Have You Met “My Best Friend?” (1)

By Joy Fuentes

I’d do almost anything for “my best friend”  some of my friends and family hate “my best friend,” but I don’t care.

I can be alone with “my best friend” for hours and never get bored.

I will defend “my best friend” to the end No one has the right to pick my friends 

I’ve noticed more and more people disapprove of our association.

Some say “my best friend” isn’t good for me.

I tell them to mind their own business, “my best friend” is not as bad as they say.

People can be so unfair  “my best friend” goes with me everywhere.

When I’m depressed, unhappy, or nervous, “my best friend” calms me down.

I’ve noticed some people move away from me when I have “my best friend” with me  that’s their problem.

More and more people are telling me some day “my best friend” will hurt me 

Some people are so radical. .

Signed, Mr. Macho Man P/L


Have You Met “My Best Friend”? (2)
My friends and family were right about “my best friend.”

“My best friend” ha! become my worst enemy, taking the most precious thing from me  my life. Now when I breathe I am racked with pain. I used to be Mr. Macho Man.

Now I am depressed all the time.

Because of my association with “my best friend” I have lost my hair, my memory, and my weight. I throw up and have diarrhea all the time (it’s like having the flu 24 hours a day every day).

Then there’s the radiation that’s used to control my pain (except that it doesn’t). Instead I receive radiation burn what torture.

My loved ones pleaded with me to quit smoking 

But I told them, “Not everyone that smokes gets cancer.” (Now I realize that not everyone that plays Russian Roulette gets shot either.)

1 also told my friends that “some people get cancer that never smoked.” That’s really a dumb statement now that I think of it.

But the worst argument of all is when I said, “Everyone has to die from something.” (I can tell you now, no one in his right mind would choose this death.)

Yes, I defended “My Right” to smoke 

Now, the same loved ones that wanted me to give up smoking have to remind me to take my medication, help me walk across the floor, try to get me to eat, cry with and for me.

My sister has to humor me when I’m depressed, cry with me when I’m overwhelmed with sadness 

And worse, she has to watch me, her only brother, die before her eyes.

I have to see my grown son cry uncontrollably.

I have caused my family to pay a high price because I insisted on “my right to smoke.”

This letter may not cause anyone to quit smoking, but I can tell you one think that will Lung Cancer

I can guarantee you one thing smoking is a slow and painful form of suicide.

If you think you have the right to take your own life and burden your loved ones, smoke away.

You can be selfish, as I was, or you can give your loved ones the gift of your living a few years longer.

Sure, some people will die from cancer that never smoked

But the worst words you’ll ever hear is a Doctor saying, “I’m sorry, you have lung cancer and it was caused by your smoking.”

Signed, Not So Macho Anymore P/L

Bob Colbary died at 5:45, September 22nd, 1992.

(Note by Ron Halbrook [654 Gray St., West Columbia, TX 774861: Brother and sister Paul Fuentes worshipped with the saints in Hemet, CA when I was there, but have moved and are worshipping with the Tustin-Santa Ana Church of Christ in Tustin. Sister Fuentes was once addicted to tobacco, but gave up smoking. She went through the painful ordeals of nursing two family members who died from cancer caused by smoking and another family member who died from cancer caused by drinking alcohol. She wrote “Have You Met ‘My Best Friend’?” with the direct input of her brother, Bob Colbary, reflecting his thoughts when he was dying from cancer. She feels that its publication will be worthwhile if it encourages even one person to quit smoking.

Joy Fuentes is another example of someone who has come out of error on divorce and remarriage. When she embraced such error, she was closely associated with some preachers who teach false theories on the subject. She has seen them (and their wives!) order their intoxicating drinks in restaurants. She has seen some of these preachers so addicted to tobacco that they smoked while conducting home Bible studies, which in some cases discouraged the student from continuing the study. When this disastrous result was pointed out, responses would include such comments as, “If someone quits studying the Bible with me because of my smoking, that is their problem, not mine. “Such preachers have also expressed their resentment against brethren who teach that we should not participate in mixed swimming in modern swimsuits. All of this has given her keen insight in-to how sin and error “increase unto more ungodliness,” and how “evil men and seducers . _ . wax worse and worse. deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 2:16; 3:13).

So that our readers will know I have not misunderstood or misrepresented sister Fuentes, she has read and approved this “note” before its publication. Her story is not unique. Others who came out of the same error told similar stories. Not every preacher who holds some false theory on divorce and remarriage will openly approve the other worldly practices named above, but there is a logical reason for the pattern which is developing. “Their word will eat as doth a canker” (2 Tim. 2:17). The ongoing development of institutional liberalism illustrates the degenerative nature of false doctrine. Error on divorce and remarriage has an inherent tendency to loosen the constraints of sound doctrine, oral conviction, and godly living. I am thankful for brethren like the Fuentes who are not afraid to speak up in the defense of the gospel and in opposition to sin and error.

Preachers who know the truth but are not teaching it and not exposing error need to wake up and realize what a grave injustice they are doing to people who would stand up for the truth if only someone would teach it to them! Jesus said, “Every man . . . that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (Jn. 6:45). Men cannot learn if we do not teach. The “positive, non-controversial” philosophy will not get the job done. Sound teaching of the whole counsel of God is designed by God “to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jer. 1:10). We labor under the inspired man-date, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:2). It is high time for all of us to remember the stirring words of Isaiah, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet” (Isa. 58:1). Gr

Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 9, p. 6-7
May 20, 1993