The Miracle of the Soil and the Seed
By Sue Rogers, Lincoln Christian University

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[September 20, 2014]  LINCOLN - “He that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.” – Anne Bronte (1820-1840, England)

Did we mention roses? One gardener in particular, Mike Drake, Lincoln Christian University’s landscaping genius, will affirm that growing a display of roses . . . and many other floral miracles for that matter, is not a “tip-toe through the tulips.”

Yet, the campus of Lincoln Christian University provides just that . . . an incredible display of floral masterpieces that beckons to the horticulturalist and the amateur alike. The talents of Mike Drake and his team of student workers make for a worthwhile trip to campus and a walk about her estate to take in spectacular roses, flowering trees and bushes, and a huge variety of other flowers brought to life and placed in creatively designed gardens. LCU’s catalogue of trees includes 18 different species, with several varieties within the species, and 16 species of bushes. One half of the tree and bush species are flowering, making for a very beautiful campus landscape.

One campus site that this prejudiced writer would say holds the “bragging rights” of possibly the finest display of beauty expressed through flowers and design in this area would be the campus Prayer Garden, located just west of the Earl C Hargrove Chapel. This site was taken to a new level of display because of a dream of former head groundskeeper, Steve Barmes who was employed by LCU from 2000 until his untimely death in 2004. While his dream was partially fulfilled, there was much yet to accomplish; and Mike Drake, who followed Steve as Head Groundskeeper, dared “to grasp the thorns” as he carried out and expanded Steve’s dream in the Prayer Garden, as well as orchestrating a remarkable display of trees and bushes, flowering and non-flowering annuals, and perennials throughout the entire campus.

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Thousands of hours are invested annually in making LCU’s campus a showcase of beauty. Plants and trees are carefully selected to appropriately meet the needs of each center of interest. Grooming is continual. Weekly fertilization and watering during the growing season makes for an explosion of growth and color.

Even the seasons do their part, all a testimony to God’s amazing miracle of new birth, of living out life, and of death as the seeds fall to the ground to be hidden under the winter snow, only to surface again to re-live the cycle and to declare even more boldly the miracle of the soil and the seed.

“He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11, ff.


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