Country, Church, Family and Forests

What does our country, our church and our family life have in common with a forest?

Bark beetle beginnings in a forest

Bark beetle beginnings in a forest

There has been a severe drought in California these last few years and the Northern California forests have been especially hard hit.  The lack of water has stressed our beautiful conifer trees causing them to become susceptible to a little creature call the bark beetle. Stressed trees equate to suitable host material for bark beetles and successful reproduction results in more beetles and higher levels of tree mortality.   Read More

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Grafted into the Family of God

Vineyard needing clean up for grafting

Spring is upon us!  The grey rain clouds have blown away and the flowers are blooming.  Everywhere I look I see the wonders of God’s creation in the varying shades of green and the lush growth.  This growth includes the budding of leaves in our vineyard… all the suckers… and weeds.  This year we have a daunting project before us.  The vineyards planted 6 and 10 years ago will be changed over.  The grapes that had been growing were not right for our “zone” and the resulting fruit was not tasty… and certainly did not produce good fruit for wine. (Or, anything else that matter).

We started with the older vineyard first.  The object was to graft buds into the camber of the trunk also called the “vine”.  The buds were to be cut out of tIMG_20160408_111802782he Zinfandel cuttings from our pruning kept dormant for just this time in the refrigerator.  However, no matter how hard Rick tried to cut through to the camber (the living part of the vine/trunk) it couldn’t be done.  Only the hardened woody part of the trunk could be accessed.  These vines were just too old, too hardened.  The only way to use the well-established root structure was to train up a new vine/trunk from the new growth growing from the base.  For these vines, it will be two years before grafting can be done… and another 2 years before the branch will yield a harvest.

bud successfully grafted

 

We moved on to the younger vines, testing camber access… Success!  These trunks were softer and the camber could be more easily accessed.  The buds could be easily grafted into these trunks. As I spent time in the vineyard with my husband over the last two weeks, God spoke to my heart using the vineyard as an example.  This vineyard did not produce good fruit so we had to make drastic changes.

God also does this when we chose to become Christians and follow in the steps of Jesus who gave His life for the forgiveness of our sins.  Just as we the vineyard keepers chose to keep the vines and graft in the new branches God chooses those pre-destined to enter into eternal life through grafting.   We are “grafted” into the family of God becoming one of God’s chosen people.  Ephesians 1:4-7

4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace…

We can now call Him Aba or Papa, Father.   This is what Jesus wants.  This is why He came to suffer and die so that ALL who would hear and freely chose could become a child of the living God.

Just as with our gnarly vineyard some folks grow a tough bark around the living soul.  This doesn’t have to come with age in years … older/tougher can be reflective of life experiences.  Hard life experiences can age/toughen an even young person and harden the “bark” around the camber of the living soul.

The alternative then is for God to grow a whole new trunk or vine, allowing a new tender vine to grow up from His roots in the soil of eternity.  Eventually, this new vine will become a full trunk and be ready to accept the grafting into the family of God. Oh, how good He is!   John 15:1-2

Jesus the True Vine
1I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.2“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.…

Where are you in this process? Are you the new branch that has been grafted into the family of God bearing good fruit?  Or, is your living soul buried deeply beneath hurts and bruises of life… all the cold winds, rain, hail with a thick protective bark producing the wrong fruit?  There is hope, God is here.. Look around He may be preparing you even now…  open your heart and be grafted into everlasting life through Christ and to produce abundant fruit in the family of God…  Christ’s Invitation

 

Where Feet May Fail

 

ocean_waves_207578It was early afternoon on a hot and sunny June day when my husband finally admitted that he was really sick. It was time to go to ER, he had difficulty in walking and breathing… Then realized he couldn’t walk or even get up out of the chair. This man who had been a runner… never sick, always strong even during some of the previous medical challenges… I was called out on the waters..  click here continue reading

My Son Cancer?

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Roll back the years to my son’s Jr. year in high school, football, weight training and a shoulder that just plain would work no more.  What was wrong?  The doctor’s x-rays showed an abnormal bone growth and in hushed tones he mentioned to me that we would need to schedule a full body MRI to be sure that this type of “abnormality” wouldn’t be found in any other bones.

The 45 minute ride home was very quiet as we were both absorbed in our own thoughts… Terror, rippled down my spine and through my bones as I visualized my only son … Bone cancer is what the doctor had so quietly mumbled, hoping that my son wouldn’t hear.  But he had heard and through the soft hum of tires on the freeway said, “Mom, I just hope that I don’t light up like a Christmas tree when they do that test next week.”  This was sure to be a long week end.  The Friday doctor’s visit was over, a long week end of wondering and concern lay on the horizon.  Monday we should expect a call to schedule an immediate MRI.  The doctor had been very clear that there should be no delay. To continue

Know- Love- Serve

God Wants ToTalkTo YouKnowing God, wow…now that’s kind of a scary (awesome scary) question. When we read about Him the “I AM” of the Bible, coming into His presence is an awesome thought and experience. If unworthy and unprepared – it could be awful! Just think… -God, the creator of the universe, the all-powerful, all knowing, awesome and just God.

(Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.) Incredible just to think that we could get to know Him!!! But, do we?  continue reading

Just Keep Walking!

Just Keep Walking!

keepwalking

 

When you feel you have no more strength … just keep walking.

When your body aches with pain… just keep walking.

When the climb before you appears just too steep… just keep walking.

When you don’t understand why… just keep walking.

When you feel numb… just keep walking.

When you can’t see a purpose… just keep walking.    (to continue…   Just Keep Walking!.)

A Matter of Trust

 

Yes, trust is the key and often so difficult to maintain. I’ve been there and experienced both faith, trust and disappointment in maintaining that positive attitude. The Lord constantly reminds us “Fear Not” … anyway, He constantly reminds me of this since it has to be the biggest obstacle in my faith based life. Even though I can go back through my journals and  actually SEE how He has always provided, always been faithful- financially, spiritually and in the answers to the prayers of my heart. Isaiah 41:10 just one of many reminders.

ThIsahah 41_10ank you for posting your sweet story. Keep enjoying His love, basking in it and enjoying your kids while they are still young and at home. Time seems to fly as they mature.