When Seeds Fight

imagesYou’ve heard of “fighting words” haven’t you? When someone says something, usually about your mama, and you get ready to rumble in the streets. We’ve passed the days of fighting words, hopefully. I want to bring your attention to “fighting seeds.”

I don’t know very much about gardening, but one thing I do know is every plant can’t grow together and still blossom or produce good fruit. There’s such a thing called “plant incompatibility.” The website “Gardening Know How” explains it this way:

Determining plant incompatibility can be a guess and check situation since soil types also have an influence on what plants should not be planted together. There are a few basic rules of thumb when it comes to plants to avoid being near one another. First, check that your garden plants are all about the same size and have the same light requirements. Planting very tall plants like tomato next to bush beans, for example, is a very bad idea since the tomatoes will very likely shade out the beans. . .  Plants that need a lot of water will cause those water haters nearby a great deal of discomfort; the same goes for fertilizer. It’s always a good idea to plant things with similar nutritional and water needs together, unless they’re fiercely competitive. . . Last but not least are the plants that are allelopathic. Allelopathic plants have the capability to chemically impede the vital systems of competing plants. These plants are usually weeds, but many landscape and crop plants have been observed leaving behind allelopathic chemicals.

If every plant can’t grow together, then every seed can’t be sown together. Seed Incompatibility may be the reason for our delayed harvest. Check this out:

Deuteronomy 22:9 says, “Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled. ” (NIV) Now, here it is in the Message translation: “Don’t plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard. If you do, you will forfeit what you’ve sown, the total production of the vineyard. “(Msg)

I know we don’t follow all the Old Testament laws and many of them are specific to the historical times and don’t pertain to us today. But. . . spiritual laws ALWAYS pertain to us. They transcend time, space, and religious doctrine. The spiritual law of sowing and reaping remains. Seedtime and harvest time remain. The natural consequences of planting tomatoes next to beans, mirror the spiritual consequences of sowing incompatible spiritual seeds.

So how does this look in the life of a disciplined woman?

A disciplined woman understands that you can’t plant every seed and reap every seed within the same season. It’s very similar to the blog I wrote over 3 years ago called “The All of Right Now.” Scroll down and read it if you haven’t.

As we begin this journey together, you may be tempted to sow a seed for your business, and a seed for your marriage, and a seed for you ministry, and a seed for your health, and a seed for you friend, and a seed for your finances, and seed for your _____________(fill in the blank.) We want it all, and God can handle it all. But, we can’t.

Psychologically and physiologically we can’t save everybody and save everything all in 2018. That ain’t even our job. Lord knows, many of us have been there and done that, and we have the anti-depressants to show for it.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t write down your dreams or pray about God working in every area of your life. You should. What I am saying is the spiritual discipline called sowing and reaping requires a specific seed to meet a specific need. And, when you sow that seed, tend to that seed. Don’t let your mind and emotions get you caught up tending to a handful of other seeds you’ve been wanting to plant too.

If you need to deal with depression in this season, deal with depression, not your friends and family who don’t understand you.

If you need to deal with forgiveness in this season, deal with forgiveness, not the education you still regret not completing.

What’s the one or two most important seeds right now? Let’s work on those and trust God to keep you through the rest. He will do it, beloved. What you must avoid is seed incompatibility. You don’t want your seeds competing against each other. Remember Deut. 22:9 “Don’t plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard. If you do, you will forfeit what you’ve sown, the total production of the vineyard.” So, as you study, pray, and meditate on these lessons, let the Holy Spirit direct you to the areas of your life that need to be dealt with right now.

Task #3 is to go to your journal and to draw a bull’s eye. After prayer (preferably in the spirit), write the one or two seeds you are sowing this year. They may not take the entire year to manifest, but only do one or two in the center of the bullseye. In the other circles, write down the areas where you need God to keep you in peace as you process your targeted seeds. Keep this bullseye near you, with you everyday. If you are feeling crafty, go ahead and clue a mustard seed in the center of the bullseye. It may sound corny, but in faith and with discipline, it works!

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As always, disciplined women share in the comments. If you know how to post a pic of your bullseye, feel free. I’d love to see them.

Love,

Dr. Michelle

 

 

 

Your Seed Knows You

Seeds are living, spiritual organisms. When you sow a seed, you give it permission to live in the place where it’s sown and to live in the life of the sower. But a seed, regardless of where it lives, always obeys its master.

Your seed knows your voice. It hears you. It listens to you. It obeys you. It becomes YOU.

That’s why I love talking to my seed. We have conversations on the regular. This is nothing new. Just ask anyone with a “green thumb.” They talk to their plants and swear that the plants hear and respond to their voice. How is this?

Life and deaIMG_0628th are in the tongue. With it we make things grow or we cause things to die. With it we create or we destroy. With it we water or we uproot. Either way, we eat whatever our mouths produce. Read Proverbs 18:21

I begin here with the seed and the tongue because our journey together as disciplined women must begin with something in the ground. I would hate for you to go through a year-long training for spiritual growth, discipleship and empowerment with nothing sown and the wrong things said. If you think this is a kind of “back to basics” way to begin, well, it is. But it’s not so basic. Because if we really knew the power of the seed and the power of the tongue, our lives would look drastically different.

So, trust me here. We are going to spend quite a bit of time getting seed into good ground.     Once planting season is over, we’ll move on to watering and weeding. Sounds fun, right!

Task #2 Spend at least 15 uninterrupted minutes speaking to your seed today. Then leave a comment below about your experience. You will soon meet the other women on this journey with us.

By the way, it’s good to be back.

~iamDrMichelle

Simple

My first post on this new blog was entitled “Clarity.” I wrote, “God told me to simplify things.” Then, I had no idea how prophetic that was.

