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Something Better

John Dysinger

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John Dysinger

Bountiful Blessings Farm

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  • January 20, 2018
    10:45 AM

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God is good. And I just my heart is full as I look out and see all these people. Who are desiring something better. My heart is full as I hear those young people singing. And I realize that there's hope for the future of agriculture in advantage. So for those who haven't been here the last few days and even for those who have a review is a good thing so I want to just spend a few minutes reviewing what we've talked about. On Thursday night we talked about from best to worst. And we looked at this quote. Where it said the more nearly we come into harmony with God's original plan the more favorable will be our position to secure health of body and mind and soul. That's powerful. That is a recipe for health. So then we looked at the components of that original plan what did that original plan look like and then we looked at history and showed how that plan was largely followed. By God's people until the beginning of the time of the end that's talked about in Daniel twelve around the end of the seventeen hundreds and then we looked at how the Industrial Revolution shattered this model and caused the widespread turning away from it. And I suggested I'm not going to. Say with all certainty but it certainly looks to me like it was actually a counter attack by the devil. To the renewed interest in Bible prophecy and bible study that was taking place then. I suggested that we needed to view progress through God's eyes and have some healthy skepticism towards it. It's amazing to me sometimes how we seem to just embrace. Whatever new technology comes along as if if it's a new it's got to be better right. But maybe. You know I mean we seem to look at it as if it's all a gift from God but maybe we need to analyze whether it's a gift from somebody else. Last night we looked at the paradox. That God's ways. Are humbler harder but yet better. And I suggested that rather than looking at what great things you can do for God. That maybe we should focus on doing the humble in the hard things with an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving for the privilege of being a servant. Remembering that Jesus. Set the perfect example of servant hood. And now for this morning we want to focus on something better. But before we do that I want to pray. Our Dear Heavenly Father. I praise you and thank you. For your presence your spirit. That has been here. At this conference. I thank you for each one who's here I think you for the convictions that you have put on their hearts I thank you for the steps that they are taking. To. To find something better to come back more into harmony with your original perfect plan. And now Lord today as we share. This worship hour together. I plead with you one more time. To send your spirit. To speak through me. And to. Guide and control my mind and my lips. I pray for those who are listening that they will not be distracted. That they will hear the message that you have for them. And I pray most of all Lord that we will not just be hears of the word but that we will be doers. Thank you Lord. For hearing an answer in Jesus' name we pray that. Something better is the watchword of education the law of all true living whatever Christ asks us to renounce he offers in its stead something better. Do you believe it. The spring of one thousand nine hundred ninety four. In Cuba Dula Tanzania East Africa. My wife and I those who were here last night I shared We spent six years in Kenya. And we were on this was this was ninety four this was we were leaving to go permanent return in a few months and we were really seeking God's direction. But on the Spring Break that the school had we traveled down to Tanzania from Kenya my brother Edwin and his wife Jennifer and family were living it kept a duel at the time and so it was just a chance to get away those of you who have worked in boarding academies you know that at times you just have to get away otherwise you can't carry on. Now the life that Edwin And Jennifer I think things maybe of change some kids a dualist since we were their beautiful location the five thousand acre farm up in the highlands of Tanzania. But back then they lived a life of stern simplicity. We heard that last night about Stern simplicity no running water no electricity. Pit toilets but you know. It just felt so real to me. I felt like I was actually really living life I was invigorated by the rigors of this simple life and I kept saying to my wife Honey this this is just really living. She wasn't quite so convinced. We had two children in diapers at that point and washing cloth diapers by hand. Was not really inspiring her at that point. But at night we sat in the living room by lantern light and listened to a set tape so you all remember to set tapes. About the testimony of a family that had sold out on the great American dream sold their business sold their big fancy home and moved to Montana to find God and rebuild their family. I was enthralled. And I was also convicted. I had never really been convinced about the great American dream. I just always felt like there must be something better. But you know the reality is when you're kind of in the middle of it you don't realize there are other options. And so to hear this testimony it was so empowering it was like wow we could actually do that we don't have to just continue life like everybody else we could actually just jump off this fast moving train and do our own thing. And it was incredibly empowering we were just not content with life as usual. The Lord had put a longing in our heart for something better and now we were faced with the question what were we willing to renounce in order to find this something better. We went