Seeds in the Soil of Faith

Three weeks ago I planted these “seeds” in a flower-pot. It was just for fun to see if something would happen. And happened it has!

Isn’t it incredible what has exploded in just three weeks? I am more than excited about my experiment. But there is a big problem! The pot it too small. There is no space for growth for the new sweet potatoes. That is something I should have taken into consideration from the start. I guess I will just have to enjoy the green leaves and forget about the “harvest.”

I have been thinking this morning about everything there is to learn from the seed and the soil and the watering and the growth… every little part has a spiritual lesson to teach us.

One of the main lessons is the FAITH involved. I must have faith in the seed. As the sower, I must have faith in the seed, faith in the soil, faith in the sun and the rain, but most of all faith in the Creator of the seed and the soil and the sun and the rain!

Most of the time we don’t think about this. We take so many things for granted. But there is so much power hidden in a seed. This “seed” is big, but there is the same power in the tiniest of seeds, like the mustard seed that Jesus talked about.

And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” Mark 4:3o-32

“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

It doesn’t matter if it is big or small, there is the same potential in a seed. But there is one thing needed to see growth, and that is patience. You have to believe that something is happening underground! If I should dig up my “seed” to check how it is doing, I would ruin the whole thing! The evidence above ground tells me something is happening in the dark, in the “invisible” world. In due time I can look for the fruit, but not now! In this case, there will be no new sweet potatoes because I have not provided the environment this seed needs. It has no space to grow!

I could go on with the lessons to learn, but I’ll let you think about it. Let me give you a quote about what happens in the spiritual realm. Faith is what our life and experience with God is built on. When Jesus walked on earth he looked for faith in people. Time and again you can find that people had “faith to be healed,” and they were healed. “Your faith has made you whole,” Jesus would say.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

I have planted a seed in the soil of faith! I will water it with prayer! And I will believe in the Maker of the Seed for something incredible to happen.

I’ll tell you about it in a few words. Maybe you can provide me with some resources. What I want to do is some 15-minute videos of Salt and Pepper and the Treasure Club. I think it would be a fun way to teach children life-lessons. If you are not familiar with Salt and Pepper, check it out here:

ENGLISH:  MX1414.wordpress.com

SPANISH:  clubperlita.wordpress.com

I have to redo my stories to make them video episodes. They can also be puppet skits. Or they can be skits for kids to act out. The possibilities are endless.

This is my latest “seed of faith,” planted in the “soil of faith.” I need help.

  • I need CREATIVITY to write the episodes.
  • I need PEOPLE to help me pull this together.
  • I need MONEY to pay for the project.
  • I need RESOURCES–technical resources of all kinds.
  • I need FAVOR–favor with God and men!

Will you help me pray for this project? And all the other projects I have going on! One would think that at my age I would have run out of ideas (I’ve passed the 70 mark!). It’s the opposite. I have so many ideas I would need another life to accomplish them all!

One more thing. I have a helping hand. Will you pray for my current helpers?

  • CRISTINA is my assistant in Peru. What would I do without her?
  • ABSALOM is my excellent artist in Costa Rica.
  • XIMENA is my dear friend and helper in Bolivia.
  • NANCY is my friend in the USA who translates my stories to English.
  • PILAR is a teacher in Mexico who will make the audio on the videos we have.

This will be all for today! Do you have any seeds to plant? Put them in the soil of faith and water them with prayer. There is no telling what the Maker of the Seed will do!

May you be blessed beyond measure!

Advertisements
Posted in Royal Palm World Mission, Seed of Love | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploding Growth and Sparks of Kindness

Last time I wrote here it was about a little experiment I was doing with some sweet potatoes that had grown some roots laying in my kitchen waiting to be eaten. Since I had an empty flower-pot I thought I might use it and see if something happened.

This is the result after 10 days!

I am amazed st the explosion of growth. Every morning, as my grandson David and I waited for his school bus, we would look in awe at how quickly the little plants were growing. Today I was totally amazed at how they have grown.

