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!


Are Your Bones Dry?

I was mowing the grass the other day and I really noticed how dry and brown it had gotten.  Every time I would drive over a really dry part, the cuttings would blow all around me like a dust storm. While I was mowing, I was thinking about all the dryness and drought and a passage of scripture came to mind.  Ezekiel 37 talks about the Valley of Dry Bones.

The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones.  He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out.  Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”  “O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”  Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord!  This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again!  I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”  So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons.  Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.  Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’”  So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.  Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’  Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel.  When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord.  I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”

God has such great power that when He breathes on us our dry bones come back to life.  If we are truly honest with ourselves, how dry are our bones?  Have we allowed the true breath of God to breathe into our lives and bring us back to true spiritual life?  To allow him to raise our dead bodies back up and fill us with His Spirit and annointing.  He longs to have us stand tall and strong in His strength!  We often walk in a lifeless spirit, only a body put back together without the breath of life.  Only half using all that God has for us to use.  We need to walk in His FULL life giving wind!  So, stand up!  Stand up, allow Him to fill you with His Spirit breath and walk in it!  Reinhard Bonnke had a great quote today on his Facebook page that I loved!  It said “The Gifts of the Spirit (1Cor 12:7-11) are not medals of honor to be worn on Sunday morning at church. THEY ARE TOOLS FOR THE JOB and are handed out the moment you report for God’s work. He won’t give you a hammer when you need a chisel. The Lord will give you the perfect tool for the assigned job. You will call it “a miracle”.  You have to use what He gives you but first you ahve to allow Him to breathe the breath of life into you!  So, be filled!  Be completely filled with His Spirit!  =)  Be Blessed!

The Brain Eating Fly

Sunday night we were watching a movie and Hunter was laying on the couch.  All of a sudden he started hearing this buzzing noise.  So, he poked his ear and heard a quick buzz again…and again.  So, he sits up and half screams “I’ve got a fly in my ear!!!”  I toldl him to come over to me and we get the flashlight and take a look inside his ear to see.  Sure enough he has a fly that crawled into his ear.  I get my tweezers and then fly started to come out but turned around and went right back inside.  Off to the ER we go at midnight to fetch a fly out of his ear.  Mind you, this whole time he keeps asking me if it is going to be flying around inside his head or if it will eat his brain.  So, we get to the ER and the nurse has him lay on his side since they like the dark (ie why it went in his ear in the first place).  Then we start seeing this fly flying around the room.  I joked to Hunter and said it was his fly’s cousin looking for him.  So the nurse and doctor filled his ear with gobbly goop and sucked out…NOTHING!  The fly that was in the room was OUR fly.  Now the brain eating fly is loose in the hospital.  So, concluded the end of and interesting evening.

I have been mulling this over and over since it happened.  How often do we have things that fly into our ears and we can’t get it out?  Things that we listen to whether it’s music, movies, criticism, or bad leadership/advice.  It gets in and then it gets stuck.  We need to guard our ears.  Protect them from what harmful things may enter them.  Once those things are in, it is hard to get them out.  Then we have to break out the “gobbly goop” and walk through it to purge those harmful things from our ears and our minds.  God wants us to fill ourselves with things of good.  Things that will lighten our load not create worry and heartache.  So, protect your ears from the “flies” of the world that want to enter in.  It’s a lot less work in the long run. =)  Be Blessed!

How Awesome Is He

There are moments where the mind just shuts down.  It’s when our human intellect can’t truly comprehend the vast expanse of God’s glory.  When we try to think too deeply and realize that His awesomeness is beyond what we can fathom.  We can get glimpses, but to think too deeply is mind boggling.  Yet, when the Spirit of the Lord falls on us, it’s as if we are Moses, standing on the mountain in the presence of God.  Oh what a glorious time to be had: the amazing filling of the Spirit that takes over and exudes the beauty of our God.  It’s in that moment that we can somewhat have an understanding of what Heaven will be like.  We were created to worship Him.  We were created to exalt His greatness.  To proclaim Him, in His entire splendor.  Do you know the working of your makeup is so intricate that only a creator beyond this world could design you?  He instilled in us a longing.  A longing for Him.  That quiet connection that he has with us, his children.  The way he speaks to us.  Can you hear it?  Are you able to see all the wonder that He is?  We just need to STOP the busy and sit still and take it all in and listen.  Really, really listen.  Let His Spirit flow over you.  Let the presence of the Lord rain down and just soak you.  Dance in his Almighty rain.  Shout for joy the greatness of our King.  For He is worthy!  =)  Be Blessed!

