Tag Archives: made new

Beauty, Bluebonnets, Buttercups and Bulrushes

Beauty, Bluebonnets, Buttercups and Bulrushes

Have you ever witnessed the beauty of fields adorned with wildflowers and thought about how that compares to our walk with the Lord? In the following post I have tried to explain the message God laid on my heart to share with you.  Read on and see if you agree.

Have you ever driven down the Texas highways in Springtime and found a stream of wild flowers adorning the median or sides of the highway?  Well, if you have never done so, you need to schedule a trip to Texas during wild flower season.  It will bless your socks right off your feet!  Believe it or not, this topic really does apply to my spiritual journey.  Read on to find out more.

This year seems to have more wild flowers than I have ever seen.  At least in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  AlthoWildflowers 2ugh, I have tried to find any article that says so, I know what I have seen before and I know what I see this year.  There are at least double the wild flowers than I have ever seen.  Every day seemed to be a new patch of color that wasn’t there the day before.  You see, I am an Uber driver and I see lots of miles a day.  Some are in the cement jungles but many of those miles are spent on the roads to and from cities.  Even the neighborhood fields, parks and some private residence’s lawns are overflowing with wild flowers.  I love the Texas wildflowers.  I can never get enough of them!  Especially the Bluebonnet, it is the state flower.

Wildflower Etiquette

As you drive along and see an ocean of wild flowers swaying in the wind, you may or may not want to stop to take pictures.  If you do stop there are usually some Texas Wildflower etiquette.

Here is an excerpt from the Texas Department of Transportation website that might interest you before you step out of that vehicle.

Texas FlagToday

Maintenance techniques used to encourage wildflower growth include safety, or strip mowing which allows the wildflowers to bloom and native grasses to emerge.

TxDOT buys and sows about 30,000 pounds of wildflower seed each year. The peak wildflower blooming season draws tourists from all across the nation to see the color unfold each spring.

Your Responsibility

The department is pleased with the attention wildflowers attract; however, we discourage picture-taking that damages the flowers. If too many wildflowers are trampled, they will die and not go to seed. Since many of these flowers are annuals, this means they have to go to seed to come back the next year. Naturally, we discourage picking the flowers for the same reason.

The wildflower program is part of good stewardship. Today, TxDOT not only plants and enhances wildflower areas, but more importantly protects and maintains the investment made in years past.

Trash?

Another thing you may notice when you step out to take a closer look at those pretty wild flowers is that there is another side to the beauty.  I experienced it first hand and was a bit shocked at first.

Indian BlanketWhen I got out to take some pictures along the side of the road, I stepped out ever so gently out of my truck.  Then looked down to find a new place to put my feet so I could get a better angle on the flowers.  I am not sure what I expected to see but it wasn’t trash.  I thought it was just a piece of trash right there at my feet but no.  As I gazed out over the beauty of the wild flowers and grasses swaying back and forth, I admired the serene beauty that God has adorned our highways and byways with, but I noticed the trash under some of the beauty.  But for now the beauty covers up most of the ugliness of the trash.  I have seen the road crews picking up trash also, especially when the wildflowers are gone and they are allowed to mow, it may uncover some ugliness.  So the road crews will be diligently picking up all of the trash that got blown all over the place when the mowers came through.

So … you ask how does this parallel our spiritual journey?  Well, here’s what I think God is wanting to share with me and then in turn with you.

Background

Let me begin with a little background first.  God has changed my life.  He has taken this gal, that lived for Leah, and transformed … or is transforming her into someone that loves God.  She is learning about Him as much as she can, considering this finite, human mind and is growing in my walk with Jesus.  I love spending time just talking with Jesus.  He understands me so well. Walk Alone

I had moments in my life when I was walking with the Lord.  I cannot tell you exactly what happened that would cause me to slip back into the “Leah” mode.  However, I do know that the enemy was very sly and quick.  When a vulnerable spot was uncovered, there was always the chance to fall back into whatever that “sin” was.  And unfortunately, I fell more than I care to remember.

God’s Word says that the devil prowls around looking for “someone to devour”.  Those vulnerable spots in folks like you and me are laid bare sometimes and then he pounces.  He will meet you in your weakest moment and He will devour you in the blink of an eye – if you allow it!  But it’s not with a roar, necessarily.  He can speak with the softest and most tender voice.  He is soft and gentle when he needs to be to convince you that you need to do that “forbidden” thing.  You give one slight look or hesitation towards his way and he will pounce!  He has you!  Then before you know it, you are doing the “thing” that led you to your demise before you met the Lord.  The “thing” could be anything.  Smoking, drinking, pornography, adultery, stealing, cheating, lying, or anything else that is against the good morals and ethics that Christianity is built on. That your faith is built on.

1 Peter 5:8

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

But you know what?  I know Someone else who also knows our weakest spots in our lives.  He created each of us, so He even knows us down to the number of hairs on our head.

