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This morning I brewed up some Costa Rican coffee that a friend had given me. I watched  the dark richness stream into the carafe while I took in the nutty roasted aroma. When it was finished I  poured myself a cup and added some creamer and sugar.  As I took that first small sip, I remember thinking,”This tastes just like my regular coffee, maybe a little stronger”, but there was a lot of coffee in that package so I pretty much expected that.  Of course it tasted like my regular coffee…I was tasting the coffeemate and the sugar, not the coffee! Had I been interested in truly discovering the flavor of this gourmet beverage I would of tried it “black”.

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I smoked for many years, praise be to God that’s one bad habit I no longer have. One day I was in a tobacco shop and the salesman produced a list of the additive ingredients in the brand of cigarettes that I smoked. I was shocked! I bought a carton of the very expensive natural cigarettes he pitched and went on my way feeling “special”.  As time went on I began to notice that these  fashionable smokes just didn’t satisfy me and I began to crave one of my usual “chemically enhanced” brand.

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The night before last I had the delicious pleasure of having fresh green beans as a side dish at a friends house. As I tasted the first fork full I realized that there was something familiar and wonderful about these beans. A flavor that took me back to the beans my granny used to grow and cook when I was just a small boy, the flavor that first made me love green beans! They sent me home with a sack full and the next evening I snapped them and put them into a pot with fresh mushrooms, some red onions,cooked bacon,and new potatoes, and lots of salt and pepper! They were very tasty, but in my heart I had to admit that they weren’t as good as the plain beans with potato’s that we’d had the night before. Last year I grew and canned a huge quantity of beans, but none of mine has that taste. The beans I grew were Blue Lake, stringless, the “bean of choice” amongst gardeners. The other beans were grown from heirloom seeds that a friend of mines family had grown for years, they had strings, and as I mentioned, they also had a taste that put mine to shame. Man’s idea of a “better bean”, a bean that didn’t require the negligible extra effort of removing the string…was there a trade off in the process?

Were there “strings attached” to removing the strings?

It has occurred to me that I may be the only person on earth who cares…besides other kindred’s who’ve tasted the difference and who know what I’m talking about. Taste is lost on most people.

I think the point I’m driving at here is that there are strings (sometimes even ropes and chains) attached to everything we take in and to everything we let into our lives or choose to patronize. Our tastes are developed by our continual exposure to things,or even by our limited exposure to things.

Our spiritual life is no different…

Here’s an illustration, Two dogs are in a fight one is a black dog and one is a white dog.

Which one will win? The one that’s fed the most!

Could it be that just like anything,the more perfect something is, or the higher the quality of something is, the less it needs to have added to it, and at times the more man tries to “enhance” it or the more he tries to put himself into it,the more likely it is that he’ll obscure it or pervert it. It’s no wonder then that people today have little if any appetite for the things of God, that’s because  most people have never had the real thing!

They’ve had the everything included nothing excluded kind that obscure’s the taste or power of God, they’ve had the beautiful service in their luxurious church and afterwards they left feeling emptier than when they came kind. They’ve had the God is love,and we’re all called to love one another unless you’re an unrepentant sinner of some sort kind too! I’ve had all of those kinds, and I’ve found that they might or might not sustain you depending on what you’re willing to settle for!

I believe that God’s looking for hungry people to fill with His Holy Spirit, who are completely open to Him and all of the blessings that He has to give… but I think He’s also looking for a people who more than anything are looking for Him!  He is the perfect Father who needs nothing from us to make Him more Palatable, He’s the spotless lamb of God who with His last breath before He died on the cross declared

“It is done!” there’s no more that need be done by us to finish it,

or to somehow improve upon it,

IT’S DONE!

We love to talk about how we’re living the “good life”. But when was the last time you heard anyone  boast about their relationship with Christ and how good He is, or about how the Holy Spirit is moving in their lives or how He showed up in the service last week and the sweetness of His presence?

God’s promise to us is that If we’ll be His people…then He’ll be our God!

No fine print, nothing but our acceptance required, and NO strings attached! Unless you count the string that reaches to us like a rope to a life preserver…

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