The brilliant pinkish-purple buds popped out with the white apple blossoms in the background. I told Mom, "Wow, have you noticed how the buds changed since yesterday?" With my camera in hand, I was out the door before she could answer. More than a dozen photos later, here are a couple I hope you will enjoy.
While snapping photos the Holy Spirit touched my heart, we are to be like this red bud tree ~ and stand out. Think back to your younger days, do you remember "showing off" when company stopped? Or was this just something I did?
As followers of Christ, we are called to stand out too, Not in a showing-off way but in a way which others might say, "Hey, you seem different." or "I would have lost it but you kept it together, how?" There is only one thing to keep me and my tongue under control, its self-control inspired through my faith in God. Are you the red bud tree or the apple blossoms in the background? I love the orchard and all it produces but if God designed me to be a red bud, then it would be dishonoring to Him, not to stand out. So choose to stand out! Recognize the beauty and benefits of the apple blossom while standing strong and brilliant in Truth.
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.
He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit,
and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit
so they will produce even more.
You have already been pruned and purified
by the message I have given you.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
For a branch cannot produce fruit
if it is severed from the vine,
and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me,
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.
Those who remain in me, and I in them,
will produce much fruit.
For apart from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is thrown away like a useless branch and withers.
Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.
But if you remain in me and my words remain in you,
you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples.
This brings great glory to my Father.