Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Taste and See -- Day Two

Ah, a cuppa Joe. Java. Brain juice. Cup of tar. Coffee. I have that bitter brew with my breakfast each morning. I'm a pretty obsessive compulsive guy (should there be a hypen there?), so it's oatmeal and coffee seven days out of seven -- unless I'm traveling or we have company. Even then, though, there's one norm -- coffee.

This morning, though, since Beth Booram and I are doing our 30 days of tasting, I thought more about my mugful of mocha. Especially, despite the copious amounts of cream and "pink stuff" (the diabetic's sugar alternative) how it leaves an often slightly bitter aftertaste. Which made me think about words I've spoken over the years. Words that I've said that can't be taken back and leave an awfully bitter aftertaste in my soul and in the souls of those who I've spoken those words to. Words I wished -- often right after they flew from my fevered anger -- I could take back, but knew I could not. Too late. They were gone and on their wounding way. Drinking my coffee, I remembered the words of James --

"the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."

As my mother used to say, "Brent, watch your mouth..." (The only reason she doesn't say it anymore is because I live 200 miles away and she knows it won't do any good, anyhow.)

On a happier note, I watched my mouth at lunch when I had fish and chips. Not quite what Jesus fixed by the Sea of Tiberius after the resurrection, but still they reminded me of the how Jesus called the disciples to be fishers of men. And then it raised the question, what does that mean for me today? How do I call people to Christ? What is my witness? Is it as a smug, arrogant, self-righteous know-it-all? Or as someone who models Christ-like love and compassion? Someone who's winsome? I certainly hope it's the latter.

The fish and chips are still present in my swollen belly. Yikes. Perhaps I should have had the poached salmon!

-- Brent

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