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Posts Tagged ‘danger’

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“What does this bowl say?  The Pioneer Woman?  Mom, are you The Pioneer Woman?”

“Well.  As much as I would like to take credit for that woman’s success in homemaking, no, I am not her.  But, I am a pioneer, I think, and I am a woman, so, yes, I guess that does make me a pioneer woman even though I am not The Pioneer Woman.”

The inquisitive, almost too mature to be called my little girl, girl with freckles and braids follows me into the backyard.

“You look like a serial killer with that sword.”

I cut a path and I pick a pie-filling bunch of black raspberries from the picturesque providence surrounding my fully covered tick and thistle fearing body.

“See.  I am a pioneer woman.  I cut a path.  I blazed a trail.  I made a way where there was no way.  Now, the next person who wants a berry can get one without a hazmat suit.”

I carry my sword – which, by the way, is a large machete-looking knife – and I find it becoming cumbersome as my picking is prolonged.  I put it down for a moment only to pick it right back up.  There is not too far I can go into this jungle I call my backyard without it.  If I want more fruit, my sword must remain my best friend.  I tuck it underneath my arm and I continue further back into the weeds.

“Of course,” I think to myself, “There is never a fruitful harvest without a brave, willing pioneer willing to risk being bruised by the thorns, brushed by the poison, and bitten by the bloodsuckers to make a way for others to find the fruit.  There can be no fruit -finding without a constant carrying of the all-important sword.”

Oh!  How all of life is Christ!  Fruitful Christian life is never found without a pioneering spirit.  We must be willing to go where we have not gone before.  We must be unafraid to do things we have never done.   We might even have to know people we have not known and be people we have not been.  Fruitful Christian life is never found when our sword is lying on the ground.  No matter how cumbersome and difficult that sword may prove to be, we must never fail to not only carry it, but use it, everywhere, always.  Our sword is our greatest weapon in this fallen world full of thorns and thistles.  The Word of God is our sword.

We must always be willing to risk being bruised by the thorns, brushed by the poison, and bitten by the bloodsuckers if it means making a way for others to find the fruit.  Pioneering hurts.  It is hard.  If it were not so, everyone would do it.  Pioneers are the few who are willing to take the risks, endure the pain, and go the distance so that those coming after them can do the same more readily and with the confidence of a good example.

Pick up your swords, brothers and sisters!  Fail not to carry them, everywhere, always, and in every situation!  Your Bible must, must, MUST be your very best friend if you would ever wish to find your walk fruitful.  Without it, not only will you not find your own fruit, it is likely you will not even be able to walk forward any farther.

As I exit the overgrown briars and brush, my mostly mature miniature me rambles on about her frustration in the pie crust preparation she’d  been busying herself with while I had been buried in briars picking berries.

I looked down at my bucket of berries and with my sword in my right hand and my bucket of berries in my left I thought, “Fearlessness and fruitfulness inspires fearlessness and fruitfulness.”

“Hey.  You tried.  You did something most 12 year-olds wouldn’t even think of doing.  Even if your first crust isn’t right, we will make another one.  You are a pioneer woman and pioneer women keep trying until we succeed.  We have to make a way; cut a path; blaze a trail for others to come behind us and be fruitful, too.”

I thank God today that I am no longer afraid.  I do not need to follow the beaten path made by the many and the minions.  No.  I have actually learned to prefer the road less travelled.  I don’t even mind mingling and meandering along the road where there is no road.  No matter how difficult or personally dangerous, I am confident and courageous enough in the power of my both my Sword and my Savior to do all that I am called to in cutting and clearing new paths so that others can follow Christ and find themselves fruitful, too.

Thank you, black raspberry patch. Thank you, briars.  Thank you, bugs, poison branches, and brush of all kinds.  Thank you, sun, and heat, and sweat.  Your lessons are deep and your rewards make all of you worthy of my time.

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ImageDavid was in quite a jam.  Because he had left his country in fear of Saul’s injustice and unwarranted malice towards him, he had made an alliance with his enemies – the Philistines.  He had been living among them for quite some time and had been lying to King Achish.  He was claiming to be raiding and killing his own people when he really wasn’t.  Now, King Achish has called on him to go into battle with him against Israel.  David obliges, but God intervenes.

If David would have retreated during the conflict, he’d have been in deep trouble with his new friends (who were really his enemies.)  If he had fought valiantly against his own people, he would have been opposing God and likely found himself guilty of the very sin he had so fiercely avoided all that time in the wilderness – killing King Saul.  Either way someone would have labeled him a traitor.  David was stuck.  He was a loser either way.  Watch what God does. (more…)

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ImageDavid is living among his enemies, the Philistines.  He has made Achish, the Philistine king, believe he has been fighting against his own people and become his ally in destroying Israel.  Let’s see where his self-preserving lies take him next.

In those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Understand that you and your men are to go out with me in the army.”David said to Achish, “Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.” And Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.” ~1 Samuel 28:1-2

The Philistines can’t wait to pounce on Israel – especially now that they’ve got David on their side – or so they think.  King Achish asks for David’s help, as well as his army.  David’s answer is purposefully vague.

David had gotten himself in quite a jam.  He couldn’t say, “No, those are my people” because of his lies.  He couldn’t say, “Yes, I’ll fight them” because he knew these were the people he was called by God to protect and serve as their future king.  So David just speaks without really saying anything.  He sounds like a politician. (more…)

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