Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring time! Do you need some pruning?

GROWING FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

 By Author Paula Mowery


Have you ever seen a fruit tree of any kind? We lived in a house that had an apple and a pear tree in the back yard. Now, I had no idea how to care for those trees or prune them. Since I didn’t care for them in the proper way, the fruit they produced wasn’t of good quality.

This is the way it is with our Christian life. We can accept Christ and even be baptized, but to live a truly fulfilled Christian life, we must live by the Spirit. How do you live that way?

In Galatians five, Paul writes to the church to encourage them to live by the Spirit. He explains that living by the Spirit is contrary to the sinful nature. This means that living by the Spirit is the opposite of what a Christian was before turning to Christ.

When a person accepts Christ, what we often call being saved, that person receives the Holy Spirit. This is what is meant by the phrase, Christ lives in you. Jesus told his followers that though He was going away back to the Father in heaven, He was sending another, a comforter. This comforter is the Spirit. 
In light of knowing that the Spirit comes to reside inside of the Christian, let’s return to Paul’s encouragement to live by the Spirit through containing the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

To live by the Spirit means yielding each day to His guidance in your life and following the instructions spelled out in the manual called the Bible. The Spirit is provided to help us interpret Scripture to guide our lives. The Spirit acts as a leader and provides conviction and a pricking of the conscience.

How can you and others know if you are living a true Christian life through the Spirit? Your life will show fruit. Paul has listed those fruit for us in Galatians.

A Christian who crucified the old self that was full of sin will live by the Spirit and keep in step with Him. We will willfully and deliberately yield to the Spirit’s leading and instruction. This is similar to the pruning and care that my poor fruit trees in my yard needed. Paul then says that the proof that we are living this way will be the fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

So, how is your fruit? I’m afraid I often need to allow some care and pruning so my fruit will turn out the way God intends.



Blurbs for Legacy and Love

The Prayer Shawl

Sean Holland is a magazine reporter always looking for the next story. Hope Weaver is a pediatric nurse who shares Christ through making prayer shawls. The shawls are just the touchy-feely story Sean needs, even though he’ll have to endure Hope’s strong Christian beliefs to get it. An unexpected connection brings them together as a couple. But, can they find love if they don’t share their faith?


Inheritance

Alex Lyndon’s life has been a series of fits and starts with no finishes. She finds herself jobless and divorced. Now her only family, Granny Olivia, is critically ill.

Chase Carson had to step into running the family business when his father died. The time is past due to visit Miss Olivia.

Alex and Chase must go on a treasure hunt. Will each find purpose and love for their lives in the process?


MEET EDITOR AND AUTHOR PAUL MOWERY

Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. Legacy and Love is her first solo romance. Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living.

As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.

Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a first year college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

You can follow Paula at www.facebook.com/pages/Paula-Mowery/175869562589187. Learn more about Paula at her blog at www.paulamowery.blogspot.com or enjoy her monthly columns on www.christianonlinemagazine.com.