While these sweet potatoes were sprouting and showing the power of growth that is in them, in another part of this country, just south of us in Oklahoma, people have been devastated by one of the big powers of nature–a hurricane! Thousands upon thousands of people have lost everything to the forces of winds and water. Day after day I’ve seen the images on television of houses and cars submerged in water, and people walking waist deep in that water, to save and to be saved. It has been heart-breaking to hear the stories. But at the same time heart-warming to see the outpouring of help and support from strangers to strangers. I am overwhelmed by the love for neighbors the American people have shown!

This morning I saw on my Facebook page a call for prayer–the declaration of President Donald Trump to make this Sunday a day of prayer for the victims of this devastating hurricane, for both Texas and Louisiana. There was prayer in the White House. I appreciate that we have a President who believes in the power of prayer.

In my story for the week the children are encouraged to let sparks of truth and kindness fly. Down in Texas there have been many sparks flying. I would say there have been fires of kindness going on. One of the videos that impressed me was a chain of people standing in waist-deep water to save a man stranded in a sinking vehicle. Something totally different–a lady who went around her neighborhood saving the dogs left behind by fleeing home-owners. I think it was around 20 dogs she had in her attic when rescue came. But it was hard to fit them all in a boat!

Today’s story was inspired by a fire in a commercial area in the center of Lima, Peru. The fire lasted several days. My assistant Cristina would update me as the days wore on. That’s when I made up a story to show the great fire that our words can cause. But rather than concentrate on the negative I like to look at it from the positive side, letting sparks of kindness fly!

Welcome to read the Salt and Pepper story: #6 The fire that wouldn’t go out

May our sparks of kindness fly far and wide!

Posted in Inspiration, Stories for children and "big" children | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Roots go in the Ground

Have you ever done something so crazy stupid that you wondered where your brain was? Had it gone on vacation? Was it hiding in a cave somewhere?

I did something like that yesterday! I had some sweet potatoes that had been sitting too long in the pantry, waiting to be cooked. So they had grown roots!

Even if it is late summer I decided to plant them. Just for the fun of it. So what did I do? I planted them upside down! That is the crazy stupid thing I did. To top it all off, I took a picture and posted it on social media. How insane can a person be?

My sister saw it and corrected me. I had already been thinking that I must have done it wrong. So, this morning I re-planted them. Of course, I watered it well and gave it some plant food.

All this got me thinking about how we act in life. We do things our way and hope they will work out, even if we know that God’s way I the right way.

GOD’S WAY IS NOT ONLY THE BEST WAY, IT IS THE ONLY WAY!

God is the Creator and Designer of the universe. He has set things in place and decided how they shall work. Since he is the Creator he has all the rights to do it. He is the one who has decided the seasons; he has set in place the rules for how things should work. He is the one who decided that the seed must go in the ground, that it has to die, before new life will spring up.

Isn’t it amazing how you take a little seed, almost invisible, put it in the ground, let it sit for a while, water the soil… then, suddenly, something green starts coming out of the ground, and giving it time, it can become a tree. Giving it lots of time, hundreds of years, that tree becomes so big that it takes a village of people to hold hands and surround the tree. And it all started with a little seed, planted in the dark soil.

If that is amazing, what about the little seed planted in the womb, that grows and develops into a human being?! I could go on and on with the marvels of nature, how intricate everything is done. We could go on for days just meditating on the amazing works of our Creator. And then there are folks who don’t even believe in him!

Someone came up with the crazy stupid idea that everything came out of nowhere, that there was this big explosion, that we evolved from monkeys. Why are there still monkeys around? Why are we not continuing to evolve? Because it’s not true!

I just want to remind us that as there are rules and regulations in nature, God has established rules for our life. The most important thing is the way to eternal life. Our short stay on earth is a simple preparation for eternity. You might not like the way God has established things, but just as I need to put the roots in the ground, hidden in the soil, for my sweet potatoes to grow into new ones, to obtain eternal life I must follows God’s way, which is JESUS!

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:1-6

You are loved! The Creator is calling your name! That’s probably why I did the crazy stupid thing with the upside down sweet potatoes… Just so there would be one more avenue to remind you that God loves you and that he has opened a way for you to have eternal life.

Plant the seed of your life in the warm and nutritious soil of God’s love. Seventy plus years of life-experience, surrounded by God’s love, makes me an “expert,” I believe. In the ups and downs, in joys and in sadness, in health and sickness, in losses… in whatever has come my way, God has been and IS my refuge and my strength. He is a present help in times of trouble.

