God is not like a box of chocolates. He’s better!

pastorrich

My husband was invited to preach at a Polish church in Poznan a few years back (well, he’s preached at multiple churches, but I am going to use this illustration today).

He is such a stinker sometimes, too.

You know, if you meet him in real life, you don’t know if he’s funny or serious.  And you don’t know whether you should laugh or be afraid. And his deadpan face is not giving you any indication which emotion you should feel.

So when he got up in front of this congregation, he broke out a box of chocolates. You need to understand that when he preaches in Poland, he has a translator.  

Therefore, he is standing up there with the pastor of the church who is acting as the translator for him. And when Richard broke out a box of chocolates, he began to eat them.  In front of the pastor.  In front of the congregation.  In front of God 😉

Anyhow, he began to eat them and he did not share.  And he kept telling all of us how good the chocolates were. Then he began his sermon.

It went something like this, Do you know these chocolates?  Are they good?  How do you know? Have you tried them? Or are you believing they are good based upon how much I am enjoying them? Let me tell you.  Let me guarantee it.  This box of chocolates is GOOD!  

At which point I believe he even began to smack his lips and lick his fingers.

Friends, God is like this box of chocolates.  Good! But the thing is, you will never know unless you try.   Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Psalm 34:8 (NLT)

And, of course, he continued with his sermon. (And, yes, the chocolates got shared with great enthusiasm later)

But the thing is, we all probably remember a different famous quote that has to do with chocolate from Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates; You never know what you’re going to get.”

My friends, God is not like Forrest Gump’s chocolates because with God you do know what you are going to get.

You are going to get peace in times of trouble.

Strength in the times of weary.

Courage in the times of timidity.

And understanding in times of confusion.

How do you get these things?

Today I read from The Message in chapter 8 about the Roman captain that came before Jesus for the healing of one of his workers.  Jesus said that he would go with the captain to his worker.  But the captain said (paraphrasing), “Just tell me you’ll heal him.  If you do, I know it will happen.” Jesus said (paraphrasing) “I have never seen such simple trust!” And, with that simple trust, the man’s worker was healed.

Friends, I encourage you today.  Simply trust in the fact that God is good. Even better than a box of chocolates!

Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Psalm 34:8 (NLT)

I don’t remember what I ate for breakfast. That’s okay.

My husband has been preaching for many years, and I remember nearly every sermon he shares. Perhaps because I am partial to his thoughts. Perhaps because I know his heart.

He shares in a matter-of-fact way.  He takes the Word of God and asks us to look at what it says.  He doesn’t embellish or dramatize it.  He keeps it at face value.

Once he asked one of our favorite friends what he preached earlier that week.  It was so fun to watch them squirm and move uncomfortably in their seats.  Until they finally squeaked out the answer.

It was such a fun “put you on the spot moment” that we (the 4 of us) still laugh about today.

But the thing is, Richard preached once about breakfast. And this is how it went…

Do you remember what you ate for breakfast this morning?  Yesterday?  A week ago?  A month ago?  A year ago?

For some of the answers, you may clearly be able to say, “Yes.  I remember what I had for breakfast today and yesterday.  A week ago?  A month ago?  A  year ago?  Nope.  No way!”

And Richard proceeded…Even if you don’t remember what you ate for breakfast a month or a year ago does not mean that WHAT you ate did not nourish you.

It nourished your body so that you had fuel to keep going.

The Word of God is like that.

Just because you don’t remember what it was you heard this morning, what it was your read yesterday, or even a month ago, does not mean that the Word of God is not at work nourishing and feeding your soul, acting as the fuel we need to keep going strong.

I try and begin each and every day in God’s Word.  By the end of breakfast, however, I have a hard time remembering my name much less what I read earlier that morn.  But I always recall what my husband said, “Just because I don’t recall what it was I read, does not mean that it did not act as a refreshing spring for my soul.”

Thankfully, I love to take notes while I read.  And, therefore, when I want to go back, I can look and see what spoke to my heart.

Today it was from the Message, and here is the passage:

passage from today

Friends, I pray that each day as you devour your breakfast you remember that while breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so is starting the day off with the Word of God.

And while we may neither remember what we ate nor what we read, we go into the day knowing we started it off right, “…with foundational words to build our lives upon!” (The Message Chapter 7)

Amen.

And may this not only apply to our lives today, since it’s Sunday…

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pic. via Joy of Mom on Facebook

While Maxwell is content in his bed playing over and over and over his musical book (Away in the Manger…Yes, we’re festive all year here), I saw this while scrolling through Facebook.

I think this is where many of us go wrong—we have way too loud of lips.

BUT—I think it is where many of us, if we could just shut those lips up, could also go very right.

So, dear friends, may our lives preach more loudly than our lips today.  Every day.  Always.

Blessings on a beautiful Sunday for you.

And tune in tomorrow for a piece of Richard…Well, his mind and thoughts, that is.

(You can’t have a piece of him.  He’s all mine.  Yea!)