Tag Archives: aa

Anyone who would like to opt out of the final exam today will receive a *B* for the course."

     The story is told of a professor who stood before his class of 20 senior organic biology students, about to hand out the final exam.
 
     “I want to say that it’s been a pleasure teaching you this semester. I know you’ve all worked extremely hard and many of you are off to medical school after summer.  So that no one gets their GPA messed up because they might have been celebrating a bit too much this week, anyone who would like to opt out of the final exam today will receive a “B” for the course.”
 
     There was much rejoicing amongst the class as students got up, passed by the professor to thank him and sign out on his offer.  As the last taker left the room, the professor looked out over the handful of remaining students and asked, “Any one else?  This is your last chance.” One final student rose up and took the offer.
 
     The professor closed the door and took attendance of those students remaining.  “I’m glad to see you believe in yourself.” he said.  “You all have “A’s.”
 
     Too often, we’re content to settle for second best.  A lot of students would be thrilled to settle for a “B” (“That’s better than I usually get.”  “That’s doing better than most of the others I know.”).  And most students, I think, would rather get a “B” with little time spent studying, than to make the effort it takes to get an “A”.
 
     A lot of us are content to settle for second best in our spiritual lives as well.  We’re close to God (at least closer than many people we know), but we aren’t willing to take the time and the effort to have the kind of relationship we know God wants us to have.
 
     The biggest problem with settling for second best is that we miss out on that which is best.
 
     “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!’  ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’ ” (Luke 10:42)
 
    What Martha was doing was good (second best, even), but “Mary has chosen what is better.”  May we always seek out and choose “what is better” in our relationship with God! 
  
Alan Smith 

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A 30-day indulgence in sin

Yesterday a man told me of how he has gone through several difficulties in his life.  Because his past circumstances have been so hard, he decided to indulge in some heavy drinking to ease his pain.  He told himself he would only drink for one month.  This 30-day indulgence turned into four years of drinking and he sometimes drank a half gallon of liquor a day.

Now, after getting involved with the Indiana court system because of his drinking, he openly acknowledges the truth found in Prov. 20:1:  “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; And whosoever erreth thereby is not wise.”

A new year has come.  Make smart, wise, and Biblical choices. 

Brad, www.abiblecommentary.com

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If you are a *social drinker*…

 “Social” is an interesting word. It can be a noun, as in “church social,” referring to a gathering of people to socialize. Usually, it is an adjective–“social studies, ” “social club,” “social butterfly,” and “social grace.” “Social” modifies another word to form a phrase ordinarily found only in the constraints of religious discussion. The phrase is “social drinking.”

Social drinking implies situations such as guests in the home, friends at a meal or bar, or business dinner or pary where a typically smaller amount of alcohol is consumed. Certainly, this is an issue that often gets swept under the church-house rug, where silent pulpits, bulletins, and Bible classes turn the collective head on the subject. Well, fools go where angels fear to tread. Therefore, allow me to ask a few questions about “social drinking.” What constitutes the limit on social drinking? In other words, when does one cross the social line in social drinking? If one of the drinkers has two rather than one, is it still social drinking? Three rather than two? Four rather than three? When is it excessive? Who, of the other drinkers, is to be the judge of that (Christians are encouraged to use “righteous judgment,” John 7:24)?

Often, there are those in the “social drinking” crowd who try not to miss a shot, hit, refill, or round. For all the sippers, there are guzzlers, too. Yet, what makes four wrong and one right? What positive social messages does it send? Sophistication? Success? With social drinking, what is the Christian hoping to achieve? A soul-winning opportunity? A Christ-like influence? A demonstration of the transformed life (cf. Romans 12:1-2)? Or, is it simply anohter way of conforming, bowing to the social pressures of a worldly-minded society? It does not edify the body of Christ (Romans 14:19. Could it rather often simply be a way to seek the acceptance and approval of secular friends, co-workers, and employers (cf. James 4:4)? Are there negative social implications? YES! It can send a conflicting message to non-Christian or new-Christian fellow-drinkers, to whom we express disdain and condemnation for drunkenness (Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8). Also, the social landscape is changing. Social drinking, to high school and college party-goers, stretches all the way to bald-faced drunkenness.

It is not uncommon to hear stories of “social drinkers” passed out or worse from drinking or even alcohol poisoning. Can we envision a soul-winner sitting down to a Bible study with a lost person with a mixed drink in hand? Or a preacher gesturing carefully during his sermon as he holds his glass of wine? Or an elder pleading with a wayward Christian to come home, laying his shot of whiskey down long enough to pray with them? Or a church fellowship, complete with the deacon of bartending on hand? Far greater social destruction has come from alcohol than social salvation (i.e., medical benefits, etc.).

The Bible does preach moderation and self-control in all things (Galatians 5:23). But, are we sure that this is tacit endorsement of something so filled with potentially negative side-effects, socially as well as physically? Certainly, you will ultimately decide on which side of the ledger social drinking falls. But consider this a loving plea. Be careful with the precious commodities you possess as God’s child–your inlfuence, example, holiness, and righteousness. “Respect what is right in the sigh of all men” (Romans 12:17b).

–Neal Pollard

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The Keeley Institute

In studying from an old Bible commentary on Second Peter by J. Nieboer I came across a reference to the “Keeley Cure” for alcoholics and was curious if many others have heard of this “cure” (please take the survey below). Also below is a short description about the “Keeley Cure” from wikipedia

“The Keeley Institute, known for its Keeley Cure, was a commercial medical operation that offered treatment to alcoholics from 1879 to 1965. Though at one time there were more than 200 branches in the United States and Europe, the original institute was founded by Leslie Keeley in Dwight, Illinois, United States. After Keeley’s death the institute began a slow decline but remained in operation under John R. Oughton, and, later, his son. The Keeley Institute offered the internationally famous Keeley Cure, which drew sharp criticism from those within the mainstream medical profession. The Keeley Institute’s location in Dwight, Illinois had a major influence on the development of Dwight as a village. There are only a few remaining indications in Dwight that the Keeley Institute was once a major force.”

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