Bearing More Fruit

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit,” John 15:1-2 (NASB)

The owner of the vineyard tells me she removes the branches that are dead. That she added a new branch (root) which is already entwined with the older vine.

 Jesus continues, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

When growing grapes, the entire plant is considered the grape vine. It is this portion from which all other branches, leaves, and fruit, must grow.  Rosalie went on to explain for the fruit to reach its maximum potential, it must receive plenty of sunlight. This means that even some of the beautiful leaves and young shoots must be pruned away. This makes room for the sun to shine through. She said she didn’t like to do that part but, if she didn’t, then there wouldn’t be tasty grapes to eat.

Jesus used the examples of vines, branches, and fruit to help us see ─ our lives are a lot like a grapevine. The dead wood (sin) must be removed and destroyed. Unnecessary parts of our busy days need to be carefully pruned to allow the Light of the Son to shine through. When Jesus, the Son, shines in our lives then fruit will grow.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)

 

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Aroma of Christ

We should all desire to be “the pleasing aroma of Christ”

Tablet of your Heart

On walks or bike rides, I take many pictures of trees, bushes and flowers. It never ceases to amaze me how a grand transition takes place every spring from the gray and brown, to tinges of green, and finally into the array of color we experience in late April.

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One especially beautiful flowering tree, is the pear tree. Its white explosions are bursting forth all over town. When walking downtown one day I was struck by the way the white buds shone against the sky and buildings. The blossoms seemed to inhale sunlight, exhaling in white as bright as glistening angel wings.

Then I walked under a few of them and I got a whiff of air that turned my stomach. I thought, there must be a nearby restaurant throwing out rotten food or something? When I walked back through that spot, I went up very close and took a…

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God Is Calling, Are You Listening?

This morning, during a time of quiet reflection, I desired to empty my busy mind of thoughts and troubles. Just to free head space so I could hear God. There are many Bible verses, and times of despair, that tell us to call out to God.

But truly, He’s the One doing the calling. He calls us to draw close to Him in our times of trouble. He calls us to seek Him in our times of decisions. He calls us to share the gospel. He calls us, like Peter, to feed “His sheep.” He calls us to salvation. Continue reading

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Putting the Basket in the Water: Trusting God in the Next Phase of Your Child’s Life

Source: Putting the Basket in the Water: Trusting God in the Next Phase of Your Child’s Life

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Passion is a driving force

Passion is a driving force

What does searching for a lost horse and stopping a quarrel between 12 year old girls have in common?

 

For background information –

The other day, 12 year old girls got into a spat at a softball game. Pulled hair, pushing at each other, and name calling resulted. One mother stepped in to defend her daughter, leaving the other mother standing speechless.

A horse that I’ve taken care of over many years was sold to a new owner. The young lady who previously owned this horse is trying to locate the new owner. She wants to ensure the horse is happy and well cared for. Through social media, the search for this horse (Chloe) has expanded to several states and hundreds of people.

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I put lots of time in sharing the photos and posts of the horse on Facebook. Made flyers to post in feed stores and at horse events. Spent brain power on “who to tag next”, “where else can we put flyers”, etc. I feel passionate about this horse and the search to find out if she’s safe.

In Luke, Chapter 15 Jesus tells parables of a “lost sheep”, a “lost coin”, and “the prodigal son”. Each of these stories reflect a passion to find that which is lost. The father of the prodigal son even comes to the son’s defense in the face of his envious brother. 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+15&version=NASB

A mother (or father) evokes passion in the defense of their child. God is passionate in our defense too.

A searcher harnesses his (or her) passion in the quest to locate the lost. God is the Searcher who is pursuing the lost. His passion is all-consuming and He will not cease to search and find those who are His.

I’m grateful that we have a God who is more passionate than a defending parent, more passionate than a shepherd looking for a sheep, more passionate than those who spend hours hunting for that last coin.

His passion is everlasting and is a Driving Force. He asks us to share in this passion by telling others of Him. Of Jesus. Of His love. Let’s keep looking for the lost.

 

 

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Hidden by the light

My eyes turned toward the stars shining above me. I live out in the country. Dark is darker and stars are brighter in the country. City lights illuminate the darkest night and hide most of the stars.

As I pondered the beauty of the sky and the multitude of the stars I thought – There are just as many stars in the sky above the city. But we can’t see them because of the clutter of city lights.

This prompted my next thought – What kind of clutter obscures our vision of God? Too much to do? Too much stuff? Too many hobbies, jobs, worries?

