Tag Archives: Kingdom

Seed scatterer

This is what the kingdom of heaven is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.  … the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how … Mark 4:26-27 (NIV)

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Come be a seed scatterer

     A kingdom of heaven gatherer.

          Sow seed into wide swaths of soil

               For planting is the laborers toil.

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Growth comes only by God’s hand

     The sprouting seed not caused by man.

          Who can know how a seed does grow

               Where the wind of the Spirit might choose to blow?

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When he comes may he find my sack

     Empty of seeds upon my back.

          Sown in soils where he has led

               A harvest sprouting from entrusted seed heads.

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Unplowed ground and a packet of seeds

“…Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.” Jeremiah 4:3

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The days go quickly, the years fly by and we will not always have ground to plow. Opportunities come in windows of time that will eventually shut. Once open, soon-to-be-closed doors, will be sealed at some point.

Unplowed ground is a nursery waiting to happen—a field intended for growth. If unplowed ground sits dormant, it’s a grief of the saddest kind: the grief of what could have been. Purposes sit untilled. Precious gifts and talents remain tucked-away. Potential dries up and plans are sadly wasted.

Unplowed, never productive ground, weeps for seed to be sown. Seed to nurture. Seed to surround with warm earth-loving arms and unseen life-needed nutrients.

Has he given me land that’s just sitting there—unproductive for his kingdom? Has he given me a packet of seeds collecting dust on the shelf?

Show me, Lord. May every inch of ground and every tiny seed be used for your kingdom purposes.

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back…” Isaiah 54:2


The sound of marching

As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move out to battle, because that will mean God has gone out in front of you…” I Chronicles 14:15

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Over David’s head, the sound of marching pounds on a floor of air. God’s army is on the move—going out to the battle in front of David’s army. David got to hear what was happening in the unseen realm.

Did the tops of the trees wave as if blown by a heavy wind? Did it sound as if the sky would cave in and angel armies crash to the ground?

God had told David to move out to battle when he heard the sound of marching in the balsam trees. Imagine David on high-alert, listening.

Oh, the sounds we never hear, the sights we fail to see because we are not listening, or looking, for God to act.

Lord, when I call for help may I be quick to look for your response and recognize it when I see it. I don’t want to miss the ways you move in front of me.

Yes…He still marches ahead.


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Kingdom irony

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:17*

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The story of God’s Son reads like an ancient legend…

A flame of destruction was set in place and the kingdom stood condemned. Already, smoke was rising from the horizon. An unsuspecting people went about their business, oblivious to pending doom. However and whoever put the flame in place was irrelevant at this point. The reality? Their world was condemned.

So their Father, filled with compassion, sent His Son to save the world. His one life would ransom the kingdom. But they rejected Him. They denied His divinity.

Not everyone rejected Him and those who believed were rescued. Those who rejected Him didn’t understand; they were blind. They saw Him as a condemning figure when in reality they were condemned already. He came that they might be saved through Him.

He is not the condemner. He is the rescuer. He is the hero.

Oh, the irony of it all.

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*The One Year Bible, NIV, May 3, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois.

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One who serves

“…For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:26-27*

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Sundays after church our large family would pile into the brown Chevy and head to our grandparents’ house for “dinner,” as the Sunday noon-hour meal was commonly called.

Flat-land midwesterners have no concept of how car sick one can get in a 15 minute drive on curvy roads that dip, rise and swerve. I was usually woosie by the time we arrived. And mind you, this was pre-seatbelt days—kids squished into cars like sardines. My younger sister laid on the upper ledge behind the back seat. Someone usually claimed a floorboard behind the front seats. (And everyone learned that pecking order mattered!)

The smells that welcomed us into that small country kitchen were big enough to fill a mansion. Every garden vegetable imaginable, a few meats, bread and a plethora of desserts—that was my grandparents’ house on Sunday.

My grandmother, Ma, prepared the meal. We helped once we got there, but she basically did it all. Then, she didn’t eat with us. Instead, she walked around the table refilling glasses. She checked to see who didn’t get what and asked if they wanted whatever she discovered missing from their plate. (Might as well take a little of everything or you’d be interrogated by the gentle plate nazi!)

Then, after everyone ate, Ma would sit and eat from the left overs. I’m not saying this is how we should do it. But in God’s kingdom, Ma was batting 1,000. She made herself servant to all without even realizing it. She did what she’d spent her life doing—what needed to be done.

We were family. She wanted us to come to her house. Wanted to serve us. Wanted us to taste everything. Heaven forbid someone go home hungry—that would be the shame of her era!

From my grown-up hindsight vision, I’d like to tell her to sit down. Let me take her place, or at least, let us take turns taking her place! I’d like to enlighten her that men are fully capable of serving as well. I’d like to put my 21st century glasses on her 1940’s mindset.

But it wouldn’t do any good. She was among us as one who serves. Like Jesus, it was her nature.

And now I see just how great she was.

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*The One Year Bible, NIV, April 24, copyright 1986, Tyndale House Publishing, Wheaton, Illinois.

photo by Patty Perkins

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