Devil’s Advocate: Chapter 7

Note: With this final blog post, the Devil’s Advocate series is coming to a close.  We’ve had a great ride, and now we’re wrapping up the series with a brief little conclusion to this tale.  However, while our series has ended, the core of the story is a reality wherever you turn in this life.  The Devil’s Advocate is the story of a deluded young man who is a victim of an addiction to momentary gratification and pleasure.  This young man (Our hero Henry Walker) then turns a victim of a contract gone sour, and must find his way to redemption before the consequences of his actions catch up to him.  Sound familiar?  Well, in any case, enjoy, and be on the look out for an analysis of this series that should be out soon…


6 months was how long it took for me to truly slip into the role.  I was a killing force, regarded by the community as just another mass murderer, but within their hearts I could see them realize that I was greater than what they wanted me to be.  They could feel the fear building, and wherever he was, I knew Blacke was enjoying himself.

I’m not sure if I should be flattered, but there’s now an international manhunt for the man they deem responsible for marked up bodies under lakes and chilling messages written in crimson nail polish (which the media projected to be the blood of victims).  I was gaining popularity, and slowly terror was taking hold.

I wasn’t sure if anyone was capable of following the events that had happened over the past few months better than Blacke and I, but I was contradicted one summer’s night.

It’s incredible how well velvet blends in with the night, because on Pier 7A I walked right past a parked car and yet another man in a tux.  I would’ve entirely missed him if he hadn’t called out to me.

“No lifeguard on duty.  Swim at your own risk. However, in your rather remarkable case just standing on the docks saw you to your end about a year ago.”  I froze and pivoted on my heels to face the man who had called me. He was a soldier-stiff man in a black suit, crimson tie, and shoes shined to near perfection.  My fingers flew to my knife, ready to attack the man, but something told me it would do no good. “So you went ahead and listened to that scumbag Blacke. Good on you, son.”  The voice was stern, but sarcastic.

“You know about that?  How do you know about that?”  The knife came out entirely.

“Put the knife down son, you’re not a killer.  You’re a boy whose been mislead so quit the act for a minute because we need to talk business.”

“Oh no, I’ve had far too much of that lately.”

“I know Henry, I know far too well of your recent deal with Mr. Blacke.  I also know that he’s sent you on a path he wished he could’ve taken himself.  A violent path of chaos and destruction.” The man stepped closer, a cane in hand.

“How do you know all this?”

“Mr. Harte.”  Harte stretched out his hand, and I took it.  This all gave me a strange feeling of deja vu.  “I was once a well-liked, dare I say, successful politician on the rise in our very own country.  It didn’t last for long, however, because I came to learn that today’s society doesn’t appreciate ‘good’.  It doesn’t want or need ‘fair’ to function in a manner it calls just. Love is sacrificed for a much more convenient feeling; hatred.  Soon, I began finding sympathy for a man who the majority of the people saw as a generally bad guy. He was a young man, no older than you who had been accused of manslaughter and assault on several accounts, but something didn’t seem right.  I saw a chance for redemption, I saw something within him that told me that there’s something that we’re not seeing that could prevent us from placing him in a trial manufactured for him to lose and suffer. I saw that he wasn’t who the people said he was.  When I went public with these statements, I thought that the so-called ‘goodness’ in people would allow them to see this man the same, but they didn’t. I became the ‘patron of killers’ and ‘criminal sympathizer.’ I lost my respect, dignity, position, and I’m still losing more to this world.  Yet, I still feel that all people should see a chance for redemption.

I was left with no words.  In the span of a few months I had met two ends of a wildly wide spectrum and by this point I knew better than to leave without hearing a deal from either.

“I see good in you Henry, and although you refuse to believe it, there might be redemption for you yet.  In fact, here…take my card.” Mr. Harte briskly pulled a crisp new piece of cardstock from a pocket in his suit and handed it to me.  On it was nothing, absolutely nothing. I looked up to ask if this was some kind of practical joke, but the hobblefoot was already on his way to his car.

