Sunday, August 24, 2008

Holy Bakeoff!

Today’s Reading: John 14:31 (NIV)

30 [Jesus said,] “But the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

Good morning!

Do you do follow the directions exactly as they are written? This morning, I am preparing my all-time favorite potato crock pot recipe to enter into the potato bakeoff at Faith Church. We are raising money to help OASIS, St. Charles County’s local food pantry, so they can relocate its growing ministry to a larger facility. Feeding the hungry is important to the people of Faith Church. Won’t you stop by today for worship, and participate in the potato luncheon and bakeoff contest? I’ll see you there!

My grandmother was one of the best cooks I knew. She never used a cookbook, and never ran out to the store for a missing ingredient. She had everything she needed to make the perfect meal right at her fingertips. Her mother coached her on how to prepare the perfect meal, and my grandmother learned to follow her instructions exactly. Most every dish she prepared was either home-grown, raised, or canned from the farm that she and my grandfather maintained. Fresh vegetables and fruits were plentiful all summer long, and from them, she made some of the best homemade pies! Even the sour pies, like gooseberry, would melt in your mouth with a thick, rich coating of sugar. I think of my grandmother often, especially when I try out a new recipe. I wonder today how a pinch of this and a pinch of that might make a winning difference in the quality and texture of the perfect potato!

Grandmother cooked over a wood-burning stove. She had no heat control – the fire got hot and then she cooked it! Her cakes were perfect and I still, to this day, do no know how that happened. She had no boxed cake mixes, no recipe card file – just a little flour, oil, water, sugar and all of sudden, there it is – perfection in a pan! I wish she was here today to teach me everything she learned about cooking with her mother, and how she became an expert by following oral instruction exactly as it was given to her.

This is what Jesus was referring to when He spoke of following His Father’s commands. He didn’t do them partially; Jesus didn’t try to fudge on the details or hit the highlights. He did His Father’s will exactly as He was told and the end result was perfect salvation for an imperfect humanity. What might happen today if we all learned how to follow the Father’s Word exactly as it is written? Would our lives be miraculously transformed into Christ-likeness? Would we taste heaven on earth with the Father’s perfected recipe for daily living?

Now this is a holy bakeoff I would like to be part of. Lord Jesus, teach us how to follow the Father’s instruction, exactly as He gave it. Amen.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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Bonus: Here’s a copy of the recipe I am submitting today:

Slow Cooker Cheese Potatoes

2-lb. package Western Style cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed

10-3/4 oz. cans cream of potato and cream of mushroom soup

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

8 oz. grated grated Parmesan cheese

1 pint sour cream

Mix together in slow cooker. Cover, cook on low 7 hours or high 4 hours.

Submitted by Deb Spaulding, Faith UMC St. Charles, MO

Recipe came from Clarice Williams, Fairbank, IA

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