The Journey Thoughts

August 25, 2016

I planted a pomegranate bush a couple of months ago.  It looked so healthy.
Even when the heat we have been having hit it, in spite of me watering every
other day, it continued to do good.  I began to think this is a very hardy
bush. But then the grasshoppers took to it.  I guess they particularly like
pomegranates.  They stripped it of almost all of its leaves.  I kept
watering anyway, thinking that if it could just hold on to the winter, the
grasshoppers may go away, or die.  Lately, I have noticed that it is doing
much better.  In spite of the heat; in spite of the grasshoppers, which at
first appeared to have decimated it, it still is growing.   I thought of
life and the way we seem to be affected by heat, lack of fluid, insects, and
it seems like we are not too much different than my pomegranate.  James
tells us: "The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his
exaltation, but the one who is rich should boast in his humiliation because
he will pass away like a flower of the field. For the sun rises with its
scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower falls off and its
beautiful appearance is destroyed.  In the same way, the rich man will
wither away while pursuing his activities. A man who endures trials is
blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life
that God has promised to those who love Him." James 1:9-12  The same thing
happens to all types of plants.  The same thing happens to all types of
people.  The heat is everyday living, and the everyday trials that we happen
to face along the way.  But we also see something else at work here.  The
work of the adversary.  For it is like the grasshoppers that attack my
plants.  They pick away at the leaves, and the adversary picks away at our
intellect, planting instead, thoughts that distract and lead us stray.   But
there is something else that we should be like the plants about.  The plant
can do nothing within itself to fight off the grasshoppers, or the heat.
There are things that I can do for it, to help it stay alive.  But what
about us.  We must realize that we are too weak to fight the gnawing of the
adversary at the very leaves of our existence.  We need a protector, and
that is when we are to humble ourselves before the Lord Almighty.  For we
know that we cannot fight these battles ourselves.  Our money can't buy this
type of protection, and our position cannot order it.  We are left with the
same pressures that affects all men.  Humility is not being poor, but being
realistic about what we have the capability to do within ourselves and what
we cannot do.  When we come to understand this, we surrender to the One who
is strong enough, the one who desires to water and feed us, for He, in doing
so, is able to fight the effects of those things we cannot see but feel the
effects of.  So what is our encouragement? What is our task?  It is to
endure!  It is to stay in the fight and let the Lord sort out the protection
we need, and when we need it. It is the submitting to the Will of God,
rather than our own will to seek that which we cannot do ourselves. But
every one of us can surrender to the Lord.  We can trust that He will be the
strength to endure the heat, the storm, the parasites, the dryness, those
times when we feel we can no longer stand by ourselves.  Brothers and
sisters, we are at that point even now.  We do not have the strength to
withstand the pressure of the battle without the Lord doing our fighting,
being our protector, and guiding us to the place where there will be no more
fighting, no more need for endurance, no more need for patience, for we will
be with Him.  The Scripture doesn't say the Lord will keep the flower from
wilting, but it will endure, and we, even though we will not escape the
fight, will endure through it, with the Lord by our side, and we will be

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, Please help us to endure.  I know we fight this battle
daily and at times I admit I seem to fight it under my own power. But Lord,
I am weary, and I need Your rest. I surrender once again to You, for this
day, for right now, and plead for Your guidance, not only for me, by for all
these who I list who need Your strength.  We humble ourselves before You and
admit that we are helpless without You.  So please hear my request for:
Linda and her family, Don, Dwight, Sammi, Lynn, Jackie Ann, the Reed family,
The Foster family, Adrian, Tuly, Tyler, Kristen, Trevor, Terry's dad, Tim's
mother, Shelly's mother, Pam and her son, Julissa and her friend, Kelly and
her son, Richard and his father, Maria, Tyson, Wendy, Montella, Joyce,
Betty, David, Phyllis, Devon, Cindy, Barbara, Terri, Marliana, Loren,
Cynthia, Bill, Carolyn, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Mike, Megan, Jeff,
Laura, Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany, BJ, Ida, Isabel, Angie, Kristena, Shane,
Choya, Alex, Ken, Eric, Sandy, JV, Nada, Andrea, Alan, Lydia, Fisher,
Shannon, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Barry, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin, Shawn,
Ben and family, Robbie, Laurie, Gary, Heather, Codi, Ron, Sam, Ada, Deane,
Bill, Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin, Harriet, Gus, Lisa, Alice, Dotty, Fred,
Mike S., James, Scott, April, Craig, Ben, Ramona, Betty, Hunter, Asher,
Lynette, Kathy, Jennifer, Patrick, Candace, Abe, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux,
Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jake, Bob, Lisa.   We are an army, made
strong only in You. Please help us to endure this journey, as we head toward
that place You have prepared for us, for I ask it in Jesus name. Amen.

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