Average reading time is about 2 minutes
AN AMAZING FACT: Most Americans have heard of the legend of Johnny Appleseed, who went about the frontier with a kettle on his head, scattering apple seeds. But unlike Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan, there really was a Johnny Appleseed. To begin with, his real name was John Chapman and he lived between 1775 and 1845. John had an extraordinary love for apples and wanted everybody to enjoy its fruit. He came from Philadelphia with apple seeds he collected and then planted them throughout the Ohio River Valley
Johnny roamed the wild countryside with a vigilant eye, looking for a suitable place where young apple trees could flourish—by a spring or on the side of a hill with rich soil. With a hopeful prayer he would gently push those little seeds into the earth and pat the ground, then build a brush fence to protect the saplings before moving on to the next promising place to start a nursery. Every fall he’d return to the cider presses in Pennsylvania, where he selected good seeds from the discarded apple pressings that he carefully washed, dried, and bagged for planting
the following spring.
As the orchards grew he would sell or trade the young trees to the thousands of new farmers that were settling the land. Even though he lived on the frontier he ate no meat, but he carried a stewpot or kettle with him. In this he could gather nuts or berries in season, carry water, boil potatoes, or cook ground cornmeal. He has been pictured wearing a
pot on his head, but more likely he kept it tied to the top of his backpack.
John Chapman never married, but he was a deeply religious man who loved people and especially children. As the settlers moved into the wilderness, his lonely nights were fewer because he was a welcomed guest at every cabin. Many a night he would hold them all enthralled with his stories of the wild woods or read to them from the Bible he carried. As a result of practicing his favorite hobby for about 50 years, this one man provided mountains of apples to feed thousands of people for several generations!
The apostle Paul was sort of like Johnny Appleseed. When we read of his accounts in the book of Acts, Paul went far and wide to plant churches. I have often wondered what the world would be like if every Christian felt that same compelling desire to spread God’s seeds of truth.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;