What Fruit Do You Produce?

Fruit.  I love fruit.  I know a fruit when I see one.  Apple, orange, pear.  You know it when you see it.  It’s unmistakable.  Not because of how they are displayed in the grocery store, but because of what you know to look for.  In the culinary sense of these words, a fruit is usually any sweet-tasting plant product, especially those associated with seeds (Wikipedia).

 

Our walk with Christ should be the same way. We cannot produce fruit if we are not connected to the source of life.  Just like an apple tree cannot produce apples if it is not connected to the root.  Jesus addressed this when He was talking to his disciples in John 15:1-8.  He said, “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.”

 

If we are true believers and are walking in obedience we will produce sweet fruit and it will be recognizable to those around us.  Jesus was very clear about this.  In Matthew 7:15-20, He said, 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”  To me the false prophet could be compared to a tomato.  A tomato is a fruit but is unrecognizable as such.  Holding it up to what we know make a fruit a fruit, a tomato falls short.  But it is indeed a fruit masquerading around as a vegetable.

 

So, how do we know if we are producing good fruit?  We take an inventory.  I came across this quote the other day and thought is was a great way to break things down.

A Partial Inventory of Spiritual Fruit.

A desire and ability to:
1. Pursue God’s glory (1 Cor. 10:31).
2. Mature in Christlikeness (1 Pet. 2:2).
3. Be kind to others (Eph. 4:32).
4. Restore relationships (Mt. 5:9).
5. Rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4).
6. Persevere through trials (Jas. 1:2-3).
7. Suffer persecution for Christ (2 Tim. 3:10-11).
8. Delight in God’s commandments (Psm. 119:47).
9. Read, study, memorize, listen to and meditate on the Bible (Jos. 1:8).
10. Share your faith (2 Tim. 4:5).
11. Be patient with others (1 Thes. 5:14).
12. Contribute to church unity (Eph. 4:3).
13. Desire goodness (2 Thes. 1:11).
14. Pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17).
15. Faithfully prioritize church (Heb. 10:23-25).
16. Prefer others (Rom. 12:10).
17. Surrender fully to Christ (Lk. 9:23).
18. Act faithfully (Gal. 5:22).
19. Serve in the church (1 Cor. 12:7).
20. Experience true peace (Gal. 5:22).
21. Be a committed marriage partner (Col. 3:18-19).
22. Love God and others (Mt. 22:37-39).
23. Guard your heart (Pr. 4:23).
24. Manifest a tempered spirit (Tit. 2:2).
25. Exercise self-control (Gal. 5:23).
26. Grow in the knowledge of God (2 Pet. 3:18).
27. Repent of known sin (Lk. 13:5).
28. Develop biblical wisdom (Eph. 5:15).
29. Examine yourself (1 Cor. 13:5).
30. Practice hospitality (Rom. 12:13).
31. Be humble (1 Pet. 5:6).
32. Work hard with integrity (Col. 3:23-24).
33. Act with gentleness (Gal. 5:23).
34. Manage your home (1 Tim. 3:4).
35. Instruct and discipline your children biblically (Eph. 6:4).
36. Listen more than you speak (Jas. 1:19).
37. Want Christian fellowship (Ac. 2:42).
38. Speak wholesome words (Col. 4:6).
39. Encourage others (1 Thes. 5:11).
40. Be an example for others (1 Tim. 4:12).
41. Forgive others (Mt. 6:12).
42. Fast (Mt. 6:16).
43. Hate evil (Rom. 12:9).
44. Be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
45. Support missionaries (3 Jn. 1:7-8).
46. Engage in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:13).
47. Sacrifice with your finances (2 Cor. 8:3-5).
48. Experience hope (Heb. 6:11).
49. Sing spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19).
50. Develop biblical convictions (Jas. 4:17).
51. Commit to pure doctrine (Tit. 2:1).
52. Desire God’s will (Jn. 4:34).
53. Be thankful (Col. 3:15).
54. Submit wherever necessary (Eph. 5:21).
55. Prioritize spiritual things (Col. 3:1-2).
56. Long for our Lord’s return (Rev. 22:20).

Note: Our hearts must always be examined as much of this can be produced in the flesh.  -Randy Smith

 

We could spend days talking about this subject.  My whole point is to get us thinking.  In this day and age we have lost touch with what actual spiritual fruit is.  I don’t think we know how to recognize it anymore because of our lack of strong connection to the true Vine.  Just because someone is a good person doesn’t mean they are producing good fruit.  Hold what you know up to God’s standard.  Ultimately we need to make sure we are holding ourselves up to the standard first.  So, how is your fruit?  Something to think about.  =)  Be Blessed!

