#fridayfootprints – Friday 3rd January 2020

“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”: Powerful words in a life changing phrase.

Through the waters of our baptism we are introduced to the Trinity and yet for many, that is only the beginning of a difficult understanding of a Triunal diety. The concept stays on the horizon, and only sometimes being reflected in the waters of our Faith.

To understand and believe in ‘One’ is difficult enough, but to accept that there are three that interact with every aspect of our lives, sometimes defies the realms of reason.

What does it come down to?

To see the Trinity in every facet of our daily existence!

The three palm trees. Their reflection. Everywhere there are reminders.

It is easy to see God (the Father) in the Old Testament, and sometimes even easier to see Christ in the New Testament and then, on the odd occasion, to feel the workings of the Holy Spirit in a real-life situation. But all three at the same time?

Searching for the Trinity in everything we see and do comes with a deeper connection born in allowing our spiritual self the freedom to explore the silence of our souls.

2020 is a journey along that path that I wish to take.

Walk with me!

Let’s listen ….. when the Wilderness Whispers.

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#fridayfootprints – goodbye 2019, hello 2020

 

As the last few days and hours of 2019 are eaten away, #fridayfootprints bids farewell to Gardening with God, (the theme for 2019) and moves on to a new theme. The garden is being expanded and sees a return to the roots of Wilderness Whispers – the natural environment.

The Master Gardener stays with us in 2020 as #fridayfootprints in the theme #whenthewildernesswhispers goes in search for a deeper experience of the Trinity as nature communicates with us.

Living in Wilderness, with its forests, lakes, rivers and beaches, its wetlands and drylands, its farms and gardens, its sand dunes and mountain range, means that we are surrounded by nature every time we step outside.

And then, when the Wilderness Whispers, the Holy Spirit speaks to us in silence, yet we feel the vibration of His words in the deepest core of our being.

Wilderness is in a district of South Africa named Eden, and for tourists is on the “Garden Route’ – God’s Garden.

Join me in on the 3rd January for the 1st Friday of 2020 and another year of #fridayfootprints. We will walk God’s garden ’route ‘ to listen and feel His voice #whenthewildernesswhispers.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 27th December 2019

Gardening is about having faith and being secure in the knowledge that if you do it long enough, and if you plant enough; then through God’s design a miracle happens. After years of fruitless and sterile cones, one of the cycads suddenly produced fertile seed.

With the smallest bit of effort – the simple pressing of the seed into the ground will result in baby plants popping up.

The plants were always beautiful and appreciated, lending a structural element to the garden. But that was not their ultimate purpose. They were there to produce viable seed. To reproduce! To spread! To multiply.

Our relationship with the Master Gardener follows a similar route. For some the journey from seedling to ‘seeder’ is a walk in the park. For others it is a lonely journey fraught with danger and frustration. People looking in at the garden, may appreciate the beauty, yet may still fail to see its significance.

Gardening with God is not just about building a deeper relationship with God and it is more than an internal examination of Faith. It is a process of development until we produce fertile seeds and spread them before the Holy Spirit to be blown where they will find fertile soil. The seeds of salvation – Christ has come to save us – He is born, and through His Grace we may have life everlasting and His eternal love.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 20th Desember 2019

As family and friends begin their annual preparations to join together in the celebration of Christmas, so we become aware that the reason for the journey they will all take is to be together. To celebrate a unity of purpose through the joyful knowledge of what Christmas means to family.

The love that is gathered as the lilies of the fields. Little pieces of love that we harvest and combine. Each has its own form of love. Its own character or personality of love. But, gathered together to celebrate Christmas brings a new dimension.

The lilies in the vase bring the produce of the Master Gardener from the garden to inside the house so He becomes part of the celebration feast. Here, we all are exposed to the evidence of His abundant Love. Each stem is baptised in the same water and even though the flowers face in different directions they share a common base and a unified purpose.

The sounds of laughter fill the house and echo the joy brought by the flowers.

As we have Gardened with God, all year, His bounty is now visible, to be shared with all present and to be witness to our prayers for those unable to be here.

May you all have a Blessed Christmas.

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#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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