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The Constant Battle !!!!!!

01 Jun

Wednesday, I worked my normal shift at the Tulsa County Extension office. We have folks that bring in baggies of yellowed diseased leaves, infected branches, insects, and about anything else you can think of. A lady came walking in with a long prickly stem that had a purple head on it. She asked me “what is this flower, I have never seen it before”? I chuckled to myself and told her that it was not a flower, but a “noxious weed” named a musk thistle. I told her that even though the flower itself is pretty she really didn’t want them because they are “real problems”, and the reasons why,

thistle

 

Since she lives in the city she probably had never seen one in a yard or garden. In the country they are one of my worst nightmares. Since we received over 5 inches of rain over the past few days, today I went thistle hunting. One may ask, “why would you do that”? The answer is that each thistle head contains approximately 3,000 seeds. With so many flowers on each plant and you are talking abouts literally millions of future thistles; and the seeds won’t flower for 2 years because they are a biennial.

thistle seedhead

Thistles have a very pretty flower on them. Looking at this spiritually, sin is also very attractive in its own way. We all fight sin on a daily basis no matter how long you may have been a believer. We all have our “weak spots”, and sins we are attracted to more than others. Don’t be pious, we all have them.

Like the one thistle flower can turn into 3,000 more plants, one sin can lead to another, and another, and another. It only continues and they can get worse and worse, and bigger and bigger. If you lie, then you have to lie to cover up the previous lie. This is the nature of sin and man’s never ending battle with it. It will remain a constant war in this flesh. If you let your guard down for only a bit it will get ahold of you,

Another characteristic of the thistle is the long spiny sharp quill; and there are thousands of them on each plant. I keep mine under control by pulling them up out of the ground by hand before the seed head opens up. You must pull up the whole root and it is not a fun job. Today, I probably pulled over 200 out of the ground in the pastures. I have pulled thousands in a season in the past. The back of my arms get hundreds of pricks in them from the thistle quills. They pierce even through your shirt sleeves. Sin does the exact same thing. We get all of these little sin “marks” all over us. If you continue in it too long it can really scar you for life.

Thistle pricks

 

arm

What a pesky weed the thistle is, and it demands my constant attention in the Spring and Summer months. Sin demands even more constant attention to fight it. In fact, it will not end in this life. Most look at some sins as smaller than others, but sin is sin! The white lie is a sin as much as any that we may call “major sins”, because it falls short of the glory of God. It misses His mark of perfection.

The Good  News is the antidote to sin. We can find forgiveness for “all” of our sins in Christ. As a believer “if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). As the small little pricks in my arms will be healed in short order, our sins will be forgiven instantly and never remembered again. This is not to save us again, but to bring us back into close fellowship with the Father.

If you have never trusted Christ to be your sin-bearer, and Lord, He is waiting for you to repent of your sins, and He wants to be your Savior. He wants to make you righteous through His atoning blood. Trust Him today, won’t you?

I will continue to fight the thistles so that my pastures can be free of them, and I will continue to battle sin to stay in fellowship with God. I’m so thankful that God is gracious and ever ready to assist us in this battle. Call upon Him today!!

Until tomorrow, Lord willing,

Levi

 
51 Comments

Posted by on June 1, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

51 responses to “The Constant Battle !!!!!!

  1. Truth2Freedom

    June 1, 2014 at 5:17 am

    Great analogy and lesson. This reminded me of the farm in Kansas that I grew up on. I remember those thistles and how pesky they were in our pastures that I had to mow. We’d try to cut them down before they went to seed and they also cut down on the available grass for the cows to graze upon.

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 1, 2014 at 6:44 am

      Yes, they are a big problem. I have used chemical, brush-hogging but nothing has worked like pulling them up after a rain. I haven’t eradicated them but about as close as I ever will. Thanks for your comment brother.

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      • Truth2Freedom

        June 1, 2014 at 7:08 am

        Btw – we called them “Russian Thistles” 😄

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        • Levi Thetford

          June 1, 2014 at 7:13 am

          I always called them that too, lol, until I became got some education at OSU. Maybe it was a ‘cold war” thing. I don’t know.mat this the variety I’ve pictured.