Come to Jesus, the ONLY way!

Posted in Seed of Love | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Lifestyle of Contentment

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16,17 ESV

Picture yourself growing up as an orphan in Mozambique, Africa. Your father has abandoned you and you are raised in an orphanage. Not a luxurious place, well-provided for by a prestigious organization. An orphanage George Muller style, where you don’t know from what place your next meal will come. But you know your provider is the God of the Universe. Exciting, but sometimes a little nerve-wrecking. Our Heavenly Father will provide for us when we pray, but most of the time at the last minute. But never late!

Bruno is an 18-year old young man in Africa. He grew up in an orphanage like the one I described. Every week they pray for God to provide food for the next week. They live by faith!

I heard this testimony through Isik Abla, a Christian evangelist and host of TV and radio broadcasts around the world. You can look her up on Facebook. It touched my heart so much I want to share it with you.

This young man has nothing of material riches, but he has the riches that last for eternity. If he finds a bed for himself for the night he considers himself rich. If he has a corner where he can be alone and uninterrupted, he is rich.

Isik thinks he might not have eaten a full meal in his life, but when she offered to take him out for dinner he refused. He is not used to that life-style. Instead of dinner he would rather have some fruit. When Isik brought him fruit he was very excited! For six months, he had not eaten fruit.

Isik asked him what he needed, what she could pray for. “I have everything,” said Bruno. “I have Jesus!” But he wanted prayer to have a deeper walk with the Lord.

Bruno knows what the real riches are. “I am so happy,” he said. His dream was to be closer to Jesus! This is a young man who has a contentment life-style.

I was so touched by this testimony I spent the afternoon looking at the Apostle Paul and what he had to say about this subject. I’ve made a file of the Scriptures I looked up. You are welcome to use it. One is a WORD file so you can make your own notes.

To print and read:  PDF  Paul Models Contentment and Gratitude  

WORD  Paul Models Contentment and Gratitude

Contentment in Whatever Situation

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness [gentleness] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. Philippians 4:4-7, 10-15 ESV

We had a couple of pictures hanging on the wall when I was growing up. One talked about Christ being supreme in the home. In fact, I have one myself, to be reminded that Christ is the unseen Guest at every meal that and the silent Listener of every conversation. The other picture had some virtues, one being Contentment. It said that contentment is the crown of the home.

Gratitude and thanksgiving bring joy. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” is verse we like to use. Agreed? Did you notice in what context Paul wrote those words? He was talking about being content. He said he could handle both lack and abundance. He could face plenty and he could face hunger. Then he said, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

May I encourage us to practice contentment. Did you notice I said “us”? I’m writing these words just as much for myself. Let’s praise the Lord for his goodness! Let’s be a grateful people.

Bruno in Africa was overwhelmed with gratefulness because of a bag of fruit! He didn’t desire material possessions but to have a deeper walk with Jesus.

What is your desire for this week? For life as a whole?

I WANT MORE OF JESUS!

Here is a contentment exercise I did three years ago:

As I was getting ready for the day I started counting all the things that are “wrong” with my body. That doesn’t sound very spiritual, does it? It’s not a very spiritual activity to get dressed and ready. My body feels fragile, like it could break any minute. Sometimes it feels like a freight-train has run over it. So I started my mental list: damaged nerves, pain in hands and feet, hernia, lack of lymph-nodes, tooth infection… Stop right there! There might be some things wrong, but I immediately made a 180 degree turn and started the list of things that are working.

First things first: I can breathe! I can see, I can hear, I can talk, I can use my hands, my heart functions correctly, my lungs are clear, I can walk (even if it’s not as swiftly as I used to), my liver works, my kidneys do their job, my hair has grown back out from when I lost it, my brain works fine, I’ve got all my intestines and they do their job, I have both my breasts, I still have my teeth, I have my nose intact (I don’t remember anybody punching it), I have all my 200+ bones… That calls for contentment!

Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself due to all the aches and pains, I just need to start counting my blessings and all the things that DO work fine! How about you? Do you have some missing parts? Are some of your parts not working properly? Start making the list of all that works fine and praise the Lord that you can breathe and that your heart pumps the blood through your system.

Bruno? A bag of fruit made his day!

Contentment is the key!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Gratitude | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t be let down by circumstances

A ship doesn’t sink because of the water that surrounds it but by the water that it lets in. Don’t let yourself sink because of things that surround you.

I read this advice this morning, at a time in my life when I feel sad. My heart is broken. Sometimes things happen that take us by surprise, things that we don’t understand. But we can’t be let down by the circumstances. Then we’ll be like a boat that sinks in the environment that was supposed to carry it.

Salt and Pepper with Captain Bravo

I lead a very lonely life. I have mentioned before that I have neuropathy in my feet and hands as a side effect of the chemotherapy I had nine years ago. I can walk inside the house. When I go out I can walk about a block. How I would love to go on walks in my neighborhood; but I cannot. That is a big cause of my sadness. Other things that have happened are private; nothing to write about. But I can write the words of God that have comforted me. Psalm 34:18.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

One sad time in King David’s life was when he had trouble with his son Absalom, who revolted against him to take his kingdom. Read the story in 2 Samuel 15 to 18. What great pain his son caused him! But David never stopped loving him. When Absalom died, David felt so much anguish that he cried out saying, “My son Absalom—if only I had died in your place!”

David had his harp and God had gifted him the talent to write. How beautiful is Psalm 34! But if you look behind the scene he was in distress when he wrote it.  He had to pretend madness because of his enemies. But in the midst of it all he had the goodness of the Lord to brighten his days.

The sun has hidden behind the clouds. I hope that soon it will shine through. Meanwhile, I continue with the joy of my heart, to write for the thousands of Spanish-speaking children who receive my stories.

I’m happy to announce that I have launched a series of stories for children on my English resource page. It’s about two fun-loving boys called Salt and Pepper, that will learn many valuable lessons through their kind neighbor Miss Beatrice. There is also a little girl in the story, a girl who wins a special prize for guessing a word about something that is worth more than gold.

It’s been eleven weeks since this story was “born.” It’s not going to end soon because the more I write, the more ideas pop up in my head. These imaginary friends make me company. I think of them and the children who read the stories and the sun that has been hidden comes back out.

Invite kids to read the stories. Read them for your children or grandchildren. There will be a new chapter each week. http://MX1414.wordpress.com

We are praying for the nations. I had a request from Venezuela. The situation is very difficult. You might have seen on the news or read on social media about the suffering people are going through. Pray for God’s love to prevail, that in the midst of these critical circumstances people will come to know Jesus.

Another day I will be writing about the new school year. I have a very special assignment for this year. Apart from the company of my “story friends” I will have my grandson David coming to see me every school day. That’s a story for another day!

May I encourage you again to read Psalm 34? David looked to his Heavenly Father and declared: “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”

A ship doesn’t sink because of the the water that surrounds it but by what it lets in. Don’t be let down by your circumstances. Rise above them. Trust the Lord; He is good.

Just like David, I have tasted God’s goodness and I can say for sure:

HE IS GOOD!

 

 

 

Posted in Encouragement | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Heart like the Heart of God

I’m reading a book called Love Story by Nichole Nordeman, The Hand that Holds us from the Garden to the Gates. How this book landed in my hands has to do with a super bargain sale at Mardel. I have a stack of books that I bought at the beginning of summer for one dollar each. I love these kinds of bargains. I even thought I could make a profit! (Don’t tell anybody, but I could double the price at our next garage sale!)

Joking aside, if it weren’t for the sale, I would never have bought the book. The writings of a recording artist and songwriter is nothing that speaks loudly enough for me as to pick up that kind of a book. But biographies and mission biographies do speak loundly! This book is a different kind of “biography.” Nichole writes about Bible characters and ends each chapter with lyrics from music inspired by The Story.

Have you read The Story? I’ve been reading The Story all my life! But this particular “The Story” tells The Story in an easy-to-read sequence, telling The Story from beginning to end… No, there is no end… We are living The Story. We are on our way to The Gates!