Choices

We have a choice.  A choice to either listen to the lies and inviting voice of the enemy or we can choose to turn to Jesus and say… “I need You, Lord.  I need You now!”  Jesus is always there.  He will never leave you, but He will not force you to love Him either.  It’s your choice.  He is a gentleman.  Forced love has never been true love.I need You

I know that I have done things that definitely have been detrimental to my well-being, however, there are also things that others have littered my life with. I am sure you know what I mean.  Hurts from others that have caused you pain or problems along your life journey.

Some things are just on the periphery of your life.  Some are just below the surface.  Others are buried deep.  So, no matter what, they are still there.  The things that keep you from seeming to go forward in your life.  Things that you believe have affected you or your life in such a way that you will never be able to live a normal life in this world.

Well, I am here to tell you that there is HOPE!  Hope in a “normal” life.  Hope in happiness and fulfillment in life.  I have found it or better yet… I have found Him!  NO!  He has found me!  He never was lost.  I was!  He is the Creator of everything!  He is my Friend, Savior and King!  His name is Jesus!  And I love to share Him with others!

Comparison

The way I have compared this information to the beautiful fields of Texas Wild Flowers is this.  I look at a big beautiful field of flowers and think of my life.  Before Jesus came into my life, it was so cluttered with “stuff”.  It was very unappealing at times.  Downright disgusting, at times.  I look back and ask myself… “How did you tolerate this?”  I am not real certain of the answer to that question, all I know is that I kept putting one foot in front of the other one to get here today.  Of course, there is much more to it than just one foot in front of the other, but in a nutshell that’s it.

FieldSo, let’s look at the field that is cluttered with “stuff”.  Whether the “stuff” is there by your own mistakes and bad decisions or someone else’s carelessness that was allowed into your life – which would be under the “bad decisions” category.

That field has lots of “stuff” all throughout.  On the edges, deep in the middle or just scattered around.  You continue to go through life not really living the way you know is “right”.  Then one day, through a series of events, you meet Someone that changes your life.  He takes your hand and walks around with you.  He walks with you through that cluttered field that is and has been your life.  You begin to tell Him about things that you have done that you are sorry for.  Things that you don’t want to do any longer.  Things that you are so ashamed of that you don’t even want to tell Him.  Walking and talking with Him seems to be easy.  No condemnation from Him.  He listens and is very sympathetic to your struggles.  He seems to understand each struggle as you explain it, as though He has been there also.  He continues to listen as you begin to have tears well up in your eyes and then they make their way over your cheeks and stream down your face as you tell of things that have been so very hurtful to you. You are so ashamed of some of the things you are sharing with Him and you are now sobbing uncontrollably.  Your knees buckle under the weight of the moment.  You hit the ground, yet He picks you up gently.   Somehow, though, you feel comforted and realize He has embraced you.  It seems so foreign yet so peaceful.

You notice that you begin to relax, every cell of your body absorbs the love and comfort that He is showing you.  You have never felt this comfort and peace.  Is this the peace that you have heard people talk about when you meet Jesus?  A peace that goes beyond our understanding?  It must be.

As you regain a little composure, He helps you stand on your own.  He encourages you to look back over your “field”.  As you turn to look, all you see is beautiful wild flowers everywhere.  Color that bursts out of the ground in so many places that the colors run together.  There are some flowers and colors that you have never seen.  The landscape is resplendent with color!  It is so beautiful it makes you smile.  Even giggle a little to see the beauty.  He has given you beauty where once there was ugliness.  A sweet-smelling aroma where there was nothing but stench.  There is such beauty that only He could create.  Such peace and comfort that only He could give.

Field with trees

This is but one scenario that God has laid on my heart for the wildflower theme.  Maybe I will be able to write another soon but for now I just want to say this… If you allow Jesus into your life, He can bring you such joy and peace and that resplendent color in your fields of life.  If you have questions about how to do this, click here and it will take you to a website that explains what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

The Beauty of Christ

If you are already a follower of Jesus Christ and have experienced the “cluttered” field in the past or maybe you are experiencing it right now, Jesus can still help.  You just have to cry out to Him and He will walk around with you and clean up the mess that has been left.  He will guide you and direct you wheBelovedn you give your life fully to Him.  He will help keep the beautiful wildflowers in your field and help you weed the field as needed.  He loves you so much, after all, He calls you His beloved.

 

Excellent song and video.  The message is for all of us “Broken Things”.

