How the Gospel Grounds our Emotions - Josh Grover
How the Gospel Grounds our Emotions - Josh Grover

Maranatha Baptist Church • July 27, 2022

How the Gospel Grounds our Emotions - Josh Grover

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” – James 1:19

My stomach began to twist. The simple ride started to get to me. I was on a ride at Cedar Point where a boat would just swing you back and forth for several minutes, but after a long day of rollercoasters, a few minutes was more than enough.

My stomach began to twist…again. This time at a basketball game. The team I was cheering for was quickly losing its winning margin in just a matter of minutes as the opposing players continued to make great play after great play. How did this happen? We were doing so well!

Besides twisting my stomach, both of these scenarios share something in common – momentum. Momentum kept the ride going back and forth without have the machinery do all of the work. Momentum kept the basketball opponents making great plays in a very short amount of time. To define it, “momentum” is that force that builds up over time and then drives or advances something or someone farther along.

In today’s American culture, we face a momentum of emotions. In her article “The Age of Emotional Overstatement,” Caitlin Macy makes the argument that we Americans tend to “love” a lot (“I love your new haircut!” or “I loved your Instagram post!”) and, ironically, tend to be angry a lot too. 1 She questions how there can be so much love and yet so much hate (she points out the noticeable uptick in riots occurring in 2020 and 2021), and it’s a fair inquiry. She seems to indicate that because we as a society are willing to love so easily, we also tend to hate easily as well. Our emotions have built up a lot of momentum swinging from one direction to the next.

But how about us as Christians? How are our emotions? Do we tend to give them lots of momentum? James, the early Christian leader, warns us against such. He says we should be slow to give momentum to anger. By implication I think that means we should be slow to allow emotions to take over. For example, if I wake up tired, how much do I let that drive my attitude for the rest of the morning? If someone cuts me off on the highway, how much does that dictate my behavior the rest of the afternoon? In other words, how much do we let emotions take the helm of our “behavioral ship?”

Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and this truth changes how we control our emotions. Because of the cross, we will never be lost to our deserved eternal punishment in hell but will rather be with God forever in glory. We are now part of a local community of believers here on earth and will be with an eternal community in glory. God the Holy Spirit resides in us for all ages and is making us more like Jesus Christ. These are fixed truths that our hearts must cling too. They provide real hope and rocksolid stability. In other words, they are truths that we can anchor our emotions too and decrease the emotional momentum that can swing us from seventh-heaven happiness to dismal frustration in seconds. They are foundational facts that remind us to really love our enemies (which depends on God’s grace rather than how we feel) because Christ loves us through the Gospel and to really look forward to heaven (a place where our eternal happiness and contentment will only increase as we commune more with God).

So, in a society that enjoys an exorbitant display of emotion, let’s continue to fix our hearts on God’s unchanging love and grace that shines through the Gospel. When we do that, we will find God’s grace driving our behavior more than our fluctuating emotions…and then we will be slow to let our emotions and their momentum rule over us. 

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The Joy of Godly Friends - Josh Grover
The Joy of Godly Friends - Josh Grover

Maranatha Baptist Church • February 23, 2022

The Joy of Godly Friends - Josh Grover

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1

Jackie Robinson was the first Black American to play Major League Baseball, and he faced wrongdoing from certain fans just because of his ethnicity. At one particular game in front of the home crowd in Brooklyn, New York, Robinson made an error, and the crowd soon began to taunt him. Pee Wee Reese, another Brooklyn player, walked over to Robinson, placed his arm over Robinson’s shoulder, and held it there until the crowd stopped jeering. What an incredible moment of unity and friendship! 

We all need a “hand over our shoulder.” We all need a Pee Wee Reese. We all need great friends. And today, we’ll look at three quick points from Scripture to quickly remind ourselves of why great, godly friends are such a joy and pleasure from God to have. First, we need to give and accept sincere, godly love. The Apostle Peter says to other believers that Jesus Christ’s return could happen at any time. So what does he encourage them to do? “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (I Peter 4:8-10). According to these verses,

God has placed Christian friends into our lives so we can be prepared for his return by (1) learning to forgive and forget each other’s wrongdoing, (2) having heart-felt hospitality with each other, and (3) serving each other with our spiritual, grace-given gifts. Christian love and friendship are a two-way street of forgiveness, hospitality, and gracious service! 

