In Cursillo we use the phrase “Bloom where you are planted”. We use this phrase in reference to our calling as Disciples of Christ. We learn that Christ himself has called us to be bearers of His love to our broken world right where we are.
Speaking of blooming, yesterday after work I made a trip to the local nursery to buy some new plants and shrubs. The nursery was quite busy with many people all buying new flowers and plants to put out this spring.
Personally I have been busy for the last several weeks of spring, planting and mulching raking, and pruning. I, like many of you, find it to be part of the annual ritual of spring. This year however, all of my toil in the yard has a new feel of joy to it.
You see, during my 8 day silent retreat last fall, God put on my heart the thought of holding retreats for Christian leaders (all of you reading this email are Christian Leaders). But at that time I thought he wanted me to find some new property in the mountains and develop a retreat center. Then this past February my wife made her silent retreat. What God put on her heart was a clarification to what he put on mine. She heard the theme “Bloom where you are planted”. She came home from her silent retreat and told me that now, with all of our children out of the house we have extra space in our home, and since we live in the beautiful surroundings of the Carolina mountains, should begin holding Christian retreats right in our home (bloom where planted) and not to look for a new location at this time.
In response to what the Lord has put on our hearts we have been sprucing up our home to make it a place of quiet reflection and prayer for Christian Leadership retreats. I began earlier this spring working hard in the yard planting flowers to create a surrounding of natural beauty in which to pray.
Then yesterday as I was planting flowers, what came to my mind was Mt. 13: 1-9, 18-23; The Parable of the Sower and its explanation. Each plant I put into the earth caused me to wonder how it would do. Would it grow well here? Would it be we’ll nourished? Will it receive the right amount of water and sunlight? Can it survive the summer droughts we often experience? But as I planted each new shrub or flower it was you, my readers, that I had in mind. Some of you could be the people God might call to these retreats in our home. As I planted each plant I said a prayer that God would create a beautiful place here where you the disciples He has called to carry His message into our world could come to pray, just like Jesus went to the mountains to pray.
As I reflected on Mt.13, I thought about God and those of us He has called as His followers. Just like I was concerned about what I was planting and hoping it would thrive in the location where I was planting it, I thought God too, has planted his message in us. He is hoping we will blossom. He is the master gardener. Sometimes we too need pruning. (John 15: 1-17), sometimes we also need to be fertilized (Luke 13: 6-9).
The retreats that we plan to hold will have the theme, “Bloom Where You Are Planted”. We hope to hold these retreats 4-5 times a year. We will have space for 2-3 couples or about 6 individuals at each retreat. So these retreats will be small groups. They will begin on Fridays with dinner and conclude on Sunday afternoons. They will offer both silent contemplative time as well as directed group discussions. The basic theme will be to motivate and inspire (prune and fertilize) those of you that Christ has called to be His leaders so that you can return back to your home location and truly bloom where He has planted you.
More information about our planned retreats will follow soon, however because of the small number able to attend each retreat please click hereto email me and let me know if you have an interest in attending. These will be open to Christians of all denominations from all across the US or Canada. It is our desire to make these ideal for lay Christians as well as Pastors, Priests, Sisters and Deacons. We intend to make these retreats available at no cost. You will have a beautiful place to stay and all of your meals will be provided for you. They will offer you a chance to come to the mountains of the Carolinas and spend time with other Christian as we all grow together in His love.
For those of you who feel like you can’t get away to a mountain retreat in the Carolina’s, I have prepared a one hour presentation also called “Bloom Where You Are Planted” and I would welcome the opportunity to come and speak to your local Ultreya or other Christian gatherings. Please click hereto emailme if you are interested. Again this talk is designed to inspire and challenge Christian Leaders to respond to Christ’s call to be a leader in today’s world.
I hate to finish this email on a sad thought, but this thought did occur to me seeing all of the people in the nursery buying things to plant this spring. I wondered how much time people spend planting things in their yards verses time planting the Gospel message in the hearts of those God has called us to reach out to. We are called to make a difference in the places where God has planted us.
Are you blooming where you are planted? Spring is a time of new beginnings. Filled with the joy of Easter let’s all recommit ourselves to His call to BLOOM WHERE WE ARE PLANTED!