• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Picked On And Picked Off

I could write a book on my Uncle Larry and Uncle Bobby. I have seriously thought about it because Uncle Larry was a hoot! Hoot is southern for funny and entertaining. When I was a little girl Uncle Larry tried to teach me to ride a goat. He taught me to drive a truck with the gears on the column, in my great aunts horse pasture, without her permission. Imagine her surprise when she saw, out her kitchen window, a truck bouncing around her pasture! Anytime Granny made chicken salad he would tell me it was rabbit salad until I cried and could not eat. Well, I ate the biscuits! Every time he or Uncle Bobby gave me a gift it would be wrapped in newspaper and the bow would be a real rabbits tail or a rabbits foot! Thanks to them, as painful as it was, I can hang with the best when it comes to picking! Those hard times proved helpful as I got older!

I thought of this recently as I noticed my flowering plant beside me had dead flowers on it. I remembered Mike's grandmother staying with us and she would always pull the "dead heads" off. Not sure if that is a real name but that is what she called the faded blossoms. She told me to pull the dead heads off so the new flower could bloom so the plants energy will go into the new bloom. Once I began doing that, my flowers multiplied. Now it is habit when I am sitting outside to do this. And when I do I am reminded of John 15: 1-2, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't bear fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more fruit"

Isn't that how we are? We have to be pruned in order to blossom. We need to get rid of the things in our life that are wasting our energy. Am I wasting energy on shopping instead of using my time more wisely? Am I wasting my money on things that are not necessary? Am I harboring feelings of anger or resentment to anyone when I could be building someone up? Am I wasting my time on negative screen time instead of reading the good news in the Bible? Well, this inventory has pretty much told me I need some serious pruning. John 15: 8, "This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

I seem to have so many things cluttering my life, at times, that it is hard for us to get to God. We need to pull the deadheads off - we all have them. Most of my activities seem good and productive but underneath our spiritual fruit may be dying. We glorify God when we bear fruit and in order to bear fruit we must prune. Everything we go through is part of God's pruning process. You've been picked out to be picked on. Pruning cuts away what is harmful or unnecessary to be able to grow healthy and bountiful fruit.

A sin is anything that comes in between you and God. Is a sin keeping you from a deeper intimacy with God? Is a negative attitude about life preventing you from recognizing all of your blessings from God? Ask God to help you identify and prune the dead heads in your life.

As I pick off the dead heads and think of Grandma, I also think about where I need pruning in my life. Sometimes the plants look scraggly and sparse when I finish pruning but after some sunlight, they are beautiful and they have multiplied!

"I want to be so full of Jesus that when a mosquito bites me, she flies away singing, 'there is power in the blood!'"


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