Author Topic: Garden related testimony  (Read 7959 times)

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Jim Taylor

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Garden related testimony
« on: July 22, 2008, 08:07:10 AM »
Hi Everyone,

My first post...  seems best to give a testimony, but I can not yet post in the testimony section, so I thought that I would place this here in "Lessons from Nature".  This is a real experience from late summer 2007, in my mind I call this "Jonah on a Grape Vine".

God Bless,

Jim

====

My wife and I raise a rather large garden.  It is about 6000 sqft.  This year we decided to plant grape vines, and by and large the vines were my responsibility.  The plants were received in early spring and I made great care to build fencing, improve the soil and plant all the vines as soon as they arrived. 

Over the summer the plants in the vineyard were growing extremely well, and fruit had developed.  Ordinarily, you should cut off all of the first years fruit as it probably won’t develop well and may slow down vine growth, but I was not able to bring myself to cut the fruit off.  Instead I paid careful attention to the plants, and trimmed around the fruit to give it plenty of air and sunlight.

As the season went by, I was happily surprised to see the fruit growing well and ripening.  As the time was near to pick the clusters, my family was returning from a trip.  After getting out of the car, I was showing my wife how well the fruit had developed and tasting the quality.  The fruit tasted unbelievably flavorful, and I was more excited about a bunch of grapes than anyone logically should be.  There were only six clusters on about 4 vines, but I was exceedingly happy over my little harvest, I expected that all would be ready in a day or two, and I could pick them.

I went into my house for a moment.  When I came back out, I went to look them over one more time.  Every cluster was gone.  My dog (Finny – a red and white Irish Setter) was hanging out by the vines, sniffing around a couple of dropped grapes on the ground.  I was furious, in my mind I saw my children playing with their toys on a red and white Finny fur rug.  My dog was moments away from being skinned.

Well, I calmed down by the time I chased him out of the garden.  I was very grumbly, and could not believe that I had in minutes lost every cluster to the dog.  I decided that I would sit down in the dirt, dig up potatoes, and complain to God.  As I sat in the potato row, looking at my grape vines and complaining, I could not help but think of Jonah under his vine.  The similarities seemed very pronounced to me at the time, I felt like throwing dust on my head over my mourning.  I know this sounds a bit extreme, but those grapes had made me very happy.

As I was talking this over in a sort of prayer/talk to God, suddenly a voice came back.  I can only explain this as an unexpected reply, which came completely out of my line of thought.  The voice said simply:  “How do you think I feel about My Harvest?”  I was so shocked that I bounced backwards.

I sat staring at the vines.  As I considered this, I saw all of the work that had gone into bringing the harvest to this point.  And, it was lost in only a few moments.  I am humbled by what God has done for us, only to see the thief steal his harvest.  At times it must be heart breaking to watch us from heaven.


JimB

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 08:59:46 AM »
Brother Jim, it is good to have you join us and share this experience with us. God often talks to us through our experience in His creation. What a wonderful God we serve! These are the kinds of experiences that will stick with us along with the lesson.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Mimi

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 09:35:15 AM »
Oh, Brother Taylor! That is a mighty story and a powerful testament to the heart of God as He sees His harvest snatched away! We could multiply that by a million and probably not touch the pain of it from His perspective!

We are very happy to have you with us. Complete your registration and you can share with us other ways in which God had led and blest you.

Welcome! 

 
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Sister Dee

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2008, 10:17:53 AM »
I am just amazed at the things the Lord will use to get our attention!  Thank you for sharing this story with us.  It was given me much to ponder. 

Wally

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 01:49:57 PM »
What a wonderful object lesson, Brother Jim!  But, I'm wondering how you keep up with a garden that size?  It's twice as big as ours, and we still don't do a good job at keeping up with the weeds.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Jim Taylor

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 06:50:08 PM »
Amen Sister Sybil. "Have mercy on me God according to your infinite Love, according to your great compassion.  Won't you create in me a clean heart, oh God, restore in me a joy of YOUR salvation."

Regarding the complete registration, I think that I am waiting in a que, or I've made a mistake in my request.  I'll try again in a few days if it does not seem to be processed.

Hi Brother Wally!  Glad to meet a fellow gardener.  We hardly ever keep up with the weeds, if you saw my onions this year, you would probably scold me!  I feel shame.   ;)  We tend to have a very big section of potatoes (maybe as much as 40x40'), and they block out most of the weeds from their location allowing us to focus weeding in other areas.

