A Lesson Learned

A curling tendril
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The following was shared by a subscriber to the daily email devotional.

Daily Devotions: A Lesson in Vines.
Today’s devotion isn’t really a devotional that I received from an email.  It is more like an observation and a lesson learned from nature.
When we first moved into our house at the end of December, I noticed a spiked leafy plant with tall stalks that stood dormant beside the backdoor.  I just could not wait until spring to see what flowers (if any) would bloom from this plant.  At the beginning of June, the wait was over.  I saw the flowers that this plant yielded.  It had a light orange to yellow lily type shape.  It was a very pretty flower.  I am not a flower person, so I can not tell you what kind of flowering plant this was.
A couple of weeks ago, I was clearing some weeds from around the house.  There was a vine of some sort that was starting to wind and loop itself around the fence close to the back door.  I had pulled the vine and cleared the fence.  Inspecting my work, I notice a small vine growing around the plant with the pretty yellow flowers.  I said to myself, “I’ll get it the next time.
Today, I was walking around the backyard.  I looked toward the pretty flowers.  They were all gone.  The little vine that was left unattended had grown and overpowered the flowering plant.  The vine had twisted itself around the tall stem choking the life out of the flowers and then the plant itself.  The flowers were only a wilted mass of their once vibrant splendor.  I could still see the buds of a future flower still on the stalk.  But I knew that I had to act to preserve the flowers.
I carefully untwisted the vine from the stalk.  I tenderly unwound the choking intruder from the thinner stem that held the future flower buds.  I noticed that the vine had wound itself so tightly around the stem that it weakened the stem.  The stem only broke off in my hands.
Then I thought about how this could easily be an example of how our lives could be.  Is there a sin or transgression that has not been attended to?  At first, it may appear to be a small sprout of a vine just starting to poke its way through the soil.  We can say to ourselves, “I’ll tend to that later”.  But as time goes on, that vine grows along with us.  We start to yield the fruits of the Spirit.  We start to display the flowers of HIS vibrant glory.  Then the intruding vine will entangle itself around us and try to choke us spiritually.
But, what if we allow Christ to be the vine?  In John 15:5, Christ states that HE is the vine and we are the branches.  After seeing how this vine had overpowered the flowering plant, I wonder how different our lives could be if we truly allow HIM to entangle HIMSELF in our lives.  What if we allowed Christ to be the center of our lives and that HIS attributes choke out the impurities in our lives?

Oh, to be completely and totally wrapped up in Jesus.

John 15:1-9 (KJV)

1) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2) Every bran ch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9) As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

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Have You Eaten Yet?

[Display of home-canned food] (LOC)
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This is an article I wrote, originally, back in December.  It was, I believe, the very first email devotional that I send out when I began this work.  I hope that you get something from it, for it’s one of those things to ‘ponder’ on.

Have You Eaten Yet?

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The Value of Time

Four Seasons - Longbridge Road
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To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn’t have one.
To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.
To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.
To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.
To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby…..
To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.
Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when

You can share it with someone special.
To realize the value of a friend or family member:

The origin of this letter is unknown.

Ecc 3:1-8  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  (2)  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  (3)  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  (4)  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  (5)  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  (6)  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  (7)  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  (8)  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

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Ponder on This

The Descent of the Holy Spirit in a 15th centu...
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I had often heard different folks speak about meditating on Scripture.  Of course, being just a country boy, thinking of meditating brought images of cross legged, chanting, and incense-burning ‘mystic’ types to my mind.  I know, that sounds silly even to me now.  But at one point that really is exactly what I thought of. 

One day I finally thought that there had to be something to this meditating that was not like the notion that I had of it.  Looking it up in the dictionary had, for what ever reason, never occurred to me before, but it finally did on this particular day.  Mr. Webster defines meditate as:

1. To dwell on any thing in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind; appropriately but not exclusively used of pious contemplation, or a consideration of the great truths of religion.

His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:2.

2. To intend; to have in contemplation.

I meditate to pass the remainder of life in a state of undisturbed repose.

What a wonderful tool the dictionary is, when you use it!  Finally, I understood the whole concept of Biblical meditation.  And better yet, I was already doing it; I just didn’t know that I had been.  Why, you ask, didn’t I know I’d been doing it?  Well, I thought I was just pondering on God’s Word, not meditating.  I did (and do) know that what ever you call it, meditating, contemplating, or pondering, it was a very profitable and enjoyable thing.  And I highly recommend taking time out of your busy schedule to ponder on a point (or two) that the Holy Spirit directs you toward each and every day.  I think you’ll agree that it is not only profitable but enjoyable, too.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. (Psalm 1:2; 77:12)

Lord God,

I thank You for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I read, study and think on Your Word.  I praise You for giving me any insight and understanding of Scripture that You see fit to give me.

