The Apple Tree

 

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Somewhere at the back of my mind there was a quote bothering me.   So I popped into Google to find a lead or two.  I came to the realisation that our language and literature, even be it a simple quote, may well be in a state of transition.   For the most part I found quotes from Steve Jobs of Apple computer fame, and other computer geeks who have transported us into another realm of language.    Words don’t mean what they use to mean.   And stories are in danger of becoming the fake news of the day.   My, how the world has changed.   We have evolved into another era.

The closest I came to finding the right words for the quote was by Robert Schuller:

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God knows how many apples there are in a seed.

I remembered, the quote I couldn’t find, went a little further and spoke of apple trees and apple orchards.

Apple orchard

This analogy of the apple tree speaks to me of exponential potential growth, and it was something I wanted to share with my children.  Not that I have experienced it, only heard of it, but do know that generosity is a key to unlocking prosperity, and freedom from ‘the clutter of life’
Generosity as a principle of life, can unlock doors of wealth, and more so, a generous spirit.

I had recently listened to a debate on TV by a group of young Black people, who having endured the hardship of poverty, were now either educated or had well paid employment, asked the question “should they have to pay Black Tax’ – as they called it.   Black Tax is when children give back to their struggling families, help to ease the poverty and also help the remaining siblings at home.   Some were unreservedly for it, some a little reluctant, and some refused to pay back. The culture of giving creeps into the African-centric adverts on TV too, when you see a son buying his elderly Black mom a stove or a fridge.  And often you hear how the well- to-do grown up children take pride in buying a house for their family.
Of course it depends on the individual, there is no legal law that says it must happen – except the law of the heart.
And when appreciation has been nurtured, and generosity has been learnt, giving happens more easily.

I grew up in a time when saving was the smart thing to do.   There is nothing like having a little something in reserve for a rainy day.  At that time, it was just plain common sense, because eventually your money works for you – and not you for your money !!
When we went through our ‘ financial struggle years’ I resolved to start a small savings account, and made minuscule deposits.
I called it my Apple Tree account.    And for a long time it was partly dormant, and then very slowly began to grow tiny roots.   Whenever I could I would ‘water’ my Apple Tree with a small deposit.   It began to grow and now even has some apples on it – which I pick and enjoy from time to time.

My children, bless their hearts, have out of love, been watering my Apple Tree too, with generous deposits, that have caused my tree to flourish.    I am grateful for the apples that I can pick from its growth, but more, much more, I am delighted with their acts of generosity, that I know will stand them in good stead in their years to come.
May they too plant their own Apple Trees, and continue to cultivate the fruit of generosity, and see the benefits of it, for it says in Luke 36:8

Give,  and it will be given to you,
good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over
will be put into your bosom.
For with the same measure that you use,
it will be measured back to you.   

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GIVE, its good mental health.

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Let your life be a river not a swamp

Like the pages of a book in a gentle breezy wind the months just seem to flip over.
I had intended to write on good mental health for the month of October, but it slipped my mind !! – and October came and went almost unnoticed.

So I am playing catch up, and want to share a few simple thoughts on good mental health.

Let your life be a river not a swamp,
Give, its good mental health.

stars

When stars stop emitting light, gravity sucks them in, and they become a black hole !!
So keep on shining, keep on giving… its good mental health.

Give of yourself…. little deeds of kindness, makes the world a better place.
Give of your finances ….  it breeds generosity in you, and in others.
Give of your personality …. and share your sense of humour, share your opinion, your smile – and best of all share your presence.

Let your life be a river,  not a swamp that is stale and stagnant, a place where crocodiles lurk !

Give, its good mental health.

brown-swamp

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.

For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.   Luke 6:38

Give, and it will let your cup run over with  JOY, ….  and thats good mental health !!

