Friday, November 11, 2011

In Awe of God's Splendor

Every morning that I drive Megan to school, I am in awe of all of God's beautiful creation, no matter the season. Today the sky had some clouds in it but there was a beautiful brightness brimming forth with hope as the sun was breaking through. It always reminds me that though we have clouds and troubles here on earth, God is always there like the sun even when we can't see Him. He is always with is and waiting to take us home to Him in Heaven.

Psalm. 19 "The heavens declare the Glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of His hands."

I am amazed at the colors of some of the trees still this late on 11-11-11. The trees have all changed at different times starting back in early October so it is a surprise every day when I find new colors on my drive.

I also cross a river on my drive and yesterday is was like glass with the reflection from the autumn trees perfect, making you wonder which were the actual trees. It is so peaceful and serene. I am reminded in Isaiah 66:12 God says, "I will extend peace to her like a river.." and I hear God's words," Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10. True peace is that God is God, and He gives us free forgiveness through Jesus' death and resurrection and prepares a place for us in His home.

Every day on my way as I look around me, I am reminded that God is an awesome God and He can do all things. I am reminded in Psalm 121: "My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."

Therefore, I praise Him and thank Him, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty; for the whole earth is full of His glory." Isaiah 6:3

I don't live in any of the many gorgeous places in this world, but even in the city of Lansing, I can bloom where God planted me, as I hope I can fulfill His purpose for me, that I may spread the peace of God to others today and every day.

Have a wonderful day!
Bloom where God has planted you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Set your hearts on things above

Colossians 3 "Set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things."

This is the Bible reading from an old bulletin I found while purging and cleaning out my small house. Quite a fitting reminder, wouldn't you say? You see, yesterday I filled a van full of boxes and whole drawers full of old files from when I was a teacher over 17 years ago before I had children. It was doing no good taking up precious space in our small house since I have not touched it in so long. Nor would I ever need it, now that technology has made life for a teacher so much easier, if I was to ever get back into teaching.

And yet I was clinging to these things for 17 years. Now they are gone just like that. What a relief! I am looking at everything in my house in a new way. What am I clinging to these things for? The maintenance on housing all of my stuff is not worth most of the stuff that I save. It is not worth the weight it puts on my daily life. Finally, the emotional connection to my all of stuff doesn't leave much room for clinging to my Savior. In Philippians 3:19-20 says "Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ."

We bought a scanner with the hope that I could scan every piece of paper and I could still somehow save everything and have more space. Well, I will still scan the important things, but if it is not worth the time to scan it, then I will be throwing it out anyway. I am very excited!

With all of this extra weight off my mind, maybe I will be able to start thinking more clearly! This is a good thing! (On the side, while cleaning I found money and a flash drive with important pictures I thought I had lost. Bonus!!! It is definitely a good thing!)

With all this extra energy from purging, even though I am "planted" in this small house, I will be more able to bloom and make an impact on other people's faith, health and happiness.

Bloom where you are planted!

Friday, July 1, 2011

They just continue to grow. And bud. And bloom.

They just continue to grow. And there are even buds, so I am waiting for the flowers to bloom.  I 'm talking about my cacti, that are far, far from where they grow naturally in the desert, here in what has been the coolest spring, in Michigan.  I took them in the house over the winter. I didn't water them, well, maybe once or twice, and then put them outside for the summer. Then I give them lots of water, and this year, they got lots of rain.  And they continue to grow. And bud. And bloom.

I have always wished to live in Arizona. That is where we visited my great aunt and uncle when I was young.  I long for the sunshine and warmth. I get so achy in the cold. But I live here in Michigan, far, far from the sunshine. But also far, far from my mom and dad in Minnesota, where I grew up, and far, far from my two sisters and their families.  But I continue to grow, and bloom. God put me here. So may I fulfill His purpose in doing that. He waters me and makes me grow. And bud. And bloom.

I am Blooming where God planted me. To Him be the glory!

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's all about the Fruit

I am still blooming where God planted me.
But I am not blooming with the flower as the end result.  It's all about the fruit.

It's not all done when the flower appears, it's a work in progress. After all, what is the flower for? To produce the fruit.   Fruit increases slowly in size and ripeness—from fragrant blossoms to green fruit to ripe fruit. Likewise, the fruit of the Spirit grows slowly and steadily to maturity.

