Seeded: An Eye for Potential

The door swung closed on another holiday season, another year and the end of the decade while the dismal days of winter stretched ahead. Not being a fan of winter herself the little round woman negotiated her way through a landscape of clothing scattered in piles on the floor lamenting the amount of laundry cold weather brings. The clouds outside forecast yet another dreary gray day.

As she rekindled the fire in the wood stove wondering if there would be snow this year the realization hit: no need for a laundry lament today, the seed catalogs had arrived! #daymade!

With chores completed and catalogs spread on the table it was time for a hot cup of tea, some graph paper and big dreams! Oh what pleasure came from drawing out a garden plan and making a list of seeds to buy. Of course, there is a big stretch between seeing the fruit produced in the catalog and the reality of producing said fruit in your own garden but that was neither here not there. This is dream time!

The potential of fabulous fruit is there, in her mind’s eye. Succulent tomatoes, crispy cucumbers, new potatoes swathed in butter and the wholesomeness of green beans and broccoli all swirled in her head. She could picture them on her plate, lined up in rows on shelves and tucked in the freezer. There is nothing better than homegrown produce!

Although this year presented new challenges since the determination was made to plant early in the high tunnel and attempt some seedlings. With uncertain inner temperatures this was new territory to explore and hopefully conquer!

You see, the little round woman had an eye for potential. She could see the potential in the garden and she can see the potential in people, especially children. After all, that’s why she was planted in far northeast Texas in the grove of mostly pecan trees and that why she lived in the little yellow house with her five dogs. Give kids the right environment, proper nutrition and appropriate nurturing and the possibilities are endless! Seeing the rebellious discover the love of Jesus and become a new creation is pure delight! Watching the explosive growth discipleship brings to young adults intent upon the pursuing the Lord is utter bliss indeed!

However, seeing potential can sometimes be a detriment if there is too much focus on potential and not enough on reality. Unfortunately, there are some with great potential who do not choose to raise their head to the sun, receive the water or submit to the pruning the Master Gardener brings. Sadly, these plants do not thrive and often produce sickly fruit.

The good news is: inside each of us is a seed of potential, a seed of faith planted there by God Himself. Each seed with great potential to bear fruit in the Kingdom. What will we do with the seed we have been given? Will we allow the seed to be buried in the dark and broken apart so new life can squeeze out? Will we wait for our roots to anchor in the soil so we can grow up out of the darkness and into the light? Will we submit to the Master Gardener so He can fertilize and prune us into shape helping us through the dry seasons to receive the refreshing rain?

It’s a choice. An environment of love bears much fruit. Love is patient and love is kind but love also sets boundaries and enacts discipline. Love is not jealous or envious but it rejoices and encourages, it is not rude or self-seeking, it bears all things and never fails.

The potential is there. Do you see it?

“For I will turn to you with favor and regard and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will establish and confirm my covenant with you” ~ Leviticus 26:9

The Little Round Woman

Recently, I was approached about writing an article for a monthly community newspaper which has since morphed into a column. I hope you enjoy reading. It is a little twist on what I have written in the past.

Near a tiny little town in far northeast Texas lies a grove of mostly pecan trees. Underneath that grove of mostly pecan trees nestles a little yellow farmhouse inside of which is a little round woman and her five dogs. It was the little round woman’s dream to one day have a cow and as such things do happen, the day came where she not only a cow but a farm full of animals.

The little round woman is a minister dressed in farmer’s clothing and has a heart for children – children of all ages, even grown ones. She pictured herself as ‘the (not so old) woman who lived in a shoe and had so many children she didn’t know what to do’ until the Lord reminded the little woman she absolutely knew what to do. She knew to pray for the children, love them and make sure they were not forgotten or allowed to fall through the cracks of life.

It’s like this: the Bible says every child is a blessing; they are a heritage, a reward and blessed is the man (or wo-man) whose quiver is full of them. Every child, not just some, but every child is a reward. Not everyone realizes this. Whether the child has been wanted, abandoned, abused, neglected, cherished or nurtured, every one is a reward. Some are loved and wanted but are not parented; others are tossed aside or smothered.

The Lord told the little round woman, “I’m going to give you a place where children can come and get back to the basics of life. Where they can belong, build community, grow food and get fed, learn job skills and hard work and most of all, get to know Me!” And He did. So she did.

And that’s how GlenHaven Farm, home of the Grove was born. GlenHaven Farm became the vehicle for the ministry. In this day of video games, processed food, and isolation, we bring the kids outside in the fresh air and sunshine where they can get back to the basics of life. From milking a cow and hauling hay to Bible studies and prayer, we gather together so God can transform us!

