I used to love Cream Sodas when I was a kid. I have not had one in a long time. One of my rules for something to qualify as a "first" is that I have either never done this or have not done it in at least 15-20 years. We were visiting with family in La. today. Uncle Mike had purchased some "old-timey" drinks for our supper tonight. He had some IBC Root Beers, Orange Crush, and things like that. I found an IBC Cream Soda. I remembered that I loved these when I was kid but did not get them very often. I wondered if I would still like them or if over time I had lost my taste for Cream Sodas. I am happy to report that I still love IBC Cream Sodas. Uncle Mike had grilled burgers and we had some fries and some of Uncle Mike's famous baked beans to with the burgers. Uncle Mike's baked beans are in a different food group from baked beans you buy in a can. The Cream Soda went really well with this kind of meal. Joel and Hannah Grace went for the Orange Crush. Hannah Grace tried my Cream Soda and said it was pretty good but she liked the Orange Crush better. I was glad because that kept me out of the quandary of "should I offer her to exchange drinks with her or not." Of course, if she wanted to you probably know what I would have done. If you do, you know better than me because I'm not really sure.
The old-timey drinks and visiting my family at home inclined my mind toward fond memories of growing up here in La. I remember when I was about 6 years old at Ryan Airport in Baton Rouge they had a deal called a penny a pound. What that meant was you could go to the airport and get a 15-20 minute airplane ride and it costs you what you weighed- a penny a pound. I remember it cost me about 60 cents. That's a pretty good deal for a plane ride. They flew us over our house and also over the Mississippi River. I think the plane sat about 4 people or so. As best as I can remember, my sister and I rode together. It was a lot of fun.
Great-grandson Camden wanted to help Nannie to the car
As I thought about this today, I am aware that we live in a time of fast change. So many things are changing so fast; technology, the way we communicate, entertainment, and travel just to name a few. Some of the changes are for the better, some are not, and some are just what you do with it. The changes in communication are not good or evil. They are morally neutral; it just depends on what you use it for. The way we do church has changed a lot in the last 50 years. Some of these change are for the better and some are not. I think that it is very healthy to think through our traditions and the way we have always done things and ask the question, "Is this the best way to glorify God?" If it is, then let's keep doing it that way. If not, let's change it for the better. We are to be constantly changing to be more like Jesus.
In a day of fast change and tossing out traditions, I am reminded that there are some things that we need to hang on to. It is real challenge to know what to hang on to and what to toss in our lives, families, and churches. We know that spending time together and developing deep friendships and strong families is something worth hanging on to. I have great memories of our family eating supper together when I was growing up. Yes, there were times when we were busy. There were times when my sister, my brother and I were all playing ball games at different ball parks. Eating supper together every night was not always possible, but it was an amazing number of days. Laughing together, sharing good memories, playing with the children, and expressing our love for each other is something that never goes out of style. The way we spend time together may not look like the Andy Griffith show, but we need to work hard to make that possible. Yes, times are changing, but in the words of Barney Fife, we don't' want to be "some kind of a nut."
Making time to spend with Jesus never goes out of style either. Lately, I've been looking at small group studies because I want to teach one this fall at Hopewell. What I've noticed over the past 10 years is that the amount of time small group studies are asking the participants to put into the study is continually dwindling. It used to be that most of the small group studies I looked it required the participants to have 5 daily study times a week that would take 30-45 minutes a day. That way, when the group came together everyone had spent time with God on the same subjects and had things to share that God had been teaching them that week. More and more, the studies are requiring less and less. Some ask for just a few minutes a day 5 days a week. Some ask for a few minutes three days a week. Many ask for no commitment to study during the week; rather you watch a video and discuss it. All of these formats are good and have much merit. My concern is that if we don't spend time with God we are not going to have a very deep and meaningful relationship with God.
So, as you look at your habits and changes, pray and ask God what to keep and what to toss. And, if you get a chance to drink a Cream Soda, I say go for it.
Tasting the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. IBC Cream Sodas
2. Grilled burgers by Uncle Mike
3. Camden helping Nannie to the car