The Sower Newsletter November 2023
Quotes of the month
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner.
God & Country &
It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
It is my constant anxiety and prayer that both myself and this nation be on the Lord’s side.
The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men. Without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.
The Bible – the one supreme source of the revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God and spiritual nature, and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation. America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.
Our greatest danger is not from invasion of foreign armies. Our dangers are that we may commit suicide from within by complaisance with evil.
Without God, there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience; without God, there is a coarsening of the society; without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.
Time is Fleeting
By Pastor James Merritt
So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
One of the greatest football coaches of all time was Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama. When he died, his family found a crumpled, yellowed piece of paper in his wallet. He had obviously carried it with him for years and had folded it and unfolded it and read it many times. It said, “This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is very important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving something in its place that I have traded for it. I want it to be a gain, not a loss; good, not evil; success, not failure, in order that I shall not forget the price I paid for it.”
We are living in tumultuous times. It seems everywhere you turn there is conflict, arguments, contention, or strife. I believe, however, that there is one truth on which we can all agree. No matter our race, gender, political or religious views we can all agree on this: Time is one of our most precious limited resources. Most of us struggle to fit all of our responsibilities into busier-than-ever schedules. “Time is money” is a widely held belief. Important documents are deemed “time-sensitive.” Most people understand the importance of time.
Although most of us would agree that time is important, oftentimes we fail to remember that it is also fleeting. There are only two ways for us to use the precious resource of time, and this is wisely or unwisely. Thankfully, God has not left us on our own to figure out how we should use our time. In Psalm 118:24 God says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Here we learn that each day is a gift from God, a day that He has made and entrusted to each of us. Our response to His gift should be joy and gladness. We don’t have to wake up when the alarm clock goes off; we get to wake up! Think of the alternative.
Psalm 90:12 teaches us that numbering our days can lead to a heart of wisdom. Numbering our days means living with the realization that our days are numbered. God doesn’t want us to live in fear or dread at the brevity of time, but rather to live with a spirit of gratitude for His gift of each new day. Viewing our time in this way will help us to prioritize what is important instead of being ruled by what seems urgent at the moment.
My notes from The Sermon on The Mount by Emmet Fox, written in 1938.
This has been an enlightening read for me. The explanations of all the key phrases of the Beatitudes. And then Fox’s interpretation and insight on The Lord’s Prayer is remarkable; to the point that when you recite the prayer in the future it will never be the same for you. It will have much, much more meaning; you will say it slower, it will actually touch your heart instead of just going through the motions, as I know I was prone to do in the past. I highly suggest getting a copy for yourself.
Jesus explains to us what the nature of God is.
All the doctrines and theologies of the churches are human inventions.
Prayer does change things.
Divine wisdom is the author of the Bible.
I disagree with Fox’s view that Adam and Eve, and the Garden of Eden, are just parables.
Your life’s experiences are but the outer expression of inner thought.
Our free will lies in our choice of thought.
Matthew’s chapters 5, 6, and 7 contain the best and most complete version of the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 6:9-13 – Lord’s prayer.
Matthew 7:12 – the Golden Rule.
The Bible is a manual for the growth of the soul.
Jettison everything in your life that stands in the way of finding God.
Get rid of your fear of public opinion, of disapproval of relatives or friends.
Pray for wisdom and guidance.
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
The soul’s integrity is the one and only thing that matters.
Paraclete = Holy Spirit.
Neglect your past negative thoughts and they will fade away due to inattention.
You write your own history of tomorrow by the thoughts you entertain today.
Jesus calls your consciousness the Secret Place.
Pray for wisdom and guidance.
Whatever you give your attention to is the thing that governs your life.
Your free will lies in the directing of your attention.
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Wisdom is the perfect blending of intelligence and love.
The Fatherhood of God – what a great phrase.
Axiomatic = self-evident.
Raison deter = the most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence.
When you pray, claim that Divine intelligence is inspiring you.
Once again, Fox brings up The Practice of the Presence of God.
Fox’s interpretation of The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer is a compact formula for the development of the soul.
Since God, our Father, is Divine Spirit, so man must essentially be Divine Spirit, too.
Our Father, not my Father, indicating we are all children of God.
Heaven is the term for the presence of God.
Hallowed = holy, whole, wholesome, heal, healed.
God has glorious and wonderful plans for every one of us.
Man’s wrong thinking brings upon himself all his troubles.
It is the will of God that we should all lead healthy, happy lives.
Our daily bread signifies the realization of the Presence of God.
To live in the past is death. The art of life is to live in the present moment.
You must forgive everyone who has ever hurt you if you want to be forgiven yourself.
Setting others free really means setting yourself free.
Pray daily for wisdom, understanding, purity, and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
When you pray, say God is inspiring me.
When you are doing any task, think that Divine Intelligence is working through me now.
As a Reminder…
Isaiah 58:13 – 14, “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
However you want to label it, The Sabbath, The Lord’s Day; whether you choose Saturday or Sunday, you must honor the Lord and give yourself a rest. You will not know the feeling of how close you can get to God and Jesus until you literally just stop “doing” for a day. Read, pray, spend time with the family, just “be” and see how you feel. It is rewarding, calming, relaxing, and peaceful. You will struggle at first, but please, just give it a try. Reflect upon the wonders of God’s creation, be grateful for what you have, and recharge your battery. You will feel amazing and rested, ready to take on the challenges of the upcoming week.
What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.
For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord; so turn, and live.
Amos 4:1 – 6:14 are similar to Revelations 2:18 – 3:6.
I beseech Thee, my most gracious God, preserve me from the cares of this life, lest I should be too much entangled therein; also from the many necessities of the body, lest I should be ensnared by pleasure; and from whatsoever is an obstacle to the soul, lest, being broken with troubles, I should be overthrown. Give me strength to resist, patience to endure, and constancy to persevere. Amen.
“God doesn’t require us to succeed, He only requires that you try.”
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