When I am traveling and I see either orange traffic cones or traffic at a greatly reduced speed I am actually seeing "inconvenience." That word, inconvenience is quite broad. It could be an inconvenience because I am on a time schedule or because I simply hate to slow down from my plans for the day (aka controlling when I stop). I fail to see much of anything else. I know my feeling is totally selfish and if I could "fly over" the standstill, I would in a heartbeat.

One part which I could be missing is praying for the people involved in a wreck that may have occurred or praying for the construction workers. I might also miss having a small pause in my day to pray for other life situations.

You see...I would be failing to "see"; I would guess most of us would. This is a likely response, that we might become annoyed and not see the possibilities.

Sunday, we looked at the lesson known as the "Feeding of the 5,000." Within this miracle we see Jesus having been brought 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed this vast crowd. Some see possibilities while some see obstacles, inconvenience, annoyance, and lack of vision. As we look at this lesson that challenges our vision, here are some applications to choose from to use this week...
  • Re-Do the Math ~ If I were to ask "what does 5+2 equal," the overwhelming majority would say "7." That is a common and logical response. However, the numbers are not always simply numbers. To look at the Feeding of the 5,000 and think that 7 pieces of food were going to feed that many people is illogical. We must understand that we serve a very "illogical" God, when it comes to our understanding. His ways are higher than our ways, as Isaiah would say about God. We try to understand, but we have a difficult time doing so. As we see matters "stacking up against us" we must re-do the math because God may have other plans.
  • Seeing is Deceiving ~ Have you ever not liked a food simply because you saw what it looked like? It wasn't appetizing, on the surface? Have you ever bitten in to such a food, even with reluctance, and realized you like it? I have been on both sides. That also plays into effect when it comes to how we view potential Kingdom possibilities. Do you see someone who you pass off simply because of the way they look or walk? They may simply be putting that shell up on the outside, but inside they are of great potential! Don't let seeing deceive you!
  • Gaining Confidence ~ Looking in the mirror may cause us to realize that we are only one person. We have the potential to do so much, but see ourself as only "one." The irony of this is, for the Christian, we have a helper with us at all times that is working things out more than we can imagine. As we have Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are blessed to always live in a majority! When going into a matter, seek Him and gain the confidence needed to help accomplish the task.
We often focus on the "me" in life. We want to try to do what "me" can and become frustrated with what "me" cannot. May we try to put more of God into it and see what "we" can do, especially on the things that are out of our hands to make a difference.

Now it's your turn...what will you and God team up with this week to make a difference?

People will sometimes ask me what made me choose to begin a career in ministry. I think I may disappoint some when I don’t have this eureka-like experience of when I felt “called” to this lifestyle.

I didn’t have ministry on my radar at all in my growing up. I fell in love with the work of the manager/trainer in high school. I started out as the “water boy” type of person. Just your typical freshman who was the errand boy and carried the equipment out to practice and games, along with making sure there was water for the players. I was pretty much the bottom of the barrel in the way of popularity and respect. However, there was something about it that I greatly enjoyed. My pursuit of this career took me through college and two years as a professional trainer at a community college.

Somewhere during my last year and a half of college and my two years in the profession of being an athletic trainer and instructor, my focus started to shift toward ministry. It piqued my interest and started to gather some advice. I decided to go into something I never thought I would be even remotely interested in pursuing. It didn’t take long to realize that I love ministry. As a person who has several talents, ministry has seemed to have allowed me to use those talents to touch the lives of many people.

As you can see, there really was no “Aha!” moment, but rather the idea of ministry came through influence and something inside of me that seemed to click with the profession. One thing that I have always had a difficult time doing in ministry was fitting into a “box” when it came to ministry. I did not want to have the stigma that was attached to ministers. I have always liked to be “real” and approachable. I want people to still be themselves even when a “preacher” is around. I love the opportunities that have come about through being in ministry to help or minister to people. That is some of the priceless moments.

As the chairman of the Thomas County Ministerial Association, I have had opportunities to be around and minister to other ministers and pastors. We love our jobs and care deeply for the people who we are privileged to speak to and serve. We feel blessed to be in the positions we are in.

A few years back, a church was looking for a minster and they put some of the following phrases in their job opening: “long hours, little pay, great retirement benefits.” They were being lighthearted in the way that they were advertising, but for most of us who work in ministry, this holds true.

