I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
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. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:1-8
I feel like saying “Welcome back,” and yet it is I that have been away. So, welcome back to me! What a weekend! What a conference Saturday! I feel like I need to go away and digest all that I heard and get my life back in shape before I even try to begin to write to you. But alas, that isn’t the way that I have been given!
For some time now, and you may have picked up on it, I’ve felt like something was at odds with my posts. I didn’t feel like I was getting my point across and I felt very much like I was becoming way too negative. All these things are true. I must first start with an apology. What this blog started out as it no longer is. My vision is to help other hurting women, not to use this as an avenue for complaining. And while I may use examples from my own life, I must never ever loose sight of the real purpose of this site. And I imagine, being human, that I will re-visit this exact problem occasionally throughout the life of this site. But, God willing, He will always correct me through whatever chastisement may be needed. I don’t look forward to those times, but neither do I believe that I am perfect and without the ability to fall into this trap again. So, please forgive me for my digression into the negative lately. No matter what I say or do, always, always, always check my words against God’s Word of truth. Okay, that being said…
I do have so much to say about the conference that I attended, but where to start! First let me tell you a little bit about it. This is a ministry created by Steve and Kathy Gallagher inspired by the Lord and their overcoming of sexual sins in their lives. It primarily deals with sexual sins of Christian men, though increasingly they are seeing more and more Christian women battling these things. They also minister to women whose husbands are in sexual sin. There story isn’t pretty, in fact it is somewhat repulsive, but all sin is. I won’t go into details, it isn’t my story to tell. But, if you want to learn more about their ministry, go to www.purelifeministries.org which I am also going to put a permanent link in my links section off to the bottom right.
Kathy spoke to us ladies about her struggles as a wife in a marriage where her husband had perverse sexual sins. She told her story, she told how she and her husband over came together, yet separately the sins of their past. But, the one thing that was so very, very important to me was the reminder of something that I often counsel others whenever they are struggling…..never look at self, but always look to Jesus. Kathy’s greatest message was not the sin, not the excuses, not the pity parties, not any of that, but simply, what is your relationship with Christ. Bottom line. WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST?
If you have read my “About Me” page, you may know the list of things that I’ve outlined about my life. I’ve listed some of the troubles and heartaches that I’ve encountered and struggled with my entire life. I am a fairly introspective person. I spend a considerable amount of time trying to “figure me out,” as well as trying to figure everyone else out too! Anyway, I have known that I have never really ever been able to forgive God for allowing certain things to happen to me when I was a child. (I know that is rather presumptuous of me, but that is the ugly truth.) Because of this, how can I forgive others that have offended me. The perfect God and the imperfect man. It’s not pretty, but there it is.
I may have a closer relationship to Jesus than my husband, but I too am still far from Him because of my hardness of heart.
Anyway, I guess the burden on my heart for today is simply this: I have got to change. I have got to stop all this negativity. It is not glorifying to God nor God honoring. My marriage is far from perfect. And yes, I do have a right to feel like I do. Carnally speaking, I am completely justified. Spiritually speaking I am condemned. I desire the “tone” of my posts to be uplifting and positive. I may need to use examples from time to time, but the overall tone of this site was originally intended and must return to this original intent to uplift and edify you to Christ by encouraging your personal relationship to Him. That is the only way to overcome any and all situations and crisis in your life. I have been wrong and I wish to correct myself from henceforth. So, if I ever start to veer off track again, please remind me of this.
I have been struggling severely with an overwhelming desire to just be a single mother for the rest of my life. This struggle has been based on my emotions and not my spiritual convictions. I have been wrong in even contemplating these things. If my relationship with Christ was on track, then I wouldn’t be entertaining these thoughts. So today we have the above scripture to examine our lives against.
What fruit am I producing? Am I being cut of or severely pruned? I believe it is the latter and I am thankful for that. I desire to remain in Jesus so that I may continue to produce for Him and His kingdom. To do this, I must re-examine my relationship with Him. One thing is for sure, I cannot build a relationship with Him without spending time with Him each day. I already do, while I’m preparing to write, but I must do more. I must read His word and meditate on it. I must spend time in prayer, communicating with Him. These things, though I may do them, I don’t necessarily always do them justice. I must improve if I wish to improve my relationship with Him. Jesus is waiting.
I remember asking the Lord Friday, “What is it that I have asked of you that has caused such turmoil in my life? What are you trying to shape and mold me into?” I’m sure that I’ve asked the Lord to do an overhaul, I just don’t really remember the exact request. I know that all that I am going through is to conform me to His image and to make me a more useful tool for His kingdom. I guess I’m saying that I recognised that I have asked for this cleansing of my heart and mind, but I haven’t been willing to let go of all the garbage that is inside. And this purging is painful. But, as the above scripture promises, when God, the Father, prunes, He does so with the expectation that the fruit produced will be a marvelous thing.
I know what vision the Lord gave to me regarding this blog and the future website. I also know that I’m not as ready for it as I thought I was. I have so much to learn and need to be so much closer to the Lord. I’m sure that I have a ton more to say about this weekend, but I’ll leave that for another day.
Kathy Gallagher said several times in her presentations, “I want Jesus to JUDGE ME NOW!” It reminded me of how sincerely and frequently I used to pray the ending of Psalm 139. I desire to do so again.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24
May God provide the increase.