Making Hay While the Sun Shines In Lancaster County

 

We’re making hay here! What are you doing where you are?

Picture taken from my patio on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

This is indeed; living on the richer side of life!

Making Hay While the Sun Shines in Lancaster County
Making Hay While the Sun Shines in Lancaster County
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Unexpected Home

Unexpected Home

    Path leading home
Path leading home

Have we ever felt unaccepted or forgotten? There is a place where we are accepted and remembered. It is a place with security and protection for all who choose it. I’ll clue you in a little later but first; for a story to be interesting and memorable it must have a good guy/bad guy story line. These stories can be told as light in competition with darkness, or good opposed to evil, or wise contrasted with foolishness or small in comparison with large. The stories that Jesus tells are both stimulating and unforgettable for this very reason.

In Mark’s gospel Jesus tells this rather short story about a small insignificant seed. His story begins with something small that grows into a gigantic world changer.
Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade. Mark 4: 30-32 (NKJ)
This indeed is an intriguing and memorable story that will influence my life in a  positive way if I make the application.
Though the seed is small, I hold it in my hand to do with it as I please. If I do the work of planting the seed, which is the word of God*, into my mind and heart then I can expect a change to take place.
When I plant the seed growth begins. This growth is not only expected but should become visible to others. The growth has “greatness” attached to it which vindicates my effort in planting it. Finally the unexpected happens; it becomes a home, a place of security and acceptance. The insignificant becomes significant. The small seed becomes very large indeed. This is God’s kingdom, those who have accepted Christ as Savior. There are billions of us around the world.
Each believer, no matter what nation I have been in, has greeted me with the warm acceptance that these verses convey. Though my travels took me far from my home, I felt secure and “at home” wherever I was with my brothers and sisters in the Lord.
 “There is no place like home when the people who live there make ‘building one another’ their highest priority.” – Gordon MacDonald
With over 6 billion people on our planet it seems this small seed will have little effect in the world. Nevertheless, make no mistake, that each seed we sow brings people closer to home. This is the safety that Jesus indicates in the closing phrase of this story,“ so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade”.  The unexpected home is in the Kingdom of God!
Lord equip us to be the hands guiding others to the path that leads home.
Shifting Towards the Richer Side of Life
* Mark 4:14 “The sower sows the Word”

 

The Lonely Ones

↓   The Lonely Ones!  ↓

A lonely beach in Mozambique
A lonely beach in Mozambique

This is a beach where one could be all alone.  Two preachers and I were here and as far as we could see up and down this sandy beach no one was sharing it with us! 

This post is about a man that did not want to be alone.

“He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!” Jesus is telling the story of “The Prodigal Son”. Luke 15:16-17 (my underline)

 Food is not the issue here, it’s loneliness! Not one person was willing to meet his need. Friends were plenty when the money was flowing but when that was gone they left him! Later they saw him hungry and “…no one gave him anything”

I am currently re-reading Henri J. M. Nouwen book titled; The Return of the Prodigal Son. In it he penned this line:
“Real loneliness comes when we have lost all sense of having things in common”. 

Having things in common with others serves as connecting links in building relationships. By my very nature I’m prone to give advice and answers. Perhaps I should examine how to weave a connecting thread to the person who stands before me. Maybe I should dwell more on the commonality between myself and those I wish to connect with. Quite possibly I differ in so many ways that there is a chance I could learn some things from this person.

This lonely prodigal son standing in the pig-pen had no one to hand him food to eat. Real friendships are not held together by superficial means, the thread is connection! The Prodigal had deserted his father and now the far country had deserted him. But he had one slim connection left. Maybe he could go back? 

The registry of the lonely in our world is filled with names! People all around us are seeking caring relationships with others. Many people are craving for a connection with someone. Could I/we be the thread that connects these lonely ones into a network of  friends?

The Prodigal’s connecting thread, though slim at best, was the common bond of his families’ history. It brought him home to a great feast and acceptance. Common threads that weave people together build strong relationships. What are we prepared to do and when?

Lord, I pray that we are  mindful of those that are lonely. Help us to exhibit the father’s love that set his feet running to embrace his returning son.

Welcome to the richer side of life.

Rich