outside. So our you can tell this is. This is a. This was a turning point in our lives. When outside and under the incredible African night sky only those who have been there know what it's like. And with God and millions of stars as our witness. We pledged to do whatever it took. To see our family in the kingdom. Have you made that pledge. Have you felt that longing for something better. You who in the heart longed for something better than this world can give recognizes this longing as the voice of God to your soul you want something better than this world can give that sky moving on your heart if we're longing for more of this world. That's not guy. But if we're longing for something better than this world has to offer that is the voice of God to our souls. You know I think. Too often as conservative admin is Christian we have focused on the renounce part of that something better quote. Let's just go back to that hoops. Whatever Christ ask us to renounce we stop there. And you know with our kids were no can't do that. Can't watch that. No we're not going to go there. What does that do to your children. Does that make them want something better if something better is acquainted with no. I remember going to a church once. A little conservative church and our children were little and. We had felt books for them quiet books you know they call them to do during church just to try to keep them occupied and keep them quiet. And there was a family sitting in the pew in front of us. That had a little girl who. Kept turning around and looking back longingly at those felt books. And. Her mother kept making her turn around and telling your to be quiet and listen. And they had a little boy. Who you know boys tend to be. It's a little harder for them to sit still. And the father was just. Very zealous in showing to get that little boy to sit still and you know I'm not saying we were doing everything the right way because I'm sure we weren't but. It didn't seem quite right to us that. These young children were being made to be forced to kind of fit into this rigid mold anyway. The point of this story is that. This church was not too far from where we live and so we. The long and storied of the story is those children as soon as they got out of a huge. Left home. Left. The church and they're living in the world. What's even more sad is well I don't know that it's more. What adds to this than this is the parents the two. It's not just about renouncing the world if it's if we're not offering something better you're better off you know the story about where is it let's see here Matthew twelve forty three to forty five the story of the house that swept and emptied. What happens to an empty house. Spirits return the spirit returns with seven more you know if we're going to just renounce the world. But not find something better. Your kids are better off just living mediocre life. Parents don't take something away unless you have something better to put in its place. You know we learned this years ago as the replacement principle if you if you don't want them playing with their trucks on the Sabbath What are you going to give them to do. You know if you don't want them. Going. Going out when they're teenagers to spend time with their friends you better make sure that home is that attractive enough place where they want to bring their friends there and let me just put in a little plug for farm life. My my kids never wanted to go visit other people. Because it was never as fun. They love for families to come and visit us because then we had the whole farm to explore. And that's that's just the beauty of farm life you know you don't have to tell your kids you can't go outside and play you kind of sometimes have to push them out come on go play we need a little space. It's wonderful. But I'm not here to. To convince you all to become farmers. But if you do that be great. Something better often requires sacrifice do you believe that how could it be something better if it hurts Well we kind of talked about that last night it can be humbling and hard but it's all for something better in the long run. It's like it's like athletes you know they go through a lot of pain and a lot of struggle and hardship because they have their eyes focused on something better. We're too short sighted we're focused on the present forgetting about the future. Sometimes the sacrifices feel like like you're having to take a step backwards that you're not progressing well sometimes it may be a step backwards but maybe that step backwards is going to put you two steps forward. So I can sacrifice how many of you would like to cut off your hand or pluck out your eye so that sound like fun but what if that was the only way to eternal life how many of you would do it. Are you doing it you remember the story a few years ago about that. Thank you was a long distance runners something out west in the desert and somehow a big boulder fell on entrapped his arm you're a member of that. And he was out far enough where there was nobody to get help you know call for help and he actually cut off his arm with his pocket knife. Does that sound like fun. That sound like sacrifice. But he live. Jesus says it's better to enter into the kingdom of heaven. With only one hand there with only one. Than to miss south. What sacrifices are you willing to make how many are willing to sell all that they have and give to the pour. If that's what it takes to enter heaven. The rich young ruler wasn't willing are we. What is it worth to you to find something better. And I just want to encourage you this morning that the devil would like to overwhelm us with all the changes that need to take place you've come here you've been bombarded with information hopefully you've been convicted you you've been encouraged that you need to make changes in your life and the devil would like to make you just feel like there's no way I I can't do this well that's true you can't. But we don't want you to leave feeling