Vol. 11 No. 11 November 2009
By James Hayes
There was a story posted on a popular political blog about a dog who died in a house fire after alerting its owners of the impending disaster. Jeter, named for New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, was a 120-pound Great Pyrenees “rescue dog,” retrieved from the humane society in Shelby County, Ohio three years ago. Jeter had been starved and beaten as a puppy. His owner, Glenda Moss of Piqua, OH, had lost another Great Pyrenees to illness prior to rescuing Jeter.
At about 6:00 a.m. on June 11, Jeter began poking and licking Glenda’s face as she slept. She tried to get Jeter off of her, but she quickly realized that things were not right. Hearing the crackle of fire and smelling smoke, Glenda jumped from her bed and alerted her son David, 19, that the house was on fire. David and Glenda ran out of the house with Jeter close behind. However, for some unknown reason, Jeter ran back into the house. Glenda and David chased him, but the smoke in the burning house was too thick—they could only stay in the house a few minutes. Jeter died.
The blog that featured that story is viewed by approximately 23 million people a day. If only half of those people read the story of Jeter’s heroics, 11.5 million people got a small dose of inspiration. Surely a few million of them forwarded that story to friends and family via email. A few million probably told at least one person about Jeter’s final day. Undoubtedly, the owners of Jeter will never forget the sacrifice Jeter made on their behalf. All of this attention and all of this inspiration has come from a dog, a soulless, instinct-driven, mute dog.
Which story will you share today? The story of a dog or the story of the true Savior? Which one can save your soul? “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).
Donald R. Fox
I do not know of any perfect people, do you? The narcissistic personalities may think they are perfect, but they are so mistaken. Most normal folks understand that we all have flaws, shortcomings. Some of us are painfully aware of our flaws and try to overcome and correct these character shortcomings. It is sad to realize that some folks will not or cannot recognize their negative character traits.
I always chuckle at one of the Cheerios cereal TV commercials. Paraphrasing, the husband is reading from the Cheerios box, that the cereal will help one lose weight. His wife standing near and eating a bowl of Cheerios states, “Do I need to lose weight?” giving him one of those looks. The husband, flustered, says, “No, no the box.” With that look his wife asks, “What else does the box say?” Looking defeated, he quickly says, “Shut up, Steve.” With that wifely smile, his wife wins one again. I like both of them! Steve quickly recognized that he was misunderstood and better shut up. Way to go, Steve!
We all need to watch our words. Words convey thoughts! When one is speaking to a stranger or one that does not know him too well, exercise caution. Further, we need to be aware that some people are always ready to jump on our mistakes and flaws. Some have hidden agendas coupled with their own character flaws. It should also be understood that our words and deeds should be pointed and accurate when we discuss the Word of God, “but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). The apostle Paul was misunderstood and/or accused with the charge of fickleness. “When I therefore was thus minded, did I show fickleness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with one there should be the yea yea and the nay nay?” (2 Corinthians 1:17).
“Paul’s argument is simply that: Surely I cannot be accused of fickleness merely upon the basis of changes in my plans! He further declared that he had made his plans in good faith, changing them only when there appeared good and sufficient reasons for doing so. Incidentally, there is a glimpse in this of the fact that even so Spirit-filled a person as the blessed apostle was compelled to make future plans, not upon the basis of direct inspiration, but upon the basis of sober, practical, good judgment. Some of the charismatics of our own times should take note of this.” “Yea yea and nay nay…” This is an idiom for double talk, insincerity, and deception.” (James Burton Coffman. “2 Corinthians 1:17.” James Burton Coffman Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians, 311)
The General Epistle of James is filled with advice and warnings concerning many human flaws. Let us notice a few verses: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak. Slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:19-21). “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? (James 2:14). “…but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8).