A is for Apple

apple-bobbing-boys-1920x675I was enjoying the sweet taste of apples long before I had ever participated in the homespun, spit-swapping, and germ-spreading, tradition of apple bobbing. Fact is, I almost drowned a time or two while I chased an apple around the inside of a water-filled wood barrel.

Apples are a tasty delight and a welcome addition to most diets, and they are also a definite plus to the pocket books of Washington farmers.  The typical orchard will produce 37,100 pounds per acre with a value somewhere between $12,500-$13,000.  The fertile ground of Washington contributes $18 billion plus to the state’s economy in apples alone.

When I eat an apple, my preference is Jonathan, Fuji, or Honeycrisp, but I doubt David had a specific variety in mind when he prayed: Keep me as the apple of your eye, and hide me in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 17:8).

As the apple of God’s eye, you are so special to God that:

  • He is aware of your sorrows—Psalm 56:8
  • He likens your prayers to the sweet smell of incense—Revelation 5:8
  • He floods your heart with His love—Romans 5:5
  • He blesses you with His mercy—Psalm 57:10

From out of all the orchards in the world, you are the apple that God has picked, and it is, “According to His great mercy, He has given us [you] a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you (I Peter 1:3-4).”

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry          ~Psalm 34:15

Be Still and Bear Fruit

prayerYesterday I walked by a table and, I heard part of a conversation in which one person said:  “It’s a mute point.”

Mute means silent, and I have often made a point of being silent, and I have even pointed silently. I cannot, however remain mute about a key point of that conversation.

Mute and moot cannot be used interchangeably—they are not synonyms.  Moot is used to refer to some item or point of discussion that is debatable, but of no practical value.

While moot points are often hypothetical in nature, making a point to be mute can have real value.  In Psalm 46:10, there is a clear command to be mute:  “Be still and know that I am God.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer expressed the importance of this principle in a letter to some friends:  “Daily, quiet reflection on the Word of God as it applies to me becomes for me a point of crystallization for everything that gives interior and exterior order to my life.”

The words of Bonhoeffer serve as a commentary on God’s instructions to Joshua:  “This set of instructions is not to cease being a part of your conversations. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to carry out everything that’s written in it, for then you’ll prosper and succeed (Joshua 1:8.”

Mother Teresa suggested that silence is an essential of practical Christianity:  “The fruit of Silence is prayer. The fruit of Prayer is faith. The fruit of Faith is love. The fruit of Love is service. The fruit of Service is peace. “

I encourage you to take time out of your schedule for a mute point, so you can “be still” and bear fruit . . .