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“…to him who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine…” Ephesians 3:20


It seemed like just another beautiful day that afternoon when my cell phone showed a call coming in from my son-in-law, Sean.


“I need your help.” The apprehension in his voice was heard above the road noise in the van as I was driving home from an appointment.

“What’s going on?”

Sean, weakly, “I can’t find Jack,” his and our daughter’s five-year-old.

“I’m in town, I’ll be there in fifteen minutes,” immediately regretting having chosen the longer scenic route home on gravel roads. Then I remembered the bridge was out on the road to their house from where I was, wasting more precious minutes.

Concentrating on staying on the road at 70 mph helped keep thoughts of the worst from getting into my head: they have three ponds/Sean has been looking for an hour/Jack lost his shoe in the pond mud a couple of weeks ago.

I mentally scanned my phone contact list to call for help in the search for Jack and discovered I didn’t have the number of my policeman neighbor who might be just getting home. When I drove past our neighbors’ who have three teen boys, I thought, “If I can see them outside down their LONG driveway, I’ll stop and pick them up.” Sliding on loose gravel rounding the 90 degree curve just before their place, I managed a quick look. No one.

An eternal four minutes later at Sean’s, I called him to ask where he was on their twelve acres. He’d been down by the big pond about 3/4 of a mile away earlier. “I’m north of the house.” He must’ve been running.

photo by Connie Hoogeveen

photo by Connie Hoogeveen

“What do you want me to do?”

“I don’t know.”

“I’ll drive to where you are.” In my rear view mirror, I noticed that Jack’s seven-year-old brother, Shannon, burst out of the house with his bicycle helmet on, jump on his little green bike and head down the driveway. I turned around and caught up to him going south on their road. “Where are you going?”

“We can’t find Jack. And I’m going to find Papa.”

“Papa’s that way,” I gestured in the opposite direction. “Put your bike in the ditch and get in.” We headed north and I was met by a car that stopped at my approach.

A middle-aged man shouted to me through his open window, “We found him! He’s at our house, fine but shaken up. Can you call Sean? I can’t find the paper I had with his number on it. Follow me to my house.”

I fumbled for my phone, redialed. “He’s been found!!!!!!!!!”

“Who..where was he?”

“At a neighbor’s, down the road….”

The neighbor man turned around and headed home. It hit me that I needed to get Sean, let him drive and I should stay at the house, since two younger siblings were napping, and would be waking soon.

As I pulled into the driveway, Sean came running toward us. “You drive,” I hollered as he approached, “I’ll stay with the kids.” But as soon as he reached the van he burst into shoulder-heaving sobs.

Seeing that he couldn’t drive, I opened the side door for him to get into the back beside Shannon, who by then was sobbing too. As I sped toward the neighbor’s house, Sean managed, “Slow down …. so we don’t scare him.”

As we crested the hill, we became part of this hoped-for-happy-ending scene:

Down the road on the next hill was a man standing beside his car in the middle of the road, front door open. About 20 yards in front of him strolling down the hill toward us was a woman holding the hand of a little boy, and a dog trotting alongside. Like it was just another beautiful day.

As we pan out from the scene, we see a van with all of its doors open, all of its occupants running toward the little boy with the dog. There is a lot of hugging. Then after a bit, five teary-eyed people hold hands and bow their heads, there in the middle of the road.

Zooming back in, we thank the just-met neighbors, climb into the van and head home to hold, hug, sigh and savor. Because it wasn’t just another beautiful day.

It was far beyond.

by Connie Hoogeveen

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

New International Version

We have many blankets in our family room. In the corner is a basket home for them (as if we actually fold and put them away). No, they’re usually strewn about… on the couch, the green and gold afghan my grandma crocheted for me when I was a senior in high school (its colors a timeless reminder of how I never ended up going to Baylor. Plans change). On the ottoman is a black and orange Valley fleece blanket my mother-in-law made for one of the boys a few years ago. On the floor, an ugly, rough, south-of-the-border blanket I’ve never liked, although it still hangs around. On the beanbag, a grey souvenir blanket we got on an (unseasonably cold) music festival cruise to the Bahamas a few years ago. It makes me smile. These are joined by a half dozen others, various styles and origins, all ready for movie night or a football game or just cuddling up with a book.