Second, we need to receive healthy, faithful wounds. Sometimes when my wife and I go for a long trip, we’ll be traveling into the early morning hours. As the driver, I can feel sleepiness coming over me, and I may not immediately sense the car slowly drifting toward the side of the road. Quickly my wife will hit my shoulder and ask if I’m ok. I quickly sit up and say yes, and we stop at a gas station so we can switch places and I can grab a nap. When that has happened (which, thankfully, is very rare), I haven’t responded in a frustrated or angry way. Why? Because she helped keep me safe even if she had to hit my shoulder to get my attention.

Proverbs 27:5-6 (“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend…”) reminds us that we need godly friends who will “hit our shoulders” in love. We need people who will help point out a sin struggle so we can repent and get back on the road to glorifying God and enjoying him.  

Third, we need to display Christ’s love to a lost world. I remember trying to find a theatre in the downtown part of a busy city. Surrounded by hustle and bustle, I was struggling to locate it until I came around a corner and saw a huge, blinking sign with a large arrow pointing at a building. The sign immediately caught my attention, and it stated in large letters the name of the theatre. In John 13:35, Jesus says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” In this extremely busy world, people are trying to find what real love is. They are searching for people who claim Christianity and really are Christians. When we love other believers, when we love our Christian friends, we are a big blinking sign that shouts: “HERE ARE JESUS’ FOLLOWERS!” What a testimony our friendships can have. 

Thank God for Christian friends, by whom God allows us to grow in Christlikeness, to experience God-given joy, and to exhibit His love to the world.

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Is it Better to Give then Receive? - Todd Grover
Is it Better to Give then Receive? - Todd Grover

Maranatha Baptist Church • February 04, 2022

Is it better to give then receive? - Todd Grover

The Apostle Paul is quoted as saying “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” KJV Acts 20:35 Question: Do you find that statement to be true? It seems at times; it is a really happy time of life when I receive. We are not that removed from Christmas; at which time I received several wonderful gifts. It was a happy time. But was the depth of happiness the same as it is when on gives?

This past year, the church that I pastor was provided a wonderful opportunity. A Christian Foundation to write us a check for $2000.00 every month, for six months. There we only two stipulations. The first was, we had to spend the money on people who were in need of help. The second was this, only a very small amount could be spent on members of our church. This would force us to have our eyes focused on the community in which my church is located.

I cannot tell you the impact this challenge had on me. First of all, the needs that are present in our little community. It is amazing what you notice and discover when you have “eyes to see.” Even more eye opening then that lesson was this, the deep, satisfying feeling of happiness felt when giving to people. Remind you, this was not our money, but was given to us by a foundation. I remember coming home from a discount store, with literally, a pickup truck loaded with food for a local food bank. I cannot tell you how satisfying that trip home was. I could add many more stories to that one.

Some of you may be saying, all well and good for you, but I don’t have extra money. No one has given me a check to spend. True. However, I am persuaded, it is not the amount, it is the participation that is rewarding. In II Corinthians we read, “How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” II Corinthians 8:2. Even though the churches in Macedonia were poverty stricken, they still gave a very generous gift for the saints in Jerusalem. And apparently, they were glad to do so.

Here is my challenge, based upon what I have learned from this opportunity afforded my church. Pray to God that you would have eyes to see. Sometimes the “same ole, same ole,” blinds us to what is going on. Secondly, no matter what the size of the gift, give to someone who is in need. Jesus says you will be more blessed. I am here to testify; this is a true statement. 

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Where was Jesus during the First Christmas? - Josh Grover
Where was Jesus during the First Christmas? - Josh Grover

Maranatha Baptist Church • December 19, 2021

“Who (Jesus) being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all

things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of

the Majesty on high:” Hebrews 1:3

Where was Jesus during the first Christmas? If you’re like me, you probably thought

“Why, in the manger of Bethlehem, of course!” And you’re not wrong. But don’t stop reading

this blog quite yet because that answer only covers part of the truth. Jesus was indeed in a

manger in Bethlehem on the night of the first Christmas, but He was also somewhere else. And

the rest of that answer really matters.

When we think of Jesus at Christmas time, we often think of Jesus as a baby. And he was

just that. He was an actual person who lived in history. He was a person who experienced

growth, emotions, and bodily death (and resurrection!) (Luke 2:52; John 11:33,35; 19:30; I Cor.


