I want to speak this month about FAITH. To my surprise it is not the most used word in the Bible. Found 247 times in the King James and only twice in the Old Testament, faith came with Jesus. It was mostly used concerning moral conviction or lacking confidence. Jesus either said YOUR conviction has made you well or why are you not persuaded.
I am hearing of so many people who are facing many of the same difficulties as I have experienced. It has been a pretty tough year with the loss of jobs, homes and the passing of loved ones and not even the Body of Christ has been exempt. Right now many are in a weakened condition and it seems the one way to find strength is when we encourage one another, just as Jesus encouraged and was encouraged.
My sister, Terrie, is such a wonderful encourager to me. Recently she was given a vision where she saw my faith had grown, in this last year, to be like a ‘Century Tree.’ It’s roots twisted up together forming a huge trunk so sturdy that animals could climb or nest." I recall the magnificent trees in Louisiana and Georgia, similar to the one in the vision but with one difference, at the top of this tree was a huge single blossom. A new creation, a ‘Century Tree,’ not found here on this earthen plane, but found in spirit. There is a ‘century plant’ which has large leaves like an aloe vera at the base, but the blossom at the top was what I envisioned when Terrie spoke. I believe this spirit plant represents the marvelous growth of faith HE put in us. The Father opened my understanding so I could see the small amount of seed faith I had at the beginning of my move to Lake County and the tree it has become. Seeds growing up as roots, they twist together, thus producing a strong trunk and coming to maturity it has a fragrant blossom at the top. Nothing hidden from sight so that all might see from start to finish what God had accomplished. This way there can be no questions concerning if our roots are strong in Christ., the whole tree is exposed. The beautiful blossom at the top is what draws others close and causes a desire to know more. What a joyful opportunity we have when we explain that we are all given the measure of faith, (Rom 12:3), and how this measure grows as we practice using it. Be encouraged, the growing ‘pains’ are well worth enduring, did not Jesus say, if you have the faith of a grain of a mustard seed you can move mountains? (Mat 17:20) AND.... nothing would be impossible to us!
Sometimes that which produces faith comes wrapped in a pretty package and sometimes it comes in what looks like a really messed up one. The pretty package can be when a beautiful, perfect child is born and suddenly understanding comes that all things are possible in God. But what kind of package is it when the child is born with severe health, emotional or mental issues? For most of us that can be a messed up package. For me the package came when Stacy, my late husband, moved on in his walk of faith, into that other realm where he is no longer physically present to help me. What a surprise to have him walking and laughing and teaching me one day and then the next day he was comatose, never to return. How could I know then, that this is what would start my little tiny seed of faith’s growing process? THE THING ABOUT SEEDS
It never ceases to amaze me that a seed can turn into anything. If you open a dry seed, there is nothing seemingly alive in it and to think that little tinny speck can turn into a food producing plant or a huge tree, that is awesome! It obviously takes something to bring that seed to life, for most seeds it is moisture. A seed falls to the ground and lays there until enough rain falls to the earth to cause it to start growing. I love the story of the Giant Sequoia tree that drops its seed which then lays on the ground being covered by soil and debris for up to 100 years. It takes a great fire in the forest to prepare the seed for life which springs forth upon the first real rain. Then, that little sapling grows into one of the biggest trees in the world.
We can not be impatient for the return of life in a forest, nor should we be impatient with ourselves or others after a trauma. When nothing is left but the charred, dead and damage, it takes time for new life to spring forth. The season comes when grass starts to grow, slowly animals also come back, and small saplings begin to reach toward the sun. It would stand to reason that the same would be true with us, life returns as we reach toward the son.
A greater faith grew up in me because of my experience with finances. This standing on "faith" that God was going to meet all my needs when creditors called day in and day out and all I could say is, "I trust my Heavenly Father is going to give me the finances to pay you all off," has been difficult to grasp. My "natural man" told me that a ‘good Christian’ would not have allowed themselves to get into this uncomfortable place. You know, I would not have used credit cards nor bought the van on credit. (I smile as I think of how God uses what ever he wants to create what he wants).
