Deanna and I bought our first house outside of St. Clairsville, Ohio. The neighborhood’s land had been reclaimed from strip mining. The house was great, our neighbors were wonderful, the country views were stunning. The dirt that all of this rested upon was not. It was awful. Hard. Rocky. Nutrient free. It was impossible to grow anything. Even our grass. We struggled to grow grass!!

We lived out the parable of the sower of seeds (Luke 8:4-8). Candidly, I’m not a botanist–far from it. Growing grass on rocks is beyond my skill set. We fertilized. We watered. We aerated. We reseeded. We tried everything we could think of doing. One day I was talking with my neighbor about his plan. He had a buddy who was bringing in fresh dirt. Good dirt. Fertile soil. He was starting over from scratch because he wanted a lawn. And we followed his lead.
It is pretty amazing what good soil does for growing things. In a few short days we saw the seeds begin to sprout. In a few short weeks our son was rolling in the grass. It was wonderful.

Bearing fruit incorporates a whole lot of ingredients. As Jesus explains the parable to his disciples in verse 15, he describes the good soil. “The seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” This is our hope and our calling. Find the good soil and sow some seed. But, another reading calls us to confess when we are not the good soil.

We started over with our yard. We got rid of the rocks and a fruitful harvest came in the form of green grass. What are the rocks that need to be removed from your soil so that you can produce a crop? What are the obstacles that continue to draw you back into sin? What are the barriers that prevent you from living into God’s vision of who you are and who you are called to be?

We had an expert come and clean up the rocks in our yard. He found some good soil and spread it for us. Are there people in your life who need to be more a part of your life? Their presence, perspective, and faith may just help you throw away some of the rocks. Furthermore, are their people in your life who you are called to come alongside of in a real way? Not to fix them, but to help them move some rocks, climb over some obstacles, and tear down some barriers.

Let’s work to prepare the soil. The harvest is coming!

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Pastor Scott Ness

Pastor Scott Ness loves stories and finding ways to use ordinary, everyday life to point to our amazing God. He strives to see with eyes of faith. He fails consistently. Through it all, God remains faithful and full of grace. When Pastor Scott isn't running around the church he is often found at home with his wife, Deanna and their six children.