31 Days to Fruitful Living — Day 7

bug

Juicy, sweet fruit is yummy.  It’s attractive.  It’s desirable.  If you don’t protect your fruit from “undesirable elements,” soon pesky bugs will make their home in the branches of your tree — laying eggs and tunneling into your fruit.  The infestation will result in misshapen and damaged fruit.

As I pursue a fruitful life, I must exterminate pests who seek to worm their way in and destroy what God is cultivating in my life.  These tormentors may seem a harmless nuisance at first, but if I don’t separate myself from their influence, they will sap the sweetness right out ravage the harvest.

“If you grow a healthy tree,

you’ll pick healthy fruit.

If you grow a diseased tree,

you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit.

The fruit tells you about the tree.”

Matthew 12:33, MSG

Q4U:  How do you keep  healthy and protect your harvest from pesky thieves?

Come back tomorrow for Day 8 of “31 Days to Fruitful Living.” We will chat about how some trees will need extra support to keep growing.  I may have a black thumb, but I am determined to learn how to cultivate my spiritual life.
fruitful living big
Thanks for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

___

I am joining The Nester and like-minded sisters for this crazy challenge:

Nester button

Photo Credit

Good Service

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My man and I plopped down at a table in the crowded restaurant.  We were in a new town, and the menu was foreign to us — so many choices.  I was so thankful for our waitress.   She approached the table and introduced herself with a smile.  She was open, friendly, and knowledgeable.  She guided us to the right choices, and she remained close by throughout the meal — always available, always ready but not crowding us.  Before our dinner arrived, she blessed us with a free appetizer since we were “new folk.”  What a great night!  This girl performed her job well, and I still remember that evening — I long to go back.

As a Jesus Chick, I am called to be a servant, one who helps others and points them toward choosing Christ.  Am I being attentive, but not overbearing?  Do I share the truth with grace and clarity?  Are others attracted to my Savior because of the gifts of compassion that I freely share?  Will people develop a hunger for God through interacting with me as his representative?

I must confess that my “attract-ability quotient” as His ambassador could use some improvement.   I grow weary too easily when “pesky people don’t show an appetite for Him.  I claim that I want to be “fruitilicious,” yet I am reluctant to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty.

Good service requires self-sacrifice and commitment to the needs of others.  Will I stay the course and serve with a smile?  This prayer from Paul’s epistle to the church at Colosse has challenged my selfishness :

We pray that you’ll live well for the Master,

making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard.

As you learn more and more how God works,

you will learn how to do your work.

We pray that you’ll have the strength

to stick it out over the long haul

not the grim strength of gritting your teeth

but the glory-strength God gives.

It is strength that endures the unendurable

and spills over into joy,

thanking the Father who makes us strong enough

to take part in everything

bright and beautiful that He has for us” (1:10-12, MSG).

I meet “new folk” all the time who are confused by the many choices on the menu of life.   My job is to whet their appetite for the food the truly satisfies.  I must stop gritting my teeth in order for His joy to flow freely and spill over on to their plates.

Q4U:  How do you practice “good service?”  Any tips?

For 2013, my one-word focus is “Fruitilicious.”  Check out what that means here.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Playdates with God, Hear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday, and Soli Deo Gloria.

Photo Credit

Nobody’s Home

Sometimes God puts people and circumstances into my life to challenge me and push you me of my comfort zone.  He is knocking on the door.  Opening wide and saying yes to God means greater growth. On days like this, I wish I could hide under the covers though.  I know it’s going to be uncomfortable.  I hate uncomfortable.  Don’t you?

On Monday nights, I am part of a Sisterhood hosted by Jen.  Last week, Jen suggested that we vlog.  Seriously?  A video?  Not me.  No, sir.  No way.

But today, in my car at a red light on the way home from work, I had a God moment.  You know, those moments when God says, “Hey you, I have something to say.  Think about this.”  Yep. And, then, my Abba had a “p.s.” — psst…. you need to share it… on a video…. like the crazy girl told you to.

Really, God?  Are you serious?   Sigh.

Ok, here is the vlog.  I had to pull my husband out of the garage to film it on my iPhone before I lost my nerve.  You may notice his thumb passing through in the middle of your screen if you pay close attention (Sorry about that, we are amateurs at this vlogging business.)

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.

Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:10, NIV

Q4U:  Do you have pesky people in your life that are hard to love?  How do you answer the call to honor them? How do you “say yes to God”?

For 2013, my one-word focus is “Fruitilicious.”  Check 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 Proverbs 31 Ministries, Faith-Filled Friday, Playdates with God, Hear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday, and Soli Deo Gloria.

P31 OBS Blog Hop