Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book Club Wednesday 12/29/10

I'm still working through chapters 4 & 5 in Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul Tripp. Click here for more information about Book Club Wednesdays. Click here for a schedule pertaining to Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands.

Chapter 4 is titled "The Heart is the Target" and Chapter 5 is titled "Understanding Your Heart Struggle".

In chapter 4, the author uses an illustration that drove home the importance of having a right heart. It is as follows:

Let’s say I have an apple tree in my backyard. Each year its apples are dry, wrinkled,brown, and pulpy. After several seasons my wife says, ‘It doesn’t make any sense to have this huge tree and never be able to eat any apples. Can’t you do something?’ One day my wife looks out the window to see me in the yard, carrying branch cutters, an industrial
grade staple gun, a ladder, and two bushels of apples. I climb the ladder, cut off all the pulpy apples, and staple shiny, red apples onto every branch of the tree.” (Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands—page 63)

I think that piece of the illustration is enough to drive home the point the author was getting at. He goes on to explain: “If a tree produces bad apples year after year, there is something drastically wrong with its system, down to its very roots…..If the tree’s roots remain unchanged, it will never produce good apples.”

I have shared on this blog before that I was a false convert to Christianity for many years. I proclaimed goodness with my mouth but harbored evil in my heart. I can’t think of a better way to explain that than stapling good fruit onto a bad tree. I shall always remember that illustration.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that this was a powerful illustration. He goes on to say,

    "The point is that, in personal ministry, much of what we do to produce growth and change in ourselves and others is little more than 'fruit stapling.' It attempts to exchange apples for apple without exchanging the heart, the root behind the behavior."

    I found this convicting in several areas of my life.
    Parenting: What "fruit stapling" have I encouraged in my children so that outwardly they seem ok? Have I worked to get to the heart of issues or just encouraged outward conformity? Heart issues take time and energy. Fruit stapling can be a quick fix.
    Myself: What areas have I stapled fruit in my life instead of repenting? As a parent, I sometimes tell myself I'm patient. I will myself to be patient. But, I'm not patient. And, at the root of that is the sin of selfishness. I'd rather be fulfilling my own agenda (reading, sleeping, writing a comment on Katrina's blog, etc.) than parenting.
    Other areas to consider: marriage, extended family, work, church...

    The author also uses this illustration in "Age of Opportunity." This is the next book on my reading list.

    ReplyDelete

Cookie Baking Night 09/25/17

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Tonight we made pumpkin bars.  ...