Credentials

“Master Gardener” — now there’s an oxymoron, if we are being honest. While there is a level of knowledge and expertise that one gains by attending classes and working with plants and landscapes, one never really gains mastery over those plants in general. They’ll just do as they want more often than we care to admit.

In fact, the speaker at the last local Master Gardener event bemoaned the demise of a very expensive Monkey Puzzle tree at the display gardens in Jackson, Tennessee. Apparently, the more pricey the plant, the less likely it will do what you want it to do. Continue reading “Credentials”

And the books were opened

The end of winter is the time when many gardeners turn to their books. We may have been perusing seed catalogs for the last few months, and even ordered a few new varieties of tomatoes or beans to try. 

When the robins appear and the ground starts thawing, we turn our attention to the gardening books. We search for the best way to plant that new Santa Rosa Plum that came in the mail; bare rooted, bare twigged, and sad looking.  Continue reading “And the books were opened”

What is truth?

By Johnny O. Trail — There was once a man who decided that he wanted to lose weight. To that end, he weighed himself on his bathroom scale and determined that he weighed 250 pounds. For the entire next week, he exercised and tried to cut back on what he ate. At the end of the week, he got on the scale and determined that he weighed 260 pounds. He was so angry at what the bathroom scale told him that he took the scale into the garage, got a sledge hammer and beat it to smithereens.

The next day he determined that there had to be something wrong with the scale. So he drives to Wal-Mart and purchases a brand new one. He returned home, made sure that it was properly calibrated, and stepped on to ascertain his weight. The scale revealed that he weighed 262 pounds. It was not what he expected, but he accepted that as a good starting point for his newly renewed attempt at weight loss. For the next week he exercised and watched his food intake (to some extent). Continue reading “What is truth?”

How did we get here? Start from the beginning.

Probably not a few Israelites wandering for 40 years in the desert wondered how it was they got there. Maybe even Moses was asking how he had got himself into the long trek to nowhere. None of them could have been a happy camper. The majority were circling the desert until they died off. The generation under 20 years of age had to pass the best years of their lives in a waiting game.

How did the chosen people of Israel come to a full stop? More importantly, what did the 40-year-pause mean for the plan of God? And how might the young generation remember they were God’s special people in the midst of the nations? Perhaps to that end Moses writes. Continue reading “How did we get here? Start from the beginning.”

Jesus Christ gives certainty

In a world that considers everything relative except relativity, Christians need to feel sure of their faith and to find certainty in the truth of the gospel. God is a competent and willing revealer of his eternal plan.

The Bible presents us with proven facts, a coherent history, and verifiable written prophecies of the Lord. There need be no embarrassment about possessing truth. Continue reading “Jesus Christ gives certainty”

When the eye is bad

Any reader of this column will know by now that I just love the daylilies with the dark “eye zones,” or centers.

“Moonlit Masquerade,” “Raspberry Candy,” and “Carpetbagger” are some of my favorites, with their dark eye zone giving the blooms a stark contrast. They have a certain appeal, and they also remind us of a basic Bible truth about our spiritual sight. Continue reading “When the eye is bad”

The whole thing

The weather forecast warned of high winds, so it was no surprise that the shrieking gusts persisted late into the evening. It only took two steps onto the back porch the next morning to see the portable shed, set up only a few months ago, was destroyed. It was upended, and its frame lay like a giant, dead, twisted spider in the tomato garden.

The various pots and garden tools, never as picturesque as the clay pot groupings in the garden magazines anyway, were now littered across the neighbor’s yard. Continue reading “The whole thing”

The need for knowing God’s word

“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you…” (Titus 1:5 ESV)

The need for good leadership in congregations is necessary. Despite the trendy and progressive ideas that we often see around us, the leadership of God’s people is to rest in men – those who are “above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers” (Titus 1:6). Continue reading “The need for knowing God’s word”