Sheptock, Rudy

Pastor Rudy Sheptock.

I love to go to Sam’s Club on sample day. Why pay money to eat at a restaurant when people are handing you free food with every 20 paces you take?

I will try just about anything. I love liver and onions, anchovies, oysters and an Italian dish made up of peas, eggs and tomato gravy, just to name a few menu items that aren’t in the popular category.

On mission trips, I have eaten guinea pig, goat, and a few other delicacy items which I didn’t bother to ask what it was. Growing up in a family with too many brothers and siblings, let’s just say I wasn’t choosy when it came time for dinner.

I knew I was hungry and if I could benefit from developing an appetite for some of the unpopular dishes, it just meant more for me.

Where does craving God fit into your daily diet? Psalm 34:8 challenges us to "Taste and see that the Lord is good."

I know many individuals who are defined as “picky eaters.” They refuse to even try many delicious foods because they don’t like the look of things.

The Bible doesn’t say, “Look and see that the Lord is good.” Have you ever ended up liking the taste of a food even though the appearance of things left much to be desired?

When people try to force somebody to swallow something they really don’t want, it usually causes a gagging reaction. I have seen the ugly results that occur when religion is shoved down the throats of unwilling participants.

People don’t become believers; they end up bitter and rebellious. There has got to be a better way in sharing the truth with others than giving them no choice in the selections off the menu.

Jesus always invited His followers to dinner, didn’t He? Every time He called someone to Himself, He invited them to break bread with Him. He wanted others to get a taste of His company.

He wanted others to sample what it was like to hang out with Him. Actually, the more the majority of men and women got to be with Jesus, they were no longer satisfied with the snack packs of the Savior.

They wanted to be a regular participant in the banquet table of the bread of life and the living water. It was like nobody could get enough of feasting with God on his words of grace and truth.

Everybody can taste, can't they? Actually, the answer is no. There is a medical condition labeled cavernoma in the brain stem, and it can gradually take away many of the abilities we take for granted.

One of the behaviors is the ability to swallow, and many with this diagnosis have to be put on a feeding tube. The feeding tube goes into your stomach and it is said it is the future of your life.

No more roast beef, mashed potatoes and sweet corn on the cob. No more strawberry rhubarb pie, vanilla milkshakes or a piping hot cup of coffee. I can’t even imagine what a tragedy losing my taste buds could be.

After I suffered a heart attack, I had to begin taking medications that wreaked havoc with my tongue. My wife makes the best buffalo wings on this planet.

We actually got the recipe from the original creators in Buffalo, N.Y. Suddenly, I could no longer stand the hot, spicy taste. What used to be a delight had become a dreaded dish. No more Mexican, Thai or spicy treats of any kind. Terri still makes me a much blander brand of wings and while they are good, I still miss the real deal.    

It turns out tasting is not a constitutional right. It is proven what once was a treat can be something we’d rather see in the trash.

The closer our relationship is to the one who created us, the more in tune we are with the gourmet goodies which matter most. The more we allow sin to distort our taste buds, the easier it is to settle for fast food that, while it’s convenient, isn’t really good for our souls.

I see too many undernourished Christians who are starving, not because they don’t have their pantries stocked with heavenly goods, but because they are choosing poorly.     

Taste and see. How full does your cup have to be for it to produce this kind of worship in you?

I was reading an article this week online which said the average 4-year-old laughs 300 times a day.

The average 40-year-old laughs four times a day.

What happens to us? Does the world become less beautiful?

What if children are right? Isn’t that why Jesus said that unless we become like little kids, we would miss the kingdom of God?

Are we getting apathetic over what we should be amazed by? Are we taking for granted what we should be utterly grateful for?

 I try to restrict my diet to just a few treats. But every now and then, I cheat by giving myself a really good treat.

Last week, I went to Rita’s in Rio Grande to have a watermelon misto. It was beyond amazing.

I was thoroughly engaged and celebrated every sip. I blasted the music as I drove home.

I wanted the drink to never end. I did dispose of the cup before I entered my driveway but I will tell you this, I thanked God for that afternoon dessert.

It was a wow experience. When we unwrap each day as the gift that it is, we are more in tune with the little daily surprises the Lord puts in our lunch box.

To become a partaker of this amazing grace, you need to open your mouth and receive the gift. Taste and see that the Lord is very good.

When you have your fill of what God has in store for you, He fills you to spill you and others start to get hungry for what you are serving. We serve Jesus so we can serve Jesus.

Come to the table and get ready for a miracle meal which never ends. 

ED. NOTE: The author is the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church, 1248 Route 9 South, Court House.