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Jocelyn and I have lived in our home for 30 years. Previous to us, the owners planted wild rose bushes in the backyard flowerbeds bordering the property. Typically, the rose bushes bloom, and drop their petals all within two weeks. Up until this summer I’ve been too busy or travelling to be around at the height of their beauty. This summer, COVID, injury and health problems have confined me to home, and our backyard. Serendipitously, I discovered the beauty eluding me for decades.

Backyard Appeal

Funny, we purchased our home because Jocelyn fell in love with the garden and the endless backyard. Up until this summer we have seldom taken time to enjoy them, instead labouring only to cut the grass, do battle with the weeds, and rake up copious amounts of leaves in autumn.

The picture of the rose blooms doesn’t do justice to their wild beauty. Adjacent to the north side of our home are peaonies, whose flowers are so large and heavy they are bent to the ground. There is a rhubarb patch with monster stalks that are nearing their best before date in pies or jams. The grass seems greener than it’s ever been.

What have you discovered in your “own backyard” this spring and summer?

Personnel in Your Own Backyard

While serving as lead pastor at North Pointe I was able to hire most of our staff from our own backyard.

Student interns were employed on staff after graduation and sometimes before their graduation.

Some interns who found employment outside of North Pointe, later returned to fill staff roles. Seldom did we look beyond the congregation to fill roles in administration, ministry, or maintenance.

Working as the Interim pastor at Bethel Church in Barrhead, we were able to bring together a volunteer staff of diamonds – women and men, from our own backyard, who were gifted for great leadership and results.

Have you “left home” searching for diamonds or gold when they were right in your own backyard all along?

Russell Conwell’s classic, “Acres of Diamonds” is a wonderful short story of finding what you’re searching for closer to home than you imagine possible.

APPLICATION: Please join the conversation by leaving a comment in the section at the end of this post. (Go all the way to bottom.) Thank you.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Bob Jones says:

    I hope you make this summer an adventure of discovery of things close to home that you may overlooked – relationships, resources, beauty, maybe even local businesses that you could support.

  • Julie MacKenzie says:

    Never before has my backyard been so important…my private oasis since this pandemic. I have always grown tomatoes (enough for myself) 4 regular sized plants & a pot of cherry tomatoes, my rhubarb, raspberries, Saskatoon berries (coming into it’s own after purchasing a bush from Hole’s Enjoy Centre only 2 years ago). There are lots of berries on the Saskatoon bush this year! So excited! Last year I picked off the berries & would eat them…not enough to make anything from them yet. So, this year might be the year I can make something?? Maybe a pie?? I’m hoping anyways. I think we have all been guilty of taking things for granted. This season has certainly taught us some valuable lessons. Health, Happiness, Love, Faith, Family…something we have to acknowledge every day of our lives…not to think of those things in times of crisis only. If God has taught me anything in this season of the pandemic…it is NOT to take things for granted. Take care ….may you both have speedy recoveries. Many blessings to you both! 😉 <3

  • Bob Jones says:

    Thank you Julie. I’m happy you are finding pleasure in your garden. Saskatoons sound wonderful. Here’s to pies!

  • Barb says:

    Enjoyed and appreciated your post, PB! I’m familiar with the story “Acres of Diamonds.” Over the years, Fred has used the illustration in his messages. We often have a gold mine (represented by many things) right in our own back yard. This pandemic lock down has certainly allowed lots of time to take a serious look!
    God bless you and Jocelyn. Continuing to pray for you.

  • Bob Jones says:

    I probably heard about the book from Fred sometime in Essex or Montreal. All the best to your recovery from your broken ankle. Take care.

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