Until a few years ago, I never realized how busy an insurance office and agent can be. I pay my premiums automatically so I hardly ever set foot in the office of my insurance agent’s office. Since moving here, four years ago, I think I have went to see their office about six or seven times; first few times to set up my new residence and the rest to get my free yearly calendar. I say that because for most I don’t think they realize how much goes on in a minister’s life. It is generally not a physical laborious position but there is a lot that goes into the mental side of things.

We are always “on” in the eye of the public. We must be wary of the way we conduct ourselves for threat of rumor that can dampen our influence. We do not get to be “done” at 5:00 PM, for someone can call us at a moment’s notice. We try to please everyone. Whether it is sermon delivery style, teaching, how often we visit or call, how much or little we are in the office, people have their opinions about us. Some even think we work for them instead of Him.

Each minister or pastor has their various passions. Each has their own delivery styles. Each one is simply different. However, this is important; each minister has feelings and runs out of steam once in a while.

This month has been set up as “Pastor Appreciation Month” and I challenge you, if you haven’t already done so, to appreciate your minister or pastor. You will likely never know what it is like to be in their shoes. They are concerned about your spiritual well-being and will do whatever they can to help you with your walk in Christ.

Maybe it is something tangible that you can do for them to show your appreciation or maybe it is simply a nice comment or text. There are various things you can do to show how much you appreciate them. Maybe you can surprise them and “appreciate them” during other months in the year, as well.

Let’s appreciate those who serve us!

I want to thank all those who work tirelessly to serve Him!Share/Bookmark

Confined by Walls  

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Have you ever painted yourself into a corner? If it is literal, you find yourself with a small area left to paint and no where to stand. Maybe it was in the figurative sense, whether in a conversation or a different kind of project. Again, in either case, you find yourself a bit trapped in getting yourself out of the jam.

I have been a victim of this self-inflicted issue in the past and isn't the most pleasant thing to experience. You find yourself scrambling to remove you from the small spot you are now finding yourself in.

One thing is for sure, the way you found yourself in the corner was due to some lack of judgment on your part. This brings us to this week's quote...

You are confined only by the walls you build yourself. ~ Unknown
Someone once said something like "People can't make you do anything, it is a choice you make for yourself." This even fell to emotions. People don't make you mad, you choose to get mad. You could choose, even though it may be hard, to not become mad.

When you see yourself as being confined, think about what it took to get you to that conclusion. In so many instances where people are coming to the point of "I can't do it" there is a lot of that which stems back to choices you made previously.

We have the power and ability to do a lot of things in life and we have the power and ability to inhibit. When you get down to it, we must think about what our choices were to get us to either point.

Now it's your turn...what have you experienced that was confining by walls which you built?

Your heart races, you may start to sweat, you feel an overwhelming amount of other emotions all because of guilt. Something you did that you feel horrible about. Maybe you don't want to share because it will ruin a relationship. Maybe you will lose your job. There are a number of possibilities that could happen because of an error you made.

Maybe the error was due to a lack of judgment. Maybe it was due to a sense of compromise of "just this one time." Maybe it was due to greed or simply some other situation that caused the error to occur. The outcome is the same - you feel guilty.

Sunday, we looked at Herod's error in identity of Jesus, calling him John the Baptist - who had been recently beheaded. He had made some decisions in this passage (Matthew 14:1-12) due to the guilt he felt from previous decisions. Here are some applications to choose from to use this week...

