Skip to main content

Learn, Teach, Enjoy

"In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy."  
(William Blake)  

Make our sons in their prime like sturdy oak trees, Our daughters as shapely and bright as fields of wildflowers. Fill our barns with great harvest, fill our fields with huge flocks; Protect us from invasion and exile—eliminate the crime in our streets.  How blessed the people who have all this! How blessed the people who have God for God! (Psalm 144:12-15 MSG)

As I considered a prayer for our land this beginning of a new year, I came across this passage and could not overlook the significance of it as we consider the state of our land's governing officials, those making a living in our work places, and the many who struggle to find some meaning to life in our homes everywhere. A more meaningful prayer could not be prayed!

Make our sons in their prime like sturdy oak trees...
The oak tree is considered one of the very sturdiest of trees, growing to heights of 50 to 70 feet. Although it may not tower high, it has broad limbs, making an excellent place to find cover from the heat of the day. They adapt well to all manner of soil conditions, able to find root and flourish in even some of the harshest of conditions. They have long lives, probably because of the length of their "taproot". That very substantial taproot seeks out water, at whatever depth it needs to find that resource - producing larger number of acorns each year of its life once it is "of age" for fruit production. Can you see why I would want to pray this prayer for our sons? Sturdy, provision of cover for those in need, adapting well, able to take root and sustain that "rootage", producing fruit in increasing measure year after year!

Daughters shapely and bright as fields of wildflowers...
Filled with all manner of beauty, small or large, vibrant in all ways. Wildflowers may be considered "common" by some, but do you realize their extreme importance? They are what is referred to as "pollinators" - they attract those insects whose main purpose is to spread the various pollens from one plant to the next, thereby allowing for the production of great harvests and tremendous beauty! 

Fill our barns with great harvest...our fields with huge flocks...
Filled barns indicated not only "wealth" in times gone by, but they also ensured seed for the next year. There was a certain sense of satisfaction at the end of harvest, basking upon those filled barns, because you knew you'd be able to provide for those in your care, whether friend, family, or flock. Fields filled with huge numbers of sheep, goats, cattle, and livestock of all manner meant not only provision for the table, but also for the altar - for there was always the time of offering of the best of the flock back to the Lord. The eye of the farmer and herder alike was always on the lookout for that which would be offered back to God as a way of thanking and trusting him for the harvest.

Protect us...
From invasion and exile, ridding our streets of all manner of violence and insult. A crime is defined as any action or instance of negligence deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or interests of those who inhabit our lands. Protection from God is the only way to really rid ourselves of this type of "invading force" - for there is nothing within man that can turn the tides of violence and grief caused by such things as hardened, sinful hearts.

Will you join with me in this prayer for our land? I think if we were all to begin to pray for each other this way, maybe we'd see the tide begin to turn! Just askin....


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,