Essential reporting in volatile times.

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“If you hear our smoke alarm, everything is fine.” I texted our neighbor after it went off the fourth time, lest he come over with a water hose and/or the fire department. He sent back a thumbs-up emoji.

My beloved and I fanned the sensors, opened the windows and even brought in a box fan. Still, smoke hung in the air.

I make biscuits. And my family loves them. Whenever my kids are in, they can always count on buttery homemade bundles of goodness. Last Saturday morning, I set to work early, cutting the butter into the flour, then adding the buttermilk. I patted out the biscuits into round shapes and placed them on the cookie sheet. They looked the same, but something seemed different. I tasted a pinch of the batter. They tasted different, too, like something was missing. Still, I put them in to bake at 450 degrees, as usual.

A few minutes later, I peeked in at the biscuits. They were still the same size as when they had gone into the heat. Something was wrong. Suddenly, smoke began billowing out of the oven! I turned on the exhaust fan and opened the window. And then the smoke alarm went off — the first time.

What the thunder was going on? I made the biscuits the same way I always did. I used the same type of butter, the same pastry blender and buttermilk. However, someone trying to help had put all-purpose flour into the self-rising flour bin. Salt and baking powder were what was missing! The butter in the dough had melted and dripped onto the bottom of the oven. Hence, the smoke.

Salt and baking powder are necessary for biscuits to rise to all that they are meant to be. Reading God’s Word and spending time in prayer are necessary for followers of Christ to rise to all they are meant to be. If we neglect daily reading of Scripture and being in contact with our Heavenly Father, we may look the same, but eventually — when the heat is on — it will become clear that something is missing. Alarms will sound in our hearts (the Holy Spirit at work!), alerting us that there’s a problem.

Psalm 119:147 shares a wonderful recipe for good day: “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in Your Word.”

After the smoke cleared on Saturday, my family decided to have toast.

Dawn Reed writes a weekly column for HD Media. She can be contacted at preacherswife7@yahoo.com.