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In The Vine with Vicky and Chuck

AUGUST 2022

and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.” James 2:23

It was October 27, 2015 7:09 pm, Central Daylight Time, and at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri the Kansas City Royals baseball team and the New York Mets were about to start the first of a seven game World Series match. Chuck and I had followed the Royals rise to victory that season and we were hoping our hometown team could take it all the way to the championship. Chuck leaned back in his recliner and I found my spot on the sofa… Let the games begin…

Now, before I go any further, it’s confession time. I had to look at the stats (web surfing) to find all the information so I would get the correct number of innings played connected to the correct games in the series. This will make sense in a minute, I promise! I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I wanted to set the stage for you. The title of this article is “A Friend of GOD”, and so if you’re wondering what that has to do with a professional baseball game in the 2015 World Series, here goes…

The 9th inning of the first game, the score was tied 4-4. Chuck decided to go to bed. I decided I wanted to stay up for the rest of the game. After we said goodnight and he headed off to get some sleep, I moved to his recliner to watch the rest of the game. I’d only been sitting there for a few minutes when Father told me the game would go 14 innings. I felt that He was probably telling me so I could decide if I wanted to stay up that long, and I did. The final score was 5-4. The Kansas City Royals took the first game in the Series.

Fast forward to November 1, 2015. Just a few days later and the Royals were in New York to play Game 5 against the Mets. The time was 8:18 pm EST, which means it was only 7:18 here at home. We settled into our regular spots - Chuck on his recliner and me on the sofa. And then at one point, Father told me this game would be 12 innings in length. I wrestled with telling Chuck and then finally decided to make the leap and told him what I’d heard. It was then that I also decided to tell him about Father telling me the first game was going to be 14 innings in length.

We both stayed the course. And yes…it was a 12 inning game. Final score: Royals 7, New York 2. The game was tied all the way through the 11th inning and then Royals scored 5 runs in the 12th inning. It was so much fun to watch! When it was over, we headed off to bed. Neither one of us mentioned the fact that Father had told me the total innings that would be played in each of those two games of the 2015 World Series. But I sure wondered why He told me…

A few days later, as I was thinking about it all again, I finally asked Father why. I mean, I figured part of it was a testimony to us that I do hear Him, but I already knew that. So what was the reason? His answer was beautiful and humbling - because that is Who He is. He is Beautiful. And He is Humble. The next part was a surprise to me, Family. And it made me cry. Still does. He’s so good to us.

He said very plainly to me that it is because we are friends. I honestly can’t remember if He said it was because I am His friend or because He is my Friend. The fact of the matter is that My Father was letting me know that we’re friends…like Abraham was His friend…because He believed GOD and followed Him wherever He was sent. And back then, that believing was counted to Abraham as righteousness. Something so simple…and at the same time so profound, if we think about it.

Precious Family, this isn’t a story about me. This is a story - a true story - about how we have a Father in heaven Who doesn’t just want to be our Father and our God. Just as Yeshua/Jesus said when He left the earth, He was going to see His Father and our Father - His God and our God… He was teaching us something in those words. Father is not some untouchable, unsearchable, cold, uninterested Creator who is only interested in our obedience. He is a humble, loving, righteous, faithful, pure lover of our souls, and He’s looking for relationship with us. He’s looking for more ‘Abraham' people…

He’s looking for the ones who will be “A Friend of God”. Yes, we obey Him. It’s how He says we show Him our love. But we also enter into a special kind of relationship where the bonds are deepened and the time together in one another’s company is so enjoyable that we are able to say, “I am a friend of God,” and the gift and blessing of His Presence is…well, it’s beyond description.

This is my prayer for all of us. That He can call us His friends.

Love and big hugs to each of you!

Vicky

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” Psalm 42:5

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Ps. 42:11


Notice how similar these two verses are. In verse 5 we praise Him for the HELP OF HIS countenance

In verse 11 we praise Him for the HEALTH of OUR countenance.

