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Walking (and Working) with God in the Garden

John Dysinger


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John Dysinger

Bountiful Blessings Farm


  • January 16, 2020
    10:45 AM
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I'm going to share 5 keys. To what I have found are really important to really. Connecting with God in the garden. And then I'm going to I'm going to talk about. What I consider a living parable in the garden and draw some lessons that I've learned and I'm sure there's many more that you can learn as we share together here. So I'm just going to be on this well so the key number one expect it to be hard. And you know that seems so obvious in a way but yet when we started out. Somehow I don't know again I'm just slow but somehow I thought since God it we knew God had called us to agriculture that somehow he was going to just bless it and it was going to be easy. I mean I knew it wasn't going to be easy but it was going to be that while this is amazing God's blessing and everything's going great well that was not our reality our reality was it was grueling really hard at times as like you and I and so the breakthrough came one night I can still remember exactly where I was I was outside I would just go outside to wrestle with the Lord and say Lord what is going on here you call this to this and yet it seems like everything we do fails what's what's. What am I missing here and and it was like the proverbial light bulb went off is one of those moments of course it's going to be hard who doesn't want you in the garden. Where did God create you to be. He created man to live and work in the garden and so who's going to try to keep you out. The devil is going to do everything he can and has he done a pretty good job of keeping people out of the garden. Incredible I mean he's got a 1000 ways to keep us out of the garden so expect it to be hard and I have a quote here. You know I mean Jesus calls up us to take up the cross right I mean a cross is not an easy instrument right. So here's a quote. While our 1st parents obeyed God their labor in the garden was a pleasure. And the earth yielded of its abundance for their wants but when man departed from obedience he was doomed that's a bad word right doomed to wrestle that's a hard word right with the seeds of Satan's sowing and to earn his bread by the sweat of his bro henceforth he must battle. Again you know this is this is fighting terms here he was in battle in toil in hardship against the power to which he had yielded his will we can't blame anybody else we yielded our will but it's going to be hard so don't think anything else you know you see these idyllic pictures we put them up because you know we want you to think it's idyllic but I'm I'm letting you in on a secret it's hard. It's hard. Ok number to carve out space for quiet you know again I think we have these these idyllic notions that you know we're just going to be out there in the garden smelling the flowers and watching the bees and and it's just going to be this wonderful experience of communing with God. Well my experience is yes I have had those moments but it doesn't just happen. You have to make it happen. Even in the garden it's too easy to have our minds filled with cares of this world or audio verse or podcasts or audio books or you know what I'm talking about you know this technology is great you know there are a time if you've got a really really hard task maybe you need to listen to a good inspiring sermon on audio verse to keep you going you know when you're in the greenhouse in the summer and you're just pouring buckets of sweat you need some distraction so I'm not saying there is not a place for listening to audio verse in the garden but what I am saying is that too often we're not communing with God. You know sermons are good right but when she rather learned straight from God himself. And he wants to speak to us and we've got to say Lord. Talk to me help me I've got this challenge I don't know what how to deal with it teach me. That's what he wants and I confess that to all you know because we're doing it as market gardeners. I'm often thinking of you know how can I do this more efficiently how can I make more money in it's not about we're not trying to get rich by any means but we're just I'm thinking if I can do this more efficiently I don't have to work as many hours and so I can spend more time with that agro or this or that all these other good things I'd like to be doing. So you know that's all time I'm not communing with God and I want more of this time. In cultivating the soil the worker knows little what treasures will open up before him why he is not to despise the instruction he may gather from minds that have had an experience so there's a place to learn from books there's a lot of good books we've got many of them down in the Agra booth by people who are doing an amazing job market gardening we can learn from them but the vast majority of them are not even Christians so we're not going to learn the whole truth from them. From the information that intelligent men may impart he should gather lessons for himself this is a Oh I think I messed up the quote here well he is not to despise instruction he may gather from minds that have had an experience and from the information the intelligent man may part impart he should gather lessons himself so the key is God wants to teach you personally not just through mean or through anybody else this is a part of his training I love this last sentence the cultivation of the soil will prove an education to the Soul is That beautiful. Ok And so this number 3 goes along with it have a mind of God as instructor that really goes with that previous quote There's so many quote It's hard to pick but. You know again it's good to learn from these other people but it's easy this start relying on them and going to them as your 1st. Impulse you know if I've got a problem I'm going to see what concrete Moore does about it or whatever but God wants to teach us God wants to be our instructor. He who taught Adam and Eve in Eden how to tend the