Friday, May 30, 2008

The Trip

Recently I went on a trip to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. It was amazing, both in the beauty of the mountains and in the ridiculousness that nothing went as planned. Being home now and looking back, I find that I was having the most fun on the days I woke up not knowing where I would be sleeping that night. 
I wrote down much of what happened shorthand ("tachygraphy" for those of us in healthcare who speak greek at work) so that all the days would not seem to blend together in memory, and I want to share it here with whoever visits this site. I have kept it mostly in shorthand, and have elaborated on what that day is remembered most for. I am going to try to post them a few days at a time, the only delay being that I still await pictures from Shaun.

Until the first post I suggest doing your research on the Tetons because (in my Pa Pa's words) "there will be a test"  :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Radiohead & The Grand Tetons

Words cannot describe what I am about to experience. Let's just say that the rest of this month is going to be magnificent!

May 17th: Radiohead

My favorite band, on the greatest tour of their career! If you are not a fan, then now is the time!

May 18th-30th: Backpacking in The Grand Tetons

This picture of the Tetons was taken by James Neeley. You can view more pics at his website, and even an up to the minute photo of the Tetons here:

See you all in June!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Volunteer Plants

In my garden there is a tomato plant that is different from the rest. He sprouted out of my compost from an old store-bought tomato I threw away. He is what gardeners call a "volunteer plant". This happens a lot actually, and I usually just pull them up and toss them back down into the compost. This little guy was different though, he already had his true leaves by the time I found him. He already resembled a growing tomato plant. So in an act of mercy I put him in my garden, gave him a spot along the soaker hose, and even gave him his own official tomato-cage just like the others. Everything a growing tomato plant could ever want.

He was doing great, totally exceeding my expectations. He even sent out little yellow flowers that would someday soon become juicy tomatoes... that is until last thursday, when the daytime temp jumped above 90 for a few hours for the first time. Heat like this can cause tomatoes to drop their flowers.

For now, he is still there growing taller than all the others... producing nothing but leaves.

He reminds me of myself sometimes. The way I have been saved by grace, how I have been thoroughly provided for, and how I have been included in something much bigger than myself. Yet despite all this, I can sometimes still fail to produce anything God would consider as "fruit" in my life... I can send out flowers in faith, only to drop them when things get hot...

So, I have decided to keep him rather than bury him in the compost. Who knows, it might still stay in the 80's long enough for him to set fruit. I am thankful and am alive now only because God has had a similar patience with me. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fruits of the Spirit / Vine-ripened Tomato

It seems like every other parable in the bible has something to do with a garden and a gardener. This blog is about me searching for those parables in my own life, both inside and outside the garden in my backyard. It's no Eden, but every time I look out my back window I see something special, every new flower or new sprout is a victory and a miracle. Every tomato that turns red is a testament to patience and love.

It makes me wonder what God thinks as he searches the hearts of us all... what does he think of men, and the fruit that we produce? 

If our victory is in Christ, and the miracle is his ascension, we are expected to sprout like seeds in a well-tended garden. If the Holy Spirit is truly working in us then our purpose is to bear fruit in the form of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control"(Galatians 5:19-23). Is it possible that some of these "fruits" are also the attributes of a delicious vine-ripened tomato? Hmmm...