No Blood In The Strawberry Shortcake

Most of us have a favorite recipe that our Grandmother made. For me it would be chocolate cake with chocolate icing – not frosting – icing! I can still smell it sitting on the counter in the kitchen.

One of my favorite recipes to make is my Mother-In-Laws shortcake, especially during strawberry season! For the first 35 years of our marriage we tried to make this recipe, only to have it fall short every time.

Just a word of warning men, never I mean NEVER say, “It does not taste like Mom’s used to!”

SC2 (1 of 1)On a trip home a few years ago we discovered the issue, our copy of the recipe was missing an ingredient. It seems one teaspoon of baking soda can make a big difference!

One of my greatest joys as a Grandfather is cooking with my Grand kids. My oldest has been cooking with me since she sat in a car seat on the counter.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to make Grandma’s strawberry shortcake with one of my surrogate Grand kids (she adopted me)! We had a great time mixing the ingredients and preparing the recipe for the oven.

Once the batter was in the oven, the next step was to cut up the strawberries. A few quick instructions and we were slicing and dicing! After a few minutes she quietly said, “Mommy has never let me cut before.” Good information to know and time for additional instruction!

SC1 (1 of 1)A short lesson on proper cutting technique and finger preservation moved the project forward. My most important rule was, no blood in the strawberry shortcake! On a couple occasions she stopped to examine her fingers and ask if the red stuff on her fingers was strawberry or blood!

Soon the bowl was filled with perfectly cut strawberries and no finger matter. YES!

How often do we stop to consider that God finds the same kind of joy as He works in our lives? He loves doing life with His children as He gives instructions, provides the necessary resources, and helps to equip us for the next step. He finds joy in our success and gets excited as He awaits to see how the final product turns out!

Fortunately for us, God is very patient in the process. Like a Grandfather working with someone he loves, God will patiently teach us how to achieve the desired results. But we must:

  1. Follow Instructions

If we had not followed the recipe as instructed, the shortcake would not have turned out.

If Mak had not followed my instructions on how to use the knife properly, it could have resulted in stitches (and my death)!

For our lives to turn out according to God’s design, we must be willing to listen to what the Father is telling us.

Some have called the Bible, God’s Instruction Manual, but in truth the Bible is so much more than that. Christ said that His words, “Are Life!”

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

We would be wise to listen to the words that give us life!

  1. Focus On The Task

While baking, distractions can cause use to miss or double an ingredient that can ruin the whole dish.

If you have ever lost your focus while cutting something up, you know that there can be painful consequences. And you can violate the rule of no blood in the strawberry short cake!

The calling (the task) God has given us requires our full attention. If we become distracted the end result could affect eternity.

  1. Care About What We Are Doing

As we cooked that day it was important that our culinary creation turn out right because we were excited to share our with our family.

As Christians, God has left us here with instructions to accomplish His will. The work we are doing is eternally important and it’s for His (our) family. Because of that, we need to be passionate about how we go about it. We cannot afford to just be going through the motions.

God has given us the recipe to produce the desired results. But the end result depends on how closely we follow His instructions, focus on the task and care about what we are doing!


Have you checked the instructions today?Sc3

In what area of your calling do you need to refocus?

How will you demonstrate that you care today?

If this has been helpful to you, please share it with a friend or leave a comment!

It’s All About The Sauce

In the world we have grown accustomed to, kindness has become such a rare commodity that we are gobstruck when we encounter it.

One of the joys of being a Grandparent is that you get to experience the wonders of life in a whole new way.
If you have Grandchildren, you already know that Chicken McNuggets are a delicacy to be experienced! The key to making McNuggets so much more than just a meal, is the selection of a proper dipping sauce.

Choosing the wrong sauce can turn a good day into inconsolable sorrow, so great care must be exercised in the selection.

Last week on the way back from Silver Dollar City with our Grandsons, we made a stop at the McDonalds in Branson West. As we placed our orders, we hit a potential meltdown when the boys could not remember the name of the sauce they liked for the six piece banquet they had just ordered.


