Mini Mountain Muffins

This morning I baked apple muffins.  As I took the pan of muffins out of the oven, I saw each individual muffin as a mini mountain .  All the little mounds in the rows of the muffin pan made an amazing landscape!  There was separation between each muffin so each incline and decline could be observed by itself. The visual climb was not constant. Up and down, up and down from hill to valley, hill to valley.  As I removed one muffin from the pan, I held it in my hand for closer inspection.  The terrain of my little hill was lumpy because of the chunks of apple inside the muffin.  There was a sprinkling of brown sugar on top of each edible mound that gave the appearance of snow on top of this mini mountain.  (Dirty snow!)

I let the muffins set on the cooling rack for a while and I sat down to meditate upon the similarities between my baking experience and my life.  My life is composed of hills and valleys.  I am glad life is not a constant uphill climb, but that there are smooth times to rest in between the steep inclines.  I am also aware that the ascent is not always smooth because there are bumps along the road.  Although each of my uphill adventures may not culminate to the height of a mountain with snow on top, there is a sweetness to reaching the summit of a goal.

My muffins are now waiting to be eaten and I can already taste the goodness of these treats.  Not all the varieties of muffins I bake are as sweet as these, but I will enjoy this sugary taste today.  In my life’s pilgrimage, I must also ingest and digest each experience whether it is sweet or not.

As I place my muffins in a serving basket, I realize I now have an edible pile that looks like Mt. Muffin.  The landscape is steeper and the terrain more jagged when all the muffins are accumulated in one place.  As I think about the obstacles and challenges I  encounter during my life, I realize I am climbing a mountain.  Along the way, some adventures are easier than others but the result is my living on a higher plane. Muffins and experiences pile up when placed in the basket of life!

How about you, my Reader?  Are you ready to eat a muffin or meet a mountain?  The following recipe is for the apple muffins I was baking this morning.  I am also including a few scriptures with references to mountains that you might like to read.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

Apple Muffins
1 ½ c. flour
¼ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ c. shortening
1 egg
½ c. milk
1 grated apple

 Combine dry ingredients and set aside.  Mix shortening, egg and milk; then add to dry ingredients and stir well.  Fold in grated apple.
Divide between 12 muffin cups.  Lightly sprinkle brown sugar on top of each muffin.
Bake 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Mountain Scripturesfreemountains#2
Exodus 20:1-21 tells of Moses receiving the 10 Commandments on a mountain.
Luke 9:28-36 records the transfiguration of Jesus on a mountain.
Matthew 17:20 says that faith can move a mountain.

May I Offer You a Golden Apple?

As I stare at the blank computer screen this afternoon, I realize I have the power to type letters that create words; then I have the power to type words that create sentences; then I have the power to type free color leterssentences that create a blog I can post. I have an awesome responsibility to create a pofree blank computerst that will be meaningful to anyone who chooses to read what I write. Words are powerful! When I think of the creation story in Genesis 1, I am reminded that when God created in the beginning, He chose to do it by speaking words. Also after He spoke such things as light and water and creatures into existence, He proclaimed that each thing was good.  Another reference to words is found at the beginning of the gospel of John.  John writes, “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was God.” Of course, John is speaking of Jesus as being the Word.  Wow!  Words are sacred and powerful.  I must be careful to select words that will encourage and enlighten those of you who read my words  rather discourage you or create doubt in your mind. At least this is my goal with blogging. This is why I have chosen the theme of my blog to be based upon Proverbs 25:11 that says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Some translations use the word “bowls” instead of “pictures” and I think I like this image better.  I want my words to be like golden apples placed into the lives of my readersIn turn, I envision each reader’s life being depicted by pictures or bowls of silver into which my words can be placed. Your life, my Reader, is as special to me as silver.

