Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Message of the Cursed Fig Tree

Unripened Figs ~ Google Image

The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.  Mark 11: 12-14 NIV 

Yesterday while I was taking my morning walk, I noticed a fig tree covered in green fruit.  I thought of the story of the cursed fig tree.  And I came home to look it up in my Bible and think about it some more.

This story from Scripture has always bothered me.  I’ve studied over it many times.  My sympathies have been for the poor fig tree, because I couldn’t figure out why Jesus would curse that tree when it wasn’t even time for the fruits to be ripe. 

Jesus was hungry!  Oh, the humanity.  He was subject to like passions as we are. Just the thought of Jesus being physically hungry makes tears come to my eyes. 

So, I can’t see Him stopping to think, Oh, I’ll use this tree for an object lesson on the power of the spoken word!  Or I’ll use this tree as a symbol of the nation of Israel.  (Bear with me friends.)

Knowing full well though that Jesus did nothing contrary to God’s will--nothing that wasn’t it perfect harmony to the LIGHT and GRACE and TRUTH that is God’s Word made flesh--I knew there was something in this story that I needed to understand.  I can’t conceive of Jesus ever having done anything haphazardly.  His action sprung naturally from His nature as God and Man. 
So, what is the message of the cursed fig tree for us?  Feel free to share your thoughts and shed more light on the subject.  (Many candles burning together will make a bright light.) 

And in the morning, when they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.  Mark 11: 20-21. KJV

The tree had “withered away” and “dried up from the roots”. 

There seems to me to be a strong connection between this event and Jesus’s parable of the true vine in John 15.  (If you have the time, see John 15: 1-8.)

A vine that is abiding in Him will bear much fruit. 

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit…John 15:8a 

Jesus looked to the tree for fruits to serve His needs!  But when He looked, He found nothing there…it was not what He expected…there was just a show of leaves.
The tree had not served its purpose for the time that Jesus needed it.
 I pray that when the Lord looks to me to serve a need that He finds actual fruits for His use, and not just an outward appearance of fruitfulness.
                                                                       Ripe figs ~ Google image
Please feel free to add your thoughts below.  Click comment.  I appreciate what you have to say.  Thank you so much for visiting Write Moments with God.  May God bless you with an abundance of spiritual fruits for His use.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Is There Any Way To Know God?

I love this picture.  I took this in Quebec City, Quebec, June 2011.

When my twins, Justin and Jonathan, were little boys, we had an ant farm.  It was fun to watch the tiny industrious creatures forever busy running their lives.  (Yes, my boys were that, but here I am referring to the ants.) These social creatures cooperated with one another building tunnels and chambers oblivious to our watchful eyes.  In their own universe (with no way to comprehend their marvelous masters) they lived their busy lives until they died too quickly, and the whole ant farm sat strangely still.  Our perspective gave us a good understanding of them, but there was no way they could fathom us.   

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers. Isaiah 40:21-22 

Like grasshoppers! Isaiah said. That perspective mirrors our own with the ants.
The truth is God is far above and beyond our comprehension. He knows us, His creations. We may try in our finite minds to conceive of Him, but in reality we have no basis of comparison.  God is marvelous and majestic.
Is there any way we can know Him?  God made a way for us when He sent us His son Jesus Christ.
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!  Philippians2:6-8
Our gracious heavenly Father sent His son Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, to live amongst us as a man, to understand us, to be our brother, our advocate, our Savior, that we might know Him and by so doing, know the Father as well.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7

Thank God for Jesus Christ. He makes a way for us to know God and to see God.  Thank God for my Savoir.  Otherwise, I might have lived and died as clueless as a grasshopper. . . or even as an ant.
Today I hope you will take the time to consider what a great big God we have, and what a wonderfully gracious thing He did by giving us His Son. Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  Please consider leaving your thought below.  I love to hear from you.

(Those you read this blog every week will recognize this as a post from earlier in the year.  It has been very popular, so I thought I'd feature it again.)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's Time to Seek the LORD until He Comes and Rains Righteousness on You

My Gerber daisies that thrived through the storms
 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.  Hosea 10:12

It rained for eight days straight in my Georgia town, then we had a reprieve for five days.  Now it’s been raining for the last four days.  Summer showers are buffeting the earth, watering the thirsty soil.   

Sometimes it seems trials and troubles fall down on us like the rain.  A deluge of disappointments wash out our plans.  When we think surely nothing else can go wrong, the bottom falls out.  (Which means in Southern talk that it comes down like a flood.)  

What do we do in times like that?  We seek the LORD.  And patience grows.  We pray, pray, pray, and ask for His mercy.  Our faith grows stronger.  We consider the sufferings of others.  Our heart of compassion grows.   

The storm of trials has served to bring spiritual nourishment into our lives. We draw near to God; He draws near to us.  Our soul is thirsty for Him. 

And when the rain stops, the flowers appear like garlands, and the world has put on a vibrant green garment. 

