#fridayfootprints – Friday 16th August 2019

Everything has its time.

Life has its seasons; Faith has its promise.

If we can accept the one, then surely, we should accept the other. If, through our salvation, we will end in Heaven it does not matter through which season this comes. Whether it be through our normal lifespan, or through the return of The Christ. The result is the same.

Preparing for it, no matter when it comes is one thing: Living for it, something else.

Living in faith and in the knowledge of the promise means we should be ready to flower, knowing the season is at hand. That Heaven is within our grasp!

Being ready to blossom is what we were born for.

So then, flower, ‘cause even the flowers have faith that the spring will come.

Hark He comes!

Hebrews 10:36,37

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 9th August 2019

Gardeners with God do not know when the Master Gardener is coming.

Tending to the garden and all the tasks associated with this is not a luxury of our ‘Faith’, rather a necessity. If we have faith then we have wisdom and it is the wisdom portion of our faith which means that we keep on gardening, no matter what!

It is the wisdom part of faith that tells us we cannot leave the garden to tend for itself and then when the ‘unexpected hour’ arrives, we start looking for excuses as to why the gardening tasks have been neglected, the garden is overgrown, the fruit is rotten, the blossoms spent and the weeds have taken over.

Gardeners with God know through faith that we will be found in the garden, ready with the tools of our trade, when the hour arrives.

(Luke 12:40)

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 2nd August 2019

Our mouths are open, what are the words? Are there words or are we just sticking our tongues at the world or God?

Where is the wisdom in what we say?

Whilst the, ‘meditation of my heart shall be understanding’, exists; the road from understanding to speaking wisely is littered with roadblocks and detours.

The fact that we have opened our mouths is no guarantee that the words that will come out or that they will be wise. And even the wisest words are sometimes just not fully understood!

The world is filled with open-mouthed babble which overshadows the whispers of wisdom. Here in the garden, in God’s presence, meditation brings its own understanding of wisdom. Being able to speak it is another matter entirely!

(Psalm 49:3)

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 26th July2019

The most beautiful part of prayer is the ability to focus entirely on ‘Our Father’.

It just so happens that for many of us, we find this focus very elusive due to all the ‘white noise’ in our lives and the world around us.

Being able to cut out this noise and have meaningful prayer means removing even the self-created white noise such as the; ‘…but Lord,’ and the ‘.. what if, Lord?’ or perhaps the ‘…why, Lord? Or even the ‘…if only, Lord.’

If, “teach us to pray, Lord”, becomes focused on self, we miss out entirely on the ‘golden nuggets’ that are waiting desperately to be found, not so secretly buried, in the prayer that He has given us.

In God’s Garden, the white noise is replaced with His noise and we can listen to Him, secure in the knowledge that whilst we are focused on Him, we have a greater understanding of how He is focused on us for the sole purpose that we may Garden in God’s Kingdom!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 19th July 2019

What is love?

The answer to this would vary depending on who you asked, when you asked and sometimes, where you asked it.

The teenager boyfriend/girlfriend pair will give you a different answer to the elderly couple. As will the mother who has just given birth. Ask church goers on a Sunday and once again the chances are the answers will differ.

God works in absolutes and not in half measures; there is only one definition of love. The rose is love as much as it was created by love because God is love and everything He created is an outward expression of His Love. When we define love for ourselves; it comes down to the realization that, if God is love, and we are made in His image, then we are love and the only way that we can express this is complete surrender to love. The ‘death to self’.

As gardeners we are confronted daily with examples of God’s Love. Gardening with God becomes gardening with and for God and the rose becomes a reflection of Him.

What is service? Service is our rose – it is a reflection of our loving relationship with God. Service is love as much as it was created out of love and by love. Service is our complete surrender to love, His Love!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 12th July 2019

Every part of being a gardener is focused on our training to be ‘Samaritans’.

Gardening is about caring for plants and the environment and all that this entails. Every element of the work involved provides gardeners with the lessons required to be what a Samaritan is supposed to be.

In Africa, we have a saying: “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu”, which can be translated as “a person is a person because of (or through) other people”. Man cannot be man with hu(man)ity. This is the African concept of Ubuntu and a wonderful description of the Samaritan(ism).

As with humanity, plants (and animals) do not exist in isolation in the environment. They need each other and depend on one another. And they all need a gardener!

Does the stake support the tree, or does the tree give new meaning to the stake? The common feature is that they are bound through a love knot of support. A ‘Samaritan’ knot. A knot of love.

This is the lesson that the Master Gardener gives freely and the very reason for our creation. ‘Love’ was always the foundation of His grand plan and why I am always in awe gardening with God!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 5th July 2019

A drab green plant and an uninspiring spike; ‘do not be deceived …’ and ‘… sow to please the Spirit …’ (Gal 6:7,8)

Look what happens!

When the Master Gardener is at work, suddenly the deceptive spike bursts forth and raises its hands to the Lord. A plant is transformed as colours shout praises into the heavens and the gardener is called to worship with the plant.

When we sow with the Spirit, no matter how long we must wait, no matter what guise we hold, there is a promise that we will reap with the Spirit: Eternal Life!

No wonder then that a plant shouts; “Glory, Lord, Christ, Redeemer – Hallelujah”.

And the plants wait for us to follow their example as we Garden with God.

Hallelujah indeed!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 28th June 2019

Gardening with God often finds me on my knees in the garden, sometimes on my haunches and occasionally just walking around, yet my perspective of God is always within the boundaries of the things I see around me. Whilst I am amazed by His creation which I experience daily – the boundaries are still there.

If I cast my view beyond the garden, there are still boundaries on His magnificence depicted by the horizons I see all around. Even if I was to wait for nightfall, the stars still cloak my perceptions.

Yet, if I was to lie back and gaze up into the blue sky above me, the fullness of His presence comes flooding through.

In the blue sky there are no boundaries to limit my understanding of God. There is no limit to His abundance, just more layers of blue. It is through this that I am drawn into Him. Sucked into His vastness! And if I lie there in Him, slowly I can feel His absolute immenseness begin to flow into me.

Ever so slowly, the Holy Spirit permeates through my being until I become the sky and soar with Him through the Heavens. Here there are no boundaries to limit me being what I am meant to be – and that is why I garden with God.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 21st June 2019

In a Wilderness winter garden as we reach the solstice, we raise our arms in celebration of the countdown to spring.

Though the flowering plants are few and far between, here and there blossoms brave the dark side of the mountain to display their glory.

It is in the hard, cold times that we seek a special connection with The Master Gardener and spend time searching for dewdrops in Heaven, that prove to each gardener that the Lord hears our call even on the darkest, and coldest, and loneliest of days and the promise that spring is around the corner. God is in the garden, always; all we must do, is look and listen!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 14th June 2019

If there is one group of people that really grasp the concept of the Trinity, it should be gardeners!

Evidence of a Triunal presence abounds in our cultivated (and natural) habitats.

Just one glimpse of a flower and the ‘three in one’ bursts out into our world. We cannot separate the power of the structured petals, nor can we say that any one colour could exist without the other. The flower stands in its glory.

Could it be better or clearer?

Do we expect one colour or one layer to do all the work of bringing forth the beauty that stands proud? Do we long for more of one than the other?

Gardeners remain spellbound in the Creator’s perfect perfection. We stand in awe of the presence of the peace that washes over us in the full knowledge that the Counsellor shows us the fundamentals of our Faith in the Master Gardener’s harvest of Grace.

The Trinity, inseparable in the eyes of Gardeners with God!

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