Abundance in the bush

"Abundance in the Bush" is a collection of 31 devotions written by Linda Watt of Mary Valley Uniting Church Qld, based on life in the Australian bush which will stir, encourage and refresh anyone who is ‘country at heart’.

Check your vital signs...
Is that country blood pumping through your veins? Is that heartbeat for the Lord Jesus Christ?

"Abundance in the Bush" is a collection of 31 devotions written by Linda Watt based on life in the Australian bush which will stir, encourage and refresh anyone who is ‘country at heart’.

Books are available from the author for $7 each (plus postage).  Please see the Abundance in the Bush brochure for details of how to order.

Sample devotions:
1. Dinki-di tracks
2. Don't shoot

1. Dinki-di tracks

Unpressured, cattle will follow along in single file, often walking along the same path, forming well worn tracks or ruts. ‘Tracks’ form through our minds in a similar way. If we go down the same line of thinking often enough, a pathway forms and becomes a rut that gets deeper each time we use it. That is great stuff if the track is a dinki-di pathway (with true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy thoughts. Philippians 4:8). It isn’t so good if that rut is a load of bull dust. If we have bad thinking ruts, we need to chuck a U-ie. To re-route cattle, you put up a fence. To re-route wrong thinking, find out what the Bible says about your dodgy thinking and replace the lies with God’s thinking. If you always think how you’ve always thought, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. You have to start thinking differently if you want to see different results in your life. Will you start refusing to go down the old ruts in your mind? Think biblically often enough and you will get some new mind ruts! It’s called “renewing your mind” (Romans 12:2).  Renewing your mind is the key to changing your life. Can you see the dodgy ruts in your mind? What scripture will you use to set those paths straight? God will help you with that.
May all your cattle tracks (and mind ruts) be good ones!...

lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5b-6

Father, in my wrong thinking, I have been living by my feelings instead of by Your Word. Forgive me. Please help me find verses of scripture I can use to re-build tracks of truth in my mind. Thank You Lord, Amen.  

2. Don’t shoot

It is a part of life on the land - shooting animals. The scrubber steer that can’t be caught, breaks fences and teaches the herd to become rogues. The feral pig digging up pasture and eating newborn stock. The dingo that maims and feeds on calves. The threatening snake. The horse with its leg broken. The favourite dog damaged by wild cattle. The cow so weak from drought and starvation it can’t stand. Sick, diseased stock. Sometimes there is no kinder option, yet it is heartbreaking, especially when you have nurtured the animal and watched it grow. If you can’t help a suffering animal, it is cruel to prolong its misery.

Praise God we do not shoot ’difficult’ or wounded people! Or do we? Have you ever heard statements like these:

  • If you had more faith you wouldn’t be sick.
  • If you were a good Christian you wouldn’t get depressed.
  • If you were a better parent, your kids wouldn’t have gone off the rails.
  • You must have done something bad to bring on these bad things that are happening to you.
  • Why are you trying to change? Look at your track record.  

Untimely or untrue statements are like bullets, further wounding an already suffering person. When a person is down, the last thing they need is for someone to sink the boot in. Condemnation is the work of an enemy.

“I will never leave a fallen comrade” is part of a soldier’s creed. It would make a good Christian creed too - do not leave a fallen comrade and do not shoot the wounded with ‘friendly fire’. When life has wounded a person, they need to be picked up with unconditional love and acceptance and carried to the safe place of God’s reassuring love. Reach up to God for them and reach out to them for God. Do not shoot! We want people in heaven because of us, not despite us.

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Thank You Good Shepherd that You do not wound us further when we are suffering, or when we have wandered off and become lost. You welcome us, protect us and dress our wounds. Help us to do the same for our wounded brothers and sisters. In Jesus’ name, Amen.