Wednesday, January 29, 2014

God Shall Supply

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26.

What beautiful tail feathers this little bird wears!  My friend Becky, who I consider to be a bird expert, tells me this little guy I saw in a crape myrtle from my window is a Goldfinch who's usual bright color turns drab during the winter months.  So -- in the spring and summer, Mr. Goldfinch wears a lovely shade of yellow along with his princely tail feathers -- and then in winter, he sports a nice shade of beige-brown that complements the deep brown and white feathers perfectly.  Now, that's what a call a fine wardrobe -- and he doesn't have to spend a cent to wear it!

The way God clothes the birds of the air reminds me of that verse further down in Matthew 6 about the lilies of the field.  This verse could be as true of the birds when it says, "....They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."

 God says, "For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.  I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine" Psalm 50:10-11.  It says here that God "knows" every bird, so this little guy in the picture is known by God and cared for by Him in every way.

If God loves and cares for this seemingly insignificant little bird, how much do you think He loves and cares for you? and me  Matthew said it beautifully, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" 10:29-31.

As we see these little birds flitting around outside, let's be reminded of God's love for all His creation -- and most especially for those of us who are created in His very image.  Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:19 of the wonderful promise, "And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

I can't resist sharing this humorous quote I recently read:  "Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late."  My sentiments exactly!!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

ET Phone Home

"Call to me and I will answer you ..." Jeremiah 33:3

Okay, I'm taking this verse out of context by sitting it underneath a picture of telephone booths -- I just couldn't resist -- and I really believe God has a sense of humor!  These four shiny red British phone booths sit on Belgrave Road in London across the street from the hotel we stayed in there.  I've used this picture to make a point of how important communication is.

Of course, we know how important it is for us to stay in communication with God -- not because He needs to know what's going on in our lives, because He already knows as evidenced by the verse in Matthew 6:8, "...for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."  Rather, God knows we need it in order to grow in our faith.  Talking with Him, praying and meditating on Him is a vital part of our deepening relationship with Him.

Then there's His communication with us.  Any time I stop to really think about it, I'm amazed that the Almighty God of all creation would write an entire, fairly long, book to tell us what He wants from us and how much He loves us and about many things He wants us to know.  This Bible we can hold in our hands is the inspired word of our Father God -- when that truth sinks in, I believe it makes a difference in how we view the Bible.  "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" 2 Timothy 3:16.

I'm going to step back from the spiritual application and ask for a bit of earthly human communication from you.  I'd love to hear from you who read this blog.  I like to think God is using these posts to bless hearts and encourage people in His name... but, I'd sure love to know if anyone is out there reading these things and if they are making a difference -- anywhere, in any way. 

Just leave a little comment and I'll feel blessed to hear from you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- and may God bless you real good today (:

Thursday, January 23, 2014


             "He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth'" Job 37:6

Love that old song, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"  Since we didn't have to leave the warm confines of our house, I could freely sing that song Tuesday night as the snow fell and the wind blew and the temperatures dropped all around our city.  Here are two pretty spots in my backyard.  We may have gotten possibly 3 inches of the pretty white stuff -- which for our area stops nearly everything and gives the local weathermen a lot of excitement.  Hard to believe it was warm enough on Monday for Larry to play golf! 

The snow is such a lovely miracle from God and usually symbolizes a certain degree of purity, as in the verse Psalm 51:7: "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."  The verse speaks of snow being white and clean, but the cleansing that God offers us makes us even whiter, purer and cleaner than the finest of snow.

I love the poetic sound of Psalm 147:16:  "He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes," and "Have you entered the storehouse of the snow...?" Job 38:22.

Proverbs 25:13:  "Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the spirit of his masters."

This snow refreshes my spirit as I look upon its beauty and praise the Almighty One who sent it.  Thank you, God, for spreading the snow like wool across my yard and my neighborhood.  As always, You've done a wonderful job!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Anteater

I'm fascinated by anteaters.  There's something about that extra-long nose that is unique and quirky and, of course, the fact that they like ants and termites is strange to me as well.  This big guy is a resident of the Palm Beach Zoo in Florida.  I watched he and his family of anteaters slip around the edges of the large fenced-in area they inhabit.  This one is a Giant Anteater (certainly larger than anteaters I'd previously seen) and he's a native of South America.

Not only is his nose extra-long, but his sticky tongue adds another two feet to the depth he can stick his nose into things.  He pokes his probing proboscis into ant and termite nests and scoops up thousands of the little suckers at a time, therefore it's not surprising that he often consumes 30,000 in one day.  I say, "Go to it!"  I am not a fan of either ants or termites.