garden desires to instruct men today isn't that amazing there is wisdom for him who drives a plow and so the seeds before those who trust and obey Him God will open waves of advance let them move forward courageously trusting in him to supply their needs according to the riches of His goodness. Beautiful God wants to instruct as and this is another one. This is Mrs White talking to the faculty and students at Hillcrest school which was just outside of Nashville how many of you have heard of the Hillcrest school a few. But. She said to them you are not working alone when you are tempted to become discouraged remember this angels of God are right around you. They will minister to the very ground and the earth causing it to give forth its strangeness. It chokes me up. You know. God is out there. With this in the sweat and the toil and the angels. Are wanting to minister to the ground. Ok And this I love this number 4 let the physical explain the spiritual and vice versa this is a beauty you know we've got one Creator for it all right so he. He uses the same laws I mean they're all his laws but he can teach us spiritual lessons from the garden. But he can also teach us practical lessons from the spiritual realm does that make sense and it's wonderful. And again I wish I could say I have done this more but it is wonderful when I have a problem you know whether it's a disease issue or a pest issue or whatever and I go to God and sit God How do I how do I deal with this. And he gives me a spiritual. Here's just a simple. Simple basic example you know in the last since we started farming we've had fire ants move into our area we didn't used to have fire ants but both armadillos and fire ants have moved in. And fire ants are a pain. In a garden they're a big pain literally. Right and so. I'm saying Lord what am I supposed to do with these things you know they're not easy to get rid of and so I was just kind of impressed Well how is he going to get rid of sin. By fire right. So we got out our big. Flame Thrower you know and just had somebody stirring the pile with a long handled hoe with somebody else. And. They were. They had some internal destruction there. Well it's not as easy as you would think because you've got to get the queen you know so you've got to do some digging it's not a simple solution but we've got to let rid of a lot of firing and a lot of the whole. The nest we had to come back and do it a 2nd or 3rd time. Yeah. I mean we got we got rid of fire ants that way. Well I mean I should not go it's not like the whole problem was a Radek katydid but. We did get a rule get rid of them in certain areas now of course you know you've got to be careful because if you've got stuff growing there you're liable to do more harm than good but it is it is one way you can try to deal with them in just for illustration purposes. Ok we didn't read this when did we how much the student of nature can learn of God If at the same time he will become a student of the word if with the Word of God in your heart you go forth to break up and cultivate the soil you will find your heart softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit of God The mind will be opened to the teachings of God in the natural world isn't that beautiful so we go out to the garden. With the Word of God either in our hearts or in our hands and. He's going to teach his spiritual lessons. Ok 0 $1.00 more here he gave the parable of the tiny mustard seed is the sovereign of heaven and the same laws that govern earthly seed sowing and reaping govern the sowing of the seeds of truth it's the same laws so this is the beauty of of the garden this is why God put us there you know as as Scott was talking about last night there was no Bibles. Adam and Eve learned directly from God Himself and from the garden and we can learn the same way in the garden. And number 5 do everything you know to do and then trust God to do what you can. You know there's this incredible balance and I you know when I hear theologians debating about right dismissed by faith I just think you know you guys need to go out and spend some time in the garden. There's no question about rites of sins by face in the garden. You do everything you know to do and God does which you can't do it's a simple as that. Is Nothing deep in theological about you know we try to. Somehow we think we we can do better than learning from the garden we can go to school and get educated rights. God wants to teach us in the garden. God has given a given man land to be cultivated but in order that the harvest may be reaped there must be harmonious action between divine and human agencies the plough and other implements of labor must be used at the right time the seed must be sown in that season Man is not to fail of doing his part if he is careless and negligent his unfaithfulness testified against him the harvest is proportionate to the energy he has expended so it is in spiritual things and it goes on I wish I could have included the whole quote but. You know. There's no excuses in the Guard that's one thing I learned early on you know we like to make excuses. Well you know this when this went bad and this happens and I mean there's no room for excuses I miss you know I didn't do what I should have done. And I've learned the garden is a hard taskmaster. You know somehow growing up not in the garden. You think you know well the the weather report says it's going to be 37 and even though it can be up to 10 degrees colder you know because we're kind of in a we're bottom land trough pocket kind of thing. I'm tired and I don't want to go out there and cover those crops and I think it'll be fine. Does that work. I mean. Now can God perform miracles Yes he can and he has for us more than once but almost always if we haven't done our part he says you know what I hate to do this to you but you gotta learn this lesson. And boy you learn you don't have to go through that too many times before you learn. Ok so those are 5 keys and I'm sure there's many others but let's talk about some illustrations now and I just realized that I. I brought my Bible over here but I've left it somewhere on the way but