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Seeds

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A handful of seeds has the potential of growing into a life giving substance, food.  However, if they remain unplanted, they will only be beneficial to the dirt they will return to.  In order for a seed to provide that which it is intended too it must be sown.  But, if a young seed is merely, buried and left to fend for itself, weeds would take over and the young seed would turn back into the dirt that it came from.  However, if a seed is cared for throughout its life, a gift will be in place for the caregiver.  

Seeds are the beginning of everything we see, and if they were not cared for, what would be missing in our world today.  Our homes would be non existent, no wood.  Starvation would be an ever-present issue across the globe.  Animals could not survive without the beautiful spring berries and acorns in the fall.  But God…..  He saw the need, and provided for it.  Ensuring the germination of each seed needed in order for life to continue is just part of what He does so perfectly.  

As His children our part is similar, we plant, we care for, we see the harvest.  The planting of the seed is likened to that sharing the Gospel.  The Great Commission is clear we are to “Go.”  Potentially the most spoke of portion of Christianity, salvation.  Indeed it is important, but, it is not the end, it is the beginning.  Do you stop after planting a seed and hope it works?  The command is to go, but, also to make obedient followers of Jesus (disciples).  This is missed in current Christianity.  Growth takes time, growth requires loving one another, growth in the Christian life could even entail you putting the needs of another in front of yours.  However, too often personal agendas get in the way and the seed left to fend for itself, be overtaken by weeds. 

When you look into the hand full of seeds imagine those that do not have the same hope as you.  Think of the great news you could share with all those.  The life change that you could be a part of, the seed you could plant.  Then plant the seed.  Maybe the seed has been planted, recently or years ago.  It could be an old Christian friend in need of some watering and care, or a non believer that you see everyday.  Either way take the seed and care for it, God cares for the seeds He created, we are commissioned to care for those around us.  

 

Dear God, thank you for caring for us so much that you provide the seeds and the care for those seeds that is necessary for life to continue.  Forgive for the times I have not cared for and loved people you have placed in my life.  Help me plant seeds in people’s lives that will direct them to You.  Show me daily, how I can care for those seeds that have already been planted, so that they grow towards You.

 

Matthew 28: 18-20

“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 

ImageTo some nature may be a great adventure, to others it’s a place of serendipity, while others an artist’s playground.  

Over the past few years I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn the art of woodturning.  Not just to learn from anyone, but to learn from one of the greats in the world of woodturning, my dad.  For many years I looked over his shoulder as he shaped what he saw the wood to be.  

Some may see a tree, some see shade, some see a messy yard in the fall, and yet others see a potential limb on falling on their fence, then the best, some see a challenging and adventurous playground.  Either way all could be true at one point or another, but woodturning has taught me that there’s more to a tree than bark and sap.  God made the trees gorgeous on the outside, but the inside is simply unexplainable.  

Woodturning is simply uncovering what God has already done on the inside.  God made this piece of Cocobolo, all I did was make the most of what He made.  

God has created each person with an unexplainable beauty on the inside.  All we do is uncover what’s on the inside, and make the most of what He made.  God knows what on the inside, He can see the beauty that we too often hide.  

Dear Lord, thank you for your magnificent creation.  God help me to see myself as you do, from the inside.  Thank you Lord for creating each person with an unexplainable beauty on the inside.  Help me live my life like the amazing person you created me to be.  

 

Simply Encouraging,

Matt White  

Simply Amazing

Simply Amazing

God has placed an unexplainable beauty in what most see as a tree. Thank you God for the beauty just under the surface.

Time to Bloom

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Traveling up and down the highways and byways in the spring gives great delight to the many wildflowers in bloom.  The dreary roads that we have ventured all winter long are now a joy to be on!  The once snow covered hillsides, are now covered in little yellow flowers.    Busy highways, and beautiful flowers, who have thought of such a combination?  

Something has been weighing heavy on my heart about these flowers on the busy roads we travel every day.  During the winter months they lay on the same hillside, directly beside the same busy highway, only they are not visible above ground.  At the first breeze of warm air some of the flowers burst forth, while some wait for the real warm air that comes later.  Either way both groups have spent the entire winter hidden from view, they have been dormant, until now.  You see, all winter the flowers knew they had something special inside of them but they had to wait until it was time for the show to start.  

Similarly, in our Christian lives God has created each person, lost and saved with intrinsic value.  The issue is that often times it is forgotten that this value lay dormant for some time in our life.  We get discouraged, upset, impatient, and confused while waiting on this season of dormancy to cease.  These flowers would not be what they are today if it were not for the season of being dormant.  God is wanting to show us the abilities that He has given to us, but we must place our faith in Him or we could just lay under the surface and never see what God has in store for us.  When one flower blooms in your Christian life just remember God has another blessing laying dormant awaiting the proper time.  Only God knows the proper time to bloom. 

