Before I get to today's message (with photos of Saturday's outing) I have something VERY important to talk with you about. My MOM has a very very dear friend who has adopted a beautiful little girl from the Dominic Republic of the Congo (DRC) but there is a problem. MOM's friends do not have their daughter with them. They have been the father and mother of this little one since September of 2013 but because of "it does not make sense" government stuff their daughter remains in the DRC and they are here in the States. This is not only happening to my MOM's friend but to many. Here is where you can help. Please got to this SITE to learn more and you can go HERE to sign the petition to help these families get the help they so desperately need. This is very important to me and my MOM and more so to my MOM's friend and her family. Please friends take a moment to sign the petition. It may seem like your efforts are like just a tiny seed being dropped into the soil, but you can be a seed of love that grows into something amazing and beautiful.
And look at this dear friends, this is what is waiting for that beautiful little girl when she is home where she belongs, Buddy and Lilly. She gets to have her very own fur brother and sister. They can't wait for her to be home also.
Springtime is the season of uncontained optimism. As the days grow longer, and the sun grows stronger, it feels like time to do something outrageous, something meaningful. We dig into the earth, carefully plow and pulverize hard clods into fine soil. We remove the weeds and grasses. We add extra nutrients to enrich the prepared soil. Then into that lush, fertile mixture we gently deposit . . . dried up, shriveled, little (sometimes downright tiny), seemingly completely dead bits of matter. We call them “seeds.”
Nothing looks less “lively” than a seed. The tiniest ones lettuces, carrots, radishes are so minuscule that planting them is like putting into the soil grains of coarse black pepper. Corn and beans “look” like corn kernels and soup beans. Well, they look like corn kernels and beans that have been lost on the floor of your pantry for six months or so, rejected even by the mice. Definitely NOT “good eats.” And yet we joyfully plunge these desiccated crumbs into the soil we have sweated over, completely confident that something will come out of our efforts.
Springtime is the season of belief. Every spring we believe in the power of the life that lives within those apparently dead seed husks. We believe that just a few handfuls of seeds can produce a glorious new crop to nourish our lives and feed our families.
Of course, bringing that potential crop to full fruition takes a lot more than simply dropping seeds into the ground and walking away. As every backyard gardener or full-time farmer knows, once you put those babies into the soil you are in a relationship with that garden, with those fields, with the weather. Seeds require constant nurturing — watering, weeding, protection from predators, large and small. New life comes from within the seed. But ensuring the continuation of that potential new life comes from an ongoing relationship with that life, our commitment to doing all we can to ensure that every single seed becomes part of yet another new harvest.
Romans 8:6-11 is Paul’s springtime seed catalog. Paul knows the power for the next generation of faith resides within this generation. Paul’s exact words are “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you”.
All those who welcome God’s Spirit, who are open to the life-giving, life-altering power that the Spirit offers are God’s “seeds.” We might look dead on the outside, yet we are harboring the capability for tremendous new life within.
Jesus loved the metaphor of seeds, particularly the “mustard seed." The mustard plant is dangerous even when domesticated in the garden, and is deadly when growing wild in the grain fields. And those nesting birds, which may strike us as charming, represented to ancient farmers a permanent danger to the seed and the grain. The point, in other words, is not just that the mustard plant starts as a proverbially small seed and grows into a shrub of three, four, or even more feet in height. It's that it tends to take over, that it tends to get out of control and that it tends to attract birds within cultivated areas. And that, said Jesus, was what the Kingdom was like. Like a pungent shrub with dangerous take-over properties.
The “Spirit of God gives life to your mortal bodies,” Paul insisted. We don’t have to be gifted with special spiritual “super-powers” to pass along the gift of new life and hope. We just have to be able to nurture a seed along so that it can bear fruit. To bear fruit is to seed Christ’s Spirit into the world. To bear the fruit of the indwelling Spirit of Christ is to offer a new crop of that offering of love and hope and forgiveness and repentance to yet another new generation.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption in which we call out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children. And if children, then also heirs, heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him in order also to be glorified with him. (Romans 8:14 17)
Sometimes being adopted heirs entitled us to greater assurances than being born heirs. Did you know that in some states parents can disinherit their biological children, but they can’t leave their adopted children out of the will? Being adopted brings with it “rights” and “assurances” as “heirs” that biological birth doesn’t.
But like every good gardener we’ve got to do some groundwork. We’ve got to make our lives offer a fertile, nurturing place for that Spirit to grow and thrive. We’ve got to deal with muck in some manure and get grime under our fingernails. Our gardening in the Spirit brings to fruit the seeds of faithfulness we are nursing along.
When the outpouring leads to an indwelling, there will be a fruit-bearing, and the fruit will contain the seeds for reproduction: When you seed love, love will come back at you. But it may not be the strawberry/tomato/peach love you seeded. Always be prepared for the surprising play of the Spirit to bring the fiery foliage of love in many beautiful colors, shapes and tastes.
Always be watchful and prepared: Sometimes the Holy Spirit puts on a Big Show. Be a part of that Big Show of Love this springtime. You can be a part of that big show of love by sowing your seed of love by signing that petition I mentioned above.Blessings,