Monday, June 22, 2009

Fresh Fruit

From pick-up trucks loaded with sweet corn, not yet shucked. To chocolate mint that prefers morning sun. Don't worry about it melting from the heat. To gizzard plants. The foliage--dark brown. Fuschia-colored stems. Delicate, pink veins that run throughout the leaves. An unexpected combination of beauty. The Farmer's Market in Raleigh has it all. Spices. Herbs. Flowers. Fresh vegetables and fruit. Our mission while there. To find fruit. Red, juicy tomatoes. Not shipped from across the country. Not imported. Not from a greenhouse. We wanted home grown. In the dirt. The kind of tomatoes that if you're not careful when you take a bite, the juice will drip down your chin. We sampled some tomatoes. No fork. No napkin. Just stood in the aisle eating. Juice running from our fingers to our elbows. Wiped our hands on the bottom of our tee-shirts. Mission accomplished: we found the fruit. Biblical writers often discuss fruit. We read about the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We're told that we should produce fruit. In Hebrews, Paul instructs us to offer fruit as a sacrifice. He writes: Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess His name. (13:15) I don't know about you, but two words in this verse scare me. I'm ok with praising God. Offering the fruit of my lips when I feel like it. When it's convenient. When things go well with me. But to praise Him continually and to offer praise as a sacrifice. That's different. Much more difficult. Praise Him always? Even if I don't like my circumstances. Even if He doesn't act according to my agenda. Offer praise as a sacrifice? That's heavy. And hard. I mean give up something just so I can praise God. Like give up my pride. My sense of having been done wrong by Him. Or by others. Even give up my hurting heart. Yes. That's exactly what He wants. From me. And from you. He searches for that special fruit. The kind grown in His field. By His Spirit. The kind that lasts. This sacrifice of praise. Fresh. Fruit from our lips. Sweet dreams, Deb


  1. Hi, Deb...
    I hopped over here from a blog friend's comment box. Your post for today comes as a confirmation of what God's been putting on my heart lately about being fruitful. But the way you spoke about the fruit of our lips being a special fruit, that really struck me. I've read this verse, even quoted it, many times before. I must have done so in an intellectual kind of way. But today reading it again in the context of what you wrote, I'm struck.

    As a person who has chosen joy in most of my life circumstances, I realize today that praise is indeed a fruit that comes from my lips. Somehow I just never thought of it that way, not in the way you pointed out.

    I also read the blog entry you posted for Father's Day. How beautiful! I love couples who stay in love long after the wedding ceremony, and the pictures have begun to fade... but will never let the pictures fade from their hearts. That's the kind of love my husband and I had for each other.

    I thank God for another woman who is willing to share her heart and life journey with those who care to be a part of what God is doing in and through you. And welcome to blog world. It is a God given privilege for me to have discovered you.

  2. Deb,
    I've never quite grasped this before..."Offer praise as a sacrifice? That's heavy. And hard. I mean give up something just so I can praise God. Like give up my pride. My sense of having been done wrong by Him. Or by others. Even give up my hurting heart..."
    In recent days, memories, anger, hurt buried deep have at last been allowed to surface...and yes..the feeling of having been done I know what to do with it...thank you..
    Love, Sita

  3. Deb,

    I'll look differently at lipstick now...

    Refreshing post...I could taste the fruit, feel the juice on my hands, & see my shirt crumpled from wiping my hands on it.

    Writing with purpose,

  4. A great piece of writing ... and a great message for us.

    "Praise as a sacrifice." It's been right there in my Bible, and somehow I've never fully taken those words in. I'm taking them in now....

    Thank you for this.

  5. Crown of Beauty,

    Welcome to my blog! Thank you for taking the time to let me know your thoughts about my writing. Sometimes, it's hard to know if I'm on track or out of touch. So, I cherish your insights.

    I'll be visiting you real soon.

  6. Sita,

    Thank you for sharing your feelings with me. I've read your blogs so I know about some of the things that you've been through. And the knowing makes your comments even more precious to me.

    There's no God like our God!


  7. Margie,

    I love that sense of that you mentioned it, I'll be looking at lipstick differently.


  8. Jennifer,

    I get so excited when fellow bloggers say that they learned something from one of my posts. Thank you for reading and for sharing with me.


  9. Hey Deb,
    Your message today really hit a nerve. I have had a real "Eeyore-type" attitude for a while, as you well know, and praising Him through it has not been in the forefront of my mind. I appreciate the reminder and would especially appreciate your prayers to act upon it! Keep writing my precious friend. It makes a difference.

  10. Sharolyn,

    You make a great difference to me.

    Will E-mail you a little later.

    We're off to the lake for a few days.


  11. First, this post made me very hungry! Summer produce comes much later here so we haven't had those delicious, juicy homegrown tomatoes here yet.

    But then, the! I don't guess I'd really thought of what a "sacrifice of praise" really looks like. I am now. Thanks for more delicious "food" for thought!