I’m a gardener. My favorite time of year is when my flowers are in bloom. But it's been hot and dry in our neck of the woods, so there's been extra work. Some would call it a drought. So, because the gardens depend on me, every day I pull the garden hose to my flower beds filled with my prized plantings. Recently, while extending the hose I noticed a weed growing in an empty bed. I walked right past it. After all, we were in a drought, and I saved my watering labor for flowering plants and those producing fruit.
The weed kept growing daily, and I wondered how it could continue since I spared no water for it. It must have developed very deep roots, tapping into some unknown water supply. One day a flower head formed on the weed. I watched it but gave it no care. After a few days I recognized it as a sunflower. Then one morning the sunflower tipped back its head at the rising sun and opened all of its vivid yellow petals for the first time. It was a glorious sight, standing straight and tall, all by itself, made more impressive by the fact that it had received no care from me.
We all experience droughts in life. We may lose a source of income or the company of a loved one. We may be on our own, without friends or family to offer assistance or encouragement. If that sunflower had looked to me for sustenance, it would have floundered. But it had a source of life. My guess was deep roots.
It’s the same for us. If we have our roots planted firmly in Jesus Christ, we will experience a constant flow of living water. Our hope comes from him. Our encouragement comes from him. He will never leave us. He will never forsake us. Because of the hope we have in Jesus Christ we can bloom even in the most difficult of times. Jesus is our constant sustenance, even in the drought.
Isaiah 55:10-13 As God’s word goes out, it accomplishes its purpose.
Colossians 2:6-7 Be rooted in Jesus and established in the faith.
John 7:38 When you believe in Jesus Christ, out of your heart will flow rivers of living water.
Hebrews 13:5 He will never forsake you.
This year, 2018, we’re celebrating Father’s Day on June 17. Why do we pick one day to celebrate fatherhood? And how did this celebration come about? I did a little checking. As with many holidays, there are differences of opinion.
This is one story.
Our modern version of the celebration of Father’s Day is said to be the results of the efforts of Sonora Louise Smart Dodd from Sokane, Washington. I’m told the idea came to her mind in 1909 while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. She had been raised primarily by her father after the death of her mother. She thought (as I would) since we celebrate motherhood, it’s just as important to celebrate the father’s contribution to the family. Ms. Dodd began campaigning for the celebration with the support of the local Ministerial Association and Young Men’s Christian Association. As a result of her efforts Spokane celebrated their first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. By word of mouth the notion slowly gained popularity and spread throughout the United States.
President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 acknowledged the special day in 1916.
President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father’s day in 1924.
President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day in 1966.
But it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day.
Other theories of the day's origin:
Other stories place the first Father’s Day church service in West Virginia in 1908.
The first ceremony to celebrate the day was held in Vancouver, Washington.
Mrs. Charles Clayton of West Virginia is said to be the founder of Father’s Day,
In some countries Father’s Day is celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day, which is March 19.
I read on report that 4000 years ago a child carved the first Father's Day card on a stone tablet.
Quotations to think about:
“Children have more need of models than critics.”
Attributed to French moralist Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)
“The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.” Proverbs 20:7 NIV
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NIV
I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions because they don't often last through the first month. I didn't intend to this year, but today I've decided to change my life. I choose to see joy in some part of every day. I expect there will be days when that joy is elusive. The daily news is depressing. People sometimes disappoint me. I often disappoint myself. I choose not to dwell there.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in what we call the book of Philippians, "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." Philippians 4:11 ESV Read the New Testament. Paul was often in life-threatening situations.
I refuse to end a day in sorrow, depression, anger, or feeling sorry for myself. I choose to be content with whatever God gives me and before I go to bed each night I will find the joy in that day and to thank Him for it.
Let's not waste any of the next 365 days. Who will join me in this resolution?
Pictures and joy will be recorded on my Facebook Author page.
We look at the outside, but our Lord looks at the heart.
Valentine's Day. It's all about love and where we place value. These articles are from my collection at Christian Living @ BellaOnline.com
Who was he and why all the hoopla?
Is it the unpredictable and unreliable emotional response or something more?
It's the center of everything.
A Man Worthy of Your Heart
Let's talk about dating and choosing the one you will spend your life with.
Sweethearts of the Bible Quiz
Test your Bible knowledge of these biblical couples.
A Heart of Faith
My wandering heart is very much like that of the disciples.
The Heart of the Canaanite Woman
The bible gets to the heart of the matter. Scripture reveals truth.
A Woman Who Loved Jesus
She risked ridicule and embarrassment to worship the Lord.
This is the story of a girl who lived in about A.D. 63 - 70. Most people thought of her as unimportant and insignificant. She was a slave girl—owned by someone else. She was possessed by an evil spirit, so she didn’t even own her own thoughts. The love of God saved her.
The story is recorded in Acts 16:16 - 24.
The apostle Paul and his companions were on their way to a place of prayer, when they were met by a slave girl who was possessed by an evil spirit. She stood in their way and shouted, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." (Acts 16:17 NIV) They walked on by her but she kept following them, shouting those words. The Bible says that she did this for many days. Finally, Paul became disturbed by her behavior and so deeply grieved for her that he turned around and commanded the evil spirit to come out of her. And it did. This got Paul in trouble with the slave owners. As a slave with the ability to predict the future and tell fortunes, the girl had been a good source of income.
The girl was telling the truth. She, or the evil spirit, recognized Paul as an apostle who could show people the way to salvation. Evil spirits told the truth about Jesus too. He also commanded that they leave the people they inhabited. (Matthew 8:29) Why did this truthful proclamation by the demon bother Paul? Wasn't it a good thing?
Paul cared about the gospel.
The demons who proclaimed who Jesus was and who Paul was were controlled by Satan and did not show reverence to God. Just to believe that Jesus is the Son of God is not enough. Faith is more than belief. It involves the acceptance of what Jesus has done and receiving Him as the only one who offers forgiveness of sin. (James 2:9)
The way to salvation was a popular topic in Paul’s time. There were different views of how to achieve it depending on what belief system was followed. The demon was trying to discredit the gospel of Jesus Christ by associating it with the occult.
Paul cared about the girl.
She had lost her individuality as a person. Socially she belonged to her masters and was being exploited because of her fortune telling ability. They were making a lot of money through her.
Psychologically she belonged to the evil spirit which controlled her. She couldn’t control her own thoughts or emotions.
Luke, the author of Acts, tells this story after the conversion story of Lydia (Acts 16:13-15) and before the conversion of the Roman jailer (Acts 16:25-34). This suggests that the slave girl may also have received Christ and been baptized after she was delivered from the control of the evil spirit. I like to think that she did give her life to Christ, who gave it to her. She received the Holy Spirit and streams of life began to bubble up from within her. (John 7: 38- 39) She went from no identity except that which the evil spirit allowed, to gaining her own identity in the family of Christ.
In finding Christ, she was brought into the Christian family relationship with the wealthy business woman, Lydia and the Roman jailer as well as all other Christians. One family, one fellowship, in Christ.
Does your life seem out of control at times? I admit mine does quite often. Sometimes I’d give anything for a little bit of quiet and a short time of peace in the midst of the chaos.
The mundane becomes inspiration.