I Love Choco Pies!

Yes I love those little chocoloate covered, marshmellowy delights. Apparently they are a huge hit in North Korea, and according to this article, they are selling for up to ten bucks each on the black markets of North Korea. It is crazy to me that I can just pick up as many boxes of these as my car can hold on my way back from work while there are people who are searching these out on the black markets.

Also, in Taiwan, I came across this crazy scene of people lining up for a newly open store:


This picture doesn’t really do it justice, but here were people lining up as far as the eyes can see, and it actually wraps around the building more at the end. It’s about a two hour wait, can you guess for what? Krispy Kreme! Yeah, right? Who eats Krispy Kreme nowadays? Not that I have anything against them, but that was so 1990s.

These are reminders for me of the ridiculus excess we enjoy here in America, to a point where things highly coveted by others are simply afterthoughts for us. And unfortunately this carries over to our faith as well. How do we view our Bibles? Most homes probably have at least one, and most of us have more than one. I can think of eight that I own right now, and not to mention those we can pull up on our phones and computers.

We have access to so much, but sadly appreciate it so little. It’s a sobering thought that there are believers who are willing to be arrested or even killed for owning a Bible while I have several simply collecting dust. This is not meant to illicit guilt, although we can get there pretty quick if we extend this line of thinking to so many other things that we freely enjoy.

We do have a God who gives good gifts, so I am not saying we need to give all our things away. But I hope at the very least I can engender some appreciation of the things that really are of worth, and perhaps get us to pick up that Bible that’s been just lying around. Not because we feel guilty, but because we see it as the invaluable treasure that it is: the very words of God.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4








HIV Cure??

Read this on the news recently about a baby cured of HIV through early and aggressive antiretroviral meds. This would be the second documented case of a patient cured from HIV. No, the first was not Magic Johnson. It was this guy.

This reminded me of an illustration I used in a sermon some time ago. It’s pretty incredible the medical breakthroughs that have come out of HIV research over the years, and particularly in the realm of pharmaceuticals. Where it used to be a death sentence not even that long ago, HIV is now like a chronic disease that can be controlled with medications.

Yet despite all the medical advances and even though this story is exciting, there is no definitive cure. HIV is still a huge problem, especially overseas. HIV is such a fascinating virus the way it hijacks the body’s own cells to replicate itself, destroying the host cells in the process. Usually when something like that happens, our immune system catches on and starts to destroy the infected cells. But with HIV, the cells it takes over are the very ones that participate in the immune response. As the virus spreads, our body’s natural defenses fall apart, and eventually what kills the patient are other infections and diseases that take advantage of the weakened immune system.

HIV kills indirectly by getting rid of the very cells that are able to distinguish between what is good and what is bad. How devious. Satan also uses a similar strategy, doesn’t he? As Christians, we believe that the Bible teaches us the standards of truth, what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil. Satan knows that to weaken the church, you must destroy the truth on which the church stands.The New Testament writers spent a good amount of energy combating false teaching from spreading within the church. If you blur the lines between right and wrong, then people will eventually destroy themselves by indulging freely their desires.

Those warnings written 2000-plus years ago are still so relevant for us today. Looking at our post-modern world, I would say Satan has done an awfully good job. For many, there is no more objective truth and what’s wrong might be completely right to another. This moral relativism denies that the Bible has authority to proclaim what is right and what is wrong, and as a result people can live however they please. And in our apparent pursuit for freedom, we end up enslaved to our passions instead.

Let’s guard the truth with the same fervor as the Biblical writers. We need to know the Word so that we will not be deceived by the schemes of the evil one. What are some good ways you have found to be in the Word more consistently?

13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Timothy 1:13-14