Blessed… What’s Your Dirt? (Part 1)

He said many things to them in parables: “A farmer went out to scatter seed. As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path, and birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it scorched the plants, and they dried up because they had no roots. Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked them. Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit, in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one. Everyone who has ears should pay attention.”

“Consider then the parable of the farmer. Whenever people hear the word about the kingdom and don’t understand it, the evil one comes and carries off what was planted in their hearts. This is the seed that was sown on the path. As for the seed that was spread on rocky ground, this refers to people who hear the word and immediately receive it joyfully. Because they have no roots, they last for only a little while. When they experience distress or abuse because of the word, they immediately fall away. As for the seed that was spread among thorny plants, this refers to those who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the false appeal of wealth choke the word, and it bears no fruit. As for what was planted on good soil, this refers to those who hear and understand, and bear fruit and produce—in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one” (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23 – Common English Bible).

Over the next five days we will be looking at “The Parable of the Seeds” or “The Parable of the Soils” or “The Parable of the Farmer” depending on who is writing the commentary and therefore giving this parable its name. Today we are looking at the first part of the parable, “A Farmer went out to scatter seed…”

Several years ago I served a church that had just built a new parsonage. My family and I were the first people to live in this house. Cindy joked, “Brand new parsonage, never been prayed in.” It wasn’t literally a true statement. The house had been consecrated prior to our arrival and I feel pretty certain there was a prayer or two said as part of the the consecration service.

As often happens with new construction homes, there literally was no grass in the yard. In an effort to change that, one of the men in the church bought a large bag of Bermuda grass seed and went out and scattered the seed for the lawn. It did work. By the time we arrived to move into the house, there was a really good start on a yard with a lot of Bermuda grass. Over the course of that summer, it became a beautiful yard.

The man who scattered the seed used a fairly ancient technique. It was probably, at the very least similar to the method the farmer used in our lesson. I am not sure if there is an official name for it, but I was taught it was called broadcasting. You grab a handful of the product you need to spread, fertilizer, weed control or in this case seeds and you, moving your hand back in forth in front of you spread the seeds.

It is a method that has no cost to it because your hand and perhaps a bucket are the only tools needed. And, it is a pretty effective way to get the job done. That’s the upside. The downside is, much like the farmer in the parable, the seeks went into places they weren’t needed. I feel pretty certain that some of the seeds went on the sidewalks, the driveway and the patio. Some may have landed in the street and the porch. That part isn’t so bad. If there is a problem with it, you can sweep it up. The other place the seed landed was in the flowerbeds. As a result, I spent the next two years pulling Bermuda grass out of the flowerbeds. Do you know what they call grass in a flowerbed? A weed! But, more on weeds when we finish talking about dirt and seeds.

The point here is, the farmer was bound to scatter some seek in places he never intended it to go, in my case, the flowerbeds. Still, most of the seed hit the desired spot and it made a significant impact.

When we scatter seeds in life, faith seeds, they may not all hit in the right spot, but some will land in the right place and they will make an impact.

Where are you scattering seed?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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