I walk approximately two miles just about every morning. The Lord has lavished His blessing upon me by putting me smack dab in what I consider to be the most desirable location in southwest Ohio (and I know what I'm talking about because I have been a top producing Realtor in this area for the last 21 years).
This neighborhood is quiet, except for the singing of the birds, croaking of the toads, quacking of the ducks and the scary honking of the geese. It's enveloped by big, old trees of many varieties that have witnessed many changes to the 'hood over probably the last four to five hundred years. There's not much traffic; Honey Creek ambles across the path on several occasions, and the homes that dot the horizon are pretty, well-taken care of homes that show lots of pride of ownership. What the average Realtor/homeowner calls pride of ownership is a little different from my personal application of it: God owns my home and I am so proud of Him that I MUST let all who see it know just how much I want to please Him by taking care of it.
My one acre yard is filled with flowering trees, shrubs and plants. Fly-through restaurants are on many corners to serve the needs of my busy neighbors, the Titmouses, the Finches, the Cardinals and the Jay family. It is a special place to live, love and grow (literally, i.e., my plants and figuratively, me and my family in the love and admonition of the Lord).
My Home in the Fall
My Home in the Winter"
The path I take offers a beautiful landscape and small animals and birds thrive here. I have been treated to glimpses of: baby deer (you know, the ones with little white spots on their backs...really little), groundhogs, raccoons, oppossum, rabbitts, squirrels, cows and their calves, horses and their babies, and red and gray fox. Some evenings you can hear the coyotes calling.
It's beautiful here in my little neck of the woods. You don't hear much about the beauty to be found here in Ohio but it's here, you just have to want to find it and then take the time to look for it.
One shrub that catches my attention every time I walk by it is this one. It never fails to make me think about Jesus and the crown of thorns that was thrust on to his head before he was crucified. The thorns are hidden now, covered over by an abundance of beautiful leaves that look like they have been cut out with crimping shears and attached by invisible thread to the limbs.
It's interesting to note that in Genesis, Chapter 3, verses 17 and 18, when God cursed the land after Adam and Eve had sinned, he said this:
...cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field...
Jesus wore the curse of God upon his head as He hung upon the cross. Profound, isn't it, how the Word brings these things to light when read with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
What a God we serve! Jesus deserves our love, devotion, and worship. Actually, Jesus deserves our all. Everything we have, we owe to Him because without Him, we would be wearing that curse upon our heads. But, our wonderful, loving Heavenly Father, loved us so much that He sent His son to bear the burden for us. How can you not love Him?