Category Archives: Garden

on The Fruit of the Spirit

I got the book interlibrary loan (from St. Joseph, MO)

as I attended a ‘small’ group at my church…

it wasn’t small, it was as big as normal Wednesday night service.

Led by C.R. Kersten.

He mainly shared his life experiences… which was actually VERY helpful.

From time to time he read from the book.


before the session was over,

I called the library.

Good read:

“The Fruit of the Spirit”


Thomas E. Trask


Wayde I. Goodall

I KNEW I was in trouble when I was putting post-it notes on the back-cover…

Here’s what stuck out to me:

-back cover-

“… if u let God’s Spirit grow His fruit in your heart.


In the mystery of the Trinity, the fruit of the Spirit is really the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is His Spirit, whom the Father sent. As His Spirit indwells & controls us, His Fruit, or personality becomes manifest as we yield ourselves to Him.

It is only as we are filled with the Holy Spirit and under His control that His Fruit is manifest & His Will expressed…

…we are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith, according to God’s command (Ephesians 5:18) and His Promise (1 John 5:14-15). We ask, believe, & receive.

…the fruit of the Spirit is demonstrated thru us by faith.

… could change the world.


… the heavenly Father, the Gardener, would prune so that they could produce fruit… only possible if we are connected to Jesus. As we grow in our Christian walk, we understand more and more why we must be pruned.

Jesus said, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches’ =  John 15:5 – when our lives are totally committed to God and we are determined to obey Him, we will bear the fruit of Christ because He is the Vine! We cannot help bearing all the fruit of the Spirit when we remain in Him.

He changed when he made the decision to give Jesus Christ total control of his life…

‘there was a calm about him

you only find in someone who has found what life & joy are all about.’

The believer’s union with the Lord Jesus is no work of human wisdom or of human will, but an act of God

God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts = Galatians 4:6 KJV – the same Spirit who dwelt, and still dwells, in the Son becomes the life of the believer

As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are connected to the Vine. Thru His roots, the nourishment of the Spirit flows into you and enables you to act like Christ & exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.

Jesus said, ‘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’ = John 15:1-2.

A gardener puts seed into the ground & carefully cultivates it.

…prunes so that the plant will produce more fruit. Pruning strengthens the plant by ridding it of unproductive branches…

God’s will is that none will be lost.

Jesus said we would know His disciples by the fruit they yeild = Matt. 7:15-23

…words w/o actions,

branches w/leaves but no fruit… fruitless branches are on their way to destruction.

If He did not prune us, we would not grow. … He sees things in our lives we do not see. He knows our hearts when we do not.

God typically prunes His children by conviction from the Holy Spirit…

every conviction that is held should be undergirded by love.

Hebrews 12:7-8, 10 – Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons…God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His Holines.

John 15:5…apart from Me you can do nothing.

The word ‘remain’ is used 10 times in the first ten verses of John 15. As Christians we are branches, and to produce fruit we must ‘remain’ in the Vine.

Jn 15

‘…so believers must depend upon & look to the life of Christ within them to find their  spiritual vitality

…the fruit nourishes others and contains within itself the seeds of its own reproduction, so the outward manifestation of the life of Christ in us nourishes and reproduces His life in others (quote from The Leadership Bible).’

The secret to Jesus’ fruitful life was His contact with the Father.

Lk 5:16

‘A tree may bear many apples, but all come from the same tree. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is the source of all fruit in our lives (Billy Graham quote).’

When people experience our fruit by seeing us act in ways that are different from the ways the world would act, they want to know more about the God who enabled us to be this way.

‘The Fruit of the Spirit’ by Manford George Gutzke compares the fruit of the Spirit to beams of light:

‘All the colors of the rainbow are in every beam of sunlight.

They are all there at any one time.

They may not always come into vision,


they are all present.’

1 Jn 3:24

1 Jn 2:5 – our obedience to Christ’s commands prove that we remain in Him.

If disobey Him/Word = no bear fruit = chosen to disconnect and not remain in Him

…Christians live in the world, but as citizens of God’s kingdom, display His values.

…demonstrate the fruit of God’s Spirit by cooperating w/Him thru our dependence on Him.

People fruit

…people we have introduced to Christ or influenced in a positive way for Him.

Giving fruit

The time, energy, and money we give to the cause of Christ are fruit that help spread the gospel and minister to people in need – Rom 15: 26-28.

Gospel fruit

When believers spread the gospel of Christ, it will bear fruit – Col 1:6.

Fruit of praise

…telling others that Christ is Lord = fruit that honors God.

This book is about producing the fruit of the Spirit, the very fruit that comes from God himself.

…actions & attitudes that demonstrate we are connected to the true Vine.

