Saturday, September 24, 2022

Sweet Potato Souffle

 

Ingredients
3 LARGE SWEET POTATOES

½ STICK BUTTER

1 CUP BROWN SUGAR

1 CUP WHITE SUGAR

2 EGGS

1 CUP MILK

1 TEASPOON VANILLA

2 CUPS CHOPPED PECANS

2 TABLESPOONS PLAIN FLOUR

Directions
WASH, PEEL, AND CUT POTATOES INTO CHUNKS. COOK UNTIL TENDER.

IN A BOWL, MASH  THE POTATOES. 

ADD WHITE SUGAR, 1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR, EGGS, MILK, VANILLA, AND 1/4 STICK OF BUTTER.

MIX WELL. POUR INTO A GREASED CASSEROLE DISH.

IN A SEPARATE BOWL MIX THE REST OF BUTTER, BROWN SUGAR, FLOUR, AND PECANS. 

PLACE ON TOP OF POTATO MIXTURE.

BAKE AT 350 FOR 35 AT 40 MINUTES.


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Friday, September 23, 2022

The D’s of Discipline - Martin Wiles

For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:10 NLT

Knowing the D’s of discipline is important.

My great-grandparents did it unto my grandparents. My grandparents did it unto my parents. My parents did it unto me, and I did it unto my children. Now, my children do it unto my grandchildren.

Discipline. A tricky word. And not everyone agrees on the adverb questions surrounding it: when, where, how, how often, why, under what conditions, and to what extent.

My father had a clear and consistent plan. He knew everyone didn’t agree with it, but neither did he care. He was responsible for my brothers and me, and he disciplined us as he saw fit. His methods weren’t up for debate, and he didn’t care what we thought about them. Nor do I ever remember him asking my opinion.

For obstinate rebellious behavior, my father had a buckleless black belt—one he no longer wore. He applied a certain number of licks for certain behavior, which he had thought about ahead of time. This way, he didn’t go beyond what he should have. He applied the licks to my dairy air, and nowhere else. Abuse never entered the picture, nor did his methods damage my self-esteem.

But he used other methods more often than he did the belt. He loved to take things away from me—things I enjoyed. Otherwise, the discipline wouldn’t do its trick. And the thing he loved to do most was to make me get a haircut. I was a hippie teenager living in the ‘70s and loved my long hair. Nothing galled me more than having it cut when I didn’t want to. After all, this discipline affected me for some time. Hair grows slowly, so the lesson continued to have its effect long after the initial shock.

Although I hated the discipline when it came, I knew my parents did it out of love—something hard for an underage dependent to admit. The writer of Hebrews compares a parent’s discipline to God’s—only God’s is perfect, whereas no parents’ is. God uses the D’s of discipline, and they also provide an excellent example for parents.

Doer. Discipline has a doer—someone to carry it out. Dad did it most of the time, Mom only occasionally. But God did it all the time. When we are His children, He wants to ensure we obey His commands and directives. He knows we might not like all of them, or enjoy obeying them all of the time. Still, He disciplines because He loves.

Destination. God’s destination for us involves a harvest of righteousness. Hopefully, parents want the same thing. Although Christ clothes us in His righteousness from the moment we trust Him as our Savior, we do not behave ideally. God works in our life through various disciplinary measures, attempting to make our practice match our position.

Desire. God’s desire for His discipline is that we submit and learn. Discipline, by its definition, should involve learning. Rebelling against God’s discipline only makes Him turn up the heat. Submitting and learning keep us from repeating the behavior that led to discipline in the first place.

Don’t buck against discipline when it comes from God. Let it accomplish the goal for which He gives it.

Prayer: Father, help us learn from Your discipline, knowing it originates out of love. 

Tweetable: Are you letting God's discipline accomplish its purpose? 


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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Walk-on Wednesday - Death’s Lessening Effect - Martin Wiles

Welcome to Walk-on Wednesday. By Hump Day, we are struggling, but we believe a good devotion can strengthen us to finish the week strong. 

