“A Shoo-Fly Pie Mission Station”, were the words that came to mind as Hope Tappin scanned her kitchen to make sure all was in place for the soon arrival of her precious tribe of teen girls. She tested, one more time, to see that all of her silver hair was in place, and no dirty fingernails were present.
Taking a deep breath for a few calm moments she sat at her kitchen table and smoothed the tablecloth for the umpteenth time. But most important of all she made sure her favorite recipe book was open and easy to see. This recipe book was different than other recipe books you've seen. This one started out with, “In the beginning God...” It doesn't matter what you're cookin' up. The first and foremost ingredient is always God... with no close seconds.
Now just so you'll know – a Shoo-Fly Pie is a dry variation of a Molasses pie that is baked.
Oh yes. It should be mentioned that Hope is most partial to being called, “Gram”; especially by those who want to hear the life-changing recipe that starts here and reaches the depths of eternity. Hope, I mean, “Gram” would remind you of that irreplaceable first Ingredient; God. More than once, Gram has flipped those yellow ragged Bible pages over to Matthew 6 and verse 33 and would boldly proclaim, “See here! Plain as day it says, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
If you wanna really get Gram lit up, simply ask her WHAT things that verse is talking about. With tones and words sweeter than any pie, Gram will speak the richness of the previous verse, in ways you'll itch to share it with others you know.
Hope's Shoo-Fly pie was hardly out of the oven, when the eight girls all knocked at the back door, and were enthusiastically invited in. As was the custom, each of the teens turned off their cell phones and pocket gadgets and placed them on the kitchen table near Gram's special recipe book.
One of Gram's hopes was always that the girls would see their gadgets next to God's Word and store a mental picture that the two should always go together. Maybe that was their first lesson.
Hope tried to keep up with hearing all the neat things the girls had done since last week's visit, but all the silver hair and arthritis must have slowed things down. Gram silently begged God for her words of hope and love to reach the teen's hearts as she reached for a knife to cut and serve this home-made pie with the strange name.
As the last bites of the pie slices disappeared, Hope picked up the pie's recipe and told the girls, “This is the recipe for the pie you've just enjoyed. It looks pretty simple doesn't it? It wouldn't be hard for you to make at home – it's mostly molasses and sweet crumbs. Hey, know what? I'd like to show you girls the absolute strangest recipe known to man.
With a big smile, Gram held up a blank sheet of white paper for all the girls to clearly see. Candy was the first to speak up, with, “But Gram, there's nothing on your recipe sheet! I bet you're gonna make something out of nothing, right?! My boyfriend says I'm always making something out of nothing, when we talk about stuff.” All the girls chuckled.
“But girls. It's no joke. It's no trick. It actually happened, and we have record of it as a historical fact.”
Without waiting for any wise cracks from the girls, Hope slid her special recipe book closer to the girls so they could see the words; the recipe with no ingredients, for themselves. Hope told the girls the next word after the Bible's beginning phrase “In the beginning God...” is the word “created”. The actual word is “bara”. “Now girls, the word “bara” means “to build starting with nothing.”
With good eye contact, Hope told the teens, “Right here it teaches us that God built all that is, starting with nothing but Himself. That's what makes Him God. God made all the universe by His own power, for us to live in and learn about Him.
“Now here's why I'm telling you this,” Gram said as she lightly touched two of the cell phones. “God made us to be social beings. He wants us to help each other, learn from each other and help keep each other safe. Now the sad thing about all the communication we do with technology is that we don't take time to thank Him for all that we have. Just like a parent, He wants us to tell Him often we thank Him for our life, and all His provisions for us. And it makes it super exciting that we can talk to Him by just bowing our heads in prayer."
As the little Shoo-Fly Mission station closed in prayer for this week, Hope prayed the Good News of Salvation to the girls. What a way to put God first in the rest of your life.