Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Bought This House Plant

The Lord provided me with a two bedroom apartment that I am so pleased with. He has also given me provision to fix my home any sort of way I choose. I have also received many gifts from others that happen to fit in with my decor and color scheme. Truly, I have been and continually am blessed.

While out shopping for some decor about two years ago, I happened upon these house plants that were on sale. Not a lover of them because it was my job as a child to water all of my mother's plants and care for them. She had many. I decided to get a few because of what I learned about the benefits of having plants in your home. In talking to some of the seniors in my place of employment and residence, I learned of some of their tragedies and felt for one of the residents in particular. She would get a boost in receiving one of the two plants I bought. She was bewildered at first as to why I would give her anything, nevertheless she received it. Every few months, she would give me an update as to how the plant is doing. It was her's. I didn't anticipate whether she would take care of it or not. It was up to her. When she was about to move she was giving her possessions away and one of the things she decided to give back to me was this plant. It had been with her for over two years and it did grow some but not as nearly as she was describing to me. I thanked her for it and was bewildered as to why she gave it to me. Who gives a plant back? Yet, with God, it served a purpose.

When I got the plant back to my apartment I put it together with the plant I had bought with it. There was an extreme difference in the growth of both plants. Though it caught my attention, it wasn't nearly as strange as how the plant she gave to me would droop over sooner then the other plants I have. As soon as I watered it within 15 minutes it looked as healthy as the others. I usually water my plants once on Fridays, but with the one she gave me, I have to water it almost every other day. I found this intriguing and in my prayer time alone with the Lord, I would say, "I know there is a lesson and a message in here somewhere." You see, the resident I gave the plant to was a smoker. Though she wasn't supposed to smoke in her apartment, she did and the evidence was the moment anyone walks passed the threshold of the front room. She denied ever smoking, she was used to the stench of it. The walls were a pale yellow because of the tar and nicotine. The furniture was wreaking like an ash tray. She invited me in one time and it was difficult to breathe. I had to find an excuse to leave just for my own personal health.

Another resident, who is also a smoker, had moved into the building but when she needs a smoke, she goes outside. She is a cat lover. In her last place of residence she could smoke in the building. Her cat was used to the cigarette smoke. But here, she noticed her cat acting strangely. She told me she took her pet to the vet and found that her cat was gong through nicotine withdrawal. Consequently, her cat died about a year after.

Still, the lesson with the house plants came at me like a Mack truck. Its a double message with lingering tiny lessons to make you think about your own situation...well, at least, it did this for me.

1. Moving from a toxic environment may not be the only thing one needs to do to regain the blessing that once was.
2. A carnal mind is always learning. Receiving the Word like everyone else but the retention or digesting of it is like its almost wasted.
3.Once watered, looking at the outward appearance of the plants, they all look the same as if well cared for. Unless told otherwise, no one could tell that one has been poisoned. Would this not also be true in a family that seemingly had all they could ever need... but that one child for whatever reason decides to rebel. Doctors call it being a teenager and it is normal (Matthew 7:16-17 KJV).
4. It is necessary for parents to know who their children are around in the majority of the day and with whom is he/she influenced by (Matthew 12:33 KJV).
5. Whatever God plants and where ever He places, it is good no matter what (Matthew 15;13 KJV).

I knew what I needed to do for the plant to be healthy looking as well as through and through. I had to take the plant from the soil it was in. Throw away that soil and wash off the roots. I then soak the plant in plain water for a little while. It is also necessary for the pot to be throughly washed in soapy water and dried before replanting it in clean, fertilized, moist soil. Even the process to get the plant clean and thriving again is a lesson. If we only knew what the Lord had to do to get us from the mess we were in. Still, another reason to give thanks and praise for His goodness and mercy. I thank You, Father. I am so very grateful.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I recall a song when going to church at a young age. Whether the title is the same as the lyrics, I don't know; however the lyrics went something like this:
I'm a soldier, in the army of the Lord. I'm a soldier, in the army. You don't know like I know, what He's done for me. You don't know like I know, what He's done for me. I'm a soldier, in the army of the Lord. I'm a soldier, in the army.
I had no idea what I was singing. It was catchy and easy to remember. It wasn't until many years later did I realize about the army and the waging of war that continues - even now!

