The Aspens

By Florida Senator John Grant, Retired

Week Forty-Three, 2019


But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand (Isaiah 64:8).

Fishlake National Forest sweeps across 107 acres of Utah. It is one of the world’s largest organisms, a forest of some 47,000 genetically identical quaking aspen trees, which all stem from a single root system that unites the forest. It is the biggest aspen “clone” ever identified; the single most massive living organism known on Earth. What appears to be a massive grove of thousands of individual trees is in fact one single tree, each genetically the same, sharing a single root system.

Compare that genetic sameness with God’s creation of people. We are all different. God created us all with unique features, personalities, and traits. We are not clones. We are all created unique and special. God is the potter and we are the clay. He made us all perfect having our own uniqueness, but different from anyone ever created. Some people have blue eyes, brown eyes, some people can do this, some people can do that, some people are right handed, some people are left handed. We were all made for a purpose.

God has a plan for everyone, and we are all an individual member of the body of Christ, but distinctively different from everyone else. You are a masterpiece. As you grow more and more as a Christian you will truly see how special and unique God created you. Wouldn’t an orchestra be boring if everyone played first violin?

Just as every snowflake is unique, every person is unique because God created him or her in his image—a simple reminder of God’s love for His creation. Millions of snowflakes fall every year around the world, and yet no two snowflakes are alike! Every single snowflake is completely unique.

Equally astounding is the variety of human beings who have lived, now live, and will ever live on the planet Earth. God has created each one of us as a unique creation. No one else is just like you. Your physical appearance, your voice and personality traits—your habits, intelligence, personal tastes—all these make you one of a kind. Even your fingerprints distinguish you from every other human being—past, present, or future. You are not the product of some cosmic assembly line; you are unique…. uniquely created by God, and He has a purpose for your like.

But the most important fact of your identity is that God created you in His own image (Genesis 1:27). He made you so you could share in His creation, could love and laugh and know Him person to person. You are special indeed.

What has God uniquely created you to do?



Lincoln’s Warning

Long before serving as America’s president, Abraham Lincoln delivered one of his earliest known speeches in 1838, at the age of 28. Known as Lincoln’s “Lyceum Address,” he warned that America faced a great danger. Here’s what he said:

“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? … Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined … with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? … If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

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Look at our culture and field of opportunity. Hillsborough and three other Florida counties have a majority non-white population. What is your ministry?

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Often we have a consumeristic secular culture that focuses on what we want more than what others need. For followers of Jesus, however, manifesting his heart for the hurting is central to our faith and witness. Jim Denison

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Oswald Chambers: “Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Biblical idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.” When we pray for suffering people, the Spirit joins our heart to the grieving heart of God and we weep as He weeps (John 11:35) “Prayer changes me and I change things.”



Goodness without courage is useless.

Feed the white dog in your life and starve the black one. —Jim Huhta

Don’t get puffed up over success and don’t get destroyed by failure. —Cary Gaylord

Often, we have a consumeristic secular culture that focuses on what we want more than what others need. For followers of Jesus, however, manifesting his heart for the hurting is central to our faith and witness. —Jim Denison

Money is like a fire. If you use it wisely, it will keep you warm. But if you use it poorly it will burn your house down. —Brig Sorber