What a pansy!

Pansies in the South have been phenomenal this year. They are the larger flowering subsection of the Viola family of plants, usually with a well defined blotch or eye zone.

One noteworthy exception of this successful pansy season is our yard. What with health challenges and other things occupying our time, the annual “planting of the pansies” did not occur at the usual time last fall. In fact, one half-flat of these charming annuals has been languishing on the mulch around the old cherry tree all winter. 

It won’t make much sense to plant them now, as the weather heats up, as much as I love them. By the end of springtime, they usually are leggy and fried by the hot sun, even when they got the right start in the autumn.  Continue reading “What a pansy!”

Releasing the captives

Under the cover of darkness and utilizing stealth technologies, a couple of Black Hawk helicopters approach a political prisoner compound. Deploying with rapid descent a team of highly specialized soldiers drop into the compound neutralizing opposing forces. The prisoners suddenly realize they are being rescued. The thought of release flooding their minds quickly evolves into experiencing good news.

Such storylines comprise action filled cinematic drama. The New Testament recounts a story no less dramatic and exquisitely more applicable to each of our lives. Why? Because it is an historical story revealing good news for our lives. The good news of the kingdom is more than just a story about God making forgiveness possible. It announces the complete triumph of God’s power through Christ. Continue reading “Releasing the captives”

God gave them up

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, ‘The righteous by faith will live (Romans 1:16-17 NET).

God’s power for salvation is found in the gospel (literally “good news”) of Jesus and it is for everyone who will believe. That is, indeed, good news! God’s righteousness has been made known in this good news as people obey and are cleansed, made righteous, by being united with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (see Romans 6 for a detailed discussion of this). Continue reading “God gave them up”

Stones of remembrance

Rocks and gardens go well together.

Not only does my garden contain a grouping of boulders in a conspicuous spot, but much of the garden beds are bordered by stones.

The more weathered and mossy the rocks are, the more attractive they seem to become. It’s almost like they have stories to tell. My boulders remind me of the generosity of the next-door neighbors. Continue reading “Stones of remembrance”