Time for you to plant a seed?

 

 

 

Plant a Seed

The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.
Henry David Thoreau

 

A seed of inspiration for your day!

I found this story preparing for a women’s conference and I had to share it! If you want to read a great story about planting seeds, keep reading!

The moral of the story is that sometimes seeds we plant just don’t grow.

There is a greater lesson in the process of sowing than the seeds that are growing! Click To Tweet

 planting seeds

The Seed

A successful Christian business man was growing old and knew it was time to chose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different.

He called all the young executives in his company together. “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO,” he said. “I have decided to choose one of you.”

The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – a very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed.

He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.

Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by – still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – he so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened.

Jim felt sick at his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed. A few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back.

“My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO.

“Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front.

Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Here is your next Chief Executive! His name is JIM!”

Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said?

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. “When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!”

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

If you plant faith in Christ, you will reap a harvest.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

Two thousand years ago Paul wrote to the church at Galatia the same story but with fewer words, “What you sow, so shall you reap” (Gal. 6:7).

“We are grass that will wither and die but the incorruptible seed of God’s Word will live forever – sow it daily into the life of your family! (1 Peter 1: 23 – 25).
[ Author Unknown — from akako via ‘Sermon Fodder’ (Sermon_Fodder@yahoogroups.com) ]

Prayer Practice 4: Cry out

40 days of prayer

Psalm 34:17-18

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears

and delivers them out of all their troubles.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

 

 

Have you ever been so desperate for an answer that you audibly cried out to God?

 God will hear and be near! 

I have spent many mornings and evenings face down in my living room, crying out to God for answers and relief.

Crying out to God comes from a place in our hearts of deep pain and suffering Click To Tweet

Crying out to God happens as we fall  surrendered before the only One who has the power and ability to help us. Whatever the painful event or triggering situation, we have this promise that when our hearts break, God will hear us. Just like a parent who responds instantly to the depserate cry of their own child, God listens to us with His full attention.

Can we say the words of Nancy Leigh DeMoss, host of Revive our Hearts radio ministry:

O God, make us desperate, and grant us faith and boldness to approach Your throne and

make our petitions known, knowing that in doing we link arms with Omnipotence and

become instruments of Your eternal purposes being fulfilled on this earth.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss A Place of Quiet Rest, Moody, 2000, pg. 246 

prayer intention: Cry out to God

Oh God,

from the deepest place of my heart, I cry out to you for _______________________________.

I am asking you for to deliver me and rescue me from this situation which is causing me trouble and pain. I believe you hear me and your Holy Spirit will comfort me, even in this dark time. You will send me your light and your presence to be with me in the valley of the shadow of death. You will renew your purpose for me as you mend my heart and bring healing to my life or others around me.

In Jesus Name- amen

 

Have you ever cried out to God and received an answer? Encourage me with your experience –

Prayer Practice 3: Meditation


40 days of prayer

Psalm 19:14

 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

One of the most effective spiritual prayer practices is biblical meditation. Click To Tweet

During times of seeking God, it’s important to meditate on key scriptures that constantly redirect our thoughts to God. One idea might be writing a life verse on an index card and carrying it with you. When you are tempted to being to doubt or question that God will answer you, begin to read the verse aloud. This is a form of simple meditation.

The Holman Bible Dictionary describes Biblical Meditation as this:

“Most references to meditation occur in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms. The Hebrew words for meditation primarily were derived from two separate roots.

Mediation includes reciting scripture 

 

The first (hagah ) literally means “to utter in a low sound.” The word is used to denote the growling of a lion (Isaiah 31:4 ) or the cooing of a dove (Isaiah 38:14 ). Therefore it has been suggested that, in ancient Hebrew meditation, Scripture frequently was recited in a low murmur.

meditation

 

Meditation focuses our thoughts on God

The second root word (siach ) has the basic meaning of “to be occupied with,” or “concerned about.” Thus meditation is the repetitious going over of a matter in one’s mind because it is the chief concern of life. The constant recollection of God’s past deeds by the hearing of Scripture and repetition of thought produce confidence in God”

Meditation on scripture produces confidence in God! Click To Tweet

In my life, I find key verses of scripture to meditate on each day. Meditation on key verses helps me to recite God’s word back to Him in a prayer all day. For example, If I am meditating on Psalm 19:14,I would recite the words of this verse to God in prayer. You can read an example below.

Todays key prayer intention :  Meditation of my Heart 

Dear Lord,

I pray that the words of my mouth, the words that I speak to others and the words that I speak in prayer would be words that would honor you. I pray that the meditations or scriptures that I focus my heart upon would be pleasing to you. Help me to bring the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of my heart into alignment with your promises in scripture. Lead me to key verses that remind me of your unfailing love that will preserve my life forever.

I ask this in Jesus name, amen-

 

Do you meditate on scripture? If so, what are key verses or concepts you feel are important?

Join in the conversation below.

Prayer Practice for Parenting: Using verses in a prayer as if spoken by God to your heart.

I found a letter I wrote myself during my grief counseling.  I was hurting over the ways I watched my children struggle through this painful situation. 

As their mom, I was afraid of all the ways I was failing them with the pain of my own grief.  They were too young to understand that their mom was almost paralyzed by the hurt.

My counselor told me to write the verses of comfort into a letter to myself, as if God was speaking directly to me-

The statements were based on scriptures but put in first person form-

This practice helped me personalize many of the promises of scripture in a deeply meaningful way.

