Writer, teacher and Public Speaker

Monday, February 18, 2013

Stump Growth

I recently watched a news story about a project that endeavors to save the amazing Redwood and Sequoia trees for the future. If you've ever driven through the national parks that are home to these trees you cannot help but appreciate the vision of the founder, David Milarch.

In the NBC news clip, the reporter stood in front of a stump that was thirty feet across. The one hundred and thirty year old stump had once been the foundation to a tree that was 'forty stories tall'. Today around the base of the seemingly dead stump, fresh green sprigs grow. The "stump growth" is harvested and taken to the lab, and from this they (clone) and plant new trees.

I know nothing of the man behind the science, or the organization, Archangel, Ancient Tree Archive. But I appreciate their futuristic vision. Long after this generation is gone, another generation will appreciate the fruits of their labor.

In the kingdom of God much of what we are called to do is for the next generation. For them to benefit from the fruit of our vision, we must have hope for the future. We cannot allow the dark clouds of information to obscure our vision. We must hold tightly to 'the substance of things hoped for.' These fast growing Redwood seedlings are the substance of things hoped for.

Life can cut us down and all that is left of our dreams are stumps, but that does not have to be the end. Because God can bring life back to that which has died.

Even in the ancient book of Job we find the same wisdom:

"For there is hope for a tree,
When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And its shoots will not fail.
"Though its roots grow old in the ground
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant (14:7-9)

At the very scent of water there will be new growth. Have your dreams died? Do you feel as though everything has been cut down, and all that is left is a stump? Lift up your head, look to the One who is the living water.

He is the one who repairs, restores and resurrects. "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice..." (Isaiah 42:3) 

Imagine! The One who conceived of the Redwood and the Sequoia tree; the God of the universe and endless galaxies desires to breathe new life into us. He makes all things new. May His fountains flow over those who have lost hope - may what seems as a lifeless stump flourish into new growth! For the sake of the earth and the next generation. For the sake of His Glory, or as Bach might write, "Soli Deo gloria."

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Beauty of the Desert

There is a Psalm that is well marked on the pages of my Bible. Each time I read it, I mark it for emphasis. The ink has begun to bleed through to the other side. 

It reveals the despair and hopelessness of a worshiper. One who had known the joy of His Presence as worshippers were led into the house of the Lord. It is a Psalm of desperation, and yet it shows hope ... I will not give up! I will praise Him! 

I will put on a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. The oil of joy instead of mourning, and a crown of beauty instead of ashes. (Isaiah 61)

The success of a blog is dependent upon the consistency of the blogger. Though the last four months have uncovered a storm of words. It seems none have made it beyond the pages of my journal or the margins of my Bible. 

My Soul longs for God - the Living God. May he rain down on me ... may he reign in me.

As a deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for You, God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I come and appear before God?

My tears have been my food day and night,
while all day long people say to me,
"Where is your God?"

I remember this as I pour out my heart:

how I walked with many,
leading the festive processions to the house of God,
with joyful and thankful shouts.

Why am I depressed?
Why this turmoil within me?
Put your hope in God, I will still praise Him,
My savior and my God.  Psalm 42:1-5 (HCSB)

It is in the dry places that we grow thirsty. Our heavenly bridegroom allures and leads us to the desert. And it is in the desert where he speaks tenderly to us. He restores our vineyards, and causes the places of defeat to become a door of hope. It is in the desert that our songs are restored. (Hosea 2:14-17)
"...joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

A Harvest of Joy: 
a mother/daughter memoir 
Due out March 2013