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I found this on the Bible.org website, and it follows along nicely with Mike's tangent on farming (which I am enjoying very much by the way!

The Change in Planting Corn

When the pilgrims settled in the United States, they brought their tools from Europe and learned to grow corn from the Indians. Their technology was limited. They dug a hole in the ground, planted an ear of corn, and added fish for fertilizer. By working hard with his hoe, a colonist could grow the equivalent of four bushels of corn a year, or about one bushel for each month in the growing season. By the time of the Civil War, farmers used mules and developed plows and other tools enabling a man to grow the equivalent of a bushel of corn a week or 16 bushels of corn a year. But today, with advanced technology, petrochemical fertilizer, soil analysis, and four-wheel drive tractors, a farmer can grow the equivalent of a bushel of corn for each 10 minutes of the growing season. American farmers grow more corn than the other farmers of the world because of better technology and better tools. The miracle of life in the seed has not changed; farmers can do nothing to change what God has ordered in the growth cycle. But tools and technology can improve the harvest.

154 Steps to Revitalize Your Sunday School, by Elmer Towns (USA: Scripture Press Publ., 1988), pp. 11-12

In Christ,

Michael

Leviticus 9:7-10:20

Today’s reading has me thinking about some situations that I know from first-hand experience. This reading opens up with Moses, doing what he has heard God tell him to do, giving instructions to Aaron to approach the alter and present first his sin offering for himself and then the whole burnt offering making atonement also for himself. After doing that he could then present the offerings for the people.

This order was not a suggestion but a commandment. Each and everything done in the Tabernacle and for the service of the priests, the people and the nation was not done by consensus nor by group decision, but by the command of God. So many of us today, Christians, believers, think that they can worship God, come before God in a way that pleases them. They have stepped in and decided to call the shots. I have heard statements like this, “God knows my heart.” “God and I,” or precisely, “Me and God, putting themselves first, “have an agreement, an understanding.” What they are really saying is that they are rejecting God’s order and placing their order of worship above anything else.

Because they say this is the New Covenant not based on Bulls and Goats they only have to worship in “spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23) Yet Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Folks are trying to make up their own “truth;” however, it doesn’t work that way. So what we have are people making up their own way, their own truth and their own life and then wail out to God when things don’t go their way.

People who play in the center divider of the highway, sooner or later, will get run over by either a Mini-Cooper or a Sixteen-wheeler, I’m speaking metaphorically. When that happens how often do we hear the cry of, “Well, God took them,” or, “It was their time.” No, it wasn’t their time they went against the laws of nature and the Word of God. In these readings we see the two boys of Aaron get wiped out because they failed to listen to God’s command and these guys were anointed priests of God. Their position didn’t save them; their sincerity didn’t save them. They took a chance and gambled, they lost.

We also see here that God did not stop the process because Aaron was still required to carry out his duties. I have taken great notice in how the bodies of Nadab and Abihu were carried out by their cousins. The other brothers couldn’t carry them out because they were not to be around anything dead which would have disqualified them from participating in the process. The cousins carried them out by their tunics as Moses had commanded (10:5) Hmm, very interesting.

Mark 4:26-5:20

I know in reading this passage Mike noticed that the seeds took hold in the soil and grew without the action of the farmer. The seeds interact with the soil, water and sunlight or warmth from the sun. Mike looked at this from the perspective of the Word of God in our own hearts. And if we take what was read yesterday about the Sower or Farmer who sowed seeds that landed on four different soil types, we understand that the soil represents the condition of our hearts, soft and workable, or hard like a well-trodden path. I see this as a means to not “sweet” the process as we minister to people, a stance I learned from my son when he was about fifteen.

As my son went to a NYC Public High School that he chose and I was feeling the pressure of having him not be in a good “Christian School” forgetting that there are dedicated Christian Educators in the public school system. Well anyway, I was trying to subtly, not so subtly ask him about his “evangelistic” endeavors at school, and if there were any. Now it wasn’t as if we had discussed this possibility, I was just trying to calm my guilty feelings, which were in reality, false guilt. I was blown away by his response. He said, and I quote, “My job is to plant the seeds, it’s someone else’s job to water.” That was it. All he made was a short statement and I realized that he understood something that I didn’t or hadn’t come to terms with. He knew the power of the Word of God, He knew that growth depended on the soil of the heart, which is the person’s own responsibility to maintain (Jeremiah 4:3; Hosea 10:11-12). He knew that it was God who brought the increase, not us. And he knew the scriptures. Jesus is speaking, 36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, `One person plants and someone else harvests.' And it's true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn't plant; others had already done the work, and you will gather the harvest." See also 1 Corinthians 3: 6-7

Psalm 37:30-40

My struggle with “what’s right is seen throughout this Psalm. Everywhere I turn in this Psalm I see God maintaining His justice, I see God extracting His own vengeance.

34 Don't be impatient for the LORD to act!
Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you, giving you the land.
You will see the wicked destroyed.

I must learn to wait on the Lord and believe in my heart totally that He will and is my Advocate and my Protector.

Proverbs 10:6-7

And if I haven’t gotten the message in Psalm 37, these two verses in Proverbs provide reinforcement for my hard head and heart.


Grace and peace,
Ramona

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