This is Scoutie outside the Dirty Dog Spa. She gets “the treatment” every once in a while and quite enjoys the process. As a rule she’s pretty much 100% anti-paparazzi, but never minds posing when she knows she looks this good.
At this writing my parents’ front garden is also getting “the treatment.” Our good friend and garden guru Larry arrived with more plants, more dirt, and more imagination. So we snagged him for a few minutes consultation over at Maul-Hall, and ended up with almost a yard of good soil to play with.
The garden -and this is my constant observation – is a work in progress. New soil brings new weeds; new plantings require tending; growth leads to pruning; great ideas require hard work; new life asks for maintenance; today’s drinking in the beauty leads to tomorrow’s tending, next week’s sweat, and then next month’s appreciation.
It’s never over. If it was over it wouldn’t be a garden.
BIBLE STUDY: And so my early morning hour and a half with my Bible study brothers is a large part of what it takes to give me, “the treatment.” Nourishment, encouragement, watering, digging, a little pruning now and then, fertilizer for sure….
Today we wrapped up our study of Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, and I was so pleased to see that the closing story was an honest testimony from a man who appreciated the ongoing nature of his walk with God.
The man had turned his everything toward Christ six years previously, and was celebrating the miracle of this new life he was experiencing as a follower of Jesus. At the same time, however, he didn’t want to give the impression that his conversion was “one-and-done.”
The concluding story was a reminder that we must choose Christ daily, that we must work hard at faith, and we must commit to being in it for the long haul. Making time, quieting our hearts, and talking with God as a daily discipline; saturating ourselves with the scriptures; recommitting ourselves, moment by moment….
So I laughed when I ran into this little guy in the garden today. He was making his way very deliberately, determined to make progress, digging, trying, moving stuff out of the way, constantly doing what it takes. Not spectacular, but in it for the long haul.
Because following Jesus is all about the journey. It’s never over. If it was ever over then it wouldn’t be a journey, would it?
(More photos of the garden – and the puppy….)
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.