I have my phone. Not quite the same but let's let's look at a very familiar passage John Chapter 15 verses one to 8. John Chapter 15. Verses one to 8 and I want to draw out some things from this. I'm going to read from the English standard version. I am the true vine and my father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away and every branch that does bear food fruit he prunes that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean and you know that cleaning and pruning is the same root word there because of the word that I have spoken to you abide in me and I in you as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine neither can you unless you abide in me I am the vine you are the branches whoever abides in me and I in him he it is that bears much fruit for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers in the branches are gathered thrown into the fire and burned if you abide in me and my words abide in you ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you by this my father is glorified that you bear much fruit and so proved to be my disciples. So what's the goal here. Fruit bear. And how do you bear fruit. Of biting. So we're going to talk a little bit about grafting here and there's amazing lessons to learn and you know I'm really excited because in the last couple years we've started growing a few musket 9 we've never grown grapes because in our part of the country it's a mistake to even try in my opinion to grow grapes but musket eyes are kind of grapes kind of like grapes and they're native to this part of the country and so they tend to do very well organically but I'm just excited because now I'm learning to train vines and do all these things that I've never done before. But today I'm going to talk about grafting tomatoes but before we do that I want to just look at this other passage because I think most people aren't familiar with Leviticus 1923 to 25. And this is this is talking about. Pruning I would call it pruning. Leviticus Chapter 19 verses 23 to 25 when you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food then you shall regard its fruit as forbidden. 3 years it shall be forbidden to you it must not be eaten. And in the 4th year all its fruit shall be holy an offering of praise to the Lord. But in the 5th year you may eat of its fruits to increase its yield for you I am the Lord your God Are you familiar with that one Ok so do you do that. What. I but. Why why do you think God asks us to do that. Truss Ok. Through trees. And. Birds here. Ok that's that's so well known scientific fact. If you let in again you know which of the things we're talking about here I want you to be always saying Ok how does this apply to the spiritual if you let trees bear too young. They don't get a good root system established so depending on what kind of planted is I mean that's often you know that stuff the research stations will tell you but the Bible told you long before right you take off the blossoms the fruit the 1st few years and let that tree really get established and then and I love the you know the force here. All the fruit shall be holy you know we love to give 1st fruits and I think it's it's a wonderful. Test because you know you've been you've been working with those strawberries and you're seeing they're slowly starting to turn and finally you've got your 1st right strawberries and oh you just long to pop that into your mouth. But God says now give it to me. Can you trust me put me 1st. So we like to take our 1st picking to our neighbors and we give them to our neighbors. And. It's a great way of checking our selfishness and saying God I want to put you 1st. So. You know the Bible is full of these kind of things to teach us and train us but let's go back to. Tomatoes Yes so. When does this class and. 1145 great Ok good. So. How have any of you grafted tomatoes. A few good. And have any of you grafted true trees. A few Ok I I have not grafted fruit trees I mean I know a little bit about it but. So I can't really speak for that but I have done some tomato grafting in the principles are still the same so in grafting you've got 2 parts you've got the root stock and you've got what. The science is what they call the part you're grafting on to the root stock and the whole idea of grafting is that you're grafting on the desired fruit. Onto an extra Hardy sturdy vigorous plant or root stock right so. Jesus says I am the root stock and you're the psi on the right. Isn't that kind of what he's saying. And you need to be grafted on to me in order to produce much fruits. So there's incredible illustrations you know if we were a few weeks later with this conference I could have had some actual things that we could have looked at here actual plants but here is is a tray of tomatoes that you take a sharp knife and you cut that root stock and you don't just it's hard to see in this picture in fact it almost looks like they just cut it straight across but you always want to cut it at an angle why do you want to cut it then and angle. More surface area. How much surface area do we want to be in contact with. The vine. As much as possible right so we need that angle we need as much surface area as possible to be connected to the vine now it's very important that you don't let any. Contamination get on those surfaces right. Because what happens if there's any kind of contamination. It can it can mess up either through disease or whatever but you're not going to get a good graft. Now. Do you need to to cut the tops and attach them to to the roots the same day. Ok So in true trees it has to be within minutes. I mean the same with tomatoes. It's not once a week connection. You have to you know when we are severed from the old life the old root stock we need that connection immediately and we need a good connection now how how much does that need to be connected do you think 15 minutes a day is enough connection for the science to be connected to the root stock. Constant connection. You know somehow we think that we can get by with being connected to the roots you know for half an hour every morning and maybe all day on Sabbath right. It's got to be a