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By Becky Alspaugh

There's A Time for Picking Man's Intended Home

Rev. Bill Reincheld

Fields White at Night God Working With Me
Weeds of Sin God's Thunderous Voice Plant A Variety I Was Robbed Work to Do  
  There's Work to Do --  In My Garden and Heart      
  As you can see from my garden at right, there's a lot of work to be done.  The picture was taken March 8.  About 1/4 of it has been tilled.  Weather permitting, I will get it done in a week or so.  Makes me think of my heart.  There's work needed there, too.  The hard places need to be broken, stuff that shouldn't be there must be tossed out and replaced with the right kinds of things.  Then maybe there'll be good soil for the sower to seed.  You remember that story, don't you?  If not, look it up in Matthew 12:1-23.  It's a good lesson for gardeners, as well as everyone.

Hopefully, this year the work will not be as difficult.  It was the first time the soil had been broken in many years.  Beside, to place our home on the site and protect it from water, we raised the earth.  Many a truck load of fill had to be added, and sometimes it wasn't the best fill.  It had rocks, metal objects, wood, even cinder block and a few other things.

It happens in our lives, too.  To enhance them we allow a lot of stuff be dumped on us.  We don't mean for it to happen, but many of the things aren't good for us.  Clearing it out is tough.   It means confession to God, and asking Jesus to cleans us with his blood.  Then we can become productive for his kingdom.

As you prepare the ground for your garden this spring, remember to allow your soul, like your soil, to be broken, cleaned and made ready for the Lord.

    Discipleship: Work & Sometimes Painful  
  Don't let anybody kid you.  Gardening is work and sometimes painful.  So is becoming a disciple of Jesus.

I finally got started tilling the rest of my garden on March 7.  The sun was out, the temperature in the mid-60s, the soil was just right and I dragged out my "Green Thumb" front-tine tiller, checked the oil, gasoline, shot a squirt of starting fluid into the carburetor and yanked the cord.  After several unsuccessful yanks, I looked it over and found the problem: I hadn't put the thing in "start" position.  Duh.

After recovering my breath, I gave it a successful yank and I was working.  The ground surrendered a lot easier than it did last year, but it still wasn't easy.  The tiller would go along smoothly and then jerk and jump up.  That hurts the shoulder, especially the one I dislocated a few years back.

Finally a large rock came to the top.  I suppose I had gone deeper this year than last, and found a problem deeper down.  I also found several "clunkers," a glass-like lump hard as a rock, though prettier.  These are the byproducts of what used to be a charcoal furnace here.  There were pieces of wood, even a rebellious root of a large weed.  It was just lurking there, waiting for the dirt to warm so it could begin some real growth and be nearly impossible to get out once my half-runner green beans start to come on.

I worked probably four hours.  My feet began to hurt, my arms got heavy and the constant thump, thump of the tines turning took its toll.  My hands even felt kind of numb from the vibrations of the handles.  Finally, the last inch of dirt was turned.  Whew!

Gardening is fun, though not always enjoyable.  I think the enjoyment comes from the anticipation of the harvest.  I mean, I am closer to eating those delicious beans, sweet corn, juicy vine-ripened tomatoes, green peppers and wilted lettuce and onions.

Discipleship is fun, too.  Likewise, it's not always enjoyable.  When The Holy Spirit begins to dig deep and finds things which need to be tossed out, it can be painful.  I think one of the first delusions of the new Christian is to believe that, once you are saved, everything is going to be just fine.  Don't believe it!

Growing into the likeness of Jesus is work.  It's an ongoing, never-ending process.  There are grand, great moments, to be sure; and heartaches, disappointments and frustrations.  Sometimes you may even wonder if it's worth all the work.

Make no mistake.  Yes it is worth the effort.  Remember the anticipation of the harvest.  Ah, yes,  the harvest.  Keep the faith, dear brother and sister.  Keep the faith.

Ray Carrier was a member of the church I pastored at Convoy, OH.  Countryside Chapel United Methodist Church was a beautiful building, with even more-beautiful people.  Most of the people were farmers, or worked in some kind of industry related to agriculture.

I raised a huge garden there.  Anyway, Ray gave me a little plaque which showed a farmer working in his garden.  The inscription on it said: "He who plants a seed in the sod and waits, believes in God."

Can't you just imagine it now.  Homemade cornbread, pork chops, half-runner beans, a steamy ear of yellow corn, sliced red tomato. . . well, you read my mind.  It will be worth it.

Actually, there's a song which I have kind of adopted as my gardener's theme song: "It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus."  Amen!



click on pictures to make them larger.     







    Pictures above taken March 8 in my backyard.  

April 8

        Our Purpose        

Garden Parables isintended to glorify God.  This will be done through the celebration of things growing.  It will be a fun site, and we hope you will participate in its development. Don Meadows, a retired United Methodist pastor, will share how God speaks to him through his garden, nature and other ways.  Please check back here often for these insightful and uplifting thoughts.

You are invited to share.  Send your comments and picture to us via e-mail.  We will use them when possible, reserving the right to edit them to meet space needs.  Of course, we reserve the right to not use any items submitted if they are not in good taste.Thanks for visiting us, and we pray that you will enjoy your time here and come to think of this site as family.

If you have flowers or gardens of which you are especially proud, send a note about them, along with a picture.  As we said, we want to be creative and helpful.  If you have a particular gift, or insight about gardening technique, please share that with us, too. May God bless each of you richly as we enjoy together His wonderful gift to us through living things with which we have a small part in seeing grow.


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