Poor Bloggy! I pray you can empathize with me as I have been swamped with company (summer + Okanagan Sun) - these are the sweet days of summer which seem oh so busy now but like tins of fruit from the pantry on a cold winter's day in the future be jewels in our minds.
What I'm trying to say - is that we must consider what things in our lives are important, which things are the FRUIT in our lives, that when they are coming ripe simply must be dealt with. Relationships are like fruit. If we don't tend to them, nurture them and then harvest (eg: spending time with freinds and family) then they simply wither and may eventually die. Or people in our life die, sometimes unexpectedly and often we find that afterward we desperately wish we had invested that extra bit of time into their lives, rather than followed things that did not matter so much.
This week the peaches are coming on. I had it in my mind and was quite confident that they would not be ready for a few weeks yet but suddenly the orchard is being HARVESTED and this means no matter what other plans I may have made I must put them to the side and plan to can.
As I am obedient to the 'call of the canning jars' my mind is called to the bible and what we are told of THE HARVEST". I am so grateful that even my most minute daily activities are addressed in the WORD and each time I perform the seemingly simplest of tasks that God is present in each one. Here are some of the scriptures I located and some areas I have studied in the Bible to ponder on while I do my 'physical' canning:
Mark 4:29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
IN GOD'S TIMING:
John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
Genesis 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Jeremiah 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
THERE WILL BE A SPIRITUAL HARVEST - BE READY!
1 Samuel 12:17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.
BE WILLING TO LABOUR:
Matthew 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
DON'T BE LAZY!
Proverbs 10:5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.
GOD HAS THE POWER TO WITHOLD THE HARVEST:
Amos 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.
PATIENTLY WAIT FOR HIS HARVEST:
James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
THERE'S JOY IN THE HARVEST:
Psalms 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
AND TOO, GRIEF IN THE HARVEST:
Isaiah 16:9 Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh: for the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen.
Joel 1:11 Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.
AND SOMETIMES A PUNISHMENT FOR SIN:
Isaiah 17:10-11 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips: In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
SHARE OF YOUR HARVEST:
Deuteronomy 24:19 When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.
Leviticus 19:9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
Leviticus 23:22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.
GOD'S PROTECTION (as dew) IN THE HARVEST:
Isaiah 18:4 For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.
GOD'S REFRESHING MESSAGE IN THE HARVEST:
Proverbs 25:13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
Do you have any thoughts or stories you may care to share about the topic "harvest"? It can be scriptural or not, a poem, photo, story - whatever you like. You are welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I also would like to share a testimony regarding this blog! In my last post I was sort of frumping about not feeling up to being obedient to post but I have been very encouraged from different sources since then. I have recieved some emails which proved to me this blog really DOES make a difference, even when I can't see it sometimes. Thank you for taking the time to let me know we ARE staying connected here, no matter if everyone is as busy as I seem to be. I am looking forward to more 'get togethers' at our church now that school is going back in - look for some fun plans in the future!
I especially was blessed to talk to Lillian Wood yesterday and she began to share with me how much she misses our church family and how our OCC blog is ministering to her. Lillian moved to England to be near her husband Matt's family just about a year ago. When she began to share with me I encouraged her to write a post for our blog, and here is her message she would like to share with you! (besides her request that I take photos of YOU ALL at church this Sunday for her!)
Thank you Lillian for your beautiful poem and message - we miss YOU and your family.
In my darkest moments,
When I felt such pain and confusion.
There was only one place I could ever go for help.
When I was hurt or lost.
When shame was my only face.
I knew one door would always be open.
There at the OCC.
Despite the trials dwelling within.
When strife flew through the heart of its very being.
I still knew I could find a place of rest.
In the people of the OCC.
When my heart was glad.
When I wanted to rejoice in a happy moment.
The first place I wanted to share it.
Was with you at the OCC
To replace that church is impossible.
To even describe those bonds I hold inside..indescribable.
For my heart is there.
With you at the OCC
Hello My Family :)
Being asked to write what the OCC means to me has been quite a trial. I first thought I'd tell you about arriving in Osoyoos when I was 12 , testing out a church or two before settling there. I thought I might tell you about my experiences with the people, with the Sunday school or how I felt when each Pastor left. But, as I wrote I realized that nothing that has happened in that Church has anything to do with my attachment to it.
I love that Church, despite its trials and the hardships it went through. I love it so much and its because I connected with the people inside. Sure, I loved the Sunday School and I loved the Youth and I loved the Pastors. I cried when each one left, I rejoiced when new hope came with another. But my heart lies with the people who helped me.
And that is why the OCC means so much to me. When I needed a word because I was heading down the wrong path, when I needed a hug because I was hurting ...it was there and I never had to say a thing. I can remember entering the church with a burden inside, a burden that I was too scared to say or ashamed to admit and I never had to say a word. God knew and he knew just who to send. In the kind smile of a friend, in a hug that said 'Hey..I care' or even in a good kick up the bum from someone I trusted. It was all there and it never failed. Even if I didn't go every Sunday, even if I missed because of work or because I was having issues with my Faith..when I did go there was such a welcome. When I was asked how I was, it wasn't a false front just to be polite and to ask out of courtesy, it was real. I knew it.
In all the years there are so many great moments. Great moments that I hope others get to experience. Yea, okay..the church hasn't always had the most rocking music and perhaps it's not the most 'hip' place to worship but its got the one thing that counts. That church has people who truly care, who truly want to do God's work which makes such a difference. Just having a handful of people who pay attention is ten times better than having a church that's popular. That made my life better. I've made some dumb mistakes, I've disappointed a lot of people but I have never felt unwelcome. I have never felt that I was unable to stand up and look those people in the eyes. They never condemned me, they never looked down on me..they simply loved me.
How could ever repay that? Is it possible? I've fashioned so much of myself out of those people. So much of me is a part of the OCC. So much of my heart is there. I just wish I had done more to show it. Then again we all have regrets. I always wished I had made the time to help out, to volunteer at the Spaghetti dinners or whatever else was going on. But then again that's part of growing I guess. Learning to take the time to show what you really care about.
Ladies of the OCC, those of you who have known me for twelve years...you're like my second mothers. You are so dear to my heart and being this far totally sucks. I will conquer this Ocean! I will! I am determined! Its too far and I loathe it. I hope I can find a church that connects with my children just like I did with that one. Keep it up! And for those of you who I haven't met, who are new in my old home, welcome. Put your feet up for this place will provide for you. Your needs will be met, your voice will be heard and in time your prayers will be answered. For God is there, his people work there and his voice resounds.
I love you all.