Published 1:58 pm Friday, March 11, 2022

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Have you seen your first robin of spring? There have been a few in our yard over the last couple of weeks. There is a part of me that hopes that they are right, while the other part is still hoping for one last snow. I can see some trees are budding out. My blueberries will probably bloom within a week or two. Spring flowers are blooming everywhere you look. But we can’t be fooled by them. I have plenty of pictures of spring flowers blooming through the snow.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

We started to do some of our spring tasks outside. We pruned back the butterfly bushes and the hydrangea. With the string of dry, warm days I couldn’t help myself; I got out my garden tiller and ran it through part of my garden. We have four raised beds for the vegetables; I tilled two of them. It was so good to be out working the soil.

I know that we are a long way off from planting anything in the garden, but I am getting the gardening fever. I stood out there daydreaming about where I would plant things. I was looking over the fences; they need a little work to tighten them up. There is a lot of work that we want to do.

There is another wonderful thing that the warmer weather allows, and that is lunch on the front porch. I love to be outside as much as possible, except for the extreme cold of winter and the extreme heat and humidity of summer. There is something peaceful about sitting on the front porch. I enjoy reading out there. I also enjoy just sitting quietly. I can feel His presence. I enjoy praying and talking to the Lord in the peacefulness.

Speaking of peacefulness, I enjoy how quiet it is late at night when I take the trash out. When I take the trash out my wife knows that I might be outside for a while. I love looking at the stars and watching for shooting stars. Whenever there are meteor showers I will drag a chair outside and lay back and watch for a long time. It is so quiet. I can hear the soft rustling of the leaves in the breeze, or one of the neighborhood dogs barking. It’s another time that I can quiet my mind and my spirit and just be with Him.

I guess when I think about it, I love spring and fall because I can be outside more during those times of the year. However, my sinuses don’t like spring and fall because of the allergens in the air. Regardless of my allergies, I am going to spend as much time as possible outside. I love working outside and spending some quiet time with the Lord.

I have learned an interesting lesson in recent years. I will go to the Lord with an area of my life that I think needs to be improved or changed. I know that I can and should do better in that area of my life. I make plans for improvement and tell Him to help me.

The trouble with this approach is that I am telling Him what needs to be done. The result is that He sits down and everything in my life seems to fall apart. My attitude stinks, my behavior get out of line, and the weeds of sin sprout and grow unchecked. But I stay focused on that one area and find little success in changing myself.

What I have learned is to go to Jesus and ask Him where He would like to work in my life. It’s interesting because He chooses something that I didn’t even know needed His attention. When we work together we make great progress. The amazing thing is that not only do I see improvement in the area where He is working, but all areas of my life seem to be improving, even those areas that I thought needed improvement.

I want to encourage you to spend time with the Lord and allow Him to choose what areas in your life He wants to work on. He wants to make us all like Jesus, so that means we all have areas for Him to work on. True change comes when we cooperate with Him. When we allow Him to work, He uses the tools of grace, the power we need to change; mercy, unwarranted forgiveness; and His perfect love, which constantly reminds us that we are securely in His hands. Let’s choose to work with Him and watch our lives bloom in His presence.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or