God’s Rosebud                                                                    




A new minister was walking with an older, more seasoned minister in the garden one day. Feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do, he was asking the older preacher for some advice.

The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals.

The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the will of God for his life and ministry.

But because of his great respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact.

It wasn’t long before he realized how impossible this was to do.

Noticing the younger preacher’s inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it, the older preacher began to recite the following poem…

“It is only a tiny rosebud, A flower of God’s design; But I cannot unfold the petals with these clumsy hands of mine.”

“The secret of unfolding flowers is not known to such as I. GOD opens this flower so easily, but in my hands they die.”

“If I cannot unfold a rosebud, this flower of God’s design, then how can I have the wisdom to unfold this life of mine?”

“So I’ll trust in God for leading each moment of my day. I will look to God for guidance in each step along the way.”

“The path that lies before me, only my Lord and Savior knows. I’ll trust God to unfold the moments, just as He unfolds the rose.”

Blessings,  Pastor Michael



  • U.S. Independence Day, July 4, 2024

Redeeming ‘Wasted’ Time

In Just Like Jesus, Max Lucado writes that the average American spends a total of six months waiting at stoplights, eight months opening junk mail, 18 months looking for items we’ve lost and five years standing in line. All the while, many of us grumble: “What a waste of time! I could be doing something much more important! Where are my keys?”

But Lucado suggests that we give these moments to God. Rather than whispering to ourselves, we can speak to God in prayer. “Simple phrases such as ‘Thank you, Father,’ ‘Be sovereign in this hour, O Lord,’ ‘You are my resting place, Jesus’ can turn a commute into a pilgrimage,” he writes. “You needn’t leave your office or kneel in your kitchen. Just pray where you are. Let the kitchen become a cathedral or the classroom a chapel. Give God your whispering thoughts.”

When we do this, “the common becomes uncommon,” Lucado adds. What’s more, “wasted” time becomes valuable; boring waits become meditative; the lost — your time, if not also your keys — is redeemed.  We all face trials that can seem overwhelming. 

A Declaration of Interdependence

“Dependence does not destroy human personality,” writes Donald F. Baillie. Instead, people are “never so fully and so truly personal as when [they are] living in complete dependence upon God.” Jesus modeled this type of living by depending completely on his heavenly Father.

In that light, let it be declared and hereby celebrated …

  • That all people everywhere depend on one another.
  • That everyone needs everyone else for freedom, life, love and happiness.
  • That all things in the natural order depend on everything else.
  • That the Earth and all planets and stars are mutually dependent.
  • That this universally shared dependence comes from God and is of God.
  • And that each individual part of this relationship has its own role in fulfilling God’s plan.

Lessons from Hiking

Whether I’m hiking an easier stroll or a 20-mile trek, I’ve noticed parallels to my journey with Christ.

  • This is my journey. Too often I waste time comparing my stride, pace or equipment to that of fellow hikers.
  • I don’t know what’s around each bend, but God does. I can’t let anxiety steal my joy.
  • It’s best to balance hiking in silence with sharing the trail with friends.
  • I’ll be sore tomorrow, and that’s okay. Engaging new muscles leaves a reminder that growth is uncomfortable.
  • Being prepared is good; being too prepared makes for a heavy backpack. I need to do my due diligence and let God handle the rest.
  • It’s not a race, so finishing quickly offers no reward. When I’m not in a hurry, I tend to notice more of God’s blessings.
  • I need to look up, enjoying God’s creation as I let him determine my steps.  —Janna Firestone

Prepared for a Purpose

Timothy Dalrymple, president and CEO of Christianity Today, was a successful Stanford gymnast with Olympic dreams. But he broke his neck before the 1996 Olympic Trials and never reached his sport’s “promised land.” Although the injury led to chronic pain, Dalrymple doesn’t regret his pursuit or even the fall.

Even while hospitalized, he experienced “a profound assurance” of God’s loving presence. “If I could know the peace of God even when my health and hopes were stripped away from me, then what did I have to fear?” he writes. “It was a liberating revelation. Since God is with us even in the valley of the shadow of death, we need fear no evil, for no evil can take God away.”

In the long run, so-called failure can matter more than victory, Dalrymple learned. “The purpose of my gymnastics career was never to purchase a few shining moments of gold-medal glory but to prepare me for the rest of my life. It was never about making me a champion. It was about [shaping me into the image of Christ and] making me an instrument [for the glory of Christ and for the good of the world].”

July Mission of the Month:  “It’s All About Kids”