Who is the King of Glory?

Every time I’ve thought about writing a devotional lately, my mind keeps going back to a song from Third Day – maybe you’ve heard it:

David asks the question in Psalm 24, “who is the king of glory?” The answer is “The Lord strong and mighty,
    the Lord mighty in battle.”

Let’s take a look at the entire Psalm for some context:

Psalm 24:1-2

First, David establishes the theme of this Psalm – that the earth belongs to God and He is in control.

Psalm 24:3-4

God alone is holy. Ascending the mountain (temple mount), standing in his holy place would have been the High Priest’s duty one time a year, on the Day of Atonement. The priest would have to make a sacrifice first for his own sins, then for the sins of the people before entering. It was so holy, that the other priests would have tied a cord around the high priest’s waist so they could drag him out if he died while in the holiest place. Yeah, pretty crazy.

The rhetorical question here is pretty interesting, because we see that no one really fits the bill. Does anyone really have clean hands and a pure heart, not trusting in idols? No… except one person (spoiler alert it’s Jesus). Hebrews 7 explains Christ’s unique position as both the high priest who intercedes for us with God AND also the actual offering. Hebrews 7:23-28.

Psalm 24:5-6

Since we now have Christ who has purified us to come close to God (Hebrews 10:19-22), we can receive this blessing and vindication! This is a result of seeking Him out.

Psalm 24:7, 9

I was a little confused about this – the NIV says “lift up your heads, you gates,” which begs the question, how can gates lift up their heads? Do gates have heads? New Living Translation to the rescue! “Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.” Ooh, such a beautiful picture! Can you imagine some rusty old gates being thrust open to let Jesus come through? I love that entry! Reminds me of this scene from Harry Potter:

Harry Potter World on Twitter: "Happy 66th Birthday to George Harris! He  portrayed Kingsley Shacklebolt in the Harry Potter films.  https://t.co/5LmqK4ve5i" / Twitter

Psalm 24: 8

We get the answer here… the King of glory is The LORD, strong and mighty; the LORD, invincible in battle. I don’t know about you, but an invincible king is the one I want to serve. 

Here “The LORD” is YHWH (phonetically “yeh-ho-vaw”, which we English-speaking folks often say as “Jehovah”). The root word of YHWH is “hayah”, which means “to become”… AKA “I Am”. Isn’t that cool? God’s name (as he tells Moses at the burning bush) is “I Am”. He just is! Check out Strong’s Concordance for more info on this name for God. 

Psalm 24:10

Reiterating this again – with a different name for God… the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – he is the King of glory. Again “the Lord” is YHWH, but Heaven’s Armies is “tsaba“, meaning army, war, warfare.  Our God is a warrior!

In this Psalm, we see clearly that God is in charge of the earth and everyone in it. He is holy, he is our priest, and he is our warrior-king. In light of all that’s happening in the world today (Ukraine, especially), I’m especially thankful for this reassurance. God is good! 

I hope you all rest in this truth today! God is in control – He is our King of glory!

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Tips on Planting Fruit Bushes & Notes on Leaf Hoarding

FRUIT!!!!!

My idea for adding fruit to our garden has come to fruition! Since my last post, the Jubilee Garden has grown by 144 square feet for a 4 ft x 36 ft blackberry and blueberry bed! There are 4 Osage Blackberries and one each of these blueberry varieties: Blueberry Buckle (a self-pollinating, dwarf hybrid), and Brightwell and Powder Blue (rabbiteye types that need another variety to cross-pollinate and produce fruit – does best in the south). This is my pipe dream of what I’ll be snacking on in about a year and a half…

Vaccinium Ashei Brightwell Rabbiteye Blueberry | SiteOne

Here are some things to consider if you’re planning on adding fruit to your landscape!

  1. Choose Fruits that are Suitable for Your Climate
    1. I love raspberries, but they don’t do well in NC. Blackberries do better, and I happen to like them, too.
    2. A garden retailer at my local farmer’s market told me that for my area, Apples and Peaches should be left to the professionals because we don’t get enough chill hours for most apple varieties here (do better in the NC mountains) and peaches have A LOT of problems that need to be heavily managed to yield a good crop (spraying). She probably shouldn’t have told me that, because now I sort of consider that a challenge (I’ll show you, farmers market lady!), but I’m going to prioritize the easier fruits over these.
    3. I’d love a grapevine, but bunch grapes require a lot of work, while muscadines are native to this area and basically don’t need any help.
  2. Pick the Best Varieties
    1. NC State has done all the hard work and figured out what works best and what’s most disease- and pest-resistant. If you’re going to go to all the trouble of planting, hedge your bets and listen to the experts! 
  3. Research the Best Time of Year to Plant
    1. Usually it’s fall/spring, but check your state’s cooperative extension website to see what they recommend for your area. Here in NC, either one works, but preference is usually for fall plantings for perennials and trees since our winters are mild. In areas with harsh winters (lots of sub-freezing temps), it may be better to wait until spring so the plants have a better chance of surviving.
  4. Consider Your Soil
    1. Blueberries need acidic soil, other fruits prefer neutral. You might need a soil test (link to my county’s testing site) to determine what you’re starting off with. I’ve never done a soil test, but I’ll probably do one this year because I learned it COSTS A MEASLEY $4 (I mean c’mon, so cheap!). AND if you do it during the growing season (April-Nov) it’s FREE!
    2. Free? free? free? free? - Nemo Seagulls | Meme Generator

      YUPPPP

  5. Determine the Right Planting Location
    1. Most fruits want full sun (6-8 hrs+ unfiltered light). LET THE SUNSHINE IN! They also need water, especially in the first year to get their roots established.
  6. Resist the Temptation
    1. The first year or two, you probably want to pick off any flowers you see on your plants, thus eliminating any fruit from being produced. This forces the plant to focus on root and vegetative growth. Sacrifice now means bigger, healthier plants and larger harvests later! I hate this so much, though! 
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My feelings about not eating fruit the first year after planting…

ALL THE LEAVES

Now a note on leaf hoarding. Initially, I started digging out a bed, but realized quickly that was a HORRIBLE idea. It’s labor intensive, time consuming, and completely unnecessary. Enter: SHEET MULCHING.

