Smart as trees?

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In Colorado, the trees are bursting forth! Some have pods opening to reveal the tiny green beginnings of what will be big beautiful leaves.

 

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Some have burst into blossoms in white and many shades of pink – from light pastel to deep maroon. Beauty is all around, and the signs of life reawakening.

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It didn’t happen two months ago, when the trees in Arizona popped out. It didn’t happen on the first day of Spring, according to the calendar. No, trees seem to have a God-ordained wisdom of the earth and time.

 

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They respond when the temperature of the earth gets warmer, and the hours of light get longer. They know when the time is right for them to bud, leaf out, blossom and produce fruit.

 

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And they recognize when the days get shorter and the temperatures colder, to prepare for winter. That’s the time they change the color of their pigment, let go and let the wind take their leaves. And then in winter they go dormant and store up energy for the coming season of growth.

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We, on the other hand, seem to have no understanding or even awareness of the spiritual climate we live in. We try to produce fruit out of season. We try to hold on to our stuff and be showy when we should be letting go.

 

We don’t take time to draw on our resources. We often want to run ahead on our own timetable, then keep all we have forever.

tree streamWe could be listening to God’s voice as He speaks in our ear – “this is the way, walk in it”. Yet, we don’t often listen for it. Or if we hear, we don’t obey.

There will come a time, when what is not productive in God’s heavenly economy, will be uprooted and burned. All that is “fruitless” will be stripped away.

To everything, there is a season. It’s time to ask God to show you where you are – what season you are in with regard to specific issues in your life.

Ask God to prune you where things have gotten out of control, or where you are not being productive. Ask Him to speak to you about new projects, ministries, opportunities to see if it’s the right time to move forward. Let Him show you if it’s time to let go of some things. Or simply rest. And be willing to listen.

With His help, we can be as smart as trees.

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Is it Spring where you are?

 

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God knows us so well, and so like a parent prepares a nursery for a long awaited newborn, God planned earth to meet our needs and reflect His provision and love. His intelligence and compassion are shown in giving us seasons.

 

As we cycle through a year we can experience changes in the world around us and learn lessons for our own lives as God gives us both change and consistency.

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God gave us a desire for change. But He also created us with a deep, deep desire and need for stability and consistency. He knows that random change without purpose can be scary and upsetting. And so He gives us purposeful, predictable change.

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Every few months we see something new and fresh in our lives all around us. It affects our entire environment. The growing seasons bring different harvests of foods.  The climate impacts the way we dress and how we build our homes.

 

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The seasonal colors of plants impact the way we landscape our cities and homes and surround ourselves with the beauty of His creation.

 

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Like His love, which is secure and stable and never changes, He gives us the surety of knowing that the seasons always occur in a predicted order. In the midst of and in the excitement of change, we get the security of knowing that one season always follows another.

 

These same seasons of change exist in our lives. They do not occur every 3 months as the earth sees the change of seasons. Over a lifetime we experience seasons of change: waiting, testing, growth, calm, fruitfulness, pruning.

autumn-1001140_640With some issues, we can go through many seasons in a week. With some activities, relationships or circumstances, each season may last several months or years. Some things may take a lifetime.

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I believe God prepares us for these changes by reflecting change in His creation. Ask God to show you where you are – what season you are in with regard to specific issues in your life.

 

Is it a time of rebirth? Renewing interests with newfound vigor and attention?

Is it a time of growth? Should you be fertilizing a relationship, an idea, a project to prepare for fruitfulness?

Is it a time of harvest? Of enjoying the benefits and provisions of hard work, but letting go of some responsibilities? Changing over to a new focus?

Is it time for resting? Being refueled by cutting back and preparing for building deeper roots?

Ask God to show you how to recognize what He wants you to know about His timing. To hear more from God, look around you at the living, growing, 3-dimensional teachers in His creation: the animals, the plants, the environment.

And be willing to listen.

 

Be a Silly Goose for Christ Part 2

Continuing to learn from the Goose:

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3 Communicate with those around you.

Geese are not quiet birds. They seem to always have something to say to each other. Whenever a group is already on the water and another group comes in to land, all kinds of honking commences. Similarly, when a group is preparing to take off, there is much ado.

We should share with other believers what we have learned: how to get along better in life, where there are traps and how to avoid them, praise and thanks for God’s bountiful provisions. I don’t know what the geese are telling each other, but it could be: “Hey there’s great grain over here!” Or “Watch out for the foxes at the end of the lake!” Wouldn’t you like to receive helpful direction and encouragement?

 

4 Circle before you land.

wild-geese-1148985_640Geese will always fly around an area before they actually touch down. I have seen them circle the lake 3 times before the first one touches down on the water or in a field. It’s as if they’re scoping out the location for danger and suitability.