Matthew West
Video– Broken Things

WARNING! I SMELL LEMON JOY

Saturday morning “To Do List”

1.  Rebuild 350 – 4 Bolt main motor on the GMC Truck

Let me explain… I was married to a man that was an absolute savant when it came to cars and trucks and what made them tick.  He knew the motor of most any vehicle very intimately.  After all he had been working on them all by himself since he was 12 years old.  His father left the family when Bruce was 12 and his mom had a Ford Maverick – that should be enough said however, you know me… there is more.  There was a family friend that his father used to take his cars to from time to time and this is the man that helped Bruce keep the old Maverick running.  Bruce recounted the times he would call this Mechanic friend on some cold mornings when the Maverick wouldn’t start.  Now remember, there were no cell phones or portable home phones then.  So he would have to run back and forth to the phone inside and then back out to the car to try what the Mechanic told him to do.  So if Bruce could get it started it meant a ride to school.  Otherwise, he would have to walk quite a distance to get to school, and on those cold mornings in the winter it was no fun to have to do that.  He got great satisfaction in knowing he got it started and it kept running.   So honestly this is where his love for cars and trucks began.  To me, it seemed as if he knew everything about any motor that came into our possession.  He saved us thousands of dollars by being our mechanic.  He taught me much about them too.  I really did enjoy learning how a motor is put together and keeps the car running.  I am just a little odd like that.  However, I don’t ever want to work on another car again!  It was an every weekend thing back then! Now… I don’t have to do that.  We have a wonderful mechanic that is a true friend and Christian.  Thank God!

OK, back to the point of my story.  This particular Saturday morning, we – Bruce and I- had one thing on our “To Do List” … we were supposed to be completely tearing the 350 – 4 bolt main motor 350_enginedown to rebuild it.  It was still in the truck and he had purchased this truck for a song and the man he bought it from told him that the motor block might be cracked because there was oil and water mixed in the motor. This is not a good thing for a motor.  If it is cracked, it goes to the trash pile.  A cracked block (motor) is NO GOOD!   Bruce just didn’t believe it because the guy didn’t seem to really know what he was talking about.  So… he set out to prove it.  We took it all apart and labeled each item.  Then he proceeded to tell me that we had to soak the various pieces in a mixture of hot water and Lemon Joy dish washing liquid.  He was very adamant about this.  I asked him about that and he explained that he had read about a NASCAR driver that used to do this with his motor parts and when the motor got put back together and was running full tilt, if the motor was about to blow the driver could smell Lemon Joy!  Then he could start backing off and shutting it down a bit so it didn’t destroy the motor.  Not that Bruce or I would ever be going fast enough to blow a motor, but sometimes they blow for other reasons than just going fast.  Besides, the Lemon Joy cleaned the parts so well they were spotless when we washed them off.  Some of the parts took a little bit longer to clean than others.  But nonetheless they got clean eventually.

After they were cleaned, and we got the motor “block” and the heads back back from being “ported and polished” – another motor head term … (here is the link to explain what it means) we reassembled everything back to its original place with a new Gasket Seal to keep the oil where it’s supposed to be – in the motor… and Bruce climbed into the cab of the truck and crossed his fingers and said “here goes”.  He turned the key and the motor turned over and started up immediately!  1978-CamaroWOW!!!  We did it!  It sounded so nice!  A nice “lope” – another motor head term – lol.  Now that may not seem like a big deal to you but it was to us!  This had been a couple of month process and I was amazed at how this all took place … all those moving parts and oil and spark and gasoline… all made it run!  WOW!  It was so interesting.  Bruce was so happy and so proud!  I was proud for him too!  He very seldom had great things happen… and this was one of those times and something to be proud of!

Now… let’s take a few steps back and look at that with different eyes – let’s look at the process a Christian goes through before they meet Jesus, when they meet Jesus and after they meet Jesus and live with knowing Him on their journey of life.

images (3)When we are living our own way – “in the world” – and being “of the world” we are a lot like the old GMC truck.  Not really firing on all cylinders and kind of a mix of the wrong things in our hearts and heads.  There are dirty parts and broken parts but we keep running down the road but not really getting anywhere.

Then one day we meet Jesus.   He begins to show us where we need some “cleaning up”.  He also shows us that some parts need to be completely done away with and replaced with new ones.  Others just need some porting and polishing.  He shows us where we need to soak some parts and clean them even deeper. images Then after all is washed and cleansed by His blood of Calvary, we are like new!  We are clean and washed in the blood of the Lamb!  Spotless – whiter than snow.  We need a new seal on our heart and soul so the bad won’t leak into the good areas any more.  The longer we walk with Jesus the more He shows us how much more He can help us “clean up”.   1 John 1:7 says

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

To top all of that John 14.26off, Jesus puts this “Warning System” in place in our hearts when we accept Him as our Savior.  The Holy Spirit comes to live inside us and help us throughout the days and nights of our journey in this world.  The Holy Spirit warns us as we approach a situation that is not right.  The still, small voice that says “Do not walk that way, go this way instead”.  Our Lemon Joy – so-to-speak.

So you see, we are not that different from that old GMC pickup truck.  We are made new when we meet Jesus and still need Him every day, every moment of our lives after we have that encounter with Him.  He has made us new.  He is our Savior, our Friend, our closest companion.  He loves us so much He died for us so we could spend eternity with Him in Heaven!

Have you accepted Jesus into your life?  Have you asked Him to come in and clean things up a bit?  He is waiting to hear from you.  He will rebuild you from the inside out and your life will never be the same!  He loves you so much!  Talk to Him today.  After all you are His beloved.

The Song  – Take My Worlds Apart – Jars of Clay

The Awesome Video – Take My Worlds Apart – Jars of Clay

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