Tag: fruit

The Helmet – Love

The Helmet – Love

Short Stories
This is my first short story. Betty and I had stopped at an Applebee's after some Christmas shopping. All the stories in the fruit series were based on some piece of memorabilia from the walls of that restaurant.  This one is prompted by a white and red football helmet that reminded me of triple practices in the summer heat.  Zimmy was exactly normal in almost everything. He was right smack dab at the top of the infamous bell curve. Average grades, average smarts, average ambition, average strength, average ability, and average height  Zimmy had very short, rust-colored hair with matching freckles, an infectious laugh, and an easy going attitude. He lived in a two story white house with his parents, older brother and younger sister. There were, in fact, only 2 things in which Zimmy
Real Fruit – Love

Real Fruit – Love

Encouragment
Imagine a world without limits. No speed limit: you can go as fast you dare. There is nothing to stop you from doing anything your heart desires. Want to fly to Pluto? No problem. Want to buy a new home? In this world you’re not limited by what you make, choose the house of your dreams. There are no limits, no law. Most of us can see the immediate problem. Without law. Without limits. Anything goes. Anarchy reigns supreme and someone’s going to get hurt or killed. But what if I told you that there is space for exactly that kind of anarchistic, do as much as you want, encouragement in the Bible? If you are just joining us, this is the ninth and final article in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. And yes, we worked backwards. In this series we looked at three thi
Real Fruit: Joy

Real Fruit: Joy

Encouragment
If you’re a gardener you know joy. There’s just something special, something extra tasty, in the crops harvested from your own plot of dirt. It’s not just freshness. I can buy fresh-picked produce from the local market when the season is right. While good, our own green beans or corn or potatoes just seem to taste better. I think it’s because we can taste the hours of tilling, seeding, and weeding in them. That taste is what joy is all about. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23, NASB95) If you are just joining us, this is the eighth article in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit. And yes, we’re working backward. For this series we are going
Real Fruit: Peace

Real Fruit: Peace

Encouragment
What would a moment of peace look like for you? Mine involves a cool starlit evening, some dark woods, and a glowing campfire. But maybe yours is completely different, like when the toddler takes a nap and you can curl up with a good book. Or a business meeting where everyone is on the same page. Or a family gathering that is steeped with joy instead of petty words. Peace seems to be very elusive at times, hard won and easily lost. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23, NASB95) If you are just joining us, this is the seventh article in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit. And yes, we’re working backward. For this series we are going to be looking
Real Fruit – Paitence

Real Fruit – Paitence

Encouragment
It’s been my experience that folks, including me, struggle to grow the fruit of patience.  We are impatient to become patient, desiring God to instantly plop it into our hearts. When we pray for patience it seems that our challenges and struggles increase. Some folks, having been through this several times, have come to the conclusion that it is dangerous to ask God for patience. But what if all of this is some giant misunderstanding over what the fruit of patience is really like?     “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23, NASB95) If you are just joining us, this is the sixth article in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit. And yes, we’re working b
Real Fruit: Kindness

Real Fruit: Kindness

Encouragment
Just east of our home there is a short stretch of gravel road. The grandkids call it the bumpy road. They know they’re close to grandma and grandpa’s house when they bump along its rough, uneven, and potholed surface. Maybe you’ve driven a road like that. A road that requires reduced speed, more care, and is somewhat unforgiving if you forget where you are. Now, compare that to a brand new, freshly paved, well engineered, and perfectly smooth highway. That feeling of ease is what the fruit of kindness is all about. If you are just joining us, this is the fifth article in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit. And yes, we’re working backward. For this series we are going to be looking at three things, what does the fruit look and taste like, how can we encourage its growth, and how can
Real Fruit: Gentleness

Real Fruit: Gentleness

Encouragment
What do these images have in common? A shepherd gently carrying a lamb back to its mother. A mother cradling a newborn for the first time. A gardener carefully working the soil and removing weeds so as not to disturb the roots of what they have planted. A surgeon, slowly, deliberately, painstakingly using their hands to fix what is torn or remove something that doesn’t belong. A believer in Jesus listening with humility to the heartache and trouble of another. A kindergarten teacher patiently explaining for the fifth time why it is important to listen to her instructions. These are all pictures of our next Real Fruit, the Fruit of the Spirit called gentleness. If you are just joining us, this is the second article in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit. And yes, we’re working backwa
Real Fruit: Introduction

Real Fruit: Introduction

Encouragment
Betty has been bugging me for some time to publish nine short stories based on the nine fruit of the Spirit. Those stories were the first fruits of what God was growing in me and what has become Lambchow. They were written in December 2003 and early 2004. I’ve been putting it off mostly because I see how rough around the edges they are.  Each story portrays one of the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23 and how they can be given away. As we enter this series on the fruit of the Spirit, it is time to revisit them again. Writing and teaching about the Fruit of the Spirit is like preaching on John 3:16. It's a familiar set of verses that most everyone has encountered or been taught about at some point in time, probably more than once. There are innumerable books and Bible studie
Who Are You – A Fruitful Branch

Who Are You – A Fruitful Branch

Encouragment
About ten years ago we moved to our home in the country. Our acreage has many features. Along with our home there is some tillable ground, a little wood lined creek, an old barn, and a few apple trees.  Having never pruned or cared for an apple tree before I asked Grandpa Kindred for some advice. One chilly Saturday in March Grandpa came up and showed me what to do. While Betty and Grandma stayed warm in the house Grandpa Kindred and I worked on the trees. We hacked out the dead branches, cut off the sucker branches that will never grow apples, and trimmed away some of the good to open the trees up and improve the fruit. Our next facet of the diamond of who we are in Christ is “branches connected to the vine.” In John 15:1-11 Jesus uses the metaphor of a grape vine and its branches
A Tree is Know by Its Fruit

A Tree is Know by Its Fruit

Encouragment, Faith
A few years ago I cut down one of my apple trees. For the first couple of years after we moved to our place in the country that tree was too young to produce apples.  One year it did produce a few apples but they weren’t good at all. They had a bland woody taste instead of being sweet or tart. Maybe it was just a bad year I thought.  The tree produced fruit the next year with the same bland results.  I asked the previous owner about the tree. It turns out that he grew it from the seed of one of his favorite store-bought hybrids. That usually doesn’t work well and explained why the fruit was bad. Jesus warned His followers,  ““Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gather
Rooted in Christ

Rooted in Christ

Encouragment, Faith
A few days ago a message landed in my inbox with this question - How does one know he's deeply rooted in Christ? I thought that it was an excellent, thought provoking, soul prodding question. How do we know that we’re rooting our life in Christ and not our selfish desires, religious duty, or just satisfying the need to belong? Roots have two basic functions, they collect and transport water and nutrients for the rest of the plant and they provide stability. We see this demonstrated in the Parable of the Sower. On the first soil, the seed could not even grow, its roots could not penetrate the hard compacted ground. The seed took root and even thrived in the shallow rocky ground until the harsh sunlight of temptation, affliction, and persecution caused it to dry up. The third seed fou
The Overlooked Sermon

The Overlooked Sermon

Encouragment
There is a sermon in the Gospel’s that is often overlooked because it’s not red letter. The sermon begins.  “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. “Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”” (Luke 3:7–9, NASB95)  Now the last time I checked the manual on excellent speech making insulting your audience right out the gate is a no-no. Calling someone a brood of vipers and minimizing their specialness is certainly no way to win friends and influence people. But y