The Apple and the Tree

I love everything about this time of the year. Icy mornings. Snuggly blankets. Grande cups of coffee goodness. The winter winds warm my heart. I know, it’s weird. I’m complex. You’ll get use to me. Winter in South Africa also means pink lady apples. A crunchy, yummy, bite size vitamin booster. My snack of choice. Obviously. It just feels like every bite of a pink lady apple makes up for last night’s Oreos and Milo. The Oreos were completely involuntary. I plead not guilty. Just putting it out there. Oreos are mean.

I always nibble away at my pink lady apple as a mental break during a work day. So there I was, crunching away when my colleague interrupted me mid-bite. “You know you can eat an apple upside down, right.” As per usual, I replied with a very ladylike “HUH?”. According to him you can eat an apple upside down, core and all, without tasting the core… And all. That way you get in all the nutritious fibres, and don’t waste a perfectly good apple core. My thoughts? Nope.

He continued excitedly. Apparently when you peel an apple pip, it tastes exactly like a raspberry. Fascinating. My thoughts, yet again… Nope. You should know my face has a way of letting me down in the art of hiding feelings. I’ve often said it needs deliverance. When you’re terminally honest, it kind of comes with the territory.

I had no interest in eating an apple core, nor peeling a rasberry-ish-apple pip. As I was about to shake my head, he added “Just try it, it’ll change the way you eat an apple forever.”

There it was. Penny drop.

All too often we’re so content with just eating all around the core. It’s juicy and easy to swallow, but we miss out on all the nutritious goodness of the core and pips.

A good leader once asked me what the main purpose of an apple tree was. The answer? Not to just produce apples, but to produce apple trees. Within every apple core, lies a potential tree. How can we willingly miss out on those trees? How can we pass up the opportunity to chew away at the core, enduring the discomfort and pieces of bitterness, so that a tree can be planted in our hearts?

See, life is much like a pink lady apple. It’s easy to stick to what we know. To not face the deeper, uncomfortable, and sometimes offensive truths. Jesus said He came to give us life, and life in abundance. That’s the ultimate truth. An abundant life is not complete without the core parts. Those parts plant seeds for future trees.

So,  I want to challenge you to eat the apple upside down. It’ll change your life forever.

Cruffins and Coffee

I am a coffee snob. There. I said it. I can’t help it. There are times I wish I could go back to the simpler me. The me who was okay with dissolving a spoonful of instant coffee into boiling water. Allas! I’ve tried. Seriously. But there’s something about the complexity of a single origin or blended aroma that keeps me coming back for more.

This week I waltzed into one of my favourite coffee spots in my hometown, and as I sipped away at my upsize cap, I spotted the most amazing creation. You should know, pastries are my absolute downfall. Just putting it out there. Back to the story: The owner informed me that this was called “The Cruffin”. A Croissant-Muffin hybrid. Done. I know. Where have I been all these years, right? It was destiny. Cruffin and I connected in a most spectacular way, and he has now taken up full residency on my hips. So worth it.

Over the years I’ve heard countless arguments about how single origin coffee trumps blends, and vice versa. (Ha! Trumps… budum tss. Too soon.) I’ve found myself identifying more and more with the cup in my hands. The complexity of a blend. The fact that the beans from single origins were combined in perfect balance. The coffee roaster knew that the density and consistency of beans differ and adjusted the blend accordingly. I felt a nudge. And the ever clever penny made its way into my Spirit.

This is me. A unique, odd-looking, sweet, layered concoction, combined with a creamy, roasted, bitter, blended aroma. Created to add a specific flavour to this world. Roasted to unleash a pleasing aroma, a fragrant piece of the Father’s heart.

Let’s be honest. It begins with you. With identity. The sooner you realise that you are a unique blend, beyond compare, the sooner you’ll be able to pin point your purpose and calling in this world. I’ve found that coffee is less about the coffee and more about the Roaster. The cruffin is less about the cruffin, and more about the Chef.

My life for His purpose. My blend for His Kingdom. And that’s more than enough.

Deer Reader…

We all know the feeling. That moment of complete clarity. All at once the world comes to a complete stand still, waiting in silence for the rumoured penny to drop. This is what this blog is all about. A penny.

I’ve always loved creative writing. I love how the written word can transport you to undiscovered worlds, and reveal parts of your spirit you never even knew existed. I live an extraordinary life. Not because of who I am, but because of who my Father is. I’ve experienced many a penny drop because of His grace, and would like to share these pennies with you. You should know that every penny carries a story. Stories of love found, love lost. Stories of victory, of defeat. These stories are real. These stories are mine.

My prayer is that if you’re reading this, you’ll join me on this journey. If there’s something I’ve learnt over the years, it’s that we reside in a poverty stricken world. Not just poverty of the heart, but poverty of the Spirit. And what better means of enriching this world, than one penny at a time.