WINE SEASON- penned by my friend Erica van der Laak

Posted January 4th, 2010 by Leah and filed in Guest Blog, LR Ministries

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Hello everyone!  I have a special treat for you today.  A dear and precious friend of ours from Holland, Erica van der Laak, is back in New Orleans visiting for a month.  What a blessing to have such a strong woman of God staying in our home.

My husband Jim met Erica at the Broad Street Mission when they cooked together for the homeless.  Erica travels the world to be the hand and feet of Jesus to the poor, outcast and forgotten.  She refers to herself as a “pilgrim” and has given her life to serving the Lord.  Last year alone she served in Italy, the Ukraine, France and China sharing the love of Jesus.

The Lord has given her a powerful message “Kingdom Living” to help equip and set free the Saints by teaching them how to live a “Kingdom Lifestyle”.  When Erica leaves New Orleans, she will travel to Uganda.

Erica’s slogan-  “If she does God’s work in God’s way, He shall provide all her needs.”  If you want to partner with Erica, she says “Pray- for together we are strong!”

Erica never asks for financial support, but as a sister in Christ who has witnessed first hand her love and servanthood in the Body of Christ, I encourage you to sow into her ministry.  Like she says, “together we are strong.”

To donate please go to Paypal.com.  Click on Send Money Online.  Erica’s email address is Ericabenjaweh@gmail.com.  Thank you and Jesus bless you immeasurably!

Now, please enjoy a message from Erica…

Wine Season –   John 15:1    I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser.

Riding with my car in the middle of the wine fields looking to the grapes almost ready to harvest, it’s a fruitful Year 2009.  Italy can enjoy its fruit that is growing on every tree.  I’m amazed how all things continue on earth season after season.

Lord You are the Creator of this beauty!  I saw a Red Rose planted near the vine and asked for explanation because I’ve never noticed this before.  The Rose is planted to expose if there is an insect that destroys the fruit during the maturing of the grapes.  If they see spots on the Rose, they need to clean the vineyard!  So that the grape becomes ready for the wine to flow into the vessels.

It came up in my mind, Lord it’s like us.  Jesus teaches us, if there are unclean things in our life we need to be cleansed again with his blood.  The insect needs to be killed before he kills the whole plant and the plant does not give fruit any more.

Song of Solomon 2:15 speaks about the little foxes that spoil the vine, for our vine has tender grapes.

It’s the Holy Spirit that sees the wrong in us and urges us to be cleansed again by the blood of Jesus so we don’t die, but become fruitful.  When the Rose is blooming beautiful in us, we are healthy from the inside and we bring forth good fruit.  The branches that are closest to the vine have greater grapes or fruit than the ones that hang on the end.  Every plant stays on himself but every branch reaches out to the other branches to stand strong.  Every vine that stands alone loses power to stand up straight and finally dies also.  Because when the storms of life are coming into your life, you are without power.  Only together are we strong.  When there is a branch without fruit He takes it away.  He calls it pruning, that hurts the other branches too.  Surely when it is happening in the body of Christ, if one suffers the whole body suffers.

When the harvest time is there, the Rose still remains blooming.  While the leaves coloring red drop on the ground, the Rose blooms until the freezing cold comes over the garden.  That is what I have noticed in my time that moment.  I was in a resting time and felt really as the leaves of the vine.  But God told me that this time is necessary for you.  Just like the vineyard needs rest, you too need rest.  Stay close in me and enjoy your resting time so I can pour new energy inside of you to become fruitful again!

I was thinking it is not the white or yellow rose that shows the vinedresser the illness in the vineyard, but only the red…the Rose of Sharon.  How precious God explains Himself through His Word.  We only need to be careful to stay close to Him and to other believers.  Vine plants stay their lifetime together, shoulder to shoulder.  Don’t boast that  your branch is better than the one near you.  Only the wine from inside the grapes flow out to the world so everyone can taste the fullness of the mature fruit.  It’s God in us, the Hope of Glory, who made this plant and works this all out for the best.  For His Glory, not our glory…for His and His alone!!

When spots are coming on us, we need to be cleansed again.  He purifies us and we again become fruitful.  Think about this, every vine has a time of growth and developing and pruning.  This is how God has prepared everything for us.  So every year there is a season that fruit comes up.  I pray that you will stay close in Him to be fruitful.  Read your Bible so when the time of sharing Jesus’ love arrives, you are filled up with His Words of Love.  And there shall be fruit ready to be harvested.

God Bless you all in your walk with Jesus,

Erica



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