Monday, August 31, 2009

The Right Response to Wrong Advice on Suffering

Last week, I tried to emphasize the good side of Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar's visit with Job. With that said, I endeavored Sunday to show the other side of the friends. Many times what we think in our hearts will be revealed through our mouth. Warren Wiersbe said, "How sad it is when people who share ministry end up creating misery".

These three friends reveal an idea that still exists in today's society; Suffering must be an indication of sin, however the Christian life is a call to glory through a life of suffering. We often treat suffering as if it's to be avoided at all costs, yet it's often the best display of a life transformed by Christ.

Some flowers must be broken or bruised before they emit any fragrance. What do you smell like? Have you allowed God to produce that sweet fragrance through you in your suffering that would be attractive to others who are going through, or are you too busy not claiming it and not speaking it because you think you can undo the will of God?

Eliphaz believed that suffering is a sign that you are getting what you deserve. That spirit still exists in the church. Lost your job, wife left, children in jail, just getting what you deserve. Bildad is the forerunner of the prosperity theology movement found on many television ministries.

If you obey you will be blessed, those in God's will enjoy great prosperity and good health but if you suffer you are out of God's will because God wants everyone well. This is bad theology. God does not want everyone well. Paul asked three times for God to remove his "thorn" and God said No, my grace is sufficient. Jesus asked, "Father if you are willing, remove this cup from me, but nevertheless not my will but yours be done.

Zophar's entire argument throughout this discussion turned debate into a dispute can be summed up like this, "What did you do? Whatcha do? You had to do something! Tell me! What happened? Sounds like church peopele I know, not Macedonia, just ones I know. They don't come around to be a blessing, they come to try and find out the business so they can broadcast the news.

In spite of this prevailing belief that suffering is a result of sin and God's judgment on your life. Job lifts a right response in the middle of such bad advice on suffering. Dr. Quinton E. Hammonds, Pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama suggests that we miss great daily living because we reserve some passages in the Bible just for the dying.

Job 14 is an all-time favorite for Old Testament readings at funeral services. It ranks up there with the 23rd Psalm, and the 90th Psalm, but Job 14 gives us daily insight for practical living today as well as hope for tomorrow.

I. Suffering is Normal vs. 1
a. Who--Man
b. When-at birth
c. How Long- few days

II. Suffering is Natural vs. 2-6
a. The Flower Testifies
b. The Shadow leaves a Trace
c. The Hired Hand shows his Toil

III. Suffering is Needful vs. 7-13
a. Hope of Revival
b. Hope of Reproduction
c. Hope of Resurrection

IV. Suffering is Numbered vs. 14
a. appointed- it is temporary
b. anticipated- it is transforming

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Theological Thought

I promised to share once a week from one of the devotionals that I read from daily "Sparkling Gems from the Greek". This was last Saturday's devotion.
Everyone has to deal with temptations at one time or another, so you don't need to feel embarrassed if you're facing a particular temptation right now. But at the same time, you don't have to succumb to temptation, because it is something you can overcome! All temptations can be beaten! You just have to make up your mind that you're going to be the conqueror and not the conquered!

You may not have thought of it before, but the devil tries to lure you into sin by using your mind and emotions. He injects thoughts into your mind and emotions that act as stimulants to get you all stirred up in a certain area of your life. At that moment, you are consciously aware that you can let the temptation pass you by—or you can allow those thoughts to fester in your mind and take root in your emotions until they become a major stronghold in your mind to battle and conquer. By refusing to accept the thoughts in the first place, you can avoid the whole struggle!

It's similar to a sexual temptation. You can choose to turn and look the other way, or you can dwell on that temptation until it fills your mind and imagination. If you choose to meditate on the thought that the devil is trying to put into your head, it won't be too long until the devil is waging a full-scale battle in your mind! If you don't put on the brakes and stop those thoughts, the devil will conquer you. That's why it's so important that you learn how to control your thinking. If you can keep your mind under the control of the Holy Spirit, you will make it almost impossible for the devil to defeat you in any realm of your life.