And after all, what am I as a Christian for? To produce fruit. Ephesian 2 :10 says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
I waited in eager expectation for my apple tree to bloom this spring.  The earth coming back to life after the gray death of winter  is so rejuvenating for me! Seeing life where it seems impossible makes me feel like I am coming alive again too. In the same way, the beginning of fruit in my life, when I was dead in my sins, is only possible through God, who first redeemed me through Jesus and gave me the gift of eternal life and made me alive again; then through the Holy Spirit, who gave me faith in Jesus through the Word of God and produces the fruits of faith in my life.

Then the leaves appear, as I grow in His Word.  This year it seemed as if the blossoms stayed frozen in this state for many days, because of the abnormally cold spring.  Hopefully I grow faster than that, not having any coldness in my heart towards faithful Bible study.

Then at last a glimpse of color, as the buds warm up in the sunshine.  For it is God who does the growing in me, as His Word shines into my heart. 

And He continues to shine in me, so that I can bloom where He planted me, for His purpose, according to His will for my life.  

But it's not just about blooming pretty. It's all about the fruit. After the lovely flower dies, the fruit forms.  And it's not about me. It's about the fruit  produced in me by the Spirit. 

I love to see the first evidence of the tiny little fruit on the apple tree after the blossom is gone.  I discovered this today, that though I waited eagerly for the blossoms to come, I didn't realize how much more beautiful the fruit is.

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" Galations 5:22

God bless you and keep on Blooming where God planted you!
Christine :-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

They will stay FRESH and GREEN

I have cacti. Several Cacti.  I leave them in the house in the winter, no water, and then put them outside in the summer, and they bloom. It is amazing!!! More on those blooms another day though.

It always seems like a miracle to me the way these cacti survive, and even when as if forgotten, they still stay fresh and green.

A few weeks ago I had moved some of them around in the house (small house, lots of cacti!) and one was left under a table.  One day the sun was shining through the window and somehow was able to shine on the cactus under the table.  And I had no idea until that moment that it had started growing. The way the sun shone down on it, was as if to point out to me, "look, it is growing green even under there!" and it was beautiful.
Right next to a thorn. Beautiful green, with light shining on it so that it almost glowed!

What a reflection of me as child of God.  Sometimes it seems as if we are forgotten by God, when we dwell on our thorns and troubles.  But all along, He is right there, keeping me fresh and green and bearing fruit, through His Spirit and His Son.  "They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green" Psalm 92:14
Even in an unlikely person such as me, born a sinner, with all my thorns and imperfections, yet redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Even I can still bear fruit.

And so I bloom, right where I am planted, a reflection of Him, when He shines on me, and in me, and through me.

Here is an update, the cacti spent their first day outside in the sunshine and warmth of spring today, and look at how much it has grown!

And there is yet another baby starting, despite those sharp thorns:

Signing off for today, I have more to say about those other blooms another day.
Bloom where God plants you.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bloomin' where God planted me!

This is my first post.  My long lost and now found friend Mary told me just to write what I want to write and to just do it so I am doing it!  She even helped me to get the title of my blog just right. Thanks Mary!

Today was the first real warm day of spring.  So nice! So I was walking around the side of the garage where I had set my pots last fall after the flowers had died.  To my surprise, I discovered that some crocuses had pushed through the ground underneath and bloomed, even though the pot was on top of them, and even though there was also a rock next to them.

I thought to myself, this is me.  You can pile life on top of me, and it may not be all what I dreamed and wished for, it may not be easy, it hurts sometimes, it seems impossible at times, and it makes me tired.  But I am going to bloom where God planted me.  And only through His Strength can I bloom. And it is all to His Glory so that others may see Him, not me.

                                                 Master Gardener, help me be
Content with where You’ve planted me;
You carefully place each seed you sow,
And choose the soil to make it grow,
A shady nook or sunlit plot,
A wooded glen or garden spot;
And when you send the storm and shower,
You give me strength and inner power;
All things come that You might be
Glorified, my God, in me;
And so I’ll lift my flowers high,
To cheer and bless each passerby;
And may they see within my face
The beauty of Your love and grace;
So help me, Lord, to ever be
Blooming where You planted me.
—Wm. Claire Greiner