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“The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field.” Psalm 103:15

The marketing behind roses is one of the great success stories of all time. Anyone who knows how to impress the one they love knows about roses. The smell good, bring joy to the receiver…and die quickly! However, somewhere along the line we were ‘taught’ that the very best flowers to give were roses and so, we buy roses.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing wrong with roses, and I admire a good marketing plan. However, the fact remains that there are many other flowers that smell good, last a long time and are less expensive.

Why this tirade? There are plenty of passages in the Bible that remind us of the mortality of the human race. The death rate among humans is 100% and at this point there is no indication that a cure will be found. That’s the bad news.

The good news is this; you were created to be a flower! Maybe you are a rose. Maybe you are a carnation. Perhaps you are some sort of wild flower in the fields, being tossed by summer breezes, refreshed by summer rains and chilled by early fall frost. The fact of the matter is, you are a flower.

Jesus said, look at the flowers. They don’t worry about clothing, they don’t worry where the next paycheck is coming from, they don’t worry about gas prices or if their retirement account will sustain them. They aren’t challenged by unruly flowers, nor are they concerned that their seedlings will be accepted into FSU (Flowery State University).

Flowers have one purpose in life: To bring joy to those around them by blooming! Everything else is in the Father’s hands.

So. Bloom! Bloom while you can! For those of us who know Jesus as our personal savior we know this world is not our home. The very best we can hope for here is nothing compared to the worst part about eternity with Jesus. So bloom while you can. Bring joy into the lives of others by spreading the love of Jesus in your thoughts, words and actions.

Our time is short, but our impact can be breathtaking!

PRAYER: Father God. For too long I’ve seen the negative part of your word concerning the shortness of human life. From this day forward help me to see the positive. Help me to bloom for you in Jesus name. Amen!

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Romans 1:20 (NLT)

How can you believe in something you can’t see? People ask that question regarding God as they seek spiritual freedom. In reality we believe in many things we can’t see. It’s our choice to believe in them or not. For example, I can say I no longer believe oxygen is required for life because I can’t see oxygen. Does that change the life-giving qualities of oxygen? Nope. How about gravity? Suppose I climb to the highest peak of my roof and announce to the world, “Gravity, I no longer accept your existence! I can’t see you. You have done me no good. Therefore you either don’t exist or don’t care!” If I then proceed to jump from my roof, what will be the result? Will gravity have any less effect? Unfortunately, no.

Ok, (you may say) suppose I choose to believe in God. What proof can you give of his existence? Gravity shows itself every day. Science has been able to ‘see’ oxygen. Where can I see proof of God? My answer to you will be to look out the window. When I look out the window or take a walk or travel I see many things about God that point me to him.

  • I see that God is creative. Just looking outside now I see at least 10 different shades of green. Just one color! Yet many different shades.
  • I see that God admires beauty when I look at a sunset or scan the horizon from a high peak, or look into the face of the one I love.
  • I see that God is gentle when I touch the petal of a flower and feel its softness.
  • I see God enjoys mystery when I contemplate how life begins and the many different life forms that are seen and unseen, extinct and still walking our planet. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than to believe in the creator God of Genesis.
  • I see God is very smart when I look at the scientific community and hear of the things we’ve ‘discovered’. I admit I chuckle when we use that term. We don’t ‘discover’ things. We simply find the things God has put into our world for us to find.
  • I see God is powerful when I see the power of an earthquake or storm and realize that all of our human resources alone can’t control nature. But God can control it with a spoken word.
  • I see God is passionate when I watch people who are truly in love interact with life.
  • I see God is forgiving when I remember that he sent his very own son to die for me when I least deserve it.

There are so many other ways God shows himself to us on a daily basis. Too often we are too busy to notice. Take time today, as you go about your tasks, to look for examples of god’s inner qualities in nature around you.

PRAYER: Holy God, I’m in awe when I contemplate the great power of your world. I worship and praise you for showing us so many things about you. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for your Spirit that dwells within. Empower me to day to give you glory with every step I take, every word I speak and every action I take. In Jesus name, Amen.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Worry. It’s the great crippler of mankind. Worry keeps us from doing new things because we are afraid of failure. Worry keeps us from making a stand because we fear rejection. Worry can lead us to sin because we fear that others will think us stuffy and intolerant if we don’t go along with their way of thinking.

