Archives for posts with tag: fruit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22,23

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” -Galatians 5:25

Two very familiar passages. Pretty heavy fruit. Serious right living. Something to bear in mind when seeking a church home: Is the church I’m looking to join bearing Spirit fruit planted by God?

This reliable standard goes beyond praise and worship styles, prayer meetings, auxillaries/ministries departments, outreach programs, and all the workings of organized religion in church. It looks past the smiling faces, friendly hugs, and polite etiquette. It looks deep into the heart of a church’s members.

Jesus was never impressed with church folk. He pierced through their works to the inside of their souls. Attitudes and motives caught his attention. Always. I think of the Good Samaritan account, and the lawyer who asked Jesus who was his neighbor. Jesus answered his question with this story-then asked the lawyer who was the neighbor. Then there’s the Prodigal Son story, describing the actions and reactions of the father, the wayward son, and the faithful elder brother. The other story that stands out in my mind is the Widow’s Mite, and Jesus’ silence as he watched the congregants put in their offerings. He openly praised the widow’s act of putting all she had into the plate. Oh yes, I forgot about the rich young ruler. He did right, lived right, from his youth, but chose not to follow Jesus after he was told to sell all his wealth.

The appearance of doing right, and living right, is not enough in God’s eyes. These acts should be fruit born of the seed of pure love for God, and for all his people. He asks why am I doing right? God wants to know, and the book of Acts clearly shows, do I love him from my heart-or is it just for show? Have I brought God down to my level of selfishness, doing good works for me or for him? Or to get things for me and my four, and no more? My thoughts, my motives I hide from man who sees smiles, and works-but God sees hearts.

Yes, God can tell if a church’s fruit is good or bad. Remember the fig tree Jesus cursed because it bore no fruit?

A FRUITFUL CHURCH: Oozes with a God-love that sets safe, loving, prayer-saturated boundaries for members to share their real selves, fearing no closed-mindedness and judgment. The joy continues long after the weekly praise & worship, miracles, and healings stop. Her members consciously seek peaceful ways of getting along with one another. Everyone practices longsuffering (patience), understanding every member is at a different stage of his or her walk with the Lord. Gentleness is shown consistently when restoring those who are fallen and weak in faith. The intent of the hearts of all members is to think, to speak, to do good and only good. Faith causes everyone to believe in and encourage each other to get up, brush off, to keep moving forward and upwards. The spirit of meekness recognizes all make mistakes, then effectively crushes and makes no room for pride. Temperance (self-control) governs every church member, because they are surrendered vessels to God.

Looking for a home church? Look for her Spirit Fruit.

Image

http://publicphoto.org/architecture/church-in-the-city/

 

 

Advertisements

For breakfast, I had left in the refrigerator:

1/2 bag fresh cranberries, rinsed

1 large apple, cored & sliced thin

1 pear, cored & sliced thin

1 cup Water

1/2 cup raw brown sugar

 

Bring the water and sugar to a gentle boil in a medium pot. I prefer no sugar at all, but I’m not the only one eating it. You can add more or less sugar to your liking, or use another natural sweetener of your choice.

Add the rinsed cranberries, once the sugar is dissolved.

Add the apple and pear slices.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer down to a thick consistency. Keep an eye on this, stirring every now and then, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. Turn off stove. Let cool, or use hot if you’d like for topping waffles, pancakes, etc.

Transfer to a container when cool (I use glass), and store in the refrigerator. Mine keeps for a few days. I try to use everything I make within three days.

I completed my breakfast with cooked quinoa cereal, ground flaxseed topping, raw almonds, and the other half of the fruits. Later, I used this as a topping, as a side dish, and as a supper with whole-grain crackers & herbal tea.