Last week was blustery and cold. It has been a March-like April week out on Bittersweet but the little daffodil bulbs we planted last year are flowering and the place is alive with birdsong. The window is open beside me and a tufted titmouse is calling out his two-note “peter-peter” with all his might. It is a welcome sound. Next week we are watching for Oriels and listening for the Wood Thrush. For the last couple years the Oriels have visited Bittersweet. We may have to take a hike to find the Wood Trush on his way north. Every season is a gift from the hand of God for which we pray and give thanks unto God.
“Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain, from the Lord who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.” (Zechariah 10:1, ESV)
What Do You Eat For Breakfast?
I like a couple eggs and two or three crisp strips of bacon and black coffee for breakfast.
I have a friend who is an eye doctor. The other day we were comparing our morning routines. I said, “Dave, what do you normally eat for breakfast?”
He said; “I usually grab a carrot on the way out the door.”
“There but for the grace of God go I,” I thought to myself.
I said, “You eat a carrot on the way to work?” Imagining the smell of coffee, the salty goodness of a friend egg, the powerful, nearly sacramental aroma and sizzle of bacon, like a call to worship God and thank Him for his goodness.
“You really eat a raw carrot on the way to work for breakfast,” I ask, thinking what a dismal mood that would cast over my whole day.
“Yes,” he said. “It’s handy and it’s good for you.”
“You do this every morning?” I ask.
“Yes, most mornings, I do.”
Stuck me funny. My mother always said I should eat my carrots because they are good for my eyes. She said pilots in WWII ate carrots so they would have good eyesight. I always thought it was a cheap ploy to get me to eat veggies, but here is my eye-doctor friend, who eats a carrot every day on the way to work. So, there you go.
One more reason to pay attention when your mamma is talkin’.
Speaking of What You Eat
When I was a boy my mom always tried to force me to eat vegetables—spinach, oh my. Brussels’s Sprouts. Cauliflower. Broccoli. Squash. She was always buggin’ me to eat this stuff. I didn’t like any of it. Finally I reached an age where I could make all my own food choices. I began to eat what I wanted and walked away from veggies, except corn with butter and salt, potatoes with butter and salt, peas with butter and salt, green beans with butter, salt, and bacon fat—Oh, and fries. Other than that most days the only vegetables I came near were the pickles on my burger. I ate my veggies, but they were fried or made with plenty of—you know—butter and salt.
Well Mom hasn’t controlled my diet for many, many years. I eat exactly what I want in the portions that I want. To be honest, that has not been particularly good for me. I’ve been remarkably healthy, but now I’m at the age where my eating habits are catching up to me.
I go to the doctor. The first thing they do is weigh me. They act all professional about it, but they just keep bumping those weights to the right. They write on their little clip-board and they try not to act surprised. Then they check my blood pressure and my cholesterol levels. Let me save you the painful details. After I run up a healthy bill with the doctor he gives me a speech that sounds remarkably like the one my mother gave me with a few medical terms thrown in to justify the considerable expense of the visit.
You can take the medicine and enjoy the side-effects of the medicine and wash it all down every day for the rest of your miserable life with your orange juice in the morning or… you guessed it—you can eat your vegetables. Lay off all that fat-marbled meat with salt. Stop eating all those carbs with salt and butter and fat in its various and tantalizing forms. Ditch the junk food. Potato and corn chips don’t count as vegetables. A Large Coke, Bacon and Cheddar Quarter-Pounder, and a Large Fry does not constitute a balanced meal. Here is what you have to do to stay off the medicine:
Walk at least 30 minutes every day and eat brussels’s sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, salad, salad, and salad with small amounts of lean meat. Meat is fine, but it is best if you consider it a garnish, not your main dish. I can save you a lot of money and embarrassment. I can save you money for drugs, weight watchers, diet pills, and snake oil.
Do what my mom told me years ago. Eat your vegetables and fruit. Get out and play a lot. Say your prayers at night. Don’t make a habit of doing wrong. When you do wrong fess up and make it right. Go to church. Did you hear me? I said go to church—I’m talking every Sunday not Christmas, Easter and when you don’t have the green to get away to the cottage. Go to church and eat your veggies.
I’m pretty sure that if you don’t eat your veggies you are likely to die young and if you know the Lord you are going to go to Heaven and they don’t have fried chicken and barbecued ribs there. You will have glorified tastes for fruit and vegetables and your mother will be sitting over there across the table from you with an “I-told-you-so” look on her face.
I do remember reading once of a lady in the deep south who lived to be 107 or 114 or something and when they asked her what she ate she told them she eats bacon every day. Bacon. Every. Day.
This morning I was thinking about country music. I like country music, some of it. In my humble opinion country music is two parts God, home, and apple pie and one part drunkenness, fornication, and general despair. Come to think of it country music is a lot like America. Most of it is beautiful but sometimes it’s downright ugly.
So grab a carrot or some bacon and try not to be ugly today. Oh, and listen to your mother.
April 24, 2020
When Things Get “Chippy”
Last Sunday on the roof of my study I preaching on what to do when things get “chippy” at home. Living in quarantine can get a little trying. In this message I show you how, by the Spirit of God working within you, you can push the “chippy” right out of your house. Let me know what you think.