‘Mrs. Carpenter can sure cut apricots; sixty trays in an eight hour day,’ that’s all I ever heard. I never met this awesome woman but she was a legend in the Berri-Winkie area for cutting the most trays of fruit in a day.
A tray is about 3ft by 2 ft. It is supported on two planks with buckets of fruit placed on the left hand side for ease and speed in grabbing fruit. The knife is a short, curved, sharp pointed blade.
The fruit is snatched in the left hand, the blade is placed across where the stem was to cut the little membrane and release the stone to be flicked into a bucket at the feet of the cutter. The fingers of the left hand spin the fruit around much like a spin bowler, so the point of the knife slices the apricot in half and placed in meticulous rows until the tray is full.
The fruit must be flat so the juice when sulphured doesn’t spill out. The dried product must bright red or orange and sweet. A perfectly flat tray of halved fruit in neat, tightly packed rows is a beautiful sight. Good cutters take pride in their trays of perfectly cut fruit.
Of course, Mrs Carpenter grew up in the cutting shed. That’s why she is a good cutter. She started when she was young,’ I kept hearing. ‘You can’t cut apricots unless you started as a kid.’
The story continued, ‘Mrs Carpenter slips the stone. It’s not a good idea though,’ the blockers took a dim view of such practises, ‘because it breaks the cup and lets the juice run out. The fruit is spoilt and the price is lowered.’
I was one of the army of house wives and kids that moved out onto the blocks at harvest time to make money. Why couldn’t I be a gun cutter? True, I was a Johnny-come-lately, but it couldn’t be all that hard.
I signed up with my four kids at a small shed next door to where I lived. I reached 40 – 50 trays a day and then the fruit was finished.
But I had learnt how to slip the stone without damaging the cup and my trays were picture perfect.
The next harvest I signed up at one of the biggest sheds in the area. There were ten acres of apricots to be cut and dried. This was my year; the kids were bigger. I introduced them to the cutting knife and showed them how to cut. The first couple of days I fell short of my tally. I needed to cut a tray every five minutes. I paced myself by my watch; soon the sixty was a daily tally.
I had arrived as a big gun cutter. Somehow legend was not my name. Mrs Carpenter was a settler; she continued to be the stuff of legends. I was the wife of a lowly block hand, the new kid on the block.
Speaking of legends, Jesus Christ is no legend or a myth. He was around when the world began, in fact, he was with his Father, God, and the creator when the universe was created. The book of Genesis says, ‘Let us make man in our own image.’
When we can admit that we cannot reach the standard of life God requires and accept Jesus as our saver, and are born again, we become as one with Jesus. We are recreated in the likeness of Jesus. We don’t have to work hard to better ourselves God through Jesus accepts us.
BY DAVE OAKLEY, GUEST WRITER.
SO MUCH FUN
It is fun to experiment when we are young. We feel adult, in control of our life. We feel we can take on the world, life seems so exciting.
The taste of alcohol and the euphoria it brings is very fun and pleasurable and so we indulge and an addiction is born. The addiction grows until we are its servant, trapped, our life is down the gurgler.
The same goes for addiction to drugs. First the experiment, then enjoyment, then continuing the enjoyment, then the trap is sprung and addiction has us in its grip.
How to break the power of addiction?
David Oakley found the way. The way is Jesus, Jesus is the addiction defeater.
'You're a drunk, mate, an alcoholic, ‘Kevin said, one of two guys in Perth, with whom I shared a room. He was right, of course. My life was out of control with drinking, I was living to drink and drinking to live. Alcohol told me where to go, what to do and who to mix with. Initially promising heaven drink had instead led me to the gates of a living hell.
Kevin’s voice and words held no weight nor had the power to break through the alcoholic daze I found myself in. God’s voice and words could and did.
OLD HABITS DIE HARD
It was a year later. I'd just spent three weeks in a Mental Health Facility in Melbourne after hallucinating on a Pioneer Coach coming south from Brisbane. I now felt good. Three weeks dry, full of good food and counsel. I felt like things were looking up for the first time in years.
I decided to carry on to Adelaide and control the drinking. Maybe even look up my first wife who had left me three years earlier after just nine months of marriage. I found a room in Kent Town and a job in a foundry and started afresh. Old habits die hard.
I was soon drinking more and more, before work, during work, straight to the pub after work, Saturdays and Sundays. The inevitable happened. A Saturday, Sunday session flowed through to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I came to myself looking into the mirror behind the front bar of the Botanic Hotel, here in Adelaide. I think it was a Thursday.
I was a mess, my hair was dirty and uncombed, my eyes were wild, staring and bloodshot, my skin was a pasty colour with large red blotches where my blood pressure level was through the roof. My clothes were stained and smelling. I was shaking uncontrollably internally and externally. Unable to hold the drink in front of me, I had to lap it like a dog. I felt totally lost and alone, no hope and nowhere to turn.
It was quiet in the bar, no barmen and no customers, then I heard a voice, I believed then and now it was the voice of God.