Greg Wolford


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I know you are familiar with the old saying ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ The principle behind it is pretty sound really: make the best of what you have.  But have you ever made real, homemade lemonade?  Now, I don’t mean Country Time; the saying is ‘lemons’ not ‘packaged mix’.  It’s not what you’d call a quick and easy, no-muss, no-fuss project.  There’s a good amount of preparation that goes into it, you might end up cutting yourself when you slice the lemons up, there’s the labor squeezing out the juice, the clean up of the squeezing out of the juice and then the inevitable sugar-spills and the sticky ramifications from that to deal with.  And we’ve not even gotten to getting the mix of ingredients right so it actually tastes like lemonade or the many other things that can (and usually do) go wrong!

Now, if we had one of those big, nice lemon-squeezing, drink making/mixing machines, well, the process would be a lot different.  You just take the lemons you’ve gotten and put them through the squeeze-mix-a-maker and in no time you’ve got perfect lemonade without any hassle.  I don’t know about you, but that squeeze-mix-a-maker sounds awfully good to me, especially compared to the first scenario.

Folks, we do get lemons in this life; we call them trials, troubles, afflictions, etc.  And when we try to those lemons into lemonade, take care if the situations, ourselves we get that big old mess.  But praise God we do have a squeeze-mix-a-maker names Jesus.  All we need to do is bring Him those lemons, turn them over completely in faith to Him and let Him make the lemonade.  I know that plan is so much better, with so much better results than any thing I could make, well, I can’t even express it in words the difference.

Mat 11:28-30

(28)  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

(29)  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

(30)  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Most Righteous God,

I am so thankful that I know You are with me at all times and that Your Hoy Spirit will guide me through all of the storms I will face in this life.

Greg Wolford


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Light of Peace
Image by Loci Lenar via Flickr

Though we endure trials and tribulations on this earth, it is such a joy and deep comfort to know there is a reason behind it all. No, we’ll not understand them all, maybe not until we are at the Master’s feet and able to hear it from His sweet and holy lips. But someday we will know. In the meantime I take comfort in verses like Rom. 8:28. And when the times come that it seems there’s not much to help me here to get through I take so much comfort in being able to call out to God, any time, any place and know He is listening and cares. Knowing that He is pained at my troubles is also a comfort, for I am made to believe that when one of His children suffers He feels their pain, too.

But more than all these things, I can take comfort and know that some day after while, I’ll be with Him. In that wonderful place there’ll be no more need for prayer, nor for faith, nor room for hurt of any kind. All things will be new again, as they were meant to be: perfect. And we’ll see, talk to and actually be in His physical presence. Oh, what pure joy and comfort that knowledge brings to me, no matter what storms I may be facing.

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Have You Come to “When” Yet?

Cover of "My Utmost for His Highest (Delu...
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After a long, but completely enjoyable, weekend of ‘Pawpaw-ing”, which ended near midnight last night, I have to apologize for the lateness of this emailing.  I am sharing a selection today from the classic writings of Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest.

Have You Come to “When” Yet?

The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends —Job 42:1

A pitiful, sickly, and self-centered kind of prayer and a determined effort and selfish desire to be right with God are never found in the New Testament. The fact that I am trying to be right with God is actually a sign that I am rebelling against the atonement by the Cross of Christ. I pray, “Lord, I will purify my heart if You will answer my prayer— I will walk rightly before You if You will help me.” But I cannot make myself right with God; I cannot make my life perfect. I can only be right with God if I accept the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as an absolute gift. Am I humble enough to accept it? I have to surrender all my rights and demands, and cease from every self-effort. I must leave myself completely alone in His hands, and then I can begin to pour my life out in the priestly work of intercession. There is a great deal of prayer that comes from actual disbelief in the atonement. Jesus is not just beginning to save us— He has already saved us completely. It is an accomplished fact, and it is an insult to Him for us to ask Him to do what He has already done.

If you are not now receiving the “hundredfold” which Jesus promised (see Matthew 19:29 ), and not getting insight into God’s Word, then start praying for your friends— enter into the ministry of the inner life. “The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.” As a saved soul, the real business of your life is intercessory prayer. Whatever circumstances God may place you in, always pray immediately that His atonement may be recognized and as fully understood in the lives of others as it has been in yours. Pray for your friends now, and pray for those with whom you come in contact now. –Oswald Chambers

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