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Cake on Your Plate

Good morning. It is Tuesday, January 11, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.

I must confess, I enjoy watching The Great British Baking Show. I guess you could say I live vicariously through the bakers who appear on the show. I enjoy cooking, but nothing I do comes even close to the creations that come out of that tent.

It is hosted by Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith and a couple of sidekicks. The season always begins with 12 bakers and each week one is voted off until 10 weeks later there are the final 3 and then the winner.

There are a few things that are quite striking to me. First, when some baked goodie is extraordinary, the baker might get a handshake from Paul. Paul does not do this often; in fact, he is rather stingy with his handshakes. But when he offers a handshake, the contestants practically lose their minds. Some get tears in their eyes; some can hardly catch their breath. It is as if they had been handed a million dollars. His handshakes are prized.

The second thing, it is amazing how many people end up in tears, over a cake or a loaf of bread. Their disappointment and frustration are so evident, and they cannot contain their tears.

Thirdly, it is not easy to get cast. It is a huge process with more than 16,000 people applying to be a contestant. A researcher sets up a 45-minute phone call and from there 300-400 people make it to the first round of auditions. They must bring two bakes, do a screen test and an interview with a producer. If they get through all of that, casting invites 50-60 people for a second interview and in the end 12 are chosen.

Next, the contestants are put up in a hotel during the weekend and return home during the week, just to repeat it the following weekend. Filming lasts between 10 and 12 weeks. And, according to one contestant, filming can take upwards of 16 hours a day. Contestants are up at 5am and in the tent by 7am; on a good day they are done filming at 8pm. And then all of that is repeated the next day. It is not easy!

Contestants are warned that it will become quite expensive, as all the practicing and buying of ingredients done at home is done at their own expense. Transportation to the show from home and home again are all done at the expense of the contestant. One contestant said it “totally dominates your life.” Another said “It’s a lot more intense than I imagined. (Source:

Lastly, after weeks of competition and elimination, what do you think the winner receives? $5,000? $10,000? More? Nope. They receive a bouquet of flowers and a glass cake stand, engraved with the show’s logo. That’s it. They have spent an enormous amount of money, time away from family and frustration to walk away with a cake platter. It seems silly, and yet, thousands apply for the show every year, year after year, since August of 2010.

I cannot help but wonder what this world would look like if people put their time, energy, and resources toward spreading the gospel of Jesus, like those do who want to be on The Great British Baking Show.

What if people applied by the 10’s of thousands every year? What if those people were so committed, they would gladly spend their own money, time away from family, enduring frustration, and tears just to tell others about Jesus? What if people would sacrifice everything, knowing there was no monetary reward at the end? What if we valued God’s approval as much as those contestants valued Paul’s handshake?

Whose approval do we want? Who do we want to impress? I hope your answer is our Heavenly Father.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 ESV

“But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4 NKJV

God should be our priority, our only priority. We should have no interest in seeking the approval of another human being. We should not value the handshake of a man, more than we value our Lord Jesus Christ.

“I’m not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. I know that love, especially God’s love, is not on your working agenda. I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me…How do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for position with each other, ranking your rivals and ignoring God?” John 5:41-44 The Message

People work so hard to earn that earthly handshake and yet, it does nothing for their salvation. It doesn’t even help their pocketbooks. It does nothing except stroke their ego, for a moment in time. Seek God instead.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 NKJV

What is the one thing we should yearn for more than any other thing? Our inheritance.

I want my inheritance! I want the inheritance that cannot be stolen by a brother. I want the inheritance that cannot be sold to a neighbor. I want that room that Jesus has prepared for me in His Father’s house, our Father’s house.

Our inheritance is beautiful beyond our imagination and the beauty of it is this; ours does not diminish when it is shared with someone else. In other words, there is enough to go around. How wonderful it will be when we get to heaven and meet someone that may not have been there except though our sharing of the gospel with him or her. It can be as simple as telling someone “Jesus loves you. He wants you to live with Him for eternity. Can I tell you more about my Jesus?”

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV

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