A Tale of Two Trees.

Imagine you are given a beautiful delicate young tree. It will need some careful nurturing so you choose the spot to plant it carefully. You have a wonderful fertile place where it can thrive in the sunshine and be well watered by the rain but there’s another young sturdy tree there so you move that and plant your new delicate tree in this wonderful spot of ground.

The rain falls gently on it, the wind blows softly through it and the sun shines down on it and it thrives. After you have allowed the tree to take root for a few weeks you look at it and decide that surely there’s room for the other tree here too. So you plant the original sturdy tree right next to the new beautiful tree.

As the weeks go by they both appear to be doing quite alright side by side. But under the ground the roots are slowly becoming tangled together.

The sturdier tree grows fast and begins to shade the beautiful delicate tree from the sun’s rays, shelters it from the refreshing rain and its roots sink deeper and deeper stealing all the goodness and moisture from the soil. The beautiful delicate tree begin to look sickly and wilt. There just isn’t room for them both to grow side by side!!

When we first come to know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour all we want in our hearts is Him. But over time how easy it is to let the world back in. Gradually, bit by bit, it becomes tangled with our Christian life. Our roots cannot go deep down into the fertile soil God has placed in our hearts and souls, we cannot be firmly rooted in Christ, gaining sustenance from Him because our roots are getting strangled by the roots of the world. The world begins to steal the nutrients from the soil of our hearts and block out the warming rays of the Son of God. Our souls no longer get the water they need to thrive and we begin to wilt in our Christian life. There just isn’t room for both friends!!

If you have allowed the world to take root and steal your joy will you ask the Heavenly Gardener to work in your heart, uproot everything that is stealing what you need to thrive and make room only for Him, so that you may become deeply rooted in Christ Alone.

It was the bible study that I did on Ephesians that has had me thinking so much lately about being rooted in Christ and what it means. I have put more details about the study below. ⬇️

With love,

Sharon

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quick facts about the study.

▪It's a FREE email based online Bible study.

▪It takes just 10-15 minutes per day to complete.

▪It follows a five days on, two days off format.

▪It covers the whole book of Ephesians.

▪It includes 4 free digital gifts from Sarah’s Creative Partners.

▪ It launches on October 16, 2017 sign up Here<<<<
e is also a shop containing hand crafted items created just for this study. Each item has a link that will take you to that artist shop including my Etsy shop where you’ll find my scriptures yarns created in collaboration with Sarah for her Bible study.

What is your purpose?

Do you ever wonder what your purpose is here on earth? I’ve been thinking over some verses about this a lot this year. One thing is certain, we weren’t created for our own pleasure yet how often do we live as though we were? I know I often do, putting ‘ME’ first!

🌿We were created for God…

ALL things were created BY him, and FOR him: Col 1:16

🌿We were created for God’s pleasure…

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for THY pleasure they are and were created. Rev 4:11.

🌿We were created for God’s glory…

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for MY GLORY.

🌿And in a specific way God’s people are to;

🌿glorify God….

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Cor 6:20

🌿Crucify self and walk in the Spirit….

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gal 5:24-25

🌿Walk in obedience….

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

🌿Do good works…

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10

There’s a questions these last verses raise that I’ve often thought about and that is that if salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, where do good works come in?

If we’ve been shown much of what we are by nature we may wonder how can anything good ever come out of me?

Well, it can’t, but if we belong to God we are not doing this alone,

it is Christ working in us and through us.

I’ve just finished studying Ephesians again, this time using a bible study on Ephesians by Sarah Koontz (see the end of this post) and she puts it so well – ” God’s work in us paves the way for good works to flow out of us.”

” Good works do not flow out of our goodness, they are a direct result of God’s work in us through the Holy Spirit.”

“Christians don’t manufacturer good works, they manifest good works. We are simply the riverbed through which God’s goodness flows.”

I think that these few points cover not only good works but the whole Christian walk. We cannot begin to glorify God, crucify self or walk in the Spirit in and of ourselves and we don’t need to try to.

How quick we are to try! We are so independent, make big resolutions, try to do better but one thing I’m having to learn is that the Christian pathway is not one of trying, it’s a path of relying!

These things come only as a direct result of the Holy Spirit working IN us and THROUGH us.

This begs another question, is there room in me for the Holy Spirit to work or is my heart too full of other things? Doubt, anxiety, fears, the world, other people’s affairs, judgemental attitudes?

When I pause and I’m helped to take a good look inside, what a lot of junk there is.

These things become like the debris, dead leaves and other rubbish that falls into the river, silting up the riverbed with a foul smelling, rotting waste, clouding up the water.

