This morning was much cooler and therefore perfect for sitting out on the deck to eat my breakfast and have my devotion. It's a Sweet Place to me out there! On the side of my coffee mug it says: "Behold His beauty!" And that's certainly what I do when I sit out there in the mornings. Even if it is, like today, only just long enough to have my devotion from "Reality: 7 Truths From Experiencing God" by Henry & Richard Blackaby. I loved the Bible Study "Experiencing God" and this is just sort of like a review of that.
This is the time of year for all kinds of fruit to be getting ripe. Sitting there in my Sweet Place on the deck I could see both pears and peaches getting ripe on the trees in our yard and orchard. I suppose in a week or so I will be making pear preserves and evaporated peaches (a yummy way to fix peaches to use in fried pies).
Our figs are not ripe yet (and we never have but just a few) but a relative gave us several gallons this week so I have been making fig preserves the past couple of days. Some of them I made by the old fashioned way with just sugar and lemon juice and about 3 hours of cooking. Some of them I made a new way that I learned a few years ago using strawberry jello and only cooking for 7 minutes. This recipe tastes just like you are eating strawberry preserves. Ummmmmmmmmm good on a hot buttered biscuit!
Since Jesus used fruit in a lot of his teachings, this morning I decided to look up some references to the fruit I have been working with this week....figs. Figs were sort of a staple back in Bible days. They probably mostly ate them fresh and then dried the rest. I'm sure they could not have imagined the sweet, sweet preserves people make from them nowadays! I think they were somewhat of a delicacy though even then because I remember people taking "cakes of figs" with them as gifts for others in some of the Old Testament stories.
There are many, many verses that mention figs but the two "fig verses" I want to talk about are these: Matthew 7: 16. "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" and James 3: 12: "Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh."
In both of these verses the Bible is saying that we can pretty much size people up by the "fruit" they are bearing. If someone is always getting angry and swearing and lying and hitting and screaming it's pretty obvious that they are not bearing fruit of the Spirit of God. "(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)" Ephesians 5: 9 But on the other hand if we are bearing fruit of the Spirit people will see love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. I wonder what kind of fruit people see in my life?
And now, just in case any of you out in bloggy land have ripe figs and want to try the easy strawberry fig preserve recipe, here it is:
Strawberry- Fig Preserves
3 cups ripe figs, mashed (measure after you mash them)
3 cups sugar
1 (6 oz) box strawberry Jello (that's the large size box)
Mix in a gallon Dutch oven and put on top of stove. Slowly bring to a boil and then boil for 7 minutes. Immediately put into freshly sterilized pint jars and put lids and rings on snugly. Process in a boiling hot water bath for 5 minutes.
My goal should be to try and bear good fruit in my life so that I can be as sweet to others as the fig preserves are to me!
May God bless you with a Sweet Place where you can meet with Him in your life today!