“Harte!  Man this isn’t funny!  You hear? I’m the Devil’s Advocate!  I am the Devil’s Advocate and I don’t want your redemption!”  I shouted after him.

“Don’t worry about it Henry.  When you need me, I know you’ll find me.  Or better yet, I might just have found you.”

 

The End?

 

 

Devil’s Advocate: Chapter 6

Note: Chapter 6 is here, and has already been followed up with a brief conclusion chapter (Chapter 7 out now :).  It’s a little sad, but the Devil’s Advocate is now coming to a close with these final 2 chapters.  Enjoy!


Chapter 6

“Is it dead?”  A voice whispered.

“Don’t know.  Let’s poke it with a stick, maybe it’ll wake up.”  Another responded

“I don’t know if we should do that.  What if he’s just asleep?” One of the voices said worriedly.

“I don’t believe he is.  He doesn’t seem to breathing.”

“There’s an iron rod over here.  Maybe we can give him a little nudge.”

I felt a cold, metal beam muzzle up against my rib cage.  It was a familiar feeling, in fact, too familiar. My fatigue faded and my eyes fluttered open.  Standing over me were two kids, maybe 12, and they were prodding my motionless body with an iron rod stained with blood.

I bolted up with a start.  I forcefully grabbed the rod and instantly, I remembered where it was from.  It was the same rod the harbor patrol brothers had murdered me with on the docks.  I looked around and noticed that I was on a tiny strip of sand beneath the pier that I had been flung off of in the killing.  To my left, were the same waters that I had drowned in, and to my right, the foundation of the pier.

The two kids were startled, and they fell back into the sand.  They began to crawl away, but caught them both by their collars and spun them around to face me.  

The sheer look of terror on their faces were enough to worry me.  For the first time, I really noticed that something was off, specifically about how I was seeing the world.  Everything seemed to have a darker tint, as if looking through blackened glass. It wasn’t just due to the darkness of the night, for even the moon appeared an orb of darkness.  

The kids began to cry, bawling so tremendously that I became worried of detection under the pier.

“Sir please.  We didn’t know.  Don’t kill us. Don’t kill us.”  One of them pleaded.

I waited, confused at this response.  “Wait here.” With the rod in hand, I rushed over to the water’s edge and stared down at my reflection.  When I saw it, even I felt repulsed by the sight of me.

Dark veins had taken root around my eyes, which were just like the eyes of the primitive beasts I had seen on the island.  They were hollow, and black.

My face was covered in odd markings drawn in war paint and from my mouth oozed a tiny stream of dark discharge.

I turned back around to look once more at the horrified children who looked pale and as if they had seen a ghost, and according to the unfolding situation, they had.  I walked back over to them, kneeled down, and smiled.  

Call me sick, but I found a certain sense of pleasure in frightening the life out of these children.  I spent years being tossed around, abused like a rag doll, and suddenly I felt good about being so bad.  Maybe it was time that others felt the kind of pain I did on a daily basis, and doing ill of others gave me a feeling of power and authority.  Before, all I had was fear and inferiority. For the first time in my life, I felt the rush of being the tormentor and not the tormented.

Voices.  Two, unmistakably familiar voices were coming from above my head.  I heard the thumping of footsteps on the wooden docks above, and I heard one of them open up a bottle of beer.

“Luckily those fool patrolmen didn’t dig too deeply into the tramp’s disappearance.”  One of the voices said.

“Yeah, lucky.  We should probably get down there and check for the body, to make sure it hasn’t turned up somewhere on the beaches.”  The other responded.

“If he has, then that could spell trouble for us.  Let’s drink to the death of that fool Henry and check for his corpse.”  

“If the ocean spit that disgusting man back out, then we can burn the body and pray that God doesn’t take mercy on his soul.”

