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Heart Lines from Lorinda

 

 

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The Cake Bakers

I heard a minister not long ago teaching and he said, "Women in the church today are doing a lot more than just baking cakes; they are doing this and doing that."  The statement bothered me a little because it seemed as if he were somewhat belittling these areas where some women still get enjoyment and blessings out of this kind of contribution to the church.

I realize that more and more women have college degrees and are holding different positions in the church world and the secular world than in the past, but in my opinion that doesnít change the fact that we still need the cake bakers.

As the minister made the statement, three precious ladies came to my mind; they have all gone to be with the Lord now.

The first one baked enough cakes and sold them to buy a public address system for the church many years ago.  The second one whose specialty was homemade carrot cakes, baked and sold cakes to help the youth and other programs that were going on in the church. She also was one who consistently made phone calls to the sick and shut in.  The third lady literally would bring a trunk load of baked goods when we had funeral dinners or bake sales.  She even invited all the ladies from the church to her house so she could teach us how to make homemade apple pies. Of course none of us had the same "touch" that she had.

You may be thinking "How can cake baking bring any glory to God?"   Let me share a story in the Bible from 1 Kings 17:10-16 about the Prophet Elijah who went to a widowís house.  He had been traveling and was hungry.  She was so poor that she only had a handful of meal and a little oil.  She was going to bake a cake for herself and her son and then they would die, because there would be no more food left.

Elijah asked her to bake him a cake first.  She was obedient and God performed a miracle for her by keeping her meal barrel and cruse of oil full.  God could have let the ravens bring Elijah food like he had done before (v.6), but He wanted the widow woman involved so he could bless her.

Just as God blessed this widow woman for her obedience.  He is still blessing those women who are faithful to use the gifts that He has given them.

Over the years I have watched the women with whom I have worshipped.  Most of them are women who have never been formerly trained or highly educated; but what I have observed is this, they were and still are the Sunday School teachers, the Youth Leaders and mentors, the ones who visit the sick and help bring hope to the lonely, the singers, musicians and the prayer warriors.  These are no small matters. I think that is why the statement that the minister made was troubling to me.  I began thinking, "What did he mean that women are doing more now than just baking cakes"?  They have always done these things and baked cakes too."   Oh, they may not have done any "great" thing in the eyes of men to make a name for themselves, but without these women the church could not function.  

Now, I want to make it clear that I am not against education or formal training for women.  I commend all women for everything they do unto the Lord.  What I would like to say is this, no matter what walk of life we come from or what talents or gifts we possess, I believe that women are the heartbeat of the church; and if there ever was a time when the church needs heart, it is now. Although God moves in the Spirit, everything is not Spiritual, sometimes all someone needs is a hug and a homemade cake.

Baking with heart

 

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 The Blooming Stalk

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Sometime ago my husband bought me the most beautiful yellow lily for Easter.  When all the blooms were gone I cut the plant back and planted the bulb in my flower garden.  The following spring it came up again and bloomed so beautifully.  When the bloom died I cut it back so that it would bloom again the next spring.

Another year passed and as I was cleaning out the flower garden, I saw the lily was coming up again.  I watched the plant grow taller as I watered and fed it.  One day I went out to weed the flower garden; I looked at the plant and thought "What in the world has happened to that plant?Ē  There were hardly any leaves left. Something had been eating on it.


Each day I would watch through my kitchen window to see if I could discover just what was feasting on the plant.  One morning as I looked out, and I saw a  rabbit hopping over toward my flower garden.  That was the culprit.  I watched as he went straight to the lily plant.  He was chomping away.  I just let him eat.  Day after day he returned to have himself a feast; soon nothing was left but a stalk.  I decided to let it grow just to see what would happen.  One morning I went to water the flowers, and I couldnít believe what I saw!  There was a beautiful yellow lily in bloom.  Although there were no leaves left on the plant, a flower bloomed anyway.  Once again I cut it back after the bloom died.

