God’s Word contains four primary analogies which help us understand Biblical principles. These analogies are farming, fishing, athletics, and the military. In addition, the overarching analogy which illustrates the cycles of life is Creation itself — squirrels gathering nuts for a long winter, the bleakness of winter turning into the vibrancy of spring, new life from dormant twigs. Jesus illustrated these through His many stories and parables.
This edition we will look at the farming analogy to discover Biblical truth and key resilience principles. In later editions, we’ll dive into the other analogies.
Whatever you may face in the week ahead, may you have a resilient week… avoiding and/or navigating the small and large disappointments of life. As it says on the back cover of the Resilience God Style Study Guide:
“Are you in the middle of a huge, debilitating storm? (RED)
***God will meet you there with comfort and counsel.
***God will show you the way.
… maybe the wind is at your back?
… maybe your ‘well of courage’ is brimming with expectation?
***God will help you ‘Get Ready’ for your next ‘body slam’ of life.”
Paraphrasing from Philippians 4:19, May God supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. And may you (and I) be Resilient — God Style!
Respectfully in Christ,
PS- As a reminder, our Resilience God Style Newsletters website page has an archive of all past RGS newsletter content for your future reference, or for you to share with others.
PPS- Speaking of sharing with others, please let others know about this resource and encourage them to sign up for the Resilience God Style Newsletter as well.
on other fields will bear the fruits of victory.”
~General Douglas MacArthur
Plant Early and Often!
Every farmer knows you need to plant to produce a harvest. Investment precedes return. Start with the smallest of seeds to grow the biggest of plants. Plant in the Spring, harvest in the Fall. We must sow if we are going to reap. We understand the principle well.
The mantra for Army Athletics is “On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days, on other fields will bear the fruits of victory,” an insightful quote by General Douglas MacArthur. A like-minded quote is “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant” by Robert Louis Stevenson. The point is that we must plant seeds of preparation to harvest excellence in execution — in the military, in athletics, in farming, and in life. We get what we pay for, we reap what we sow.
Jesus has a lot to say about sowing and reaping in Mark 4. While laying out the parable about seed which falls on various types of soil, he concludes “8 Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” Jesus goes on to interpret the parable by explaining how the kingdom of God grows from a small seed into a plentiful harvest:
26 And He (Jesus) was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. 28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 29 But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
The Apostle Paul stated this principle succinctly in Galatians 6:7 — Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Joseph also understood the concept well — in several ways. He humbly understood that his labors as a rejected family member sold into slavery, an accused servant, and a betrayed prisoner were all preparation for his role as a protector for the nation Egypt and the people Israel. In essence, he paid his dues (seeds) on the “fields of friendly (and not so friendly!) strife” that were harvested by God in later years at a time of national crisis. As well, Jacob directly observed the principle of sowing and reaping as he planted and stored during years of rich harvest so that he would have provisions for his people in the lean years of famine.
Respectfully in Christ,
Bring a Resilience God Style Conference to your Church or Organization
The Resilience God Style Conference
Foundational Resilience Seminar with General Dees
Use of Group Game(s) to Strengthen Community, Expand Learning, & Practice Resilience Techniques
Discuss this one around your family dinner table.
Can you start planting the “seed of God’s Word” now for later use?
What works for you?
From the Mailbox
(Regarding the Resilience God Style Conference Highlighted above)“Resilience God Style is a blessing for everyone who interacts with these materials. Numerous people came up to me sharing the impact this study had on their journey of faith. We used these materials to create a sermon series, which culminated in a weekend retreat where we played the Resilience God Style board game. There was great energy as friends, neighbors, and area clergy joined together. On a personal note the best part for me was ending our sermon series by interviewing Bob Dees as part of worship. The gift was hearing directly from a true expert and man of God who lives this teaching out. The congregation loved our time together and I highly recommend a similar experience to any pastor and church seeking to make a practical difference in their community.”-The Rev. Dr. J. Adam SowderDiscovery United Methodist Church, Richmond, VA
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