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SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpSECRETS OF THE VINE FOR WOMENPUBLISHED BY MULTNOMAH BOOKS12265 Oracle Boulevard, Suite 200Colorado Springs, Colorado 809213/9/11Excerpted from Secrets of the Vine for Womenby Darlene Marie Wilkinson Copyright 2003by Exponential Inc. Excerpted by permission ofMultnomah Books, a division of Random House,Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerptmay be reproduced or reprinted withoutpermission in writing from the publisher.All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible,New King James Version 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. Allrights reserved. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible,New International Version . NIV . Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by InternationalBible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rightsreserved.Secrets of the Vine is a registered trademark of Random House Inc.ISBN 978-160142-397-9Copyright 2003 by Exponential Inc.Cover design by Kristopher K. OrrAll rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in anyform or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying andrecording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permissionin writing from the publisher.Published by WaterBrook Multnomah, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group,a division of Random House Inc., New York.MULTNOMAH and its mountain colophon are trademarks of Random House Inc.Printed in the United States of America2011—First Trade Paperback Edition10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1SPECIAL SALESMost WaterBrook Multnomah books are available at special quantity discountswhen purchased in bulk by corporations, organizations, and special-interestgroups. Custom imprinting or excerpting can also be done to fit special needs.For information, please e-mail [email protected] call 1-800-603-7051.4:14 PMPage 2

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpP r e f a c eA PlacetoGrow5Dear Reader,Thank you for picking up Secrets of the Vine for Women.I’m praying that you, along with thousands of others, willremember this little book as a turning point in your life.A turning point, a pivotal experience, something thatleaves you forever changed—that’s what so many womenare looking for today. And I can tell you from personalexperience that Jesus’ words in John 15 are life changing! Inthis conversation in a vineyard the night before He died,Jesus showed His followers how God would be at work tobring each of them to a truly abundant life.I invite you to step with me into that vineyard and listencarefully to what Jesus said. And as you read, may you be inawe of your Father’s faithfulness and greatness, becauseincredible spiritual abundance is His plan today for you, too.With affection,Darlene Marie53/9/114:14 PMPage 5

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxp“I have come that theymay have life, and that they mayhave it more abundantly.”Jo h n 1 0 : 1 03/9/114:14 PMPage 6

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpC h a p t e rO n eA Spiritual Harvest5The train creaked to a stop. A young woman standing ready atthe door gazed out over the rooftop of the railway station to thegolden hills of Tuscany. “How beautiful it is!” she sighed. Thebustling cities of the north were behind her now. Finally, shewas home.Descending to the wooden platform, she felt her wearinessslip away. Eagerly, she scanned the sea of faces until she sawhim. Her father, a tall, bronzed man, was easy to find in acrowd, and she had sought him out many times. When shecaught his eye, he rushed toward her, arms outstretched, andwrapped her in an embrace.“Welcome, my beautiful girl!” he cried. “I’ve missed youso much!”It didn’t take long to have her bags sent on ahead. As usual,her father wanted to take her on foot out of the village and upthe twisting lanes that led to their home. Leaving the station,they walked hand in hand, talking and laughing. He askedabout her life in the city. She asked about the approaching73/9/114:14 PMPage 7

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpSecrets of the Vine for Womenharvest. And as they talked and walked, she reveled in thewarm sun of an Italian autumn.At the crest of the hill her eyes fell upon a familiar scene—her father’s vineyard, rolling away in neatly tended rows. Shehad grown up following her father as he worked up and downthose rows. And since childhood she’d known that her fatherwas well-respected throughout the region as a championvinedresser. But at her first view of the vineyard, now heavywith fruit, her breath caught in her throat.“Papa!” she exclaimed. “I’ve never seen such a promisingcrop!” She walked down a row to look more closely. Hugeclusters of dark, satiny grapes hung from every branch.Turning back to her father, she saw the pleasure on hisface. “You must be very proud,” she said. “I still remember thewretched state of these plants when we first came here. Howdiligently you have worked all these years to produce such anincredible yield!”She tucked her arm in his, steering them toward the house.“I’m so glad to be home to celebrate this harvest with you!” shesaid. This was the most anticipated season in the vineyard, andshe didn’t want to miss any of it. She could hardly wait.83/9/114:14 PMPage 8