At first I felt "set-up" by God. When I made the move to California, my finances were so good that I just knew that they were going to continue. I prayed over all I did and, after all, God took care of children and widows. I "just knew" that I was going to continue to travel in ministry and that God would continue to support me as I worked for him. Ahhhh, but for the well laid plans of mice and (wo)men... and then the recession. Promised Seed Ministries finances fell drastically and all my just knew’s flew out the window. The van God had given me was repossessed, (part of the number on the license was the date of Stacy’s release from earth - 314). I just knew my home would be next but I kept telling myself that even if I lost my single–wide mobile that Father had a plan for my life and I could trust him and that his plan was a good one. I stood on faith that He had predetermined whatever happened in my life so I could be better used by him in his kingdom. It did not come easy because these words and thoughts felt like a lie. I mean I had to say these things over and over to myself and to others even when I did not feel like saying thmyem. Especially when I would get lectured on how I had been wrong to use credit cards or how if I were in God’s will these things would not be happening to me. I had to keep saying to creditors, "God will provide for me and when he gives me the money I will send it to you." I found myself telling them that they would rejoice with me when this happened, and I still trust that some people will remember our conversations and they also will find comfort in their night season. I would say these things in a cheerful voice with as much faith as possible, not only for my sake but for those to whom I spoke on the phone. My trust in God’s faithfulness had to move though the air-waves, through a phone, and then find a resting place in a heart.
Like the apostles I have prayed, "God increase my faith," (Luke 17:5) and HE has given me opportunity to do so. What seemed like suffering was only a glitch in my thinking. You see, faith is speaking forth about something that is not yet accomplished and being persuaded that it will come to pass. During this financial struggle, I spoke forth words I could believe, like, "God owns everything and when he wants me to pay my bills, he will give me the money to do so." I have wondered about the interest and penalties adding up, but found that I do not need to worry, if he wants those companies to prosper he will provide them the funds to do so, even out of the pockets he has put on me. (Mat 6:30-34) Or then, the company could just forgive me my debt, either way, it’s all up to my Heavenly Father for he decides what is best for my growth of faith. I am awed by HIS love toward me, and his creation, and how the outcome of these times of testing are just so others can witness that love.
There may be some who say, "Pamla, are you just giving yourself, (and others), a reason to not feel responsible?" Here is what I think; If every seed in the world were put in a pile I could recognize some, like corn or an acorn, but most I would not have a clue. God not only knows every seed and what kind of plant it will grow to be, but also how many seeds it will produce! I would ask, if he knows all this, why do we judge what kind of seed he uses?
And our children, why do we worry about them and their experiences? Here is what we could do instead, drop seeds of faith into their thinking. Help them to understand God’s greatness and his GREAT love towards them. We CAN do this! We may not be able to change their behavior or circumstances, but we can water the seeds we have planted. Depending on whether they are to be a great sequoia tree or an apple, will be told by whether it takes a great fire or a little moisture. Either way, both are wonderful trees!
And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. And this until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Eph 4:11-13)
The Father hath created a path for us to fallow in this life. It is ‘hidden in plain sight’. This statement is not hard to understand. If we were to see the whole picture of our creation, the plan that Father has in His heart for us, then there would be no stumbling along the way. If we were to have His sight and His vision of what he wanted us to be and where he wanted us to go, and what he wanted us to do along the way, would we go? Even though we could see the final outcome, would we still say yes to God? Holding our Saviors hand along the way, could we go?
