A New Life

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

—2 Corinthians 5:17

My husband and I bought the large plant with its multicoloured leaves and proudly brought it home to our front yard. 

Purchasing a large decorative container, I placed it there with some potting soil. 

Shortly afterwards, it looked ill. 

Moving it from one spot to another didn’t help. 

I watered it a lot. 

As I recall, that didn’t help, either. 

So, I stopped watering it and allowed the rain to give it moisture. 

Finally, it seemed that it was a lost cause. 

I gave up. 

Being busy and not really concerning myself with the yard, I forgot about the plant which looked like barren sticks protruding from the large blue pot. 

This afternoon, I took a few moments to sit outside in the sun. 

Casually looking over to the area in front of our house, I noticed the plant in the blue pot. 

New green leaves were coming out on the lifeless looking branches. 

It had not died, after all. 

Even though I had given up on it, all was not lost. 

Sometimes we give up on other people in our lives. 

We try to help them through difficult times. 

When one thing doesn’t work, we try another. 

But after awhile, it’s easy to just give up and forget about them, isn’t it?

Even though we may forget them, God does not. 

When we fail to have compassion and love, He still does. 

When others look like barren branches, He still sees life within them, and all they can be through His strength. 

Even More Fruitful

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

I have a philodendron plant hanging in my kitchen window.

From time to time, some of the leaves turn yellow and then brown.

They finally shrivel up into a completely dead leaf.

Unsightly looking at the least, it is best to gently pull them off the living vine.

They are no longer of any use to the plant.

This afternoon, I noticed that I had a few leaves that had turned brown.

As I was removing them from their branches, my thoughts turned to life in general.

There are times when certain things need to be removed from our lives.

Not just bad things or things that could hurt us, but things that we may need to move away from as we are continuing on in our journey of faith.

If we were to sign up for an introductory class in mathematics, we would hope to move on to the next level of instruction when we had sufficiently learned what was being taught.

There would be no need to continue going to the first class if it was time for the second one.

Like a leaf that no longer needs to remain on a vine, we would need to put that class schedule away and spend our time in a more productive way.

As God continues to work in our lives, there will be “classes” He wants us to attend–a certain job, a ministry opportunity–even a particular neighborhood to live in.

When the time is right, He may then direct us to the next “class.”

We may feel His leading to move on in the new direction He is preparing for us.

The old leaves removed one by one at just the right time, making room for growth of new leaves—at just the right time.

*

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

—John 15:1-2

*

Click image to enlarge.
prunes

 

 

 

In Whatever Situation

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

Not here.

Not at that job.

Not in this neighborhood.

Not in that family…..

Where I work, there is a covered walkway leading out to the parking lot.

One day last week, I noticed a plant hanging down from the metal roof above me.

The next day, I noticed it again.

It had grown quite a bit more.

Growing plants are not unusual; plants that grow on a metal roof are.

Thinking about this occurrence, I supposed that a bird must have been carrying a seed and dropped it on the metal walkway covering.

Even though I couldn’t see it, there must have been some dirt or sand that had collected up there, too.

Somehow, against all odds, this plant was thriving.

We may question our own circumstances sometimes.

We may even feel that we cannot be of any use to God where we are.

We may decide that we can’t grow in our faith as long as we are where we are.

Maybe.

Maybe not….

God may have us placed in just the situation that He wants for His purposes and His will.

With our human eyes, we look at the rich soil across the road and think, “Now, that’s the place to grow!”

Yet, God may look at us, planted in rocky terrain, seeing our future as a strong, healthy plant rising up around the stones.

I honestly would not have thought the beautiful cascade of green leaves could have thrived at all being rooted on a flat metal platform.

Even so, it’s there for all to see.

It’s true that God may lead us to another job, another neighborhood, another circumstance.

But if He isn’t moving us just yet, we can trust that He is with us—-

wherever He has us planted.

*
Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.

—1 Corinthians 7:17

Click image to enlarge.

called them

He Performs Wonders

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

There were so many plants for sale!

Walking through a market area, I came to an open air aisle with several varieties of plants.

On the end of a display a particularly unusual one warranted closer inspection.

I didn’t recognize its kind at all.

Of course, God has always known, since it was created by Him.

I just didn’t know about it.

In fact, I don’t believe I have never even imagined anything like it.

But there it was, right in front of me….

In the Old Testament book of Job, we find this words:

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.

—Job 5:9

*

I have been praying for several people lately involving incredible needs.

There are times when those needs are so heavy and so great.

I can’t fix the problems.

I can’t lift the burdens.

Beyond that, I don’t have the wisdom to really know what would be best in each situation.

It is happened before, though, and I trust it will happen again—

I will see how God works in each life as He performs wonders that I have never even imagined.

There will be miracles that I may not even recognize at first, yet they will be right there in front of me and all involved.

Of course, God will have known all along what He would do.

*

Click image to enlarge.

wonders

The Light of Life

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

The grass would not have been alive without having the sunlight.