But on the night of the first Christmas, Jesus was not just a baby. He was also the eternal

God. The Bible makes very clear that Jesus is deity. He did works that only God has the

authority to do (Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 31:31-34; Matt. 8:23-27; 14:22-23) and He equally shares the

one divine name and nature with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:18-20; John

8:58; Phil. 2:9-11). So on the night of Christmas, Jesus was in the manger (as a human) and he

was also present everywhere (as God). Even though Jesus’ human nature had him confined as a

helpless baby in the manger, his divine nature continued to uphold all things in the universe

(Hebrews 1:3). Perhaps a bit mind-blowing, but as Bible-believing Christians, it’s a truth we’re

taught in Scripture and get to celebrate!

But why is this truth (Jesus is one person but has both a divine nature and human

nature) so important? As a human, Jesus is qualified to meet all of our needs, including our

need for forgiveness of sin (Heb. 7:22-28; Heb. 9:15-10:18). As God, Jesus meets His standard of

perfect obedience and holiness that He placed on men (Rom 5:12-21). Thus, as the divine Son

and the incarnate Son, Jesus alone can save people from their sins and completely restore them

to being image-bearers of God (Rom. 3:21-26; Heb. 2:5-18). That is one reason why Christmas is

so important to celebrate!

So next time a conversation about Christmas comes up, feel free to ask, “Where was

Jesus on the night He was born?” The answer makes for interesting conversation and is a great

path to discussing one’s eternal destination. With these wonderful truths in mind, we can

continue to see Christmas as another memorable time to worship and praise God for Who He is

and what He has done. Have a very Merry Christmas!

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There is a Problem with Critical Race Theory - Josh Grover
There is a Problem with Critical Race Theory - Josh Grover

Cory Bishop • October 27, 2021

There is a Problem with Critical Race Theory - Josh Grover

“…but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:24

Tools are useful if used correctly. Will you imagine a construction site? What do you see? A hammer? Nails? Wooden boards? A crane? Would you expect to find a worker using a beautiful violin to help properly measure how far someone should drill into the ground? Of course not. The violin is not a tool for measuring a hole in the ground.

On the other hand, imagine that you had the opportunity to experience a concert done by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Now what do you see? Suddenly you could imagine beautiful violins being played, creating incredible, emotional, and pleasing music. But you would not expect see a construction worker drilling a jackhammer into concrete on stage while the orchestra plays one of Beethoven’s symphonies. Why? Because that tool doesn’t belong there.

If you wanted to build a building, you would hire a construction company and expect them to use tools that would help erect that building. If you wanted to hear beautiful, timeless, classical music, you would purchase tickets to hear professional musicians play music together.

Now think of a thriving, healthy society. What do you see? Do you see leadership exercising sound and wise justice? Do you see neighbors helping and caring for each other? Do you see people pursuing what is true, good, and beautiful? How do we know that these tools (proper justice, love for neighbor, and the pursuit of the true, good, and beautiful) are the right ones? Because we look to the architect and conductor of society, and that Being is none other than God Himself. God has laid out for humanity through the Bible how societies are to function (Psalm 67:4; Proverbs 8:15-16; Roman 13:4, etc.,).

Well, what is true justice? True justice is the punishment of those who fail to meet a moral standard and rewarding those who do achieve that moral standard (I Peter 1:13-16). Why do we have prisons? Because someone failed to meet the standard of a law. Why aren’t you in prison? Well, because you, in the eyes of the American justice system, have met those standards. Thus, the exercise of true justice keeps people from breaking the law and detains those who break it. True societal justice allows humanity to flourish by rewarding the good and punishing the evil based on a proper moral standard.

Now think of the Gospel. The Gospel depends on a proper sense of justice. Humanity has failed to meet God’s moral standard. Therefore, humanity deserves to be punished by God. Yet God, who has met His moral standard, offers to us His righteousness through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hence, a proper understanding of justice is necessary for the flourishing of a society and for the proper understanding and belief in the Gospel.

