Trendscoffer (Part 2)

You might say that this is the “flip side” to the last column published here. I hope my traditional scoffing at new and trendy things hasn’t sunk in so deeply that I reject anything new without considering its value, especially given my failure with the new Echibeckia I outlined in my last column.

As with almost anything, moderation and middle ground is the answer, as well as careful consideration with an open mind and open Bible.

While we don’t run to embrace the newest things, we don’t run the other way, either.

In fact, some of the newer horticultural developments are really exciting! This year, I discovered a new cross between Oriental lilies and trumpet lilies. The resulting mix is called “Orienpet,” but the gardener who introduced them to me calls them “tree lilies”: a nickname given to them to explain their amazing height.

This new category of lilies is much easier to grow than either of its parent plants, which can be finicky in substandard conditions….which describes my yard!

Other new flowers and vegetables have been pretty nice additions to my “old lady” garden. Side note: “Old lady” gardens are really all the rage these days; they are called “cottage gardens” and they really do take more planning than their casual appearance betrays.

It’s a rather recent development that many congregations are streaming services on the internet. Thankfully, that includes the church where we are members. Having a few health setbacks lately, it has been our pleasure to worship God in spirit with our beloved brothers and sisters, although it certainly doesn’t take the place of the “assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25, NASB).

It looks like we won’t be the first to get this technology mirrored onto a bigger screen where we can read the powerpoint notes better. We did try, but it was beyond our capabilities, or maybe our equipment was faulty. Where is a smart teenager when you need one?

Well, we didn’t really “need” one, any more than I “needed” the Echibeckia that I talked to you about two weeks ago. It would be nice, just like that flower gave us a lot of enjoyment over its short lifespan, but in the grand scheme, it really didn’t matter that much.

The sermon and Bible class we were able to hear were edifying, the songs were uplifting, and we were able to truly say “Amen” to the heartfelt prayers we heard in real-time. We were made aware of prayer requests and upcoming events with the church.

You likely have heard it said, “Seven days without meeting with the church makes one ‘weak.’”

In cases where absence is unavoidable, search out a live feed such as we have at www.southernhills.net. There are many other avenues for edification, including these articles at www.forthright.net. World Video Bible School at www.wvbs.org has some very informative videos. The list could go on and on!

In terms of Bible study, there are social media groups such as “Digging Deep” where women can discuss the lessons in the group page, and then listen to and even participate in a podcast.

Studying itself has never been easier than it is in the digital age. Instead of a bulky library, one can use a program such as e-Sword or Logos, which connects the scriptures to lexicons and commentaries.

There is no substitute for opening your own Bible daily, but we shouldn’t discount online resources because they are new or seem strange at first.

Take time to smell the new flowers!

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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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