Thursday, January 8, 2009

Another Short Excerpt from SIMPLE THINGS (coming in February).

It is All in How You Bake It

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work, and increasing
in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:10

One of my favorite times of year occurs when the end of a long-hot summer is just around the bend, and I can see it changing to what many call an Indian summer autumn. I love the altering colors of the leaves ~ the oranges, browns, greens, the tinted purples.

Many of my friends, who live here in the country, begin harvesting fruits and vegetables for pies and canning this time of year—apples, pears, corn, long skinny beans, glossy green zucchini, acorn squash, and of course early pumpkins and sweet potatoes that make the best pies in the world.

With the end of summer arriving, children from neighboring households will have returned to school, the majority of them more than ready. Campers will have begun shaking out their resident camping bugs, and rolling up their sleeping bags and tents from all those holiday trips with families and friends.

Me? I begin watching the craft store re-stock its shelves, knowing people similar to me will soon be looking for that perfect skein of yarn for that next Christmas afghan project. I am nimbling up my fingers as I get ready to work on those cross-stitch projects I started early last spring and never completed (or was it the spring before).

As I work my way through my house, I notice in my back bedroom, the shelves of my old mahogany know, the one that holds my favorite rainy-weather books that collected dust over the summer months. Those will, once again, once I clear them out, be able to breathe a sigh of open relief. (Books need to breathe too. You didn't know that?) Besides, at this time of year, I look forward to a good read at the sign of the first autumn drizzle.

Country kitchen baking time is just around the corner too. Do you enjoy baking homemade apple pies and canning vegetables?

I have a friend…actually a couple or three, who can make pies that will stop a train full of travelers! People who know about those pies drool at the thought of even just one bite.

Some of my pies, other than my apple and pumpkin, on the other hand, have always been somewhat difficult to swallow, let alone chew.

There was a time when I was the last person invited anywhere to bring dessert to a potluck. (I’m a little better now. It happens when you mature....)

But at many potlucks, I am sometimes stuck with simple Caesar salads—Romaine lettuce, a plastic container of freshly shredded parmesan, flavored croutons, and a good bottle of Marie’s best Caesar dressing, (hold the fish please).

We all go through seasonal changes—like those vegetables and that fruit, I mentioned earlier.

Tell me something. Have you ever thought of yourself as the fruit in an apple pie? Try doing it.

The flaky, tantalizing crust, the shell that holds in the fruit in this instance, would represent your flesh, that which often is good to look at but containing no nutritional value whatsoever. Mabye it is because we know it is the lard that makes it.

(Okay, not that you would like to be considered as little more than a bundle of lard. Sorry about that.) Here is something better.

I recently read in the book of Psalms that when I stay connected to the Lord and allow His Holy Spirit to fill me up and minister to me, I am actually like a fruit tree. That sounds better than just a tub of lard.

You are that fruit tree too.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalm 1:3

Okay, then. How fruitful is your pie today? How juicy are your apples? When your summer days begin changing to the crisp look of autumn, how much time will you take to increase in your personal fruitfulness with the Lord?

Colossians 1:10 says “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

I confess, I usually have more than a few rough and tumble days during the season of summer. In the last few months, I remember sharing with so many of my friends about the importance of trusting and believing God, and growing in faith by stepping out in my faith, placing total dependence on God in which I believe so strongly.

In reality, however, I found myself doubting, worrying, or fretting about everything, afraid to move out for fear of personal failure.

It showed me that my apple pie (or rather me) looked more like an apple pit. It had little taste. My flaky crust was just a great big impressive puffy pie full of a lot of hot air ready to pop.

Oh dear!

There's still hope. I’m glad to say, God in all His goodness and graciousness did not let me down, nor does He ever. He accepted my half-baked pie regardless of my lard-filled crust and shriveled fruit. What He did observe was at least I continued practicing with my baking skills.

Do you?
I mean, do you believe that too?

It is not only in how we bake whatever it is we are baking, it is what is contained within.

When I remember to add a good portion of God’s fresh living water to my circular mass, I add that necessary and crucial ingredient, His Holy Spirit, which is what gives my fruit the life and flavor it needs anyway. Without that, my pie (my life) would just turn into a shriveled up old prune tart—good for nothing but the water closet at the end of a long hard day.

Do you ever find yourself feeling like a shriveled up prune? God’s faithful living water will make the difference.


  1. That really ministered to me. I know exactly what you were talking about. Thanks so much. Looking forward to reading this book from Shirley Kiger Connolly
    Sandra Territory

  2. Let me know when this comes out. I'm interested. Good devotional!
    Sarah Beman

  3. This sounds intriguing! I'm interested! Let me know when it releases!
    Maria Altimod

  4. I love devotionals! This sounds worth getting. Will you post any more excerpts? Can men read it too?
    I'll tune in again.
    Mike C

  5. thank you for this. sounds simple but you know, I have to say, it blessed me

    Mary Ann Nash