the vine v 2

Drive with direction.

shield 2408751 640

As well as working for the Vine, I work four days a week in the education software sector. I tend to spend my time working from London, Bedford, Nottingham and my favourite location home.  The routes to these offices are very familiar, so much so, I could probably travel them with my eyes closed.  

I was driving home from Bedford this week when I suddenly found myself not going along the A1 but rather going off it. I was happily drifting left, over the dotted white line towards the side of the road and off onto a slip road taking me somewhere I did not want to go. I realised that I was taking the wrong road, signalled and steered back onto the road. 

I wasn’t distracted, I wasn’t asleep. So, why did this happen?

It was simple I just followed the road. My driving was not intentional, I simply followed the road, which at that point had turned into an exit to another road.  I blindly followed the car in front of me not considering it was taking me somewhere I had not intended going.  It is so easy to do that when you are driving. Especially when you are on a very familiar stretch of road and when you have been on that road for a considerable time. 

Life is pretty similar - it is so easy to stay on the same old track or follow the people around you; not considering that the destination you are heading for is not the one that you really wanted to go to. 

 

When you drive a car, you have two ways to do it. You follow along or you drive with intentional direction. The same is true in life. You either follow those around you and the inevitable path of life or you make the decision to live intentionally, to take charge and define your future.  

Jesus was all for people deciding to live intentionally rather than simply carrying on as normal or following the crowd. A number of times in the Gospels people asked Him, how do I live better?  Jesus’ response was often for them to address the blindingly obvious issue in their lives; that they already knew they should address. Jesus’ challenge to the dishonest tax man, in Luke’s Gospel was for him to deal honestly and restore what he had stolen.

January is a time that people often set themselves new goals in the form of New Year’s resolutions. By this point in February they are often abandoned and long forgotten.  Maybe, now is a good time to reflect on whether we have intentionally put aside the plans we made on New Year’s eve or have we just started to follow the familiar road that is life, and have unintentionally found ourselves travelling to somewhere in life we did not plan to go? 

For me I only have one New Year’s resolution: to be intentional about what I choose to do in 2020 rather than doing the same old things. And so far, I am sticking to it (most of the time) I wonder what new destinations it will take me to. If you fancy coming along to the Vine to find out feel free you would be most welcome.

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  • Pray 2020 Logo smJoin us at our monthly prayer evenings through out 2020

    Seeking God's Kingdom growth for this area and beyond

    We believe that prayer makes a difference, it is effective and is essential to knowing God. 

    Pray 2020 - Prayer nights will take place on the last Wednesday of the month at the Vine Centre

    A time of worship and prayer startng at 7:30pm for Coffee and concluding at 8:30pm

    All are welcome.

     

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Vine Life

A collection of the latest news and articles from The Vine

  • Made of dust and the breath of God.

    mud2We read in Genesis 2 about a familiar tale, the creation of Adam.

    Genesis 2:5–7  NIV

    5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    In the bible the imagery of breath is often used to convey spiritual essence and power, unseen except in its effects, including aspects of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The main Hebrew and Greek words translated as “breath” in the NIV are also translated as “spirit” and “wind”.


    The breath of life—literally, of lives, not only animal but spiritual life. If the body is so admirable, how much more the soul with all its varied faculties: its emotions, intellect and will.

    God formed Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life—whether you believe that this act is literal or not the emphasis on tis draws a distinction between animals and is. this narrative is used to show that man’s life originated in a different way from his body—being implanted directly by God

    When the verse talks about God breathing into us the word here doesn’t mean to breathe like we are doing now -it speaks of life, it is the same word that you would use when you talk about someone starting a fire, fanning into flame, or a blacksmith blowing to increase the ferocity of the fire..

    I don’t know if you have tried to start a fire but when you start you have to blow very gently, but then as it takes hold you have to blow increasingly harder to make it grow, you have to put more of your breath into the action of fanning the flames - as you get to a really hot fire, look at a black smith, the size of the bellows that they use are massive. They move a lot of air at a time, they impart great power into the flames making them hot enough to refine the most precious of metals to shape the hardest of iron.

    This is a perfect picture of how our Father God breathes his life into us. 

    We start as a vessel that is made in his image a vessel that is fearfully and wonderfully made…

    Psalm 139:14 NIV

    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

    ..And then we have encounter with God, he breathes his life gently into us, a soft breath, bringing us spiritually alive as we recognise our need for Him, as he revels Himself to us. He brings us to life. allowing us to know him as Father.  The spirit helps us recognise our position in life.

    Galatians 4:6 NIV

    Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 

    As we continue to grow in God the impetus of his breath, his spirt is increases.

    The spirit like the fire of the furnace refines us at He transforms us. the Spirt, the breath of God empowers us 

    There is a key difference though between the way the Spirit of God - impacts us and the way that that blacksmith uses a furnace to refine.  The blacksmith controls the power of the bellows, he is in control of the process - he doesn’t care if the piece of iron wants to be transformed or not, if the iron is stubborn the smith just pumps the bellows with more force and hits the iron harder.

    God, however, never forces his Life, his spirit on anyone it is up to us to decide if we want this.

    Both initially when we are presented with the option to accept or reject the message of salvation and also as we live our lives.  We engaged in an ongoing choice of how we live fully in, fully out, or partially in the presence of God.  This choice reflects in our desire for the Holy Spirit,  that breath of God to impart life into us. 

    The more we desire to walk closely with God the more opportunity we have for God to impart life into us.  

    Take a moment, still your heart and mind and as God to breathe life into you. 

    Hear more : From the earth : from the breath of God 

    .

  • Drive with direction.

    shield 2408751 640

    As well as working for the Vine, I work four days a week in the education software sector. I tend to spend my time working from London, Bedford, Nottingham and my favourite location home.  The routes to these offices are very familiar, so much so, I could probably travel them with my eyes closed.  

    I was driving home from Bedford this week when I suddenly found myself not going along the A1 but rather going off it. I was happily drifting left, over the dotted white line towards the side of the road and off onto a slip road taking me somewhere I did not want to go. I realised that I was taking the wrong road, signalled and steered back onto the road. 

    I wasn’t distracted, I wasn’t asleep. So, why did this happen?

    It was simple I just followed the road. My driving was not intentional, I simply followed the road, which at that point had turned into an exit to another road.  I blindly followed the car in front of me not considering it was taking me somewhere I had not intended going.  It is so easy to do that when you are driving. Especially when you are on a very familiar stretch of road and when you have been on that road for a considerable time. 

    Life is pretty similar - it is so easy to stay on the same old track or follow the people around you; not considering that the destination you are heading for is not the one that you really wanted to go to. 

    Read more...

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