The Apple Tree

 

apple_trees_how_to_prune_a_tree_Rocky_Mountain_Fruit_and_Vegetable_Gardening

 

Somewhere at the back of my mind there was a quote bothering me.   So I popped into Google to find a lead or two.  I came to the realisation that our language and literature, even be it a simple quote, may well be in a state of transition.   For the most part I found quotes from Steve Jobs of Apple computer fame, and other computer geeks who have transported us into another realm of language.    Words don’t mean what they use to mean.   And stories are in danger of becoming the fake news of the day.   My, how the world has changed.   We have evolved into another era.

The closest I came to finding the right words for the quote was by Robert Schuller:

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God knows how many apples there are in a seed.

I remembered, the quote I couldn’t find, went a little further and spoke of apple trees and apple orchards.

Apple orchard

This analogy of the apple tree speaks to me of exponential potential growth, and it was something I wanted to share with my children.  Not that I have experienced it, only heard of it, but do know that generosity is a key to unlocking prosperity, and freedom from ‘the clutter of life’
Generosity as a principle of life, can unlock doors of wealth, and more so, a generous spirit.

I had recently listened to a debate on TV by a group of young Black people, who having endured the hardship of poverty, were now either educated or had well paid employment, asked the question “should they have to pay Black Tax’ – as they called it.   Black Tax is when children give back to their struggling families, help to ease the poverty and also help the remaining siblings at home.   Some were unreservedly for it, some a little reluctant, and some refused to pay back. The culture of giving creeps into the African-centric adverts on TV too, when you see a son buying his elderly Black mom a stove or a fridge.  And often you hear how the well- to-do grown up children take pride in buying a house for their family.
Of course it depends on the individual, there is no legal law that says it must happen – except the law of the heart.
And when appreciation has been nurtured, and generosity has been learnt, giving happens more easily.

I grew up in a time when saving was the smart thing to do.   There is nothing like having a little something in reserve for a rainy day.  At that time, it was just plain common sense, because eventually your money works for you – and not you for your money !!
When we went through our ‘ financial struggle years’ I resolved to start a small savings account, and made minuscule deposits.
I called it my Apple Tree account.    And for a long time it was partly dormant, and then very slowly began to grow tiny roots.   Whenever I could I would ‘water’ my Apple Tree with a small deposit.   It began to grow and now even has some apples on it – which I pick and enjoy from time to time.

My children, bless their hearts, have out of love, been watering my Apple Tree too, with generous deposits, that have caused my tree to flourish.    I am grateful for the apples that I can pick from its growth, but more, much more, I am delighted with their acts of generosity, that I know will stand them in good stead in their years to come.
May they too plant their own Apple Trees, and continue to cultivate the fruit of generosity, and see the benefits of it, for it says in Luke 36:8

Give,  and it will be given to you,
good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over
will be put into your bosom.
For with the same measure that you use,
it will be measured back to you.   

apple-tree-1

Minding Moses

 

Words have the power to create pictures in the imagination.  Let me show you what I mean.

As an eagle stirs up its nest
Hovers over its young
Spreading out its wings, taking them up
Carrying them on its wings 
Deuteronomy 32:11

 

Eagle nest

 

My favourite preacher once linked this Scripture with Genesis 1:2

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

 

Eagle 2

Again, a picture, implying a sense of a brooding or hovering Presence over a situation, like an eagle with its huge wings over and above and on high, waiting and keeping watch.
It is a comfort to know that God hovers over us, He is ever-near, and especially so in times of need and disturbance.

My imagination got a hold of this picture, and it got me thinking about the concept of brooding and hovering, and then the writing, and the mind, and abilities of the person who wrote these words – Moses.

So, ignited by the words of my favourite preacher who had painted a picture of an eagle brooding over a nest of her chicks, who were about to be disturbed from their comfort, and taught how to fly,  led me to read the whole Song of Moses  from the book of Deuteronomy 32  – and that is when I became more mindful of Moses.

Observing the lives of the people who have walked and talked with God, and although it is their experience, it does open up little windows into knowing more of God, other than our own experiences.

If you carefully consider him you will find his story is an epic story of enormous proportion.    What caught my attention was that Moses had written the first five books of the Bible.     Genesis, which begins with the creation story, is amazing, so amazing !    How did Moses know all this, how could he write all this down.   What knowledge and insight he must have had at that time.