When u know what is best for others,

do u communicate it w/compassion & love? Truth is communicated to others in an attitude of love – Eph 4:15.

…we need the Spirit to bring fruit into our lives because we cannot produce godliness apart from the Spirit.

Rom 13:13-14 – …clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,


do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

-Chapter 2-


Building healthy relationships

1 Jn 4:16 – God is love.

If we walk in fellowship with Him, we cannot help but be reminded of how to love people with our words, deeds, and actions.

Christlike love is called agape love.

…we should love people with God’s love.

We are people of free will who constantly make decisions to do the right thing.

The self-control/discipline portion of the fruit of the spirit is at work as we choose to respond to others with God’s agape love.

Christianity is about relationships

Jn 15:9-10, 12 – …if u obey My commands, u will remain in My Love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His Love… My command is this: Love each other as I have loved u.

His Love persuades us to take risks for the sake of others.

1 Jn 3:10 – …anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

1 Jn 3:18 – Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

We must decide every day… to be people who are known for how we love.

Agape Love = the love God has for us


the kind of love God wants us to have for others.

Agape = ‘that highest & noblest form of love which sees something infinitely precious in its object (C. S. Lewis, “The Four Loves”).’

Love = ‘a steady direction of the will toward another’s lasting good (Bishop Stephen Neill quote).’

We are to love when we see no results, even when the object of our love continues on their path of rejecting, avoiding, or turning against us. Jesus spent much of His last 3 years w/12… one He knew would be disloyal – Mk 14:10-44 & Jn 6:70-71

…seek out ways to show His Mercy.

Our love should never give up.

Jesus will help u. As u cling to Him & decide to treat people like He does, your heart will be transformed and God’s Love will flow thru u.

Do u have your emotions, words, and actions under control?

Our reactions to outside forces demonstrate whether we really are in control.

…emotional baggage affects how we talk to ourselves


how we treat others.

The Holy Spirit will let us know when we are being unloving, unkind & unrighteously angry… obey & do the loving thing.

What u do can bring encouragement, enrichment, & energy to someone today.

If u can’t say it,

write it.

…stay close to the One who continually purifies us.

You will look different to the world because the fruit you produce.

1 John 4:7 – Love one another – Love comes from God.

…stop trying to please people more than God

Love forgives

Unforgiveness binds us and causes our spirit to be negative & impure.

…forgiveness & healing are one

Love Compels

Love is resilient

Acts 7:60 – Lord, do not hold this sin against them.

Luke 23:34 – Father, forgive, for they do not know what they are doing.

We may be shocked, dazed, or overwhelmed for a time, but we regain our strength because we are attached to the One who supplies abundant love.

Love Understands

…love with God’s Love…

…we don’t reject them like everyone else…

-Chapter 3-


Rejoicing in any situation

…nowhere in the Bible will u find God advising us to pursue happiness.

God wants us to be full of joy.

…connected to the Vine.

Like the other fruit of the Spirit,

Joy is not something we produce on our own… supernatural result of belonging to the One who is pure joy.

…understand that joy will be a reality in your life

no matter what happens…

Jas 1:2-3 – Consider it all joy…

Hebr 12:2 – …who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.

Joy is much more significant than a happy countenance. True joy, which only comes from the Holy Spirit, is possible even when life is rough, when we are going thru great disappointment, loss, or grief.

Joy = Chara = in the New Testament, has a spiritual source, such as ‘the joy given by the Holy Spirit’ – 1 Thess. 1:6

Joy of the Lord – Neh 8:10

…our joy can be complete – John 15:11

…our lives are hidden in Christ


that we can be led by the Spirit thru anything.

Rom 8:28

‘God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.’ – C.S. Lewis in ‘Mere Christianity’

…Jesus, the one who is able to give us an eternal perspective no matter what our circumstances.

Rejoice because you are sure of your salvation

Luke 15:8-10 – …rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents (words from Jesus).

Increase your joy by leading others to Jesus Christ

Realize how present-day battles can contribute to your eternal destiny

Suffering can file all the rough edges off your character,


it can further harden u.

…the struggle necessary to pass thru… God’s way of forcing fluid from the body into the wings (moth emerging from cocoon).

Sometimes the struggle is exactly what we need.

…suffering is part of life…

Rejoice when God is glorified

1 Cor 10:31 – Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God

…purposing to be obedient in all He asks us to do.

Increase your joy by being filled with the Holy Spirit

‘God commands us to be filled w/the Spirit, and if we are not filled, it is because we are living beneath our privileges (D.L. Moody quote).’

Acts 2:39 – The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.