  • Misfired ~ Sometimes we do things in life with hopes to accomplish one particular goal but what comes out of it is something completely different - in a negative way. Maybe we say something sarcastic that comes across rude, instead of humorous. Maybe we try some sort of a stunt and we end up damaging us or something else. Regardless of the situation, we were going one direction, but we ended up with a negative outcome. Herod made a promise that he probably thought would have one outcome, but there was actually a negative one that resulted. May we try to think ahead with our decisions to help the outcome not be a "misfire."
  • Not 'Over-correcting' ~ When a decision you've made causes you to feel so bad that you want to try to make up for it by doing something good, then you may over-correct that mistake. Over-correcting can cause problems. You may become out of control. Herod had this sense of "out of control" life with his decision that started with putting John in prison. John didn't make it any easier as his boldness cost him his life. For us, if we are feeling guilt then we need to watch how we react and
  • Throwing Off the Weight ~ You have carried this guilt with you for the past several hours to days, maybe weeks or months. Worst case scenario, years. How fun has it been to have that weight with you day-in-and-day-out? It is likely stressing you out and may actually be causing physical damage to your body. That damage could lessen your lifespan. Is the weight and stress of the guilt better than confessing your wrong and dealing with the consequences/repercussions? I have been in the first part of this application and though the repercussion was not enjoyable, it was definitely freeing! If you have something to confess, there will be a sense of freedom that you experience. I am not suggesting the repercussions will be the most pleasant but it will be better on your body than carrying around the stress from guilt.
Guilt is not the most easy thing to deal with. The overwhelming majority of the time, the guilt is something we brought on ourselves. We made the choice to do whatever it was where guilt was the effect. How has guilt affected you - in the past or present? Have you had opportunities to release some of the weight? Have you carried some guilt on your shoulders through life that caused you to be prematurely stressed? Have you over-corrected with other choices in life because you felt guilt? Have you procrastinated due to guilt? Lots of things we may do because of guilt! The sooner you can release it the better things will be, in the end. The longer you carry it the worse things will become.

Now it's your turn...How can you relate to this post on guilt and its affects on your life?

You have a big "project" that you are working on and have been putting a lot of effort in on it. You have been strained mentally to make sure all the details are in place. Then, after it is all done, the "project" came out a success. Whether that project was a research paper, a big event, an art project, or something else, you can now look back and see the fruit of your labor. It makes you happy to see it all come together like it did.

I hope you can relate to the above scenario. I know that I could. There have been many times I am planning something and enjoy looking at the outcome. It definitely makes me momentarily happy! That brings us to this week's quote...

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
I would categorize the above quote into a "proverb" because there are likely exceptions to it. However, I can definitely relate to what Roosevelt was saying. There is something that is exciting about achieving something when it is couched with putting in a strong amount of creative effort. I guess it speaks to my creative side.

I think there are several that are in the same boat with me. There is something that is thrilling about seeing a work or effort come together for something good. The downside of it, for me, is that I look for the next opportunity to have a similar feeling. Once one is completed then I look for the next.

I like to stretch my creative mind. I am in the middle of what direction to go with a painting that has no boundaries. So, deciding what to do is challenging, but yet will be rewarding in the end.

Now it's your turn...when have there been times which the above quote held true (or false) for you?

Catching Snowflakes  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,

There are times that it is definitely fun to be a kid. The things you have the opportunity to do as a child that are taken away as you grow up. Last week, we were blessed to have a mild-temperature snow. It was super pretty coming down but didn’t stick to the ground. The kids were able to bundle up and go outside for a few moments. They played as the snow fell, but also they had the opportunity to catch some of the snowflakes on their tongue.

Ava made me laugh when she was looking up to catch snowflakes because she said the snowflakes went into her eye. So, she would look up and squint her eyes for just a few seconds to catch a few snowflakes and then wipe her eyes and face.

Oliver, as the picture shows, used his hood to shield his eyes from the snow falling. So he was able to stay in that position a bit longer while catching snowflakes. They both had a lot of fun for the few minutes they stayed out in the soft-falling snow.

Of course, I had to get in on the action, to show Ava how to do it. As I was tipping my head back and catching a few on my tongue, it made me feel like a kid for that ever-so-brief moment.

I am mystified by the fact that Jesus uses kids as illustrations. Sometimes we simply become so wrapped up in our own adult life that we forget what it is like to be a kid. No worries...no responsibilities...just be a kid. Being a kid can be fun and exhilarating! Take some time this week to be a kid - even if there are no snowflakes to catch!!

What is it about rejection that can hurt so much? Is it the fact that you open up yourself to a cause or commitment? Is it the hope of "making it" in whatever area you are pursuing? Is it the rawness of our feelings being later scraped across asphalt? Is it the feeling of time wasted? There are various reasons.

Rejection is something that can be hard to endure. The greater we flay our hearts and feelings in a matter the greater the damage. We put so much effort into something only to hear some sort of rejection can be damaging.

