Staying Attached to the Vine

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. John 15: 1-4

 picture of vine and grapes


I had dinner the other night with a group of women. The woman sitting next to me was a missionary. As we spoke I noticed how she made her decisions based the guidance she received from the Lord in prayer and in the Word. I thought that was great. And it touched my heart to see how the Lord has a special and unique relationship with each and every one of us.

He wants to guide and help us through our lives. Before the earth was formed He gave careful thought and planning to us and our lives. He knows the best plan for our lives.

How do we get to the point that we want the Lord to direct our lives and decisions? I think that the more we come to love Him, the more we trust Him with our lives. I could see how very much that Missionary loves the Lord and spends time in prayer. She is like someone who has moved closer to hear better. She is firmly attached to the vine and the very life of Jesus flows through her life.

She is attached to the vine.

Let’s do the same.

Jesus is Lord!


Be Patient with Me- I’m Being Pruned

picture of man pruning tree15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.


I was out looking at my rosebushes a few days ago and decided that they desperately needed some pruning.  Branches were going everywhere, flowerless branches stuck out among the bloomers. They were overgrown and the flowers were getting unimpressive. Air and light were having trouble getting to the inner parts of the plant.

So  I Googled “pruning rose bushes”. Apparently pruning is a delicate business. Fruitless branches are removed; blooming branches are cut back but not too far. You have to look and see just the right spot to make the cut- not too high and not too low. Branches growing across the bush in the wrong direction are removed too. At first the bush looks pretty bad. No blooms and it looks kind of scrawny. But later wonderful large roses will bloom in abundance.

We are like those rose bushes. We may have some fruitless activities in our lives, maybe some things going in the wrong direction. Maybe our growth has gotten stale and slow or out of control. We need a good pruning by the Word of God. 

Another thing I learned is that the pruner has the best interest of the plant at heart. Pruning is done lovingly to bless and help the plant. But maybe the plant sees it another way. Ouch!, branches are being removed. Maybe the plant liked that branch that was not productive. Maybe we like some things in our lives that do us no good.

Jesus prunes us with the word of God. Our job is to listen, heed and obey the word of the Lord. Sometimes it can feel a little uncomfortable, but hang in there. The Lord is doing this to make you even more fruitful.

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,” Galatians 5:21-23

Good pruning brings good fruit. Prune us,  Lord.

Jesus is Lord!


Meditating the Word

picture meditate 

My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips When I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches. For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice. Psalm 63:5-7

Our thoughts can lead us into action. Fearful thoughts, angry thoughts, worried thoughts. We can lay there in bed and think and think about slights, money, the kids, what we should have said to some one. The list goes on. But the Lord wants us to meditate on His word. Well, that’s great, but how do you meditate on the Word?

Simple. First we read our bible. When I read the word I like to picture what is going on. Sometimes I imagine myself there. I ask the Lord to reveal what I need to know from what I am reading. A great time to think about the Lord’s words is before we fall asleep. Even David did this. That also helps to disperse worrisome or angry thoughts

Our days can be so busy with family and work that it is hard to find the time to read and think about scripture. When we are under stress or in a trial it helps to find scriptures that address that situation. A concordance can be helpful to find those readings. Memorize them and say them to yourself when worries try to creep in. Think about them. As David meditated on the Lord he felt the Lord’s protection and he was able to rejoice.

We can do the same.

Jesus is Lord!



Doubled Minded

picture wave tossedIf any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of [a]the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord,[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides] -James 1:5-8 (NLT)

Honestly, I have a hard time every time I read the letter from James. It always seems to open up an area I need to grow in.

There was a lady at church who asked me to do something for her. In fact I was very happy to be able to do something for her. A few days later while I was working on the project another lady from church told me she had also been asked and she had already done it. I was dumbfounded. When I do something I give a hundred percent. You can count on me. Of course I stopped working on it and realized she had never trusted me to do the task. She was double minded.

We can be that way with the Lord. We can ask Him to do something and then look for another solution to the problem. Maybe He feels the same way I did. I felt frustrated and hurt. Notice that the double minded person does not get his prayers to the Lord answered. Serious words.

Picture that wave of the sea tossed back and forth by the heavy wind –  going nowhere.

I think that the Lord is capable of coming up with a better solution to our problems than any person. Let’s single-mindedly trust in Him to answer our prayers. He is a generous God.

Jesus is Lord!



Peace of Mind

picture peace of god

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 4-7


We live in a difficult age. We are constantly bombarded by the news on our iphones, ipads and tv – bad news usually. We hear about the economy, wars and talk of wars in various places. Newspapers are full of articles about accidents, injuries, crimes and more. These anxious making bits of information can shake us up and make us anxious. We know that that is not the Lord’s best for us.

 Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit gives us some practical ways of dealing with worries and stresses. First He tells us to rejoice. Be glad. We are heaven bound, all our sins have been washed away and we stand in a close and loving relationship with the Lord.

 He tells us to be considerate of others in our lives. Being kind and thoughtful to others is a peaceful thing to do.

 Paul tells us to tell the Lord what we need. Yes, He knows everything, but like a loving father likes it when his children trust him enough to ask for what they need. He likes us to tell Him what we need. No games. Just honest talk with Him.

  [Read more…]


Follow Him


picture jesus and cross

23 And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [[a]disown himself, [b]forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, [c]refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [[d]cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].Luke 9:23.


Once in a great while that Lord gives me a dream that is clearly from Him. One night as I slept I saw Jesus standing next to me. We were in what looked like a reception area with a counter that ran the length of the room on my left. Behind that counter I could see as we walked , Christians. One was watching television, one was reading a book, and I forget what the third one was doing.


 No one looked up to see that Jesus was walking by. At the end of the room the counter became an L shape. I went and stood at this counter and someone handed me a cross. I wasn’t too heavy for me to carry and I carried it easily. Jesus then led me to a elevator and we got in and went up in the elevator. Then I woke up.


As I thought about this dream later I understood that the people behind the counter were all me! But Jesus wanted me to follow Him and not be distracted by the many things I had let bog me down in my life.


He wanted me to pick up my cross and follow Him. Simple.


I began to streamline my life, getting rid of unnecessary activities. I’m following Jesus now with fewer distractions in my life. I pick up my cross daily to follow Him.


Jesus is Lord!






Camp Meeting!

picture crowdBut the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and He couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to Him. -Mark 1:45 (NLT


As I was at prayer one day and meditating on the word (thinking about it), I pictured in my mind what being outdoors on a hillside with thousands of people who had walked hours to see Jesus must have been like.

 Many had brought sick people with them. The power coming off Jesus was indescribable. When He laid hands on the sick they instantly recovered and were made whole! What joy and happiness filled them! The power and presence of God was with them! [Read more…]


Why is This Happening to Me?


blog picture joseph and brothersBut don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. -Genesis 45:5 (NLT)

I remember having a new job as a Director of Nursing of a Health Department. I  I had applied just to see if I could compete. I had never had a job as any type of supervisor. I was shocked when I got the job. Eighteen months later, my boss decided to give my job to a friend and I was out. I had never lost a job in my life!

A few weeks later I got a job as a Manager to a Health Care visitation service. Five months later I was fired! What? Why? I thought I had been doing a good job, but there I was out of a job again.

I was in shock. I had three children to support.

I went to the Lord in prayer. A month later I and my children were 1300 miles away in our new home. I had a better paying new job and a good future. Five years later I met my husband – a great and loving Christian man who is also a great dad to my children.

But what if I had not lost those jobs? I might still be up in New York and would never have met my wonderful husband. I am thankful that I lost those jobs!

Notice what Joseph says to his brothers. “It was God who sent me here to preserve your lives.” The Lord had a plan and a purpose. Even though Joseph went though difficult times the Lord got him through and blessed him.

I am so thankful that the Lord is in control and that I don’t have to worry when difficult times come. I just trust Him.

Jesus is Lord!


Weak and Strong

blog picture strong weak But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and [b]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may [c]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [[d]in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful [e]in divine strength).2 Corinthians12:9-10.


We are constantly bombarded with human messages on TV, music , movies etc. that we can fight our own fights and be strong in ourselves. But united to Christ we are told something altogether different.

In the reading above Paul discloses that he had been harassed by a “thorn in the flesh”.  I have had a rose thorn get stuck in my finger when picking roses and it can really hurt. I wanted that thing out of my finger! The Lord used that experience to teach Paul a critical lesson about our relationship with the Lord; “for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and [b]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.” [Read more…]


It’s a Matter of Give and Take

blog picture woman hurt feelings



13)Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13(NLT)


Offence: to cause (a person or group) to feel hurt, angry, or upset by something said or done.


I was thinking about “giving offence and taking offence” this last week. This is probably the easiest tool that Satan has for dividing the Body of Christ. It can effectively eliminate harmony and peace between people who have been told they must “Love one another” – if we let it.

We can all give offence. Let’s face it, an unguarded word or look can speak volumes to a sensitive person. Sometimes we can offend without even knowing we are doing it. Sometimes even a Christian can deliberately do or say something to hurt another Christian. Sadly, I have seen many “offended” people leave a church because their feelings were hurt by another Christian. We can more easily forgive a non-believer than a brother or sister in the Lord. [Read more…]