Monday, August 30, 2010

A joke for today...

A man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A person comes by in a boat and says "get in, get in!" The man replies, "No, I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle."

The water continues to rise, and soon the the water is up to his waist. Another boat comes by and the pilot tells him to get in again. The man responds that he has faith in God and God will save him miraculously. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again, because "God will save me."

With the water chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and the pilot asks him to get in. The man mumbles, with the water getting in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God.

The man arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, "I thought God would save me. What happened?" St. Peter chuckles and responds, "He sent you three boats and a helicopter, what more do you want?"

So I guess the punchline is take what God gives you and trust Him for the outcome...

Friday, August 20, 2010


"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener...This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15: 1,8

Recently we visited a friends' house. Their garden is amazing--everything is just overflowing with veggies. There are tomato plants with 20+ plate sized tomatoes on them! In comparison, our garden is limping along. We have some fruit, but neither the size or amount.

What's the difference? Well, some of it is the type of plant, but we actually shared some seeds, so some are the same plants. But there are big differences:

--Support structures. Our poor tomato plants laid on the ground for a while before we staked them up. The other gardener built large cage structures around them, giving good support to all the branches, allowing them to bear many large fruit without breaking the branches.

--Fertilizer. They mulched and composted heavily last fall, digging deep in the dirt and mixing in many nutrients from grass clippings, leaves, and their compost pile.

--Water. We haven't been as regular in our watering schedule, but I know the other gardener is much more regular about it, and waters only the roots.

--Pruning. Our friend told us we needed to pinch of the suckers on the tomato plants so they'd be able to put energy into bearing fruit instead of growing plants, but we couldn't tell which were suckers and which were branches, so it didn't happen.

--Harvest. We had a bunch of beans go to seed because we weren't harvesting, so their production has gone down.

Isn't the same true for our spiritual lives? We bear more fruit (and better fruit) when we have invested lots of time and energy into preparing the ground before planting the seeds, when we have good support systems, when we've pruned the "suckers" from our lives, when we have lots of water from the Word and worship, and when our fruits can be harvested to benefit the Gardener.

Help us bear fruit, and bear it abundantly. Help us do the gardening work, of supporting, wattering, pruning and harvesting...and help us find a church home/pastor that is commited to cultivating good fruit in the lives of its members.