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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

Nov. 16, 2010 - Quack!

By Scott Harrup

An old proverb tells us, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.” Or as British humorist Douglas Adams has been quoted, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.”

I’ve been reading about K2, an “incense” of widening popularity thanks to one of its key ingredients, JWH 018. John W. Huffman, an organic chemist at Clemson University, developed JWH 018 for the purposes of pain control. Huffman’s recipe is a synthetic form of marijuana, and its effects, by some accounts, are more intense than those of the natural variety. Huffman’s research rejected the compound’s medicinal value, but the recipe quickly leaked to consumers with less-noble goals.

K2 was recently outlawed in Missouri. Close copies are already on the market to thwart the law. It sounds like a never-ending cycle of copies of something we’d all be better off without. The whole subject could become moot if American society continues on the path to legalize marijuana. But, for now, the push-and-pull attempts to create fake forms of pot continue.

I see in this pharmacological mix a larger life principle, even one that connects with me personally. No, I’m not smoking anything and have no desire to begin doing so, but I believe it’s part of the human condition to try and create “legal” copies of sins we feel drawn toward.

Issues of sexual morality come to mind. Christians who are committed to lives of godly chastity may find themselves wrestling with shades of gray regarding physical intimacy in a dating relationship. Think how many pastors have heard the question “How far is too far?” during counseling sessions. Within marriage, Christian husbands and wives must continually guard themselves against inappropriate relationships that could lead to adultery.

The battle with temptation, of course, touches every part of our lives. Perhaps you are in a quandary today regarding a decision you know does not reflect godly living. But you keep tweaking the details, trying to identify some way to follow through without “technically” sinning.

Many times I encounter such decisions. Thankfully, when I take the time to pray and keep an open heart to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, He is faithful to whisper a warning.

And, suddenly, what sounded like a good idea begins a quiet “quack.”

— Scott Harrup is managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Out There (



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