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpA Sp i r i t u a l Ha r v e s tThe young woman in our story has, for many years,observed the tending of her father’s vineyard. Sheis well acquainted with all that is required toproduce a harvest. And she knows how much a greatharvest of prize-winning grapes will mean to her father.You, on the other hand, may never have walked througha vineyard or even seen grapes hanging from a branch. Forthat reason, in the chapters to come we’ll revisit our youngfriend and her father as the grape harvest approaches. I wantyou to feel the sun, smell the earth, and touch the roughleaves of the grape plant. I want you to celebrate with themas they anticipate a bumper crop.Why should you think aboutgrapes?Because the truths I want to exploreAbundance—with you in this little book, based ona life as full asJesus’ teachings in John 15, have a lot topossible ofdo with grapes and how they grow.The vineyard we’re interested in is aGod’s best.spiritual picture rather than an actualplace. But I promise that the lessons you learn there willbe so real to you that they will change your life forever.I can make such a promise because our teacher is Jesus, 93/9/114:14 PMPage 9

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpSecrets of the Vine for Womenand His words are part of His last conversation with Hisfriends on the night before He died. What He said surprisedHis disciples. I’m sure it wasn’t what they wanted to hear.But Jesus knew it was what they desperately needed to hear.Otherwise they would never experience the abundant lifeGod had in mind for them.Abundance—a life as full as possible of God’s best. It’sthe picture God has in mind for us, too. Unfortunately, if wedon’t understand what God does to bring that wonderfulharvest about, we can actually workagainst His good hand in our liveswithout ever knowing it.But then JesusBy the time you finish this littlemakes a stringbook, some important principles ofof disturbinghow abundance happens in your lifewill become clear, and you’ll to cooperate with your Father’shand—for your greatest fulfillment, and for His glory.For example, you’ll discover how He intervenes whensin is holding you back. You’ll understand how He respondswhen your own good intentions are leading you astray.You’ll learn, perhaps for the first time, just how much Helongs to enjoy intimate fellowship with you, and you’ll havea clear idea of what you need to do to make that relationship 103/9/114:14 PMPage 10

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpA Sp i r i t u a l Ha r v e s thappen. And finally, you’ll know for certain that you canexpect more lasting results from your life than you everthought possible.Listen in now as Jesus talks quietly with His friendsover dinner.D i n n e r R e v e l at i o n sIt is the night of the Passover. Jesus and His inner circle offollowers are eating together in the upper room. They havemuch to celebrate. The events leading up to this meal haveconfirmed to the disciples that Jesus is the long-awaitedMessiah. They’re convinced that bytomorrow, if not before, Jesus willgive the word and usher in His newHe was thinkingkingdom. And it’s a kingdom theyof His love for them.can’t wait to be part of.The atmosphere is electric. But And I believe He wasthen Jesus makes a string of disturbingthinking of you.announcements: One of the discipleswill betray Him. One will deny Him. He is leaving, and theycan’t follow. And the final, shattering disclosure: that “theruler of this world is coming”—and it will not be Him.The men are speechless. Just moments ago they werepoised for a great future. Now Jesus seems to be saying that 113/9/114:14 PMPage 11

