Welcome It was such a beautiful feeling to return to church Sunday to worship my God with fellow believers. You see, this winter has seriously inhibited our church attendance, and not just for us, but many people in our region. We have been hit with about two winter storms per week since the beginning of 2019, one mid-week and one over the weekend. This has forced many churches, including ours, to close on Sunday mornings due to hazardous road conditions.
Two weeks ago, our family was set and excited to attend church services on a cold, but sunny, Sunday morning. On our way to church my husband hit one of the thousands of giant potholes in the city. It flattened the two right tires of his car, bending the rims as well. We couldn’t even drive our car back to our house, let alone make the remaining 20 miles to church. That day was filled with one mini-crisis after another. But God protected our safety and blessed us with a much cheaper car repair than we expected.
As you can see, between weather and car issues, getting back to a regular Sunday morning worship schedule was a big deal for our family. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend time in communion and praise with fellow believers. Worship is a very important part of the Christian life. But please don’t confuse church attendance with worshiping God.
Food For Thought Many Christians look at church attendance as another item to check off their Godly living to-do list. I understand, because I have been there. In my younger years, I often had a view of church as either a social activity or an inconvenience to an already-full schedule. The latter became an even more intrusive opinion as I became a wife and full-time working mother. It wasn’t long before church attendance didn’t even make our to-do list. I’m not proud of the fact, but I often spent my Sundays working in my classroom, preparing for the upcoming week. My priorities were wrong, to say the least, but there’s so much more to worshipping God than a brick-and-mortar building.
Being in attendance in the building is not a guarantee of worship, either. Sadly, I see some using phones and tablets during church for purposes outside of looking up scripture. Then there’s all the mental distractions we face from time to time. Our mind is focused on the busy week ahead or the budget that took an unexpected hit. We’re thinking about our parent’s illness or a friend’s struggle. My mind may even stray to what’s for lunch or dinner.
After spending some years apart from our church family, my husband and I have discovered that we really enjoy our weekly worship and communion service with fellow believers. We missed it terribly when the winter weather kept us stuck at home on Sunday mornings. I’m glad we have a new appreciation and gratitude for this opportunity each week. However, we do not have to save worship for the church building.
Honestly, every day and every place is an opportunity to worship God. You will often find me singing songs of praise in the car and in the kitchen. When the weather is nice, I will sit on my deck and recline back, looking up through the tree branches with the sun shining through, and give God my kudos for the beautiful day He’s created. I can worship and praise my Father through my artwork and writing. I am inclined to feel even closer to God when I’m standing on a mountain summit and I want to take advantage of the experience by giving Him my heart in that time and place. I’m often inclined to commune and praise my God while experiencing His beautiful creation in nature. But worship can happen anytime, anywhere. Worship in the hospital waiting room. Worship in the car pool line. Worship in the garden. Yes, you can even worship in the classroom. Paul is even well-known in scripture for worshiping in prison!
Don’t put your worship on the shelf during the week, taking it out only on Sunday mornings for the “right” place. Wear God’s praises daily, as you would a favorite piece of jewelry or time piece. Worship can, and should, happen anytime and anywhere!
Additional Bible Reading I have included the following 16 scriptures for you to enhance your Bible study and worship time this week. Looking to scripture for examples of worship can help improve our own time with God.
Today’s Recipe Worship anytime, anywhere, includes when I’m in the kitchen preparing food for my family or baked goods to give to others. Worship anytime, anywhere, includes when the men from our church family meet every second Saturday of the month for Coffee Talk. They get to fellowship and get to know each other better while having a simple breakfast of pastries or muffins together. Providing the baked goods for this event each month has sort of become my pet project. As I shared with one of the coordinators, it’s a very simple way I can help serve the men and leaders of our church family. The meeting is not about the food and I don’t need any recognition or reimbursement. I just want to be able to help out when and where I can.
This past Saturday I sent in two different baked items, one of which was this recipe of Mini Coffee Cake Loaves. This recipe makes 10-12 mini-loaves, depending on your pan size and how full you fill the loaf compartments. The loaves are substantial for hearty appetites or can be split between friends. They go well with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa or a cold glass of milk. These are ideal for a bake-and-take event like a brunch, work breakfast, or get-well basket.
Mini Coffee Cake Loaves (makes 10-12 mini-loaves)
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 1 TBS baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
Set oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini-loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In medium bowl, combine all topping ingredients until crumbly
In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar for cake. Add vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed, adding one egg at a time to the mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add to butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk, and beat until smooth.
Divide coffee cake batter between mini-loaf wells. (I have to do this in two batches because I only have one mini-loaf pan.) Top each section of cake batter with a generous amount of crumb topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove pan to wire rack for cooling for 15-30 minutes. Remove loaves from pan.