It’s wonderful to be reminded of what Gwen Shamblin has said so many times through the years…that “GOD is a genius!” He gives us so much VARIETY in this life, and all that He asks is that we stay within His boundaries in enjoying what He has provided. Speaking of variety, GOD has given us four distinctly different SEASONS to enjoy each year. During these colder months of the year, it’s fun to gather with your family and friends and enjoy getting warm by a fireplace, watching/listening to/reading about the Truth in His Word and these incredible materials we’ve been given…and celebrating the diverse collection of foods that He has provided. BAKING and enjoying BAKED GOODS are a wonderful blessing during this time of year. It’s amazing to think about how MUCH He has given to us to try, and this Church is full of gifted “bakers” who use that gift to give to others in so many generous ways. Today we will shine a light on another of our skilled Saints…who uses her time in the kitchen to bless others! Keep reading…and spend a few minutes with HEATHER DYER. Her words will encourage you to make sure you are using your gifts to glorify GOD and to encourage His people!
FROM HEATHER DYER…
First and foremost, only God can be credited with giving me a gift to bake, and one of my favorite Scriptures describes this in Romans 11:36 (NIV84), “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”
I remember growing up baking and by 8 years old I would make the cookie dough, while my oldest sister operated the oven. However, my mind was trained to focus on food and it became a passion for me and I developed a love for sweets. I often baked and ate a lot of sweets, with my mind drifting towards sweets and eating them to excess. Every Christmas season I would over-indulge and easily gain 10 pounds. Now, I absolutely LOVE and revel in baking for others. Since putting the teachings about True Religion into practice and losing 40 pounds almost 10 years ago, I do not gain weight at Christmas time anymore, even though I still enjoy sweets the whole year through. One of my favorite projects is to make a cookie tray with anywhere from a half dozen to 12 different selections of goodies, but I no longer eat half of my product! You can now find at our house baked goods that get stale…versus how I grew up – GONE within an hour, or so it seemed. There was much greed and grabbing for sweets where I grew up and it was just considered normal. If only I had known about this passage while developing the love of sweets: “If you find honey, eat just enough–too much of it, and you will vomit.” Proverbs 25:16 (NIV84)
It gives me great delight in knowing that I can actually cheer people up by encouraging them with bringing baked goods to them. Gwen actually helped me to identify that this gift actually is useful to God’s Kingdom, for I did not realize that it could be a “useful” gift.
“Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.14 Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:13-14 | NIV84”
It is the wisdom mentioned here, in the book of Proverbs, which has taught me that I can totally use this gift for God’s Kingdom and have no fear that I will binge on the sweets that I am making for others. Learning the secret that it is far better to give than to receive helped unlock the JOY in giving any baked goods to others without so much as a double whiff at the finished product. I may be always aiming to perfect a recipe or make the presentation just right only with the motive to bring forth my best work, in aiming to duplicate the steps of Jesus Christ taught here at the Remnant Fellowship Church.
One thing that I did always know was that the secret ingredient to baking was love. My definition of love has modified greatly since learning this message about love for God first and man, His creation, second, and especially since the release of Gwen’s latest book, The History of the Love of God. I would also say that the Treasure Series lesson about the “Greatest Storm on Earth” has probably been the most moving lesson for me, as conviction and humility are essential to this transformation I’ve made…for God’s glory!
IN the DYER FAMILY HOME – I usually am baking on the weekends and I love getting the children involved! My husband states that the smile on my face as I am baking for others is evidence that it’s nothing about me. If I am in the kitchen baking it is very normal for my son Gilbert to ask me if I am baking for the Saints, for he knows that is who I bake for almost always. I’m not saying there haven’t been flops that have been served at home! Lol! But that’s how I learn – trial and error and tweaking a recipe to my liking. Sometimes God will give me an idea to add a certain flavor or a little more or less of this or that and I try it. But just like our spiritual walk, we sometimes stumble but get right back up and keep trekking. I will often have Michael’s music playing while I’m baking or listening to the latest sermon from Gwen. This tip has been mentioned many times and it helps me to keep my mind focused on this message of serving others so I can pass any test and overcome any temptation. I admit that most often I never sample what I make, which is not how I was taught. I was taught that you should sample everything…and multiple times. Through the Weigh Down teachings, I have learned that I can PRAY to the GOD who has made it all, that the finished product will turn out and the majority of the the time, it will!
There are times when I have baked when a negative feeling will rise up – possibly because I am pressed for time and that is when I know it is time to be done and move on to the next thing because the enjoyment has ceased, for it does not feel like “work” when I am doing it for the right reasons and within God’s boundaries. Sometimes, my ideas for specific baked goods will be someone mentioning what they have a hankering for or I may have insight to their tastes through other Saints and I will then do internet searches for a recipe that seems to be the right one. I pray that the recipient will love and enjoy it and that it will be the right sweet for them. Sometimes I meld two recipes into one. As in the case of my caramel pecan pie, I initially found it on the Internet and didn’t save the webpage and lost the recipe. After I baked that pie I knew that recipe was a good one. After searching over a period of perhaps a year I found what I thought was close, took that as a base recipe, and over the years have made little adjustments to it…and now can say I think this is a keeper! Sometimes I will search for techniques to improve either the method of baking as in a cheesecake or using a different type of fat product i.e. butter vs. Crisco vs. oil.
One testimony that is true is that even though I grew up with this gift it truly has transformed and taken on even greater depth at determining to make the most of what God has already given to me, as depicted in the parable of the talents. I mean, what if God asked me to bake a pie in Heaven… Wouldn’t I want a tried and sure recipe to use?