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What is it worth to you?

Selling surplus plants on a local website was a smart idea. After all, there are always a few new plants that I feel I simply must have, and selling my extras not only makes money, but makes room for the newcomers, too.

Some friends got me started on this idea after seeing me bring armloads of plants to the garden clubs and church meetings over the years.

I truly started feeling like those dreaded zucchini ladies who foist their giant cucurbits on unsuspectingly polite friends. Continue reading What is it worth to you?

Preachers

Potential

“So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart'” (1 Samuel 16:6-7 NKJV).

In my opinion perhaps the greatest challenge to missionaries is the development of indigenous leadership in areas where the church is young and opportunities for training are limited. How quickly can a new convert develop the spiritual maturity required of elders, deacons, and preachers? How quickly may we begin to trust those of different cultures of which our understanding is imperfect? Just when should we begin to push for independence and self-reliance on the part of mission churches? These are difficult questions with few obvious right answers. Continue reading Potential

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Never had it so good

Israel didn’t know how good they had it.

In making covenant with God, God had declared: “And ye shall serve Jehovah your God, and he will bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall none cast [miscarry -spw] her young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil” (Exodus 23:25-26, ASV, consider also Deuteronomy 7:12-15 & 28:5-8). Continue reading Never had it so good

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No more “us” and “them”

It seems that throughout the history of mankind, people have developed words to distinguish groups of people. The Greeks referred to all those who were not Greek as barbarians. In Rome you were either a citizen or a non-citizen. The Jews called all those who were not Jews by the term “Gentiles.” It would seem the purpose of creating such distinctions was to elevate your own group and put down those who you considered less than your group. Even today we can find this type of terminology in places. Continue reading No more “us” and “them”

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A clear conscience

“And looking intently at the council, Paul said, ‘Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day'” (Acts 23:1, ESV).

Who can’t help but think of Pinocchio’s little Jiminy Cricket when thinking of the word “conscience.” Remember how overwhelmed the little insect was trying to keep up with the little puppet’s antics?

In a moment of candid self-evaluation Paul declared that he had lived in all good conscience. This suggests two things: Continue reading A clear conscience

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High Priest of our faith

Church leaders may be wise, knowledgeable Christian men, but they’re nonetheless sinful (Romans 3:23). Besides, a true man of God will direct everyone to the perfect Lord.

God established Jesus as our source of truth (John 1:17) because he’s the sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21) founder (Matthew 16:18) and head of the Church (Ephesians 1:22-23). As a result, Jesus is our leader in all things spiritual (Luke 4:8). Continue reading High Priest of our faith

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Is it not small?

The Yard Boy (also known as my husband) was pretty pleased with the looks of the yard as I returned from a month away, welcoming our newest grandchild. The late daffodils were still blooming, as were a few of the crocuses. The grass was greening up, and he had mown it twice already.

He knew I was worried about what the flower beds would look like after not being worked in for such a long time. He was happy that the weeds were still very small and that the flowers were still visible. Continue reading Is it not small?

decisions

If

“This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:11-13 NKJV).

It has become very evident to me over the years that conditional statements are often not recognized as such. This may be cultural, or in other situations may be influenced by lack of education or even by personal prejudices (we often do hear what we want or expect to hear, don’t we?). Continue reading If

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In God’s own time

A friend of mine once asked, “Why does God refuse to listen to my prayers?” He said he had prayed very steadfastly for several days for a specific purpose and “nothing happened.”

Many people have experienced such feelings, and they have difficulty understanding why God does not operate on the same time frame as they would like.

Very often, our preconceived ideas of God are quite different than his. Continue reading In God’s own time