Weekly bulletin article by Mike Johnson

I remember well the afternoon that I spent in a greenhouse. It was by the order of my dad. His education, both at home and at college, was agriculturally based. My entire home life was deeply connected to those same roots. He so badly wanted me and my brothers to have the experiences he had growing up that he tried to duplicate, in miniature, a farm on our lowly 5 acres located in a town neighborhood! I have many stories that I will not tell here.

I am not sure where the greenhouse was located all these many years later, but I think it was a part of his landscaping teaching job. He put me in there and told me I could not leave until I had memorized the names of all the plants.

Fortunately, I can memorize things pretty well and rather quickly. In just a couple of hours, I had them all memorized and could identify any one of them just by looking at the leaves. I remember only a few of them to this day. Ironically, there have been many times that I have wished I had continued with that initiation so that I would know them today.

I really enjoyed the environment of the greenhouse. As anyone who knows me can attest (just ask Brian as we share a heating system for our offices), I enjoy heat. I enjoy the feel of a hot seat in a car that has been closed up tightly in the middle of the summer! That greenhouse environment including the heavy concentration of moisture is perfect for plants to thrive!

The spiritual environment of the Church is just as necessary for individual Christians to thrive. “…with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3) This is the spiritual environment that will produce the healthiest, deep-rooted Christians. This should be the greenhouse of the local church.