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About Georgia 
Grapes with Leaf
Up Way Publications 37th Anniversary

The Bible Apostolic Logo features the golden sun rising from a deep blue morning sky. The Bible as  the one foundation upon which we build and are establishes is marked open by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Great Creator who so loved us  that He became flesh and dwelt among us, then bled and died to pay the debt for our sins. The golden sun arc doubles to represent the open tomb from  which He arose triumphant. The descending dove represents the coming of the Holy Spirit to us and the flame represents the fire and power of the Holy Spirit in the life of every true believer. When asked if we are Fundamentalist, we are more Fundamental than they. Are we Evangelistic? Very! Are we Baptist? We place a higher value on Biblical water baptism than the Baptists. Are we Pentecostal? We definitely believe in the entire of the Acts 2 experience including that the promise of 2:38 and 39 is to all that the Lord our God shall call. Are we Apostolic? Our desire and goal is to preach, teach and practice that exact same Gospel that Jesus Christ and His Original Apostles taught and would still be teaching if here in person, as we prayerfully try to be their faithful representatives. — Samuel M. Smith, Editor,
Presiding Elder


The CRUSHING of the Blossom
Crushing of the Blossom

In Hawaii, a traditional Aloha welcome custom is to string fresh flowers on a thread to form a long strand and then tying the ends together. We call this a flower lei (pronounced "lay"). When greeting someone as they first arrive, we place the lei around their neck and greet them with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. When we hug the newcomer, the flowers seem to smell sweeter. Some of the petals are crushed and may even break off and fall to the floor, but the sweet fragrance they held is now released to be enjoyed by all nearby.

Many people become angry and frustrated with God when they lose a loved one to death or through an unwanted divorce, or some other severe heartache or grief. Perhaps you  are asking, “Why has God put  me through this?"
While there are other reasons for trials and testings in our lives, we often go through the plucking from our cozy nest so we will be a greater blessing to other people.

We were quite content and happy on our stem. It was very comfortable there. We were enjoying the flow of the life juices of the plant into us and from us back into the plant. We wince and cry out  in anger or frustration when suddenly — seemingly without reason or warning — we find ourselves being cut or plucked from our nice cozy nests, the sepal of our loving parent plant, our mother or father, husband, wife or other loved one. The sweet communion with the plant that formed us is severed!

But the flower does not cry in anger and bitterness at the severing as many of us do. It hears the Voice, “Here is an especially pretty one. It will look wonderful on My bride’s lei!” as it feels itself being plucked or cut from the plant. It heard the compliment to its beauty, the loving way it is being taken to bring joy into the heart of the one who will receive it.

In our pain, we fail to hear the voice of a our loving God, forget that it was He who planted the plant on which we were formed in the first place for the very purpose of providing beautiful flowers for His leis. We forget the warm sunshine of His face, and the rains that brought refreshing from the heat of that same sun when the brightness and heat were beginning to wilt us. We forget that it was He who put the fertilizer and nutrients into the soil that gave our plant healthy growth and that has resulted in our own special beauty. We feel only the pain of the severing. We feel only our own loss of comfort.

As we lay fretting, feeling alone and forlorn even though we are being joined in the basket by other choice flowers, we cry out in prayer and realize that God really is good, that He really does love us, that maybe there was a purpose in our being plucked. No sooner have we reached that level of peace, than we find ourselves again picked out of our basket and feel His hand upon us and suddenly — ouch! We feel the prick of the needle ? the rasping of the thread through us as a bit of our juices are released onto and into the thread to blend with the juices of all the other flowers on the lei and make the sweet fragrance that will be so much enjoyed.  In our self-pity and pain, we cannot see the bigger picture, the beauty. God that needle hurts! Oh! The rasping of the thread is tearing me and it hurts! Oh, God why am I suffering so?

If we will pray until we see it through the mind of Christ, we can see ourselves as one of the many flowers on the lei and realize that this is all a part of His plan and purpose for us from the time He planted His garden! We may even see our future; being placed in a bag and carried to the airport or the ship dock. Perhaps in being put into the bag or laid on the seat or floor of the vehicle we are to ride in we may already begin to experience the crushing that is to be still more of our future. Maybe we can even see that, as a chosen bloom, we will be placed at the very front when we are draped around the neck of the honored guest and it is we who will receive the greatest crushing! From the prettiest flower on the plant to being crushed on someone’s breast!

Yes, there is pain! Of course there is! But we could not accomplish our purpose without it. Many flowers on our same plant were not chosen and remain on the plant, to wilt, die tonight and fall to the ground unnoticed, unremembered. But with our honor is the price of separation, pain and crushing.

In prayer, we must submit ourselves to His will and allow Him to tenderly show us the real purpose and joy of our being where we are. We do not say, “God, please just let me stay on the plant. Just leave me alone here to die at dusk, drop to the ground and be walked on, completely forgotten tomorrow.” No, we submit ourselves to His will and allow Him to use us in His welcoming lei, to become a part of a cherished memory, possibly even to be seen in the arrival picture of His guest forever after.

Jesus is the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley. He was crushed for us. He was and is our great example. Do we think we are any greater than He? “He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed,” (Isaiah 53:2-5).

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,  that ye should follow in His steps,” (1 Peter 2:21).

—  S. M. S.
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Up Way Publications 37th Anniversary
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