Corn

Corn has been a staple in mankind’s diet since the very beginning of time. It is first mentioned in Genesis 27:28 when Isaac is tricked into blessing Jacob instead of Esau. There are several verses of blessing included here, but having “plenty of corn” is in the first verse of the blessing.

Years later, corn was still a big part of Jacob’s life when his most loved son, Joseph, was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, but then was blessed by God and rose to such a great position of power… he was put in charge of gathering corn for the coming famine. (see Genesis 41:48-49) Joseph gathered so much corn, it was as the “sand of  the sea” and became too much to keep a count of.

There are many diets that prohibit corn due to it being full of natural sugars and carbs. Jacob and his family would have starved, if there had not been available corn.

This year, with my husband’s help, I got my corn planted on Good Friday. After a second tilling of the soil, we made rows, added fertilizer, and dropped seeds. Toward the end, we were planting in a pretty good rain storm, but we got the job done.

We planted our corn in this fenced in area at the back of our garden.

We planted our corn in this fenced in area at the back of our garden.

In the South, there is a great significance to planting on Good Friday. Many gardeners have little hope in having a successful crop unless they get the planting done on this day.

If you don’t understand the meaning of  Good Friday here is a link to a good explanation.

Jesus died on the cross on the day that people call Good Friday. He arose again, and with that resurrection, He broke the chains of sin for us if we accept His sacrifice. When we plant on Good Friday, we are burying the seed in the hopes of a resurrection of new life from that seed. We are fed (physically) from that seed’s burial and resurrection to new life, just as we are fed (spiritually) from “The Word” .

There are several meanings when you think of being fed from “The Word.” Most Christians think of being fed (spiritually) from the Bible as we study it, but in John 1:1 it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” From this verse we know that Jesus is the Word, and He has always been… from the beginning. Through His death, burial, and resurrection, He has provided salvation which feeds our hearts with a transformed life and fills us up.

God has provided so many examples in His creation, of the death, burial, and resurrection, that we are “without excuse” when we say we do not understand (see Romans 1:20) .

Our corn is beginning to ressurect out of the hard, dry ground.

Our corn is beginning to resurrect out of the hard, dry ground.

So when you watch your seed popping out of the ground in your garden, in another form than when it went into the ground, I hope you will think about these things, and be reminded of what Jesus has done for us.

If you didn’t get your corn planted on Good Friday, it is not too late. Plant those seeds and hopefully you will have so much corn you will not be able to count it.

“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

 

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Sometimes I Forget

Sometimes I forget to do things in the garden. Last Monday, I meant to pick blueberries but forgot and became busy with other things. The blueberries ripen gradually over about a month. The more you pick, the easier it is for the ones left behind to ripen and you end up getting more if you pick them on a continual basis.

Blueberries at various stages of ripeness.

Blueberries at various stages of ripeness.

I remembered and picked them on Tuesday.

I forgot to fill up the hummingbird feeder.

Empty hummingbird feeder.

Empty hummingbird feeder.

I remembered when I saw a hummingbird hovering at the window and looking in at me with disdain.

These are small things that I sometimes forget but are easily rectified. As I have pointed out recently, I have been reading the book, Sailing Between the Stars, by Steven James. In this book, on pages 73-76, Steven James points out a time in the Bible when someone forgot something that was very important to remember.

The story is found in Luke 2:41-52. Jesus’ family had gone to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the passover. When they left Jerusalem, Jesus stayed behind in the Temple, unbeknownst to Mary and Joseph. They had traveled a day’s journey, thinking Jesus was with some of their other family. They searched for him for three days and found him in the temple, listening and asking questions of the teachers.

The teachers were amazed at how smart Jesus was. Mary was just upset that he had worried them so much and scolded him for worrying, “Your father and I”. Jesus asked her, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49 NKJV)

Now this is where it gets good. I would never have noticed this, except that Steven James points it out. When Mary scolds Jesus for worrying her and His “father”, she is referring to Joseph as his father. It had been twelve long years since the angel came and Mary had miraculously conceived. Life went on. Jesus was like all babies. He had diapers that needed changing. He teethed. He sat. He crawled. He toddled.

By Jesus saying that he had to be about His Father’s business, He was reminding Mary who His real Father was. Steven James says… “where’s Joseph through all this? Well, quiet. In the background. Just taking it all in. I think he was a man of few words. As my pastor pointed out to me, ‘None of his words are recorded in the Bible. Anywhere. Typical guy.'” (p. 75)

Steven James says, “The mystery of his true identity had faded with the years as his baby teeth fell out and his voice began to change and his acne started flaring up. Just like any other boy. He was just so human she forgot who He really was.

So He stayed behind to remind her.

And me.” (pp. 75-76)

We forget so many things. This story reminds us that as Mary forgot who Jesus’ Father was, so do we also forget who our Father is.

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,” (Romans 8:16-17a NKJV).

I think we would live differently if we remembered this every day.

Garden Detour

Today I am taking a detour away from the garden for a moment.

Yesterday at church, we had a visiting preacher who is teaching our church how to be an effective witness (as in…. to share what we believe about Jesus Christ and why) in an unoffensive way. He says the best way to share is to tell our story. We all have a story, whether we believe in Jesus and what He has done for us, or we choose not to believe.

At the end of last night’s meeting we wrote out our story of how we came to know Jesus, and there was a commitment page to sign, stating we would tell at least one person our story before we came back to class on Monday night. I didn’t sign it for fear that I was making a promise to God that I could not keep. Remember in a prior post where I referred to….James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow”?

Unsigned commitment

Unsigned commitment

Well…. Monday is here and to honor the God I love, I want to tell my story. Please bear with me for this one day of a detour.

As a child the most important people in my life were my mother, father, grandmother, and older brother (my younger brother wasn’t born until I was almost twelve). My father was a Baptist preacher, so I was at church for every service and event that occurred. At age five I was a chronic liar and a spoiled brat. I hated school and would lie on my mat in first grade after lunch and pretend to be asleep. I found I could get out of school work that way. The teacher talked to my parents in the meat market one Friday evening. I cowered in the background as I listened to my mom defend me, because I had asthma, and she thought that I was probably tired from that. Whew!

Not long after this I was taken to a revival and, even though I was only five, I apparently felt convicted enough to know that I was going to hell if I didn’t change my ways, so I talked to my parents and they prayed with me. Whether this conversion was real or not, I do not know. I stopped lying as much in 2nd grade and tried to do my work. At age nine, however, I took up smoking. At that time my father was the preacher at a small country church and we lived in what people today call the boonies. The army came to the woods behind our house to do their training. It was a good spot for my brother and I to go to on Sunday afternoons, while our parents napped, and smoke cigarette butts picked up from the parking lot at church (eeeewwwww!!), yes, and we were especially excited when we found one that had hardly been smoked.

I smoked for a year, then we moved to a small town with no woods. My smoking days were over. I continued on a path of sometimes being good, sometimes being bad, but overall, by today’s standards, I was a pretty good kid. But…..”being good is not good enough to get you into heaven”. Click here for more on this.

If you are reading right now and you don’t believe in heaven, hell, God, or Jesus, just remember……you can’t afford to be wrong! Study for yourself. Get a Bible and read the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as a beginning.

Anyway, once again, at age 12, I found myself at a revival. The preacher was describing how desperately wicked we all are and we deserve to go to hell. He described how Jesus suffered as he died on the cross to make a way for us to have a relationship with God so we would not end up in hell. He said, “If you die tonight, where will you be….heaven….or hell?”

