Autumn and Apples

 

leaves-for-autumn-mfapple-for-autumn-2-mfbible-in-autumn-mf

This is the first week of November and I am still enjoying the fall season. Autumn and apples go together for me. Apples and Proverbs 25:11 also go together for me. In the Amplified Version of the Bible, this Proverb says, “A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” The phrase “in due season” seems to tie in with my reference to the season of autumn. So, where do my thoughts take me as I begin to write a blog today?

I begin by checking to see how faithful I am to fulfill Proverbs 25:11 through this blog each week. After all, my website is based on this scripture verse. Are the words I share accurately spoken in order to be of benefit to my readers and to glorify God? Are my words like the juicy, fresh apples I enjoy eating during this season? I value my readers as being silver vessels into which I impart the words that have been spoken into my heart by the Lord. It is an awesome responsibility to be accountable for words I speak or write whether it be through my blog or living daily life. Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

While reviewing blog posts over the recent months, I become aware that it has been a long time I shared an apple recipe with my readers. I think it is time for me to do so this week. I found several different online versions of a fun apple snack recipe. Below you will find my own variation.

APPLE BITES
1 tube of crescent rolls
1 or 2 Granny Smith or 20 Ounce apples
Melted margarine or butter
Mixture of sugar and cinnamon

Cut 8 apple wedges approximately ¾ inch thick – cut our seeds.
Lightly brush triangles of crescent rolls with melted margarine.
Sprinkle desired amount of sugar and cinnamon mixture on crescent rolls.
Roll up each apple wedge in one crescent roll. (You may add an extra apple wedge to each roll if desired.)
 Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Enjoy!

While looking at this recipe, I find some spiritual lessons for myself.

First of all, I picture myself as being the apple. Not only am I an apple but I am the apple of God’s eye. This describes God’s favor available to me. The Psalmist asks of the Lord in Psalms 17:8, “Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” This is a comforting verse to me because it speaks to me of the watchfulness of the Lord over my life.

Next I think about the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Instead of sugar, honey is mentioned as a sweetener in the Bible. Proverbs 25:27 says, “It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” Okay, I don’t want too much sugar not only because it is not good for me but if there is a connection between sweeteners and my desire to seek glory for myself, I do not want it! However, a few sprinkles of sugar upon my apple of life will not be harmful, especially if it is mixed with cinnamon. According to Exodus 30:23 cinnamon is listed as one of the spices in the perfumed holy anointing oil. It had a sweet-smelling aroma and was applied to objects and people for consecration, dedication, healing etc. I want to say with David in Psalm 23:5, “You (the Lord) anoint my head with oil.” If I have the Lord’s anointing upon my life, then I identify with Paul who says in II Corinthians 2:15, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” The aroma of the sugar and cinnamon mixture on the apple snack while it is baking is definitely pleasing. I want the fragrance of my life to be the same!

The final ingredient of this apple snack is the crescent roll wrapped around the apple wedge. I compare the crescent roll to the robe of righteousness mentioned in the Bible. First of all, Romans 3:9 says, “None is righteous, no, not one.” I agree! By myself, I am not capable of always saying and doing the right thing. However, I want to do what Job said he did in Job 29:14, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me.” This is possible because of Isaiah 61:10, “I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness.” This is what I envision happening in the spiritual realm while I wrap my apple wedge in a triangular piece of dough in the physical realm.

Now I need to summarize and conclude this week’s blog. Personally, my daily focus is to see the supernatural in the natural. I also want to help my blog readers see our extraordinary God in our ordinary surroundings. I try to use simple words that have the potential to become golden apple nuggets of truth placed within the lives of my readers. I want others to know that I envision them as refined vessels of silver highly valued by the Lord we all serve.

My Reader, can you identify with my comments about spoken or written words being like apples of gold? Do you enjoy apples being the primary ingredient of an autumn snack? Are you reminded of what it means to be a Christian while you prepare the recipe I have shared today? Would you like to join me for an Apple Bite while thinking about the spiritual message the Lord is sending to you through the physical image of the snack? If you can give a positive response to any of these questions, then I have accomplished my purpose for today.

