Welcome I am focusing on the topic of growth this week and today I’m going to talk about a “prayer” that I’ve given up. For today’s recipe we have a cake to make in the slow-cooker. Thanks for joining me, and don’t forget to check out our March Giveaway on the Facebook page!
Food For Thought Okay, some of you may be saying, “Really, you prayed for riches?” Not exactly, but kinda-sorta, if you know what I mean? How many of us have spent time wishing for more money or day-dreaming about what we’d do if we happened to be one of the few to win a lottery or hit it big with Publishers Clearing House? When I was much younger I would actually enter sweepstakes promising big dollar prizes, thinking I might have a shot at winning! My husband has bought the occasional lottery ticket when the prize is big and the news is exciting. We’ve conversed about all the things we would do with that money, both for ourselves and to help others, and “sensibly” taking into account that the government and lawyers get over half of those big prize earnings. We’ve even come at it from the angle of giving and service, saying how much better we’d be able to handle the use of those funds than most people who win. Ha! Who am I kidding? God probably knows I can’t handle such things! Now I discourage our household from getting caught up in these ideas of getting rich quick.
I have never actually prayed to God to win the lottery or a sweepstakes, I promise. I have prayed for improvement in our income situations, however. Contradictory to what I stated above, I don’t think these prayers for change in income had anything to do with wanting to help people, but more my own selfish desires to want things that cost money, whether it be a bigger house, a nicer car, or a longer vacations. I got caught up in the “give the desires of your heart” mindset, without really checking my motives or thinking about God’s other commandments. So many of those things would be nice, but following God is the better “investment.”
I have no idea why God chooses some people to have more financial security or wealth, while allowing others to struggle to make ends meet each month. In the past year, as we went down to one income, I see that it is a blessing that we are in the middle of that range. Truly! God meets all of my needs, and those of my household, according to HIS glorious riches. I have never been homeless and it’s easy to tell I’ve never missed a meal! We always have clothes and shoes and winter coats. My home is furnished with wonderful comforts and “things” to keep us happy. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t times when we look at the bank account and say a prayer that nothing breaks down or a prayer for a little extra to pay an unexpected medical bill, but clearly we are BLESSED. Life does happen, and God always comes through.
I find it interesting that now I don’t even want “riches.” Not that I don’t have struggles with other “wants,” but getting rich is not one of them. And if you happen to be a rich person reading this, I pass no judgement. What you do with your money is between you and God. I noticed in my recent study in the Gospels, however, that money seems to cause so many problems, spiritually speaking. Obviously we need money in order to meet our basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing, but it’s easy to make money the focus of all our goals. This focus can range from anxiety about having enough to meet our needs to the desire to obtain more for storing up for later. It can even mean I spend time day-dreaming about what I could do with all that money I don’t have, taking my focus on what’s important in the here and now. I’m not perfect and I’m still working on contentment issues in many areas of my life. But I am thankful that I now spend less time thinking about money and the desire to have more of it.
Today’s Scriptures I did an intentional study in the Gospels earlier this year. I found several passages that addressed money as being an inevitable issue in our Christian living. One verse in particular really made me sit up and take notice, causing me to change my perspective on wanting money:
Now, I do notice that Jesus does not say that it is impossible, which is good for those people who have wealth and know how to use it for the purpose of uplifting God and His kingdom. But he does say it is hard. I take that to heart. I am likely one of those people that it may very well be impossible to enter heaven if I’m rich, in worldly standards. When I think about how much I struggle with contentment and comparison, God probably knows that near-limitless funds would take me directly down the wrong path. I don’t want that! God doesn’t want that for me, either. Here are some other verses that brought me to rethink my view of riches:
Luke 6:24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.”
Luke 12:16-21 “And he told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself. What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops. Then he said, This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, you have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry. But God said to him, You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
Luke 12: 33-34 “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Luke 16:11 “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”
Luke 21:3-4 “I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Today’s Recipe Crazy story for how I discovered this recipe, but wow, I’m glad I did! Last week I was thinking about making a Crock Pot cake. I used to have a bunch of these recipes and they make such a moist cake. So I pulled out my Crock Pot brand cookbook, only to discover that it had somehow gotten wet. All of the pages were completely glued shut! Attempting to get it unstuck only resulted in ripped pages and smudgy recipes. It’s not like I don’t have dozens and dozens of other cookbooks. But it’s still frustrating. So I started looking up other cakes to make in a slow cooker and came across this gem from Betty Crocker’s website. I have adapted it slightly, so if you would like the original, check out this page.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake in the Slow Cooker (8-12 servings)
- 1 boxed yellow cake mix
- 1 cup water
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 20-30 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped small
Spray large slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. With electric mixer, beat cake mix, water, eggs, peanut butter, and butter until smooth. Reserve 2/3 cup of batter and stir chocolate syrup into it; set aside. Pour half of peanut butter cake batter into prepared slow cooker. Add chocolate cake batter, followed by remaining peanut butter cake batter. Swirl with a knife, if desired. Turn slow cooker to high and “bake” for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Turn off slow cooker and remove inner pot to a wire cooling rack. Let cool 15-20 minutes. In small bowl whisk 1/4 cup peanut butter, milk, and powdered sugar together to make a glaze. Pour glaze directly over cake in cooking pot. Top with chopped peanut butter cups.