Cheesecake

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I often take a close friend with me when I talk with groups. She drives me where I need to go so I can relax and think about my talk. On the way back recently she was sharing with me about how she had to go home and she was going to make a homemade Cheesecake. Now who don’t like cheesecake?
She was a little perturbed with this particular recipe because there were so many steps she had to do to prepare the cake. She had to gather all the ingredients. There were three things needed for this cake the crust, the filling and the glaze. One of the layers had to be crushed, another had to be melted and the third had an ingredient that needed to soften outside of the refrigerator for several hours. She went on to say during one of the layers she had to separate an egg, she had to crush wafers, and then she had to melt the butter. She had to cook the crust. Next was the filling she mixed up. After mixing up the filling she baked it and let it cool for one hour and then cooled it in the refrigerator for additional 4 hours. She needed to wait for the four hours to pass so she could move on. The next step was the glaze which again was no easy task. After it was all done she had to wait an hour before she or anyone else could enjoy it. It was a long and tedious process. She wasn’t sure she wanted to make this again no matter how good it was; it was going to be a lot of work. 
I laughed not at her, but at the whole idea that it was going to take so long and had so many steps. It was going to be delicious yet she didn’t want to go through all the work to get to something really good. My mind instantly went to how much we are like that. 
When we come to Christ we instantly want to be perfect. We do not want to go through the steps that God needs for us to go through to get where we want to be. It’s a process. We have to work through things in order for us to appreciate the work God is doing in our lives. 
I am sure when my friend shared the cake it was delicious and people made all kinds of wonderful comments about how wonderful it tasted. That’s the way it is with us. People can see the changes in us as God works through us and we often hear comments about how far we have come. I have a close friend who urged me to into the United Methodist Women’s organization. She often says she has seen a big change in me. It took a lot of steps for me to get where I am today.
Rick Warren says this, “You are a work in progress. Your spiritual transformation in developing the character of Jesus will take the rest of your life, and even then it won’t be completed here on earth. It will only be finished when you get to heaven or when Jesus returns.”
My friend took ingredients and transformed them into something wonderful for all to enjoy. Transformation is described in my Thesaurus as a makeover, an alteration and a conversion. We all know it is a process not something instant. 
During the process of making the cake she had to bake parts of it in the oven. The oven transformed the ingredients into something else through the heat and temperature. When we find ourselves in difficult situations they transform us into someone else. We don’t always like going through that difficult period, but you can bet we will come out changed because of it and hopefully for the better. Our faith and trust in God will be tested but in the end it will be better.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
My friend had to separate the yolk of an egg from the whites of the egg. Sometimes God asks us to separate from things or people that are not necessarily good for us. When he separates us from those things it is another transformation we make. He doesn’t leave us there he changes us. At some point those people who we had to be separated from might just experience their own transformation. 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.”
Another thing she had to do was combine the ingredients to make this come out like she wanted it. We need to combine a number of things if we want to be what Christ wants us to be. Bible Study, both personal and in group settings, prayer time, retreats, church attendance, fellowship with other Christians and mission work all combined together transforms us into a whole new person. Again, though it takes time for all the ingredients to come together and make us what Christ wants us to be. 
There will be times we might not see much progress. Just like my friend had to put the cake in the refrigerator for four hours and had to wait until the time was right. God’s timing is not our timing. “And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1: 7(NKJV) When the timing is right things will fall into place. In the meantime we wait and watch for God to move and to tell us the time is right. 
When it was all put together she had to refrigerate for an hour before she could taste the goodness. That’s the way it is with us. When we think we have it all together and we are ready we must wait for God’s timing. While on this earth the circumstances, the events of our lives and our surroundings will transform us; we won’t be able to enjoy the finish until we meet our God in Heaven and hear him say, “It is finished.” Then those who are waiting on us in Heaven will get to enjoy the finished project that God started here on earth. They will smile and tell us, “You know it was a long process, but it was worth it.” 
I am sure those who tasted that Cheesecake my friend made smiled at her and said, “You did good. All those steps were worth it.” She may even decide to make another one. So, yea the process might be long and painful, but one day it will be worth it all when we hear Christ say, “Well done my faithful servant. Come and enjoy the blessings I have waiting for you. “
Dear God: We don’t always like the slow process of transformation. It takes so long and it can be so painful, but in the end it will be worth it. Remind us nothing good comes from instant success. Instant success is often short lived. It’s when the process has been slow and changing that it turns things into something better. Remind us to keep at it and never give up. Something better is waiting for us. Be with us in those times that are difficult and be with us as we enjoy the happier times. Someday we just like my friends cheesecake the process will be over and we can enjoy the successes of all our hard work together with those waiting on us. Amen  
