Tending the Orchard

I’ve always been a dreamer.  I can remember hours upon hours of time spent daydreaming of what my life could have been like and how it will be.  But I’ve learned quite a bit since that time.  I’ve learned that all of life isn’t a fairy tale in a happily ever after sense.  Often times it hurts, and other times life feels more perfect than any story could portray.  Even though I may not daydream as much or about the same things as before, I’m still a dreamer.  I have so many hopes for the future, of things I want to accomplish and things I want to do.  But like I said, I’ve always been a dreamer…and rarely a doer.  I’ve started projects, I’ve had great ideas, I’ve had multiple opportunities, but have I finished them?  Have I gone through with them?  Have I taken and gone for them with everything that’s in me?  No.  I’m going to be honest, y’all.  This is one of my countless struggles, and possibly the one I’m most ashamed of.  But I know I can’t live life like this, and I know that it’s not the way that the Lord wants me to live.  My life isn’t my own.  It’s never been.  Every moment and every breath I breathe belongs to Him alone.  I have the responsibility to live the life of a doer who diligently pursues the calling of God on her life.  Which brought me to this thought last night…

When God created us, He gave us each special gifts, abilities, and purposes for the time we’re here on earth in order that we might glorify Him.  I like to think of these things as seeds.  I imagine that God has given me a piece of land which represents my life, and it’s my responsibility to plant those sends, to tend them, and to nurture them.  One of my seeds is compassion.  It’s my responsibility to show love and grace and to not only have compassion for those who appear to need it the most, but to be selfless in my deeds towards those around me in my everyday life.  One of my seeds is music.  It’s my responsibility to practice and put forth the time and effort to use this gift to it’s maximum capability.  One of my seeds may be pursuing a field of ministry.  It’s my responsibility to prepare for it and to seek the Lord’s will and guidance leading up to that time.  My responsibility is to water those seeds and also to pull up the weeds that try to choke them.  The weeds are the devil and my flesh tempting and trying me to stray from what God has for my life.  And if I neglect those seeds, if I don’t invest in them, if I don’t water them and I let weeds take over, they’re never going to grow to one day bear fruit-they’re going to die.  I want my seeds to grow to be an orchard full of fruitful trees.  This journey won’t be easy.  I’m going to face harsh seasons, an endless army of weeds, and I will probably have to do quite a bit of pruning in order to make my trees stronger.  But I don’t want to sit back any more.  It’s time to start tending my orchard.

Can you relate?

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Responsibility

Nowadays, people just don’t want to take responsibility for themselves.

If you get pregnant, it’s okay. You don’t have to deal with it. Just get an abortion. If you’re underage, your parents will have to pay for it anyway. You don’t have to take responsibility.

If you don’t want to get a job, it’s okay. You don’t have to deal with it. That’s what Obamacare, food stamps, and such are for. You don’t have to take responsibility.

If you riot and destroy personal property, it’s okay. You don’t have to deal with it. The government will ignore it. You don’t have to take responsibility.

If you reveal national secrets, it’s okay. You don’t have to deal with it. We’ll let you run for president. You don’t have to take responsibility.

Even if you’re not guilty of any of these things, you’re not taking responsibility for something, aren’t you? I imagine everyone here has done something wrong and then refused to take responsibility for it.

Thankfully, God offers us His great gift of grace, relieving us of our past mistakes and sins … but does that mean the consequences are removed?

The answer is NO.

Just because, as Christians, we are held down by our sins, that doesn’t mean the natural consequences are removed.

If you become pregnant as an unmarried woman, you still have that baby to raise all by yourself.

If you didn’t get a job, you have to starve.

If you riot and destroy personal property, you’re facing jail-time and fines.

If you reveal national secrets, you’re guilty of high treason and should be served the death sentence.

Unfortunately, our world is working as hard as it can to eliminate the consequences of our bad decisions. Nowadays you can do any of those things and get away with it. Perhaps there will be long-term consequences of some sort of another … but overall, you seem to slide by pretty easily.

But I beg you, don’t take the easy way out.

In the long run, the hard way is better.

Your actions are big. They are louder than words, louder than opinions, louder than sin itself.

Show that you’re the kind of person who takes responsibility, and they will respect you.

Show that you’re the kind of person who cares about your mistakes, and they will admire you.

So accept the responsibilities of your actions. Please, please don’t take the easy way out! If you did something wrong, ‘fess up, take the punishment, and don’t become that stereotypical millennial that everyone’s talking about.

You can be better than that.

Sincerely,

~Kellyn Roth of Reveries~

God for President?

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Today millions of American have to choose between two presidential candidates.

One is Delilah in her trickiest form.

The other is a bull-headed Samson.

That’s a hard choice, and I won’t even try to tell you which one is better. This is one of the most debated elections in the history of the USA, and I think I’ll stay out of it, especially since I can’t vote. 😛

Secular audiences seem to be of the opinion that if Clinton or Trump (whomever is their favorite) is chosen, America is going to become ‘great’ again. Because man is going up, up, up! (Ha!)

But that leads to the supposition that America was once great before.

Let’s think. When was America great? Most would say it was pretty good when the US first started up, back in the late 1700s. They might say it was greatest in the 1940s, the 1910s, or some point during the 1800s. Some point back to the 1950s as the ‘good old days.’

I don’t have a personal opinion about this, though as a general rule, I say that if it was before 1960, America was doing pretty good.

What did all those eras have in common? I find these three is most (because Sin is always there, but generally) every movie and book written pre-1960.

