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Archive for the ‘Growth’ Category

~ Written by Viki Rife

Squinting through my windshield wipers, I noticed a group of children walking to school. Their hooded rain jackets and umbrellas grasped tightly, they trudged along hunched against the driving rain.

All except one little girl. Her hair drenched, she danced along holding her umbrella upside down, frequently peering in to see how much water she had collected. She was beaming!

I couldn’t help but think of the old song “Showers of Blessing.” So often we ask for blessings, but we want them to come without any discomfort on our part. We try to shield ourselves from the very inconveniences that bring the answers to our prayers. How much better to turn our protective umbrellas upside down and joyfully, thankfully, collect the blessings as God rains them down!

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~ Written by Melissa Kreis 

I sat comfortably in the shade under a large green maple tree, protected from the sun’s hot rays. Most of the trees surrounding me looked healthy and vibrant. One tree, however, looked like most trees do in December: not a single leaf hung from its bare branches. Obviously, something was very wrong with that tree. I couldn’t help but play the childhood game, “Which one doesn’t belong?” You know, the game where you are given three pictures of a tree. Two are large maple trees with a multitude of green leaves. The third is a smaller maple tree without any leaves, so you circle the last tree.

My mind immediately remembered a passage in Scripture that compares people to trees:

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:3).

I thought, “I want to become like the sturdy tree in that verse. How do I do that?” I only had to look at the preceding verses to find my answer:

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).

The last part of this verse grabbed my attention: “…and on his law he meditates day and night.” I envision myself, like the roots of this tree, growing deeper day by day, night by night into the fertile soil of God’s Word.

We cannot always choose where we are planted, but we can choose whether or not we soak up God’s Word. Let’s grow deep roots that will withstand dry days as well as torrential downpours of hardship. Let’s take time every day to nourish ourselves in God’s Word!

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~ Written by Viki Rife

It was great news for our family when we learned that one of our favorite restaurant chains was putting  a restaurant in our town. We weren’t the only ones who paid attention whenever we drove by to how much progress was being made. The time came when the final trim was up and everything looked great! 

The restaurant was starting to hire, and we started counting the days until it would open. But the restaurant didn’t open. What in the world happened? 

Before it could even open, the new structure had started to crack, and it was sinking in some places. The building was falling apart. It was unsafe. The entire building had to be torn down, and longer pilings, long poles driven vertically into the ground, had to be added to provide a more solid foundation. The builders had apparently tried to take short cuts, underestimating the instability of the marshy ground. 

Sometimes, we need to take inventory of what it’s going to take for us to stand firm. We need to be driven deep into God’s Word and gain an understanding of who God is. We need to take the time and effort to drive deep, through the murky marsh of this world’s beliefs, to find solid ground to build our lives on. 

Don’t build your life in a way that will allow you to fall apart. Instead, invest the time and effort to make sure your spiritual foundation lasts. 

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