‘THE TELEPHONE GAME’

AT A RECENT BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR MY YOUNGEST GRANDSON, WE PLAYED A GAME CALLED ‘THE TELEPHONE GAME’. ONE WOULD WHISPER IN THE EAR OF THE PERSON NEXT TO THEM A SENTENCE. THE ONE HEARING WOULD THEN WHISPER THE SENTENCE THEY HAD HEARD TO ANOTHER. THIS WOULD REPEAT ITSELF UNTIL ALL AT THE PARTY HAD HEARD AND REPEATED THE SENTENCE TO ANOTHER. THE LAST PERSON THEN REPEATED THE SENTENCE ALOUD AND THE LAUGHTER BROKE OUT. THE SENTENCE AS IT WAS REPEATED WAS HEARD DIFFERENTLY AND RETOLD SO DIFFERENTLY THAT IT HARDLY RESEMBLED THE ORIGINAL SENTENCE. MANY YEARS AGO, IN A COACHES’ ACCREDITATION CLASS, I PARTICIPATED IN A SIMILAR EXERCISE. IN THE CLASS, IT WAS TO PROVE HOW RUMORS SPREAD AND THEIR FALSE EXAGGERATIONS. AS IN THE KID’S ‘TELEPHONE GAME’, THE CLASS OF 30 COACHES PASSED THE STORY FROM ONE TO ANOTHER. THE FINAL MAN STOOD AND REPEATED WHAT HE THOUGHT HE HAD HEARD. THEN THE MODERATOR READ THE ORIGINAL STATEMENT. THERE WAS ALMOST NOTHING IN COMMON BETWEEN THE TWO STATEMENTS. IT WAS AMAZING HOW THE STATEMENT HAD BEEN ALTERED FROM A REFEREE WARNING A PLAYER TO POLICE BEING CALLED TO EVICT THE PLAYER FROM THE GAME, ALL WITHIN A MATTER OF MINUTES! THIS HAPPENS IN LIFE EVERYDAY. IT IS NOT A GAME. IT IS GOSSIP. GOSSIP IS POISON…DESTRUCTIVE, FALSE, DAMAGING, EVIL, INSULTING, FABRICATED, AGGRAVATING, CORRUPT, WICKED, LYING POISON. GOSSIP CAN DESTROY FAMILIES, SEND INDIVIDUALS INTO DEEP DEPRESSION, DIVIDE CHURCHES, CAUSE JOB LOSSES, CREATE MISTRUST BETWEEN FRIENDS AND UNWARRANTED DOUBTS AND FALSE SUSPICIONS OF OTHERS. A GOSSIPING TONGUE BENEFITS NO ONE. GOSSIP HURTS NOT ONLY THE ONE BEING GOSSIPED ABOUT, BUT...

JUST DO IT!

“JUST DO IT!” HAS BEEN A POWERFUL ADVERTISING SLOGAN DIRECTED TO OUR YOUTH AND THOSE WANTING TO MAINTAIN THEIR YOUTH. BRANDED ON SHOES AND CLOTHING FOR ATHLETES AND CASUAL WEAR, THIS SLOGAN IS KNOWN AROUND THE WORLD. MOST OF THOSE WEARING THIS SLOGAN HAVE NO IDEA OF THE ORIGIN. BEFORE MOST WERE BORN , ‘JUST DO IT’ WAS TAKEN FROM A DARK ORIGINAL QUOTE, “LET’S DO IT!”. AN ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE TOOK THE ORIGINAL QUOTE FROM THE CONVICTED MULTIPLE MURDERER, GARY GILMORE. IN 1977, GILMORE WAS ASKED FOR HIS LAST WORDS BEFORE FACING A FIRING SQUAD IN UTAH. HIS REPLY: “LET’S DO IT!” THE ADVERTISING EXPERT CHANGED THE ONE WORD ‘LET’S’ TO ‘JUST’ AND THE FAMOUS ADVERTISING SLOGAN WAS CREATED. THE ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE COULD HAVE FOUND GOD’S INSTRUCTION IN THE BIBLE! GOD TOLD US TO ‘DO IT’ THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE. DEPENDING UPON THE TRANSLATION, GOD’S WORD INSTRUCTS AND TELLS US OF OTHERS HE TOLD TO ‘DO IT’ DOZENS OF TIMES. GOD WANTS US TO BE OBEDIENT TO HIM AND FOLLOW ALL HIS INSTRUCTIONS. SOME OF GOD’S INSTRUCTION ARE A CLEAR ‘DON’T DO IT’ WHILE OTHERS ARE SPECIFIC IN A PARTICULAR ‘DO IT’. FROM GENESIS THRU REVELATION, OUR LIVES WOULD BE SO MUCH EASIER AND WE WOULD BE SO MUCH BETTER OFF IN THIS SINFUL WORLD IF WE WOULD ONLY ‘DO IT’ AS GOD REPEATEDLY HAS TOLD US. GOD ANTICIPATED ALL OUR WEAKNESSES AND GAVE US HIS HOLY WORD AS HIS GUIDE OF HOW TO ‘DO IT’. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU DONE SOMETHING YOUR WAY AND REGRETTED YOUR ACTIONS AND THE RESULTS. ALL THE DISAPPOINTMENT, PAIN AND AGONY COULD...