God has surely created some unusual and even comical-looking creatures in His world.  The variety He's made available for us to enjoy is almost endless.  Beyond that wonderful truth, I find an interesting spiritual message in the anatomy of the anteater -- the fact that he's forever sticking his nose and long tongue into things.  Now, we know that is his job and the way he feeds himself, but how about we human beings?  It's not our job to be sticking our noses into things and it's not how we're suppose to feed ourselves.

There are some people who seem to want to stick their noses and tongues into all sorts of things that do not concern them.  I like what Shakespeare says in Henry IV, "Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues."  We could almost say Rumour is also full of noses since some people seem to have a knack for sniffing out rumor and then passing it on with their tongues -- regardless of whether it's true or not.

There's a lot written in scripture about the tongue.  As James points out to us, "The tongue is a small part of the body [at least in humans], but it makes great boasts.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body...." 3:5. 

There's a really humorous verse in Proverbs 26:17 that speaks of a nosy person meddling in someone else's business.  Use your imagination to visualize this one:  "Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own."  Ouch!  Let's make it a habit to steer clear of meddling.

I like the online quote that reads, "Oh, I didn't tell you?  Then it must be none of your business."  That might sound a bit rude and I would never actually say that to a person, but when you get right down to it - the message in that quote has a lot of truth in it.  There's a verse in 1 Timothy 5 that talks about idle women who became "gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to."  No doubt we're all guilty of saying "things we ought not to" on occasion, but we should ask God to help us guard our tongues (and our noses) and mind our own business. 

I have discovered that the best thing to do when I hear a rumor or some derogatory or disturbing information about someone, rather than turn around and repeat that news to some other person, I should take it to God and speak with Him about it.  He knows all about the situation and has the best interest of that person in His heart.  We can pour out all of our thoughts on the subject to Him and that information will go no further.  If we'll make a habit of always speaking to Him about a matter first, we'll be able to keep our nose clean and our tongue fire-free (:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Tribute to John

One week ago, a dear man of God slipped from his earthly body into the spiritual realm to meet his Savior face to face for the first time since he'd put his faith in Christ's finished work as a boy many decades ago.  His name was John -- a man who was greatly loved during his lifetime on this earth and is greatly loved in his new heavenly home by not only his Lord Jesus, but his Mom and Dad and other loved ones who greeted his arrival there.

The First Baptist Church in South Carolina, where John's funeral was held has many beautiful, old stained glass windows.  I chose this window to represent John's life because not only did he put his faith in the cross of Christ, but during his life on earth he grew in his relationship with the Lord as signified by the green leaves, and I've no doubt he was presented with a crown for his faithfulness to the Lord.  The blending of these elements in a Christian bring glory to our heavenly Father.

All of us who knew John will miss his sweet spirit, enjoyment of life, love of family and gentle humor.  While his dear family are grieving his loss, they are also rejoicing in the assurance that he is happier than he's ever been, enjoying peace, good health and wonders that we can only faintly imagine.  In Hebrews 11, God speaks of His people as "longing for a better country -- a heavenly one" where He will be called their God.  Because God so loves His children and knows this new home will be so amazing for them, the verse in Psalm 116:15 tells us, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."

I truly thank God upon every remembrance of our dear brother in Christ, John, and I look forward to seeing him again someday.  May God bless his sweet family during this time with His rich, loving comfort and peace.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Baby Elephants

Guess where I saw these baby elephants playing in the edge of the river?  No, I haven't gone on an African safari.  I did, however, go on a Jungle Safari -- in Disney World, that is.  These animatronic elephants looked so real as they moved around and shot water into the air from their trunks that I wondered if they'd slipped a ringer in for the fun of it.  It's downright fascinating to see all of the many animals and plants and props around the vast Disney parks that look so real you sometimes need to touch them just to be sure.  In fact, there are sometimes real plants scattered among the fake plants to such an extent I can get confused.  What's real and what's not real?

While you expect such unreality in a theme park, the sad and scary fact is that the day to day we live in is also scattered with the fake and unreal.  Satan has rigged our modern culture in such a way that many people are fooled on a regular basis.  What's right and good is often twisted to appear narrow minded and politically incorrect, while that which is wrong and sinful is accepted and lauded as freedom of expression and open-minded behavior.

We're not surprised when the World offers up twisted values and skewed half-truths, but when we see it in the "religious" arena it can confuse even those who are Believers.  Such deception has been around since the beginning of time -- note Satan's words to Eve when he tempted her beside the tree in the Garden of Eden, "Did God really say..." Genesis 3:1.  From that time until today, the great deceiver continues to question God and throw doubt into every heart and mind he can get his wicked claws into.

