He Is The Vine

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

As I read this scripture, I think about how we are entering into planting season.  What little winter we had here in the part of Tennessee where I live is slowly fading into spring.  Soon the farmers will be planting their crops, as will my husband and I plant a small garden where we can eat fresh fruit and vegetables from our harvest.  We will pray over the soil to be blessed by the Lord, so that we can grow a bountiful crop.  Everything in our life needs to be blessed by the Lord, and if it isn’t, we need no part of it.  He is the vine.  He is the main source of our sustenance.  We are the branches, which are connected to the vine, THROUGH relationship.  If we are not connected to the vine, nothing in our lives will be blessed.  We will live in a state where we bare no fruit, good for nothing.

I want my life to be a reflection of that connection.

Lately I have been so dissatisfied with the world around me.  I find that most people are complacent, and as I grow more and more hungry for a fresh anointing and move of God, I desire to be around those who are hungry like I am.  Nothing is more discouraging than going out to eat with a friend while wanting a double cheeseburger, and watching them eat a small fry because they are not hungry.  I can’t help but laugh at this as I write, but it is true.  I know that I have friends who go to eat with me and feel discouraged when I order a salad.  I don’t do it because I’m not hungry, I usually order a salad because it’s on my safe list from my autoimmune disease.  I would love nothing more than a double cheeseburger.  *smile*

Oh there is a powerful message in this passage this morning.  The powerful connection of being a branch connected to the vine.  I want nothing more than to be connected to God, so that the mighty power of His spirit flows through me.  I believe in moving in the anointing of God, using the spiritual gifts He so graciously gives.  So my desire is to be connected to Him so that I can see God move mightily in my life, and the lives of those around me.

(c) Angie Counter 2017 *Beyond The Scars Ministries* All Rights Reserved

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Simplicity of Heart

When I was a little girl, I loved living on our farm.  I would follow my daddy around while he tended the animals, or planted the crops.  I loved being outside, and never minded getting my hands dirty.  I was about 6 years old when daddy decided to go north. He couldn’t make a living on the farm anymore, so he was going to the bigger city life so that he could better provide for our family.  I hated the city life.  I never fit in.  I thank the Lord I was surrounded by my southern family, but when around most city folk I just realized quickly that I was very different.  I missed the farm.  I missed the slower life, so when given the opportunity to move back home, we did.  I’ve never regretted moving back, and love the more simple life that I live.  I know what it’s like to live with lots of money, and I know what it’s like to have nothing.  I’ve learned so many precious lessons in living the simple life, but it’s the best way to live for me.

I know there are people chasing the American dream.  The bigger, and fancier house, the brand new car,  and a house that inside everything matches.  My mother chased that dream for a while, and she found it was empty.  While chasing that dream, you lose out on so much.  Your children grow up without a parent, because you have to work so many hours to keep up with the cost.  You wake up one morning and your children don’t have time for you anymore.  Why should they?  You never instilled the importance of family time in their lives.  Life passes by so quickly, and the most important part of life is our loved ones.  Spending valuable and precious time creating lifelong memories with our children, and grandchildren, so that when  we are gone, they are left with strong values, and beautiful memories.  This is what we should be busy building.  Life is to precious to waste it trying to keep up with the Jones’.

It seems as if it were yesterday when I followed my daddy around that farm, but it’s been almost 4o years ago.  The years are passing pretty quickly, and my heart is drawn more and more to the simple life.  Silver and gold pass away, but what we build toward our eternity will stand forever!

 

(c) Angie Counter *Beyond The Scars Ministries* 2017 All Rights Reserved

What Propels You?

This is the post excerpt.

 

Propel: 1. drive, push, or cause to move in a particular direction, typically forward. 2. spur or drive into a particular situation.

When I go walking I usually have a destination in mind.  I have a place that I am heading toward.  I know I have a drive to spend eternity in Heaven, but what propels me?  What is the driving force?  What pushes me forward?  A lot of people have a desire to make it to Heaven, but what propels them?  A lost loved one that has passed away?  The problem with just having a desire to make Heaven our eternal home, is that we lack the true powerful connection to the source that propels us to get there.  That begins with an old rugged cross, on a hillside called Mt. Calvary; where our Savior came as a spotless lamb as sacrifice for our sins.  When his blood was shed, we had the availability to tap into that powerful source.  When we allow His blood to flow through our changed heart,  it will therefore propel us into our eternal home with Him.

Now as I look deeper into the definition of the word propel, I hear the Lord asking, “WHAT propels you?”  As I said earlier, the loss of a loved one can propel someone to move forward, but what else can propel someone?  Maybe fear?  There are two types of reactions to fear, one being to stand unmovable, and the other the instant desire to run.  So sometimes being afraid of Hell will catapult us into moving forward toward making our life right with God.  What I find very powerful is that it all comes back to being washed clean by the blood of the lamb.  That is what propels us. There is no other way, there is nothing else with enough power to get us there.  The blood is the fuel behind our driving force.  Once we are filled with His precious, life cleansing blood, we therefore have a reason to move forward, and not only that our desires change.  We do long to see our loved ones that have gone on to be with Him, but by falling in love with Christ, this is just an added blessing.  Our true desire is to see His face.  To be in his presence eternally.  He is what we long for most.  He is our motivation.  As I go walking I have an action plan, not only do I have a destination in mind, but I have a reason behind it.  As I walk with the Lord, I also have a destination in mind, but there are reasons why I am walking.  Walking in the natural transforms us step by step.  We become healthier, and stronger, with each step taken.  Walking WITH the Lord, changes us in the spiritual, we become stronger with each step we take, He transforms us along the way.  We don’t instantly see these changes, but they are taking place.

If I were to start a 30 day walking plan, I wouldn’t instantly be able to walk five miles.  If I set this as my goal, and start out slowly, increasing my time each day, by the end of my 30 days I will be able to walk the whole five miles.  The same is true for when we start walking with the Lord, we don’t start out praying for long periods of time, or have a structured reading plan, but if we set this as our goal, we will soon be able to do this.  We have to decide what propels us, and allow it to move us forward.  There is no power in standing immovable, we have to move forward as we allow God to restructure not only ourselves, but our lives as well.

Paul said, “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it.  But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-15

I live my life with the passionate desire to allow the blood of Jesus to propel me.  I press onward toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling, through the blood of my risen savior.  That is what propels me.  I pray it propels you as well.

 

(c) Angie Counter **Beyond The Scars Ministries** 2017  All Rights Reserved.