Monthly Archives: May 2015

Seasons: plant and uproot

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear 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 throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The Bible says there is a time appointed for everything. Two of the appointed times are to plant and to uproot. To me these represent a look at seasons from an agricultural point of view.

A Time To Plant

IMG_4833When something is planted the whole intent is to provide a crop, cover, replace, or to add beauty. In Biblical times most likely the purpose was to plant food for survival.
I think of a time to plant is very intentional. We see unintentional planting in vines, flowers, trees and ground cover that grow on their own without being planted by man.
The planting described in Ecclesiastes 3 was an intentional act. It was an act that required three specific thoughts for planning that would yield the right harvest. The planting had to be planned correctly with the thought toward the desired harvest.

Plant for a specific return

What was planted would be the first consideration. If the desired harvest is tomatoes, then you plant tomato seeds. If you want corn, then you plant corn seeds. If you want watermelon, then you plant watermelon seeds. The seed will bear what was planted. They would also need to determine how many seeds to plant depending on the yield of the number of people that needed to be fed.

Plant at a specific location

One of my favorite parables Jesus told is the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13. There Jesus describes four different kinds of soil where seed has been scattered – the path, rocky ground, among the thorns and the good ground. I could go into great detail about what happens to seed when planted in these different areas, but suffice it to say that the good ground is where seeds have the best chance to grow and mature into healthy plants.

Plant during a specific time

Lastly you have to know when to plant seeds. Almanacs and old wives tells give a great amount of speculation into the correct time to plant certain plants. You can plant too early and the spring frosts might damage the plants, or if you wait to late the summer heat will bake plants that are not yet matured. So depending on the crop there is a window of opportunity to give the plant the best chance for growing and maturing correctly.

A time to uproot
Another way to say in common English terms would be a time to harvest. Some plants you just take a portion of the plant (like blackberries), and others you uproot and take the whole plant (like lettuce).

Knowing the correct time to harvest a plant is important as well. A plant might hurt our stomach if we harvest before a plant is fully matured. On the other hand if we wait too long to harvest the yield will either spoil or be eaten by insects and animals. Here again there is a specific season to harvest depending on the crop.

Planting and uprooting into relationships

I think these lessons we see in agriculture can parallel to the interactions and relationships we have in everyday life. We have to be sensitive to the right time to act or say something to a person. We have to be sensitive to the season people are in, and how we interact given the outcome we desire.

Too often I see people, and myself, say something to somebody with the right intention. However; the consideration of the whether it was the right time or season to act is not always considered. These times of planting and harvesting into a relationship should be carefully considered.

On the good side of uprooting is the harvest of a loving relationship with someone. Where the actions you both have planted into each other multiply a return – a relationship where trust and servanthood benefit each other.
You also know there are times when you have tried to plant into a relationship and it just will not mature. In those cases I think we need to either accept it will never get deeper, or try to patiently invest time and listening skills to develop the relationship.

Be mindful of the seasons in life and you will reap a bountiful harvest!

Brag on my Wife

JohnCindy McCloudMtnDo you know who I can brag on the easiest? Me. I know all about me, and I know the great things that I have tried to do with my life. If you would just listen and see what a great guy I am you would agree as well.

Now in reality, the conversation above happens in my head at times – subconsciously of course. But in reality, I cherish myself more than anyone else. Or at least I appreciate myself more than anyone else – and so do you.

As a husband I should be consciously giving those same accolades to my wife. I really should not be bragging on me – I need to brag on her. I do so because I am to love her just as I love myself. I should not brag about me, but I certainly should her.

The Bible says: So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. Ephesians 5:28-30

So I should brag on her because she is a part of me. I need to nourish her with my words. I need her and others know that I cherish her.

I believe there are at least 6 different people that need to hear me bragging about my wife.

The first and foremost place I need to brag on my wife is to her directly. She needs to hear the words of affirmation that I love her. I need to nourish her soul with positive words in private and in public. Like a plant needs water to keep it healthy, I need to water her with uplifting words directly from me.

Her family
Her family needs to hear me lifting her up and complimenting her. I made the mistake of chastising my wife in front of her parents the other day, and later I felt so bad. I had to go apologize to her that night. My negative words were bad for her and her parents – nobody was encouraged. Her family needs to see that I cherish the baby girl they raised into a woman.

Our Kids
I need to model lifting my wife up with my words in front of our kids. By doing this they see the correct model of a marriage. They also see that I honor her and respect her, and will expect the same attitude from them. As the leader of our family I also set the correct attitude of my family by lifting up my wife.

Our friends need to hear me brag on my wife. Not overly bragging, but positively giving her compliments. It steers our conversations in a positive direction, and encourages them to do so with their spouse.

My coworkers need to hear me brag on my wife for a couple of reasons. First when I brag on my wife I announce to other women I come in contact with that I am a taken man. Flirting and advances from other women quickly stops when I give positive light to my wife. The second reason is for me to be an encouragement to others in their marriage. I think we all have times that we could use some encouragement in our marriage.

Of all the people who need positive reinforcement about how great my wife is – I am the one who needs hear it the most besides her. I am the one who sees her flaws – I smell her early morning breath, I hear her complaints about work, I see the struggles with family and friends, I know where she hurts and why. So there is no doubt that I need to focus on the great ways she cares for our kids, how humble she is, how giving she is, and that she really tries to respect me as her husband and the covenant of marriage that we made.
Shoot – if nothing else, she is the only one who has to put up with me! So kudos to Mrs. Grigsby!

So how are you bragging on your wife or husband? If you are not sure – ask them. Your spouse will be the first to tell you if your compliment bank is full or empty.

If it is empty; try setting down and making a list of the great things about your spouse on a sheet of paper. Then find a way to communicate each one of those positive attributes of your spouse.