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home : religion : inspirational reflections September 19, 2019

6/22/2019 12:11:00 AM
No Cake I Can't Bake

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC

Over the past few months I have baked enough cakes to make Paula Deen blush. It started out as a hobby, but it is now a border line obsession. In my spare time I am watching YouTube videos on baking and how to decorate a cake with a piping tool and specific tips. I find myself looking through magazines that have recipes with pictures of the cake to show you how the finished product is supposed to look. After countless successful cakes, I told my wife, “There is no cake I can’t bake!” Maybe it was my pride that was doing the talking, perhaps it was a string of great tasting cakes, but whatever it was, I felt invincible in the kitchen. I considered myself the, “tempter of taste buds” with cake and cream cheese frosting. Isn’t funny how quickly things can change and your pride is turned into humility by one good failure?

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In the height of my baking arrogance I received a request to bake a lemon cake. The recipe and picture were included in the request. I didn’t hesitate to accept the challenge. I had never used this recipe, but remember, “There is no cake I can’t bake!” I went to work, and within a short time I had placed my cake pans in the oven. After a thirty-minute wait, I took out the cakes to cool. There was only one problem, they did not look like cakes, rather good-sized pancakes. What did I do wrong? I concluded that I had failed to put the proper amount of baking powder into mix. I baked a second cake making sure that I had placed the baking powder with the right amount of salt into the batter. Once again, I had made two pancakes. A rational man would have given up on his dream to become a great pastry chef and applied for a job at IHOP. After examining my baking powder, I realized that it was out of date. Who figured baking powder could expire? My only option was to buy new baking powder and make the cake for the third time. I completed my task with a humble spirit and an addendum, “There is no cake I can’t bake, it may be small but it will taste great!”

What can we learn about a lemon cake that looks like a plate? First, thinking you can do something and actually doing it are two different things. Sometimes you don’t know how something is going to work out until it works out! Secondly, just about everything has a ‘Shelf life,” so always be prepared when your plans don’t pan out! Thirdly, the smallest of things can make a difference in whether or not something accomplishes its goal. I would have never believed two teaspoons of baking powder and a pinch of salt would make the difference between a crepe and a cake? I believe it now. Yes, a small amount of the right thing or a small amount of the wrong thing can make the difference between victory or failure.

Matthew 16:6 says, “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.’” The Pharisees and Sadducees were the self-righteous, religious acting people who did more damage than good. Just one or two of them in a group could ruin the spirit and goal of any group. My biggest fear is that I spiritually become “out of date” with my faith and do more harm than good. A Christian should bring people to Jesus and not drive them away. If you are not careful with your daily relationship with Christ, you just might miss the point of what you are doing on this earth. It is God’s Word that keeps us fresh and in date to be relevant to the needs of the people that are around us. Yes, you can follow the recipe but still get it wrong because your personal ingredients are not right.

Remember, don’t give to sin. Think about it!

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