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Bible Bible study error false teaching preaching truth

METH-FLAVORED MILKSHAKE

Neal Pollard

It allegedly happened in 2014, but now Fred Maldonado is taking In-N-Out Burger to court for what he said he found at the bottom of his cup.  While their is some “fishiness” to his story and the restaurant “will vigorously defend [against] these baseless claims,” Maldonado “found a napkin and two capsules in the bottom of his milkshake cup” and “later testing revealed that the capsules contained methamphetamine” (from “Businesstech” article).

Search the internet a little and you will find more stories than you can probably stomach about what people have found in their prepared or packaged food and drinks.  As a consumer, the thought of such is enough to make you grow everything you eat and never eat out again.  In the supposed “meth” incident, add danger to disgust!  There is a certain amount of faith and trust one has that those responsible for getting his or her food (or drink) will give them what and only what they paid for.

Tragically, every Sunday in churches across the globe, people sit down to receive what they sincerely believe to be the “bread of life” (cf. John 6:35) and the “water of life” (John 4:10). They trust that the one who is delivering it to them, maybe one they consider a friend and a spiritual brother, is giving them exactly what is claimed—the Word of God. Yet, Scripture warns that there are those who taint the message with something far more appalling and dangerous than anything else could be.  Instead of truth, they get myths (2 Tim. 4:4). Instead of the sure word of Scripture, they get destructive heresies (2 Pet. 1:19-2:1). Instead of light, they get darkness (John 12:46). Instead of Christ, they get philosophy, empty deception, tradition of men, and elementary principles of the world (Col. 2:8).

Paul wrote that divine judgment awaits any who “did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness” (2 Thess. 2:12).  The hearer has a responsibility to check what the teacher says, to make sure it is right and true (Acts 17:11).  God will hold everyone responsible for what they did with His Word. Even though teachers face a stricter judgment (cf. Jas. 3:1), He holds you and me responsible for avoiding dangerous, disgusting doctrine.  It takes practice to have our “senses trained to discern good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).  Take charge of your own spiritual nourishment, from what you hear on Sunday to what you read every day!

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discouragement encouragement faithfulness

“What Ever Happened To Toasters?” (*)

Neal Pollard

That’s what Tidewater resident Laila Cheikh might want to know.  She made a cash withdrawal for her cab company drivers from her Newport News, Virginia, Bank of America branch and got an unexpected “gift.”  Someone accidentally included a dye pack, like those given to bank robbers, in her bag of cash.  It exploded, leaving a huge mess and a foul smell.  That was on August 14, 2008.  In March, 2009, she sued Bank of America for bodily injuries from the dye (via USA Today Online, 8/14/08; Janie Bryant, The Virginian-Pilot, 3/14/09).  It’s unclear if the case has ever been solved.

I imagine you have had a day or two when you were delivered a less than pleasant surprise.  It may have been a dose of bad news.  Perhaps it was that person whose apparent color-blindness regarding the red light roped you into a fender bender that changed your morning plans.  It might have been a pink slip from a company you’ve faithfully served for years.  So many things can happen unexpectedly which alter your course or have a negative impact on you.

Though it will not compare to the day Job had (Job 1-2), it will test your character, your attitude, and your Christian example.  What you do when the unexpected and unpleasant “blows up in your face” is crucial!  You can be a light or you could cross over to the “dark side” (cf. Matt. 5:13-16; 1 Th. 5:8-10).  It’s up to you.  You never know what might be in the “bag of life.”  Be ready!

 

(*) They used to give new customers a toaster when they opened a bank account (before my time).

 

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Uncategorized

The Price Of A Prank

Neal Pollard

A summer intern at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) apparently thought it would be funny to “confirm” the names of the four pilots of Asiana Flight 214 to a TV station in the bay area where the tragic crash occurred less than a week before the prank was played.  An Oakland news anchor read the false, insensitive names as the names appeared on screen.  It was horribly offensive.

While the intern no doubt thought it was funny (and perhaps others encouraged him and thought it was funny, too), he (or she) may feel differently today.  The intern was fired and both the TV station and the NTSB have profusely apologizes for the error.  Asiana Airlines has been seriously considering filing a lawsuit against the station for defamation.  Though the story will probably contain further developments, the damage done is considerable.

David once prayed, “Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe Your commandments” (Ps. 119:66). Would you agree with me that demonstrating poor judgment is an all-too-common frailty with which many of us suffer?  Whether a hasty word  (see Prov. 29:20), impulsive action (cf. 2 Tim. 3:6; Ti. 3:3), or snap judgment (Prov. 18:13), the moment of thoughtlessness is often followed by a mountain of regret.

So many areas of life require sound judgment and forethought, whether big decisions like finances, relationships, education, and career or “little” decisions like how to respond to a store clerk or customer service agent, whether or not to tell the truth in a matter, or how to react to something harsh or negative that somebody says to you.

We never know how costly our rashness will be.  Jephthah could write a book about it (cf. Jud. 11:30ff).  May our prayer ever be, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips” (Ps. 141:3).