I love these blankets. They feel especially good when the cold wind howls outside, but truth be told, we cover up with ’em year-round. It doesn’t matter. Maybe we just find them comforting. Warm. Protective.

photo-1 blankets Angie S

I’m knitting a blanket for Trevor to take with him when he goes to college this fall. (It’s purple, so it’ll work whether he chooses UNI or Truman State.) I figure, if I brought him home from the hospital in a blanket 18 years ago, I might as well send him off in one, too. If he should get homesick, maybe it’ll be the touch of home that brings comfort.

My mom gave me a quilted blanket this past Christmas, made with squares of some of Dad’s shirts that she couldn’t part with after his death two years ago. This quilt is a great remembrance piece. I remember Dad wearing these shirts. I haven’t actually used the blanket yet; it sits folded on top of our cedar chest, with the shirt fronts folded to the inside. I think the day will come when I use it, but for now, maybe I just don’t want the sadness wrapped around me.

Thinking about these blankets got me pondering the intangibles we wrap around ourselves every day… feelings and emotions, our outlook on life, our defense mechanisms. How we face each day depends on what attitude we put around our shoulders when we get out of bed in the morning. We choose our outlook more subconsciously than I might choose a blanket for TV night, but it’s still a choice.

photo-2 blankets Angie S

Many days, I can be all too comfortable wrapping myself in the wrong things. Cynicism. Pride. Some days, I’m smothered by my own self-doubt. Maybe you can relate. God’s Word warns us to resist getting too cozy with these things. There are others. Worry. Fear. An unwillingness to forgive. But just because these might be comfortable and familiar doesn’t mean we have to keep choosing them over and over. They never end up protecting us like we think they will. They just grow heavier over time. Maybe Jesus had something like this in mind when he talked about his yoke being easy and his burden light. I like this translation of Matthew 11:29-30: “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (The Message.)

Light blankets are my favorite ones. So, in the spirit of the metaphor, I can appreciate this.

What, then, can we drape around us that won’t weigh us down? Here are some ideas from Colossians 3:12-14: “Dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it” (The Message).

Today, may you be wrapped in comfy blankets and, even better, in the lightness of this kind of spirit God has in mind for you.

by Angie Schmitt

“Hallelujah, we are free to struggle, we’re not struggling to be free.” –Tenth Avenue North

It’s time to admit that I struggle.  I have admitted it before, but I think most days I just get up, say my prayers, try to admit my worries and surrender them, read the allotted chapter out of my Bible, and call it good.  And I’ve done that long enough now that I’m due for a really good cry and a lot of journaling.  Admittedly, today is the last day of Christmas break and we took our tree down, which lends itself to a little post-holiday depression anyway.  But as I’m ironing the candle wax out of the runner I got advent wax on this year (along with the one that’s been sitting in my laundry room since advent wax got on it LAST year) I feel horribly inadequate and generally unhappy with myself.  I should have gotten that candle wax out last year.  Chad asks me if I’ve seen where a stack of DVDs are, and I have no idea.  Our storage space and extra bedroom are a complete mess.  My house is undecorated.  The list of domestic putterings and unfinished projects in my head races to the forefront.  Aren’t I supposed to be on top of this sort of thing?  And wasn’t I going to get more done today?  And oh yes, I need to get on top of planning for youth group, too.  It starts back up again Sunday.  As a ministry leader that should make me excited, right?  But why do I feel somewhat of a drudge and dread at that, down at the bottom of my heart?  Gosh, Katherine, you’re not supposed to feel that way.  Get a grip.

But Kat, you’re pregnant.  Remember just a month or two ago?  You couldn’t even make dinner after getting home from work you were so exhausted, much less iron off the candle wax.  You were letting go, remember?  Not worrying about the dust or the cobwebs or the mold in the toilet or the mess in the basement.  So now that you have energy, you’re just going to tear yourself to shreds with criticism?  That’s not fair.  You’re pregnant.

