GOD IS THE GARDENER OF OUR HEARTS
I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. F. Frankfort Moore
Give me a garden of beautiful flowers odorous at sunrise, where I can walk undisturbed. Walt Whitman
You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. Author Unknown
Although I have not been able to grow a garden as beautiful as these pictures, I have always enjoyed gardening! I used to help my father in the garden when I was a child. You learn much wisdom from gardening and the different seasons. It is a great stress-buster! It teaches you patience. You cannot rush Nature. You cannot rush God’s will either. He works slowly in the background, shaping us into the person he wants us to be. Gardening also teaches you how to deal with failure and success.
I cannot work as hard in the garden now but I love looking after my houseplants. One of my favourite subjects at school was Biology. I loved learning about all the different parts of plants and what their function was. We did experiments with beans, seeds and cuttings. I still enjoy propagating cuttings to this day. We planted indoor bulbs to brighten the classroom up for the spring. Gardeners learn to accept that not everything turns out the way we want, but there is always next year, when we can perhaps do better. Even now, planting bulbs in the autumn keeps me focused on looking forward to the spring. It is way of coping with the winter. I do not like the cold weather, although I like looking at the snow from the comfort of a warm room! And I love looking forward, with hope, to what the New Year may bring.
John chapter 15 New International Version (NIV) The Vine and the Branches
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
17 This is my command: Love each other.
God is a gardener in our lives too! He prunes out what is bad in our lives and feeds us with that which is good. We learn the difference between what is good and what is bad from reading The Holy Bible. In it are all the instructions for living God’s way.
When we are ‘born again’ we have to be willing to change. God’s Holy Spirit helps us and guides us to live the right way. We no longer can do just what we want. We have to be willing to give up ‘self’ and ask the question, what is God’s will for my life. Over time He teaches us what He wants us to do and where He wants us to go.
If you have been putting God first place in your life and bearing fruit (that is love, joy, peace etc; the fruit of the spirit – Galatians chapter 5 verses 22-25), do not be surprised if you are faced with situations that require more love and patience with people, and more situations that try to rob you of peace, self-control, gentleness, faithfulness and kindness. God ‘prunes’ us more when we bear fruit, so that He can gradually change our hearts into the likeness of Jesus Christ, and so change us into the people He wants us to be. We are not necessarily being punished by God when life becomes difficult, it is usually because He is training us, although it is always wise to give yourself a check to see if, as far as you are able, you are putting God first place in your life. When you are in doubt about anything PRAY and in time you will be shown the answer. Even when you are unsure of what to pray, Say the words of The Lords Prayer and think about their meaning. The Holy Spirit has a way of showing us what to do when we are worried, afraid or in turmoil about any problems.
The Lord’s Prayer Words
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
(Taken from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, 1662).
The Lord’s Prayer Matthew Chapter 6 verses 9-15
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer Luke Chapter 11 verses 1-4
1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father,hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.
I found these quotes below, about gardening, on The Web. Some are amusing; others are inspiring and speak about life in general as well as gardening.