Consequently, any system of though which denies a proper sense of justice is a threat to both a healthy society and properly understanding the Gospel because such a philosophy seeks to throw away the tool of justice and replace it with a wrong one. Such is Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theory asserts that people are morally wrong not for anything that they have done, but rather that they have certain nonmoral characteristics. CRT states that in America, people who are Caucasian (the majority ethnicity), or wealthy, or educated, etc. are oppressing those who part of minority groups, or are poor, or not as educated, etc. CRT replaces the standard of justice with nonmoral rather than moral characteristics. CRT fails to use the moral standard established by God, who is Architect of society and the Gospel, by rejecting the moral standards seen through God’s revealed Word. Therefore, CRT is a threat, an eroding, acid, and a looming enemy to the hope of establishing proper societies and more importantly, a threat to the hope of properly understanding and believing the Gospel. With the assertions of CRT, you cannot build a thriving society or preach the true Gospel any more than you can start a fire by using ice cubes. It is a tool that simply does not belong. 

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Leadership Lessons from a Chicken Coop - Todd Grover
Leadership Lessons from a Chicken Coop - Todd Grover

Maranatha Baptist Church • September 15, 2021

Leadership Lessons from a Chicken Coop

Do you have fond memories of growing up? I hope you do. I have a ton of them. Growing up for me was quite the adventure. However, I also have some memories that are not even close to making the fond list. One in particular is cleaning out the chicken coop on my uncle’s farm. My older brother and I started working on my uncle’s farm around the age of ten. Due to our young age, we were not assigned too many task that required a high skill level to say the least. Unfortunately, chicken coop cleaning was not on that forbidden list. On a regular basis, I would be assigned the task of cleaning that chicken coop. To say I dreaded that chore would be one of the greatest understatements of all time. However, I learned a leadership skill that would stay with me for the rest of my life.

At this point you may be wondering, especially if you were not raised in the country, what made chicken coop cleaning so despised? I can answer that question in one phrase: unbearable stench. The aroma coming from a well fermented chicken coop could turn anyone’s iron skillet stomach into scrambled eggs. I just dreaded it. Then it hit me. The only time that chicken coop was bearable was when it was clean. Sitting there and pouting did not make the stench go away, plus it simply prolonged the agony. Every pitchfork of chicken manure out the door meant being one step closer to breathing some bearable air. Difficult tasks start the process of becoming bearable when you start working and stop the complaining. Becoming angry at my uncle never made the chicken coop more aromatically pleasing. Each pitchfork out the door did.

Everyone will face their own version of a chicken coop sooner or later. If you are a leader of anything or anyone, you will face difficult task with their own peculiar stench. Solution: get to work on it. The stench will not go away by mumbling and grumbling.

I have been in some form of leadership for more than 30 years now. Every opportunity comes attached to something that is not appealing and is difficult. What I have learned is this, ignoring it or putting it off never solves the problem. As a child, I had to muster up my own strength to get it done. But as a Christian, I know I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) So, grab the right “pitchfork” for the job, and by the grace of God, start pitching towards a solution.

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What is the Standard for Good & Evil? - Josh Grover
What is the Standard for Good & Evil? - Josh Grover

Maranatha Baptist Church • August 16, 2021

What is the Standard for Good & Evil? - Josh Grover

“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” Nahum 1:7

I anxiously sat in the classroom, waiting for my teacher to issue the final exam. Like many of my classmates, I had deliberately and enthusiastically prepared for this college test and had high hopes for my performance. Any grade above a 90 would provide me with an A for the exam and anything below would lend a B, C, D, or F. Like this final and the many finals I had taken in college and high school, I knew what grade I had to get if I wanted to earn the report card I sought. How could I know this? Because the school had set a standard. If you earn a 90 or above, you’ll receive an A. If you get an 89 or below, you’ll receive another grade. Grades are based on standards. Like the classroom, life is full of standards, and we see them in daily life. A speed limit sets a standard. Go above it, you risk receiving a speeding ticket or the likelihood of an accident. Your job has standards – be at work at this time and do these projects, etc. If not, you risk losing your job. At many stores, you’ll see a sign stating, “No shoes. No shirt. No service.” They’ve set a standard for whom they will and will not serve. So when it comes to moral behavior, who sets the standard for what’s good and evil and what is the standard based on? To some, the standard for moral behavior is left to each individual or society to determine. “Moral relativism” is this idea, and it’s becoming more prevalent in American culture. But does moral relativism conform to reality? Absolutely not. God is very clear on this point. Both the Old Testament (Ex 33:19; Je 2:13; Ps 19:7-11, etc.) and New Testament (Lk 18:19; Ac 10:38, 42-43, etc.) assert that God’s character and law are the standard for good and that which opposes God’s character and law are the standard for evil. Consequently, Christians must know God’s character and law and abide by them if they are to live righteously and stand against what is evil. Furthermore, any acceptance by Christians of moral relativism in the family, church, and society is deadly because it ultimately leads to apathy and indifference toward God’s law and character. In addition, if people don’t understand that God has established a universal standard for good and evil, then they will see no need to accept eternal salvation and redemption from God for not meeting His moral standard. We the Church must stand up for God’s character and live according to His righteous precepts. We must proclaim to the world that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s moral standard but they will have eternal salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