‘Dave, if you don’t stop drinking you will be dead within the year and in hell.’
That freaked me out, I left the drink, left the bar and went back to my room. Locked the door and lay on the bed, fearful and exhausted. One hour, two hours, I don’t know, but I began to see monstrous bats flying through the door, the walls, the windows, coming for me. I was terrified to my core and screamed out, ‘God help me.’ I found the strength and courage to get off the bed and out of the room and ran terrified through the streets of Kent Town.
I ended up in St Anthony’s Hospital in St Peters suburb. Three weeks later into the program I was given a day pass, I was sober, felt good and confident to control the drinking.
I had dismissed the voice I heard as another figment of my drunken imagination and set out to prove it. I went back to the Botanic, sat at the bar and ordered a drink. I thought as I took the first sip, this is good, another drink won’t hurt, no one at the Hospital will know. Maybe a third, I’m in control. Alcohol was refastening it grip upon me once again.
Once more, it was quiet in the bar and I was on my own, when I heard ‘that voice’. The voice spoke with authority and certainly, ‘Dave, you have been warned, if you don’t stop drinking you will be dead within the year and then in hell.’
This time I put down the drink and walked out of the bar and by the grace of God have not had another in forty-three years.
NEW THINGS HAVE COME
About this time, I met my now wife. Doreen took me to Bethesda, a church on Marion Road. The message was based on 2 Corinthians 5: 17, 'Therefore if any man is in Christ he is a new creature. The old things passed away behold new things have come.’
That was what I wanted, what I needed I responded to the altar call the preacher made. Led by the Spirit of God, I walked away from the sin, the guilt, the shame my drinking had led me to and away from the gates of hell and through the gate that leads to heaven and Eternal Life – the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are reading this and find yourself bound, shackled and held captive by addiction my prayer for you is that you would be set free by the power of God and the Name of Jesus.
Rich as Croesus
Ever wondered where the term ‘as rich as Croesus’ came from? Croesus was king of Lydia from 560 BC– 546 BC. By capturing the major Greek cities of Western Anatolia, he completed the conquest of Ionia.
History tells us that Croesus eventually was defeated. It is not clear if he was taken prisoner of his own volition he moved to Egypt. Croesus real claim to fame was his great wealth. Archaeological finds as Sardis indicate that he minted pure gold coins. He was responsible for creating the first government coinage by certifying the weight of gold coins.
Croesus was responsible for providing several pillars at the Temple of Artimus in Ephesus – one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Being rich didn’t help Croesus to keep his kingdom, but it did get him into the history books and become a cliché of our language.
Being rich is the goal of most people, but only a few ever succeed. The writer of Proverbs pens this observation, ‘The rich man’s wealth is his only strength. The poor man’s poverty is his curse.’ From experience and personal observation, poverty is an attitude as much as anything else. I have seen wealthy people with a mind-set of poverty. Conversely, I have met people with hardly a bean to bless themselves with rejoice they are rich. People have looked at me with envy thinking I am well off yet unbeknown to them, my bank balance is nil. One is left with the idea that poverty is an attitude rather than circumstances.
One thing is certain, riches can’t buy favour with God. Neither is poverty a sign of holiness. God is no respecter of people. There is a popular idea that the wealthy are good people and the poor are the lowest of the low.
Fortunately, God’s idea of greatness comes from a different agenda. The writer of Proverbs coins another saying, ‘Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and you flourish like a tree!’
A final word from the Book of Proverbs, ‘True humility and respect for the Lord leads a man to riches, honour and long life.’
This blog is an excerpt from the book
DEAR ANNE. The book can be purchased from Amazon Kindle or KMLPublishing .com
Dear Anne, my friend whom I love in the Lord.
Greetings to you. I wonder if you have ever thought about the Glory of the Lord. I have collected some thoughts about Glory.
Scripture Reading: ‘Who is this King of Glory? The Commander of all of heaven’s armies!...’Psalm 24: 1 – 10. LB
Verse: Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang,…’ Luke 2: 13 – 14. LB.
Glory.’ From glory to glory he’s changing me, changing me, changing me.’ These words are a line in a old chorus. I used to sing them with great gusto. I did believe the Lord was changing me but I felt it would be realized when I reached heaven. In the past
The line of another chorus comes to mind, ‘Heaven came down and Glory shone around.’ I believed that when the angels sang at Jesus birth, heaven did come down. The heavens were lit up and glory shone around. But it was only to announce Jesus birth.
I realize now heaven did come to earth in many ways at Jesus’ birth. The glory was Jesus, he is the glory. We don’t need to wait for the glory, or make ourselves worthy of the glory or prayer for a UFO kind of experience. When we have Jesus we have the glory. When we become believers of Jesus, we are filled with his glory. We then, are the Glory of God. We are filled with the Glory-man, Jesus. We need nothing more or less.
In Christ, I am being changed from Glory to Glory because Glory – the man Jesus, came down and shone all around. He never left, he lives in us.
