Blackberry Cobbler & Ice Cream




my tame backyard thornless blackberry bush
my backyard thornless blackberry bush

Instead of a birthday cake, when I was a kid I had a blackberry cobbler and ice cream for my birthday in July. We always picked blackberries in June and early July.

Our family watched the blackberry vines closely on our trips to the farm, till just the right time to pick the berries. Grasping the wire handles of our gallon lard buckets, we spread out over the field to pick, all of us kids under Mama’s watchful eyes. Blackberry vines are covered with stickers and the best berries are hidden under the green foliage, so you must work for them.

Picking blackberries was a whole family project, including aunts and uncles. Sometimes we picked berries along the country roads, in the ditches, and open fields belonging to distant relatives. Frequently we picked plums and persimmons too.

A  couple of years we sold some of our blackberries to Dairy Queen and Mama returned some of the money to us kids, which we used to buy blackberry milkshakes at the Dairy Queen. I have laughed at the irony of that over the years, but somehow just putting our berries in ice cream was not the same as a Dairy Queen milkshake.

Occasionally while we were picking blackberries we might see a garden snake, on a very rare occasion, some poisonous snake, but a bunch of kids stomping around, yelling, and having fun runs off snakes. The worst danger when picking blackberries is chiggers, tiny red mites that love to burrow into the skin, producing an itchy allergic reaction.

Satan lurks around us like a garden snake, a poisonous snake, or a chigger. If he can’t get to you one way, he will find another way to attack you. He is like a sneaky thief always on the lookout for some way to torment you.

Jesus said this in John 10:10 nkjv The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Jesus’ life in the Spirit is the abundant life, which surely includes blackberry cobbler and ice cream.

The Good Old Days

I’ve almost always had a Chevy to drive. Uncle Cecil bought my first one, a 1953 two-tone green 2- door sedan, in 1964 for $15 from some farmer, who told a car dealer, “Before I sell it for that price, I will set it in the barnyard and let the horses eat out of the trunk.” Uncle Cecil and I hosed the chicken manure out of the inside and cleaned the hay out of the trunk, then he went through the engine cleaning it up until he got it running. Then he made me learn the parts of the engine, how it worked, how to change a flat, how to change the oil, before he let me drive it.

  In the fall of 1966, my old 53 Chevy kicked the bucket, dropped a rod through the oilpan, and Uncle Cecil came to the rescue again. A 1950 Studebaker, with the cab chopped off behind the driver’s door, so it was shaped like an El Camino. Originally moss green, he painted it yellow with a paint brush, two coats of paint on everything except the trunk lid, because he ran out of paint, so the trunk lid was pea green.

 “Ol’ Bullet Nose” was the ugliest car ever made, but it sure beat walking. We joked that you couldn’t tell whether it was coming or going since it had a point on both ends.

 Now I drive a 10-year-old fire-engine red Chevy Tahoe with 60,000 miles on it now.  I drive down the road in an “overstuffed  living-room recliner” power seat, with air-conditioning, CD player, cruise control, and all the power under the hood that I will ever need.

No, those weren’t the good old days. Waitressing was hard work for 25 cents an hour plus tips. Driving an old beat-up car. Dragging Main Street on Saturday night for entertainment. I do not wish to go back to those days.

These are the good old days.

Too Ambitious

There was a woman that came to Jesus with great ambitions for her two sons, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. She requested that they might sit, one on the right hand and one on the left hand of Jesus when he came into his kingdom.
I wonder how her sons felt, when she asked Jesus that. Maybe their mother had been doing this all their lives, manipulating to get them promoted in life. Were they Mama’s boys, always letting Mama run their lives? Evidently they didn’t have the guts to ask it themselves, so they let their mother do the asking.
 But Jesus said, “You don’t even know what you are asking. It is not up to me, but it is in the Father’s hand.” The other ten disciples all got mad at the two brothers who were plotting to get the best position, but Jesus settled it once and for all when he said, “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant,” Matt 20:26 KJV.
There is a Christian song that says this is an upside-down kingdom. The way to become great in the kingdom is to become the least. The way up is down, the way to become great is to humble yourself, the way to become the boss is to become a servant. 
 The way to see your child become all that God intends for her to become is to teach her to serve other people. Please don’t try to manipulate things to see that your child gets the best seat or the preferred place or the special treatment. No one likes a mother who pushes her kids to the front all the time.
  Let God do the promoting. It’ll save you a lot of heartache in the long run.