I believe we would say no. I believe our human nature that Father placed within us and the option to chose, would want to protect our hearts from the hardships and hurts along the way. That the ‘wait a minute’ thorns, pit falls and valleys of the shadows of death would torment us with pain and fear before we could even get there. So our path of life has shadows and dark areas where there is no light to see where to take the next step. But we can still go on, with absolute sureness in faith and freedom of doubt, that we are going in the right direction when we are walking with Jesus. When Peter stepped out of the boat there was no path to see. There was no arrows marked ‘walk this way’. No street lights or signs. There wasn’t even any ground! It was dark and stormy. Waves high and strong. Lighting flashing about with thunder clapping loudly. There boat thrashing about with the sea. Their fear mounting every minute that they would drown.
And Peter Stepped Out of the boat. And Peter Stepped Out of The Boat!!! Say it to yourself one more time. Slowly with understanding and thought. Think upon it. Peter stepped out of the boat. (Matt. 14:22-29) He put his foot upon nothing but faith. To step upon nothing but faith, then that faith must be solid. Is my faith solid enough to walk on? With nothing under it or around it. What an awesome thought! Take this with you throughout the day and meditate upon it as much as you can. Ask yourself often with clarity of mind and answer yourself with truthfulness and honesty.
Let the Holy Spirit be our teacher and he will lead us through the path of life, pitfalls and all, to the Rock that is higher than I.
Oh Holy God, “You will show me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”* How Father, could we ever ask for anything more. Everything is perfect in you. Thank you Jesus for making all things possible, holding our hand along the way and being the light that gives us sight on this beautiful path of life. Amen
How’s your sight…?
… Just a thought
I was walking down the street and there was a Big hole in the sidewalk, I fell in. My eyes were closed and it was so hard to get out. I did.
I was walking down the street and there was a Big hole in the sidewalk, I fell in. My eyes were closed and it was real hard to get out. I did.
I was walking down the street and there was a Big hole in the sidewalk, I fell in. But my eyes were open and it was easier to get out. I did.
I was walking down the street and there was a Big hole in the sidewalk, I saw it and went around it.
I went down a different street!
(Robert is a very talented artist and we hope to soon display some of his artwork on our website).
Starring - Promised Seed MinistriesLast month was filled with trips to the hospital. Our Mom went several times for severe dizziness. After several tests she was told it was vertigo, but there was nothing they could do about it. Problem is, it makes her stomach sick and she lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks from not eating. Weight loss is a problem many of us would like, but she only weights about 90 pounds fully dressed. She has gone from a very active woman to one who can not stand up without feeling like she is falling over, so she sits or sleeps most of the time. We are blessed that Daddy is well and loves being there with Mom. Our brother had a ruptured spleen removed and has suffered some complications and hospital visits since. My niece has a severe infection in a tooth, but because she is with child, they would not fix it so she was in the hospital to have her jaw lanced. I have the good fortune to say that my sister and I are well and getting better every day. We both feel so blessed that the people we love are close enough so we can share their lives. We covet your prayers for these we’ve mentioned and if you know of a cure for vertigo, please call or write me.
Just as Terrie has seen my faith grow and blossom, I have seen her become a beautiful presence of our Heavenly Father. She walks around magnifying him in all she does. Her mornings are consumed with reading the Bible and spending time in his presence before starting her day. Then she spends her time talking and listening to others in our park, cooking for them and our family, watering her garden or babysitting Kayla and Zane, (our nephew and niece’s children). She certainly is good at all she does and she does all things so beautifully.
Our little Nissan is getting the repairs it needs so we can possibly do a little traveling pretty soon, but I start back to college August 17 so I will be very busy with homework and such. I can not tell you how much I missed fellowshipping the brethren this year. We pray it is in the plan for next year.
We have been learning through these things which happen to and around us, that:
in ALL things God has a plan, and that plan is GOOD!
Your prayerful support enables us to continue sharing the Good News of the Happy God, who is Savior of all and condemner of none. Thank you! Terrie and I love and pray the Lord’s blessings continue to pour forth upon you, beyond all you could ask or think. (Eph. 3:20). Please feel free to invite anyone you think would enjoy our materials to visit our website .