Ever-Blooming Roses Despite Life’s Prickles: Powdery Mildew

{photo courtesy of Gardener’s Path}

Powdery Mildew

After a few seasons of tenderly caring for my roses, I was puzzled to discover a white powdery substance coating my babies as I had not experienced this dilemma thus far. Initially, I thought little of the matter until the next day when I noticed the powdery film quickly oppressed most of the bush. Even more distressing was realizing the powdery mildew also spread to a nearby bush!

Naturally, I quickly took action by researching how to eradicate this infectious disease before it was too late. I learned a simple concoction of baking soda, dish detergent, and water would remedy the issue. Neem Oil or a sulfur-based fungicide would be sufficient as well.

​For weeks I carefully monitored the situation to ensure the white powdery mildew did not haunt my garden once more. I now know powdery mildew thrives in warm dry days followed by cooler humid nights. Without swift action, its toxic spores easily transport wreaking havoc on a once thriving rose garden.

“Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Leviticus 19:2

Are the conditions dry in the well of your heart? Are you or your congregation ignoring fungi like sexual immorality, abusive people, deceit, or practicing other unholy ways?

​As painful and delicate as the matter may be, Abba Father instructs His people to not adopt the ways of the world, not to worship Him like they worship their gods, or associate with those who claim to be of Him or sent by Him, but behave otherwise (Deut.12:29-13:18, 18:9-14; Jeremiah 10). Could it be Abba Father understands without His standards or boundaries within one’s heart, home, and congregation, a devastating fungus can kill the beauty in Abba’s developing garden? After loving many, “boundary busters”, I learned by setting appropriate boundaries with the offensive party, I am in fact loving them. Moses and other Prophets both enforced boundaries and interceded to the LORD on the people’s behalf.

We can intercede in prayer while also establishing and enforcing boundaries to protect ourselves and others from sinful disease while demonstrating tough love. After all, tough love is true love. Many need to suffer the consequences of their choices before repenting and reaching out for the hand of God’s redeeming grace.

​In the meantime, understand there is a fine line between enabling grievous acts and exhibiting gracious ones.

‘Mr. Lincoln’, a fragrant, hybrid tea rose.

Gifts Are Meant To Be Given Away

il_570xN.984043134_oq9mTonight, an opportunity manifested allowing me to prophetically sing over a woman. The woman/new friend just outright asked me to sing to her. Other times, God “highlights” people I am supposed to speak to/sing to. For those of you who haven’t seen this/experienced this, sometimes the Spirit provides the setting and invites me to sing over people needing healing, comfort, or to be set free from something, etc. My part is just be willing to shut off me (my will/my time/my thoughts) to simply allow the Father to use my voice to sing something personal to them (Zephaniah 3:14-17).It’s like a lullaby of love…even correction sometimes wrapped in a loving, soothing song. Or as if God unexpectedly shows up to personally deliver to you a bouquet of His fragrant love. Meanwhile, the woman was crying and later shared with me how the phrases/words in the spontaneous song were the exact verbage God uses when He talks with her. I had no idea. I just met this person a few days ago. After the song is done, I typically have no recollection of the song’s specific wording just maybe one or two words or a theme. It is interesting, but moreover, a blessing to me to be able to help others in that capacity. It’s not all the time, but often enough that I trust Him when He beckons. Ironically, in doing what He invites us to do, we too are healed, set free, delivered from our own issues. That’s why faith with obedience is so important. Just be who God created and wills you to be. Gifts are meant to be given away.  #everbloomingroses #obedience #trust #psalmist #prophetic #Godisreal #song

Love & Peace

LoveandPeace.web.sig.Portland.8.9.16
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 ESV
‘Love & Peace’ is a hybrid tea rose. #EverBloomingRoses #prayforVegas #prayforTexas #prayforFlorida #prayforPuertoRico

Putting Down Roots

While eating lunch in a small diner today, I couldn’t help but over hear our gregarioustree roots waitress invite another patron to try the peach pie, which eventually led her to share how frustrated she was that her own peach and apple trees perished over the winter upon encountering the first hard freeze. As I continued to inhale my much deserved lunch, trying to mind my business, my ears inevitably perked up. Meanwhile, my mind listed the probable reasons her fruit trees failed her. One such reason being, fruit trees, like roses, need their root systems well established prior to when the first freeze strikes or they will likely die. It is probable the waitress planted her trees too late in the season while not also preparing them for the whims of winter. Upon the end of her gardening chatter, she confessed to giving up on fostering fruit trees and planted Crape Myrtle shrubs instead. Oh, and by the way, the customer never did get the peach pie. Ha!

tree-with-foliage-with-the-shape-of-a-heart-and-roots-as-text-love-on-white-background_gg67012197Much later in the evening, I contemplated the spiritual importance of being rooted. It doesn’t really matter what city or what church we lay our roots in, because if we have God’s Holy Spirit, we can go anywhere and thrive. What matters is being rooted in His love. Too often, we are rooted in false identities, wanting the approval and acceptance of other’s love. Then, when others assault us with their first hard freeze or whipping words of winter, we shrivel up and die. We fail to know our own worth because unknowingly our roots sought strength and nourishment in another’s acceptance instead of God’s. Conversely, when we know our true identities rooted in Christ’s love and approval, we will be firmly planted able to flow with a heart of thankfulness while operating in true love despite the changing seasons and hardened hearts we may encounter  (see Romans 10:10; Ephesians 3:16-19; Colossians 2:6-7).

“By believing you receive God’s approval, and by declaring your faith you are saved.” Romans 10:10 (God’s Word Translation)