The devil is a master when it comes to mind manipulation. He knows that if he can get you to spend a little time meditating on something wrong, he can eventually entice you to do it! If the devil was persuasive enough to deceive brilliant, mighty, powerful angels, how much more easily can he deceive people who live in a far-from-perfect environment and wrestle daily with their own imperfections! The emotional makeup of human beings makes them even more susceptible to the devil's masterful skills of lying, deception, and manipulation.
Satan watches for the right timing. He comes along at an opportune moment. He waits until you're tired, weary, or exasperated. Perhaps you woke up in a bad mood; someone gave you a "look" you didn't like; or you just started off your day on the wrong foot. Then suddenly he strikes you with a thought—something that takes you totally by surprise when your guard is down!

When negative thoughts begin to deluge your mind, you need to know that it is Satan setting a trap in front of you. He is trying to ensnare you so he can cripple and devastate both you and the people you love. He's trying to get you to bite the bait so he can set the hook! But you don't have to fall into this trap anymore! If you really want out of this type of emotional quandary, there is a way out.

First Corinthians 10:13 promises, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

The word "temptation" is the Greek word peirasmos, and it may refer to any outside source that appeals to a weakness in your flesh. That appeal pulls you like a magnet; it lures you mentally, emotionally, and sensually; it fascinates the imagination; it entices the flesh to take a closer peek. If you don't stop this process, it will set its hook in your soul and haul you right smack dab into the middle of some kind of sin!
Because the word peirasmos ("temptation") can describe any weakness of the flesh, this scripture could apply to any fleshly weakness you might struggle with—from being lazy or easily offended; to thinking too lowly or too highly of yourself; to having a problem with anger or sexual temptation. Whatever your flesh responds to is what this word peirasmos refers to!
But this verse promises that God will make a way for you to escape temptation—if you really want to escape it! The Greek word for "escape" is the word ekbasis. This word is a compound of the word ek, meaning out, and the word basin, meaning to walk. When they are compounded together, it means to walk out, as to walk out of a difficult place; to walk out of a trap; or to walk out of a place that isn't good for you.
This makes me think of the time Joseph fled from Potiphar's wife when she tried to seduce him. Rather than stay there and try to negotiate in the midst of the situation, Genesis 39:12 says Joseph "... fled, and got him out." In other words, he got out of there as quickly as he could!
Negotiating with sin usually leads to falling into it rather than conquering it, so it's better for a person to just get up and get away from the situation as quickly as he can! This is why Paul was constantly telling the early believers to "flee" evil influences (see 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 10:14, 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22).

The word "flee" is the Greek word pheugo, which means to flee, to take flight, to run away, to run as fast as possible, or to escape. This means you don't want to succumb to those temptations that are surrounding you. You just need to get up, put on your jacket, pick up your things, and get out of that place of temptation as fast as you can! Let your feet fly as you flee that situation! You're not stuck there! You can get out! You can walk out of that place just as easily as you walked in there! Your feet work in both directions! God will make a way for you to escape those negative emotions if you really want to escape them. But you are the only one who can make the choice to jump through that escape hatch!

If you know you're being tempted to angrily explode, walk out before it happens!
If you know you're being tempted to get your feelings hurt, go somewhere else to avoid the offense!
If you know you're being tempted to slip into a state of laziness, then get up and get busy!
If you know you're being tempted to steal, get as far away as you can from the money or the coveted object!
If you know you're being tempted to sexually sin, get out of that situation immediately!
If you know you're being tempted to do anything wrong, it's time for you to flee from the temptation!
Millions of Christians are held captive because they will not take the leap through that escape hatch. As a result, they have no joy, no peace, and no victory in their lives. They may be Christians, but they're miserable because they haven't made the choice to jump through the escape hatch God has provided for them and leave all those negative temptations and garbage behind.
If you'll say yes to the Lord, He will show you how to walk out of this mess! You can avoid, evade, dodge, elude, shake off, get out of, and break away from every temptation! You are the only one who can choose to walk out of those killer mental attacks or negative situations. The moment you make that decision, your journey to freedom has begun!
So today the Lord is asking you: "Are you going to stay the way you are right now, or are you willing to take the proper steps to escape from this emotional temptation and demonic trap?" What is your answer? What are you going to do? God is waiting for you to decide if you will receive the freedom He is offering you or remain a hostage for the rest of your life. The choice is yours to make.

