31 Days to Fruitful Living — Day 11

pollinated tree

At blossom time, a tree must be pollinated for the fruit to develop.  One way to ensure this is through “cross-pollination.”  Basically, your tree should not stand alone — it needs some “tree friends” close by.  The wind will help carry the pollen from one blossoming tree to another.  The end result is all the trees will produce stronger fruit.

In order to be “fruitilicious,”  I cannot isolate myself from others.  The Holy Spirit will pollinate the blossoms in each of our hearts, and the wind of the Spirit will spread the seed from one to another in our orchard of believers.  The end product will be greater fruitfulness for all.

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“Don’t be misled:

No one makes a fool of God.

What a person plants,

he will harvest.

The person who plants selfishness,

ignoring the needs of others—

ignoring God!—

harvests a crop of weeds.

All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds!

But the one who plants in response to God,

letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him,

harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”

Galatians 6:7-8, MSG

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Q4U:  Has God used another believer to come along side  you and strengthen your fruitfulness?  I would love to hear your story.

Come back tomorrow for Day 12 of “31 Days to Fruitful Living.” We will chat about how fruit takes a significant about of time to develop.   I may have a black thumb, but I am determined to learn how to cultivate my spiritual life.
fruitful living big
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I am joining The Nester and like-minded sisters for this crazy challenge:

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Photo Credit:  Martín Alvarez

Wonder Woman

As a child, I lived a very sheltered life.   I sat at home closeted in my bedroom on most Saturdays.  What did I do while my parents held me captive, you ask?  Well, I watched cartoons, of course.  My absolute favorite for several years had to be Super Friends.   I so desperately wanted to be a member of the Justice League of America.  I mean, who doesn’t want to possess super power?

If I had to pick a super hero to emulate, it would definitely be Wonder Woman.   First of all, she had the ability to make others tell the truth with that cool lasso.  That would come in mighty handy.  Plus, she looked amazing in a bathing suit.

This Easter weekend, I was reminded about my foolish childhood Super Hero fantasies after we got home from the Easter service.  I had a resurrection revelation of sorts, and I wanted to share it with you through this VLOG.

 “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead

is living in you,

He who raised Christ from the dead

will also give life to your mortal bodies

because of His Spirit who lives in you.”

Romans 8:11, NIV

Q4U:  How do you tap into your super power, Wonder Woman?

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that means here.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Faith-Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Tell His Story, Playdates with God, Hear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday, and Soli Deo Gloria.
 

A Lion Uncaged — “Into the Word” Week 6

  As a kid, my parents and I ventured to a zoo where lions roamed freely.   My dad forked out an outrageous amount of cash, and then slowly inched our car through the safari-style exhibit.  A rule breaker by natural design, my dad ignored the signs that clearly stated the car windows should remain up in order to protect your precious family.  My mom was not amused by his rebellion.  A shrill scream pierced the air.  That was our first and last visit to the park as a family — a very memorable childhood experience.

About a year ago, my husband decided that I should revisit the lions.  We drove to the same park I had screamed through as a youngster, but this time the experience paled in comparison:  no crazy dad hanging out the window with a camera, no mom sounding off  like a fire siren, and sadly, no animals roaming freely.   Fences now surrounded the lions — separating them and caging them in.  My heart hurt to see the noble ruler of the jungle trapped and robbed of its freedom.

Scripture challenges us that “the righteous are as bold as a lion” (Prov. 28:1, NIV).  But as believers, I think we often let this world cage us in and sedate us.  This week as I was digging Into the Word,” I saw this lion spirit in the early church leaders:

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31).

  What does it mean to be bold for the kingdom today?   Does my life display the power of the Holy Spirit?  What is caging me in and rendering me ineffective?  God didn’t want me to forget about those caged lions, so this weekend, he put me in a stadium with lions for God at the One Conference.  Listen to how a lion speaks:

  • Francis Chan began by reading Romans 8:11:  “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.”  He challenged us to “fight to live Biblically when everyone else is telling you to live comfortably.”
  • Christine Caine challenged that we should be fools for Christ as “Christ came to make us free, not to make us safe.”
  • The legendary Franklin Graham shared the Truth of the Gospel with unapologetic passion.
  • James MacDonald provided perspective with the theme:  “We are ordinary, but our God is extraordinary.
  • Miles McPherson told us to love and “be a broken record — I gotta obey God.”  Jesus didn’t stay in the synagogue; He was out on the streets.
  • Carl Lentz, Jr. explained that we must be willing to do the “unspectacular”–“We need a love so deep that it pushes past our discomfort.” 
  • Ed Young asked us “Who are you reaching?” and admonished that the church is a rescue society, not a yacht club.
  • Britt Merrick described how a “heart at rest” is attractive to the world and admonished that we should “discover what the Redeemer is doing and get caught up in it.”    Christ put Himself in need to open up the opportunity to minister to the woman at the well.
  • Rich Wilkerson, Jr. illustrated that the recipe for revival is prayer and work.
  • Brian Houston shared that we should have a “glorious obsession” for God because “nothing of eternal value has ever been built out a spirit of obligation.”
  • Bob Coy, my beloved pastor, encouraged us to celebrate the Son by lovingly “calling out” those brothers who need correction — using the Word to build up the body.  He challenged us to feed our spirit with a healthy diet of Scripture. 
  • Greg Laurie asked us to examine if we are getting up in the morning because of an alarm clock or as a result of a calling.   He explained that the first century Christians didn’t “out argue” the lost, they “out lived” them.
  • Pedro Garcia opened and closed the conference by evoking Christ’s prayer for the church in John  17:21: “That all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”

May I live an uncaged life — bold for Jesus.  Do you know any lions?  How do you flesh this out in your life?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

For those of you who are just stopping by today for the first time, check out this post to enter a Giveaway of 2 great books: Stumbling Into Grace by Lisa Harper and The Circlemaker by Mark Batterson.

Every Monday we will be working our way through Anne Graham Lotz’s 52-week study “Into the Word.”    Hop on over to the 3dLessons4Life Blog Facebook Page to join us as we dig into God’s Word together.

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