Have I confused you? A few months ago I sent a copy of The Story to one of my cousins who has grown up without The Story, because my uncle didn’t believe. I want her to know The Story, but most of all I wish that she will come to know the Author of The Story. I pray for her every day.

Have you grown up knowing The Story? Is the Author your Father and Savior? There aren’t words enough to express the gratitude I feel because I had parents who taught me The Story. I love The Story. I love the Author. Which brings me to the title of this blog: A Heart like the Heart of God.

I’ve been meditating deeply these last few weeks on the Apostle Paul’s words to the church at Ephesus:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
Ephesians 5:1

I’ve been writing down scriptures on the subject and thinking about how to incorporate it in one of the stories about Salt and Pepper (I mentioned in my last blog the cute little guys that keep my mind busy these days). “Imitators of God, as beloved children.” Usually a child wants to be like her father, if she has a father, and if that father is a good father. I feel so sad for all the children who grow up without a loving father!

I’ve looked up to my father all my life. And I still have my father! We talk on the phone or on Skype several times a week. I called him today. “I don’t have very much to tell you, because of the heat I can’t get out much. But I wanted to hear your voice.” We don’t have to say very much. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation. But I want my father to know that he is appreciated and never forgotten.

As I am reading along in the book, I get to the part about David. (David, but not the David in The Story, is my favorite boy in all the world! How I hope God can say the same thing about him, as he said about the David in the Bible, that he was a man after his own heart!)

This is the part that touched me to the core, part of the lyrics, titled your heart:

At the end of the day, I wanna hear people say

My heart looks like your heart,

My heart looks like your heart.

When the world looks at me, let them agree

That my heart looks like your heart,

My heart looks like your heart.

“And when he [God] had removed him [King Saul], he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’” Acts 13:22

Yes, that’s what I want! I want my heart to look like God’s heart. So, how is God’s heart? This is the best description I can come up with!

I want my heart to be pure, like my Father’s heart.

I want my heart to be perfect, like my Father’s heart.

I want my heart to be good, like my Father’s heart.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel 36:26,27

This is what God’s heart looks like:

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

This is the kind of heart that I want! “God, I want my heart looks like your heart.”

How about you, my friend?

Do you want to read “Love Story”? See: worthypublishing.com

May you also desire to have a heart that looks like God’s heart!

 

 

Posted in God, Love | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Praying for the Nations

To my dear friends that faithfully visit my blog, I just realized it’s been almost a month since I last posted something. It’s been busy weeks! Today I did  a sigh of relief. I finally figured out how to post a very special project my assistant Cristina and I have been working on. You will hear more about it when I get the English counterpart of the Spanish on the move.

What is it all about? Something I have been wanting to do for a long time. We are going to be praying for the Nations!

Every other week the Spanish Sunday school teachers will get a country assigned to pray for with the children. My granddaughter Brianna is excited about translating the prayer needs to English. We use Google and then she edits it.

Our emphasis is now Syria. With the overloads of files I have on my computer, the English we did is gone. It’s a good thing I did a print-out. Now I remember that I did a PDF-file. Let me find it! It doesn’t have the final edit but I’m sure it can be used to as a prayer guide.

Pray for SYRIA

Everything else has taken second stage. My assistant Cristina has made the instructions on how to make a big map. Then we are making flags and faces of boys and girls to add to the flags and put on the map. You can go to a bookstore and buy a map. Set one up someplace in your home or in your Sunday school class at church. Let’s be real intentional in praying for the nations, for a world-wide harvest of souls for Jesus!

This is the map Cristina has made and has in her room.
It’s 57×32 inches!

But this is not all! I started to write a story about two little boys that I called Salt and Pepper.  I wanted to teach on the importance of watching out speech, that it be seasoned with salt! This was seven weeks ago! The story continues week by week. It will come in English too. My friend who translated them to English has had shoulder surgery so she cannot work with them for now.

Here are the cute little boys that keep me very busy.

I hope you are having a good summer. If you live on the other side of the Equator, may you be coping fine with winter.

I’ll be back soon! You will get updates on the countries we will pray for.

Please pray for the children in Syria,
that they will find the way to salvation in Jesus.

See the prayer-page in Spanish:  Oremos por las naciones

 

Posted in Prayer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment