Archives for September 2014

The Harvest

Cotton

35b behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

John 4:35b

The weather cooperated with the cotton farmers in areas in Texas this year.  The rains came at the proper time.  The cotton plants grew tall.  The cotton bolls were plentiful.  When it came time for the harvest, the fields were literally white.  Harvest time for the cotton farmers this year was a joyful time.

As we continue to work through God’s calling on our lives, we see more and more people who don’t know who they are in God.  They don’t know who God really is, or of His love for them.  They stay lost in a world that pulls them in all directions, never knowing the real truth. 

It would seem that the “fields of life” are ready for a harvest.  People around us are hurting.  They don’t know where to turn.  Yet, God has a plan for them.  He has a calling that is only for them, if only they would turn to Him.  That’s where we come into the picture.  It’s up to us to walk through those fields and let them know of God’s love, and of His promises.  They are all around us, and just as ready for the harvest as the cotton fields are this year.  But that cotton won’t pick itself.  The farmer has to do his part.  And we must do our part to bring in the harvest for God.

  The hallways were crowded at the sound of the bell,

There was a hurrying and scurrying we all know well.

The students are trying to understand who they will be.

The fields are white and ready to harvest, don’t you see?

 

The people wandered up and down the sprawling mall.

Most didn’t know what they were searching for at all.

Some were simply there just to see what they could see.

The fields are white and ready to harvest by you and me.

In the quiet of the office, everyone working their own way.

Conversations start and stop during the course of the day.

They keep inside themselves the hurts that most cannot see.

The fields are white and ready to harvest by you and me.

The task is there and cries each day for one and for all.

God is still seeking you and me and He extends His call.

Many are simply lost and don’t know where they are to be.

Look! The fields are white for the harvest. Don’t you see?

 © 2014 Charles A. Kalkomey

September 18, 2014

 

Kenya Calling

11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
1 Thessalonians 3:11-12

The country of Kenya – a contrast of life. From the busy streets of Nairobi to the emptiness of the Rift Valley. From the lush, green tea fields around Kisii to the dry aridness of Lodwar. From the poverty and hunger of the children forgotten by life to the extravagance of the safari resorts. From the barrenness of Mutenkuar church to the fullness of the people’s hearts within the Mutenkuar church. Everywhere you look, there is a contrast of life.

And yet it is that contrast that attracts one. Compared to most people in the United States, the majority of the people in Kenya have almost nothing. We take for granted our roads, electricity, plumbing, a hot shower, and finding a fast food restaurant at midnight. Yet, with the roads that are worse than a farmer’s turn row, the guarantee that the electricity will be off sometime each day, probably 10,000 outhouses for every actual bathroom, and eating chicken or goat with rice and beans, if you can find some, and ugali each day, there is a happiness in the people that surrounds you.

And that happiness is grounded in a hunger for, and a trust in, the only One who has the ability to fulfill their needs – God Almighty. It’s the only answer there is when you try to explain why more than 100 people would walk in the mud and rain to an all-night prayer meeting. It would be difficult to find that much commitment to anything in this country, much less to God.

So every time you make contact with a Pastor Esther who refuses to give up in caring for orphans, a Pastor Jackson who has a heart for people, or a Pastor John who still loves the church he grew up in, you leave behind a piece of your heart with them. They, and so many others I could name, care for the people around them with a care simply based on God’s love for them, and for everyone. It really is that simple.

Not everyone can go to Kenya; not everyone even wants to go to Kenya. But it would be good if we all could live with the same joy.

The last day has come and now we all must go.
Returning to the family and friends we miss so.
Left here in Kenya are small pieces of our hearts,
With friendships renewed and some that we start.

Despite all the harsh darkness that one can see,
There’s a beauty that shines that can only be
The work of the Creator’s masterful touch.
That’s why the leaving seems to hurt so much.

Back home we will lie in our comfortable beds,
While the pictures and sounds play in our heads.
The music, the dancing, the smiles and joyful tears
Override the people’s doubts, frustrations, and fears.

We wish others could understand the things we saw.
That happiness doesn’t require that you have it all.
There are so many things we take for granted each day.
A family could survive there on what we throw away.