overwhelms. We want you to leave feeling convicted and encouraged to start. Just start somewhere with something. And then continue just drive for something better. I want to right now just briefly go through those seven components of the eating plan that we talked about on Thursday night and let's just talk a little bit about what it would take to come more in harmony with that plan to find something better. First of all we talked about the location what was the ideal location where did God create man to live. In the garden. But some of you are still living in the city. So the question is. What's your next step. You know maybe it's just going to the park and walking every day. Surrounded by trees and bushes and birds that something better right. Maybe it's. Putting your house on the market. Trusting that God's leading Why. Are you willing to live in a travel trailer for something better. Was that a nervous laugh. Think God might ask that of you. What about occupation. What was the idea Denecke ideal. What did God create man to do. Tend the garden or maybe you're not there yet. If you're still in the city maybe something better for you right now is some pots with tomatoes growing in them on your patio. Start with something better learn how to tended to made a plan on your patio and when you do get to the country. You'll have a head start. Husbands. Are you willing to change careers if necessary I'm amazed at how many seem to feel prisoners of circumstances you know well I'd I'd love to do that but I can't. I'm tied to I got to be right here who says you have to be right there. You can choose God gave us the power of choice you can choose to live wherever you want to do you know that. You can choose to quit a job or change careers or maybe it's cutting back on work how much do you really need to live on if you knew how much we lived on. You'd ask how. But you can choose something better you can choose to live by principle and not circumstance. That was another little motto of ours I've shared a few I think you know we had the motto about the more quiet and simple the life of our of the child that was our childrearing motto but our motto for deciding what we should and shouldn't do in life was lived by principle and not circumstance. If God says we should do it we need to do it. Whether we can see the way through the Red Sea or not right. Or Jordan you put your you put your foot in the water and trust that he's going to open it up. Young people. Are you willing to sacrifice. Your cherished career choice. For something better. I'm not telling you what God is going to call you to as I said last night we need we don't need just farmers we certainly need a whole lot more farmers. I feel like that is one of the greatest needed needs in Adventism today is educated farmers. If I counted up all the people calling me asking where they can find a farmer. I'd have to use a calculator right thing to add it up there's a huge need. When it comes to occupation what are you willing to do for something better. Family life. What was the Denecke ideal. A man a male and a female living together in marriage. God said it's not good to be alone. And I suggested that I don't think it's not just good for a man to be alone but it's not good for a woman to be alone well we know that because women got into trouble when she was alone. It's not good for children to be alone. God designed families to live together. And now you know technology is separating families even when they are together. When you drive somewhere you know it used to be that you played games in the car or you read stories now what do you do you know now a lot of cars have their own video player you know the kids can watch your own video or everybody's on their phones texting. It's not just about being physically together it's about being emotionally together. Young people are you willing to sacrifice your smartphone if that's what it takes or what about deleting your Facebook account if God convicts. What are we willing to renounce for something better. Education. We didn't talk a lot about these last ones but we know that in the garden what was what was the model. What was the textbook. Nature. Who was the instructor. God. And. Adam and Eve were the students. Nature was the textbook but we know of course after the fall. God knew we needed another way for him to communicate to us and so he gave us the Bible. Much of education today. And thank God for our schools I don't want anyone to think that I'm downing admin is cation because I believe. God has a plan for it and a place for it. Much of our education and I'm speaking generally here is. Man's philosophies even even religion. When you take I took religion. And so much of it is what somebody else thinks about what the Bible says instead of what does the Bible actually say. And I'm not suggesting that the Bible and nature should be the only text books but I am suggesting that they should be our primary text books so what can we do to move towards that we had a a talk the other day. With a lot of good suggestions on our education. Maybe for you at this point it's getting rid of the fiction that your children are read. That's something better. Maybe it's adding gardening into the curriculum where they spend an hour outside in the garden every day that is something better where ever you find yourself God is calling you to something better. Diets Let's talk about diets for a minute. What was the original diet and what was God's ideal plan. Fruits. Grains nuts and vegetables prepared in as natural state as possible. That's the ideal are you there may be for you something better right now is cutting out animal products praise God that's that's a big step that something better maybe it's leaving off refined sugar. Maybe it's. Leaving off coffee what's with coffee how come it seems like all of a sudden. It's OK to drink coffee an admin is circles. You know only thing we should be addicted to is God. We should never be able to get enough of him. So