A month or so later, God told me and my husband it was time to leave the church where he had pastored for 6 years and to start our own. God used us there for a season and for a reason, and we cherish the relationships we made while serving in ministry. Our new assignment, which really isn’t new because God ordained it from the beginning, is to form A People of God Church where anyone who so desires can experience real love, real worship, real service, REAL SIMPLE.

Simple.

I tell you no lie. God had this new thing already worked out. It’s sorta creepy when you think about it.

God had me strip down my old ministry (www.alabasterwomanministries.com) to this simple, clean, clear design. All I kept hearing in my head was “it’s too much, it’s too much, it’s too much.”

Focus on my Word.

Tell the Truth.

Share your heart.

I doesn’t take all of that (stuff).

Keep it simple.

Keep it about ME.

Hence, the formation of A People of God.

It feels really good to be free of the excess. The word says to lay aside every weight and sin that so easily besets us (Hebrews 12:1). My husband and I have done that. Now we can run our race without the extra weight of complexity and confusion.

If life seems chaotic and confusing, I encourage you to SIMPLIFY. It really doesn’t take all of the extra stuff to live and serve and love like the one who saved us.

Visit us at http://www.peopleofgodchurch.org.

The All Right Now

A couple of years ago, I started writing a book called “You Can Have It All.” I never finished the book because life took me on an amazing journey. During that time, I had to give myself permission “to have” what God was giving me in the season I was in. . . a new assignment and new motherhood. So, I stepped away from a lot of things in order to focus on the most important things for that moment.

I still believe you can have it all, even if you can’t have it all NOW. When I learned to be content whatever my circumstances ( Phil 4:11), God started to show me exactly what “having it all” meant. Check this out:

Four years ago I was working as a college administrator and professor. I thought that, along with women’s ministry, was my life’s work. My husband was working in organ donation and pastoring a church. Our lives were good. But just good. He worked long hours on both jobs; and I worked diligently on my job but spent most of my free time explaining to our daugher  why daddy was always at work.

When we said yes to the call to the ministry of education, our lives changed in a matter of weeks. We both left our previous employers and literally took a leap of faith to build a school. Today, our professions have merged with our Kingdom purpose as a couple, and we spend most of our waking hours together, either building the school, working in ministry, or rearing our daughters.

The “all” of a few years ago is not the same “all” today.

Stepping away from some things gave me time to really see what God was doing in my life. One such thing was redefining what “all” meant. When I thought I was done having children, God surprised me with another miracle baby. When I thought I was going to work in someone else’s school, God blessed me with my own school. When I thought I was going to continue writing a marriage column to help others with their marriage, God blessed my marriage in such a way that we have no choice but to live and be as one. The past 2 years taught me that I have no idea what “having it all” really means. My “all” is not God’s “all.”

And thank God for that!

“Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor 2:9).

“God will do exceedingly and abundantly above ALL I can ask or imagine according the power that works within me.” (Eph 3:20)

Once I surrendered to my season, I received the revelation that I was holding onto a limited “all” even though I was worshiping a limitless God. My heavenly Father, the giver of all good and perfect gifts, was trying to give me so much more through the reorganization of my family life and our career paths. He said:

Focus on the all of new motherhood.

Focus on the all of a daughter whose mother is her principal and whose dad is her pastor.

Focus on the all of building a marriage and true kingdom partnership that builds community and changes lives.

Focus on the all of driving to work together and re-instituting weekly lunch dates.

Focus on the all of getting clarity about worship and fellowship and ministry and church.

Focus on the all of now because if I showed you the all of later you’d let fear paralyze you from moving forward. 

I still believe we can have it all, and I declare and decree the abundant life God has for me. Right now, though, I’m good with all He’s blessed me with today. The “all of now” is more than you or I comprehend.

Receive it.

Rest in it.

Know Your Role

When I taught at the university, my students complained endlessly about working on group projects. They hated working with other people. Inevitably somebody would slack; somebody would miss meetings; somebody would cause a bunch of confusion. The critical question always arose: Why should I be evaluated based on what somebody else would/wouldn’t do?

I get it.

Whether it’s a college assignment or a professional task at the workplace, it’s difficult to work with other people. I believe that’s precisely why God requires it.

You will never be as GREAT as you can be if you can’t work on a team and as a team.

Genesis 1:26 – And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.Even God worked as a team: 

God, the Father

The Son

The Holy Spirit

One of the keys to greatness is to know your role and to stay in character. God, the Father has a specific job. Jesus, the Son, has another job. And, the Holy Spirit has its role. Together. . . they are ONE and unstoppable.

If you work on a team–and I hope you do–get clarity about your role. Become obsessed with staying in character and giving 120% in that role. Resist the temptation to play another person’s role or to think you know how to do it better than they do. If God wanted you to play that role, He would have anointed and appointed you for the position.

But, He gifted you in a unique way, and it’s time to grow your gift, as an individual but also as a team member. Endeavor to be an irreplaceable team member. God can use that type of person to do GREATER works for His Kingdom.

Make This One Change

While I’m writing this, I’m at a conference with Eric Thomas the motivational speaker and life changer. He’s also a minister of the Gospel. The word for you today comes from him:

Good intentions mean nothing. Execution means everything.

If you make this one change in your life–to execute–you WILL become who God created you to be.

I want to encourage you to be a person who executes, who finishes, who wins. Stop merely working your plan, but execute it.

If you are thinking of all the obstacles in your way right now, you are not ready or mature enough to possess the thing you desire. Excuses are the enemy of execution. (Those are my words. Lol)

I want you to win. I want you to be fulfilled in life. I want you to walk out your purpose. In order to do this, you must make this one change: stop making excuses and start executing the purpose in your life.

Execute.

Finish.

Win.