Sparkling Gems from the Greek.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What do your friends look like?

What is a friend? How do they look? Act? Behave? Do I have real friends or situational sidekicks? I am convinced that one of the most misunderstood, misapplied and misused terms in the English vocabulary is the term "friend". Everyone has them but do we really know what a friend is?

A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend, They received thousands of entries but the definition that won the contest was this: A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out". This is a good description of Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, they came in when the whole world had gone out. While I will deal with the negative side of their visit at another time, there is something positive to be learned from their visit.

Job 2:11 ESV starts out by saying NOW,! What has happened? It's real simple: Job has lost 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yokes of oxen, 500 donkeys, 7 boys and 3 girls, all his workers are dead except 4, NOW, his wife has said, "Curse God and Die", NOW, he has ulcers, Itching, Disfiguration, no appetite, Depression, Sores, Scabs and worms living in the sores, it's hard to breath, Skin is blackening, Foul Breath, Loss of weight, Fever, Diarrhea, Delusions and he is living in constant pain, NOW. Physically he is in agony, Emotionally he is in anguish, Spiritually he feels abandoned, Financially he is in arrears, Culturally, he is ashamed, NOW they show up.

I said that because it is easy to be a friend to someone on a good day, when they have money, a job, no death, disappointment or drama has come but can you be there for them on the dark days?

I. They made an Intentional Appointment VS. 11
a. Look at their Conversation
b. Look at their Destination

Their meeting was not accidental, it was purposeful. It was pre-arranged, pre-discussed. They decided in advance to show up, Notice they did not run away from their friend, but they ran towards him. Real friends don't need an invitation, they just need an opportunity. When Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, they never said, come now, or come quickly, all they said was, the one you love is very sick. Love doesn't need an invitation, just an opportunity.

II. They Displayed An Invaluable Attitude--VS 12.
a. Look at their Character
1. screamed
2. wept
3. tore robes
4. sprinkled dust

b. Look at their Conduct
1. Console- shake head, rock body back and forth, shared grief
2. Comfort- attempt to ease deepest pain caused by tragedy.

III. They Made an Inescapable Assessment
a. The Power of Presence-(Showed up)
b. The Power of Position-( Gave up titles-sat down in trash)
c. The Power of Peace- (Shut up)

As usual, I have written too much so I leave you on this, William E. Hulme in his Pastoral Discourse book on Job entitled Dialogue in Despair says among other things in his treatment of Job, "There are certain situations where words are useless but God has given us "The sacrament of silence where He teaches us the Power of Presence and Peace".

Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play major league baseball. While breaking baseball's color barrier, he faced jeering crowds in every stadium. While playing one day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he committed an error. His own fans began to ridicule him. He stood at second base, humiliated, while the fans booed, jeered and threw racial insults.

"Pee Wee" Reese a shortstop on the team came over and stood next to Jackie. He then put his arm around Jackie and faced the crowd. The fans grew quiet, the booing stopped, the jeers ceased and the insults evaporated. Jackie Robinson would later say that arm around my shoulder saved his career.

When someone is hurting, they don't need a speech, they need an arm, they need a shoulder, they need a place where they can run to. In case you have not been able to find a friend to lean on, run to, an arm to hold, there is not a friend like the lowly Jesus, No not one, What a friend we have in Jesus, all of our sins and grieves to bear, what a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Don't Pretend to be more than you are!

During my devotional period this morning, one of the meditations that I read really resonated with me and I thought I would share it with you.

There is nothing worse than feeling like you've been put in a position you aren't qualified to take. It can be so difficult for the flesh to admit that it can't do a job. Yet there is such great wisdom and peace in learning to recognize and respect your limitations!

This is why the apostle Paul told the Romans, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

If anyone could have thought highly of himself, it would have been Paul, yet he admonishes believers that a person should not "... think of himself more highly than he ought to think...." This phrase comes from the Greek word huperphroneo, which is a compound of the words huper and phroneo. The word huper means above, beyond, or way over the top, and the word phroneo means to think or to consider.
When these two words are compounded into one word, it means that Paul is urging us not to over-think about ourselves, or not to think over-confidently about our abilities. Instead, he commands us to "think" soberly." The word "soberly" is the Greek word sophroneo, which means to think sensibly; to think reasonably; to think realistically; to think rationally; to think practically; to keep in proper measure; or not to think beyond the set boundaries.

