Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More about Rain

As discussed in a previous post, God’s interventions in our life are a lot like rain: they provide fruitfulness and hence are to be savored. How else are they like rain?

Just as rain comes in small, individual, drops that provide a cumulative result, God usually acts in a series of small ways that add up. If we are listening, God speaks to us here and there about ordinary things; how to handle seemingly mundane matters, how to interact with the people we come in contact/have relationships with, what choices to make amongst options. If we consistently listen for—and to—His voice in the midst of our daily lives we will see a big difference over time.

Further, rain varies in intensity and so do God’s interventions. Sometimes He sprinkles; we get a little nudge from the Holy Spirit in the midst of our day-to-day activities. Sometimes He really pours; God speaks clearly and directly, perhaps through a message at a worship service, through a godly advisor, or through a passage of scripture. Sometimes His interventions take the form of answers to prayer. We need to be on the lookout for them in all their forms.

Also like rain, God’s interventions vary in frequency. Some seasons are rainier than others; we go through stretches when God seems more communicative than other times. Conversely, there are times when we don’t seem to hear as much from Him. God moves on His own schedule, so we must adapt to Him. That’s why it’s important to be well rooted in Him, it helps us through those dry spells.

Finally, we need to avoid things that interfere with our receiving the benefit of His actions. Rain runs off compacted soil, but is absorbed by loose loam; we can learn from that by eliminating things that make it harder to appreciate God’s directions, things like pride, distractions, and preconceptions.

Taken from Gardening for God

Harvest Figures

God has been very good to us!

He's given us 1,464.65 Lbs. of produce so far this year. To put that in perspective, this time las year we had harvested 236.46 Lbs.

We've distributed 48.2% of that through the Lutheran Social Services Food Pantries, 23.8% of it through Hilltop Lutheran Church, 14.5% through the Faith Mission, 10.6% through the Hilliard summer lunch program, and 2.9% through the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Appreciating Rain

Now that the garden is in I find myself paying a lot more attention to rain. Outside the gardening season I’m indifferent to it. But once spring arrived it became a focus. At first, rain was a concern because we needed it to get our newly planted seeds to germinate. Now it’s important to help our plants grow and bear fruit. The result is that I pay a lot of attention to weather forecasts, considering whether and when it will rain and how much rain is expected. I am also much more appreciative of rain when it comes; in fact, I almost savor it.
It strikes me that we should have the same focus on God’s interventions into our lives, things like His promptings and blessings and the insights He gives us. Like rain, they don’t happen every day, but they are beneficial when they do. They germinate new areas of productivity. They are essential to growing and sustaining fruitfulness where He’s already planted us. Without them we become dry and stagnant, and eventually whither. This analogy it hardly original; it is presented in multiple passages of scripture. See Deuteronomy 32:1-2; Psalm 72:6; Isaiah 45:5-8 and 55:10-11; Hosea 6:3; James 5:7-8. See also Psalms 63:1 and 143:6-8. The bottom line is that we should eagerly look for those interventions and appreciate them when they occur.

Adapted from Gardening for God

Feeding Jesus

How would you respond if Jesus asked you for a meal? His suffering saved you. His providence sustains you. How could you turn Him down? “Wait a minute,” you ask, “doesn’t the idea of feeding Jesus have it backward? After all he feeds us.”

Actually, He did more than ask; He told us to feed Him. In Mathew 25:31-46 He explained that we feed Him when we feed the hungry, that we turn away from Him when we turn away from them, and that there are consequences for how we respond to that truth. As He put it, “whatever you [do] for the least of these brothers of mine, you [do] for me.” v. 40, NIV.

So what’s on the menu? What will you serve Jesus? Will it be fast food, leftovers, or the freshest and best? The answer is obvious, but how do you do that?

One way is to help grow vegetables for the hungry in the Mill Run Community Garden. Our mission is to provide fresh produce to supplement the processed food distributed by hunger relief programs. Our crops feed folks in Hilliard, on the Hilltop, and in the central city via Faith Mission. Last year we were able to give them—and hence Jesus—more than 3,000 Lbs. of fresh produce. The need is even greater now, we’re increasing our efforts, and we need your help. Here’s how:

Pray. Ask God to help us through the process of enlarging His garden, to help us increase the quality and quantity of His crops, and to help us do it ways that best show His love.

Volunteer. To borrow a phrase from the Gospel, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” We’ll need help planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, and delivering God’s crops. Contact Kelly Hern at 371-8331 or phern@columbus.rr.com or Glen Demott at 326-0940 or gdemott@columbus.rr.com if you or your SALT group can help.

Donate. We’ll need hay, tomato plants, tomato cages, and tomato stakes. We will also gratefully accept monetary donations to help us purchase those and other supplies. Contact Kelly Hern at 371-8331 about donating those items or Dave Bowersox at dbowersox@ualc.org, about monetary donations.

So how about it, will you help us feed Jesus? Matthew 25:34, Proverbs 19:17, and our own experience tell that you’ll be greatly blessed if you do.