Anticipating the customary impatient huff or rolled eyes from the girl taking the order, I was actually taken back by what I saw over the next few moments. With a patient and kind spirit she began to ask the boys several questions about their favorite sauce, eventually producing two possible choices to show them.

And the winner is – Sweet and Sour! The day was saved!

As we sat eating dinner (2 Filet-O-Fish for $5.00= SCORE!) I thought about what had just taken place and how refreshing it was. I made the point of speaking to the manager before we left to tell her what a great job the girl who waited on us had done. The manager seemed shocked that someone would actually say something positive.

There was nothing really extraordinary about what this young lady did, she was simply patient and kind. I would like to believe that she was a Christian and that her kind, tenderhearted actions were based in a verse similar to this:

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

That night as I reflected on the day’s events, I was convicted about how many times a day I (we) miss the opportunity to make a similar impression on someone’s life by simply showing basic kindness and consideration.

Kindness might be patience with the customer service rep, speaking a kind word to the gas station attendant, or just bringing a little less stress to the bank tellers line. How often do we miss the opportunity to speak truth into someone’s life simply because we choose to be Jerks for Jesus rather than a reflection of Who and What He was?

We all have the ability to make a difference simply by showing the kindness that Christ has commanded us to give. Ephesians 4:32 wasn’t a suggestion or a point of reference!

What can you do starting right now, to show kindness to those God puts in your path?

Take the opportunity to completely freak someone out by being kind to them! They may even blog about you!

I Don’t Need Any Help I’ve Climbed Rocks Before

20160323_180223Over the last week we have been blessed to have all five of our grand kids together. For us it only happens about once every three years or so.

Last Monday was a gorgeous day and at our house that usually means a trip to the park. The highlight of any trip to the park is always rock climbing. The rock walls of a cave that collapsed many years ago provide a rock climbing paradise for anyone under the age of 12 (OK maybe under 60).

The crew made several warm up climbs eventually making our way to one of the more difficult climbs. We made two short pitches up and prepared for the third and final pitch to the top. Because the final stretch was somewhat challenging, being the world’s foremost authority on rock climbing (don’t tell them any different) I recommended the best foot holds and grips to get up the rock face in front of us.

IMG_1078Three of the five (using the wisdom bestowed upon them) quickly made it up the rock. One declared, “I don’t need any help, I have climbed rocks before!”

I watched for about 3 minutes as a struggle ensued that eventually resulted in a discouraged slump against the rock face. “Are you ready to listen,” I asked? Somewhat reluctantly the climb continued following the prescribed course.

That night as I reflected on the day’s events I thought, how many times does God have to bring us to the point that He asks, “Are you ready to listen?”

How often are we like a child struggling to get up the rock?

  1. We Think We Know Better Than God

My concern in pointing the way up the rock was not that I questioned the ability or strength of my grandchildren, my concern was for the safety of someone I loved. My way was the safest way up the rock to reduce the risk of falling.

God’s plan for our lives is set in place to give someone He loves the greatest chance of making it safely home one day. His way is not always risk free, or without scrapes and bruises, but it will always be in our best interest to follow it.

Proverbs 12:14 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

  1. We Think We Can Do It On Our Own

One of the greatest mistakes we could make in this life is to think that we can do anything on our own. We face needless struggles and frustration because we believe we are able to be independent.

Regardless of where we go or what we do, we will never escape our need for God and for community. Those who try will always wind up in a tough spot.

  1. We Don’t Care What God Has To Say

At the root of the issue on the rocks that day was an unwillingness to listen.

“Most Christians don’t hear God’s voice because we’ve already decided we aren’t going to do what He says.”  A. W. Tozer.

Can we be transparent enough to confess that sometimes the trouble and struggles we face come from the fact that we just don’t care what God has to say about our situation?

rock1After all, we have climbed rocks before haven’t we?

But we are blessed in the knowledge that regardless of how smart, how independent, and how unwilling we are to listen, God will never leave or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

He will always be there to guide us, direct us and lead us, but only when we are ready to listen.

What has God been trying to tell you? Are you ready to listen?