Mark 4:19

and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Today as I set here looking out of the window, I see the pines trees that my son and I had planted over twenty years ago. Behind these trees, I can see the blue of a summer sky, with fluffy white clouds moving ever so slowly toward an unknown destination. I watch as they change shapes to resemble a teddy bear, a whale, and an open book. Each one giving my imagination a whole world to focus on.

Looking at those trees, I notice that two trees were planted to close together, and between these two trees, is one spindly tree trying to rise up toward the sun. The two outside trees hold the limbs back from the middle tree, not allowing it to spread out, and provide a place of refuge, and rest for the many birds we feed each day.

This scene reminds me of how we as Christians are also closed in by the cares of this world. How the outside world tries to hold us in place, while we struggle to rise up, always reaching toward the son, who died on an old wooden cross for us, that we might enjoy the freedom of salvation that is given to us free of charge. All we have to do is forget those that are not allowing us to spread out, and provide a place of refuge for the lost of the world.

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