Real Or Imitation?

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

I have a special tea I purchase at the Oriental grocery store near my home. Loose Jasmine tea. I love the aroma. I love the taste. I love the whole morning ritual of scooping the loose tea leaves into my mesh tea ball, placing it into my cup of choice, and pouring boiling water over it. It is perfect to my way of thinking.

On one visit to the Dead Animal Store, as I fondly call it due to the abundance of animal carcasses hanging from various hooks throughout the store, (Yuck-o) I absently reached for my favorite tea and placed the tin in my basket. It wasn’t until I prepared my tea from this new tin that I realized something was amiss.

This tea did not smell the same as my regular Jasmine tea. And worse, it did not taste the same, either. I looked closer at the container. The colors were similar. The wording appeared the same. But this was not my tea.

Jasmine? Yes. My Jasmine? No.

Similar. But not the same. One was genuine. One was not.

So I’m thinking…am I the only one tricked by imposters?

I don’t think so.

Other things besides tea trick us, don’t they? We come upon imposters almost daily.

We meet people who say things we want to hear although we know what they’re saying doesn’t exactly line up with what God tells us in his Bible. Still, we listen. Maybe even go along with what we’re being told.

We read something on the internet and it has to be true, right? Even if it is written from a view outside of God’s. We don’t consider checking the Bible to see if the facts line up.

We hear a message from a persuasive speaker with a friendly smile and believe it. Hook. Line. And Sinker. We’re reeled in before we realize it.

Imposters. One and all.

How do we discern the real from the fake? The Truth from the lies? Genuine from imposter?

I believe we need to make sure we know the real thing. The authentic word. The reliable source. The tin of tea that is marked correctly. Not the one that looks like it is.

We need to be so familiar with the real deal, we aren’t tricked by the imposter.

We need to study God’s word, the Bible, so we aren’t easily bamboozled.

While picking up the wrong Jasmine tea is not a dreadful thing in the big picture, picking up the wrong beliefs, the wrong teaching, the wrong truth, certainly can be.

Ever since that day I picked up the dragon tea, I’ve paid attention to the tin I wrap my hand around and place in my basket. I’m equally attentive to the Truths I take hold of and assign a place in my life.

How about you? Ever grabbed onto something you believed was right, only to find out later it wasn’t?

Leave your comments below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Dearly loved friends, don’t always believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God: test it first to see if it really is. For there are many false teachers around, and the way to find out if their message is from the Holy Spirit is to ask: Does it really agree that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, actually became man with a human body? If so, then the message is from God. If not, the message is not from God but from one who is against Christ, like the “Antichrist” you have heard about who is going to come, and his attitude of enmity against Christ is already abroad in the world. 1 John 4:1-3 (TLB)

I wish you well.


Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Don’t Judge a Fish-or Mammal-By Its Fins

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Have you ever made judgements based on what you think is true, only to find what you thought was so, isn’t?

When you think of hot surf spots does Surfside, or Galveston Beach, Texas come to mind? Probably not…unless you live on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

Pilot surfs. I don’t. Although Pilot has tried to teach me to surf, and teaches others the skill, I blame back issues and a lack of ability to stand up on the board for my not conquering the sport.

Several years back, Pilot and I had a lovely picnic dinner at Surfside beach the day before school began. I had a broken bone in my foot, which refused to heal, and was content to dangle from my boogie board while Pilot surfed.

While I dangled and twirled in the water, a school of silver bait fish jumped over my head. My first thought was Beautiful. In an instant, my second was Oh, no!

Pilot had just ridden a wave to shore. He turned, saw the fish, and had the same thought I did.


Being an intelligent person, I realized  none of the ripples which passed for waves that day would take me safely to shore. With my broken foot, I knew I’d never out swim a shark.

I resigned myself to having Pilot call in a substitute teacher for me while I  spent at least the first day of school in a hospital, recovering from a shark bite. It’d make a great story to tell my fifth graders, don’t you think?

As Pilot rushed to reach me, the shark got closer…

and turned into a dolphin.

Thank you, Jesus!

Like me mistaking a dolphin fin for a shark, have you ever looked at a situation, circumstance, or person, and made a judgement which upon closer inspection, turned out to be incorrect?

Maybe said something we shouldn’t have, based on what we thought were facts? Acted on errant truth and done more harm than good? Stayed away from a safe situation because we were suspicious?

We lacked discernment. The ability to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently.

Are there situations or people we need to deal with differently? Probably. Words we need to leave unspoken? Most assuredly. Words of life we need to speak? Undoubtedly.

Are we mistaking dolphins for sharks?

What to do? I think one thing would be to ask God to give us discernment and wisdom to know the difference. He will, you know. Another thing is to keep pressing on…even when we still don’t get it.

Leave your comments below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. James 1:5 (GNT)

I wish you well.


Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!