Maybe you need a little parenting pick me up from the Lord?

Parenting in this day and age is a daunting task. Without Christ, it can be an near to impossible mission to raise children to walk with God in a really challenging world. I was just reading these words spoken by Jesus to his disciples,

Mathew 19:26- Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Is there an impossible situation you are wrestling in your child’s life? Are you secretly worried that a weakness in you will damage or limit God’s work in your child’s life?

I am so grateful for this reminder from the heart of Christ himself that my impossible parenting task is possible to God. As I focus on God’s power and not my own, my heart can rest in the security of God’s work in the lives of my children.I pray you will hear the words of your Father in heaven spoken to you today.

Here is an example of my prayer that I wrote.

Maybe you can take the same challenge and write verses in prayer form as if spoken to you by God?

Dear One-

Why are you so downcast and discouraged? It is I who formed and made your child in the secret places of your being. My heart for you today is to rest. Come to me with all that you hold onto, your fears, your doubts and I will give you the rest you are longing to find. I will carry your load for you. Will you stop fretting and trying to do my job in your child’s life? Only I have the power to create change by the work of my Holy Spirit. Take Heart. Do not be afraid or discouraged. I am doing a new thing. You may not see it with your eyes, or hear it with your ears. Your mind can not understand what I have planned for you but it is a wonderful plan to prosper  you and to bring you hope. My blessings are generational as I bless to the thousandth generation.

Rest today knowing your child’s future is in my hands.

 

 

Feeling Trashed? Day 2: God’s heart for you!

photo

 

 My child, I see your heart and I desire to know you in your inmost being. Before time began, I called you by name and you were mine. I created you will a specific purpose in mind for your good and  my glory. When your heart is broken, when you are battered by this world and full of troubles, don’t throw away your confidence in my care and concern specifically for you. Didn’t I tell you, in this world you would experience many troubles?  Take heart my beautiful child, I have over come the world….Take your heart and place it in my loving hands that will never leave you or forsake you. For I am the watching you and you will forever be shielded by my righteousness, held close in my hands…

Loved with an everlasting love-

(words of love complied from scriptures as if expressed directly by our heavenly Father)

Feeling Trashed? Day 1 : When my plan hits the can!

recycle

FEELING TRASHED? When my plan hits the can! 

 

Feeling trashed is a slang expression describing a painful emotional state with a mix of anger, sadness and fear.

Has there ever been an unexpected circumstance that left your heart feeling trashed?

My heart shattered when an autopsy revealed that my ten-year-old nephew died from contracting an ameba from our lake.  As the media frenzy ensued, life felt littered with mixed emotions of hurt, confusion and shame. Five months later, my precious mother Joyce died unexpectedly. This final blow of grief left my heart feeling like a worthless mess tossed to the bottom of a trashcan! This was not what I had planned for my life!

As I hit an emotional bottom, I cried out to God for help.

 

After three years of recycling my pain before God, I learned a few secrets about feeling trashed. Will you consider having a little trash talk with a Christian girl who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty anymore? Let’s dig into the truth of this together.

 

Our Plans hit the Can!

Dearly loved women of God experience the pain from failed plans.  Our plans must be held with open hands in an uncertain world. Precious friend, I had to learn the hard way that my plan for my life is not God’s purpose in my life. As women, we plan to be the perfect wife, mother and friend. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

 

Elizabeth Elliot was a missionary to Ecuador that endured the painful loss of her husband, Jim, speared to death along with four other missionaries. Left widowed as a young mother, I am sure this was not the plan she dreamed for her life. She would learn first hand that God could do more than she imagined with her pain.

   What was your plan that hit the can?  Was it a lost dream, marriage or friendship? As women it is so easy for our emotions to make us feel trashed with the fear of failure and insecurity of lost relationships.  Today, will you consider opening your hands and letting go of trying to be in control of that plan? I know it hurts but be encouraged! God’s purpose will be accomplished in you and through you, regardless of this situation.

Admitting to painful emotions is the first step unraveling their power. 

Repurposing prayer:

God by the power of your spirit, I release my plan that I hold so dear in my heart. Help me to surrender to your eternal purpose for my life and give me strength. Amen..

Take 5 Minutes Today!

It was the night before my son’s diving meet and my father (his grandpa) showed up at the pool. My dad is not Chase’s diving coach, but Chase asked, Hey Grandpa can you help me.

As a former Olympian, President of United States Diving, Team Manager, Lifetime Achievement winner, Hall of Fame recipient, my dad loving responded, “Okay Kid, let’s see what you got!”

Within 5 minutes of coaching, Chase nailed his hardest dive with a few quick pointers from Dad. As chase steadied to do the dive, in mid air, my Dad shouted, NOW and Chase ripped the entry….

Coaches often call out to divers in mid air to remind them of the exact moment to reposition and move their body for a perfect entry into the water.

For the first time since the season, My son WON his dive meet with the dive that was coached for 5 minutes by a world champion coach.

Dear Friend, you have so much more than that with your relationship to Jesus! He is more than a world-champion, but a defender of your very soul. WIth 5 minutes of prayer, your heart can change, your attitude can soar, your mind can be focused on what you need to do to improve your day. You don’t need to go to a pool deck to have him help you! God will be with you in an instant! His love will coach you, guide you and show you His heart for your life. Can you hear God saying, NOW? I pray you will