Out of the treasury of the heart: Luke 6.45

“The good person out of the good treasury of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasury produces evil, for his mouth speaks from what fills his heart.”

Luke 6.45

Jesus taught us to know if a tree is good or not, by its fruit, v. 44. Though wolves disguise themselves as sheep and hypocrites may appear, sooner or later the heart will appear in one’s words and actions.

In my life do I treasure the good or evil? Is it “trash in, trash out,” or “pure in, pure out”?

#votd #heart #words #good

Rejected good: Hosea 8.2-3 VOTD

“Israel cries out to me,
‘My God, we acknowledge you!’
But Israel has rejected what is morally good;
so an enemy will pursue him.”

Hosea 8.2-3

Israel claimed one thing but did another. They professed to recognize God as the Lord, but rejected his law. For this, they became subject to punishment.

Jesus does not accept those who call him Lord, but fail to do what he commands, Mt 7.21. What justifications do people give for such failure?

#disobedience #good #VOTD

‘What is good’ Romans 12.17 VOTD

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people.”

Romans 12.17

Chapter 12 begins the section of the letter about the practice of the faith and what it means to be a living sacrifice for Christ.

God defines what is good, so why should a Christian be concerned about what is good before others? [See verse in many versions.]

#VOTD #good #vengeance

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3-13-2017 Good & Evil

God, through Moses, told Israelites: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15 NKJV). Solomon ask God for “an understanding heart” “that I may discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9 NKJV). God’s prophet, Amos, said: “Hate evil, love good” (Amos 5:15 NKJV). To Christians, Paul wrote: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9 NKJV). The difference between “good” and “evil” is clearly drawn, described, and determined. Jesus said, “the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29 NKJV). There are not enough “shades of gray” to confuse those who follow God’s Word.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#evil, #good

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2-16-2017 Those Who Love God

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NKJV). Does this mean that everything in everyone’s life produces good? Only “those who love God.” 1) John wrote: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3 NKJV). Jesus said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). Anyone who makes baptism a “burdensome” commandment keeps a person from loving God! 2) God’s “purpose” is for anyone “to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29 NKJV). In the burial of baptism, a sinner is “united together in the likeness of His death” (Romans 6:5 NKJV). Is God’s “good” in your life?

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#good, #purpose, #water-baptism

Sin Is Good

How can that be? That is how Eve saw the fruit God had forbidden that she or Adam eat. She observed that it was “good for food…a delight to the eyes, and…desired to make one wise” (Gen. 3:6).

It was “good” but it ruined the blessing of life in the garden.

It was “good” but it damaged the first couple’s marriage.

It was “good” but it destroyed a family.

It was “good” but it made worship worthless.

It was “good” but severed man’s intimate relationship with God.

No matter how “good” we may consider sin to be, it will have the last word and it will destroy what is genuinely good.

Through the Bible, January 3

#good, #sin

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9-15-2015 Turning Good Into Bad

Through Isaiah, God pronounced a “woe” to “those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20 NKJV). There have always been people who condemn what is good and approve of what is evil. David said, his enemies would: “All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil” (Psalm 56:5 NKJV). Jesus Christ said of the Devil, “there is no truth in him,” “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me” (John 8:45 NKJV). Paul preached Jesus in Thessalonica, but envious Jews cried out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (Acts 17:2-3, 6 NKJV). Preaching Christ turns worldly morals right-side up, not the other way!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#evil, #good, #morals

Have a Good Day

Each person probably has their own definition or standard for what a good day is. Some might think being able to watch football all day would be great. Some might think that spending the whole day with family would be the best day ever. There are as many different ways to have a good day as there are people. Continue reading

#days, #focus, #good, #relationships

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(#125) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:13-Many Happy Returns

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:13: “Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.”

There are only four ways to payback deeds: 1) Good for Good; 2) Evil for Evil; 3) Evil for Good; or 4) Good for Evil.

1) While a good gratitude level, it is doing what would be expected from anyone: “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back” (Luke 6:32-34).

2) This human response may “feel good,” but is totally contrary to God’s example in Jesus Christ, “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). Other proverbs repeat this principle: “Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil;’ Wait for the LORD, and He will save you” (Proverbs 20:22); “Do not say, ‘I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work’” (Proverbs 24:29).

3) This is the way to curse one’s own future, household, job, friendships, or eternal destiny.

Everything God Created “was very good” (Genesis 1:31), but Adam and Eve repaid Him by violating His rule in sin (“through one man sin entered the world,” Romans 5:12).

The southern kingdom, Judah, gave God evil for good: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: ‘I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.’ Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward” (Isaiah 1:2-4).

The history of the Jews’ dealings with God’s Prophets justified His destruction of their Nation in A.D. 70. “For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16; also Matthew 21:33-46).

4) The superior method is: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:18-21).