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3
Birdie Lyda playing in the rain  
     ~ courtesy of Julie Roberts Lyda    
My sincere thanks to all of you who have visited today.  Please consider leaving your comments below.  I love to hear from you.  No matter the sunshine or the rain today, I pray you will seek the LORD.  He is there for you.                                                   

Monday, June 17, 2013

Who Needs Salt? Can you relate? PLUS winner of the $25 Amazon Gift Card

Salt & Pepper shakers
Jesus said to them, Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.  John 6: 32-33
I’ve been meditating on the gospel message of Salvation and the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ. God supplies every need through His grace.  The presence of Christ in us makes all the grace of God available to us, and that grace is a blessing not only to ourselves, but to others who are touched by our lives. 
 I don’t feel skilled enough to pull all my thoughts together today as I’d really like, but maybe you can take something from this and continue to meditate on these thoughts yourself.  I pray these words will be seeds which produce spiritual fruit in your soul.  Please feel free to add to this and share your thoughts.
Moses is referred to in the verse I’ve quoted from John.  I believe it’s a reference to Exodus 16, when God fed the children of Israel in the desert with manna.  Manna was food from heaven sent down for their physical bodies.  It sustained their lives.
Jesus is the Bread of Life from heaven which was sent to give life to our eternal souls.
In Our Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray “give us this day our daily bread”. Every man needs food. Just as we must take food into our physical bodies to sustain life, so must we take Christ into our bodies to sustain our spiritual life.
Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone.”  
Salvation has come to every man through Christ Jesus who is the Word of God made flesh.  We are made alive in Christ, when we accept Him as Our Lord and Savior.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
So, I read Matthew 4:4, Jesus speaking of Himself as the Bread of Life, then I noticed so many other references throughout the gospels to common ordinary things: 
Bread, water, wine, salt, seeds, grains, fruits, figs, vineyards, sower and harvests, fish and fishermen, mustard seeds, trees and vines. 
Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, lived God’s word and taught in parables using common ordinary things to teach the Kingdom of God in terms that all men could understand.  We can all relate to these common things that represent life—bread, salt, seeds, fruits, etc.  Not only can 21st century man relate to it, but the whole world from all time past, across continents and centuries. 
What brilliance!  I got excited just thinking about the wisdom of God---that He could send Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, to preach the message of Salvation and that the message will have enduring significance to all men, everywhere, from generation to generation, not only because of its Plan and Purpose and Power, but because of the simplicity of its humble presentation.
As long as time endures, man will understand what it means to be laborers in the harvest. 
Yesterday, as my family and I were sitting around the dinner table, someone asked, “Who needs salt?” 
Another one of those plain, ordinary things that Jesus used as an object lesson. 
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted?  … Ye are the light of the world…. Matthew 5:13a, 14a.
an elephant from Cambodia ~ a gift from my son
Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  You are a blessing to me.  I want to thank everyone who visited and commented last week.  I really appreciate your kind words.  For me, my writing is a ministry.  I pray you are blessed by these meditations and reflections about our living Lord and what He means to me.
Congratulations to Lisa Vanderbilt, chosen by random drawing, as the winner of the $25 Amazon gift card.  I hope you enjoy it, Lisa.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Believe God's Love and Dwell in it ~ Celebration Week ~ $25 Gift Card Give-Away ~ Winner of June's Book Give-Away

