All posts tagged God

First Fruits

First Fruits
fresh fruits and vegetables
Here is my blog from for March 15, 2018–here is the link if you would like to visit the site

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession and you have conquered it and settled there, put some of the first produce from each crop you harvest into a basket and bring it to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored. Deuteronomy 26:1-2 (NLT)

Running into the farmhouse I shouted to Tom, “They’re up! They’re up!”

Tom looked alarmed. “What, Pauline, what are up?”

“Our squash seeds, they have green leaves poking out!”

We both ran to the field in front of the farmhouse to examine this miracle.

“Sure enough,” Tom said as he bent over low, eyes moist. “Sure enough.”

That day was our first successful farm day. The first fruits of months of labor in our new life in North Carolina. Even though it was almost five years ago, I can still remember the joy.

When we start tiny seeds in plastic trays under hot lights, we both check morning and night for the first signs of life. We oooh and aaah like gazing at a newborn when the first sign of life appears. After they are planted our anticipation grows and our mouth waters when we think of that first bite of a perfect heirloom tomato. And when our purple and green asparagus launch, it is always cause for a celebration.

So, when today’s Bible reading in Deuteronomy speaks of bringing the first fruits of the harvest to the Lord, both Tom and I can relate.

Let me share how I try to bring the first fruits of my life to the Lord.

The first fruit of my time. My husband and I have marked this year as the year of prayer. Sure, I have a somewhat designated prayer time. I even have prayer cards for people. Knowing God is best through His Word and prayer, most days, I get up, have two cups of real strong coffee, get out my Bible, my prayer cards, and a notebook with 40 days of prayer that I downloaded from the Internet. Since Easter is right around the corner, I desired to really take my time with this sacred season and savor it instead of letting it sneak up on me.

As I give the Lord the first fruits of my day, I tend to bare more fruit during the day. Try it.

The second way Tom and I bring our first fruits is the first fruits of our tithe. We don’t resent giving our money, we are grateful to give. We have found we can never out-give God. He doesn’t need our money, but He does desire our trust.

In America, we tend to view our security in 401K’s, or health insurance, or life insurance. Those things are not bad, they just are not stable.

God owns everything, is all-powerful, all-knowing, and in the end, He wins.

Let’s just say, investing in heaven is a sure bet.

The last of my first fruits is the first fruit of my worship.

I’m not talking about Sundays and Wednesdays. I am talking about where your heart is. Where your mind is. What you talk about most.

That is what you worship.

For me, worshipping the Lord and Him alone is a daily challenge. But it is so worth it. He is so worth it. The more I meditate on Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection, the sweeter He becomes and the more I desire to worship.

Romans 12:1 (NLT) states, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”

Think of your first fruits, especially during this sacred season. And bring them to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

You’ll be glad you did. Here is the link if you would like to visit the site…

Copyright © Pauline Hylton 2018, used with permission.

27 Years of Maritial Bliss

Yesterday morning, before Tom headed off to work, we leaned against the headboard for a few minutes of communication. (Coffee already consumed) Our conversation consisted of the usual chit-chat about schedules, chores, and other responsibilities.

As we rested before a long day, light sneaked in our windows. Hummingbirds flew past our porch. We giggled. I thought of how comfortable I felt with my husband. I mean, it’s been 27 years of marital bliss. And 27 out of 34 ain’t bad.

I guess when I glanced over at my husband of 34 years, I noticed his gray hair, and how he looks a lot older than when we married. I know I look much older, too. But, I guess what I’m trying to say, is that when I looked at him, I felt not only love but respect that comes from the long, sometimes arduous commitment of marriage.

We moved to North Carolina to farm about three years ago without knowing anything about it. (Except YouTube University) He built an infra structure, and grew plants. He tilled and weeded and fixed and harvested. But it wasn’t enough to support us, so about 6 months ago he got a job. He works between 50-65 hours a week for what he used to make in a day. Yet he completes his work with the same diligence, perfection, and dignity.

That’s commitment. That’s honor. That is dignity. And I respect that. I admire him.

We finished our second cup of coffee and read 1 Peter and then we prayed. About our family, our church, and others. We expressed our gratitude to a God that takes us as we are and loves us enough to keep us when we fail.

And I said a prayer thanking the Lord for Tom.




My Bunny Slope of Faith


“Come on, Mrs. Hylton, you can do it!” my friend’s daughter said. I wasn’t sure. We’d joined the class together while my friend, Linda, tackled the grown-up part of the mountain.

Three hours into the ski class I’d fallen a dozen times–only when I tried to move. I was determined.

