Archive | December 2015

Rooted …. In The Word

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This summer as I was traveling to work ….. again…. another tree caught my eye.   This tree was on the side of the road….. leaning… with many of its roots sticking up out of the ground.  The thing about this tree however, was it was still …. very much alive!  It was very green and full of life…. with no signs of  it beginning to die.
Even though ….. it wasn’t standing straight…. even though…. many of its roots were above ground and ripped away from the earth…..
Even though …..something …. or MANY things …. had made it to topple over…. it simply refused to give up.   Refused to die.   It still had enough roots…. or maybe only one…. root…. that was still hanging on to the life-giving soil and water source to keep it fed!

I have no idea how long it has been that way.  I do know however, that I had seen it for several weeks before God prompted me to stop and take the photo.

He then began to  remind me how this tree compared to our Christian Life.

This tree….more than likely…. stood tall…. stood straight and strong for many years.  It has lived through many years of seasonal changes that brought with it the wind and rain of spring and fall….. the snow, sleet and ice of winter … and the scorching sun of summer.  Through it all… it stood.  It flourished in good weather…. and rode out the bad.
Over the years… however…. the constant “beating” it took eventually began to wear it down to the point of it being “knocked over.”  Something came with a big enough force to knock that tree on its side.    Many trees with the same circumstances would have withered away.  But THIS tree…. had roots that went deep!  Roots…that were anchored into the soil….connected firmly to the life-giving source hidden deep underground….. kept this tree…. alive and thriving!

Our life …. like that tree…. can sometimes be hard.  For most of our life we may be able to stand tall and stand strong.   But… over the seasons of our lives…..many things come at us to knock us down.  We can weather the storms of life pretty good for the most part.  The small set backs and disappointments…..the sicknesses…. lack.   We flourish in the good times…. and we ride out the bad as best we can.  But some things….are big!   Big things that come at us to really try our faith!  Storms that beat on us relentlessly trying to knock us over…. to disconnect us from our life source….and take our life.
But…
If we have good roots….roots that have been planted firmly in good soil….watered …so our roots grow deep…. deep down to our life source….then no matter what comes our way…. we will always live…. and thrive!

Mark 4:13-20 Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?   The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.   The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.   The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy.   But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.   The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word,   but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.   And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 [Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.

Collossians 2:6-7 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.  Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

 

 

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What’s In A Name?

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When I was born I was given the last name of my Father.
Farmer.
That was my name for about 19 years until I got married.  Then.. it changed…. to  Lair.
That name is what I went by until I was around 27…. divorced and then married to my second husband, which changed my last name again…. now … to McNaught.

This is the name that is currently on all my mail.  My paychecks.  It is how I sign anything … legal or non.

Although my last name has changed over the years….. my first name….. Teresa…. has not.

I have been Teresa for 52 years.    As far as I know…. I will always have the name Teresa.
“I” have not changed.
Oh… yes… I have gotten taller… and well…. wider….over the years, as well as smarter… or should I say…. wiser.  My likes and dislikes…. have changed over the years.  I have different views on things I thought were unchangeable in my youth…..and my standards …. have changed…. hopefully for the better.   Priorities….. have most definitely changed.   My Style…. has changed…. and yes…. My hair color changes frequently!

But…..
The person of Teresa…. is still ….. Teresa!

As a child…. I went to the little church in my back yard.   It was a Methodist Church.
When I was older I was saved and Baptized in the Christian Church.    I became a member.
Years later…. I became a member of a non-denominational church.
Now…. I am a member of a different Methodist Church than the one I grew up in.

Although…. the churches where I have been a member has changed over the years….. born again name… CHRISTian…. has not!
I have been a CHRISTian for over 23 years.   Being a CHRISTian …. has never changed.
Oh…. yes… I have grown stronger in my Faith over the years.   I have gained more knowledge about the Word of God.   I have had to put away some wrong thinking and accept some truths
I had not seen before.   My patience…. is growing…. my fears…. diminishing…..my love increasing…. my joy overflowing…. my peace…. oh that sweet peace…. is always what I crave.
Yes….
Memberships…. like last names…. change.

I am reminded of a line from William Shakespeare’s  …. Romeo and Juliet.

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”

Names…
Titles…..
Memberships…

Whats in a name?
That by any other name…. I will still be…. Teresa…. a CHRISTian!