This not humanly possible without having the inner “Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus” (1 Peter 5:14), who will “be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #deeds, #evil, #good, #gratitude, #ingratitude, #life, #payback, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom

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(#91) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:3-God Knows More Than “TSA” and “NSA”

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:3: “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

This is not saying God’s “eyes” are everywhere, but they see “in every place” all the behaviors of mankind, both “the evil and the good.” One thread throughout the Scriptures is that God is Omniscient, that is, He sees everything at all times. When “Big Brother’s” TSA in airports and NSA in communications invade personal space as they do, how can anyone question God’s complete knowledge of all that happens on the Earth? To say “God wound up the universe and then sat back and watched From a Distance (as a song used to teach, and Deists believe)” is a complete denial of the Word of God, which is a record of God’s dealings with mankind since the Creation!

In the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve sinned, they “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8), but God called them out (Genesis 3:9-13). When Abraham proved his faith, but was stopped before he actually offered his son, Isaac, on the altar, and offered “a ram caught in a thicket” for a burnt offering “instead of his son,” he “called the name of the place, The-LORD-will-provide” (Genesis 22:1-14). Israelites sinned while Moses was in Mount Sinai receiving God’s Law, “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!’” (Exodus 32:9). King Hezekiah was “sick and near death” and God told His prophet, Isaiah, to say, “Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you” (2 Kings 20:5).

God can also see all that is done that is good. Upon completion of His Creation, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Upon Jonah’s preaching “Repent or Perish,” the King of Nineveh led his people in repentance, and, “Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it” (Jonah 3:10).

Other proverbs teach this: “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He ponders all his paths” (Proverbs 5:21); “Hell and Destruction are before the LORD; So how much more the hearts of the sons of men” (Proverbs 15:11); “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The LORD has made them both” (Proverbs 20:12). Since God created “the seeing eye” of humans, doesn’t it follow that God is a “seeing” God? “He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see?” (Psalm 94:9)

“’Am I a God near at hand,’ says the LORD, ‘And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him? says the LORD; ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:23-24).

This major doctrine about God is summarized in the New Testament, for Jesus taught that our charitable deeds, prayers, and fasting, that are done in “secret” before God, and not for show “before men,” would be seen by our “Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:4,6,18). “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

Since nothing is hidden from God, why hide our evils behind husband, wife, children, house, job, friends, nighttime, dim lights, doors, walls, or any other supposed barrier? God know these, our consciences know these, and more often than not, some other people know them as well. Truly, “Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden” (1 Timothy 5:24-25). Let God cleanse your soul from hidden sins, and “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#baptized, #bible-study, #big-brother, #deists, #evil, #from-a-distance, #god, #good, #nsa, #omniscience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #repent, #secret, #truth, #tsa, #wisdom

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(#84) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:19-The Wicked Should Take A Bow!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 14:19: “The evil will bow before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.”

“Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?” (Jeremiah 12:1). These are not the questions discussed here. Rather, this proverb brings to our attention the fact that not all goes well with the “evil,” and that we ought see, many other times, it is the other way around! Though Joseph’s brothers had “meant evil against” him by selling him into slavery, but when famine forced them to go into Egypt, “Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth” (Genesis 42:6). Another such occasion was when wicked Haman sought to kill Mordecai, but his evil scheme was revealed by Queen Esther, and then King Ahasuerus ordered Haman, who was pleading for his own life, to be hanged on the 75-foot “gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai” (Esther 7:1-10). In Philippi, a slave girl was freed from her masters who profited by her “divination,” Paul and Silas were mistreated as “the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods…they threw them into prison” (Acts 16:22-23). Later, however, those same magistrates “came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city” (Acts 16:39)! The church of Christ in Philadelphia was promised by Jesus Christ: “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie–indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you” (Revelation 3:9). Other proverbs which teach this include: “The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, And the unfaithful for the upright” (Proverbs 21:18); “The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, But He overthrows the words of the faithless” (Proverbs 22:12). This humbling of the wicked is because of their own sins, but will not always be brought about in this life. Though “life isn’t fair,” God is just, and will see to it that evil fails and right prevails!

The ultimate bowing of the evil wicked will be on the final Judgment Day, for God decreed through Isaiah: “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath” (Isaiah 45:22-23). The Apostle Paul used this very language to show what the future Judgment will be: “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God’” (Romans 14:10-11). Jesus was seeking to prepare “every creature” when He said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Bow before the good before it is too late!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #bow, #evil, #good, #judgment-day, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #righteous, #sin, #wicked, #wisdom

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(#83) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:15-16-Simply Lost

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 14:15-16: “The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps. 16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.”

“The simple” is a term, in the Book of Proverbs, which describes someone who is not using their mind for good judgment. “Simple” is not a compliment, for it is a disgrace for a human being not to use reasoning before acting. When sinful actions are the result of hormones, others, anger or malice, opportunity, lusts, pride, envy, rebelliousness, or willful ignorance, then prudence has not been used. “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

One of the purposes of a proverb, Solomon said, is to “give prudence to the simple” (Proverbs 1:4). When one honestly, sincerely, and lovingly “thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:5-6), that indicates a purity of heart desiring to believe the best in others. But when one is “simple,” in the New Testament, it means to think innocently without always dwelling on wrongs, sins, or evil. One may therefore be easily deceived by slick speeches, designed to mislead. “For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (Romans 16:18-20). Being “wise in what is good” means using God’s Word as a filter for discrimination or prudence. Being “simple concerning evil” means making judgments unmixed by seeing any possibilities of evil.

