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Number of Pages: 128
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2011
|Dimensions: 7.25 X 5.00 (inches)|
The Abundant Life Awaits You...
Talking with His disciples the night before He died, Jesus used a vineyard analogy to reveal His plan to bring every one of His followers to a place of genuine spiritual abundance. But if we don't understand how God works in our lives to bring that wonderful harvest about, we can actually work against His good hand in our lives without ever knowing it.
In this little book based on John 15, I invite you to listen carefully to what Jesus said. You'll learn how to cooperate with your Father for your greatest fulfillment and for His awesome glory.
And you'll discover how Jesus responds to our cry as women for transformation, a rich spiritual harvest...and deeper intimacy with Him.
Darlene Marie Wilkinson is the New York Times bestselling author of The Prayer of Jabez for Women and other books. She is the founder of the Women Who Make a Difference conference and enjoys encouraging women through her writing and speaking. The Wilkinsons are blessed with three grown children and several grandchildren, and currently reside in the Southeastern United States.
1. What words come to your mind when you think of an "abundant" life? What percentage of the women you know do you believe live an abundant life? Why do you think this is the case?
2. Look at the contrast Jesus makes in John 10:10. What does this tell you about what Jesus wants for our lives? What does it tell you about the real source of true abundance?
3. Can you recall a painful or difficult time in your life when you felt confused about what God was up to? What were your thoughts and feelings toward your situation, yourself, and God?
4. Looking back on a period of pruning in your life, can you identify any ways in which the experience resulted in personal growth or other benefits?
5. To what degree do you believe God is actively intervening in your life through circumstances or people you come into contact with?
6. Picture a continuum, with 1 being fate ("all of life just happens") and 10 being God ("He is directly responsible for all that happens in my life"). Where on the line does your belief rest? Note: There is no "right" answer, but either extreme is inaccurate. If your answer is 1 or 10, this book is going to be a surprise!
7. Describe why a persons belief that God is actively involved in her life is so important.
Chapter Two - The Touch of Abundance
1. How do you respond to the truth that although salvation is a free gift by faith, God wants your life to produce something for Him?
2. Keeping in mind that God planned good works specifically for you to do, what kinds of activities do you feel uniquely gifted (based on your natural talents, abilities, and circumstances) to accomplish?
3. Read Titus 3:14. Paul equates good works with meeting "urgent needs." How does this definition change how you think about fruitfulness? Who do you know that has an urgent need you could help to meet this week?
4. How comfortable are you with placing a lot of emphasis on what you do or dont accomplish for God? Why do you think this is?
5. Read Matthew 5:16. What does Jesus say is the purpose of doing good works? Give some examples of what this might look like in a womans life. What is the difference between this and good works done to be seen by men?
6. If you had to rate your level of fruitfulness for God right now, where would you place yourself?
7. How motivated are you to bear more fruit for God? Explain your answer.
Chapter Three - Lifted by Love
1. What emotions might be felt by a woman who consistently bears "no fruit"? Why?
2. Identify a time in your life when ongoing serious sin put you directly in the path of Gods discipline. Did you recognize what was happening at the time? How did this affect your response?
3. If a woman believed that God will increase the intensity of discipline, why would she persist in sin?
4. Gods discipline for specific sin ends as soon as we repent, but what kind of painful consequences might continue? Why is it so important to differentiate between the pain of natural consequences and that of discipline?
5. Share a time when God used a spoken warning (rebuke) in your life or in the life of someone you know. How did the person respond, and what was the result?
6. Look at James 4:17. What are some sins of commission and omission most prevalent among women?
7. Read Proverbs 3:12. What does God feel about you even as He is correcting you? How does knowing this change the way you think about His discipline?
Chapter Four - Making Room for More
1. What sort of activities might God want to prune from a womans life? Why would these activities be considered "leaves"?
2. Discuss what might happen if we mistake Gods pruning for discipline.
3. How has understanding spiritual pruning changed how you think about past painful experiences?
4. Can you look back on a time when you felt compelled to change your priorities for the better? Did you recognize that it was God at work? Did it lead to more fruit?
5. Read Philippians 1:1214. Paul made a direct connection between hardships hed endured and fruitfulness that resulted. Can you describe how a past season of pruning directly resulted in more fruit in your life?
6. The harder we hold onto something God is trying to prune, the more pruning comes…why do you suppose we so often struggle to let go?
7. Reflect on a time when you experienced a circumstance that God used to prune you. How long did it last? Why do you think Gods pruning has different intensities and different lengths of time?
Chapter Five - The Miracle of Much Fruit
1. Think of a very close friend outside your immediate family. What qualities make that relationship meaningful and valuable to you? How much do you see these same qualities in your relationship with God?
2. Is the way you abide today different than a year ago? five years ago? Explain the difference.
3. Have you ever gone through a season in your Christian life when you made little or no effort to abide with Jesus? How did that feel, and what happened?
4. Can you identify with the mistake of wanting people you love to meet needs in your heart that only God can meet? Explain.
5. Read Matthew 11:2830. How does what Jesus says here relate to the promise of abiding?
6. What are some unique challenges women today face when it comes to abiding?
7. What do you wish would be true about "abiding" for you? What steps can you take today to make this come
Chapter Six - Your Fathers Prize
1. Why might it be important to avoid trying to determine whether another believer is being disciplined or pruned?
2. Is it difficult for you to believe that God not only loves you, He also likes you? Explain the difference and why you think many women find this a difficult concept.
