Psalm 1 says:
He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water.


This oak tree is not planted near water.  I is on top a dry hill overlooking an urban landscape.  This tree, though is designed for this environment.  However it is still a dead tree.

(Not shown in the picture is the healthy oak tree behind me.  You’ll just have to take my word that it’s there.)

I like this spot.  It’s quiet, down below is all the noise and hustle of the city.  I don’t get to stay here, though, because I have work to do, and I come up here to work, and there will be more of it as soon as I get back down to the bottom of the hill.

Sometimes I feel as if the need to work is like a dry desert wind that makes me like this tree.  The fact is that my work is something that nourishes me.  It feeds me for one thing.  It gets me out of the house.  Introvert that I am, I might never leave if I had a choice even though my spirit needs the interactions I get every day with other people.

I recognize, sometimes, the nourishment that God sends my way. . .

Genesis 1 says:
I have given you every herb bearing seed . . .

When I was a child, and living where there were neither asphalt roads nor trash services, we burned our trash. I always liked this job, because the trash was fascinating to me, and so were the flames.

As a grown-up christian, living in a place with strict anti-pollution and anti-littering measures, and see trash, my first inclination is to be judgmental. How dare some careless person selfishly discard their garbage and force others to pay for its disposal.


This is a common sight: trash in our garden. (This is the parking lot of the Great Mall in Milpitas, CA just north of San Jose.) Even so, there is beauty here. The shapes of the crumpled paper napkin entrance me. . .

Was this paper napkin sent by God just to put a little more beauty in my life?

Probably not!

But I could have chosen to do several things including taking responsibility for it (would have take me hours in this place, but I could have chosen to do it.) I could have chosen to call the mall management and made some functionary’s life miserable. Or I could have chosen to glean what blessings I could from this.

Where Everyone is Welcome

So many churches say they welcome everyone, but that is far easier said than done!  At Grace Baptist, we welcome everyone regardless of anything.  We have ministries for the homeless and mentally ill.  Our small groups and Bible studies serve various segments of our congregation–including our LGBT brothers and sisters.  Come visit us at Grace Baptist, where everyone is not only welcomed…but respected and affirmed.