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The Soul Gardener

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Café Menu for Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Today’s Special is: Moving from Soul Striving to Soul Thriving while Basking in His Light
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Mindy Lee Hopman
Main Ingredient:

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:11 NIV

Entrée:

The magazine pictures of brilliantly full flower gardens are a stark contrast to the flowerbeds in our new home.  I look at the overgrown beds, which are covered under a foot of oak leaves, and a huge overwhelming sense of apprehension settles within my soul.  The weeds are taking over the plants and growing in haphazard ways – each one trying its hardest to reach the sun.  The crazy mess could be a picture of my life before I knew Christ.

But out of the mess, God draws us to Himself with His brilliance.  Our souls know we need Him to survive, so we reach for Him.  If the weeds aren’t pulled and the branches pruned, they will suck the life right out of us, and our striving will cease.

The Gardener comes to save, heal, and restore.  He reaches down, pulls the weeds, prunes the branches, fertilizes, and plants new life.  The flowers thrive under His tender and gentle care.  They are strong, because the weeds no longer strangle them.  They are nourished, since the Living Water never runs dry.  They are full, because the Bread of Life keeps them fed.  Then they rest, since they are no longer striving, but thriving under His care while basking in His Light.

Take Out:

Let God be the Gardener of your soul -
Eliminate Weeds:

…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us.

Hebrews 12:1 NASB

Prune the Branches:

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

John 15:2 NASB

Fertilize on the Bread of Life & Living Water:

Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:35 NIV

Grow in Him:

In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.

Dessert:

Heavenly Father, I praise you for being the Gardener of my soul.  I was naturally drawn to Your brilliance, and you breathed life into me by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the sacrifice of your Son.  You have eliminated the weeds from my life, and I have let them go.  You have pruned the branches, which did not bear fruit, and now my soul feasts on the Bread of Life and is nourished by the Living Water.  I am thriving under your grace and I am grateful.

Soul Keeping by John Ortberg

For more encouragement, visit Mindy at her blog, where Mindy writes to nourish the heart and encourage the soul while Basking in His Light.

© 2014 by Mindy Lee Hopman.  All rights reserved.

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1 Comment

Beautiful!  The more weeds we get rid of, the more the sun can shine through.

 Mindy, you are such an encouragement to others.  Let the fruit bearing branches continue to get stronger as the power of the Holy Spirit grows deeper and deeper into our hearts.

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