Chasing Vines – – Book Review

I love it when a book relates to my personal life and circumstances. (Don’t we all?) I am a farm girl/gardener at heart. I know the taste of milk straight from the cow, cracklins fresh from the hot grease, tomatoes, and green beans hand-picked. Yet, grapes, the how and why of them, and their relationship to my Christian growth, is a new concept.

Using John 15:1-8 Chasing Vines covers our growth as branches of the One Vine. She covers such topics as, personal growth, abiding, bearing fruit, pruning, fertilizing, manure, and much more. In her matchless style, she brings these eight verses to life, giving insight into the growth process of the grape as it relates to our own lives as Christians.

Beth’s comment, “I’m pretty sure most people who serve an unseen God for enough years, trying their danged hardest to obey His inaudible directions and love His confounding people with their own contorted hearts, live a quarter-inch from sheer madness much of the time,” (pg. 56) resounded with me.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a celebrity preacher/teacher or sojourn with a small group of Believers, people are people.  They’re difficult, demanding, denying, disturbing, dusty, deliberate, defying…  I get it.

Throughout the book, the reader is made aware of the need to be a good fruit producer.  Ms. Moore contends it is not only possible but probable that the branches (believers and unbelievers, alike) can produce bitter and bad fruit.  Her solution: Galatians 5:22-23. If these 9 qualities are in any way being compromised it’s bad fruit.  If, on the other hand, they are supported, then the fruit is good.

Although I highly recommend this book, and since this is a review, I must say that I did find a bit of insensitivity to the elderly in her discussion of pruning.  From time to time I also found way more discussion of a concept than was necessary.  But as I said before, all in all, all of it, is worth it.

I want to leave you with these words, directly from Miss Beth, “If you’re in Christ, He is your true Vine, whether you realize it or not. But a whole new way of flourishing begins when you know it. When you count on it. When you live like it. When you let go of the vines you thought were giving you life.” (pg. 129)

Blessings to you and yours!




Have you ever given any thought to choosing a word you won’t be using as your Word for the Year?  That’s exactly what Holley Gerth addresses in her article, The Word I’m NOT Choosing This Year.  It’s certainly worth the read. Check it out!

As I thought about this concept it crossed my mind that 2016 was a very negative and insulting year. (I’m not just referring to the election.  That in itself was beyond anything I could have imagined.)  For me, there was little positive input and I endured insults that were both perceived and real.  So, with that thought in mind, the word I’m not choosing for the year is INSULT.  This picture sums it up:


I know that attacks and insults are to be expected as a follower of Jesus.  I get it!  But I have decided for this year that I will not allow another’s words or actions to cloud my view and dirty my mind.

Matthew 7:1 gives us the famous words, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” I like it better the way Peterson says it in The Message, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment.”

My prayer for the year is this:

Heavenly Father, Abba, hear my prayer for a clean heart and uncluttered mind.  Give me wisdom and courage to deal with those who would use their words against me.  Help me to know when and if I should respond.  Let my response never be unkind or unforgiving.  I want to show the Face of Jesus and the Mind of Christ to those around me.  Yes, even those who are insulting, mean or unkind.  Make it so in Jesus name.

God Is Who HE Says He Is!!!

thI read the article “Higgs-Boson Particle May Spell Doom” and wondered – really?  Is God so small that He can be a tiny speck created by a collision in the Large Hedron Collider?  Can the theories created by this possible discovery predict the end of the universe and time as we know it?

Let me tell you what I personally know about my God.  HE is not one tiny little particle.  HE is everywhere, in everything and every one, ALL the time.  He is the ONLY One who knows the time of the end and since He didn’t share it with Jesus (Matthew 24:36) I’m very sure it hasn’t been discovered in a mathematical theory based on a teeny-tiny speck that may or may not (1)

How about on a more personal level.  How do I know God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do?  I survived a dysfunctional childhood because I knew HE is always with me (Even though at that point I hadn’t publicly accepted Him as my personal savior.)  HE was carefully holding me when a tornado ripped our first home apart, turned it on it’s roof, and I was on the inside.  HE was watching and protecting me when a truck ran a stop sign going the full speed limit and T-boned my car, making it a total loss.  The three people on the inside were kept safe with just a few minor injuries.  At a hearing where my personal integrity was being questioned and my job at stake HE showed up, made His presence known with what felt like the slightest breath of fresh air, and all charges against me were dropped.  He was present during the 20 days I sat by my husband Ray and waited for him to wake from a coma.  It was only with His incredible downloadstrength that kept me from being a crazy, sobbing lump as those days went by.  Not only did Ray wake with all his mental facilities, He is a walking, talking Miracle.  I know He is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do because I’ve seen Him at work!

Worship Him in Song: How Great Is Our God (in several languages)

Heavenly Father, You Are the I Am!  You are Jehovah Jirah, my Provider.  You are the Is, the Was, and the Always Will Be.  You are my Rock, my Fortress, my Shepherd, my always present Help.  Ah, Lord, God, what a humbling honor it is to be called Your own.  I give You all my praise, my heart, my life, my all.  Amen and Amen!!

Reaching Out

What are we doing to bring the lost to Christ?  Who do we know that needs to know the love of Jesus?  Are we consistantly showing others that we are a child of the King?  Do our words and actions lift up and not put down those around us?

OK!  I’d like to say yes to all those questions, but then I’d have to ask for forgiveness for lying.  These kinds of questions are so convicting for me that I already feel the need to get on my knees.

Are we giving a cup of water (or food, or clothing, or help) when one who does not have it shows the need?  Or are we sending them away with a hug and the thought that we have problems and needs too.  They may not ask  but when we see the need we must act upon it.   We really do show our commitment to our LORD through our actions.  Can we even imagine the surge of New Believers if  our relationship with Jesus is evident in all our thoughts, words, and actions. 

Applying ourselves to a way of life  that shares our faith regularly with those around us is one way to reach the non-Believer.   Caring about others goes a long way toward saying and showing that we really are who God says we are.

There is an additional page on this blog called Lifestyle Evangelism where I’ll be placing suggestions for caring, sharing, and reaching out to everyone around us.  Even though we are commanded to reach and teach the lost we also need to show our support to other believers.  Take the time – TODAY!