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

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Everything Has a Season, including Baking

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven
Ecclesiastes 3:1

apple-blossoms-mfEverything has a season, including the changing of seasons. I am thankful spring has finally arrived! Everything has a season, including the fruits available during a particular time period. Apple trees may blossom this time of year but it is not the best season to be eating apples straight from the tree. However, I have a few apples left over that need to be used. Near the end of apple season, I realize that apples are not as tasty just eaten raw so I looked through my recipes and found an old recipe of my mother’s for apple cake. It seems like a good way to use the apples in the refrigerator.

doughWhile stirring up the cake, my thoughts turned towards a spiritual application. The baked cake is symbolic of my life that is made up of various ingredients each day. Just as flour has a bland taste but many uses, I recognize that my day includes multiple mundane household chores that routinely need to be done. Bland and mundane are good words to describe one of the primary ingredients in a cake as well as routine housework. Sugar and oil add sweetness and moistness to a cake. Spiritually speaking, these ingredients remind me of the sweetness of God’s Word and the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit. While cinnamon adds a special flavor to a cake, it also emphasizes  that spice is added to my life as I randomly do unexpected activities. The cake would not rise if soda were not an ingredient. Personally, words of encouragement help me to arise to circumstances I encounter. While salt helps to bring out the flavor of the cake batter, Jesus tells me that I am to be the salt of the earth. I do not want to lose my saltiness! As I think about the taste of salt I am reminded of the salty taste of tears. I must not be discouraged if some tears are mixed into my day because they will add a unique flavor to my life. An egg in a cake helps all the ingredients hold together. Maybe the egg of my life is prayer that helps hold my daily activities together. I must not forget to add the fruit of the apple to my cake or it will not be an apple cake. Neither must I forget to add the fruit of the Spirit to myself. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control are imperative for me to live the way I desire and God desires. Nuts are optional but they do add texture and taste to a cake. I guess it doesn’t hurt for me to be a little “nutty” to add some humor to my day. After all ingredients are combined, the cake needs to be baked if it is to be edible.  I must trust that God will use the heated times of my day to produce the product He desires.

For everything there is a season, including the activities and emotions of everyday life. According to Romans 8:28, I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose. This includes all the seasons of my life. Just as a cake needs a variety of ingredients, so does my life require diversity. My day-to-day existence should not always be the same. I must allow God to mix up my daily responsibilities just like I mix up a cake. I want to taste and see that the Lord is good by the end of each day whether it relates to the taste of a cake or the outcome of my obligations and opportunities.

My Reader, remember that “For everything there is a season” in your life. Maybe you want to follow the recipe below and bake this apple cake. You can enjoy a piece of it while you reflect upon the current season of your life. Also keep in mind that it is April and it is spring according to the seasons of the year. Appreciate all the seasons offered to you in various ways.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

This week: Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 to find out the seasons of life noted by Solomon.

Easy Apple Cake
2 c. raw apples peeled and diced
1 egg
1 c sugar
½ c. oil
1 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c . nuts chopped

Break the egg into the apples. Stir in the sugar and the oil. Combine the flour, cinnamon, soda and salt together and add to the apple mixture. Add the nuts and mix thoroughly. Bake in a 350 degree oven 45 minutes in a 9×9 pan. Serve with whipped topping if desired.

 

 

 

 

A Bag of Apples

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apple red mfMy Reader, when you look at the two pictures shown above that depict “apples in a bag,” which is most appealing to you?  I enjoy the crunch and juiciness of a fresh apple.  It is an easy snack to grab that requires no preparation other than making sure the fruit has been washed.  Many days a fresh apple is part of my lunch and I buy many bags of apples during the year.  However, my friend Marcia posted on Facebook a recipe for apples in a bag that is also very yummy. (Check out the website for Afton Apple Orchard where you will find the recipe and image that I am including in my blog today. September 11, 2013 date for recipe)  These apples in a bag take a few minutes to make but are worth the time for a special treat.  A few extra ingredients and a little heat can alter the texture and taste of the apples.  Personally, I like a bag of apples either way.

apple red mfWhether fresh or cooked, apples can satisfy my hunger when my stomach is rumbling for some food.  When I become aware of a spiritual hunger within my soul, scripture can offer me another kind of apple. Deuteronomy 32:10 states, “He kept him (or her) as the apple of His eye.”  When doing a little research, I found that “apple” refers to the pupil of the eye where the center of vision originates.    This provides me with some food for thought when I realize that I am an apple in God’s sight.  Is my life like an apple in God’s big bag?  That is an interesting image to think about – and blog about!