When we look up the Hebrew word for HELP we find the word YESHUA (H3444)

When we look up the Hebrew word for HEALTH we find the word YESHUA (H3444)

Here is the definition of Yeshua in those verses....

Something saved....He saves us

Deliverance....He delivers us

Aid....He aids us

Victory....He gives us the victory

Prosperity....He prospers us

Health....He heals us

Help....He helps us

Welfare....He sees to our welfare

That's what I love about the Hebrew language....there is so much power in the names and words.

Take the word Shalom....it means

Safe ~ Well ~ Happy ~ Friendly ~ Health ~ Prosperity

Peace ~ Favor ~ Rest

So, when we say “Hi’ or Bye’ to someone....that's it.

When we say shalom, we are saying "be safe, well, happy, friendly, healthy, and prosperous. May you have peace, favor and rest." No wonder they shortened it down to one word.

So brothers and sisters, let me leave you with this...

Shalom!

The greatest sacrifice was Jesus dying on the cross.

The greatest gift is eternal life that our Father offers to all that believe in Him.

The Greatest Gift
Thank you, Lord, for the greatest gift
that I could ever hope to receive
You have promised eternal life
and all that we must do is believe
Thank you, Lord, for revealing things
that I never quite understood before
You have opened my eyes now I see
All the simple truth that lives in your Word

Taken from “The Greatest Gift” by Chuck Adkins (c) 1982

Have you SUBSCRIBED to Chuck Adkins Music on YouTube?
This is one of his original compositions. Blessings!

CAN YOU HEAR THE SOUND OF THE FATHER'S LOVE | Instrumental Christian Music | 4 Part Flute Harmony

MESSAGES FROM OUR MINISTRY TEAM

And He opened His mouth and taught them saying,

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

7. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11. Blessed are you when they revile you, and say all kinds of evil against you for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." - Matthew 5:3-12

”Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” - James 4:10.

Pride is an abomination in the sight of God. Often we have lurking deep in our hearts a spirit of pride that we are not even aware of. Unless we examine our hearts, and what issues from the heart, our words and actions, our very thoughts, we may neglect to deal with the one thing that God hates - pride. Many today believe that they don't need to study God's Word because the pastor will feed us all we have need of. We are unaware of the teachings of Jesus to take up our cross daily and follow Him. The other thing we should take up daily is our Bibles and study to be approved by Him!

When Jesus came to earth in the form of a Man, He left behind the glory that had been His for all eternity past, and He became our example of how to live and what we should be like. He was the most humble person who ever walked before mankind! His humility was revealed in ways that we seldom consider, but should marvel at. He washed His betrayer's feet after having shared a meal with him. He hung on the cross and in His agony cried out to His Father to forgive those who put Him there! He walked and talked and lived and ate with the dregs of society, and poured out His love on them. He said, "Follow Me." The pride in us will draw back from the smelly, dirty street dweller who is in need of Jesus.

His message to us that came from His heart as He sat on that rock on the Mount that day has been scorned by many in the church as unobtainable, and impossible to live by. He lived by the very principles He taught, and He expects us to do likewise. The Beatitudes ARE impossible to live by when pride lurks within our hearts and controls our thinking. Pride is an abomination to God because it stands between us and our fulfilling the commands and requirements of God. It says, "I don't need to do these things. They only apply to sinners", or,."The goal posts are too high!" Isaiah in Chapter 6 saw his own condition before his holy God before him, and cried out, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips! For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts!" His revelation of the holiness, the purity, the righteousness of God exposed him for what he was and he WAS UNDONE! Broken! Humbled before God. Job likewise had a revelation of God, "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes!" (Job 42:5-6) A mighty man who had every worldly reason to be prideful because of WHO he was and what he had accomplished and possessed, who acknowledged HIS need of God's forgiveness.