Let’s be pausing friends, and as God helps us, to battle against the things that clutter up our hearts and souls and asking God to create in us as clean heart and to renew a right spirit within us, keeping our armour bright by holding it up to the light of God’s word. Trusting in Christ alone, let’s take up the heavenly armour (see last blog post) and fight against all that would distract us from God by filling our hearts with heavenly ammunition, the sword of Spirit, His own Holy Word.

Then, as we keep filling our hearts and minds with the light of God’s word there will no dark corners left for the debris of doubts and fears and the rubbish of the world to lurk in.

Written to you with love

Sharon x

If you want to read more of Sarah Koontz study on Ephesians you can sign up for it HERE.

It is email based, ten to fifteen minutes a day with a five days on two days off format. Sarah writes in an easy to read, casual conversational style.

There are free printables throughout the study and if you join the study in October there are giveaways throughout the month including a skein of my scripture yarn this first week of October.

As I’ve got to know Sarah more over the past few months I’ve seen what a beautiful heart she has and what a longing she has to see other women loving God’s word.

Here’s a little more about Sarah from her site.

Sarah Koontz is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah writes to inspire women of all ages to explore the beauty of God’s design at SarahKoontz.com.

Sarah lives on 13-acres in South Dakota with her husband, two daughters and a rowdy flock of chickens. She revels in their simple, uncluttered life.

Who are we fighting and how?

Have you ever been really annoyed at, argued with or hurt by someone?. I have and it’s not always been someone I don’t get along with, sometimes it’s been those closest to me. Why? We love these people in our lives so why do we get irritated by them? Maybe your first thought is sin and yes, you would be right but let’s dig a little deeper.

I love the book of Ephesians and I’m just beginning to study it again using a preview of Sarah Koontz study guide that begins on October 16th. But today I decided to go to the end of the book and look again at my favorite part in chapter six where Paul speaks of the armour of God,

Verse ten begins with Paul telling us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Not to be strong in ourselves, not to try harder, not to work harder at controlling our sinful nature but to be strong in the Lord. How?. In the power of His might, NOT in our own might, power our wisdom but in the Lord’s.

Then we are instructed to put on the whole armour of God. Every…. Single…. Piece! So that we can stand against the wiles of the devil. Friends, the devil has so many schemes and tricks and lies to use against us and the only hope we have of prevailing against him is as we stand in Christ, covered from head to toe with the whole armour of God.

Now we get to verse twelve and this is what I particularly wanted to share with you. Remember how I started, talking about getting annoyed and the cause of it. Well maybe you and your husband disagree on something, or one of your little ones is constantly being naughty, you’re exhausted and it’s just making you so cross. Think….are they your enemy? Is your dear husband, or your precious child your enemy? Or even that person who has always been unkind to you? No, of course not, then who is?

Let’s look at verse 12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,

So, we see that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, not against people, whoever they may be, but against the devil and all the forces of evil seeking to create havoc in the world and discord in our lives and in particular the lives of God’s children.. A force that WE can never overcome ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Cor 15:57

This is what I really wanted to share with you all. So many things may feel to be against us BUT… God’s children are assured of victory through Jesus Christ as they fight, not with anything of themselves but in and through Christ with the whole armour of God.

The Christian has six (or seven if you include v18,) items in their Armory. Five of these are for our protection and two to fight with. For our protection, truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith and salvation . vs 14-17 And our weapons? The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God v17 and prayer v18. It would take too long to write about all that I learnt here but let’s take a quick look at our weapons, how are we to fight? Our sword is the wonderful truths, commands and precious promises that we find in our Bible and our other weapon is prayer, but not just prayer, it’s praying always.

Do we have our armour on? Are we daily protected from the assaults of the devil and the powers of darkness and are we carrying our weapons about with us in our hearts everywhere we go? Are we keeping our armour bright by reading our Bible or is our armour gathering dust along with our Bible? Are we always standing alert in prayer. God doesn’t just give us these commands for certain times and seasons, they’re for every day!

How far short I know that I fall friends. What grace and help we need each and every day to even be ready to stand. BUT…’My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ 2 Cor 12:9.

What is my heart behind Savour of Salt?

You can read a little about why my site is called Savour of Salt and what brought me there here but today I wanted to explain my heart and my longings behind what I write and create.

My main desire, the longing of my heart is to encourage women to really seek the Lord and to abide In Him. Also to share with you a little of what the Lord is teaching me or lays on my heart to share.

You will find daily micro blogs on Instagram @savourofsalt and also shop updates and peeps into my creative world. Here, on the blog, I hope to share some of my thoughts in more depth.

As I share a little of my testimony you will see why seeking and abiding are on my heart.

