- The HOPE that the trees that I am looking at will soon begin to bud and then flourish with foliage and fruit as SPRING and SUMMER arrive.
- My "grocery store tree" that was next to the grocery store parking lot in Bloomington, IN where I used to live.
- Teaching the Pitman church's Treasured in My Heart ladies class last fall where I shared the story about the encouragement I got from trees...especially that "grocery store tree" that became my "meditation tree" and "tree of encouragement".
- Those of you who have told me since that tree watching has become a spiritual exercise for you, too.
- Stephanie, who went throughout South Jersey after that class (with her children) and found trees "with spiritual lessons".
- The incredible gift that Stephanie and her children made for me from their tree watching experience(s).
- Saturday night's fellowship at Dwight and Mary Lea's with the Pitman elders', preachers', and their wives and the LOVE and JOY that filled their home.
- Our Marking for Meaning Bible class, yesterday morning, as we looked at Genesis / Revelation connections AND that God made trees on the 3rd day.
- Yesterday, Steve's last sermon in our Nehemiah series on THE JOY OF THE LORD.
- Last night's life group at the Betts' home, as we discussed JOY Myths, JOY Killers, JOY Modelers...Joy as a fruit of the Spirit...
- Our church family is JOYFUL!
- How does all this connect with the Beattitudes and being MERCIFUL?
- The Beattitudes that we are studying on this blog and the realization that the Beattitudes are not so much about the fruit of the Spirit...but about how to live in order that the Holy Spirit of God can grow His fruit in us...trees grow fruit (not of their own accord)...christians grow fruit (not of their own accord)...
- Growth is seasonal!
- If it's WINTER for you right now, I pray that you are meditating and renewing your strength...give Him glory in the process...
- If it's SPRING for you right now, I pray that you soak in the river of God's Spriit and the light of His ways...allowing Him to grow your roots deeper as He graciously buds your leaves and fruit...
- If it's SUMMER for you right now, I pray that you are all God intends for you to be...may your service give Him glory...
- If it's FALL for you right now, I pray that as you display the glory of God through your colors...that it truly is all about Him....
If you're snowed in today with your kids, I hope you have a few minutes to listen to our song of the week. I posted the words yesterday. May it convict you of the first five Beattitudes...and a desire to come back to tomorrow's post as I share Stephanie's gift...
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those
who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy. "