It’s what’s in their warm hearts that will always be
Etched in our minds, and remembered continuously.
The love of Jesus that they’re not afraid to show;
A love some in our churches won’t admit they know.

While a return to Kenyan countryside tugs on us all,
‘Tis not the people’s physical hunger that extends a call.
But their hunger for God’s love is the sound we hear;
A hunger that brings the presence of God so near.

We pray, God, that a return is within Your plan,
So for another day, we can see the Kenyan land.
And rejoice with our brothers and sisters so far away,
Yet through Your love, we grow closer each day.

© 2014 Charles A. Kalkomey
August 31, 2014

Who’s Your Caddy?

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psalm 23:1-2

 

To the casual observer, a golfer’s caddy may appear to be simply a person who carries the golfer’s golf clubs, holds their umbrella, and cleans their golf clubs.  But a good caddy is so much more.

A good caddy will know where every trap and hazard is on the golf course.  He will know what the yardage is from the tee box to the trap down the left side of the fairway.  A good caddy will know from the pin placement on the green whether the golfer can aim for the flag, hit it short so it will roll down to the pin, or hit in on the right side because the slope will allow the ball to roll towards the hole.  He will know which way the green slopes so the golfer can putt the ball and allow for the break to the hole.

But regardless of how good the caddy is, the golfer still has to go out on the course and swing the golf club.  The ball won’t go by itself.  When the golfer hits the ball following the guidance of the caddy, things usually work.  But when the golfer doesn’t trust what the caddy has told him about the distance, the location of the traps, or the slope of the green, no matter how hard the golfer tries, he will usually find himself in trouble.

We have the best “caddy” in the game of life that anyone could ever want.  He knows where all of the hazards are.  He knows which side of life to stay on. He knows what we need to do to get out of any trap we get ourselves into.  Who is this caddy?  The Holy Spirit!

But just like that golfer, we have to act.  We have to “swing the club” of life and do what we have been chosen and gifted to do.  It’s up to each of us to “get in the game.” And we have a choice.  We can either follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit or we can do it our way.  We can “stay in the fairways” and “land on the greens,” or we can end up “in the traps” and “out of bounds.”  Or worse yet, “in the water.”

But the Great Shepherd will lead us down the right path.  He keeps us in the green grass of the fairways of life. And He will lead us by and over the still waters without letting us fall into the raging waters.  But we have to follow His guidance and stop trying to do it our own way, or with the enemy’s influence on our lives. 

So, who’s your caddy going to be?

Charles A Kalkomey

 

Are You Fishing Deep Enough?

4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

Luke 5:4-5

 

There was a point in life when I spent a lot of time fishing. Most of that was at Lake Somerville. One of my professors at Texas A&M was an avid fisherman, and he taught me some of the finer points of fishing that lake.

There wasn’t much vegetation in the lake, so after the spring spawn, I had to look hard for the black bass in the lake. Most of the time I fished a couple of bends in an old creek bed that still had some old trees and brush on those creek banks.

The fishing method that worked the best was using a plastic worm with a weight. The point of the hook was imbedded into the worm to protect it from getting hung in the brush, because the goal was to drag that worm through the brush. If I didn’t feel the worm being pulled through the brush, I knew I wasn’t fishing deep enough.

Peter and the others were fishing like they always did. But they hadn’t caught any fish. Jesus told him to go out to deeper water and try again. Simon Peter wasn’t sure about those instructions, but he trusted in what Jesus was telling him. Peter and the others weren’t fishing deep enough.

We usually don’t “get deep enough” in being faithful servants of God because there is uncertainty there; there is danger there. It is easier to get “snagged” in deeper water so we don’t go there. But if we are not getting deep enough, we won’t find any “fish.” If we aren’t willing to get “snagged” a few times by getting out of our comfort zone, then we won’t be “fishing” where God wants us to be.

Just like Peter did, we need to simply trust God. We need to go where He wants us to go. We must get out of the “shallows” of life and work in the “deeper waters.” And just like the fishing I was doing, every so often, we will get “snagged” by things we can’t see. But if we are working where God wants us to be, then He will walk us through those rough spots every time.

So, every so often, stop and ask yourself. Are you fishing deep enough?

Charles A Kalkomey