Sow & Gather

Memories

Sow and Gather

MemoriesMarci AnthonyComment
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Remember this; Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV

I love springtime. It’s a time of renewal and rebirth. When I think of spring, I think of warmer days and cooler evenings. The trees turn from brown to green and the flowers stretch their stems to the sky, showing off their colorful blooms to brighten the scenery. Springtime is like a symphony of colors coming to life. Bulbs that were planted in fall push through the soil, ready to announce the arrival of springtime. It’s also a time to plant seeds; the ground is softening, allowing seeds to be planted so new growth has time to take root before the harshness of summer. Sowing seeds is a delicate balance of timing and dedication, making sure the seed has the proper environment to produce the best result. 

As Christians, thankfully we don’t have a growing season. We don’t have to wait until fall or spring to plant seeds. Of course I’m not talking about the literal word “seeds”.  I’m talking about our duty as Christians to share God’s love and message of hope with those around us. We are God’s gardeners. All of us, as Christians, are in different stages of growth. Some of us are mature trees while others of us are simply little saplings. Those who consider themselves mature in the knowledge and wisdom of Christ but are not sowing seeds may not reach their full potential. As the verse in 2nd Corinthians states, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly.” The little sapling Christian may not have as much knowledge as the mature tree, but if they are proclaiming God’s goodness to all who will hear then they will, “Also reap generously.”  

Each one of us bears a responsibility to sow God’s seeds. Sowing can come in many different forms and look many different ways. An example of how we can be obedient to Christ’s calling is in our communities and neighborhoods, by being kind to our neighbors and getting to know them on a personal level, asking them if they have a church home and inviting them to church. Maybe we call a friend we haven’t spoken to in a while and see if they’d like to meet for coffee and invest time listening to them and finding out how we can pray for their needs. If you feel God calling you to step out of your comfort zone, maybe you need to gather a group together to lead a Bible study in your home. These are just a few ways we can sow the seeds of God in others.  

For the past several years our Women’s Ministry at First Baptist Grapevine has posted a bi-weekly blog called, “Sow and Gather.” The Sow and Gather blog was a ministry to reach individuals both inside and beyond the walls of the church who needed encouragement or a word from God. For those of us directly involved in the process of either planning, writing, editing or posting, it’s been a joy to be a part of this amazing group of women who truly love the Lord. God has done amazing things with this ministry, and although it has been a blessing to so many, it is time to sow our seeds and gather in a different way for Christ. This will be the last post for the Sow and Gather blog. We appreciate all of you who have, “followed, liked, shared, and commented” over the years. Thanks! 

Digging Deeper |

Mark 4:1-20, John 4:37, Ruth 2:1-23 

Action Item |

Are you sowing seeds for Christ or are you reluctant because it’s out of your comfort zone? Think of areas of your life where you may need to step out of your comfort zone to be obedient to Christ. If you attend a local church, asking someone to accompany you to a church event is usually an easy first step. 

Prayer |

Dear Heavenly Father, let me be a gardener for You by sowing the seeds of love and hope in the hearts of others. Present me with opportunities where I can step out in faith and be an encourager to someone this week. Help me to continue to sow and gather for You Lord. Amen

Join Us | 

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post. 

Don't Be a Drifter

MemoriesMarci AnthonyComment
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We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard so that we do not drift away. Hebrews 2:1 NIV

I love summertime. It’s a wonderful time to gather with family and friends and venture out into God’s glorious creation. Summer is a time of road trips and vacations, a time to journey into the mountains or lay aimlessly on a towel at the pool or the beach. I prefer the latter. Every year my family vacations at the beach. My girls love to run along the beach, gripping sand in their toes and building castles of sand towards heaven. My husband enjoys diving below the surface, looking for treasures left behind on the ocean floor. 

If you’re looking for me, you will find me sitting under an umbrella as large as a four person tent, covered from head to toe in 90 + UVA, UVB flex seal strength sun screen and wearing the widest brim hat money can buy. You could say I’m a tad paranoid when it comes to sun exposure. However, there is but one caveat to this perfect sun screen storm. If the ocean water is clear, and the temperature of the water feels like taking a bath--if, and only if these ideal conditions exist--you may just spot me lounging on a float adrift along the sea shore (cue the dramatic Jaws theme).   

I don’t know what it is, but there is something so peaceful and relaxing feeling the sun on your skin, the wind slowly rocking you back and forth, listening to the soft lapping of the waves against your vessel (in this case a float). Now, normally I am alert and attentive to my surroundings, especially when there’s nothing but endless tons of water surrounding me. However, one summer I found myself in a bit of a predicament. It was a cloudy day, and the air was nice and warm. The water was the perfect temperature for floating. As I settled myself on my little float island, I allowed my eyes to close. I drifted off to sleep. I don’t know at what point I woke myself up, but suddenly, I realized I had not only drifted down the beach, but the current had pushed me further out into the ocean than I had ever been before. Knowing that the current was too strong to paddle directly towards the shore, I knew there was no other option but to do the one thing of which I was terrified. Put my feet in the water and kick parallel to the shore (cue the Jaws theme), slowly working my way inland. Exhausted after paddling for more than 15 minutes I made it back to the shore, feeling stupid for having fallen asleep in the middle of the ocean. 

