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Holly Bird Speaks to Beth Moore

Holly Bird Speaks to Beth Moore
 
In Chasing Vines, Beth Moore addresses fears that many of us experience at some point or another: the fear of not being seen, that you’re not of use, of feeling giftless in a gift-driven society. Beth wants us to know how much we matter, and that every part of our life matters to God. Specifically, she provides thorough teaching on God’s call for us to be fruitful, reaching into Scripture to illustrate the impact this has on our happiness, and the peace and satisfaction it brings.
 
What prompted you to write Chasing Vines? 
Every book I’ve ever written has come the same way: a Bible concept captivates me and will not let me go. At first, I assume God is leading me to speak on the material, so I try that but, instead of satiating my appetite, it feeds it. By the time months have passed and I still can’t shake my fascination with the concept, I can be pretty sure God is about to send me back to the writer’s bench. This was certainly the case for Chasing Vines. Even having finished the book, I still think about the material constantly. I still look for rows of vines on every rolling hill. I never even pass the fruits and vegetables in a grocery store without wanting to grin at the grape carts. I’m still obsessed with it. 
 
What is your hope for this book and how will it help and instruct your readers? 
I have a very clear hope and dream for this message, and it’s bold. I’m asking God, out of the abundance of His grace and goodness and an affinity for His own glory, to use it whatever way He wishes to significantly increase the fruit-bearing in each reader’s life. Every single person. If a reader is new to a walk with Jesus or hasn’t even begun, I pray for God to make it a jump-start. If a reader has produced tremendous fruit for the kingdom of God, I’m still asking God to use it to stimulate even more fruit. It’s not just because more is always better. It’s not. It’s because this is God’s clear will according to one of Christ’s most important teachings to His disciples. God’s desire for us to ever grow in fruitfulness is evidenced beautifully in John 15. Jesus describes His Father in the role as Vinedresser, willing each branch to bear fruit (verse 2), tending to it to bear more fruit (verse 2), and being glorified when it bears much fruit (verse 8). I so badly want people to understand that there are no exceptions to the assurance of John 15. If we’ll abide in Christ, we will bear fruit and, once we learn what it means to abide in Christ, there will be nothing we’d rather do.
 
Take us back to where the concept for this book was born. Tell us about Tuscany and how your trip inspired you to dive into Scripture relating to the Vinedresser, vine, branches, and fruit. 
For years I saved up frequent flyer miles with hopes of taking my daughters, Amanda and Melissa, on a trip somewhere superb strictly for vacation. I’ve done a lot of traveling, but most of it has been ministry related, and my family and  I rarely ever sailed the seas strictly for pleasure. I wanted to take my girls on a trip where they had my undivided attention, and to do something special for them in return for sharing their mum more times than any of us could count. Something they’d never forget. We chose Italy.
 
We’d tour Sienna, Naples, the Amalfi Coast, stay in Positano, take a ferry to Capri and spend our final nights in Sorrento. But it was rural Tuscany that became the scene of my unexpected romance. It never occurred to me we’d stay right in the heart of a sprawling vineyard, at the tail end of a harvest. Our first Tuscan morning from the backseat of a taxi, we saw the last of the gatherers, walking the rows, inspecting the vines, clipping the final heavy clusters of fruit. And that’s where it happened, my nose pressed to the window. That was the beginning of my grape crush. 
 
Using the vineyard metaphor, you talk about challenges like rocky soil and pruning. How does God use challenges in our lives to grow us into who He desires us to be? 
One of the concepts that set me on this rampant vine-chase from the very beginning was discovering that, under easy conditions, grapevines tend to produce mostly leaves and very little fruit. They don’t thrive under perfect conditions. There’s a saying I heard early on in my research that captures this notion: Stressed vines make fine wines. Set that piece of information into the metaphor of spiritual fruitfulness and, all of a sudden, most of us start perking up with some fresh hope. Certainly, too much stress can kill the plant – we talk about that in the book – but a certain amount of challenge is what causes the branch to actually flower and produce fruit. If you’re like me, you can’t get your life to completely fix. Too many rocks in your soil. Too much heat in your climate. You may find out that, right there in those ugly conditions, you’re sitting pretty for some serious  fruit-bearing.
 
What does an immensely fruitful life  look like? 
It looks like any of us, young or old, single or married, in any walk of life and any season, school, profession, or vocation, in any sickbed, coming out of any rehab, shelter, palace, high-rise, five-star hotel, working in any place of government or finding ourselves in any state of unemployment, who offer all that we are, everything we’ve got, everywhere we’ve been, everything we’ve experienced to Christ’s complete disposal for His Father’s glory and attach ourselves without reservation or hesitation to Jesus alone.
 
 
 
Author and speaker Beth Moore founded Living Proof Ministries in 1994 with the purpose of encouraging women to know and love Jesus through the study of Scripture. She has written numerous bestselling books and Bible studies, including Breaking Free, Believing God, Entrusted, and The Quest. Another recent addition includes her first work of fiction, The Undoing of Saint Silvanus. 
 
 
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