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Household Notebook (Part 4)

(Continuation of the series on creating a household notebook.  Read Household Notebook (Part 2) here.)

To finish up our notebooks we will be covering the final 3 sections.  The sections I used in our notebook (Financial is a separate binder for us) are:

Goals

Calendar

Schedule

To Do

Menu Planning

Ministry

Blogging

Contacts

     We have a Ministry section since Tevis is a pastor and it is a huge part of our life.  For you, this could be anything from your job to whatever takes up a lot of your time and needs to be organized.  In this section I have a folder to put things that I need to file, inserts from events coming up, bulletins, any notes, basically anything that I must have to stay on track.  It just gives me a place to organize those items so I know where they are instead of just dropping them on a counter, dresser top, fridge…you get the point.  =)

     For my Blogging section I have blank printables that I can organize topics, ideas or other sites that I need to make contact with.  A “Blog Schedule” I reckon.  If you are a blogger or are just getting started, here are a couple of sites that have printables for blogging:

Living Locurto – simple, easy to use calendar

Bringing Up Bauer – She has links 3 from another blogger.  I really like them.

Wild Olive – A blog contact printable.  Very handy.

     The last section is Contacts.  This is pretty straight forward.  It’s an address book in you binder.  Easy access for when you tackle the calls on your To-Do list.  You can go all out here and put in birthdays or whatever.  That could actually be its own section if you are one to keep up them.  Here are a couple sites for contacts pages to print:

Organized Home – TONS of great printables on all sorts of things

Believing Boldly – Simple contact page.

     I will more than likely update this in the future with more pictures and such, once I get ours finished and get some use of it under my belt.  I may tweak it a bit as we go along.  All I know is that having one is wonderful and I’m glad to have settled enough to be able to implement it again.  It’s helps you feel grounded as far everything that we have to manage in our households.  Hope you  are having a great week!  =)  Be Blessed!

Household Notebook (Part 3)

(Continuation of the series on creating a household notebook.  Read Household Notebook (Part 2) here.)

Today, I will cover the Menu Planning section in creating your notebook.  This is my favorite section.  Mainly because I love to cook.  I  love to try new things.  The sections I used in our notebook (Financial is a separate binder for us) are:

Goals

Calendar

Schedule

To Do

Menu Planning

Ministry

Blogging

Contacts

     Menu planning can be a huge asset to your family.  Not only is it a money saver, but with some careful planning, it can be a time saver as well.  It is also healthier.  I have used several methods over the years.  I have done the bulk cooking where you cook everything for a month and freeze it, planning for 1, 2 & 4 week periods, and I’ve done no plan at all.  Normally the no plan method doesn’t work real well for us.  We would end up eating more convenience and quickly type stuff.  Not real nourishing.  

     In this section, you can have different types of things.  You can have subcategories also which would include: grocery list, restaurant menus, favorite recipes, recipes to try, holiday plans.  You can plan for all the meals you have in a day or you can plan for just supper.  It’s really your preference and depends on what your schedule looks like.  

     To start, find a menu sheet that you like.  Some suggestions are:

Fab-N-Free – 20 great  printables, mainly for weekly planning

Money Saving Mom – Great list of all the different ways (weekly, biweekly & monthly)

Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling – Love her site!

     Once you have your printable, get your calendar out and plane the busy days first.  For us, those days are normally crock pot cooking.  It’s easy to whip together and just toss in and it will be ready when we finally get home.  When you figure out those days, then you can move on to the rest of the days.  We like to leave a day of “Fend For Yourself”.  Those are our leftovers days and they fall on Sundays typically.  It all comes down to your schedule.  We even have built-in “dining out” days.  Those fall on Wednesdays since we have evening service and worship rehearsal afterwards at church.  Once you get the hang of it, you will find that it really does help with the flow of the family.  And it’s a huge stress reliever to you.  

Please let me know how your notebooks are coming or if you have any tips, ideas or things that you do that work wonders for you family.  I would LOVE to hear.  =)  Be Blessed! 

Household Notebook (Part 2)

(Continuation of the series on creating a household notebook.  Read Household  Notebook (Part 1) here.)

