It is a blustery fall afternoon and I am so happy to be sitting by the fire, enjoying my "Crazy Love" book and spending time with the Lord. The house may not be perfectly clean and there is surely laundry to be folded upstairs, but this is what is important right now. Emersyn is sleeping (finally, thank you Jesus) and I hope she is well rested for Bingo tonight at Uncle's college. :)
We are reading "Crazy Love" by Frances Chan. If you are looking for a new way of looking at your faith or looking to be challenged to think outside the box, read it read it!!
A thought that I read in the book that has really resonated with me is this....don't assume you are good soil. What does this mean, you ask? :)
"In the parable of the sower, Jesus explained that the seed is the truth (the Word of God). When the seed is flung onto the path, it is heard but quickly stolen away. When the seed is tossed onto the rocks, no roots take hold; there is an appearance of depth and growth because of the good soil, but it is only surface level. When the seed is spread among the thorns, it is received but soon suffocated by life's worries, riches, and pleasures. But when seed is sown in good soil, it grows, takes roots and produces fruit.
My caution to you is this: Do not assume you are good soil."
The first time I read this chapter, I was cleaning the kitchen and Brett was reading it out loud to me. Hard core multi tasking at it's finest. When we came to this part, I stopped and asked him to read it again. Do not assume I am good soil?!?! Well, why not??? I am a pretty good person, certainly not a BAD person.
Soil is such an interesting analogy. The Lord really knew what He was doing, talking in parables. :) I am intimidated by soil. I know that you can't just go out in your yard, dig up some dirt, put the dirt into a pot, plant whatever, and then expect to yield results. Is the soil in my backyard BAD? No....but by being not bad doesn't qualify it as good.
Soil, from what I understand, needs to be enriched in order to be considered good.
I googled "How to make good soil" and found that you need to add "soil amendments". A soil amendment is any material added to a soil to improve its physical properties, such as water retention, permeability, water infiltration, drainage, aeration and structure. One or more of these would be added to the various soil types above to improve the overall quality of the soil.
Hmm....so my soil needs to be amended in order to be made good, or suitable for growing things and thus, bearing fruit. Interesting.
Possible "soil" amendments for me? Enriching myself by participating in bible studies with other Godly women, for example. Reading God's word. Praying. This list needs to grow!!
Holy metaphor batman, check out the next part of the soil article that I was reading.....
An amendment must be thoroughly mixed into the soil. If it is merely buried, its effectiveness is reduced, and it will interfere with water and air movement and root growth.
If it is merely buried, it's effectiveness is reduced....so if I simply read the Word of God and not do what it says and live it out in my life, it will interfere with water and air movement and root growth. Soil amendments must be thoroughly mixed. Not only will it not be as effective if not mixed, it will interfere with whatever is growing in the soil.
I was sitting here, thinking of more "soil amendments" and I realized that all the things that I was thinking of didn't involve me becoming enriched, they involved me enriching others. For example, I love writing cards, thank you cards, congrats, whatever. I think they are a blessing to others and I love it. But how is that amending my soil? It isn't corrupting my soil, that is for sure. But it isn't enriching it. The more enriched MY soil is, the more equipped I will be to enrich others.
I am currently mentoring a younger gal, per her request. I was so flattered when she asked me because despite my best efforts to appear somewhat put together, I am still trying to figure out what the heck I am doing in life. :) But in her asking ME to mentor HER, I realized that I need to have something pouring into me. I am at a point in my faith where I don't need a watered down devotional or sugar coated feel good paragraph from a daily website, I need the real deal. I need Jesus Himself, through His word, His presence, and His Holy Spirit.
I am challenged.
One time, a long time ago, a girl in our youth group got up to share something she learned while on a missions trip. I was not a huge fan of this girl, as my friend Brett (now my husband) was interested in her and therefore that placed her in the "dislike" category for me. Since then, I have become a MUCH more mature person, I can assure you of that:) However, she had a great word for our group. I had always thought of the Fruit of the Spirits as something that I needed to accomplish, like in a list format. Seriously, I even wrote them out one day and was like, okay I need to work on patience, kindness, etc. But she said that something she has learned was that the Fruits of the Spirit are just that, fruit. By having good soil, I am in a position to grow something that will bear good fruit. I don't even need to worry about the fruit, the Lord already says what that fruit will be..Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control (hallelujah). :)
I want to bear Good Fruit. I want to enrich my soil and never make the silly mistake of thinking my soil is good just because it isn't bad.
Blessings to all my blog friends out there! Happy Sunday!