Posted tagged ‘fried foods’

Baptist Pastor (Retired) Confessional

March 9, 2019

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                        March 9, 2019

                       

Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, that day where the sign of the cross marked up the forehead of a number of folk. It also marked the beginning of the Season of Lent, a journey that takes the Christ-follower to the cross of Christ. 

Many a Christ-follower give up something for Lent. My friend, Ron McKinney, gave up meat for Lent one time and overloaded his bean consumption. A wise person stayed upwind from him until Easter Sunday. I was confined in a small space with him one afternoon and my nasal hairs were pulverized!

Confession is something that happens often during Lent. People seem to be more willing to have “Come to Jesus” moments where they admit their shortcomings and temptations, kind of like Peter’s sobbing after he denied Jesus three times!

Since I retired from pastoring three years ago the focus of my confessions has changed somewhat. I no longer have to repent of thoughts of certain “thorny people” from my church being duct-taped to one of the sanctuary walls, or wanting words of correction to come to my mind to convince a couple of folk that “bitchiness” is not a spiritual gift.

My confessions are usually now uncovered from any churchiness, and more connected to typical daily life patterns.

For example, I love John Sanford novels, especially one of his main characters, Virgil Flowers. They are laced with Minnesota law enforcement humor…and a few “f-bombs!” One day this week I was reading my daily passage in the “One Year Bible” about Peter denying Jesus and then picked up the latest Sanford novel where a man vehemently is denying he killed someone…complete with profanity! I felt the Baptist guilt coming my way! I confess, but it’s due back at the library so I’ve got to finish it.

I confess that I’ve avoided the supermarket recently until after 8 P.M. so I can miss the Girl Scouts selling their cookies. The sale ends tomorrow so, beginning Monday, I can shop earlier. 

I confess that I love fried foods. After all, I was born in Kentucky, where the common cuisine understanding is “If you can eat it, we can fry it!” I’m specifically drawn towards fried fish, about the worst thing, health wise, you can eat, but ummm-ummm-ummm!

I confess that I’m prone to using the same facial tissue to blow my nose more than once…okay, more than twice! It’s disgusting, but I justify it by saying I’m being “cost conscious!”

I confess that I wasn’t chagrined by the fact that we cancelled Sunday morning worship last week due to the weather. I was almost giddy! I’m not sure what that says, but please do not feel that you need to analyze me…or judge me!

I confess that I’ve recently been using sermons that I preached 25 years ago. The theology hasn’t changed, but I’ve had to revise some of the illustrations and references like “visiting the Oldsmobile dealer, K-Mart, and the latest cassette tape I purchased.” 

I confess that I often dream of slam-dunking, being the author of a best-seller, and fried scallops! 

I confess that I had planned on giving up putting sugar in my coffee for Lent. I got through the first day…and then backslid to the sweetening! 

And finally, I confess that I so often take the blessings of God for granted, the grace of God as a given, and the love of Christ as an assumed right! I fall short in reaching my God-given potential and habitually forget that he walks closely by my side!

Persevering Past The Buffet

June 6, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                             June 6, 2013

When I first moved to Colorado Springs I was taken back by all the Chinese buffet restaurants. Our family didn’t eat Chinese food in my growing up years. It was too weird for Eastern Kentuckians…didn’t mix well with our grits and Cracklin’ Cornbread. Lo Mein noodles wiggled too much. Fried potatoes were easier to spear.

Coming to Colorado Springs, however, I discovered Chinese food in abundance. You could eat all that you wanted…and then feel like death warmed over for the rest of the day. I started putting on some pounds. And the thing is, most Chinese buffets offer not just rice and noodles, but also whole food rows of fried foods. I was raised with the mentality that if you could eat it we could fry it.

Fried chicken wings, fried shrimp, deep-fried egg rolls and crab rangoon, fried fish, spring rolls! I pigged out, plain and simple!

And then at my annual physical my physician (who happens to be tall, slim, and Episcopalian) told me to knock it off. My cholesterol level had risen as dramatically fuel prices.

I haven’t been to a Chinese buffet in probably six years, but even writing about it makes me consider the possibility…for you, right now.

James wrote these words in his New Testament book: “…You know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:3-4)

Those last three words seem out of place.

Not lacking anything.”

It would seem that the decline in the number of chicken wings I’ve been consuming would indicate that I AM lacking something.

That goes with American consumer mentality, that if I don’t have it I must be lacking it. We seldom think that not having something could possibly lead us towards fuller lives.

My youngest daughter, who scheduled her life around reality TV shows got rid of cable TV. Moving to Albuquerque and starting a new job where she pays all of her bills opened her eyes to where her money was going. Suddenly the young lady who watched every episode of Say Yes To the Dress went cold turkey…and she has survived. In essence, she gave up something in order to experience not lacking anything.

It is an easy concept to think about, but hard to live by. Persevering in whatever we do isn’t easy. Some weeks we need to persevere in our jobs. Other times we need to persevere in the parenting of our children. Each one of us comes to quitting points in the areas of our life that tax us the most. Every week I pastor has quitting points in it. I realize that some day I’ll be called to step aside and let the journey of my church continue. When that time comes it will not be because I hit a quitting point that I have no desire to persevere through. It will be because it is time, God’s time, the journey has been completed.

Persevering is something not many of us are good at. Our culture tells us that it is all about us…more specifically, all about me…and if there is anything left, it can be all about you. If you don’t believe me just go for a drive on a busy street, do the speed limit, and see how many people get frustrated driving behind you.

Whatever it is that you may be battling, stay strong, pray long, and let your life resemble an ever-evolving new song.

And yes, I know I just did a rhyme!