I didn’t get to post yesterday.  I totally forgot about my 31 Spring Open House being today and had to get ready for it.  Also, it’s Destiny’s 14th birthday.  So, those things took precedence.  =)

Picking up where I left off on Saturday, we have covered Goals & Calendar.  Today we will cover the next 2 pages in creating your notebook.  Again, The sections I used in our notebook (Financial is a seperate binder for us) are:

Goals

Calendar

Schedule

To Do

Menu Planning

Ministry

Blogging

Contacts

Schedule tab will/can include several things.  It really does depend on the family.  YOu can even create subcategories if you wanted to for each family member. This is where the sports, music, school, work, etc, schedules would go.  This is also where you could put a detailed yearly cleaning schedule like the one here.  There are others that are more detailed and include things like the grill, gutters, etc.  Just do a search for yearly cleaning schedules.  Here’s a couple:

Homeschool-life – Great PDF of weekly, quarterly/seasonally & biannual.

Tidy Mom- Very simple list

The next tab is my To-Do section.  This one might not be full since this is more for a quick reference spot.  This section can have a daily, weekly or monthly To Do list.  All depends on what helps you function best.  Here are some links to some printables to help you along.

The Creativity Exchange  – Daily simple

The Practical Mom Guide – Weekly

Organize For Free – 10 different types

Thursday I will cover Menu Planning.  This has got to be my favorite part of the notebook.  Have you decided to make a Household Notebook?  How is it coming along?  I would love to hear all about it!  =)  Be Blessed!

Household Notebook (Part 1)

I cannot tell you enough, how much I LOVE having a Household Notebook.  I am actually redoing mine…completely.  I decided to put our budget and financial section in it’s own binder.  Since we just moved, I am using pages that I have found across the internet to fill my notebooks.  I am in the process of creating my own pages so they fit our needs better.

So, over the next several days I’m going to do a breakdown of building your own household notebooks.  Today, I’ll cover the  tools that are nice to have included in your binder and the first 2 pages.  You can pick and choose what works for you and your family.  The sections I use for this notebook are:

Goals

Calendar

Schedule

To Do

Menu Planning

Ministry

Blogging

Contacts

So, what is it that you need in your notebook?  Here’s a list of “The Gear”:

Gear for Notebook

1″ Binder with clear cover

Pencil Pounch (with holes for binder)

Pens

Pencils

Highlighter 

White Out – (I’m currently out)

Calculator

Sticky Notes 0r sticky tabs

Hole puncher 

Plastic Dividers (I used Avery Style Edge Insertable, that way the labels wouldn’t fall out)

Folders or Receipt Envelope

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First things first.  You will your goals to be the first tab in your binder.  Do you have any?  Have you written them down or are they floating around in your head.  Put some solidity to them by writing them out.  What is your families Mission Statement?  You always want to have a direction.  Setting goals at the beginning of the year is a great way to set the course for that year.  What goals do you have for yourself, your marriage, your kids, your job, financial?  Whatever they are, write them down and put them in your binder.  Reference them often.  We plan to do this this evening.  Finally getting back on track.  I’ve always had mine but this time I will be including a page for everyone in our family.

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The next tab in your binder should be your Calendar.  You will want  monthly ones and one that has the entire year on it.  You can find these all over the web for free.  All depends on you style.  I have used:

Creative Mamma – Very colorful

Who Needs A Calendar – Basic, but has room to write

The Printable Calendar – Also basic, but has room to write

Mein Lila Park – GREAT list of all kinds

Ellinee – These are the ones I used for this year

I also, at the beginning of the week, fill out a weekly shot of what is going on and put it at the front of my calendar.  I’m using this printout from Mommy Tracked.  If you want, you can print one off and put it in a plastic sleeve and use a dry erase marker and fill it out every week instead of always printing them out.

I will the next 2 pages on Monday.  Have a wonderful weekend!  =)  Be Blessed!

God Is Our Provider

I will be putting off the post about the Home Management Binder until tomorrow.  I ran out of paper.  Plain and simple.  So, I wasn’t able to get it finished.  Besides, once I got into restructuring it, I noticed some new things that I wanted to add.  I may be breaking this down into sections to post about as I go along.

The other thing that happened yesterday that took away my time was Tevis was offered a job.  I can’t tell you enough how relieved I am.  Since we moved here for the pastoral position, he has been looking for another job to bring in the main, okay nearly all, of our income.  It’s been tough, but, God is faithful.  It’s nice because this one will work around his church schedule.  YEEHAW!  It’s seasonal though, so he has it until August.  Then it will be back to the drawing board.

I’m still a consultant with 31.  Loving it so far.  I’m trying to get reestablished since the move.  Time to meet new people and find some more friends.  It’s been a great suppliment when we’ve needed to pay that car payment and we would be just a smidgen short.  God has blessed us though.  He has provided for everything since we started this journey 4 years ago when he called us into ministry.  He IS our Jehovah Jirah!  =)  Be Blessed!