Wonderful TV series and movie by producer of ‘Touched by an Angel’. Christmas episode. Premiered on Hallmark Channel, Sunday, Nov. 23, @ 9p.m. 8p.m. central. Please pray for the return of the TV series.
credit: Tv*Movie*Sparks+Hallmark Movies and Mysteries
Plants seem to be smarter than most people, including many who profess Christianity. Trees, crops, flowers, and grass recognize the source upon which they must depend. They naturally turn toward the light, seeking it consistently and persistently to receive its benefits. They respond to water as their roots reach into the depths of the soil, however resistant it may be, in order to absorb every drop of life-giving water.
The Scriptures encourage those created in the image of God to be fruitful – like a tree planted by the river, extending its roots downward while spreading its leaves to the sun. The Psalmist said to the person who delights and meditates in the Word of God, “You will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither, and in whatever he does, he prospers.”1
Jeremiah wrote, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, for he will be like a tree planted by water that extends its root down to a stream and will not fear when heat comes, but its leaves will be green and he will not be anxious in a drought and will not cease to yield fruit.”2
If we are to be God’s vineyard, we must remain under the oversight and care of the true husbandman – the Lord Himself. If you want to see the most briar- and weed-infested field, just look at a cultivated garden that has been abandoned and watch what grows! The same is true of human beings who are not submitted to the ongoing care of the Vinedresser.
If a blade of grass diligently and consistently seeks light and water, why can’t people created in the image of God do the same? All of creation depends on the Creator, with the exception of those created in His image – both sad and tragic!
Scientists indicate that even house plants have some level of intelligence. A plant adjusts to varying conditions by processing information and reacting to it. According to science writer Robert Wright, “It has sensors that absorb information reflecting the state of the environment – where light is coming from, for example – and this information guides the plant’s growth accordingly. And so, too, with every other form of life that pursues goals under varying conditions (which is to say every other form of life).”3
The plant is a sophisticated machine. It persists toward a goal in varying conditions by processing information. Why don’t people?
We are challenged by God through the apostle Paul to be “deeply rooted and grounded in love,” which will enable us to sustain the abundant blessings fruitfulness so often produces. “We are to be firmly rooted and built up in Christ.”
Christians must also develop a desire to walk in the light of God’s truth and love, continually drinking the “water of the Word.” In this, we will experience cleansing and nourishment necessary to be consistent in all seasons, however blessed or challenging they may be. The droughts and dry times should drive our spiritual roots even deeper to absorb every drop of the water of life possible. Proverbs says, “The root of righteous yields fruit.” The fruit will look like Jesus!
Just as plants reach toward the light, we must do the same. May God give us a thirst for His righteousness and the abundance of fruit produced by the Holy Spirit. We can live continually overflowing with the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.4 If plants can be fruitful by consistently seeking light and water, surely we who are created in His image can do as much – and do it for the honor and glory of our great God and Father. “You are the light of the Lord. Now walk as children of the light.”5
1 Psalm 1:2-3 NAS 2 Jeremiah 17:6-8 NAS 3 Robert Wright, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, New York: Vintage Books, 2000, page 312 4 See Galatians 5:22-23 5 Ephesians 5:8 NAS
Susan Boyle was blessed with a glorious voice. May GOD be praised. This song speaks of the plight of man and the many broken Hallelujahs…
Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord That David played, and it pleased the Lord But you don’t really care for music, do you? It goes like this The fourth, the fifth The minor fall, the major lift The baffled king composing Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah
Your faith was strong but you needed proof You saw her bathing on the roof Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you She tied you To a kitchen chair She broke your throne, and she cut your hair And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah, Hallelujah
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you And even though It all went wrong I’ll stand before the Lord of Song With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
The Joy and Pain of Gardening
There is this crazy urge that I get each Spring when the first crocuses peek out of bed, and the daffodils put on their bonnets–it is called, in my vernacular, time to dig. Whether it is digging into the black dirt with my toes, or grabbing a shovel and digging holes, or using a tiller to turn the soil over for planting–It truly doesn’t matter because the urge is simply to dig-dig-dig.