‘NUMBER 127’

AT MANY STORES AND EVENTS, YOU ARE GIVEN A NUMBER UNTIL IT IS YOUR TIME TO BE SERVED AN ORDER OF FOOD, MAKE A PURCHASE OR T0 RETURN AN ITEM. MOST OF US HAVE BEEN IN A SITUATION OF TAKING A NUMBER AND WAITING IN LINE FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE FOREVER. SOMEONE CALLS OUT “NUMBER 83” AND YOU ARE HOLDING A LITTLE PAPER TAB THAT IS IMPRINTED ‘127’. ALL YOU CAN THINK IS; “I AM GOING TO BE HERE ALL DAY!”. IS YOUR CONCERN ONLY ABOUT YOUR WAIT? HOW ABOUT ALL THOSE WHO ARE BEHIND YOU IN LINE WITH NUMBERS LIKE 152 OR 165? BE THANKFUL YOUR NUMBER IS NOT AS HIGH AS THEIRS’. IN SCRIPTURE, WE ARE TOLD OVER AND OVER TO WAIT. GOD IS CONSTANTLY TEACHING US TO WAIT. NOT TO JUST WAIT, BUT TO WAIT PATIENTLY WHILE UNDERSTANDING GOD KNOWS BETTER THAN WE DO. SCRIPTURE TELLS US TO ‘WAIT UPON THE LORD’. DON’T MISUNDERSTAND THESE WORDS. BY WAITING UPON THE LORD, WE ARE NOT WAITING FOR GOD TO MAKE UP HIS MIND. WE ARE WAITING FOR GOD’S PERFECT TIMING. GOD HAS KNOWN THE WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHO AND HOW ALL ALONG. BY WAITING UPON THE LORD, WE ARE SIMPLY WAITING UPON OURSELVES. GOD IS WAITING UPON US TO BE IN THE RIGHT MINDSET AND SITUATION TO BE PREPARED FOR HIS TIMING. AS WE IMPATIENTLY WAIT FOR OUR NUMBER, GOD IS PREPARING US. AS WE ‘WAIT UPON GOD’…HE IS WAITING FOR US TO BE READY IN OUR HEARTS. WE ALL HAVE ANOTHER ‘NUMBER’. OUR NUMBER IS THE EXACT DATE AND TIME OUR LIFE ON EARTH ENDS. NO...

