Monday, December 8, 2014

Day 342- A Pickled First

Laura went to (guess where??) Wal-Mart tonight.  As I've thought about "firsts" this year, one that has been in the back of my mind are the pickled things at the convenience stores.  I see things like pickled pigs' feet, pickled pigs' ears, pickled eggs, etc.  I've never bought one of these items for 2 reasons.  One is I don't like the taste of vinegar. Two is they sound gross.

I asked Laura to stop by a convenience store on the way home and buy me one of these gross pickled things to eat for a "first" today. She did and they did not have any pigs' body parts pickled.  I ate a pickled egg for my "first" today.

I anticipated that I would not like this "first."  I was correct. It actually was not as bad as I imagined it would be.  The inside tasted pretty much like a boiled egg which I like OK.  The outside was pretty vinegary or pickley (I know those are not words, but that's how it tasted). I think I mentioned above that I don't like the taste of vinegar.  If you do, you might like a pickled egg.

A few years ago, I had a sore throat and struggled with my voice preaching one day. Several people offered me remedies that would help. The one that was probably the most helpful that I did not know about was to gargle with vinegar and water mixed together.  The lady told me it was a bad dose but that it would help.  She was right on both accounts. It is a bad dose, but it actually did help temporarily.  Laura has a consulting business and when she goes to teach a class (that typically lasts about 6-8 hours) she always brings a bottle of vinegar to help her get through the day with her voice.  She can go to the bathroom and gargle (and hopefully brush her teeth) and her voice will stay pretty strong throughout the day.

I had another lady that helped me that day I struggled with my voice.  She gave me a Snicker's bar.  She told me that it would not help my voice but it would taste better than any of the other remedies that were offered and help me feel better.  She was right on both accounts as well.  God bless her!!

 Laura trying to decide if she wants to try it

I'm pretty sure I don't

 As I thought about this "first," I thought about how we need balance in our lives.  There is a need for fun in our lives.  A Bible verse that I've really enjoyed thinking about lately is Ecclesiastes 9:9 (NIV) "Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days."  I love applying that verse.  I like enjoying life with my wife.  We have a blast together.

There is also the truth of Luke 9:23 which says, "Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."  That can seem kind of bitter at times.  Yet, it's good for me.  I will be glad I did it.  In a much more powerful way than when I gargled with vinegar and water and could preach stronger, I will be eternally glad when I deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Jesus.  He knows where to go.  He knows the best way to go. He knows the way that is most profitable for all concerned eternally.  Even if it seems bitter in the moment, the cross life is the best life eternally.

Tasting the bitter and sweet of the abundant life,

3 things I thank God for today
1. Our youth pastor, Jim Walker
2. Scrambled eggs
3. Fried eggs (over easy) with sausage, biscuits and Blackburn-Made syrup

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