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4 NLT

His death helped me understand death’s lessening effect.

John Donne said, “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.” And his did.

He and I became good friends when I pastored a church in the same town as he did. Although we belonged to different denominations, the differences didn’t interfere with our friendship. We worked together in community events and multi-church gatherings.

After two years, I moved away. Shortly afterward, I received a disturbing call from my friend. He had passed out bending over and was transported to the hospital for tests. The results were life-transforming. He had an inoperable brain tumor. He agreed to take treatments, but the doctors weren’t hopeful.

On a trip to the area to visit a relative, my wife and I stopped by the nursing home where he had been placed. He looked old and different. We had a good talk, and I prayed for him. I imagined it would be the last time I’d see him . . . and it was. His death, however, diminished me.

Thankfully, God has prepared a place for his children where death isn’t. Neither will there be sorrow, pain, grief, or any other unpleasant things we disdain. But until then, we must live, knowing our families and friends will die—us included.

Humanity has various genealogical lines, but we share a common ancestry. If we trace our roots back far enough, we discover the first couple—Adam and Eve. All humanity runs through our bloodline whether we consider them relatives or not. Paul said the entire law of God could be summed up in one directive: love others. Jesus said it was the second greatest commandment. Recognizing everyone is important to God should make them equally important to me.

We are all God’s creations and worthy of showing respect to—respect that should increase even more toward those who are in the same spiritual family. The death of others diminishes us, but love builds us up.

How can you love others the way God loves you.

Prayer: Father, may the lives of others be as important to us as they are to you. 

Tweetable: How do others' deaths affect you? 


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Monday, September 19, 2022

Knowing Our Identity - Anne Adams

If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:19 NKJV

Knowing our identity is crucial.

After his speech at a campaign fundraiser rally, a hungry Mayor George hurried to the food stand for a late lunch. But he soon encountered a challenge. 

The glum server dispensing the food shoved a paltry serving of fried chicken, potato salad, and beans across the counter.

“Hey, can I get some more chicken?” the mayor asked. “I’m really hungry.”

“No more!” the server snapped. “We’ve got a lot of folks to feed, and we’re running low. Now move along.”

A glance behind him revealed an oncoming crowd, so he decided on a new tactic.

“Look, I want some more chicken. Do you know who I am? I’m the mayor–I’m in charge of the government.”

By now, a line had formed behind him, but the woman was unfazed.

“And do you know who I am?” she sniffed. “I’m in charge of the chicken. Now move on!”

That lady certainly had self-confidence—a trait I usually lack, particularly when it comes to spiritual self-confidence. Yet, one way to get it is to know my identity.  

Jesus assures us that since He’s chosen us to live in His presence, we should have the assurance of who we are. We are entitled to rely on Him for our needs, rather than bowing to fear, self-pity, and uncertainty.

How can realizing your identity change your perspective on life? Don’t cringe like an orphan.

Tweetable: Do you know your identity? 


Anne Adams is a retired church staffer living in Athens, Texas, where she writes a historical column for the local newspaper. Her book Brittany, Child of Joy, tells about her mentally disabled daughter and was published in 1986 by Broadman. She has taught junior college history and has published in Christian and secular publications for forty years. 


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Saturday, September 17, 2022

Southern Fried Chicken Strips

Southern Fried Chicken Strips

 

 Ingredients
1 EGG

½ CUP BUTTERMILK

1 CUP PLAIN FLOUR

 ½ TEASPOON GARLIC POWDER

1 ½ TEASPOON PEPPER

½ TEASPOON SALT

½ TEASPOON PAPRIKA

2 POUNDS CHICKEN TENDERLOINS

OIL FOR FRYING

Directions
WHISK EGG AND BUTTERMILK IN A BOWL.

COMBINE FLOUR, GARLIC POWDER, PEPPER, SALT, AND PAPRIKA.