Thought for the Day: ‘The blessing and the honour and the glory and the power belong to the one sitting on the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever.’ Revelation 5: 13 LB
Prayer: Thank you Father for the Glory-man Jesus who dwells with in us. Grant us clearer revelation of this truth.
Often, Christians are unaware of the origins of many of the songs we love to sing. In this brief email we would like to share the little-known background of one famous song: “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”
In the hills of northeast India live the Garo tribe, who number more than one million people. For centuries they were feared as a primitive head-hunting tribe, but in the most recent Indian census, over 95 percent of the Garo declared themselves to be Christians. Here is one reason why...
In the late 1800s, many missionaries came to Assam in northeast India to spread the Gospel. They succeeded in converting a man named Nokseng, his wife, and his two children. Nokseng’s faith proved contagious, and many villagers began to accept Jesus.
The village chief, angry at the prospect of losing control, summoned all the villagers. He demanded Nokseng’s family to publicly renounce their faith or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, Nokseng said: “I have decided to follow Jesus.”
Enraged at his refusal to deny Christ, the chief ordered his archers to shoot the two children. As both boys lay twitching on the ground, the chief asked, “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife also.”
But Nokseng replied: “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.”
The chief was beside himself with fury and ordered Nokseng’s wife to be shot with arrows. In a moment she joined her children in death. Now the chief said for the last time: “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.” In the face of death, Nokseng did not waver, and made his final memorable statement:
“The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back.”
He was killed like the rest of his family, but a miracle took place. The chief was moved by Nokseng’s faith and he wondered, “Why would Nokseng and his family die for a Man who lived in a far-away land some 2,000 years ago? This God must have remarkable power, and I too want to taste that faith.”
In a spontaneous confession, the chief declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!” When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their chief, the whole village accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. Later, Nokseng’s words became a beloved song of the Garo Christians, and was later translated into English and sung around the world.
The team at Asia Harvest
Guest Writer Bruce Leane
Subtitle: How good is your credit in Heaven? How do you get a credit in Heaven? Do you work for it or inherit it? Or do you rely on hope that God is merciful and you’re good enough to obtain credit in Heaven?
Credit in the Bank of Heaven is there for all Christian believers to claim boldly. The believer’s credit is pre-paid and eternally secured. The Father God secured the account by the death of his Son Jesus on the cross. Our Heavenly credit rating is then a free gift from God.
You cannot add to your credit account in Heaven by any effort on your part. Whatever you try to add to the account will not be put into your account because of your imperfect life of living to please self alone. Trying to add to your heavenly account by good works and hope won’t be classed as worthy to be added to the account. Only faith in what Christ has done will access the account.
You can’t overspend the account because it’s part of an account set up by God and he has supplied all that is needed to keep the account open. God has made many entries in the account such as forgiveness of our failures, answered prayer, healing, the free gift of righteousness. There is nothing we can do that will cause God to cancel up these entries, clearly understand, that as you were before Christ came into your life you didn’t deserve the account. You cannot be or do anything that will please God and deserve the account, you are here on earth to use the everlasting credit scheme God has set up (Romans 4:1-11), and to live by faith the righteousness God had bestowed on you.
POVERTY IS AN ATTITUDE
There are many attitudes that cause the Christian life to be one of poverty. If we insist on working to please God the Christian life will be dry as dust and as joyless as a dried up lake. This kind of thinking and behaviour do not make entries in the account that God has given us. The poverty attitude stems from living in a position of ignorance practiced freely in many Christian circles. The spiritual status of the sons and daughters of God are reduced to a begging mentality and position. We are forever begging God to give us more when we already have that ‘ more’. The trouble is, they never get enough and remain unsatisfied because they miss the heart and purpose of God. He wants to bless you more than you want to be blessed. We have been trained to beg, plead, even fast for more so that we miss what we already have. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph 1: 3). It is like trying to climb a hill your already on top of or sit on a chair that you are already sitting on. You’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted because God has given it to you. So enjoy it.
Experts put a lot of time examining the text ‘I am with you always,’ only to find that it is exactly what it says, ‘I am with you always.
My kids are forever teasing me about their inheritance. One of them has earmarked a box of old wooden carpenter’s planes in my shed. I keep on saying, ‘take them,’ but he says, ‘No! They are my inheritance.’ He has his inheritance already but he hasn’t taken it. It is like many Christians; we have been given everything we need including goodness and eternity but we haven’t taken it.
Anything we own down here will instantly become old junk at our demise and is recycled amongst relatives. But God has not left us without a roof over our heads, so to speak. Jesus is recorded as saying, ‘I go to prepare a place for you… That where I am there you will be also.’ (John 14:1 -4. We take Jesus’ word as truth and rest assured that our credit rating in Heaven is good and we haven’t had to make one premium.
Meanwhile down here, God decided that he would make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault – we who stand before him covered with his love. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us,’ (Eph 1 4 -5). Accept God’s credit rating here and in heaven and live as God’s children as quoted in Romans 8:17, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…”
(Hebrews 4: 3-6)