What is it? Essentially, you lay down something biodegradable to smother your grass and any weeds (I chose cardboard) and HEAP on the mulch (like 8+ inches worth).

In my case, I chose leaves because they’re plentiful AND FREE (can you see a theme here?). AND at this time of year, my wonderful neighbors have handily raked and packaged them for yard waste pickup – saving me labor and dolla dolla bills, ya’ll. So, yes, I creepily took rescued bags of leaves from my neighbors and family (most of the time, I asked first ;)). I definitely got some weird looks from people walking in the neighborhood as I fished leaves out of yard waste bins and hauled bags of leaves into the back of my SUV (sort of like a yard-waste hobo).

Leaves are worth their weight in gold as compost fodder and mulch. DO NOT LET THEM LEAF (ha!) your property! In fact, we got rid of your yard waste altogether and have never been happier!

Precious rescued cargo from my neighbor Brittany! Thanks girl!

For the new bed, you could use compost, leaf mold (composted leaves), or wood chips. Just don’t use something gross that could leach chemicals into your soil (dyed mulch, shredded rubber mulch). You could even build your beds using Hugelkultur (mounding sticks and other yard debris as the base of your bed as filler, leaving them to decompose over time… you’d still want to add some sort of finer mulch over top). 

Ideally, prepping beds should be done before planting, BUTTTTTTTTTTTTT…I was in a hurry, so I made do.

First, I figured out my spacing based on the mature size of the plants. It looks sparse now, but there’s room for them to grow. I can also plant annuals in the beds (flowers or veggies) these first few years to fill in the gaps.

Here are the steps for planting a new small fruits bed (if you haven’t prepped the bed in advance):

Measure how far you want your bed from existing plantings

Use stakes and string to define the bed area

Place plants with their full-grown size in mind

Dig holes 2x as wide and just as deep as the root ball of your bush. Plant away!

Check out that beautiful blueberry! And the great photography skills (sorry for the finger in the image!)

If planting in spring, you can add soil amendments if needed (acidifier for blueberries, for example). If your climate allows for fall or winter planting, don’t add anything that would spur new growth or bring the plant out of dormancy (fertilizer) until springtime.

add cardboard and your mulch of choice around the plantings

Here’s the final product!

Happy planting!

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Flood

This past week has been RAINY. We’re set to break a record for rainiest winter here in NC. When I look out our back window, I can see huge puddles of standing water. Thankfully, it’s not anywhere near our house or any structures!

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE rain. Unlike the Carpenter’s song, rainy days and Mondays don’t get me down at all. Come August and September, you’ll hear me complaining about not having enough rain for my parched plants. Rain just makes everything feel cooler. Refreshed. Greener. Better, in my opinion.

But lately it’s been a little too wet. Never thought I’d say that, but here we are. I wonder if this is how Noah felt during those first few days in the Ark. After a week, I can imagine him saying, “Okay God, I catch your drift (sorry, bad Mom pun, couldn’t resist). That’s plenty!” But it continued to rain 40 days and 40 nights – no reprieve. What must it have been like for all those people who were caught outside (without an Ark) watching the floodwaters slowly rising? While water can be life-giving, it can also be incredibly destructive.

Well, in the midst of this epic rain, the song “Flood” by Jars of Clay has been on repeat in my brain. The music video is VERY 90s, trying-to-be-grunge, and emo, but the message is pretty good. 

 

Here are the lyrics in case you missed them:

 

Rain rain on my face

It hasn’t stopped

Raining for days

My world is a flood

Slowly I become

One with the mud

 

(Chorus) 

But if I can’t swim after 40 days

And my mind is crushed

By the crashing waves

Lift me up so high

That I cannot fall

Lift me up

Lift me up when I’m falling

Lift me up I’m weak and I’m dying

Lift me up I need you to hold me

Lift me up and keep me from drowning again

 

Down pour on my soul

Splashing in the ocean

I’m losing control

Dark sky all around

Can’t feel my feet

Touching the ground

 

(Chorus)

 

Man! I can really relate to this. Maybe it’s the pandemic or maybe it’s just life, but “slowly becoming one with the mud” and needing God to “lift me up so high that I cannot fall” are both completely on point with what I’m feeling and what I imagine many of you are feeling right now. 

 

King David, my Old Testament boyfriend as I like to call him (I could write SEVERAL posts on why I think he’s bees knees, and maybe I will 😉 ), gives us hope that God does have the power to lift us up out of this gunk:

 

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;

    he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

    out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

    and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,

    a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear the Lord

    and put their trust in him.

Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV)

 

Are you outside the Ark, slowly drowning in the floodwaters and storms of your life? Do you feel like you don’t have a firm place to stand?

 

GREAT NEWS! There IS a high rock you can stand on:

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  (Matthew 7:24-25, ESV)

 

Jesus’ words and teachings are the rock. Cry out to Him and let Him rescue you today! 

I’ll be praying for you this week! If there are specific things you’d like prayer for (floods in your life?), please feel free to send me a message on the “about” page or leave a comment on this post. 

Here’s to sunnier days ahead!

Psalm 40:2: He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Here’s a memory verse for this week! Save it as your phone wallpaper as a reminder that God gives us a firm place to stand!

 

Coming up:

Wednesday: All About Seeds – Part 3! Selecting Varieties for Planting

Next Sunday: Pruning Time

 

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