Or busy. Or working 40 hours a week.  Or whatever.  There will always be SOMETHING I can look to as an excuse.  But even doing that… an excuse says there’s still something lacking.  That the standard is still HERE, at a certain spot, and you’re missing it, but it’s okay because you have a valid excuse.  And the problem with THAT, is that I’m still trying to live up to some arbitrary standard I’ve set for myself, and fooling myself with an excuse.  Fooling myself thinking I’m okay, when I’m still measuring my worth and my value by a man-made standard.  Using a man-made measuring stick.  But the measuring stick is the wrong one, and I can’t let it go.  I keep picking it up.  And putting it down.  And picking it up again.  THIS is my struggle.  The measuring stick I use on myself.  Using my own, instead of using my Maker’s.

And yes, the Lord wants me to be a good steward of my resources.  Of my time.  To take care of the gifts he has given me, which include my home and the table runner my mother quilted me.  And yes, he has called me to be a youth leader.  And perhaps I have attitudes and issues he needs to deal with me in that regard.  But those are separate from the measuring stick he uses to determine my value.  My value has already been set.  It was determined way, way back, a long time ago.  Before I was born.  Before I was an ultrasound picture, or a heartbeat my parents were ecstatic to hear.  Before I was the precious miracle they held in their arms.  Before I was a beautiful little girl.  Before I grew up into a sexy wife of some sort.  Before the world attributed any value or worth to me at all….  I was loved.  I was a precious daughter.  A princess of the King.  And that’s a title I did NOTHING to deserve or own.  And so that means there’s nothing I can do to keep it, and nothing I can do to lose it either.  Whether that stupid candle wax comes off the table runner or not… that doesn’t change who I am, who my Father created me to be.  He made me with the intention I’d be perfect and we’d love each other.  By the nature of sin, I screwed that one up.  So he died instead of me and forgave me… which set me free from my chains.  So that I’m free to struggle, not struggling to be free.

Lord, help me to once again set down that silly measuring stick of mine and the world’s making.  Satan’s a poophead and keeps telling me I need to use it.  Well he’s wrong, isn’t he?  Remind me once again who I belong to.

“Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”   Psalm 103:1-5

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:1-10

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1 …  “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” 8:6  “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”  8:14-15

by Katherine Hatting

No, not me.  This couldn’t be happening to me.  I was standing at the airport ticket counter, being told “the next flight available is on the 26th.”  That was not okay.  It was December 23rd.  And as my throat swelled and tears threatened to spill over, my mind rebelled at the possibility of being alone in Phoenix for Christmas.

Let me back up.  It was December 2006, and I was a 22 year-old graduate student at the University of Oregon.  A native Minnesotan, I was eagerly looking forward to Christmas in Mazatlan, Mexico, with my mother’s extended family – Grandpa and Grandma’s treat holiday vacation to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  It was especially important for us to be together because we hadn’t seen each other since Mom and Dad dropped me off at grad school in July.  After finals, I flew home to Minnesota for a few days before we were all booked to fly to Mexico. Grandpa had arranged for everyone to fly together, except for me, as I needed to fly back to Minnesota a day early in order to be at a close friend’s wedding.  No problem, though, as I was used to traveling alone and relished my independence.  I was to depart Minneapolis just a few hours before my family, stop for a quick layover in Phoenix, and then rendezvous with them in Mazatlan.

Except Phoenix had severe fog.  (Who knew Phoenix ever had severe weather?!) And as the plane was literally touching down, it took off again.  Uh oh.  Not good.  We were re-routed to Tucson where we spent three hours grounded on the tarmac with a zillion other planes, trying to get by on a pack of peanuts and hopes that our delay wouldn’t ruin the holidays.  I was optimistic, though, as my flight out of Phoenix wouldn’t depart for a few more hours.  I had time.  No sweat.

When we finally landed in Phoenix, we were told that instructions regarding our connecting flight would be available inside the terminal.  As I exited the plane, the terminal was a zoo.  The line leading up to the airline’s information counter was literally several hundred people long.  And not moving.  No instructions.  I heard some people say the lines were shorter downstairs at the ticket counter.  So I gambled the extra time it would take to re-enter through security and left the line.  The ticket lines were crazy, but I finally made it up to the counter.  Only to find my flight had been cancelled and to hear those words:  “The next flight available is on the 26th.”  What?  No re-scheduled flights?  No plane waiting for me right now?  Not even today?  NO WAY.  Not okay with me.  I could NOT spend Christmas stranded in Phoenix by myself.  I said no thanks.