We came into this world with nothing but our bare skin, and we take out nothing but our bare skin! BUT we will be held accountable for what Jesus has been to us in our lives and whether we HAVE taken up our cross daily and followed Him. The "Rich Man" realized all this too late, and his cries of help to Lazarus are heard down through the ages as warnings to us to BE NOT like the world seeking recognition and fame, glory and acceptance by society, but to seek the will of God, love and serve HIM with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength, and by taking up our cross daily to follow Him, dying to self and the pride that so much longs for us to think of ourselves more than we are..Pride is sin.

A Prayer for His People

A Servant of THE MOST HIGH GOD  by Dave Petrunia

“My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:25‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:37‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Heavenly Father,

We come running to your arms today to feel your warm and strong embrace on our small and weak frames. We come with a weariness of the days of being bullied by the world and the spiritual attacks that have come against us. We ask for you today to hugs us tightly, to shield us in your arms, and be our hiding place. Revive us with your words, strengthen us with your promises and truth. May we not falter in our day to day steps, but completely whole heartedly trust in YOU for everything. May the haze and cloud of darkness that is making its way through the area of each on of our lives, may it disperse as YOUR light surrounds us. As a father guards his children from the wrong “friends”, may you weed out those that are no good for us, and bring forth those that respect you as a father figure, and believe you and your word in Spirit and in Truth.

Father, we need your daily protection, provision, discipline, counsel, forgiveness, and love. Thank you for teaching and love for the days ahead. We know it is to build us up to be with you.

In Jesus’ name.

Teresa = Harvest

Sending lots of love and huge hugs to our precious brother and sister in Christ, Dave and Amelia Petrunia. They are two of the ‘anchors’ in this ministry and are an integral part of the leadership team.

Each summer they take their beautiful boat, Seritone, out to enjoy the peace of the inlets, coves, coasts and waterways of the British Columbia gulf islands. There they bless friends and family with the ministry gift of fellowship, refreshing, rest and relaxation on the Seritone. And although we miss them when they’re away, we praise God for the opportunities He gives us to share with them from time to time during their great adventures in the beautiful Canadian waters.

They will be back in September and as time permits and Father leads, they will be once again adding their articles to this newsletter. Until then, our prayers remain steadfast for their safe travels, their much needed break from the craziness of the world and the refreshing and strengthening times they enjoy in Father’s beautiful creation!

Bon Voyage, Dave and Amelia!

See you two soon!

Vicky and Chuck

Please let us know if you need prayer. We are always praying for you, but if you have a specific prayer request please send it to Teresa, our Prayer Team Leader at Prayers@vickyandchuck.com, and she will get it out to the team. Be as specific or non-specific as you want to be. We will absolutely be praying.

Also, if you would like to join the Prayer Team, contact Teresa at that same email address and she will get in touch with you as soon as she can. She’s one busy gal right now! Just had a beautiful baby boy not long ago and now the family is praying for their next home as they travel the beautiful Northwest. I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers, too!

Here’s the email address to submit requests or to join the team: Prayers@VickyandChuck.com

Thanks!

Vicky

We have had several brothers and sisters around the world reach out wanting to connect with like-minded believers in their areas. We have been able to make a few connections to date! If you are looking to find others that follow this ministry that might live in or near your area, please send an email to vineyardconnections@outlook.com. Please remember, you will need to be willing to share your email address with others!

We have recently started meeting via Zoom! This meeting takes place every Sunday at 2pm CST. The purpose of this weekly meeting is to build relationships, encourage, support, strengthen, and pray with one another. We are still relatively small and figuring out the best way to manage this as we go. We hope that this will bless each of you with new relationships that can continue on outside of the meeting! If you would like to join us, please email me at vineyardconnections@outlook.com and I will add you to the invite list!

Father is moving and bringing His church together as we navigate these unprecedented times! Through these new means of connection, we look forward to getting to know our brothers and sisters better!

God Bless!

Kacy