Friday, February 26, 2010


This peach trees looks dead but it isn't. It's in a dormant stage preparing for the coming season to bear fruit, perhaps more than the branches can even hold. Notice the broken branches, how gnarled and dead it looks. Actually the branches are not broken, they've been pruned, cut off. Jesus revealed that every vine (or fruit tree) that bears fruit will be pruned at one time or another so that it can bear more fruit than it already has.

Be careful not to become discouraged when you find yourself in a dormant state, or after having been pruned. You could even feel cold, like these snow frosted trees. One characteristic of those times is that you may look and feel your worst. But if you don't go through the process, you will never truly 'look your best'!

The theme of my blog is 'Waking Up'. That is exactly what fruit trees start doing just about this time of year. They can go from apparent barrenness to bearing maximum fruit in a very short time. Jeremiah had a very interesting and encouraging conversation with the Lord along these lines:
"Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Jeremiah, what do you see?" And I said, "I see a branch of an almond tree. Then the Lord said to me, "You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word" (Jeremiah 1:11-12).
At first glance the exchange between the prophet and the Lord doesn't seem to make much sense, until you realize that the Hebrew word for 'almond' and the word translated 'ready to perform', are similar in sound and spelling in the Hebrew. God is using a play on words to say that just as the almond (shaaqeed) awakens first in the spring, flowering in January, so is the Lord 'awake' (shoqeed) alert, on the lookout, over His promised word to perform it.

Our faith can stay awake because He is always awake to watch over us and fulfill his word. Remember His promises and trust that He is watching over them to fulfill each one for those who believe.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I saw this bird in the road one morning and felt compelled to take his picture. I wondered how he had died. Had a car hit him, was it old age, heart failure, or maybe a stroke? Seeing him reminded me of something Jesus said about our Father:
"Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows" (Luke 12:6-7).
The Matthew version of the same parable gives a little more insight:
"Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's leave (consent) and notice.
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." (Matthew 10:29 AMP).
The coins spoken of here are worth less than 1/4 cent...not much, huh? Our Father does not allow even one sparrow to perish whose 'market value' is approx. 1/8th of a cent! That little bird does not die without, #1 -the Father's notice, and #2 (maybe more importantly) -the Father's notice. He doesn't forget even one. Then Jesus said that each hair on someone's head is numbered!?! What kind of God numbers the hairs on the heads of every living soul? Our God. Let me say once again, what kind of God keeps a constant running total of the hairs on the head of every living person? The kind of God who is a loving Father. This is the way Jesus chose to show us how interested and in love with His creation our God is. He is a tremendous Father.

Lets awaken to His goodness.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Arthur Burt is a 97 year old preacher from the UK who has been a treasured spiritual influence in my life for almost 40 years. He began preaching so long ago that he traveled in a horse drawn covered wagon throughout the north of England. On one evangelistic tour he parked his wagon near a dairy farm run by a gentleman who was also a believer in Jesus. Being a generous man, he told Arthur,
"I have plenty of milk. If you want some in the morning to go with your breakfast, come on by. I'll give you all you want".
The next morning Arthur remembered the generous offer, picked up a coffee cup, climbed out of his caravan, and found the dairy farmer in the barn with the cows. When my preacher friend walked up holding his little cup, the farmer looked at Arthur, looked at the cup, looked at his cows, and then looked back at Arthur with disgust.
"Bucket or nothing!" he said.
"What?!" Arthur said.
"Bucket or nothing! I'm not going to waste my time filling up that little cup. If you want some of my milk, bring me a bucket... bucket or nothing!"
Arthur scratched his head, then ran off to get a bucket. Every morning the farmer filled it up.
Here is the moral of the story. Arthur frequently remembered the dairy farmer over the years as he was asking God for things. He discovered over and again that God wanted to do more for him than he wanted Him to. Often we go to Him with a coffee cup when He wants us to bring a bucket. Our lack of faith reminds me of this verse: "Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel" (Psalms 78:41).

II Kings 4 records the story of the poverty struck widow woman whose sons were about to become slaves to pay off a debt. When she appealed for help to Elisha the prophet, he asked her what she had in her house. She said,
"Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil. Then he said, 'Go borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors, empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones'" (I Kings 4:2-4).
This story has a happy ending. When she ran out of the empty pots the oil stopped flowing. Then, and only then did it cease! She had more than enough to pay off her debts and live on the rest. By faith, the widow woman tapped into the fullness of God.

The Lord didn't determine the amount of oil she got, she did. He never runs out. We just need to learn how to access heaven's bounty.
It is time to stop limiting God.