What Draws Us Away from the Vine

Positionally, we abide in Christ through salvation, and those who remain on the vine are those who remain steadfast in their faith. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. - 1 John 4:13-16 The abiding we've been talking about has been the … [Read more...]

Dare I Ask?

Dare I ask when I am in need? Dare I admit that I have need? That I cannot handle life on my own? That sorrow, frustration, anger, impatience, guilt. They wash over me endlessly. I cannot cope. But dare I confess it? To admit that every moment is beyond my ability to even live, for my very breath itself is a gift and not of myself? Dare I ask of God to wake me, sustain me, fill me for today? To not allow me to float adrift in a wild world and in my own wild sin? How silly to ask these questions. Of course, I dare ask. I must ask! Yet every day that I wake and begin my day … [Read more...]

How to Magnify God

I never expected this to become a series, these thoughts on remaining on the vine. Committing to a series makes me restless with nervousness, given the sporadic nature of my writing. And why would I want to write on a topic already being shared by Kristi, who is more capable than I? But the words of scripture would not let me be. They remained ever-present in my mind and beckoned me to look further. When I received a comment asking for more, I was drawn to dig a little deeper. Perhaps it is just for me. God knows I've needed this. It has been far too long since I have really dug into the … [Read more...]

You. are. a. branch.

If you've seen the movie Toy Story, you probably remember the scene in which Woody and Buzz Lightyear tumble out of Andy's car at the Dinoco gas station. Buzz believes he is a space ranger on a secret mission to defeat the evil Emperor Zurg. Woody, on the other, is desperate to get back to his owner, Andy. As Buzz is trying to reach star command, Woody can only stare in jaw-dropping disbelief. In utter exasperation, he finally yells, "You. are. a. Toooyyyy!", arms flailing behind him. My thoughts keep coming back to John 15:5, and when I read the words, "You are the branches", I hear … [Read more...]

How to Remain on the Vine

One of the highlights of my week is our Wednesday night adult study. Not only is there is rich discussion each time we come together, but it doesn't hurt that I get to watch my husband teach. We are studying Radical, by David Platt and this past week we were in chapter three, in which Platt exhorts readers not to fall into the trap of self-reliance, which he warns is the fatal goal of the American Dream. He states: As long as we achieve our desires by our own power, we will always attribute it to our own glory....While the goal of the American Dream is to make much of us, the goal of the … [Read more...]