In case you don’t know, or do and only need to be reminded, Moses was a Hebrew baby, born at a time when all male babies were to be killed and thrown into a crocodile infested river.   Be he was rescued by an Egyptian princess, and raised in the palace of  a Pharaoh.    Egypt was rich powerful and the centre of  skill and knowledge.  Moses, growing up in the palace, had access to all this, and was held in a position of high esteem.
The Hebrew people were brought to submission and fell under great oppression by the Egyptians.   Moses, a man of justice and integrity despised oppression came to the rescue of a beaten Hebrew slave-man, and killed the harsh slave-driver, but had to flee to the back end of the desert to survive.

There he spent forty years in the wilderness to get the self poured out of him.   He had, after all been a man of great, knowledge, power and wealth, having the best of the best at his finger tips.
Solitary and isolation will do the trick of diminishing the self.
Then a burning bush caught his attention, and being attentive to the voice of God, it sent him back to Egypt on a mission to deliver the Hebrew people of God from their enslaved bondage of oppression.

It was from Egypt that the great Exodus proceeded to bring the people of God from being prisoners to freedom,  from slavery to the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Is there a hint of another spiritual story of deliverance here, was this not too the mission of Jesus ?   A shadow parallel story of deliverance ?
If viewed as a literary work the Bible story is outstanding at linking themes and events in a prophetic way, to bring the whole narrative of God’s story in one woven way to an eventual conclusion, in other words there is a beginning and an end, and many many stories in between.   Even, I suspect the story of me and of you woven into the grand tapestry of His artistry.
But I will leave that thought for now.

However back to the man Moses.
Moses knew God, for how else could he have accomplished the huge task of leading and organising thousands of men, women and children, and their livestock out in the desert.   He set up a tabernacle, with tents, utensils, patterns and designs and all the details of what is required to create a place of worship.
Perhaps the tabernacle and the foundations of the temple of God in heaven, as a replica on earth ?  Just another thought !

He gave us the Ten Commandments – and the  laws to live a practical and meaningful life.    He wrote down moral, legal and social laws to live by.   He wrote down the history of the journey they had undertaken.
It stands today for us as a micro chip of what our own spiritual journeys may entail.     So much we can learn from minding Moses.

He wrote the book of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.   He was a great scholar and a great writer imparting the wisdom of God to the people of God.   Setting the very bases of the Jewish faith, a people of faith in God, the first foundation layer of the Christian faith.

The Song of Moses gives glimpses of the reverence Moses had for God, for he knew Him for so long, and so well, and had accomplished what God had called him to do.
Moses was such a man of faith !
He performed powerful miracles in the courts of Pharaoh, and the land of Egypt, to persuade a stubborn ruler to let the people of God go.  The plagues of Egypt that have a reflection in the book of Revelation.
He knew God at the parting of the Red Sea.  Now just think of that for a moment, stretching out his rod over the waters, and they part so that dry land is found for the multitude to cross over.  I know we know the story, but do we stop long enough to think on these miracles ?
When the complaining people longed for the delicacies of Egypt, Moses prayed and God provided manna, and quails from the sky, to still the cravings of old appetites.
When they came to a place of thirst, Moses struck a rock and water gushed out, so the people and their livestock could drink and be refreshed.
Moses knew God as “I AM WHO  I AM”  –  whatever you need Me to be, I AM.

In the closing verses of Deuteronomy 34 Moses is acknowledged thus :
10.  But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face
11.  in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land,
12.   and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

Of all the great men this world has even known, I think, Moses must surely be one of the greatest, and we would do well to be mindful of Moses, his story, his words, and his walk with El Shaddai, the Almighty God.

The  Song of Moses

Ascribe greatness to our God
He is the Rock.  His work is perfect,
For all His ways are justice
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.

No wonder he could pen the words of the song, in Deuteronomy 32 – ascribing greatness to God, for he knew God in His wrath,  and knew God in His mercy.

 

angel feather

Let there be light

bright sunrise

“Darkness  comes before light”  intriguing words  spoken by Teddy an African photographer, taking amazing photos of the wildlife in Botswana”…. said the insert on the TV  programme I had watched.   Intriguing indeed for me, as I have recently been investigating the subject of light.

