“If there was one last crust of bread in this town, it would be mine.” That’s a quote from a rather pretentious member of the clergy, stating how God would take care of him should the world come unhinged tomorrow. “Everyone else may starve,” he continued, “but God has promised me that I will always have enough.”This preacher quickly defended his statement by quoting Psalm 37:25 - “I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children out begging for bread.” This man considered himself godly; righteous; virtuous; favored by God. Thus, no harm would ever befall him or his family. They were guaranteed the divinely-charmed life with no worries about the future, for God had written them a blank check.The spiritual mathematics of such self-confidence looks like this: “I am godly, so I will always have what I want and will never go without.” The corollary for such a statement is also true: “If you are ungodly, then you will not always have what you need, and you will suffer.”To hear advocates of this position explain, those who please God always land on top of the heap. Their cupboards are always full, their gas tanks never empty, their table always running over, and their checks never bounce. The reward for righteous living is a full belly.But what about the godly Christians of yesteryear who did literally starve to death? Women like missionary Lottie Moon who gave her food away to the Chinese she loved and served, only to die of malnutrition herself? There is St. Lucian of Rome, and countless others like him, who was starved to death in a prison cell because he would not renounce Christ. What about the millions of souls facing starvation and persecution in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and beyond, many of whom are faithful Christians?And going without bread is not the only disaster to fall upon the truly devoted. Christians worldwide suffer daily under the ruthlessness of various regimes. Believers living in radicalized countries are persecuted at all levels of society. Many people of faith daily bear the economic and social consequences of living out their beliefs.
For kids, especially younger ones, lunch time at school is as much about the socializing as it is the food. How many times has your son or daughter come home with a lunch box that looks like it was not even touched? Kids are hungry and want to eat, but they would just rather socialize.In my home, we have encouraged better sack lunch consumption by applying the following tips:• Get the kids involved in the planning and making of their lunch. If you can do this the night before, you’ll save time in the morning rush to get out the door.• Keep the lunch balanced and colorful. According to federal dietary guidelines, children should eat two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables daily. And what could be more colorful than an apple or a peach or some broccoli florets?• Tack a cue from the culinary field where small bites and tapas are in. Make your own “Lunchables” meals, such as a combination of grapes, crackers, ham slices and cheese.• Feed the sweet tooth a bit. It is OK for children to have something small and sweet. Moderation is the key.
I tried to stay out of this, but like the proverbial moth drawn to the flame, I couldn’t: Oh Creflo, say it ain’t so! The Creflo of whom I speak is Creflo A. Dollar, pastor of the World Changers Church near Atlanta, Georgia, a church of some 30,000 members with a worldwide TV broadcast.First, I have to say that Creflo has the best name for a televangelist in the history of the genre. Dollar! And dollars, it appears, is what Brother Creflo is most concerned with. His net worth exceeds $25 million; he owns an $8 million home in Atlanta; a $2.5 million Manhattan Apartment, and various real estate holdings around the world; and he has a posh Rolls Royce or two in his driveway.Now, I don’t begrudge the man for being successful. Nor do I take issue with him because he was arrested last year. The charges were later dropped, but he allegedly assaulted his teenage daughter during an argument. I understand. With teenagers of my own, you could be reading about my booking at the local jail any day now, so I have no stones to throw.No, what draws me to the scorching flame is his most recent fundraising effort, an effort that has broken the Internet and a few pocketbooks this summer. He needed a new airplane so he asked his followers to assist him with the purchase of a Gulfstream G650, a $65 million technical marvel that is “the fastest plane in the history of civilian aviation.”If the man thinks he needs a $65 million jet, well, get the bit between your teeth and run with it over glory hill, brother, I don’t care (so long as I’m not the one paying the monthly operational costs). But for me, this is a problem: Creflo says that “faith” makes his success possible, and if you had faith like him, you could have everything he has and more, too. Yet, coercion has more to do with his financial success than faith.Here is what Creflo said back in 2011 (when he was slumming around on a Gulfstream III that only had a seven-figure price tag attached to it). Preaching about what he would do - if he could - to those who did not put their tithes in the offering plate, he said: “Red and blue lights would start going, the siren would go off, and a voice would go out throughout the entire building, ‘Crook, crook, crook, crook!’