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OUT TO PASTOR: Ain’t nothing better than a PB&J sandwich

I’m not sure what happened to my closely guarded diet during these recent holidays, but I won’t ask. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has been so busy cooking and preparing food that she didn’t have time to oversee my diet.

As usual, I used this time for my benefit and delighted myself with all the food. And believe me, the food was delicious.

One thing I like about holiday eating is that you can always go for seconds and if careful, thirds. As the family is around the table and the chatter continues, I can sneak another portion of that delicious turkey.

Another benefit of these holiday meals is the leftovers.

Sometimes, it has been my experience that leftovers are more delicious than the original. The second time around is a winner. And the third time around is not too bad, either.

In our house, the planning of the holiday meals begins in late summer. Our shelves are stocked with all kinds of food. We even have a special refrigerator in the garage stuffed with all sorts of things for the holiday.

If I had to choose which food I enjoyed the most during these holidays, I would be in trouble. Or maybe I could say, like my uncle used to say, “It’s what I’m eating at the time.”

I must say that the pie selection is right up at the top of the best part of the meal. There were all kinds of pies: pumpkin pie, apple pie, lemon meringue pie, and those were just the pies I saw and ate.

I ended the holiday season well stuffed with some delicious food. No complaints from this side of the Parsonage.

The week following our Thanksgiving dinner, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I sat in the living room relaxing. I looked at her and said, “When is our next Thanksgiving dinner?”

Looking at me with one of her looks, she said, “When I find the next turkey.” And then she stared at me until I was just slightly uncomfortable.

About a week after our Thanksgiving dinner, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage planned to spend the day shopping for Christmas presents. I was instructed to get my lunch for that day.

I don’t mind getting my lunch as long as she doesn’t know the ingredients of my lunch. But how can you compete with all that food in our refrigerator this time of the year?

When lunchtime came, I opened the refrigerator and looked at all the delicious food. No matter which one I chose, it would definitely be delicious.

Then I had one of those “Whaaaat” moments.

I saw something in the refrigerator I had not thought about for a long time – a jar of grape jelly.

I knew the cupboard beside the refrigerator had several jars of peanut butter. What came to me at that moment was a PB&J Sandwich. For those under 50, that is a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.

Suddenly, my tongue began wagging in culinary anticipation. There ain’t nothing better in this whole wide world than a PB&J sandwich.

Looking behind me to ensure the way was clear and that The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage had not come home early, I set out to fix my favorite sandwich.

Don’t get me wrong here; turkey is a wonderful sandwich. But it couldn’t compete with the PB&J sandwich I was about to indulge in.

I don’t know who invented peanut butter, but they have greatly served humanity. Then, adding jelly to peanut butter sandwiches is another brilliant accomplishment.

Quickly, I put together my PB&J sandwich, got a fresh cup of coffee, and then went to the kitchen table to celebrate my lunch. After finishing that sandwich, I was very much tempted to go for sandwich number two.

What would be wrong with that?

If The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage knew what I had for lunch, how would I explain it to her? Keeping it a secret was my number one agenda.

While munching on my PB&J sandwich, I remembered what David said. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4).

I love food, but my greatest joy is in the Lord. As I focus on Him in my daily activities, I begin to understand the important desires of my heart. It’s amazing how God surprised me with something that really made my life happy. The finer things in life aren’t everything. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make me truly happy.


Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone is (352) 216-3025, e-mail is, and website is

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