Recipe for Success
©2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original
Like most kitchens I have a shelf that contains recipe books. Lately, I’ve actually found myself using those things. I rarely bake anything but bread, which doesn’t require a recipe anymore and when I cook, it is generally a little of this and a little of that, sometimes I’ve created new recipes that are actually quite good. My mother calls it ‘cooking by the spirit’. If I do look at a recipe book it is usually just to get an idea of something to make, not to actually follow the recipe.
But lately, I’ve been noting the benefit of recipes and following what they say. The results are pretty good. I’ve actually made a few new things that my family has enjoyed. The other use I’ve found is that I can put a recipe out for my husband or oldest son to follow so that they can get supper preparations under way if I’m not home.
I started thinking about all this when I saw two recipe books out on my counter that I had actually used in my cooking expeditions this week. In our Bible study group we had just completed a lesson on walking in victory over sin. There are some specific things in the Bible that sound a lot like ‘recipes’ for overcoming sin in our lives. I started to note the similarities.
There are some circumstances that we find ourselves in where we need to walk by the Spirit, seeing what God has in store for us where scripture doesn’t spell things out specifically. These are always great adventures, seeing where the Lord leads and how things will work themselves out for our good and for His glory. This is kind of like my experiments in the kitchen, sometimes I don’t quite get things right and I know that next time I will need to follow a different path. I am forging a new trail, going on an adventure to learn something that I haven’t known before. An example of this is our walk with this housing thing, we don’t know what the end result will be, maybe we won’t even move, but we’re learning a lot and will continue to bend our ear to hear what the Lord is saying to us.
Other circumstances require specific instruction where you don’t waver from a prescribed order. When I bake cookies, cakes or pie I definitely follow my recipe books’ instructions. Choosing to go my own way on these things could easily end in disaster and nasty results. God is very specific on many issues in scripture, take the ten commandments for example, pretty hard to misinterpret those. In Hebrews it tells us how we are to relate to leadership in the church. Other scripture gives us clear direction on how we relate to one another in our families, friendships and in the family of God. Not following these prescribed orders for staying out of sin leads to broken relationships with God and others, misery and other nasty results.
In the kingdom of God there is room for great adventure and room for prescribed order. Both are good and both are necessary. Of course, it is important to be aware of when to do which one, when we understand that we have a recipe for success no matter what.
I thought I’d give you one of my very favorite recipes that I follow to great success every time! This page is covered with dots of chocolate and what-have-you. Hmmmm, think I might have to go make one of these…..
Chocolate Cake (from Taste and See – a Wiens family cookbook – that we aren’t actually related to at all, Kelly received it as a gift from some people he met on a plane once!)
I always double this recipe to make a nice deep cake. If you’re doubling use a 9x13 pan if single use 9x9 – unless you like skinny cake.1 ¼ c flour
1 c sugar
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp. Cocoa
½ c. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. Vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c cold water
Sift together dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes – if you double it you’ll need to bake it for 10-15 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.