Friday, April 29, 2011

Memories of Eden

This video reminds me so much of the dangers we pose to nature.  There is this bear, that acts more like the bears in Eden then the bears in Alaska.  She is just hanging out being a bear.  The danger is now that she is used to man she is more likely to be shot by humans.  How sad, that even when we don't intend to our sinful state affects nature adversely.

I am longing after a day when we can be friends again with the animals, for real without endangering their lives.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Earth Declares God's Glory

Our Hearts and Other Soil

So the garden is growing.  It is growing in spite of the overly clayey soil.

It is growing in spite of the too high phosphorus.

It is growing in spite of the crazy low levels of nitrogen.

It reminds me so much of our hearts.  God's grace is so amazing that it still causes growth in spite of the terrible condition of the soil in our hearts.  

As we have been reading and researching I have begun to think the analogy goes further.  In the parable of the sower Jesus describes our hearts as different types of soil.  According to the research that we have come across the gardner can grow soil.  No matter how bad your soil is, it can become great soil for growing.  It takes work, and composting and de-rocking and double digging to improve the micro-nutrients and the soil composition.  Now according the Biblical parable, God is the gardener.  I know so little about gardening, but the Gardener of our hearts, He is amazing.  He knows all about growing the soil in the garden of our hearts.  

Now here in Texas our soil has two struggles.  The first is the clay.  The soil here compacts because it is made of fine clay particles that don't absorb water initially very well.  Once it gets wet it stays wet, sometimes too wet, causing it to have trouble draining enough for many plants' tastes.    When it does dry out the soil cracks, deep cavern type cracks.  The second problem is down anywhere from 6 inches to 3 feet is a layer of rock.  The rock also doesn't drain well.  Some plants (read native) do fine here, but others (pretty much the trees that bare fruit and grapes and blueberries and...) don't care for this type of treatment.

That parable about the soil talked about rocky soil.  As Mark tried to break through the rock with a metal bar I couldn't help but think about the rocky soil.  Boy it takes a lot of work to get a hole into it far enough, deep enough, wide enough so that the soil will drain and the roots won't rot. 

So as we have been experimenting with our garden, I feel God working on my heart.  I can feel Him begin to break up the bedrock that lies, not too far beneath the surface.  A couple weeks back I was asked to preach a sermon on joy.  It was hard to preach a sermon on joy.  In my search through various verses I think I have struck on some of my struggles with the issue.  You see that parable about the soil, also speaks to the idea of joy.  It connected joy to receiving the gospel.  But it also said that the ones who received it with joy died early because of their lack of root.  I have been praying the last couple of weeks for God to break up the rock of my heart so that the roots of the "good news" of Jesus Christ can go deep.  I want these roots to infiltrate all the crevices of the deepest places of my heart, so that the joy of the Lord can be my strength, so it can fill me full to the top of the Life More Abundant.  It is not enough to receive the word with joy, I want to go on to experience His joy and His perfect peace.