I thought that I would post a second garden testimony...  This one I call Laodicea in a Strawberry Patch (sorry it is a bit long):

----

Laodicea in a Strawberry Patch
An experience from the Summer of 2007

In the spring of this year my wife and I decided to plant strawberry plants in our garden.  The wonderful thing about gardening is that the space takes on a life of it’s own.  My wife and I are not exceptionally talented gardeners, and the space is mostly one big biological experiment.

Our plan for the strawberries was to lay down plastic mulch, to reduce the weeds, and then plant through the mulch.  The theory was that because the patch would be producing for a number of years, the plastic would greatly reduce weed growth.  Well, now with a little experience, I can advise that this is not the best laid plan for working a future strawberry patch, but now we will have this construction for the next 4-5 years or so.

The problem with the plastic mulch approach is that during the first season, the new plants lay out a ton of runners that need to root back down into the dirt.  With the plastic mulch in place, they cannot root through to the ground, and need constant care. 

The other problem we came across is that during the runner growth period the plants must be emitting some type of growth hormone into the soil, as the weeds popping up were just incredible.  The end result was that the runners where growing in every direction, we lost all control of the neat rows we had originally formed, and now the weeds were growing over everything!

So, much of my free time was dedicated to “weeding the strawberries”.  I began to avoid the patch.  My eyes would skip over it when looking at the garden…  “Let’s see… asparagus looks good, big green spot to avoid, and now my tomatoes which look good to”.  After doing this for a week or two, there was no avoiding it any further.  I needed to spend some serious time with the berries, or just give up on them.

So it was pick and pull, pick and pull… Then I stopped something was not right, I looked around but could not figure it out.  I looked over the plants, looked over the weeds, something was wrong, but I could not place the problem so I went back to weeding.

Pick and pull, pick and pull.  Stop.  There was definitely something wrong.  I looked around and thought, I must be imagining this, something was not right, but again I could not exactly place it.  I walked around the patch looking at the strawberry plants and all those weeds, but still didn’t know what was bothering me… back to weeding.

Then I came across a dead strawberry plant.  It was planted through the plastic, and had died, I thought: “funny, there is no weeds on this one…”.  Suddenly everything in my mind slid into place, like tumblers in a lock clearing.  There was a pattern to the weeds. 

The patch is about 20 feet by 20 feet, so I stopped picking and started to examine each plant and each grouping of weeds.  This is what I found all over the garden:
-   Dead strawberry plant, and no weeds exactly zero, I had about 10 dead plants and every one of them was completely weed free.
-   Strong plant, a few weeds, one or two maybe competing with the plant, but the plant was growing fine.
-   Medium plant, covered with weeds, these plants would have weeds all over them, and they were overwhelmed and not growing well at all.

 So it is with our Spiritual lives.  From Jesus we hear the words:
For the dead plants:  “Let the dead bury the dead”
For the thriving plants:  “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
And, for the lukewarm plants: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

Lord, may we be: “zealous therefore, and repent.”


Mimi

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2009, 10:58:44 AM »
Amen, Jim Taylor. Your grapevine story is very meaningful to me these days because the magpies have been eating the new leaf sprouts on my grapevine. I have struggled to get that thing to live and for the magpies to touch any part of it made me want to splash them with bird shot. Now they are having to live inside a wire cage until it matures a little more.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Vicki

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2009, 06:51:47 AM »
Great stories, Jim. We haven't been able to keep up with the weeds in our large garden, either. After reading Proverbs 24:30-32 this week we've been working at it more & am I ever sore! (Not to mention sneezy, itchy & blurry eyed - I'm allergic to the biggest & prickliest weed.) And yet it's less than half completed.

"I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction."

That's not how I want the neighbors to know me! Of course, our garden is not the only one being taken over, but if I hope to make a better example... I was thinking that we should start on the street side of the garden and work back so it looks better quicker for the neighbors - then I thought about how that can become a Christian experience - just to look better on the outside. Hmm. It needs to be a heart change. And all those weeds need to go where ever it gets started at. Now you know how my weeks been filled! How is your garden growing everyone?

The grapevine story reminds me of the fruit trees we planted last year. We figured they wouldn't bear fruit for a few years, but the pear trees were covered with fruit this spring - until the 1st windstorm swept threw and blew off all but 2. *sigh* Was I ever disappointed. The cherry tree had a handful of cherries, too, but the birds got them the day before I was going to pick them. Next year a bird net is going on extra early!

