Pine Cones

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Our place has many of this kind of pine tree. It is covered with cones in the fall of the year. During wind storms these fall to the ground. The sharp symmetrical sections on thee cones have interesting patterns. Tucked away inside each section is a seed capable of growing another 50-60 foot tall tree. It is an amazing miracle when you think of it. We have thousands of tiny seedling trees everywhere. These cones do a good job of starting up new trees. Let's figure out some of their secrets.
There is a great abundance of these cones. I wish we could sell them and raise funds for our children's TV studio. We gather these cones to help start fires in the winter. They are so pretty. As I set the prettiest on a silver platter in the middle of the table, I think of God's love of beauty. He created this method of making new trees and could have just made an ugly thing to drop to the ground and make a new tree. Yet He created a masterpiece of art in it's design.
This closed cone keeps the new seeds safe from being eaten by insects and dry from the rain. All is shut tight and no seeds can come out.

What makes the pine cone open and give out its seeds? It is not always open. There has to be just the right things happen or it stays shut.

Many use this method to determine if a cone is ready to open to get the seeds out. It is a better method than trying to decide based on the color of the cone or shape. If it floats, it is ready to open.

The seeds have to be ready. If they have not grown big enough and are not completely formed, they will not make good trees. The seeds might not ever germinate and grow new trees. They are given the float test to make sure they are ready.

In the same way, Jesus makes sure we are ready for a trial when He sees our seeds are ready. During the trial, the heat is on and it causes us to open up and let out seeds. These seeds are a symbol of sharing our Christian experience. As we lean on Jesus during trials, we gather up promises and comfort that God has given to us. Then we share our story with others. As we share new trees are planted. The Bible talks about Christians as trees of the Lord planted by the waters that never wilt or die because our roots are in Jesus the Living Water.

My dear sister sent this large cone from her place in California. It was so exciting to our children for see how much bigger it is than our pine cones. 
Colter Pine cones gradually open over time with seeds dropping. Where there are many fires, it opens up right after a fire. Colter Pines are in California. It has the biggest cone in North America

Cones must be opened carefully. There are many different cones. Some take hotter temperatures than others to open. Some need fire, and others just need warm weather. It is the same with people, some take different trials to open up their hearts for sharing better.

In order to keep the seeds fresh, one must make sure the cone opens and lets the seeds out gently. If the temperature is too hot, the seeds may be cooked. If it is too cold, they won't open. God knows the right temperature needed. He says also that our trials will not be more than we can bear.
Just like the pine cone, I went through trial which brought seeds out of me because I trusted in Jesus for help. I could have become bitter but Jesus was with me through it all. When I finished training as a physician I began practice in Portland, Oregon. The retired man I purchased from, had a doctor partner who was elderly and soon to quit practice. He said he was going to work a couple more months. He became very angry at me and grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me violently. He glared at me. I asked what I had done wrong. He said I had not charged enough for my service. I did not understand why that should make him so angry at me.

He was angry every day. One day it was because the lady patients wanted to have a lady doctor. They stopped going to him and wanted me to see them.

Every day his anger was so unpleasant. I was afraid he might harm me again. One day he came into my office, shut the door and promised to smash my nose in. He hated God. On my desk was a Bible and it made him angry to see it. I was puzzled everyday and asked God to teach me how to be the nicest, sweetest person in the world so he could never think of anything to be angry about.

You know what?  I saved every promise Jesus gave me through this terrible trial. They are typed and kept in the back of my Bible. I use those promises to help others. I love Psalms 76:10. It says even the wrath of men will praise God. So I had to believe that somehow God would be honored by how I acted when treated mean. The rest of the verse says that if there is anger left over that does not bring any glory or honor or praise to God, then God would restrain it. God could use this fire to bring out the seeds and more Christians could be planted.
They discovered poor Dr. Kai had a brain tumor. I prayed for him. After his 9 hour long surgery, he came to work the next week. He said he was so much better. Yet his treatment of me was worse than ever. Finally one day he was in so much of a rage, he promised to shoot me with his gun. He wanted me to pay twice for rent of his building that month just because his taxes were due. He kept the check book and did not allow me to have any funds for the work I did seeing patients. His rage was way out of control.

