JOHNNY APPLESEED DAY

TL 9-26 JOHNNY APPLESEED DAY

9-26 PLANTIN' SEEDS

Today is JOHNNY APPLESEED DAY!!!

John Chapman (September 26, 1774 – March 11, 1845) was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, as well as the northern counties of present day West Virginia. His dream was to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry.

Johnny Appleseed is described as a man of medium height, blue eyes, light-brown hair, slender, wiry and alert. Folklore has also described him as “funny looking” because of the way he dressed. It is said he traded apple trees for settler’s cast-off clothing. He was known to give the better clothing to people he felt needed it more than he. This could be why legend says he wore only coffee sacks with holes cut out for his arms as clothing. He rarely wore shoes, even during the cold of winter. It is said he could walk over the ice and snow barefooted and that the skin was so thick on his feet that even a rattlesnake couldn’t bite through it.

Another legend says he wore a mush pot on his head as a hat. This is unlikely since pots of the time were made of heavy copper or iron, but it is more likely he wore someone else’s castoff hat or made his own out of cardboard. He rarely sought shelter in a house, since he preferred to sleep on bare ground in the open forest with his feet to a small fire.

Because he was a kind and generous man, he became an American legend during his lifetime. He was a leader in conservation and placed a great deal of importance on apples. He was a missionary for The New Church (Swedenborgian). Legend has painted him as a sort of dreamy-eyed person who went about just scattering apple seeds. The fact is, he was a very organized, careful business person, who over a period of nearly fifty years, bought and sold tracts of land and developed thousands of productive apple trees.

When Johnny was only eighteen years old, he and his eleven-year-old half-brother, Nathaniel, headed west. In his early twenties, John began traveling alone, which is how he spent the rest of his life. Nathaniel stayed behind to farm with their father, who had immigrated west.

John always carried a leather bag filled with apple seeds he collected from cider mills. According to legend, he was constantly planting them in open places in the forests, along roadways and beside streams. Research, however, suggests he created many nurseries by carefully selecting the perfect planting spot, fencing it in with fallen trees and log, bushes and vines, sowing the seeds and returning at regular intervals to repair the fence, tend the ground and sell the trees. Soon he was known as “the apple seed man” and later he was known only as “Johnny Appleseed”.

He frequently visited the settlements to preach the Gospel of Christ. He was a friend to all the children and made friends with many Indian tribes. He learned many Indian languages well enough to hold a conversation.

Johnny Appleseed never killed animals for food, but lived from other food provided by nature. He appeared to be poor, but was not. He had more cash than he needed by selling his apple trees and tracts of land. He buried his money instead of trusting banks. He bartered and traded food or clothing rather than collect money for his trees. It was more important a settler plant a tree than pay him for it.

In 1842, Johnny made his last trip back to Ohio after spending 50 years walking throughout the countryside. He moved in with Nathaniel, the half-brother with whom he began his remarkable journey. On March 18, 1845, he died of pneumonia at the age of seventy-one. He was visiting his friend, William Worth, in Indiana. Legend says it was the only time he was sick in his whole life. He is buried in an unmarked grave near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

A life well-lived I must say! Love the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart! He lived a life filled with purpose and loved people! May we all follow his great example! ❤

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I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (7)A

Today is the National Day of Remembrance for Parents of Murdered Children. Please be in prayer for these wonderful people whose children were tragically taken from them. 9-25 ALL CHILDREN GO TO HEAVEN

I have no frame of reference to form empathy for these parents of murdered children. I can’t begin to fathom the agony they live with, but I have seen the most powerful display of faith from these folks. They cry and they are still visibly moved by the tragedy that has taken place, but when they pray it is with a calm assurance that they will see their children again and their kids are sitting at the feet of Jesus.

9-25 SITTING WITH JESUS

I have suffered loss in my life, but this is beyond anything that I’ve experienced. May God richly bless these parents. It’s not the normal sequence of events to have a child die before a parent, let alone be murdered. Pray that God continues to strengthen and encourage these parents as they seek solace and peace. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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UNIQUELY GIFTED

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service; so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. – Ephesians 4:11-13

Since my surgery back in July, my health has not been the greatest. Because I was basically on bed rest for two months, I gained about 10 pounds. It was significant enough to affect my A1c and my blood pressure. My A1c is clear up to 8.4 now. You can’t convince me that exercise does not play a vital role in blood glucose levels. There is no way to separate the two – you can not keep that number in check without daily exercise.

I had more lab work done today. Sometimes I give the lab techs fits because my veins are so tiny. They don’t always hit the right spot and have to (heaven forbid) “fish” or “dig” around once the needle is in my arm. Today was one of the worst experiences I’ve had since I’ve gone to this doctor’s office. The tech tried to draw blood from FOUR different sites before throwing up her hands and declaring that she could not get it. She wrote up an order and sent me to LabCorp to get the blood drawn.

This was a fasting blood draw and by the time I got to LabCorp I had not only not had breakfast, I had not even had a cup of coffee! I don’t remember driving the car around this morning. Should drivers in Wichita be afraid??? Yes, be afraid…

In an attempt to keep what little sense of humor I had left intact, I announced to the receptionist that I needed to visit the head vampire to have blood drawn. She seemed amused. I’m sure they haven’t heard that one before (yeah, right). Hey, what do you want from me when I’m coffee-less – wit???

There are some people who really enjoy their work – and the head vampire enjoyed her job a little too much! She grinned from ear to ear when I explained my less than productive visit with the lab techs at my doctor’s office. She said, “I don’t guarantee that I’ll get blood on the first try either.” I swallowed hard and looked her straight in the eyes and said, “But you’ll sure try, right?” She laughed and said, “Yep – I sure will.” Well, what more could I ask?