  1. Respect for elders. The teachings of those who came before us were never ignored. As the teachings of God are a big part of the teachings of those who came before us (especially in American history), the teachings of God were respected and oftentimes believed and, furthermore, OWNED.
  2. Respect for morality. What was right and wrong was never debated. It just wasn’t, and most of it (if not all) was Biblical (based on God’s word). I’ve never watched a movie made during the 1940s (or 1930s) that didn’t give me a good feeling inside because they were just so clean! Even if the subject-matter was slightly depressing (such as a war story or something like that), there was a respect for morality – for the right thing triumphing – and this made the movie somehow happy. This doesn’t mean they were all perfectly free of bad stuff. It just means that the bad stuff was treated as bad, and, though probably less importantly, it was handled classily. But … yep, that’s another conversation entirely.
  3. Respect of [or belief in] God. The other two points were basically another name for this one. God was respected, His rules were respected, and America served Him. You’ll hear a million stories about men fighting during WW2 who stopped and prayed before a battle. They weren’t scorned or thought to be odd; they were accepted, respected, and joined.

I’m not saying that everyone was a Christian. I’m saying that Christianity in one form or another was the accepted religion, and its laws were the ones that were followed.

Yes, yes, we’ve made many technical advancements and a lot of things that used to be okay (like not letting people of certain races have the same privileges) have been changed … but America is no longer great. It’s a good IDEA, but it’s ceased to be put into ACTION.

God made America great.

Now, hold it a minute, you say. America hasn’t been God-driven in forever!

Well, it hasn’t been great in forever! This isn’t a recent thing! We’ve been going downhill for forever!

So if we really want America to be great, there needs to be a revival of Christianity in a big way. A similar revival to the one found in Acts, perhaps:

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (2:41)

“And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (2:47)

“However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men [not counting women and children in some translations] came to be about five thousand.” (4:4)

“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (5:42)

That’s some pretty huge growth! Think about it. Thousands upon thousands of people are being saved in a space of weeks – or days, even. I argue that that can happen again. Why can’t it? We have the Holy Spirit; God’s still alive and working in this world in big ways. Yes, there were eye-witness accounts, but we still have them in the Bible.
Maybe people are more skeptical now than they were around the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. They have other ways for the existence of the world, other explanations for things ‘supposedly’ God-ordained, but God is all-powerful.
There can always be a revival. This isn’t the end of the world.

Only God can make America great again. 

So no matter who is elected today, we know that …
  1. God is in control and …
  2. Only HE can make America great again.

Thanks for reading,

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Diligence

Well, guys, one of my biggest problems as a human being is laid bare for the world as I push the blue button on the left labeled ‘published.’ We human beings like to hide our sins, so … this is hard for me.

On the other hand, I’m probably so full of sin that I don’t even realize the half of it!

Anyway, one of the things I find difficult in my life is diligence.

Diligence: careful and persistent work or effort.

I don’t know why, but …

I find it hard to finish things I start.

I find it hard to keep doing good work throughout the school year.

I find it hard to brush my dog every single week.

I find it hard to exercise often.

I’ll start out excited about something … and then my enthusiasm will fade away.

What does the Bible say about this? Well, there are many, many Bible verses about diligence, actually.

A few of my favorites include:

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. ~Proverbs 13:4

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. ~2 Peter 1:10

So it’s clear that God values diligence, that He wants us, His children, to persevere in all things good (and yes, that does include cleaning out your cat’s litter box every single day!).

But what can we do about our own laziness?

Here are a few things that help me.

  1. Hold yourself accountable to your friends. Tell your friends that you are probably gonna be grounded and won’t be able to see them anymore if the lawn doesn’t get mowed weekly. Ask them to remind you if it seems like you’re forgetting.
  2. Hold yourself accountable to God. I know this may sound silly, but I sometimes wake up in the morning and say, “God, please strike me down with a lightning bolt if I don’t clean out the fish’s bowl today.” And the thing is, I’m only partially kidding … Seriously, though, folks. Tell God that you need help completing a task today! He always hears you, and He always helps.
  3. Checklists! What? I like making lists …
  4. Just getting in the habit. After a couple weeks of getting it down, you can’t sleep unless you’ve done something! I’m not even kidding. One of my problems a while back (like, a couple months ago!) was reading the Bible. I’d have trouble remembering to do it. Then I promised myself to read it every night without fail, and after forcing myself the first week or two, I can’t sleep until I read a bit, even if it’s only a verse or two.

Thanks for reading!

~Kellyn Roth

15 Years…and Towers are Still Crumbling…

As I’m sure you all know, yesterday was 9/11.  The terrorist attack.  The crumbling of the towers.  The cries of those who had lost loved ones.  Of those who had lost all hope.  There were those who were brave; noble enough to risk their lives to save others.  And some of them didn’t make it.  They sacrificed, and showed Christ-likeness like many of use could not.  Unfortunately, the battle isn’t over; the towers are still crumbling.  Our world needs Jesus Christ so very much!  It’s heart breaking to think that there are so many that reject His gift of salvation and follow someone or something else, as ISIS does.  We’re backing off from the duty we have as born again believers and children of God!  Our Nation, which says that it is under God, has been trying to instead place itself above God, and is forgetting the principals that we were founded on.  Have we forgotten that God will judge?  When will we fall down on bended knee and ask His forgiveness?  How long will we let the towers crumble?

If you haven’t already, please spend some time praying for the families of the deceased and praising the Lord for their courage!

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