"An Inside Perspective"

August 2009

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! We are in the midst of the summer bloom! Everywhere that we look the hand of the Lord can be plainly seen in the wonderful variety of His beautiful creation. It is written, "The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy; they also sing."

There is a walkway that goes directly through the middle of our greenhouse grounds. To get from "here to there," so to speak, you must take that walkway. As people daily pass by me on that walkway, they constantly tell me how awesome everything looks. They say, "What a beautifully manicured garden." It really is a little garden of Eden in the midst of a very dark place.

Some people take the time to walk slowly through the garden; enjoying the plethora of flowers and plants. Some ask, "What is this or that called Philip?" Others walk right through the garden and never notice a thing. They could just as well be walking through a garbage dump. They are so caught up with their daily issues that they don't stop to smell the proverbial roses.

The walking only occurs during movements. I'm not allowed to have my tools out then, so most of the time when people see me I appear to be doing nothing. Things are not always what they appear. Little do they know that I've just put away the tools after being on my hands and knees for the last three hours sweating like a water-buffalo! We all know that you don't get a beautifully manicured garden by standing around. It takes daily, brutally consistent, back-breaking hard work.

At any given time I can be found sporting my well used home-made knee-pads in the midst of the crazy daisies doing battle with a raging aphid population! You could also easily walk right by without even seeing me while I'm cropping away at the base of the elephant ears. Or, I could be in the vegetable garden pruning tomatoes, weeding the melons, or picking the pole-beans off the chain link fence. I'm always working.

It is written, "It pleased the Father that in Him should all the fullness dwell ... having made peace through the blood of the cross." With that being said ...

The cross of Christ is forever spiritually emblazoned upon my heart. It dictates my perspective, and thus, my actions. I filter all that I do and say through the cross. My favorite pastime this summer has been training the morning glory vines into a cross. I planted them at the base of a high pole and ran string in opposite directions, which morning glories anxiously delight to follow. You run the string and they will surely follow it.

As I said, everything is not what it appears to be. For instance, Satan was originally the Anointed Cherub in the midst of the garden of God, but inside, and quite contrary to his appearance, he was Lucifer waiting to be exposed. Also, who would have ever thought that the baby whose very diapers Mary was changing was actually God in the flesh?

So it is with this particular cross of morning glory vines. The cross can only be recognized from one spot. Therefore, it just looks like a normal morning glory vine to most passersby. So, throughout the course of the day, as the Lord leads, I take men by the hand and lead them to that one spot on the walkway. I then turn them around, and without fail they all exclaim, "Oh wow, I didn't even see that!" Their surprise brings me great joy!

It is the Lord who sends people down the walkways of our lives. What attracts them to Christ is a beautifully manicured Christian walk. Are you a little garden of Eden in the midst of this very dark world? Do you have a plethora of spiritual flowers and plants in a well manicured life before the Lord? To have a valid witness you must have a manicured walk; and that takes daily, brutally consistent, back-breaking hard work. We must always be working. Are you sporting your spiritual knee-pads in prayer while doing battle with the raging demonic population?

The Lord leads people to our walkway but they still need us to help them see the cross. Some people walk through our lives and ask questions and others just pass by and never notice us. We must be discerning of when, why, and who is on our walkway. The cross can only be recognized from one spot, Jesus Christ crucified. God has chosen us to take people by the hand and lead them to that cross. Their surprise will bring you great joy!

Have you ever walked anyone by the hand to the cross? Have you ever heard someone joyfully exclaim as they burst out of darkness and into His marvelous Light ...