God is well-aware of Satan's unrelenting attempts to deceive and confuse.  That's why Jesus spoke of Satan, saying, "He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is not truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies" John 8:44.

Further, God spoke through Peter, warning us of false teachers, preachers and prophets:  "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.  They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them...Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up...For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error" verses from 2 Peter 2.

So, what's a Christian to believe when faced with slick speakers who sound so sincere and godly, but preach a message that sounds too good to be true, or on the other hand, too frightening to contemplate?  How can you know what is real and what is fake?  The apostle John gives good advice, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" 1 John 4:1.

You might ask, and how do you "test a spirit?"  John answers that question in the next verse, "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus, is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist..."

Those little fake baby elephants playing in the water are absolutely adorable and fun to watch.  We know they're not real and so we can judge them for what they are.  As Christians inhabited by the Holy Spirit, we need to ask Him for discernment when we are faced with a situation or a message of which we are unsure.  What is real and right, versus what is fake and wrong?  Just ask yourself, does this thing glorify God and uplift Jesus Christ -- or not.  Let the Holy Spirit be your guide.

Monday, January 13, 2014


This little squirrel was perched on the edge of the birdbath in my flowerbed the day before Christmas.  I like the way it looks like he's hiding behind a green, leafy plant hoping no one would see him.  He was hard to spot, but I think it was his dark, shiny eye that gave him away.

Sometimes we feel the need to hide from physical danger, as this little gray squirrel did.  Other times we hide our feelings so they don't get hurt, or some even hide their true intentions in an effort to deceive.  There are various reasons that people hide something and it appears to me that most of those reasons have negative connotations.  The squirrel was hiding for fear of being captured or harmed by a predator.  After all, it's a jungle out there for little creatures -- even in my backyard.

It's a jungle out there for us as well -- in this world where both visible and invisible warfare is being waged every day.  Some days, we'd like nothing better than to hide from it all.

For those whose Father is God Almighty, we have not only an Advocate to fight for us, but He also offers a shield to hide and protect us.  I love the verses in Psalm 91.  It begins with:  "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust" verses 1-2.

While God promises to protect us and hide us when necessary, we can be assured that nothing is hidden from Him.  He always knows everything there is to know about us.  From before we were born -- "My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place" Psalm 139:15, to the number of hairs on our head, to the day we'll join Him in heaven:  "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" Psalm 139:16.

What a blessing to be so well-known by God and still so well-loved and well-protected.  "How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts!" Psalm 92:5.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Created in His Image

This interesting jar containing a few handfuls of ash with its accompanying plaque sits on rough burlap in the deep windowsill of Mission Espada in San Antonio, Texas where we visited a few years ago.  The small, simple chapel has unadorned white-washed walls, wooden benches and a low, dark wood-beamed ceiling.  A matching jar sits across the chapel in another window and has an English translation of the plaque.  The eloquent message of these jars is what makes this chapel special to me.

If you understand Spanish you might be able to read this plaque.  For those of us who are not so fluent, here's the translation:  "Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return."  Hmm.... that's a rather sobering thought as we turn over a leaf in the calendar and begin a brand new year.  But rather than feel morbid about the idea, let's look at it in a positive light (I really prefer positive to negative, don't you?!).

Let's start at the beginning when God picked up a handful of dust and started His family on earth:  "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being" Genesis 2:8.  Have you ever considered how really, really amazing that is?  It's hard to get our minds around such an act -- almost as hard as comprehending how incredibly much He loves each and every one of us. 

Then there's the fact that He created us in His very image, with attributes and emotions and feelings similar to His own -- "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" Genesis 1:27.  Of course, that doesn't mean we have His super powers or perfection or anything like that -- we are the finite being created by The Infinite Being for His good pleasure and glory, and for our joy in Him. 

Psalm 103 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible (one of many!).  I love that God understands our frailty and longs to help us and protect us, as seen in verses 13-14:  "As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear [or reverence] Him.  For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust."  In the margin of my Bible, I wrote PTL - Praise The Lord.

In Ecclesiastes 12:7, we are reminded of the words in the plaque above, "Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it."  If we aren't part of the upcoming Rapture (which does appear to me that it will be sooner rather than later), then yes, indeed, our bodies will return to the dust from whence they originally came.  But, the really cool and marvelous thing is that our souls/spirits -- which are really our true selves -- won't remain with that crumbling body, but rather immediately zip into our wonderful home in heaven (that is if you have accepted Jesus as Saviour).  Paul writes, "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord" 2 Corinthians 5:8.

