Tag Archives: persevering

Trees & Me

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Fall Colors Tacoma, WA 2013

MY REPLY TO BOB FROM WWW.SEEDTIME.COM:

Hi, Bob:

I really liked your Devotional reference:

“Though the tomato plants around us may be popping out some fruit, while we seem to wonder what is taking so long, our day will come.

God is doing a work and creating something in us that will be around long after the grass has come and gone.”

In 2007 my husband, Jim, and I were licensed and ordained as pastors. God gave us Isaiah 61:3 for our ministry name, but Psalm 1 is really important to us too. They’re both about how to be the BEST TREES WE CAN BE, and our website is ironically called http://www.treesright.com.

I LOVE LEARNING ABOUT TREES, and how God compares us to them in scripture. It’s interesting how I connected with you through Compassion International, and how I was encouraged this morning at 5 a.m. by your Devotional quote above.

It seems like my husband and I are FINALLY coming into a season of fruit bearing that we’ve never experienced before. And in this Jubilee year of 2016, it’s a RELIEF to see that The Lord is “RESTORING what the devouring locusts have eaten.” Patience in perseverance pays off in producing sturdy storm withstanding trees!

Blessings in your FRUITFUL TREE endeavors for the glory of our King!

Sincerely for Souls,

Kathleen & Jim Wichterman
Spiritual Arborists
Trees of Righteousness Ministries
An Isaiah 61 Outreach
www.treesright.com

 

AND BOB’S FULL EMAIL LETTER WITH MORE GREAT TREE ANALOGIES:

On Friday, May 6, 2016, Bob | SeedTime <contact@seedtime.com> wrote:
This is an excerpt from Managing Money God’s Way that I’d like to share with you today. I hope it helps as much as it has helped me!

Why God’s Way Takes Longer

I was staring at a tree the other day just day-dreaming and kind of worrying about how long it was taking to get answers to prayer for a few issues in my life. I was reminded of…

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”   Psalm 1:1-3

In my case I have been diligently trying not to “walk in the counsel of the wicked,” and it seems to be making my answers to prayer take even longer.

I have been earnestly trying to do things the right way, knowing full well that by cutting a few corners or compromising my values I could make the answers appear faster.

The major difference being that I can get mediocre answers doing it my way or the fruit God promises by doing it His way.

The prerequisite for our fruit bearing from Psalm 1 is that we:
– Do things God’s way
– Stay in the Word
If we do these two things, we have the promise that whatever we do will prosper and that we WILL bear fruit IN OUR SEASON.

Trees Grow Slowly

As I was staring at this tree I began to realize that trees grow slowly. You plant a seed for a tree and it takes a while to sprout and takes a while to grow to a decent size.

Grass and even plants, on the other hand, grow a lot faster. They sprout up quickly and sometimes you can even notice growth one day to the next.

Grass Grows Fast

Then it kind of hit me that God wants to make me “like a tree.” He isn’t interested in seeing rapid growth that will not make it to the next season and is ultimately unsustainable.

A tree, though it grows slowly, becomes a lot more sturdy and is able to withstand challenges that grass and plants can’t.

I am reminded of a storm we had last year that snapped my tomato plant right in half. The plant had grown to about 2.5 feet in a matter of months and was not strong enough to survive when the winds came.

God wants to make us strong and sturdy to withstand the storms in our lives.

Psalm 92:7

“That when the wicked sprouted up like grass and all who did iniquity flourished, it was only that they might be destroyed forevermore.”

Psalm 92:12

“The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”

Trees Yield More Fruit

I am excited about the tomatoes that my plants will produce this summer, but even the best tomato plant would be lucky to produce 40 lbs of tomatoes in a season.

But mature apple trees can produce over 1000 lbs in a season.

The downside, of course, is that trees don’t bear fruit 3 months after you plant them like many vegetable plants will. Some trees will take a few years or even longer to bear fruit. I remember the frustration I had with this when I wanted apples from a new tree and learned that I may have to wait a while.

Patience seems to be a rare virtue in our society these days, but it is one that we ought to develop. God seems to like taking the long road with a lot of things and as I begin to see the reason behind it, it causes me to say, “huh, God really is smarter than I am.” ?

Becoming A Tree

It’s tough watching the grass sprout up all around you and seeing others bearing fruit when you have been faithfully doing what is right, but we must not be short-sighted. We need to try to look at these things the way God sees them.

Though the tomato plants around us may be popping out some fruit, while we seem to wonder what is taking so long, our day will come.

God is doing a work and creating something in us that will be around long after the grass has come and gone.

“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”

Galatians 6:9 (AMP)

Like I mentioned earlier that is an excerpt from the Devotional that I find that I still need to hear years after I wrote it, so I hope it helps you!

If you are interested finding out more about it or getting an audio or kindle version, head over here!