YESTERDAY

WHO COULD FORGET THE WORDS TO THE HUGE BEATLES’ HIT, ‘YESTERDAY’? ‘YESTERDAY’ WAS FIRST RELEASED IN 1965 AND HAS BEEN VOTED THE BEST POP SONG OF ALL TIME. “YESTERDAY, ALL MY TROUBLES SEEMED SO FAR AWAY NOW IT LOOKS AS THOUGH THEY’RE HERE TO STAY OH, I BELIEVE IN YESTERDAY.” BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN, BUT THESE ARE VERY SAD LYRICS. SATAN WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE THESE LYRICS ARE TRUE. ALL OF YESTERDAY’S PROBLEMS ARE NOT ‘HERE TO STAY’. ARE ALL YOUR PROBLEMS HERE TO STAY? NEVER! WE DON’T HAVE TO ‘BELIEVE IN YESTERDAY’ UNLESS WE ALLOW SATAN TO DECEIVE US. BY GOD’S GRACE WE HAVE MOVED ON. IF YOU ARE A BELIEVER, PAST SINS CAN BE FORGIVEN. PAST WOUNDS CAN BE HEALED. THERE ARE NO REASONS TO HOLD ONTO THE SINFUL AND MISTAKEN TRAGEDIES OF ALL OUR YESTERDAYS. TODAY IS A NEW DAY CREATED FOR YOU BY GOD, YOUR FATHER. YOU CAN FOCUS ON THE FAILINGS OF YESTERDAY OR FIND HIS JOY IN TODAY. WHEN YOU ASKED GOD TO FORGIVE YOU, GOD FORGAVE YOU OF THOSE ‘YESTERDAY’ SINS. BE JOYFUL OF GOD’S GRACE AND FORGIVENESS AND ACCEPT TODAY FREE FROM THE ACHES AND PAINS OF ‘YESTERDAY’. BUT, TODAY IS NOT ENOUGH. IN GOD’S PLAN, TODAY WILL BECOME A ‘YESTERDAY’ IN JUST A MATTER OF HOURS. LET US LOOK FORWARD TO PUTTING TODAY BEHIND US AND BEING THANKFUL FOR TOMORROW. GOD SENT HIS ONLY SON, JESUS, TO GIVE US MORE TOMORROWS THAN WE CAN COMPREHEND IN AN EVERLASTING HEAVEN. ENJOY TODAY, KNOWING GOD IS WITH US IN THE HOLY SPIRIT AND BE THANKFUL FOR UNENDING TOMORROWS IN HEAVEN WITH JESUS. “JESUS CHRIST...

M-I-C—K-E-Y—-M-O-U-S-E.

WERE YOU ONE OF THE MILLIONS WHO SANG M-I-C—K-E-Y—M-O-U-S-E, THE MICKEY MOUSE THEME SONG, WHILE WATCHING THE MOUSEKETEERS IN FRONT OF A 12″ BLACK AND WHITE TV? WITH BIG EARS AND A SQUEAKY VOICE, MICKEY AS CREATED BY WALT DISNEY IN 1928. AFTER 86 YEARS, MICKEY IS STILL ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZED FACES AND IMAGES IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. CHILDREN OF ALMOST EVERY NATION LOVE MICKEY AND ADULTS AROUND THE WORLD CAN ASSOCIATE WITH MICKEY WHEN REMEMBERING BACK TO THEIR CHILDHOOD. WHAT ABOUT YOU? DO YOU HAVE A CHILDHOOD MEMORY OF MICKEY? AS ADULTS, WE HAVE (HOPEFULLY) OUTGROWN OUR CHILDLIKE OBSESSION OF A CARTOON CHARACTER. WHILE WE MIGHT HAVE OUTGROWN THE OBSESSION OF A FRIENDLY MOUSE, WHAT ADULT OBSESSIONS HAVE YOU CREATED OR FALLEN VICTIM? WHAT ARE YOUR NEW INFLUENCES AND DESIRES? ARE YOU OBSESSED WITH A NEW CAR, A BIGGER HOUSE, MORE SHOES AND CLOTHES, MORE MONEY, OVER EATING, LUST, ALCOHOL, POWER, FAME OR ATTENTION FROM OTHERS? DO YOU VIEW OTHERS OF A DIFFERENT RACE OR NATIONALITY BELOW YOU? DO YOU EXCUSE YOUR CHOICES AND ACTIONS BECAUSE ‘EVERY ONE ELSE DOES IT’ OR ‘I MAY BE A SINNER, BUT I’M NOT AS BAD AS THIS PERSON OR THAT PERSON”? SCRIPTURE WARNS US OF UNCONTROLLED DESIRES, ACTIONS AND WORDS. FROM THE DAY SATAN TEMPTED ADAM AND EVE WITH THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT, SIN FILLS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN. ARE YOU TAKING SPECIAL ATTENTION AND PRAYING TO LIVE THE LIFE AS GOD WOULD HAVE YOU? THIS IS NOT A ‘MICKEY MOUSE’ SITUATION. IT IS A CHOICE. GOD’S WAY OR SATAN’S WAY. WHICH WAY ARE YOU CHOOSING? “JESUS SAID TO...