Episode 7 – Vine Grafting; special guest Ray Hollenbach

Show Notes Episode 7 – On Grafting Grape Vines and Special Guest Ray Hollenbach

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Life As Prayer: Revive Spirituality Inspired by Ancient Piety

Learn about 16th century Brother Lawrence and how his understanding of God’s presence continues to affect lives today.


It’s a fact: the plants that produce wine grapes don’t come from seeds. You can’t “sow grapes”. More on that soon.

And later, Student of Jesus blogger and disciple-maker Ray Hollenbach and I talk about the fruit of the spirit (debunking the most common myth about it), and a little bit about the Vineyard church he is a part of, and what his “Deeper” seminars and workshops are all about.


Wine segment:

Wine grape plants don’t come from seeds, so how are vineyards created?

There are two main ways commercial growers get their fields ready for a grape harvest:

The first way is to plant seedlings taken from healthy and mature grape vines. This means that a harvest of good grapes for wine is 4-5 years away. Booo.

The second way is to use an older and mature vineyard and graft in (attach) new plants into the vine.

They prune down the top of the plant. They chop it nearly down to the ground, and expose some of the top to the vine stem. Then, they graft living plants into it. The grafting process means that whole new varieties of grapes in just one year, using the original root system to obtain all the necessary nutrients. Grafted in plants can also inoculate older vines against certain diseases with disease resistant pants (usually hybrid seedlings) that make the whole system healthier.


It can cost $150, per plant, to graft in new vines and it’s done in a precise sort of way with notching the root stem, adding in plants and sealing them together so they merge.

(how to graft plants and trees)

Grafting plants has been done for thousands of years. In the bible, the church is compared, by the apostle Paul, to a wild olive plant grafted into an olive tree. The first audience hearing Paul’s words would understand this word picture: the church is an introduction of something very new. Something able to impart a whole new vitality into the current understanding of religion and closeness with God.

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 Sparking your Muse

An interview with Ray Hollenbach

Ray Hollenbach writes at Students of Jesus.com

He does the Deeper Seminar nationwide.

View his YouTube Videos on his new channel.

Interview Notes –

Minute: 4:30

Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 New Living Translation (NLT)

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!


Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


“Fruit of the Spirit is not a gift that we get; but come as a result or outcome of natural (spiritual) health”. -Ray Hollenbach

6:30 – How parenting matures us in the same way that “making disciples” matures us.

7:30 – The Impossible Mentor 

8:30 –

“The goal of the Christian Life is NOT to get to heaven.”


The Vineyard Church

• John Wimber

10:06 –

Fuller Seminary

George Eldon Ladd 

Dallas Willard

Richard Foster

Eugene Peterson

NT Wright


Grape Vines




“Jesus taught practically and transpositionally.”

(i.e. interacting with the transcendent in a practical way)


Student of Jesus Videos

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Spark My Muse

On Using Better Words – 5 Tips

If you are using some of these words, you may want to rethink your profile bios on Facebook, Twitter, and the rest.

Avoid being hackneyed. Freshen. Liven it up.

Here are my FIVE Tips and a cool slide share I found on overused words.
May you really enjoy it!

1. Show the real you. (Are you fun, classy, funny, nerdy, crafty? Let it show in your bio.)

2. Be memorable. (Stand out in a good way. Be the highlight of someone’s day.)

3. Reverse-engineer what someone else is doing well and add your twist.

4. Limit the Obvious (It’s just dull.)

5. Remember your Target (Who are you hoping reads it? Speak to them, first.)


(So, you have to be responsible to not use the buzzword responsible. Got it.)
I hope you are glad you stopped by. Keep in touch…contact me to say hi, or linkup for future updates!

Results are in: Wife Beating Endorsed!

I’m glad I live in 2013 in the U.S. It’s not a perfect time with no problems, of course. I get that.

Most of the time it seems people say they “remember the good old days,” you know, when things were simpler and better.

Sometimes I get nostalgic too.

This idea that things were better in the past is, of course, a myth generally speaking. Every era has its benefits and its downsides.

This clipping is my favorite recent example. (Buzz Feed featured it.)

