"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

February 27, 2013


Three and a half years ago, Jon and I traveled to Singapore for a three week period for Jon's job. They have a lot of food court type areas, called hawker centers, all over where you see booth after booth of vendors selling all kinds of food. Some areas would have anywhere from 20 to 100 booths. We had both good and bad experiences with eating at the food hawker centers.

We actually only had two really bad experiences. One time we bought what looked like some type of fritters. They looked really good. Then we bit into them! We still are not sure what was inside, but it was the worst tasting stuff either of us have ever eaten. We ended up throwing them away. And if you know my husband, you know that spending money on food, then actually throwing it away without forcing it down so as not to be wasteful, that it had to be extremely bad! It was horrible.

The second experience is something we still laugh and talk about from time to time. We were out walking and decided to eat a meal at one of the food hawker centers. We stopped at one that had a few tables back behind them so we could sit and eat. Jon ordered duck and noodles, and I ordered a Thai noodle dish of some kind. Jon received his order first and took a bite and had me taste it and it was really good, so I was anxious to try mine.

When my food arrived, I took one bite...... and it was the hottest, spiciest food I have ever put inside my mouth! I had tears rolling down my cheeks, broke out into a sweat, and my face was flushed -- and that is NOT an exaggeration! It felt like my insides were on fire. Jon insisted that we switch dishes and I ate his duck and noodle dish and he managed to get down most of the Thai dish. But he also had the teary eyes, sweat on the brow, and fiery insides! I honestly don't know how he managed to eat it.

But ever since that time, ever time I hear the mention of Thai food or see a sign advertising it, my mind immediately goes back to that incident and I want absolutely nothing to do with it. I'm sure that there are delicious Thai dishes, if I would only give it another chance.

Once we've had a bad experience, it's difficult for us to take another risk in similar situations. But if we close our minds and build a wall around ourselves we can miss out on becoming friends with wonderful people, miss out on exciting adventures, and miss many blessings that we otherwise would have.

There are individuals who have had hurtful or negative experiences with a church or with someone professing to be a Christian. It makes them unwilling to open their heart to another church or to other believers. Sadly, many equate church and Christians with God, so if they've been hurt by either, then they also will close themselves off from having a relationship with God.

Psalm 34:8 says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him."

If you taste something what do you do? You sample or try it. This scripture is encouraging us to sample or try or test and see that God is good. In other words, give God a chance to prove His goodness to you. Don't have a preconceived notion of what God is like without ever personally experiencing Him in your life, but give Him an opportunity to show how good He can be. If we taste and see that God is good, then we will be blessed when we take refuge [find shelter/protection] in Him.

Someone can tell us that a particular food or recipe is good, but we're not going to know that first-hand until we try it for ourselves. Or we can have someone make a recommendation to us about a particular musician, but until we listen, we won't know if they are to our liking or not. We can't go through life always taking the word of someone else about things, but we have to experience it personally to have an opinion and know for ourselves.

We can't go through life hanging onto the apron strings of a parent, sibling, best friend, or neighbor and ride into heaven on their salvation and relationship with God. But we have to taste and experience God for ourselves. It's a personal decision that we each must make.

I recently read a true story where the young son (probably around 7 or 8 years old) of an acquaintance gave his heart to Jesus. A few days later he informed his mom that he has been inviting Jesus into other people's hearts for them.

Oh, if only we could do so! But asking Jesus into our heart and receiving salvation is something we each had to do for ourselves.

Psalm 119:103 says, "How sweet are your words to my taste; sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Then verse 105 says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path."

When we read the Bible, which is the Word of God, it will give us the guidance and direction that we need. It will light our way and show us how to live. When we trust those words and live by them then we will find that they are sweet and tasteful; much like the sweetness of honey. It will strengthen and nourish us.

I have heard and read articles about the benefits of raw honey. It has proved effective in treating skin ailments (such as burns and scrapes), mosquito bite relief, immune booster, digestive aid, and as acne treatment. When mixed with cinnamon it has even greater benefits such as helping with cholesterol problems, arthritis, colds and flu, upset stomach and indigestion, weight loss, etc. I have researched and found numerous articles that back these statements up and agree on the benefits of honey or honey and cinnamon mixed.

So it's not a coincidence that the scripture correlates the words of God to honey. The Bible is not only sweet and leaves a good taste in your mouth, but there are benefits to absorbing it into your life. It has spiritual health benefits to it. It will bring joy and peace to your life, and you can turn there when searching for answers.


