Tootsie Pops vs. Suckers

Daily Post: Lollipop


I’ve only had a couple of cavities in my life, and those when I was very young.  While I don’t adhere to the strictest calendar regarding Dentist visits, I’m confident from the last time I was in the hot-seat that I inherited the good teeth gene.  I rarely have that many sweets at one time, and I haven’t had a lollipop or tootsie pop since my twenties.  That’s over 40 years for those who don’t know me well.

Mostly I associate suckers with going to a Doctor (not a Dentist) and getting a treat when the appointment went well, meaning I didn’t cry, whine, or complain when I got a shot.  On the other hand, tootsie pops were my absolute favorite for awhile, because I loved the tootsie roll chocolate center when all the hard candy coating was licked off.  To this day I still like tootsie rolls although you won’t find any in my cupboards.

According to a Daily News 2011 article “Halloween candy is delicious, but lollipops and sticky taffy bars are the worst for your teeth.”  The author of the article says “Fruit is better than candy any time, but try telling that to a child!”  Apparently the worst candies for anyone are taffy and other candies filled with caramel, coconut or nuts, and a close second would be hard candies like lollipops and jawbreakers.

Why would someone desire to consume something so obviously harmful to the health of one’s teeth?  That answer is not as hard to come up with as you might think.  In fact this answer is as old as human history.  When the first couple were given instructions on what they could consume for food from the garden, there was only one restriction from the Creator.

Genesis 2:16-17
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.

Along comes the tempter and convinces this couple that God really doesn’t mean they die, and besides that fruit is so good, God is just keeping it all to himself.  It’s good to look at, to smell, to touch, and to taste… so go ahead… you know you want to.  Regardless of what any parent says to their child at Halloween, these are the same words the child hears, when it comes to that stash of candy they just hoarded from the neighborhood.  So who’s to blame for all the cavities?  The kids?  The candy-makers?  The parents?  The Tempter?  God, because He let someone make the candy?  You see the problem?

Ultimately, if children don’t learn to control their urges, desires, or drives, the consumption of sugar, (or worse), could have disastrous results on their teeth, or health, or both.  Is there a simple lesson here?

What if tootsie tolls and lollipops are symbolic of more pressing adult issues which tempt our minds and hearts today?  Paul wrote about three things which have the power to destroy the human existence, from which we must keep constant awareness.

1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

James 1:13-16
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

Everything today that stands against the will of God in your life falls into one of three categories (according to John):  lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and boastful pride of life.  These are the three areas which the Tempter will attack you.  Every test that comes your way looks, feels and tastes like a candy treat… but will destroy you if you are not careful.  James says when you give in, committed to the temptation in action (sin), the result is death.

So… when the Tempter offers you lollipops… just say “no.”

It really is that simple.


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Who’s Domain?



I grew up in West Texas where they say “Everything is bigger!”  My family always lived in the wilderness, not in an urban setting, affording me the treasures and pleasures of outdoor life in its West Texas finest.  As a kid, I did all the normal kid things.  We played hide-n-seek, shoot-em up westerns, and tag football in the street, watch cartoons on the black-n-white TV.  When we got bored with these activities, we’d just go on down to the junk yard and watch the old cars rust.  Ah, those were the days.

Traipsing around the raw prairie outside my back door, I hunted Jack Rabbits by the hundreds, never making a tiny dent in the population of varmints that ate my mother’s flowers.  Along with all the benefits of living so close to the wild, there were also a few downsides.  Rattlesnakes and scorpions lived there too.  In fact these dangerous critters seem to think they owned the place, that it was their domain.  I had to learn very early in life to watch where I was walking out there in a territory that hasn’t changed much in the last several thousand years.  Humanity and modernization notwithstanding, the prairies of West Texas at times seem untouched by human hands, if you look in the right places.

Which makes me curious about exactly why God made Horned Toads in the first place.  Did God think to Himself, “One day, Texas Christian University is going to need a mascot for its football team. Hmmm, I think I’ll make a Horned Toad?”  Ludicrous, I know, but it makes you think.  Most of the time we don’t really know why God created some of the creatures that inhabit this planet.  And with all those other galaxies, and planets in the night sky, we are right to wonder if God hasn’t created other creatures on other planets, and think they are just as weird as that West Texas toad that has horns, and prickly places all over its back.

Rattlesnakes, well really snakes in general, kinda creep me out.  I don’t like them, never have, never will.  I have my fair share of run-ins with these slithering sacks of venom, and if I never see one again it will be too soon.  Snakes probably get a bad rap today because of how they are seen in the Bible.  In my mind’s eye, every time my Sunday School teacher would talk about Satan in the garden, taking on the form of a snake, whispering in Eve’s ear, I would envision my last rattlesnake encounter and shiver.

Which takes me to my main point for this word: Territory.  The fact is that while this old earth was supposed to be man’s domain, Sin has caused us to take a back seat to the Tempter as “the god of this world.”  For now, every human is subject to the Sin of the garden, and its accompanying curses, which ultimately lead to death.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  Yet, because we have choice by design, God also, in His infinite wisdom, made a provision for Adam’s and our bad choice of not worshiping Him as God.  God allows us to be subject to Death, until we trust in His only Son Jesus for salvation.  God still owns this world.  Jesus is the rightful King.  We are the rightful stewards.  Yet, until the consummation of human history found in the Book of Revelation, Satan is still “the god of this world.”  See it for yourself.

2 Corinthians 4:1-4
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

The slithering snake of ancient days is the god of this present world.  It’s not hard to see, it’s not hard to understand or comprehend.  One day, the Creator will take back this world that is rightfully His.  One day, the redeemed of God will be transformed into the perfected human beings God designed us to be.  One day God’s domain will again display God’s dominion and glory.  When?  Well that’s the question isn’t it?  We can’t know the time, the day, or the year, but there are things we can know.  If you want to discover more about God’s plan for taking back what’s is rightfully His domain, His Territory, click here

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