One Greek expositor says this word means to recognize your limits and respect them. In other words, don't pretend to be more than you are! Recognize your God-given abilities and use them. But when you come to the edge of your limitations, be willing to say, "This is too much for me."
If you act like you can do everything, you're going to find it quite humiliating when you fail miserably in front of everyone. So instead of thinking too highly of yourself and attempting to take on tasks and projects that are too daunting for you, realize that some jobs are meant to be assigned to someone else. You need to be very realistic about your limitations. If you have tackled a job that is too big for you, there is nothing wrong with admitting that someone else should take over the project.

If you refuse to admit you're over your head because you don't want to be embarrassed, you'll probably end up a whole lot more embarrassed later on when everyone else has to tell you that you can't do the job! When you fail and fall flat on your face, you'll regret that you didn't say, "I think someone else can do this job better than I can. This is simply not where I'm most gifted. Does anyone else on this team want to help me out with this project?"
When Paul said we were "... to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith," he was reminding us that there are other gifted members of the Body of Christ, and we must make room for their gifts as much as ours. God has gifted His entire Body with faith, spiritual gifts, talents, and abilities. Therefore, rather than try to do it all, which we can't do anyway, we need to learn to think "soberly." In other words, we're to recognize our limitations and allow other people to be used by God too!

This principle applies to the church, to the workplace, to school, and to every other sphere of life. Yes, we should respect our own gifts, talents, and callings from God, but we should also respect the fact that it takes all of us to get a job done! So learn to recognize and respect your limitations—and learn to embrace others who are just as needed as you are!

Sparkling Gems from the Greek.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

There is Always Sunday

My Pastor in Oklahoma City, Rev. A. Glenn Woodberry would say without fail to doubting deacons, troubled trustees, anguished associates and a hard headed Son in the ministry, THERE IS ALWAYS SUNDAY. I never quite grasped what he meant when he said it. Many times in ignorance I thought it was a cop out said in order not to deal with something or someone. Now I realize it wasn't a cop out but instead it was a way to look past what you Feel and Face and through Faith see what God has granted you in Favor.

Macedonia just finished hosting its revival services this week with our guest preacher being Rev. Rickey B. Harvey of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Rochester, New York. Pastor Harvey is a national figure on the revival circuit and has a lot of family that are faithful members of our church. We were honored to have him.

I have become so spoiled my Macedonia that for the FIRST time, we didn't act like Macedonia, the attendance for the first two nights was off, WAY OFF, not to mention the money followed in kind. I was upset that the people had not responded. I must admit that as a young pastor I had taken this as a personal rejection. I was ready to lash out, say something dumb, beat up the faithful because of the apathy of a few and right then, God spoke. It was my Pastor saying, THERE IS ALWAYS SUNDAY.

The last night of the revival; attendance was back, money was back, budget was made and all of the things I was worried about were taken care of. I say that because someone reading this post is stuck on the wrong day. Not sure what your day is that makes you lose it.
Monday-misfortune and misery
Tuesday- trials and tribulations
Wednesday-wickedness and worries
Thursday- troubles and travails
Friday- failures and fears
Saturday- sorrow and suffering

I stopped in to write a fast note to tell you Sunday is on the way. Not a marker on the calendar week but an appointment with the author and the finisher of our faith. The day where my worries wash away, where God meets me at my point of need, the day He shows me while you were speaking, I was answering. Sunday is my day to see Jesus. Pastor, you were right, THERE IS ALWAYS SUNDAY. No need to panic, no need to give up, no need to fear and fret, Sunday is coming and Sunday can happen at anytime.

Sometimes you have to "spiritually look at the long range forecast". It's stormy now, it's cloudy now, it's foggy now, wind and thunder are prevalent now but a break in the clouds is coming, the wind I can't stand is blowing some things out of my life and the sun will shine again. Sunday is coming.