I frantically called my dad, trying to be a big girl and not cry.  He along with my uncle and Grandpa were about to depart Minneapolis, and were desperately scrambling to find out what they could to get me down to Mexico.  But I knew they couldn’t help me.  It was up to me.  Well, God, really.  I took a breath.

I got back in line for a ticket.  After seemingly a century of nervous waiting, a customer service lady–who I swear is an angel–spent 30 minutes finding me a flight with another airline.  She found me a flight on a Mexican airline that would leave the next day.  She transferred my ticket, gave me a hotel voucher, and told me to go to the Mexican airline counter.  I went.  Waited in line again.  Got my new tickets, which required a quick transfer in Hermosillo, a city in Mexico I had never heard of.  I found my way to the luggage counter.  Waited in line behind 100 other stressed-out customers wanting to be home for Christmas.  Showed them my ticket, and prayed to God that my luggage would find its way to Mexico.  I called the hotel, waited for a shuttle, and it drove me through the strange darkness of Phoenix to my bed for the evening.  I was issued coupons for breakfast, and crashed in my room.  I called my family briefly, with the remaining cell phone juice I had left.  (Don’t ever pack your charger in your luggage, by the way.)  Then I cried.

What if I didn’t make it tomorrow?  What if the flights got screwed up again?  My layover in Hermosillo was brief.  What if I got stranded in a strange Mexican city?  I was so close to not making it to be with my family for Christmas, I could hardly breathe.  And then I slowed down long enough to listen to the Holy Spirit.  And he asked me, “Katherine, why do you celebrate Christmas?”  And my answer, of course, was to celebrate Jesus’ birth.  And did I need my family to do that?  No.  I didn’t.

Jesus was with me.  He was my everything.  In a moment where I felt stripped, vulnerable, and alone, He was there.  And He challenged what I had grown to hold the dearest at Christmas time–my family.  In a culture of materialism and humanism, it is actually a good and noble thing to make family your priority at Christmas, instead of gifts, parties, social statuses and explosions of Pinterest projects.  But here I sat on my scratchy hotel bedspread, and God said, No, Katherine.  I am to be your Number One, especially at Christmas.  This Christmas is not about getting your beach tan or body surfing with your brothers.  It’s about Me.  Your life must be about Me, or else your life will be empty.  You can have all of these other things, but without Me you will not be living.  And I knew that even if I had to be alone at Christmas, it would still be Christmas.  Even if I spent it alone in a hotel room, reading the Christmas story and singing carols by myself, it would still be a celebration.  I could worship my God anywhere, and I didn’t need a tree, living room, or family to do it.  I resolved to have a good Christmas, and fell into a fitful sleep.

Well, on Christmas Eve I made it to Mazatlan.  And it was truly a miracle, because as I visited with other stranded passengers, NO ONE else got a free hotel voucher.  Hardly anyone else found a flight to their destination in time for Christmas.  On my flight to Hermosillo, the Lord sat me next to a kind man–also headed to Mazatlán–who was bilingual, which was awesome because I didn’t speak Spanish.  He guided me through the foreign airport. Our flight arrived late, but they held the plane in Hermosillo, let us budge in line through customs, just in time to make our flight to Mazatlan.  When I arrived, my family was there waiting for me.  And so was my luggage.

Mazatlan Christmas 2006 099

So that’s how I got my Christmas miracle – the gift of my Lord and Savior.  And that year, he gave me the extra blessing of spending it with my family.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:33

by Katherine Hatting

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.

The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low for thee.


Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

thou art mine, and I am thine.

So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth,

let it be ratified in heaven.


(adapted by John Wesley from a prayer by Richard Alleine)

When I was a child in Sunday School, we sang the song “The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock.”

The wise man built his house upon the rock

The wise man built his house upon the rock

The wise man built his house upon the rock

And the rain came tumbling down

Oh, the rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

And the wise man’s house stood firm.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand

The foolish man built his house upon the sand

The foolish man built his house upon the sand

And the rain came tumbling down

Oh, the rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

The rain came down

And the floods came up

And the foolish man’s house went “splat!”