My brother and I didn't get along very well when we were younger. I'm told that he actually wanted me in his room when I was little. Then I learned to talk. Then he wanted his own room.

Even when we didn't get along, I still always trusted him. If I got up from the couch, I could trust him to take my seat, even if he didn't really want it. Actually, most of the time, I could trust him to take my seat even if I didn't get up. He's 6 years older, so it was very easy to take my seat.

If I left a favorite toy alone, I could trust him to hide it. But I could also trust him to eventually return it unharmed.

And I've also always trusted his taste. Most of my taste in music comes from hearing my brother listen to it first.

And I've learned to eat sushi and jalapenos from my big brother. I don't remember when it was, but I remember he and a few friends of his had some jalapenos, and he was trying to get me to eat one by itself. I thought he was just trying to get me to hurt myself, or he would take my water away from me as soon as I did it. But he told me to try just a tiny bite, and try to really taste it, not just show off that I could handle the heat. I held tight to my water, and tried it. Of course it was hot, but it really did have a good taste.

Now, I like jalapenos on a lot of food. By the way, Chuy's has a great creamy jalapeno sauce with most of the great flavor but not much heat. It really cleared up my sinuses today.

I think that helped me to be able to handle that Thai beef noodle dish. It really was great. But it also scares me. The food hawker we bought it from had a pepper symbols on what they thought was hot. And the beef noodles didn't have the pepper. I was sweating, and crying, and my nose ran for hours on what they thought was mild.

I'm glad I trusted my brother--for both peppers and sushi. But sometimes it isn't easy to take a leap and try something that seems so different or seems so obviously wrong. Trusting God can feel like a leap sometimes. It might seem like we could be about to give ourselves food poisoning on raw meat (as in sushi), or like we're just going to get burned. But it tastes great.


Brownie Stew

1 lb. Hamburger

1 can Vegetable Soup

Onion, chopped

1 can Chili Beans

Brown hamburger and onion together; drain. Add soup and beans. Heat together. Serve over Fritos. Put grated cheese on top.


This past week has been long! Last week I stayed with Devin on Thursday due to him coming home from the deaf school earlier in the week from being sick; Friday I stayed with Jax who was sick; Janie got the stomach flu on Sunday evening and I took some medicine and groceries to her; and Jon was sick with some sort of flu or virus from Friday until Tuesday. I'm praying that I stay healthy and well!

The sickest I ever remember being in my entire life happened probably 25 years ago. It was in January and was cold! The water had frozen in the old trailer house I was living in, so I was spending a few days with my dad and June until he could get the water lines thawed out and any leaks repaired.

On a Sunday evening, June's kids had invited me to attend a concert at their church. The church was probably an hour or so drive. I felt fine until about halfway through the concert, then it suddenly hit me that I was horribly sick. I didn't even know if I was going to be able to walk from the church to my car. I didn't know June's kids that well at the time, so wasn't comfortable staying at one of their homes; especially being sick. So I rolled the car windows down to let the cold air blow on my face to keep me alert and drove back to my dad's.

For a week, I ran a high fever (it got up to 104 for a while) and couldn't hold anything down -- even liquids. To compound matters, I had just started a new job at the bank, so I was worried that it would look bad missing so much work as a new employee. Then that Sunday night we got a deep snow -- seems like around a foot or so.

What's funny now, but wasn't at the time, was June's nursing skills! June's sisters would phone daily to visit, and June would come into the bedroom where I was sleeping and stand in the doorway giving an update on my health, and wake me up with her talking. Or she would come in while I was asleep and put a thermometer in my mouth to take my temperature. Or she would say, "If you'd get up and move around or sit up, you'd feel better." NO!! I was running a high fever, couldn't keep anything down, was throwing up and sick! I know that she was trying to be helpful and wanted me to feel better. But at that time it was just annoying and irritating.

On the other hand, I knew that Daddy was worried about me being so sick and that he felt completely helpless. I would open my eyes and he'd be standing in the doorway checking on me. He wouldn't say much, but I knew that he was really concerned. If I was awake he'd check to see if I needed anything or if he could go get me something. Occasionally when June was trying to nurse me he'd tell her, "Just leave her alone!"

That really was the worst I've ever felt and a long, long week!

There seems to be so many who are dealing with viruses and flus, so let's join together and pray that these things will go away and that our families and ourselves will be protected and healthy.


It's not happy people who are thankful;

It's thankful people who are happy. - unknown


We love you!

Loretta & Jon