Worship- Follow David’s Lead

I’ve been wanting to do a series on worship for awhile.  Yet, right now I don’t have the time to devote to a post every single day.  That reason will be explained in another post on a different day, but, I came across this article and found that it was VERY well written.  Enjoy.  Be Blessed!  =)


Nine Expressions of Worship

 by Stephen M. Newman

Pastor of Worship and Arts

August 26, 2010


David’s Lead

 It’s captivating to read through the Psalms and see the variety of ways in which David worshiped. When we pause to ask ourselves what we are doing during our worship times today, we are often faced with several questions. How do we worship? What are we able to do and still be reverent before the Lord? What is God’s desire for our worship? Does God give us the right to pick and choose how we worship? 


The Psalms have given us nine different expressions of worship, and these expressions stem from David’s desire to worship the Lord wholeheartedly and without reservation. Oddly enough, these expressions are not foreign to us, but we fail to practice them in our corporate worship for one reason or another. 


Listed below are the nine expressions of worship that we will focus on in this article. They can be broken down further into three physical expressions. 

The Spoken Voice 


1. Speaking – 

Psalm 34:1 says, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always 

be on my lips.” 


2. Shouting – Psalm 

27:6 says, “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround 

me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will 

sing and make music to the Lord.” 


3. Singing – Psalm 

47:6 says, “Sing praises to God, sing praises to our King, sing praises.” 

Our Posture 


1. Bowing – 

Psalm 95:6 says, “Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before 

the Lord our Maker.” 


2. Standing 

– Psalm 119:120 says, “My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand 

in awe of your laws.” 


3. Dancing 

– Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise his name with dancing and make 

music to him with tambourine and harp.” 

Our Hands 


1. Playing Instruments 

– Psalm 33:2, 3 says, “Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him 

on the ten stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, 

and shout for joy.” 


2. Clapping 

– Psalm 47:1 says, “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God 

with cries of joy.” 


3. Lifting Hands 

– Psalm 63:4 says, “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your 

name I will lift up my hands.”

 None of these expressions of worship are foreign to us. They may be foreign to our present worship experiences, but not to our culture. When there is a wedding and the bridal march begins, what do people do without thinking twice? They stand in honor of the bride and groom on this special day. When a man asks a woman to marry him, he gets on his knee to propose to her. Why? Because he wants to show her that this is an important event and that she is being honored as someone very special. Dancing plays a part of our culture in that it expresses celebration, intimacy, and individuality. We clap with enthusiasm for everything that pleases us. Musicians will play their instruments for hours on end with no one listening. Speaking doesn’t need to be mentioned at all. Have you ever been to a ball game where the parents of the players were present? If so, you’ve experienced shouting at it’s best. Singing is done by the talented and untalented alike, and is often done in cars, showers, and on stage. We are a musical people. Lastly, we look at lifted hands. In sporting events or competitions we see this quite often. Whenever a player scores a basket or touchdown the hands go up. It a natural response to an amazing task performed. 

 Why share all this? We know it, right? Yet, we fail to exercise all these in public worship. David used these expressions because he wanted to worship God with his entire being. His heart was to worship the Lord with everything he had, and he held nothing back in his worship. He wanted to share with us his heart and desire to worship, and he wanted us to enjoy pleasing the Lord through God’s creation…our bodies and souls. 

 What else can we learn from David? He not only practiced these expressions regularly, he didn’t really care what others thought about it. Even his own wife thought he was nuts and yet, God thought enough of it to call him “a man after His own heart”. Who is our audience? Who is it that we are trying to please in worship? It better be God. Is He pleased with our worship? I hope He is with mine. 

