Granny’s Cookies

Granny’s Cookies

God’s oven changes us into something different—and better!

Mother-in-law yarns are legendary. Every joker seems to know at least one. My observation, though, is that ninety-nine out of one hundred mothers-in-law are jewels. It’s just that the hundredth one breathes fire and she ruins the reputation of the other nine-nine.

I always had the feeling that mine liked me. When Phyllis and I first got married my new wife would call her mom to say that we were coming to see them. My mother-in-law would ask what I wanted to eat when we arrived.

It irritated my wife just bit. “She used to ask me what I wanted to eat when I got home,” she griped.

Of course I knew why the change occurred. “Your mama knows you got a good deal when you got me and she wants to help you keep it,” I observed humbly.

My mother-in-law had a jillion grandkids. (Her children were very prolific). If you asked the grandkids today what they remember about Granny Mac they’d probably all have at least one answer in common: teacakes!

She could probably have been the champion teacake-maker of Louisiana. The grandkids (and sons-in-law) loved these cookies.

The problem was that the little ones wanted to eat the dough before she put them in the oven. A good percentage of the teacakes was nibbled away before they ever had the chance to be baked.

To each his own, I guess. I always like the finished product. You put something good in the oven and something even better comes out. You’ve heard me laud the glories of oatmeal cookies here, but when those teacakes made their appearance I have to admit that they were almost as good.

Mysterious Change

It’s always a thing of mystery to me. You put dough into the oven and the heat changes it. Something else comes out.

It’s like that with us and God. Paul wrote, ”  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18, NKJV)

If the apostle had had my mother-in-law he might have written “We all like cookie dough are shoved into the oven and changed.”

God’s presence and glory changes us, just like that oven changes dough into cookies.

The Magic Formula

How does this happen?

By bringing the heat of his presence and his glory to bear on our lives. Often we try to change ourselves by our commitment. We work and work and work. We attend every church service and even forget sometimes and show up when it’s a holiday. We brag about how worn-out our Bibles are.

We make ourselves pray.

Yet, yet … often something seems missing. The Bible doesn’t say, “The strength of your commitment is your joy.” It says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” I really believe a lot of Christians miss out on Jesus’ joy because they’re committed but they’re not concerned about His presence.

“…this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10, NKJV)

And where do you find the oven of His joy? “In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Ps. 16:11 NKJV)

Yes, there is pleasure in doing God’s will, but if we’re not careful there is also pride. You want His joy? Press in to His presence!


2 Cor. 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (NIV)

Rip off that veil of doubt and thinking you can make yourself worthy by what you do. Look at Jesus; open your mouth in wonder as you see His glory and “boom!”, the oven does its work.

Each day you’re changed to be more like the One you’re looking at. That’s a truth in life—you become like the one you’re looking at or the thing you looking at constantly.

So the more we look into this mirror, the more we’re changed. The longer we’re in the oven the more “cookie-ish” we become.

I’ve got to admit that there are some people who pray every day, read God’s Word, get together regularly with other believers and still don’t change. They’re just as ornery as those who don’t profess to know the Lord. Is the oven broken?

Something Missing

Nope, the problem is the dough. They’ve forgotten two essential ingredients–a hungry heart and faith. A rock gets hotter in the oven but it doesn’t change much. We want to change. We want to be like Jesus. We long to be with Him. And the more we’re with Him, the more we want to be with Him.

“ For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Hebrews 4:2, NKJV)

My mother in law has been with the Lord for thirty years now. If she was here, I’m sure her teacakes would really add some class to a steaming cup of coffee.

But, even more than cookies, I want to put the “dough” of my life into the oven of the Spirit, of His presence, so I can know Him more and more and He can change me to be more and more like His Son Jesus.

Hmmm …

 Gratitude is a conviction, a practice, and a discipline. It’s an essential nutrient, a kind of spiritual amino acid for human growth, creativity, and joy. Gratitude involves channeling you energy and attention toward what is present and working rather than toward what’s absent and ineffective. (Tommy Newberry in “40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life”)

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