Soil, Roots, Fruit

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In my Tuesday morning bible study, we are working through Conversation Peace by Mary A. Kassian. It is a study about the power of speech… what we say… how we say it. It is hitting kind of close to home.

This week’s lesson began with:

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That is clear. Ugly heart, ugly words. Sweet heart, sweet words.

She offers a great analogy for how our insides can contaminate what we show on the outside. When a plant has root rot and the leaves turn ick, it is not the leaves that cause it, but it is rotting roots that cause the leaves to turn brown and ugly. I did not know that when your plant gets root rot, you have to also replace the soil. The disease remains in the soil, will infect the roots of the new plant, and then the leaves or fruit.

The three parts in this equation are:

  • the soil: our deepest beliefs and values…which affects…
  • the roots: our attitudes and thoughts…which affect
  • the fruit: our words and behavior

This is one reason I study God’s word. There is always someone being led by the Holy Spirit, who might offer me a fresh viewpoint.

I know that I cannot keep my soil clean or my roots disease free.

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But, we belong to a loving God who will take care of our soil and our roots if we turn to Him with our whole hearts. He will plant us and not pluck us up. Our fruit can be good as He builds us up, and we know Him more.

Here we are (you and I), in my journaling bible, growing our fruit in clean soil with healthy roots.

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Guard your heart… (Proverbs 4:23)

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The Wind Blows Where it Pleases

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Sunday past, Pastor Dave taught us from John 3. Millions of people are familiar with what is probably the most famous verse in the bible, John 3: 16. But, it was the 8th verse in that chapter that caught my mind.

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When I was in college, about 200 years ago, I choreographed a dance for the annual Concert of Dance, using this verse as my inspiration. Later, I realized, I really did not know what that verse was talking about. It made a lovely piece. Lynne, Paulie, and Pam were strapped to elastic cords on which were strung a LOT of clear drinking straws. The piece had no music. The straws made interesting, ethereal, shushing sounds as they moved around the stage.

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(taken when you actually had to remove the film from the camera and take it to the drugstore to be developed)

Seeing that this verse and I have a long-standing history, I wanted to be sure I understood it and then not forget it. I borrowed my own straw idea and made a quick wind chime. Right now, it is hanging in the hallway. When windows are open, the hallway gets a nice breeze. I can also bump it with my hand when I walk past it. The straws make a soft noise, and bring the Holy Spirit, and the ways He works within me, to mind.

Dave reminded us that often in scripture, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the wind or a breath. He described what is being taught us in the verse: The wind blows as it pleases, there is nothing we can do to change it or control it. So is the will of God. Salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit is His idea, not ours. Salvation and forgiveness of sin is His sovereign act.

We can see the result of the wind, whether it is a soft breeze or a tornado. People can see the result of the Holy Spirit in us, as well. We cannot control the Holy Spirit, but we. and others, can see and feel the effects of being born of the Spirit.

Salvation and the Holy Spirit are gifts of God’s choosing, given to us for no other reason that that. Amen!

To make a straw wind chime like mine, follow along. You could opt to hang anything to  make your chime: pieces from an old broken wind chime, silverware, keys, who knows… Check Pinterest for ideas! I only chose straws because……

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I used plastic straws, the inner ring of a 4″ embroidery hoop (you might have something cooler in the junk drawer or the garage to use), and black crochet thread (which is string). I also needed some black paint and a brush, scissors and a darning needle. It is possible you could find most of this at home already and the rest at the dollar store.

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Paint the hoop. Let it dry.

I used a 2 yard piece of thread on my needle. String a straw on the needle, up near the top of the straw. Wrap the thread around the hoop twice.  Repeat with as many straws as you want. 2 yards of thread got me halfway around. I tied off the end and started another 2 yards.

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To hang it up, I knotted three pieces of thread to the hoop, held them together to form a loop and hung it from the loop. This can go outside later when the weather is nicer.

Walk in obedience to all He commands, Jeremiah 7:23.

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