Are You Missing Something by A. Abraham
A Healing Testimony by H. Armstrong
A New Morning a poem by J. Kirkpatrick
Welcome to the first issue of the "Fruitful Vine"
The "Fruitful Vine" is written especially for the ladies in the Body of Christ. Our desire is to publish vital words from you to the body. We would count it an honour and a blessing to include your experiences, words of encouragement, and poems of uplift to the other ladies in the body of Christ.
We are to be the "Fruitful Vine" by the sides of our house. Picture, if you will, the fruit-laden lattice surrounding your home. As the fruit-bearers, we have a great responsibility to become the protection around our husbands, our children, and our homes.
The lattice is a place where beautiful, flowering vines can climb to their perfection. As the beautiful vines, we need to weave love and harmony into a strong, durable, protective covering totally surrounding all, safely inside.
We must, however, be on guard, because the lattice design can also become a chain-link fence. Fences can be good or bad. This can either work as a strength to bounce off those things that would attempt to break through and cause damage; or, it may also become a web to trap those inside. As wives, mothers, and grandmothers, we must guard against building impenetrable walls around our loved ones.
We must remain an open-weaved lattice able to support the beautiful fruit, yet porous enough to allow the fresh air of the holy Spirit, the sun of righteousness, and the cooling rain and water of God's Word to enter in.
We are here to bring forth beautiful fruits unto the Lord. If the Lord has given you added insight in this area, please write to us, so that we may share what the Lord has given to you with the other ladies. Our desire is for this newsletter to become a productive "Fruit-bearer", well-laden with many precious fruits from all of you.
ARE YOU MISSING SOMETHING?
When I was a young mother with my first child, I had a lot of things to overcome: my selfness, lack of parental knowledge and many idols. I also learned about spiritual battles, had to overcome soap operas and TV completely.
I use to spend a lot of sleepless nights and was always tired. Then I became determined that if the LORD woke me up he wanted to speak to me or for me to seek him. There is nothing like a home, rocking chair and small child, and the stillness of the night or morning hours. God seems so near in the stillness. Nothing is pressing nor important at those hours, but waiting and listening to him. It is a beautiful time to sing softly and meditate about what you are singing.
Those times where precious, I still believe though whether you are young or old when the LORD awakens you it is TIME to listen for His STILL SMALL VOICE. It is so clear at that time. Yes your flesh is stubborn and hard to deal with. But if your attitude is the LORD is calling me it will help you. It is something like the phone ringing during the day. But the LORD calls at night softly.
Anyway, it seems when a mother has young children it is a time for her to depend upon and draw near to the LORD because young babies can't tell you what hurts or what their need is.(this is like Pastors for their flocks) God is wanting to speak to and train us young mothers in many things: diets, love, care and order of our individual homes. WE only seem to learn by doing things the wrong way sometimes, but it is for good. His mercy is great to us in these times and through every trying experience we are drawn back to him. As our children get older and they do more and more things on their own or for themselves, sometimes we parents lay back and let them go. We need to be seeking God for the way they are to go in.
It was such a shock to me to have someone totally dependant on me continually for years after I had served self for so long. ( learned to be close because I had to be)
But as the children grew and needed me less in the physical things I think I began to think of the LORD in the same way. I didn't need him 5 times a half hour, anymore, it seemed to get less and less every day that I had to come because of need. (it was a habit he was trying to train in me hoping there would be a desire on my own established to want to come to him) I was really wrong though, I needed him more than ever.
I wanted more, but I wasn't sure of what it was or how to get it. I knew it had to do with God.
Well I had a little more time to work for the LORD and I became excited about it, I began doing things as my husband said I could. This made me feel useful or needed. As I began to accept more and more responsibility I rejoiced because the talents that I could no longer use in the world he now could use for HIS glory. And I still rejoice.
But, I want to tell you I still have days when I realize "Something is Missing" It is a close, intimate, loving relationship with my Heavenly Father. I need him more now than I ever did when my children were little. Drawing near to him is so important, but it is so easily laid aside when I think I need to be busy or feel that I am. When the LORD sends warning signals - like everything going wrong I begin to see my reason for distress and my ever increasing need for him.
I need him to open my eyes and heart to my brothers and sisters needs - not my own. I need him to guide me and give me direction in my walk and especially my thoughts. I need him to pull back the reigns on my tongue that it does NO violence. I need that rock to stand on in my times of trial and strong tower to run to when the enemy approaches. I need this strength because this flesh has none. I need his discernment in every area and decision There is to make. I need to have a repentant heart continually that loves and fears my God with my whole being. I need his praises to ring in my ears and minister to my heart truth.
I need to know There is NONE besides him, believing, trusting, and following him through all he puts before me - it is the only way. (all this only comes by KNOWING HIM and Seeking His face all the day long)
I want to grow up like my children are - it is beautiful, a privilege to behold! After they learn to do things on their own, it goes so so quickly. It is like us after we learn to be obedient and trust him we can go on much quicker in and to him.