Along with this urge comes a need to plant baby flowers and vegetables in the hope of watching them grow into fruit producers and bloomers of the garden variety. Before this can be accomplished, however, there are many steps toward this luxurious goal. No pain no gain.
As I am no longer in the ‘bloom’ of youth, each year it becomes harder and harder to perform the gardening tasks necessary to say that I have had a wonderful, productive season. I used to be able to kneel and pat those little suckers right into place with no aching aftereffects, but now Mr. Arthur shows up almost immediately after I have patted the last little plant and put them to bed. Ibuprofen to the rescue!!! I guess if I weren”t so driven I would simply let the garden do the natural thing. It would overgrow itself quickly and what a tangled mess I would have.
Since it is human to want to control everything and everybody around you, lest there be any surprises, I struggle year after year to reach the same gardening goals of twenty years ago. I want little pansies to smile at me while giant sunflowers tower over the fence and protect the borders. I long to see Jack command his pulpit while begonias beguile me with their constant beauty and variety. The shrubs and bushes offer summer glamour while fruit trees, maples, and oak offer bountiful shade.
I am a sensory person. I enjoy textures and myriad colors around me. Nothing is more sensory than touching the fleshy petal of a Day Lily or an Iris. The beauty that is the rose family is absolutely breathtaking–domestic or wild. The variety of colors is mind-boggling–giving me a glimpse into the rainbows of Heaven. Will there be gardens there to plant and explore?
There is great joy in watching the tomatoes grow and ripen on the vine. Cucumber’s yellow flowers team with the golden orange of the melon flowers. Such a lovely scene. The greens of the foliage form a wonderful contrast to the bursts of color that speak of fruit to come.
My garden always makes me think of the responsibility of parenting. The little seeds that we are given to water and nourish grow quickly. If we give them good food then we will yield a plenteous harvest with strong seed toward the next generation. Will it be easy? No. Just as the garden in my yard takes careful tending in order to grow–so do my children. My difficulty is that I am like ‘The Old Lady Who lived In A Shoe’– I have so many children in my heart that I don’t know what to do. At home and abroad, they take careful tending each day. An earnest prayer here and some encouragement there–a shake of the head when I see them making some of the same mistakes that I made in my own youth; panic when I see that they are going to follow their own chosen path making wise or unwise choices along the journey and disregarding my loving advice.
I will continue to tend my gardens and the mixed bed of joy and sorrow will be mine to lie upon. Prayerfully, hopefully, the flowers of my heart will someday bloom with beauty and wisdom. I will then hold them close and kiss the dew from their faces.
I said to the LORD, “LORD, let me be a butterfly so fine and free.
Let my heart take wings, And without a care,
Let me spread enjoyment everywhere!”
“My child, said the Lord,
It’s up to you,
Are you willing to trust me, Like the butterflies do?”
“Yes, Lord, I trust you!” was my glib reply-
“How much could it cost to be a butterfly?”
“Fine, said the Lord, let’s get on with it then,
First you must die–
That’s how we’ll begin!”
My heart skipped a beat, And my stomach grew tight,
As I said to the Lord, “Did I hear you right?”
“My child, ” said the Lord, Surely you know–
The worm has to die, So beauty can grow.’
“It’s not easy,that’s true, But my way is best,
And I”ll be beside you All through your test.’
Then the Lord took his finger And touched my heart,
And began to probe Each secret part.
Unforgiveness, Anger, Selfishness, too, All had to go
if I would be new!
“i’m sorry,” I cried, “Please help me to die.
I do so want to be Your butterfly.”
“I love you, Jesus, ” Was all I could say,
“Come into my heart, Make it yours today!.”
Whatever it takes Lord, I’m ready now,
Your servant is waiting, Just show me how!”
“My child, ” said the Lord, You’ve already begun,
And we’ll continue the work, Till the job is done.”
“Little by Little, Each day you’ll die,
But you’ll live again As my butterfly!’
This beautiful poem speaks of transformation and change–but of a good variety. As we think back on the time of our conversion we realize that, yes, it is similar to the journey of the butterfly. We die to our old selves and become new in Christ. What a marvelous mystery is ours to enjoy throughout eternity.