Archive for July, 2011

Preparing for the Open Door

The faithful garden crew has been braving the heat in preparation for the open door meeting next weekend.  I finally invested in a hat and shirts with SPF 40 and 50 woven right in  so I am not distracted by the need to apply (and reapply) sunscreen every hour.  We start early, stay hydrated, look for work in the shade, and thank the Father for the breeze.  Visitors come to work alongside, bring offerings of food and water, or just enjoy the presence of God in the garden.  Whether you are able to come in person next weekend or not, here is a pictorial update of what’s been happening lately.  Blessings!

Trees Planted by the Water

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-9

It is easy–natural, even–to look at our circumstances and allow them to dictate our attitude.  When the sun beats down and the rains don’t come, we have two choices: retreat in defeat or pray for rain.  Of course, I’m not just talking about physical heat and drought, and neither was Jeremiah.  We all want to be like the tree planted by the stream whose roots plunge deep into the soil in search of life-sustaining water.  We all want to be able to take the heat of adversity and come out on the other side with green leaves.  And we all can face the heat of fear with the same confidence when our trust and faith are firmly fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ.  In spite of apparent drought, we will never fail to bear fruit when our hearts and minds are focused on the one who came to set us free from fear, unbelief, and every manner of sin.  Our God is an awesome God!

Whatever your battle today, take comfort in this truth: your God is able to deliver you from the hand of the enemy.  Just trust him.  The rain will return.

Shalom y’all.

And the Heat Goes On

When the thermometer holds steady in the 100’s and the earth radiates its stored heat, it’s hard to believe that we were complaining about the snow and ice just a few months ago.  And yet, we all know that the heat will eventually loosen its grip, cooler temperatures and shorter days will return, and rain and snow will fall once again.  By the end of February, I will be impatiently waiting for the first signs of spring while I try to stay warm.   Such is the nature of seasons and life!  In the meantime, thank God for sprinkler systems!

At the Global Spheres Center and the Israel Prayer Garden in Corinth, we are braving the heat in preparation for our move.  In the garden, we continue to work, water and weed in anticipation of the Open Door Meeting at the end of July.  Jesus completed the pathway and Gentile threshing floor last week.  Take a look:

Thinking cool thoughts in Texas,


We’re Having a Heat Wave . . .

The triple digits have taken position and don’t seem inclined to budge anytime soon.  In spite of the heat and drought, work continues in the Prayer Garden.  We have completed the pathways that connect the tribes, added a stone footbridge between Asher and Naphtali, and topped the pillars in Issachar with a compass rose and sundial representing the tribe’s understanding of time and direction.  We continue to prepare bedding areas in anticipation of cooler temperatures in the fall.  In the meantime, the garden crew stays busy pulling weeds, changing out expired annuals, deadheading spent flowers, and monitoring the water needs of each area.

One simple pleasure of tending the garden is enjoying the animal visitors.  Birds of all kinds, including a family of Eastern Bluebirds, frequent the bird feeders and water features throughout the day.  It’s not unusual to see a mockingbird chase a squirrel through Ephraim or catch a glimpse of a rabbit foraging for food.  The Boat-tailed Grackles often wash their food off in the water features of Manasseh.  The Blue Jays chase each other through the vitex trees, oblivious to the humans pulling weeds just a few feet away.  What a gift it is to be surrounded by such life and joy in spite of the heat!

Here is a visual update for you to enjoy.  I’ll post more later!

Waste Not

Several months ago, when we first started working on the Twelve Tribes of Israel Prayer Garden, I asked the Lord to send me someone who knew how to compost.  I realize that most folk don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the art–and science–of turning trash into garden gold, but I do.  I have tried starting a home compost pile a few times, but I always get distracted along the way and wind up with a pile of unproductive leaves and kitchen scraps!  So, when the Lord sent me two master composters in the form of Kenny and Andrea Tapp, I was absolutely delighted.  They took the chipped up debris from our initial garden clean-up, formed a windrow, and made countless trips to barns and pastures collecting manure.  Over the weeks and months, the Tapps have watered and  monitored the temperature of the windrow and incorporated even more organic matter into the pile.  One of my favorite things to do out in the garden is to lift up the top of the windrow and watch the steam escape from the decomposing pile of future garden compost!

Perhaps you have heard me say, more than once, that there is no such thing as waste in God’s economy.  When God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, He didn’t provide a place for a landfill.  Waste doesn’t occur in creation.  From dust we were made, and to dust we will return.  All that God created was designed to return to the earth, to recycle, and be reused.  A compost pile is a reminder of the circular nature of time.  We plow and plant in the spring, the earth brings forth harvest, and what’s left returns to the ground or the compost pile, not the landfill!  Then, when the natural processes of decomposition have done their job and the heat of the compost pile has eliminated harmful seeds, what remains returns to the garden to nourish another season of growth. What a picture of life in the Spirit!

As we continue our gardening adventure in the Israel Prayer Garden and the Beulah Acres Community Garden, composting will be emphasized and encouraged even more.  In fact, we are working on a video that will communicate how we can all enjoy the benefits of composting.  John Dickson is even writing a song about the subject!  You certainly won’t want to miss that.  And here are a few pictures of last Thursday’s windrow work in progress.

Shabbat Shalom!