 I challenge you to seek the Lord in these expressions. Ask Him what He would have you do in your times of worship. Is your heart moved to dance before the Lord and yet you choose to sit? Are you moved to get on your face before the Lord and yet stand because you are afraid of what the person next to you will say? Remember worship is not about you, and it’s not about imitating your neighbor. It’s about letting the Lord lead you to worship Him in a manner that He desires and that we need. What benefit could we possibly gain from kneeling before the Lord? How about humility? What could be gained from shouting to the Lord? How about boldness to speak His name in public? What could we learn about lifting our hands to the Lord? How about submission to Him? James 4:6 tells us, “But He gives us more grace. That is why the scripture says: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'” 

 Let us always seek to grow in our worship to the Lord. May we ever allow His spirit to move in us as He directs our actions and responses in worship. After all, it’s about Him and for Him. What we receive is a heart of humility, grace, and reverence before the God who saved us from sin to be His children forever.

How Sharp Are You?

Proverbs 27:17 says, As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  How sharp are you?  Do you have someone in your life that holds you accountable?  I have found that we have become a nation who is afraid of offending people.  Do you realize that some offense is needed in accountability?  We used to raise our children together as a community.  Kids were afraid of getting caught, doing something they shouldn’t be doing, by the little lady down the road because they knew that she would let their parents know.  Now days we have kids who could care less if you see them.  They know that you more than likely won’t tell their parents and/or if you do, their parents won’t care and tell you to mind your own business.  Where’s the accountability?  We have quit letting natural consequences happen with our children.  We don’t teach them to be accountable.  And we have stopped holding each other accountable.  How do we expect to grow if we aren’t challenged, in a good way?  The study bible describes, “Sharpens another” as – Develops and molds the other’s character.  Do you have anyone if your life that will HONESTLY tell you how your character is developing?  So much today we are not developing the character of our children and ourselves.  At one time, having integrity was a great thing.  Today, we hardly know what that is anymore.  We need to be willing to be sharpened by our friends and family.  We are to hold each other accountable in the church also.  We are to accept and love them the way that they are but we can’t let them stay in the condition they were when they came into the faith.  It is for our own good.  In trying to find a way to explain this better I came across a site about accountability that was very helpful.  It is has a couple links to pages that has questions that you can ask yourself.

Often when we are trying to work on ourselves we leave God out of the equation.  He’s the Author of life.  He’s the one who designed you and made you in His image.  Wouldn’t we want His input on what we are to be developing into?  If we are trying to be anything else than what He has designed us to be, we will always have an internal struggle about our self-image.  And having someone who is grounded in their faith and that we trust, who can tell us “Hey, I don’t think you are making the right choices here”, is vital to our growth.  And the more that we are held accountable, the sharper we get.  So I ask you, how sharp are you?

Godly Convictions

I’ve been thinking a lot about the 10 Commandments and why we don’t conscientiously use them as a standard measurement for our lives anymore.  I wonder if it might be because of the language it is written in or if it’s because in reality God isn’t really a center point of our lives.  The more accurate answer may be that it’s both those reasons.  Any way we look at it though, our fleshy tendencies get in the way.

I found this while searching:
The following is a modern-day paraphrase of the Ten Commandments:

  1. Do not worship any other god than the one true God. All other gods are false gods.
  2. Do not make idols or images in the form of God. An idol can be anything (or anyone) you worship by giving it more importance than God. If something (or someone) has your time, attention and affections, it has your worship. It could be an idol in your life.
  3. Do not treat God’s name lightly or with disrespect. Because of God’s importance, his name is always to be spoken of with honor.
  4. Dedicate or set aside a regular day each week for sabbath rest and worship of the Lord.
  5. Give honor to your father and mother by treating them with respect and obedience.
  6. Do not deliberately kill a fellow human being.
  7. Do not have sexual relations with anyone other than your spouse. God forbids sex outside of the bounds of marriage.
  8. Do not steal or take anything that doesn’t belong to you, unless you have been given permission to do so.
  9. Do not tell a lie about someone or bring a false accusation against another person.
  10. Do not desire anything or anyone that does not belong to you. Comparing yourself to others and longing to have what they have leads to jealousy, envy and other sins. Be content by focusing on the blessings God has given you and not what he has not given you.

In holding my life up against these, I fall short majorly.  I have my work cut out for me.  I am in no way, nor will I ever be, perfect.  I will make my mistakes and need to ask for forgiveness.  In the end though, these 10 standards were given for our well being and  I want to strive to live accordingly.  A better person I shall be because of it.  How does your life stand up against these?  Is there room for improvement?  Something to think about.  =)  Be Blessed!