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Hello there friends! I don’t know about you, but right around early spring, I start thinking of all the yummy jams I want to make, but my enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that the peaches and other fruits are not ready until late August and on into September. Not that my enthusiasm wanes, but rather during that time of year I usually get caught up in the beginning of school and am I sadly, not always able to make the fruit concoctions I conjure up during the summer months.
That’s why you will be happy to know that the week before we planned on starting school in earnest, thanks to the help of Grams, we managed to put up not just one kind of jam, but three!!! You’ve already heard about the berries we rescued and turned into a mixed berry freezer jam with a hint of peaches and sweetened with a tad of honey. Also, as happens in our house every year, Grams and Pops brought home peaches from Hood River.
I think perhaps getting peaches from Hood River is one of the best traditions and would be up there with not having our fall time treat of Caramel Corn if we weren’t to have them one year! This year, grandma made lots of her yummy peach jam and the family ate so many of the peaches that Grams and Pops had to go back to Hood River and bring home two more boxes!
Now that explains two of our jams, thus I will move on to the third kind! This year we got delicious locally grown plums from a friend and being in the canning mode, of course we made, you guessed it, PLUM JAM! Like our peach jam is a vibrant orange, the plum jam was a a vibrant purple and red color. This coming winter I am excited to still be able to enjoy the vibrant colors and flavors of our homemade jam.
Growing up we had Galatians 5:22-23 on the wall, with all kinds of fruit pictures on it. So here is my confession, it wasn’t until I was well past ten that I learned the “fruit” in the verse wasn’t the kind we put in smoothies or make our jams out of! No, it was the kind of fruit we each have a choice to grow in our own lives. The kind of fruit that is seen in our lives by the things God does with and within us, if we but allow him! John 15:1-8 talks about this kind of fruit in this way
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
So, while enjoying the physical fruit you are making into pies this time of year, remember the Bible talks about fruit from Genesis to Revelation. Let’s makes sure to be creating not only fruit preserves full of apples, pears, peaches, plums and berries, but to also be laying store to the eternal fruits that go by the names of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Not by our cupboards stores of food and riches, but rather by these biblical fruits, will we be shown to be true disciples of Christ.