Which Kind of Plant Am I?

zz-plant   pothos-plant   philo-plant

(left to right: ZZ plant, pothos, philodendron)

In my living room, directly across from my place on the sofa, a ZZ plant sits on top of the stereo. I bought it several years ago at Home Depot for a reasonable price. It looked interesting. Intriguing. Even though I’d never heard of a ZZ plant and knew little about its care, it was worth taking a chance on.

Have you ever had a houseplant that seemed to thrive on neglect?

That’s my zz plant. It remains equally healthy whether I water it once a week or once a month. And it seems to enjoy being pot-bound. Although it gets strong indirect light, I have no doubt that I could move it to a dark corner and see no loss of health.

To the best of my knowledge, the only leafy stem it’s ever lost resulted from somebody accidentally bending it. Can’t blame the plant for that.

I wish the pothos and philodendron growing in water and hanging on the wall behind me were as cooperative as my ZZ plant. But they’re at least surviving.

I view my houseplants as symbolic of ways to view old(er) age. I have a choice. I can view my life as a matter of simply hanging in there, like the pothos and philodendron. Or I can realize that I’m actually thriving now in spite of the fact that some of life’s circumstances make me feel slightly pot-bound.

I think I’ll choose to be thankful that I’m doing as well as I am. I can’t let my ZZ plant get the better of me. Or let my faith in God’s providence shrink. After all, He’s my gardener, and I’m happy to let my welfare be in His hands.

What about you? Are you thriving or just hanging in there? Are you letting God work in your life or trying to depend solely on your own strength? How about leaving a comment?

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My latest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.  If you’d like information about receiving a review copy, please email me at Roger@RogerBruner.com.

Best regards,
Roger

 

 

 

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Spiritual Warfare?

Let me begin by saying that  spiritual warfare is a biblical concept. So is the Devil, although the Bible doesn’t describe him in the stereotypical way we often think of him. I believe the Devil has a great deal of power.

At the same time, I’ve long marveled at the number of Christians who accuse the Devil (don’t ask me if he’s one person or many) of being responsible for all of the hard times they’re going through. Yes, he was responsible for Job’s woes and God permits him to do evil even to good people, but many of our most serious problems result from our own mistakes and bad choices–and sometimes from those  of other people.

And let’s not ignore original sin. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God couldn’t allow them to remain in His perfect Garden, Eden,  and continue to live perfect, carefree lives.  So He expelled them into a world that was–and continues to be–filled with trouble. And death. Those things are to be expected. So why blame the Devil for all of them?

All of that to help you understand the rest of this post more easily…

On Tuesday the 25th, my novel–The Devil and Pastor Gus–releases. Of the eleven novels I’ve written (this will be the third one published), this is one of my favorites. If you read my recent post about legacies, you already understand that.

Martin Luther made this observation, quoted by C. S. Lewis in Screwtape Letters: “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.”

And that’s exactly what The Devil and Pastor Gus intends to do–make fun of the Devil.

But how does Satan feel about The Devil and Pastor Gus? Does it so anger him that he would attack the publication of the book? What can he do–if anything–to express his resentment?

Here’s where I’m just thinking aloud. My book’s publisher, Lighthouse Publisher of the Carolinas (LPC), is small. But they do a great job. However, by oversight–certainly not intentional–some steps in the publication process got behind schedule.

Hmm. Human error. Understandable. Can’t blame the Devil for that.

But then my author representative–the person I could ask all of my questions about the publication process–cut her foot, and the resulting infection went to her heart. Her condition was life-threatening, and she’s been out of commission ever since.

I was assigned a new author rep, one who already had her own caseload. And she ended up in a car accident. She’s recovering, but not back at work yet.

Another LPC employee–I don’t know if her work had any direct connection with my book–lost her husband in an accident.

And then my marketing representative lost a family member she had been very close to. Very unexpectedly in a horrible accident. Understandably, that has affected her ability to help.

Spiritual warfare? I don’t know. But it makes you think, doesn’t it?

If you have anything to share on this subject, please leave a comment.

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I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

Be on the lookout for The Devil and Pastor Gus, which releases this Tuesday. Here’s the link on Amazon.

Best regards,
Roger