As I was reading Amy’s memory of third grade I was saying, “me too, me too!” My thoughts instantly went day dreaming back to the 70’s at Central Elementary School. Three years in a row I got to have my three favorite teachers ever. Second Grade, Miss Ponder, kind, gentle, and fun; Third Grade, Mrs Berman. And she too had the most sought out hair cut of the decade! Then Fourth Grade, Miss Nelson, she wore… bell bottoms!
So it might look like these three amazing ladies only planted the seeds of fashion, hair, and make-up in my soul, but the day I stepped into my first classroom I remembered each one of them, the love, respect, gentle guidance, and direction they gave me a their student. That was the teacher I was going to be for my students. I also remembered other teachers who had left some not so great seeds, one in particular, who told me I would amount to nothing, well, nothing but a professional cheerleader. Doesn’t sound so bad, but she meant on the sidelines of an NFL game, not an encourager for others in life. Good thing I cut that vine.
In Chapter 15, Amy leads us through one of my favorite of Jesus’ parables in Mark 4. I love “Bible Gateway”. I use it all the time to look up Bible verses in all different translations. Here is the link for Mark 4 in “Bible Gateway” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+4&version=
What convicted me the most was on page 168 when Amy describes that the seeds that have fallen in the thorns aren’t dead at all, but actually alive, but barely. Not bearing any fruit. I have to say I too can check this off as guilty.
Oh the cars, yes, cars. There wasn’t one good enough. I went through a season (or two or three to be honest) where first it was the mini van, then large SUV oh that was too big, small SUV, not sporty enough, luxury car, and so on and so on! Did I mention the houses? At one point I moved to three different houses in the same city. Keeping up with the “Jones'”, and by the way, I’ve never met them!
I think you get the point, trapped in a “worldly” cycle. God’s seeds were being planted. I was an active church member, Bible Study Girl, but the seeds were falling in the soil that was being choked by the thorns. But thank you Amy for showing us the way back. I started this post with John 15:4. Here is the link to John 15:1-8, the way to stay out of the thorns: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john+15%3A1- 8&version=NIV
When we remain in Jesus and let him prune us, we will grow. Then he asks us to join Him as “Seed Senders”.
Friend, to “Live our One Life Well”, we need to ask Jesus in daily, ask him to prune away our worries, desires for worldly things we don’t need, he desire for approval from others. or anything else you see as choking thorns in your life.
Today’s Challenge: Share in the comments, What thorns are keeping you from bearing fruit that you need to ask Jesus to prune?
Moving on into Chapter Sixteen, Cheri fills us in on how her dreams to publish books as her main goal switched after spending so much of her life receiving rejections. She allowed God in to redirect her to see that, like her basil plant, old dreams can die and new ones can be formed.
I know for me, I have had too many goals and dreams happening at once that I was doing so much, however it was so much not good. I love the question Cheri poses on page 180, “Do you sense Him inviting you to stop some specific dreams, setting them aside for a season or perhaps forever? Then she says, “If so, remember:
I have never been very good at goal setting, well I take that back. I am good at setting goals it is the follow-up I have a difficult time maintaining. How about you? Are you a goal setter? Do you find your goals changing, or do you hang on tight to that one goal you have had your sites set on for some time?
To “Live Our One Life Well” we need to be open to God’s redirecting of our goals and dreams.
Here is a link to the Goal Tier Chart and Directions for its use. I am going to give it a go, and do some pray-cessing on where God is leading me.
Tier Template: https://exhalebook.com/wpcontent/uploads/EXHALE_Ch_16_pg_187_Template.pdf
Tier Template Directions: https://exhalebook.com/wpcontent/uploads/EXHALE_Ch_16_pg_187_Instructions.pdf
Today’s Second Challenge, should you choose to accept it. Share a goal or dream you have been holding on to and are having trouble letting go, but you are feeling God calling you elsewhere.