apple red mfIf God has picked me to be in His bag of apples, I want to be a fresh and crisp apple for Him.  I do not want to be spoiled or tasteless. I do not want to be the rotten apple of the bag!  In order to be an appealing apple, I need to be refreshed in God’s Word.  I must allow God’s hand to touch my life is ways that will keep me to be the best apple for Him.  Just like sugar and spice being added in the apple recipe and then heat being utilized in the microwave, there will be times when the Lord makes additions to my life.  Some experiences may seem like sugar and spice while other times He may turn up the heat in my life in ways that may seem unpleasant for the moment but ultimately will be for my good.  Honey is often referred to as a sweetener in the Bible.  Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Proverbs 16:24 explains, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”  In Exodus 30:23, cinnamon is mentioned as one of the spices found in anointing oil.  Cinnamon is also mentioned as a precious and costly spice in such scriptures as Song of Solomon 4:14, Proverbs 7:17, and Revelation 18:13.  Regarding heat, the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace comes to my mind.  Daniel 3 records how God was not only with these men in the fire but He also brought them out of the furnace without any smell of smoke on them.  Luke 3:16 is a New Testament reference to fire when John the Baptist explains that one (Jesus) was yet to come who would baptize with the fire of the Holy Spirit.

apple red mfShiny fresh raw apples that have been polished are appealing to the sight and delicious to the taste, but there are times when I like apples that have been cooked and the flavor enhanced by additional ingredients. This is a good way for me to understand how God sees me.  I am good and acceptable in His sight just as I am, but He may choose to make some changes in my life through various circumstances because His plans include some further development and refinement of my character.  I want to be in God’s bag of apples prepared to serve Him in the ways He sees fit!

apple red mfMy Reader, because God perceives you as the apple of His eye, do you realize how important you are to Him?  Whether you identify with the fresh picked apples in the bag or with the sweetened apples that have been microwaved in a bag, both are good in the sight of the Lord. Enjoy your relationship with the Lord by being an apple of His in the bag of life!  I also encourage you to try the apple recipe listed below.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

gold apple new

 Apples in a Bag
1 cut up apple
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. water
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Mix and put in microwave safe bag and microwave for 2 min. Enjoy!
(I have heard it suggested that these apples can be added to hot oatmeal, served on ice cream or used as a dip with cinnamon pita chips as well as simply eaten as a special treat as prepared.)

 

Layers, Lines and Precepts

snow mfIt is cold outside this morning so it is going to be a good day to stay inside.  If I were to go outside I would need to wear layer upon layer of clothes but I think I will create a little extra warmth in our house by baking an apple pizza coffeecake instead.  Since this recipe takes time, this is the perfect day to make it because it gives me a good reason to stay inside. However, it is worth the extra time and effort!  The layers of dough, cream cheese, apples and topping blend together for a tasty treat.  One could eat each layer separately but it would not be nearly as appetizing.

While thinking about the layers of the pizza I am going to make, one particular scripture comes to my mind.  It is found in Isaiah 28:13 and says, “But the word of the Lord was to them, ‘Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line….”  I am not ways good at remembering everything God teaches me through each experience in life. Consequently, the Lord needs to keep reminding me precept upon precept (concept by concept) and line upon line (chapter by chapter) of the power and message of His written word.  One of the unique things about the faith walk is that I can reread a specific scripture a multitude of times and each time I read it God can reveal something new to me.  When Isaiah wrote this verse to the Israelites, they did not like to be reminded of what God had told them.  For me, I want to be receptive to what God is showing me.  Precept upon precept or line upon line or layer upon layer is not a bad thing whether it refers to how I study scripture or how I assemble an apple pizza.

bible for study mfAs I sit at the computer drooling for the apple pizza that I will share later with my husband, I find an interesting article online by Robert Grove.  He defines four layers of scripture.  (This is interesting to me since my pizza recipe has four layers!)  Layer one is defined as the primary layer. This is the first layer of understanding the Bible and it is where we all start. It is as simple as reading the Bible as a story. The second layer is described as the practical layer. Here we take scripture and personally apply it to our lives.  Layer three is distinguished as the prophetic layer. Here we find multiple scriptures of the Bible and link them together to reveal an understanding of future events.  The last layer is described as the mystical layer.  This layer of understanding keeps us sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This concept allows us to be aware of how the Holy Spirit will pour out understanding to people in the last days according to scripture.  Robert Grove says, “Let me end by saying that it’s imperative that you have a good foundation in the first two layers before you will even begin to understand the third and fourth layer….  Familiarize yourself with the scriptures of the Bible. Pray that God will grant the Holy Spirit to pour upon you new understanding of the Bible, that your eyes of understanding will be opened.”   I can concentrate on the message of scripture one level at a tine but it will be more meaningful to me if I combine the interpretations of all four levels.   This is similar to how I choose to eat the apple pizza, either one layer at a time or all layers incorporated into one final pastry.

