Friday, November 26, 2021

Apple Nut Cake

 


APPLE NUT CAKE

Ingredients
3 CUPS DICED APPLES

1 CUP CHOPPED PECANS

2 CUPS SUGAR

3 CUPS SELF-RISING FLOUR

1 CUP CRISCO OIL

3 EGGS

1 TEASPOON VANILLA

Directions
HAND MIX ALL INGREDIENTS.

POUR INTO A GREASED TUBE PAN.

BAKE AT 350 DEGREES FOR 1 HOUR OR UNTIL DONE.

GLAZE

Ingredients
½ CUP BUTTER

1 CUP BROWN SUGAR

¼ CUP EVAPORATED MILK

1 TEASPOON VANILLA

Directions
HEAT MARGARINE AND BROWN SUGAR OVER LOW HEAT UNTIL MELTED.

ADD MILK AND LET COME TO A FULL BOIL.

REMOVE FROM HEAT AND COOL.

ADD VANILLA AND POUR OVER CAKE.



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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Walk-on Wednesday - Never Forgotten - 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. 

For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers. Hebrews 6:10 NLT

As an aspiring writer, I attended my first writer’s conference, sponsored by an organization for which I had been writing devotions.

Here’s my chance to hobnob with those who have pull in the writing world, I thought. I had been writing for several years and had always told myself I was doing this for God. Yet in the silence of some moments, I wondered if that was true. Could I accept it if I were never published? Goodness knows, I had received my share of rejection notices.

I quickly discovered the writing world was a dog-eat-dog world. One of the break-out sessions I chose was hosted by the co-founder and editor of the organization sponsoring the conference. Imagine my discouragement when he stood before the group and told us how much it costs a publishing company to publish a book and what our chances were for getting published.

It was decision time. With the bare facts before me, would I keep writing even if I was overlooked by everyone in the publishing world? Would it be enough to be rewarded only by God and never anyone else?

I was convicted. Jesus often cautioned the religious authorities about doing what they did for recognition. Rather, he—like the present writer--investigated my motivation. The effects of my writing—and anything else I do for God—will be quickly forgotten if I do it for praise from others. But if my service to God, in whatever form it takes, is done so others may see my good works and glorify the Father, then the effects will linger long after my eyes have closed in death.

Though we may face rejection and disappointment while on earth, God will never overlook what we do for him when it’s done with the right spirit.

Let the assurance of God’s love and recognition bolster you when you feel forgotten.

Prayer: Eternal God and Father, thank You for comforting us in those times when we feel overlooked and forgotten. 

Tweetable: Do you ever feel forgotten? 


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Monday, November 22, 2021

Meandering Monday - The Gift of Pick-Me-Up - Martin Wiles

Welcome to Meandering Monday, where we take a trip back to an earlier post and enjoy it again.

We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. Hebrews 6:9 NLT

Our friendship is an old one.

I met him when things in my life had taken a turn south. At the time, he was my middle brother’s pastor and had been a pastor to my parents. In spite of how bleak I imagined my future, he continued to tell me, “God’s not through with you. He has a plan.”

My wife and I eventually joined the church he pastored, and we continued to build our friendship with him and his family. At the end of one particular year, the youth pastor resigned, and my encouraging friend asked if I’d like the position of Associate Pastor. I accepted, and for two years, we worked together. During that time, he continued to remind me God had a plan. He was convinced greater things were in store and told me so often. God awarded me the gift of a pick-me-up…not in the form of medicine, but in the person of a good friend.

Turning my back on God is possible but unfathomable. These early Christians had been warned of the dangers of doing so, but the author doesn’t think they will. Better things are in store for them. He picks them up by speaking optimism and encouragement into their lives.

My friend was a healer of my spirit. His words brought peace to my soul. Hearing someone speak hope into my future was enough to get me through another night and day. When I do this for others, the same occurs. By encouraging them, I’m encouraged.

Life is filled with disappointments, but their appearance doesn’t mean God has forgotten us. Through the tough times, he weaves his plan and accomplishes his purpose for us: being formed into the likeness of Christ. The trials wart off laziness because it takes hard emotional and spiritual effort to pattern the various threads of life.

We’re products of our pasts—the tough times included—but we choose not to be prisoners. They’re a part of the baggage God uses to encourage others that a brighter future lies ahead.

Who can you encourage today?

Prayer: Eternal God, lift our spirits that we might raise the spirits of others. 

Tweetable: Who or what is your pick-me-up? 


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Saturday, November 20, 2021

Here I Am; Look at Me - Teri Verduyn

When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:13 NIrV

In December 2007, my son Justin and I went to Antarctica.

We have traveled to each continent and discovered God on all seven. In Africa, we saw people who loved God and followed him faithfully living in wretched conditions. We received hospitality from the Australians that mirrored what Jesus gave to sinners. Asians joyfully shared their food and possessions with us like the poor widow who gave her two coins to Jesus. But, on each of the seven continents, we remembered that we lived as sojourners, waiting for our eternal home in heaven.

The Israelites were banished to Babylon and forced to wait in a new land. Jeremiah prophesied via a letter that, although they longed to return to Israel, they should engage in Babylonian life because God had a plan for them and hope for their future. God promised if they searched and called to him at the end of the exile, he would listen to them and return them to Jerusalem.