GlenHaven Farm raises pastured meat and eggs. We teach animal husbandry in a sustainable manner as God’s provision for meat and income. Basic financial principles and educational responsibility are encouraged. Muscles strengthen, endurance builds and confidence grows. Relationships develop as we work side by side and enjoy meals together under the trees and around the kitchen table. Four generations on forty acres doing what they can to change the culture one truth at a time.

Learning opportunities include basic carpentry, safe power tool usage, calf wrangling, food preservation, cheese making and a host of other skills. Tire swings, collecting eggs and chasing goats are treats for the little ones in-between spelling words and reading practice. While the ever ubiquitous weeding, sweeping and poop scooping keep us all humble!

But, by far the greatest joy is the babies, both animal and human! The first of the 4th generation arrived a year ago with another due early 2020. Multiplication and legacy are the keywords of the day. The little round woman is happy in her little yellow house in the grove of mostly pecan trees mostly because she knows the Lord is good! She lives His goodness every day and you can too.

Glen Haven Farm meats and other products are available for sale on site at their farm store Eggscetera, online @ http://www.glenhaventx.com and at the Winnsboro Farmers Market.

In this case, you’re not just buying local but you’re growing local too.

What’s Your Favor – the Grove 6.25.18

Big GWelcome to the Grove!

Lord, open our hearts and minds to receive what You have for us today! In Jesus’ name, amen.

In our last gathering we discussed God’s order  illustrated in Mark 6 and the feeding of the 5000. (Check it out here)

Putting our lives in order requires us to be in a position of surrender. It also positions us for God’s favor.

The word favor is mentioned >100 times in the Bible; mostly where people are humbling themselves to ask, “O Lord, if I have found favor in Your sight…”

Turn to Malachi 1:6-9. Malachi is warning the people that their offerings are not suitable and they’re giving God junk, instead of their best.  Sadly, Malachi is talking to the religious people and much like the church today, we have not honored God the way we should.

He counsels them: “Entreat the Lord for His favor so He will be gracious to us” (v.9).

Malachi is saying, “look, God sees what you’re doing but there’s a way out of your sin! All you need to do is ask God for His graciousness, kindness and generosity with the right heart.

I certainly don’t walk to walk around without God’s graciousness being extended to me! Do you?

Are we giving God our best? Are we honoring Him? Are we giving Him our leftover time, money, service or are we living our lives  in obedience to HIM?

We need His favor y’all!

art worship - promise

Who had God’s favor?

Let’s look at some examples so we can get a clearer picture of why we should ask for God’s favor. Abraham (Genesis 19:21) and Joseph (Genesis 39:21) were both blessed by God’s favor, especially in the tough times.  The Israelites had so much favor  the Egyptians brought them gold and silver! (Exodus 3:21).

Gideon pleaded for favor in Judges 6, Samuel had favor with God and man (1 Sam 2:26), Job and Daniel all had favor.

King Hezekiah though messed up. He missed out on God’s favor due to pride (2 Chronicles 32:25).

But look at Mary – she had so much favor she was chosen to be the mother of Christ! (Luke 1:30). Jesus, like Samuel, had favor with God and man (Luke 2:42)

Check our Acts 2:46-47 … they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added daily to the church those who were being saved.

Think about it!

chalkboard truth

What does favor bring?

Answered prayers (Gen. 19:21), fruit, multiplication and confirmation of His covenant (Lev. 26:9), protection (Psalm 5:12), life (Psalm 30:5), strength and the ability to stand strong (Psalm30:7) and possession of land (Psalm 44:3) aka our inheritance! What a basket of goodies!

kneeling jogger

How do we get favor?

  1. Through belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
  2. By asking from a position of humility.
  3. By honestly seeking good.
  4. Having good understanding.

Sign me up Lord!

Check-Yourself

Remember:

God takes pleasure in our prosperity (Psalm35:27). HE wants us to succeed and live in the abundant life He has promised us.

Having His favor is like receiving the cloud of the latter rain (Proverbs 16:15) and dew on the grass (Proverbs 19:12). Both of these phrases are symbolic terms for blessing – the latter rain was necessary for the harvest and the dew on the grass represents the manna that comes from God every morning, His mercies truly are new every day!

barred window

 

 

Not having God’s favor can wall us in and limit our view. It can lead to bondage and backsliding.

What in our life is hindering God’s favor?

 

 

 

Let’s humble ourselves, ask for His favor because we need His grace!

 

 

 

PS – This article is a teaching / study time done at the Grove (our Bible gatherings at the farm) so the format is different than my usual blog. I would encourage you to look up the scriptures listed above and sit before the Lord in a spirit of surrender and allow Him to minister to you.

 

We would love to hear what He has done in your life!