continual connection. If you're I know it's warm in here if you're getting drowsy Don't be afraid to stand up and I learned this from one of my college teachers he would she would call you out so don't let me call you. Safe go go get a drink. Ok Now another thing you'll notice look at these science. Does that look like a normal tomato plant. What what's different about it. Ok it doesn't have as many leaves on it you know you don't have to do this but it seems to work better if you take off a lot of excessive foliage Why is that. Ok because that s excess of foliage is going to take away energy but it's also transpiring you know so it's going to be much easier for the plant to wilt by taking off those excessive that excessive foliage you have you increase your chances of a good graft there. Mrs White and desire of a just talks about the excess of foliage in our lives that needs to be pruned. Excessive foliage can take away from fruit growth Ok so again you know we could spend so much time with these illustrations so after you graft them with tomatoes after you graft the sign on to the root stock and you know again you've got a that that connection has to be really good. Then you put it into a healing chamber for 2 or 3 days the healing chamber has low light and high humidity and it gives those those plants a chance to recover is it painful to be cut off from your roots stock your original root stock do you need time to recover and heal. And this is something you know. You just need to contemplate and pray about it but I wonder if. If many times. Well I don't know I almost hate to say it because I don't want to be too controversal But you know when somebody comes to the Lord when somebody is grafted on to the true vine. The 1st thing we want to do is encourage them to go out and do great things and give their testimony and everything. And I can help and again you know I'm taking the physical lessons and trying to apply them to the spiritual I can't help but wonder if maybe we need to just give them time to be in the healing chamber. Our church is a healing chamber. They should be. And yes they need to they need to share you know their testimony and stuff but maybe we should put them up on center stage. Anyway so once it's in the healing chamber for a few days then you start slowly increasing the light lessening the humidity and if that graft is good they're going to start taking off. And the whole purpose for grafting tomatoes is to increase their vigor and increase their disease resistance and that's. That's the purpose of the Christian life right. To increase or vigor and disease resistance. Then. After a few weeks usually you pot them on some point. But after a few weeks you put them out in the field or many times in the greenhouse because you often do this in early spring. And what do you have to make sure about when you plant it. Well. Right. Exactly you've got to make sure that the graft is is well above the the ground level why is that. Because you don't want the the Psion rooting because you're short circuiting the whole purpose for grafting. I mean you see the lessons here I mean it's just amazing I think too often we we have our graft too near the ground. And we start putting out roots from the old life right. Yeah the weather there self-righteous fruits or what but you've got to make sure there's no chance of the old man rerouting. I love this. Ok now you know about suckering anybody know about suckering tomatoes Yes so. So suckers. Come at the as the joint are I don't know the proper term I'm getting But anyway the sucker grows up right there you see here's a little one down here and a big one up here. Now there's different ways to grow tomatoes and we don't have time to get into this we're we're assuming for sake of this illustration that we're growing them in a greenhouse and we're troll acing come to a string and you know what's what's this the cord that's let down from above that we're supposed to be hanging on to. Face. You know where we're in those course the faith who holds the cord right. So these tomatoes are being trained to go up this string. And I think there's a lot to learn there but you've got these suckers that are wanting to to grow in some time some some varieties of tomatoes they just keep suckering you know over and over and you've got to keep back coming back and pinching a mop Now see if they're small All you have to do is literally just pinch him off or break him off right that's simple. What what are those suckers in our lives. Or you don't have to tell the ones in your life but I mean you know these are things that are stealing energy from fruit bearing right. So you know what those are in your life. And and if you can if you can get them when they're small nip I'm in the bud so to speak it's not a big deal yes or. Bondage is acting like baggage Ok. You. Yeah. Now what happens with a bigger sucker what happens when you try to pinch that off. Usually it doesn't just snap off right it'll kind of tear in many times you'll end up tearing down the vine and stuff. And what what's the problem with that. I mean you've got a you've got a wound there that's open to disease and stuff so with big suckers you usually need to take pruners and go in there and prune it out. And you know. Have you had those in your life. That had to take some real work to get out. It's painful right the pruning knife can be painful. But. Who's the master gardener. And he doesn't do it just to make life hard for us right. He has a purpose in it all. Is this helpful. And can you can you this is just an example of the kind of lessons that God wants to teach is in the garden. Ok so. As we said at the beginning the goal is is fruit bearing. But the problem is we focus on the fruit bearing. And where is the focus need to be. On the abiding and that connection with the vine if we have a good connection if we have a good grass. Then the fruit is going to come because the life of the vine is coming through the branch and that vine is the true vine. That vine is vigorous and disease. Not just resistant but disease free right. And so I just you know again I think too often in our Christian experience