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Pictures of pine trees taken June of 2008 on Jonell’s back property in Michigan

Look at the picture of the pine trees above and picture it as a group of people in your church. Pretend they are standing at the back of the sanctuary talking about anything from the travel their job will require this week, to the way their son is improving in
math at school, to a new recipe they tried on the grill last week, to the really
meaningful Scripture passage they are reading and how it is helping them in their
spiritual walk with God.

From a distance you are not able to see the spiritual growth in their life, just as you
are not able to see the new growth on the pine trees above. 

Now pretend you walk up and include yourself in their conversation.  It is only when
you get up close and enjoy their conversation that you hear of their daily walk with
God and how they are growing.  I like to compare our spiritual growth with the new
growth on these pine branches.  By walking closer, it is obvious that the new growth
is pushing off the protective cover and peeking out. 
 

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So, once the protective shell is gone, and you feel confident to talk about your spiritual
life and the way God is working on your behalf, do others see the new growth?   I sometimes wish that we could see how much others are growing and maturing in their
daily walk with God the same way we see the new growth on a pine tree in the early summer.  We may not really “see” others growth, but we will see God working in their
lives when their actions are God honoring, their words are kind in the midst of a difficult situation, when they show love for others in need, when they have patience for a child, when they turn to God for their strength, and so many other ways. 
Whenever I go for a walk on our back property in the early summer and see this new growth, I simply ask God to keep helping me to grow to be more like Him too!

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Selah!
Think about it!

Jonell 

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