Friday, August 1, 2014

Day 213- A German First

I went to Dothan today.  I've noticed when I've traveled to Dothan that there is a German bakery on the way there. I've thought about going in to see what is in a German bakery but I never have.  Well, this is the year of "firsts" so today I went in to a German bakery and bought some German baked goods for my "first."

I really was not sure what to expect.  What I found out was that I went at the worst time of the week. The bakery is open Tuesday - Friday and so they try to sell out by 4:00 on Friday afternoon which is when they close. I arrived at 3:30 on Friday afternoon. Ooops.

So, the selection was not as big as it would have been on other days, but it was plenty for me.  I bought some German Rye bread.  It was a complicated formula I used to decided between that and the other kinds of bread.  The lady was showing me the different kinds and said this was their best seller so I said I want one of those.  My view is to buy what people are best at or at least are well known for.  Don't buy shrimp at a fried chicken place.  That is what caused me to arrive at this conviction.

I also bought some pasty kinds of things.  They had an apple cake kind of thing (I hope these German terms are not too complicated), a lemon/apple cake thing, and some doughnut kind of things filled with strawberry or chocolate. I was hoping for some baklava but it was sold out. That's a good reason to stop by again some time.

We had some of this for supper.  We ate some of the bread with our meal and then a few bites of the pastries.  I'm no expert on rye bread, but it was pretty good; definitely different.  Laura said the pastries were better than she thought. We've learned that American pastries are typically sweeter than the pastries from the other countries we have visited and so we had that in mind. They were not as sweet as a Krispy Kreme doughnut, but they were definitely worth trying.  They will be eaten at the Wilkinson household.

The thing that I took away from this "first" was the sweet (appropriate for a bakery) lady that helped me.  She asked me if this was my first time to shop there and I said it was. She then apologized that on my first time there it was Friday afternoon when the selection was not as big.  I know this is the end of her work week, but she took a lot of time to explain to me what they usually have to offer.  She was very patient with my questions. Her explanations of what each item was helped me to know what I wanted. She was extremely courteous and helpful.  I felt like I was being treated like a valued customer and that she really wanted me to come back.  In fact, her kindness made me want to go back and I probably will (got to try the baklava).

As she was helping me, I thought that this is the way new people who come to our church need to be treated. I could tell she really wanted me to come back. She tried hard to help me find things that I would enjoy even though she was probably tired (she sure didn't act like it, but it was Friday afternoon). It is true that we don't get a second chance to make a good first impression.  Every person that comes to our church (whatever church you go to if you go) is someone that Jesus loves deeply.  In fact, every person that comes to our/your church is someone that Jesus Christ died for.  If He died for them and He did, they are at least worth our time, attention, and love.  Occasionally someone will tell me that they visited a church somewhere and were hardly even spoken to or acknowledged.  That truly grieves my heart.  We are to go to the world with Jesus' love and message.  When someone new walks into one of our churches, they should be swarmed with love.  They should know that we love them and want them to come back. After all, as good as German baked goods are, they can' t compare with finding salvation in Jesus Christ which is what we are supposed to be offering.

The next time you are at church, look around for someone you don't know. Let them know that you are very glad they are there and want them to come back. Look for some way to show them the love of Jesus. Watch for God to open a door to tell them what Jesus has done for you. You might even think about someone new at your church and give them a call and let them know you are glad they came.  Don't be surprised if you get blessed in the process.

Now, where did that strawberry doughnut thing go....

Tasting the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. German baked goods
2. Different cultures
3. Jesus died for everyone

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