Today, God’s promise still holds. If we call to him, he will listen. But, unfortunately, it took a penguin to make me hear him.

This picture is one of 5,000 I took of the penguins and their environment. The rule—take only memories, leave only footprintsrequired us to socially distance from the penguins. As a result, the picture shows the penguin standing in the midst of us.

As I reviewed the picture, I thought about the trip. It took forever to fly to Antarctica, and we spent an atrocious amount of money to get there. But then, we stood looking at our cameras and not looking at the adorable little chinstrap penguin. Can you hear him say, “Here I am, look at me?”

Sometimes, I neglect Jesus, just as I neglected the penguin. I go to church, read my Bible, and serve others. I look for Jesus and call out to him but don’t hear him because I get distracted with the urgent. He stands next to me, saying, “Here I am. Look at me.”

Don’t miss Jesus. An incredible journey results when we follow him.

Father, help us seek Jesus in everything we do.

Tweetable: Have you missed Jesus? 


Teri Verduyn lives in Fargo, North Dakota, with her husband. She works as a financial advisor and pursues a ministry in writing Bible studies and non-fiction articles. She and her husband love their family, traveling, photography, and serving Christ together. 





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Friday, November 19, 2021

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 CUP CHOPPED PECANS

2 TABLESPOON 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 to 40 MINUTES



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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Walk-on Wednesday - Gone Too Far - 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. 

It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again. Hebrews 6:6 NLT

The Christmas season had arrived.

My wife and I lived almost three hours away from our families but eagerly anticipated the drive home to frolic with family and friends. Since my wife had been an avid shopper that season, the presents soon overtook our luggage. We opened presents at my family’s home first, and then it was off to my in-law’s to repeat the process. As we did, my wife noticed that her nephew and niece had no gifts from us. She had bought an entire box full, but where were they?

“Did you get the box from the top of the closet,” she asked. I hadn’t, but we had gone too far to go back and retrieve them.

At some point, too far is too far. This hotly debated verse has witnessed several interpretations. Among them that the writer was warning against apostasy, that the listeners weren’t true believers, that the listeners were superficial believers, or that he was merely posing a hypothetical scenario. Regardless of what it could mean, a scarlet thread runs through all the possibilities: unbelief.

Unbelief is dangerous and has the potential to take me beyond the too-far point. When God gives more privileges, more responsibilities follow. Those who’ve heard the gospel but don’t respond will be held to a greater level of accountability than those who’ve never heard.

Since God doesn’t give second chances after death, it’s essential that we make necessary decisions now—deciding to trust Christ being the most important. When we continue to ignore God’s call to salvation, our hearts harden. Hearing demands action and our actions demonstrate we’ve heard.

The good news is that as long as we’re alive and in our right minds, we haven’t gone too far. We can respond to God’s call—most importantly, to the call to salvation but also to various areas of service.

No matter how far you are, God allows turn arounds.

Prayer: Father, may we avoid the too-far points by responding quickly to Your summons. 

Tweetable: Do you think you've gone too far from God? 


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Monday, November 15, 2021

Meandering Monday - Back to the Basics - Martin Wiles

Welcome to Meandering Monday, where we take a trip back to an earlier post and enjoy it again.

So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Hebrews 6:1 NLT

Country music artist Waylon Jennings sang about getting back to the basics of love. So did the Christian group, 4 Him.

The importance of basics depends on what the basics are. If I choose a basic virus protection package for my computer, I give up full protection. If for my television satellite provider, channels I won’t be able to watch. The basics are the bare minimum. Whether having only the basics is enough merits further consideration.

Basics carry disadvantages but are necessary to enjoy the frills. I can’t watch ESPN if I don’t at least have satellite or cable. I can’t enjoy full virus protection if I don’t at least have the virus program. I can’t get back to the basics of love if I don’t have love to begin with.

When the writer says to leave the basics of Christianity and get on with mature spiritual living, he doesn’t mean the basics are dispensable. I can’t grow up in Christ if I don’t have Christ. While these early believers didn’t need to continually rehash the basics, the basics were imperative.

The basics of the biblical message concern God’s love and humanity’s problem. God calls the problem sin, and he cannot associate with it because of his holy nature. Either I or someone else must pay. Because of his enormous and matchless love, God decided to allow his Son to pay the debt. He did so by dying on a cross on a hill called Calvary.

In some unfathomable way, God placed the world’s sins on his Son, thereby freeing all persons who choose to accept his gift. Through faith in Christ and belief in his resurrection, we can be reconciled to God, enjoy an abundant life presently, and look forward to a wonderful eternity.

We can’t leave the basics out, but once we’ve accepted them, we must grow in our understanding of how to apply to life what we’ve received. What have you done with the basics?

Prayer: Merciful God, thank You for the basics that remind us of the great love You’ve shown through Jesus Christ. 

Tweetable: Do you need to get back to the basics? 


Thanks to all our faithful followers who share our posts! We also invite you to follow and like us on FacebookPinterestTwitter, and Instagram. Help us spread God's encouragement through His Love Lines.