Honestly – I didn’t feel a thing. She said “poke” – but it was not bad at all. Isn’t it amazing what can happen when the needle is placed in the right hands? I told her, “You know, everyone at my doctor’s office told me you are gifted at drawing blood – and I believe you really are!”

To some He gives a gift for preaching or teaching. To some He gives a gift for drawing blood from people with tiny veins. I’m sure glad He gives those gifts, aren’t you? ❤

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (9)

 

Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have promised – look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as You said.” – Judges 6:36-37

WHEN YOU PUT DOWN A FLEECE

My parents were great people. Our family was law-abiding and church going. One day in the early 1980’s that all changed. There was a very evil split in our church and my parents decided to never darken the doors of another church. I was grown and out of the house by then, but the trauma was real nonetheless.

No one knows better than I that it’s not necessary to have your name on a church roll to have your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. My parents had not attended church for several years when my dad got sick. When he died on November 3, 1988, I had some questions about where he was spending eternity. Of course I wanted to believe he was in heaven. I suppose I should have accepted on faith that he was there.

We received the call that my daddy had passed at 3:00am (those 3am calls are never good news!) When we got home from the hospital, I decided to stay overnight with my mama so she would not have to be alone. When mama finally got to sleep, I began to earnestly cry out to God. I let Him know – my faith was not enough – I needed a sign from Him.

The next morning I went to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee for us. As I turned to look at the anniversary clock I gave my folks for their 40th wedding anniversary, I noticed it had stopped running. That clock ran well for nearly ten years and I thought it was odd that it should stop now. I think my real thought was, “Oh great!”

I still get chills when I think about it. I looked at the time on the clock. It stopped at 3:00am.

I know many scholars think that throwing down a fleece is a complete lack of faith. I know better. Throwing down a fleece to gain reassurance from God is not the same as throwing it down to discern the Will of God, as Gideon did. I know that God knows what I need and when I need it. He knew my faith was weak at that time. He knew I needed a sign to reassure me that my daddy was safe with Him. I’m not the type of person who just goes around asking God for signs all the time. I know that we walk by faith and not by sight. But God knew I needed to know. I’ve never questioned since that day that my daddy is in heaven. Thank You, LORD! ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I'M A DAUGHTER OF THE KINGMy favorite song is “Because He Lives”. It is the sort of song that encourages faith when you are feeling a bit faithless – and puts a sense of determination behind it. When I sing that song it affirms everything I believe about faith, hope and yes, love.

It seems only right that on this Monday morning we should begin the week with a renewed sense of purpose.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

Life seems to go smoother with this kind of reassurance from the LORD. He knows the future and I’ll take that a step further – He’s already waiting down the road. No, I don’t know how He does that – that’s why He’s God and I’m not.

One thing is for certain. I always want to be found smack dab in the center of God’s Will for my life. Nothing less is acceptable. Being what He wants me to be and doing what He wants me to do is top priority.

Sometimes I am tempted to say I’m not anyone’s child anymore, but that’s a lie from the pit. I am God’s kid and so thankful for the love of my heavenly Father. He loves perfectly and I’m so blessed in my life. I look forward to living with Him for eternity when this life is over.

Jesus keeps me singing and smiling! 🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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IT PASSETH UNDERSTANDING

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:10-13

The Apostle Paul learned the secret of being content. Living in complete contentment results in measureless blessings on your life. Some people refer to this as growing old gracefully, and while contentment is a grace, it’s much more than that. It’s a necessity for those who follow Christ.

Would you be willing to let go of all your stuff and be completely reliant on Christ? If the answer is “yes”, then consider yourself contented in Christ. If the answer is “no”, however, you are more complacent than contented. There is a huge difference between the two. Anyone can exercise complacency, resigned to the knowledge that they are poor in a physical sense – and it often times results in poor self-image and depression. Being complacent is basically to give up and give in. If you are complacent in your life – you really just don’t care about anything or anyone.

Contentment means there is a deep underlying JOY in all circumstances. It’s when you have the knowledge and faith in your spirit that God is in control and will take care of all the bumps in the road. Contentment says that even though you may be poor, you are not adopting the attitude that all is lost.

Contentment… is not just being satisfied with where you are.  It is knowing God’s plan for your life.  – Lee Ellis

If you see God’s Hand working in your life, leading you through, it strengthens your faith. Complacency does not involve a real knowledge of anything and certainly does not engage faith. Complacency is a downer, but contentment lifts you higher! You begin to think about your circumstances in a better way. God’s way. Wanna grow old gracefully??? Try contentment instead of complacency. There’s the secret – contentment is a grace. 😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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https://youtu.be/7fvv9gMSYzU

And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.  And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”   But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.   Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”  – Matthew 9:10-13

We are all born sinners.  I’m so thankful that Jesus doesn’t distance Himself from sinners, but reclines with us and inclines His ear to us.  No matter how hopeless a cause you think you are, Jesus is ready to come to your house and eat at your table with you.  He hears your heart when you speak, not just the words you say. 

 God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

One of the sinners in Christ’s day was the tax collector.  Matthew himself was a tax collector before he met Jesus.  I’m not a fan of tax collectors in our day either, but can you imagine Christ sitting down at the house of an I.R.S. agent?  Don’t laugh – it could happen.  He’s so much more patient than I am, that’s for sure.  God is love – and He loves everyone.

Imperfection is a part of humanity.  Our broken lives, whether physical or spiritual, does not take Jesus by surprise.  He can handle any degree of disease or sin in your life and mine.

 Saints are sinners who kept on going.   – Robert Louis Stevenson

God created us to have a relationship with Him and to experience true, lasting peace in this life.   Christ comes when we ask Him in to our hearts and lives.

He reclines and relaxes with us.  He inclines His ear to us and hears not only what we say, but what our hearts mean.