July 16, 2019
Carmen observes that, “No matter what the presenting issue, the underlying issue is always God. No matter what people are dealing with on the surface, what lies beneath is a question about one of three primary realities: Identity, belonging and purpose; Who am I? Where do I fit? and What in the world am I in the world to do? Christianity answers those questions in a coherent, integrated, satisfying way that over time produces a flourishing life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control.” Carmen describes that as “the harvest of righteousness” God expects to be produced in the life of every Spirit-filled Christ follower. So, today is a good day for a little fruit inspection!
Later in the program Carmen shares, “If you were to visit my house right now I’d have to put you to work! The garden is abundant with tomatoes and other ripe summer vegetables and the orchard trees need harvesting. Nearly every flat surface in my kitchen – the entire kitchen table, counter tops, sideboard – all of them are covered with peaches that need to be processed. And we’ve already put up 30 quarts. You’d hear the constant whirring of the dehydrator as well. Our apples this year are abundant! We are thankful and grateful and it comes at the end of a lot of hard work and patient waiting. We have gone several years with no fruit at all from our trees. Late frosts, too much water, bugs, fireblight, squirrels – you name it and we’ve had it the past five years. But this year! This year the harvest is abundant!
“I hope God found us to be as grateful to Him in the years when the garden didn’t grow and the trees did not produce as we are this year – but I suspect, as I think back, we were more like the nursery rhyme’s Mary, Mary quite contrary – remember her? Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow? Have you ever wondered why Mary was so contrary? That is not how I want to be known! When God gives the growth to the garden – and even when He doesn’t – I want to be found to be content in all circumstances – as Paul describes himself in Philippians 4 – “for I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“That is the mind of Christ operating in Paul and commended to us – that in all things, in all things, we belong to Christ. He dwells within us and we abide in Him. Apart from Him we can do nothing and in Him, well, in Him, all things are possible.”
The conversations in this podcast include:
Tommy Binion from The Daily Signal and Dr. Rosemary Stein from the Christian Medical and Dental Association.