“Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.”
ROMANS 14: 20

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Blueberries, Birdies and a Perfect Parfait!

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Jul 11th, 2014

(Part I of our 'TRUE BLUE BELIEVER: Faith-Based Lessons Gleaned from The World's Healthiest Fruit: Blueberries' Series)

Read Luke 8:1-8: The Parable of the Sower

"While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown." When he said this, he called out, "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear."

Did you know that blueberries are the world's healthiest fruit? High in antioxidants, one cup has almost one-fourth of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C and fourteen percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber.

While watering my blueberry bushes, it appeared that none of the berries were turning blue. "What could be the problem here?" I wondered, until a few moments passed and I discovered birds were the culprits. When any of the fruit would start to turn color, the birds would swoop down from the trees and eat them up.

My husband, George, and I are novices at this new and berry-exciting venture. Over this past year, we researched how to care for these beautiful bushes and keep the birds from wiping out the crop. Of course, we do have a well-stocked birdfeeder on property, but these indigo-colored berries are quite alluring. Only special netting keeps the birdies at bay.

This recent garden experience reminded me of Jesus' parable in Luke 8 – The Parable of the Sower. Parables are comparisons in which spiritual truth is pictured in colorful terms. The Parable of the Sower is one of Jesus' most popular and tells of four places where the seed lands - on a path, on rocks, among thorns and in good soil. In verse 5, we read, "As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up."

Sometimes sharing God's Word with others can be just like this. We spread the seed of the Gospel on those we love or encounter, and - just like the birds who were on my fence −the enemy is there waiting to snatch it away.

"This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words" 1 Corinthians 2:13

What we need to take away from this first seed-landing lesson is that if the hearer's heart (the soil) is not prepared by the Holy Spirit, it will fall on deaf ears. But just like the protective netting George and I spread over our blueberry bush to fend off the birds, "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16. And "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." Romans 8:26-27

By the power of His Holy Spirit, Almighty God can produce the greatest fruit of all: Salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ!

A Perfect Parfait!

Blueberry Parfait with Ginger Snap Granola

INGREDIENTS

Granola

  • 1/3 cups honey
  • 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt

Parfait

  • 4 cups natural vanilla yogurt
  • 2 cups organic Blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease rimmed baking sheet.

Whisk together honey, oil, molasses and vanilla in a large bowl. Combine oats, pumpkin seeds, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a medium bowl. Add oat mixture to molasses mixture and stir until evenly coated. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. Let granola cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick to the baking sheet. Transfer to bowl or dish to cool completely.

Make your first layer of 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup granola and 1/4 cup blueberries in a parfait or wine glass, then repeat with remaining yogurt, blueberries and granola. Garnish with fresh mint and serve!

Yields 4 Servings

Note: Granola recipe makes 4 cups granola. Store remaining in air-tight container.

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