As is our tradition, my wife, three kids, and I drove to Palmer, AK to visit the annual Alaska State Fair. We ride hang glider swings, and the Ferris wheel. We eat kettle corn, cheese curds, and other various less-than-healthy food. We go to the long-running Lumberjack Show, any magic show available, and listen to musical artists. We pet goats, watch chicks hatch, laugh at truly fat hogs (so fat they cannot walk), and look llamas in the eyes.
We also view the giant produce.
This year we saw a record-setting squash grown by Dave Iles of North Pole. 616.5 pounds! Across the way from the giant squash sat the 594.5 pound pumpkin. Both were truly impressive.
People often ask, “How can these grow this large?” I am not a farmer or even a gardener. My thumbs remain their original color with no hint of green. However, I know enough about God’s creation to know that for vegetables to grow, they need nutrient-filled soil, plenty of water, ample sunlight, and a good supply of TLC.
Followers of Christ desire growth. We wish not to add 600 lbs. to our frames. We desire growth in knowledge and wisdom in our pursuit of living our Ordinary Lives for Christ. What do we need?
Nutrient-filled Soil = a healthy church community where God is worshiped, Christ is Lord, the Bible is taught, and people love one another in word and through action.
Plenty of Water = a life nurtured by reading God’s word, sincere prayer, God-centered worship, and service to one’s community.
Ample Sunlight = a focus on the Light of the world, a focus on the leadership of the Spirit, and a commitment to letting your “little light” shine - no longer under a bushel.
TLC = the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Corinthians 13).
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)