The Horrible Crabapple Tree, Plastic Sandwich Bag, & Disgruntled Me

APPLE TREE 1On the property of the house I grew up in, there was a Crabapple Tree, and I despised the tree.  As a kid, I blamed the tree for the miserable apples it produced, giving me the displeasure of having to pick up all the apples falling from it onto the ground. I hated picking up those apples, and I most often could be heard shouting, “I hate this!” and “Stupid apples!”
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I braced myself before I started that chore, put a plastic sandwich bag on my hand because of how rotten they were, and then I would begin.  It was the worst chore, but I had only two options to go outside and complete my chore OR be grounded.  I chose to complete my chore.  All I wanted was for the Crabapple Tree to work with me.  I wasn’t asking for a lot when I shouted at the tree, “Work with me!  Not against me.”
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It was an absolutely beautiful tree, but the fruit was rotten.


WHAT KIND OF TREE ARE YOU?

APPLE TREE 3
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Are you a good tree producing good fruit, or are you a bad tree, like the Crabapple Tree in this story, producing rotten fruit?
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Jesus had this to say in Luke 6:43-45, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit.  For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.  The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”


“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” -John 15:16



As a child of God, you are chosen by Jesus to go forth and bear much fruit.  How you conduct yourself is very important because unbelievers are watching you especially if you are witnessing to them about the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Some will try to push you to the edge to see how you will react, and so there must be a noticeable difference between you and those who are unbelievers.  Your conduct and your speech must line up together.  If the unbeliever cannot tell the difference between you and them, then there is a problem.  All of us are to be lights in this dark world.  If you live like the world while claiming to be a child of God, you are fooling yourself and still living in darkness (1 John 1:1-8).
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In 1 Samuel 9:2, King Saul is described as handsome.  God, however, saw King Saul’s heart.  King Saul did not do the will of God, bearing the fruits of disobedience and being more concerned about the approval of man.
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God tells Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 
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And God is still telling us the same thing today.  God wants us to do His will, and when we do His will out of obedience and devotion to Him, we are producing good fruit.  When we spend time in prayer, the Holy Spirit is working in us, convicting us, changing us.  When we conform our will to the Lord’s will, we will produce good fruit.  The only reason we are able to bear the fruit God wants us to bear is because of His grace and His mercy, and as His Holy Spirit guides and leads us into His Truth, we bear the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.
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What fruit are you bearing?  Are your actions and your words lining up together?  Are you walking the walk and not just talking the talk?  Is there a noticeable difference between you and the unbeliever?


“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”  (2 Peter 3:9)



 Much Love To You All,
L.A.  Knowles

Thankful Heart

Praise The Lord

You, O LORD, are glorious, from everlasting to everlasting.  You are the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.  You are the only Rock, the only Way;  You are Life and Truth. You are Holy, and You are King of kings and Lord of lords.  YOU, O God, are my Shield and my Buckler.  No one compares to You.  I put my hope and trust in You alone, and there is no other foundation except the foundation You have laid.  Thank You for being my Salvation, my Portion forever.  To You, Abba, I offer the sacrifice of praise, giving You thanks because You are worthy of all glory, of all honor, and all praise.

THANKSGIVING 1

 


PSALM 138 – A Psalm of David


I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.

All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

 

This Pretty Much Says It All…

 

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“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the people of old received their commendation.” -Hebrews 11:1-2

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;   he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  –James 1:2-8 (ESV)

 

 

Hidden In The Cleft

CLEFT 1

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O You are the God in whom I trust,

You’re the God in whom I trust,

And You are the Solid Rock,

Upon which I stand;

I’m hidden in the Cleft,

Your Child I am.

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You prepare a table for me,

In the presence of my enemies,

And they will not triumph over me.

I’m determined to do Your will,.

And drink deeply from the Well.

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I shall trust in You, My Lord and My God,

As I walk this narrow road

The path of victory-

You have placed me on.

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I will trust and obey,

Following Your ways,

Determined to do Your Will,

For it does not matter what man may say.

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I will proclaim,

“You are my God my Rock,”

For I am safe in You,

And You shelter me.

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Legend In Your Own Mind

VULTURE 1



LEGEND IN YOUR OWN MIND

Written By Linda A. Knowles



You are a legend

in your own mind

and you can’t

even seem to find

a little

not even a drop

of the dirt you threw at

the one

who dared escape

your vicious claws

and all this time

you believed

that one would continue

to drag behind.

 

 

A vulture-

That you are

and your conscience

seared

and the one

who escaped

your talons

flies high and free

above the trees

to mountain heights

having mounted up with wings

like an eagle

and soaring

through the air

upheld by His powerful hands.

 

 

Nothing Distracted Jesus

BIBLE 1“Jesus clearly understood the reason for His coming to earth and never allowed popularity, success, opposition, threats, or even dissention within His ranks to distract Him. He remained steadfastly focused on that mission, though not without due care for those around Him. He worked hard to make the truth plain. He often repeated the invitation to embrace the truth. But He never allowed the failure of others to pull Him off course.” -Charles R. Swindoll (Walk With Jesus: A Forty-Day Journey to the Cross and Beyond)

I am so thankful nothing stopped Jesus from completing His mission.

Where would you be without the love of Christ? Without the love of Christ, I do NOT even want to think of where I would be today. I am grateful Jesus has given us life, that He paid the ransom in full (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45), no longer bound to sin (Romans 8:12). And out of the abundance of thankful hearts, let us not forget to give all glory and praise to Him who has redeemed us (Hebrews 13:15), loving Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” -Hebrews 12:1-3

Nothing distracted Him from His mission, and so let us not get distracted but each of us should continue doing whatever task God has set before us to do. Do not look to the right or the left. Do not get caught up in the temporal. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and with grateful hearts, press forward and do that which you have been called to do. The grace of God will sustain you. His love will uphold you, and His mercy will not fail you.

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L.A.Knowles

One of these sheep is not like the other….

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“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.  You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.  Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.   A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.  So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.  Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” –Matthew 7:15-20

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles