If I Were The Devil!

ImageMany of you that know me, know that as a boy growing up, I listened with my Dad almost everyday to Paul Harvey.  I was doing some research a few days ago for a book that I am writing and ran across one of my favorite Paul Harvey memories and thought some of my readers might enjoy it:  If I Were The Devil…

“If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness.

I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — thee.

So, I would set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I’d subvert the churches first, and I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.”

To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is square.

And the old, I would teach to pray after me, “Our Father, which are in Washington …”

Then, I’d get organized, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.

I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil, I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves and nations at war with themselves until each, in its turn, was consumed.

And with promises of higher ratings, I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellect but neglect to discipline emotions. I’d tell teachers to let those students run wild.  And before you knew it, you’d have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

With a decade, I’d have prisons overflowing and judges promoting pornography. Soon, I would evict God from the courthouse and the schoolhouse and them from the houses of Congress.

In his own churches, I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I’d lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.

If I were the devil, I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

What’ll you bet I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?

I’d convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun and that what you see on television is the way to be.

And thus, I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases for which there are no cures.

In other words, if I were the devil, I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.”

Laying My Smart Phone Aside!

ImageAnyone that knows me, knows that I love my gadgets, so for me to decide to separate myself from one of them, will come as a great shock.  But it is something that I feel like I need to at least experiment with.

It occurred to me the other day, that I waste way too much time on my cell phone.  I have to have it near me at all times, like some kind of security blanket.  I am not so sure if this is for my benefit or for the benefit of those that I think want to get in touch with me.  I am going to try during the month of January to leave it in one location – truck or desk, so that I will have to go and check it.  Why would I do such a thing?

1.  People deserve my undivided attention!  I think that it is totally disrespectful to be in a conversation with someone and in the middle of the conversation to take a call from someone else.  If the call is important, the person calling can leave a message and I will return the call as soon as possible and this actually shows respect to both parties.  Relationships are important, in fact they are vital in this life and if someone is willing to give me face time, then I need to give them my very best and uninterrupted face.

2.  I need to stay focused on the task at hand!  So many times, I am working on a project, get a call and then drop the project to tend to what may or may not be more important.  This often leaves a lot of unresolved projects at the end of the day, which leads to my being frustrated and not my best for anyone.  Also the temptation to pull out my smart phone and check social media often gets in the way of my getting started on projects that need my attention.

3.  I can do better, want to do better and need to do better!  While the phone is often helpful, it also can be a major distraction, especially to my accomplishing the tasks that I was created for.  Bottom line:  I want my phone to be a help, not a hindrance.  I know that this will not be easy for me or for those trying to get in touch with me, but it is a small baby step that I feel like I need to take to be a better and more effective servant to others.

So, here I go into 2014 with the first of many challenges that I believe will make my life and the lives of those around me better.  And that is a good thing, because I believe that life is all about learning to live blessed!

Precious In His Sight!

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FAMILY!

A few years ago the Spirit shared a vision with me that lead me to start a ministry called Grace Place.  This year we find ourselves ministering into our fourth Christmas and I continue to be thankful, amazed and humbled all at the same time.  Grace Place has had over 20,000 Grace Shoppers and has given away around one million dollars worth of merchandise.  This would not be possible without the blessing of God, the support of our community, the faithfulness of our volunteers and the physical, mental and spiritual needs of mankind.

Last night we had a Family Christmas Dinner.  This was not an advertised outreach event, but one that we announced on Sunday morning, a week ahead of time and asked the congregation to sign up for.  We intentionally planned on this being a time that we could step away from serving our community and enjoy a little fellowship together as a family.  We had around 125 people that showed up and we enjoyed a beautiful and delicious dinner – family style at one giant table!  All of the food was placed on the tables and when it came time to eat, we began to pass the food and many got up and walked around to help serve their neighbors.  It was planned to be a laid back affair, but ended up being another amazing night of ministry at Grace Place.

On my way home, as I was thinking through the evening, the thing that really struck me, was the diversity of the family that was sitting around that table.  There were people sitting beside and across from each other that are living in ministry relationship with one another, people that flat out would not be, if not for the ministry of Grace Place.  It is true that birds of a feather flock together, so when different birds begin to flock together, this is a supernatural work of a supernatural God.

“Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight!” and especially when they are family and not afraid to share and show it.  God is doing something amazing in the life and ministry of Grace Place.  It is not something that we could have planned, organized or planned strategy for.  It is something that happened simply because we have just begun to learn how to go with the flow of God’s Holy Spirit.

God will take you places that you’ve never dreamed of, if you will learn to simply let Him.  What God builds is beautiful, so let Him build your life and I promise it will be more than wonderful and you will live blessed!