Friday Coffee with PJ

Another Friday. Another edition of "Friday Coffee with PJ." Thanks so much for joining me again ... I hope I have something to say that is a worthwhile investment of your precious time!  

Last Friday afternoon we received a phone call in the church office that set in motion a very hectic series of events. The caller who worked for a bank (not ours) told our office manager that she suspected there was fraudulent activity happening with checks being drawn on our church's checking account. As soon as that phone conversation ended, we called our bank and ... to make a long story short ... the caller was right! Someone (or someones) from outside of our church had printed up fake checks with all of our info on them and proceeded to deposit them in their accounts (about a dozen checks were involved totally over $30,000). Gulp! Immediately, our bank froze our account which stopped the bleeding! And fortunately, we will not be out those funds ... in fact, as of yesterday, the majority of the money is now safely back in our account. How did this happen? We don't know (someone, somewhere apparently got a hold of one of our checks and took a photo of it and the rest is history!). It is now up to our bank's Fraud Risk department to investigate (although our bank manager told us this sort of thing "happens all the time" and that the "bad guys who do this sort of thing are everywhere!"). As a result of all of this ... we are now using a service provided by the bank that will protect us from this sort of thing every happening again (at a cost, of course). So now, I can sleep soundly at night! 

Lessons from the above? For starters, our bank manager was right. There are bad guys all over the place. People who want to take what is yours and make it theirs. And they don't care who you are (in this case, even a church was not off limits!). Yet in the midst of the bad people, there are good people (think Good Samaritans) who what to help when the scammers hit! I don't know the name the individual who called last Friday, but I am so glad she made the effort to do so. Otherwise ... well, I don't even want to consider the "otherwise!" Another lesson from this ordeal? You can never be too careful (if you want to avoid being a victim). This is not only true in the realm of our finances ... it is also true in the spiritual realm. The Bible tells us that the Enemy is targeting us (1 Peter 5:8). And so we must be alert. The Apostle Paul urged Timothy to "keep a close watch on yourself and the teaching" (1 Timothy 4:16). Certainly good advice for Timothy and all the rest of us! So, are YOU keeping a close watch on yourself? And what is this teaching Paul was referencing? The teaching of God's Word, of course! Are you keeping a close watch on the Scriptures? When was the last time you spent some quality time with God in HIS Word? 

Thanks for stopping by . . . 
pj

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