The Holy Spirit is grieved when believers ignore His conviction for sinful thinking, feelings, or behavior

and push aside His warning to act or think differently… repent & determine to be obedient to the Lord…His filling can be repeated whenever we feel spiritually dry or our boldness to witness has turned to fear – Acts 3:19 = times of refreshing to our tired souls.

…God is glorified in the way you live

and because Christ has filled u with the Holy Spirit…

-Chapter 4-


Overcoming anxiety & conflict

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you;

My Peace I give u.

…calmness that a nation/city enjoys when it has a caring, competent, & secure leader.

It means experiencing quiet in your inner self.

…learn to depend on the Holy Spirit & understand that He will be with us in every situation, we will be more at rest & anxiety will be further away.

Phil 4:7 – The peace of God, which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

…peace comes from the One to whom we are connected.

…cling to the promises of God’s Word so that our hearts and minds are guarded from worry… we can learn to be content

whatever the circumstances – Col 3:15-16.

Isa 9:6 – True peace begins when a person meets the Prince of Peace

John Newton – ‘Amazing Grace’ song

John 16:33 – In Me you may have peace.

Peace can replace worry and anxiety in your life

Worry = German = wergen = to choke

Mt 6:25, 27, 34 – Do not worry about your life…

God’s peace… will enhance all you do.

Peace can replace hostility and anger in your life

Anger can be controlled by the peace of God.

Anger can devour your happiness, steal your joy, attack your health, destroy your relationships, and injure your faith.


Realize actions are controlled by the will, so u can decide…

You can stop and pray for help.

You can take anger out by doing housework/washing the car.

With children,

get upset with rebellion, disobedience, lying, breaking the 10 commandments


other things that will hurt the child or someone else.

Anger at satan’s work should take us to our knees to intercede for others…to volunteer, visit the sick, love the broken, & feed the hungry;


motivate us to vote


speak out on moral matters.

Humble yourself and listen to other people.

Much anger is caused by pride

Grief may also be a factor,

cuz anger is a stage in the grieving process for any loss.

Peace will enable you to resolve stress

The average desk worker has 36 hrs of work on desk


spends 3 hrs/week sorting the piles.

American workers put in more hours on the job than any other industrialized country…

averaging 280 more hours a year than the Germans.


We spend 8 months of our lives opening junk mail.

Luke 2:14 – peace to men on whom His favor rests

…Jesus can speak to u about balance, rest & peace – 2 Cor 4:8-9…vs 7 = jars of clay = the most precious treasures to be concealed in valueless containers.

Peace in the midst of Crises

…Whatever my lot,

Thou has taught me to say,

It is well,

it is well with my soul (from Horatio Gates Spafford’s song after daughters lost at sea).

God’s Peace encourages us to be peacemakers

…we are not to repay eveil for evil – Rom 12:17-21


leave it in the hands of God.

If u know the Peacemaker,

He will produce within u the fruit of the Spirit called peace.

-Chapter 5-


The benefits of waiting

…need great quantities of patience while raising children.

only thing do was pray


show love & patience

Greek= patience = macrothumia = combination of two words:

macro = long


thurmos = temper.

= specifically points to the idea of anger taking a very long time to build before it is expressed… if it is every expressed, it is under control.

… putting up with those who need long and patient love & kindness (Gorden Fee quote).

I believe God had a purpose in direction Paul to list the fruit of the Spirit in a certain order – Gal. 5:22-23… all begin w/love…

Love is the Christlike reaction to people’s malice.

Patience is self-restraint in the face of provocation.

…thinks before it respond

…if it responds

God is patient with us – 2 Peter 3:9

…give them light on the way they were to take <desert@night/40 years>

slow to anger


abounding in love

<don’t fall back into old ruts… evil


u r resting… 40 years in desert>

Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day.

Hurry can destroy our souls.

Hurry can keep us from living well.

‘Hurry is not of the devil;

hurry is the devil.’ – Carl Jung

We can grow in patience

You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life…

God is not in a hurry –

He has everything under control.

Patience will develop naturally as we grow in Christ and depend on the Holy Spirit, because we are part of the one who is patience.

Impatience often comes because of faulty or inappropriate goals

…we need to listen to our emotions, for they are a gift from God.

…feeling anxious, angry or depressed = could be because we have made goals that are not wise.

Any goal that can be blocked by forces out of your control is not a healthy goal, because the success you desire in meeting that goal is out of your hands…

Hard work and diligence r good qualities;


if we are perfectionists,

we will be frustrated, dissatisfied, and impatient because there is always more to do.

…find a point of closure in our efforts…

…expecting fewer things to be perfect

will result in patience, greater humility, less anger, and greater joy in life.

Emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression are often present because something is not going the way we want it to go…

Do your best

to trust God

with the rest.

…find a place of rest


trust God to work out His perfect will.