Earlier this summer we had the opportunity to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes located in northwestern lower Michigan along the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan. After hiking through this beautiful area, I had a much better understanding of that song I sang so long ago as a child and God taught me a few lessons as I walked.

Wet sand is much easier to walk in than dry sand. In the same way, if my relationship with Christ becomes dry, it may require a firmer foundation. That foundation may come in the form of rain and disappointment in my life, but my foundation becomes firmer through those times of hardship. Or I may turn to Him more often, seek him, focus on my relationship with Him to help make my foundation firmer.  Sometimes the sand shifted so much that going uphill required getting on hands and knees. There are times in my life when the sands beneath my feet are shifting and I cannot get good footing, then I need to get down on hands and knees and keep my focus on the top of the hill.

sand 1

I learned hiking in sand was easier if I put my feet in the footprints of people who had gone ahead of me. In the same way, I am grateful for parents and grandparents with faith who went ahead of me and taught me how to be a faithful follower of Christ.

Shifting sands creates an ever-changing landscape and makes it very difficult for plants to find a way to dig deep roots. However, every so often we would see the beauty of a flower and I would realize how deep the roots had to go for the plant to survive. Again, it’s the same for me, if I dig my roots down deep and withstand the harsh experiences of life, I will have the beauty  of Christ shining through me that is unmatched by the world around us.

sand 2

As we reached the top of a dune, we could see the lake and it seemed so close, but we could also see the multitude of dunes between us and the lake and we wondered if we could get over them to reach the lake. Often I can see the joy, the delight of a life with Christ, but between that and me I also see the hard times. Those things that rob our joy and we wonder if we can get there.

Stopping, resting, taking a drink of water and pouring sand out of my shoes were all necessary parts of the hike. In the same way, there are times when I need to stop, empty my life of things that are hindering me in my walk with Christ and drinking in the refreshing words of the Bible and rest in Him. Then I can get up, take a deep breath and continue until I feel that cool breeze on my face and the refreshing water on my feet realizing the difficulty of the hike was worth the reward.

by Linda Tigges

Bread. The word itself alone can bring many images to mind. Bread is the most basic of foods used to sustain our physical bodies.

The Bible has many references to bread. In the Old Testament, bread was the source of the Israelites’ survival and when disobedient, God would threaten to break the Israelites’ “staff of bread” (Leviticus 26:26).  He would also send the “bread of adversity” (Isaiah 30:20) or the “bread of tears” (Psalm 80:5).

In Numbers 14:9, we read: “And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us; their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.” On the other hand, when God promised “a land where you may eat bread without scarcity” (Deut. 8:9), He was offering them life. In Exodus, God feeds his people manna, saying, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” (Ex. 16:4)

Bread conjures up images of coziness and warmth. It’s impossible not to take a deep breath upon entering a warm kitchen with the smell of freshly baked bread. “Breaking bread together” is the community and fellowship of sharing meals. Acts 2 describes the early church – “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:46).

Cheese Braid

We break bread together in observance of the Lord’s supper.  “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.  (I Corinthians 11:23-24). In Matthew 4:3, the devil challenged Jesus to turn the stones into bread during Jesus’ temptation (Matt. 4: 3) and finally in the Lord’s Prayer we are taught to pray for our “daily bread.”

The promise of Jesus is this “Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35). “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.” (John 6:51)

Bread and the breaking of bread together is more than just a food and more than just a meal. Breaking bread around the table of fellow believers is a time for shared experiences, a time of intimacy, a time for celebrating our love for life.

by Linda Tigges

Spanish Coffeecake (a quick bread)

5 cups of flour

2 cups of brown sugar

1-1/2 cups of white sugar

Scant 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix the ingredients together. Set aside 1 cup for topping. To the remainder add:

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups of buttermilk

2 eggs

Mix together for 4 minutes and pour into 3 loaf pans.

Mix 1 cup of nuts (optional) into the reserved topping and sprinkle the mixture over the batter in the loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 (New International Version)

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