The Cookie Jar (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Do you have a cookie jar in your kitchen?

Cookie jars were first used in England toward the end of the 18th century — only they were called biscuit barrels. These containers were usually simple glass jars with metal lids. However, tea biscuits were frequently sold in metal containers and these “biscuit tins” were often saved and reused.

For some reason, cookie jars started becoming popular in the United States during the Great Depression (1929). (Perhaps people were feeling these common household containers were a safer place to stash their hard-earned nickels and dimes!) Around this time, cylindrical-shaped stoneware cookie jars, many of which were decorated with a floral pattern, began to replace the simpler, plain glass jars.

Vintage biscuit tin.

A few years later, the Brush Pottery Company of Ohio produced the first cookie jars made of ceramic, a material which allowed the containers to be molded into a variety of shapes, such as fruits, vegetables, animals or comical figures. Suddenly people were collecting cookie jars, and several companies decided to encourage the craze by offering a seemingly endless array of designs — ushering in a “golden age” of American Cookie jar production, from 1940 until the early 1970s.

We have a beautiful “birdhouse” cookie jar on our kitchen counter — because we LOVE birds! — and we store our Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies inside it. We buy these delicious cookies to keep on hand in case any guests drop by unexpectedly; we want to always have a treat to serve to them with their coffee. So we don’t usually pilfer the cookie jar. In fact, we keep the bag of Milano cookies sealed until we need them. (We only eat them ourselves if they’re close to going out of date, after we’ve replaced them with a fresh pack.) We’re good like that!

Wish we could say the same were true for us when we were kids! Both of us were frequently “caught with our hand in the cookie jar”! Wilma’s mom had a Mother Goose cookie jar. Tom’s mother had a teddy bear cookie jar. Both jars were kept well stocked. Both jars were an endless source of red-faced shame: there’s something embarrassing about being caught standing tippy-toed on a kitchen chair with one hand fishing around inside the “brain” of a brown ceramic bear! BUSTED!

The phrase “caught with your hand in the cookie jar” means: to be discovered taking something you’re not entitled to. When it comes to cookies, there may be several reasons we’re not entitled to a cookie: we’re saving the cookies for guests; we’re dieting and don’t need a cookie; we’ve already had our fair share of cookies; it’s close to dinner and we’ll spoil our appetites! Phooey! When you’re a kid, none of this seems fair. We just want a cookie!

“Hand in the cookie jar” has another, informal meaning: to take advantage of one’s unique position by accepting favors. For instance, “That politician has his hand in the cookie jar!”

As believers, we have a unique position in Jesus Christ: we are the sons and daughters of God — His children — and we’re also the Lord’s ambassadors here on earth. And know what? In His “celestial kitchen,” our Heavenly Father has His own “cookie jar”! It’s shaped like a “lamb without spot or wrinkle,” and it’s called God’s abundant life and blessings. He keeps it well stocked, and we never have to fear being caught with our hand in the cookie jar, because His blessings are there especially for us — not just for special guests! Anyone can reach in and grab an “abundant life biscuit” or indulge in a “double stuff” blessing.

Our Heavenly Father is always generous with His cookie jar, and He wants us to help ourselves to as many cookies as we want. “[God] withholds no good thing from those who have integrity.” (Psalm 84:11 NET Bible) His supply of blessings never runs out, and besides, He trusts us to share whatever we receive — instead of acting like the Cookie Monster! “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits.” (Psalm 68:19 KJ 2000)

Cookies whenever we want one? Hey, our Heavenly Father is not just an “eat your vegetables” God. He wants us to enjoy our days, so He always keeps the cookie jar in easy reach, 24/7 — 365 days a year. So have ANOTHER cookie!

Jesus said, “…If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:11 NLT)

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Keep Pursuing Your Dreams in 2019

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HAPPY  NEW  YEAR!HELLO, 2019!!

U.S. President and “Rough Rider” Teddy Roosevelt once stated, “There is no effort without error or shortcoming”!  This is one of the great, unchangeable facts of Life. Furthermore, if you’re making mistakes — if you frequently stumble and fall — then you’re probably on the right track, trying new things, aiming for higher goals. Failure is no fun, but it’s usually the first step to achieving something worthwhile. We know this truth. Deep down, YOU also probably know this. And God certainly knows it! Which is why He encourages us to keep on trying, to keep on fighting the good fight of faith. When we fail, He admonishes us to get up.

Charge at San Juan Hill: It was an uphill battle–literally–but they made it!

Elvis Presley was fired from the Grand Ole Opry in 1954, after giving one performance. The house manager told Elvis, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

Before he succeeded, Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, failed and went broke five times! And R. H. Macy failed seven times before his New York City department store caught on.

Not bad for a truck driver. “Thank you! Thank you very much!”

Fred Smith turned in a college paper about his concept for a reliable overnight delivery service. His Yale professor gave the paper a “C” and told him, “…Your concept is interesting and well formed, but … your ideas also have to be feasible.” Smith went on to found Federal Express.

Throughout his life Thomas Alva Edison, “the Wizard of Menlo Park,” was a glorious “failure”! As a child, his teachers sent him home one day, stating the boy is “too stupid to learn anything.” As a young adult, Edison seemed to be proving his teachers right. He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” Can this possibly be the same tireless American inventor who held 1,093 U.S. patents in his name? Yes. What set Edison apart was his determination. He refused to quit, and he viewed every failure as taking a step closer to succeeding. Which is why Edison continued to “fail”!

Although Edison did NOT invent the light bulb, he did invent a way to make the idea feasible. The bulbs of previous inventors were bulky, expensive, and consumed too much power. Edison wanted to produce an economical, more energy efficient bulb using low-cost materials. He tried a thousand different material combinations, which all failed, before finding the right one. When a reporter asked him, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Failure is the foundation upon which we build success. Nehemiah 13:2 is one of several scriptures that demonstrate how God is able to turn every curse into a blessing. Also, “…God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)

We crawl before we walk. We walk before we run. We learn by doing, and we learn our best lessons from our mistakes. Yes, we’d always prefer to get it right the first time, but our failures are NOT the end of the line, they are stepping stones on the path to success — unless we stop trying. Please don’t. Edison once stated, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

And if you don’t occasionally fail, then you’re probably not continuing to raise the bar on what you can accomplish. So keep on slugging. “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life….” (Timothy 6:12 NASB)

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