The only way we can truly be patient with others is to see them thru the eyes of Jesus.

…<don’t > harden your hearts toward them when u see them acting in horrible, evil ways towards others.

Eph 5:22, 33 & Col 3:18 – Wives are to respect their husbands & submit to them.

The marriage relationship itself, in virtually all areas – from finances to discipline of children – requires patience & commitment.

You are to be patient with people who do not know Christ.

‘not wanting any to perish’

…go to Christ daily

to seek His Will,

ask for forgiveness of sin,


determine that we will glorify Him in all we say & do.

If your past troubles u,

choose to act & speak differently today.

The incredible patience He has with us is the kind of patience He wants us to have with one another.

Thus it cannot be separated from love.

…respond to their behavior with love, truth, and proper timing

instead of hastily


with uncontrolled anger.

Walking in the Spirit means that we listen to God


follow His instructions as we encounter various challenges throughout our day.

-Chapter 6-


Reaching out to others

We should be concerned for the welfare of others and do all we can to be kind to them even if we are taken advantage of.

The fact that there is potential for people to use us or be dishonest with us must not prevent us from doing acts of kindness.

We are to see deeper than the potential for manipulation & deceit.

We must see their need.

Even concerning our enemies, Jesus said, ‘Do good to them, and lend to them w/o expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful & wicked – Luke 6:35-36 – those who imitate God in being kind to the ungrateful & wicked will be sons of the Most High.

God’s kindness to sinners is designed to lead them to repentance – Rom 2:4.

His kindness to believers should encourage us to continue in His kindness by treating others as He treated us – Rom 11:22 & Eph 4:32…

for love is patient & kind – 1 Cor 13:4.

When conviction didn’t go away…give

…we should seldom repress an urge to kind.

The fruit of the Spirit is more than an attitude or trait that we desire;

it is evidence that the Holy Spirit lives in us.

God’s purpose in having the Holy Spirit dwell within believers is that we might depend on Him to direct our lives & illustrate God’s personality to others.

Greek = kindness = chrestos = goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence, kindness, affability.

=ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience.

The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of the one under His control.

In Jesus’ story of the good Samaritan

He points out three characteristics of kindness:

it is compassionate,

it takes action,


it is powerful.

…He saw their need as an opportunity to help.

Luke 7:13

God helps us even when we have brought trouble on ourselves. We are to do likewise.

Kindness takes action

Col 3:12 – As God’s chosen people,

holy & dearly loved,

clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness & patience.

We must be ready to help our family members when they need us.

…a lifestyle of showing kindness in our homes…in our church, community, & workplace.

…stop to investigate when they see a need…

2 Tim 2:24 – characteristics of godly leaders – The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone.

Kind people r sensitive to other’s needs – Phil 2:4.

…we need to be truthful with others


we need others around us who will speak truth into our lives in a loving way.

As children grow older it is absolutely necessary that they develop maturity… the reality of having to work for a living


for the things they desire.

Ps 23:6

God, our Father,

is constantly looking for ways to help us,

bless us,

and to care for us.

He is always ready to give us counsel.

As God’s children

we are to be like Him.

God is kind,


His Spirit dwells in your life. He constantly urges you to forgive those who have hurt u,

taken advantage of u,

or rejected u.

Look deeper than their mistreatment & be kind anyway.

Don’t dwell on how they have hurt u;

look deeper & understand that God loves them


wants to show His kindness to them thru u. His Kindness & Mercy could come thru your decision to do a good deed or to change your attitude toward them. Ask God to help u forgive them & to be kind to them. He will help u.

-Chapter 7-


Learning to live generously


God-given attributes make people want to be around us

Jesus said that only God is good – Mk 10:17-18.

Agathosune = Greek = goodness = combines being good & doing good. It means kindness in actual manifestation, virtue equipped for action, a bountiful propensity both to will & to do what is good, intrinsic goodness producing generosity, & godlike state or being.

…to please God, without expecting medals & rewards

Eph 5:8-9 – …Live as children of light …for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness & truth

Goodness is not just what u say but what you do. Those who possess this quality are generous by nature.

…the Holy Spirit continually prompts us to treat people as Jesus would.

…each person ultimately chooses their behavior.

Rom 3:23 – all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God.

When we become Christians our basic nature changes

2 Cor 5:16-21

Rom 3:26

Rom 6:18

1 John 1:9

Col 1:27

Phil 2:13

Eph 2:4

Col 3:1-3

Rom 8:1-17

2 Cor 3:18

2 Pet 3:18

Mt 22:37-39

1 John 4:7-8, 11, 20-21

…we are in Christ…

…the Holy Spirit helps us control the sinful nature.