 It was time to move out even though I would loose money. I had to pay a lawyer 10,000 for all the work, and had to keep paying on the 50,000 dollar practice I had bought. A few of the patients would come with me but many I had never met yet. They believed what they were told by Dr. Kai and his office girls. I lost money terribly. The accountant said because of all this we would never recover financially no matter how hard we worked. We wanted to prove him wrong.


I had my little baby Kyle at the office with me. I nursed him in between patients. My mom was caring for my other two little boys. I was living out of suitcases and waiting to clear at the bank for our home we were wanting to buy. My lawyer said it was very dangerous and he advised me hurry and to go start practicing somewhere else. I had to borrow from another hospital and get my own office building.
My dear brother and another person helped remodel a little building where I began practice after a week of shut down of business.

It was really difficult starting over. However, it was so nice and peaceful. I loved the flowers there. It was like medicine to my wounded heart. I had sweet soft music playing. I put up pictures of Jesus in the office and Bible verses on the walls. It was really nice to have freedom from the anger every day. 

After several months, poor Dr. Kai was working on his farm with his tractor. It turned upside down on him and ended his life. I was so sad to hear the news. I prayed and told God that I hoped He had given Dr. Kai a chance to say he was sorry before he died. I would like to have this poor angry man to experience the joy and peace of heaven. I will never know till heaven. We do know that the poor criminal on the cross beside Jesus asked for Jesus to save him when he was dying. Jesus wants our hearts when we are young but He is so merciful that He will answer the cry for help even at the end of a life of cruelty.
I learned valuable lessons about forgiveness and love to those who are difficult to work with. Because of this I had seeds to share with others on how to forgive.
Just when things seemed to be picking up in my new business, disaster struck again. I lost my 4th son. He died before he was born. The grief was terrible. I had a special room all fixed up for my precious boy. I missed him. This tragedy had made me determine on his birth death day every year I want to reach out to help other children. In this way I am comforted.


Again just like a pine cone in the fire,  my grief made me open to share seeds  with others whose children die. I learned how to comfort others with the comfort Jesus gave to me. In the back of my Bible is a nice typed up list of promises that I have shared with others when their children died. I also put these up on my web site under "grief recovery". So you see, the trial turned into a blessing.
What makes good seeds come out of me instead of bitterness? Trust in Divine power. I have to just trust that God was in control. Nothing happens to me that does not pass through His hand first. He will not let anything happen that is too difficult to bear without His help.

We can rejoice that Jesus never left us to handle the problem alone.


Maybe you have had someone pick on you and bully you around. Maybe you have been through a terrible accident. The fire of trial can make seeds to share or you can become bitter and nasty to others. It is your choice how you respond. If you choose to have Jesus help you be like Him in trials, you will have Bible promises like seeds to share with others how you were helped.
There will be many more trials at the end of the world. There will be a time when people can not buy or sell unless they obey demands for keeping Sunday as the day of worship. Habakkuk saw that time in visions from heaven. He wrote this Bible verse: "
Habakkuk 3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls: 
3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 
3:19 The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. 
We lost our home during bankruptcy and had to live in tents. The bankruptcy did not resolve the problems and we struggle on. All this was brought on by the way Dr. Kai treated me. 
This trial brought us sadness but we can find things to thank God for too. God heard me pray more. I learned to thank God for what I do have and to improvise for what I was missing. I love to decorate but now I have nothing to decorate. That leaves more time open for writing stories and Bible lessons for the web site. Though the tents we lived in dripped rain and ruined many things, I realized that material things were only temporary anyway. We are destined for heaven anyway. There Jesus will make sure we are more than comfortable.

We are content to share all the seeds we can and draw others to love Jesus too.

Habakkuk lived in a time when people had their things taken and their homes destroyed. Many just did not want to live anymore.
What would you do?
I learned to pray more during such times. I hope you will do the same.