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CareSA Chronicles

CARESA CHRONICLES
March 2015
Dear Community Co-hearts and Faraway Friends,

March is marching on to gobble up 2015. And I want to be quick to pen something down before time slips away and the moment to reach you with my letter is gone.
Community Matters : The year kicked off with a Soul Action group gathering. Phil Bowyer led us in a time of Reflection, Refreshing and Refocus. These were very healthy activities and cleared the cobwebs away to reset the mind on a clear course for the year ahead.
I had the pleasure of attending the Container Ministry Conference held at Grace Church here in Umhlanga. In essence this Ministry sources food, equipment and other goods, from contacts Overseas who send ship containers to South Africa. The Container Ministry then re-distributes the goods to a network of Churches (mostly rural in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa – where poverty is dire) , and to local community projects working with the poor and needy. Because of Luke 6:38 I had thought to up my giving a little this year, but my jaw dropped when I heard of the pig farmer in Wales who not only filled a container with medical equipment, but bought the container, that then was transported to a project to be used as a school classroom !! The magnitude of this giving astounds me. We also heard from the community projects who benefit from this ministry. God is good. And He goes to great lengths to help the Poor through His people, who are called by His name.
I am so looking forward to a meeting in March, calling for an Entrepreneur Development Focus Group, which wants to discuss the way forward for the Craft Traders of the Hope Craft Market. Hopefully this will strengthen the “poverty to progress” mindset. If we can capture all the right role players, with their ideas, insights and contributions, this could lead us to the next step on this very long road out of poverty. Entrepreneurs can and should form the basis of a new “emerging economy” for the sub-economic sector in our society. In fact it should form part of a bigger plan for Social Regeneration in South Africa. But alas I don’t think there is such a plan, until then we just need to trudge along as best we can. But with faith hope and love anything is possible. Right ? Right !
Now, beam me back please !! I once heard a man say : it sometimes is not easy to keep the balance between dreams and reality. So true … so for now back to reality.
At my monthly Craft Group meeting I came to hear of a ministry to premature babies by Gill Cameron of We Are Durban, who do a whole lot of good work in Durban. Gill packs little baby parcels for the premature babies and takes them to the hospitals to personally give them to the mums who have absolutely nothing for their little babies. At times they are wrapped in newspaper and sent home !! This moved me so, that I decided to use some of my off-cut materials and make up little blankets to give to Gill. Gill also encourages ladies to knit tiny beanies for these little ones, and our Craft Group members have supported her. There is much kindness in Durban, people are so willing to help where they can with what they can, and with what they have on hand. The giving is easy here !

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Gill Cameron and me showing off the little machine patchwork blankets from CareSA.

I have started blogging. I have a site on WordPress, which is a website for people who want to write. WordPress offer a course, which I did, and what a mind s-t-r-e-t-c-h for me . Smoke still coming out of my ears !! I have so much to learn. I have called my blog the CareSA Foundation, and intend to put all CareSA writings and concepts on it, so that all these dreams and ideas that lie neatly folded up in my mind can find an expression – on a global platform, nogal. That is if anyone visits my blog ! I have written quite abit on Gardens of the heart from the Care Africa Movement project. I even wrote a poem about Africa (not that I am a poet of any ilk or form)
Through Blogging I have come to realize that we are all just very tiny fish in a big big sea of humanity, with all its hurts and pains and joys and potentials.
My blog address is : https://caresafoundation.wordpress.com
Click on this and visit my blog, and leave your comments, remember to click on the Post button to publish to my blog. This will spur me on, – and I would love to hear from you.
For me the world has shifted gears, as I have come to realize that there is a whole new way of communicating going on. The Internet, Blogging, Social Media eg Twitter, Facebook, Google, have changed the world as we know it. It is scary, but I think we should embrace the change, and we will find that our worlds will expand. I’m trying, slowly, to do just that, and am finding new horizons to explore and new stories to hear.
I leave you with this encouragement, and with the hope that you will experience Luke 6:38 in your own life, and come to know the goodness of God in 2015.

Give, and it will be given to you : good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
Stay in Faith Hope and Love, and blessings to you this day.
Luv, Carol.