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On Johnny Appleseed…

“The Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord, for giving me the things I need; the sun and the rain and an apple seed. The Lord is good to me.

I owe the Lord so much, for everything I see, I’m certain if it weren’t for Him there’d be no apples on this limb. He’s been good to me.

Oh, here am I ’neath the blue, blue sky, a-doin’ as I please! Singin’ with my feathered friends, Hummin’ with the bees.

I wake up every day, as happy as can be because I know that with his care My apple trees, they will still be there. Oh the Lord is good to me.”

And if you would like to listen to this song, click here: Johnny Appleseed Song – YouTube

Today is the birthday of Johnny Appleseed born Johnny Chapman in 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts. At the beginning of the 19th century, he would move to Ohio, bringing apple seeds from cider presses in Pennsylvania and planting them along the way. While we tend to think of Johnny  Appleseed as he became known, scattering seeds hither and yon, he actually purchased land to plant apple seedlings that he would then sell or trade to pioneers along the way so they could plant apple trees on the land where they would live.

He would eventually plant apple trees throughout parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Ontario as well as some of the northern parts of West Virginia. He planted his first orchard in Licking County, Ohio on the farm of Isaac Stadden. He life reflected his love of nature in all forms. He was a devoutly religious man who as he traveled, spread the gospel message to all he encountered, including Native Americans. In their interactions with Johnny Appleseed, they saw in him a man who had been touched by the Great Spirit and he was well regarded by all the Indian tribes throughout his travels.

I am writing about Johnny Appleseed, not just because today is the anniversary of his birth, but because he led a singular life. He cared about people, regardless of who they were or how they lived. He cared about  the earth and left behind a legacy in all the apple trees he planted. A delicious one at that!!! He cared about the animals he encountered and healed them if they were sick or injured. He even cared about the insects and did his best to not kill them. In fact, I think if we were to study what we know about Johnny Appleseed, we would find a man we would all do well to emulate.

Johnny Appleseed left an amazing legacy of more than just a man who planted thousands upon thousands of apple trees. For that alone we owe him a deep debt of gratitude. But he also left a legacy of someone who cared about the world around him.  Happy Birthday Mr. John Chapman or as we have come to know you: Johnny Appleseed.

Peace,

Pastor Beth

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