My experience reminded me of how complacent I can be in my own life. I can get so caught up in my daily schedule and weekly routine that I get lulled away from spending quality time with God. When my priorities take precedence over God, I find myself adrift on my own selfish island. Thankfully, God is always there to tow me to shore (no paddling required).  

Key verse |

Proverbs 16:9; Galatians 5:25

Action Item |

Are you feeling alone or adrift in life? Ask God to throw you a life preserver, and allow Him to set your life back on course. 

Prayer |

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for always drawing me close to You when we drift apart. You always pursue me; help me to become more diligent at pursuing You. Help me to not get so caught up in my day to day tasks that I drift away from Your presence.   

Join Us | 

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post. 

Do You Doubt God's Love?

MemoriesMarci AnthonyComment
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The LORD appeared to us saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness" Jeremiah 31:3 NIV 

One of my fondest memories of my dad is playing basketball with him in the backyard. It was just the two of us, jumping, laughing and playing with and against each other. Basketball may seem like a strange activity for a father and daughter to enjoy together. However, the loving look on his face and the time he spent with me exhibited his love just for me. It was wonderful. 

This love is the same kind of love God, our Father, has for us, but even stronger. He loves us so deeply. His love is unconditional and as the verse states, everlasting. His love will never end or dry up. In fact, there is not a place we can go or an activity we can engage in that will separate us from His love. (Romans 8:38-39). That’s awesome! 

God even sent Jesus, His Son, to die for our disobedience on the cross. We are the ones who should have died for our waywardness but God loves us that much. (John 3:16) And after Jesus died, He rose so that we could have life with Him presently and upon our death in heaven forever. Truly, God loves us. 

However, my biggest problem is that I forget or doubt God’s love for me. I struggle at times really believing that this big God wants to love me. To combat this untruth, I began to pray this verse, Ephesians 3:17-19, to Jesus. ”Lord, may I have your power, together with all your saints to grasp the width, and length, and depth, and height of your love.” Every time I pray this verse, my heart has become more and more confident of this one fact. 

God loves me and …. God loves you!!!! 

Digging Deeper |

Romans 8:38-39, John 3:16, Ephesians 3:17-19 

Action Item |

Pray Ephesians 3:17-19 to Jesus. 

Prayer |

Dear Loving Lord, Thank you for loving me. Thank you for dying and rising again so I may have life. Help me to be confident in your love and truly understand the love you have just for me. Amen. 

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post. 

What Is Your Heart's Desire?

MemoriesMarci AnthonyComment
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Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4 NASB 

Do you have children that are involved in extracurricular activities? Do you try to attend every event and activity they are a part of to encourage them and show them how much you love them? Along with these activities come the fundraisers, especially the fundraising suppers to create extra money for the group.  

I remember well the spring my son had one of those fundraiser suppers for the band at his high school.  My husband and I decided to attend and we purchased our tickets beforehand. As we were handing the tickets over to grab our supper, we were asked if we wanted to enter a drawing for various eateries in the area. At first I was not interested, but a prize for a gift certificate at a local restaurant that serves scrumptious breakfast caught my eye.  Yes, we wanted to enter and we received a few tickets with numbers printed on them. 

After enjoying our supper and gabbing with our friends, the drawing began. As in all contests, there was excitement and disappointment by all participating. But, I was waiting patiently for the one gift certificate for that special restaurant.  

Finally, the next drawing was the one I’d been waiting for. In that moment, I prayed a few short sentences.  I asked God to allow me to obtain the gift certificate. I told him I wanted it. Please God?  

In that instant my number was called and I won the gift certificate! Woohoo!! God answered my short prayer and gave me the desire of my heart.  I stood up with excitement and dashed to the front to grab the certificate.  I laughed out loud and yelled, “Alright!!!” 

I ran back to the table and in my excitement told everyone that I had prayed to Jesus. I had asked for the certificate and He said “ yes!”  He truly is an awesome God.  He gives us more than we ever need, and He loves to give us the desires of our heart. 

What happened next surprised me. My friends at the table asked me to pray for them to win, too. Isn’t that interesting? I prayed. God gave me my desire and I was able to share Jesus to all those around me. 

He is a delightful God. 

Dig Deeper |

James 5:13-16 

Action Item |

Do you pray? When you pray, do you ask just for your needs or for your desires as well? Go ahead, ask. 

Prayer |

Dear Jesus, You are truly an incredible God. Thank You for allowing me to talk with You through prayer. Let me never forget, You answer our prayers. You provide for our needs and at times, You delight in fulfilling our desires.  Amen. 

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.