My heart quickened, pounding within my chest like the rhythmic marching of hundreds of troops.  My blood boiled, and the black, root-like veins under my eyes were contracting and expanding as more dark liquid began to pour from the spaces in my teeth.

“This is it.  This is your rite of passage.”  A low, raspy voice said. I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder, and startled, I spun around wildly and threw my fists at a dark figure who was standing behind me.  “Yield Henry. We’ve met.”

The world came into focus, and I stared into the dark eyes of a handsome young man, who was clenching my fist calmly.

“Who are you?”  I asked, retrieving my fist from the attacker’s grasp.  “My eyes adjusted to the light, and saw the clearly outlined figure of Mortimer Grimm.

“I’m here to help you on these remaining,” Grimm glanced at a watch on his wrist.  “Ten years that you have to live as the Devil’s Advocate.”

“A watch told you that?”

“No, our employer did.  The watch just adds a cinematic element.”  Grimm pulled the cuffs of his jacket back over the watch before snatching the iron rod from my hand.  “So this is the feeble thing that brought you to us. Embarrassing truly.”

“Very funny Grimm.”  I said, still quite enraged at the conversation unfolding above our heads.  “In any case, I have a question for you. What did you mean by a’ rite of passage’.”

“Excellent question Henry, but this a question for your eyes and ears only.”  Grimm motioned at the children. “Get lost brats.”

The two boys sprung to their feet and took to their heels.  A wise choice. If I still had control over my free will, I would’ve bolted from this conversation long ago, but I was held in place by some unseeable force.

“Now that that’s taken care of…where was I?”  Grimm asked.

“Rite of passage.”

“Yes, of course.  As our champion, your mission here is not just to influence sin, but to make sure that people…”

“Die?”  I asked expectantly.

“Die, sin, indulge in all that darkness has to offer.  All of that, and the most important thing. You want people to rot mentally, their willpower must be destroyed and their patience killed.  Only then will our boss be happy.”

“There’s a question I meant to ask you.”  I said in response. “Why? Why all of this?  Why does Blacke go to such lengths to do this?”

“Businessmen get bored and employees don’t ask questions.  He has his reasons, I have mine, and you have yours. It’s a threeway triangle of secrecy.  Let’s not proceed to question, but only live in the here and now as advocates for sin and what better way to kick off your glorious days as the Devil’s Advocate than to settle old scores.”  Grimm smiled and pointed to the dock above us, where those two familiar voices were still having a laugh together.  

“You want me to…”  I began, my heartbeat racing once again.

“Yes, exactly.  What you’re feeling right now is wrath, vengeance.  Feels good? Doesn’t it?” Grimm said, using his finger to wipe off some of the black fluid off of my chin.  He admired it in the light of the moon before flicking drops of it to the ground.

Grimm was right, a spirit of vengeance certainly felt amazing.  Satisfying. It had an unparalleled effect on the mind and body that downsized all forms of reason and logic, only making way for wrath to control you.  There was nothing hindering me from thinking of doing every random destructive thing that popped into my head, as if my conscience had taken a leave of absence.  I knew that a conscience kept people grounded, but I didn’t have a desire to be grounded anymore. Something had happened to me, and now I craved for bloodshed and mayhem.

“Bible-thumping lunatics will tell you that vengeance is the Lord’s, but we don’t  serve their master. Get up there Henry. Get a taste of that vengeance for yourself.  Do it! Kill, kill, kill!” Grimm’s voice began at a calm, assertive tone, but now his voice grew distorted and monstrous as he egged me on.  Dark streaks appeared on his face as my vision grew even more clouded until I could see virtually nothing but infinite darkness. I was blinded by rage, an unholy thirst for blood.

Last thing I remember was violently taking the rod back from Grimm, and then, the world went dark.

My vision returned sometime later, and I regained my sight with no recollection of what had happened.  I was lying on the dock, looking up at the stars. I slowly sat up, and I saw that Grimm was standing off to the corner.

