Anatomy of a Garden Bed: Luke 7

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.

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Nothing going on here at the nursery: barren ground and a dead stump provide a perch for this lone feline.

Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.

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In the absence of compost and amendments, nothing would grow in this soil!

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

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Compost, Canadian peat moss, hardwood mulch and fertilizer should give these newbies and transplants a head start in their new home.

When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

When we do not heed the Word of God all our efforts waste away, crumbling back to the earth like the dead plants in this compost pile.  How better to thrive in the Word of wisdom!
This passage provides important lessons for our lives.  When we do not heed the Word of God all our efforts ultimately waste away, crumbling back to the earth like the dead plants in this compost pile.

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.

Without the counsel of the words of Jesus Christ our lives are like chasing the wind.
Striving in our own strength, is like blindly chasing after the wind.

11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

Barren ground shall not awaken without the light of our Lord and Savior.
Barren ground shall not awaken to the truth without the light, the Words of our Lord and Savior.

13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

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Plants weaken and become subject to pests and diseases when choked together.  Perennials that mature properly require care, division, replanting, water, sunlight, fertilization, and time to grow in due season.

15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

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The newly pruned and divided stella d’oro daylilies will flourish next year, finishing this season well and providing plants for the new garden bed too.

 

Resting in God's creation
How glorious it is to rest in God’s creation and plan for our lives!
Finished well.  Thank you Lord!
Finished well. Thank you Lord!

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P.S.  I’m thinking of putting together a group Skype devotional and prayer time once per week with others who are largely isolated for whatever reason.  The focus would be open and based upon belief in God through the person of Jesus Christ of the Bible.  Please leave me a comment below if you might be interested.  I’ll do a separate blog on this soon!  Take care, JJ

You bring me joy

How about playing a little tune while enjoying the view that encourages me these days: my beloved and my garden.  Enjoy!

Song to play:

Pictures from my heart of gratitude.  Thank you Jesus.  You are so good to me.  JJ

My beloved and me at Lakeside Rose Garden, Fort Wayne, Indiana
My beloved and me at Lakeside Rose Garden, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Garden pup:  Elle
Garden pup: Elle

 

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Our first compost pile in what used to be the dog pen.  Sorry Elle!  You'll have to share!
Our first compost pile in what used to be the dog pen. Sorry Elle! You’ll have to share!

 

Lavender in the veggie garden bringing on the bumblebees.  Yes!
Lavender in the veggie garden bringing on the bumblebees. Yes!
Looks like the Knock Out Rose bush is going to make it after all!
Looks like the Knock Out Rose bush is going to make it after all!

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Happiness is a Warm Puppy

Elle Nature Trail Oct 2008 001First snow dec 2009 0100530092039[1]Early Spring 2014 belly upDog in troubleDogs chasing tennis ball underwaterSometimes when it’s just me, my Heavenly Husband, and the pup at home I look for happiness and feel gratitude in my immediate surroundings.  Receiving a long look from a pair of puppy dog eyes goes a long ways at times like these.  Enjoy some canine humor and some pics of Elle, Steve, and me from the family photo album too!Snoopy hugging Woodstock

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Spring and Fall

DSCF8784My body will tell you tonight:  it’s quite an accomplishment to finish our Spring and Fall yard clean up projects all within 24 hours!  Whaaat?  Such is life these days.  All completed just in time for the long soaking rain storm outside my window as Winter approaches . . . the maiden tulip bulbs are going to be real happy in their new home!

I am exceedingly grateful to be functioning somewhat better despite the ongoing noxious episodes that occur most days.  Then there were two noxious-free “holidays” within the past four days.  THIS IS HUGE GUYS AND GALS!  I haven’t had more than a one-day break per week since living in the hotel at the beginning of the year when we were remediating our home for mold.  Looks like the IV magnesium treatments (counted #20 today) and sugar/sweetener-free cholestyramine are beginning to work a wonder inside of me.  I am grateful and humbled.

Despite all of this good news for some reason I needed to cry a bit today.  This year has been especially traumatic.  When I’m in one of those hour-long to several-hour-long episodes my ability to think and reflect is gone.  My mind is blank.  No processing occurs of what is happening to me.  I have heard patients with dementia describe his or her mind this way.  There just aren’t any thoughts.  Gratefully I do not have dementia.  I often wonder, however, if there will be synaptic damage from the almost 2 years of seizure attacks.  Then again, maybe the neurons just needed a little Spring cleaning, resetting, and the like.  Anyways, I believe that to grieve the loss of my health is, well, healthy.  Perhaps it will pave a comprehensive path to healing?

The end of Psalm 139 reads:

23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I have heard an application of this passage that it can describe the need to reflect upon and grieve a past trauma as part of a God-honoring healing process.  The Lord knows me and my circumstances in addition to the outcome.  By opening my mind and heart to His merciful grace under the shadow of His wings, I will find rest.   I have prayed many times to “get” the purpose of all of this suffering and wondered if I was “there yet.”  I asked my husband Steve, my God-honoring spiritual leader, if he thought there was anything I was not seeing.  Was there some sin or character flaw that required repentance?  Steve was gracious when asked these questions.  We both saw the little lessons and unexpected blessings that were the “silver lining” to this illness.  We have not become embittered.  We have drawn even closer together and to Christ.  Whew.  Thankfully.

Blogging started as online journaling and has become so much more. I do hope that my writing will be used for God’s glory and point people who are going through serious trials, to the person of Jesus Christ.   To the Gentle Reader out there, you have also helped me find a plan and a purpose for this time in my life.  The process has become as meaningful as the lessons learned.  One lesson learned yesterday:  don’t leave a wheelbarrow full of mulch out in the yard!  Put it under the covered porch.  Six times it got rained on and rained in.  Geez that was one heavy wheelbarrow!

A little humor helps fer shur.  And my Stevers is a great model of the value of silliness in the middle of the crap-o-la-ski.  (You were missing my Polish, I know, so here ya go!)  Thanks for hanging in there with me.  Wish I could hug ya, eh?  :J

Sometimes you spin your wheels

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .”  Charles Dickens

I have so much for which to be grateful this day.  Despite the absolute insanity of my days, I can still rise above the mud and muck and see the sun shine on a few blessings.  I get to see that the Lord goes before me, ordering my steps even before I realize that I am not stumbling but walking humbly in His grace.  I am so glad that He is gentle with me.  After a rough night there is usually a great nap within a day.  After much confusion, the Lord uses a new friend to point me in the right direction.  After a very long wait to see a medical professional, there is a sweet phone call to another dear friend while waiting in the lobby.  After contracting a serious illness, there are new sojourners to acknowledge me, walk with me, light the way to hope.  And after so much unrest there are peaceful moments that transcend my understanding!

Nothing is truly wasted in God’s economy if we but keep our eyes focused on Him.  We must press on.

If your situation stinks, get your mind out of the muck and consider coming to Jesus.  Get into His Word, the Bible, and you will find what you need.  He is waiting.  You can have an eternal focus that will transcend this day.  Seriously.  Psalm 23 lifts me up every time.

Nissan Frontier on a bad day!
Some serious mud on a bad day!

 

Now that's better!
Now that’s better!