Like a Tree Planted by Streams of Water…

“Like a tree planted by steams of water,” (Psalms 1:3), the soul is irrigated by the Bible and acquires vigor, produces tasty fruit, namely, true faith, and is beautified with a thousand green leaves, namely, actions that please God.

John Damascene or Saint John of Damascus 8th Century

6 thoughts on “Like a Tree Planted by Streams of Water…

  1. Hello Woman of God ! I’m truly blessed by your site i do not believe i came across this by chance. You make these lessons so easy to understand. I like to compare my answer with yours to see if we are on the same page. It makes studying that much more exciting. I agree with you on how the schools teach the children not to help one another, it is so sad.The Bible says we are to be helpers one to another. God Bless you !!!!!!!

  2. God is so good. One of the saddest parts of my life has been living far away from my birth family. As a former military wife, I knew that I would live many places with many different cultures, even in the United States. However, I thought that we would move home when we were done. And we did. And nine years later, we moved again across the country. I have been (pick a year) sad, depressed, angry, furious, frustrated, hurt, detached, mournful, rebellious, and I’m sure I’ve left something out. I could not accept this place, this culture, this state, this town. A friend said that I needed to stop telling people where I was from and that I typically did it the first five minutes after meeting someone. I can’t say that her advice was warmly received. This same friend badgered me to return to BSF and like the salesman said, “It takes an average of seven invitations to get someone to buy.” This I did, too, a bit reluctantly with an Eyeore attitude. I went to church here reluctantly and I lived here reluctantly and made friends here…reluctantly. I think after just a few lessons in Acts, you could say I was grieving the Holy Spirit big time. And what were we studying last year? Isaiah. And how does it start out? Lots of reluctant and rebellious people full of ingratitude, full of themselves, full of everything but God’s abounding grace, love, and mercy. I cannot tell you how powerfully returning to BSF and the book of Isaiah changed my life, my worship, my relationship with my children and family, my ministries, and my contentment with where we have been “planted.”

    This is one of my favorite phrases in the Bible, AtoZ, and just reading it in my inbox brought me peace.

    One of my favorite hymns which isn’t found in most hymnals is this:
    Jesus is my Savior, I shall not be moved. In His love and favor, I shall not be moved. Just like the tree that’s planted by the water, Lord, I shall not be moved.

    The chorus is simple: I shall not be, I shall not be moved. I shall not be, I shall not be moved. Just like the tree that’s planted by the water, Lord, I shall not be moved.

    And I realized at church today, here I am, in this place, where GOD WANTS ME TO BE…and it is good.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Sweet Mama (as always). I’m not there but it’s good to know I’m not alone when I say I don’t like to move either.

      Lately, I have not been sharing as much as I had in the past. I will share more in Lesson 7 when it arrives here soon. This is partly due to the fact I now write with a name in my column and cannot say all I would like to say. Mainly though because a lot of what I say these days is all negative.

      But I pray here soon the time will come when I have something positive to share.

      Do take care and God bless!

      1. At least you have the excuse you’ve only been there a little while. It’s taken me more than a decade to get here. For someone who was in the gifted/talented classes as a child, I’ve been a slow learner as an adult and I think God has had me in the remedial class since I moved here. You have children to raise and a husband and a job and I’m in such a different season…empty nest, family across the country surrounded by people who have lived here their whole lives with people they went to kindergarten with and cousins and siblings and well, it’s lonely. Very, very, very lonely. And the lifestyle here is based on things and activities I just don’t enjoy doing. But BSF has kicked me to get out there and volunteer and when you’re in a community and live and attend church with “haves” and see the “other side” where there is more than a century of abject poverty, inner city schools where children are shuffled in and out every time a parent, aunt, grandparent or grand aunt moves to a different apartment or in with a different relative, and there is homelessness and hopelessness and no jobs and no degrees and no skilled training…it takes your breathe away. It’s that overwhelming. Plus, I have a child teaching where 70% of the children do not pass the state reading test. In America. I just rue the years I could have been volunteering and tutoring or teaching full time instead of complaining about wanting to go home. I still get sad. I’m not going to lie. It’s hard to hear my mother talk about church and everyone else having family. I’m an only child. I don’t know why I am here other than God wants us here. Whatever lessons He is wanting me to learn can only be learned here…away from what and who I love. You know, AtoZ, what drew me to you was that you weren’t all “Happy Bunny Sunshine” because God truly does know, I wasn’t either. I identified when you were frustrated with the public school, not because it wasn’t teaching your children but because you missed your children and wanted to impact their lives and education more. I identified with your struggles about this move. I actually had another leader come up and hug me and say, “I love you because you’re willing to just say what’s on your heart and you’re raw and honest.” You have helped me….I helped her. I remember being stunned that Mother Theresa’s faith wavered so much but she kept doing what she knew she was called to do despite despair and heartache. I cannot begin to imagine wading into that kind of abject poverty day after day caring for those without hope. Thankfully, I’m not called to that and so far, you haven’t been either. It dawned on me that the “fruit of the Spirit” doesn’t include the word HAPPY.

        I still need children’s volunteers for the week but I decided that I need to let go of that stress and trust God to fill each place which is not easy for me. I have to believe that God is softening the hearts of women everywhere to take a turn and give back what they have been so richly blessed with because this generation of children, more than ever, need to feel enveloped with God’s love shared by His people. I hope homeschooling is going well for you and that more days than not, your well is being filled. I pray for you and the children and the visitors who write on your blog. <3 You are a blessing to me.

      2. You shouldn’t regret those years, Sweet Mama. For everything there is a season and you were not ready yet back then. God was working inside of you even though you didn’t feel it or know it. He would have told you to go out in the community, don’t you think? But apparently what He was doing with you was what you were supposed to be doing. So quit the self-flaggellation. God is the judge, not us–and that even includes ourselves although we often forget. We remember not to judge others but we judge ourselves constantly.

        I think I’m far from “Happy Bunny Sunshine”. I think most people are. But we all pretend it is. Either that or we don’t take the time to discover others’.

        And you are a blessing to me! Keep up God’s work.

        Do you want me to do a full post on volunteering? I’m getting ready to leave on a trip this week so I can’t promise I’ll get it done before I leave but I’ll try…and if I don’t I’ll do it when I get back.

        Think carefully about what you’d say to BSF’ers about volunteering and I’ll incorporate it (and include you as co-author!). Email it to me:

        God bless you and yours this week ahead! Praying as well!

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