Articles by Stan Dean

Things Are Not Always As They Appear

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Recently my daughter took her four-year-old son, Nix, to Chuck E. Cheese’s. In case you have never gone there, it is an establishment that is particularly geared to youngsters. There are games galore for kids to play- - all at a price of course. And if I recall correctly, you can even order pizza and drinks, but I digress!

Back to the games, these are token-operated machines. You purchase the tokens in bulk for a set price. After you play a game of choice, the machine will issue paper tickets that can be traded in for a variety of toys and prizes. The more tickets you have the bigger the toy or the more small things you can choose, etc.

Well, Nix had played several games before they left which meant that he had accumulated several tickets for purchasing a toys (or toys). After he had surveyed all the possibilities, he decided on a few small things. One of those was a pink bracelet. To be discrete, my daughter did not think that was an appropriate selection, because it was not exactly masculine. But when she saw that he was determined to get it, she allowed him to thinking he would not play with it anyway.

When they got to the car, he pulled out the bracelet and said, “I got this for you mommy. You bought the tokens, so I wanted to get you a bracelet.” All the sudden what started out as an “inappropriate choice” turned out to be one of the sweetest gifts she had ever received! Things are not always as they appear.

As I thought about that, there was another thought that came to my mind. I see a lot of people, women in particular, that wear crosses as jewelry. If you had worn a cross in the days of the Roman Empire, it would have probably been considered terribly inappropriate. After all, the Romans used crosses for execution. By way of comparison, it would be much like someone wearing a small electric chair for jewelry today!

But that is not the case today because of Jesus! Christians do not glorify the execution, but we celebrate the redemption of our sins by Jesus’ death on the cross. As Paul penned, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
I suppose to someone who does not know Jesus, wearing a cross might appear inappropriate. But for those of us who know Him it represents the sweetest of all gifts. Again, things are not always as they appear!


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