I began to truly seek God at the age of twelve and was baptised when I was nineteen. It was a very sweet and precious time of walking with the Lord but life was busy, we were planning our wedding, I was working full time and gradually the world crept in. My love for God’s word diminished and I became very dull spiritually.

Over the next ten years or so my Bible was read as something to cross off of my to do list and prayer became a duty or somewhere to go in times of need. God was faithful

and appeared in those times of need but my spiritual walk was lifeless and dull.

Then God in His love allowed me to become chronically ill with lupus. I’m often asked how I keep cheerful with my chronic illnesses (I also have fibromyalgia, sjogrens and osteoarthritis now) and with my restricted mobility, but friends, it isn’t me, it’s because in and through it God has brought me to lean harder on Him, and I can rejoice because through it He’s brought me out of a lukewarm place into a far, far richer place spiritually. I can rejoice when I am so exhausted that even taking the next breath seems an effort because then I have to lean harder and I’ve learnt that depending wholly on Jesus is a precious place to be. Having said that, it’s something I’m having to learn over and over again, because sadly, there’s still a lot of stubborn independence in me! But it’s when I live depending wholly on Christ for everything, that the joy and peace and blessing comes. It’s hard butt it’s also beautiful and precious and sweet as I lean into God’s grace and in my weakness am made strong in Christ.

‘No more Me Lord, just all ‘Christ in me’ is my prayer now. We all need God every moment but it often takes the hard places to make is realise it and for us to lean only on Him and not go on in our own strength. .

So you can see the means God used to bring me closer to Him, it’s been a hard though blessed way and my heart longs to encourage other women to keep closer to God, to not get to a far off place where the journey back is long, hard and painful. Throughout those years in my twenties of feeling far from God, I didn’t have anyone ask me how I was doing spiritually, was I abiding in Christ? I didn’t have anyone ask me if I made time for God each day, no-one encourage me to set aside time to read my Bible and pray, or to seek a life walking close to God. No-one to say that it was ok to miss the dusting this week and spend that time with God. No-one encouraged me to spend my spare time in things that would matter in 500 years time rather than filling my life with earthly things. So, you see, my heart aches and longs to see other women brought into that place of close communion with God and an abiding in His love.

For you to know that you don’t have to strive harder, just lean harder and for you to have a closer walk with God. If your are feeling in that far off, lukewarm place right now dear friend, draw near to God, through prayer and in reading His word and He WILL draw near to you.

Why Savour of Salt?

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I set up my shop – Inspirational Yarns – on Etsy in February 2016.  I was selling hand dyed yarns and other knitting/crochet related products that I had made. The shop was doing well but through that Summer of 2016 God began to plant a longing in my heart to create items that would glorify Him.

Over the coming months God spoke to me in several ways confirming that it was His will for me to take my business in this direction. In spite of this I was still hesitant and although I did begin to create scripture yarns I held back from really changing the direction of my shop. In April 2017 after a year of consistent sales my shop went dead.  In the coming weeks I recognised that the Lord was prompting me to move forward but still I held back.

One day in June I sat down and really analysed what was holding me back and it all came down to fear.  These fears included fear that what I created wouldn’t be good enough, fear of what others might think, fear that my motives might be misconstrued, fear that I couldn’t write well enough about what God laid on my heart to share and fear of stepping on other peoples toes.  I took it all to the Lord and left it with Him praying that He would, just one more time, give me a really clear direction whether to move forward with this or not.

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The next day during the Sunday evening service the visiting minister preached from Matthew 5:13 ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’ (kjv) I was so convicted under this sermon. Here are few of the things that he spoke of  ‘the children of God being a walking testimony of God and how just as salt is there to be used, so are God’s people and it isn’t that we can be a disciple if we want to, we are disciples. Believers are not here to please themselves, but to do the will of the One who called them out of darkness into light. ‘This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.’ (kjv) We are here to fulfil God’s will and not our own. God’s people are Salt and Light. Our lives are the only sermon some will ever hear.

I now knew beyond doubt that I was to change the direction of my shop. I still have niggling fears from time to time but I trust that I am in God’s will and in the end that is all that matters.

Next came the question of the shop name as I needed something that reflected what I would now be adding to the shop.  To change the name of such a young shop probably didn’t make good business sense but I went ahead and my shop became SAVOUR OF SALT!

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I still continue to sell my stock of handdyed yarns and accessories in the ‘Inspirational Yarns section of my shop and I still take orders for these too but my main focus is now on Scripture Yarns, colouring books, wall hangings and other scripture pieces I may make.

I would love you to visit my shop – Savour of Salt I will consider any custom order requests.  Just drop me a line at savourofsalt@gmail.com.

Thanks for stopping by, keep seeking and abiding friends ❤

Sharon x