Too often, we jump right in without checking things out and counting the cost. We need to use the brain God gave us and seek His wisdom as we make decisions, accept commitments, and move forward. Pull back to get the big picture and know what you’re getting into before you jump in with both feet.

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5 Travel light.

Before a bird takes off, it offloads all excess baggage. Every ounce counts when you have to physically carry it, especially long distances. So before it takes off, it poops! If you live in a flyway, this is a common sight and the result makes for very messy walking or picnicking.

We need to remember to take only what we need on our journey. How often do we travel with so much past hurt, anger, disappointment and upset that we can barely move forward? We need to expel envy, malice, bitterness, and hate because these things weigh us down and keep us from flying high. Drop off and leave behind discouragement, resentment, unforgiveness, whatever entangles you. Get the help you need to be rid of those poisons that will steal your joy and sap your strength. Read books, get counseling and pray to be able to forgive and let go of past hurts and failures.

We may like to think of ourselves as more majestic creations, maybe like the swans or eagles of the bird world. But God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes. We can learn from everything He created. Learn from the behavior I’ve seen in these geese.

Dare to be a Silly Goose for Christ!

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Be a Silly Goose for Christ – Part 1

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We live in a flyway in Colorado, a path used in bird migration. Maybe there’s one where you are too. It becomes a major sky trafficking concern at least twice a year: when the birds are migrating south for the winter and north for the summer. If you’re near any body of water, you get a chance to observe a lot of birds and a wide variety of species.

pond-2393987_640One bird found here in abundance during these times, is the goose. Goose interaction with people usually leaves something to be desired. But observing the geese relating to each other and watching their behavior together can teach some valuable lessons to Christians.

1 Travel in a group.

Not only is there safety in numbers, but the principle of flying in a V shape in the wake of the bird ahead has been proven to save a lot of energy. This allows the group to go much farther than the individuals could travel on their own.

canadian-geese-1164819_640When we pray together, encourage one another, mentor each other and work together, we can accomplish so much more than we can being loners. The Christian lifestyle is hard enough in our world today. With all the pressures and temptations, we need one another to stay on track and accountable.

2 Take turns leading.

Because the lead goose literally pulls more weight than the others by being the first to break the air resistance, it tires out more quickly. So as they travel, the lead position is rotated. The lead goose drops back to the end of the V and another in the line takes the lead. Because of the energy conserving benefit to the other geese in the V, this allows the group to go farther, faster than they could go alone.

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We tend to go till we drop, burn the candle at both ends, wearing ourselves out. Especially in positions of leadership, share the responsibilities. Sure there are some things we need to do ourselves, but knowing when to simply say ‘no’ or delegate is great wisdom.

To maintain this balance in your life, learn that there are seasons for the flow of activity. Balance refueling with expending energy to stay effective. And training up others to take our place should be part of our plan. Even if we continue in a ministry, sharing the load teaches and enriches others.

 

goose-1391251_640Try these in your life and ministry. God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes. We can learn from everything He created. Learn from the behavior I’ve seen in these geese.

Dare to be a Silly Goose for Christ!

Which plane are you?

This week I made some time to get alone and walk around the lake. Rather than the birds or flowers, my attention was drawn to the sky. It was a beautiful and clear expanse with just a few puffy white clouds in the distance. The reflection in the lake made the blue seem even deeper. During my walk three airplanes appeared and gave me pause to think.

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If I not been looking up to catch a glimpse of movement I never would’ve even seen it. This plane was going by without a noticeable trace. Unless I had been looking right at it, I never would have known it was passing overhead.

 

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Soon after, noise drew my attention back to the sky. Another plane. The rumble of its engine could be heard from quite a distance. I could discern its path with my eyes closed.

 

 

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The third plane flew so high that in its wake, a glistening streak was left behind to trace its majestic flight from one edge of the horizon to the other. Anyone who lifted their eyes heavenward could see the route by which this elevated traveler had passed.

 

In our Christian life, are we marking our presence for others to see?

Like the first plane, are we even noticeable? Or are we trying so hard not to offend anyone, or “rock the boat” that people have to be looking right at us to see us?

Or like the second plane, are we traveling so low to the world in our priorities and attitudes that our rumbling and grumbling is loud but unproductive evidence of our existence?

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Hopefully, our Christian walk would take us higher, above the busyness and frustrations of the world to be more like Christ. Hopefully, our attitudes, words and actions would take us on the highest road, heavenward, where our own majestic flight would leave a glistening streak to encourage others. We can choose, through God’s grace, to live like we’re in heaven, here on earth.

It is well worth the effort it takes to seek and gain that godly altitude that earnestly walking in the Spirit gives us. Then that contrail produced will give heading and encouragement to others looking up!

How about it? Which plane are you?