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My Father's Vineyard

Cindy Steinbeck Newkirk

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NEWK-IT! Reflection for October 15, 2009

My family erected an American flag in the middle of our Chardonnay to mark the spot of the B-26 crash that took place April 11, 1956. I point out the flag when guests tour the vineyard because later they will taste our wine, "The Crash." Pointing out a flag in the middle of a field is no easy task; flags don't belong in the middle of a field. However, after I point it out and describe the location, "Oh, I see it now," is typically their response. Once they discover the flag's location it's not hard to see because they know where to look. Their eyes have been opened, and the story comes alive for them. "Wow! That plane crashed really close to your home."

Paul in his letter to the Ephesians prays for a similar enlightenment: "I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead..." (Ephesians 1:16-20a).0.

The Word and work of God -- the same power God worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead -- is at work in us opening our eyes and hearts. The Word of God points us to the Son of God. When people tour our vineyard, the reason they cannot see the American flag in the field is because they look in the wrong place. Their eyes need to be guided to the flag. People in the world have a similar problem. Where do we look for Jesus? Do we search the Scriptures for the Son of God who stepped into our darkness to bring light? Do we see ourselves as beggars unworthy of God's crumbs or as people who somehow deserve Christ's attention because of our supposed holiness? Do we see our lives or our worth in worldly terms, or do we cling to Christ alone for salvation? Those who believe in Jesus' redemptive work on the cross know through faith they are His holy children. We are to joyfully live in the peace He has mercifully won for us. Our prayer should be that the eyes of our heart are opened. Through God's Holy Spirit, He is at work in us raising us to new life.

May God grant us courage to follow Him and boldness to point people to Jesus. May the peace that passes all understanding guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

To subscribe to Cindy Steinbeck Newkirk's daily NEWK-IT! reflections, email her at

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