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Dear God, thank you for the beauty of your great creation and how it serves as a constant reminder of your great love for us.  God forgive me of the times I have failed to see you in the things You have created.  God, help me to understand that you know the best time to bloom, and not me.  Help me wait, and trust in you while you grow me.  

 

Simply Encouraging,

Matt White 

It’s All about the View

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Day after day I set here and stare out the window.  The same scenery each day, one would think this could never get old, but it does.  This is the view out my office window (not).  I set each day and look into the sky hoping for inspiration for the approaching Sunday.  However, the picture I see each day did shed some inspiration the other day.

We have all been guilty of saying, “what an ugly, nasty, rainy day.”  When it may well be rainy out, but is that truly a bad thing?  On a hot, humid summer day we will wish for the rain that we just grumbled about in the spring.

Upon looking out the window day after day and pondering these things, God helped me grasp His view on life a little bit more.  From His view each day is blue sky’s, He’s looking from above.  The way God views things is much different than us, He can see the blue sky when we are covered in rain.  Imagine flying in a airplane, above the clouds it’s just a blue sky.  From our point of view sometime we see rain and clouds, but from God’s view it’s always a blue sky.

Next time you look up into the sky on a cloudy, maybe even rainy day remember that God is looking at a pure blue sky.  Likewise, when you look at your life as a cloudy, rainy mess, even though it may be remember that God is looking at a child whom He loves.

May your view become as that of God’s:  Find a pure blue sky on a rainy day

Simply Encouraging,

Matt White

Stuffed Animal

    

Snow came last night for our area. For most this means fun times of playing in the snow. The sound of the neighborhood kids playing outside has been an ever present roar in my ear all day long. While I set praying and preparing for Sunday the noise seems to never stop! However, in the back of my mind I say “those kids are having a blast playing in the snow.” For the entire day they did not come to the door and ask if the kids were home, which is unusual. Up until a few moments ago I thought they were outside playing in the snow.

    While looking up a poem for the Sunday morning service, a head showed up in my window, a guess who. It was them, the little kids that had been playing outside all day. But their request broke my heart (literally almost in tears as I write). There were four of them, which is more than normal. They asked if I would purchase a stuffed animal from them for .50 cents. My reply was no I have plenty of those. They went on to explain that they were selling their stuffed animals to purchase food………… One girl had a pack of crackers and she was eating them like she hadn’t eaten all day.

    I always thought being out of school for a few days because of the weather was fun. I have never thought that some may not get food if school is closed. And moreover, thought that those so close were in such need.

    Whatever way possible, no questions asked, no strings attached, help someone in need. The best way to share Christ is just to show love, and eventually they will ask “why are you being so nice?” Then the door has been opened by your generosity.

*And yes I emptied the pop tart box for these little ones and wanted to empty my kitchen. And still as I write they are marching up and down the road with a bag full of stuffed animals.

Dear God please help me be the person You want me to be. Help me, Help others, God thank you for the things you have blessed me with that I take for granted. God may you shine your blessings on these small children, and children all over the world in need. Amen

 

Simply Encouraging,

Matt White

The Blizzard Perspective

 

    During the winter months a child will lay awake at night and wonder, “will it snow enough?” For a student a forecast of snow means only one thing, a day out of school. During the winter as a child I remember waking up a little early for school just to look out the window. I have vivid memories of setting in front of the TV early in the morning awaiting the list of school closing to scroll around one more time to see if my school was closed. In East TN school would be closed, but the poor children couldn’t even make a snow ball. While understanding I grew up close to the mountains, the school system had to consider the roads in the higher elevations as well. But either way most of the time school was closed for a dusting of snow. A few times school was closed because it was supposed to snow, but it never did. It was as if the school system had the same mindset as the kids, “close school for the day even if the roads are fine we just want to stay home.”

    It appears what was happening, and still is, some people have a blizzard perspective on things in life. The blizzard perspective is simple; things are how you see them. For those of us in the south snow is a special and rare, therefore we get excited; but for those up north it’s just part of their life and really no big deal. For us we get a dusting of snow and fly into the “milk and bread spree.” As for them, they continue life right through the middle of the snowy season and hardly miss a day of school or work.

    In our Christian life we are struck with a similar situation. We deal with issues in our churches and homes that seem like a blizzard, and are if we view them as such. The idea is in how we approach the problem, do we consider it a blizzard and overreact, or do we consider life and trust God. We are the ones that cause the blizzard’s in our lives, God intends them to just be a dusting, but we must depend on Him.

    Some people think it’s a blizzard when really it hasn’t covered the grass

 

Allow God to turn your Blizzard into a dusting

 

 

Simply Encouraging,

Matt White

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