Three Trees and a Vine {{More Quotes and Questions || Lent :: Week 3 }}

Three Trees and a Vine {{More Quotes and Questions || Lent :: Week 3 }}

Walk with me today …

Three miles.  Walking it out with Jesus.  Asking Him to show me His glory as I walk down the streets and sidewalks — carefully stepping over broken glass or sketchy items thrown here or there that remind me of another kind of brokenness.

And as I round the corner,  I’m drawn to a tree rooted near a church whose steeple raises another tree into the sky…

Grabbing my cell phone, I keep taking pictures as if I’m watching the tree grow up and don’t want to miss any milestones of development. The bare, brown branches that stood cold during the winter months are putting on a show of white blossoms with pink centers to announce the coming of Spring.  The sun shines down on the tree in approval.  Something glorious is occurring.  It may be passed by or unnoticed by many who are hurrying on to what feels more urgent.

But the tree continues to stand tall and display the glory of God …continues to do the will of the Creator whether noticed or not.

Do we  ask God to show us His glory? and then take time to pay attention enough to actually see and notice it?

“It’s not what you look at that matters.  It’s what you see.” 

(Henry David Thoreau) 

What do you see?  What do the spring blossoms on the trees reveal about the glory of God?  About God’s character? His love for us?  What about that inspires you or encourages you to imitate?


As I rounded another corner, I had to stop.  Something made me want to turn around and look back where I had just walked.

The shadow of a stop sign with the street signs crossing.  I kept staring …pulled into the scene.

What drew me to the shape of this shadow?  Do you see it?   The shadow seemed to bring to life my  Jesus… bearing up under the cross as He walked that lonely road to Golgotha.  The weight of our sin heavy on His shoulders.

I stood there for a minute taking it all in.  Cell phone camera capturing the moment as much as possible.

I notice my own shadow in the shadow of Jesus and the cross.  Here I am.  Here He is.  Time between the cross and today has somehow been swallowed up and we are together right here.  Right now. And I was finding  “rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

What was it like to watch the Savior carry our sin?  Would He have carried it down the streets of this neighborhood  …just off Jordan Lane near the convenient store?  As He stumbled under the weight of the cross –beaten and bleeding — would He have stopped and looked up from the burden He was carrying to look in the worn faces of the homeless ones I often see walking this road to tell them how much He loved them?

Do you see Him looking at you right now and telling you how much He loves you?


And right outside my front door, the deep purple blossoms of the chocolate vine are blooming and I want to capture as many photos as I can because I know it won’t last long.  They are temporary gifts to enjoy for a short season.  The brown, brittle vines have been curled around the posts of our front porch through the cold and rainy winter but now they put on their bright green and dark purple blooms as if donning  a new outfit on Easter Sunday !

Do you see the hope in it all?  Do we let  the vivid colors speak life from the Creator or have we become color-blind with business or bitterness?  Agendas and anxiety?  Control and controversy?

And have we stretched our vines and secured them with truth along the way so that others will find a safe place to nest?  Are we welcoming those who need a refuge?  Do we see the beauty in their color and potential for new life and rich relationships?   Or do we see them as a nuisance to society and shoe them away?

Remember this …all babies need a safe place to come home to.


And walking further into God’s appointments for the week …

I was invited to gather with a few dear friends  to dig into a Max Lucado on-line Bible study, “Six Hours One Friday”.  Given my love of doing life together with those who sharpen and encourage me spiritually as well as my love of all things that deepen the Lenten season for me, I said, “yes” — of course!  And who doesn’t love the calming, fatherly voice of Max Lucado as he brings the Bible to life through personal stories and meaningful application.

In his book, “Six Hours One Friday, Living the Power of the Cross,” Max Lucado addresses Anchor points.  Firm rocks sunk deeply in a solid foundation.  Not casual opinions or negotiable hypotheses but ironclad undeniables that will keep you afloat” when there’s “no time to develop a personal philosophy on pain and suffering.  No time to analyze the mystery of death.  No time to set anchors.  Time only to sit tight and trust the anchor points.” (Max Lucado,  Chapter 1, “Six Hours One Friday”, 2004 Thomas Nelson) 

He poses deep questions to help us dive in to examine what anchors have we sunk deeply into life’s ocean that will hold up against any storm that comes our way?  Your anchors will define your responses.

All the information you need is listed below if you want to jump in to the group and follow along. It’s not to late to join and you’ll love the free printable (see below).

For those of you on Facebook, he has a FB Live video each week that’s easy to access during the study.  Grab some friends and watch and learn together.  Be iron to sharpen each other’s iron to forge those solid  anchors for the soul.

Sit in the shadow of the cross.  Embrace the Savior.  Soak in the moment.  Ask honest questions.  Outline His face with your hands.  Listen to His love story about you.   Rest with Him.

There’s a powerful resurrection coming !

RESOURCE CREDIT:   to register for Max Lucado’s  FREE on-line Easter study, “Six Hours One Friday” (You can purchase the book HERE and it just happens to be on sale right now for $12.00 !)

And… just in case you love free printables as much as I do, you get this FREE PRINTABLE when you join… all at

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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