I don't know where all of you live, but let me tell you, autumn has been most welcome here in central Texas! The temperatures have cooled off a bit, and we've received some very much needed rainfall. As a boy growing up on a dry land wheat farm, I can remember my father standing on the front porch of our country home just rejoicing as he watched the rain.
Four years after I finished college, I moved back to my home town of Mangum, Oklahoma, where I continued teaching guitar lessons, earned my master's degree in education, and taught school for 7 years. More importantly, I had the opportunity to spend quality time with my dad, my mom, and her father, whom I had named "Paw Paw."
As I look back on that time, I count it a great privilege to have been able to spend over 5 years with them while I was a young adult, before I got married and began to have other responsibilities. In the summertime especially, I was able to work side by side with my father, who was a role model to me in so many ways: a great provider, a Depression-era man of few words, and a follower of Jesus.
As I mention in my book, it's hard to put into words the feelings of satisfaction that come from reaping a harvest. I don't know much about crops other than wheat, but it was something special to operate a combine and watch the wheat stalks pile onto the header, to see the wheat bin as it filled, and then to augur the wheat into the grain trucks, which took the wheat to the elevator for storage and sale.
I think that being reared on a farm made it easier for me to understand many of Jesus' teachings, since he used so many agrarian-based parables. I truly pray that all of us will realize that it's harvest time now in God's Kingdom. Each of us has a purpose to fulfill and a role to play, a unique role that God planned especially for the set of gifts that He gave us. I hope your desire is like mine: when I stand before God, I want to hear Him say "Well done," not "Well?"
One of the impediments to spiritual harvest is the spirit of division: men vs. women, black vs. white, Democrats vs. Republicans, liberals vs. conservatives. First of all, it's important for us to realize that things like "racism" and "sexism" are just symptoms of the much larger problem. The enemy loves to divide us any way he can. So for us as Christians to be effective citizens, and yet not to get sucked into all of the political arguments that engulf us these days, it's especially important to have a transcendent worldview, as opposed to a "left" or a "right" worldview. Day 28 of Today's WORD on Money™ explains the differences between these 3 points of view. I hope you'll not only read it, but memorize it so that you can share it with others.
Hear me out on this: Jesus didn't preach a gospel of this party or that party, and He didn't even preach a gospel of salvation. He preached the gospel of the Kingdom. Yes that most certainly includes salvation, but far too many Christians have stopped there (if they even went that far!). Then they wonder why new converts "backslide," or why their communities are ravaged by various social ills. On the other hand, "do gooders" who try to help those in need without including what Jesus said about salvation shouldn't wonder why billions of dollars thrown at problems over the last 50 years have brought us no closer to a solution.
For more information, please visit the following link. The first 20 pages alone were some of the best things I have ever read on this subject:
I hope you all will seek the Lord over the next 3 months, asking how He wants each of us to be a light during Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. If you will pray for opportunities, I know you will experience the joys of harvest. And please email me if you have something you'd like us to help you pray about.
I also have a prayer request. I'll soon begin a weekly radio and a weekly television show. They will be called "Enriching People's Lives," and I'll be covering a wide variety of topics. Please pray that I will get out of the way so that God can say and do what He wants to accomplish during these broadcasts. And please let me know if you have a topic or a guest that you would like me to have on the show. It looks right now like we'll be able to record the shows and place links on our website so that you can replay the shows anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
Please let us know if we can serve you or someone you know, and please feel free to share this information with others (see below)!