Every time sin is identified, “a fool rages” as if he is right and unjustly condemned! The indignant sinner makes mockery of God’s Word. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). NONE of such sinners has any moral right to such behavior, and NO right to condemn God, Scripture, or Christians because their behavior is damned! The church of Christ in Corinth was made up of people who, having heard, “believed and were baptized” (Acts 18:8), but had left behind their immorality and ungodliness (1 Corinthians 6:11). NO indignant or raging sinner will be saved. Scribes and Pharisees watched Jesus for something with which to condemn Him, but, with a miracle, He healed a man, and challenged their false doctrine. “But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus” (Luke 6:6-11). It is sad when any sinner reacts with defensive rage but misses Jesus Christ.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #discrimination, #evil, #good, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #prudence, #simple, #wisdom

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(#44) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:20-21-Is Anything “Right or Wrong?”

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:20-21: “Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in their ways are His delight. 21 Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.”

The God-drawn line between right and wrong, good and bad, righteous and unrighteous, perverse and blameless remains clear to God, despite human efforts to cloud the issue. Other proverbs that teach this include: Proverbs 15:9: “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves him who follows righteousness;” Proverbs 15:26: “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, But the words of the pure are pleasant.” There are many who, in their arrogant wickedness, seem to be asking: “Who is the LORD, that He can tell me what’s ‘right’ and ‘wrong?’” When the most powerful king of his day, “Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go’” (Exodus 5:2), then 10 plagues later, and after the destruction of his kingdom, Pharaoh had found out! No matter who challenges God’s “right” to rule, no one has been left standing who did!

God has been, and still is, always delighted with “the blameless.” “Blameless” simply describes the condition of not being condemned by the rules. Under Moses’ Law, priests in the temple were (Matthew 12:5); Zacharias and Elizabeth were (Luke 1:5-6); Saul of Tarsus was (Philippians 3:4-7). Jesus’ Cross and Gospel are to let sinners who obey become “blameless” (Philippians 2:14-16; Colossians 1:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13; 5:23). Note that “The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7), this last phrase is quoted by Paul in 2 Timothy 2:19 as still being true!

A union of sinners, expressed as to “join forces” (literally, hand to hand), cannot overpower God’s line of “righteousness.” This is repeated in Proverbs 16:5: “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.” God’s line between “right and wrong” has never, and will never be, outvoted, overpowered, outlasted, or outdone! There is no strength of numbers great enough to change, alter, shrink, or erase God’s dividing line of morals!

God finds abominable everyone who teaches otherwise! Proverbs 17:15:”He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.” The prophet, Isaiah, was inspired to decry: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). Jesus Christ reflected this teaching in Luke 16:15: “And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.’”

The only hope for anyone is to recognize that there is a difference between “good and evil,” admit it if you are found on the wrong side, repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bad, #bible-study, #blameless, #good, #perverse, #proverbs, #right, #righteousness, #unrighteousness, #wisdom, #wrong

Great Little Illustration

Here’s a neat little story called “Peaceful Co-Existience” that I got from The Voice of Truth International. The author wasn’t given, but whoever it was, their point can’t be missed.

The story is told of a Russian named Ivanovich who visited the Moscow Zoo for the first time. To his amazement he found a little lamb sharing the cage that held a big fierce bear.

Ivanovich expressed surprise to his communist guide. The guide smiled and said, “That is peaceful co-existience.” When Ivanovich doubtfully shook his head, the guide explained, “Of course, we have to put in a fresh lamb every morning.”

Peaceful co-existience between right and wrong, freedom and slavery, God and the devil, is not possible either.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.” (Ephesians 5:8-13)

#evil, #good, #relationships, #righteousness, #sin

Taste and see – JAM

This is Just-A-Minute. “Just try it, it’s not bad!  Go on, try it, you’ll like it!” I remember those words. It might have been green peas, asparagus, or liver and onions! I vowed to never taste them. But the real trouble came when I slept over at Dick Kost’s house. He was my best friend. I remember one breakfast, they had brains and eggs! I was a Post Toasties kid; a “snap, crackle, pop” boy and brains and eggs was no breakfast of champions! I remember Mrs. Cost saying, “Just try it, you’ll like it!’ and Mr. Cost pitched in, “It tastes like chicken!” I still won’t eat chicken! Long ago David wrote, “taste and see that the Lord is good”. These words came at one of the most challenging and troubling times in his life. Yet he said, “taste and see”. I’ve tasted and I can testify the Lord is good!

#good, #just-a-minute, #lord