Daily Archives: November 3, 2013

December 3: the long-awaited visitation

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us… Luke 1.68-71

Notice two remarkable things from these words of Zechariah in Luke 1.

First, nine months earlier, Zechariah could not believe his wife would have a child. Now, filled with the Holy Spirit, he is so confident of God’s redeeming work in the coming Messiah that he puts it in the past tense. For the mind of faith, a promised act of God is as good as done. Zechariah has learned to take God at his word and so has a remarkable assurance: “God has visited and redeemed!”

Second, the coming of Jesus the Messiah is a visitation of God to our world: “The God of Israel has visited and redeemed.” For centuries, the Jewish people had languished under the conviction that God had withdrawn: the spirit of prophecy had ceased, Israel had fallen into the hands of Rom. And all the godly in Israel were awaiting the visitation of God. Luke tells us in 2.25 that the devout Simon was “looking for the consolation for Israel.” And in Luke 2.38 the prayerful Anna was “looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”

These were days of great expectation. Now the long-awaited visitation of God was about to happen – indeed, he was about to come in a way no one expected.

© Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

sundays are my favorite day of the week

Sundays

– Be sure you take the time to hang out with Jesus and make it to church too –

3. my church: The Vine

I heart my church. Not the building. Not the space where we meet. The people. The community God has blessed me with and continues to bless me with.

In March of 2010, my pastor and friend, Rick, asked if I would like to be a part of this adventure. God has an amazing way of working things out. You see, since I was a kid, I had dreamed of living in Minneapolis, MN…I’d had visions of walking around downtown Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs…of working here. How crazy-cool is it that I know call that my home?!?! Blessed indeed!

I immediately said yes…feeling that nudge well up from deep within my soul…and moved here in 2011.

September 2012 brought with it the official start of our church….The Vine. It’s been quite the adventure and growth process for not just our church, but each of us individually since. We’ve gone through the study of James, experienced the wonder of Christmas through fresh eyes and are now learning what it means to live life on the Vine (Jesus).

Growth is happening.

My faith is deepening.

I’m beginning to understand how deeply I am loved by the only One who could save me and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

And I am thankful for my church. Without that body of believers, there would be no growth and life would have limited purpose in things that don’t last…in other words, it would have very liittle meaning and I would always be seeking something more. I’ve been blessed immensely in having such a real, genuine and humble church to be a part of!

You can check out our website here or our Facebook page here. Or, if you’re like me and have branched out into the world of Twitter, here. If you live in Minneapolis/St. Louis Park area and are looking for a church or are curious, come check us out! We’d be happy to have you!

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” John 15.1-17

the vine