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Spiritual Life: Connections with the Cross

April 5, 2023

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing" (I Thessalonians 5:11).

This summer, I will take my family to California, where we'll drive the coastal Highway 1 from San Francisco to Northern California. It's a road of many twists and turns and beautiful cliffside views of the Pacific Ocean. But the journey's highlight is the beautiful array of Redwoods that line the road on both sides. These majestic trees are the tallest living things on earth, reaching 350 feet high. One of the trees is so wide the highway runs through the base of it. Equally impressive, some of these trees date back nearly 3000 years. That's from the time of King David!

You would think trees that old and large would have a massive root system reaching down deep into the ground. After all, these trees are subject to huge Pacific storms with wind and rain lashing against them. But in fact, Redwoods have a very shallow but intertwining root system. Roots extend horizontally, interconnecting with other trees' roots until an unbreakable matrix is formed. That way, when the inevitable storms do come, the redwoods stand strong because they are connected to one another.

What a beautiful picture of God's creative providence! To survive and thrive, these redwoods must depend on one another. How true for all of us. Storms, challenges, troubles, and heartaches of all kinds will come our way. But as these mighty trees demonstrate, we are stronger when we stick together.

Earlier this week, I found myself singing the old classic Gaither song, "The Family of God":

I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God-

I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!

Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,

For I'm part of the family, the family of God.

I'm so thankful for our Christian heritage and "roots" at Pine Haven. We are connected to one another through many generations in Jesus Christ. I can sense that love and belonging as I visit with our residents, see our dedicated staff at work, and talk to people in our community about Pine Haven. Our relationship with the Lord makes all the difference, and He makes us family together!

"So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10)

God's blessings to you and your family,

Pastor Andrew Fortuine (920) 550-5252


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