Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fw: lifetime crop




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2017 7:37 AM
Subject: lifetime crop

Matthew 13: And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow.
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24 He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field,
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31 He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.
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Jesus used the illustration of planting to teach lessons about heaven.  He used the familiar terrain of land and crops and sowing and reaping for a people who lived close to the land and depended on their relationship with the ground to give them life.  In a sense we all have been planted in this ground and will grow from its surface and, like any crop, we will reach some kind of maturity and bear some kind of fruit and eventually return to the ground.  But Jesus uses the illustrations of the earth to teach us about Heaven because He knows that we are a unique kind of produce that has its physical origin on earth but its ultimate destiny in eternity.
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So there are lessons to be learned about the soil quality that will produce best and there are lessons about the sovereign rule of God, as the master farmer and lessons about the great reality of God's Kingdom...which may not appear so great while we live out our days under the sun.  In a sense, all of this natural life is a parable, or picture, that God is using to prepare for the awesome reality of an eternal place.  And as the generations come and go they are like the seasons of sowing and reaping that the ground produces each year.
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(I know the picture of the heron doesn't relate to this but I couldn't resist this morning!)
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blessings,
Rob Smith


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fw: beyond belief




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 7:32 AM
Subject: beyond belief

Genesis 15: And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
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Genesis 15:And he said to him, "I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess." But he said, "O Lord Godhow am I to know that I shall possess it?"
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Abram (later Abraham) is considered the "father of faith" because he believed God when God told him that, even at a very old age, he would become a father and ultimately have countless descendants.  But right after believing...and right after we are told that his belief was the gateway to being counted as righteous...he has a big question about another promise God makes.  Abram isn't satisfied just hearing from the Lord that he was led from his old home country for the purpose of being given a new home.  He wants more...some kind of commitment from God.
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When we believe in the Lord Jesus...personally come to the place where we trust that He came to save us personally from our sin...that belief is counted as righteousness for us, just as Abram's belief counted for him.
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But that belief opens the door to a new relationship that leads to a new set of questions about God's plan and promises for our lives...and just as Abram is the example for faith that saves, so he is the example for faith that asks the next questions.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Fw: still water reflections




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2017 7:21 AM
Subject: still water reflections

Ezekiel 1:25 And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.
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I snapped this photo of the pond this morning.  The water was nearly still...almost without ripple.  The only disturbances I could spot were insects scurrying over the surface of the water and occasional brief eruptions from fish breaking the surface to swallow them.  It occurred to me that a still pond makes a clear reflection and a heart at peace may show the presence of the Lord.  We are challenged to share our faith and as we walk in peace...the peace that He provides in the midst of trials, especially, our faith is more than shared...it is reflected.  As we see from the verse in Ezekiel, when the Lord speaks even angels stop their flight and fold their wings.
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Because, a still pond makes a clear reflection.
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blessings,
Rob Smith


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fw: patience




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Saturday, July 15, 2017 8:43 AM
Subject: patience

Herons were made to stand in, and strut through, shallow water because that is where they find their food.  They patiently, almost statue-like, wait for their meal to swim past their stick-like legs before uncoiling their wiry neck to snatch and swallow the unsuspecting fish.  We, on other hand, need some assistance to catch a fish...we need equipment like rods and boats and bait.  I suppose the only thing we have in common is the need for patience.
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Just as we need patience to catch fish, so we need patience to trust in the Lord.  If we try to "make things happen" on our timetable we may need the Lord's help to untangle us before He can lead us in His paths.
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Romans 8:25 "But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
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We need a hope that is anchored in faith to patiently wait for grace.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Fw: from above




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2017 7:27 AM
Subject: from above

It is not what you achieve but what you receive that best leads to what you believe.  For who has "achieved" a flower?  And who has constructed a life? And who can bring peace that is beyond understanding?
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As we receive the light and warmth of the summer sun, so we receive the blessing of God.  And as we acknowledge this we are set free from the prison of self.
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James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
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blessings this day,
Rob Smith


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fw: heavy with blessing




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2017 7:28 AM
Subject: heavy with blessing

My wife, Shirley, has the green thumb that has led to beautiful gardens around our home.  One bush, in particular, always surprises me.  This hydrangea "tree" has blooms that are so heavy with moist blossoms that the branches are weighed down.  It seems an apt picture of how we are full of the Lord's blessing, wherever we are planted.  Our "tree", planted in His soil...illuminated by His Son, filled with His Spirit, blooming to return glory to Him.
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We are heavy with His blessing.
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John 1:16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
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May you feel His blessings this day,
Rob Smith


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fw: His works are perfect




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 7:34 AM
Subject: His works are perfect

Psalm 50:2
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.
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Small or large, the handiwork of God is perfect.  The butterfly is an example of this beauty...perfect in symmetry, delicate in balance, pretty in pattern, dancing in flight...miraculously transformed from caterpillar to adult.
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Man was formed in the image of God and the rest of Creation was fashioned for man to see the Creator's handiwork and worship Him.
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Psalm 96:6
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
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blessings,
Rob Smith


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fw: on watch




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 7:12 AM
Subject: on watch

Genesis 1:16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.
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I was looking for some wildlife to capture by camera this morning but, apart from a pair of geese who quickly skittled away, there wasn't much that stood out.  Then I spotted the morning moon above the trees.  I was reminded that every day it is almost as if the "watch" is passed from moon to sun...as the moon fades and the big orange orb rises.  I was reminded that the Lord told us He put the two great lights in the sky to show His rule over day and night...and that His domain reaches to the stars.
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And His watchful eye cares for us continually as well...both day and night and wherever we are.
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Psalm 121:3 He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.   
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Blessings,
Rob Smith