Bob

P.S. While the book sales do help me feed my family, we donate 34% of all profits to Compassion International: a great Christian organization changing lives. So if you pickup a copy, know that your dollars are impacting the world!

The Lord Directs Our Steps

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Proverbs 16:9 – Is a life verse for me and my husband, Jim.  Combined with Exodus 13:21-22, and learning to follow the Fire/Cloud of God, we choose to SUBMIT our best laid plans to The Master, and follow His lead for us.

READ LINK for scripture details and the correlation to our lives:

Kathleen Wichterman                                                                                                                             Trees of Righteousness Ministries                                                                                                           An Isaiah 61 Outreach                                                                                               http://www.treesright.com

Passive or Active, Performance or His Presence?

I was reviewing my writings in my Facebook NOTES. This one was a good reminder for me TODAY in a new SEASON OF BUSYNESS. I hope you are encouraged.

Guard your heart, and your JOY & PEACE.

Blessings,

Kathleen

JesusHug

“Jesus Hug”

Original post:  January 24, 2012

When I notice days of passivity with Jesus, I have to stop, get quiet, and ask God to fill me up again. Sometimes I tend to spend my time praying for others, which is good, but I forget to ask God for a touch from Him. I mean actively.

I say, “God, what do you want to TELL me today?” Almost always He starts out with “I love you with an everlasting love.” (Which is from Jeremiah 31:3) It took me a while to receive those words. I guess I didn’t understand His love, and I didn’t feel worthy. But when I thank Him, and then wait for more, He gives me revelation; of His Word, his people, and my circumstances. He SHOWS me how He sees me, even in my daily struggles. (This is like Elementary School SHOW & TELL, from God personally shared with me).

Until I learned to receive God’s love, it was hard to love Him back. Well really, it was hard to love myself. And until I understood and received His love for me, and could actually LOVE “me,” it was very hard to fully love others, with the kind of love He talks about. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:28-31)  This often involves forgiving someone 7 x 700 (I added an extra zero, taken from Matthew 18:22).

Otherwise, if we’re not careful, we might be doing good works, but they might be done out of duty and performance, to win others to us, to feel good about ourselves, to be accepted.  It’s much better to “wait” and do something out of God’s presence, in time spent gleaning from Holy Spirit, and knowing we are doing something because He asked it of us.  It avoids burnout when His grace is there.

Blessings to each of you as you fight the good fight, and go forth victorious in your day, with the Spirit of the Lord guiding you!

Kathleen M. Wichterman

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Persevering

MountainSnow2013

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”  (James 1:12 NIV)

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”       (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)

Persevering

Well, that’s what I’ve been doing lately.  Persevering!  Yep, waiting and hoping, praying and believing for answers to my prayers.  And “yes,” I have faith that God is up to something good.  I’M READY TO GO HOME!

You see, I’ve been living in Missouri for the past five years.  I grew up in Minnesota, and love the change of seasons there, but Missouri is mainly humid, which has been hard to get used to.   I also prefer the pine trees, lakes, and streams of Minnesota, but Missouri’s trees are very different, and very few natural lakes.  However, when God prompts you to get out of your comfort zone, you obey Him if you love Him; which I do!

We have had the privledge of working with transitional young adults in the college community of IHOPU (International House of Prayer); working, ministering, and living with them at our rental houses in Kansas City.  Although, it’s been grueling at times to work 24/7 on house remodel projects, gutting out moldy 2 x 4s, scraping wallpaper and, sheet rocking, painting, landscaping and more.

My husband, Jim, and I also interned for a year at a working farm learning heirloom gardening, building staff housing, training as facilitators for healing ministry, and working with trauma and sex trafficking victims.  All these things will be useful for our return to Minnesota.

We are now in the midst of selling our rentals and beginning a new chapter of our life together.  Our dream is to minister to the Ojibwa in the northern part of Minnesota.  We visited the area this past spring and found a wonderful church, Harvest Church of God, that has been working in the Native community for the past ten years.  It feels like a family to us already, and we look forward to ministering there with them.

I just have to continue to persevere a bit more, trusting God’s timing in ALL areas.  I love the quote in the photo above, and the scriptures that compliment it.  So often these sentiments have kept me going through difficult situations.

I pray you persevere to the blessings your heavenly Father has for your future.

Garbage or Beauty?

This is a picture of what I was looking at in our back yard while talking to a friend on the phone. Kinda the emotions of how I felt today – the JUNK that holds me back, and the lie of how I see myself.

Junk Pile

But this tree down the block, in contrast, is the truth of how God sees me.  BEAUTIFUL!

Fall Beauty

And just after blogging this I was on a friend’s Facebook and found this thought. Make sure to read it top to bottom, then bottom to top.  TRUTH heals all wounds and bad days!

Positive:Negative Day Poem