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Do Not Collect Straw - Todd Grover
Do Not Collect Straw - Todd Grover

Maranatha Baptist Church • August 11, 2021

Do Not Collect Straw: It is best for your relationships.

I am sure all of you have heard the idiom, “The straw that broke the camel’s back.” This saying most likely originated with Arab speaking people long ago. However, the first recorded usage of the phrase occurred in an Australian newspaper called the Age, in 1854. The saying drew from a common occurrence in the Arab speaking part of the world regarding the carrying capacity of a camel. Not only was the camel known for its hump on its back, but also its ability to carry a substantial amount of cargo on the same. If a camel has such a large cargo capacity, how then can one little piece of straw break a camel’s back?

We all know the answer to this. If one little piece of straw is added to thousands of other pieces of straw, the camel now has a big problem. So, the key to a successful journey with a camel is knowing which piece of straw is too much. The above parable provides this wisdom for us, there is a limit to the number of adverse events and annoyances a person can tolerate at any one time. Beyond this obvious lesson taught, what is the practical application to be learned?

In anyone’s life there are things we put up with. Have you ever said to yourself, “it’s no big deal?” Every time you say that, there is a chance you just added a straw to your back. What we all must realize is one day, one more straw added to your back is going to be the cause of a totally unexpected verbal explosion on your part. Case in point. Have you ever blown up at your spouse over a totally insignificant event or action? Why? It is quite likely prior to this explosion, you had multiple scenario’s when you said to yourself, “it’s no big deal.” The last “no big deal,” was the straw that broke your back and caused your mouth to become the most recent active volcano, spewing forth toxic verbiage.

Instead of putting straws on our backs, it would seem wiser if we addressed the straws individually as they come. I can see the flailing arms of protest right now. People screaming at the screen, “we would nitpick each other to death.” “It’s just easier to shut up and put up.” Yes, until the camel’s back breaks and all the straws fly in your spouse’s face. At which time you will pick up each straw individually and wave it in your spouse’s face.

It is best, if something is bothering you about your spouse or other individual, talk about it. For the health of your marriage, family, friendship etc., talk about the things that bother you. If you do this on a regular basis, no one will be found one straw short of a broken back, or major explosion. It is best for relationships if neither one of you accumulate straws.

Next time, we will look at the scriptures admonition to be longsuffering, patient etc., and how this meshes with not becoming a laden down camel ready to explode.  

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Is Parenting Like Raising a Garden? - Part 2 - Todd Grover
Is Parenting Like Raising a Garden? - Part 2 - Todd Grover

Maranatha Baptist Church • August 02, 2021

Is Parenting Like Raising a Garden? Part II - Todd Grover

I embarked on a journey this summer of raising a garden. It has not gone totally as planned, as much of life does not, but I have learned some amazing similarities between gardening and raising a family. I stated some of these lessons in my previous blog and desire to add to the learning experience here.

As mentioned in my previous blog, I failed to place my raised garden in a location that would allow for an adequate amount of sunshine. My current location has too much shade. As a result of my miscalculation, all aspects of plant growth and vegetable production have been slowed. The growth is there, but slow. On several occasions I thought to myself, just till this garden up, cut your losses, move the raised beds, and start over next year. Without fail, after entertaining these thoughts, I would see progress in the garden. Example: my seven and a half feet tomato plants (I am not exaggerating at all). First discouragement, they would not grow. I thought I planted them wrong. Next, they were infected with a fungus. Next, they grow like weeds, but no tomatoes. Next, tomatoes, but they stayed green forever and a day. People all over Facebook were proudly displaying the fruits of their labor, canned this and canned that from the floor to their ceilings, from gardens that I know were planted after mine. Finally, one glorious morning, a slightly red tomato. Then green beans. Then peppers. Then a zucchini. Lesson: keep at it and fruit (or in this case, vegetables) will come.

