One night we were at the prayer room that was over the bank at New Town. It was one of our last Watch Night services in that space. We were all sitting and listening to music and praying. I had been reading the parable of the sower from Matthew 13. I fell into a trance and I began to see this parable play out in front of me. As I looked a man was walking and I began walking behind him as he scattered seeds from a bag. I followed him as he walked next to a path sowing seed that was very small. We went on and he threw seed in a place that was rocky and a part that was thorny. I followed as we began out across a wide field like the great fields of the Midwest. As I looked around, I remembered the Scripture. The strange thing is that it was not the same. I looked down and there was a bag of seed on my waist. It had very tiny seed I knew the seed was clover. Looking back out over the field the clover was budding everywhere. Green began to spread over all the places the seed was sown. Everywhere I looked I saw green coming up. The seed was too small for the birds to get to. The thorns were beginning to wither the rocky ground was overtaken by clovers. There was no way to tell the field from the bad places. Red flowers began to rise all across the field as bees came to pollinate them. As I stood there watching the scene, I began to think of what this all meant. I was reminded that clover can draw nitrogen from the air and make soil fertile. Clover is often used to under-sow which means farmers can use it to choke weeds out and fertilize the crop around it. I heard the sower say I redeem all things.
Jesus is redeeming this parable. He is moving through the Earth and the “Sunday crowd”. He is sowing spiritual clover. There are many in church pews whose heart has become hard from life’s worries. He is sowing clover into every little crack to break the hardened places so that life comes again. The seed is too small for the birds to get at. Clover makes fertile ground in fallow fields and is the farmers blessing. He is under-sowing clover into His harvest to choke out the weeds and add fertility to the roots of the wheat. The red flowers are a movement that is spreading over the World. They are leaders and communities in small places like prayer rooms and tents . They are rising up as the clover spreads and multiplying the clover field. The bees are His Holy Angels bringing the nectar of our praise to God as a sweet and holy offering to Him. This collection adds to the seeds and the seed to the field.
I wrote this in late 2012 and have been thinking I would like to post old journals so I can develope the thoughts and visions.
If we all attain disciples for Jesus, we become more like Him. Jesus gives us clear understanding that, we are to attain disciples and bring them to Him (John 16). If every person discipled three or four young people, and if those young men did the same, it would not be a revolution it would be a revival. This is Birthmark we must carry this mark and understand that any of us can disciple another. There are many risks but, proper teachers raise proper disciples. We must take on The Armor of God and produce fruit. Spiritual fruit is not just what is brought forth in our own lives but, in the lives of others. We must cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit in our disciples and point them to Christ. Are we discipling others into Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Self- control? Our goal should be to trace our lineage, as the Orthodox do, to the disciples of old.
The modern Apostle may look very much like Paul in that he is the starting point to many unlinked branches of discipleship. A renewal and revival in the church would be most effective if congregations looked not only to be disciples but, to disciple others. I do not think it presumptuous that a person could disciple another if their gift is not teaching. The disciple may grow closer in their walk by learning from those with similar gifts. This is true when those gifts are used to bring contact with the Holy Spirit. As gifts are used the Holy Spirit brings fruit through presence. This may bring the disciple of a wise person strength in their gifts.
The past week has been filled with fun, reflection, thankfulness and as much food as allowed by law. In the midst of giving thanks I often think over how I got to where I am and why we celebrate the things that we do. With this in the back of my mind I logged onto Facebook to see what people were saying and doing. Reading post after post from my Virginia friends revealed that there is more to our Thanksgiving tradition than meets the eye. This creates a mostly one sided sibling rivalry between Virginia and Massachusetts. Virginia claims the first government sanctioned Thanksgiving in the British colonies, while Plymouth gets credit for inspiring the modern holiday.
Settlers landed at what is now called Berkley plantation, in Charles City County VA, on December 4, 1619. Expressly stated in their charter was an admonition that the day be, “kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” This first decreed Thanksgiving was not about feasting but a day of prayer to be held every year to honor God’s provision and protection in venture that would someday become the United States.
The table décor at my mother’s house tell a different story though. This is the story of the pilgrims and natives who celebrated a strong harvest in the fall of 1621. The pilgrims found that after their long journey they had produced more than enough to last the winter months. They celebrated their success with native allies near the time of Michaelmas in September 1621. This celebration was not a state holiday until 1676.
Although the stories differ in time and place the pilgrims like the Virginians celebrated God’s provision and protection in their new venture. This stands as a strong reminder that even in tough circumstances we can find reason for praising Him. With this in mind I hope you are going into the Advent season as I am remembering Psalm 100:4.
“Enter into His Gates with thanksgiving, and into His Courts with praise: be thankful unto Him and bless His Name”