. Any old dirt would not do. I could immediately tell when I found the right plot to indulge. I loved the feel in my little hands and the taste in my mouth was just what I was seeking. I can imagine little me, down on my knees, hidden from all other eyes closing my own and licking my lips enjoying the treasure I had searched for and found.

Well, you might know I needed to give this love affair up with dirt. I was sick on several occasions. The Dr. looked at me sternly and said, “Don’t eat dirt anymore”. That stern look frightened me and I believed something terrible might happen if I did not heed this advice.

I never touched dirt to my lips again. Cold turkey, you might say.

But, Oh, every morning all these years later I’m down in it on my hands and knees. I crawl through the rows picking weeds and surveying for bugs and damage as I go. I love it.

This dirt freshly tilled just a couple months ago sports a beautiful harvest and harvest to be.

I’ve learned:

Number 1-

Every day in the dirt makes a big difference.

Number 2-

The garden is a battlefield.

no mercy

I have become a crusher of the enemies in the garden.

Right now enemy number one is this green worm, he goes by “Cabbage Worm”.

The orders were- spot them, crush them- No Mercy for the Enemies of the Harvest!

Today, the count was a whopping 250… crushed. Bare hands and boots were our only combat weapons.

Yes, we counted every darn one.

I closed my eyes this very evening to kiss my husband and I saw worms in my mind’s eye.

We were obviously serious, focused, and on mission today in the garden.

Francis Frangipane, in his book, The Three Battlegrounds, writes, “When the Holy Spirit shows us an area that needs repentance, we must overcome the instinct to defend ourselves. We must silence the little lawyer who steps out from a dark closet in our minds, pleading, ‘My client is not so bad.'”

God came to save us, rescue us from our impossible situation. He tills up the garden of our hearts and plants a harvest. BUT… He did not come to do everything for us… to enable and approve of lazy, selfish, consuming bums.

The gospel calls us to difficult… the daily “walking our rows” with the light of the Word lit up by the Spirit as our guide. Pulling, crushing, humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God.

I’ve learned:

Number 1-

Every day in the Word makes a big difference.

Number 2-

My heart is a battlefield.

The Bible says that Satan prowls around looking for whom he may devour. The thought of a snake coming at me is enough to make me shiver with fear edging on terror, how much more an ancient foe that hates me? And how bout that foe within me? O man, if I could blame everything on Satan, but there is a part of me that would agree with every wickedness that He could throw my way. That part- must be crushed- death to pride… bowing myself by an act of my will under God’s mighty hand.

There is to be No Mercy for the Enemies of the Harvest

John the Baptist, was this kind… “walking his rows” out there in the wilderness… He threw caution to the wind when it came to his faith in God and His promises- He sought no position among men, but was fully aligned in the wilderness with what was prophesied in the Word about his position with his God and His kingdom purpose:

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:”Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5

And on this side of history waiting… Am I this kind? Daily walking my rows, with the light of the Word and the Spirit as my guide.

All distractions from the One laid aside…

My God has fulfilled His covenant and died in my place. There is no obstacle except that for which I will not let go. He wants to conquer all my gods, all my fears, all my sickness, all my lies. He wants me to agree with Him- giving no mercy to the enemies of the harvest.

I bless you Dear Reader, morning by morning “walking your rows”, hearing Him saying, “This is the way” and heeding Him, laying down the sins He reveals, taking up praise, and walking with Him moment by moment.

Your life is meant to shine for Him… a harvest unspoiled by sin.

To Him Alone,

Diana

Jacked Up Places Do NOT Equal a Jacked Up God #31Days

jacked up

John the Baptist was born into jacked up times.

Remember Herod the Great?

He was the one jealous of the prophesied King to be born under a star.

He was the one who ordered the killing of the baby boys two and under.

Yes, that Herod was ruling when John the Baptist was born.

Herod was an Idumean under Roman domination, ruling over the Jewish people. Gentiles were everywhere throughout the land, ruling, and taxing the people.*

The Jewish people were oppressed IN the promised land.

And the religious leaders of the Jews? Oh! Many were blind guides, who strained out gnats and white washed their tombs of dead men’s bones keeping people from God instead of ministering God to the people.

And to show the mix up of this time period further: A movement began to search the scriptures to see what the future held. Many believed that the time had come for the Messiah.*

John grew up in the desert- He was a Levite,

a priest from the line of Aaron from the tribe of Levi FROM BOTH SIDES!

Yes, Zacharias, John’s father AND Elizabeth, John’s mother

Both descended from the line of Aaron.

He had Levite coming from both sides.

A priest with a call to prepare the way for the Great High Priest, Jesus.

Now, stick with me and listen to what Malachi, the last prophet to speak in the Old Testament before the four hundred years of silence that preceded John and Jesus’s birth says concerning the Levites. First, he admonishes the priests and then says this:

“And you will know that I have sent you this admonition

so that MY COVENANT

with Levi may continue,”

says the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY,

MY COVENANT was with him,

a COVENANT of life and peace,

and I gave them to him.

This called for reverence and he revered me

and stood in awe

of my name.”

Let’s recap…

Remember the jacked up times John the Baptist was born into? Put that together with Malachi’s prophesy and like my thirteen year old daughter would say, “Bam!”.

God’s Covenant with Levi continues with this Levi of a Levite, Mr. John the Baptist!

Would you chew on that for a minute with me? Picture God for a moment taking a divine finger and pointing at His chest every time He makes reference to Himself in that verse. Go back and read it again. Every time He points to Himself… He is talking about the God of the universe, the One who speaks and light appears, water parts, stars spread across the sky. And those words He speaks? Here’s what Isaiah proclaims:

“The grass withers the flowers fades,

But the Word of our God stands forever” 40:8

And let’s get this afresh: Jacked up places, messed up situations, evil and abuses piled high DO NOT Negate God’s Word.

Everything I may have leaned up against might have been flimsy like grass and fading like a flower. But God is a rock. I can be sure I can lean up hard against Him and He will not fall over.

His will is not always done, we know. It is not His will for a man to walk in a classroom with guns to blow away the brave that answer, “I am a Christian”.

BUT,

We can rest assured

  His purposes are NEVER thwarted.

One of His purposes is that His people trust the Truth over the fear of a gun… the rejection of man, the loud voices of doubt, unbelief, and ego.

For a little while, and in some of our places it will seem like evil has the victory.

But

He made a covenant.

He will come in and fulfill

every

bit

of

it.

He has a plan and it is already set in motion.

And Dear Reader, you and I can take that to the bank of faith and securely deposit it there.

In Memory of the Slain at UCC in Oregon

God, stir up your Word in the hearts of this Oregon community, so that they lean hard against You, the Unchanging God. Thank you for the faithful, who knew he would shoot, and said, “I am a Christian”. To You We Give All the Glory!

In Christ Alone,

Diana

* The quotes marked with an asterisk are from: The Journey Through the Bible by V. Gilbert Beers