“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”(John 15:2, NIV)
Do you ever wonder why people, places and things seem to always be moving and changing in your life and others? Could this be part of the cutting off and pruning John is speaking of?
“Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths.” (Psalm 25:4, NKJV)
Do you ever feel like a tumbleweed and wondering where is the landing?
For days I have been pondering this line of thinking. I’ve seen people being in places that was never even thought possible. Some people going places that was not even on their bucket list. Things that held the imagination captive for over 50 years that dissolved like an ice cube when life happened in unexpected ways.
As I write I want to sing my way through scriptures that connect to the two scriptures mentioned here and many that connect to the stories myself and others share. The active words from God that are recorded in scripture dance in my head like raindrops on a tin roof. “Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…,” says Isaiah. Now, we are waiting for the Lord but, John, the revelator says of Jesus; “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20) As we move through our days with a song, dance, clap, shout, weep, stomp, joy and wait for the knock let us pause and enjoy the meal.
Acts 17:28 “For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring.”
“Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered.” (Psalm 105:5, ESV)
Photo by Chris Mar, Albermarle Sound, Pea Ridge, NC
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
If a branch is not attached to the vine, it withers and dies. I don’t think on this visual much in the cold winters of Northern Virginia. Mainly, because trees and vines lay bare. And, often snow capped. Therefore, my thoughts go more to, “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 ESV)
Great thought! Maybe greatest of all thoughts! Yet, as Spring peeks just outside my windows my thoughts begin to pause and wonder, did that tree or vine make it through the freeze? Did the elements from the cold bruise, damage or clearly break the branches that 👀 so sad and barren among the greens, pinks, yellows and purples? I stare and wonder is it possible for the branch that looks so out of place barely hanging on going to make it? I rush to snap a tiny portion to see if maybe I will see life inside the dead brown look?
As warm days pass and I see a vine full of blossoms and fruit with a barren brown dead branch tucked in among the beauty and edible fruit I must say it takes no thought to say, cut it out. “If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned.…” (John 15:6)
As I thoughtfully write today, Easter Monday, I think how children from all walks of life will gather at The White House to search for colored eggs and maybe shake hands with The POTUS and First Lady. Maybe we as Christians should be as diligent and joyful to be invited into The House, The Temple of the Living God, and search for edible colorful 🍉 🍐🍋🍍🥝🥝🍇🍇! How many did you find? Did you win a trophy or other award?
Lets make our thoughts thoughtful?
Makes me pause, think and face truths as I will hear the words, “repent and believe in the gospel”
So often I have had opportunity to evaluate myself. Have you? Seemly, all to often I am reading about or having this conversation with others. What is the difference between ‘privilege and entitlement’? I love the way Brené Brown, acclaimed author and life coach explains the difference; “The difference between privilege and entitlement is gratitude.” Then Todd Brown responds; “Whenever someone does something nice for you, your response should always be appreciation. Go the extra mile to show that you are grateful and honored by what others do for you.” Todd also calls to my attention these words:
“Look at your interactions with your coworkers, leaders, and even your friends. Do you sometimes feel as though you are not getting what is owed to you? Analyze the situation. Is this a result of an unhealthy relationship, where you’re not being seen or appreciated, or is it because of prideful expectation?”
The Apostle Paul writes; “You will shine among [a warped and crooked generation] like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”- Philippians 2:15-16 (NIV)
Join me as we approach ASH Wednesday, March 1, 2017 and see just how bright we are shining to give light to the world. If need be take joy and; “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” Much ❤️
Lets light up the SKY! 🌕🌚🌔🌗🌘🌕🌏🌛💫⭐️🌟✨
The psalmist wrote, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.” – Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
Is The Lord your strength? 💪🏋🏾♀️ Shield?
Does your 💟 trust him?
Does the Lord help you? 🤺🥊
I heard about a ‘deer sports hunter’ that served jail time for taking his sport fight in the wrong direction. The story goes that this man was deer hunting and running his dogs and they spotted a perfect deer. Another hunter was hanging from a limb of a tree and decided to take the deer that was not his according to ‘deer hunter rules.’
The spot on hunter didn’t like this ‘tree hanger’ killing his deer so he turned and shot the limb holding the man. Can you imagine the ego of the man that took a Humpty Dumpty fall in front of all his hunting buddies?
The writer of our scripture, shepherd boy, king of Israel, father, grandfather, a beloved man of God, and people. Our deer hunter, beloved of God, wife, children and grandchildren. For his grandchildren would deny that such an honorable man that walks in great wisdom would have done such a thing. Others, like Mr. Trump, thought so dishonorable by many with his lifestyle and foul mouth. Yet, a president and beloved by his children and grandchildren.
Yet, David, The psalmist wrote, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.” – Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
To one of our favorite couples! Chris and Tammy Holton! Pictured here with their sons, Nic and Nat! Looking good!
WE Do! Thanks Rena for the selfie. As we pause and think on our year 2016 and our outreach to many our new sweatshirts from Customink has given us a Hoo🦉 to help us celebrate with many others in 2017.
John 13:34-35 (NIV) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35) By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Yes, it’s that time on our calendars to give ourselves a 👏🏻! Let’s join in the bond of ❤️ in old and new ways so we can continue to CARE and hopefully be JOY bearers in 2017! Be peacemaker and hope givers.
Hoo Cares? We Do!
She approached one on our team. She spoke no English and had what seemed an advanced case of Parkinson’s to our team member. She was accompanied by a small English speaking girl that introduced herself as, granddaughter, saying, her grandmother has Parkinson’s and the only comfort she had was walking. She had no place really to walk.
They noticed an ‘Oasis of Beauty ‘in the midst of what seemed like a lock-in with a curvy country road and not much of a yard and surely very little beauty there.
The inquiry from the little caring girl was, “would you allow my grandmother to walk on your long smooth driveway as she has no place to walk?” They didn’t know that team work had been going on for years to make beautiful gardens and paths to lead walkers to see and read tokens of God’s truth to be imparted to those that just happened to pass that way.
Permission was given with loving instructions to walk with care and enjoy their time on this holy path. Flowers are blooming, trees producing, chairs cleaned and padded for a moment of rest. Scripture messages painted on signs among other magical nature delights like birds singing and squirrels gathering and frogs just a croaking from a darling glistening pond.
The vision was given and building we did. I have often heard, “if you build it they will come.”
“Jesus often whispers for us to come and sit at his feet. When we take time to disconnect from our flurry of daily activities, we can hear God’s voice much more clearly.” From Upper Room Daily Devotionals…I hope to make this my daily retreat in 2016! I send warm thoughts and prayers to each of you as you reach out to goal spiritually in the New Year! 💞2⃣0⃣1⃣6⃣ 🎼
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Psalm 148:1, NRSV….Praise🎧
Have you ever sat quietly in front of a fireplace, a candle or open fire roasting marshmallows while contemplating; Psalm 104:4b “He makes His ministers flames of fire .” (Also, see Hebrews 1:7)
That is God’s open fire potential opinion of us! Are we a steady burning Blue Flame? A fire with Rose glow? A Flying Spark as I am now seeing in my burning fireplace? It only takes a love spark to get a fire going!
I, now, have battery operated candles even flickering ones sitting all around. They are pretty, give nice contained light and safer but it’s NOT a burning flame. As, I pause to gaze upon both, a fake candle sitting nicely on my mantle above a hot burning fireplace, this early Sunday Morn, one reminds me of being lukewarm in fervor to Christ. While the other reminds me of being burning hot flames with sparks for Christ. An Angel warned us in Revelation 3:15-16, not to be lukewarm!