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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



This past summer he had celebrated his fifth birthday. For such a young tree he was very strong, tall and majestic looking. The men who came twice a year to trim and shape him had done their work well. The pride he felt in his appearance made him stand even straighter. But for all he had to feel good about, it seemed that something was missing. He was becoming frustrated with the monotony of his daily life. Everyday it was the same old field with the same boring sights and sounds.

He had heard the rumors. He hoped against hope that they were true. It seems, so some of the trees had said, that humans came every year and selected some of the special trees to go and live with them. The thought of living in a human house - to be warm in the winter - to be free of those pesky birds and bugs to be given a place of honor - to have new sights to see, the very idea filled him with hope and excitement.

In December of his fifth year the rumors became reality. His hope had changed to horror as he watched the first of the men take trees near him. He had somehow thought that they would take all of the tree. It never occurred to him that they would cut them away from their roots. How could they stand? How could they eat? "Don't worry," he was told, "the men have tree stands that work even better than our roots. They will feed us from them and in them we can stand as straight and tall as ever."

Finally his day came. It hurt a lot more than he imagined to be cut off at the roots. The tree stand was real, but not all he had hoped it would be. The food turned out to be a strange tasting water. It wasn't like the water that fell from the sky. But it was nice to be warm. Best of all was the attention he was getting. He had been decorated with all kinds of things that were not nearly as pesky as those birds and bugs. Everyone who came in raved about how beautiful he was. What they said about him made him forget, for a while, the pain he felt from being cut off from his roots.

However, things began to change. After the boxes were opened, the people didn't seem to care anymore. They were even complaining about his drying needles. The water stopped coming, but that didn't really matter. He had not been able to drink what was given him for some time now. He was dying and he knew it. Now he realized that when he was cut away from his roots that he was cut away from his life support.

How about you? Have you been cut away from your roots? Are you being fed with things from the Devil rather than from God? John 15:5 says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;  for without Me you can do nothing.

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward