The Practice of the Vital Groups

Friday, January 27, 2012

JANUARY 23 MONDAY Austin to Odessa

Due to some problem with Steve's eye, he needed to stop by to see a sister who is an eye doctor. She had recently bought a practice in Austin. She and her husband had moved from the West coast to Austin. It turned out that Steve had an eye infection and some abrasions on his left eye. She prescribed some eye drops which we picked up at the local Walmart on the way out of town. We finally got out of Austin about 11:30AM.

The trip to Odessa was via lots of smaller state roads. This was quite interesting, very different from driving on an Interstate--rolling hills, small towns and a variety of speed limits. It would be hard to go to sleep on this leg of our trip.

We arrived in Odessa a little before 6PM. We had supper with our hospitality, Neal and Sue Fleenor and also with Max and Joann Hale. After supper we went to the meeting hall were some saints were gathered for fellowship.

We enjoyed the fellowship concerning the matter of bearing remaining fruit. As branches (John 15) our function is to bear fruit. There is a reward for bearing fruit and a discipline in this age for not bearing fruit. We can have our joy made full or we can be those cut off from the top enjoyment of the Lord, cut off from our function, cut off from the fellowship with the saints and ultimate cut off from God's economy. Also when the Lord comes back, according to Matthew 25, we have to be those who made a profit. Brother Lee was burdened that we all could be those who bear remaining fruit, that we make a profit. His study in Taiwan and his vital group training was to produce overcomers--first to overcome barrenness--the most subtle and deadly enemy of seeking Christians. He discovered the place we need to focus our labor on is my friends and relatives, your friends and relatives and the new ones's friends and relatives. If we don't see this we may labor in vain and waste our time--like the disciples fishing on the wrong side of the boat.

Also we need to labor together. We should fish with a net and not with a pole. We should each make a list of those we know and consider which 2 or 3 the Lord's wants to save now. Then we should weekly make a time with our group to study, fellowship over and pray for and care for each others' gospel candidates. By our fellowship we will have the wisdom--who should contact them, when they should be contacted and what should be the content. We were impressed that to bear fruit takes time and we need to take little steps week by week so that our friends and relatives can be gained.

A brother we stayed with in Odessa on our last trip had told us about a special plant in that area that when chopped up (leaves and branches) could be made into a tea that has been effective for some cancers. One of the sisters in our group in Cypress--her father has cancer. This brother in Odessa sent some of that special tea to the meeting which we are bringing back to Cypress.

Back home for more fellowship and a good night's rest.

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