Posts Tagged ‘Harvest’

“A” is for _______________

Posted: December 29, 2018 in Faith
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Several years ago, I introduced an annual focus for my church group as we moved into a new year. What I thought would be a theme for the year has turned out to be a running emphasis that I have accepted as a life guide. I woke up this morning with a new addition. A point of clarity may be a better way to put it.

To begin, I want to list the guiding principles for those who aren’t familiar with what they are. I extrapolated them from my study of the life of Abraham who is known as the father of faith. These guiding principles of life are Vision, Work, Rest, Accounting and Worship.

To summarize: We all should have a vision from God that helps prioritize work that we are involved in on a daily basis. It is just as important that we maintain balance in our lives with proper rest. (Note: There is a time to rest.) If we are working, we should expect a harvest or fruit of our labor. An accounting of our harvest helps us to divide it for various uses. Finally, we should never assume that what we have is simply the fruit of our own strength and ability. We should worship God in every phase of our journey. Thank Him for the vision, rest, the harvest and the wisdom to know what to do with every portion of our harvest.

Now back to my new edition to these guiding principles for life. For some reason, I always struggled with including Accounting as a guiding principle. This concept seemed less obvious to me when I related it to the life of Abraham. Including it required more explanation as if it didn’t quite fit with the others. Despite grappling with including it, I was ultimately satisfied that it did fit and had great importance in the entire process.

While we all could struggle with applying any one of these life principles, I believe Accounting is the most underrated life practice of a believer just as improper accounting is often the downfall of a promising business.

Money, opportunities and other resources can go unnoticed and become underutilized or even stolen from us if we don’t keep a careful watch over them.

We must learn how to protect, invest and manage all of our possessions, including spiritual gifts if we want to enjoy the bountiful life that God has for us. This moves me to expand on the concept of Accounting by introducing another closely related practice that also starts with “A.”

This “A” is for Auditing. As much as many people don’t like accounting, even fewer get excited about the idea of an audit because with an audit comes responsibility and accountability.

Some might ask, what’s the difference between accounting and auditing.

From a bookkeeping standpoint, when the accounting process ends, auditing begins, for the purpose of determining the true and fair picture of books of accounts.

This is when the results of our habits and what we allow in our lives start to manifest.

Thank God we are not saved by works, but that does not exempt us from walking by faith just as Abraham did. We are called to follow the same principles of faith that we observed being practiced by Abraham and all of the heroes of faith we read about in Hebrews 11. (It would be worth your while to read all of Hebrews 11 as you walk into the New Year.)

I will elaborate more on my new “A” word in my next post. In the meantime know that Audit is not a bad word. It’s a useful word for those who want to grow beyond their current harvest.

May God richly bless you in 2019.

Apple Harvest

As I was on one of my Inspiration Bike Rides, on the River, I was enlightened with today’s word. I kind of chuckled to myself when I thought how elementary it was. I think I first learned it on Sesame Street, when I was a child. That word is Cooperation.

Now you say it out loud to yourself. “COOPERATION!”

On Sesame Street, we learned how working together helped make task, like cleaning up, more manageable. The beauty of this practice is that it also creates a special bond between those who cooperate. We can all think of close bonds we have with people that we have worked closely together with. Some of my greatest memories are with those who I worked closely with in rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Cooperation is a powerful word when you think about what it means and what it can accomplish.

Out of curiosity, I looked up antonyms of cooperation. A few of them are: hindrance, hurt, injury, delay, discord and disagreement. I have some, not so fond, memories of others who have been a hindrance in my life or who caused discord and hurt.

While we are very familiar with destructive practices on our environment, I thought how much better it is to cooperate with nature rather than against it. In Genesis we read that the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose see was in itself, after his kind: and God saw it was good. (Genesis 1:12)

We were all put on this earth to work as One.

When we cooperate with God’s creation, we are at one with it. An incredible bond is formed with God when we learn to cooperate with Him rather than against Him. This can be our cooperation with nature or any of His ways.

In closing, I was reminded of a prayer that I learned many years ago. While I don’t know if it was actually written by the Eighteenth Century folk legend known as Johnny Appleseed, I think it is a beautiful prayer for all who have learned to cooperate with God. May we all be blessed with this perspective.

The Lord is good to me

And so I thank the Lord

For giving me the things I need
The sun and rain and an apple seed
Yes, he’s been good to me

I owe the Lord so much
For everything I see
I’m certain if it weren’t for Him
There’d be no apples on this limb
He’s been good to me

Oh, here am I ‘neath the blue, blue sky a-doin’ as I please
Singin’ with my feathered friends, hummin’ with the bees

I wake up every day as happy as can be
Because I know that with His care
My apple trees, they will still be there
Oh, the Lord is good to me.