Sunday, April 22, 2007


Just give me a clipper or an electric hedge trimmer and I'm in my glory. My rosebushes and evergreens cringe when they see me coming with them in hand. Plants actually go into shock from severe pruning, but when it is done correctly, they soon thrive and flourish. My rose bushes fight back with their thorns, but I keep telling them that it is for their own good that I am cutting away the dead and weak branches. Gorgeous summer blooms will be my reward. I stand back to make sure the green hedge is trimmed level and even. Aah..beautiful and tidy.

The analogy of pruning is used in John chapter 15 where God is portrayed as a gardener, pruning out branches from the grapevine that are not bearing fruit and pruning the good ones to produce better crops. We are compared to the branches of a vine. God uses many things to shape us into what he wants us to beccome and this can be painful. Testings such as sickness, disappointments and convictions from his Spirit point out things that shouldn't be in our lives. This is never a pleasant experience but he is a careful, skillful, loving pruner who can shape us into something beautiful, reflecting His character.....if we submit and allow him to.

Monday, April 9, 2007


What a character! I met him about 10 years ago while visiting the seniors rest home. He could be seen flying down the hallways in his wheelchair, kibitzing with the nurses and teasing other residents. This was his favorite line. "I'm the trouble maker around here. I cause trouble and then I help them solve it."
While just a young man of 31, Glen was stricken with Multiple Sclerosis, which had immobilized his lower body, however he had a keen mind and a quick wit. Determined that he would walk again, with a lot of hard work and therapy, he managed a few steps, yet remained confined to that chair for 30 years. He was kind of brash and loved to argue and talk rather than listen. He didn't get many visitors, so my brother, Dave, became his friend and visited him almost every Sunday.
When I was hired to do some gardening around the residence, he would come wheeling down the sidewalk with a cheery hello and off to the local store to buy his lottery ticket.

A few months ago, he was taken to the hospital with pneumonia. It was a sad day at the residence, when they got the news that Glen had passed away at the age of 63. They miss his humour, spark and chatter. The Christmas Party was not the same without him in his Santa suit and the cheery, Ho! Ho! Ho!

I remember him asking me about the different flowers I was planting and offering his unsolicited advice. Pansies were his favorite flower because they looked like smiling little faces. He would park his wheelchair near by and sit in the sun and soon fall asleep. I observed underneath all that bravado, a sad lonely man who had a very hard life and yet made it his mission to bring a smile to peoples faces.