Autumn Leaves and Barrenness

By Peggy Park
To every thing there is a season…”

Ecclesiastes 3:1a

Autumn is probably my favorite time of year as I love to see the beautiful foliage as it turns various shades of red, green, and gold.  Then the foliage drops to the ground leaving a barren tree or bush.
Scripture talks about trees, comparing the Christian to a tree planted by the rivers of water.  Jesus was so good to give us examples in nature that we can see and that help us understand His teachings.
As I watch the leaves fall, I am reminded of the need to let the things in my life fall away if the season is over.  This may be habits, a specific ministry, or even intense parenting of our children.  Often we feel barren when we are stripped of the familiar, but God cannot fill a place in our lives that is already full.  Sometimes we have to let things fall away for the new season ahead.  It can be difficult as we may feel like He has set us on a shelf and forgotten us while we are waiting for the new foliage to appear.
Following the stripping, we are to wait for our “tree” to produce again.  Beautiful new leaves will eventually appear, fruit will ripen, and we will benefit from the water that has been stored up by the root system.  We have been made ready for the next season.
We rejoice when the spring comes and our tree starts to bear again.  Hopefully we have been diligent to keep taking in spiritual nourishment to feed our “tree” so we have a bountiful supply of fruit to pass on to others.
Pray with me:  Lord, help me to remember that You are at work on my tree of life whether I see it or not.  Help me to be patient while You prepare me for the next season.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

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Nov. 5, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Let's Fall!
Julia Bettencourt

"...that the power of Christ may rest upon me."   2 Corinthians 12:9

Fall is such a great season. I love it mostly because of that puff of coldness I feel at the first sign of its approaching. After a long summer that crisp air that comes in the fall just feels so good and invigorates you. I know my spiritual life is always in need of some invigorating too. I want my life to be full of the invigorating power of Christ. Below are some things that I know I need to help me keep that power continually at my fingertips.

F-     Fellowship With Christ (and With Other Christians).

There's nothing like a strong devotional life to help me to be spurred on to be what I should be for Christ. Fellowshipping with Him in prayer, reading and knowing His Word, and keeping my life from sin is imperative if I want His power on my life.

"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."    Romans 6:12,13

"...but I give myself unto prayer."    Psalm 109:4

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."    Psalm 119:11

Having a relationship with other Christians around me will also encourage me in my walk with the Lord.

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."    Colossians 3:16

A-    Abiding in Christ.

I know if I want that invigorating power of Christ, I need to continually be obeying His Word and keeping His commandments. I need to constantly be in tune with Christ and abiding in Him.

"And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." 1 John 3:24

L-    Leaning on Christ.

The more I lean on Christ, the more I find that His power and strength are mine. Leaning on Christ gives me a boost as I live the Christian life.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."    Psalm 46:1

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust."    Psalm 91:1,2

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."   2 Corinthians 12:10

L-    Living for Christ.

Someone that lives for Christ can have such a powerful life. Being an idle Christian will never get us anywhere. Living for Christ requires motion. If I'm active for Christ it will help me to have the full power of Christ on my life.

"Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord." Romans 12:11

"Serve the LORD with gladness..."  Psalm 100:2

I think that having the power of Christ on my life just boils down to doing what I know I need to do as a Christian and fully surrendering to the Lord in each aspect of being. I need to be daily walking with the Lord in order to have His crisp and invigorating power breezing through in my life.

So, how's your F-A-L-L?

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Nov. 5, 2014 at 2:20 PM

The Inviting Colors of Fall
Julia Bettencourt

" But if our gospel be hid,
it is hid to them that are lost"   2 Corinthians 4:3

Many people are drawn to fall colors. Fall colors are warm, vibrant, extraordinarily rich, and energetic. I wonder how appealing I am as a Christian? Do other people gravitate to me because I am a warm, vibrant, and inviting person?

When I think about the color of the fall leaves, red is my favorite. There's just something about the trees that are full of red leaves glistening in the sun. It's just extraordinary. They stick out and you notice them.

Red brings up the thought of passion. No matter where we are in our Christian walk, I think we all could do with a little more passion for Christ. We should stick out in a good way. We should reflect all that brilliance of Christ.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

The color orange is so beautiful in the fall. We see it in not just the fall leaves, but in those beautiful pumpkins as well. Orange reflects warmth and symbolizes thoughtfulness and sincerity. As Christians that's something we should portray. We should be that warm inviting person that cares about others.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.    Ephesians 4:32

The yellow color of fall makes me happy. Yellow conjures up joy and cheerfulness. I don't really think that if we aren't cheerful as Christians, other people will want what we have.

If we have Christ, we should have joy in our hearts and that joy should reflect out through us. It's listed right there in Galatians along with the other fruit of the spirit that we should be bearing.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,gentleness, goodness, faith,Meekness, temperance:against such there is no law.   Galatians 5:22,23

Some of the colors we see in fall are the shades of purple. Leaves we find in the purple family are so striking. Purple is the color of royalty. As Christians, we are royalty in Christ. Our behavior should reflect that royalty. We should be striking as Christians.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:16,17

If we didn't have all that brown in the midst of the bright fall colors, I doubt if they'd be so brilliant. Brown represents stability and it anchors all those other beautiful colors of fall. In Christ, we have our anchor. Others can see if we are living for Christ and depending on Him in our lives. It comes out in our actions and behavior.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.    Colossians 2:6,7

Showing Christ through our behavior is so important in our witness to others . Our "colors" do matter. How we act and behave is what people see when they look at us. I hope I grow to have a beautiful, warm, and inviting life in Christ. I don't want Christianity to be hid from the world because of me. I want to portray vibrancy and warmth so that people will want to get to know me and learn about Christ through me.

So, what colors are you projecting?

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Nov. 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Prepare for the Harvest


Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed. —Amos 9:13

Do you see it? The sower will overtake the reaper. God's promised harvest is that sowing and reaping will happen at the same time. Souls and abundance to the saints is coming quicker than we can preach, or sow. Time is caught up in an accelerated process. "Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am" (Isaiah 58:9a). Notice the immediacy of God's response.

The closer we get to the end of the age and the imminent return of Jesus, the shorter time becomes. The time is coming when seed time and harvest will be the same time.

Not only will we reap what we sow suddenly, but God will also multiply the sowers' seed. "Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruit of your righteousness" (2 Corinthians 9:10). That means that whenever we sow seed, God comes behind us and sows more. He brings such multiplication and increase to our sowing that before our seed can hit the ground, we are reaping a harvest.

Lord, thank You for the harvest. Equip me both
to sow and to reap and to expect always
Your abundant harvest. Amen.

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