Ps 23:6

The Bible is God’s Manual on living a good life

Ps 119:9, 11 – …keep your way pure, by living according to Your Word.

I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.

Jas 1:22 – Do not merely listen to the Word, & so deceive yourselves.

Do what it says.

God’s Word teaches right behavior& will help us to have a good life.

The Bible is more important than anything else u could read…

‘The Bible will keep u from sin,


sin will keep u from the Bible.’ – D.L. Moody

There is no question

that what we watch & listen to

has a tremendous influence on how we think & act.

What r u permitting to come into your life?

Our mind is a precious commodity, & we need to do all we can to protect it.

We must guard our mind,


the Bible tells us how – Phil. 4:8…make a conscious decision to think about what we should be thinking about… a decision to reject harmful thoughts…

…your decision to be obedient to God can get u into trouble.

Before they were taken into captivity… Daniel had decided NOT to defile himself (Dan 1:8)… before he faced decisions about what was right & wrong… made a decision in his heart to serve the Lord no matter what… no compromise.

Holy Spirit will speak to u thru your convictions

Rom 12:9 – Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

1 Pet 2:20 – if u suffer for doing good & endure it, this is commendable before God.

-Chapter 8-


Foundation of true friendship

Greek = pistis = faith, belief, trusted.

Those who are faithful

are dependable,


we can place our trust in them.

Most of all, we are to be faithful in our obedience to the Lord… we will be judged on how faithful we were to all that God asked us to do – Mt 25:23.

…being God’s friend is a different kind of relationship, unique in its level of trust & respect.

Friendship involves openness in communication, vulnerability, transparency,


a sharing of ideas, dreams, & goals.

Friendship is special & is to be cherished.

Do they trust God


want to do their own thing??

…disciplined with thei rtime,

if they keep their word,

if they complete the job,


in the process, if they treat people well.

One major sign of immaturity is a person’s refusal to accept responsibility.

…if they cannot handle money correctly or get up in time for school, college, or their job,

they have not learned responsibility,


it is not wise to give them privileges.

Mt 25:21, 23 – God’s kingdom is organized in such a way that if we are faithful in small things, we will be given more responsibility.

When we disobey or refuse to accept what God has asked us to do,

we are unfaithful.

More responsibility is good… laziness is punished

Only people who invest get a return

Keeping our commitments

We need to be good stewards & try to live as we would on our own personal budgets.

Luke 16:12

-Chapter 9-


The strength of being tender

Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit that is fundamental to our relationships,

especially those that can keep us on edge – those with people who are pushy or offensive,

who live in so much private pain that they reject our attempts to get close,

or who have caused us to lose patience

either because of our own weariness


their lack of self-control.

Gentleness is a disposition that is even tempered, tranquil, unpretentious, & has its passions under control.

…pardon & forgive those who have injured them,

know when to speak words of correction & when to remain quiet…

rule their own spirits…

understand the strength of being tender.

Carefully chosen words that soothe strong emotions r referred to as gentle words.

…possessing tact & gracious courtesy that causes others to retain their self-esteem & dignity.

Gentleness can help us form better relationships

Possibly the three most challenging groups r those who don’t agree w/us,

those who correct us,

and those who let us down.

Isa 56:7 – God’s temple was to be a house of prayer for all nations.

…the temple court was the only place Gentles could go to pray,

the court was where the buying & selling were taking place.

Those who came to seek God & worship Him were quickly distracted & disillusioned by all the noise & lack of reverence.

Do they sense our reverence, sincerity, & love for God?

1 Pet 3:15 – Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks u to give the reason for the hope that u have… do with gentleness & respect.

If u notice that every time someone disagrees w/u, u become defensive & angry, it could mean that u r insecure & feel that u always need to win… if u feel angry, ask yourself, Why?

What am I afraid of?

What do I think I will lose if I give in?

No one has to win/lose if u r having a disagreement w/another… truth should be the goal.

Jas 3:17-18 – Wisdom from heaven is 1st of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy & good fruit, impartial and sincere… peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness = let heaven’s wisdom guide your actions & reactions

Those who are strong in gentleness r not defensive, nor do they become angry… they r grateful for the word of correction.

…u must control your feelings & words.

Husbands & fathers need to be cautious about how they speak to their wives & correct their children.

Col 3:19 – not to be harsh

Col 3:21 – Do not embitter your children or they will become discouraged.

1 Peter 3:4 – Wives r to have a gentle & quiet spirit… if married to an unbeliever, he could be won over becuz of her inward beauty.

Men r attracted to women who have their emotions & words under control.

Most men hate confrontation…

<let> peace reign in the home…

find ways to encourage

To keep the peace in the home, we need to be completely humble & gentle (Eph 4:2)… let gentleness rule our emotions & words.

