5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 ESV At our home in Central Texas, I maintain what I like to call a “natural landscape” in our front yard. It’s basically an excuse to do less yardwork, by letting the native flora take over big portions of our yard. In our front flower bed awhile back I noticed that creeping vines had crawled up the wall and begun to take over the space next to our front windows. Upon further inspection I realized that these vines were actually Poison Ivy, to which I am highly allergic. So instead of pulling the vines and risking weeks of itchy, painful welts, I simply took my trimmer and cut them off at the ground. The change was gradual at first, even unnoticeable, but slowly over time the vines shriveled and died. Without their connection to the root they could not survive. It was then easy to pull them away and throw them in the trash without risking exposure. Jesus describes our spiritual source of life as being much like these vines. If we do not abide in Him daily our souls will quickly wither away to dust. One of the things I treasure deeply about the wilderness experience, is how it provides amazing opportunities to abide in Christ. Away from the noise and distraction of their busy normal day lives, participants often find that their connection with Christ is restored and renewed simply by intentionally seeking Him in nature. How are you abiding in Christ? We pray that you may find some time in nature this week to connect with the one true source of Life!