When thinking about apples as a kind of fruit, golden delicious is one of my favorite varieties to eat fresh. If I use my imagination, I can hear the crunch of the apple as I bite into it and I can even feel the sticky juice running down my chin. My prayer for this blog is that the words I share weekly will be as satisfying to your spiritual appetite as apples are to your physical hunger. I hope my words will fit into your life to help fill an empty spot just as golden delicious apples can fill an empty silver bowl.  Psalms 4:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” My challenge is to offer you an appetizing apple of gold from my life’s bowl of silver. I hope you will take the apple from me and meditate upon its meaning and then decide if it is satisfying enough for you to apply it to your life or place it into their own bowl.

Another scripture verse that comes to my mind is Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” In order to personalize this verse and make it my prayer for this blog, I want to say, “May the words of my blog, (apples of gold) and meditations of the hearts (pictures or bowls of silver) of each of my readers be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

So, my Reader, if you were now in my home, I would most likely offer you a cup of coffee or tea, but online I will offer a golden apple. Take it; bite into it. Taste and see if the Lord is good to you! I hope it will be satisfying to your soul. I look forward to spending time with you and sharing another golden apple next week. There will be a new post next Wednesday.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

Challenge for the week: Place an apple of gold into the silver bowl of someone’s life.free2yellowapples

 

A Valentine Delivery

As I t3 heartshink about today being Valentine’s Day, I am wondering how you, my Reader, are feeling about the day. Will you be remembered in a way you would like? Will you receive roses or candy or a special love note? There are times when love may be expressed to you and me in the way we wish.   Then there are other times when we may shed a few tears because we feel like we are forgotten because of no outward demonstration of love. Personally, today may go unnoticed by my husband. However, if he honors me in some way, it will be because he desires to do so and not because the calendar says he should.  If it is just an ordinary day,  it does not mean that he does not love me, but he just chose to not celebrate this particular day with any special attention. He will give me most anything I want at any time. For example, when I started thinking about blogging, I asked if I could have his old laptop when the time came for him to purchase a new updated computer.  Instead of giving me his old one, he provided me with  a whole new computer system!  My personal computer now has a large monitor which is easy for me to see since my vision is limited. When I think about the way he expresses his love to me, I see that he truly is living and loving like Christ.  Jesus pours out his love upon each one of us every day of the year and He does not wait for a special day to express His love.  Jesus is a “not-so-secret admirer” not only on Valentine’s Day, but every day of every year!  He loves us whether it is Valentine’s Day or not.  In fact, He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)  God does not wait for a specific day to say, “I love you.”  He has given us the Bible as His complete love letter and we can read any part of this long letter anytime we wish. All we have to do is read His Word to learn how much he loves us.  Probably the most familiar love note He has personally written to each one of us is found in John 3:16. I like how the following layout incorporates “valentine” within this verse. However, I do not remember precisely how this was done nor do I know whom to credit to for the original.

For God so loVed the world3 hearts
…….t
hat He gAve
………..His onLy begotten Son,
……..that whoEver believes
…….. ………iN Him should

……………noT
………….. perIsh but have
…… everlastiNg

…………… li
fE.

Anot3 heartsher love note that I especially like is found in I Corinthians 13.  The extent to how much I like it depends upon the perspective from which I am reading this scripture . If I read it and hear Jesus describing His love to me, I am encouraged by the depth of His love.  I especially appreciate that He keeps no record of any wrong I may have ever done. If I read it and think that this is how someone is to love me, I may be disappointed if someone has been rude to me in some way.  If I read it as a guideline for how I am to love another person, I may discover that I am not always as loving as I think I am because I may not have been as patient with a friend or loved one as I should have been.  

Personally,  I’m glad Jesus expresses His love to me every day and not just on Valentine’s Day!  However, I am going to take time on this special day to tell Jesus how much I love him.  I am also going to be sensitive about how I express my love to those who have a special place in my heart.

 Happy Valentine’s Day!

 Joyfully,
Cheryl

Thought for the week: we are surrounded by the creative power of love (Taken from And It Was Good by Madeleine L’Engle)

Thanks for joining me today! My goal is to add a new post almost every Wednesday.