Landini Lily with raindrops

A wise purchase

Clearance racks, plant swaps, stopping for a pretty plant out on a drive in the countryside; these are some of the methods for the shoestring budget gardening that some of us practice.

But then there are the wish lists — the must-have plants that strikes our fancy like no other, and must therefore be purchased even at full price.

One such plant is the stunning Jack Frost Brunnera, or the profusely flowering Sweet Summer Love Clematis. These prizes are worth the extra outlay in cash, because they have unique qualities that are not found in their plainer counterparts. The Jack Frost, for instance, not only has pretty blue flowers that bloom in the shade, but the foliage is speckled a frosty white, so that it is appealing even when it’s not flowering.

At one side of our yard is a vignette of purple, blue, and pink flowers where our neighbor likes to take photos of her daughter through the years. A dark purple Jackmanii clematis climbing up the fence forms a backdrop for the deep purple of the four Cardonna Salvias, interspersed with purple and pink irises. A carpet of lavender Moss Phlox softens out the front of the bed, along with a few miniature comfreys and Virginia Bluebells.

One springtime day we were selling extra flowers to raise funds for our daughter’s mission trip to Ukraine. I had a list of plants to trade for donations, but one garden visitor had her heart set on the Cardonna salvia. Since I had four, I hesitated a moment but then acquiesced; knowing it could be replaced someday.

Then there are other plants that I would not sell, no matter what. They might hold special value for the memories of their origin, or another reason that their value is so high.

It is much the same with spiritual things. These are not to be sold, no matter what.

“Buy the truth and sell it not” (Proverbs 23:23).

Solomon admonishes us about the great value of truth. We are not to trade it for anything!

No amount of fame, fortune, or ease of life could be compared with having the truth. Probably the single largest reason for the empty pews in our churches is a fear of the truth. If the Bible is true, we are therefore bound by its teachings.

If we are going to follow the Bible’s teachings, it might be inconvenient, uncomfortable, annoying, time-consuming, and change our lives. While that change may be all of those things, it is of inestimable value! It leads to the kingdom of heaven.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 14:45, 46).

Yes, there is a cost to Christianity. But that “one pearl of great value” was worth everything else that the merchant previously possessed.

Our beautiful dark reddish-black Landini Asiatic Lily was purchased through an online catalog, and replaced some irises that were given away.

I can no more fit all the things I like to do into my life than I can fit all my favorite plants into my own back yard. We therefore make sacrifices for the things that are of greater value.

While it may not require a large outlay of cash for a Bible, the way we “buy” truth is by sacrificing some of our own selfish desires to obey what is contained in the scriptures.

Buy truth. The word of God is truth (John 17:17).

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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