Posts Tagged With: seeds

Peace Longings Part Three

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(I am reblogging this today.  It was part of a three part poem I wrote in 2016. A longing for peace that has only increased.)

How many tears

Can the oceans hold?

When will this violence

Cease?

What will stop the cycle?

More violence is not the answer!

Have we not learned that, yet?

It only prolongs and increases

The destruction and death.

We must wake up!

All must do the work

Of the farmer

Go back to the basics

Sow the seeds of peace

Tears of repentance

And forgiveness

The courageous ones

Will walk towards their enemies

With hands empty

Save for peace

This earth does not belong

To those who devour it

But to the Meek

The gentle of heart

The tide will turn

Wait for it

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, Hope, Life, Love, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry, Prayer, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peace Longings

I.

 

If only we could laugh together

With pure joy

If only we could play together

Running free

If only we could trust

and let go

If only kindness

Was at the top of our list

Instead of the unmentionables

Which I will not mention

Because you know,

They are blasted over us

Over and over until

We are numb

If only we were as

The little child stood in our midst

Clapping his hands

In glee

A smile that is wide and open

As the ocean-free

Forgiveness will bring us back

Home again

Given and received

And wipe away every tear

Root out all the bitterness

So the tender root of joy

Can push up it’s head

 

II.

 

Longing for Peace

Reconciliation, forgiveness

Starting fresh again

Prince of Peace – Come

Show us your ways

Teach us your paths

Help us to walk in the way

Of peace

A humble road

Admitting we have

Done wrong

Asking for forgiveness

Giving it

How we bungle these things

With pride, fear

Protecting ourselves

Our interests

Lay down these weapons

Lay them down

 

III.

 

How many tears

Can the oceans hold?

When will this violence

Cease?

What will stop the cycle?

More violence is not the answer!

Have we not learned that, yet?

It only prolongs and increases

The destruction and death.

We must wake up!

All must do the work

Of the farmer

Go back to the basics

Sow the seeds of peace

Tears of repentance

And forgiveness

The courageous ones

Will walk towards their enemies

With hands empty

Save for peace

This earth does not belong

To those who devour it

But to the Meek

The gentle of heart

The tide will turn

Wait for it

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wilderness

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Natural or made by man

lost, lonely, wild

road’s end

path unseen by

naked eye to

naked I

 

Forgotten, desolate

dangerous place

to be

 

Another purpose

unseen by me

greater use

of sanding, refining

turning

my waste places

into potential

gardens

where seeds of

patience, kindness,

love and joy

have room to grow

without my

interference

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Path of Love

The path of love

Gets tangled at times

With weeds of

Irritations and frustrations.

Addressing the under brush

Clears the way

For the real

Choices to grow

In love again

 

This garden does not grow

Without my attention.

Planting new seeds

Watering, weeding

And plenty of sunshine

Of course.

What does love need

To grow again

Today?

I must ask myself.

I love how

Love grows love

When I love

My beloved.

 

Categories: beauty, Faith, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Farmer’s Life

 

The farmer’s life is one of great patience.

Sowing seeds does not result in instantaneous miracles.

Although, when the first seeds sprout and break through the ground

It certainly feels like one, (which of course it is).

We just do not get to see what has been going on,

Microscopically, beneath the surface of the earth.

 

Sow people!  Beloved ones!

What do you want to see more of in your lives?

Don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeals that come your way.

They expose the unwanted seeds of destruction.

Instead, cooperate with the fire and let it burn away

Focus on the good seed at hand:

Love, joy, peace, kindness, wisdom, patience and

All the good things you see and desire.

It’s one act or response at a time.

 

Living is becoming.

Life does not stay stagnant,

We move forward in one direction or the other.

We get to choose by our sowing

Which way we want to grow.

 

© 2013 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grateful Reflections

In the wee hours tomorrow morning we will begin our journey home.  I am tired but happy.  Two months away, from where I now call home, is good for this 54 year old, mom and new grandmother.  I’ve been stretched a bit, which is always a good cure for fossilization.

My overwhelming feeling is gratefulness.  I am grateful to have been near when my grandson was born and help his parents in the first three weeks of his sweet life. I am grateful that there is still work for me to do here in these Asian lands where I have spent two thirds of my adulthood.  To see life and growth in those I have invested has brought much joy to my heart. I am grateful to continue to work with and walk along side my partner and husband of 33 years.

The dramatic Central Asian spring bursting in color and freshness contributes to my feelings of hope.  Truly life is at work in our world. Seeds push through the ground after awhile and life is renewed.  The natural world mirrors the spiritual world.  The Kingdom of God intersects with our lives on planet earth and life continues to burst forth.  It takes some perspective combined with time to see it happen.  For time and perspective I am also grateful.

Categories: borderlands, Faith, Life | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

You Spent Me

You needed me

I signed up

When I said: I am yours

You took me at my word

You asked me

Will you do this for me?

Will you go?

Far away from your home?

Take this with you: my love

I said yes

Off I went

Back and forth for 30 years.

Gave it my all

Sometimes it didn’t seem like much

Or not enough

I forgot about seeds

They surprised me

Then I remembered

Where that seed came from

You

That is why the fruit is so sweet.

 

You spent me

Now restore me

Am I being too demanding?

