The children and I are working through the New Testament in the mornings. It is a very slow go as it takes me about a week to get through one chapter because we talk about it… a LOT.
Many times our reading will lead into other studies, such as it did last week. We’ve been reading about the sower, which lead to some study on roots, seeds, growth, etc… and what 60 fold and 100 fold meant.
I will warn you now, this is turning into a very sentimental post, so bear with me…
Last week while the children ate lunch I read to them Mark 4.
”The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
Our discussions moved into the fertile soil of our heart and the importance of the person sowing the seed. Which led to me sharing with the children my first time being exposed to the Gospel.
I did not grow up in a Bible believing home, but for a few years when I was about 8-10 years old, God did allow me to be in the home of a Bible believing babysitter. She was an older lady who kept several children in her old, yet nice upstate New York farmhouse.
She would talk about God, about Jesus, not in a preachy way, just in her everyday conversations. I remember when she’d play her organ and how I was mesmerized by it. There was something that just went deep inside me when she’d play those hymns.
I remember one time her telling my mother, “God has something real special for her.” Oh my, to this day I still remember how that made me feel inside, it was as if someone had blown a trumpet to my soul.
Now, 40 years later and understanding Reformed theology, I can look back and see that her love, her music, her home, and her speech were bearing witness to my spirit, the fact that God had already chosen me, I just didn’t “know it” yet.
It was during these brief years that my parents did take us to Sunday school some and this is when I said the famous sinner’s prayer. I meant it with all my heart, yet had no idea what being a Christian was about. I just knew I wanted what Gladys had.
Shortly after this our family moved again. We didn’t attend church much- maybe once a year on Easter. I had no discipleship… didn’t know I needed discipleship, yet I always had this longing for more, I just didn’t know what the more was.
Fast forward to after Jeff and I married and we moved south. We visited a church with a friend where Jeff accepted the Lord. Our life since then has been a slow, gradual growth.
I was explained to the children how God used Gladys, my faithful babysitter, my Bible believing babysitter, to plant seeds in my heart. God was the one that gave me the rich soil in my heart for that seed to sprout and take root.
Gladys Newton was a simple woman who opened her home to children. A simple woman who just did her work at home and bore witness as she lived.
I also loved Gladys’s husband Herman. He worked the night shift and would come in as we children arrived. He ALWAYS had a smile on his face… always! It was his kindness that drew me to wanting more.
I kept in contact with Gladys on and off after I was grown. After Jeff was saved and we had a few children….and I had begun to fall in love with Jesus, I wrote Gladys to thank her for her faithfulness. I wanted her to know that God indeed did have something very special for me…HIMSELF.
Gladys and her husband are now seated at the Lord’s table feasting together.
As I think how she planted that see in my heart I am so overwhelmed by grace!
At the risk of sounding prideful and I do not take any credit, but that seed has produced 100-fold if not more! From my years of teaching Sunday school, Bible studies, Keepers of the Faith clubs, Domestic classes, our Living a Legacy conference, giving radio and magazine interviews and this blog hundred of more seeds have been planted. I have seen much fruit bloom.
God is faithful!
Last Saturday, 4 of my daughters are out working hard to help raise money to send a friend to Peru on a mission trip. One daughter is a Bible believer and about to have a baby, another daughter helps women in crisis pregnancies. Another daughter who is only 10 works lovingly to serve her family with joy everyday.
God is faithful.
My heart is overflowing with gratitude and humility that God would CHOOSE ME to have a heart of rich soil.
This simple woman loved her husband, and he adored her.
She managed her home well.
She loved children.
She never sought to toot her own horn. She’d be shocked to know her name is being blasted around the world via the internet!
God used her at just the right time to impact my life. Seeds that took many years to take root and even longer to produce fruit.
God is faithful.
The thing is, how you live your life today does matter.
Your choices, how you spend your days, the seeds you plant… will the bring forth much fruit?
Where and what are you planting?
You may plant seeds and never see the fruit, but God does.
Don’t waste your time chasing the wind.
”…and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” 1 Thess. 4:11-12