Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Consequences


What do the first few chapters of Genesis and our garden have in common (other than the involvement of gardens)?  They illustrate an important principle: our choices of whether to obey God have consequences that are more extreme and widespread than we can ever anticipate.

Genesis 3, 4, and 6 show that with regard to the consequences of disobedience.  In Genesis 3, Eve chose to disobey God’s directions about the forbidden tree and Adam chose to join her disobedience. That resulted in sin entering the world and them losing their perfect way of life.  The consequences continued to unfold in Genesis 4.  The newly introduced sins of pride, envy, and anger resulted in  Cain murdering Abel and Cain’s descendants becoming increasingly twisted.  By the time of Genesis 6 the infection of sin had gotten so severe and so widespread that God was tempted to scuttle His creation. All that resulted from the initial decision to disobey God by eating from the forbidden tree—that choice set that train of events in motion.

Those chapters also show that the consequences of disobedience defy calculation. What do you think Eve expected when she ate from the forbidden tree? That her entire way of life would be upset? That it would lead to one of her kids killing the other one? That all of mankind would become so corrupt that God wanted to wipe them all out? I doubt it. She—and we—simply can’t foresee all the consequences that follow our decisions about whether to obey God.

The good news is that the same dynamics apply to obedience.  We see in Genesis 6, 7,  8, and 9 that Noah’s obedience saved all of mankind.  That result—the effects of which continue to this day—followed because “Noah did everything just as God commanded him."  Genesis 6:22 (NIV).

That dynamic is illustrated in our very midst by our garden. God prompted Kelly Hern to start it in 2009.  She knew little about gardening. She didn’t know if anyone would help her. She didn’t know what would happen. But she obeyed.

The results were better and more wide spread spread than she could ever have expected. Help and support came from people she didn’t even know at that time. Wonderful relationships have been formed.  Many folks have been incredibly blessed by the results of Kelly's obedience in ways she could never have foreseen:
  • One of our volunteers has been helped in his battle with alcoholism by keeping busy in the garden.
  • Doma has been better able to help women and girls escape the life of prostitution because the  garden has resulted in Doma's  Freedom a la Cart program receiving  hundreds of dollars worth of free ingredients.
  • Literally thousands of folks have been fed by the more than 30,000 Lbs. of fresh produce the garden has generated since Kelly chose to obey God.  
Think about that next time you are faced with the choice to obey or disobey God’s directions.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mustard seeds, fishes, & loaves in Hilliard


We've had a productive couple of weeks since the last report.  God gave us 1,179 more Lbs. of produce, bringing us to 8,160.2 Lbs. so far this year. We’re now more than 2/3 of the way to our goal of 12,000 Lbs. for this year. Details below.

On a broader and more important level, that brings us to a over 30,000 Lbs. since Paul & Kelly Hern stepped out in faith to start this garden. 

Think how many folks have been fed because Paul & Kelly had the courage & energy to get it going—it must literally be thousands! That is a real life, right here, right now, example of the dynamic Jesus told us about in Matthew 13:31-32 and demonstrated in Matthew 14:15-21 and Matthew 15:32-39.  

Finally, I want to put flesh on the bones of  one of the notations on the distribution chart below.  The "Hilliard Hunger" slice represents crops that went to the various hunger relief ministries serving Hilliard.  The overwhelming majority of those crops went to—and were harvested & distributed by—the youth ministry Irma Chong leads at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship. They have worked very hard in coming out to harvest on a regular basis. And even more impressively, they have come up with new ways to get those crops to the hungry in Hilliard that simply didn't exist before.  That too is an example of the dynamic we see in Matthew 13:31-32 , Matthew 14:15-21 , and Matthew 15:32-39 and it too is happening right here and right now.

 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gardening Bible Study: John 15:1-17



What does it mean to “bear fruit”?

Can you think of times in your life when you have done that?

Depending on the translation, the concept of “remaining” or “abiding” is key to fruitfulness.

What does it mean to “remain”/“abide” generally?

What does it mean to “remain”/“abide” in Jesus?

What do verses 3, 7, and 10 tell us about it?

What do verses 14 and 16 tell us about it?

What does verse 2 tell us about it?

What do verses 4 and 6 tell us about it?

What do verses 14-15 tell us about it?

On a practical level, how do we “remain”/“abide” in Jesus, what does it involve in terms of daily life?

           What do the verses mentioned above suggest?

           What has worked for you?

How do we follow Jesus’ command in verse 12?

What does verse 13 tell us about it?

What does John 13:12-17 tell us about it?
     
                  

Gardening Bible Study: Jeremiah 17:5-8




What actions/attitudes do verse 5 condemn?

What does it mean to “trust in” man?

How do we come to “turn away” from God?

What does this say (or not say) about making the most of what God gives us?

What results from the actions/attitudes described in verse 5?

What is the nature of the environment described here?

How does this compare/relate to the situation described in John 15:6

How does this compare to the situation described in Ezekiel 15:1-5?

Think about times when you’ve been in such circumstances, particularly since you came to know Jesus.

How did you get there?

1 Peter 5:6-7, and 1 John 1:9 tell us about how to respond? 

What do verses 7 and 8 instruct us to do?

What does it mean to “trust in the Lord”?

What direction does Proverbs 3:5-12 give us on this?

How do we send our roots towards the Lord?

       What is our part in this? What is God’s?

              See “Growing our Roots” 

What are the results of this?

         How does that compare with John 15:4-5, 7-11?

       What does this say about hard times?


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grow along with our fall crops


Our fall crops are in. They’ve sprouted, will grow steadily for the next 8 weeks, and be fully mature in mid-October.

We invite you go grow along with them. Come out to the Garden once or twice a week during that period, pray about the same topic for 15 minutes each time, and see what God does. We bet He grows your understanding as steadily as He grows our crops.  Bibles are under the benches at the east & west ends of the Garden.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gardening Bible Study: Psalm 1


How does water get to the tree mentioned in verse 3

How does the water get to the rest of that tree?

-               Does verse 2 tell us anything about that?

-              What do the following verses have in common with the actions described in verses 2 and 3?
              -        Joshua 1:8
              -        Psalm 119:97
              -        1 Thessalonians 5:17
              -        Ephesians 6:1

What is the difference between the leaves and the fruit?

What is the relationship between the leaves and the fruit?

What is the relationship between the water and the fruit this tree produces?

What does the fruit tell us about selflessness?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Harvest figures


Hi folks,

Sorry for the lack of posts--vacation and other things have kept me busy.

In any event, God has been very good to us. He gave us 2,448.9 Lbs. in July, our best July ever. Another 489.8 Lbs. late this week brings us to 6,981.2 Lbs. so far this year.

Most of that went to the Hilliard Summer Lunch Program, some to Hilltop Lutheran, and some to Doma's  Freedom Ala Cart catering venture.

Here are the details: