Sermon quotes on pruning
Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study.
Pruning is strategic. It is directional and forward-looking. It is intentional toward a vision, desires, and objectives that have been clearly defined and are measurable. If you have that, you know what a rose is, and pruning will help you get one of true beauty.
Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward
Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognize when something’s time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings.
The seed of God’s Word won’t grow to fruitfulness without pruning for rest, quiet, and calm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
As the gardener, by severe pruning, forces the sap of the tree into one or two vigorous limbs, so should you stop off your miscellaneous activity and concentrate your force on one or a few points.
The vinedresser is never nearer the branches then when he is pruning them.
It is no disparagement to the garden to say it will not fence and weed itself, nor prune its own fruit trees, nor roll and cut its own lawns…It will remain a garden only if someone does all these things to it…If you want to see the difference between [the garden’s] contribution and the gardener’s, put the commonest weed it grows side by side with his hoes rakes, shears, and a packet of weed killer; you have put beauty, energy, and fecundity beside dead, sterile things. Just so, our ‘decency and common sense’ show grey and deathlike beside the geniality of love.
The Four Loves
Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self—in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Grateful people learn to celebrate even amid life’s hard and harrowing memories because they know that pruning is no mere punishment, but preparation.”
Turn My Mourning into Dancing: Finding Hope in Hard Times
Circumstances which we have resented, situations which we have found desperately difficult, have all been the means in the hands of God of driving the nails into the self-life which so easily complains.