April Fool’s Day

Funny-April-Fools-Day-PhotosToday is the day of practical jokes and epic spoofs—it’s April Fool’s Day.  I learned early in life that the spoofer seems to get more joy out of this day than does the spoofed.

While under the influence of an older sister, poor little innocent me was persuaded to put salt in the sugar bowl and sugar in the salt shaker.

I snickered when I saw Mom slice a grapefruit in half, get a spoonful of salt out of the sugar bowl, and spread it on her grapefruit.  I laughed out loud when she took the first bite and quickly spit it back out.

Mom didn’t see the humor, and my laughter had implicated me as a guilty partner in this devious plan that was hatched in the mind of my older sister.  Shame on her for being such a poor influence on poor little innocent me.

The public has been duped on this day on more than one occasion:

  • On April 1, 1996, Virgin Cola issued a warning to consumers in the British newspapers. They announced that on the sell-by-date, a new technology would cause a reaction that would turn the can blue.  This spoof was a slap at Pepsi who had recently unveiled its newly designed bright blue cans.
  • Also on April 1, 1996, Taco Bell ran a full-page ad in six major newspapers to announce it had purchased the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell. This spoof outraged patriotic citizens across the USA, and many of them called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia to express their anger. Nerves were calmed after Taco Bell revealed it was just a practical joke
  • On April 1, 1987, the Daily Mirror broke the startling news of a romance between Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev. To support the fabricated story, the newspaper had hired models that looked like Thatcher and Gorbachev.1987thatcher_400

God may have a sense of humor, but He doesn’t think the life of a fool is a laughing matter.  Since this is April Fool’s Day, I thought I would post a verse or two about fools from God’s perspective:

  • Psalm 14:1: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
  • Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of much learning. Fools hate wisdom and teaching.
  • Proverbs 13:20: He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the one who walks with fools will be destroyed.
  • Proverbs 14:16: A wise man fears God and turns away from what is sinful, but a fool is full of pride and is not careful.

I think this last verse is a fitting conclusion: He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be kept safe (Proverbs 28:26).

Rubber Ducky

121-pack27-021514-tmCanard is a French word that means duck, but to understand the true meaning of “canard,” you need to consider its older context. The French phrase, “vendre des canard a moitie, means “to sell ducks by half.”

As the story goes there was one merchant in a town who sold ducks. Everything went well until a second merchant entered the market, and he started a bidding war. The price went from 8 Francs to 7 and down to 6. The original duck merchant became frustrated, so he advertised: “Ducks for Two Francs.” However, in small print at the bottom of the advertisement, it read: “for half a duck.”

The word “canard” became associated with something that was literally true, but also misleading. Canard is now used in reference to trickery, deceit, or a hoax.

Paul warns us of canards: “We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting (Ephesians 4:14).

Flash back to the Garden of Eden and the serpent’s persuasive little chat with Eve that had resounding repercussions. In this conversation, Satan employed deceptive language to create doubt in the mind of Eve: “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

“Indeed,” as used here, is a word of innuendo; Satan was saying: “You’ve got to be kidding! Only a crazy person would limit your freedom and say you can’t have something that is so good for you.” This was a tactic to kindle Eve’s smoldering desire.

And, desire never reads the fine print. James spoke of the subtle power of desire: “Each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death (1:14, 15).”
Did you notice the two words preceding “desires?” They are not “your neighbor” or “your friend.” They are: “his own.” What may tempt me may be of no concern to you, but both of us are responsible to control the desires that urge us on.

Ray Stedman has an interesting comment on this:
The first step the Devil takes with us is always to arouse desire to do wrong, to create a hunger, a lure or enticement toward evil. The second is to permit intent to form and an act to occur. This is what James describes as “desire when it has conceived bringing forth sin.” Notice that the symbol he employs is that of conception and birth. There is a gestation period in temptation, for once desire is aroused there occurs a process within which sooner or later issues in sin, an act that is wrong. The third stage is that the Devil immediately acts upon the opportunity afforded by the evil act to move in and to produce results which Scripture describes as death — “Sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.”

If you want to give a little more thought to this subject, think about how Satan tempted Eve in connection to the two” lusts” and one “pride” in I John 2:15-16.