Rest in Him, The True Vine

Mvini owonawona (True vine)

I discovered the song “Mvini” by We Will Worship (click link above) on December 31, 2018 – about two hours before it was time to ring in the new year. Honestly, it set the tone for my 2019. It was such a sweet reminder that Jesus is the True Vine and He calls us to rest in His promises. Everything is already set in stone by Him. All He requires is for us is to have faith and to learn how to surrender + draw strength from Him – not our mom, dad, sister, brother, boyfriend, friends or co workers. All he requires of us is to read His word, praise + worship, communicate with Him in prayer and praying for others and to have community and love on others (John 15:17). Full surrender. Full disclosure. ALL of you resting 100% on HIM our own True Vine.

He calls us to produce fruit – fruit that comes from Him. He prunes us to produce high- quality fruit. Jesus used this analogy of the vine to show us that we should always remain (abide) in Him. He is longing for us to abide in Him. (John 4:4). His followers who believed in Him were branches of God’s vine. Without this Vine (Jesus) – the branches (us) had no source of life within themselves. The branches (us) would produce no fruit and were good for nothing.

Rest in Him

John 15 (NLT) says:

Jesus, the True Vine

1“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 

2He 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. 

3You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 

4Remain 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.

5“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. 

6Anyone 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. 

7But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 

8When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

9“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 

10When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 

11I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 

12This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 

13There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 

14You are my friends if you do what I command. 

15I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 

16You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 

17This is my command: Love each other.

The World’s Hatred

18“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 

19The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 

20Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 

21They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 

22They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 

23Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 

24If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father.

25This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’

26“But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.

27And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.

Here’s to pruning + growing with deeply planted roots and resting in the “True Vine”

lots of love,

The Graced Citizen

(Dayna)

The Pregnant Promise

Have you really ever thought about the stages of pregnancy?

Let’s look at the definition (courtesy of google):

pregnant/ˈprɛɡnənt/adjective

  • (of a woman or female animal) having a child or young developing in the uterus.
  • full of meaning; significant or suggestive.”a pregnant pause”

It’s a cycle broken down into three stages: 1st trimester, 2nd trimester and the 3rd trimester.

Most importantly, during the pregnancy, there is one thing we tend to overlook – the mother’s expectancy – she carries a full spirit of expectancy – she expects that in 9 months, God’s willing, she will be holding her baby in her hands.

She is expectant of her promise, the promise of her baby.

Let’s look at the definition of promise, courtesy of google:

promise/ˈprɒmɪs/noun

  1. a declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen.”what happened to all those firm promises of support synonyms:word of honour, word, assurance, pledge, vow, guarantee, oath, bond, undertaking, agreement, commitment, contract,  covenant, compact”if I don’t go I’ll be breaking my promise”
  2. an indication that something is likely to occur.

 

But before this promise, there is a wait.

This wait is split into seasons – better yet, correct medical lingo – trimesters. Before a mother can meet her baby, she must go through a total of 3 trimesters. Each trimester comes with its own characteristics – each important for the preparation of the birth of her baby.

If the mother tries to give birth before the appointed time her baby is deemed premature or sadly will not make it. She has a 40 week wait.

Isaiah 40:31 New International Version (NIV) says:

31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

So with all that said – why do we try to settle for premature blessings? Why are we impatient with God’s promises? Why do we continue to try to rush God’s process?

Let’s get into the stages:

1st trimester: During this trimester, the woman is not showing that she is pregnant but she starts to have symptoms. She knows she is pregnant based on a test she took or by visiting her doctor. She is pregnant – no visible signs, just symptoms. Her mood and appetite usually changes as the body prepares for the changes it is about to undergo.

At the beginning of every season, there are signs of change. The things you used to yearn for you no longer desire. As you grow and mature spiritually, intellectually and emotionally – you will no longer be interested in what USED to satisfy you.

 2nd trimester: The woman starts to show signs of pregnancy “baby bump” and her 1st trimester symptoms usually die down. She has now increased in size and weight. She has now grown physically. At this stage she is usually adds to her preparation by buying new clothes.

As seasons change you will outgrow mindsets, people, relationships + friendships and your previous season. We can’t continue to hide or downplay our God given potential because we are afraid of change. We can’t fit into clothes we already outgrew. We can’t continue to sit in situations that we already outgrew. We can’t grow into a new thing without also growing out of the old thing!

Ephesians 4:22-24 New Living Translation (NLT) says:

22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

3rd trimester: The expectant mother looks and feels pregnant. She has discomfort when she lies down, gets up and walking makes her breathless. She is only a few weeks away but the “burden” seems heavier to carry. Does she give up on her baby? No! She still patiently waits on her delivery day because she understands how important it is to carry her baby to full term.

So many of us want to skip our own trimesters to have an instant gratification of the promise. The third trimester makes me think of faith + obedience. A lot of times when it begins to get hard, we are ready to throw in the towel- call it quits because it’s so uncomfortable or it doesn’t look like anything is going to be happening soon enough – on our timing. SO MANY OF US ARE SO CLOSE TO THE PROMISE AND GIVE UP! Noah started building and was faithful for almost 100 years. Noah developed consistency in his obedience.

