Hi, this is Pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Tasty Goodness

Last week my bride Lynn and I fulfilled a long-awaited dream of ours. We traveled to Italy. That dream has so long been on our list of un-realized dreams because of the magnitude of such a trip. People like us don’t just up-and-go to Italy. We don’t have the time or resources to simply drop things and take a trip like that. We don’t begrudge people who can, and do…it just simply isn’t our lot in life and we are ok with that. So, how is it then that we ended up experiencing our dream? We were asked to share a marriage conference with a church in Albania, and since we were in the neighborhood…Actually, because one of our connecting flights was in Rome, we decided to take a week of vacation and spend the time there.

One of the reasons we wanted to go to Italy in the first place is because of a book we read years ago. The novel was set in Italy and the author did a compelling job of describing meals that went on for hours. My wife and I are both fans of Italian cuisine, and as such, the author’s description of some of those endless meals called to both of us as strongly as the mythological Sirens in Homer’s well known work, The Odyssey.

Our weeklong stay in Rome was based out of a one bedroom apartment in the heart of the ancient city. From our front door we were treated to a labyrinth of crowded narrow streets that led to such amazing notable places as the Pantheon, the Coliseum, and Trevi Fountains, just to name a few. Though there are undoubtedly many, I have never personally been to a city steeped so richly in world history. I felt and still feel overwhelmed at having had the opportunity to visit such a place.

As I mentioned a few moments ago however, we were not there merely for the sights the city had to offer…we were there for the food! Each morning we wandered the streets searching out a different café to sit and enjoy a pastry and a cappuccino and coffee. Each afternoon the search was on for another restaurant along the byway to or from one of the aforementioned sights for a delicious salad or sandwich, and every evening the highlight was a walking quest for the perfect culinary respite for a wonderful dinner that would last as long as permissionably reasonable. We completed each of those dinners with an order of tiramisu. We wanted to try our favorite Italian dessert at each of the restaurants we ate dinner at to see who had the best available…the jury is still out.

So why am I sharing all of this with you? Is it to brag? Absolutely not! Is it to prove we are gluttons? I hope it does not, that week was for us the anomaly, certainly not the norm. Is it to make you hungry…yes and no. See, we spent the week tasting, tasting, and then tasting some more, because it was all so good. It was so wonderful that it made quite an impression on me. I can not give you street names, but I can direct you from any of the notable stops in Rome how to get to each of the amazing places we feasted.

Psalm 34:8 says, Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! The city of Rome is filled with good places to eat, the problem is that a few hours later what has been consumed is gone forever and must be replaced. Not so with God. When you taste and see that the Lord is good, you come away full and though it will make you desire more and more of Him, what has already been taken in, remains…in fact it multiplies within your mind, heart and spirit! Jesus made the point that not only will one who tastes of Him find Him to be good, it is most necessary that we feed on Him if we want to truly live. In John 6:47-51 Jesus said, 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

Nothing truly satisfies like Jesus does. Everything else fades away with time, and when all else has slipped away, only our relationship with Jesus remains. My life has proven all too well that youth and the strength it provides is only for a time. Jobs and careers come and go. Wealth is fleeting. Even the important relationships we have with others, marriages, family and friends, someday come to an end…but when we accept Christ as our Lord, our walk with our sweet, sweet Savior abides forever. Nothing can change it. Nothing can detract from it, nothing can bring it to an end…it is eternal.

As I mentioned, I can, while my memory remains, tell you just how to get to some amazing restaurants in Rome. If you follow those directions, you are sure to have a great meal that is very tasty. More importantly, I have tasted of the Lord and found Him to be good. Likewise as long as my memory remains I will be able to give direction of where to find some of that same goodness. If you turn into the Psalms and you walk past the 18th one you will find an especially tasty treat in the 19th Psalm between the 7th and the 11th verses. If you continue down that particular path of Psalms I especially enjoy the one right between the 99th and 101st. If you want to venture to another part of the Word I am partial to Job 11:13-19. Additionally I always enjoy Matthew 19 and Mark 10 and who can forget 1 Corinthians 13. I love the full meat course found in the book of Romans, and for dessert…its hard to pass Philippians by, but if you want something sweeter yet try 1 John.

I know many of you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, what recommendations can you make? I’d love to have the opportunity to try some of your favorite dishes from God’s word. Don’t keep them to yourself, it is far more fun and profitable to share Jesus with everyone you meet…we all need to feast on Him to truly live…and there is more than enough to go around.

So now, telling everyone you can about how you have tasted of the Lord and found Him to be better than you could ever have imagined…go be Awesome!