Monday, March 11, 2013

ARE WE PREPARING THE SOIL?

      ARE WE PREPARING THE SOIL?

                                                         

Today's blog will be discussing preparing the soil in our lives, ie;doing our best to assure peace in the midst of the storms of life. The daylily I have chosen to feature today is one that doesn't even know its suffering...even if the
circumstances tell it
to give up its vibrancy, give up and not care about life, just wither away and die...so to speak. At
least for this year, this season..maybe better next year..who knows?? But this daylily doesn't know any better, it enjoys living to its fullest as do SOME of the other daylilies I have out in the daylily field.

The Gospel of Mark, chapter 4 speaks of the sower and the seed. It is a parable given by Jesus about the same seed, sown on various soils. 
The first soil is a hard, beaten down path and the seed fell away. 
The second soil was thin and rocky and and it sprang up at once and then having no depth, it withered away. 
The third soil  that the same type of seed fell on was among the thistles and thorns and that poor plant got choked and stunted and bore no fruit...
BUT there was hope for the sower, when he planted that same seed on good, well adapted soil (full of nutrition and space for the roots to grow) it bore much fruit.


Here you  can see the same seedling earlier in the season with its very cold nights, still doing what it was meant to do. It did better than most of the seedlings of its own age last summer, giving out a wonderful 29 buds and excellent 4-5 way branching. Last summer was the true test to see what it could accomplish. Just one more photo of this beauty(below) and it taken during the 2011 season where we had reasonably good weather-at least compared to 2012...but then there has not been another comparison like that in my lifetime!

                                                           
As you can see, there is more vibrancy, but not a marked difference. Every daylily that grows out in that large field have had the same benefits; none have been treated differently. Each have been weeded, mulched, and watered by the heavens above (the Master Gardener Himself!) and lots and lots of warm sun. The only variable over the years has been the amount of heat and cold, and snow cover and rain, but each daylily has been dealt the same treatment out in the daylily field. They have all been sown on the same good, black clay loam soil that has been prepared and ready for planting. 

So back to the parable....if the path is hardened(or might I say the heart is hardened) then the efforts to sow seed in that area would be null and void. 
And if the soil is all thin and rocky, with no depth... soil that has not been improved through meaningful choices and/or people intervening in their lives, then there may need a lot more patience, perseverance and prayer  on the gardener's part to see a successful planting take root.

The third soil mentioned is seed planted on thorny soil...I know about that firsthand!!

Thorns and Thistles have a definite advantage in keeping one from doing or becoming their best. I know for myself We get all choked out, discouraged, and many times so self-indulged that we are of no value to anyone else because we are always fretting and anxious about things going wrong or not being right, that we can't see the beauty we have available to us, right in front of us. 
I have had massive problems with the thistles in the daylily field. I tried salt-didn't work- mulch-they liked that-black plastic- they REALLY liked that. The only thing I didn't try were chemicals which I don't want to use, I want to stay organic. 

((right below you will see two photos. The first one shows you and area out in the daylily field that has been ignored. It is slowly being choked out because of all the weeds that invade when the garden got ignored. Even though it might be pretty at a distance, close up you will see the thistles (lower left corner) and grasses etc etc that totally dominate the field as the simmer goes on. So even though you may see a smidgen daylilies that are in there, it doesn't compare to what it once was. The photo right below this one is in a newer section of the garden and resembles very much what this overgrown mess of weeds was.)) 






Again, back to the parable that Jesus was teaching. The thorns and thistles are described in the Amplified Bible and puts it so well. It says that 'the cares and anxieties and distractions of the age, and the pleasures and deceitfulness of riches, and the cravings and passionate desire for other things choke and suffocate the Word(the gospel) and it becomes fruitless'.

 That's like seeing a whole field of poppies, vibrant beautiful poppies, swaying in the breeze, without any bloom. Picture just a sea of tall green stems swaying like tall grass, as the wind blows but with no color and definitely no seed to pass on for the next sowing the next year. No one in their right mind would ever call them poppies! 