I pray that for everyone that has been going through, stuck on the day of your pain that Sunday comes in your life. Please pray that God's will was done and I don't or didn't embarrass God or Macedonia as by the time you read this, I will have preached at the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Gary, Indiana for their Education day at the 11:00 hour. Dr. Marion J. Johnson Jr., is a leading figure in our state convention and serves as my district moderator so it is an honor.

Also pray my strength in the Lord as I will leave there and fly back to OKC to get my angels, Rachael, LaBraia and Raven who spent some time this summer with their mother and are coming home to start school. It will be an adjustment that will require prayer but thank God it won't be like last year this time because Macedonia and South Bend are home for us all. Thank God for Sunday.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Why are you Still Holding On?

Why are you Holding On? Why haven't you given up? Why haven't you waved the white towel of surrender in your situation? No one would blame you for saying you have had enough, no one would criticize you if you wanted to quit, give up your integrity and your innocence and CURSE GOD AND DIE.

I know the Bible is true! "ALL SCRIPTURE is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness so that the man of God may be competent and equipped for every good work" II Tim 3:16-17, Therefore the placement of Job's wife in Chapter 2 for a brief cameo must have a purpose.

Job's wife has been demonized over the years as an uncaring, insensitive wife. St Augustine called her "Diaboli ajunctix", devil's advocate, St. Chrysotom called her "The devil best scourage", John Calvin called her "Organum santani" "The embodiment of Satan". Before anyone thinks I will play the part here of "bitter black man" and pile on to Mrs. Job, I disagree with this assessment. She was just playing her part.

Modern preachers and theologians to answer the mischaracterization of Job's wife as a demon have gone overboard to portray her as a saint. A simple caring women who did not want to see her husband suffer anymore, no selfish motive but a selfless spirit who demonstrates love for her husband. With all due respect to many of my fellow brethren, if there is no Biblical evidence to make her a devil, there is also none to make her a saint. She was simply playing her part.

What's her part reverend? She has the guts to pose the question that we have asked ourselves, that others have asked when watching us, Why do you keep holding on? Why am I still going through this? It's not worth it, I am tired of the abuse, the pain, the seemingly absence of God, why not give up. For everyone who does not understand this feeling, in the words of my pastor, A. Glenn Woodberry, KEEP LIVING. Your day is coming.

Chapters 1 and 2 of Job have a similar outline and that outline can be a quick description of our lives. There is a man, There is a day, There is a devil but There is a God. As sure as you are human, your day is coming when you will have to encounter the Devil, in the Hebrew the word was HAA-Satani- THE SATAN, it's the verb form which means ACCUSER/ADVERSARY.

It might be your DAY! Your day when THE SATAN, the accuser, the adversary shows up, shows up on your job, at your church, in your marriage, in your family, in your money, in your situation. Its your day of pain, persecution, problems, your day of trials, tribulations and trouble, your day of being broke, burdened and beat up by life, your day where you don't want to answer the phone, get out of the bed, talk, see or speak to anyone, your day where you want to yield to the suggestion, Curse God and Die.

I have written too much so I end by saying what C.S. Lewis said when asked "Why do the righteous suffer" Lewis leaned back and said, "WHY NOT", They are the only ones who can take it" Whatever you are going through, YOU CAN TAKE IT. 3 pots of boiling water, one with eggs, one with potatoes and one with coffee beans, same stress, same heat, same pots but different reactions. The potatoes becomes soft under the stress, the eggs became hard under the stress but the coffee beans turned to coffee.

Trouble for the Christian just gives you aroma, it gives you flavor. It doesn't destroy you, it makes you better, it reveals what you already had on the inside of you. That's all Job was saying when he told his wife you sound like a foolish women. A fool in this context and in Ps. 14 is a person who acknowledges that God may or may not exist but does not believe that He makes any difference in their lives or in their situation.

I can hold on not because I understand What I am going through!
I can hold on not because I understand Why I am going through it!
I can hold on not because I can make sense out of my situation!
I can hold on because I know WHO GOD IS.
I can hold on because I know WHOSE I AM.
I can hold on because I know How God Works.

