A Soul In Blossom


Several days ago the lovely roses pictured above were ugly, literally falling apart, and on the verge of death. I have babied these beauties for three years, patiently tending to them and trying my best to help them thrive. I enjoy sitting on my porch watching the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds swarming around them and bringing life to our yard. 

I neglected my job of being a faithful gardener. I had a few busy days and I didn’t pay close attention to their appearance. I wasn’t even watering them and before I knew it , they were being destroyed. Right under my nose the enemy had snuck in. 

This tiny pest, known as the Japanese Beetle, is a silvery shelled bug and by all appearances pretty to the eye. It was no bigger than my pinky fingernail and in my ignorance, I assumed by the look of it, that it was only an innocent little garden bug. That little bug quickly multiplied to many and soon I had a very big problem.

I had to pull out all my tools, research and gather knowledge on the enemy and read wise advice from others who’ve dealt with these little guys. I had to use the garden shears to start cutting away all that was dead to try and save the living root from being choked out. It took a lot of patience. I had to make the time every day to inspect and I had to be vigilant about it. I had to keep my eyes open to look for any signs that the destroyer was trying to sneak back in. 

I realized that this was another of life’s lessons. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Now I realize not every work of the enemy is visible, it’s those small things that sneak in that can destroy us. Bitterness, envy, hatred, unloving attitude , selfishness, etc. Our mind is a battlefield. We must take every thought captive like we’re told in 2 Corinthians 10:5. 

Even things that appear pretty (like the shimmering Japanese Beetle) may not be for our good. If in any way we feel pulled away from the Savior or that something doesn’t line up with the Word of God, then we need to start cutting away that dead bud before it blooms.

Don’t forget that we must show ourselves grace and realize we are a work in progress. Before long we’ll be blossoming again and be the healthy and beautiful souls that God intends us to be. 

“Take the very hardest thing in your life – the place of difficulty, outward or inward, and expect God to triumph gloriously in that very spot. Just there He can bring your soul into blossom. ” ~ Parables of the Cross, Lilias Trotter

Praying for you!

Your Friend, 

~Alisha

I Am Peter

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Throughout the Bible, we encounter many instances of human weakness. I don’t know about you, but I’m so thankful that God in His mercy can use my mistakes, my past for His glory – the same as He used the men and women in the Bible (failings and all). I see great leaders who also had great sin problems. I am not alone in my humanness. Lately the great man of God, Peter, has been my focus of study. Peter denies Jesus 3 times, Peter doubts Jesus’ words, Peter speaks before he thinks, Peter angers quickly, Peter whom Jesus called Satan…

BUT yet, Christ loved him. In spite of Peter, Jesus still died for him. In Peter’s weakness – Christ was made strong. When Peter realized he’d broken his vow to never deny his Lord, the moment that rooster crowed, Peter was reminded of Jesus’ words foretelling his betrayal and he wept bitterly. Now I have no record of those three days from Christ’s death to resurrection about where Peter was or what he was doing, but I can imagine he was miserable. Condemnation, failure, depression, remorse, anger, regret, bitterness….you get the picture.

Peter, while wrestling with his emotions and I’m sure feeling like a hopeless failure, was still on the mind of his Savior. Upon arrival at the tomb of Jesus, the three ladies bringing spices to anoint Jesus were alarmed by a young man clothed in a white robe who said to them that the Jesus who was crucified had risen! And then comes the beautiful restorative words (Mark 16;7), “But go, tell his disciples — and Peter — that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” The ladies find the disciples and share the story and Peter takes off running for the tomb to see for himself (Luke 24:12) (John 20:2-9).

My favorite part about redemption, the moment when you realize all is well, your sins are forgiven, you’ve been restored. Oh the peace that floods your soul. Peter’s moment came in John 21 along with the foretelling of the suffering that was to come for him. Peter chose to follow Jesus, even to death. Through his willingness to choose ┬áChrist and be used as His vessel, lives were changed and the good news reached many hopeless souls. Christ fully forgave Peter and although Peter may have never forgotten his betrayal, Jesus did – Peter was cleansed from all unrighteousness.

As I’ve read and studied, I’ve come to the realization that I am Peter. I’ve failed more times than I can count. I’ve denied Jesus at the moments I should have chosen Him, but instead followed my own selfish desires. I’ve doubted Jesus’ words and in doing so questioned His very sovereignty. I’ve spoken many times before thinking and angered over little petty things that have no eternal value. I am sinful, weak, and prideful. I am Peter.

Like Peter, I need the Savior! Through Jesus and truly being sorry for my sins, I am forgiven (1 John 1:9). I am loved! I am His! I am redeemed! My prayer is that you would know how deep the love of the Father is for you; that you would know there is hope when you have failed, Christ loves you unconditionally. Choose Him!

Your friend,

~Alisha~