The Wine Makers

Week 21

Building A Relationship With God

My husband and I have recently began the adventure of home winemaking. The process of wine making is intimidating for the novice Vintner. We are learning some aspects of chemistry, mathematics and, as Americans, struggling with metric conversion. The most important thing we are learning is patience. Diving into mathematical equations and conversions are things we can actively learn and celebrate the success of our efforts. This patience thing is a much harder lesson. We have to tend to our wine, making sure it has a dark, cool place to brew in peace. We are chomping at the bit to see results.

This patience lesson has been hitting me hard in life lately. I am guessing this wine making journey is in line with God’s plan to teach me to wait patiently, in faith and peace, for His timing. I have asked myself if I want what I want or if I want God’s best for me. The truth is, I want both. The human flesh part of me whats what I want. The new creation in me wants God’s will. I truly want God’s best for my family and our lives. I have to learn to sit, like the wine, and let all of the ingredients, God needs to add, work and brew into His will over me. I must learn to rest in peace while He works things out. This doesn’t mean that I sit in darkness, like the wine. It means to keep going, keep seeking, keep learning. Be active in asking for God’s direction and to be obedient to His instructions. If I do this, just as the Vintner watches over his batch with care and anticipation, God will watch over me. He will direct my path and order my steps.

I am encouraged and thankful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to see His hand moving. I am thankful for seeing what He is trying to teach me. I pray for strength and wisdom to learn what He needs me to learn. I look toward the edge of this valley with anticipation of God’s best for me.

Psalm 37:23 (KJV)

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth inn his way.

John 15:5 (KJV)

I am the vine and ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing

Psalm 40:1 (KJV)

I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

This week I challenge you to read Psalm 40. I also challenge you and myself, to lean into the Lord for strength and peace. Put His will, for His glory, above your wants. Look for lessons from God in your daily activities. Seek His peace and wisdom and wait patiently, with anticipation, to see where His hand leads you. Remember to bring Him honor and glory and to praise His Holy Name!

Have a Blessed Week in Christ!

Jeanie Hannah

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Thy Will Be Done

Week 20

Building A Relationship With God

 

Scripture for this week’s message…Matthew 26:30-75 (KJV)

 

This walk with God brings great moments of peace; while this world will bring great moments of stress and persecution. During the times of trial and persecution we, as fleshly bodies, start to think this is how God intends for us to be treated. His intention, though, is for us to cling to Him and trust in His will. Trust in God that what He has waiting on the other side of the stormy season is better than anything we could even imagine.

 

Jesus, as he reach Gethsemane with Peter and Zebedee, knew He had been betrayed by Judas. He knew Peter would deny Him and He was sorrowful in His soul. He brought Peter and Zebedee with Him to watch while He prayed; but they fell asleep. He could have given up. He could have called in an army of angels for protection; but He didn’t. He turned to God in prayer saying “Thy Will Be Done”. He knew that God’s purpose and Glory was greater than His persecution. He knew that through His suffering, people would be saved.

 

People are the same today. When you are doing well, many want to be your friend; but when they see you in trial and persecution, they flee. People see the truth of God’s grace and favor on you and seem to make it their purpose to slander you and bring you down. You will find very few people willing to stand watch for the enemy while you pray.

 

Trusting God and following Jesus’ example is our guideline. The Bible is our handbook for dealing with every situation we face. We will face great moments of sorrow, as Jesus did. The key to overcoming is to draw nearer to God and trust in His will for your life. Focus on Him and His glory. People will see you come through your storm stronger than ever. God will use the example of your success, of staying in His will, to plant seeds of salvation in others.

 

This week I challenge you to ready Matthew 26:30-75. I also challenge you and myself to draw closer to God. Pray for His strength and His will over your situation. Give God all the glory and praise!

 

Have a blessed week in Christ!