what is God calling you to this morning when it comes to diets how can you find something better number six dominion. You know the ideal God's ideal for Man was that man was they have dominion over the plants and the animals in the earth. Course man kind of forfeited that. When. When he chose the the fruit. But God wants to bring us back into dominion over the years. So maybe for you your dominion right now is your backyard. Why don't you choose to take dominion of your backyard say we're going to turn this yard into a garden and we're going to make it as close to the Garden of Eden as we possibly can. You know. Did I tell you we live in a barn. We live in a barn a barn that somebody declared to us was unfit for human habitation and we've lived there for how many years. Over ten eleven years. We're still alive. We don't sleep in the straw. It's a little better than that. But one thing I love about it we live on the second floor of the barn. My bedroom window. Well we have two windows I kind of have my window and my wife has hers it looks out on my dominion. I look out and see our whole farm that we're cultivating I love it it's so. It makes you feel like a man. This is my dominion. What is God calling you to. He's wanting us to take back dominion of the earth you know what Christ died on the cross he he took Satan's Dominion back. But Satan still struggling for it he'd like to think it's still his. But in our own little fear we can regain that Dominion. And then the last component of the ideal plan was Sabbath rest. What's the ideal. I like to think of it as a twenty four hour date. With our Creator. Or loves our best friend. It should be the sweetest time of the week if our children dread Sabbath we haven't done a very good job with the replacement principle. We need to work harder and I I know it's not easy you know parents when Sabbath comes all you want to do is crash right. But that doesn't work for kids they want to be going and doing especially when you have four boys. But for you maybe where you're at something better right now is just having sundown worship on Friday night if you haven't been doing that that something better that's ensuring more into the sabbath rest what is God calling you to this morning. When it comes to the Sabbath. So as I shared last night that the Lord called us to farm. But we didn't know what we were doing. You know we try we really did try to to do our research then we looked around to see the needs in the local area and there had been one. Strawberry Farm pick your own strawberry farm but it was like an hour away from us that was the closest one we could find and you know everybody likes strawberries and it's easy to sell strawberries so we thought wow well and this is this one farm the farmer was getting out of it he was old and he said this is my last year and we thought well wow OK let's grow strawberries. Well you know what we didn't know is strawberries actually are in my opinion one of the more difficult crops to grow. So we started out we did all the math you know we called local strawberry growers Well local as in the state said you know how much do you get from an acre of strawberries how many pints are courts to you get. You know we tried to figure it all out. What do you think about growing organic strawberries. Organic strawberries What do you mean by organic This was back when you had to explain the term. Well you know without synthetic. Sprays chemicals. I don't think you can do that around here. Anyway we did it I told you we did everything the hard way. We did plastic cultures organic plastic culture strawberries without. Plastic. And the first year was a disaster. Because without the plastic as soon as we planted them in the fall the weeds started growing but we were so green and you know again we tried but. There's a lot you got to learn to grow stuff. It's a steep learning curve. And a friend of ours who had gardens said you know the weeds started growing this is in September. And they said you don't have to worry about those the frost will kill them. And you know we believe them I think it was because we just wanted to believe them it was. It was easier than trying to deal with all the weeds and Acre if you're not a farmer an acre is a big piece of ground seventeen thousand strawberry plants we've planted by hand. So the weeds grew the strawberries grew the frost came. And the weeds continued to grow. And by that point and these these are like you know the winter we see the ones with the. Big matted root systems those of you who are farmers and know what I'm talking about. Once they're established You can't just go out there and hold them out at least not very easily. And so the reality struck that oh no we've got an acre of strawberries and. It's full of weeds at this point I was still working off the farm. Whatever the Lord provided as far as work goes so I didn't have you know like all day every day to devote to this. Anyway long story short that first crop was just a total write off we were able to reclaim. About one hundred feet. Of Roe which was enough to provide us with a few strawberries comes bring but we didn't even begin to cover our expenses. So anyway I don't want to. Bore you with the details but the next year. The Lord provided you know it was like OK Lord we tried farming didn't work but he said no. You're not getting off that easy. And so. We were able to Lord provided the money to replant we replanted again the next fall and we said that is not going to happen again and we were diligent we cultivate it and cultivated. And still we only managed to keep about two thirds of the. Well cultivated you know as soon as you mulch it with straw you can cultivate and then you're down to hand weeding and that's that's a lot of work so anyway second year we just we tried to learn from all the mistakes we made the first year and the Lord blessed the plants look great you know we worked our. We worked hard. And the next spring. They started flowering and we're