Richard Myers

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2009, 01:23:22 PM »
We learn by our mistakes. And at times we benefit from correcting them!  :)

The lesson that I find important that I try to share with my family is that a garden is in many ways like life. There are only so many hours in a day. We all seem to have too  many tasks and not enough time. But, with God's wisdom, we will not fail at what He wants us to do. Other things may go by the wayside, but God knows the priorities.

So, when we decide that God would be glorified by us having a garden, we begin work. Have you ever started your garden late? Like half way into summer?  :(  Or, have you ever been slow to pull the "little" weeds? Or, did you ever forget to water your seeds for a few days?  Or how about being late at picking the fruit when it is ripe?

Yes, there is a time for everything. And if we neglect to do the appointed task at the appointed time, then there is a price to pay. It is a hard lesson to learn, at least for me. But, I think that I am learning. It may mean not doing something you really want to do.....or not doing something that someone else really wants you to do!!  It is sometimes hard to explain to others who have no idea of the season why it is that you must tend to your garden "today"! 

As in the real world, so in the spiritual realm. Life may be rather pressing, but how can we live spiritually if we do not stop and eat the Food God has prepared for us. Put it off, and there is a price to pay. The price in spiritual terms can be quite expensive. How do you measure the price of a soul?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2010, 07:57:52 AM »

I thought that I would post a second garden testimony...  This one I call Laodicea in a Strawberry Patch (sorry it is a bit long):

----

Laodicea in a Strawberry Patch
An experience from the Summer of 2007

In the spring of this year my wife and I decided to plant strawberry plants in our garden.  The wonderful thing about gardening is that the space takes on a life of it’s own.  My wife and I are not exceptionally talented gardeners, and the space is mostly one big biological experiment.

Our plan for the strawberries was to lay down plastic mulch, to reduce the weeds, and then plant through the mulch.  The theory was that because the patch would be producing for a number of years, the plastic would greatly reduce weed growth.  Well, now with a little experience, I can advise that this is not the best laid plan for working a future strawberry patch, but now we will have this construction for the next 4-5 years or so.

The problem with the plastic mulch approach is that during the first season, the new plants lay out a ton of runners that need to root back down into the dirt.  With the plastic mulch in place, they cannot root through to the ground, and need constant care. 

The other problem we came across is that during the runner growth period the plants must be emitting some type of growth hormone into the soil, as the weeds popping up were just incredible.  The end result was that the runners where growing in every direction, we lost all control of the neat rows we had originally formed, and now the weeds were growing over everything!

So, much of my free time was dedicated to “weeding the strawberries”.  I began to avoid the patch.  My eyes would skip over it when looking at the garden…  “Let’s see… asparagus looks good, big green spot to avoid, and now my tomatoes which look good to”.  After doing this for a week or two, there was no avoiding it any further.  I needed to spend some serious time with the berries, or just give up on them.

So it was pick and pull, pick and pull… Then I stopped something was not right, I looked around but could not figure it out.  I looked over the plants, looked over the weeds, something was wrong, but I could not place the problem so I went back to weeding.

Pick and pull, pick and pull.  Stop.  There was definitely something wrong.  I looked around and thought, I must be imagining this, something was not right, but again I could not exactly place it.  I walked around the patch looking at the strawberry plants and all those weeds, but still didn’t know what was bothering me… back to weeding.

Then I came across a dead strawberry plant.  It was planted through the plastic, and had died, I thought: “funny, there is no weeds on this one…”.  Suddenly everything in my mind slid into place, like tumblers in a lock clearing.  There was a pattern to the weeds. 

The patch is about 20 feet by 20 feet, so I stopped picking and started to examine each plant and each grouping of weeds.  This is what I found all over the garden:
-   Dead strawberry plant, and no weeds exactly zero, I had about 10 dead plants and every one of them was completely weed free.
-   Strong plant, a few weeds, one or two maybe competing with the plant, but the plant was growing fine.
-   Medium plant, covered with weeds, these plants would have weeds all over them, and they were overwhelmed and not growing well at all.

 So it is with our Spiritual lives.  From Jesus we hear the words:
For the dead plants:  “Let the dead bury the dead”
For the thriving plants:  “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
And, for the lukewarm plants: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

Lord, may we be: “zealous therefore, and repent.”



