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Wait just a minute! T.H.R.I.V.E., #24. before you put anything else on, you better ...

We spent several days looking at how good thinking has such a profound affect on us in all ways . . . particularly in a challenging time like we are all experiencing now. We looked at how taking every thought captive1 is doable when we replace our errant thinking with truth. And then, borrowing the image of the Roman soldier, we looked at putting on the armor of God to stand and fight that which would take us down. The thought came to me as I was in my garden doing some tidying up. But listen - Nature oft preaches to me! It will preach to you, too, if you look . . . if you listen. I’m a big fan of colorful flowering vines; however, though I can’t wait for them to flourish, suddenly without my noticing, the pretty little suckers have virtually taken over! Scripture speaks of this springtime phenomenon: The flowers have already appeared in the land; The time has arrived for pruning the vines …2 Pruning the vines is necessary in order for the whole garden to thrive, not just the vines. Friends, that is a lot like our lives. We’ve got to clear away that which entangles – some thing or another that may seem harmless, but over time, is not~ ~a behavior, habit or person may become a nuisance or something that keeps us from thriving. ‘Got any vines wrapped about you? Hmmm. Honestly, I know that this Covid-19 time, especially the isolation piece of it, has caused some of my friends to develop habits and patterns that just may have become entangling vines. Every once in a while, I pull out the Living Bible from my youth. Check out Hebrews 12: Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, [the saints who have gone before us into Glory], let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up [sounds like vines!]; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor…”3 I am asking myself today~ Do I have any vines that should be cut back? Any habits or people that need to be pulled off, so I can be free? Any things that slow me down or hold me back from being the person God purposes for me to be . . . anything I have allowed to pull me down during this challenging time? A prayer: Dear Father, would you please reveal to me anything I have allowed to take hold that is not beneficial? It seems I can get entangled and not even be fully aware at times. Grant me the wisdom to be prudent with the gift of life you have given me, and to get rid of anything within my power that detracts. Thank you for the gift of Nature and all we can learn by paying close attention to her. Thank you most of all for loving me - no matter what! In Jesus’ Name, Amen. Christine 1 - 2 Corinthians 10.5 2 - Song of Solomon 2.12a 3 - Hebrews 12.1-2a

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