Jeanie Hannah

 

 

 

 

Some Little Girl Sure Needs Jesus

Week 17

Building A Relationship With God

Have you ever been consumed by stress? A situation in your life is so unfair and hurtful that it takes over every thought, word spoken and choice you make. You become physically sick from worry and stress. Your appetite diminishes. You start to recognize who is not there for you. You become depressed and feel alone. No one cares. No one is there to listen to you vent it all out. No one is there to agree with you and help you voice the unfairness. The people you have stood with disappear. You listened when they needed to vent; but no one wants to hear your problems.

 

This is a very precarious situation. You are past the point of choice. You are justified in your feelings. You are not wrong! You think that you cannot help or control your feelings or emotions.

 

How do we pull ourselves up and out of the all consuming darkness? How do we avoid revisiting this situation? How do we keep our peace of mind and stay in God’s will when it feels like everyone is against us? How do we find joy when all we see is despair?

 

My Grand Mother’s favorite saying, when I was upset as a child, was “Some little girl sure needs Jesus!” She would walk by me and say this, and I would cry harder. I didn’t know how to let Jesus help me. She would make me so mad; but she was right. I needed Jesus. I also needed someone to tell me how to get Jesus. It took years of pain and rebellion before I figured this out. It is very simple; but hard too. We want approval from this world. We want comfort from those we love. I wanted my Grand Mother to stop, sit next to me, wrap her arms around me and tell me everything would be ok. she wanted me to find Jesus. The peace and comfort from my Heavenly Father is exactly what I needed.

 

How do we find Jesus? We find Jesus in the same way we find anything. We look for Him. We seek Him out. We cry out to Him. We ask for His help. We read the Bible and seek out His promises to us and we trust Him.

 

Here are some things God has promised us:

Peace: Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Strength: Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Joy: Isaiah 35:10 (KJV)

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Renewing of our Minds: Romans 12:2 (KJV)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Supplying our Needs: Philippians 4:19 (KJV)

But my God shall supply all you need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Love: John 3:16 (KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God Will Fight For Us: Exodus 14:14 (KJV)

The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

God will not fail Us: Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

We are not Alone: Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

 

I have listed a few promises from our Heavenly Father. The Bible is full of promises to us, children of God. How do we get these promises? It’s simple. We have to believe that God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and that He rose again and lives today. The Bible says we find salvation when we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths.

Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)

9- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10- For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

We just have to have faith in God. We have to trust Him more than we trust the things of this world. We have to turn our focus toward God instead of focusing on our situation. We have to desire to please God more than pleasing people.

Galatians 1:10 (KJV)

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

 

We simply have to make a choice to trust in God and accept the glorious peace, contentment and joy that only He can give. No earthly hug or bended ear can replace the presence of God or the comfort from your Heavenly Father.

 

This week I encourage you to choose the peace of God over the drama of life. Pray for those who wrong you. Sing a song of Praise to change the atmosphere from chaos to peace. Accept God’s gifts and let Him transform you with His love. Tell Him all your troubles and let Him fight your battles.  Choose this week to strive to please God and not people and enjoy the precious gift of peace over your life.

 

Have a Blessed Week In Christ!

Jeanie Hannah

Inclusive

Week 16

Building A Relationship With God

 

Romans 5:8-11 (KJV)

8-But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9-Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

10-For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

11-And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

 

Proverbs 30:5 (KJV)

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.

 

Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)

9- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10- For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

Do you feel included? This world has gotten so inclusive that people are being pushed aside. Everyone wants to be part of something greater than themselves. This world is screaming inclusion; but showing division. If you are part of one group, you can’t be part of another group. Each association has specific guidelines and rules to be followed. If you don’t follow the rules, you are outcast.

 

As believers in Christ, we should be setting an example for others to follow. God’s word, the Bible, is our guideline. We are called to love all people. We are called to forgive. We are called to share the Good News of Christ with all people; not just with those we see fit.

