We are not usually home this close to Joel's birthday so he got surprised with a birthday cookie and presents. He did not see that one coming (his birthday is still a week and a half away) and it was a lot of fun. That's pretty close to a "first." Surprising family and friends with special displays of love is always a great idea, "first" or not.
I've been thinking about a "first" most of the day. When we were driving from Nanny and Paw Paw's house to Aunt Darla and Uncle Mike's, I surprised Hannah Grace by stopping at a place called "Story's." According to Hannah Grace, Story's has the best french fries in the entire civilized world as we know it today. They have a lot of good food. It is one of those places in La. that you might not think has great food but it does. It is a gas station, convenience store, and diner. While we were in there looking around, I saw a can of watermelon juice cocktail (next to the cokes). I've never drank a can of watermelon anything. Come to think of it, I never checked the ingredients of this can to see if there was actually any watermelon anything in this can. I drank a can of watermelon juice cocktail for my "first."
I knew Joel loved watermelons so he would be in on trying this one with me. I knew Laura would. Hannah Grace I was not sure about; she does not eat watermelons but she does drink juice. I was glad when she decided to try this one with us. The taste was not exactly watermelony (watermelonie?). It was pretty good. I think I would tire of the taste before drinking this entire can. Hannah Grace liked it as well which is a pretty big endorsement. Laura said it was OK. Her sensitive palate detected too much corn syrup and not enough watermelon juice; she said it tasted a bit fake. Joel loved it. He drank the rest of the can after Hannah Grace, Laura, and I tried it.
A real watermelon would be much better. Laura is probably right; the taste was not really like watermelon. You could tell this was not real watermelon juice. That is fine when you are drinking something that says juice cocktail. You expect something of a mixture of juices. That is not fine when it comes to a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. You do not want any fake stuff there. Our relationship with Jesus is way too important to be fake.
We need to be real with the truth about Jesus. It is dangerous to simply accept whatever religious talk and opinions you might pick up in this culture. The best place to get the unadulterated truth is the Bible. There is no other book like that book. Truth does not appear anywhere like it appears in the Bible. We can trust that Word above every other word. Make sure that you are not relying simply on what others say about God or what others say about the Bible. Read the truth for yourself. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
We need to be real about ourselves with God. There is not sense in pretending we have not sinned when we have. There is no sense in pretending to pray spiritual prayers when our hearts are not really true before God. For two people to have a genuine relationship, we must be genuine with each other. It appears to me that Jesus was very hard on people who talked about God but had a heart that was fake. Jesus said in Matthew 15: 7-9, "You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules." Let's be very honest and real in our relationship with God.
Now, I think it's about the time of year to go hunt for a real watermelon...
Tasting the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Meaningful times with family
2. Jase Robertson's book, "Good Call"
3. A God we can be honest with