The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

April 11, 2014


By Doug Creamer For the SNAP

Friday, April 11, 2014 — I took a few minutes over the weekend to enjoy our yard and the arrival of spring. There seems to be so much work that needs to be done, it is hard to decide what to do first. I am excited that I got to run my tiller through the garden. I didn’t go very deep, but I did at least break up the soil. I have a couple of raised beds and the soil in them was in very good shape. I didn’t plant my peas and now after the big rain we got on Monday I realize that I missed a window of opportunity.

I decided against putting down the lime and fertilizing in the yard because I thought the heavy rain might wash it all away. The grass that is growing looks good, but there are plenty of holes in my yard that are going to need some repair. I guess the grass growing season is upon us. I like the look of green grass; I am not so fond of the price one pays to achieve it.

My wife and I worked on her plants in containers over the weekend. We cleaned out the mulch I put on them to help them stay warm through the winter. It looks like most of her plants made it through this cold winter. We love to see her hostas, coral bells and ferns putting out new leaves for spring.

My main goal in the yard this weekend was to work on the raspberries. My wife might describe them as more of a weed patch. Truth be told, the weeds have really taken hold in that bed. I wanted to get rid of all the weeds and then dig up some of the plants and move them into a nicer looking arrangement. I noticed in the last couple of years that I haven’t gotten as many new canes and wanted to see what was causing this lack of new growth.

I quickly discovered my problem. One of the weeds had an extensive root system. The roots created a thick mat that could easily choke out the raspberries that I want to grow. It was a tough job getting all the roots out of that bed and freeing up my raspberries. In fact, it took me so long that I ran out of time to move the plants around. I saw some new growth and am hopeful that it will now have a chance to produce new canes.

The roots of these weeds really got me thinking about how things can get into our lives and choke out our spiritual growth. The enemy is constantly trying to keep us from God’s presence and from fulfilling His purposes. The things do not necessarily need to be sinful as long as they distract us from what God wants us to do. Once we allow them a place in our lives they will put down thick roots to block our spiritual progress.

God wants us to spend time with him. There are many good things we can do but if they are keeping us from God then they aren’t good. God wants us to spend time with other believers which will help us grow spiritually. Staying isolated can prevent growth. God wants us to reach out to the lost. Doing good things for others without sharing God’s love with them causes us to miss the main reason for those activities.

Good spiritual growth calls us to remove distractions from our relationship with God. Our first priority in life is to connect with God. We connect with God through prayer, which is a two way conversation with God. That means we tell him what is on our mind and listen to see what is on His. For real spiritual growth to occur we have to go beyond reading the Bible to applying its principles to our lives. Most of us are familiar with the Bible stories, but how many of us have applied their lessons to our lives? We have to apply faith to the word of God to get it to work in our lives.

I want to encourage you to look around your roots. Are there weeds keeping you from God? Pull them out. Free up your time to be in His word and in His presence. Remember, we have to go beyond reading to application in order to get positive spiritual growth. I believe there are many mighty men and women of God who are being held back by the weeds. It’s spring. It’s time to get those weeds out so you can grow spiritually strong.


Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email