[CF Devotionals] 2018-06-06 - Changing the Landscape

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If you spend enough time outdoors, it becomes clear that the terrain you cover is very diverse. Whether it is in a vehicle, in a building, in the air, or on terra firma,* the differences are noticeable. As I have been in my own part of the ecosystem at our current residence, I have been more aware of the terra firma of our yard, when I am doing mowing, trimming, planting flowers, or pulling weeds. Over the past ten years, I have particularly noticed the development of erosion, which is a natural result of weather and its effects on the land. A friend once pointed out some steps which could be taken, to assist in reducing the speed at which the erosion would take place, and to assist in increasing yard growth, with the effort on our part being minimal. These steps include aeration of the soil - either by hand or with a larger machine to do the job, addition of grass seed and fertilizer, and then the introduction of some seemingly insignificant amounts of topsoil on the surface of the ground. The result, while appearing to be a progressive crawl, will be significant, in due time. I have begun by aerating with a manual aerator (increasing oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide, to increase plant growth), adding some sand and topsoil to help ground better absorb water slowly, as well as building back the surface, too. Next, I am going to add seed plus more soil, to those aerated places, in hopes of securing new growth of turf and making erosion more sluggish. My friend - who spent quite a bit of time taking care of lawns - mostly on golf course areas, introduced ideas about changing the landscape, for a healthy lawn to pervade.

To walk on firm and even footing, in many ways, we need to have a well-cared for landscape, both literally speaking (our bodies) and metaphorically speaking (our minds), too. Doing so requires consistent effort. If we change directions, and there’s a sudden drop-off rather than a slight change in slope, then we can slip - and we must start over. When we take the time to properly aerate, seed, fertilize, add to and maintain the surface, the better our chances are of getting to the next place we are to serve. As children of God, we read so many explanations given by the Father, in the form of parables to do with farming, and this idea of growth on land. It was a way he knew he could connect to his people, through their own specific knowledge in daily living. As I have cultivated our yard, in order to be a good steward of the provision of space, in turn, it has dded to my understanding of how God wants to change my landscape, too. I believe he wants me to be aware that I am multilayered and am fully capable to complete this part of His plan, with his strength and knowledge combined with the individual idiosyncrasies that he saw fit for me to have. In turn, I can change the landscape of someone else’s view of eternity, which to me, although paid at a huge Godly sacrifice, is priceless.

“And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them; But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:3-9)

“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:” (Colossians 1:22-24)

“These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:14-16)

* According to Webster’s new twentieth century dictionary unabridged, 1983, 2nd edition, this means firm earth; solid ground.

Deborah Durrett

[email deborah] cfpraydeb@gmail.com

All scripture references are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.

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