Monday, April 6, 2020

Cookbook Comfort

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:8 NIV).

Looking through cookbooks is always like being on vacation for me. I also like to watch exercise videos. Sometimes that's as far as it goes––looking and watching. Smile. We all need to cook or have someone cook for us. Neither can we live without moving––a form of exercising without realizing we are exercising daily. Moving––that's the kind of exercise I like––walking, bending, scrubbing floors, and washing windows. But, one Sunday in church, I learned a different type of exercise––a life-changing exercise.

During this hard time for all, it's good to remember how God has taken care of us over the years and present-day included. Last week, God encouraged me through my cookbooks. Many memories leaped off the pages and flooded my soul with the hope that He will take care of me now, too.

To not mislead you, I do bake but just not using all those fancy recipes. I have my favorites––like carrot cake and apple pie and cinnamon rolls. I use the same recipes every time and for many years now. Maybe because I teach little girls and teens to cook and bake, I keep it simple. And, I am an active person, just not an exercise guru--far from it. I also have exercise classes with my girls––keeping it simple also.

Where is this story going, you ask? It started when I began moving cookbooks from one location to another. As I looked at each one, I realized how many cookbooks I have from churches––churches that support our ministry. In each cookbook are recipes from beautiful Christian ladies (and men, too) who not only inspire me to cook but also to emulate their godly lives.

While visiting a long-time supporting church one furlough, we saw Jesus through these ladies and all the people who call this church home. We'd been trusting God for supplies to ship to Bolivia to start classes for underprivileged kids––this was before computers and printers were available in Bolivia. God had supplied ten computers to ship by the time we showed up for the Sunday morning service at this lovely church.

After sharing our vision for our ministry, we shook hands at the door after the service. One sweet church member leaned over, and in a low voice, said, "Do you have printers for these computers?" No, we didn't. We hadn't even thought that far ahead, but God thought of it. Then, surprising us said, "Well, you do now." God had supplied printers before we prayed for them. He knows our needs.

Without even realizing, my husband and I exercised our faith by going step by step with Him to provide for the ministry he'd put on our hearts. We knew we wanted to give computer classes to children with no opportunity to learn the technology of the times but somehow not seeing the need for printers also. But God! Yes, but God was a step ahead of us. We'd stepped out in faith to follow Him and do His will--teaching underprivileged kids in remote parts of Bolivia. We exercised our faith, and He provided all we needed––even printers we hadn't yet asked to be provided.

God will supply what we need. And He already knows what we need before we ask. He will do that now, too, in this pandemic. God has used our classes to bring children to Him. Let's pray many will open their hearts to the gospel message during this world-wide pandemic. And, that a cure will be found soon.

Are you exercising your faith?

What is God doing for you today even though you haven't asked Him?

The church in this story has a pastor who is a super cook––we know because he's cooked for us every time we are home on furlough. (He even allows us to fall asleep on his sofa.)
Thank you, Pastor Barry!

Hash Brown Pork Bake

From Pastor Barry's kitchen:

2 c. (16 oz.) sour cream
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 pkg. (32 oz.) frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 c. cubed pork
1 lb. process cheese (Velveeta) cubed
¼ c. chopped onion
2 c. crushed cornflakes
½ c. margarine, melted
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
3 green pepper rings

In a large bowl, combine sour cream and soup. Stir in the hash browns, pork, process cheese, and onion. Transfer to a greased 3 qt. baking dish. Toss cornflake crumbs and margarine, sprinkle over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 F. for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly. Garnish with green pepper rings or parsley. Yield: 8 servings.

And, we also visit with a family of this church who opens their home and Amish dining room table to us. There is always a delicious home-cooked meal served with love. They are faithful workers in the church and a blessing to all who know them.

Pigs in the Blanket (Easy Way)

From the kitchen of Jean and Marty:

1 large head of cabbage shredded
1 lb. hamburger
1 chopped onion
½ c. rice (uncooked)
1 (15 oz.) tomato soup
1 (15 oz.) tomato juice
½ c. water

Put cabbage in casserole dish. Brown onion and hamburger. Mix rice, soup, juice and water. Pour over cabbage. Do not stir. Cover and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes at 350 F.

"He makes grass to grow for the cattle. and plants for people to cultivate––bringing forth food from the earth:" (Psalm 104: 14 NIV).