Maybe

You were the one who said

Ask, seek, and knock

And keep at it

Until something happens

And what about that woman

Who badgered the shady judge

Until he gave her what she wanted

Justice

Or the neighbor

Relentlessly knocking in the night

Finally the door is open

And the other neighbor

Hands over his bread

There is something about you

Always trying to get my attention

Trying to get me to talk to you

Like a middle school boy

Playing tricks on me

Until I notice you

Or you just show up

When I am not expecting you

Saying

Here I am

I love you

Ok

Please restore me

© 2011 Julie Clark

Categories: God, Love, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What Counts? Sermon notes from Galatians or Part 2: Seeds, Fruit and a New Life.

What counts?  What is important? What is God looking for from me?  How do I get there?

Paul is clearly concerned for the Galatians.  He is astonished, perplexed.  After he had spent time teaching them the Good News that faith in Jesus the Messiah was what was required, they were turning back to Jewish Laws and rituals.

5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision or uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

6:15 “Neither circumcision or uncircumcision means anything: what counts is a new creation.”

Circumcision represents keeping the Jewish law.  Circumcision was the Old Covenant Marker.  It showed who God’s people were. The males were circumcised.

What is the New Covenant marker?  (God made a New Covenant with us in Jesus)

Ephesians 1:13: “And you also were included in Christ, when you heard the word of truth the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-to the praise of his glory.”

Keeping the law, or a set of rules or regulations is not what counts.  It’s a new life of faith (which comes from believing in Jesus) expressing itself through love that counts.  This new life is the Spirit’s work in us.

How do we get to this new life?  Does it just happen?  Do we need to do something?  Yes!  We work together with him.  He does the hard part of transforming our lives.  We cooperate with him and this is how.

Here is where seeds and fruit come in.

What are these?  Seed packets!

What happens when I plant these in my garden and the conditions are good?  Good soil, water, sun, etc…. They grow!

If I plant a tomato seed will I get a thistle?

Seeds: 6:8: “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction, the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

What are we sowing?

What are the choices we make?

What do we say yes to?  What do we say no to?

These are seeds.  Our choices are these seeds.

 Fruit: 5:19-23: “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.  I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such thins there is no law.”

These fruit grow out of the seeds we plant. Good fruit or bad fruit depending on what seed is sown!

This fruit produces life or death in us. It produces life or death in our relationships.

Listen to some words of Jesus about fruit:

Matt. 7:16: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”

John 15:8: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

People marked by the Spirit of God are bearing good fruit! Our lives tell who we are!  Our words??? Do they match our lives?  Our lives count.  They show God’s glory.

In order to get fruit of love, joy, peace…… we make choices everyday to sow seeds that will grow these fruit into our lives.

We choose to forgive, rather than hold a grudge: peace and love grow.

We choose to help our stressed neighbor: kindness grows.

We choose to not react to the driver who cuts us off:  patience and self-control grows.

We choose sit on the beach and enjoy a sunset: peace grows.

We choose to comfort a crying child:  gentleness grows

It’s not easy but we start developing new habits and new habits grow and become a new life and that is what counts.

Categories: Sermon Notes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seeds, Fruit and a New Life

Bill and I met Scott in a sports bar last night.  We were there because of NBA playoffs and a bad cable connection.  Bill had been waiting all day to see the game.  So when he couldn’t fix the cable and it was a no-show for watching the game at our house we started talking about a Sports Bar.  He did a little research on-line, we pushed back dinner plans and off we went.  We walk into the bar with 4 TV’s going and men sitting around watching and chatting.  We find our little table and start focusing in on the game.  Bill brings out the moose dice he got from our 80-year-old buddy in Colorado.  He loves that game! We watch the game, sip our beers, and play a little moose dice during the lulls.  As the game is winding down Scott comes over and says, “Hey, what game are you playing.”  We invite him to sit down and we’d teach him.  Well, we never got around to that. Instead he starts pouring out the pieces of his broken life.  He has a little girl, a broken marriage, and drug and alcohol addictions. He has a Lutheran background, but where is God?  Who is He? We told him we were sent there just for him.  We never came here before and probably won’t come back. We had a message for him. God loves him and hasn’t forgotten him.  Later I wished I had added, “you can turn your life around now, today, one step at a time, God will help you.”

Scott made a lot of choices to get to where he is today.  We each make choices everyday.  Galatians talks about the seeds we sow.  Seeds are small, if you don’t look close they seem insignificant.  But if you plant a row of little carrot seeds, after a while you will get some delicious orange vegetables.  If you plant a row of weeds what will you get?  Seeds produce fruit, the fruit produces a new life.  That is what counts.  Not keeping rules and laws, but letting the Spirit help us to make good choices, plant good seeds, bear good fruit, live a good life.

At one point Scott pointed to the men around and said: “Divorced, divorced, divorced – all of them!”  Not only that but we heard in the same 24 hours several stories of divorce, brokenness, drunkenness leading to bad decisions. Ok, Lord what are you saying?

Little things are important.  Very important.  They add up to become big things. Choices I make every day.  Choices to love, to forgive, to accept, to work on relationships, instead of giving up.  Choices to be kind, to be patient, to be self-controlled, not to be angry.  We make these decisions everyday.  They add up!

For Scott

Am I lost or am I found?

If I party hardy will I drown?

Lift my head up

See the light

Take my feet out of this mess

See the path laid out for me

Drying out along the way

It’s clearer now

More like the day

If I focus I can stay

Now I see the hand that guides

I feel the presence by my side

Lead me home

I want to go

Now I see where I have been

Away from You

My wounds so deep

My heart is shattered

How can I live?

Your words bring hope

I will listen, not lose heart

Stay this course

You’ve got my back

© 2011 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, Life, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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