OUR FATHER'S PERSISTENT LOVE MINISTRIES, INC.





"An Inside Perspective"

March 2010


                           


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Today I got the outside gardening tools out for the first time this year. It was almost sixty degrees and delightfully sunny. As I walked to work in the early morning mist, I could smell the thawing soil in the pre-spring breeze. It is a smell unique to the country of which my heart daily longs for. The aroma of the soil worked something inside of me. I found myself anxious and motivated, even driven to get to the tool crib. Hallelujah for tools!

I knew it was way too early yet, but then again, who is to say when it is too early for a man to get his hands in the soil? I then realized, it was not an option for me; I had to get my paws in that soil! I excitedly dusted off my newly painted wheelbarrow, one of the true delights of my heart. Then, I got out two rakes, a hoe, a hand-tiller and, last but not least, my beloved knee pads. Thank you Lord! Where would a man be without his wheelbarrow and knee-pads?!?

The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and a warm breeze was blowing gently over the grounds. I was filled with joy by the Spirit of God and the world was my oyster! Have you ever had a day like that? It’s the kind of day that you just pray will never end. Everyone that passed by was happy to be out and about. The gloomy faces of winter’s doldrums were now filled with the hope of spring. It seemed people could not keep their smiles in single file! Indeed, the time changes in a week and spring is two short weeks away. Hope is in the air, new life, new birth; surely you can sense it, a plethora of horticultural resurrections are about to take place all around you!

I have a whole plan mapped out in my head of how I would like the grounds to look this summer. For that plan to come to fruition, I must begin now. I have been itching for this day and I couldn’t wait to get started. Beginning on March fifteenth, all the seed trays will be started inside the greenhouse. They are to be ready for outside planting around the fifteenth of April, weather permitting. That will give the seeds two weeks to germinate, and also, about two weeks to grow before planting.

After about three weeks, we begin to set the then sprouting seed trays outside, but only during the days, to “harden them off” before planting. “Hardening them off” means that you slowly wean them from the soft warm easy environment of the greenhouse to the hard, constantly changing environment outside. Outside they will be regularly assailed by all types of weather. Also, the birds of the air love to utilize the new sprouts as nest fodder. Unbeknownst to some, planting time and nest building time are concurrent. I take a styrofoam cup with no lid and cut off the very bottom. Then, I put it over the freshly planted seedling. I build up a little soil around the base of the cup so it won't blow away. It then proves to be quite the hedge of protection and the birds will leave it alone. I have been saving cups all winter long for just that very purpose. Wonderfully, every year I learn something new that I will apply to the grounds the following year. Lord willing, I yearly improve my productivity and the garden’s overall aesthetics, I pray, to the glory of God and the delight of men.

The Lord is just so good to me! I cannot even voice it. Gratitude flows from my heart daily like a river of living water as I work. I don’t know how the Lord could care for me any better than He already does. I am fifty-three years old and, by the grace of God, I am very healthy physically, spiritually and emotionally. I am so well provided for and so lovingly encouraged by so many awesome God-fearing people. I am so undeserving, but in light of such, I am all the more appreciative. I have so many fine godly examples to look up to. Honestly, even if I wanted to complain about something, I couldn’t - I would have to make something up! May I boast only in the goodness of God our Savior, for apart from Him, I can do nothing and would be nothing!

It is written, “A sower went out to sow his seed . . . the seed is the Word of God.”

Perhaps your Christian witness has gone through a winter season. Know that the devil will always tell you it is “way too early” to start now. Is it time again to get your paws, even the Word of God, into the soil of men’s hearts? Do you have a plan mapped out in your head of how to witness better? Do you know how to hedge in the new sprouts with prayer and protect them from the birds of the air?

Arise beloved, repent of any hindering sin. You do know laziness is sin, right? It is written, “Consider the ant, you sluggard.” Arise, beloved, hope is in the air, new life, new birth; surely you can sense it. A plethora of spiritual resurrections are taking place all around you. Arise beloved, improve your productivity, and the Kingdom’s overall aesthetics, I pray ...

"TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE DELIGHT OF MEN!”

JOYFULLY IN JESUS,
LOVE, PHILIP