we get stuck on the fruit bearing you know either is oh Lord I just want to bear fruit you know I just want to do great things for you when all he really wants us to focus on is abiding in him. And of course what happens with others. We want to be fruit inspectors right. Now. I do want to just digress a minute there because. What is what does Jesus say therefore by their fruits ye shall know them. And a lot of people think fruit inspection is judging in my mind there's a difference judging is when you're cutting down the tree or pulling out the vine and saying this vine is no good that's not our place. To pull out. Somebody else's vine. But God does say. They're for by their fruits you shall know them we can look at the fruit of that vine and say you know. And I'm not interested in eating of that fruit. That's not judging that's fruit inspecting. And again we don't want to do it in I mean there's redemptive ways we can try to point them to the true vine right if they're if they're a wild root stock. Anyway so ultimately you're after fruit so you've got to prune away all those suckers What's another reason why you don't want the suckers Besides it's sapping strength from the vine. Ok prevents you from going farther. Bring You Down those are all things yeah I mean it it wants to pull the vine down. Ok you will have bigger fruit and earlier fruit. If you if you keep the vine Well suckered but another thing is that you're opening up the vine to what. Air flow and sunlight what's air flow and sunlight in the spiritual realm. The Holy Spirit we often think of as air. Numa Ok yes and. Sunlight. Ok. I word is a lamp and to my feet and light into my path so so that's really you know that is. The whole point of pruning or I shouldn't say the whole point or one of the main points of pruning is to open the plant to air and sunlight. Because those are the best defenses against disease. And of course sunlight promotes Well not only does it kill disease but it promotes growth right through photosynthesis and everything. But once the plant starts bearing fruit. Look at this oh sorry and in Vance's. It's not a very good picture but what do you notice about that fruit. Ok a lot of branches. Ok the bottom one here or as you go down they get smaller and that one's actually deformed. You Austin to get the best Truett you often have to prune off the fruit and of course people who do fruit trees you know that this is a big part of it you can have too much fruit. And that can be a problem and you know again bring that back to the spiritual What does that look like maybe we're trying to produce too much produce. There's a balance and this is really important with tomatoes you're. For growers who really know what they're doing and I'm not quite there yet. Growers who really know what they're doing they're trying to balance vegetative and generative growth. And if you have too much the vegetative of course is the leaves and everything if you have too much vegetative growth you're not going to get as much fruit but if you have too much. Generative growth. You don't have enough plant to support the fruit does that make sense so. I wonder if many times in the Christian experience we get out of balance. We're either too generative. Where where our Let me say to vegetative where we're kind of too focused on our foliage look at me aren't I a pretty vine. Or we're to focus on the generative where it's like yeah well I did this and I went here and I've converted this many people and. God wanted to teach is balance in the garden. So so what do you do in this kind of situation. You need to prune some fruit off. Now ideally you would do it long before here prune it when the fruit are small. But. The general rule that I've learned is with a beefsteak kind of tomato a big tomato you don't want more than 3 or 4 max per cluster. And so if you've got more than 3 or 4 c. if you took of those bottom 2 you would have 4 beautiful fruit. Rather than 6 fruit that may be compromised in some way or other. Now you know different kinds of tomatoes you have to kind of deal with differently but. Ok I guess for about out of time this is what you're after right. Therefore by their fruits still know them. So we've got time for a question or 2. And again you know this is a very different kind of lesson but hopefully my prayer is that. It in some way inspired you to go to the garden and say Lord teach me from your natural worlds about the spiritual world. Any questions or comments as we bring this to a close. Yes the comment is anything worth doing is going to be hard and. Exactly we don't want to shy away from hardship in tribulation privation like they talked about this morning any other questions or comments. Yes. That's so the comment was just talking about how the glory really all belongs to God to God and you know and this comes back to that right just in this by faith thing. You know we can do everything we know to do. But we can't make the seed to grow we can't make the plant to grow we can't produce this I mean we can provide the right environment that encourages this growth but ultimately we can do everything we know to do and you know just like that it can be gone so even though there's a big part for us to play in the garden in the end it's nothing compared to God's part right. So it's just so beautiful. And I thank you all for coming. And let's just close with a word of prayer. Dear Heavenly Father we thank you so much for the lessons you want to teach us. We thank you for creating the garden we thank you for creating us to live and work in the garden. We thank you for the lesson of the vine in the branches. Lord we want you to prune away the excess of foliage we want you to produce fruit through us for your honor and glory not for our own. We want to make the world taste your place to be so make us more like you we pray teaches us how to abide in you continually and holy. Jesus' name we pray. This media was brought to you by audio proofs a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or you would like to listen to more sermon leave it w w w dot audio Verse dot org.


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