"An Inside Perspective"

September 2012


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! For many years, while working in the Greenhouse, we were allowed to grow fresh vegetables and fruits. We were able to have plenty for ourselves and tons left over to share with everyone. It made summer special and gave us something to look forward to. Truly it was an awesome blessing enjoyed by all.

Well, last year they put a stop to it because they said that they were afraid we might get sick from the fresh vegetables and then blame them. I respect good police work, but honestly, if they were really concerned about us getting sick from our very limited food sources, fresh vegetables should not be their first suspect!

Last fall as I reminiscently gazed out over the empty garden, I thought, “well, I will turn it into a beautiful flower garden.” I mapped it out in my head and cut and framed the whole area with border-beds and a large center rectangle. I removed the old broken down mulch bin and found a slab of cement under it. I cleaned that all up, put black edging around it and wha-la, I had a five by ten foot patio to display the Greenhouse’s potted plants on for the summer, including our big fan-palm for the middle! I next edged out the whole area militarily sharp, split some Black-eyed Susans and strategically placed them accordingly. All was now ready for the spring. In the early spring, I revisited the edges and added more plants and before long it became as the Garden of Eden, so to speak of course!

All of our outside areas have been given names so that when we are discussing our chores for the day and the plants to be attended to, we know what areas we are talking about. For instance, the left side of the Greenhouse, which gets full sun all day, is called the Ponderosa. On the other side of the road is the Shipyard, it gets only afternoon sun, and is aptly named because of the two huge pilings coming out of the center of it. Speaking of such, I bored out the middle of the pilings on the top and put Black-eyed Susans in them, too, as not to leave any spot unattended.

Across the way is the Pasture, where resides the now infamous resurrection rose bush that I had written of in the past. Oh, the rascals of little faith, you should see that bush now, it just will not quit blooming! We also have Highway 51, and of course, the North Pasture. The garden has always been called the Garden, but in light of its new usage and the fact that it’s kind of tucked back in the corner out of the way, I dubbed it the Back-forty. For you city folks, that refers to the back forty acres of a farm that is usually used to grow crops.

I pray over all my work, as you know, and thus the Lord gets all the glory because it is He and He alone, as in all things, who “gives the increase.” Today is Labor Day and the Back-forty is filled with a superfluity of horticultural magnificence!

You may be wondering where I am going with this, and truthfully, I myself sometimes say that to the Lord as I’m writing. Well, I tended the Back-forty like it was my own back yard. You couldn’t find a weed anywhere and when I walked back there with my pruners, all the plants stood at attention as if to salute. It had become my area alone and if I didn’t tend it, it would have grown wild.

Sometimes, I get out my Bible and my five gallon bucket, which doubles as my stool, and I just go back there to sit, read, and pray, worshipping for this rare peaceful spot. The funny thing was though, over time, I noticed that no one ever went back there but me, not even the rascals I work with. The whole summer went by and not one Officer ever went back there. Yet reflecting back, I observed how I had unwittingly tended it with the same care as I had given Ponderosa which was seen daily by all. I could have tended it differently after I realized that no one ever sees it, but I didn’t.

It is written, “For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was anything kept secret, but that it should come to light.” (Mark 4:22)

Beloved, the Lord requires us to be as faithful in the areas that others can’t see, as well as in those that they can. We all have a “Back-forty” in our lives and for some of us it has grown wild! It’s an area of your life that no one sees but you. Perhaps you live alone and your walk is exemplary with others and in church, but at home your edges are not militarily sharp.

Perhaps you are self-employed and your books are your “Back-forty?” No one really knows the amount of money you earn, do they? Some pay by check and others by cash, right? Does your wife know about all the cash you take in? Precious one, have any weeds of compromise grown up concerning the IRS?

Men, how are your thoughts toward women? Make no mistake, the Lord knows what is on the hard drive of your heart! You had better stand at attention beloved, because here comes the Lord and He’s got the pruners! Beloved, He wants to see your...