Since it is a cold day, I think I will curl up in a chair by the fireplace and read some scripture precept upon precept and line upon line for a while and then I will go make the apple pizza layer upon layer.  My Reader, would you like to join me?  The apple pizza recipe is listed below but I will let you find your own Bible.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

Apple Pizza Coffeecake
Apple topping:
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 large cooking apples, peeled and thinly sliced
½ c. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
In a large skillet, melt butter and add apple slices.  Combine remaining ingredients; blend with apples.  Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cream cheese topping:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Blend all ingredients in a small bowl.
Streusel topping:
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
¼ c. butter or margarine, softened
Combine ingredients with a fork until crumbly.
Coffeecake:
2 ¾ to 3 c. flour
1 pkg. quick-rise yeast
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ c. water
¼ c. milk
¼ c. butter or margarine
1 egg
In a larger bowl combine 1 ½ cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt and mix well.  In a saucepan, heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees).  Add to flour mixture.  Add egg.  Blend at low speed with mixer until moistened;  beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Cover; let rise in a warm place 15 minutes.
Punch down dough.  On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into a ball. Pat dough on a greased 12 inch pizza pan, forming a rim around the edge.  Spread cream cheese filling over dough.  Spoon apple topping over cream cheese and sprinkle streusel topping over apples.
Cover; let rise in a warm place about 15 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the edge is golden brown.  Serve warm.
(I clipped this recipe from a newspaper many years ago.)

Slow Down!

yellow light mgAll of us will soon be involved with the busy season between the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. As much as I enjoy this time of year, I need to have the right mindset in order to keep everything in perspective.  I need a flashing yellow light in my life reminding me to slow down. Originally the middle yellow light of the traffic signal meant for drivers to slow down and be ready to stop when the light turned red. Unfortunately, today many people either ignore the warning or interpret the yellow light to mean hurry up.  Hurrying up can be my tendency during the upcoming busy season.  I tend to think I have too much to do to set aside time to be alone with the Lord.  However, the truth of the matter is that if I take time to slow down and sit at the feet of Jesus, when I get up I my feet will move faster and accomplish more than if I tried to do everything under my own power. God’s blessings can flow into my life only when I take time to be in His presence.  I need a yellow light and I need to heed its warning with the proper interpretation.

I should follow the example set for me by my slow cooker that is currently preparing our dinner for this evening.  Earlier this morning I followed the directions of the recipe listed below for a pork roast.  Now the meat must slowly cook in the slow cooker for the next 6-8 hours.  During that time, the meat will become more tender and the flavors of all the ingredients will blend together nicely.  Slow cooking allows time for the flavors of all ingredients to be incorporated into the meat. Spiritually, what may be happening is that when God appears to be working at a slow pace in a situation in my life, He really is blending together circumstances not only for me but for others around me as well.  Not only do I need to take time to read God’s Word, but I need to look for a way to apply the scriptures to my life during the next 6-8 hours while our dinner is cooking in the slow cooker or crock pot. This way I will fully benefit from my quiet time with the Lord.  The words of scripture must seep into my spirit so they can be become a part of me and how I live.

I just checked on my slow cooker and I noticed something.  On the front of the crock pot there are three little lights.  Red shows when the crock pot is turned off.  Yellow shines when it is cooking on a slower speed while a green color is emitted when it is cooking faster.  This takes me back to my original analogy of the traffic light and the meaning of the yellow color. Hmmm, I guess the Lord wants me to get the message to slow down!

I hope you will try the following recipe for pork roast with apples.  It does take time to make, but the tenderness of the meat and the flavors of the whole dish are worth it.  I also  encourage you to take time to slow down on a daily basis and allow for some quiet time with the Lord.  I have learned that doing so makes my heart more tender to the Lord and more patient with other people.

slow cooker wmPork Roast with Apples
In the evening:
Season 3-6 pound pork roast with salt, pepper and garlic.  Wrap in clear plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

In the morning:
Lightly brown the pork roast with garlic in an electric skillet.  Then place meat in a crock pot with 2 apples peeled and cut into chunks, 1 orange sliced but not peeled, ¼ cup orange juice, and ¼ c brown sugar.

Cook in crock pot on medium heat 6-8 hours.

Remove meat and discard orange slices.  Place remaining meat juices and apples in a sauce pan.   Mash the apples and then heat to make a sauce.  You may add water to thin the sauce or corn starch to thicken it according to your desire.

