"An Inside Perspective"

July 2016

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

We have ten roses in Rahway, nine on the Greenhouse grounds. They are all spectacular to behold. I am always amazed that even though hundreds of people walk by them everyday, very few “really” notice them. I think the men, at times, are just consumed with their own issues.

The nine roses on the grounds are very unique. Each one is of a different height and has a special fragrance all of its own. Some bloom abundantly from May all the way through October, others only for a month. Some are five feet tall and bushy with hundreds of roses in various degrees of splendor. Others are short and stubby with cherished few flowers. Some have a fragrance divine, the very bouquet of Heaven, while others have barely a scent. Some are a very feminine soft pink with such delicate flowers that I hesitate even to touch. All of them though, are pruned according to the will of the June-bug.

June-bug and I share all the chores. As I have said before, we each have our own unique skill-set, and for the beauty of the grounds, we always willingly acquiesce to each other’s specialties. You see the June-bug has a very special knack with roses, so basically I fall back, trust and let him do his thing. He has proven himself faithful over the years, by the fruit of his labor. He knows exactly what he is doing, June-bug is indeed, sovereign over the roses.

We do counsel together concerning all things and he often asks my opinion, and then he acts according to his weighed out options. But, where he wants them planted, is where they are planted. How he wants them shaped, is how they will be shaped. He decides when he wants to prune and for what purpose. He dispenses the bug spray as he sees fit and feeds them in accordance with his own will.

One thing that I have noticed about the roses is that June-bug often prunes them even when it “seems” to me that nothing is wrong with them. I am an observer and this is very interesting to me. You see, they may be healthy as can be and altogether lovely in every respect. Yet he will still prune them in such a way that, down the road, they will be even more fragrant, produce even more buds and be even more spectacular to behold! It is all at the will of the June-bug.

It is written, “. . . and every branch that beareth fruit He prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John 15:2b)

The tenth rose in our lives is Sister Debbie. She is also very unique in her own right, in that, for twenty plus years now, she has poured out her life for prisoners. God has given her to us, as a very special divine fragrance, yes, even the very bouquet of Heaven!

She has ministered tirelessly to us, by the grace of God, and she has been blooming abundantly all these many years. Today, I seek your prayers for her because our Heavenly Gardener Himself has her on His own personal pruning table even as we speak.

You see the Father has a very special knack with roses. He is sovereign over them and His loving hand is ever so gentle with His pruners. Sister Debbie is being reshaped, at the will of her Father, even though it may “seem” there was nothing wrong with her. She is in her prime, producing abundantly and lovely in all her works, but still, the Father remains lovingly sovereign over His own. Ultimately, she is His rose.

I am an observer and it is very interesting, albeit difficult, to watch our Father prune her. It is not without much heartache and pain. I personally see nothing but a very feminine soft pink fragrant flower, but down the road I will see more clearly. At the time, the rose thought herself fine but there is an Eye that see the roses’ heart. The Pruner knows exactly how to produce His desired fragrance divine. Yes, down the road, for His glory, her walk will be even more spectacular to behold!

Very few “really” notice the work that Sister Debbie does and understandably so; people are just consumed with their own issues. She alone is the true Rose of Rahway, even the very fragrance of her Savior to us. So for now, I basically fall back, trust and watch the Father do His thing. The Father has proven Himself faithful over the years and He knows exactly what He is doing. Rest Sister Debbie, He is indeed sovereign over the Rose of Rahway too!

It is written, “And walk in love as Christ has also loved us and had given Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor (fragrance).” (Eph. 5:2)

Our lives have been challenged and changed, for the glory of God through this ministry. Debbie has shown us all the heart of Christ in serving the unservable. I seek your prayer for her as she walks with her Lord through this time of testing. It is the time of pruning at the hand of her Father. Beloved, join with me in prayer for the Lord’s very own true . . .