Figuring Tree

Mark 11:12 -25

The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written:

”‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.

The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

When evening came; they went out of the city.

The Withered Fig Tree

In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"

"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen; it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

...My friend sent me this passage earlier today...verses 22 to 25...and these reminded me, the place for bold faith...and the place of forgiveness - places that as Christians we must find abode...I like to read my verses in I decided to read the whole chapter... and I was faced with a verse that has always perturbed me - the fig tree curse - I call it the figuring tree - because to understand Jesus's action here, you need to '"fig"ure out this bizarre action...

So I searched and what the bible scholars say ...confirm what I'd initially thought.

The tree was in gave the illusion of may not have been the season for figs…but the process of fruitfulness should have been ongoing ...see, figs come into fruit as follows: leaves form, foliage coats…then a crop of small edible knobs (not the real figs, but an prior forebear) which grow to the size of green almonds appears - these were what Jesus was looking to eat. If the knobs are not formed on the leaves, no figs will be formed and that's how you know that the tree is dead!

Jesus is the Word - so He just responded to Matthew 7: 16 – 20 “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them”.

...Now what sort of illusion are you giving from those watching from afar...will they find substance, when they reach you?


....Made to love


Voices I hear

“You are living in difficult times – things are not as easy for you as they were for us – nevertheless, it’s your time and I pray God’s guidance to the four of you as you make your lives count “…these were my father’s words spoken on the night of 27th December 2009, when we’d all gathered as a family to recap the year that was.
Listening to the voices of those around – parents, friends, pastors, news anchors, musicians, poets…it seems like generally, ours is a generation for whom “perseverance” is no longer a choice, but a way of life.
A couple of nights ago, I was thinking about the Haitian survivors – talk about difficult times! not only had devastating death come upon them, but they now had to deal with the overbearing smell of death…the scent of their loved ones turned tart….God’s speed in healing and restoration to Haiti!
James 1: 2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
12Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.
The common “word of the year” among many Christian faithful, “is that this is the year that God will answer many lingering prayers”… I personally consider “spun out prayers”…a test/ challenge of patience….
But fear. Yes fear, is holding many down…often, when prayers have lingered for so long, hopelessness sets in…and hopelessness breeds fear. Not so, anymore. My good friend always says that the alternative to faith is just that – faith! You cannot fear this year, no-no…you cannot negotiate, no - no and you cannot compromise. Stay in the heat till you fully refined! Keep the faith till your hour comes.
By sheer resolve, Haiti shall be rebuilt, by sheer resolve to persevere, shall we reach maturity – there is no giving up – our alternative to faith is simply, faith.
Friends, fear not.
Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “Do not be Afraid”….
“Oh what I would do to have the kind of faith it takes to step out of this boat and then onto the crashing waves.
Step out of my comfort zone into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is, and He's holding out his arms.
But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me.
Reminding me of all the times I tried before and failed.
The waves they keep on telling me time and time again, you'll never win.
But the voice of truth tells me a different story, the voice of truth says do not be afraid.
The voice of truth says this is for my glory.
Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth!”


Enough Said!

Excuse me, then! you know my heart;
But dearest friends, alas! must part.
~John Gay
Enough! I am done! Unlike John Gay friends', you are foes! We must part;
1.    Fear – am done with unnecessary fear, what a snare! – especially the kind that disguises itself behind the “what if it happens”…”what if it doesn’t happen”…”it” will happen whichever way – so I’ll just let it be!
2.    Worry – a wasted emotion, I read a book titled “The shadow of a dog never bites anybody” by Jerry Savelle some years back, and the fact remains, worry = a dog’s shadow…so why spend sleepless nights hawk eyed over a dog’s shadow?!
3.    Bygones – Can’t change a thing in the past! Can’t erase it, can’t bring it back! It’s gone! Given the same situations, I’d probably do the same things all over again…but since, I can’t go back…I move forward and create what I’d like my past to be tomorrow.
4.    Some friends – Yap! Some of these gotta go…and happily so, some have gotten the cue and left. Those that I’ve had to carry emotionally for more than 5 years, it’s time to disembark! If all I’ve said has not helped, there is sadly nothing else to say, am convinced, I’ve prayed enough…now walk…for those who’ve already walked, keep walking…those 4 years and younger, lighten my load.
5.     Guilt - What I said, I needed to say, what I did, I needed to do it….what I didn’t say, I didn’t…what I didn’t do…well, wasn’t done – you choose to forgive, thank you, you choose to carry offense, remains your choice, but as for me, I will not be imprisoned by guilt nor regret. Burke Hedges often says, “Don’t be one of those who lets his regrets take the place of his dreams.”
6.    Envy – ugghh! I hate this word….it creeps silently though eh! Never been keener to apprehend this emotion like I am now! You want something, ask God for it! It’s that simple, He gives it, throw a party! He doesn’t …well; He doesn’t allow anyone to live on the moon, so you may just well do without it! If you try and get otherwise, it’s just a chain of bad moves and guilt….baggage I am not willing to lug.
7.    “Make me happy” - No one is responsible for my happiness this year, I am. So, am only pursuing that which makes me happy and I got no apologies for that, you make it into my diary, guess what!’ll have made me happy! effortlessly!  – and I’d like this reciprocated, only contact me, if I make you happy…otherwise, really, I do not want any “you don’t make me happy” …” or you selfish with your time” …vibe.
8.     “Something has come up”…I use this statement quite often when I overstretch my commitments and need to cancel, while knowing all the time, I cannot accomplish all...I gotta learn to space myself. So, this statement can be replaced with “maybe some other time”…sadly I also overuse this ….maybe…” I’ll let you know…” could work better….but again; it’s served its time…so, (GOD HELP ME)…its goodbye to “taking back my word”…unless genuinely, “something has come up”....otherwise “I am sorry, I can’t” will be the sealer.
9.     “Getting worked up”…am avoiding all I can, who have the special ability to provoke me into annoyance…and unless, I need to, “I’ll maintain space and minimize words”!
10.   Brooding – this is now limited to my girlfriends be specific…3 girls only (my girl - voices of reason), the rest, I ain’t burdening you with my drama no more.
Ten goodbye’s 'cause…”I need to keep the load light!!!”


Keep the load light....

"Travel light"!..."Keep the load light"! that's my two cents worth of advice to anyone who'll live through year 2010.

Let go of any unnecessary baggage...anything that makes your life a drag....and you'll cover more distance.





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