He laughed maliciously and beamed from ear to ear saying, “There he is!  There’s our champion!”

I got up and rubbed my eyes.  Grimm patted me on the shoulder warmly, and continued to laugh.  He congratulated me and kept clapping, calling me ‘The Dark Champion.”

I took a step back, but I stepped on something that wasn’t rotting wooden planks.  It felt soft and strange. I lifted my foot and turned around, and to my shock, the bodies of the harbor patrol brothers lay bloody and lifeless on the pier.  

I gasped, while Grimm came over and gave one of the corpses a triumphant kick.  

“Well?  What are you waiting for?  Let’s toss these over the edge, just as they did to you.”  Grimm said, lifting Jerry and flinging his lifeless body into the sea.  I waited, thinking about what I had just done. Something deep inside told me I should feel more pain and guilt, but something else shrugged it off and told me to rejoice in this milestone. 

I took hold of Dan’s body, and filled with a sense of accomplishment and victory, I tossed it over the edge and watched as it sunk into the waters below.

“My friend, why so morose?  Be glad! You’ve been reborn.  You’ll now go by a new name, a new identity, and you’ll go about life with a new purpose.  You’re no longer ‘just some tramp’. You’re something greater, an object of fear…our champion.  The Devil’s Advocate.” Grimm laughed once more and walked away, leaving me to finally have a moment to breath.

“May the Darkness have mercy on your soul,”  I looked over the edge and smiled, as if my tormentor’s ears could hear me as they sunk beneath the waves.

“Tell me, Henry, are you afraid of the dark?”  Grimm asked.

“Not anymore,” I responded.

“Good answer, but the truth is, everyone else on this rock is.  The Darkness is the father of fear, because I’ve never met someone who fears the Light.  As advocates for Darkness, we spread fear. Why? When people fear, they sin. When people sin, they fear.”  

It worried me a little, but I liked the sound of everything this deal enclosed, well, except for the whole return to hell after ten years catch.  Otherwise, it was a solid offer. Do the devil’s bidding and in return finally have the power to do something, anything.

I could get used to this.  The killing, the sadistic acts, I could get used to it all.  I could get used to being…

The Devil’s Advocate.

 

Devil’s Advocate: Chapter 5


“Now here is where I bring forth my clincher.  A little tool I call Mortimer Grimm. He’s a tricky one, and my longest friend.”  A silent, pale-faced man entered the room. He pulled out a chair next to me and took a seat.  He folded his arms and arrogantly crossed his legs. Mr. Blacke scraped some stray sands off of the ground and played with them in his palm.  “He’s my ace in the hole, possibly a living incarnation of temptation. This dastardly little beast will make you sign this blood contract, and if you don’t believe me, we can bet.  I know that’s something you like to do.”

“Temptation?  Like the Garden…” I began.

“Yes, just like the Garden of Eden.”  Mr.Blacke blew, and the sands were carried by an invisible breeze into my eyes.  Just the presence of Mr. Grimm seemed to compel me to agree. He put one hand on my shoulder and began to speak.  I heard none of his speech, but the more he spoke the greater the conviction I had that this was the right thing to do.  It felt odd, but so right! I had a distorted view of reality, and suddenly, I felt my hand hover up. The guards brought in a contract, and a pen carrying a crimson ink.  

“Sign, and that second chance you crave will be yours.”  The Blacke said, sweat streaming down his cheeks.

I felt such a strong connection to this, that I grabbed the pen, and I brought it over to the dotted line.  I didn’t even bother to read the terms and conditions, this was something I wanted, with all of my heart. Or so I thought.  Temptation was working within me, and deep down I knew that. However, the overwhelming desire for a second chance looked past that, and I signed my name on the scroll.  

The contract was hastily removed, and my clear vision returned.  The nausea, the distortion, and the vertigo left and I was left in utter confusion…only for a moment.  

