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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Which Smith is the Right Smith?

During one of my college breaks, I flew from Cleveland to Boston to visit a friend. When I arrived (this was back in the days before cell phones) I rummaged through my purse for Sandra Smith's number.
I panicked when I couldn't find the slip of paper where I recorded her information. Stupid me, I'd neglected to get her address, as well. If you know Boston, you know it's a huge city. The phone book would doubtless display tons of Smiths. Which Smith could possibly be the right Smith?
It took me an hour, with the help of a sympathetic airport employee (try finding one of those nowadays!) to narrow the field of Smiths down to two. Fortunately, the first one I called was indeed Sandra's number.

The Right Smith
Imagine my embarrassment if I'd called the wrong Smith.
Even worse, what if I called the wrong Smith and he or she pretended to be the right Smith?

In the world of Faith, I wonder if there are lots of people like that. You know, the ones who say they know Jesus Christ but their lives sure don't reflect that they really know Him.
I wonder if these people made a big mistake and called the wrong Jesus.
Just because a person is called Jesus, doesn't make him the right Jesus.
There are lots of faiths that claim to be the right one.
How do you know?

The Wrong Smith
Remember the young man I wrote about in an earlier blog? the one who said he'd received Christ and that was all he needed? He didn't need to hang out with Christians or go to church or study the Bible or pray.
Shortly after he made that statement, his life skidded down a slippery path of drug addiction and run-ins with the law.
I wonder if he'd received another "Christ,"  a counterfeit, who promised good things but who didn't really love him like the real Christ, or possess the transforming power of the real Christ.

If the wrong Smith had answered my phone call and come to the airport to pick me up, what would my visit to Boston have been like that week? What if, instead of going to concerts and museums and near-by friends and relatives' houses, we'd hung out at dives with pimps and drug-dealers?

Not just any Smith -- or Jesus Christ -- will do.
It has to be the right one.

How can you distinguish between the real Christ and the counterfeits?
1. Draw near to God in prayer,
2. study His Word,
3. learn from other solid Believers,
 and especially. . .
4. ask the Holy Spirit to grant you His "wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better." (Eph. 1:17)

"We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands." 1 John 2:3 NIV)

"No good tree bears bad fruit, not does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit." (Luke 6:43 NIV)


  1. Dena,
    Your posts are always gripping and inspiring.A joy-filled New Year to you and happy writing amidst that majestic beauty!

  2. Thanks so much, Bobbe. A wonderful New Year to you and yours, also!