For the second year in a row my little vegetable patch lies barren except for clumps of grass and a stray fennel plant that appeared from who knows where! I usually blame the busyness of Easter for my failure to sow seed on time, but if I’m honest, it’s more a case of having chosen to fill my spare time with other things. Next year perhaps… But all isn’t doom and gloom in terms of growth in the Quant garden this year. The rhubarb is magnificent, the apple tree the church gave us a couple of years ago is showing signs of a good crop and the plum trees are spectacular. In fact I have never seen the like, the plums are hanging like grapes in bunches. I fear for the effect of all this extra weight on the trees, but look forward to eating them! All this is the result of all the rain at the start of the year and the recent sunshine with heavy rain from time to time (like when Charlotte and I were doing her paper-round this week, grr…)
On Wednesday night the Bible Study group finished the follow up course to LICC‘s Life on the Frontline course, Fruitfulness on the Frontline. Like its predecessor this was great fun and made quite an impact on us, even if its contents were shaped around six rather contrived ‘M’s: ‘Modelling godly character’, ‘Making good work’, ‘Ministering grace and truth’, ‘Moulding culture’, ‘being a Mouthpiece for truth and justice’ and ‘being a Messenger of the gospel’. The aim of the course was not to pile on a whole load more things that we should be doing on top of already busy lives, but was to open our eyes to what God is already doing through and around us so that we can celebrate that and make the most of these opportunities.
The outcome of this 6 @M’ MOT? I’m glad to report that we passed. In fact to my eyes at times it sounded a little like our fruitful plum trees. One of us is making good work through running a business on different lines that purely making money, but trying to make a difference to people’s lives and create a good product. Another is attempting to mould culture through how they respond to workplace gossip and attitudes by patiently demonstrating godly character and showing love to their ‘enemies’. One has been late from time to time, but rather than castigating them, we have prayed for them as they have been held up by phone calls from those needing a loving ear; she has been ministering grace and love. Another has been doing the same to those she spends her spare time amongst, offering to help out with their gardening when it is clearly too much for them and being available to listen and support those going through hard times. Another has been praying for his colleagues, playing Christian music and planning to invite them to Paul Kerensa later in the year. Another has been speaking up for those he lives near whose thoughts might otherwise be overlooked and starting conversations on Facebook about the church and faith. There have been so many stories!
As a group we want to encourage others to share their stories of what God is doing in and around them so we can celebrate his love and seize every opportunity for him. Maybe you might also be tempted to join us on Wednesdays from time to time? This has become for us such a vital part of our Christian walk as we’ve found support, encouragement and challenge from each other and God together.