Let's celebrate ~ all images are from Google image
I hope you will bear with me today because I might seem to ramble.  I want to share a write moment with you as usual, plus there’s even more.  This is a celebration week for me, and I want to celebrate with you.  I’ll be giving away a $25 gift card as just a tiny token of my appreciation for you, readers and friends.  Plus, I’ll be announcing the winner of last week’s book give-away.  More about that after the meditation.
I figured out a long time ago that we are free to be our very best in an atmosphere of unconditional love.  Pure love, not because of anything we deserve, but because of the nature of the giver, brings out the best in us.
This revelation first came to me during a time when my small children and I were staying temporarily with my daddy between military moves.  He loved us being there with him.  Everything about us delighted him.  He loved the meals I prepared and relished our time together.  I thrived  in that atmosphere of love and acceptance.  It wasn’t due to anything I did or deserved.  It wasn’t because we were perfect.  It was due to the nature of his love for us.
There was no anxiety.
There was no self-condemnation.
There was no fear of failure.
Everything was covered with unconditional love.
Love covers all sins.  Proverbs 10: 12b
In our relationships and dealing with others, that kind of love is rare.
But, we as believers have something to celebrate.  God’s love for us is
Christ accepted death on the cross for us—for the unloved and unlovely and sinners of this world.  And the love that He demonstrated was more powerful that sin, more powerful that death, for Christ rose again to Life everlasting.  And He offers His Love to us.  (See John 3:16)
There is no greater love. (See John 15:13).
Christ has called us to share in His love.  He is our model, and He commanded us to live by the same principles when He gave us the greatest commandments. (See Matthew 22:36-40).
And we have known and believed the love that God has to us.  God is love: and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we many have boldness in the day of judgment:  because as he is, so are we in this world.  1 John 4:16-17
So are we in this world. 
If we believe God’s love for us, and accept His Love, then we can dwell in that love.
Dwell ~ where you are right now, whatever your circumstances
·         Stuck in traffic
·         Waiting in the doctor’s office
·         Short on money to pay the bills
·         Exhausted from a long day at work
Dwell in God’s unconditional love for you and cover your situation with His love.
My prayer for us is that we will accept God’s love for us, that we will realize it, and apply it to all circumstances in our lives.  You will experience yourself becoming the best you can possibly be because of His unconditional love.
Now, as promised, more reasons to celebrate.
1.  Congratulations to Jeanette Levellie, who is the winner of Michele Howe’s book, OneSize Fits All.   Many thanks to Michele for being our guest last week and graciously providing a copy of her book.  First Monday author meet and greets have been very popular this year.  Yes, I said year.
2. Happy Anniversary to Write Moments with God.  One year ago, June 13th, with butterflies fluttering in my tummy, I posted the first meditation here.  Your unconditional love and encouragement has meant so much to me that today we can celebrate
* 95 posts
* almost 700 comments
* over 25,200 visits.  
I hope you’ve found encouragement, compassion,  and strength for your journey at Write Moments with God.
3. (I suppose I have to mention that June 12th is my birthday.)
4. I also want to mention my devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea which will finally be released on July 11, 2013.  It’s already on Amazon.  If you like this blog, you'll love God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea and find it even richer and more refreshing.  Next month, I’ll be giving away copies of the devotional to celebrate its launch.
Now, what must you do to qualify for the $25 Amazon gift card.  It couldn’t be easier!  And I'll be thrilled to read all your lovely comments!
Leave a comment below about what you like about this blog.  I’ll leave the first one so you can click there.  Tell me what you will do to tell your friends and others about this give-away and Write Moments with God—such as through Facebook shares, Twitter, comments on your own blog, word of mouth.  Then, leave your email address (if I don’t have it already) so I can contact you if you win the random drawing.
Do this before 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2013.  The winner will be announced on June 17th. 
God bless you and thank you for celebrating with me.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Michele Howe, Featured Author ~ Plus Monthy Book Give-Away

Michele Howe ~

Today our featured guest is Michele Howe.  Michele is the author of twelve books for women and has published over 1600 articles, reviews, and curriculum. Her articles and reviews have been published in Good Housekeeping, First for Women, Single Parent Family, Christian Single, and many other publications. Michele’s single parenting titles include, Going It Alone and Still Going It Alone. After having undergone six shoulder surgeries, Michele saw the need for a women’s inspirational health-related book, which lead to her book, Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life’s Challenges with Strength (and Soul), released in 2010 and from which Prescription for Life is based. Faith, Friends, and Other Floatation Devices will be published in 2013 by ACTA publications.

One Size Fits All: Making Healthy Choices, Stepping into a Meaningful Life is a women's health/inspirational devotional, released in February, 2013 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.  Michele has graciously offered to give away a copy of this book to our readers. I hope you will enjoy our interview.

Michele, I’m excited about One Size Fits All.  It sounds like a book I really need to read.  Tell us about it.


·         In One Size Fits All, you will discover that much of life and health is about making good choices.  What we say yes to, as well as what we say no to, matters in our everyday decisions.  Information, no matter how valuable, remains worthless unless we grab hold of its principles and put them to use in our lives.  Each one of us determines the quality of life as it pertains to our health.  Throughout every chapter of One Size Fits All, you will discover how much influence you have over your life despite periodic seasons of setback, illness, or injury.  As you read, you will learn how every individual’s unique lifestyle plan includes making meaningful choices to build a healthy life.  One Size Fits All provides comprehensive prescriptions for life that will encourage, strengthen, and fortify you to be your healthy best, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

You are such a prolific writer, Michele.  When did you begin writing?

·         I began writing after the birth of my first child some 27 years ago.

Do you have a “guiding principle” as far as your writing is concerned?

·         Everything I write has to circle back to the foundational truths found in Scripture.  I always want my writing to get readers to take action of some sort.  As my pastor says, once you’ve listened to a message, you should ask yourself “So what?” meaning what am I going to do with the information I’ve just received?

That is wise counsel, Michele.  Do you have a favorite Scripture?

·         Yes, Proverbs 31: 8,9

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Thank you Michele.  I can’t wait to read your book. Thank you for sharing with us on Write Moments with God. 
Read more of Michele's work at can contact Michele at:

Now, for an opportunity to win a copy of  One Size Fits All:

Follow these steps to qualify for the random drawing.

1. Leave a comment on this blog (my favorite part!) which includes your email address.  I will use your email address to contact you if you win. To leave a comment, click on the pencil icon or the word comment at the end of this blog post.

2. Share this blog post on Facebook so your friends will read about it and visit too.

3. Tweet IF you have twitter, and mention the book give-away on your own blog if you have one. 

4. Become a Follower on this blog.

Complete these steps by 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 8th.   A winner will be announced here on Monday, June 10th, so be sure to check back to see if you've won. 

Thank you so much for participating in the give-away.  Now...leave a comment and have a wonderful day.