Slice meat to serve.  You can serve the sauce on top of the meat or in a gravy boat to be passed separately.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

yellow complete wmScripture for the week: “But those who wait (yellow light – slow down) on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run (green light – go) and not be weary (red light – stop), they shall walk (green light – go) and not faint (red light – stop).  –  Isaiah 40:31 with my additions and adaptations.

Apple Pies and Apple Seeds

APPLE LATTICE PIE BAKED IN AN APPLEapple-pie
Ingredients:
4
large Granny Smith apples
1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (14.1 ounce) package Pillsbury rolled pie crust (use just 1 of the 2 crusts in the box)

 Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Slice the top off each of your apples and scoop out the inside of the apple. I used a knife and a spoon to hollow out the apple.
3. In a small bowl, mix the apple pie filling with the cinnamon. Spoon the filling into the well of each apple.
4. Unroll one pie crust and cut it into fourths; one for each apple. Then cut each quarter into 1/4-inch strips.
5. Lay strips of the dough on top of the apple. Then take one new strip at a time and alternate weaving it over and under the pie strips already in place. Repeat until the top of the apple has been covered. Trim excess pie crust around the edges with a knife.
6. Place apples in a baking dish and fill with 1/4-inch of water. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust if golden brown. Remove from baking dish and enjoy.

APPLE SEEDSapple seeds
I found this recipe online and thought it was a unique way to make individual apple pies.  I hope you try it and like it.  However, what I now want to share with you pertains to something one throws away when making these apple pies, specifically the seeds.

Robert Schuller has said, “Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.” If I were to make the recipe for the apple pies baked in an apple, I know I would not take time to count how many seeds I discarded.  I would make sure I got out all the seeds, but they would not be numbered.  However, I want to think about this from God’s perspective.  God created everything, including apple seeds and apples.  He knows not only how many seeds are in an apple, but also how many apples will be produced from each seed within each apple. If God knows and cares about each apple seed, how much more does He care about me? (I Peter 5:7)  One scripture that reveals to me how much personal attention God gives me is Matthew 10:30.  It informs me that God has the hairs on my head numbered.  I think God must be in the counting business!  Hmmm…  God is concerned about apple seeds, hair, and me!   God intensely and immensely cares about everyone and everything.  I may give no thought to how many apple seeds I am throwing out, but God does!

What is the importance of seeds and why does God keep track of the number of apples found in each individual seed?   Mark 4:1-20 is the parable of the sower and verse 14 defines the seed as being the Word of God.  In fact, there are forty-four verses in the New Testament where the Greek word “sperma” is translated “seed.” This is the same word from which we derive our English word “sperm.”  So, I see that there is life in the Word and there is life in the seed.  I Peter 1:23 says, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” When I study the Word, I am putting the life of God inside of me. The Word grows as a seed in my life and I will produce fruit.  No wonder God keeps track of seeds!

I may discard the seeds of an apple when I am making these little apple pies, but I do not  want to disregard scriptural seeds.  I will plant the seed of His Word in the soil of my heart and let it grow and produce and reproduce fruit for the Kingdom of God.  I most likely will never know how much spiritual fruit is produced in the lives of other people because of the seeds of God’s Word I have planted into the lives of those around me.  Only God will know the number of apples, or fruit, that will come from seeds I plant, but that is okay!  All I do, I want to do for the glory of God. I am accountable to God, but God is the one who counts the seeds and the apples.

My Reader,  if you make these little Apple Lattice Pies in an Apple, you may throw away the seeds.  However, let the seed of God’s Word grow in you and do not toss out these seeds.  Let the spiritual seeds yield fruit of faith in yourself and those around you.  Bake a spiritual pie as well as an apple pie.  There are physical and spiritual appetites to be fed.  Only God needs to know the true harvest.

Joyfully,golden apple #2(MF)
Cheryl  

 Challenge for the week: If you are blessed by this blog, plant some spiritual seeds into the life of a friend by passing along this website.  Remember, there is a new post every Wednesday.

           

Smoothies Made Smoothly

Our daughter-in-law has started the tradition of their having fruit smoothies for their family‘s Saturday morning breakfast.  The family looks forward to this nutritious treat.  Right now since it is summertime, something cool and refreshing to drink is especially appealing to me whether it is Saturday morning or not.  I also have a spiritual thirst needs to be satisfied. So, my Reader, I would like to share a couple of recipes with you.  The first is one that Amy has given to me from a cookbook and the second one is found in Galatians 5:22-23 of the Bible.

apple smoothie mfRecipe for Refreshing Apple Smoothie
2 small containers of vanilla yogurt
1 large apple – peeled or not (depending on your preference)
1 cup of apple juice, made into ice cubes and crushed
1 frozen banana
pinch or 2 of cinnamon

Combine the yogurt and apples in a blender.  Add the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.

