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Friday July 13, 2007


(Leaving the TransAmerica Trail. Thanks adventurecycling.org)

Day 40 -
Goreville IL to Eddyville KY 112 miles, 7:45

The people you meet on a ferry on the Ohio River along the Illinois-Kentucky state line, like David for instance, he works with stained glass and has blessed many a church in his career.

He greeted me with one of the two most common comments I hear along my bumping-into-people ministry. "I am a Christian too," David said.

I told David how we've passed out crosses every day for the first 40 days of our 53-day tour, and that we weren't really sure how many people we were actually touching.

"You touched me today," he said, in a needed reminder and encouragement.

I had a lot of time to reflect on a lot today, riding 112 miles in 7 hours and 45 minutes.

It began in Goreville, IL and headed slowly up and down the 65 miles to Cave In Rock, where we picked up the ferry across the Ohio. The balance of the ride through Kentucky was along country roads in famous Amish country.

The most interesting thing about the route was how many folks I saw mowing their yards. It was a beautiful, mild Friday and I guess, it was just "yard day" in southern Illinois and Kentucky.

I was listening to the book The Journey, by Rev. Billy Graham. In one chapter, he was talking about our responsibility, once we become Christians, to be Christians. Our actions should look like we are disciples of Christ, he said.

Somehow for me, seeing all those folks riding around on lawn mowers, proudly taking care of their properties, I made a connection.

As Christians, God will not allow our lives to grow wildly out of control. In order for us to be most fruitful for Him, we have to look like His. We are His proud creation and He will "mow" us as He sees fit.

Jesus explained it in John 15.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:1-4 (NIV)

I recommend Bruce Wilkinson's Secrets of the Vine, as a great way to learn more about John 15 and the way God "prunes" us in order to make us most fruitful for Him.

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 J. Boe Ellis - 813.732.0619