Blacke and Grimm looked at one and other and smiled.  Mortimer stood up along with Blacke and they both pounded me on the back congratulating me.  

“Thank you Henry.  You’ve done this man a great service,”  Blacke in a voice that seemed to mock the concept of sincerity.  

“Great job, sport.  Now that you’ve officially become greater than the weak drunkard you once were, let’s go through some specifics.”  Mortimer said, just barely cracking a smile. He paused for a moment and continued. “The truth is Henry, there are no specifics.  You’re gonna go out there and be bad, in layman’s terms. You will be diabolical, void of any conscience or remorse. Then only will you be what we want you to be.  You will strike an unholy fear into the hearts of men, and that’s all you must do for the next ten years. Do you know why, Henry? We live by this simple rule: when people fear, they sin, and when they sin, they fear.  When all of the above coexist, chaos is born and our desires quenched. We don’t want you to just be another bad man, but a bad revolutionary. We want to see your acts of darkness plant a seed that withers good in the people around you, because that’s who you are.”

“And who exactly am I?”  I whimpered, dazed.

Everyone stopped, the room was silent as Mortimer stepped back and Blacke drew nearer.  He took me by the collar and roughly shoved me against the back wall which smelt of sweat and blood just as the stained doorway.  

“Who are you?”  Blacke asked. “Who are you?  Henry! Oh, Henry! You’ve signed the contract, you’ve agreed to the terms and conditions.  In doing so you’ve become something you never thought you could be, something far darker than the world will see in human form.  You’ve become all of this for one soul purpose, to represent the desires of a crooked businessman with a secret ambition. Henry, you’re the Devil’s Advocate.”

Blacke chuckled and backed off.  Mortimer then took me by the throat and tugged me to a corner where his fist met my skull in a thunderous blow.  I was nearly knocked off my feet, but Mortimer caught me and pulled me up.

“You’re the Devil’s Advocate, Henry, but you have to make them believe it.  You have to make me believe it. Now…who are you?” Mortimer spat at me before bringing down another fist upon the back of my head.  “Who are you?”

“The Devil’s Advocate.”  I responded weakly.

“That was weak!  I need to feel your pain.”  A sharp shot to my chin caused blood to seep out from within my gums.

“I’m the Devil’s Advocate.”  I whimpered.

“Again!”  Mortimer shouted.

“The Devil’s Advocate.”

“Make me believe!”

On it went.  Over and over he bludgeoned me, hammered me to the point of desperation, all so he could seal the deal in blood.  He wanted the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ to be born of pain so that when I went back to the mainland to do damage, the destruction came from a dark place.  Blacke truly was a twisted man.

“Again!”

“The Devil’s Advocate”

“Be stronger!”

“The Devil’s Advocate”

“You maggot!  Make me believe!”

“The Devil’s Advocate.”

“Let hell hear it!”

“The Devil’s Advocate!”  Unable to bear the pain any longer I returned Mortimer’s motion with a swift right hook that picked him off his feet and left him sprawling on the bamboo floor.  

“He’s ready.”  Blacke whispered to a moaning Mr. Grimm.  I spit an oozy cocktail of blood, saliva, and sputum at the polished shoes of Mr. Blacke, just before the world began to spin once more. Dizzy and in pain I began to back up against the corner.  As the world faded I saw Mortimer get up, look me in the eye, fling his fist in my direction…and then everything went black.

God and Science?

God n Science

Science, in a nutshell, is a compilation of expectations.  If I were to let go of an object at a height, it would fall and make impact with any surface below; whether a few centimeters or miles away.  If this happens fifty times in a row, the scientific expectation is that on the fifty-first time the object, once let go of, will also plummet and will make impact with the surface below.  This, as we can all tell, is an applied example of gravity at work.

