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

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YOU GOTTA TAKE THE LEAVES WITH THE NUTS

A man planted his pecan tree too close to his neighbors property line. As the tree grew the limbs spread over into his neighbor's yard. The neighbor gladly picked up he pecans his a that fell from the tree but he constantly complained about the leaves that fell in his yard during the fall. This seems so typical of human nature.

We want the pecans and the oranges and apples and peaches and all the good things, but we don't want the falling leaves to trouble us. We want the roses without the thorns, the sunshine but not the clouds, fall but not winter. Even in religious matters we want a crown but not a cross, spiritual knowledge but not study, the church but not Jesus, heaven but not the straight and narrow way. We should remember that God has planted the tree of life on the earth. It has both leaves and nuts.

When Job was afflicted his wife encouraged him to curse God and die. He replied, "Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?" (Job 2: 10)

David saw the benefit of leaves. He said, "Before I was afflicted I went astray but now have I kept thy word" (Psalm 119:67). Paul learned to accept the fallen leaves of life. He said, "I have learned that in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content" (Phil. 4:11). Jesus said it best in the garden, "Not my will but thine be done."

You see, leaves have their useful purpose in life as does trouble, hurt and sorrow. Let us receive patiently all that falls from the tree of life!

For His Cause.
Tim Woodward
Smithville church of Christ