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  2. InfiniteZip

    June 1, 2014 at 5:34 am

    I see what you mean my friend, I will keep my wishing poofs and leave the sinful thistles to the expert:) great post:)

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  3. Ron Whited

    June 1, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Awesome analogy Levi! So true that we all have thistles and thorns that we contend with on a daily basis.
    It takes a lot of dedication and perseverance to stay on top of things and as you say the battle will not end until we step into glory one day.
    Thank you for a wonderful post.
    Ron

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 1, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Thanks Ron, and thank you for yours that I read this morningHave a great day Brother!!!

      Like

       
  4. Mark Myers

    June 1, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Like others have said, what a great analogy! Sin festers and can root for a long time before we display its weeds. We have to root them out as soon as the Spirit casts light on them.

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 1, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Amen Mark, easier said than done. It’s a constant warfare not to be taken lightly. Hope all is well with you and your family. How’s your daughter?

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      • Mark Myers

        June 1, 2014 at 7:50 am

        It is a battle, so is cancer. We have had a good weekend, thank you for asking. If you have ever read True Spirituality by Frances Shaeffer, our life is moment by moment as he suggests in his book. We enjoy the good ones and fight the bad ones. Right now, we are enjoying. Have a blessed Sunday.

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        • Levi Thetford

          June 1, 2014 at 7:51 am

          Great news. I have read the book. Blessed day to you as well and still praying for you all!!

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  5. PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER

    June 1, 2014 at 8:36 am

    A truly powerful message, thank you for sharing and may the Lord continue to bless you abundantly as you walk out your purpose.

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 1, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Thank you Brother and may God’s power continue in your ministry!!!

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  6. Lionel Sneed

    June 1, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I love how you put the pieces of this post together. The pictures coupled with pearls of wisdom made this a very convicting post. Thank you Levi.

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 1, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Lionel, I’m pleased that it hit the point. Thank you for your very gracious encouragement. Be blessed my brother!!!

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  7. atimetoshare

    June 1, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I love your analogies with gardening. I have a pesky ground over called Crown Vetch which is impossible to control. It sends out runners and infects everything. I control it somewhat by digging deeply into the dirt and cutting out those runners, but they always comeback. Kind of like our sinful nature. Even though we are forgiven our “old Adam” hangs on tight. Have a great day, Levi!

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you Friend. There are many such invasive “pests” in our landscapes. A weed is considered any growing plant that is out of place. There is a reason for them but not to us. I always enjoy your comments.
      Be blessed my Friend!

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      • atimetoshare

        June 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm

        I appreciate yours as well.

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  8. Sue C.

    June 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Levi: I love the analogy but the statement, “sin is sin” I had to cheer. That is the one statement in my book, “Seek My Face” that gets the most “arguments.” People like to think in terms of “big” and “little” sins. Sin is sin is sin. Hope you had a wonderful week-end even if it was pulling the weeds. 🙂

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 1, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      We agree on this for sure. I’m ready to read your book when I get it. Not sure when it will be here. Amazon was out of stock so I purchased it from a merchant on there. I should have purchased it from you. Oh well. Talk to you soon. Thanks Sue!!!😀

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  9. skinnyuz2b

    June 1, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Levi, what a great analogy.

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  10. Michael

    June 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Wonderful lesson, Levi. I heard so much of the same in a sermon today.

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 1, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      Thank you Michael. Thank you also for the interview. I really enjoyed doing it. It was a lot of fun and maybe even showed made me more transparent. You are a dear Brother!!!

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      • Michael

        June 1, 2014 at 5:56 pm

        God bless you, Levi. I’m glad readers have gotten to know you better. Thank you for consenting. I hope we get to meet one day…before Heaven.

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        • Levi Thetford

          June 1, 2014 at 6:04 pm

          Me too. I’ll be in NYC for 17 days in July but that’s not close to you. Too bad!!

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          • Michael

            June 1, 2014 at 6:05 pm

            Wow–17 days! What’s going on, if I may ask.

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  11. james1948

    June 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Master gardener and Master wordsmith. Wonderful lesson on sin.

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 2, 2014 at 5:47 am

      Thank you brother for your encouragement. Still working on both. The thistle and sin were a good analogy I thought. Lord bless you Brother!

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  12. Elaine

    June 1, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Wonderful post!

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 2, 2014 at 5:49 am

      Thank you Elaine for the encouragement and kind words. Have a great Monday. 😀

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  13. mdetweiler

    June 2, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Excellent post!

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  14. Susan Irene Fox

    June 2, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Loved this, Levi. What a terrific post. I’ve thought about this with thorns and roses before, but not with thistles – much better analogy. And a huge, “Amen,” on the “sin is sin,” because we’re all ‘tempted’ to qualify our sins as less than someone else’s. It’s the splinter that belong to that someone else and the log that belong to us. I’m pretty certain a log is the larger of the two. 😉

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      You are so right Susan. It is a much bigger object. Roses would have worked well and blackberries, but as I was pulling all of those thistles The Lord brought this to my mind. Isn’t He wonderful? I always appreciate your encouragement! 😀. Thank you !!!

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  15. Sheila

    June 2, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Great analogy, and by the look of your arms definitely not a fun job!!

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you Sheila. It is one of the worst jobs on the farm. Fortunately, I have reduced the numbers over the years. I use to have thousands. Hope all is good with you all. Btw, I looked up the site about Italy and it didn’t list any of the missionaries that I could find. Am I missing something on there?

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      • Sheila

        June 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm

        Well, there are two families listed there. Mario & Sheila Scorziello, that’s us! It’s on the “Who We Are” page. Then if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, it lists the church which sent us out. Here’s the link to their site: http://odcsuffolk.com/
        Hope that helps!

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        • Levi Thetford

          June 2, 2014 at 4:36 pm

          Sheila, this does help me. You stated, I think, that you believe somewhat different than some of what was on the website. Would you mind telling me what differences. If you would like we can do it by email. I have a purpose in this so I hope it isn’t a bother. Thanks!

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          • Sheila

            June 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

            Well, even more than different beliefs, I would say a difference in lifestyle. But the more that time goes by, the more it seems to us that many Christ-followers don’t even want to consider simple living, and it’s a high priority for us (and not only because it’s also a necessity! 🙂 But I’ll e-mail you.

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            • Levi Thetford

              June 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm

              Ok. I would appreciate it and about the very work that you are doing there. Have a great day!!!😀

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              • Sheila

                June 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm

                You too! Emailed you already.

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                • Sheila

                  June 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm

                  I put ‘from Mario & Sheila’ in the subject.

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                • Levi Thetford

                  June 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm

                  I received it. I had to go pick up a grandson and just got back home. I’ll read it soon. Thanks!!!

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                • Sheila

                  June 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm

                  You’re welcome. Glad you get time with the grandkids!!

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  16. SLIMJIM

    June 3, 2014 at 4:27 am

    May we all keep on fight the sins that choke us

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  17. Skye

    June 3, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Oh, Dear Levi….never again will I wrestle with those purple pesky “flowers” without thinking of your wise words. As I yank and pull, I will pray that the Lord will reveal what needs to be pulled and yanked from my heart, as well. You are a blessing, Levi. Thank you!! 🙂

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

      You need to use a shovel Skye. Make a guy pull them is a better solution and as you watch them think of what needs pulled out of your heart. Have a great day 🙂

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  18. Anna Waldherr

    June 26, 2016 at 10:59 am

    A lesson worth revisiting. Summer’s now here w/ a vengeance! The sun fried a begonia I’d bought in 3 days. Not that I have a green thumb, anyway. It seems that sin readily takes root in us, while virtue struggles for a foothold (sigh).

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 26, 2016 at 11:08 am

      I fully know how you feel with the begonia. We went from one of the coolest, wettest, longest springs on record to mid-August heat around 100 daily. So we had different fungus early and powdery mildew early on to being dry and baked now. I’m staying busy watering, etc, as well as it has caused problems for the animals with parasites. Won’t it be beyond words when we are in God$s kingdom. Everything that you so ably write about, and what I have stabbed at will all be distant memories if anything. Keep your fingers in the soil, Anna. You can save a lot of plants. In more ways than one. 👍

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