If we are harsh, pushy, or quick to react,

we will repel others


possibly discourage them from trying again… be forgiving & encouraging… explain tactfully… help them succeed.

He assumed the best & believed in me (quote by Dave Goetz).

…begin conversation w/compliments, then speak to the person as gently as possible.

Gentleness will help keep our response under control while we wait for appropriate timing.

Thus the best way to make friends & motivate people is to be friendly & sincerely respectful of them as people & for what they do.

Be interested in them & remind yourself that they have demands, deadlines, & personal issues of their own.

Phil 2:3-4

Wise people listen to wise people; they are teachable.

God’s leaders are open to different opinions & new information. James said, ‘Humbly accept the word planted in u, which can save u (1:21).’

Humbly & gently come from the same original word as meekness.

‘Humbly’ means to be teachable, to learn & obey truth.

Their words are thoughtfully chosen.

-Chapter 10-


Mastering our passions

Greek = self-control = en kratos.

En = ‘in’

kratos = ‘strength, power, might, or dominion’

A person with en kratos = a person who has strength within.

…the actions of the sinful nature are clear:

sexual immorality, impurity & debauchery; idolatry & witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions & envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like – Gal 5:19-21.

The sinful nature is part of all our lives, & the only way to control it is to live by the Spirit.

When we are loving, we are more joyful.

When we have love & joy, we have peace.

When we have love, joy, & peace, patience is their companion.

Kindness will naturally emanate from a disposition of love, joy, peace, patience, & goodness.

With these portions of the fruit functioning, a foundation is laid for self-control, which allows us to live a life of balance & gives us the strength to stand against excess.

…even seemingly innocent activities & behaviors, can enslave us.

…food is necessary for life, many people are slaves to food.

…addicted to work, sports, television, exercise, sex, & a host of other activities that are not bad if done in moderation & according to God’s principles, which are found in the Bible. Without self-control some harmful habit or behavior can control each of us.

Prov 25:28 – Like a city whose walls r broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

…God will help u in every aspect of your life.

Self-control & self-discipline work together.

1 Cor 9:24-25 – Do u not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

…we now can have self-control because He will give us the ability. Winning life’s race requires keeping our lives under control.

Prov 16:32 – Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.

…be cautious about what we read, watch, or think. We must determine to feed our minds truth & purity. We must discipline our spiritual life by developing habits of Bible study, <scripture-> meditation, fasting, & prayers.

2 Peter 1:5-6 – Make every effort to add to your faith goodness;

and to goodness, knowledge;

and to knowledge, self-control.

…commitment to serve Christ & be obedient to His commands.

Forget what is behind


go after the goal.

1 Cor 15:33 – Bad company corrupts good character.

Emotions can be contagious.

Prov 22:24-26 warns us,

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or u may learn his ways & get yourself ensnared.

On the other hand, if we associate w/people of good character who r in control of their emotions, they will likely have a god influence on us.

You can choose to overcome your bad moods.

Gal 5:16 – Live by the Spirit, & u will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

When we live by the Spirit we obey God’s Word.

…if Christ is living inside, what spills out is the fruit of the Spirit.

Permit God to show you His Love & Mercy. Let Him fill u up with Himself. Surrender your life completely to Christ & determine that u r going to love Him with all of your heart, soul, & mind. …let Him express His attributes thru your behavior & in ways you treat people. Focus on Him & get so filled up with Christ that He oozes out & impacts everybody with whom u associate.

Don’t try to figure everything out; just be aware of God’s personality of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control.

-Chapter 11-

Winning the battle within

The power of a victorious life

…doing fantastic – not just good. God is interested in you & me bearing a lot of fruit of the Spirit. John 15:8 – This is to my Father’s Glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.

Gal 5:20 – idolatry = points to any form of worship toward an object, principle, idea, or being other than God.

Col 3:5 – greed is listed as a form of idolatry… become an object of worship.

Anything that alters one’s ability to think clearly & act responsibly is a problem.

…orgies = uncontrolled revelry, taking part in unrestrained festivities.

Gal. 5:21

Col 3:6

…you are actually dead – to the sinful nature – and you must remind yourself of that.

We must permit our caretaker to prune us.

Dormant pruning usually causes vigor in a fruit tree.

Pears produce the best fruit on 2-3 year old wood.

Fruit farmers call branches, ‘sucker limbs’ that suck moisture & nutrients from the tree & give nothing in return… produce shade so the sun cannot get to the center of the tree – which affects how fast the fruit grows & gives it its color…

…every Christian needs to be pruned periodically, it is important to have the right attitude toward God’s discipline.

Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter: long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best (Quote from Michael Johnson).

