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  • Writer's pictureRev. James L. Snyder

Perspective/Pastor’s Corner

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For more years than I care to remember, I have been on a diligent pursuit, and I won’t stop until I reach my goal.

My quest is to find a cookie I don’t like. Throughout the years, I have eaten every cookie I could find and loved them all.

My biggest obstacle in this pursuit is The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. She has the crazy idea that I should limit my cookie consumption. I told her I will whenever I find a cookie that I don’t like. So far, that hasn’t happened.

My favorite time of the year is when the Girl Scouts are selling cookies. I love those little angels. I tell The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage that I’m just supporting these lovely young girls, and that’s all.

I don’t think she believes me, but I will try what I can get away with.

Recently, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has been on a baking spree. She was baking cookies for various people, of which I have no idea. My focus is not on the people she’s baking for, but on the cookies she’s baking.

As a faithful husband, I encourage her along these lines and congratulate her on a job well done.

One rule she has laid down is I’m not allowed to have any cookie she does not give me personally. That is a very hard rule to keep with all of the cookies in the kitchen. I try my hardest, but my hardest is not enough.

One of my favorite hymns has a line that says, “Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin.”

Last Tuesday my wife planned spending the day with one of our daughters. I was supportive of her activity and encouraged her to spend as much time as possible with her daughter.

She looked at me suspiciously and said, “While I am away, I do not want you to eat any cookies in the kitchen.” Then she went to the kitchen, pulled out one cookie, handed it to me, and said, “This is the only cookie you are allowed for today.”

Of course, I took the cookie, smiled as she left, and told her to have a great day.

Unfortunately, I did not know what kind of day I was facing and hummed the “Yield not to temptation” hymn all morning long.

For the first couple of hours, everything went well. I was working in my office, and things were just okay.

Then in the middle of the morning, I decided to take a break and get a cup of coffee. I never have too much coffee on any day. I had forgotten the cookies that were stacked up in the kitchen.

As I entered the kitchen, the aroma of all those freshly baked cookies slapped me in the face like I’ve never been slapped before. Up to this point, I was able to “Yield not to temptation.” But I am afraid that the “Yield not” had just expired.

As I was fixing my coffee, I thought it would not harm me to look at and admire those freshly baked cookies. After all, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage does a wonderful job in baking cookies. I just wanted to admire them and appreciate all the excellent work behind every one of those cookies.

I thought I could handle the situation, but boy was I wrong. I’ve been wrong on a lot of things; I was wrong on this thing.

With a cup of coffee in my hand, I began thinking that one cookie just wouldn’t hurt me. I don’t think my wife would find out that I had one cookie because there were so many cookies in that kitchen.

I took one cookie very craftily and then walked back to my office, where I would drink my coffee and nibble on this delicious cookie. I thought I had solved the problem and gotten over any further thoughts I had about another cookie.

After I finished that first cookie, I just sat back in my chair and enjoyed swallowing the last crumb. How delicious it was. Of all the cookies in all the world, why did this cookie taste so delicious?

I thought it was over, but I could not get that cookie out of my head. Then, after lunch, I picked up another cookie, went to my office, and nibbled on it very slowly, enjoying every last crumb.

An hour went by, and I needed another cup of coffee, walking through the kitchen, I smelled those delicious cookies. So I decided I deserved two cookies this time because I was working so hard. After all, how would The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage know I had two cookies?

Later that afternoon, I heard the front door open, and looking at my watch I realized it was time for my wife to come home. She entered the kitchen, and I heard her say very loudly, “How many cookies did you eat?”

It was then I knew I was in trouble, but I didn’t know how much trouble I was in.

I remembered the words of Jesus in Mark 14:38, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”

Everybody faces temptation in some form. The real issue has to do with yielding to that temptation. It’s the weakness of my flesh.

Dr. James L. Snyder

Ocala, Fla.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, Fla. with his wife, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. You can reach Snyder at (352) 216-3025, e-mail jamessnyder51@ or through website .


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