Has child rearing for you been less than fruitful in your eyes? You are a little embarrassed or frustrated when other parents share their bounty of child rearing with you. How they have fruit stacked from floor to ceiling in their home. Let me share this with you, stay with it. It is tempting at times to say, what is the point, there is nothing coming from my garden. Or, my garden is coming along so slowly. You know as I look back on this whole gardening experience, nothing in my garden was dead, just painfully, gut-wrenching slow. I panicked, but none of the plants did. What my plants needed was for me to keep watering them, keep wedding them, keep securing them, keep the fungus off and not till them under. My plants just needed me to keep investing in them.

The apostle Paul makes a marvelous parenting statement in Ephesians 3:13 “So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory” ESV.  Wow, is that a powerful statement. I, the apostle Paul, am suffering for you. Why? So that God can produce His glory in you. We have no idea how long Paul had been suffering, the degree of his suffering, we just know he had been suffering, so that God’s glory could be revealed in the family of God at Ephesus. This takes self-sacrifice, suffering and time. Consider how Paul said basically the same thing in Galatians 3:19. “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.” KJV.  Time, self-sacrifice, personal discomfort equals, produce.

Now, you will not see my Facebook page plastered with the bounty from my garden. I barely had enough green beans to fill a bottom of a boiling pot of water. But there were green beans there. Next year, another garden will be planted making the necessary corrections learned from this year’s mistakes. I suppose next year, I will learn about more improvements that can be made. Point: do not give up on your garden, the one in your yard and the one in your home. 

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Is Raising a Garden Like Raising Kids? - Todd Grover
Is Raising a Garden Like Raising Kids? - Todd Grover

Maranatha Baptist Church • July 28, 2021

Is raising a garden like raising kids? - Todd Grover

This year I attempted something totally new for me, raised gardens. Extensive planning was done, detailed research before materials were purchased, daily amount of sunlight exposure calculated for every area of my back yard to determine maximum sun exposure. Soil and fertilizer bought. Seeds purchased. Plants in hand. YouTube video’s watched on proper raised gardening procedures. Finally, the day arrived. Planting day. One week later I was telling myself, raising a garden seems a lot like raising kids. Speaking of which, I have four grown children whom I love dearly.

You may be asking what are the similarities? To be honest, there are too many to share in one blog so I will hit the highlights, and maybe there will be a part two. First of all, I was very intentional with my garden, doing everything in my power to ensure its success, produce. I find that “winging it” rarely works for anything. What type of soil, where will there be the most sunlight, etc. If I was going to attempt this, I wanted to do everything within my power to succeed. I find the same truth in parenting. Before our first child took a breath in this world, my wife and I began to plan on how we would raise our children. We would read to them every night; we would pray with them. We would go to family camps for vacations, you see what I mean. Do not misunderstand either. None of our planning interfered with each child’s individuality either. As a matter of fact, it allowed us to raise them the same within their individual personalities. A good, productive garden is not often left up to chance, and I find, either is a family. What’s your plan.

Before we get too far, let me say here, you can do all the planning in the world, but your child possesses a free will, which he will exercise. Also, without God’s amazing grace, you can do all the planning in the world to no avail. However, neither of these two realities should deter you from having a plan to raise your children.

Secondly, after the seeds where in, every day I checked for two things; growth and obstacles to growth (fungus, not enough water, weeds etc.). I made sure every day there was the appropriate amount of water for optimal growth. I made sure the weeds were pulled, not allowing these unwanted invaders a second to rob my plants of the needed nutrients for growth. I watched for diseases. As soon as I detected a produce destroyer, immediate action was taken to rid the plant of the army of microorganism invaders. If you what produce at the end of the day, you have to put in the time to ensure growth.

Parenting also requires realizing when you have errored and correcting the mistakes. In planning for my raised garden, I miscalculated how much sunlight the plants would receive. Come to find out, it was not near enough for some of the plants to reach their full potential. Solution, move the gardens eight feet to the south, which will give the plants more sunlight. If you want produce, you need adequate amount of sunlight. Do what it takes to maximize “Sunlight.” Point, realize when you have errored and make the corrections. The goal is a healthy, producing plant, not your feelings.

Might I suggest, if you are married and thinking about children and want to get a head start, plant a garden and pay attention to the lessons you learn. You may be saying, I don’t have time for that. You are about to learn lesson 1. 

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