""Gracious, Abundant Rain""
(© 2006 - By Bob Perks)

3-15-2006 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #382
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Bob Perks

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Story of the Week
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"Gracious, Abundant Rain"
(© 2006 - By Bob Perks)
 
"Dry times." he said. 
 
I knew immediately what he was talking about. 
 
"Dry times, indeed!" I replied.  "But, oh, that gracious, abundant rain that follows!"
 
He turned slowly toward me.  The vacant look on his face said he did not recognize the abundant times.  At least not today.
 
"Dry times," he repeated.   I sensed it was a challenge offered to either agree with him or try to prove my point.
 
"Have you ever watched the rain after a dry spell?" I asked.
 
He didn't reply.
 
"When it first hits the dirt it doesn't soak in, it runs right off.  One would think that because the rain was much needed it would soak right into the ground. I discovered that in a long hot summer it takes a great deal of water to really get into the soil around my vegetable plants.  With the first attempt the water appears to just sit on top.  I water the plants a little, stop until it soaks in a bit and then add more.  Eventually the soil is so receptive that the water goes right down to the roots."
 
He stood there quietly.  I waited for him to respond.
 
"What's your point?" he said.
 
"It takes time," I said.  "The nourishing rain comes everyday .  The reason you see only the dry times in your life is because you are not taking the time to measure all the little things.  These "brief passing showers" may not measure up to your expectations, but they are real. 
 
Love, friendship, family, hope, laughter, shelter, food, and even this moment in conversation is all a part of what I call "Gracious, Abundant Rain."   
 
Someone starving sees abundance in a handful of rice.   Someone parched, dry, and thirsty  finds relief in a cup of water.  These times we live in cause us to not appreciate things unless our cup over flows."
 
Appearing to be unconvinced, without saying a word the man slowly walked away from where we were standing.
 
I have been just like that man.  I spent too much time wanting more while not appreciating all I had.  I have cried for relief when I had more than I needed.  I moaned about what others had, cursing the unfairness of it all while never acknowledging those who had less than I.   
 
But then...
 
Then came the great drought.    Prior to that, in comparison, my life was that of a king. I never realized how very fortunate, how very blessed I was until I nearly lost it all.
 
The "gracious, abundant rain" came in that very moment of acceptance.    When I finally valued every single bit of what I had, who I was and all I could become, there was a down pour that soaked my soul and washed away the emptiness of greed.
 
In doing so, the "Gracious, Abundant Rain" has formed a river in my life and I, I am called to water those who think there is a drought.
 
Don't measure all you have by man's standards.  Accept all there is for "No actions are too small.  The oceans are made up of single drops of rain."
 
Gracious, Abundant Rain!

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Pastor's Quote of the Week
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"Take heed and keep yourselves free from covetousness; a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he may possess. Happiness comes not from the power of wealth, and joy springs not from riches. Wealth, in itself, is not a curse, but the love of riches many times leads to such devotion to the things of this world that the soul becomes blinded to the beautiful attractions of the spiritual realities of the kingdom of God on earth and to the joys of eternal life in heaven.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-165 Section-4)

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        You are my Wealth.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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