Monday, December 18, 2017

Like the Star Rose

May 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

I was having my hot tea this morning while admiring the beauty of the geraniums on my deck when I noticed that one of them had some withered leaves. I know what that means…it is dry…it needs water…refreshment.

That made me think about the body of Christ, our brothers & sisters in Christ; that we need to be sensitive to their needs. Do I/we notice that they need refreshing? We don’t wear leaves that get dry… : ) (any more anyway!) but we need to be sensitive to their spirits…do they need refreshing? If they do, we can reach out and encourage them with a word or genuine kindness…I have needed that in my life many times. It is so wonderful when the Lord sends someone to refresh my spirit…to be on the receiving end…it is even more wonderful to be on the giving end…and know that you have helped make a difference in someone else’s life for the better.

I also noticed our climbing rose bush! You cannot help but notice it…it is huge and lush. When did that happen? The rose bush is planted at the pond climbing up a windmill. It is eight years old this year.  It has the most fragrant peach baby roses on it. When it is in bloom you can smell the fragrance several feet before you reach it. It is a Star Rose. It has weathered some strong winds, hard winters, Japanese beetles and some radical pruning. It has always put forth these fragrant flowers but the plant has always been a bit spindly. What could have made such a dramatic change this year? My first thought was the pruning. I have pruned it way back the last couple of years…it was growing wild…hmmm…. Wow!  Can you see an analogy to our spiritual lives?  This rose bush is lush and full of the most beautiful tiny, fragrant flowers that it has ever produced…it was the pruning and the “just right” growing conditions that caused it to produce this year.

Our lives are like that. Our Heavenly Father knows what HE has gifted us with in our lives, but it takes purposeful pruning. Trials. Not getting things our own way for a season. Sorrow…and perhaps even the death of a dream. But if we will yield to the Master’s hand…who knows just how far to cut…to produce the best…one day our lives will produce the beauty that will show the world how real HE is…HIS tender love will be revealed in us through our trust and obedience to HIS will for us…thank You Lord. I love You for pruning my life…

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Linda Kropp got saved at 14.  ” I always say that I didn’t get into a lot of trouble…because my mom wouldn’t let me!”  Linda was a was a missionary from 1973-1985 in the States, Europe and Asia, 9 of those in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Her husband was in the same mission, “Christ is the Answer” and they were married in Sri Lanka in 1980.

They have one daughter, Elisabeth, a son-in-law and a 4 yr. old granddaughter and another granddaughter due in July.  They attend College Avenue Baptist Church in Bloomington where they both are Sunday School teachers.  In September of 2009, Linda was praying about a way to help missions and she felt the Lord put on her heart to open a thrift store in Clinton, IL and give 100 % of the profits to missions, crisis pregnancy centers and food pantries. So she did.  They also have a weekly Bible study; a mentoring program for homeschooled and public school students. We work with DOVE (a domestic violence program), the IDHS in Lincoln, and the Red Cross Disaster Relief.  They also have had numerous people commit their lives to Christ since they opened. It has become a ministry…and that is just the ones who have gotten saved. Many people come in daily with prayer needs and they pray for them.

 

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