What is light ?   There are many interesting levels to the concept of  light;  my play on opposite words searches hard to find an understanding  e.g.  light or darkness,   day or night, morning or evening.   And of course on another level the opposites of   truth or lies, right or wrong,  good or evil, knowledge or ignorance put another spin on Light, -which also needs to be explored one day.
One thing is for sure, there is a clear distinction between Light  and Dark, yet these two opposite dimensions can run parallel to each other.

So what actually is light ?           images (4)
Wikipedia says :


“Light is electromagnetic radiation within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.  The word usually refers to visible light.

The electromagnetic spectrum :  infrared rays,   ultraviolet rays,  micro waves, radio waves and gamma rays.
Like all types of light, visible light is emitted and absorbed in tiny “packets” called photons and exhibit properties of both waves and particles.

Our whole universe is covered in darkness, yet were it not for the light we would never know it !  Light makes all the difference.   Without light our material world would not exist.  Therefore light is imperative to our existence.

Quantum Physics’ String Theory says  “every form of Matter or Energy is the result of the Strings vibration”   Ref : http://www.louis-delmonte.com
I’ve also read somewhere that “all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration.”

As far back as 2008, I became inquisitive about the universe and quantum physics – this just through an email I received from a friend, on the subject titled : Keys to your Quantum Leap.   It was an article written by David van Koevering.  Here are some snippets from the email.

“Years ago, as a young scientist and inventor, I worked with Dr. Bob Moog and together we gave the music world the first performance keyboards called Moog synthesizers.  I learned to work with electrons and photons – tiny elements that are so small they can’t be seen !  Yet these invisible elements cause all electronic devices to work.  This project caused me to ask the question, ‘Is there more to our universe than what I can perceive through my senses?’ ”

He  continues ….  “1 Corinthians 1:28 says, “… God (has) chosen…things which are not (the invisible) to bring to nought things which are (the visible)”     This Scripture makes sense only when you understand it at the atomic and subatomic level.   Everything is made up of atoms, which are frequencies of energy.   These frequencies of energy are the voice of Jesus causing all things to be !   Atoms are made up of subatomic particles, and subatomic particles are made up of superstings (which are toroidal vortices of energy).
Superstrings are tiny donut shaped packets of energy that spin at a frequency – or sing as in a pitch.” 

This rang true for me and lined up with one of my very special Scriptures.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.   For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
All things were created through Him and for Him.   And He is before all things and in Him all things consist.      
Colossians 1: 15-17
Could this be a place where Quantum Physics lines up with Theology ?

the-more-i-study-science-the-more-i-believe-in-god-albert-einstein-religion-quote.jpg
I have been thinking hard and long on the subjects of Light and Darkness.   Now darkness is even more intriguing than light because seemingly even the brilliant minds of quantum physicists do not yet know the whys whats and wherefores of darkness.
You will find a little more on my inquiry into darkness – if you click on God Calling in this Blog’s menu bar.

I think the words of Teddy, the African photographer are more accurate than he realises “darkness comes before light”  Perhaps Teddy also reads the Bible for it opens with these verses :   In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep……

The electromagnetic fields of atoms photons electrons, waves, vibrations, frequencies, pitch, and all the brilliant quantum physics stuff,  to me,  all point to sound (light) – which is energy.
The genius and enquiring  Einstein puts a whole lot of ‘light on the matter of our universe’  (chuckle !)   –  with his famous formula
E = MC 2   Energy  is equal to Mass multiplied by the Speed of Light squared.

But how did light come to be ?  Where did it originate ?    According to the Bible light was created through spoken words, – (sounds vibrations pitches) by the Creator of all Matter.

Then God  said,    “Let there by light”  and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness…… ”    Genesis 1:3

The Big Bang occurred  and the platform for our physical material world was set up for the history, not only of the cosmos, but for our planet Earth, and for our world down through a l l the ages.  All put in place for a special reason and an intended purpose.   The scene  Space-Time – our Universe – was set in motion; and it began with sound vibrations – creating light, creating matter, creating life.

So God used quantum science to create our universe ?  I think yes, for how else would we mere mortals be able to come to know Him or understand His unfathomable wisdom?

