A New Sweet Shop!

Kids know things! We went out to eat with our pre-teen granddaughter, Chloe, recently to a favorite "all you care-to-eat" restaurant.  At the end of the meal, I noticed that the final plate was missing one of her must have desserts - tapioca pudding. When I asked her why she was passing on it, she diplomatically said, "I was hoping you would take me to a new sweet shop nearby. I have been asking mom to take me, but she said, 'Why don't you ask Poppi!'" (Thanks, Michelle!!) Before I could ask how close we were to it, she already had her phone app open to Google maps and it was giving voice directions!

After the .8-mile car ride, we pulled up to the business with a most inviting name, Oh Icee! Inside we stood gazing at all the items offered and saw a long list of bubble tea blends and another category called, "rolled" ice-cream. None of us had ever sampled either! This was an adventure! So, we decided to order a bubble tea that we soon discovered would have a copious quantity of larger than normal spheres of tapioca (purple-colored!) and we also eagerly ordered another new item to us - a "rolled" ice-cream sundae with bananas and strawberries.

After tasting the bubble tea that was the first item up, we decided to focus our attention on the rolled ice-cream dessert that was still in process. The young lady who was preparing this beautiful creation at her work station was skillfully chopping the fruit, adding cream, and then, delicately stirring the ingredients over an extremely cold and marble-like table (a good twenty-degrees below freezing!) like we had seen at another ice-cream store. Within five minutes, she had cut the frozen cream into strips, rolled them, then moved everything to the "staging area."

Our eyes were riveted on the final display of ice-cream delight where the rolls were placed in the cup on end with fans of sliced bananas and strawberries accented with blueberries that were all decorated with puffs of whipped-cream and drizzled with caramel to finish it off! It is said that you eat with your eyes first and we did! But, we couldn't wait to get this delicacy to the table with three spoons to begin sampling, tasting and then crowding each other out as we competed for the next bite. We kept exclaiming, "This is the best sundae dessert we have every eaten!"

Wherever I go and whatever I encounter in this life, the preacher-teacher in me always has me asking, "How does this inform my Christian life?" One thing I learn from this recent rolled-fruit dessert experience with the granddaughter is that it was created right before my eyes. I do like it when I can witness a gifted culinary craftsman openly exhibit their creations for all to see. This is like Jesus was telling His disciples in John 15. He was teaching about evidences that grow out of this "vine-branches" relationship that He and His followers have when He said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, NRSV).

On that day at the new sweet shop, Monique and I, along with our sweet granddaughter had each seen and tasted (wonderfully experienced!) a fruity dessert. This is what the world needs from us as fully devoted followers of Christ. Our mission is to keep in such close connection with Christ through obedience, prayer and commitment to His teachings that this level of abiding in Him results in an exhibited fruit that is transformational by nature.

There are at least two ways of looking at the special evidences of fruit-bearing in a believer's life. On the one hand, the world sees the difference Christ is making each day as we develop and mature as disciples. They see the evidence of His love in us! And, in another way, our life and verbal witness are evidenced by the saving of lost family members and friends. Jesus' commission "to go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19) is the ultimate fruit that God desires of every believer! Are you producing fruit that can be seen?

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


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