Posts Tagged ‘II Timothy 3’

Signs of Spring-March Madness

Spring has sprung. It is officially here even though some days do not feel like it yet. There have been signs for several weeks that spring was around the corner. The signs give us hope and anxious anticipation of warm sunshine, sandals, bare feet, digging in the dirt, supper on the deck, flowers, and the smell of freshly mowed grass, a welcome relief from the cold, colder and coldest days of winter. I know, winter has it’s own beauty and it is a vital part of our balance of seasons, but spring is refreshing and energizing.  I pour over seed catalogs and look at the stunning pictures of vegetables, dreaming of my own garden, fresh vegetables and flower beds.  Even though I can never match Burpee’s standard of excellence, something stirs within me to try again and again and again.

Some pictures from the farm….signs of spring and a last wintery snow fling (hopefully).

One day and then…. the next day!


Robins are a sure sign of spring.

 My early broccoli, cabbage and Red Sails lettuce.

Blackberry bushes covered with snow. They were already shooting new spring growth.

Yes, we had a real March snow storm, however, it was the prefect snow storm: it snowed hard, 3-4 inches, was beautiful, and the next day was gone.

Mating Season: The wild turkeys were out grazing in the pasture and the gobblers were in full strut.

 A herd of seven deer grazed for several hours in the pasture in the warm sunshine.

 

When I flipped the calendar from February to March it felt like spring was already here. After all, it was March 1 and the signs of spring were all around us. But signs only point to the time, the appointed day when spring officially happens.  It reminds me of a another season of time coming on God’s calendar.

Two thousand plus years ago, Jesus came to earth as a baby, to live among humans, to teach and show us the way to the Father and heaven. He was severely tortured and killed in the most cruel and inhuman way-crucified, not because he was a criminal but for the crime of being the Messiah. Satan did not win that battle and death could not hold Jesus in the tomb. After three days, Jesus arose from the dead, as he said he would do.  This is why Christian believers celebrate Easter. Jesus became the sacrifice for our sins so that we could be saved. To be saved is a choice each person has to make. We have to choose to believe, choose to accept Jesus as our Messiah, Lord and Savior. Before Jesus returned to heaven, he told his disciples (and us) that he would return.

Before Jesus returns,  there will be a terrible time on planet earth as it implodes with evil in a way the world has never seen. When that happens, Jesus warns us that end of the world is near. He has told us what to expect and the signs so we can be faithful and ready, prepared and watching for his return. Matthew 24, Mark 13, II Thessalonians 2, II Timothy 3, and Revelations are just some of the scriptures that refer to and tell us the signs of his second coming. The signs point to a specific time when Jesus will return.  We can not point to a calendar and say this is the day as we do with spring.  But the signs of his return give us hope. It stirs in our spirits that a new day is coming, a glorious day of new beginnings and sin and evil will be conquered once and for all.

The disciples were frightened and troubled at what Jesus told them and wondered when that time would be. Jesus tenderly and firmly spoke words of truth and comfort in John 14:1-3,6.

“Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again to receive you to myself so that where I am, there you can be also….I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father (God) except by me.”

If this has spoken to your heart, ask Jesus to open your eyes to the truth of His word. Start by reading the Gospel of John and then get on your knees and ask Jesus to forgive your sins. I promise you, He WILL.

 

Fooled

I was working in the kitchen and I heard the familiar, sickening “thud” of a bird crashing into the patio doors. I looked out and there laid a juvenile cardinal, sprawled on the deck on his back with its feet in the air.

I gently picked him up and  rubbed his back, smoothing his ruffled feathers. His piercing black eyes were open , but his feet stayed  tightly curled into balls and he didn’t flinch a muscle.  I sat and held him.  After a few minutes I gently set Mr. Cardinal on the deck railing.  He chirped several times and I settled in my chair with my camera to watch.  He remained upright, resting on his back hunches  with curled toes and open beak.  I thought, I believe this young lad has a chance. He seemed to be badly stunned but not injured. There was no blood oozing from his beak.

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For maybe ten minutes we sat and watched each other.  He pooped a very watery mess twice and once when I let my gaze stray and glanced back, my little friend was gone; without a sound or cheery good-bye.  I glanced at the nearby branches but didn’t see him. It was such a satisfying feeling to have helped Mr. Cardinal, possibly even saving his life.

I glanced at the patio doors and marveled at the almost perfect reflection of the yard in the tinted glass.  I have a suncatcher hanging to help deflect but realized it does not do a thing, doesn’t even show up.  The edging of the curtains are the only clue that this is a barrier.  Almost every time I am in the kitchen in the middle of the day I heard the dull thud of another victim of the mirage.

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The picture of the reflection does not show the clarity of of the actual mirage.

I started thinking about sin and how easily we are “fooled” into thinking it doesn’t matter, it is ok, or there is nothing wrong with it.  It may allure and look good until we crash head first into it’s wall and crash.  We are stunned. How did we get here, why did we fail to recognize it for what it was.  Satan always has his image stamped in the mirage.  We do not have to be deceived.

The Bible warns over and over and over to “be not deceived”.  That tells me that I need to be on guard, for I can be deceived. Wrong can look and feel right.  Mr. Cardinal did not look carefully. He thought he was flying through wide open spaces until his head crashed on the glass.  He never saw it coming, He never even had a moment to duck.  I remember one time a group of us gals were at a hotel, walking from one area to another when one of the girls turned and walked smack, nose first,  into a large glass pane.  She thought it was an open door. We laughed like fools at her ridiculous plight as it stopped her instantly in her tracks with a loud crash.  What she thought she saw in front of her was not the truth!

II Timothy 3 warns us that evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Timothy also reminds us to remember what we were taught from the Holy Scriptures for it can make us wise for staying on course with our salvation.  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness”.  (II Timothy 3:16)  In other words, scripture shows us the truth.  We can put our actions and thoughts against the inspired Word of God for guidance and  discernment.

Mr. Cardinal needed help. Left upside down on his back on the patio he probably would have died. But helping him back on his feet, giving him love and encouragement, he was able to fly free again.  We also need help. We need a fellowship of believers to encourage, correct, teach and lift us up when we fall down.

Lord, help me not to be deceived or fooled.

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