I want to go out and wallow around in it. We had some little showers over the weekend. We went to Palo Duro Canyon and camped Friday night and it was sticky and muddy up there. I thought we had missed it again, but this morning it started raining and came a good 2-2.5" rain. That is the biggest rain event we have had in almost 2 years! We have not had 2" total the last 6 months combined.
Too late for the wheat, but a good start on for summer crops.
...........changing gears now
I am working on an illustration for our Saturday Sonshine program at church and also I hope to use at Bible Camp too. I can do a trial run here and see how it goes. It works like this: I will have clear solo cups, one empty with a picture of a heart on it. Three others with rocks, sand, and water. On the three cups I will have the "fruits of the spirit" labeled on them. I will slowly add the products starting with rocks, and finishing with water. With the idea that there is always room for more. This is a little rough but it is basically my notes:
Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Why do we need all these qualities in our lives? We want to fill our hearts with these good qualities so there won't be room for the bad qualities. When I say fill our hearts, I am talking about our personalities and attitudes. The way we interact with others and the qualities we are known for. We all want to be known for good qualities don't we? So lets fill our hearts with each of these.
(start adding rocks)
Love It is the most important. If we start out with a good abundant supply of love for others, we won't have room for hate or insensitivity towards others. We won't be mean or hurt others. The word love here is not talking about love like a man and woman or a boyfriend and girlfriend love each other. It is an intentional love where we do what is best for others first. Even if they are unkind to us, we do not behave unkind to them in return. We forgive them and love them because they are still created by God and he wants them to be saved. Put more love in, less room for hate and unkindness.
Joy When we learn to be happy with our situation in life there is no room for disappointment. Less room for sadness. No room for jealousy. Maybe we have a friend that does better in school, or runs faster than us. If we are filled with joy we will be happy for them and share in their accomplishments. If we are filled with joy we will be happy for what God has done for us and will look at a life filled with opportunity instead of burdens.
Peace Who likes fighting all the time? Who likes conflicts? Who likes worrying about the future all the time? Nobody. We are going to concentrate on filling our hearts with peace. The kind of peace that a life with Christ can give. When we know we have treasure stored up in Heaven, we won't worry about our financial situation so much. We won't worry so much about the little unimportant things of today. We push those worries out as we let Christ and His promises give us inner peace.
(ask if the "heart" is full, start adding sand)
Longsuffering Patience. We need patience every day. From the time we get up we have to extend mercy to others when they don't behave like they should. We won't be rude to others that cut in lines or take advantage of us. We won't give up on others that are trying to do better. It may take many years for a grumpy neighbor to become a friend. If we cultivate patience in our hearts we won't give up on others. We won't give up on God when we need His blessings.
Kindness If we are filled with kindness we can be very useful tools in God's kingdom. We can help bring His blessings to others. Sharing our food with those that are hungry, sharing our time with those that are lonely, saying the right word to brighten their day. If we don't practice kindness we are selfish. We hoard our treasures like the foolish slave in the parable of the talents. If we fill our language with kind words there won't be room for unkind words.
Faithfulness Being faithful is being reliable. Dependable in big things and little things. A faithful person makes a promise and keeps it. People can depend on us to do the right thing -always. We are not wishy-washy saying one thing then doing another. We tell the truth even though it is difficult at times. We are always there to encourage our brothers and sisters in the church. And if they share something with us privately they know they can trust us to not share a secret. Faithful to God means we won't say one thing on Sunday, then live a different way the rest of the week.
(ask if the "heart" is full, start adding water)
Gentleness Do you always seem to be fighting with your fellow students or your brothers and sisters? Do you always have to win an argument at all costs? Do you always want to get the last word in? Even if it means hurting others? Do you just blurt out criticisms of others not considering their feelings? You probably need to work on adding gentleness to your attitude. Proverbs says a gentle word will turn away anger. A person may be angry with you, but you can resolve the issue with a gentle word. Stopping the battle before it ever starts. A gentle person will be the first to say “I'm sorry” when they know they have made a mistake and upset somebody.
Self-control The world is full of people that are out of control. Just watch the news and it is filled with people that cannot seem to control their actions. People consuming alcohol and drugs, eating the wrong kinds of food, spending too much money on worthless junk, having babies they don't even really want, saying things they wish later they could take back. God wants us to be in control. He doesn't want us living a life of chaos. Self-control takes practice over time. When we let God guide our lives Satan can't cause us to spin out of control. Listening before speaking, fasting, eating healthy foods, saving money, staying sober, maintaining sexual purity, exercising, prayerfully considering your actions beforehand is maintaining self-control.
When we “walk in the Spirit” we will develop these fruits that will bring glory to God and help us be pleasing to Him. If our life is full of the good qualities there won't be room for the bad qualities. We shouldn't consider these qualities a burden, but an opportunity. Or another way of saying it, liberty and freedom to live the abundant life. Just like when a person learns the qualities of a good driver, he has the freedom to travel safely where he wishes.
Suggestions? I have another powerpoint I am working on that I would like to open up for critique also. I need to finish it and figure out how to share it through this blog. I think though it may be too long and complex to do. I'll have to think on it.