Pass the Bacon Wrapped Appetizers

 At noon on the following day, as their journey brought them close to the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted to eat. While others were preparing the meal, he had a visionary experience. He saw heaven opened up and something like a large linen sheet being lowered to the earth by its four corners. Inside the sheet were all kinds of four-legged animals, reptiles, and wild birds. A voice told him, “Get up, Peter! Kill and eat!” Peter exclaimed, “Absolutely not, Lord! I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke a second time, “Never consider unclean what God has made pure.” This happened three times, then the object was suddenly pulled back into heaven. Peter was bewildered about the meaning of the vision (Acts 10:9-17a, Common English Bible).

“…Make me the delicious food that I love and bring it to me so I can eat. Then I can bless you before I die” (Genesis 27:4, Common English Bible).

This is part 5 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.

I am going to confess before I even really get started, I am loosely interpreting these Scriptures. More than any other day of the week, I try hard to make my Saturday posts fun. This one is no exception.

There are plenty of places in Scripture that talk about not eating pork, almost all in the Old Testament. There are also not any places that really say it is OK to eat pork today when specifically talking about Israelite dietary laws. The scripture from Acts above comes the closest but Peter makes it pretty clear that food is more of a metaphor than something we should take literally.

Still, I think many of the dietary restrictions were given because of the difficulties and health issues that came from eating certain foods. Because of refrigeration and other ways of preserving food, I am not so sure God would give the same restrictions today. I might be wrong, but telling you what I think.

So, with that, would someone please pass the bacon wrapped jalapeños? I love those things though I don’t eat them anymore. They don’t bother my mouth but they sure do mess with my stomach. Oh, but they taste so good.

We could also have other bacon-wrapped appetizers. What about some bacon-wrapped shrimp? I know, when it comes to the dietary laws we are really crossing some lines. Dairy products with pork and shellfish with pork. But there is just something about something with bacon. Dietary restrictions or not, bacon just makes everything taste so good. If you would let me, I might even wrap the turkey in bacon before we cook it!

For several years Cindy and I have watched quite a bit of Food Network programming. There is a saying on there that almost makes my mouth water all by itself. “Bacon makes everything taste better.” There may not be greater truth in many statements than what we find in that statement.

Probably more than any other day of the year, I really, really want tasty food on Thanksgiving. I think it may be more true this year than most. After several months of eating a whole lot of my own cooking, and cooking most of the time for one, I am eating a lot of things I can throw together in one pot or one container and then warm it up on the stove or in the microwave. I eat a lot of beans or canned soup with hamburger in it. I just don’t care to spend a lot of time cooking most nights. With that being said, I still like tasty food. And Thanksgiving, well it is a really good time for tasty food.

I am thankful for all the food I enjoy. And, to be honest, bacon (while I do really like it) in this blog post is a metaphor for the food that is really tasty and enjoyable. I’d like to think it (minus the bacon) is the kind of thing Jacob was asking of Esau. He wanted the “delicious food” he loved. Some translations actually use the word I have been using, tasty.

Most days, I am consuming fuel. I am eating something just to keep me going, but it isn’t something I really enjoy. You probably know the difference too. We may eat fuel but what most of us really want is food. We, like Jacob want something tasty and good. Because I live on fuel most of the week, I get really excited for Cindy to come down on the weekend because my wife is an excellent cook (you could probably guess that by looking at me) and for a couple of days it is going to be the tasty food I love.

Thanksgiving reminds us to celebrate the great things in our lives and to be thankful for the things we love. So, please pass the bacon wrapped jalapeños (maybe I can eat just one) and the bacon wrapped shrimp. Did I mention I really like bacon? Thank you God for tasty food.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,

Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.


Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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