Tag Archives: Taste and see that the lord is good

Pay more attention so you don’t drift away


We watched a foreign film the other night. As such films often are, it was filled with dynamic drama and the pursuit of living life with passion. The message was, “Wake up. Feel what it’s like to be fully alive.” It’s a tantalizing theme, right? I mean, who wants to go through life asleep to all it offers? But in the movie, as in so many messages that bombard us, the end justified the means. “I want to be happy and free whatever it takes, however it comes, and wherever it leads me.” The problem is, the pursuit of happiness as the end all of life and at whatever costs, often leads us to a very unhappy and empty place.


That was Paul’s message in 2 Corinthians 11. We are easily led astray by many false “gospels,” messages that appeal to our senses but lead us away from truth and real happiness, the contented peace of life lived well. He reminds us that we are easily led astray; “You put up with it easily enough. In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you.”


“Satan masquerades as an angel of light…his servants as servants of righteousness.” It sounds kind of right. It feels kind of right. But if it leads us astray to a place that confuses our minds and enslaves us to punishing thoughts, and meaningless appetites, if at the end you’re left empty, it’s not right. And it’s not the happiness we sought. What messages have you been listening to that leave you like this?


How are we to know the truth so we don’t fall for the lie? We have to compare it to the original, never changing truth, the standard that never fails.


“We must pay more careful attention therefore to what we have heard, so that will do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1


The reason we’re told to meditate on God’s Word day and night, to memorize it and keep it close to us is so we will recognize the counterfeit messages that seek to masquerade as truth. . . So we will not drift away from it’s truth.


Don’t be led astray by the frivolities of life, the sweet empty calories that offer happiness but leaving us empty inside. Instead, feed on the satisfying Word of God. Chew on it and savor it’s truth and grace. Let if fill you with all its goodness. Feel it strengthen your body, soul, and mind. Let it be your daily diet that nurtures your life and let’s you live well. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Do this and you won’t be led astray by the “happy meals” that promise enjoyment but leave you empty and wanting more.


Let’s pay more careful attention to what we listen to so we can stay the course and not drift away.


You can lead a horse to water…


Maybe you saw the cute YouTube video of the horse that was hesitant to walk into the water. After a few unsuccessful tries to encourage the horse, the rider dismounted and gently and patiently led the horse slowly to the water’s edge. The horse put first one foot, then another into the water. Then it stomped its foot making big splashes. Seeming to enjoy this, the horse walked completely into the water, and delighted in making many more splashes!


A cousin of mine says she has experienced the same thing with her horses. She shares that horses are not so much afraid of water but hesitant because they don’t understand it. Once they get in the water, they will enjoy it so much they will lie down and roll, saddle and all, if you aren’t careful!


I’ve known a number of people who are hesitant to go into the water. I was too. When I was in college I took a class in Beginning Swimming. Then another in Intermediate, then Advanced, and finally a course in Life Saving. The more time I spent in the water, the more understanding I gained and the less hesitancy I had.


The saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” It seems to me that once the horse realizes how thirsty they are and the more gentle introduction they have, they become more interested in discovering how refreshing the water can be.


Think about people who are hesitant to come to the living water God offers. Our job is not to make people drink. But I think our job is to help them realize how thirsty they are and to provide them with the opportunity to experience the excitement that the living water of Jesus brings.


Does God quench your thirst in a most satisfied way?  When others see that your thirst is quenched by all God brings to your life,  they become more aware of their own thirst. Yes, coming to the water to drink is urgent. But we need to be gentle and patient as we help those around us overcome their hesitancy to enter the water.


The horse comes to the water because he trusts the trainer. What happens when others see that God is enough for us, as long as we have our football? God – and sports – is enough. God is enough as long as I can pay my bills. God – and my bike/car/(fill in the blank) – are enough.


Enjoy life. But make sure your own growing relationship with your Heavenly Father consumes your desires and quench your own thirst.  Over time others may come to understand the value of thirsting for the gospel hope that is evident in your own life.