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpSecrets of the Vine for Womenit will never happen. All their dreams and plans have turnedinto a crushing disappointment.At the end of the evening, Jesus says, “Arise, let us gofrom here.” As He leads them out into the night, questionsand doubts swirl in their minds. By the light of lamps andtorches, they follow Him quietly through the winding streetsof Jerusalem, down to a lower gate of the city, and out intothe Kidron Valley.Here, they walk through ancientWe anticipatevineyards, carefully tended for generaa bright tomorrow, tions and famously productive. Jesusand His followers find their wayonly to find ourselves through the rows of vines on their waypeering into ato their destination—the Garden ofGethsemane on a nearby hill.dark today.It is in this very vineyard, manyscholars believe, that Jesus paused to deliver His partingmessage to His disciples. And here, as He so often did,Jesus used an earthy, familiar illustration to impart timelessspiritual truths. Before, He had talked about water, lambs,coins, runaway sons, and bread. This time Jesus talkedabout fruit. “I am the vine, you are the branches,” He said(John 15:5).As He talked, I believe He was pointing to a branch, to 123/9/114:14 PMPage 12

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpA Sp i r i t u a l Ha r v e s tleaves, to a vine. But He was looking right at His friends.With every word, He was thinking of His love for them, ofthe challenges they’d face, of the amazing and specific futureGod had in mind for each one of them.And I believe He was thinking of you.A Pi c t u r e o f Hi s Pl a nOne of my favorite childhood memories is of our familyworking around a table over a 500-piece puzzle during theChristmas holidays. I loved sorting through my pile ofpieces—blue ones, green ones, multicolored ones—tryingto find a perfect fit. Piece by irregular piece, the pictureslowly came to life. Of course, every once in a while I’dturn the box lid over and take a longhard look at the painting on thecover. There it was—the gorgeousEvery touch offinished picture we were allHis hand is intendedworking toward.That box lid was proof that no to bring us to a placematter how stuck we were at theof great spiritualmoment, our individual pieces wereabundance.made to fit together. Eventually, weknew, we’d have spread out in front of us a grand scene—aharbor full of colorful sailing boats, maybe, or a Swiss 133/9/114:14 PMPage 13

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpSecrets of the Vine for Womenmountain village. We didn’t have to guess at our goal. Wecould see where we were supposed to end up. And we couldsee that it would be beautiful.You’ve probably been around that table with your familymany times, too. And like me, you probably can’t imaginehow difficult those puzzles would have been to completewithout having the big picture right there at hand.That night in the vineyard, Jesus “turned the box lidover” and showed us the big picture. He wanted us to see—no matter what circumstance we’re inat the moment—what God the Fatheris trying to accomplish in and throughWomenus for eternity. He wanted us to knowconsistently express ahow to respond to His will. Hedesire to go deeper.wanted us to remember that everytouch of His hand is intended to bringus to a place of great spiritual abundance.And to accomplish all that, Jesus showed us a picture ofa vineyard.Using the illustrations of a vinedresser, a vine, a branch,and fruit, Jesus told us plainly that He wants somethingspecific from us. And He wants it so much that Hecontinually intervenes in our lives—sometimes even withpain—to make it happen. 143/9/114:14 PMPage 14

SecretsOfVine Wmn RszdBW Int.qxp:SecretsOfVine Women Int.qxpA Sp i r i t u a l Ha r v e s tMaybe you can identify with what those disappointeddisciples experienced that night. So many women can. Weknow what it’s like to anticipate a bright tomorrow, only tofind ourselves peering into a dark today. Things are goingalong according to plan, then for no apparent reason wefind ourselves ambushed by confusion or pain. We wonder,Why is this happening? Has God forgotten me? What on earth isHe up to in my life?If you have already read Secrets of the Vine, you knowthe answer. If not, what I want to share with you may comeas a surprise—yet it’s a surprise full of promise. Either way,if what you want most is greater fruitfulness and serviceand impact for God in your life, then the teachings of thevineyard are for you.Wh e r e Wo m e n Wa l kYou might be wondering why I decided to write Secrets ofthe Vine for Women. After all, Secrets of the Vine is already apublishing success. And it turns out that it has been evenmore widely rea

Thank you for picking up Secrets of the Vine for Women. I’m praying that you, along with thousands of others, will remember this little book as a turning point in your life. A turning point, a pivotal experience, something that leaves you forever changed—that’s what so many women are looking for today. And I can tell you from personal