"An Inside Perspective"

December 2012


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! You are all by now aware of my love for outdoor work, and for such I rejoice daily as unto the Lord. Hand-tools, calluses, healthy sweat in the summer sun---guy stuff, I guess? Maybe it’s a leftover yearning from the Garden of Eden when man was commanded to...

“…Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion...” (Gen. 1:28)

We grow and tend assorted plants and flowers daily. Even in the winter, it can be cold and miserable outside but inside the Greenhouse it’s a lush tropical paradise.

I am always trying to learn new things and honestly I’m just a very curious guy by nature. Over the last few years, I have learned a little about growing grass. Howie, one of the rascals that I work, with did lawn work when on the street. He’s close to seventy years old now and I am always purposely putting my bucket down into his well of little garden tricks. He is unknowingly a mine full of horticultural nuggets.

He and I are always trying to get the grass of the surrounding grounds to live up to the beautifully flowered beds and berms. I love a straight edge; there’s nothing quite like it. Just the look of a beautiful flower bed next to a well-manicured lawn with a militarily sharp edge is horticultural bliss for me. Have I been locked up too long? HA!

I have learned how to spread seed properly and to utilize in unison the fall and spring seasons to get a fuller lawn. I have learned how to “top-dress” patchy areas with soil and seed to get all the grounds level. I’ve been taught how to fill in patches and to kill the weeds without killing the grass.

My latest revelation has been learning how to remove the thatch in the fall in preparation for the fall seeding. Years ago at my own house, three beautiful acres in Wayside, I had known nothing about planting grass seed in the fall. I guess my lawn testified to that truth. I was working seven days a week running a business. In the hustle and bustle of just living life, growing grass correctly was very low on my totem pole of importance. Now, with so much proverbial time on my hands, I have lots of time to learn.

During the summer when all is well and the weather is fine, it’s hard to tell what is what. Everything is bright green so the crabgrass is not so easily spotted. So in the fall, I wasn’t sure what to remove and what to leave. I asked Howie and he said, “Just leave it a little longer, Philip, and the weather will reveal it.” Sure enough, all I needed was a little patience. As soon as the first cool weather hit, there was a dramatic change in the look of the crabgrass. All that wasn’t grass was suddenly, by its yellow tinge, revealed to be crabgrass.

In the warm comfortable weather, it all looked good to the untrained eye. As soon as a little harsh weather came though, all the crabgrass suddenly stood out! It was now vividly clear what was what, and I therefore thatched accordingly.

It is written, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Cor. 3:13)

There is one, yet pending, absolute fact---Jesus is coming again! When He is revealed, the thoughts of men’s hearts will be made manifest. There will also be many great separations. Sinners will be separated from saints. Saints will be separated, by way of protection, from the earth. Sinners will be judged and separated from God forever in hell. Saints will finally be eternally separated from sin. The works of the saints will also be separated; some works, the wood, hay and the stubble, will be burned and declared useless. Other works, the gold, silver and precious stones, will be declared worthy, thus vindicating motives and honoring God.

Before all these separations come to pass, and they will, there is an earthy separation that is itself very revealing. It is sometimes hard to tell who is who, right? Leave them a little longer, trials will reveal them. Let a professing Christian be separated from his good weather life and he will quickly be shown to be a crab-Christian. It is hard to tell who is who when all is well. Trials are permitted for a reason though; they reveal a dramatic change in the crab-Christian, even an ungodly yellow tinge.

It is written, “…A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; he came and sought fruit thereon and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” (Lk. 13:6-9)

Beloved, I pray your trials will shape and mold your godly character, not expose a...