This recipe serves 4 people but can be adapted for more or less servings.

*Taken (but slightly modified) from Super Smoothies by Barber and Whiteford

fruit of spirit link pdRecipe for Fruit of the Spirit Smoothie
love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . forbearance . . . . . . . . . . . . . faithfulness
joy. . . . . . . .  .   . . .  . kindness  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . gentleness
peace . . . . . . . . . . . . goodness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . self-control

Live your life by walking in the Spirit and the fruit listed above will be produced in your life.  No ingredient will be lacking.

This recipe serves 1 person or it can be multiplied many times to serve as many people as desired.

*Taken (but slightly modified) from Galatians 5:16, 22-23 NIV

As I compare these two recipes for fruit smoothies, there are several observations that I want to share with you. The extraordinary thing about the recipe for the Fruit of the Spirit is that the action of walking or blending is the first thing that occurs and then the ingredients are produced.  This is different from any other recipe I have ever made.  Most always ingredients are measured and then combined.  Here the ingredients are the fruit, or the results. I do not know exactly what the fruit of the Spirit looks like compared to an apple, but I do know that this spiritual fruit portrays the multifaceted nature of God. It reflects the spirit and character of God who is holy, complete and perfect. This spiritual smoothie is what is produced in me when I live and walk in the power of Holy Spirit.  This is delicious!

When I picture a fruit smoothie, I think of a medley of fruit flavors blended together to create a unique taste.  Apples, strawberries, peaches etc. – each is good by itself.  However, there is a brand-new flavor and texture when all are combined.  It is the same with the spiritual smoothie.  All nine ingredients, or character traits, are combined to produce a unique fruit.  This personality will be evident in an individual walking in the Spirit.  The outgrowth of this complete mixture is different from a personality exhibiting only one or two of these traits.

While comparing these two recipes, another thing I notice is that although there are nine “ingredients” listed in the recipe for the Fruit of the Spirit, they are referred to as a singular fruit rather than plural fruits.  This spiritual fruit is all-inclusive; all nine characteristics or ingredients are evident.  Caution:  there is no picking and choosing of what traits are found in this fruit.  This fruit is the outcome of living in the power of the Holy Spirit.  With a fruit smoothie, the results are evident after the fruits are blended together. 

I also become aware of another difference between natural and spiritual smoothies.  Substitutions are more readily accepted in the natural realm than in the spiritual realm.  When I asked Amy for a recipe for a fruit smoothie, I asked for one including apples because apples are emphasized in my blog.  However, I would encourage you to try your own substitutions with the recipe.  How about using various kinds of summer berries or different flavors of yogurt?  My Reader, you and I can be as creative as we desire with this type of recipe.

I want to point out one more difference between these two recipes. When the Fruit of the Spirit Smoothie is produced, there are no specific quantities listed for each “ingredient” while there are exact measurements for each item used to make the Refreshing Apple Smoothie.  The consistency would be quite different if the ratios between the fruit and yogurt were significantly altered.  For a fruit smoothie, each ingredient needs to be increased or decreased proportionally.  For the Fruit of the Spirit, I expect that the proportions of the nine “ingredients” may vary according to the personalities of  the people are who make up this particular group.  I Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”  If the spiritual smoothie is produced by the body of Christ, some of the people (myself included) may need to be “beat up” a bit to be blended with other Christians to show the true nature of Christ. I tend to think that although all nine qualities will be found in each person in a specific group of believers, each person may contribute a different amount of each facet of the fruit.  For example, I may be more patient than someone else while another person may be more joyful.  These differences in personalities, will make it harder for some people to blend together than others. Hmmm!  I wonder which recipe will need the most blending for the best smoothie that is refreshing and satisfying to the natural body and the spiritual body?  Whether people or fruit are involved, consistency can require patience and time.  These smoothie recipes share some similarities, but there are also many differences.

My Reader, is it time for you to satisfy your spiritual and physical hunger and thirst with both spiritual and natural fruit smoothies?  I have given you a couple of recipes.  Now it is your turn to blend them up.  Enjoy!  

Joyfully,golden apple #2(MF)
Cheryl