Category Archives: succulents

Succulent Surroundings

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The word succulent is a classic example of onomatopoeia, but that is not why I mention succulents. Succulent plants are a unique and occult niche in creation, designed it would seem, to endure certain harsh conditions and climates such as those found at the mountains, the coast, or the desert. Succulents survive and thrive on very little water, although some varieties like a lot of water too, as long as they can drain.

I enjoy succulents as a metaphor for aspects of God’s expression of Himself to us gardeners. Like God, succulents are found hidden and off the beaten trail, you have to seek them out, but then….they seem obvious, like they’ve always been there. Succulents are subtle and nuanced in their geometry and growth patterns…they are a little alien looking! God often seems alien to the disciple and the skeptic alike, although He tugs at them in ways befitting each individual’s internal geometry. In some cases, the varieties of plants in the pots pictured above took two years of being planted in my garden before they threw off the most beautiful flowers. Similarly, God often appears very slow at His gardening, at least by our needful schedules, and then He suddenly breaks through with something fresh and pretty and pleasing to our souls. Succulents grow and spread like wildfire under the right conditions, or perhaps more like a flood of stored nectar and power. The love of God is moving forward, always advancing, yielding abundance, and life and love and a better hope.

I have not written in some time, due to a general biz-y-ness and a writer’s block of sorts. Recently, we have had a bunch of sunny weather in Northern CA, and I seized the opportunity to update my feature garden. At that time, I wantonly created 5 smaller pots in a succulent-induced reverie. The sorta-block broke. Gardening and planting refreshed and calmed my soul, and God is always near the garden. To attain a healthier balance, I need more God, more garden.

Most of the varieties in the featured pots I either purchased,  or I received as gifts, or were “borrowed” from somewhere cool, that you have never seen, along the Northern Coast of California. 😉 The occasional bottle cap or wine cork in the arrangement signifies some excellent memory lovely Laura and I made whilst travelling along the coast. The Sea Glass I embellish the pots with I snagged from a location that I refuse to tell anyone else about!

My hope for you, generous reader… more God, more garden.

Word!

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mea culpa, apologia, and democracy in blogging

Dear Generous Reader,

I recently re-read my earlier blog entries, and I noted a pretty pedantic voice coming through. I’m not sure I can prevent my personal dogma from bleeding through in my topic choice or the “opinion” content of a post. Not sure I want it too. This is my blog, and I held myself out as a kind of digital prophet, so you knew I was going to pop off, right? I would like, however, to acknowledge that I am probably already angering friends and foes alike with some of my editorial bent. Mea culpa, then, is thus: I am sorry for irritating you a bit, and even sorrier that I am not really toooo sorry! I can’t thank you enough for reading some words you may not love at first sight, that is why I addressed you as a “generous” reader. I can..not..believe..any one of you has read more than a sentence! Thanks! (As part of my apology, I have attached a “virtual” gift of one of my succulent plant creations at the bottom of the post. We’ll be talking about succulents soon enough! If things go well for you in this forum, you could end up with a nice, “actual” gift of potted succulents ;)).

Regarding apologetics: I went to Bible college, and even though I never entered public ministry, I demonstrated an early, and apt grasp of Christian Apologetics. I love the explicit power of words in studying, and debating in philosophy, theology, and apologetics. An apologetics discussion we could enter in to could be as simple as; The COEXIST bumper sticker, seen here, there, and everywhere. The coexist sticker’s ubiquity unintentionally demonstrates an almost universal truth, “people want to believe” in something. All those world religions weren’t created in a vacuum! There are finely settled arguments about man being a “religious” creature in disciplines as subjective as Sociology and Anthropology, to more objective, scientific insights about how religious experiences impact the human brain chemically and even structurally.  I won’t rehash all that here, because most of my readers will hold to a faith or belief system of some sort, unless I draw a humdinger of a statistical anomaly for readership (atheists are welcome here too, but you will be routinely put through the spanking machine ;)). Same topic, different angle; all the religions represented by the symbols on that sticker don’t want to coexist, some of them want you to join their deal or die! Yikes! Same topic, different angle; I agree we can coexist peacefully with our differing views, and enjoy lively debate, but debate we must! Look at all those symbols again…each faith there makes truth claims about life, the universe, and everything. Any two of those belief systems will undoubtedly disagree with one another on a very significant aspect of the nature of existence itself! Peace as we live and work together, peace as we respect one another, but fight like hell over the rest of it, because in my belief system there is a Hell, and I believe that literally. What kind of person would I be if I believed in Hell, but didn’t care enough for you to at least point out the edge of the cliff for your consideration??? I just listed three ways we can squabble over the coexist bumper sticker! 🙂 I am cantankerous! I want to fight with you too, though we both know I’ll win the debate. If we already know I am going to win, you have no reason to fear engaging me. 😉

The call for democracy in blogging flows from my last bragging claim. Even though I think I am right about almost everything, I would love to interact with you regarding any topic you may have a differing opinion on. I will be gentle and respectful in my responses because you are generous, and the Bible tells me so! I hope you’ll contribute any thoughts you have via comments, as the web, and this blog are truly democratic. If you’re comments call for it, I may invite you to guest blog on this site, even if I disagree with you. You could really put it in my face if I piss you off! Even though I want to persuade you with my rhetoric, I’d rather engage with you; person-to-person, mind-on-mind, word-for-word.

Click the “WORD up!” link on the right column and subscribe. I will probably make you angry at some point, but now, you know, that I know, how to deliver a “kinda sorry” apology. Word to all you mothers and brothers and others!

With gentleness and respect,

scribblerjeff