… react in a kingdom way, demonstrating patience & self-control. The sudden difficulty does not throw us off course…

allowed Him to do His work of pruning off what is destructive, unhealthy, & unproductive.

Times of discipline, trials, and difficulty can be the most important time of our lives because they build character…and character, hope (Rom 5:3-4).

Bad times can be our dearest friends, because through these times we can become more focused on who we are in Christ and develop godly behaviors & attitudes that will prepare us for eternity.

We need to live in the Spirit to produce the Spirit’s Fruit.

Remind yourself who u r in Christ. Try to look at yourself from God’s perspective. Think about the positive rather than the negative. … Living is a moment by moment process. …

Ask Him to help u respond to situations & people as He would.

As Christians we have sensitivity to sinful activities & attitudes…

‘Led by the Spirit’ = does not mean passively; it means to rise up & follow the Spirit by walking in obedience to the Spirit’s desire. …

When the Holy Spirit controls our lives we depend on God for everything – every day. Romans 8:12-14…

Living in the Spirit is similar to breathing. We exhale impure and inhale pure.

When you become aware of something you do, think or feel that is sinful, you deal with it right then. … ask God to forgive and help you.

You must apologize to the person you hurt.

Be careful not to become callused by repressing the Holy Spirit’s voice and disobeying Him…

Ephesians 5:18 – Be filled with the Spirit.

This is a continuous process.

The longer we are inhaling Him and exhaling sinful activities the deeper our roots will go into the soil of Christian-maturity.”


-The Notes-

in the back of the book:

I’m going to eventually look up Neil Anderson’s, “Daily in Christ.”


These guys are also the authors of:

-“The Battle: Defeating the Enemies of Your Soul”

-“The Blessing: Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit Today”

-“The Choice: Embracing God’s Vision in the New Millennium”

I will probably look into these at my library, sooner than later!


after taxes are done …


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on the #9 day allergy-test

I would have gone longer,


my nose was swollen and tender from all the Kleenx.

It started because I forgot my daily allergy pill… and I slept better,

a lot better.

I haven’t slept well for more than 2 nights in a row since I got married 2 years ago,


needless to say, I was willing to give it a longer try.

I decided to stop taking my allergy pills for over a week…
I was able to breath the whole time (Miracle!),
but my nose did run on occas.,
& I sneezed some.
By the 8th night, I had a headache & ear ache… or was that due to an ‘issue’ with my husband… I don’t think God minds us questioning Him. I ask Him questions all the time.
I wasn’t sure that night, if the symptoms were a ‘sign’ I needed to re-start my allergy/sinus regimen – or – a side-effect of my drinking too much coffee that day?
I had cut back quite a bit lately, going for days without caffeine.
I was resting & sleeping better.
It was glorious!   Then after our marriage class on Sunday (9th day w/o Rx), we stayed at the church where they are teaching it, and the pastor after worship asked for anyone with ear issues to come forward to be prayed for… my husband elbowed me… I don’t enjoy going forward, but I’ll TAKE PRAYER!   As soon as I was anointed with oil, my ear started to crackle… which I realized I had not heard in a few days. Praise God = sinus-fluid is moving AGAIN! I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do about my Rx(s), so I waited even though my nose was swollen & tender …
I woke EARLY in the morning the next day, and decided if I wasn’t going to sleep a full night, then I could end the ‘experiment’ of no allergy meds…
at least for this month.
Whoaknowsa, maybe in a month or two… oh, let’s be real, after the holidays, coffee won’t be as tempting. I’ll try to go off my allergy meds again in a month or so… maybe for a few days… then eventually build up to a few months, and hopefully one day, not need them anymore.
I can remember a time I only needed ’em in the fall of the year (almost 20 years ago), so the fact I was even able to do this at this time, while gardening, is a miracle all in itself.  Dust is my #1 allergen (We even have several hens who are currently molting, so LOTs of dust-mites!).
God is so good to help me – even in this! :)
Since writing this – my other ear has started to crackle… which is actually a good sign.  
December update:
Last holiday is tonight.
I start another sleep study next week – they are paying me this time! God is so cool!
There is NO coffee to be perked in the house…
just a wee-bit of instant left…
chocolate does NOT have the same effect as coffee… I tried yesterday.
I got #5 new hens this week too… so more time with the birds = more sneezing…
maybe I’ll try no allergy pill as soon as I remember to buy the good decongestant at the store and finally have clear, crackle-free ears.
Best to start with a ‘clean’ slate.
I also learned, it’s one of my allergy pills that causes problems with my sleep… so I’m alternating,
as one of the other…  more effective allergy pills puts me into a semi-coma state.
I do remember life without allergies… I’m going to focus on that in the New Year.


