Monday, September 15, 2014

August 13, 2014   

Today's Photograph . . . . Pruning To Generate Fruit (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
John 15 1-2
"I am  the true vine,  and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." (NIV)

Today I was helping a friend prune an apricot tree that was producing very little fruit. When we began working on the tree, it was a beautiful, a full tree with branches reaching for the sky. The tree was appealing to look at, even though, as the branches fell to the ground, it was left looking bare and not nearly as beautiful as when we started pruning. This tree should now be much more productive that it was before being pruned. 

Just as in life, we like to appear appealing to other people even though we may not be as fruitful in the ways of the Lord. We all could use a little "pruning" by the Father to become more fruitful.
(Dave F)

Action Point
In this scripture, Jesus is saying that God, the Father, must remove some things from our lives to make us more fruitful. Even though we may not be a bad person, God must remove some things from our lives in order to discipline us and make us better disciples and instruments of His love. 

It may be painful, but if we respond to His discipline in a positive way, we will be able to grow spiritually. When we are going through rough times, there is always the choice to be bitter. But if you choose Jesus, you can choose to be better. 
(Dave F)

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When out in the field, it is always a good idea to have some way to start a fire. Even in the heat of summer, a fire can come in handy. Double wrap waterproof matches in Ziploc bags, and carry a lighter or flint-and-steel set as well. Cotton balls dipped in Vaseline, stored in a water tight container, are also handy fire starting aides.