The Adventures of Beans and Other Climbers

I love to examine and investigate plants that climb. We are currently growing rattlesnake beans. They have inched their way to around 7 or 8 feet high on the cattle panel. It is so cool how they twist and grasp each rung as they climb.

The vine is the most important part of the plant. No beans would grow, mature or even be able to reproduce without the vine. 

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

John 15:5

Jesus is our Vine.

He controls how and where we grow. Without Him, we cannot do anything – just like we are not able to have rattlesnake beans without the vine. Our only job is to abide in the Vine (our only source of water and nutrition).

I know when I examine my own life and choices, I have the habit of trying to do things on my own and attribute it to God. These things may be working, serving God, fixing problems.

The thing is when I get to the end and it’s not where it needs to be, my tendency is to blame the Lord.

The harsh reality is that God doesn’t need my input. I have to remind myself, what is my job? My job is to abide in Him. That’s it, and follow in obedience.

God is good and we can trust Him.

Drinking from the Spring,

Doug

The Importance of Water, Part 2

As a beginner gardener, I have a new appreciation for rain.

In the past I haven’t always appreciated the rain. It may have a bit bothersome, or an inconvenience to my present plans. But since starting a garden, the rain is beautiful; a refreshing gift from the bounty of God; an encouragement that helps to keep me going through this Florida heat.

6.5 inches is a big rain for Florida

Rain has become a hopeful and blessed event. It’s arrival raises thankfulness in my heart. I know that rain and my watering are a blessing to the garden. There is no life or growth without water.

The Master Gardener know the importance of His Word (compared many times in Scripture to water).

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

Psalm 42:1

A few definitions as we move along. The hart is an adult male deer. To pant is to long for, or to passionately desire. A brook is a small natural stream of water, or a current flowing from  a spring or fountain.

That deer in his movements through the forest or countryside is thirsty and passionately desires the water brooks. God through the psalmist writes “so panteth my soul after thee, O God”

Do I pant after God? What do I pant after? What do I passionately desire? 

Is it the brook? That small, consistent, daily water source that flows from that spring.

Unfortunately, I know that I pant after other things too many times. I pant after connections, notoriety, comfort, maybe even rest. These things are not a substitute for the water brook of God’s Word.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalm 1:2-3

God wants us to seek Him first, today and everyday. Jesus is our Answer to today’s question. He is our Peace, our Joy, our Life.

Drinking from God’s Spring,

Doug

The Importance of Water, Part 1

When I started gardening I thought I understood the importance of water for healthy plants. The truth is I think I severely underestimated how much water plants really need.

Planting seeds is always exciting. When the plants first push through the ground and start growing, that is an energizing and exhilarating thing to be part of! That excitement fuels my care for the seedlings, because watering at this stage seems to bring changes to the plants every day

Poblano pepper seedlings

But soon, the plants reach a stage where they begin to slow down their growth. They are preparing to produce flowers and fruit. This is where my challenge begins.

Okra blossom and fruit

The plants seem healthy and they are doing well. So it’s easy to assume they have all the water they need, and I lose the urgency to water well, because I see no immediate results. Without that necessary water the plants become weak and more susceptible to pests and disease.

The Master Gardener knows our fragility and our need for spiritual water. We are, after all, sinful by our very nature, and by our choice. Jesus told the woman at the well that He could give her a well that springs with everlasting life.

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 4:14

Our sin separates us from God. And when we look within ourselves, we feel an emptiness and void that we cannot fill on our own. That emptiness can only be satisfied by Jesus Christ. We receive His everlasting life when we cry out to God, and ask Him to forgive our sin and become our Saviour.

We must take an honest look at our sinfulness and realize that we are not able to make ourselves good enough. We must look to Jesus, the one Who died for our sin, shed His blood, and rose from the dead.

We must choose for ourselves. We must step out by faith alone and call on Jesus personally. Then we can have that well that springs up to everlasting life.

Strawberries, dill and basil in the Green Stalk

Drinking from the Spring,

Doug

Fifty

Fifty
by Alesha Conklin, saved July 2, 1972

For fifty years, my God has carried me.
For fifty years, He’s held me so close.
For fifty years, my needs He has provided.
For fifty years, He’s spoken to my soul.

For fifty years, my heart has been His habitation.
For fifty years, He’s guided day by day.
For fifty years, I have been forgiven.
For fifty years, His best for me, come what may.

For fifty years, His Word has spoken to me.
For fifty years, my soul has been at rest.
For fifty years, my home has been in Heaven.
For fifty years, His blood has been my forgiveness.

For fifty years, His love has never wavered.
Even through days when mine has grown cold.
For fifty years, I’ve loved to tell of His salvation.
For fifty years, the story has never grown old.