Another year passed and the plant came back up again; this time it had some small plants growing beside it.  I fed and watered and weeded them.  The larger one was tall and strong.  Once again and again a hungry rabbit helped himself to all the plants.  I guess animals are like people; they have favorite foods they like to eat too.  I thought a rabbitís favorite food was carrots, so I tried to put some carrots out for it to eat; but it still wanted to eat my lily.  Someone told me to sprinkle pepper on the plant and that would keep the rabbit away.  I did, but that didnít work either.  My husband told me that the rabbit probably liked pepper with the lily and maybe I should put some salt on it too.  Not much help there.  

Well, the rabbit chomped away at the plant until it was a stalk again and now it was chomping away at the smaller plants too.  I was to the point now, either have rabbit stew or let the rabbit live on my lily plant  I decided to let the rabbit live.  The thing that still amazes me is that another beautiful flower has bloomed from that "stalk," and blooms are on the little plants beside it which have no leaves left either.

Early the other morning as I stood and looked at that flower, I thought about how Jesus used things of nature in parables to get the message across to people.  There was a message in all of this. Sometimes life "chomps" at us until there is nothing left but a stalk.  The chomping may come through sickness, heartaches, disappointments and trials.

It may look as if we will never bloom again, but if we will not give up and stay watered and fed in the Word of God and keep the weeds pulled out, with Godís help, we WILL bloom.  Not only will we bloom, but there will be other little plants that will spring forth from us.

Just as I kept my eye on that plant to see if it could bloom after being chomped on,
people are watching our lives as Christians to see how we will react when temptations and trials come our way.  May they see that we can still continue to bloom in Christ in spite of lifeís chomping.

In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 Paul wrote: "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed."  Paul knew in whom he trusted and that He would always be faithful to see him through any trial he may have to face.  Let us keep our trust in the Lord who will never fail us either.

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Father's Day

2005

The Shoe Cobblerís Hands


In the late 1940ís through the early 1950ís in the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky, there lived a husband and father of six.  As a young man he had worked at different jobs.
His father owned a large farm  in Cowan, Kentucky so he helped out with the chores there.  Later on he drove a delivery truck for the Coca Cola Bottling Company. He also worked at a saw mill.  He was a tall man with dazzling brown eyes that twinkled when he smiled.  His hands were large and strong, yet ever so gentle.  He and his family lived in a place called "Rocky Hollow."  Of course they knew it as "Rocky Holler."  He owned a dry goods store and a shoe repair shop in East Jenkins. In this town he was known as the "shoe cobbler."

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Early in the morning the cobbler would begin his day.  He would drive out of the hollow  and up the road to the shop.  If it was winter he would have  to build a fire in the little coal stove to warm the building.  The dry goods store was in the front of the building and the shoe shop was in the back.  The store was filled with apparel and shoes for men, women and children.  Everything was placed in order on shelves and on tables.  There were two large windows in the front of the building where he would make a display of items that were for sale.  In the window you might see a combination of ladies high heels, menís work boots, Carhart overalls and ladies dresses.

Each day as he entered the shop he would reach up and get his shop apron off a hook and slip it over his head.  He would then take inventory of what he needed to do that day.  All the shoes were tagged as to what kind of repair needed to be done and when they would be picked up.   There were shoes of all kinds. On one shoe was an unusual order, it was for a man who had one leg that was shorter than the other; he wanted the shoe built up. This was a little out of the ordinary, but he would tackle it.

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The shoe shop was a marvelous, mysterious kind of place. There were shelves that held large sheets of leather. There were boxes and boxes stacked high containing different sized rubber heels. Each box had a picture of a black cat with itís paw sticking up. That was because the  brand name for the shoe heels was "Catís Paw."  In another area you would find heel and toe taps made of metal and  some very distinct tools, some for taking the old soles and heels off the shoes and others for putting new ones on.


With his skillful hands he would remove all the old soles and  heels on the shoe, then with one of the special tools he would cut the leather to the shape needed. Next he would carefully place the shoe on a metal pedestal that was shaped like a shoe but turned upside down. The shoe was ready to be glued and then sewed.   A heavy-duty sewing machine sat in one corner of the shop.  The machine had to be pedaled by foot.  He would take such care as he guided the shoe with his hand through the machine to make sure the seam would be straight.


