Layers, Lines and Precepts

snow mfIt is cold outside this morning so it is going to be a good day to stay inside.  If I were to go outside I would need to wear layer upon layer of clothes but I think I will create a little extra warmth in our house by baking an apple pizza coffeecake instead.  Since this recipe takes time, this is the perfect day to make it because it gives me a good reason to stay inside. However, it is worth the extra time and effort!  The layers of dough, cream cheese, apples and topping blend together for a tasty treat.  One could eat each layer separately but it would not be nearly as appetizing.

While thinking about the layers of the pizza I am going to make, one particular scripture comes to my mind.  It is found in Isaiah 28:13 and says, “But the word of the Lord was to them, ‘Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line….”  I am not ways good at remembering everything God teaches me through each experience in life. Consequently, the Lord needs to keep reminding me precept upon precept (concept by concept) and line upon line (chapter by chapter) of the power and message of His written word.  One of the unique things about the faith walk is that I can reread a specific scripture a multitude of times and each time I read it God can reveal something new to me.  When Isaiah wrote this verse to the Israelites, they did not like to be reminded of what God had told them.  For me, I want to be receptive to what God is showing me.  Precept upon precept or line upon line or layer upon layer is not a bad thing whether it refers to how I study scripture or how I assemble an apple pizza.

bible for study mfAs I sit at the computer drooling for the apple pizza that I will share later with my husband, I find an interesting article online by Robert Grove.  He defines four layers of scripture.  (This is interesting to me since my pizza recipe has four layers!)  Layer one is defined as the primary layer. This is the first layer of understanding the Bible and it is where we all start. It is as simple as reading the Bible as a story. The second layer is described as the practical layer. Here we take scripture and personally apply it to our lives.  Layer three is distinguished as the prophetic layer. Here we find multiple scriptures of the Bible and link them together to reveal an understanding of future events.  The last layer is described as the mystical layer.  This layer of understanding keeps us sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This concept allows us to be aware of how the Holy Spirit will pour out understanding to people in the last days according to scripture.  Robert Grove says, “Let me end by saying that it’s imperative that you have a good foundation in the first two layers before you will even begin to understand the third and fourth layer….  Familiarize yourself with the scriptures of the Bible. Pray that God will grant the Holy Spirit to pour upon you new understanding of the Bible, that your eyes of understanding will be opened.”   I can concentrate on the message of scripture one level at a tine but it will be more meaningful to me if I combine the interpretations of all four levels.   This is similar to how I choose to eat the apple pizza, either one layer at a time or all layers incorporated into one final pastry.

Since it is a cold day, I think I will curl up in a chair by the fireplace and read some scripture precept upon precept and line upon line for a while and then I will go make the apple pizza layer upon layer.  My Reader, would you like to join me?  The apple pizza recipe is listed below but I will let you find your own Bible.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

Apple Pizza Coffeecake
Apple topping:
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 large cooking apples, peeled and thinly sliced
½ c. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
In a large skillet, melt butter and add apple slices.  Combine remaining ingredients; blend with apples.  Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cream cheese topping:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Blend all ingredients in a small bowl.
Streusel topping:
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
¼ c. butter or margarine, softened
Combine ingredients with a fork until crumbly.
Coffeecake:
2 ¾ to 3 c. flour
1 pkg. quick-rise yeast
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ c. water
¼ c. milk
¼ c. butter or margarine
1 egg
In a larger bowl combine 1 ½ cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt and mix well.  In a saucepan, heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees).  Add to flour mixture.  Add egg.  Blend at low speed with mixer until moistened;  beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Cover; let rise in a warm place 15 minutes.
Punch down dough.  On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into a ball. Pat dough on a greased 12 inch pizza pan, forming a rim around the edge.  Spread cream cheese filling over dough.  Spoon apple topping over cream cheese and sprinkle streusel topping over apples.
Cover; let rise in a warm place about 15 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the edge is golden brown.  Serve warm.
(I clipped this recipe from a newspaper many years ago.)

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