Taste and See

Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

I love coffee.

I like to think that I am a coffee connoisseur. I am an equal opportunity coffee drinker. Folgers, Starbucks, McDonald’s, BK, Dunkin Donuts etc.

Coffee goes great with a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. Some people like Krispy Kreme and some people like Dunkin Donuts. Cinnabon is what does it for me. When you bite into a Cinnabon cinnamon roll; you are instantly transported to Heaven. (I believe God has Cinnabon on demand) Anyway, when you bite into the soft doughy roll and your taste buds are hit with that butter, sugar, and cinnamon flavor; at that moment you think there is nothing that could possibly taste better than this.

But Wait!!!

Then the sugary glaze on top of the cinnamon roll hits you. Then you think, yep, this is the best thing I ever ate. It is so good in fact that you cannot possibly hold that to yourself. You must share it with the world. You tell everybody you know about the awesome deliciousness of your Cinnabon experience. Then if that wasn’t enough; you have to ┬áblog it, tweet it, and post it on Facebook. You want the whole world to know about the angelic food that is the Cinnabon cinnamon roll.

Why do we not feel the same way about our relationship with God?  Maybe its because we have not really tasted God. I mean, there are plenty of times that you get a free sample. You go to a conference or a revival and the Holy Spirit pours into the building and people are getting saved, some get emotional and you have a sampling of what God is like. But you are not going to go share with the world about your free sample. God is not the god that is ready to chunk lightening bolts at you when you screw up. God is not your grandpa. God is not the ATM machine. God is not a magic genie.

One will never truly taste God if the only reason they go to God is for what they can get from God. There is nothing wrong with God to act on your behalf but if that is all you ever do; if that is the only reason you go to Him is for what He can do for you, then you have missed out on opportunities to really get to taste God. This can change. Seek God for who He is. Seek God’s face; not just His hand. Honor Him, glorify Him, praise Him, exalt Him, just go to Him to get to know Him better.

Remember, it’s not about you.

God did not create us so that He could do our will. God created us so that we would worship Him and bring glory to His name. When you go to God and you bask in His presence and your purpose is just to dive a little deeper into relationship with Him, that is an experience you will want to share. God desires to have a relationship with us. Pray that God would change our desires to want to seek Him more for who He is and less for what He can do for us. As the saying goes….God is good; all the time and all the time; God is good. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

When God Writes Your Story

Pic from Flickr by Hash Milhan

Pic from Flickr by Hash Milhan

Have you ever found yourself reading a book and you were so captivated by it that you could not put it down? Have there been times when you picked up a book started reading it and wanted to know why anybody would publish such trash? It’s about the story.

There are mediocre books, good books, and awesome books. Awesome books are the ones you want to add to your library and read them over and over again. You highlight sentences and paragraphs, you bookmark favorite passages, you recommend it to others. Why? Because you love the book.
Your life is a story.
Like books, your story can be either a mediocre one or a really amazing one. What determines the difference? Well, it has a lot to do with who the author is.
If you write your story, you are the main character. It is all about you. You write about your likes, passions, dreams, desires, dislikes, struggles, and you avoid talking about the things that you really do not like about yourself. If you are the author, you do not intentionally lie but you do not reveal the whole truth. There are aspects to the main character that you would rather remain hidden. Let’s face it. Your story apart from Jesus, is not really that great. It is lackluster, mediocre, clearance shelf material at best. There are already too many stories that are written where the main character is prideful, selfish, self-indulgent, lazy, complacent, stagnant….you get the idea.
We don’t need another author who is drunk on themselves and wallows in their drunkenness.
What you need is to not write the story yourself but let somebody else write your story.
It is no secret that God wrote a book. God is the author of the Bible. The Creator of the universe, time, and history wrote the Bible.
When God writes your story, the story is not about you. You are not the main character. Jesus is. Your story is just part of a far bigger and better story.
When God writes your story, it is not about your likes, it is not about your passions, dreams, desires etc. It becomes about you were redeemed by Jesus and He is changing you to conform to His image and in this journey, you are not who you used to be. You have been made new. You are becoming who Jesus made you to be.
Your story will be a greater if you take a step back. Put the pen down and just walk away. Let God write your story. There will be times of joy and sadness. There will be times of celebration and discipline. There will be times of rejoicing at an accomplished goal and there will be times of uncertainty and suspense. It becomes everything a good story is supposed to be.
When God writes your story, the story will be far greater than you could ever possibly imagine.

On A Day Like Today

Today is a good day.

Today began like most normal days. Being woke up by the dogs begging to be let out. After that, who can go back to sleep? I walk in the kitchen and make a pot of coffee. As it brews, the aroma fills the kitchen. I fill my cup and take that first hot sip of java goodness and begin to wake up out of my drowsy stupor.
I sit down at my laptop and begin to read through the blogs in my Google Reader. Now I am ready to write. I open Evernote and place my fingers on the keyboard and I am stopped. I hear the sound of little toddler feet coming through the living room.
I look down and there is my little boy, a little bit drowsy, hair looks like he just walked out of a Dragon Ball Z cartoon, and the biggest smile that he can give.
I pick him up and give him a hug and for the next few minutes, I just hold him and bounce him on my knee or tickle him. At that moment, my perspective is changed.
Why was I in such a hurry? I was rushing to write. I wanted to get that post scheduled and sent out to the world. Why? So, I could feel like I accomplished something today? It is really not that important.
At that moment, I looked into my little boy’s eyes and knew that it is more important to spend time with him than getting a blog post out before 8:00 am. So, we eat breakfast and watch Thomas the Train or Bob the Builder. (This morning it just happened to be LeapFrog.)
A few weeks ago, I was scanning through pictures on Twitpic. It is hard to believe that my son is two years old. It seems like it was not that long ago when I was watching my wife hold him in the hospital wrapped in his blanket. I don’t want to be the dad that got so wrapped up in work or his own thing that I missed out on spending time with my wife and son. I want to have no regrets when it comes to my family.
This is what I have come to realize:
  • I have to be intentional. I need to plan/schedule time with my wife and child. While writing, sermon prep and church stuff is important, it is not as important as being a good husband and daddy.
  • I want to cultivate the relationship with my wife. I want my son to see that when he gets married, his wife should be his closest friend.
  • I want to make time for my little boy. Ultimately, I am responsible for teaching him how to be a godly man. Just because he is two does not mean that he cannot start learning now.
  • I do not want to wake up one day and realize that I wasted valuable time with my son. There is nothing apart from Jesus and my wife that is more important than my little boy.
I believe he is able to comprehend more than we sometimes give him credit for. As his dad, spiritual leader of the home, and pastor, I should start now pushing my boy to be like Jesus. Show him what it looks like when somebody lives their life unashamed and unapologetic for Jesus. Their passion and desire is to be used as an instrument to accomplish the work given them to the glory of God.
I want my little boy to fall head over heels in love with Jesus. I want him to be wrecked by the gospel. I want God to use him as a vessel to accomplish many things that will glorify God and make His name great.
This means that I may need to shift some priorities and learn to make better use of the hours in a given day. I love to read. I love to write more. However, time with my little boy is more important and besides….
there is always nap time.
What have you learned lately? Have you had to change priorities or make better use of your time? How did you do that?
Looking forward to reading your comments.