Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Forgiving My Debtors

The Lord's prayer in Matthew 6 reminds us to "forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." These "debts" are sins toward God that I owe because I have violated His laws. In showing us how to pray, Jesus wanted us to know that we are to forgive always, everytime, no matter what. Why? Because we have been forgiven the greater debt. Our debt toward a pure and holy God is hugely more serious than my fellow man's debt toward me because I'm not pure or holy. The words immediately following the prayer in chapter 6 reiterate the meaning. "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Now, we can know that God does not withdraw our justification if we live in unforgiveness (John 5:24, Romans 8:1, Eph. 1:7), but our feet aren't washed. Remember Peter and his dirty feet? Jesus told Peter he didn't need his entire body washed but only his feet. Peter's dirty feet are symbolic of the daily defilement that grinds into our soul's in this sin stricken body and in this sin stained world. I'd like clean feet I think. We must forgive over and over and over and over and over...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake

This cake is fast becoming my favorite cake to make for birthdays. I made it in February for Mary Beth's birthday using strawberries and in August for Charity's birthday using raspberries. The raspberries were our favorite. I also add a tsp of almond extract to the icing just because we like it. Any flavor would be acceptable. The stems and leaves are easily piped on with Wilton's kelly green decorator's icing from the grocery store and a thin writing tip. Also, use good chocolate for the cocoa and chocolate chips...always worth it! Bon Appetite!
Chocolate Raspberry Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cocoa
Blend the above ingredients well by hand. Make 3 holes in batter. In the first hole, put flavoring (vanilla, almond, coconut etc.), in the second hole put 2 Tbls. white vinegar, and in the third hole put 3/4 cup canola oil. Pour 2 cups ice cold water over all. Mix until well blended by hand. There is a chemical reaction which happens with the process of mixing that makes this crazy cake taste so crazy good. Don't skip the hand mixing, and fill all the holes as quickly as possible. Prepare a 9 x 12" pan or 2 8-9" circle pans for layering (my favorite) and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
6 Tbls. butter
6 Tbls. milk
1.5 cups sugar
Bring above ingredients to a boil in shallow pan. Boil one minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Beat until melted. Let icing cool until it's of spreading consistency. I usually "pour" it on halfway between hot and completely cool. It almost has a fudge taste. mmmmmmmm :)

More Like Christ

When harsh experiences come our way in the form of gossip, slander, lost reputation, lies, etc. it is challenging to be a forgiving person. "What did I do to deserve this?" There is a better way. There is a higher road we must walk. Christ was slandered. He was wrongly accused. His reputation as a good teacher was lost. Lies surrounding the Son of God swirled through the houses and synagogues. He knew the sting of cursing words and hiss of vile gossip. Did He give in to defeat? No. He took up the cross and marched to calvary. He made a way for you and I to be forgiven! Because we are forgiven...we are free. Free to forgive. We are NEVER more like Christ than when we forgive!
Ephesians 4:32, 5:1
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Learning to Forgive

You would think that after being a Believer of Christ for 40 something years I would have this forgiveness thing down. But I don't. In fact, over the past year I have run into several situations that have driven me once again to the foot of the cross crying, "Help me Lord! I don't know how to do this!" And once again, our good Lord has given me teaching, direction, wisdom, faith to forgive. Seventy times 7 is just a whole lot of forgiving. In reality, it's so much forgiving that I can never find myself at the end.
So, after a very long absence on this very lonely blog I am back. In the days ahead I will share how I have grown in my forgiveness to look more like the Christ who forgave me.