me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it
abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." - John 15:4-7 (ESV)
It was a nice break from hotter days these past, few
weeks. My family and I hopped into the car and with an unplanned destination
chose to have egg rolls and Pho soup from a distant, favorite Vietnamese
“Let’s go!” we all cried in unison and changed our mind about skipping the
morning agreement of fruit picking in yet, an unexplored area nearby.
November is my favorite month because I know the
weather starts to cool off. I am also reminded that “persimmons” are due to be
enjoyed this time. We don’t know that there is a persimmon picking farm nearby.
The winding, 2-lane roads offered majestic views of
ranches with horses freely roaming, a creek filled with water that my husband
thought it was a lake at first, and a well-controlled green houses prompted me
to take a pic as I gazed at those neat rows of plants or vegetables. Not
forgetting the views of the mountain from up ahead, hills with green
vegetation and even a stone quarry it seemed.
some free roaming horses
My son parked his car and immediately, my husband was
offered some buckets of his choosing and he got 3 pruners. Many trees of
persimmons met us and they were only a few steps away from where the buckets,
pruners, and caretakers were.
rows of Persimmon trees
It was exciting to see many fruits. But we didn’t know,
the harvest season started even as earlier as October. Many fruits were a little
higher and perhaps, the fruits on the lower branches were already picked. Still…We
were all excited and wished we knew even then. Yet, grateful we found this
place and how cheap! Nothing could beat 60 cents per pound because out in the
markets, I would get those persimmons for 99 cents a pound or worse a dollar
something more. I left the task of reaching for the fruits attached on higher
branches to my son and my husband. They were known as “Fuyu persimmons” and oh,
so sweet! Crispy like apples. That was how I wanted them, not the other kind
called “Hachiya” which was more mushy like and you had to wait for it to be
ripe before it could be enjoyed. Fuyu for me was the best!
“It’s enough, you guys!” I yelled when I saw the bucket
was filled halfway.
freshly-picked Fuyu persimmons
“Only one more,” my husband replied with an excited
tone of voice.
“Watch out!” my husband warned at one point. “There are
rotting ones that fell on the ground. Don’t step on them.”
We took a few pictures, saw many more other trees we
could no longer approach! And a tall mountain in the distance.
By the time my husband carried the green bucket back to
that center, it weighed 14 pounds. That was a lot of fruit for only 8 dollars
I got to share some with my friend and my husband with
a co-worker who he always worked with daily. There were still lots left in our
Done for the day!
“It’s open until December, they said,” my husband told
me and my son.
The three of us, grinning ear to ear, agreeing in
silence that we would definitely go back.
Deep inside, we knew…
Not only they are cheap, sweet and not that far to go
to. There is nothing sweeter than the three of us creating that memory, being
reminded to always “look up” not just to reach the fruits but to remember where
the good things in life come from. Instilling the truth in our hearts that our
lives can either produce good fruits as Christians if we are abiding by God’s
Word or dropping like those rotten ones if we stray away from Jesus.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: NLT Bible ]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].