Saturday, March 28, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 3/29/15

Shade Tree Wisdom 3/29/15
          In our Lenten journey we are nearing the end. The Gospel of John reports many words spoken to His disciples. Among them these from chapter 14.
“Let not your  hearts be troubled, you
Believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions,
If it were not so, I would have told you
That. I go to prepare a place for
          Also the famous Vine words.
“I am the true vine, and My
Father is the Vinedresser.
Every branch in me that does not
Bear fruit He takes away, and every
Branch that does bear fruit he
Prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
…as the branch  can not bear fruit of itself,
Neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
          When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and He said. There in John chapter  seventeen follows His what many call His High Priestly prayer. This prayer just before He died is so comforting and inclusive to all Christians because he prays for us, for you and me. Listen: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who believe on Me through the word”. (v.20)
          So comfort and strengthen one anther trough Jesus Christ, our blessed Savior.

GPD 33/29/15

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 3/26/15

          In my last post I quoted Ecclesiastes chapter 5 at some length.  God also added that there ”is nothing better for man than to be joyful and do good as long as they live,” for this is “God’s gift to man”. (5,12)

          So, how can we work this direction (Command?) into our busy lives?
Lives that seem so filled with things that there is hardly room left for simply quiet joy.

          A recent study shows that many car accidents happen where teenagers are involved because they are phoning someone and become distracted.

          The WSJ recently carried an article titled, "In Germany, the benefits of rest and quiet Sundays”.  It calls it the ”Sonntagsruhe”, which means “Sunday rest”. The article mentions the fact that businesses are not open because their workers need to rest as well.  The Sunday rest is given to family visiting, eating in the park, going for a swim, and simply relaxing or visiting.

          I remember doing that on Sundays.  After dinner, we might visit with parts of the family.  The men often strolled over the farm, discussed various seeds and planting methods, and simply enjoyed the growing farmland.

          Why don’t we use God’s gift to men for our own betterment and enjoyment?  What will hurt if you spend a Sunday without the usual busyness?  This is “God’s gift to man” as Eccl. 5,12 says.

GPD 3/26/15


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 3/24/15

          Remember the words of this hymn:
“Because He lives,
I can face tomorrow,
Because he lives,
All fear is gone.
Because I know HE holds the future,
And life is worth living because He lives.”

          In view of that truth life does make sense, for all things happen in life according to God’s time and it is always right on time.

          Ecclesiastes tells us in chapter 5, 1-8:
“For everything there is a season, and
A time for every matter under heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die.
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to  lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.”

          “He made everything beautiful in His time. (v.8)

          So there is complete sense to whatever happens in our lives.  Take that to heart and your life will be richly blessed in His time.

GP 3/24/15

Friday, March 20, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 3/20/15

“While the earth remains,
Seed time and harvest,
Cold and heat, summer and winter,
Day and night, shall not cease.”
Genesis 8,22.

          That was God’s immutable covenant with Noah, and in God’s ordered way here it is Spring again, and we hear people say, “I am so tired of winter.. “  For many, especially along the East coast, it has indeed been a testing time.

           But life has a way of going on, and we see the end of the testing race called the Iditarod, a Trail sled dog race run 1000 miles across Alaska and ending in Nome. This year won for the third time by Dallas Seavey, who beat his father to the finish.

          We read an item about the event, and pass it off because we really are not interested.  But a bit of thought shows us the effort, the long hours of practice and preparation, the careful attention to every detail, because dogs will pull the load those 1000 miles.

          That is a picture of life, and behind it all is the promise God made with Noah.  The covenant is still in effect, and March 21 attests to God’s sure promise.

          The other promise God made to the world is this,” He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved.” And that is enough for me.

GPD 3/20/15

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 3/17/15

  The Bible begins with this: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.  Genesis 1,1.

          And when St. Paul writes of the faith, he says “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible…all things were created of him and for him”.  Colossians 1,16. 

          And the more we learn about this creation, the more amazing it becomes.

  Have you ever seen a sand hill crane.  They gather by the thousands on the Platte river in Nebraska eating seeds which fell during harvest and gaining about a pound during the 4 weeks or so they spend there before migrating from the southern United States and Mexico to the Rockies, Canada, Alaska, and Russia.  They fly about 500 miles a day and travel up to 10,000 miles in their annual migration.

  The event that strikes me is that they fly their routes without getting lost.  In his poem “To a waterflowl”, Bryant has these lines:
“He who from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
in the long way that I must go alone,
Will guide my steps aright.”

  That points to the marvel and exactness of God’s creation.  He did not change or tinker, God got it right the first time.

  And let me tell you that comforts me no end.  Doesn’t it you?

GPD 3/17/15

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 3/11/15

          Spring seems to be getting closer.  The good news is that we have received the normal amounts of rain so far, so maybe the severe drought is behind us.  And the Houston Rodeo and Livestock show is in full swing.  The interesting thing there is the show is attended by some 2,000 cattle buyers from 50 countries, all seeking to upgrade their cattle.

          For me as a Christian that news is interesting, but I do always remember that years are taking their toll, and often I see so many things that are simply wrong.  I write Shade Tree Wisdom now and then with comments on the passing scene.  I try to avoid politics, except to urge prayers for “those who are in authority”, as St. Paul teaches us to do.

          As the years pass, I think so often of the hymn:
“Lord, when the shadows lengthen, and night has come,
I know that you will strengthen, my steps toward home.  . .
So take my hand and lead me, until the end.”

          St. Paul writes in Romans 13, 11: “Understanding the present time, the hour has come for you to wake out of slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.“

          “The night is far spent, the day is at hand, let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let put on the armor of light.  Let us walk honestly as in the day. . .and put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think how to gratify the sinful nature.” Romans 13-12.

          May God bless your living so.

GPD 3/11/15

Friday, March 6, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 3/6/15

The Collect for peace

          O God, from Whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give.  That our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness.

          Through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

                                                                   LSB pg 233

GPD 3/6/15

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 3/5/15

          This is the final paragraph of Lincoln’s second inaugural address.
“With malice toward none, with charity for all,
with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the
right, let us strive to finish the work we are in,
to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him
who shall have borne the battle
and for his widow and his orphan,
to do all which may achieve a just and lasting peace
among ourselves and all nations.”

          It may be good for us to read these wise and almost poetic words and think deeply of their meaning in this year of 2015.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Shade tree wisdom 3/3/15

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence,
And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy Salvation,
And uphold me Thy free Spirit.”

The Offertory LSB 192

GPD 3/3/15