Good gifts

Once we began the process of closing on our house, I was thinking about how I wanted to do the landscape. There is a lot of work to do and a lot of plants that I need to purchase so I can get the landscape where I want it. In the back of my mind was many many plants that I wanted to have in my own landscape (like the pink peony that is pictured). I wasn’t really wanting to spend a lot on the landscape right now, because we had some other money goals right now, but I want my landscape perfect right now.

As I have worked on the landscape, I have found many of the plants that I wanted already on the property (peach trees, grapes, rhubarb, peonies, iris’, daffodils, day lilies, forsythia bush, and cool trees. So I have been busy moving plants to better locations. Also, I have had several jobs lately where customers wanted some plants pulled. Amazingly, many of the plants are ones that I was wanting to add to the landscape (four o clocks, liropes, magic carpet and bridal bush spirea, to name a few). Daily, I have been installing plants and bringing new (free) plants home. I still have plants in pots and buckets that is waiting on me to plant.

If you get some down time, come over and I will put you to work.

Through out this process, I have seen how we serve a good God that wants to give us good gifts. Honestly, I don’t remember ever asking for any of these, but God knows my thoughts and desires. Don’t forget to acknowledge God for the little gifts in your own life. All good gifts come down from above.

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Genie in a Bottle

Solomon had made a peace treaty with pharaoh king of Egypt by marrying pharaoh’s daughter. He understood that a pagan queen should not be with the Ark of the Covenant (at David’s palace), so she was brought to the City of David instead. A Canaanite tradition of sacrificing in the mountains (to be closer to their gods) was practiced by everyone, including Solomon. Solomon wanted to show his love for God by living his life like his father David did, but he continued to sacrifice like the pagans did. The Lord appeared to Solomon at night in a dream and offered him one wish. Solomon did not have a selfish heart and he realized his inexperience as a leader (only 20 years old), so he asked for a discerning heart to govern God’s people. Really what he asked for was a heart tuned to the voice of God. You know the rest of the story. God gave him a discerning heart, plus power, riches, and a chance for long life if he obeys God’s word. The interesting thing is how God’s blessing brought him closer to God. He turned from the high place to the appropriate place to sacrifice (stood in front of the Ark of the Covenant). The sacrificed burnt offerings expressed the complete dedication of himself to God. To show his joy and gratitude, Solomon gave a feast for his whole court.

If you had one wish, what would it be?
I thought about that and then I realized my selfishness within me and how my heart is not in tune with God like I want it to be. I was wishing for my own desires. I came up with a list of material possessions a mile long. (So I guess I don’t have to worry about God asking me for one wish).
Something that I want to make clear is that God is not a genie in a bottle as many claim him to be. The prayers that go with that mentality are selfish and they’re not looking to what God’s will is, but your own. What I would want you to get out of this is how Solomon loved God by walking according to God’s word. As the Lord convicted Solomon, he quickly changed his ways because his heart was now tuned into God’s voice. Because of God’s blessing, Solomon dedicated himself to God and now is walking even closer to God than before.