From the I Am the Clay “Story” Series


A farmer went out to sow his seed… Matthew 13:3-8 NIV


“Oh my goodness—Jess? Hey!” Ally stood up from her small table and gave her high-school friend a hug. “What are you doing back in town?”

“I’m here for the women’s conference this weekend at the New Life Center at Calvary Memorial.”

“It’s so good to see you!” Ally motioned to an extra chair. “Please—join me.”

Jess sat down. “I thought I might run into you at the conference, but this will give us a chance to catch up.”

“What are you having? Cappuccino? Latte?”

“A cup of tea would be great.”

Ally flagged down the server. “Evie? Can I get a tea for my friend, hon?” She turned to Jess. “How about the mango/peach tea? It’s amazing.”

“Sure.” Jess turned to the server. “Mango/peach it is. Thanks.” She looked around the small restaurant. “This is really cute. I don’t think it was here the last time I was in town. Didn’t it used to be a gas station?”

“‘Peterson’s Lug and Lube.’ Johnny bought it about five years ago and turned it into the coffee shop. It does really well.”

“Johnny—would I know him?”

“Johnny Fitzgerald? They called him ‘Fitzy’? He played basketball—really tall? Aren’t they all!” They both laughed.

Jess took the cup of tea from the server. “Thank you. Fitzy—I do remember him. How did he end up opening a coffee shop?”

“He got a basketball scholarship to Indiana State—full ride—but Caitlyn got pregnant and they got married and just ended up staying here. He actually worked here for Mr. Peterson, then bought the place from him when he got ready to retire. Once it was obvious Johnny wasn’t going to be a big-time basketball star, Caitlyn just lost interest. They eventually got a divorce and she got custody of the kids and moved out of state. Personally, I think she was seeing someone else. She was always a mess—I don’t know what he saw in her.”

Jess took a sip of her tea. “Well, he did a good job. I can’t believe how everything has changed since the last time I was here. And I’ve just totally lost touch with everyone—people from high school, our gang from youth group at church. Hey—do you remember that week at youth camp the summer after our senior year?”

“Piney Ridge?”

“That was it. I remember we all had such a great time. So many of our group got saved and people got baptized in the lake.

Ally laughed. “I just remember that water was freezing.”

“That’s right—you got baptized then, too. We all left there ready to change the world for Jesus.”

Ally chuckled to herself. Jess smiled at her, a puzzled look on her face. “What?”

“Nothing. You moved away right after that, so you missed all the drama.”


“None of those people changed the world—at least not for Jesus. I don’t think most of them were even changed themselves.”

“What do you mean?”

…some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. Matthew 13:19 NIV

“You remember Brad? He started coming to church when he and Shelly started dating?”

“I do. He got saved that week.”

“Well… Truth is, he may have said he got saved, but he was just there because of Shelly. She thought she could change him…That never happens. When he realized she wasn’t going to sleep with him he broke up with her. He stopped coming to church, of course, and went back to smoking pot. He got arrested a couple years ago for possession of meth—a LOT of meth.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that. I remember he was really cute.”

“Mmm… Not anymore. Most of his teeth are gone. Can’t hold down a job. Has three or four kids, none of them with the same mother. Oh—and do you remember Ashley? Used to be a cheerleader?”

Some fell on rocky places…

The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. Matthew 13:20-21 NIV

“Please don’t tell me she was into drugs, too.”

Ally laughed. “No—not Ashley. She was big into church, started a ministry for pregnant teenagers.”

“Oh—that sounds wonderful! She was always really compassionate. I’m glad to know she turned that love for people and for Christ into an opportunity to serve Him.”

“Not exactly. She ended up taking a job as director of the local abortion clinic. I mean, she still works with pregnant girls and they…” Ally made air quotes. “‘counsel’ and ‘pray’ with them, but…” She lowered her voice. “I hear they’re being investigated—allegations of late-term abortions.”

Jess shook her head. “How does that happen? How does a Christian fall away like that?”

“You think that’s bad, you remember Brianna?”

“Yes, but… I’d rather not hear any more. It just breaks my heart.”

“I’m sorry. Ugh—I have been dishing the dirt the whole time, haven’t I?”

“It’s OK—at least you’re still doing good.”

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. Matthew 13:22 NIV

“Oh, yeah! Lucas and I are doing great. Stock on his company just split—again. We’re leaving next week for a couple months at our place in San Sebastian. He’s picking up more and more European clients.” She took a sip of her cappuccino. “I always tag along just to keep an eye on him. You’ll have to fly over some time when we’re there. We can spend the day on the yacht, give me something to do while he’s out doing business.”

Jess asked, “You’re still at the church, though—right?”

“When we’re in town. With all the wining and dining we have to do to stay on top of Lucas’ business, we’re gone a lot. Anyway… How about you? If we had taken a vote, you would have been elected ‘most likely to stick with it.’”

Still other seed fell on good soil…

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:23 NIV

Jess laughed. “I would be honored to wear that sash. We have a great church where we live now, very mission minded. We try to take a mission trip each year and help send others. And a couple years ago, I started hosting a women’s Bible study at my house. We outgrew my living room, and then outgrew the fellowship hall at church, so we’ve been meeting in the local community theater and streaming our sessions live and on-demand.”

“Wow! That’s impressive. What does your husband do?”

“He teaches 9th grade history.”

“A school teacher? How do you do all that on his salary?”

“We just follow the Lord’s direction and trust Him to provide. He’s never let us down.” Jess glanced at her phone. “Wow—I need to get over to the church and check in for the conference. So, will I see you there?”

“Tell me again—when is it?”

“It starts this evening and goes through Saturday night. Beth Moore is going to be leading a session…”

“Beth Moore… Kind of tall, really smart? Ponytail? Used to leave early to take AP Physics at the junior college? You remember—she got in trouble for smoking behind the gym?”

“No—Beth Moore didn’t go to school with us. She’s founder of Living Proof Ministries, amazing women’s Bible teacher—THE Beth Moore…?”

Ally shook her head. “I’m not familiar—but I’m sure she’s good if you came all this way just to hear her.”

“Not just her—there are lots of great speakers.”

“Anyone I’ll know?”

“Umm… I… I don’t know….” She rummaged in her purse. “Here’s a brochure with the whole schedule, and here’s my card with my phone number.”

Ally looked at the card. “‘Priscilla People Ministries’. How cute! Who’s Priscilla?”

“She’s… just… Someone from the Bible.”

“That’s clever! And I love that font.”

Jess smiled as she stood up. “It’s been really good catching up with you. Thank you for the tea.” She tapped the conference brochure on the table. “Call or text me if you see a session that piques your interest.”

“I definitely will! Have fun. Hope you enjoy Betty Moore!”

“It’s actually…. I’m sure I will—I’ll tell her you said ‘hey!’”

“Wonderful! Bye, now—don’t be such a stranger! Evie? Can I get another cappuccino, hon…?”

• • •

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©Dusty Teague 2017

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