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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN


Choking on Spam

A once familiar song contained the words, "The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be." In a world where things are changing at warp speed, many things aren't what they used to be. Take SPAM for instance. Time was when the word "SPAM" referred to a popular canned meat product used by many for sandwiches and lunches. Spam is a cheaper substitute for ham. You could fry Spam or eat it straight out of the can. But Spam was Spam, and that was that. But Spam is no longer simply a cheap meat you can eat. Now the word "Spam" can also refer to the hundreds and hundreds of "junk" email messages which show up, unsolicited, in the inboxes of e-mail subscribers. Spam in a computer bears no resemblance to Spam in a can, except some people hate the thought of having to open or look at either one!

Computer Spam is becoming a real problem. An article entitled "A spammer's life: filling up inboxes" (The Tennessean, Sunday 2/09/03, p 1A) reports that "the rapidly growing amount of Spam on the Internet is gaining national attention as the number of email messages is expected to increase from about 31 billion a day now, to 60 billion a day in 2006, with 30 to 40% of the total messages being junk mail, according to the market research company IDC." The article went on to point out that the growing glut of Spam is a threat to many computer users. Experts warn that some e-mail servers could collapse under the weight of the growing volume of Spam on the Internet. To counter the threat of smothering in spam, filters are available that weed out unwelcome adds for everything from Viagra to home mortgage loans.

There is, of course, a spiritual lesson and warning in all this. The world is filled with spiritual spam. Junk-messages, billions of them, surrounding us, seeking entry into the inbox of our hearts each day. Spiritual spammers who would crowd God and His Word and His priorities for our lives right out of our hearts. Though Jesus never encountered spam in a computer, He nevertheless warned about letting the world's junk crowd up our hearts. He alludes to such spiritual junk in the parable of the sower/soils in Luke 8:14. Concerning the seed (the word of God) that fell among thorns Jesus said, 'Now the ones that felI among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity." There you have it - a life/heart/soul suffocating in life's Spam. Saturated with the world's junk until there is little or no room left for God. We must soak our hearts and lives with the word of God lest we choke to death on the world's spiritual Spam.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