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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Farm scene near Martindale, PA 6/24/11
Farm scene near Martindale, PA

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"The Blessing Of The Watermelon"

"Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.' And it was so" (Genesis 1:11). "Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food'" (Genesis 1:29). "He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth" (Psalm 104:14).

Lancaster County, PA watermelon planting
On yesterday's post we shared this photo along with a question as to what was being planted. As of "press time" we received a lot of answers but none were correct (apart from Matt's answer, a friend we had seen right after taking the photo, who admitted he knew in part because of talking to Brooksyne!) Our readers guessed tomatoes, tobacco, celery, potatoes, cabbage, strawberries. Now I have to admit that it's pretty hard to tell and apparently a similar method is used for a variety of plants, but actually we were witnessing the planting of watermelons!

Watermelon (seeded)We struck up a conversation with the farmer and mused as to what an appreciation we had for the watermelon. Many of us recall eating watermelon as kids and spitting the seeds. I've even participated in seed spitting contests, but was never the winner. In Belton, Missouri we had watermelon eating contests where kids and grown-ups alike enthusiastically contested against each other. Brooksyne's relatives on the mountain top in Arkansas grow delicious watermelons, mostly seeded as I recall. Of course like most kids we wondered if eating the seeds would cause a watermelon to grow inside us!

Fellow Missourian Mark Twain described the watermelon, "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat."  I think our daughter, Ester, would agree with Mark Twain. When she was three years old recovering from yet another open heart surgery she would eat nothing the nurses brought to her.  Finally, after days of refusing to eat, the doctor gave into Brooksyne's plea to give her watermelon, and when they did she devoured it.

In recent years we have come to appreciate the seedlesss watermelon. Actually the "seedless" watermelon has some seeds but they're so soft you eat them without even being aware of it, kind of like a banana seed.
Or did you not know you have been eating banana seeds all along? Within a generation, most Americans won't even know that watermelons have seeds (at least the hard black kind), let alone the joy of eating them right off the rind and spitting out the seeds that is a childhood memory for many of us!  

Ultimately seedless watermelons are grown from seeds and the process in the development of the "seedless" varieties is beyond my scientific understanding. However they are not genetically modified, as some might assume, but are hybrids that have been grown in the United States since the middle of the 20th century. (See below for a link to an explanation.)

Now watermelons aren't specifically mentioned in the Bible, along with other many other fruit we enjoy such as bananas and oranges. However early in the creation account we have this gift from God to the human race. "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."

We enjoy preparing these messages for people from all over the world and often consider the many things we have in common regardless of where we live. And today I suppose most of us will be ingesting some "seed-bearing plant" according to God's provision in Genesis 1:29. Let us praise God from whom all blessings flow including the blessing of tasty sweet watermelon with or without seeds!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, we are abundantly blessed with foods of all kinds, both vegetable and fruit, meat and bread.  Thank you for those who diligently work the land and reap the harvest that we might place food on our tables and be nurtured physically.  You make the grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth.  All we have needed Your hand hath provided. Great is Your faithfulness, Lord, unto me.  Amen.

Doug and Marion 50th anniversary meal 6/27/11
Last night we had Doug and Marion, our neighbors, over for dinner. They recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. They started "going together" (AKA "going steady") when she was 13 and he was 14. They graduated in the same class in 1961 and married 10 days after graduation. They raised two daughters and are blessed with one granddaughter. Hebrews 13:4 states, "Marriage should be honored by all."  We honor Doug and Marion on the occasion of their anniversary!

Watermelon Planting in Lancaster County

Lancaster County, PA watermelon planting
It was a hot day so they rigged a cloth canopy over their work area to provide some shade.  When Brooksyne asked the farmer if he was planting seeded or seedless watermelons he told us this:  Every third watermelon is a "throw-away" watermelon with seeds which is used to pollinate the seedless watermelons.

Lancaster County, PA watermelon planting
Normally you won't find these Mennonites without their hats on but it was very hot!  Notice the man driving the tractor has a straw hat on, the other two left theirs under the wagon.

Lancaster County, PA watermelon planting
This particular branch of old-order Mennonites uses tractors with steel wheels (no rubber tires). Can anyone tell me why?  Tomorrow I will share what I understand to be the reason.

Watermelon (seeded)Geographical trivia: This last weekend Luling Texas had their annual "Watermelon Thump"  Luling has an interesting watertower!

For the curious here's an article about seedless watermelons.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Faithful Men"  Video  Twila Paris, This version prepared as a tribute to two young ladies who were in ministry killed by a crazed gunman at a church in Colorado several years ago.

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"  Video  Selah

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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