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From the Editor -
Darlene Hight
Golden Apples
Featured Article
MorningApple Butter Sanctification
By Darlene Hight

I love apple butter! If you offered me my choice from every type of jam, jelly or preserves, I would always go for the apple butter. I like it with peanut butter, I use it when Iím making fingerprint cookies and I love it on hot buttered biscuits. As my kids would say, "Itís the bomb!"

Most years, in the fall, we make our own apple sauce. We go to the orchard, pick nice, tart apples and make a family project out of it. I will never forget the year that I decided to make my own apple butter.

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A Cultivated Heart
By Tammie Smith

Rolling fields, in vibrant shades of greens, yellows and browns, cascade across the land like a patchwork waterfall. Nestled in the distance and surrounded by this rich landscape of luscious green fields, rests a little town; its houses huddled together as if to keep warm. Beyond the field are clusters of trees that cover the vast mountains.

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MomsGod Seasons
By Linda Germain

My sonís firewood business is brisk in the winter. Busy as a young beaver, he splits, chops, delivers and stacks with strength and agility.

This first year of his entrepreneurial endeavor has been an exercise in on-the-job learning. Some lessons are blunt and costly. For instance pitching logs into the truck bed with too much gusto and too little aim shattered the rear window glass in his truck. This rude awakening has cooled his enthusiastic timber flinging.

Another lesson gave credence to Momís admonition to be courteous, honest and to give good measure. Application of this advice has customers calling for second loads. These positive responses add fuel to his wood stocking efforts.

However the anchor lesson, as he embarks on this labor-demanding job, lies in one inescapable absolute: ANY wood must "season" to be a good heat source. A tree, hard like oak and long since down, will produce steady burning and predictable warmth. As a young sapling, my offspring is learning that the green wood of a new felled tree has no season. First, it must be cut off from its root supply and lie quietly through an aging process. It is imperative for this downtime to pass before any splitting, chopping, delivering, stacking or burning takes place.

Due time is an investment in waiting patiently for the germination of purpose. Eventually, like the season of Moses, the season of oak will produce a coveted hot and useful flame. My young son, unaware that he is enrolled in "Life Lessons 101", will look back from his future maturity and see that this business yielded more than splinters, aching muscles, and a meager income. The prerequisites to the success of this work are analogous to his quest Ė the quest to fulfill Godís plan for him.

As his loving parent, my prayer is this: Let my budding lumberjack embark on lifeís journey with steps that direct him toward a manhood of wisdom and integrity. More than that, I pray for him to understand that in our cries to be used by God, He delivers, but FIRST Ö He seasons.
Linda resides in the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee. She is a Registered Nurse with a degree in English, Motherhood, and Life. She is happiest when reading, singing, hammering, wallpapering, sawing, painting, traveling, observing, and writing. Linda can be contacted at Sweethaven@charter.net.