DIP CHICKEN IN EGG MIXTURE, FLOUR, AND THEN IN EGG MIXTURE AGAIN.

HEAT OIL TO 375 DEGREES.

FRY CHICKEN FOR 2 TO 3 MINUTES ON EACH SIDE.


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Friday, September 16, 2022

Living like a Fog - Martin Wiles

Living like a Fog
Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. James 4:14b NLT

No one said living like a fog was easy.

The fog rolled in, but not because outside cold air collided with warm air. Our rented house reeked with age—constructed in the early 1900s. Although not exceptionally spacious, the ceilings boasted of their height, and the owner had decided to put only a tiny amount of insulation in the attic area. Summers proved pleasant. Since the house was not airtight, an atmosphere of freshness pervaded.

But winters told another story. Cold air seeped through every crack and crevice. We could only afford to set the thermostat at sixty-two degrees, which meant we stayed bundled up all the time. Even on that low temp, our electricity bill was almost unbearable.

Taking a shower during the cold months brought the fog from outside into our house. The hot water collided with the cold air in the house, creating a thick fog in the small bathroom and covering the small window above the sink, making it impossible to see. Within minutes of turning off the shower, however, the fog dissipated.

When taking a shower recently during a Canadian cold snap, I thought of that old house and the good times my wife and I had there, despite the frigid interior. I also thought about my life. I remembered the Tennessee summers when I was a middle schooler and how they seemed to last forever. My friends and I played outside until dark—almost nine p.m.—letting our imaginations run wild. Time seemed to last forever.

Now, at almost retirement age, I know I have more years behind me than in front of me. What seemed to once pass slowly now passes quickly. Although I know my eternity ahead is long—and I’m sure where I will spend it—time on earth seems short. Like a fog, it is quickly disappearing.

James reminds us life is like a fog. God may give us many years on earth, but compared to eternity, they are brief.

We only have enough time to love God, love our families, love others, and love ourselves. And in the process, only enough time to do God’s will. When younger, I didn’t think about the impact I’d leave behind after my death—but I do now. With intentionality, I attempt to do only those things God wants me to do—things that will continue to impact others after I’m dead and gone. After all, this fog will lift.

What are you doing that will impact others after you have left this earth? Are you living like a fog?

Prayer: Father, give us the grace and wisdom to live with intentionality, knowing our lives are brief. 

Tweetable: Are you living life like a fog? 


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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Forty Years - Karen Huffaker

Forty Years
For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, you have not lacked a thing. Deuteronomy 2:7 NASB

Forty years is a milestone for me.

I had my own significant experience forty years ago when I asked Jesus to sit on the throne of my life on one Easter Day.

God has known me throughout my wanderings. During my journey, I have wondered if each decision I made was the right one. I can look back on the stepping stones along my path and see how God has blessed and guided me along the way. This gave me the assurance I needed to stay in the Word, remain in prayer for wisdom and guidance, and continue to seek His will.

I’ve learned by experience that God tends not to move quickly in my life. For many years, I dreamed of returning to college and finishing my degree. This didn’t work out . . . until God decided the time was right. Some twenty years later, God presented me the perfect degree program at an accredited college with a convenient location. He also gave me the necessary resources to get the degree.

I couldn’t have orchestrated anything better. God blessed my patience and provided all that was needed to make this possible, even though I worked a full-time job and was a single mom. He protected my family and provided supportive friends. We didn’t have luxuries during that time, but we did not lack a thing.

Just as with the Israelites, God’s provision was in His way, timing, and plan. I don’t always have the answers or know what direction to take, but I can trust that God knows what is best for me. 

Are you patiently allowing God to guide you and provide His best for you?

Tweetable: Are you patiently allowing God to guide you? 


Karen Huffaker is a freelance Christian writer. She has taught children’s Sunday school and single mom’s Bible studies and written poetry. She is from the Deep South and loves reading Christian books, devotionals, genealogy adventures, fishing, and all things family. She is also passionate about her grandchildren’s sporting events. 


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