It’s a newspaper clip which appears to be printed in The Mirror of New York. They ask ordinary men if it’s a good idea to “spank their wives.” (Meaning hit them, of course.) Their eyewear fashions point to a time in the 1950s or early 1960s, which might be why I remember driving in the car with my grandpa as he hauled off and cracked my grandma in the head or arm when he got upset with her. (When he was lost or frustrated, and she should have told him where to turn?) He was just a man of his times and she needed it, from his perspective.

It makes the women’s rights movement a little more palatable now, right?

Manhood is seen differently now, in this century, and for that I am immensely glad! You too?

You like the qualifier in this headline? “If she needs it,“? Priceless.

Good luck telling the police that line now. “Yes, I hit her, officer, but she needed it.”

Funny, right?
(Only looking back, and only laughing so you don’t cry for yesterday’s women.)

beatyourwife(click for photo source)


The Big NEWS! Book Announcement

This is the news I’ve been waiting to share with you!

If you ever loved a dog, owned a dog, or just wondered why they are so beloved, we have something we (Doug Jackson and me) created with a lot of love.

And it’s not just the book you see below coming soon, there will be a lot of extras coming too. Stayed tuned in August for more details and please join us as we get going at Facebook.

Portions of the proceeds will benefit 2 non profits we’ve selected that care for canine companions.



So here’s some details:

1. If you want a pre-launch Review Copy, let me know.

(There will be a limited number released, with special consideration for those who have a tribe and want to help us get the word out.)

2. If you’d like a sample, cool! Sign up for the free stuff in the popup window, or by going to the Free Stuff page to register.

3. The Dog in the Gap Group

• Learn the release date,

• get more details,

• view sneak peaks and extras,

• link up with other “friends of dogs”,

• and follow along as we launch here. Buckle up!

Spiritual Formation Recommendations 2013

This weekend I’m the spiritual director at the Renew & Refine Writer’s Retreat.

So many times as writers or creatives we fail to integrate Soul Care into ordinary life. This has a burnout or burn up effect. Eventually, we end up hurting not only ourselves but those close to us. Even worse we often end up damaging our ongoing work–our vocation (what we are called and gifted to do). Vocation is the very thing that makes life so meaningful and rewarding.

God’s wishes for us to be uniquely us. We have permission to work and be in a way that is life-giving to ourselves and others.

This is why a “Rule of Life” or regular rhythm of self care and God-awareness is vital. It’s not complicated but it’s so very necessary. You can just start with your calendar and clear out certain days for what you really need.

Jesus, in discipling his followers, said it this way:

Matthew 11:29

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” –from The Message paraphrase

Becoming a disciple refers to training–to process. The process of this life-giving training leads us to more abundant life. It’s not binary: all good or all bad. Dead end or open vista. It’s a bit of both and really a pilgrimage. Getting on with it is helped when we take up better habits that give us more breathing room and vitality, just like learning to pack a suitable backpack makes hiking and camping a better experience.

Some habits may involve integrating certain spiritual practices like morning prayer, meditating on Scripture, fellowship, unplugging from technology, or observing a sabbath rest, to name a few. Many refreshing options exist. Only by being habitual can we truly reap the benefits. Freedom can happen in a schedule crafted for breath of life. This is actually the real meaning of the word “religion”. Religion simply means “bind”…it’s the fiber or tether that helps us hold on to a sweeter and richer life. (Of course, the word has been spoiled and perverted in every which way, and some reject using outright because of all the baggage that comes along with it. Yet, in its simplest form “religion” refers to how we stay grounded and become our most fully human selves, if we don’t make our tether a noose or shackle instead!)

To be sure, this stuff of routines and habits is hard for me because I tend to do a whole bunch of things and once and push soul care to the side as “least urgent”. Too often I forget that just like I need food every day, I also need to care for my Soul (my whole integrated self).

The following are some great tools I’ve found quite helpful as spiritually enriching resources for devotional practices and learning how to have a deeper walk with God: Creator, Jesus, and Spirit.

Pick one that looks good to you, and get started.


Refreshing Devotionals (quick reads)

On soul Care

Regaining yourself – Prayer of the Heart