 

God’s word is as true and relevant today as it was when it was written. God gives us clear instruction on how to live in this world. He sent Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins because He knew we weren’t strong enough in our flesh to live a perfect flawless life.

 

This world thinks that, as Christians, we should be perfect. People see us fail and use this as an excuse for not believing in God.

Romans 3:23-24 (KJV)

23- For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24- Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

 

The sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, made us inclusive. His death and resurrection brought us into the exclusive Kingdom of God. He paid the way because we couldn’t. The only thing we have to do is choose. We can choose to believe in our hearts and confess with our mouth; or we can choose to believe in this fallen world and protest those who choose to believe.

 

Loving God doesn’t give us an excuse to judge someone or be mean to people. Loving God does, however, lay on our hearts a responsibility to uphold His word. We can love someone and have forgiveness; but not come into agreement with their choices.

 

If you choose to live a life outside the word of God, that’s on you! If I come in contact with you and don’t show you the Love of Christ, that’s on me! We will all, believers and non believers, have to stand before God and give account for the things we have chosen.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (KJV)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, weather it be good or bad.

 

This week I challenge you to look past behavior and see people as God sees them. Show the love of Christ and uphold the Word of God!

 

Have a Blessed week in Christ!

Jeanie Hannah

 

 

One Old Shoe

Week 15

Building A Relationship With God

I have a strict policy regarding writing. I give to you only what I am sure is from God. I don’t try to read other works for inspiration; but go directly to God and ask what He wants.

 

I am usually cleaning my house talking to God. I talk to him, then busy myself and in the focus on Him, He speaks. Today, I am painting an old ceramic shoe for the Courtyard. It is weathered and pitted from years of sitting in the elements. We bought it at a yard sale. My husband spotted it and saw it as a beautiful addition to our garden. He knew I could transform it and give it a new, fresh purpose at our home.

 

I become more in awe of God each week. He has used this old shoe to show me how He transforms us. When we allow Him, He cleans us up, fills in the cracks and gives us a new, fresh purpose in this world. God doesn’t see the old, worn shoe, He sees what He made us to be. Our Heavenly Father searches us out and, when we are ready, He refurbishes us. Mind, body, soul and spirit.

 

Painting this old shoe is an act of love for me. My husband built the Courtyard for me to write in. He made a place for us to fellowship with God in Nature. We maintain this great blessing by keeping the weeds pulled and adding to it.

 

Restoration is God’s gift to us. An act of Love. He loves us so much! He sees when we get discarded. People will disregard us. We will get treated badly and worn down by life; but just as my husband spotted this old shoe, God sees us. He lovingly and tenderly fills us with His grace and mercy. He cleans us up and gives us a new home with Him.

 

This life has given me many scars, internal and external. God has transformed me! I can tell you today that your are not too dirty to be cleaned up. People may count you out as worthless; but in God’s eyes you are a priceless work of art! You may be alone; but your Creator is waiting patiently for you to call out to Him. He has been there before your first breath. You have a family of brothers and sisters in Christ who love you. You have a Father in Heaven who loves you. God has a plan and a purpose for your life.

 

I struggle to put into words how priceless God’s gift of peace and contentment is. I can’t find words strong enough or deep enough, to explain how precious God’s love is for us. It is my prayerful hope that you will seek Him out. Learn, through His word, who He is and how great His love is for you. I pray that you find the amazing peace and contentment that can only come from God.

 

This week I challenge you to seek out God in all things. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you during every day tasks. Seek out the peace of God and enjoy His gift of grace and mercy over you.

 

Have a blessed week in Christ!

