You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2021.

Most Monday afternoons find me at Nueva Creatura, a drug and alcohol rehab center in Tlacolula, Oaxaca, Mexico. Last Monday I began a new Bible study series on the parables of Jesus. I gave a general introduction on the different types of parables. This next Monday I plan on talking about the parable of the sower, the seed and the soil. This  parable, I think is critical for understanding most of the other parables.

This is the first parable to be found in Matthew. Matthew put it there on purpose so that his readers would gain insight on the parables that were to follow. The story is about seed falling on different types of ground. When Jesus was finished telling this story, his disciples had no idea what he was talking about. They asked him to explain. He not only explains the parable, but also the reason he would use parables as part of his teaching style.

On one hand he told parables to make it easier for his audience to understand. On the other hand, parables would make it difficult to understand.

The word “parable” means along side, or beside. Jesus, when he told parables, he would take a concept or idea, that people were familiar with, and put it beside a concept that they didn’t know so much about, generally, The Kingdom of God. His audience was intimately knowledgeable about agriculture, so most of his parables had something to do with crops or livestock.

This was the part that was easy to understand. The hard part was making the connection to the kingdom of God.

In the parable of the soils, or the sower, Jesus said that the seed was the message about the kingdom.  The seed that fell on the path and was eaten by birds, represents people who like the story, but have no interest in figuring out what it means.

The seed that fell on rocky soil represents people who get excited about the great story and imagine they understand the connection with the kingdom, but soon after, they get excited about something else, and forget Jesus’ story.

The seed and the weedy soil represents people who at first seem to understand the connection between the story and the kingdom, and grow, but then the worries of life and materialistic desires get in the way and they bear no fruit.

The seed and the good soil represents people who make the connection between the story and the kingdom, and their lives are radically changed. Their mindset and their behavior go in a new direction, embracing the kingdom and their lives bear much fruit. Goodness and joy are multiplied many times over.

Jesus’ following parables are all about the kingdom of God. Those people who spent time in prayer and meditation and “got” the first parable, would find the next ones easier to understand.

Let us consider the parables and all of Jesus’ words prayerfully so that we too might bear much fruit.

Please disregard any advertisement below.


This time of year commencement speakers and valedictorians from sea to shining sea are encouraging graduates to follow their hearts. That is just about the worst advice anyone could possibly give.  The best advice they could give would be to follow Jesus (and I don’t mean on Instagram) and to be led by the Spirit.

Jesus said in his sermon on the mount that there are two gates and two roads.  One is broad and there are many who take that route. Jesus said this way leads to destruction. The other one is narrow, and few travel that path. Jesus said this way leads to Life.

The broad road is the way most traveled these days; especially graduates who take the speakers advice, Following their hearts, believing their dreams can come true.  The narrow road is for those who choose to follow Jesus and be led by the Spirit.

I have been studying Romans 8 lately. The apostle Paul writes about the way of the Spirit and the way of the flesh (flesh being the natural desires of the heart). The life governed by the Spirit and the life governed by the flesh. Living in the realm of the Spirit and living in the realm of the flesh. The life led by the desires of the flesh and the life led by the Spirit.

His conclusion – Those who live their lives according to the flesh are under condemnation and spiritual death.  Those who are led by the Spirit are children of God.

The road in the photo above is of a typical road in the remote regions of Oaxaca, Mexico. This road links little pueblos or towns together. Often there is no public transportation and people must walk many miles on these roads if they wish to visit or do business with people in these communities.

I have walked many a weary mile on roads like this with Pastor Edgar.  Pastor Edgar started over a dozen churches in distant, isolated villages in the rugged mountains of Amoltepec, Oaxaca.

There was a time in his life when he had to make a decision of whether to follow his heart or be led by the Spirit. He was married with two young children, one who suffered with physical health issues. He was working in a church in a big city, doing alright for himself, following his dream of being a successful pastor with a big church.

But then the Holy Spirit intruded. He was made aware of a region of Oaxaca, out in the middle of nowhere, with no churches, with no gospel presence, where some had never heard of the love of God or the message of Christ. He had a big decision to make. Would he be led by the Spirit and uproot his family from the city and move to the wilderness of Amoltepec, or follow his heart and continue to live his dream in the comfort of the city.

He chose to be led by the Spirit. Was it easy? No! There were no doctors to treat his son when he suffered and he almost died. They called out to that same Spirit who had called him, and his son was healed!  Edgar himself almost died when he was hit by a car, and still suffers terrible leg pain to this day. He was almost murdered by a group of men who did not want any part of the gospel being preached in their community.

So was it worth it? He would definitely say yes, thinking of all the churches he started and all the souls that said Yes to Jesus and No to the World, the Flesh and the Devil. Brothers and sisters in Christ who now have a peace that surpasses all understanding, a glorious inheritance in God to look forward to, and are no longer slaves to fear. Something they would not have if it were not for Pastor Edgar being led by the Spirit.

So, to all those graduates being encouraged to follow their hearts, I say, “Be led by the Spirit. Become a child of God. Delight in God and he will give you the desires of your heart!”

Please disregard any advertisement below.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. John 1:9-11

Jesus created the sun and sunflowers and yes, the morning glories as well. Surely they bowed low to worship the Son of God and rose high to rejoice in him while he was in the world.

And humans, those whom He made in His image? Not so much. They were preoccupied with their own power and position; their own place and imagined purpose. They kinda missed the light of the Creator. They failed to notice the love that brought God incarnate among them.

Some felt threatened by Jesus. Their eyes were not opened. They did not have ears to hear. They preferred darkness to light. They preferred to extinguish the light. They are still doing it today. Thank God for sunflowers and morning glories.

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Why Am I Here?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.