Friday, November 26, 2010


I just came across a new approach to gardening. In his book, A Novel Approach to Growing Vegetables, Mr. Les Pro Duction suggests that we are making a big mistake trying to keep weeds out of our gardens. Instead, he suggests, we should encourage the growth of some weeds. According to his theory, the presence of weeds will be good for the vegetables. "I believe that weeds will make the garden more productive by toughening up the vegetables to the challenges that naturally come in a garden," according to Mr. Duction. He went on to say, "I am so convinced of this that not only am I not going to pull any weeds next year, I may even plant a few in the spring, along with my tomatoes."

I was a little skeptical about this new approach to gardening until I reflected on the fact that it fits right in with the way most people approach their spiritual lives. Even many church leaders seem to agree that it is good to encourage some sin in the church, as if too much holiness would be a problem.

I guess if it works in the Christian life and in the church, it might work in the garden as well. I do not know if I will go so far as to actually plant weeds, as Mr. Duction plans to do, but I guess it would be nice to have an excuse to leave off hoeing and weeding.

Insincerely yours,


Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The All-Seeing Eye

How does it make you feel to remember that God sees everything you do and knows everything you think? Most of us feel a little embarrassed at that thought. We know that we have done things that we ought not to have done; that we have left undone tasks we should have done; and that we have harbored thoughts that we should not have entertained.

There is also a comforting side to knowing that God knows all and sees all. While we are not as good as our friends may think, we may not be as bad as our enemies would pretend. Yes, we have dwelt on evil thoughts at times; we have done wrong things; we have a lot of hidden evil; and God knows all about it -- no matter how well we hide it from others. But God also sees the hidden potential, the good possibilities that are hidden from our enemies, from our friends, and even from ourselves.

"I know the plans that I have for you," the Lord told Jeremiah (Jer. 29:11). Jeremiah did not know what the Lord would accomplish through his ministry. He knew only the frustration of being a prophet in a period of spiritual decline. Jeremiah did not know how God would preserve and use his words through the centuries. God’s plans for Jeremiah were greater than Jeremiah could imagine, and his plans for you are likely greater than you ask or imagine (Eph 3:20).

God knows all about us. That is a healthy warning when we are tempted; but it is a tremendous encouragement when we are discouraged. Our lives have meaning; they have a purpose. He has a plan for us. He sees all that we may do for his glory, even when no one else sees or understands, even when we do not understand it ourselves.

So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, "You are a God of seeing," for she said, "Truly here I have seen him who looks after me." (Genesis 16:13)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Long Silence

Sorry that I have not posted anything for several weeks. As many of you know, I have a good alibi. I spent a couple of weeks in Morogoro, Tanzania teaching a seminar of Ephesians, and doing other things to help the church there. I am back home now and will try to post regularly again.

Thanksgiving in the Age of Advertising

Human beings, at least since the fall into sin, have found it difficult to be thankful. We tend to place ourselves at the center of the universe. We expect our needs (and wants) to be met. If our desires are met, that seems no reason for comment. But if our expectations are not fulfilled, we have plenty to say.

By high school, the average American has seen 350,000 television ads. Nearly every one of the those ads is designed to make the viewer unhappy with ‘whatsoever state he is in.’ The goal of the advertiser is to get us to buy what they want to sell. To do that, they have to make us unhappy, at least a little bit, with what we have now.

So add it up. The tendency of our sinful nature is to be ungrateful. Our society has trained and cultivated this tendency for commercial reasons. Is it any wonder that most families, including most Christian families, will have a ‘Turkey & Football Day’ instead of a ‘Thanksgiving Day?’

Go ahead, eat the turkey and the pumpkin pie. But take time to give thanks. Set aside time, at some point in the day, to really pause and count those blessings. Sing praises to our God. Recount his wonderful works. Make it a real day of thanksgiving.