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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of July 11, 2004

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of July 11, 2004 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our new book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2004
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of July 11, 2004

      **********

      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
      here is a selection from our new book of daily devotions,
      "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev.
      Dr. Sandra Bochonok. Since Adam will be in Puerto Rico
      from July 3 though July 12 we wanted to send the next
      two Sunday's Reflections now. God bless you!

      Please get out your Bible and read the Gospel and Dr.
      Bochonok's meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      Hear and understand

      [Jesus said] "'But as for what was sown on good soil,
      this is the one who hears the word and understands it,
      who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a
      hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.'"
      Matthew 13:23

      For twenty years I have lived mostly in apartment
      buildings. I have had little opportunity to dig in
      the dirt and grow anything other than flowers and
      cacti on the balcony until the year when I moved
      into a house with a yard. I was surprised at the
      amount of effort required in basic yard work. During
      summer months, the lawn needs watering, mowing, and
      weeding on a weekly basis. The soil in our yard is
      not good and requires fertilizer and other additives
      throughout the year. Previous renters had constantly
      struggled with the lawn and flower garden.

      The lawn and garden are teaching me about the "good
      soil" to which this parable refers. Even with the
      best heart soil, our hearts still need regular care
      and attention just like the soil of our fields, lawns,
      and gardens. We need to become spiritual gardeners.
      Everyone has spiritual weeds to be pulled. We all
      need pruning to promote new, healthy, and abundant
      growth in God. If we neglect the garden in our
      hearts, our life with God will suffer. Now some
      growth takes time, labor, commitment, and patience
      if we want to bear good fruit. There are no short
      cuts in the garden.

      Certainly my inexperience is obvious to neighbors.
      Both yard and garden constantly improve as I learn
      the rhythms of growth and bloom, fertilization and
      care. Various stores in town offer free gardening
      classes, and many books and Internet resources offer
      practical wisdom. Best of all, when I ask for help
      neighbors are more than happy to loan tools and
      share advice based on years of experience. One
      neighbor in particular has a green thumb. His love
      for the earth and growing things is beautiful. He
      always has a moment to walk over, look at a plant,
      and make a helpful suggestion to improve the garden.
      I call him Saint Harold.

      The bottom line is this: if we wish to have a fruitful
      and bountiful spiritual harvest in our lives, we need
      to cultivate the soil of our hearts with prayer, sacred
      words, spiritual readings, and affirming community, and
      to be in step with the rhythms of life. Very few people
      do all these things well by themselves. Most of us need
      mentoring in the spiritual life by the more seasoned,
      experienced gardeners of the spirit. This is an
      important aspect of Christian discipleship. Disciples
      mentor young babes in the faith and help each other
      grow up in Christian maturity and service and yes,
      accountability.

      In my home, we have a tile that has the saying, "Plant
      a garden and magic will grow." Yes, magic will grow!
      But magic grows best with loving, thoughtful, committed,
      frequent care.

      God, bless our hearing and understanding with this
      parable. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

      Please visit the Chi Rho Press Web site. You can order
      using our convenient secure shopping cart and pay on line
      using your credit card! http://www.ChiRhoPress.com

      "Living as the Beloved" is now available for $20.95
      each plus shipping and handling. Six or more copies
      are $15.75 each plus shipping and handing. You can
      find this book on our Web site at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/devotionals.html#Bochonok.

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