Stunted Trees

The Lord showed me a tree, it was stunted and misshapen, with inedible fruit hanging from its contorted branches. I asked the Lord, “Why does the tree look this way?” He replied, “Dig up the tree and you’ll see.” My shovel hit large rocks and gravel as I dug. The tree roots were gnarled and crooked from the very poor soil condition. “I now understand why the tree looks as it does, but what does this all mean?” I asked. “The tree represents certain religions…the roots, their heritage…the rocky soil, demonic forces. These people are stunted and misshapen because of their heritage…their roots. Don’t blame them for their false belief system, but rather look at their roots, and the demonic forces that corrupted and misled their early Leaders. No tree can grow and bear fruit when it’s roots are planted in such cruel soil.” He replied. “Can this tree be saved?” I asked. “Yes”, replied the Lord, “Plant it in good, fertile soil and it will bear much fruit….My children are that fertile soil, My love extended through them will make this tree flourish.”

Isaiah 33:2 ” O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.”

Be kind and merciful Lord as I wait on You. Be my strength when I have none, be my victory when I am filled with anguish…for in You Lord, I have found unfailing love. Amen

Mark 9:35 ” If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Jesus made this statement after hearing the Disciples arguing amongst themselves as to who was the greatest. Pride and arrogance had reared their ugly heads among these Godly men…but now Jesus was showing them that humility and a servant’s heart were far more desirable traits to have.

Psalm 86: 6-7 ” Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to You, for You will answer me.”

Sometimes we feel like no one is listening…that our words are falling on uncaring and deaf ears. Especially when we’re hurting, we want those around us to pay attention to what we’re saying. But we never need to worry or doubt that the Lord is not listening to us…that He doesn’t hear our cries for help…that He’s not willing to come to our aid.

James 1:26 ” If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”

Nothing gives Christianity a bad name like a person who claims to serve God, but constantly puts his foot in his mouth. When we claim to have Jesus in our hearts, but yell and curse in public, our influence is useless. Those around us will quickly judge us a hypocrite, and any chance of reaching them for Christ is gone forever. If you call yourself a Christian, people are watching and listening to see if you’re genuine…and most times it’s not what you say, but rather what you don’t say that makes the biggest difference.

Proverbs 10:12 ” Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.”

Hatred is one of the strongest words we humans have…the sheer intensity and emotion tied to it makes the word almost have a life of its own. This unbridled emotion of hatred will provoke all kinds of hostility, bitterness, and strife into ours and others lives. But Godly love shows forgiveness towards others, and a willingness to put away adversity for the good of all. As Jesus said, “Forgive as you have been forgiven.”

Galatians 6:9 ” Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

It can be very discouraging when our acts of kindness and good will go unacknowledged and unappreciated. But rather than losing heart and feeling defeated spiritually, we must remember that the opportune time is coming…the bountiful season is approaching, when if we but persevere in doing good, the fruits of all we’ve done will be ours.

II Corinthians 9:2 ” For I know your eagerness to help…”

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a “Foodie”. I have binders of recipes I’ve collected over the last 30 plus years. My idea of a relaxing read is a cookbook rather than the latest Mystery novel. But the Lord has me focus this passion outward to bless others, and right now that means baking lots and lots of cookies for the Harvest crew. I may not be out driving a truck, or running to town for parts, but this is my way of saying thank you for all the hard work and long hours they put in. May the Lord Bless you all…may safety and peace cover each one of you…and may the cookies be a little bright spot in your day!

Isaiah 12: 2 ” Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”

When I tremble with fear…my confidence will be in You, and You only Lord. When my strength wanes within me…I will look to You to sustain me. When sorrow shrouds me like a fog, I will find my joy in Your song of love towards me. For Lord, you are my salvation, now and forevermore.

Luke 5: 10-11 ” Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him.”

What stops us from following Jesus? Usually it’s fear…fear of the unknown, fear of the what if’s. But these brave disciples threw caution and common sense to the wind, and left everything behind to go with Jesus down those uncharted roads. If Jesus was to call you today to, “Follow Me!”…could you give up everything, and without looking back at what you had left, bravely link arms with Him and trudge forward down that unknown path together?

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