Johnny Appleseed Day | JOY for Today

John Chapman, commonly known as Johnny Appleseed, was a man who lived his life serving others - in word and deed. Serving others brings JOY to you and the person served. Think about the others you already connect with in your life, how might you serve them even better today?

An apple tree and a blue sky; Text overlay reads: "'Do not forget to do good and fellowship for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.' Hebrews 13:16 JUB; Johnny Appleseed Day; September 26th Annually"
Apple tree picture from

JOY for Today Offerings:

Did You Know:

  1. John Chapman is Johnny Appleseed's real name? John Chapman was the second child of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Chapman. He was born on September 26, 1774 in Leominster Massachusetts. (Wikipedia)
  2. By selling seedlings to settlers, Chapman helped establish their land claims? In Ohio and Indiana, planting an orchard showed your intent to stay on the land which persuaded the government to recognize your claim. By selling seedlings to settlers, Chapman helped them plant roots - literally and metaphorically. Furthermore, because the water could not be trusted, many settlers drank hard apple cider. By planting an apple orchard, settlers now established their claim and had a reliable source of apples for making the trusted beverage necessary for hydration. Each seedling sold for six to seven cents. However, he accepted barters - including old clothing. When families had nothing to trade, he would give them seedlings, sometimes including a cash gift along with it. (
  3. Native Americans respected Chapman? Likely, the Native Americans respected Chapman because of his mutual respect toward nature, his willingness to learn their language, and his understanding of natural remedies. Along with sowing apple seeds, Chapman planted mullein, motherwort, mayweed, and pennyroyal - all natural treatments for common ailments. (
  4. Chapman cared deeply for animals? Proof of his deep affection for animals includes his vegetarian diet, that he purchased and relocated mistreated horses, his regret for killing a rattlesnake that bit him, and that he reportedly rescued a trapped wolf and nursed it back to health. (
  5. Along with apples, he shared his religion? He was known to freely discuss his Biblical devotion and sing passionately to anyone who was willing to listen. (

We'd Love to Know:

Which fact would you add to the list?

Wolfe Stew Connects

Johnny Appleseed is a legend, an American folklore hero. But for what? What did Johnny do? Is a poorly dressed, norm-defying man that plants apple trees really the image we want to define American culture?

Yes! And we all need to be more like Johnny.

Johnny's legendary status is not relegated to his apple tree planting prowess. What still captivates us after two hundred years is not merely what he did, but how he did it. 

He shined his light and told his story. Just as you are called to do.

Johnny knew and accepted himself for who he was: a man that loved God and nature and lived his life boldly to this end. He lived among God's creation cultivating his crop and caring for God's creatures - both human and not. By providing apple seedlings to strangers in a strange land, he welcomed them home, nourished them, and accepted whatever they offered in exchange - all the while sharing his faith and singing praises to his King.

He shined his light and told his story. Just as you are equipped to do.

Likely, you do not offer apple seedlings to strangers in a strange land, but whatever it is you do each day you are equipped to shine your light and tell your story. We shine our light by fully embracing the unique person God made us to be and use that position to reach out to others in humility. We accept people for the uniquely crafted people they are and treat them with love and dignity. We are always willing to serve in word and deed without grumbling or complaining because we know no necessary task is ever beneath us and that God loves every person as much as He loves us - recklessly, completely, and relentlessly.

Because we know of God's love for all of us, we long to share our story. We long to tell other people just how much God loves them too. But it's hard. What if they do not believe? What if they think I am an idiot? What if my relationship with this person is ruined? My story is not that interesting; they need to hear a better story from a different person.

But God gave you a story, a story of glory, that He longs, asks, commands you to tell others and positions you to do so.

So how do you get over the fear? 

You live in the knowledge of who God created you to be - a legendary creature with an amazing story. You accept that it is not your job to work on people's hearts, that your job is to tell your story in faith and trust that God will do the rest. You allow yourself to vulnerably connect with others because you know that God protects you in your faithfulness. So, go on, do what you were made to do:

Shine your light and tell your story! The world needs the light that shines in your unique hue and craves the story of glory featuring legendary you.

If you could grow in allowing yourself to rest in God's protection so that you can vulnerably connect with others, join us! Resisting fear by embracing God's protection is our GROWTH focus next week. We will use the words of Psalms 23 to help us paint a better picture of our relationship with God so we can learn to trust the protection He provides. Let's together learn to rest in His protection, Warrior!

We'd Love to Know:

What's your biggest obstacle to telling your story?

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses

  • "Now the point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." 2 Corinthians 9:6 LEB
  • "He is like a tree planted beside streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and its leaves do not wither. Everything he does prospers." Psalm 1:3 EHV
  • "Do not forget to do good and to fellowship; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." Hebrews 13:16 JUB
  • "A righteous person has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel." Proverbs 12:10 NASB
  • "He told them, 'Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature.'" Mark 16:15 TLV


  • "Anyone can cut an apple open and count the number of seeds. But, who can look at a single seed and count the trees and apples?" - Dottie Walters
  • "The New Testament, and to a very large extent the Old, is the soul of man. You cannot criticize it. It criticizes you." - Johnny Appleseed
  • "Do not worry at being worried; but accept worry peacefully. Difficult but not impossible." - Johnny Appleseed
  • "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France
  • "Pray as you can, not as you can't." - Johnny Appleseed

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote would you plant in your mind?


Activity Suggestions

Both fun and serious, we have stewed on a few Johnny Appleseed activities for you!

Our Nephew's Suggestion:

Wear a frying pan on your head.

While our research shows this tidbit regarding Johnny Appleseed is inaccurate (, it is still a fun way to celebrate. Maybe use that pot to make homemade applesauce with the Pioneer Woman or cider with Fresh off the Grid.

Our Suggestions:

Classroom Ideas

PreK-2nd Check out this craft, book, and math activity we have used in previous years.
3rd-6th Complete a Johnny Chapman biography project.

"Would You Rather...?" Questions to Discuss. Download my current work-in-progress for daily holiday themed Would You Rather questions that will eventually include three questions for each September, October, and November day.  I will continue updating it on OneDrive as I work toward completing it. These questions, however, are exclusively for this post; you WILL NOT find them in the download. Would you rather...
  • Plant an apple tree or medicinal plants?
  • Sleep in a hollowed-out log or outside in the snow?
  • Rescue a wolf or mosquitos?

Family Challenge 

Participate in outreach activities and practice sharing your story with others.

We'd Love to Know:

Your favorite Johnny Appleseed activity.

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Come back next week for...Inner Beauty Day!

Fighting the Good Fight with You,

Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.


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