Now, any of you who know me really well probably know I’ve never had an alcoholic drink in my life, but I just love Mike and Grace’s church, and their pastor dreams up crazy sermon titles. For instance, he wanted to call his Easter message, “How to Shock a Woman” (the women who found the tomb empty), and this week’s title was: “How to Throw a Party” and dealt with Daniel 5 (how NOT to throw a party) and Mark 2 (how to share your best friend—Jesus—with all your other friends). So, I’m using a provocative title for fun, but we did have several “mixed drinks” on Sunday. This is the way my tale goes—What to have for breakfast? Michael and I got up before anybody else was awake and headed straight to the bakery for a dozen malasadas, a fabulously rich donut-like confection most notably consumed on Mardi Gras, but here in Hawaii…you can buy them any old day you can come up with 99 cents! However, buying something to drink with the malasadas for our milk-guzzling calves was a slightly different story: $8.00 a gallon!While milk and donuts were just the ticket for the girls, Michael wanted something even more exotic for the grown ups so we started out with shots of tangerine juice as a good wake up sugar shockand then progressed to mocha cappuccinos. You can imagine that after this we had no trouble staying awake in church all morning! 🙂Getting ready for church was so easy as a game of 3 on 3 that we ended up being 10 minutes early. Score!!We even had a few minutes to chat with their closest friends here, who have four little girls. The church has a system of families reaching out to military families so they feel at home and supported more quickly, so this wonderful family “adopted” Mike and Grace and have really been a blessing to them.Michael was less than two weeks old when he was dedicated to the Lord (about 35 years ago). Our minister—an aged, white-haired man—lifted Michael up to show the congregation and blessed him, but not before commenting on how Michael slept sweetly through the entire proceeding: “He looks like a baptist already!” Well, although Baby Blue slept sweetly through much of the service, none of the rest of us did. The pastor’s messages are full of light and heat, and when he invites people to come to Christ at the end…people respond! It’s really a thriving, growing church with many young families, and I’m so happy they found such a great church!But, on to my tale about the mixed drinks. While Michael was down range (in Iraq), the guys aren’t allowed to drink alcoholic beverages, but they did enjoy some pretty exotic fruit and soda mixes. Michael said one of his favorites was made by some Muslim friends during Ramadan (after the sun set, of course) that was green and avocado based. Meanwhile, he decided to concoct some super fruit smoothies while Grace provided some veggies and meat for Sunday dinner.Strawberries, blueberries, mango, papaya, banana and a good dose of our super special tangerine juice. The drinks were incredibly good, and it was free drinks all around…except for Cerulean. The bouncer was a big ape who wouldn’t let him in because he was under age. Poor guy had to miss the whole party. 😦Drinks were on the house and “no limit,” so after the berries were used up, Michael tried grapes and some sweetened squash along with the tropical fruits. Believe it or not, the second and third rounds were just as popular…or else we were getting so giddy we were losing our good judgment (but I don’t think so).Well, this story is getting way too long, so I’d better cut to the chase. Round 3 were caramel frappuccinos after nap time… and round 4 was tri-flavored shaved ices (or “ice shaves” as Nycteris would say) after we’d been to the beach for a swim. Michael says people are happier in Hawaii because they’re more relaxed.And, what was Round 5 for the mixed drinks? Maybe we’ll keep that one a secret.
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”