Don't Mess with Dr P !

I have a fondness for all things Dr Pepper! I used to prefer the real thing that included Imperial Pure Cane Sugar! Back in the day, I would try to get to Dublin, Texas occasionally to get my “Dr P fix” in the little 8-ounce glass bottles. That is how Dr Pepper should be enjoyed! Now, I’m trying to go a little healthier these days and, every so often, will try some zero sugar products. That’s why I was tempted recently to buy a twelve-pack carton of Dr P “dark berry!”😮

Dr. Pepper and
A Not-So-Fav Variety

I found this oddity prominently on display at the Bloomington Hy-Vee. I stood there trying to figure out what this “Limited Edition” anomaly of Dr Pepper was all about when I looked up just as another guy standing across from me was putting two 12’s in his cart. I blurted out, “Have you ever tried this before?” He quickly responded, “No, but I was trying to imagine this “dark berry” in an ice-cream float!” That convinced me to give it try (sans ice cream the first time)!

Texans have been promoting their trademarked, anti-littering campaign, “Don’t Mess with Texas!” since 1985. This slogan has been applied (without permission, I’m sure!) in the context of sporting rivalries, historic braggadocio, etc. After this last Dr P experiment, I was sorely tempted to “borrow” the coveted slogan in an attempt to discourage further tampering with the famed formula!

I’m still not sure what I was drinking in that “dark berry” Pepper, but it wasn’t that good! There was a noticeable ad promotion of a ferocious Pyroraptor from Jurassic World on the side of the can. I can honestly say that the whole idea of mixing any berry with the sacred taste of genuine Dr Pepper was a whole lot scarier to me than that raptor! The whole ordeal had me crying out, “This is nasty and it’s not Dr Pepper!”

Didn't Even Try This!
Temptation, by its very definition, is being enticed to think, try or do something that may, in the end, be harmful to us, our relationships and even destructive to our faith. The Old Testament story of Joseph is an example of how to resist temptation and preserve one’s reputation. Joseph was tempted by another man’s wife, but he didn’t yield to it. Instead, he resisted and fled from the scene (see Genesis 39 for the details).

James has some insights into the progressive steps of yielded temptation. “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15, NLT). Considering the alluring nature of temptation, James advises, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you…” (Ja. 4:7b-8a). Joseph did suffer some injustices because of the wife’s actions. In the end, however, Joseph honored his commitments to God and was incredibly blessed by Him!

One time, I had a seminary professor say that every time we join the devil in a temptation to evil, we are joining the Holy Spirit in us to that thought and action. Of course, this is at odds with God’s design for us and we will feel that disconnect in our spirits. And we should because we are attempting to mix evil with the sacred Presence of the indwelling Spirit of God.

John reminds us that “You belong to God… You have already won a victory… because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world!” (1 Jn. 4:4). Devil, beware! Don’t mess with God’s children!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com

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