saying Praise the Lord we're going to have a crop of strawberries. Maybe hard work does pay off. And anybody who knows anything about strawberries knows that you can do everything right until spring and then spring comes and you've got to. Terrible enemies of strawberries. One is frost and the others rain either one will do you in believe me we know. So we didn't have enough money you know commercial strawberry growers use irrigation to frost protect That's the way you do it as you spray the fields. The water freezes and as it freezes it it releases heat very simple physics but it actually works amazingly but we didn't have enough money for for setting up the irrigation system so we were able to scrape together enough money to get floating row covers to cover the field and so that was our only defense against. FROST. So I don't remember the date but it would have been in. Probably end of March beginning of April the Strawberry Field was in full bloom just you know it was just such a gratifying sight to look out there and see thousands of white blooms. And to know that each Bloom was going to turn into a big beautiful Berry that was going to turn into dollars. That we could actually live on the next year. And then the weather forecast said we were going to have. Going to have a frost. And so we did everything we knew to do we pulled out the road cover covered it all marched around the field prayed to the Lord said Lord please you know we've done everything we can. Do what we can't do. You know floating row covers depending on the weight of them they can they can give about well from like four degrees to six degrees six or eight degrees depending on the weight that much protection. But the next morning when we got up and looked at the from ometer it was twenty four degrees and. My heart sank. But we were trusting God. And. After the frost had burned off we went out to the fields Pam and I. We didn't want to take the kids out because we didn't know what we were going to face we went out there and took the sandbags off. And pulled back the row cover and guess what we saw. A field of black flowers. Thousand. Black flowers. And. It was just like somebody stuck a knife in. All this for this. Sorry I'm crying I told you. Humbler and harder is painful. But you know it's better. So. As you can imagine. Pam and I are just wrestling with with the Lord saying Lord what is going on here. You know I I don't want to talk at times like that so I just had to I just had to walk off. And I'm just thinking Lord. You know we did this because we thought you were leading us to it. We we told everybody you were leading us to it. You know this is not only making us look like fools but it's kind of making you look like a fool. You know I mean this is the second crop down the drain you know A how how do I take care of my family. And as I'm wrestling with the Lord. He speak he spoke to me in that still small voice that you all of heard. And he said John. What were you really needing. Were you needing those strawberries are you needing me what's going to support you for the next year. Those strawberries. Or mean and. I can say that the the weight on my shoulders lifted. Because we had already had enough experience with the Lord that we knew. You know of course in the moment you kind of forget he so he has to gently remind you but we knew that he wasn't going to let us down. That he was all we needed. Beautiful Experience and let me just finish the story by saying that we you know to this day we don't know what happened but you know whether God multiply the flowers. That were still coming on. We don't know what happened but anyway what we do know is that was one of our best scrums ever. The Lord bless and gave us all kinds of. Media coverage we had all the you pictures we needed and. It was a wonderful experience and then get this this is the key. Then we could share the story of God's blessing. You know it's not just about all these are you know the customers these are the most amazing strawberries these tastes like what I remember it from my grandfather's place. So we could say you know these strawberries are a gift from God because we really didn't expect to have any kind of crowd. So those come later harder trials give testimonies that's something that my wife came up with try or maybe she didn't somebody came up with trials give testimonies. So to close this morning. I would like to suggest to you. That this conference. Is really not about farming or gardening. As good as that may be. There is something better or maybe I should say there's someone better this whole movement this whole organization this whole. All this council we've been given is really about getting us to walk with God. It's just that God's favorite place to be is in the garden. So if you want to walk with him. The best place to find him is where he likes to walk. But. It's about walking with God. One more quote here. Why do we cling so closely to earth. There is something better than earth for us to talk about and think of. Something better I'm just adding here is something better than gardens and farms to talk about and think of we can be in the heavenly frame of mind oh I'll let us dwell upon Jesus lovely spotless character and by beholding we shall become changed to the same image. So this morning. I want to encourage you. Strive for something better. But don't ever let that striving for something better get in the way of striving for someone better. And as you learn to walk with him. You'll see that Edens plan. Is something better. Than you've ever known. To close today we're going to have the song leaders come up and. I want to sing that song again a night is it is it sticking in your minds you find yourself humming it. Singing it through the day I pray that as you leave this place you will realize. That God truly has some in this media was brought to you by audio force a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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