What is the condition of your soil?
The designated “mama” to New Life Academy students, Mrs. Dodds, was the guest speaker in chapel and led her “babies” regarding the seeds God plants in us.
At the beginning of her sermon she talked about the seeds she noticed planted in her own children’s lives. Her son Grant once received a Christian Character award for his integrity, which is knowing what the right thing to do is, and doing it. In 6th grade at Camp Forest Springs, he experienced another seed being planted in his friend. Grant was right by one of his friends while that friend accepted Jesus into their life. She mentioned the passion that Grant has for bringing God into the lives of people who don’t know him, which is an example of Grant growing the seed that was planted in 6th grade. She also talked about her daughter, Lydia, who was in 5th grade when she received a microscope. She was able to see God’s creation through the microscope; “that lit a fire under her,” Dodds said. Lydia has been growing her seed and is now a teacher that studies science of the brain.
Mrs. Dodds went on to explain the Parable of Sower and emphasized how it is mentioned three times in the Bible.
“If there’s something mentioned in the Bible three times, you might want to pay attention to it,” Dodds said. She did a demonstration of how our hearts react to incoming seeds, and she used different soils as a representation of our hearts. The first soil was as hard as a rock, so when she poured the seeds, they bounced right off. The next example was a shallow heart, in which the soil was shallow and somewhat hard. Some seeds bounced off once again, while a few reached the soil. She pointed out that because the soil was shallow, the seeds would not be able to create strong roots. The third example was a crowded heart, which she used good soil, but with weeds and thorns. The seeds would reach the soil. However, the crowdedness of the soil wouldn’t cause much growth. The last example was good soil, representing a good heart. The seeds were able to reach the soil and grow strong roots, like her kids did with the seeds planted in them. “If you see me when you walk into New Life in the morning and you see a plant lady when you see me, that’s because I want your spiritual life to grow,” Dodds said.
For the second part of her sermon, she talked about thankfulness and had a previous New Life student, Ben Zheng, as a guest by video. In the video Ben Zheng talked about being hit by a vehicle while skating with his friends, and as a result losing his sight.
“I don’t see the purpose of what happened to me yet, but God likes to play the long game,” Zheng said. He also discussed how life is similar to a card game, “God has dealt me some hard cards, but it is not my position to question what the dealer has dealt me,” Zheng said. He told viewers that he has learned to be thankful knowing life can change so quickly, so he doesn’t want to take anything for granted. He ended his video with encouraging viewers to not be complacent in their faith.
After Ben’s video, Mrs. Dodds closed with prayer and told students, “I love you guys so much, I pray for you more than you ever know.”
The parable of the Sower in Matthew 13 focuses on the importance of the state of our heart when we read, hear, or study God’s word. Just like plants need nutrient rich, well-watered, healthy soil, we also need to make sure we tend to the soil of our hearts to grow spiritually.
What is the condition of your heart soil? Have you grown a few thorns or collected some rocks? The good soil of our hearts will break up the thorny and rocky patches. Mrs. Dodd’s reminded us to pay attention to the condition of our hearts.