Its a scary thing to go off to battle to fight something that you have absolutely no idea who it is and where it is coming from. Ministers preach with the knowledge and assumptions that people coming to service will get it once they get into being faithful and with diligence. Its just that it takes time for each and everyone of us to get there. Personally, hearing about some all out war that we all have to be in, was something I didn't want to do. War? Who willingly signs up for that? I have a job, car, bills, a house and family to raise! With all of that I have to stand strong against a war that I might not win... oh but wait, there's another song. We win! We have the victory!

Of course, its all by faith (Hebrews 11:1 KJV). And the enemy we are fighting, we can't see. And the weapons we use, we can't see either. But the war, we can see that.

This might be academic for some people, but others are just going through the motions so they won't go to hell in the end. They figure if they keep going to church services and volunteer now and again, the pastor will be happy. And if the man of God is happy with your services, then God will be too. Here's a news flash: that is a lie (Colossians 1:10 AMP). The man of God has a task to complete like the rest of us. He has to maintain the a church with the flock well fed. How he gets this done is the guiding of the Holy Spirit. If there is a willing participant to fill the position that needs to be done, so be it. Then he moves on to the next thing that needs his attention. He's doing whatever he has to do to be pleasing to God as well and its not coddling every person who is trying to impress the pastor. Eventually, the diligent, faithful church goer is going to have to get there like the rest of us and establish a relationship with God. He is the heavenly Father that created all and knows all and is at the ready to hear whatever it is you have to say. No one else is there like that but Him.

I know of which I am writing. When I was going through a hard time, I was awakened in the middle of the night by the thought of what could happen to me and my family. It was terrifying and I just couldn't calm down. So I called a friend of mine to talk to or just pray with me (Proverbs 27:17 KJV). We have prayed before and we have had discussions to where I was praying for her. It was our thing to do and we did the same for others. Granted, it was late at night, but isn't that what friends are for? I called her and it immediately went to voice mail. I tried again and the same thing happened. Instead of waiting for it to be a reasonable hour, I called a prayer hotline and got the comfort I was seeking. Later, I called this friend and asked what does she do with her phone at night. She said she turns it off so she can get a good night's sleep. I learned, not to use the term, friend as loosely as I did.

What if you are wakened in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep? What is it that you do? Do you study the Word? Turn on the T.V.? Go get something to eat? Why not a talk with the Lord? Did you ever think it is why you were wakened? I have heard testimony of people being awakened in the middle of the night. They knew it was the Lord and they whined when they found what time it was. As if it was more important for them to get those few more hours of sleep then in talking with the Judge of all (John 5:22-27 KJV).

The lesson learned is that people are going to do what they think is best for them. Believers in Christ have to realize that each and everyone of us have our own finger prints. We are unique individuals and what I can comprehend may not be the same as what someone else perceives. Someone else or even myself will not digest the same information in the same way. I don't expect much from those who are not in the faith. I have got to the place that the name calling that is done in the school yards is not that much different when you become an adult other then the tougher skin. I understand that those who have no idea where they are going when they leave this earth are afraid and will do whatever they must to make themselves feel better. This is the definition of a bully. As a child, the first reaction to the attack is to be afraid, cry, run, and if it comes to that, defend yourself. As an adult having established who I am in Christ, the tactics are completely different. Because I know what is the right thing to do through Christ Jesus, my feelings are in tact, the bully has much to process for the rest of his/her life, and I have pleased my Heavenly Father - once again.

Adults who believe, do not react in the same way as children. We use our weapons that were given at the point of salvation (2 Corinthians 10:3-4 KJV). We are at the ready and on the look out for those that need the help whether they know it or not. We wake at the wee hours of the morning for a reason. We sacrifice in one way to be strengthen in many other ways. There is a battle to be fought and those who have made Christ their Lord, have received their assignments. Its nothing like I use to believe that the war was (1 Samuel 17:47 KJV). Its been such a journey and in thinking where I was when it began, I can smile and thank God for it. Am I being cryptic? No, all that would like to know what the battle is, is written in the Word (2 Corinthians 10:1-7 KJV). It is why when I write these posts, I do so with the Word of God in mind. Click on all of the highlighted portions and allow God to speak to you through His Word.

Note: I will plainly write, when you wake early in the morning and don't know why, pray. For the Word of God tells us that Jesus will come like a thief in the night. When we wake to pray in those times, we are making it a habit. He is training us to be ready for His arrival. When T.D. Jakes got the message from on high and preached for a good many years, Get Ready, Get Ready, Get Ready, it was rhema.