Watch Out for Fakes

MY FRIEND ATE DOG FOOD ONE EVENING. He was at an elegant student reception in a physician’s home. The dog food was served on delicate crackers with a wedge of imported cheese, bacon chips, an olive, and a sliver of pimento on top. It was hors d’oeuvres a la Alpo. The hostess, just graduated from a gourmet cooking course, decided to put her skill to the ultimate test. Did she ever!

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Cool Skepticism

NINE-YEAR-OLD DANNY BURST OUT OF Sunday school, eyes darting in every direction trying to locate his mom or dad. After a quick search, he grabbed his daddy by the leg and yelled, “Man, that story of Moses and all those people crossing the Red Sea was great!” His father looked down, smiled, and asked the boy to tell him about it.

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No Worms in Heaven

IT HAPPENED TO ME LAST WEEK. Isaac Watts did it again. One of his best hymns (he wrote over six hundred!) lingered in my head for more than an hour before I formed the words with my mouth. I suddenly listened to what Watts wrote over two centuries ago: Alas! and did my Savior bleed? / And did my Sovereign die?Would He devote that sacred head / For such a worm as I?

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Beware of False Prophets

THERE’S A SUCKER BORN EVERY MINUTE. That isn’t funny; it’s tragic. Fakery draws its fuel from the pit. That’s what God tells us. These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. . . . Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. 2 CORINTHIANS 11:13–15

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Sincerity

“ANGELA ATWOOD WAS a dear, honest, sincere girl, who—like Christ—died for her beliefs.” These words actually fell from the lips of the Reverend Citro, a Roman Catholic priest, as he delivered Angela’s eulogy to those who had gathered in St. Paul’s Church of Prospect Park, New Jersey. Sadly, this young woman was one of the six hard-core Symbionese Liberation Army members killed in Los Angeles in 1974.

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Sound a Clear Call

“DON’T GARBLE THE MESSAGE!” If I heard that once during Marine boot camp, I must’ve heard it four dozen times. Again and again, our outfit was warned against hearing one thing, then passing on a slightly different version. You know, changing the message by altering the meaning just a tad. It’s so easy to do, isn’t it? Especially when it’s filtered through several minds then pushed through each mouth, it is amazing how the original story, report, or command appears after it has gone through its verbal metamorphosis.

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Receiving Knowledge

SLICE IT ANY WAY YOU WISH, ignorance is not bliss. Dress it in whatever garb you please, ignorance is not attractive. Neither is it the mark of humility nor the path to spirituality. It certainly is not the companion of wisdom. On the contrary, it is the breeding ground for fear, prejudice, and superstition . . . the feeding trough for unthinking animals . . . the training field for slaves.

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Give Yourself Permission

AT A BAZAAR IN NORTHERN INDIA, an old farmer brought in a whole covey of quail. He had tied a string around one leg of each bird. The other ends of all the strings were tied to a ring which fit loosely over a central stick. He had taught the quail to walk dolefully in a circle, around and around, like mules at a sugarcane mill. Nobody seemed interested in buying the birds until along came a devout Brahman. He believed in the Hindu idea of respect for all life, so his heart of compassion went out to those poor little creatures walking in monotonous circles.

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A Disappointing Discovery

Will it be well when God examines your life, or will it be a disappointing discovery? I can’t speak for you because I have no idea. . . . Is that going to be a disappointing discovery, or will it be well with you?

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The Unseen Enemy

Job does not deserve even the suggestion of mistreatment. He has walked faithfully with God, certainly in his adult years. He is now the best of the best, “greatest of all the men of the east.” On top of all that, he is a humble servant of God.

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