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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

Aug. 10, 2010 - Grape Kool-Aid

By Alex Bryant

If you ever stop by my house for a visit, you might find me sitting on my couch with my feet up enjoying a great big cup of grape Kool-Aid. Notice I didn’t say, “glass of Kool-Aid.” My big, black, 32-ounce plastic cup is the best for drinking Kool-Aid, not a nice elegant glass. I love grape Kool-Aid. I used to drink it all the time — as a kid growing up, as a college student and even when I first got married. Early on in my marriage my wife was amazed that I would drink a gallon every two days. Then all of a sudden, in the summer of 1996, that all came to an end.

I took my first trip to the dentist office in about five years, and what he told me came as a big surprise. I had 12 cavities, some of them so big it was going to require extensive work. Over the summer of 1996, I took 11 trips to the dentist, had four crowns put in and three root canals. All of those who have spent a little time in the dentist chair know what I went through. For those of you with good teeth, take it from me, it was major pain and suffering.

My dentist and I tried to figure out why my teeth had so many cavities. He asked me a series of questions about my brushing and flossing habits to find that I brushed and flossed pretty regularly. I’m not much of a candy eater, and I make sure that I brush before bed each night. From the outside, my teeth looked fine, and I couldn’t see any cavities. I wasn’t experiencing any pain from my teeth, so I had no idea how bad my teeth were, let alone how they got so bad.

After much examination, the problem was revealed — my addiction to grape Kool-Aid had finally caught up to me. Did I say I love grape Kool-Aid? There’s nothing better than having a big cup of grape Kool-Aid so cold and sweet that it chills the teeth and you can see the sugar at the bottom and scoop it up with a spoon.

That was the problem. I drank too much of it, and I definitely put too much sugar in it. At night, before I went to bed, after I brushed my teeth I would have one more cup to give me sweet dreams. I drank it all the time and even at the wrong time. My dentist told me I had to cut way back. There is nothing wrong with a cup of grape Kool-Aid every now and then, but not like I was drinking it.

Have you ever noticed there are things in life that you love — things that are sweet and good, but if truth be told, you are addicted to them? Some things are not wrong or bad, but when we have too much of them, they become a problem. There are things that we do that tend to overtake us and cause part of us to rot away; often we may not even notice it’s happening. These things cause “cavities” in our lives that can go undetected. They aren’t necessarily bad things in and of themselves, but when we don’t control them, they become a problem. This could be too much TV, too much food, too much music, too much time on the Internet, too much of a focus on a relationship. What’s your grape Kool-Aid?

Notice, I started this by saying that if you stop by my house you still might see me enjoying a cup of grape Kool-Aid. I still love it! I don’t drink it all the time like I used to, but I enjoy a cup every now and then. That’s OK! Contrary to what many people think, God doesn’t want to stop us from doing things we enjoy. He just doesn’t want these things to come before Him and what He has for us to do. TV, good food, music, the Internet, relationships — He’s cool with all these things. As long as we seek Him first and put Him first, we can enjoy these things in the right way.

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33, NIV).

— Alex Bryant serves as college and young adults pastor at First Assembly of God in Fort Myers, Fla.



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