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Choosing to Bloom


“Choosing to Bloom” 

Dear Faith Family, 

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.  And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear, Philippians 1:12-14. 

The maple tree in our front yard is surrounded by a circle of decorative landscaping rocks.  Enclosed within those rocks is rich mixture of tilled soil and fertilizer, a flower’s dream.  Rooted in that soil and blanketed in mulch is an array of Impatiens flowers.  But this morning they’re not the main attraction. 

Instead, the Periwinkles from last summer have captured my attention.  Those relentless flowers who despite the cold and tilling and digging and planting and mulching have willed their way into the landscape.  And, through all of that, those “silly” flowers are blooming!  Amazing! 

Recently a friend of mine was diagnosed with lymphoma.  He is at the beginning of his journey to health.  His perspective as he begins?  “Will meet a whole lot of cancer patients as my witness for Christ turns this unexpected way.”  Those are his words as he stares down the barrel of chemotherapy.  He’s choosing to bloom! 

My thoughts quickly rehearse the life of Paul.  I envision Paul eager to discover which guard would be assigned to him on a given day.  He seemed to look for opportunities to be and to share the gospel (“good news”) of Jesus Christ.  Isn’t it fascinating that Paul’s imprisonment served as the megaphone for the whole imperial guard to hear about Christ?!  And, simultaneously, his imprisonment encouraged fellow Christians to boldly share Christ. 

So, you know the question is coming, right?  Are you looking for opportunities to be and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ?  Sometimes I think we make it more complicated than it ought to be.   

Peek your head up through the mulch and look for a way to bloom!  Look for an opportunity to share the love of Jesus.  Look for an opportunity to pray with a waiter/waitress at a local restaurant.  Look for an opportunity to exercise forgiveness.  Look for an opportunity to show kindness.  Look for a way to be and to share Jesus with others.  Who knows, the whole imperial guard may be your audience! 

Peeking through the mulch, 
Pastor Karl