Normally, I don’t go to the garden on Monday mornings, but this morning I knew I was supposed to go. When I arrived shortly after 8:00, the faithful crew–James, Sue, Jesus, and Irving–was gathered around a table in Manasseh. They had just finished reading their portion in the book of Nehemiah. We spent the next half hour enjoying quiet fellowship as the early morning breeze washed over us. There was such a strong presence of the Lord in the garden this morning that we all just basked in His presence and waited until we knew it was time to get to work! As we all set our hands to the plow, so to speak, a white van pulled up near the entrance to the tribe of Asher. A group of young people and their adult chaperones from Oklahoma City, on their way to youth camp in Columbus, Texas, stopped to visit the garden. A little while later, a couple from the Waco area arrived. They had driven all morning to deliver a gift of stained glass panels that will one day be used to create something beautiful for the garden or the prayer tower. Just before those visitors left, Chuck and his traveling troupe arrived to walk through the garden before heading out for Arkansas. I was glad that I came to the garden on a Monday morning.
Progress continues on the garden structures. Planting has slowed down to a crawl because of the heat, but I want you to see what is going on in the garden. Bless you!
Within a matter of weeks, we have moved from the mild temperatures of spring to triple-digit heat here in north Texas. Personally, the heat doesn’t bother me too much; I just don’t have the complexion for massive doses of sun even with multiple applications of sunscreen. The freckles of my southern California childhood have reappeared, and I have to force myself to go inside after eleven in the morning. And so, for now, I can work early or late in the garden, and leave the middle part of the day to those who can tolerate the sun!
This week, we have started several hardscape projects in the garden: two pillars in Issachar for a sundial and compass rose; two platforms in Issachar for the Torah tablets and an outdoor globe; the Star of David base for the outdoor Menorah between Dan and Manasseh; a stone gateway for the eastern exit from the garden into the field of the Gentiles, and a French drain in Judah to accommodate the run-off when it rains again. Once these features are completed, the gardeners can get to work preparing planting beds in the remaining tribes. Then we will be ready to plant in September.
Our focus right now is on the tribe of Issachar. Issachar, the “rawboned donkey” of Genesis 49:14, was known for his strength, power and independent nature. These characteristics are coupled with Issachar’s ability to bear a burden without stubbornly lying down, and to understand the times and seasons. Issachar is closely connected to the month of Iyyar, the second month. Iyyar is a month for revelation, understanding, healing, and second chances. I am eager to get started on Issachar since it is the tribe with which Chuck most identifies.
As soon as I publish this post, I will be finishing my work for the day and preparing to celebrate Shabbat. I hope you can do the same! In the meantime, enjoy the photos!
The Pentecost gathering at the new Global Spheres Center in Corinth was a wonderful time of revelation and fellowship. The highlight for us gardeners, of course, was the dedication on Friday of the Twelve Tribes of Israel Prayer Garden. What a joy it was to see such a lovely representation of the Body of Christ gathered on the garden pathways as we presented our offering to the Father. It was such a blessing to see so many visitors basking in the presence of God in every corner of the garden. Of course, there were times when folks were “baking” as well as basking, since the temperatures hovered in the nineties all weekend! Even so, there was always a breeze in the garden, and the oak trees provided welcome shade.
As the summer progresses, we will focus on planning and preparing the remaining sections of the garden, pulling weeds, and tending the health of the existing plantings. When September and cooler temperatures arrive, the planting will begin again. I will continue updating you with progress on the hardscape features being added, descriptions of the remaining tribes and their characteristics, and life in the garden. For now, I want to share the most recent pictures of the garden I have from my morning walk last Thursday.
Bless you all!