3. How would you compare the parental discipline you received growing up to what youre learning about Gods discipline? How do you think your past experiences still affect your response to God today?
4. When it comes to pruning, what are some practical things you could do to help yourself surrender something to God once and for all?
5. Read Mark 14:36 and Romans 8:15. God invites us to call Him "Abba Father." Why do you believe God teaches us that this kind of intimacy is possible?
6. Describe the role of faith in the choice to be more fruitful for God. Why is it so important?
7. Describe the way you want your life to look in one year in terms of fruitfulness and intimacy with God. Make a commitment to pray for one another accordingly.
StormChaser3 Stars Out Of 5Easy ReadJune 15, 2011StormChaserQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3Secrets of the Vine for Women is an easy read based on John 15. I have read Secrets of the Vine and enjoyed the women's version since it goes into more depth on how it would apply to me as a woman. The study guide is a nice addition for studying individually or in a group. The reason I would not recommend this book is because I cannot agree with the teaching that sickness is a form of discipline from God. Other than that, it is a good book.
I received Secrets of the Vine for Women free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
WordmachineGrayson, GAAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5June 9, 2011WordmachineGrayson, GAAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is a book geared toward women that breaks down the vineyard story from John 15 in ways that make them try to understand it better. It breaks down God's, Jesus', and our place in the vineyard. This book also has a study guide in the back to help people with personal or group reflection.
This book really opened up John 15 to me in ways that it hasn't been opened up to me before. As the secrets of John 15 were uncovered it made it easier for me to understand. It also pointed out how my relationship with Jesus can be deepened and how I can strive to bear more spiritual fruit. It also showed me how my life can be impacted from following John 15 and how my life can crumble up from not following it. My prayer life and personal time with the Lord has increased since reading this book.
This book can be really helpful to women to help them to understand how God can work in their lives through John 15 to help them to start and continue bearing spiritual fruit in their lives. I believe this book can really change a lot of lives if the information is read, reflected on, and acted upon.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
paradise8Age: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5June 6, 2011paradise8Age: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"The hurrier you go the behinder you get"! This is a quote that I had in my bedroom when I was a young girl. It seems the older I get the more clearer this statement becomes. Often times I find myself remembering this quote as I hurry about through my day then Holy Spirit gently reminds me (the first time), "Be still and know that I am God". At this time in my life as I give all I can to my little mission field here at home I am reminded of the importance of time with God, of abiding.
Secrets of the Vine for Women by Darlene Marie Wilkinson became a wonderful reminder to me of the importance of slowing down in order to "abide" with Christ. No matter the season of life you are in, women of all ages will glean from this book. The author does a great job at using metaphors, examples and scripture so that women can rightly apply the teaching's of Jesus in John 15. Learning the facts of how grapes are grown, how a vinedresser works tediously with each branch and understanding the spiritual application that Jesus was explaining may surprise some. Others may need to read the suggested scripture in order to attain a deeper application for in their life. The book has a study guide for each chapter that would be wonderful for personal or group study. This is a book that I will definitely pick up again.
I highly recommend this book. It may be a short read but a very poignant one.
"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review".
LisaHAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Great little book!May 26, 2011LisaHAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4"Secrets of the Vine for Women" by Darlene Marie Wilkinson is a great read! Wilkinson has taken the wisdom from her husband's book, "Secrets of the Vine," and written it from a woman's perspective. She uses personal stories and responses of women who were touched by "Secrets of the Vine" to bring to life the wisdom of the vineyard analogy that Jesus talks about in John 15 of Scripture. She also has written a short, fictional story about a father who is a vineyard farmer and his grown daughter who comes home to visit during harvest season. This story briefly begins each chapter and adds a creative and interesting understanding to the topic of the book.
I enjoyed this little book. Wilkinson reiterates the important truths from her husband's book and gives great insight into the understanding of John 15. There are many Scriptural references throughout the book, which allow it to be used as a personal or group Bible study. The appendix also includes great discussion questions to use within a group setting.
Wilkinson's book has encouraged and motivated me to focus more on my "abiding" in Christ. Any book that does that gets 2 thumbs up. I highly recommend it!
I received a free copy from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review on my blog.
Kelamenter SmithDetroit, MIAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Powerful, Yet RefreshingMay 26, 2011Kelamenter SmithDetroit, MIAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4A Treasure worth Keeping
This book has touched every fiber of my being. Secrets of the Vine for Women bring a refreshing and a wonderful way in learning about Jesus as the vine and we are the branches. The illustrations bring a remarkable way of how we should abide in the Word of God. It is such a great little power-packed book to refresh ones spirit. I am grateful that I belong to my Heavenly Father. This book reminds you of who you are and who you belong too, and what is required of you.
I couldn't put this book down, I truly enjoyed every minute of reading this book. It stirs in me the "don't be afraid to step out of the boat" type of experience. Build your faith and bare much fruit, keep the faith, and always trust your Creator. I highly recommend Secrets of the Vine for Women to every woman and teenage girl that sometimes needs a little reminder of their purpose and the reason they were chosen.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.