BUT the good news is that, just as in daylilies, with the proper preparation of the soil, and the proper care, year by year, seeds will bloom, seeds will set seed and increase themselves, sometimes 30 times greater, or even 60-100 times greater, just as the scripture says, when speaking of the Gospel seed that was sown on the good soil.

How do we do it..How do we prepare soil for ourselves, our inner most beings, our hearts, first of all?

We need to make sure we dig out, and continue digging out the weeds(our sin natures)in our life. We can't just 'wish' them away. In reality that means we need to admit that we are sinners and that we do sin, whether conscious or unconsciously...we do sin. After all, if we don't admit something is wrong, we keep on doing it. That's just human nature.


Next, in the natural we need to mulch for moisture retention, protection from heat and cold and protection from invasive weeds...

        and in the Supernatural...

mulch can be something as simple as prayer, acknowledging our need for help,and daily reading the Word of God and chewing on it like a cow chews his cud. Then when Jesus is really a part of our life, emulating His life, focusing on His ways, we are able to love the unlovely with no strings attached...just loving like Jesus does. Mulch and then mulch again...getting soaked in the Word, in a Bible believing church...getting to know God in a personal way...a true relationship with the Living Word. That's the way we can retain moisture and protection. At that point our roots are getting stronger making stronger plants that can withstand the cares and anxieties of this world. That's because we are planted in good soil.
      Jesus said He is Living Water and we will never thirst again...but we need to COME to the Living Water....recognize our need and hunger and thirst for righteousness(right-doing).

Father God is our protector; protection during desert dry times or harsh cold times..He is always there and will never leave us or forsake us.
   
   Mulching for soil improvement: Is there anyone who doesn't want to improve their lives? Unfortunately we think pleasures of all sorts will improve our lives...whether it is the pleasure of 

                PRESTIGE
                POWER
                TOYS
                RELATIONSHIPS
                FOOD
                RECREATION
....and so many more temptations that only take us further away from the true pleasure giver-Jesus! It's HE that gives us true Joy:He said, I have come that you may have joy and in abundance!

     It won't be that short-term joy of "happenings" ....like




    the first daylily you have ever seen because its yours and no one has ever created it before...

..............or that beautiful first time you hold your baby in your arms...only to have your joy robbed by all the dirty diapers ahead. 
              or that first..or third or fourth house ...your dream house you have wanted for so long....
that dream house needs even more maintenance and money and that initial joy....vanishes away. 

    The Joy Jesus gives is long term..

              long lasting..

               eternal...

both here on earth and heaven to come. 

It's the permanence, 

the being rooted deep in faith in

Someone better than yourself..

Someone who has said and proved that He will never leave us or forsake us...

We just need to come to Him and Stick to Him Like Glue...

and all the cares and anxieties of this world

will fall away because

He is able...

He is willing...

He wants so badly to have a relationship with you....

He just doesn't want us to come to Him for a

quick-fix and then leave Him when He either

doesn't fix it the way we want Him to fix

it, or He doesn't fix it fast enough to suit

us.


We just have to remember

that He and Father God are at work all the

time...most times behind the scenes it

seems...

preparing us and others, to give us blessings beyond measure....

preparing the soil of our lives for richness

desiring to flourish....

even in the midst the most trying times...

just like those pretty dayliles featured today.


He cares even more for you and your loved ones

than He ever cared for a 'plain ol' lily' !

And Oh see how beautiful He has made them..

not plain at all...

and neither are you...

especially in His eyes...





He created you and knows just what you 

need...

just don't forget Him like the Israelites did

and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years!


Come to Him and stick by Him..

Jesus said..Abide in Me and I WILL abide in

you.....what a great way to live!
         


THIS A COLLAGE OF ALL MY SEEDLINGS THAT I HAD LAST YEAR THAT SHINED LIKE THE STARS THROUGH ALL THE ADVERSTY THEY HAD TO OVERCOME

                                                                         











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