One wonders how many useful inventions will never be found because worry kept the inventor from trying his design; how many athletes will never experience the euphoria of victory because they feared failure and did not try; how many books will never be written because those who have been given a story never write.

Jesus spoke often against fear. Imagine Him standing on a hillside overlooking a lake. He asks those within the sound of his voice to look around. “Look at the flowers. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? Have you ever seen anyone who can make something to enduring, so fragile and as comforting as a flower? How did they get that way? From worry? Of course not! They just allowed God to work through them. They didn’t worry about where the next shower would come from or when the wind would stop blowing. They live each day in the place they are planted and let God take care of the rest.

Then, as an eagle glided over the water in search of its next meal He said, “Observe the birds. Do they have storage bins and savings accounts? Do they work hard today to plan for retirement tomorrow? NO! They rely on their Heavenly Father for everything they need and He supplies it for them.”

Jesus isn’t teaching us that we should not work. He isn’t degrading the idea of planning for the future. What He’s telling each of us is that our main motivation of all we do is to make this day the best we can make it. Live each moment with the anticipation that the things we do will make a difference in the lives of others and show Christ’s love in a way that will lift their spirits.

People do all sorts of things to deal with fear, worry and anxiety. They hide behind money that will burn. They bury those fears under drugs, alcohol or other harmful activities. They build up their own feelings of worth by destroying others. But none of those things last. Only trust in Jesus endures time.

Don’t worry about tomorrow. Live today in a way that will be free of regrets because your actions, attitudes and words build others up and show the love of Jesus to everyone you meet.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. I thank you that in your wisdom you know my fears and my anxieties. You know the things I’m doing in my life to try to hide my fear. You know they aren’t working and the pain I’m in. Please free me from fear through the forgiveness and love of Jesus. Help me to live for today and trust you with my tomorrow. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Worry. It’s one of the greatest crippling influences of lives. The dictionary defines worry as “Tormenting oneself with or to suffer from disturbing thoughts.” There is NOTHING positive about worry and it does nothing healthy for our lives!

In a recent survey researchers discovered that 92% of the things people worry about either never happen, have happened in the past or are out of our control. That means that only 8% of the things we worry about are things that we have any hope of changing, and worrying about them won’t change a thing.

One day Jesus was teaching on a mountain top. I imagine that as people listened to His teaching they were enjoying the fresh mountain air. There were flowers nearby and birds soaring above. Jesus, the master teacher, used the moment to teach us a valuable truth. “Look around,” He said. “Look at the flowers. Do they worry about what their clothes look like? Do the birds concern themselves with having storage barns and cupboards full of food for the future?” We might add, do animals worry about retirement funds and 401K’s and their children’s college fund? The answer to all the above is a resounding “NO, of course not!”

As followers of Jesus Christ we need to constantly remind ourselves that we don’t need to worry about tomorrow. It’s not easy to admit, but often the things we worry about are a result of a lack of true belief in who we serve. If we serve a God that is like an angry, abusive or apathetic father, then we have reason for concern. We are on our own.

If however, we serve a God that is a loving, responsible, caring father we have nothing to fear. As a Loving Father He sees to our needs, encourages us in our weakness and forgives us when we fail. Someone once said, “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.”  

Don’t allow yourself to be tormented by the thoughts of what could have been or what might be. Focus instead on the fact that you have a Loving Heavenly Father who wants to give you the best life can offer. Grow closer to Him in your walk through daily prayer, bible reading and fellowship with Christ honoring believers. The things of your past can be forgiven simply by asking. The future is in the hands of a Loving Heavenly Father. Ask for wisdom on your part in following Him today.

Title:  Overheard in an Orchard

Said the Robin to the Sparrow, “I should really like to know

Why these anxious human beings; Rush about and hurry so.”

Said the Sparrow to the Robin, “Friend, I think that it must be

 That they have no Heavenly Father; Such as cares for you and me.”

— Elizabeth Cheney

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I thank you today that you know my past and my future. I acknowledge that I believe you are willing to walk with me every day and that you know my tomorrows. Help me to have the strength to forget my past and the wisdom to face the future. Give me the power to deal with today and leave the rest in your hands. Amen.

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