a collection of steps

Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

Barren

In garden, God, growth, Jesus, obedience on September 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm

iStock_000004449387XSmall

That’s how he found it. He had planted the tree on his land hoping for an annual crop of tasty fruit. He nurtured it from a sapling, watered its ground, even talked to it.

His land was vast and he was pulled in different directions to tend all his gardens, vineyards, groves and crops, but this tree he loved most. When it’s season arrived, there was no fruit.

The farmer swallowed his disappointment, dug around its roots and fertilized it, saying, “This will help you bear fruit.” And another year passed. No fruit.

After the third year of no fruit, the farmer’s concern turned to frustration. After all he gave to this tree – more than any other tree, crop, vine or garden, it gave nothing in return.

In Christ we are called to bear fruit:

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control

(Galatians 5:22,23)

When God comes to you and looks at your life, will he find it barren, fruitless?  Jesus told this parable in Luke 13:6-9.  The gardener came to the tree and found it barren.  He said, “Cut it down, why does it use up ground?”  If you feel your life is barren and there is no sign of the ‘fruit’ listed above growing in your life, you are at risk!

But thanks be to God, our Advocate, Jesus Christ, says to His Heavenly Father on our behalf, “Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if it does not, after that you can cut it down.”

Thank You God for second chances!  Please help me allow you to grow this spiritual fruit in my life so that when You come to examine me, I will please You.

Everything

In garden, God, healing, help, love, power, relationships on September 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm

With God I neiStock_000004551858XSmalled nothing.

He is my…

Father, Physician, Husband, Attorney, Confidant,  Travel Agent, Accountant and Concierge.

He is my Counselor, Mother, Financial Adviser, Interpreter, Professor, Gardener and Surgeon.

He’s my Nutritionist, Manager, Driver, Landlord, Planner, Negotiator, Mechanic, and Army.

He’s my Real Estate Agent, Defender, Carpenter, Banker, Insurance Agent, Creditor and Healer.

He is my Pastor, my Proxy, my Brother, my Judge.

He is my Safety Officer, Designer, Architect and Friend.

He makes me laugh.

He’s my Exterior Designer, decorating my life with sky paintings that shame the masters.

He accessorizes my landscapes with colors and shapes that fill my senses with pleasure.

He unscrambles my brain.

He calms my craziness.

He corrects me.

He is my Search Party when I get lost, kidnapped or wander away.

He collects my tears in a bottle.

He loves me.

He blows me away.

Without God, I am bankrupt.

Love Smells.

In Christ, fragrance, garden, God, Jesus, love, marriage on May 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Breathe.

That’s the one-word advice I give to newly engaged couples.

Breathe when things get tense.  Breathe when everything around you stinks. Breathe when the inevitable storms of life threaten your dreams.

Catch wind of her scent when everything she says and does confuses you.  Take a deep whiff of those roses he brings home when everything he doesn’t say and doesn’t do hurts you.

I’m sure God had couples in mind when he planted the first flowers.  He knew, as we now know, that marriage gets challenging after the honeymoon.  He also knew that the simple act of breathing can harness the tongue and allow love’s aroma to prevail when all else reeks.

daffodils6

God knew that the force of fragrance could penetrate the heart even when the curtains are drawn on the windows of the eye and the passageway of the ear is plugged by stubborn selfishness.

It is no wonder then, that God began his plans for the first couple’s wedding in a garden.  In fact, he spent five days designing their first home (with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, 2 Peter 3:8 NIV).

After laying the foundation and installing the plumbing; after making sure everything was in good working order and all was mathematically correct, God became frivolous. When it was time to decorate, he flamboyantly carpeted and dressed their home with exquisite trimmings of every kind – crowning it with an endless array of breathtaking blossoms.

But God doesn’t get frivolous without a purpose.  His flowers were to play a vital role in love’s timeless message.  There, hidden in the frail and vulnerable petals, God placed power – power that could force the stench of hate and bitterness out of our cities, our homes and our hearts.

Shortly after their wedding, the first couple made a devastating choice.  Though that choice separated them from the Lover of their soul, God knew love was not in danger of extinction.  His fragrant presence was restored through a flower – the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley – Jesus Christ, his only Son.

Love took on the fragrance of death, he shed his blood and though the stench of the world’s sins hung on his flesh and God had to look away, Death’s decay gave way to the sweetest smell on earth – redemption.

So breathe.

Breathe God’s frivolous love when you can’t see a way out.  Breathe when your hearing is impaired by lies from the god of self.  Breathe his salvation into your soul by saying, “I do” to him at the altar of your heart – and may the fragrance of his love always fill your home.