Monthly Archives: May 2013

The “24 Hour” Queen

Denise Garrido and Riza Santos

For a brief period, all of Denise Garrido’s dreams were coming true. She had been crowned “Miss Universe Canada,” and she was going to have the opportunity to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition this December. The next day though, Denise watched as her dreams were smashed. In a humiliating and heart-wrenching moment, Garrido was stripped of her sash, crown, and trophy.

You might ask, “What horrible thing did she do?” Nothing. This terrible moment for Gerrido was based on a “typo!” Due to a typo in entering scores when a judge’s handwritten scores were entered into a computer, Denise was falsely crowned. Not only had she not won the competition, but she had actually come in fourth! Apparently, false advertising means nothing in pageants since the committee took away the honor and gave it to another!

Since, Miss Garrido will be too old to compete in the next Miss Universe competition, it was her “last chance” at this crown. Now…not to belittle what Denise has been through, but her situation pales in comparison with those who have been falsely crowned in this world. Just as in the pageant world, all mistakes will be corrected, and there won’t be 2nd chances in eternity. What was a brief moment of shock and horror for Denise Garrido will be eternity for others.

Of course, I am speaking of a crown of righteousness, about which the Apostle Paul writes, “the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). We need not worry about being stripped of that crown if we are truly His. But some people are wearing crowns given by false teachers. Sadly, they are “24 hour” Kings and Queens. Jesus made that clear in Matthew 7:23. There will be some who will claim access to the crown who never knew the real Jesus.

The crown is only for those who will follow His Word, not for those who wear crowns that rust and fade. Check out the real Jesus today…and look for a true crown in heaven!

From Yacht to Ghost Ship

The vessel once hosted dignitaries like British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and was the site of serious discussions during the Truman administration. The USS Williamsburg pictured in the 1940's.

Having just come back from a trip to Williamsburg, VA not too long ago, it was the name that caught my attention. It was a story on the news about the U.S.S. Williamsburg, the former yacht used by Harry S. Truman. It was literally a floating White House at times. Truman used the Williamsburg for business and vacations.  In fact, the Williamsburg was the grandest of yachts ever used by a president. But what I heard next about the ship was disappointing.

This once grand ship is rusting away in an Italian shipyard, having fallen into disrepair and neglect. When Dwight Eisenhower became President in 1953, he wasn’t interested in using the Williamsburg, and ordered her to be decommissioned. The yacht went through a series of damages and owners with varied purposes, but eventually investors purchased her and moved her to Italy with the intent to restore the Williamsburg to her former glory. Those plans have failed and the yacht has continued to rust and decay at dock.

You might ask, “how does this kind of thing happen?” Actually, decay and rust are the natural order of things for this world. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-20).

When you think of damage to your soul, do you think of immediate destruction or neglect over time? Most of us focus on trying to avoid the “big” sins. But often, ignoring everyday maintenance can cause worse destruction. Over time, we might find ourselves mere shells of our former glory, rotting inside, rusted, and “unseaworthy.” The good news is that through the blood of Christ, we can be restored to glory in God’s eyes. Won’t you come to Him today? Become a child of God or be restored today and be fit for service once more in His Kingdom!

Pyrrhic Victories

O.J. Simpson is back in the news again for appealing his conviction in 2008 for robbery and assault. Yeah, I know. An entire generation just said, “O.J. who?” But at one time, O.J. Simpson: football player, actor, and spokesperson, was on top of his game. Then America watched his downfall almost 20 years ago with possibly the most-watched car chase and murder trial of the century.

Amazingly, in what seemed like the ultimate victory, a jury failed to convict O.J. of allegedly murdering his ex-wife and her boyfriend. But his victory was so costly that he was unable to mount a serious defense in the civil court against the families of the Browns and Goldmans to the tune of $33.62 million dollars. In the years that followed, O.J. lost everything.

O.J. Simpson is a classic example of something called a “Pyrrhic Victory.” A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such devastating cost that it leaves the victor in a defenseless state for the next attack. It is named after King Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans in 280 & 279 BC. Pyrrhus is often quoted as having said, “Another such victory and we shall be utterly ruined.”

In Matthew 5:23-25, Jesus said, “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.”

Some battles simply aren’t worth winning. Have you ever “won the battle” only to have “lost the war?” We must guard carefully against entering battles that aren’t worth winning, especially within the church. Some battles are absolutely worth fighting no matter the cost: fighting against sin, resisting the Devil, etc. But we must choose our battles carefully. Have you wronged someone? Will you be able to stand in front of the Lord one day and say it was worth it? Will you allow a meaningless battle to consume you so much you aren’t able to fight the next, more important battle? Give it some thought…

Tweet Terrorists?

Being hacked is one of the big fears that people with computers have had for a long time. But a new form of hacking is particularly nasty – using electronic accounts to spread lies.

A couple of weeks ago hackers from an electronic terrorist group calling itself, “Syrian Electronic Army,” caused the DOW to drop 145 points. These terrorists managed to do something that even the Boston bombers weren’t capable of doing…they shook the financial markets. How did they accomplish this? Was it a bomb? Was it a hostage situation? No. It was a Tweet…one lonely little tweet.

Tweets are small electronic messages (microblogs) limited to 140 characters. Tweets have become a way of life for many and they are used to spread information to millions of people instantly. Major firms are now implementing tweet based technology. The problem? What happens when reputable sources, such as the media giant, AP (Associated Press), get hacked? And that is exactly what SEA managed to do.

The terrorists from the Syrian Electronic Army sent a tweet purporting to be from the Associated Press saying that there had been two explosions at the White House and President Barack Obama had been injured. The DOW went down 145 points instantly. Markets quickly rebounded after the AP said its Twitter account had been hacked, but incredible damage might have been done to our financial markets…all from one tiny little, unsupported, piece of information.

Misinformation is a major cause of pain and suffering in this world. In Acts 21:28-40, Paul is seized by a mob due to wild accusations and misinformation. In Joshua 22, misinformation and supposition almost led to civil war. Jesus told His disciples, “see to it that no one misleads you” (Matthew 24:4). He informed them that some would claim to be the Christ (5), some would start rumors of wars (6), and others would claim that the Christ had come (23). The Christian must be very careful to listen to good information, not being duped by rumors.

Financial markets might get fooled from false Tweets, but the real tragedy would be to get fooled about salvation. The best way to avoid that, of course, is by staying in the true Word of God – the only reputable source.