I like making jelly and especially experimenting with different types of jelly-namely jalapeno. I found this recipe that calls for 4 pounds of tart apples to cook down and use with the jalapenos in place of the liquid or powdered pectin usually used in jelly making.
So, yesterday while in town, Stacie and I bought the 4 pounds of apples required for a making of jalapeno jelly using the pectin from apples rather than the store bought type. This morning, knowing it might/could take some time for the cooked mixture to drip through the cheesecloth, I started cutting up the apples before the girls left for school.
Shandi, watching, asked what I doing and I explained it to her. She questioned my using the seeds and peelings and I explained that it would all be strained, leaving nothing but juice. As she watched me chop the apples into chunks, and noticed some seeds leaving the apple and staying on the cutting on the board, she piped up: Some little seeds say: “nope, I’m not jumping over into a pot of boiling water, thank you very much. I’ll stay right here on the cutting board.”
This is the apple and jalapeno mash after cooking down with vinegar and water. I poured it into cheesecloth to strain.
The finished product. Beautiful clear red jelly, thickened to perfection, a distinct flavor with a good heat kick which doesn’t linger on to bite you in the mouth.
Lord, my heart is heavy today. My heart has been heavy for days, ever since I heard of the sin of a person in our community. A person who had a position of being a wonderful, positive influence in the lives of our children-young and old. Questions swirl around in my mind. Why? What possesses a person to throw it all away? How is her husband holding up under this burden? What about her children? Her mother and father? Siblings? Friends? Are they standing by her in support (not supporting her sin but praying for her to repent) or have they thrown her by the way side?
The fleshly part of me hungers to know more; to know that justice is served; to know that even those in ‘high places’ have their sins exposed for the world to see, just as the sins of my son were splattered all over the newspaper back in the day; Just as the sins of our own church member were reported with no bias in the local paper.
The spiritual side of me cries out to God in prayers of understanding, mercy and guidance; asking God to show me if there is any way He can use me to be a witness to this person or to anyone else involved; directly or indirectly. The spiritual side prays continuously for the family, for the sinner, for my own mind to be at peace with such things can occur in this world of ours. I pray that my own grandchild, who loved this person dearly, will have understanding that ALL people have a sinful nature and God can and does forgive us all, but God also does not tolerate such sin in His people without there being some discipline. I pray she is not completely jaded against all people, after all, it would be so easy to do so given the pain she has already suffered in her young life. I pray that she is granted wisdom to know that not all people are all bad and that with her focus on God, He will direct her paths throughout her life.
In my desire to find answers to such a twisted situation, I ran across a few good articles. I’d like to share a few snips from those articles:
*To speak about another’s faults to others can spread strife, dissention, distrust, and can undermine the credibility and reputation of the person that is being accused of wrongdoing. That being the case Christians should not be those who lend an ear to those who speak negatively and openly about another supposed sin or shortcoming. Christians should not participate in negativism and gossip by lending an ear to a “venting” Christian. The godly thing to do is to go to our sibling who has done wrong and encourage our fellow Christians to do the same.( http://andrewlemus.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/the-christian%E2%80%99s-response-to-sin/)
Jesus himself said, “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye” (Matthew 7.1-5). Jesus’ point is this-even if your neighbor has a BIG sin in their life, if you’re judging, you sin is even bigger. Period.
So, are Christians supposed to be busy pointing out other people’s sins? Although James did write that helping another from their sins was a good thing, he also was very clear that mercy triumphs over judgement (James 2.13). Berating, condemning, and judging others is specifically prohibited in the Bible and those who judge are in danger themselves of even a more severe judgement.*( http://www.hcna.us/columns/motes-n-splinters.html)