Taste and see that the Lord is great. – Psalm 34:8



Nutrition for your soul


The bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions.


The prophet Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to find that the house of God, the holy place of worship, had not been properly cared for. With great zeal he asked the people, “Why is the house of God neglected?” (Nehemiah 13:11)


In old testament times, the people regarded their place of worship as the residence of God and were to treat it with great reverence. But Jesus changed things when He gave us His Spirit to live in us. I no longer live but Christ lives in me; Christ in me the hope of glory (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27). Now we are the temples of God, not the brick and mortar buildings, if His Spirit lives in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). Doesn’t it follow that we should take care of that temple? The physical body, yes, but as important, our soul and spirit?


I like cake, especially our traditional family chocolate birthday cake. It is as rich as it is tasty, so we save it for special occasions. But bread (regular or gluten-free) is more of a staple for the every day diet. Just as food is nutrition to the body, so is the Word of God nutrition to our soul.


Is the Word a mainstay of your daily diet? A sure way to stave off spiritual weakness is to make sure it is! And as for me, I like to eat at least three times each day. Don’t you think our spiritual beings need as much nutrition?


“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8



Chew well, swallow, and take a new bite

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On being overconcerned about the past of others and of our own.

5 June 1961

We must beware of the Past, mustn’t we? I mean that any fixing of the mind on old evils beyond what is absolutely necessary for repenting our own sins and forgiving those of others is certainly useless and usually bad for us. Notice in Dante that the lost souls are entirely concerned with their past. Not so the saved. This is one of the dangers of being, like you and me, old. There’s so much past, now, isn’t there? And so little else. But we must try very hard not to keep on endlessly chewing the cud. We must look forward more eagerly to sloughing that old skin off forever—metaphors getting a bit mixed here, but you know what I mean.
(From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III)

I like phrase Lewis uses: “But we must try very hard not to keep on endlessly chewing the cud.” Our moms taught us to “chew well” but after so much chewing it is time to swallow and taste something new. So it is with dwelling on the past. Lewis is not saying to forget everything that is past. He IS saying to let go of past sins and regrets. Once confessed, it is needless and reckless to continue dwelling on them. I think he is also saying to stop dwelling on the past…even the “good ole days.” Why? Because there is more life to live today.

I think with severe illnesses there is a tendency to “chew the cud” a bit on old memories but even when you think the end is more near than far away, there should be a strong pull to face forward in our thoughts, to live today well with anticipation of a bright tomorrow, and to contribute toward the well-being of others when possible.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

Do these steroids make me look fat?

The new meds have completely reversed my lack of appetite and removed my Failure To Thrive diagnosis caused by the GVHD. And I’m glad to have gained back ten pounds already, with only another 10-15 needed to return to my ideal weight. Additionally, this past week I set a new post-transplant endurance record by hiking a mountain nature trail in La Crosse over two miles and up an elevation climb of 640 feet! (Followed by a nap!) And another mile hike up and down 190 steps at Iowa’s Pike’s Peak State Park. (Thanks God!)

But I’m not referencing the weight gain or endurance with the ‘fat’ comment. I’m talking about being responsive to God’s call on our life and about discovering his very best for us when we walk through difficult paths. In this case, “FAT” means being:

In order to prosper from God’s protection and provision for us we need to be faithful to live within the agreement of his love covenant with us. We can’t maintain faith in two masters and expect to receive blessing from both.

In order to experience his plan for us, we need to be available. Imagine saying to someone you love, “I will always be there for you,” but never making yourself available to them. Your words convey one thing and your actions another. We are known by our actions.

In order to gain understanding and wisdom, and to grow in his plan, we need to be teachable. We cannot say, “Teach me your ways,” and then refuse to listen or obey the master’s counsel.

With regard to our physical body, let’s be good stewards and be lean. With regard to our spiritual being, let’s be FAT: faithful, available, and teachable. Being “FAT” is essential to loving God, growing in his truth and grace, and serving others. Eat fully of the Lord’s provision.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8