I often take a close friend with me when I talk with groups. She drives me where I need to go so I can relax and think about my talk. On the way back recently she was sharing with me about how she had to go home and she was going to make a homemade Cheesecake. Now who don’t like cheesecake?
She was a little perturbed with this particular recipe because there were so many steps she had to do to prepare the cake. She had to gather all the ingredients. There were three things needed for this cake the crust, the filling and the glaze. One of the layers had to be crushed, another had to be melted and the third had an ingredient that needed to soften outside of the refrigerator for several hours. She went on to say during one of the layers she had to separate an egg, she had to crush wafers, and then she had to melt the butter. She had to cook the crust. Next was the filling she mixed up. After mixing up the filling she baked it and let it cool for one hour and then cooled it in the refrigerator for additional 4 hours. She needed to wait for the four hours to pass so she could move on. The next step was the glaze which again was no easy task. After it was all done she had to wait an hour before she or anyone else could enjoy it. It was a long and tedious process. She wasn’t sure she wanted to make this again no matter how good it was; it was going to be a lot of work. 
I laughed not at her, but at the whole idea that it was going to take so long and had so many steps. It was going to be delicious yet she didn’t want to go through all the work to get to something really good. My mind instantly went to how much we are like that. 
When we come to Christ we instantly want to be perfect. We do not want to go through the steps that God needs for us to go through to get where we want to be. It’s a process. We have to work through things in order for us to appreciate the work God is doing in our lives. 
I am sure when my friend shared the cake it was delicious and people made all kinds of wonderful comments about how wonderful it tasted. That’s the way it is with us. People can see the changes in us as God works through us and we often hear comments about how far we have come. I have a close friend who urged me to into the United Methodist Women’s organization. She often says she has seen a big change in me. It took a lot of steps for me to get where I am today.
Rick Warren says this, “You are a work in progress. Your spiritual transformation in developing the character of Jesus will take the rest of your life, and even then it won’t be completed here on earth. It will only be finished when you get to heaven or when Jesus returns.”
My friend took ingredients and transformed them into something wonderful for all to enjoy. Transformation is described in my Thesaurus as a makeover, an alteration and a conversion. We all know it is a process not something instant. 
During the process of making the cake she had to bake parts of it in the oven. The oven transformed the ingredients into something else through the heat and temperature. When we find ourselves in difficult situations they transform us into someone else. We don’t always like going through that difficult period, but you can bet we will come out changed because of it and hopefully for the better. Our faith and trust in God will be tested but in the end it will be better.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
My friend had to separate the yolk of an egg from the whites of the egg. Sometimes God asks us to separate from things or people that are not necessarily good for us. When he separates us from those things it is another transformation we make. He doesn’t leave us there he changes us. At some point those people who we had to be separated from might just experience their own transformation. 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.”
Another thing she had to do was combine the ingredients to make this come out like she wanted it. We need to combine a number of things if we want to be what Christ wants us to be. Bible Study, both personal and in group settings, prayer time, retreats, church attendance, fellowship with other Christians and mission work all combined together transforms us into a whole new person. Again, though it takes time for all the ingredients to come together and make us what Christ wants us to be. 
There will be times we might not see much progress. Just like my friend had to put the cake in the refrigerator for four hours and had to wait until the time was right. God’s timing is not our timing. “And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1: 7(NKJV) When the timing is right things will fall into place. In the meantime we wait and watch for God to move and to tell us the time is right. 
When it was all put together she had to refrigerate for an hour before she could taste the goodness. That’s the way it is with us. When we think we have it all together and we are ready we must wait for God’s timing. While on this earth the circumstances, the events of our lives and our surroundings will transform us; we won’t be able to enjoy the finish until we meet our God in Heaven and hear him say, “It is finished.” Then those who are waiting on us in Heaven will get to enjoy the finished project that God started here on earth. They will smile and tell us, “You know it was a long process, but it was worth it.” 
I am sure those who tasted that Cheesecake my friend made smiled at her and said, “You did good. All those steps were worth it.” She may even decide to make another one. So, yea the process might be long and painful, but one day it will be worth it all when we hear Christ say, “Well done my faithful servant. Come and enjoy the blessings I have waiting for you. “
Dear God: We don’t always like the slow process of transformation. It takes so long and it can be so painful, but in the end it will be worth it. Remind us nothing good comes from instant success. Instant success is often short lived. It’s when the process has been slow and changing that it turns things into something better. Remind us to keep at it and never give up. Something better is waiting for us. Be with us in those times that are difficult and be with us as we enjoy the happier times. Someday we just like my friends cheesecake the process will be over and we can enjoy the successes of all our hard work together with those waiting on us. Amen  
Wonder how many is running out to buy or bake a cheesecake? 

Wonder how many is running out to buy or bake a cheesecake? 

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