I remember feeling a sense of rejection after not winning, nor knowing how well I did, in a science fair project. I felt I put a lot of effort into making the project to the best of my ability, but after not winning, I felt rejection. Maybe you've had some sort of rejection in life and know how painful it can be. Here are some applications to choose from to use this week...
  • Unexpected Outcome ~ There are times which you may say or communicate something and the outcome is not what you expected. When someone is working toward a goal and their goal becomes derailed. This derailment causes the receiver to respond in a different manner in which we intended, it will present a sense of rejection. Have you ever felt like this? What is the feeling you felt?
  • Mistaken Identity ~ Jesus went back to His hometown of Nazareth and taught in the synagogue. He started teaching and the people were "amazed" and started asking about His heritage. At one point, this caused them to not believe in what Jesus was saying and sharing. They were calling him a "carpenter's son." This title was trying to demean His authority. It is interesting that they didn't even think about Jesus being the Son of God! If they would have understood who He was, they might have understood His power. Are we like that at times? Do we know who He is, but do not think and appreciate what He is capable of? Let us not mistake His capabilities on our lives!
  • Missed Opportunities ~ The text says that the people missed out on miracles because of their unbelief or lack of faith. I live a lot of life that deals with opportunities as "I'd rather get a 'no' than an 'I don't know.'" I want to kick myself when I think that I may have missed an opportunity for something good. Sometimes we may not know what we miss out on because there was not a hint of it given. However, I would be so mad at making the choice not to "believe" if this was the result - no miracles. I want every ounce of God in my life that I can. May we challenge ourselves to keep our faith high so we do not have any "I don't know" moments when it comes to any God-workings in our life!
Jesus may not have performed many miracles for these people, but He still died for them. Which makes me appreciate some of what He did for us. Even in the times of our unbelief and/or rejecting Him, we were still "died" for. He loves us enough to give himself up for us. He was rejected but He still went on. Do you feel rejected? May we keep going on knowing there is a God that sent His Son and a Son that was willing to die just for you. I hope that gives you some encouragement as you experience any form of rejection in life.

Now it's your turn...what rejection(s) in life have caused you the most grief? How did you bounce back from the setback?

Laying a Foundation, Firmly  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , , , ,

There are certain professions in this world where people are just "asking for trouble." Leadership or executive, in general, is not going to make everyone happy and going to have criticism thrown their way. Officiating in events, whether it is sports or otherwise, is not going to make people happy all the time. Politicians are going to hear a ton of criticism. Just about any profession that will encounter some type of evaluation from others is simply setting you up for a challenge.

However, there are those in those professions that feed off of criticisms. There is some type of a rush that they get from having the responsibility in their hands and wanting to move forward with decisions. This is not a psychopathic type of a rush, but a sense of enjoyment that comes to them. I was one of those that felt a rush when it came to umpiring. I started to enjoy the "boos" that came from the crowd. Part of that is just a "part of the game." Generally, when it came from the crowd, it was simply a selfish "we didn't get the right call" kind of boo. Especially, when it came to balls and strikes. Most of the time the crowd was wrong. Their vantage point is way off from being right there.

Being able to be successful is to use those situations and still be able to perform the job well. That brings us to this week's quote...
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him. ~ David Brinkley
When you have bricks coming your way, it can have a tendency to hit you in the head a few times. Once you get hit in the proverbial head a few times, then you start to duck. Once you start to duck, you realize those are necessary bricks, so you start to catch them. When you catch them, you then start to lay them down for success.

Bricks can help create a foundation. Use the bricks that come your way to help create a good foundation for your week, your career, your mission, your passions, and your life. The bricks are sure to come...deal with them in the right manner!

Now it's your turn...what bricks have taught you lessons? What were you doing when you were receiving those bricks? How have you been able to achieve a sense of success with bricks being thrown your way?

What Will Things Look Like in 2022?  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , ,

Some things in life I think will never change, especially when you are living in the moment. However, some things, over the years, have seemed to change. Like a child, who seems to grow faster when you are not around them, things in life seem to change more when you look back on their progress.

Film for cameras is one of those things that has changed drastically over the past ten years. The change is that you practically cannot find film in an average store. There simply is not a market for it anymore. Cameras have gone to digital formats and trying to find film is virtually impossible in the average department store.