Amen! Thank you for the testimony, Brother Jim.

Another spiritual perspective regarding the weeds:

A garden has much to teach us regarding our battle with self. Weeds are with us because God saw that they would be good for our training. Rather than a curse, we are to see them as working for our good. This does not imply that weeds themselves are good, for they are not by definition. God intended that we ought to learn to glory in our tribulation, for tribulation will work for our good and God's glory as we abide in Christ.

The weeds in the garden are planted by another in an attempt to destroy us. But, we are to understand that God will work all things together for good to those who love Him. We are not to be content with the weeds in the garden. We are to pull them. We are not to cut them off, but to pull them up by the roots. Where the soil is cultivated properly, there will be an abundant harvest. Where the soil is not good, then there will be death. It may take time to see the dead plants, but they will die. Some will not have the nourishment and will succumb. Others will be crowed out by weeds that were allowed to grow and smoother the plant. But some will produce a bountiful harvest. Man plows the ground, plants the seed, dungs and waters, while God sends the sun and causes the seed to germinate. Working with God the plant will flourish and provide food for our families and runners for another larger crop of berries.

If we will take care to plow the ground before planting the seed, we too will see a better result in our evangelism. The heart must be prepared for the seed, the Word of God. Thus, we take advantage of the opportunities we have been given to help others with their physical needs. When the plant is growing, then we need to keep it free from weeds. Some will carelessly break the weeds off at ground level, but his does not work. If we see sin in our lives, we must get to the root of the sin. We must not just deal with the outward acts. We must understand that we need to get to the root cause, self. Self must die or we are just cutting the weeds off and they will grow back seven times stronger because they have a developed root system. So in our lives, if we fail to get to the root of sin, then the sin will grow in strength overcoming the opportunity we have to learn of Christ.

When we learn of Him who gave all for us, then we are being changed from the inside out. The root of sin is destroyed as sin cannot live in the heart that is filled with Jesus. When we see those weeds in the garden, we need to go after them right then and there. There is no good to come from leaving them unchecked. The work will only become harder if we do not flee to Jesus and destroy the weed at the root. Unimpeded by weeds, the plant will grow in the rich soil of God's love and be seen by all to be the fruit of a labor of love.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Ed Sutton

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 02:01:04 AM »
Jim were you ever at Wildwood ?
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Richard Myers

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2013, 09:55:49 AM »
Someone understands the danger of using animal products in the garden. And, they are doing a great ministry by growing crops in such a manner. This is an article from the Michigan Conference.   Michigan Memo
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 09:21:47 AM »
If you have read in our topic Deer, Aren't They Sweet, you will know of my battle with them over my garden. I have about an acre that I wanted to protect from the deer. The cost of deer fencing is quite expensive, so I chose other methods. They all pretty much failed. It only takes one night of foraging and all is lost.

By faith we know that God provides, but He does it in His time. Well… His time has come. Last week my neighbor who knows of my contention with the deer asked if I could use some fencing. He had a friend who had to remove fencing from rental property and said that he could have the fencing if he would take it down. It was indeed a blessing from heaven, but not without the opportunity to doubt.

My neighbor asked when I could go and get the fencing. I told him today, right now! I know that when the door opens we had better go through it. He said he would have to make arrangements and would let me know. He returned and said that it would have to be in a couple of days, to which I agreed. The day before he called and said his friend changed his mind. It was a great disappointment, but God knows best.

A few days later, my friend came back and said we could go get the fencing on Wednesday. I was thankful and told him Wednesday would be fine. Tuesday night my friend called and said Wednesday would not work. I again was disappointed, but not surprised. I had left the matter in God's hands. A few days later my neighbor called and said it was on again. He did not know when, but would let me know. A few days later he called and said, "let's go!" We were on our way. God had  used my neighbor to provide me with enough fencing to enclose a large portion of my property.

But, the man who owned the fencing was more important to God than my fencing. He had come to a point in his life where he was open to the truth. I solicit your prayers on his behalf. Rejoice with me that I received a double blessing. Now, comes the fun of digging fencepost holes! But, God sent rain to drought stricken California that my rockhard clay soil might be turned to mud! God surely loves us!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2014, 10:45:17 AM »
That's fantastic! What a gift and blessing!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

JimB

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Re: Garden related testimony
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2014, 05:20:39 PM »
I can't help but smile and rejoice at such testimonies! The Lord is good!!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}