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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

GROWING WEARY


  He was going to kill his self.  I remember listening to my Uncle talk about how the life of farming had overwhelmed him at one point.  Too many bills. Not enough rain. So he took a gun and drove out to a field, that was less than productive, with the intent to take his own life.  But God had other plans. That was 30 years ago. This was yesterday.
     She has had a tough season.  It has been one of clearing fields and planting.  The soil has been the hearts of her children.  She loves them. She fights for them.  She waters the seeds with her tears.  At times she blames herself for the slow growth but the watched pot never boils.  Her seeds did not appear active underneath the tough exterior of disobedience.  And what she saw on the outside scared her to death. Brown fields. Dust storms. The sound of insects waiting to pounce. She was broken.  And she believed it was her fault, that maybe this was too big of a mess for the Redeemer.
     She was in church. She was seeking God and even doing what he had asked. And at night she would dig in the dirt and put in more seeds. But her faith was waning. She believed, as did I, that the water of baptism would guarantee instant growth. But the ground hardened. All those precious promises of harvest became harder to grasp, harder to believe.  Doubt like night began to take its toll. Fear was calling her name.
     She spent the weekend still moving through the faithful motions of what a God fearing mother should do. After working all day Friday, she took them to parties and to hang out with a friend. They were less than grateful. The next night she took them to a church for a youth function. They were not impressed. The next day she took them to church for worship and even drug them to a vision conference in the afternoon. She was tired. But the ground was cracking open.
     There, with her friends and her children, they watched a movie called, Unconditional. At the end of the film, her pastor called all the children there to action by handing them a two dollar bill of their own to give to someone who needed to be encouraged, to someone who needed hope. (You should watch this movie)  But for the most part the weekend ended again with no progress. She watered the seeds again with her tears that night.
     Monday was  a typical hard day of being a working (farming) mother. She rushed to get them to school, went to work, came home to make sure they had something to eat and gathered her strength for a two hour Bible study of  her own discipleship. Her son was struggling with school and the house wasn’t clean. Laundry had piled up and the weight of life descended upon her like a foot on a worm. She was tired… and then she found something on her bed.  A note with a $2 bill attached that said,
To the greatest mom ever: Dear Mom I love you so much. I am a handful, believe me. I know I've been living with myself for 13 years but I know you will always be there through thick and thin. I love you so much. God loves you and so do I. From: Brice Capps 10-21-13"
God is faithful. Her strength has been renewed. And this sprout, this wonderful green sprout, is not a fluke. This morning I dropped him off at school and saw another leaf spring out. A young man had dropped his papers and several other kids were walking by but Brice… Brice stopped and helped him pick up his papers.
This is not by chance.  This is the product of love, discipline, prayer, and tears.  This is the product of what happens when a community (a church) farms together in the heart of a child.  Here are the verses we studied one day before all this happened:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7-9
Hilary and I both would like to thank everyone who encourages us in this season of planting. We will keep you updated on the Harvest.  Many tears of joy and praise have fallen upon this blessing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A HOUSE NAMED CONVICTION

     Conviction. That is what I call a small white house across the street. A friend of mine grew up in that house. It was not a safe place for a little girl. As a matter of fact it was hell. I didn't understand just how bad it was until one night at the end of a Bible study on judgment. Crying, this girl approached me about how comforting it was to know that the father that sexually abused her would face a judgement. Her story is a horrific tale of incest, and other unspeakable acts that only occur in the worst nightmares.
      I was leaving to go to Lowe's the other day and pointed out the house and the man who lives there to Hilary. Our conversation moved from how does someone not kill that man to how does God not kill any of us. And then it shifted into how all sin is a concerted effort toward the same evil, both small and large contributions to Satan and his work. I mentioned that we have to think of sin, even small ones, as giving applause to the things that happened in that white house. Who knows how many times our harsh words have been the spark that started the fire that burned the forest in someone else's life. Sin is often a chain reaction. We have crosswords with someone that is upsetting and then they go home and take it out on their children. Every day that house reminds me of two things. One is that my sin aids the enemy that destroyed a little girls' heart. Two, kind words can rescue those who are trapped in darkness. Dear God, save me from planting in the wrong field and bind my heart to your Harvest. Forgive me. Forgive us all.

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."
Luke 11:23

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