Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

Life Source



We live in such a big, big world, and yet so many feel alone, really alone.  So, what is going on?  How do we walk through each day interacting with people at work and at home, yet there’s disconnection?  In Proverbs 12:3 a vivid picture is painted: You can’t find firm footing in a swamp but life rooted in God stands firm.

Have any of you been in a swamp before? Once you get in it’s very hard to move. It can be hard to see as well; it’s murky.  And, with each step that you try to make forward, it feels like you are sinking further down. There is nothing solid to hold onto.

This is what happens in life when we start a relentless search for meaning in things other than God. The result is being alone and disconnected, in other words being in a swamp without firm footing.

I’ve done this.  I’ve tried to grab onto things, people, money, knowledge, tasks, abilities, etc only to discover that if my footing is not rooted in God, deep down I’m alone and disconnected.  Why? because I’m standing on the wrong things for my security. God has to be my Source.

So, I began to ask myself the question, “If I didn’t have ________ would I still be okay?” I worked through the list, and I still work through it, until the only thing I’m not okay without is my Source, God.  The rest is not firm footing.

Where are you placing your feet today? Who is your source?

When You Have Good Soil

But the seed in the good earth--these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there's a harvest.

Luke 8:15

One of my favorite things as a child was to roam my Grandfathers garden.  He had a very large plot of land where he spent the majority of his time tilling the earth and planting seeds.  His harvest of beautiful vegetables and lush fruits were always free for the taking. I especially enjoyed the red ripe tomotoes right off the vine.  

The soil in my Grandfather's garden was very good!

In the Bible when Jesus talks about good soil He is describing an honest and good heart.  The seed that is planted in our honest and good heart is God's Word. A heart that is honest and good has a trusting relationship with Jesus, and the ability to soak in His Word comes quickly, and holds on to it with the belief that good fruit will grow.  What is some of the fruit that is produced? Faith, perseverance, self-control, love, and joy etc

Good soil does not waste the Word that is planted, but examines everything carefully, ponders it, and meditates upon it. The Word that is so deeply planted in the good soil grows and gives great hope and conviction for things yet to come.

How is the soil of your heart today? If it is not healty, rich, and beautiful then the seeds that God plants will not be able to grow, they will die. Just like my Grandfather's garden needed rich nutritions soil to grow an abundant garden, we too need the same.








source: Havilah Cunnington/Radical Growth

When Your Soil is Thorny

Other seed fell amoung thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.

Matthew 13:7

Changing can be a hard process. Has God ever asked you to change something in your life, and you've been hesitant to let go? Slow to obey? I have.  It's not easy to let go of old habits, and when God asks us to change our ways there are times that change is not complete. When this happens, our old habits and sinful ways become hidden deep down inside of us, rather than renewed and transformed.  This is thorny soil.  Everything looks clean on the outside, but deep down where the roots are it is not cleared out, and weeds are still growing.

Some things may look harmless so we continue to hang on, but the key to ridding your heart of the thorns that crowd out healthy roots is to obey God when he tells you to leave that habit behind. 

This is what a thorny heart may look like:

-You happily receive God's Word and the process of renewal, but it is not complete

-You start out well, but your ability to follow through spirituallly is poor

-There are things that God has asked you to walk away from ( addictions, relationships, sin) yet your response to God has been slow, or you simply won't do it.

What are some of the thorns that might be crowding your life today? Will today be the day you offer your entire heart in obedience to him?











sources: Havilah Cunnintonn/Radical Growth


A Heart in the Rocks

Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.

Matthew 13:5

The heart that lives in rocky soil is cluttered.  Have you ever painted rocks?  I have.  Actually, I like to paint words on rocks, mostly because I love words.  Hearts that live in rocky soil have words painted all over their rocks, words such as: worry, anger, bitterness, fear, offense, pain, unbelief, and victim.  As time goes on, this heart continues to collect more word rocks and the soil becomes more and more cluttered making it very hard for anything to deeply set its roots into the soil. When a fresh Word of life is laid on the pile it is happily recieved, but before long, the Word if covered with lies as it becomes buried under the cluttered rocks that gather around it.

When a seed is planted in rocky soil the roots are very shallow and they cannot hold up under pressure. When hardship comes, and they do come, they are ripped up out of the ground and blown to and fro by the wind.

So, what are the words that you have on the rocks in your soil?  Does offense take up your energy and your space?  If so, ask God to rewrite that word.  What about unbelief?

If your heart is in rocky soil you may be

---having a difficult time with forgivness on a regular basis

---feeling weary from disappointment, pain, and offense

---you've been following Jesus for a long time but unable to experience him deeply.  

Jesus wants to have a deeply rooted relationship with you, and he is the Master Gardener.  Ask him today to help you clear away the old rocks, and write new words on the rocks that need to stay.












Source: Radical Growth/Havilah Cunnington

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