Spend some time today with God, uncluttered by the cares of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How We Live Now Matters

During an early morning thunderstorm, I sat quietly at my desk reading my Bible. Waiting for the storm to pass before heading off to work. Pondering the convenience of a flexible schedule that allowed me to make these choices.

The passage for today in 1 John is captioned “The Promise is Eternal Life”. Many people may ask, “Who wants to live forever anyway?” Yes, I’ve heard these words spoken before. The answer is — those who rejoice in living in the Presence of God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Our eternal life doesn’t begin in heaven, it doesn’t begin when we die. It’s here, and now. When we believe.

Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming,” 1 John 2:28 (NASB).

Our eternal life is NOW. How we live NOW matters.

#howwelivenowmatters  #Christianliving #eternallife #God’spromises

 

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Life is Like a Rollercoaster

Life is Like a Rollercoaster

Or is it?

Last year I posted “Resistant to Change”. I’m repeating it here to help illustrate how Life is NOT Like a Rollercoaster. I’ll explain after I set this scene:

When my routine is upset, I get thrown off track and forget stuff. When I’ve become comfortable in a place, but then that place changes, I get frustrated, discouraged, even depressed.

I work at two horse farms. Both of them are for sale by their owners. This is a pending change that often makes me feel a sense of worry, and doom. One of the farms is the home for my horses. They are happy there. I was happy there, before things started to change. I try to continue to be happy there even though the owner is changing fencing configurations. There are fences that no longer have a gate. Gates now block what used to be open access. Small changes but still I find it dismaying.

Pondering these changes and feeling that somehow my response to them was not ‘right’, I get hit upside the head (figuratively) by God. Change does not happen without the hand of God. He controls all changes and the results. If I am resistant to change, then I am also resisting God. I am setting myself in His place as the one who should control.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.   And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).

Wow, does that make me feel better about what is going on regarding the sale of these two farms. I keep telling myself that God is going to use this to bring people into my life that will enrich me in some way. I pray that I will, in turn, be used to enrich theirs.

That post was from August 2016. Here it is the beginning of March 2017. Both horse farms changed owners last fall. Because of financial arrangements, I moved my horses to a new place before the buyer took possession of that farm.content-with-food

 

I continued to work at the other farm, under new ownership. It has been a delightful arrangement. But, then comes the downside. The new owner has planned to do major renovations and upgrades. The barn will be closed during this period. For me that means, no horses, no job.

Now for the upside. I’ve received job offers to consider, there are non-horse establishments in my area that are hiring, and I will have more time to write.

So how does this all relate to rollercoasters. Think about it. When riding a rollercoaster, it’s the thrill of the “downside” we anticipate after the delay of the climb upward. With life, we don’t anticipate the downsides, we dread them. It’s the uphill that we see as the positive.

https://pixabay.com/en/roller-coaster-ride-amusement-fun-1886693/

But, neither life, nor rollercoasters are productive when at a standstill.

How’s your life today? Are you looking at the “ups” and the “downs” from the right perspective?

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Jesus Saved Me, 3 of 3

There is joy in the Light. I can feel it in Julie’s story.

Julie Dibble

mebillygraham

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.
John 1:4, NLT Study Bible 2008

 
As you know, I just had a birthday. A short seven years ago, if Jesus’ name left my lips, it was profanity. “Jesus Christ” was an exclamation I often heard growing up, when something didn’t go right.

 
No wonder I shunned his then meaningless name.

 
How powerful Satan must have felt! My blasphemous words were music to his evil ears.

 
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
John 1:5, NLT Study Bible 2008

 
Today, I stand on the victorious cornerstone of Jesus Christ, My Savior and Lord.

 
With my words, I show Him honor and love.

 
With my story, may He have all the glory.

 
What I can tell you is that Our merciful…

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In Season and Out of Season

Is winter in season or out of season? It’s February. I go outside and don’t need a coat, or hat, or mittens. Where is the cold weather that I associate with February?

Now, I’m not complaining. No, not one bit. I’m enjoying this weather. I even spent a few minutes riding my horse this morning. But, it makes me wonder. What has happened with February? January was warm too. So was most of December.

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with [a]great patience and instruction.” 2 Timothy 4: 1-2 (NASB).

Whether it’s 76 degrees in February or snowing in July, God’s word remains the same. It’s our responsibility as followers of Jesus to speak His word, to share the Good News.

Even if we don’t need a coat in February.

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