To graduate, I tackled the mini-mountain and only fell three times. Smiling from ear to ear we found Linda.

“We graduated and I made it down my first slope!”

“Great! How about we try this other slope?” She showed me a placemat-sized-map of the mountains and pointed to a slope halfway up the map. I searched the map trying to find the mini-mountain I’d conquered. I found it–a quarter  of an inch from the bottom.

That’s how I feel about my faith. I’m on the proverbial bunny-slope. The placemat-of-faith looms before me. The multiple falls mock me.

Aren’t you ever going to get this right?

Thinking myself a giant in the faith only to realize I’m a light-weight.

But, it’s a start.

I’ve been praying a three-part prayer this last year: to know God better, for Him to go with me, and to see His glory. I’m beginning to understand my faulty view of both God and me. I made myself big and God small when in truth it’s the other way around. So He’s answering my prayer, just not how I expected.

But that is exactly how He works.

And did I mention grace? I’m just beginning to grasp its meaning.

Grace is helping me conquer the bunny slopes and moving me up the mountain. And it’s all done in love without a single critical word.


How’s your faith journey? Be encouraged, we serve a mighty, grace-giving, all-loving God.

Here’s a song I love to sing. Paste it into your browser and meditate on it today my friend.

And keep climbing.



Have you ever felt as if you were standing at the edge of the Red Sea? Mounds of water ahead of you, mountains surrounding you, and an army at your tail?

That’s how I’ve felt lately. Wet toes.

My heart is weak.

My faith is small.

I haven’t written for a while because I almost drowned in that hypothetical sea. I’ve spent the last four months calling out to God, mostly on my knees. Sometimes several times a day. The weakest I can remember in my life. Desperate for God.

Guess what. I didn’t drown. Not because I held on but because He held on.

He’s like that. Powerful. All-knowing. Full of grace and truth. Generous with it too.

I won’t bore you with the details because they aren’t important. At least for this blog. What’s important is that God is great.

He answered each time I called out either through scripture, music, a text, a person, and especially prayer. Even people who don’t believe ministered to me during this time. If you were one of those people, thanks.

I’m so thankful. And so humbled.

It occurs to me that you may be standing at the edge of your proverbial sea. And you can’t see a way through. Call out to Him. His Word says you don’t have because you don’t ask.

Sometimes we don’t ask because we think we can handle it.

Maybe you’re there. You’re standing at the Red Sea with a teaspoon, shoveling away. And you’re pleased with yourself.

Jesus said in John 15:5, “without me you can do nothing.”

I guess that’s what I’ve learned.

And I just wanted to pass it on.



Caregiving is Servant Boot Camp

Don’t you just hate the way God answers prayers sometimes?

Just because I’m praying to be more of a servant doesn’t really mean I want to be more of a servant.

At least, that’s what I’m finding out. Praying for holiness isn’t the same as actually being holy. And no, I don’t mean by works, I mean by practice.

You see, my desire is to be more like Christ but my flesh is weak.

Take yesterday for instance. Because in the Tar Heel State when it snows more than an inch, it’s an emergency, I’ve been shut in for almost two weeks. Sure, I’ve been to the store and a few other errands, but our society as we know it took a two week break. Schools included.

Mom’s caregivers have come most of the time, but there’ve been times when it’s been just me. And Mom. And Tom. (Do you feel the tension?)

So yesterday, when Mom called for the fifth time after going in several times, I told her I couldn’t come every time she called.

She cried. So did I.

It spilled over into today. I called my sister. We both cried.

Caring for a parent in your home is tough. Being the one cared for is tougher.

I can see that and sometimes that makes it harder for me when I look at my mother, because I see me in a few decades.

It’s intense.

So after I cried in my room and to my sister, my mom called me in.

“Sorry I called you in and made you,” great sniffling, blowing of nose, wiping of chin, “feel bad.”

“I’m sorry too Mom.” More crying and nose-blowing on my part. “I sometimes just need time to myself so I don’t go crazy.”

“I know.”

There were other words said and tears wiped. Then Tom prayed.

Knowing there is a God Who cares and gives me strength when I need it and joy when there is none is comforting.


Most people would say I’m a servant. I know better. The Lord knows better. Yet, it’s my prayer.

I know my blogs are usually short, but I have to add a few more lines.

I’ve been studying the Exodus. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, God does not take kindly to complaining. And that’s what I’ve been doing and I’m ashamed.

Because God’s Word teaches that He has me right where He wants me and I need to be content.

And really, my deepest heart desire is to want what He wants.

So it’s back to boot camp.

As Gibbs would say–Hoorah!