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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Familiar Figures

by Steve Case

Check out these modern versions of the the parable of the sower.

    “[Jesus] told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear’” (Matthew 13:3-9).
    When Jesus walked this earth, He told stories about farming and fishing to farmers and fishermen. If Jesus were to walk the earth today, he would tell us stories about  figures who are familiar to us.
    Maranatha’s Ultimate Workout 17 staff came up with some modern examples of the concepts Jesus shared in His story about  the farmer sowing his seed. If Jesus were telling this parable today, Jacob Mayor said it might sound something like this . . .
    “How is your cell phone service? Sure, you might buy a great phone, but what if you don’t have any service? What good is that? Or, what if your service sets records for the highest number of dropped calls—and it’s primarily your phone calls that get dropped? What if you’re without your battery charger, and your phone runs out of power? Fortunately, there are many who have a great service provider. These people really stay connected!”
Jeremy Weaver said it might go something like this . . .
    “A personal trainer put the members of her exercise class through a workout to improve their physical fitness. Even though everyone was in the same class, each person responded in different ways. Some quit and never exercised again. Others went to a pizza place and pigged out right after exercising—a lot of good the exercise did! There were others who developed shin splints or pulled muscles, because they hadn’t built up to the new stress of exercise. And there were some who kept up with the  workout program for 10 years, 20 years,  even 50 years. If you have muscles, use them!”
Katie Pierce’s version is . . .
    “Computers seem like a regular part of our world. Yet some people avoid them, as if they don’t even exist. Others operate their computers, but often get frustrated,  sometimes to an extreme degree. And there are people who use their computers for evil—whether it’s hacking or simply indulging their dark side. But there are people who take what a computer has to offer and multiply their skills, knowledge, and creativity for great good.”
Mike Ahn thought about it this way . . .
    “When it comes to coaching high school sports, a particular coach might use the same game plan each year for their team, but each team may respond differently. One team might have great ability, but nothing more. So they don’t become all they could be. Other teams might be very cohesive, but not have any superstars. Some teams might have a lot of ego problems. ‘Success’ for the coach might not be the win-loss record, but which team responds best to their plan.”
    Annetta Bacon used her imagination and came up with this . . .
    “When it comes to dating, what kind of person will you date? Some people are very physically attractive. Yeah, they may have what people consider ‘good looks’ and a slim or athletic shape. Is this what it’s all about? Another person might have problems with acne, yet have an engaging conversational style. Another person might be the life of the party, but it’s difficult to have an honest, one-on-one conversation with them. Some people make a great first impression, but that’s all there is to it. Then there’s the person who really grows on you.”
    Brent Bergherm thought about this . . .
    “Music is a powerful element in our lives, and iPods and iTunes make it even more available. Some songs make quite a splash when they’re released. Others don’t make such an impact at first, but they stay around longer. Some songs people simply use to exercise with or to wake up with, while they pick others to listen to when chilling out, relaxing, or even meditating. And some songs become classics when they’ve been around for so long that multiple generations turn to them.”
     Eduardo Lucas thought about the parable this way . . .
    “Four people read a poem. One reads it dutifully, but doesn’t seem to understand it. The second person who reads it actually likes the poem, but quickly forgets it. So it doesn’t really make an impact on their life. The third person who reads it likes it, but has a greater interest in music. They turn the Iyrics into a song. The fourth reader loves what they read and even begins to create new poetry to enhance their understanding of the original poem.”
How does your modern version of the parable go?

    Steve Case is a youth pastor, popular speaker, and mission trip leader. He’s  also president of Involve Youth in Sacramento, California.

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