My garden is my favourite teacher. Betsy Cañas Garmon
I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden. John Erskine
Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart. Russell Page
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. Author Unknown
Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul. Linda Solegato
I appreciate the misunderstanding I have had with Nature over my perennial border. I think it is a flower garden; she thinks it is a meadow lacking grass, and tries to correct the error. Sara Stein
There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder. A. Austin
Just because you’ve only got houseplants doesn’t mean you don’t have the gardening spirit – I look upon myself as an indoor gardener. Sara Moss-Wolfe
It takes a while to grasp that not all failures are self-imposed, the result of ignorance, carelessness or inexperience. It takes a while to grasp that a garden isn’t a testing ground for character and to stop asking, what did I do wrong? Maybe nothing. Eleanor Perényi
My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view. (H. Fred Dale, ‘Thanks, Anne’)
Gardening requires lots of water, most of it in the form of perspiration. Lou Erickson
What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it. Charles Dudley Warner
There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. Mirabel Osler
Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it. Author Unknown
The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. George Bernard Shaw
Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough. People are similar. Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them. Victoria Glendinning
The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. H. Rion
In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. Abram L. Urban
It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought. James Douglas
Weather means more when you have a garden. There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans. M. Cox
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. Author Unknown
I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a row of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green. Nathaniel Hawthorne
Don’t wear perfume in the garden unless you want to be pollinated by bees. Anne Raver
When one of my plants dies, I die a little inside, too. Linda Solegato
Plant carrots in January and you’ll never have to eat carrots. Author Unknown
Take thy plastic spade, it is thy pencil; take thy seeds, thy plants, they are thy colours. William Mason
It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves. Robert Louis Stevenson
Gardens are a form of autobiography. Sydney Eddison
Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. Lindley Karstens
I know that if odour were visible, as colour is, I’d see the summer garden in rainbow clouds. Robert Bridges
Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden. Orson Scott Card
How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. Benjamin Disraeli
Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made, by singing: -“Oh, how beautiful!” and sitting in the shade. Rudyard Kipling
I think the true gardener is a lover of his flowers, not a critic of them. I think the true gardener is the reverent servant of Nature, not her truculent, wife-beating master. I think the true gardener, the older he grows, should more and more develop a humble, grateful and uncertain spirit. Reginald Farrer
Plants cry their gratitude for the sun in green joy. Astrid Alauda
The garden is the poor man’s apothecary. German Proverb
On every stem, on every leaf,… and at the root of everything that grew, was a professional specialist in the shape of grub, caterpillar, aphis, snail or other expert, whose business it was to devour that particular part. Oliver Wendell Holmes
Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination. Mrs. C.W. Earle
No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden. Hugh Johnson
We have descended into the garden and caught three hundred slugs. How I love the mixture of the beautiful and the squalid in gardening. It makes it so lifelike. EvelynUnderhill
Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else? Betsy Cañas Garmon,
Last night, there came a frost, which has done great damage to my garden…. It is sad that Nature will play such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart. Nathaniel Hawthorne
Despite the gardener’s best intentions, Nature will improvise. Michael P. Garafalo
Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there. Thomas Fuller
In order to live off a garden, you practically have to live in it. Frank McKinney Hubbard
It pleases me to take amateur photographs of my garden, and it pleases my garden to make my photographs look professional. Robert Brault
I never had any other desire so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large garden. Abraham Cowley
One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. W.E. Johns
Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest. Douglas William Jerrold
It is utterly forbidden to be half-hearted about gardening. You have got to love your garden whether you like it or not. W.C. Sellar & R.J. Yeatman
Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart. Karel Čapek
Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden. Robert Brault
Most people who possess anything like an acre, or half of it, contribute weekly to the support of a gentleman known as Jobbing Gardener. You are warned of the danger that he may prove to be Garden Pest no 1. C.E. Lucas-Phillips
As a gardener, I’m among those who believe that much of the evidence of God’s existence has been planted. Robert Brault
The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth, one is nearer God’s heart in a garden, than anywhere else on earth. Dorothy Frances Gurney
Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigour and freedomof the forest and the outlaw. Henry David Thoreau
If you’ve never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden. Robert Brault
Gardening is a kind of disease. It infects you, you cannot escape it. When you go visiting, your eyes rove about the garden; you interrupt the serious cocktail drinking because of an irresistible impulse to get up and pull a weed. Lewis Gannit
When you have done your best for a flower, and it fails, you have some reason to be aggrieved. Frank Swinnerton
Gardening gives one back a sense of proportion about everything – except itself. May Sarton
The best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow. Author Unknown
Thank you to Michael Garofalo of The Spirit of Gardening for sharing some of these quotations!
I recommend that you watch The Revelation TV Channel on Sky channel number 581 or Freesat channel 692 and Roku Box UK and USA. You can also watch programmes on their website at http://www.revelationtv.com/ They are a Christian channel. They have live, interactive programmes, which are wonderful for people who are lonely and many programmes that help people learn about the love of God and how to live the Christian life. The presenters and guests make you feel that you are part of the Church family.
If you feel you need God in your life and you don’t know how to find Him and you feel alone, lost, guilty and frightened, I recommend the website from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association http://www.PeaceWithGod.net