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on being broody

Broody as in like a hen, sitting on her nest…

I don’t seem to want to leave home much.


I’m not isolating myself.


Nothing dramatic happen.

No issues.

I just want to be at home.

I wish I could say it was because I was enjoying a bunch of free-time, but that hasn’t happened yet…


I did see one of my fav hens sitting on the nest today… late in the afternoon,


clearly she’s broody…

no rooster,


no babies for her.


Last year, I got baby birds for an older hen of our’s that was broody for MONTHs,


they were not what she wanted…

I think she was sitting on the nest to recover from trauma… all the friends in her click got eaten by a predator… I’m guessing she saw it. Mercy.


I also saw on for broody:

“a woman wishing to have a baby of her own


I sure that’s part of it,


I may be happy with a dog… except they make me sneeze… and the cat & hens are already causing that on a daily basis…


the wood-stove does too,


that hasn’t been started up yet…


why am I sneezing every day? Oh yeah, hello fall… death, dying, dust-filled fall.


I’m going to ENJOY this season of my life. I like it here. God is good.

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on respect

yesterday I was reading a new book (It made me cry more than once.)
my brother was chatty…


he asked some questions about my past…
I think that’s what led to me sharing some of the below with an online Bible-study group today.
The question of the day after our reading in Ecclesiastes was about respect:
“I was hired once to a job & was told by one of my co-workers that she didn’t think I should have been hired…
3 years later, she became my boss.
She tried to fire me at least 4-5 times over the next 10+ years.
It was quite a time in my life,


I certainly grew closer to the Lord.
I memorized scripture when I could not sleep at night.
I listened to scriptures while I walked before work, during breaks and after the day ended.
I listened to the Word while ironing, cooking, gardening and mowing the lawn.
I don’t think I would have survived without it.
Almost EVERY evaluation was her pushing me to quit – or – threatening to fire me.
It was exhausting, but thru it all, I ‘liked’ her – strange, I know,

I think it was God helping me submit in the face of adversity.
I respected her.
I worked hard, often 12-14 hour days.
I found peace in the beauty God provided all around me… flowers & clouds, sunsets & sunrises… etc.
I stayed involved in church, participated in small groups and mission trips… volunteered – all of it helped.
I asked God to let me be at home more, and He showed me financially how to do it.
I saved. I humbled myself.
After several more years, I was ‘released’ from the job after God showed me what He wanted me to do next.
I felt underqualified for the next step,


I was willing.
That was almost 5 years ago, and now I get to stay home most days.
God is faithful.
Our desires, I believe are His desires.
Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a house-wife,
I got good grades, so college was a ‘go’ since I was on scholarship…
jobs came regularly, sometimes I worked up to #6 jobs at a time. Now I have #2.
God is faithful.”


I also shared about how submitting & respecting my hubby has led to MANY answered prayers.


God is faithful.

Lamentations 3:22-23

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.

New Living Translation (NLT)

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on The Legend of the Dogwood

From a book I got at church:

“According to legend,

the dogwood tree once grew

straight and tall.


then it was used to make the cross

on which

Jesus was crucified.

As a memorial of this event,

the tree

never again grew large

enough to be used for this purpose.

In the spring,

when the dogwood blooms,

the four-petal arrangement of its flowers


us of the cross.

Each white petal

has an indention

on it’s outer edge – a symbol of the nail marks

in our Savior’s hands.


in the fall,

the leaves of the dogwood

turn a fiery red

to commemorate the blood of Jesus

with which our salvation was secured.”

No author was listed,


I’ve heard this story before.


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on the new year

Here’s a “Prayer for the New Year” from a book I got at church. No author was given,


I thought these were GREAT ideas:

“Slow Me Down, Lord,

Lord, this year teach me the art of taking minute-vacations – of slowing down to look at a flower,

to chat with a friend,

to pat a dog,

to read the Bible.

Let me look upward

into the branches of the oak


know that it grew slowly and well.

Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of eternal values, that I may grow toward my eternal home.


Jesus Christ our Lord.


I didn’t include all of the prayer,


I hope you enjoyed what I did!


The book also had a page about the “Promises for the New Year” instead of goals:

“Promise to forget the mistakes of the past


press on to the greater achievements of the future.”


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on the flap of a bird’s wings

This morning I was greeted to the sound of hundreds of migrating birds flapping at the SAME time as they took flight:

a giant sound.

All those wings, beating as one in take-off-flight.


God is so good to me.


I’ve enjoyed watching them these last few weeks. This area seems to be a spot where they start their day. I think it’s helped my hens. The baby’s (almost 5 months since I brought ’em home from the store) have started laying eggs since they have been singing.

God is so good.

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