With the flip of a switch a  machine started running and the wheels started turning. It was a large machine about 8ft. long and very loud. There were different sized wheels for grinding the leather smooth around the soles and heels. There were wheels that had brushes and cloths for polishing the shoes.  He meticulously held the shoe in his hand and would rotate it around and around until the leather was smooth to his satisfaction.  The finishing touch would be to polish the shoes, then they would look like new again. The cobbler took great pride in his finished work.

His customers consisted of doctors,  preachers and teachers, but mostly his customers were coal miners and their families. He treated everyone the same.  He was a friend to all of them and highly respected by all.  He was a man of integrity. Sometimes men would stop in just to talk to him, if they wanted a good Bible discussion they knew where to come.  He was very hard of hearing and had to wear a hearing aid. It was the kind that the battery had to be worn in the pocket of the shirt and the cord ran up to the ear into the ear piece. Even with his hearing problem he enjoyed his conversations with the customers.

In the early 1950ís the shoe cobbler and his family had to leave East Jenkins.  Hard times had come to the small town because the coal mines were not doing any good.  Since most of his business came from the coal miners and their families his business couldnít survive.  It was a hard move for the whole family, but it was something that had to be done.


The shoe cobbler now had a shop in Detroit.

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Once again he started his morning routine, but he no longer drove from the hollow and up the road; he no longer had to build a fire in the coal stove, but he still repaired shoes and won the customers' hearts in the same way he did while he was in Jenkins.  He still had many Bible discussions with his customers.

The reason I know so much about this shoe cobbler, he was my dad. Those same hands that made a living cobbling shoes all those years were also those same ever-so-gentle hands that led me.

 They led me to learn about the good things in life, like fishing, plugging watermelons, going on trips and making a guitar out of a shoe box with string.  Most of all they led me to church every Sunday, which led me to know the way to salvation, through Jesus Christ.

I will forever be grateful to my dad~~  

"The Shoe Cobbler, The Man"~~Kelsey Adams.


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Keepers at Home

Since Mother's day is approaching I would like to share an essay I wrote several years ago while my three children were still at home. I am now a great-grandmother, but I still feel strongly that  mothering is one of life's greatest and most rewarding challenges. I hope you receive a blessing and encouragement from reading this, and I give honor to all of you who are mothers.

Many women today feel that being "just a housewife and mother" aren't very rewarding or fulfilling jobs.  I suppose that some of this idea partly started in the 60's  with the women's lib when women were trying to "find themselves".

I ask you, what other job could offer a woman more challenges?  A mother becomes nurse, teacher, chauffeur, counselor and many, many other things to her children. Sometimes she has decisions to make that are as important to her children as they would be to some large company if she was the president.

Of course for this job, there is no salary; the hours are never-ending and there is no chance for promotion. There are times she becomes frustrated, tired and aggravated--then some small gesture from her child, such as bringing that first Mother's day card home from school that he or she has made or simply an " I love you mommy " is all the reward she needs.

In Titus 2:3-5, the apostle Paul tells the older women to teach the younger women to "love their husbands, love their children and to be keepers at home".  The word keep means to "watch, guard, maintain."  The only way a woman can do these things properly is to have Christ the head of her life and live according to Biblical principles.

Children, whether they be toddlers or teens,  need the guidance of Godly mothers now more than any other time in history.  Mothers are helping shape the world with what they teach their children.

A mother may never receive great recognition in this life for a job well done, but one day she may hear Jesus say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things: enter thou into the joys of the Lord."  ( Matt. 25:21).
What greater reward could a mother receive than to hear these words from the "Kings of Kings Himself."


I pray that you will let God guide and encourage you in all that you do.

I would like to add that I am so grateful for the wonderful Christian upbringing that I had.  My mother, Lillie Mae Adams, is gone to be with the Lord, but she was the greatest example of a teacher by her actions.  I learned from her how to depend on the Lord for every circumstance in life.  She dealt with many problems, but her faith in God never wavered; it only seemed to grow stronger.  I am thankful for this wonderful heritage that I have.

I also thank God for the wonderful example of a Christian mother in my mother-in-law, Vergel Grubbs.  My husband and I both have been blessed to have mothers who taught us the way to righteous living.  Now it is something that we can pass on to our children and grandchildren.

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