Recently I saw a rerun where someone received a gift of a “filmed” camera for a Christmas gift. This scene started me to think about how film was something which seemed timeless. However, it did have its time.

What about some other things in life that have been around for years? What about tires for our vehicles? Will there ever be something that is just as comfortable but maybe doesn’t need any air to maintain a level for a good ride. Also one that has a lot more wear on them? Could they not be made out of rubber but, rather, a chemical mixture to create the substance? You may think “No, we’ll always have tires.” I think that, too. But I also thought we’d always have film in cameras.

What will the differences in the churches look like in 2022? Will there be much of a change in some of the churches by that time? Will songbooks or bibles be practically useless? Will some churches go back to house church only or “sit at home and watch on your computer?” Will we become more casual or go back to more dressed up? Whatever does happen will affect the way we share our faith with others. Ponder it...what will be the trend in 2022?...it will be interesting to find out!

How would you describe "momentarily?" The other day, after completing my order at a fast food restaurant the employee told me our food would be out momentarily." Because I knew the employee I joked and said that "momentarily" was a subjective term. It could be anything from 2 minutes to 20 minutes. If we were speaking from God's perspective, "momentarily" could be hundreds of years. So how would you describe it?

Let's now go with an object to describe. How would you describe an anvil? Imagine you are describing this object to someone who had never viewed one before. How would you describe all the various parts of the anvil. If the person were a sketch artist, who knew nothing about an anvil, would you be able to describe it well enough that the artist could sketch it?

Sunday, we looked at several parables where Jesus uses these parables to help describe the "Kingdom of heaven." Similarly to describing the anvil, each description may take a different approach, but it is still an anvil. Jesus uses different approaches to describe what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. In each one, it is still the "kingdom" just approaches from different angles. Here are some applications to choose from to use this week...

  • What's in Your Garden? ~ The weeds in the parable looked similar to the plant. Plus, the weeds grow "close" to the plant. Pulling up the weeds would damage or kill the plant. Additionally, the weeds are not advantageous to the growth of the plant. Look around your life...are there weeds that you need to be aware of? If pulled (removed) on impulse, they would damage you. Maybe they need to be carefully taken away from your life.
  • Grey Poupon? ~ Do you see things that you are doing as insignificant? Are you laboring over things that do not seem to make any difference? Are you being there for people who are not recognizing your efforts? The mustard seed can become quite large, when it becomes a plant. However it starts out as something really small. Keep going, even if you feel insignificant. Your life matters - you matter! Who knows what will come from what you are putting in.
  • Holy Bloating ~ (This may be a stretch) When you are a Christian, we are given the Holy Spirit as a "gift" to take us through life. We are said to be "filled" with the Spirit. As you have this work within you, it will grow and make a difference. Similarly, the yeast works in the dough. May we appreciate and look forward to the work of the Spirit that is within us! As it swells great things are happening!
  • Stumbled Upon ~ It is kind of fun to find-by-accident something you had not seen in a long time. Maybe something you thought you lost but now found. Those that didn't expect to find their faith, but stumble upon it, can appreciate the value and greatness that it brings to your life. Sometimes we do not realize what we have because we haven't stumbled upon it, yet.
  • Finding Pearl ~ To look all over for something and then find it is a great feeling. It may not be something you lost, but another example is going shopping for an item and finding "just the right one." You searched and you found. You value and treasure this item. The Kingdom of Heaven is that "just the right one" type of item that brings a great significance into your life. If you have it...appreciate it!
  • Dragging...the Net ~ The Kingdom will have a lot of the good and the bad involved in it. As we live in the Kingdom, we must be aware that there is a sense of the "race" to the prize is an individual one. As we try to take others with us, everyone must choose for themselves. With that, you will have fish around you, when the net is drug in, that will be good and some that will be bad. We must examine our own self, as well. Which fish are we?
The actual Kingdom of Heaven is the same. But the way it is explained is different. Similarly, you would have various amounts of descriptions for it. I cannot fathom all the depths and breadths of the Kingdom of Heaven. It will always remain a mystery. After studying these descriptions, I still see a great mysteriousness to what is involved.

I loved digging deeper and I loved wanting to dig even more!

Now it's your turn...which description (parable) is the one you like the most and why?