I'm not worried about that jar of dust, nor that my body is fashioned from the dust of the earth.  It is my spirit that is the me that will continue -- the part of me that was created in the image of God.  When I close my eyes and lay aside the fact that I'm presently inside an earthly body, the me that is doing the thinking and pondering and feeling, that's the me that will continue to live on forever -- long after the dust has settled. 

Note:  I used this picture in an earlier blog on November 3, 2012 which contains the message of salvation.  If you're unsure about your eternal future, please check it out.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Conch Creature & Eternity

Most times when we see a conch shell it's empty of everything but the sound of the sea when we hold it to our ear.  Here is a conch shell with its resident creature still attached -- a rare view of what these shells were originally created for.  This little guy lives in the beautiful clear waters along the shoreline of St. Maarten Island.  Our guide pulled him from the water for us to see (you can still see a droplet of water ready to fall from the bottom edge of the shell).

When I researched the conch on the internet, I was surprised to learn that they can live up to 40 years.  The hard spiral-shaped shell apparently grows along with the soft-bodied animal living within its protective interior and reaches full-size at around four years of age.  I was happy to be able to purchase several of these lovely works of art (created by the Master Artist) -- minus the little sea creature -- in Grand Turk quite inexpensively.  The Turks seem to be pretty much the Conch capital of the world.  Lest you think it seems like cruelty to animals, the conch is considered a staple in the diet of those who live in the Caribbean. 

Seeking a spiritual message from this conch and shell -- besides the obvious wonder and variety of all of God's amazing creations -- sent my mind spinning in different directions before I read a quote from a well-known work of literature.  In William Golding's, "Lord of the Flies," he mentions the conch several times.  He writes about it's fragility, saying, "It exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist."

As soon as I read that description by Golding, I saw a message about those who believe that when we die we cease to exist.  While an exploded conch shell does cease to exist -- except perhaps as grains of shell-sand littering the beach, the human soul never ceases to exist.  The human soul lives forever and ever, beyond anything our finite minds can ever comprehend.  It is interesting (and sad) to note, however, that not everyone agrees with this truth.

Robert Ingersoll was an agnostic who lived in the nineteenth century.  He was a brilliant orator and, I believe, he searched for the truth but may have never found it -- at least his speeches and writings don't indicate that he ever did.  Here's a touching excerpt from the tribute he gave at his brother's funeral:  "Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word; but in the night of death hope sees a star and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing."

It appears that Ingersoll hoped there might be life after death, but his uncertainty left him feeling bleak and, I would imagine in his quiet moments -- frightened.  A family friend of mine believes that when a person dies, that's the end -- there's nothing more beyond that last breath -- we cease to exist.  I wouldn't want to spend my life with that hopeless belief.  I truly can't imagine what that would feel like, because I have always believed 100% that there is a heaven and a hell and that we will spend eternity in one of those places.  Because I've accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I believe 100% that I will be spending the remainder of my eternal life in that amazing place called heaven.

Scripture has many verses that make crystal clear that there is no such thing as "ceasing to exist" when it comes to humans.  2 Corinthians 5:1 is one of those verses:  "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." 

Then, there's the promise Jesus made in John 14:  "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

The verse in Philippians 3:20 makes a Christian's future destination absolutely clear:  "But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body."

While a conch shell might very well "explode into a thousand white fragments and cease to exist," our human spirits and even our glorified bodies will most definitely be around for always.  I for one find that assurance most comforting.

Note:  The next blog will be sort of a continuation on this theme.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Eyes to See

I read today's message in my devotional book, "Jesus Calling," by Sarah Young, this morning and it reminded me of these two photos I'd taken in San Juan, Puerto Rico last month.  Notice the difference in the lighting in these two pictures of the same walkway.  Here's what Sarah wrote as if Jesus was talking directly to us, "As you grow closer to Me, I open your eyes to see more and more of My Presence all around you.  Things that most people hardly notice, like shifting shades of sunlight, fill you with heart-bursting joy.  You have eyes that see and ears that hear, so proclaim My abiding Presence in the world."

Jesus has blessed me with eyes that see and ears that hear -- certainly not everything, but enough that I often am amazed by wonderful messages He reveals to me in the oddest places.  I do indeed want to proclaim His abiding Presence in the world by sharing the bits and pieces of things that might seem insignificant, but are so often evidence of His working in every little facet of our lives.