I am finding again my need for him - it is nothing of the physical needs like I came to him with when my children were babies, but it is in my heart and mind. A dealing with the inner man, learning to be and do the things that is a good example to my growing children.
I see them struggling as I do not understanding, but determined to trust him and endure whatever he has put before us. I have begun to see the peaceable fruit of righteousness found in Hebrews l2:ll. Sometimes my soul is disquieted within me and I am discouraged, but Psalm 42 tells me to HOPE IN GOD. vs. 5 tell me There is HOPE in HIS COUNTENANCE, that is his face. The only hope I have is to see him, commune with him daily. Without that I have no health, no Godly countenance. God is my God and he is teaching me much - he is teaching me to Redeem HIS time.
When we realize something is missing we have a hope, we have someone to pour our hearts out to (Ps. 62:8), we have a refuge! We have many, many promises to behold. When we see "something is missing" it is probably HIM. He promises us in I Chronicles l5:2 "If we seek him, he will be found of you." The problem is too many things get in the way of him. We need to strive to let nothing take the place of him. Nothing should have pr-eminence. It is sin, it is missing the mark. He has to be the center and all or he is nothing.
Psalm 52:17 Tells the kind of sacrifice God will NEVER despise. This is a prayer of David after Nathan confronted him of his sin. Sometimes God has to confront us about our sin - it may not be murder or adultery, but James 4:l7 says that to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth not, to him it is sin. I feel when we know God and know what he desires, commands and wants of us and we do not do it, it is sin. Becoming complacent, neglecting reading, studying, prayer, fellowship are very wrong to not do when you KNOW God desires this of you. But the worst seems to be trusting in him through the very difficult times, our faith seems to waiver, we forget his promises. We yield to unbelief, complaining and murmuring. Why haven't we learned from our examples? Why is it so hard? It is because "something is missing". Do we KNOW HIM?
Sisters, we need to be preparing our heart continually to seek him as it says in ( 2 Chron. l9:3). We need to search diligently to find him as it says in Proverbs 7:l5. He PROMISES us we will find him but we MUST seek for that which is missing once we know what it is. IT IS HIM!!! He wants us to talk with him daily, see our need for him in and for all things. He wants us to desire him and love him as he loves us. He is calling us to come near, that we may hear his wisdom, instruction and knowledge. He wants us to grow up to be like him. Do we want to grow up IN Him?
From J. Kirkpatrick As we have traveled over the past two years, we have talked to many in the body of Christ who have been through great testing in physical sickness. We would like to share some of these personal testimonies with you. We hope these articles will, in some way, help you through similar shakings in your wilderness experience.
It all started about two years ago, when I noticed that my hands did not seem to be working properly. I dropped things easily and had little strength in my grasp. I gradually began to have pains in my shoulders and found it disappointingly difficult to pick up and hold my newborn granddaughter. Soon the pains spread to my back and legs and made getting up from a sitting position very painful and laborious. I could not raise my arms above my head and waking was becoming increasingly difficult. My first fear was Rheumatoid arthritis, but tests soon showed that was not the case. In fact, the tests could not identify what kind of arthritis I had. One doctor called it Arthritis X. Medication and therapy could only temporarily relieve me, but soon even that was not very effective.
As I walked the floors at night because the pain made sleep impossible, I learned in an even deeper way what it meant "to call upon the Lord". I began to search for Him with all my heart. *** Jeremiah 29:12-13. I asked the usual questions, "Why Lord?", "How long?", "What is happening to me?" Then the Holy Spirit began bringing Scripture to mind.
"For God has not given us the spirit of fear..." *** II Timothy 1:7, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart..." *** Proverbs 3:5-8, "Bless the Lord, O my soul...who healeth all thy diseases." *** Psalms 103:2-3.
As I dwelt on these and many more precious Scriptures, I felt release from fear, and a warm feeling of comfort and reassurance filled my heart. The Holy Spirit also brought to remembrance how God previously had mightily answered prayer in our lives. When my husband's arms were torn out of their sockets during an accident with farm equipment, the surgeon was able to replace them into the sockets. But none of the doctors were able to do anything about the severely stretched ligaments and severed nerves. They told my husband he would never use his arms again! In distress, we turned to our faithful God and appealed to Him, knowing from the Word that "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." *** Hebrews 11:1
We certainly could see no evidence of life in those limp, dead-looking arms. But as we continued to praise and thank the Lord, He began performing miracle after miracle until now my husband can raise his arms in praise to God and move them into positions that should be impossible according to the kind of injury he had. Even the surgeon had to admit it was a supernatural healing.
As I thought of God's loving care for our family through the years, I received assurance in my heart that Jesus would truly never leave me, nor forsake me. *** Hebrews 13:5b. As I remained trusting and waiting on Hi, He would bring me through this painful experience.
And He has! I can now raise my hands again above my head to praise God. I can run up and down stairs. I can pick up my young grandchildren. I can once again bake goodies for my family and take care of my housework. "I south the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.: *** Psalms 34:4.
I would like to leave you with some verses
to which the Holy Spirit led me
in my time of desperate need:
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The Fruitful Vine Home Page
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The Shepherd's Purse Herb Database