Growth is not comfortable. Change will never be comfortable – but the promise is worth the wait. God’s timing is worth the wait.

Faith in God + Focus on what God is doing in your life. Be content in your trimester (season). Each one is important and adds to the next.

2 Peter 3:9 New Living Translation (NLT) says:

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

Don’t give up on your baby (promise)!

lots of love,

The Graced Citizen

What are you rooted in?

Happy New Year!

I pray 2019 will be a year of continued spiritual growth and maturity as we dig deeper into the Word and truly develop a heart of worship. Worship is much more than a song …. it’s how we live our lives. Worship is the way we live in obedience to Jesus. I truly believe the seeds we have been planting – that some will be harvested this year. We must continue to trust the Lord and His timing. 

This post will be a short one because my hope is that we will individually take some time set aside for the Lord to dig deeper.

As we enter the new year, I wonder …… what are we rooted in?

I looked up the definition of root and according to the Oxford Dictionary, it is defined as:

root1
/ruːt/
noun
  1. the part of a plant which attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibres.
    “cacti have deep and spreading roots”
    2. the basic cause, source, or origin of something.

Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV) says:

Spiritual Fullness in Christ

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT) says:

Freedom from Rules and New Life in Christ

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7 (NKJV) says:

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding [a]in it with thanksgiving.

 

What are you rooted in?

My roots should be built on Jesus. Jesus should be my foundation. Not a husband, a house or a job. When humans or things of this world change, my foundation will be built on a source that is unchangeable.

Hebrews 13:8 (NLT) says:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

Think about a very large tree, it is able to stand because its roots grow deep and wide into the ground. Usually our eyes can’t see how far it is actually growing unless we dig it up. The roots grow from the seed before the seed starts to sprout above the ground.

What will you look like if you’re “dug up”? Will your roots (foundation) be Jesus? The Word of God?

As your roots grow deeper, things around you will change- you can’t stay the same as you were last year or even yesterday! I read somewhere that growing sometimes means outgrowing certain seasons, mindsets, people and circumstances you can’t take everybody and everything with you to each season of your life. God will always bring what is the best for you as your progress.

As your roots grow deeper – you will learn more about your purpose and the assignment here on Earth. You will hear His voice more clearly.

James 1:17 says: “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

Let’s live deeply rooted this year – let’s spend less time on social media (including messaging and WhatsApp) and more time journaling, praying and reading God’s Word.

lots of love,

The Graced Citizen

 

 

The Single Season

OH EMMMMM GEEE!

Hi everyone! How are you all doing? I really do need to know!

I feel like it’s been a whole decade since I last got on here!

It was a well needed break – from all of it. Just to catch you up a bit ….during my B.R.B time I had the opportunity to go on the Brave by Faith trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy with the most amazing, faithful, spirit-led host – Juliette Bush and 11 other amazing women – which changed my whole life. (I plan on writing a post on Italy eventually and some of the things God shared with me, so stay tuned)

But today, I am going to share a little about what I have learned in my single season – the season a lot of us women dread and become impatient in.

Ladies, we must learn that we cannot rush God’s plan for our life. He is the one who has touched our lives , therefore He is the one who will bless it. We must stop worrying about the when, what and the “who”. It’s all about God’s timing and we have been called to have faith and to believe in His promises. You are right where you need to be – God isn’t finished with you as yet and something great is in store for you. God is in charge.

With that said…..

This, by far has been one of the most important seasons for me and I had to protect it with my whole life. It was in this season I recognised that I was actually broken and it forced me to surrender 100% + to trust God with my brokenness. If I am not broken – I don’t need a Saviour. I had to understand that it is God that heals me from the state of brokenness.

Psalm 147:3 NLT says: “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”

I mean He already knows everything about me. Every hurt, pain, moment of breakthrough and joy.

It was my season of growth and revelation. It was here in this season, I learned so much about myself and the purpose God has so graciously assigned to me. It is in this very season that Jesus really has been not only my Father, but my very best friend.

I’m single because I’m whole and IN my wholeness God will set me up… but I had to put God first. With the wisdom He has given me in this season, I know I won’t have to compromise God’s will for me. God saw that Adam had a need and the woman came without the need.

I knew I had to be single before I could serve as a healthy, spirit- led helpmate.

In this season I not only learned to serve at my church but to serve others and my community.

Yes, people had a lot to say (Chile, wedding time now or your biological clock is TICKING) but I had to be led by the spirit. I understand that there is an assigned purpose that will come with my marriage and that God has to prepare me first. I have to be patient with His timing, not mine or the world’s “clock”.

It has been my best season.

I just encourage you ladies: Enjoy extended, uninterrupted quiet time with Jesus. Travel. Spend time with the ones you love the most. Serve at your church and community. Help a single mom out. Volunteer. Open that business. Write that book.

I can’t wait to see what my Lord will do for 2019

lots of love,

The Graced Citizen