Shifting shades of sunlight are small things that happen regularly, but how often do we take notice and marvel at their simple beauty?  The first photo shows a peaceful, shady, cool-looking walkway overhung with a thick canopy of green leaves, while the second photo pops with movement.  Dark splotches spread across creamy pavers teasing the senses with sunlight and shadow; colors are brighter and brilliant blue sky can be seen peeking through the branches. 

I've tried to determine which photo I like better, but I like aspects of both.  Do you have a favorite?

James reminds us that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (1:17).  This verse certainly captures the light and shifting shadow theme, but my take-home message from that truth and the photos of the pathway in two very different lights is how God's love for us doesn't change with our circumstances.  Some days our path may be in shadow and some days the sun might be glaringly-bright, but always God is there ready to direct our footsteps, ready to bless our efforts, and ready to comfort our hearts -- no matter what might darken our pathway. 

And, I believe He is eager and ready to send a good gift of wonder to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.   "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things...."  Psalms 119:17.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pretty Pinkness

 I snapped this picture in Orlando, Florida last month.  I like the way droplets of water sit like scattered diamonds on the beautiful pink leaves of this poinsettia.  Shades of pale to deep pink with just a touch of green and yellow all add to the fresh beauty of this Poinsettia Portrait.

It's interesting how poinsettias have become "THE Christmas flower."  The legend of their association with Christmas started way back in the 16th century.  They say a young girl who was too poor to offer a gift to celebrate Jesus' birthday was inspired by an angel to gather weeds and place them on the church altar.  Miraculously, blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.  Regardless of the origin, they certainly brighten our Hampton Roads area this time of year when no other flowers are blooming.

The poinsettia is native to Mexico and was introduced to the United States in 1825.  The plant's Star pattern is also a reminder of the Star of Bethlehem.  Here's the larger group of flowers from which I captured the beauty above.

When I look at all the wonders in the world around me, I am full of praise for our So-Great God who created it all.  Each unique blossom in this bouquet of poinsettias is totally different -- just as each one of us in this vast world of millions and millions of people are totally different -- and, I might add, totally loved and cared for by this amazing, awesome God!
"The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens; by His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew" Proverbs 3:19-20. 
"The skies drip with dew...."  I can just envision God dripping dew from heaven, gently sprinkling these delicate, colorful poinsettias that He'd fashioned and then smiling at the beautiful picture He'd created.  I'm so glad I could join Him in admiring the work of His Hands -- and I'm so glad you could come along with me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I find rocks interesting.  There's all different sizes, shapes and colors, not to mention the fact that they are sturdy little guys and can be used for a great variety of things.  The rocks in these two photos share many characteristics even though they are thousands of miles apart.   
The first pile of rocks sat along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea on the coast line of Costa del Sol in Spain.  I took the picture on the beach behind the timeshare we stayed in seven years ago (wow, how time flies!).   The second photo shows rocks forming a cobblestone street in Charleston, South Carolina where we visited just last month.  I had to do some serious bending to capture that angle of the street, but I'm pleased with the results. 
The rocks in Spain look much like the rocks in Charleston.  In fact, I can well imagine a group of sailors several hundred years ago, gathering stones from the edge of the Mediterranean Sea and placing them in the lower parts of a sailing ship as ballast for a journey to the new lands of North America.  I can imagine them landing in the new, fledgling seaside village of Charlestown, unloading their pile of rocks and replacing them with rice and tobacco and cotton.  In which case, a bit of Spain had been transported and "planted" into the soil of this distant country when the rocks were used to pave one of their muddy streets.
According to Wikipedia, Ballast is "a material used to provide stability to a vehicle or structure.  In a vessel that travels on the water, the ballast will remain below the water level to balance the ship."  The description also said that this stone contributed to the architectural heritage of some east coast cities where the stone was used as building materials -- like many of the old streets in historic coastal cities.
According to Ecclesiastes 3:1& 5, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them together."
With our finite minds, we as humans don't always know when is the best time to scatter stones and when is the best time to gather them together but, of course, our infinite God knows all the times and seasons and if we follow His lead, He'll let us know when the time is right for such activities (or any other activities we need to be involved in). 
Not only that, but God tells us that as His children, we are actually living stones when He says, "You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:5.  And furthermore, the most precious and important stone of all -- the true ballast for the entire world -- is the Lord Jesus Himself.  "For in Scripture it says: 'See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.'" (2:6).
I'm thank for the Ballast in my soul -- the stone that the builders rejected -- the one who effectively holds this world together, balancing this vast earth and providing its stability with the power of His omnipotence.  He is the Rock that never fails.