• Lisa's Jars of Joy

apples from pine trees?



My three year old granddaughter and I spent the morning at the Retreat Farm in

Brattleboro. We saw sheep and donkeys, roosters and hens. The pig was incredibly

big and stinky. Last, but not least, we visited Carlos the Brahma-Red Holstein bull, a

gentle giant weighing over two thousand five hundred pounds! Emmie fed Carlos a

bagel, but dropped it quickly when she saw the size of his tongue. It was gooey and

sticky and rough.


After all this excitement, we walked toward the John Deere tractor playground. I asked

if she had any questions about the animals we’d seen. She pointed to a row of pine

trees and asked, “Gigi, I’m hungry. Can I pick an apple over there?” I explained, “No,

because pine trees don’t produce apples, they produce pine cones.” She exclaimed,

“But I want to pick an apple over there!” I replied, “It’s impossible to pick an apple from

a pine tree, but later on we can go to an apple orchard and pick apples.”


This exchange reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew: Watch out for false

prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious

wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn

bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a

bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot

bear good fruit. Verses 7:15-20 NIV


Lord Jesus, these verses are simple yet profound. There was a time I believed wolves

were sheep, because their words were convincing. But, their actions revealed over and

over again the type of fruit they produced. They were wolves, not sheep, and you can’t

be both. Just like pine trees can never produce apples. Thank you for Emmie’s

question. It’s a good reminder. Amen.


Do not give dogs what is sacred, do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they

may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Matthew 7:6 NIV

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