The Fruit of the Vine

Welcome! Grab yourself a hot cuppa & pull up a chair as  it’s time for our reflection together.

I’ve had a rather busy week, finalizing my continuing professional development for this year. 

And my eldest granddaughter turned 21! But sadly we couldn’t meet up for her big birthday, as we live in different states & the state borders are still tightly closed due to the pandemic!

This time digital technology couldn’t save the day either as my granddaughter & daughter were out of signal range on a birthday road trip in their state.

We will meet once the borders open again! Something sweet to look forward to…

New shoots on the Vine

Don’t you just love seeing new growth, it’s spring here in Australia so there is new growth & blossoms everywhere as described in last week’s Lessons in Season.

In this new season of growth, I thought it time to start a Book Club (reading group) hosting it once a month over lunch. 

I did have a first reading adventure in mind that would’ve had us trekking through the deep jungles of South America but God had other ideas.

We instead are reading about vines, vineyards & the fruit of the Vine! The author is taking us on a journey through the romantic vineyards of rural Tuscany & Scripture.

There are ten ladies who have joined the book club, all differing in age, back ground & life experience which is very exciting.

It will be interesting to hear their perceptions of this book & what is revealed to them as they walk through their own vineyard with the great Vinedresser.

What produces the best fruit?

In my reading of this book, several things have ‘popped’ out from the pages  but one thing in particular got my attention.

I had read it the night before I phoned my dear Dad for Father’s Day, which was this past weekend here in Australia.

It was the chapter on the importance of where the vine is planted…so interesting! Apparently…

A vine that is planted in the richest of soils, where it gets everything it needs + more, will grow the most beautiful leaves & have the most vigorous vine growth. But will not bear any fruit what so ever!

However, the vine that is planted in rocky soil, especially clinging to the side of a hill. Where it is put under a certain amount of stress & pressure, produces the richest & sweetest fruit!

A serendipitous moment

The next day while chatting to my Dad, who is a retired horticulturist living in the high regions of our state with his beautiful garden.

Although during the recent drought it didn’t look so lush & looked as though he may lose many of his plantings…

I asked him how his garden was fairing since rainfall of the last few months. 

He answered the following, 

“The garden is doing really well its blossoming & blooming, this is what happens to plants when they’re put under stress & pressure like that of the drought. They start producing fruit & seed prolifically.”

Okay God, now you really do have my attention! I had read that exact same thing the night before!

A brightly lit light started burning in my mind, yes a light bulb moment! We often lament over where we have been planted…Don’t we!

The soil seems so rocky & uncomfortable, we feel as though we are just clinging to the side of the steep slope of stressful issues like unemployment; the unknown future of a child with special needs; financial instability; mental health struggles; family problems; unresolved relationship issues or chronic health conditions.

What ever the situation we are facing it seems to us that the smoother soil without the rocks pressures & stones stress would be so much more comfortable! 

Why is bearing Fruit so important anyway?

The important thing is that without fruit there is no seed! No seed means no reproduction, no reproduction means unsustainability! The vine eventually dies without leaving any meaningful legacy behind.

Let’s make this personal…

If you join me here often, you will know that I live in rocky soil on the steep slope of Mt. chronic health issues & pain. 

And while the rock free soil of the valley below looks so very inviting, I know that it would lead me to be rather lazy!

One thing I have learnt about myself is that I thrive in challenging circumstances. A challenge hones my focus, it also puts me under a certain amount of stress & pressure, motivating me to do my very best!

But I am not alone in this!

You know Jesus told us that He is the True Vine & those who are His followers, are the branches. He also told us that our heavenly Father is the great Vinedresser…

“I am the True Vine & my Father is the Vinedresser”

John 15:1 

And that if we abide (remain stable in our faith) in Him we will bear His fruit, fruit that leaves an eternal legacy…

Jesus said, “Abide in Me, & I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine…”

John 15:4

We are not the vine!

So though at times on Mt chronic health issues I feel like I’m the vine clinging to the steep slope for dear life.

I am reminded that I’m actually a branch & that the True Vine, Jesus is the One who has His feet planted firmly on this rocky slope.

Knowing this helps me to rest assured that He is giving me all the nutrients I need to grow on His vine.

With the great Vinedresser, my heavenly Father pruning, cultivating & training this branch to produce her best fruit for His eternal harvest. 

What fruit are you producing in your life?

Is a question the author asks her readers. It’s thought provoking isn’t it!