SO I thank God for my mountains, I thank him for my valleys, I thank Him for the things He has brought me through, for if I never had a problem, I wouldn't know that God could solve them and I wouldn't know what Faith in God can do, Through it all, Through it all, I have learned(am Learning) to trust in Jesus, I have learned to trust in God, Through it all, Through it all, I have learned to depend upon God's Word.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What Did I learn from VBS 2009 at Macedonia

How does one measure results? By what tangible proof can you tell whether or not something was a success or not? I have been reflecting for days now after the completion of our VBS to determine whether or not it was a success. The attendance was great, pastors commented to me that they thought either a church meeting or a revival was going on so they were amazed when they found out "It was just VBS". I am encouraged but I still see the ones who were missing.

The discussion was great, uplifting and very revealing. Church members commented that this was the best VBS they have attended in a long time, they wished we had more time in Bible class and how it refreshed them to see an open dialogue between the Pastor and the Pew. I am encouraged but I still see the ones who never opened their mouth.

The attempt to break up hard ground due to inactivity, cold hearts, hard rocks of tradition and dry spirits due to no refreshing from God's Word was hard work. I felt a burden not to preach at or teach at but try and break up the soil of their hearts so that God's Word, THE SEED, could enter in. I am encouraged and yet there is something about looking at a dirt field that is scary.

I know I planted the seed; I know it will come up, I know that God's Word will not return void and yet it still is dirt. No cracks! No breaks! No sprouts! Nothing but dirt, forget harvest, I would take a vine or a leaf right about now.

The Music discussion was enlightening. It demonstrated the intro I used between the Traditional Church and the Contemporary Church and the need for Macedonia to become what I feel the Lord is leading us to do and that is being a Blended Church. The video from the last blog caused quite a discussion. We were only scheduled to talk about music for 30 minutes on one day, We talked about it for 3 days.

Some were adamant that the church should be separate from the world. There should be a difference between what we sing and what the world sings. The secular and the spiritual should never cross paths, but just to aid the discussion I told them James Cleveland's Song "Jesus is the Best Thing that ever Happened to Me", at one time was considered secular because he changed the words to Gladys Knight's song "Best Thing that Ever Happened to me". "O Happy Day" was considered secular, now its a traditional standard. While the Message Never changes or should Never change, the Medium or the Methodology may change in order to serve this present age.

What amazed me was the fact that the people who were most adamant about this were people who participated in ministries or activities that until not long ago was considered "secular" or "taboo", mime, praise dancers for young and old, dramatic plays, skits etc.

I had another faction that "whatever it Takes to bring the people let's do it". Their attitude was if it draws the people, do that. If it gets a crowd, do that. Again, advocating discussion, should we do anything in the name of drawing a crowd? Just because a thing can be done, Is it necessary for it to be done? Let's have a Christian dance class where 1st Sunday it's the Electric Slide, 2nd Sunday its the Cha-Cha slide, third Sunday (youth Sunday) it's the "Stanky Leg class" fourth Sunday it's the baptcostical two-step, 5th Sunday it would be "So you think you want to be a Pastor's Wife auditions, It would draw a crowd, but everyone who came to see Jesus do a miracle did not stay around to perform ministry.

Last point for this blog, I told the church, I didn't want to come off as a hater. Many times when a Pastor is against something, it is not necessarily spiritual. Many preachers who are against closing, celebrations, whooping, can't do it, therefore they talk about those who can. I am not a singer, if the Holy Spirit dumps out an ocean of His power to go along with what He has put in me, I can keep a note but I am not a Lance Mann, Joe Carter, Elliot T. Ivey, B. Bailey, etc who God has blessed with that gift. They can sing without thinking, it is as normal as breathing to them. That's not my gift but just because I don't have it, I shouldn't hate on preachers with that gift.

If any result was had by this VBS week, it is simply, breaking ground is hard work. The ground is hard, the work is hard and even the best of tools can become dull or even chipped or broken due to the elements you are working in; however, if you want the seed to take root, you must dig deep, keep watered, tend to the weeds, spray away the bugs, put a protective net over the fruit and harvest will come.

I am still in the breaking up stage, please pray for me. God won't break the people's heart as long as my heart is still hard and stony. Please God remove the rocks out of my life that I might be more useful to you.