The heart of a father

“My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands;” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:1‬

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And after all…

Was reflecting my first 10 years in my new homeland Sweden. Besides the fact that the language is still a bit of a struggle for me and the culture in many ways can be quite a struggle or better said a confrontation, it has been some amazing and challenging years.

Coming from a nation of communication, meeting and greeting, I had to except that other nations have other habits and qualities. Digging in the dirt of what confronted me, I found some amazing qualities of the people of this nation. Qualities that I began to like to the level of adapting and excepting. I love the people in many ways that learn to deal with seasons of extreme cold, darkness and lack of the fruits of the field. I understand the still strong effort to prepare the wood in spring and summer in order to be warm in the winter. Continue reading

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Why Are My (Garden) Seeds Not Growing?

Have you ever wondered why your seeds failed to germinate properly? Seeding too deeply, planting in cold soil, extremes of watering, improper soil preparation, birds or squirrels and poor seed are the most common causes for seeds failing to germinate.
Probably one of the most disappointing things in gardening is to have prepared the soil and sown the seed, only to have a partial or complete failure of germination. Here are a few of the pitfalls you can overcome by seeding properly.
One of the major factors in seeds not sprouting properly is planting them too deeply. As a rule of thumb, no garden seed should be planted any deeper than three times the diameter of the seed you are sowing. In the case of some seeds, they should not be covered with soil at all. Therefore it’s very important that you read and follow directions on the seed packet. Generally, packet information will suggest proper planting times, locations, planting depth and proper spacing of the particular types of plants you are seeding.
seeds growing

So far the article I was reading to see what could be wrong in the garden…

I loved the surprising moment hitting of these profound words and I hope you have the same little smile on the right (or left) corner of your mouth as I noticed myself reading this revealing article. It goes on about the how and the why and the when of the problem of growing fruit in due season but… it helped me to get back (and deeper) to the Culture and Climate problem I have been addressing for the past few posts.

Let me say first that I am not, and please hear the out loud NOT, just speaking to an audience (distant from myself), addressing “church” issues! No, I am addressing and even finding answers to my own situation, my everyday around me issues in order to get hold on the things that seems have been there forever. We sing, talk and proclaim NEW almost everyday, we long for the NEW, the fresh, the fruitful and yet we still experience the things that grew from an atmosphere into a culture. The situation that mindsets (unwillingly) became a voice in the arguments and causes you to get so disappointed that you don’t even dare to touch the theme again. You find yourself avoiding subjects, creating answers that makes you craftily sailing around the cliffs.

A garden has a culture of its own and it is the climate that creates it. The wind, the rain, the humidity, the shadow and sun, the position, all issues that define a climate and with it, the garden “works” with it in it’s culture. Families can be or, let’s be honest, are like that. But what works for a garden is not meant to be for a social structure. Yes, there influences that define the nature of a social community, but other than “gardens” we are called to be in control, to subdue since the human “culture” is as much under the influence of The Fall as the gardens we create. Mainly the reason why Jesus was addressing those issues was, because of the fact that they limited the people to see and enter the Kingdom way, the “Culture of God”.

We are not supposed to create or maintain our own culture but to reflect the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, which is by definition in contrast to the manmade rules and regulations.

This one confronting sentence at the end of the article made me so sad: If your seeds germinate and then the young seedlings wilt and die, the problem is likely to be… and they confront me with the responsibility of not dealing with the wrong culture before “trusting” the seeds to the soil.

The young seedlings wilt and die!” 
Wilt- plant, leaf of flowerbecome limp through heat, loss of water, or disease; droop.• person: lose energy, vigour, or confidence 

Most of the time we understand that we must be willing to change the garden culture because we get frustrated of the fact that our costly investments do not pay off, but when it is about the costly Seeds of the Word, invested through Death and Cross and Forsakenness, we are so ignorant and even unfaithful as Jesus would address it.

For the parents, the teachers, the (youth)pastors, let there not be the blame that we are ignorant of the Word and so, irresponsible with the Seed!

For the Sake of the New, let’s not spare the soil, the culture we created but ask the Lord what it would take to create a New Environment that will hold and multiply the Seed into the Fruits we have been praying for so strongly!

After all, what do we have to loose in a dying world!

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This foreigner…

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (‭Luke‬ ‭17‬:‭15-19‬ NIV)

It is one thing to be a lepard, but what made him different from the other nine was the fact that his nationality was “Samaritan”! The words Luke describes the situation has such a deep impact: and he was a Samaritan… and even Jesus rubs it in by making a strong statement: …this foreigner!
Lets be honest, those words suggest that “being lepard” was not the issue, but being a Samaritan, a foreigner, that’s something different!
No, no, this is not about me, living in a different nation, but it helps to identify the feeling. The moment where we all (together) long for this change/healing but at the end…

Where the 10 found each other in the physical condition being removed from “the city”, at the end, where the “skin disease” was healed, the real issue stayed and wasn’t dealt with. Some how the culture background, the things that comes with the “nationality” is harder to get healed of than the “little problems” we carry with us. That’s why Jesus so specifically emphasized the “foreigner” issue. Remember that the things He mainly addressed was about not being a citizen of this world but of The Kingdom of God as the nine just went back being Jewish! Where the one guy had nothing to loose as the other nine probably had!

I see healing entering the nation, physical healing where we go on the streets and get bold enough to talk to the people and ask if we can pray with them. A great and wonderful phenomena that speaks of faith and boldness.

I hope it will be more than just an other hype that leaves the people just being “Swedish”, but that we all, the “healers” and those in need of healing will deal with this real issue, this thing that can mix the being “christian” and being “national/cultural bounded”!

The Samaritan was impacted by the Kingdom, He received the Kingdom attitude since he already was a foreigner and had nothing to loose! The other nine in contrast went back to life, to familiar, to normal and missed the Kingdom message.

Jesus’ intention is never ever to heal us for the sake of healing and than let us go back to normal. Like Moses, who’s intension was never to just get them out of Egypt! Moses’ only and one calling and desire was to bring them into the promised land. Like the people of Israel the Nine, never entered, never crossed, as Jesus’ main message was the Kingdom and not just salvation or healing!

Just a last thought: Why did Jesus made a distinction between being “cleansed” and being “made well”?