Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stir it up!

5:22 p.m. Today's project was to roll out, cut and bake our traditional frosted Christmas cookies. Six other kids of cookies and peanut butter fudge are finished, but this cookie is the one that gets our artistic juices flowing! I have to say that it went really well, not a single burned or raw one in the dozens! Thank you, Lord! He is so faithful, even in relatively trivial matters, although giving joy, creativity and good taste to family and friends is not a small matter, in my mind.

Heidi tinted the frosting --only real butter, buttercream frosting for this season--and kicked off the decorating with a character from her favorite cartoon, Sponge Bob. A big star cookie with a fat point was perfect for the character Patrick. Pavel made a nicely decorated star, and they added striped candy canes and a small Christmas tree. My favorite is the little church pictured here! Only 40+ cookies to go--time to call the neighbors over to do some decorating, our annual, ongoing "make and take" party. I have a commitment from Heather and Nick to come over tomorrow and do 10-15. Steve, Heidi, Pavel and I are slated to go the the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, so I'm personally running out of decorating time.

I often hear ladies say, "I'm not a baker!" as if that's a serious deficiency. Many women aren't, probably because their moms didn't bake, or never passed on their skills to their daughters. (In part, that's why we enjoy the Heart to Home ministry at church each year, where women can learn a variety of home arts. ) But think of it this way: I'm not a massage therapist with the healing hands of Kim and Shirley at Dr. Pena's office; nor am I a photographer like my Heather, a banker, sculptor, doctor, mechanic, interior decorator or professional athlete! God has given His people varied talents, and all have significance in His economy. No one is without usefulness in the kingdom of God!
The key is to diligently seek the gift the Holy Spirit has for you, and obediently use that gift to bless others! In II Timothy 1:12 Paul says, "Stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands." You may earn a living using your gift, if you are fortunate; my gifts tend to cost time and/or money but give back tons of enjoyment to myself and others and, I pray, exemplify a scriptural truth along the way.
Using your gift to its God-given extent will cost you education, time, money, effort, maybe a move to another locale, or a change of your living status. Failures, like bad batches of cookies, will occur. Scrape 'em into the trash, learn from your mistakes, make a call to find out how to "fix it," and keep on going! Know who you are in Christ, and remember that "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." (Romans 11:29)
As you stir up your gift, may it be a sweet savor to the Lord!

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