Diggin' In: This bible is the answer for spiritual gardeners

December , 2014

Youíre making your gift list and checking it twice ó and you discover thereís a gardener Santa needs to remember.

Stress not. Gardeners are by far the easiest people to please because there are so many gifts that appeal to their love for all things natural and nice.

Thereís one universal, fits-everyone gardener gift that can be found at local garden and wildlife centers or from landscape designers: a gift certificate that enables them to pick out something theyíve always wanted.

For any spiritual gardener in your life, thereís the 2014-published "NIV Godís Word for Gardeners Bible" by Shelley Cramm.

While the novice gardener was in her backyard, coaxing her herb plants to grow, she noticed the connection between growing plants and growing in faith, according to a news release. She wondered if anyone had ever written a devotional Bible for gardeners.

Much to her surprise, no such book existed. Cramm had never written a book, but she felt inspired to write a devotional Bible for gardeners.

"Bible passages are filled with references to plants and cultivating practices, and people in Biblical times would have easily understood plant-care metaphors because they lived an agrarian lifestyle," says the housewife, mother of five and prayer leader from Irving, Tex.

"The Bible is also rich with gardening insight and the culture of specific plants. Gardening is used often as a metaphor to illustrate the deeper meaning of a story or lesson."

As examples, Cramm cites the Parable of the Weeds found in the book of Matthew, which gives practical advice about when to remove weeds amid sprouting seedlings. The book of Leviticus gives guidance on planting and establishing an orchard, and the book of Job states that marsh-loving plants such as reeds and papyrus will not survive without sufficient water.

"Today, the stories about farming and growing plants ó and the advice sprinkled among references to weather, plants and nature ó can encourage us to directly experience the excitement of growing our own food and to appreciate the beauty of plants in our own backyards," said Cramm.

In Newport News, Va., professional flower farmer Lisa Mason Ziegler likes Crammís insightful devotions because they offer the healing and hope that Godís word holds for all.

"For the seasoned gardener and believer ó your heart will swell with joy as it is revealed and affirmed that we are built for this pastime we love because He loved it first," says Zielger of The Gardenerís Workshop,

"Perhaps for the beginning gardener or new believer their eyes will be opened that organic gardening isnít a new idea at all ó but is in fact the way He made the world to work.

"Practicing His ways will lead to an abundant and successful garden and life. The connections Shelley brings to light with the plants and landscapes from the bible offers gardening tips and practices that will make us better gardeners. I can see this book leading to gardening-based Bible study groups popping up like weeds."

Pat Stone, editor of GreenPrints magazine at , feels much the same way.

"The book truly grounds the Bible in the landscape," she says.

"It is the perfect gift for a gardener of the Christian faith, because it offers the best intersection Iíve ever seen of gardening and Christianity."

4 more gifts for gardeners

Fresh flower fever. A nine-hole Mason jar lid is made especially to hold flowers in place. The three-inch, aged galvanized finished lid fits pints and quart jars. $6.50 each, jar not included. or 1-888-977-7159.

Handy dandy knife. The Big Grip Knife is ideal for many garden tasks, from digging to opening bags. The large handle with a soft-molded grip provides control and comfort, and the sharpened blade with serrated edge makes carving into hard ground easy. $8.99 at , and also True Value hardware stores, as well as Target and Amazon.

Living art. Topiaries created with moss and succulents are living art for yard and home. From a life-size bullfrog to a full-size giraffe, as well as show dogs, Gardens by Teresa in Yorktown, Va., can create it. Online gardening shop features domed terrariums, $19.99 minus plants to $32.99 with succulents, as well as Romeo and Juliet planters, $58.99 each. Custom topiary orders accepted, $47 and up at or 757-532-0080.

Birdie treats. Fill a basket with a trio of special blends that include sunflower meats, peanuts, safflower and pecans or sunflower meats infused with fiery hot habanero chilies to keep the squirrels away. $12.99-$17.99 per 5-pound bags of Coleís Wild Bird seeds. Coleís seeds are sold nationwide; find a retailer at .



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