Jeanie Hannah

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

John 3:16 (KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

Luke 15:4-7 (KJV)

4-What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he looses one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

5-And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing

6-and when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

7-I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

 

Philippians 4:7 (KJV)

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

Colossians 1:13-14 (KJV)

13-Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14-In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

 

Romans 3:22-24

22-Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23-For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

24-Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Waiting

Week 14

Building A Relationship With God

 

Matthew 7:7-8 (KJV)

7-Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8-For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

What are you waiting for? Have you been praying for years for God to change a situation in your life? Are you getting frustrated at not seeing any change or results? I struggle with this myself. There are personal relationships that are not where I’d like them to be. There is a work situation that is not what I would like for it to be. There are things I want to do for God that I can’t see happening right now.

 

The bible tells us in Matthew 7:7-8 to ask and seek and we shall receive and find and to knock and it shall be opened. Sometimes, we ask things of God and don’t see anything happen. It’s not a matter of God granting wishes; but a matter of God wanting to give us His best. Think about all the things you have prayed for. Think about how things come about when you trust in God to give you His best. Maybe someone has prayed to win the lottery. God wouldn’t give to us something that would hurt us. If we are a bad manager of money, He wouldn’t want us to have an abundance of money and become distant from Him.

 

Romans 5:3-4 (KJV)

3-And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knoweth that tribulation worketh patience;

4-And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

 

The bible tells us to glory in tribulations. Going through difficult seasons builds in us strength and faith in God. We learn to wait with patience. We are building a foundation in Christ so that when we are ready, God can do great works with us that bring Him glory.

Romans 5:1-2 (KJV)

1-Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2-By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

 

God tells us to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. I believe frustration comes, for me anyway, from trying to make things happen in my own strength. I believe frustration also comes when I expect to see results in my timing and forget to wait for God’s timing. We have to do our part. We have to move our feet and seek and knock just as God tells us to; but we also have to do these things for the Glory of God and not for ourselves. This is a hard thing to accept and understand. We want things for ourselves and for our families. God knows this and understands it; but we must first want to serve God and put Him first. When we do this, He will move things around to our favor and add to our family and fulfill our heart’s desires.

Psalms 25:15 (KJV)

Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

 

This week I encourage you to set your eyes toward the Lord. Seek Him first in everything you do. Ask for His guidance and wisdom for every decision you make. If you have been waiting for a long time for a change, ask God to reveal what you need to learn in order to move closer toward His plan. Sometimes, we have to keep retaking the same test until we pass it. Remember this week that all things in God’s timing and in seeking His will above all other things will bring increased faith, build your patience and prepare you for God’s best for your life.

Have a Blessed week in Christ!

Jeanie Hannah

Let Your Light Shine

 

Week 13

Building A Relationship With God

 

Matthew 5:16 (KJV)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Daylight ShotNight shot

Daylight shot (no filter)                                                Night shot (no filter)

 

I have this tree in my yard that glows at night. The Firefly, or Lightning Bug, is another example of living organisms producing light. The scientific name for this natural phenomenon is Bioluminescence. Bioluminescence is defined by Merriam-Webster as: the emission of light from living organisms; also: the light so produced.

 

I am always amazed at how God shows us examples through nature. The tree in my yard glows no matter what the weather is doing. Thunder storms, strong winds, tornados or 90 degree humid summer nights, this tree lets it’s light shine. I have spend many summer night catching Lightning Bugs and locking them away in a jar. These tiny lanterns let their light shine just the same, weather they have been captured or flying free. I always released them and never harmed them, by the way.

 

My point in this is, that God shows us in nature no matter what we face, to let our light shine! In Matthew 5:16, Jesus tells us to let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good work, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. God wants us to let our light shine no matter what we are facing. People notice when we are having a bad day. People will treat us bad. We go through all kinds of storms during our life; but no matter what we are facing, we are called to let our light shine. Keeping calm and bringing Glory to God shows others the peace God can bring. God gives us examples in nature just as we are examples to others and a testimony of God’s grace and mercy.

 

This week, pay extra attention to what you see in nature. Pay extra attention to how other people react in different situations. Strive to let your light shine and bring glory to God.

 

Have a blessed week in Christ!

Jeanie Hannah