I sat there, taking it all in and getting more scared by the moment. Over the years my parents had talked about my conversion at age five, but I could not remember it by this time. I didn’t want to go to hell, and I firmly believed there was one to go to. Once again, I approached my parents. They tried to convince me that I had already accepted Jesus into my life. I was insistent that I pray again. I told God I was sorry for being a sinner, that I believed He sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to make a way for me to come to Him. I asked God to take over my life and help me live for Him. I followed this up with Baptism in our church, and felt real joy and peace, and a desire to please God in all that I did.

I have had my ups and downs throughout my life in my walk with God. I have failed miserably in areas of marriage, raising children, caring for others, but God continues to help me. I have had to go through some unbearable experiences that, were it not for God walking beside me, I would have given up on this life. God is my rock. I could not face each day and do the things I need to do without Him by my side.

If you don’t have a relationship with Him, you are missing out on the greatest thing of all. We think that our life on this earth is what is important, but what is really important is how this life prepares us for the eternal life we will live in heaven after this short life on earth is over.

I will go one step further and say….once you come to know God and establish a relationship with Him through the death and raising of Jesus as our redeemer….and you study more…..you will find out that one day, God is coming to make a new heaven, and a new earth. (Revelation 21:1). I am preparing myself right now for that new earth. There will be jobs to do in God’s Kingdom and I am hoping and praying He lets me work in His garden. 🙂

If you want to follow-up on anything I said, please contact me by my email…. tillleysgardenretreat@gmail.com or leave a comment.

I want to leave you with a final thought….

If you think you may be “good enough” for heaven I would like for you to evaluate your life by the Ten Commandments. Most people try to follow these commandments whether they know it or not, for instance….everyone knows it is wrong to lie, steal, commit adultery, murder, etc.

If you have told one lie…..you are a liar.

If you have taken one thing that doesn’t belong to you….you are a thief.

For murder and adultery, in the New Testament, Jesus said if you hate someone it is the same as murder, and if you lust after someone it is the same as adultery. God calls us to a high standard and without Him we can’t meet His standard. In Revelation 21:8 it says that murderers and liars will be thrown into a “lake which burneth with fire” (hell). In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 it says…adulters, thieves, fornicators….etc.  will not inherit the kingdom of God….back to the hell thing.

My favorite scripture, and the scripture that I prayed at age 12, is found in Romans 10:9-10,13 and says:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

WHOSOEVER……That’s YOU and its ME!

Study and check these things out. You can’t afford to be wrong!

BACK TO THE GARDEN TOMORROW, AS I WALK MY DAYS OUT, WITH GOD BY MY SIDE.

In The Garden with Jesus

In the garden

In the garden

As Easter approaches, I am daily being reminded of the agony Jesus experienced in a garden.

Jesus and his disciples frequently went to a garden named Gethsemane, located on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, just across the Kidron Valley  from Jerusalem.

This garden was more like an orchard filled with olive trees. The name Gethsemane means “oil press” in Hebrew.

The night before Jesus was crucified, He took His disciples to this garden to pray. (John 18:1)

Jesus knew the depths of what He would face and asked God to “Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36)

God answered this prayer by sending an angel to strengthen Him. (Luke 22:43)

Even with the strength given Him by the angel, His agony and prayer became more earnest, and “His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44) As Jesus was praying and sweating “blood” His disciples were sleeping. What a lonely night of prayer this must have been for our Savior.

Judas, the betrayer, found Jesus in the garden, because he had been there many times with Him. (John 18:2)

Jesus was “bound” and taken from the garden; His retreat from the world.

On the cross, the following day, Jesus spoke the saddest words that I could ever imagine. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34)

God is so Holy, He cannot look on sin. Jesus took the sin for everyone onto Himself, and God had to turn away. Jesus died alone and forsaken even by God. Because Jesus chose to do the Will of the Father, He opened the door for us to have a relationship with God, and once that relationship is established, we are promised that He will never forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

Jesus was betrayed in a garden, and forsaken by God. Through Him, the curse that started in a garden was broken for us, if we choose to accept the gift of His death on the cross.

I pray this week that if you haven’t accepted the cure for the curse, you will be led to the garden.

Have a great Easter!