Until next time, 

Jennifer

You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook


©2020 Jennifer M. Ross, teawithjennifer.blog, All Rights Reserved. Photo on Pexels.com

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27 thoughts on “The Fruit of the Vine

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  1. What a wonderful book for your book club! I bet you will have some fabulous discussions! This post is full of hope and encouragement – especially in these unstable times. Sometimes it is hard to see the actual blessing hidden amongst the stress and pressure we experience. It is interesting to look back over its course when you discover the richest and sweetest fruit has emerged. Thank you for your beautifully written reminder. 🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      It’s a timely reminder to us all isn’t it, too often we think we’re responsible for the whole vine, doing the hard slog, forgetting that we are but a branch of the true vine. And have a dedicated & passionate Vinedresser who watches & cares for us intimately. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a beautiful post Jennifer! I actually did a little research about vineyards for a blog post I did a few years ago and it was so interesting to find out about how those ‘pressures’ contribute to the finest of wines. It’s so encouraging to know that God uses our rocky slopes to help us bear fruit. Blessings to you sweet friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its comforting to know we are a part of such a strong true vine. As I started reading this book you came to mind Elizabeth, as you have mentioned resting as the branch on the vine in this pandemic in your comments to me. 😀

      Like

  3. Happy Spring, dear Jennifer! A book club sounds like a perfect way to begin the season… ❤ Happy Reading & talking books together. It will be wonderful when this pandemic season is over and we can celebrate with loved ones who live away. I am so grateful for family, for Facetime and internet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful post, Jennifer. I have seen the grape vines in Tuscany hanging onto hillsides of rocky soil. Yet, they produce the most luscious grapes. Am I producing fruit…a question we must ask ourselves. Enjoy your spring season, my friend! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “This is what happens to plants when they’re put under stress & pressure like that of the drought. They start producing fruit & seed prolifically”. Wow. Mind blown. This is very timely for me – thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, I’m so glad I’m not the vine! Too much responsibility :). I can bear the fruit of kindness and love and reaching out to a hurting world, even when other things don’t seem as clear, I can always build others up.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful post – and such truth! It made me think of parenting – and the kiddos who are struggling today – keeping our children in bubbles where they never experience challenges – are like those vines in the best soil that provided everything they needed – yet they didn’t bloom – challenges create growth, create awareness that we need God – that we need Him to thrive – at least, that’s where your words took my mind – and you explained it so perfectly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Maryleigh! Yes, sadly there is a lack of resilience building today.
      And to quote Bob Ross, the artist, who had been on our Australian screens lately,
      “you need the dark (hard times) to show the light (God’s Almighty love)!” Lovely having you drop by 😀

      Like

  8. I hope by now you have been able to wish your granddaughter a very happy 21st birthday!

    Such good reflections on fruit and the Vine. So true that, like in the vineyard, we produce the best fruit when under stress. With all that is happening in the world right now, 2020 should be a vintage year!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Jennifer,
    Oh, these are such precious thoughts about abiding! As you know, I join you in living on the “steep slope of Mt. chronic health issues & pain,” but what a beautiful truth to remember that JESUS is the true vine, planted so firmly in that rocky hillside, and we don’t have to struggle to hold on. He only asks us to abide in Him. Amen. May I learn more of what that abiding is. Blessings to you dear sister!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This is so encouraging, Jennifer. I’m sorry I didn’t get to it before, but some days I get so tired, overwhelmed, and get brain fog, and I can’t keep up with all the posts. However, it’s amazing how God times it for me to read something at a time when I need it. 🙂 He knew I needed this reminder today, so thank you so much. This brings me to tears – “I am reminded that I’m actually a branch & that the True Vine, Jesus is the One who has His feet planted firmly on this rocky slope.” And that He will give us all the nutrients we need, and our heavenly Father prunes, cultivates, and trains us to produce the best fruit for His eternal harvest. Love and blessings of strength and peace for each day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Trudy, you have truly brightened my day knowing God has used these words to bring encouragement & blessing to you!
      I really do understand brain fog & fatigue, we can only do what we can do on any given day 😉 Bless you sweet friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love John 15 and the story of the vine and the branches. Are you reading Beth Moore’s book, Chasing Vines with your book club. It sounded like you might be describing her book. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story and the connection with your dad as a horticulturist.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a beautiful picture of the reason we do have to suffer at times. Jesus Himself was certainly planted on this earth on rocky soil, so how can we not be satisfied to be in that same soil? Something to remember to think about when we are going through struggles and times of pain. God bless you Jennifer.

    Liked by 1 person

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