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TITLE: Pulling Weeds
By CeCe Lane

This originally started as a blog post, but then moved into something more.
A friend told me she thought I should tie back to the pool mentioned at the beginning to close. What do you think?
What do you think of the whole thing?
Recently it was supposed to be 105 degrees I started to fill the outside pool while my 5 year old was at VBS. Now mind you it is inflatable and it does NOT come with a pump. I am the pump. Picture me standing in my back yard, up to my eyeballs in swimming pool, (it is standing up) and my face is turning red from exertion while puffing into a tiny round hole. Imagine my frustration when as soon as my mouth is off the hole, most all the air leaks out. The only problem with the pool is; it is only big enough for the girlies. Well I could get in too, but then...oh never mind....

While it was filling I thought I'd check my tomatoes. We've had three already and man are they ever good. One tomato was close, and I finally saw some cherry tomatoes. While I like all tomatoes, the bite-size cherry ones have to be my favorite.

I also noticed we were finally getting some raspberries. I am excited. Now mind you I don't care for raspberries by themselves but raspberry jam? Oh yeah!! There were green beans, little tiny cucumbers and my least favorite vegetable-peas. I love eating cucumbers fresh from the garden with tomatoes and maybe a little Fat-Free Ranch dressing or even just with salt. Iím getting hungry just thinking about it.

It might be considered beautiful garden in the midst of rogue weeds-tons of the rascals. Now it's not like I didn't know they were there, I've seen them before. But I decided to do something about them.

So I started pulling weeds. Then I realized I needed my handy-dandy garden trowel-spade-whatever-you-want-to-call-it. So I went around to my front yard to get it. When I returned and tried again to pull the weeds, I realize they needed to be watered making them easier to pull. Though I tried with all my might it didnít work quite the way I planned and some of the root remained, and we all know what happens when we don't get the root out. Our weeds come back and bring all their friends and family. It's a never ending cycle.

As I was pulling away, I was thinking about the curse. No I wasn't cursing, but thinking about the curse. You know, when God cursed the land, so it would bring forth thorns and thistles? See I have a theory, I think anything except thorns and thistles are not weeds. My dear husband says "Anything you don't want growing in your yard is a weed." For a long time he was calling my tulips a weed.

Contemplating the curse led to chewing on our sermon from Sunday. It was so good. Our associate Pastor was teaching from John 15, the Vine passage. I've always had somewhat of a love/hate relationship with that passage. I love it because of the mental pictures. Hate it because, well I have to do something.

"He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit HE prunes so that it will be even more fruitful" (John 15:2 NIV) Okay I don't like this one. I'd love to Sharpie© it right out of my Bible-until last Sunday.
Does it really say cut off?? Ai yi yi. I always wondered about that. Cut off? Good grief, what if you only *think* you're bearing fruit but you're not? How do you know if you've been cut off? That kind of smacks of "you can lose your salvation." to me. But I know that is not true at all.

Pastor Dan shared with me (and 300 of my friends) the original Greek word used means "to elevate, raise up, to lift up, or to take up."

Jesus says, "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, I lift up..." Jesus lifts us up out of the mire of life, out of the dirt of life, out of life's messes. He lifts me up and washes me off. Pastor Dan also shared that when a plant is lifted up because it is not bearing fruit, it is tied to the vine so it will bear fruit. After Jesus lifts us up and washes us off, He ties us to Himself so we will bear fruit.

I despise pulling weeds I really do. Ranks right up there with cleaning the bathroom, hate both of them.

My contemplating the curse, led to Dan's sermon, and that led to considering what I was doing. Pulling weeds. Why? So my garden can grow and not be choked out by weeds. You see I want the good food I planted to come forth in abundance. But in order for that to happen, I have to get rid of the bad plants. Or they will take over the garden I will be left with no strawberries, raspberries, those dreaded peas, green beans, watermelon, tomatoes, or cucumbers.

As I was pulling them my 2 year old came up to me and said, "Mommy, your hands are dirty."

"I know, it's because I'm pulling weeds."

A few minutes later, "Mommy, your knees are dirty" then, "Mommy, your shoes are dirty."

Pulling weeds is a dirty job.

I was also stuck a few times by those thorns. Ouch. Pulling weeds is painful, or can be. My legs got tired of me squatting, my back got tired of me bending over, my knees got tired of me kneeling on them.

"I'll bet weeds in my life can and do take over the good fruit I might bear."

Am I willing to get my hands, knees and shoes dirty to pull them? Am I willing to be stuck and in pain, to pull them? Am I willing to be tired to pull them?

I actually found myself praying, "Lord, pull my weeds. Whatever it takes. Pull them."

Count me as one lifted up, washed off, tied to the Vine, and waiting for fruit.
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