All posts for the month June, 2013

Last month Suzanne and I celebrated 20 years of marriage. We went over to the valley and did something we have never done before – wine tasting. The owner of the vineyard talked with us about the different kinds of grapes they use to make the different kinds of wines. He was very proud of his wine. And he should be – it was quite good. But I left there thinking more about him, the owner of the vineyard, than about the fruit. He put all his attention on the vines, but the fruit I tasted put all my attention on him. (Pudding River Wine Cellars)

This weekend I’m going to wrap up our series in John 15: Life in the Vine by discussing how everything in our lives is meant to make God famous.

Think about this: in the story of David and Goliath who do you see yourself as? Most would say David. Who wants to be some ugly giant, right? And really we want to be the hero in every story. But are we like David in life? I mean, aren’t we more like the scared little Israelites that have been intimidated by the giants of life? I don’t want to offend anyone, but maybe we relate more to the sidekicks than we do the heroes in many stories. So, if we’re not the hero, who is?

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:8 NIV)

Hope you can join us live or online at

20130617-063954.jpg In Hampton Court near London, there is a grapevine (called “The Great Vine”) which is about 250 years old. It has one root which is 12 feet thick, and the longest branch is 120 feet long. It produces 600 pounds of fruit a season.

Fruitfulness is Doing God’s Will and Displaying Christ’s Character, which is simple: LOVE GOD AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER

What our city needs is not better sermons or bigger churches…they need to see love at work…true, genuine, unconditional love…they need to see a passionate spirituality that comes from a deep love for God…that will change everything…

Let me give you two myths about bearing fruit:
1. Just work harder
2. Just don’t sin

Doing certain things and not doing other things doesn’t guarantee fruitful living.

Images describing The Process of Production

– Vine – Belong – stay connected to the one true vine, Jesus
– Heart – Love – Jesus’ life flow begins and ends with love
– Dove – Spirit – the Spirit produces fruit in us, not by our effort
– Sword – Battle – the flesh vs the Spirit
– Cross – Sacrifice – lay your life down, put aside your selfish ways
– Brain – Mind / Will – take every thought captive

What we think determines how we live.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

How can you change your thinking today about your relationships, your finances, your situation, your sufferings, your sin, etc? Write one way you will think differently? Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength and wisdom to walk it out.

No other religion can take rotten and make ripe.

Imagine if we tasted as good as what we believe? What would our city look like? What would your family look like? Your neighborhood? Your workplace? Your school?

**To watch the entire message online go to Westside Live