2016: Page 171

Page 171 was a Sunday but it actually began as a continuation of page 170 when I went in to work late Saturday night for a “quick” freshening up of the building for the Sunday morning worship gathering.  Sometime after I had restocked the bathrooms and did the initial cleaning so I wouldn’t need to spend much time taking care of it Saturday night, someone decided they needed many of the rolls of toilet paper out of the bathrooms.  These were complete rolls missing — no cardboard cores left on the dispenser rollers and none to be found in any of the trash.  While it added to the late night time I needed to spend, I was thankful that I decided to freshen up the bathrooms even though I had already prepped them for the weekend — it’s not a good thing for people to discover there is no toilet paper when they are in the restroom.  🙂

Anyhow, that part of page 171 didn’t take long and I was in bed and trying to sleep by 1 AM.  For some reason I had a difficult time falling asleep but after I eventually did, I didn’t make it up in time to make it back to the church building for Sunday School.  We did make it for the morning worship gathering to praise and worship our heavenly Father for His goodness and mercy in calling us to Himself.  The morning message was shared by one of our elders, Carl Evans, and during the sermon a poem I had previously written came to mind with the idea that I should share it.  When I’m in town I generally do the closing prayer time for the service so I knew I would have opportunity if I could find the poem by then.  I pulled out my phone and after a quick search of my writing website I found the poem I was looking for, “My Dad”.  It is a poem that God put in my mind to write two years ago on the eve of Father’s day 2014.

After the worship service we went out for lunch then I rested for a little bit at home before heading to my mom and dad’s farm to wish dad a happy Father’s Day.  As we drove up the farm lane, I noticed one of the glads had begun to blossom, so after we had visited for a while I headed out to photograph some of the flowers mom and dad grow.  While it is a little early in the season for many of the flowers and because the grow the fields of flowers to sell plants and cut flowers, it can be a difficult thing to actually find a lot of blossoms.  I did manage to find a variety of lilies in bloom, a few hollyhocks, some daisies and early blooming flowers, and one glad stem with open blossoms.  Glads are one of my favorite flowers and the rows in today’s photo are just a small sample of the work that goes into the flower fields that mom and dad grow.  As these flowers start to open, they will be cut and brought up to the Farmers Market in South Bend to sell.  The fields of flowers that are not only grown, but are kept cultivated, weeded, and watered before being picked are a testament to the work ethic of my parents.

While this “Father’s Day” page may be a little different than many of the pages I write, I know there are many lessons represented in what I’ve written because I have learned so many lessons from my parents.  I think of the photo I’ve included on the page and recognize the need to keep the weeds from taking root in my life.  Years ago I tried to grow sweet corn and other vegetables to sell but it was at a time in my life when I didn’t have the energy to really take care of it and most of my field had weeds taller than the sweet corn.  Needless to say, while the weeds prospered, the sweet corn did not.  For my life to fully prosper in the way God designed it to, I must carefully guard my mind and thoughts against the weeds that try to take root and grow.  Any weed that I allow to remain in my life will eventually draw the strength and nourishment I need away from my spiritual growth.  As I spend time with God in prayer and His Word, I allow His Spirit to cultivate and purify the soil of my heart and mind.

I pray that you and I would always give honor where honor is due.  I pray that we would find ways to honor our parents as we live in obedience to God’s command to do so.  I pray that we would examine the condition of the soil of our heart and mind as we seek the best conditions for God’s Word to grow and produce fruit in our life.  

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