DISCLAIMER:

live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin




I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.








Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cultivate a Beautiful Winter Garden

Life is given to you like a flat piece of land and everything has to be done.  I hope that when I'm finished, my piece of land will be a beautiful garden.
-Jeanne Moreau

 
This is an odd question for the middle of December, but what kind of soil grows the most beautiful garden?  There's a parable (an earthly story with a heavenly meaning) in Mark 4:1-20.  You'll see this question is posed by Jesus as he tells the parable of the sower and the seed.  For the child of God, it hits home. 

Why do we visit the botanical gardens in our communities?  We visit our local garden even in the Winter months.  The beautiful mixture of Winter foliage and lights creates a most beautiful display.  You can not help but feel better after touring such a delightful garden.  Any gardener will tell you, the higher quality soil you have to work with, the more beautiful and rich your garden will be.  Let's take a closer look at this parable. 

 My love for you is as big as the sun and will never die.
Give me your pain and let me turn it into a beautiful garden
that will forever bloom  - Esdeer

In verse 5 we see that some of the seed fell on "stony places".  If you choose to have a hardened heart, like the rocky soil, you will see nothing but a message of judgement from God.  Your heart is calloused to the Word and you feel condemned and judged by God with little hope.  You've heard the Word but have not allowed it to really take root.  The soil is shallow because there are so many rocks in the way.  The seeds grow, but with rocky soil, they quickly wither away since the roots are not allowed to go very deep.  This happens when we do not meditate on God's Word and be still and know that He is God.  We have not fully surrendered our lives to Him and are still trying to do the driving.   


Moving on to verse 7, we see that some of the seed fell "amongst the thorns" and was choked out.  These are the seeds that are struggling just to stay alive.  They are the ones that have some desire to be beautiful but are eventually choked out by the weeds in the garden.  They have some desire to grow, but they do not.  These are folks who have experienced church hurt and know what they need to do, but have been choked out so many times they fear darkening the door of another church.  They give up because they fear yet another rejection and ultimate failure.


Grow flowers of gratitude in the soil of prayer. -Terri Guillemets
 
Then we read in verse 8 that other seed fell on "good ground" and yielded a crop!  Some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  These are the gardens that not only survive, but they thrive!  

At this Christmas season let's commit to thrive.  Like the beautiful Winter gardens, we should not allow stony places or thorns to detour us in our ministries.  What we do matters, but who we are matters even more.  God sees both and will help us if we trust Him to guide us.   
 
Prayer of St. Francis

Lord,
Make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
Seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.
 

Please join me in viewing these beautiful works of art.

http://youtu.be/EtfrBctB_Bs



Today is NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Enjoy your favorite brand and flavor (in moderation, of course).  Childlike behavior is optional. 


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