Why do Thorns, Thistles and Weeds take over Good Soil?

When I moved to our last house we had a garden at the front of the house.  It was south facing.  When spring came we sat outside in the sunshine.  It was private.  I invested in sun loungers and my children would compete who could get sitting on them when I was not around.

I sat outside relaxing.  I looked around my garden.  I planned what I would do to improve it.

I grew up on a farm.  I remember helping my father gather potatoes.  I was not afraid to get my hands dirty.  I helped mum with her work collecting eggs.   Dad kept a milking herd of cows.  It was an early start each morning for my father, every day of the year.  My mother and father worked to rear their family of ten children.

I would watch as my father trimmed the hedgerows or mended gaps to keep animals from getting out of the field.

I inspected the holly hedge at the front of the garden and the two walls at either side. The hedge needed trimmed and encouraged to grow higher.  The walls had become overgrown with ivy.  The previous owner had cut the grass but the thorns and weeds were taking over on both sides.

I decided to reclaim some land!  I was able to use my experience from growing up on the farm.  I got on my working boots and clothes.  I began to tackle the thorns with sharp hooks.  My children watched and joined in to help.

In early spring the thorns and weeds are the first plants to emerge.  The thorns send out their shoots sideways.  Very soon they can cover a piece of ground.   I was determined to deal with them.  I was going to reclaim two stripes of ground at the side of my garden.

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My boys helped me.  In no time we discovered rich composted soil under the surface of matted briars.  We trimmed the ivy that had hidden the stone walls.  I burned up all the thorns and ivy.

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One does not have to plant weeds or thistles.  They just appear.  It is true what the God said to Adam.  Thorns and thistles will grow.
To Adam he said,  “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food. (Genesis 3:17-19 NIV)

It is a constant battle for the farmer to get rid of weeds and allow the wheat to grow to produce food.

As I cleared the weeds and thorns that was covering the good soil, I thought about how bad things come into people’s lives to stop the good in their lives coming forth.  I thought how Jesus came and moved among people and delivered them from the things that prevented them living normal lives.  Sickness, infirmity, epilepsy, leprosy and depression were cured by Jesus.  These things are like weeds and thorns in peoples lives.

Jesus told his disciples to do what he did.  He  gave them authority to use his Name.  After Jesus died and shed his blood on the cross he defeated the power of the devil.  By calling on the name of Jesus and claiming the power of His blood all “weeds and thorns” in our lives can be removed.  Then we can live fruitful lives.

 

How to Heat a Two Hundred Year old House.

This week I got a harvest of wood.  Last summer a friend asked me if I had a wood burning stove.  I told her I had four.  I bought two of the burners very cheaply.  Many people nowadays prefer gas or oil for their heating.  Cutting wood is hard work and wood is in short supply.  I had the workers, all I needed was the wood.
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She told me her neighbour had left stacks of broken logs in her part of the grounds where a few trees had been cleared.  I was delighted with her offer.  My stack of logs needed replenished.  In the autumn I went out to see this new source of wood.  My boys did not have to do the heavy work of cutting down the trees or chainsawing thick trunks.  They pulled out logs from the stack in sizes manageable to carry to the van.  Two days work supplied us with wood we are still using.  The boys chop the wood back in our garden and store it.

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I visited my friend this week to thank her and she said we are welcome anytime.  Brendan and the boys decided to gather in some wood before they returned to university.  It started to rain the day work was to start.  But undeterred Brendan and the boys headed off. The rain stopped.
We had storms recently.  In the middle a Eileen’s garden was a tree that had fallen in the storm.  Brendan and the boys cut it up and now all the tree is in my back garden.
When I moved to our present home which has seven bedrooms, fourteen years ago I was wondering how were we going to heat it.  It is two hundred years old and had some fire places and some oil heating.  To keep us comfortable may be costly.
I had a dream.  In it I saw a stack of wood, a stack of coal and a stack of turf.  I believe God was showing me he would supply the fuel for my big house.  To the back of our home was a small wood that needed cleared for houses to be built.  That was our supply of wood for a few years.
One spring, trees were washed up on a local beach in a big storm.  I discovered it and alerted Brendan.  In no time, with the boys help, we had the van full of wood.
Another friend, who lived in a big estate offered us any fallen trees.  So God supplied the stack of wood, and the turf and coal.  From time to time we bring home turf from Kerry when we return from holiday.  I burn coal only on the cold days.  So I have not had a big bill for fuel in the years we have lived here.
When I had the dream I was reminded of the poem by Padraic Colum.

Old Woman of the Roads

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods against the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!
To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!
I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!
I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!
Och! but I’m weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there’s never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!
And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house – a house of my own
Out of the wind’s and the rain’s way.

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When the chilly winds and rain of winter blow, we are cosy in our big house with the home fires burning.  My son said he misses the warm fires when he is away.  I even have a dresser of my own with the Delph.