Essential for understanding, a part from knowledge – which is a form of light,  is revelation – a deeper form of light.
Revelation means   “… the making known of something that was previously secret or unknown”   Ref http://www.en.oxforddictionaries.com

By putting a spotlight on the first verses of John 1:5  more revelation is given

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   He was in the beginning with God.   All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.   In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.   And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Words are for communicating.   A communication system was put in place.  How else will we clearly communicate with each other.  Words are essential for any form of faith, development or advancement;  and especially so too,  communication with the Creator of the universe.  He is not so distant, and has a desire to communicate with His creation.  He has a desire to tell us His story of restoration.

The Light and the Word are found in the person of Jesus Christ,  all wrapped up in one mystery, a hidden secret in full view for those who want to see, want to hear, and want to believe the Word of God,  –  the story of our universe on display through the brilliant mind of God.   Oh wow,  how amazing is that ?

Yet, there is still so much we don’t know.    So much the quantum physicists could fill in for us as they come into new light of scientific knowledge.   Until then, it is Faith that will carry us on to the time of revelation ….  and resurrection.

 

cosmic cross

Resurrection ?   A new start, a restoration.   The cross of Christ is another beginning of another sequence in the here and the now and the hereafter, of the unfolding story of God.  A story He has written with tiny you and tiny me in mind.  A story He started when He spoke our universe into existence with these words
                                                              ” Let there be Light “ 

lit candle

 

Speak the Word, and light a candle in the dark.

Wishing all a reflective Easter season as we look to the Cross of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world,  Who died for us that we might be a light in the darkness.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOOKING FOR … PEACE

 

images.jpg PEACE

What is Peace ?
If I know what I am looking for I might be able to find it.

Before I further explore Peace may I just mind fully state I believe Peace is found on the high mountain tops of the spiritual life.  I cannot do justice to the beauty and magnificence of Peace, and will not even try, I merely want to simplify what a sense of Peace is, what it means to me, and provoke others toward it too.  For we all want Peace in our hearts.

So what is Peace ?
Peace is a sense of knowing that everything is going to be okay – no matter what the circumstances of life dictate to me.  Peace is linked to trust, no fear or insecurities welcome. Trust is linked to faith, faith is linked to Almighty God.   I, for one, need to know that there is something much bigger and more powerful than the I, me and mine. That Power is God, who loves me and has my back!  It’s going to be okay!  So life can throw its diversities and devastations at me, but because of the Peace of God, it’s going to be okay.  He knows, He sees, He cares, and believe it or not, He is in control.  It’s going to be okay!  Peace is knowing and trusting the God who created me.

But where do I find it?  Peace starts in the soul.  At best our souls are in a state of disrepair, empty, often bruised, sorely fragmented sometimes even broken and lost. That is why soul-care is so important.  Don’t neglect the soul – and be mindful of the souls of others too.  Words, said or written, can cause havoc to the soul.  “Sticks and stones can hurt my bones but words cannot harm me” –  is just not true!  Words have consequences !

Peace – wholeness of being, this is good soul health, and good soul-keeping will be required.  So, slow down, less hurry, live simply and simmer in the Scriptures to come to know God ... and the Peace He offers as a gift.
Peace  I leave with you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you.        Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.   John 14:27
In other words, don’t worry, don’t be anxious, or fearful because …. everything is going to be okay !

But I need a little help here.  Peace is far more than that.
Judy Pohorille,  a friend from a writing group I attended some years ago, coincidently sent me this message on Peace – so timely, that I need to  include it in this post.  It captures Peace far more eloquently than my technical version of it. She is a remarkable woman, who writes beautiful crisp crackling English prose and poetry.
Judy has seen and known much suffering in her life and therefore I suspect can fathom the depth of Peace far more than many.   Here is her writing :

“There is a part of the sea known as “the cushion of the sea”.  It lies beneath the surface that is agitated by storms and churned by wind.  It is so deep that it is part of the sea that is never stirred.  The ocean floor reveals evidence of having remained completely undisturbed for hundred, if not thousands of years.   The Peace of God is an eternal calm like the cushion of the sea.    It lies so deeply within the human heart that no external difficulty or disturbance can reach it.  Anyone who enters the presence of God becomes a partaker of that undisturbed calm.”

The peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7.

StnNuVLbpURtBxJxTpC4QYmm (1).jpeg Ocean bed