RevJamesLSnyder 300 aKENTUCKY (9/15/13)-It was my pleasure to take my first trip to California. I heard many rumors about California and particularly the people there.

Overall, my trip was a blessing and the people I met were truly wonderful.

I did, however, have an illusion of California burst. You know how it is, you hear a lot about something or someone and much of what you hear you later find out is not true.

One of the first things I discovered when I got to California was that they are not as progressive as I was led to believe. Everybody thinks California is way ahead of the rest of the country. I found it not to be so.

Coming to California from Florida I discovered California is at least three hours behind Florida. This came as a shock to me. I could not believe people in Florida were ahead of people in California in anything. Truth cannot be denied when faced boldly.

Also, I heard interesting rumors about the LA Freeway. Believe me, it is really nothing to boast about. The speed limit sign along the freeway said 65 mph. I guess that represents some of the comedy Hollywood is known for. Driving on the freeway, when I was moving, I almost hit 15 mph. For a state so concerned about global warming, they allow their cars to sit on the freeway doing nothing but blowing exhaust into the sky.

In the state of Florida, an old geezer will not get in his car unless he can hit 70 mph, along with other things.

I must admit those California people on the LA Freeway were very friendly indeed and much to my surprise, quite religious. All of them were greeting me in a very husky voice and then pointing me towards heaven. They actually were encouraging me to go to heaven.

Of course, in all the anxiety of the LA Freeway, they got their fingers mixed up and instead of using the index finger, used another finger. That is beside the point. The important thing is they wanted me to go to heaven. Of course, as I think of it now, maybe they wanted me to go to heaven at that moment!

During my visit, friends took me to several Mexican restaurants. For the first time in my life, I had what is called a taco. How they come up with these names I will never know.

An interesting thing about a taco is that whoever prepares it, does not actually prepare it. When my taco came, it was all over my plate. There were little piles of this ingredient and that ingredient and then something folded up on my plate, which was the taco shell.

What I was supposed to do was “build” my own taco. Never having done such a thing in my life I covertly glanced around to see how my friends were “building” their taco. I tried to do the same.

I got all of the ingredients on my taco shell, rolled it up, folded it and then looked around to see what I was supposed to do next. Is this finger food? Should I be using a fork or a spoon?

I noticed everybody at the table picked up their taco as though it was finger food or maybe a sandwich. Actually, I am not sure what a taco really is. Therefore, not to be the odd guy at the table I picked up my taco and took the first bite.

The taco I built was rather cantankerous. As soon as I bit it, all the ingredients in that taco deserted the taco shell and went back to the plate. Now what was I supposed to do? As discreetly as possible, one of my friends at the table slipped me a fork. I do not know if you are supposed to eat a taco with a fork, but I did, so arrest me!

On my last day, I went to my hotel front desk to see if I could find another restaurant in the area for my last meal in California.

I told the person at the front desk that I had eaten at some Mexican restaurants and was wondering if she could recommend a non-Mexican restaurant in the area.

She smiled at me and said, “Sí, señor.”

She caught me off guard so I spun around but did not see any seniors behind me. I turned back and asked again if she could recommend a non-Mexican restaurant.

“Sí, señor.”

Again, I turned around and as true as I am telling this, there was nobody behind me, especially a senior. Then it dawned on me. She was speaking Spanish. After all, this is California.

I understand that “Si” is the Spanish word for the English word “yes.”

I did not let on, however, but I was slightly offended by her calling me a senior. All she had to do was just say “yes, sir.” That would have made me happy.

It is important to hear but more than important than that to hear the right thing. After all, some of the stuff we hear is not worth hearing let alone repeating.

The apostle Paul set this down for us. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 KJV).

My faith is not based upon any rumor but upon the Word of God.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com.

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