Trees growing at the edge of the sloping field would not have had leafy branches.

Growing vibrantly green, both had been nurtured by the life-giving light.

Jesus is our light.

We are alive because of Him.

He is the light of life.

Do you know Him today?

*

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

—John 8:12

*

Click image to enlarge.

follows Me

In Whatever Situation

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

It’s an old concrete wall.

Sitting near a street corner, it is moldy and weathered looking.

Oddly enough, there are crevices in the stone where plants have begun to grow.

No gardener planted them there.

In a way, it’s like God put them there to sprout.

Even though it’s an unusual place to be, the plants are green and vibrant looking.

Sometimes, we may feel like we are in the wrong place.

We’d rather be somewhere else.

Surely, God wouldn’t want us to bloom in the crack of an old wall!

Wherever we are, we should be who we are as God’s people in that place.

*
Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. —from 1 Corinthians 7:17

*

Click image to enlarge.

situation final

Every Plant Yielding Seed

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

Sometimes I visit a town about an hour’s drive from our home on Saturdays.

The vintage shops are interesting, as well as the architecture from days gone by.

There is also a nice farmer’s market that sets up in the central area of town.

Many vendors bring their goods to sell and customers abound.

There are choices to be made.

Buy apples and tomatoes?

Buy a pound of chocolate candy from the confectioner’s shop?

Buy pears and avocados or a French roll with cream cheese and sugar icing?

Eating candy and rolls occasionally is okay, but we all need a diet of foods that are good for us.

My preferred dinner out is at a restaurant that serves many salads.

In the Old Testament we find this passage:

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

—Genesis 1:29

There are a lot of nice things to eat that are good for us.

God put them here to nourish us.

So, what does your diet look like?

I know I could do better……

*

Click to enlarge image.

every green

But I Will Hope

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

Walking along the lake, I saw some plants growing in the water.

The leaves were positioned on the top of the water, not submerged.

Their beautiful hues of lavender and green adorned the murky lake.

Though surrounded by water, the leaves were above it.

We often find ourselves in less than perfect situations.

Circumstances can be hard.

During those times, we can continue to reach out for God’s strength, even when ours is fading.

When we are surrounded by problems, we can still stay above them with His help.

Although things might look really murky, the colors of God’s love are evidence within us of His faithfulness in our lives.

*
*
CLICK POST TITLE TO LEAVE A COMMENT

*
*

But I will hope continually
    and will praise you yet more and more.

–Psalm 71:14

Click image to enlarge.

hope final

For God So Loved The World

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

The potted plants were placed in a circle above a fountain.

Which plant seems to be the most beautiful to you?

The truth is, they are all very lovely.

Each has its own characteristics that God has chosen for it.

They are His creation, and it pleased Him to make them, just the way they are.

It’s that way with people too, you know.

Every person is important to God.

We are all His creation, and it pleased Him to give us life.

The truth is, we are all “lovely” or of great worth to God.

Each of us has our own characteristics that God has chosen for us.

I may be a “rose” while you are a “daisy,” but that doesn’t matter to God.

We were all important enough to Him to send Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

—John 3:16

*
*

CLICK POST TITLE TO LEAVE A COMMENT

*
*

Click image to enlarge.

loved the world anc

 

Look to the LORD

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.

–1 Chronicles 16:11

Where can we find the strength of the LORD?

Do we find it as we see the moon above us, held perfectly in place?

Do we find it as we hear the waves of the ocean crashing onto the shore, remaining within its boundaries?

Do we find it in the mathematical patterns of plants?

Can it be found in the miracle of birth?

Can it be felt as guilt and shame are forgiven?

Can it be perceived in an answered prayer?

Do we seek His face in the midst of joy?

Do we seek His face in the trial of pain?

Do we seek His face in each of our decisions?

In all things, we must look to the LORD.

*
*
CLICK POST TITLE TO LEAVE A COMMENT

*
*

Click image to enlarge.

look fr

Every Green Plant for Food

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

I noticed the squirrel sitting on a knob of a tree.

Still.

Holding something.

Probably food.

He was enjoying God’s provision.

Warm sunshine.

A tree-side seat with a view.

All the creatures that God has made are provided food and shelter, each having what it needs.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

—Genesis 1:27-31

*
*
*
CLICK POST TITLE TO LEAVE A COMMENT

*
*

Click image to enlarge.

beasts final

Invisible Attributes

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

Walking along in the park, I saw some unusual plants growing.

Parts of them looked reminiscent of a science fiction movie—-round orbs with antenna-like rods protruding out to space.

Thinking of them a different way, it’s easy for me to imagine that the images were taken from a microscope’s point of view, exposing a tiny, unseen world of thriving bacteria.

Reality before me, I had been admiring God’s handiwork in a lake shore plant.

Intricate.

Mathematical.

Such order and creativity in nature speaks of God.

All around us, silent voices of existence call out, giving mute testimony of His power.

Since God has created order in nature, can He not bring order to our lives, as well?

 

Click to enlarge image.

invisible