“Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it” (Genesis 28:16). But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21).
During the holiday season Brooksyne enjoys baking for us and others. Yesterday she made English Toffee candy from a recipe her aunt had given her when she was in Colorado last month. She had great incentive after her Aunt Mary made a delicious batch while she visited. In fact she tucked a few pieces of toffee away in her suitcase for me.
One of the great joys in ministry is encouraging others based primarily upon the Scriptures, God’s most certain Word. Encouragement can come from all parts of the Bible as we will share in today’s encouragement.
The first daily text is from a story involving Jacob, who had just fled from his parent’s home. He was a real rascal at this time, having stolen the birthright from his older brother, Esau, and later deceiving his father, Isaac, in obtaining the blessing that should have gone to his firstborn son, Esau. He was fleeing in fear from his angry brother Esau, who had vowed to kill him. Traveling till the sun had set he finally laid down to sleep using a cold, hard stone as a pillow. Ouch! These are not normally the conditions conducive to hearing from God, let alone getting a good night of sleep. Jacob was surely not seeking any spiritual encounter that night.
But at this very time God spoke to Jacob in a vision, essentially assuring him of His plan for Jacob’s life which would also bring about the fulfillment of His promises to his grandfather, Abraham. When Jacob awoke Scripture declares that he made the observation in our daily text, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” The part of the passage that particularly intrigues me is the phrase, “I was not aware of it.” May we always be aware of the Lord’s presence, even when we can’t see Him at work in our lives!
Nearly 4000 years later God is still speaking and meeting with His people today; not only in churches but wherever, whenever, and however He wants to get our attention. We have a much fuller revelation of God’s promises than Jacob and we know His Word declares some great assurances.
David spoke of God’s presence in his most famous Psalm, “Thou art with me.” Jesus assured His disciples before returning to heaven, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The writer of Hebrews reminds us that God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Finally, today let us consider the simple word of “keeping grace” from Jude in our second daily text, “Keep yourselves in the love of God”. God is always faithful to do His part.
Today, receive these great promises with joy and anticipation, fellow believer! Whatever your circumstances, however difficult or even hopeless they may seem; remember, the LORD is always with us. May we always be aware of His presence, even in the night hour, along with His keeping grace!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I am very grateful for Your continual guidance in my life and for Your steadying hand when the foundations are shaken. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for You are my safe refuge. In Your presence I find renewed hope, resurging strength and safety beneath the shelter of Your wings! Your unfailing love will uphold me and Your sovereign presence will never leave me nor forsake me. What joyous blessings these promises unfold in my life day by day as You will never lead me where Your grace cannot keep me. Thank You for Jesus in whose name we pray! Amen.
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1 pkg. (12 oz. or 3 ½ C.) cranberries, separated – (6 oz. chopped)
¾ C. Granulated Sugar
½ teaspoon orange peel
½ C. (1 stick) butter or margarine
2 ½ C. All-Purpose flour
2 C. brown Sugar
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. cloves
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
¾ C. Sour Cream
1 C. pecans, coarsely chopped
Crystal Like Sugar (optional)
Prepare loaf pans by spraying with Pam. In large saucepan combine 6 oz (1/2 pkg.) of cranberries, ¾ C. sugar and ½ tsp. orange peel. Bring to boil, stirring constantly until berries pop and mixture thickens. Remove. Add 1 stick butter to melt and other 6 oz. of cranberries, chopped. Cool.
Combine in large bowl 2 ½ C. flour, 2 C. brown sugar, spices, 2 tsp. soda and 1 tsp. salt. Stir in 2 eggs with ¾ C. sour cream. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients. Stir in cranberry mixture and 1 C. pecans (glazed are excellent if you can find them. (Diamond brand makes them.)
This will make about seven very small loaves or two large loaves. Bake at 350 for about one hour or till done (less time for small loaves). Cool in pans for ten minutes before removing from pan and inverting on cake rack. Wrap cakes in foil at least one week to age in cool, dry place.
I sprinkle unrefined raw sugar or large sugar crystals inside the sprayed loaf pan before pouring batter in pans and on top of the batter after filling the loaf pans. Keeps up to three months in cool, dry place. Freezes nicely as well.
From Leisure Arts, “Gifts of Good Taste”, P. 29. No Mixer needed for this recipe. I usually serve this more as a sweet bread with soft cream cheese than I do a cake. When I give this as gifts at Christmas it comes up a winner!!