Archive for April 2014

Try It, You’ll Like It

April 29, 2014
by Steven J. Callis
Though I have come quite a long way, I still consider myself a picky eater.  I can be a big boy and include things like broccoli, green beans, squash, zucchini, and cauliflower in a meal, though I’d prefer meat and taters any day of the week.
I have heard it said that collards and greens have an “acquired” taste.  I am not certain how much tasting must be done before it is acquired, but apparently one bite once every year or so is not often enough.  Maybe if they smelled like chocolate or vanilla rather than, well, whatever it is that they smell like…and maybe if they were red or yellow rather than green…and crunchy rather than leafy…
I just think, if I have to work at liking it, why bother, when it is so much simpler to just eat stuff that already tastes good?  Surely whatever “good” there is in those leafy things could be found in a vitamin or something!  I have never heard anyone say that chocolate is an acquired taste!
The Psalmist declared, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  He says nothing about an acquired taste.  You will be happy and satisfied when you test/taste Him.  Checking various versions of Scripture, that statement does not change. However, the next part of the verse includes differing verbs among the several translations.  They include…
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.
Blessed is the man that trusts in Him.
Blessed is the man who hopes in Him.
Blessed is the man that takes shelter in Him.

The manner of “tasting” has to do with trust and hope and refuge, and those who do so will be blessed.  No acquiring necessary!

That’s Not the Way I Hunted Eggs

April 15, 2014

by Steven J. Callis

The annual Egg Hunt is a tradition that continues to rank high among Easter festivities. I have noticed some new twists, however, to the tradition that were not around when I was a kid.
The glow-in-the-dark egg hunt is a popular item this year; a way to refresh tradition, I suppose. Special glow-in-the-dark eggs may be purchased, or special paints can be used to transform regular plastic eggs, or glow lights can be placed inside the plastic oval shapes. There are even complete “programs” available for purchase that include eggs, curriculum, and a DVD.
Another twist on tradition of the standard egg hunt was seen in an article last week suggesting that the egg hunters each be assigned a color, and they can only keep eggs of their designated color. The idea is to freshen tradition, but also to help keep the “competition” more even.
There was a promo for a church in the area that is doing an underwater egg hunt. Now that IS a new one on me! Unfortunately, the weather has decided to turn freezing cold this week! Will they be able to entice anyone into the pool?
Well, I am not really opposed to new ideas about hunting eggs when I realize the fact that Easter is for everyone; that the Good News of Jesus Christ can be received and experienced by all, and in a myriad of methods and places. The concept of the Jesus film, for example, has truly been anointed. According to The New York Times, the Jesus film is likely the most-watched motion picture of all time. The Jesus Film Project states that Jesus has been viewed billions of times. It has been translated into 1,190 different languages and dialects.
I am not a “universalist” in my theology, but I do believe, based on Scripture, that the offer of God’s precious gift of eternal life is universal in scope; it is for all peoples of all ages in every culture and every ethnicity. It does not discriminate by education, economy, age, gender, geographical location, or social status. Maybe the myriad of colored eggs and the unique methods of hunting and finding them this year will remind us all of the great love and grace of God through Jesus Christ. Have a blessed Easter celebration!