Being In the "In Crowd"  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , , , ,

It doesn't take long in a child's life for them to learn about the "in crowd." We all start out appreciating all people, including peers. However, whether it is from parents or society, we learn that people are going to be in specific groups. The simplest one is whether or not you are in the "in crowd."

As you continue into adulthood, there is another type of "in crowd" but many people will simply join whoever they have in common. There will be various groups. It is interesting to see those who were not in the "in crowd" in high school, but rather they became more "in" with adults.

With adulthood you can belong to a great group depending on how you operate in life. With some people you will try to keep them as friends; whereas other people you will either not care or simply not want to be friends with them. What is likely is that people will determine who you are by your friends. This brings us to this week's quote...

A man is known by the company he keeps, and also by the company from which he is kept out. ~ Grover Cleveland
Who is in your life? Have you ever noticed that people have determined who you are based on the friends you have? Of course, the friends you don't have have been determined in part, at least, by you also.

We all have circles of which we belong. Those circles are going to be categorized by others. Your circle has a category. I don't know what yours would be categorized as, but it does have a name.

Take into account those whom you allow into your close circle and those who you have not allowed into your circle. By either way, you will be categorized.

Now it's your turn...When have you been falsely categorized? When have you categorized someone else?

My grandfather used to grow a good sized garden for a guy who lived in the city. I can remember him creating a PVC watering system that would cover multiple rows. He garden that produced enough stuff for my grandma to can various vegetables, while still enjoying the immediate produce. I can remember plants like corn, tomatoes, green beans, onions, and dill being grown in this garden. I never know if he had a poor year or not; from my perspective it was always a good year.

The soil almost always seemed right which helped in the abundance of produce. We must not forget that he worked hard at making that garden what it became. It didn't simply grow without any help from man. However, that seed he planted would have simply been seed until it penetrated that tilled and softened Oklahoma dirt.

Sunday, we looked at Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 at the parable of the four soils. In essence these four soils represent four hearts. Each one of us have a heart that will be softened toward certain areas and hardened toward others. Here are some applications to choose from to use this week...

  • Trampled Heart ~ Some hearts have been walked all over. Someone may have just treated you pathetically in life or God hasn't lived up to your expectations. These types of experiences may cause us to be hardened. For instance when that heart hears something about God, it will be impenetrable. It will simply sit on the outside and not be able to penetrate. Is that your heart? What needs to happen in order to have a good crop?
  • Starving Heart ~ Some people eat like they have not eaten in a long time. They simply eat really fast, hardly taking a breath. They greatly desired food so much it is as they were starving. The food will go down well, but won't last long. Is your heart starving for something? If you were able have what you were starving for how would you react? As the heart that desires the Word so much that it will be absorbed quickly. Unfortunately, it will not stick around because there is not enough to sustain it. Is that your heart? What needs to happen to have a long-term produce?
  • Choked Heart ~ You have a desire to have a relationship with Jesus like those you envy. Someone has shown to you what that lifestyle looks like but you cannot seem to make your life look like theirs. You have tried to put Jesus in your life and tried to develop that relationship, but things just haven't worked out to meet your ideal outcome. When life hands you weeds, it is basically choking you out of what you desire. Is that your heart? What has been choking you out of the relationship you desire with Jesus? What needs to happen in order to have a good crop?
  • Fertile Heart ~ Some people seem to be able to grow a garden each year and they have a great reputation for doing so. They put in the work and effort in order to make their crop become plentiful. Just like my grandpa's garden, it takes continual work to make this become the outcome. Is this year heart? If it is your heart, it is likely because you are putting in the effort in order to make it be fertile. You make choices which help in the production of the crop. Continue on, my friend!
We all have hearts. We all have hearts that are hardened and softened toward various things. Some of the topics in which you are hardened toward, others will be softened toward.

We must not forget that others will have hearts that are soft or hard (or somewhere in between) toward hearing of Jesus. When we are trying to share our faith we must keep these hearts in mind. With that understanding, we can relate to how others react to the "good news." Also keep in mind, the seed may sit a while before it starts to grow - let's be patient. May you become ever fruitful in your evangelistic endeavors.

Now it's your turn...when have you experienced any of the first three hearts/soils? And/or when have you seen them in action?