What about God?  Can we really fit Him into a box using science?  There are plenty of common debates on the internet where either Christians attempt to explain God using humankind’s understanding of our world and beyond, or those opposing religion attempt to use science to debunk the existence of God.  However, how effective is such an approach to belief in God’s existence?  That’s what we’ll take a look at in this blog post – God and science.

Okay, let’s be real.  All science exists because of the one who created it, so let’s think about if its fair to use science to try and explain the existence of God to those who oppose it.  My answer is yes, to an extent.  The concept of belief is just that, BELIEF.  Nearly everywhere that God has performed 1-on-1 miracles, He mentions faith.  “Go, for your faith has made you well.”  Not your understanding of quarks, leptons or bosons.  Faith is a passion, a fervor, and a feeling beyond just emotion.  Can we really produce faith from an understanding of God using science.  Not really.  I truly support using science as preacher Louie Giglio who through his narrative strikes awe of Him in the hearts of the people.  It really shows a tangible connection between mortals and the one who created this world.  Using science to prove the existence of a greater power’s work is a not a bad thing.  It’s a way to touch and feel the evidence of a creator, but using science to develop faith is not something supported by the Bible.  Those who believed, just BELIEVED.  They didn’t need science or works, they just needed faith.  And their faith made them well.  Faith built on just a tangible idea like science, is that faith at all?  Not truly.  Science is a great supporting pillar, but science as a foundation for belief in Christ, or in deity is not ideal.  It causes doubts, and causes people to attempt to fit God into the borders of what we believe is real, when in truth there is much about our own home planet that we don’t understand.  We’ll talk more about this in a bit.

What about the more common use for science in the arena of debating on God’s existence?  Using science to debunk the existence of God – Is it really fair to do that,? Can you really use science as a stable form of evidence against God, especially when those that say they don’t believe in religion often do?   What people often call Mother Nature and her path of evolution is what those who believe in a God call God and his creation.  Using science to prove that God isn’t real is like stepping on a sinking ship.  The thought of using science to debunk the existence of a greater being falls apart for one basic reason.  The whole concept of God and his relationship with the world of mortals is one that remains entirely out of the borders of science, because that is precisely what God is.  If God is limited by the space-time continuum, then He is no God.  The idea behind God is that HE is a supreme being who is above, outside of the space-time barrier who can alter things within it.  God is not a God limited by our limitations.

What exactly is the space-time continuum?  Well, to make up our universe we have three basic elements, proven by the very science that people use to destroy the belief in God.  You have space, time, and matter.  You can’t have matter without space because you’d have nowhere to put it.  You can’t have matter without time because you wouldn’t know when to put it.  You can see where this could go from here.  These three things makes up the continuum, the very universe we live in.  Now if we attempt to use science, something limited to our physical space-time continuum, to explain something clearly greater than it (God), then we are defeating the purpose of having a God.

God is real, and He exists beyond our physical universe, for a God restrained by what chains humankind is not a God.  When we humans invent something, we change it, we innovate it.  If humankind were to develop a new computer, we know for a fact that there was a brain and a consciousness behind that invention.  It would be absolutely ridiculous to say that the computer came from a bag of broken rocks that someone stood in an empty room and shook for millions of years.  Anyone would tell you that that’s not possible.  How then, can an entire world of sentient beings come from something like the big bang.  If the big bang had to occur then we have a greater question.  Where did the universe before the big bang come from?  Who created the components for the big bang?  This is why using science to do away with belief in God is an idea that just falls apart.

God is greater than science than what we can ever know.  He is very real, but to attempt to cage His worth using our understanding of the world would be an insult to his existence.  Deep down we can all agree that there has to be a sentient being behind the creation.  There’s no way a car shattered to pieces can just come out of the dump made entirely new without some sentient being behind its restoration.  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  Even though the heavens declare his greatness, and every cell in our bodies shows just how closely we are connected to Christ, using science to put a barrier around God’s value or to prove his lack of existence is something that just can’t be done.  Faith is something that can’t be built out of science.  It’s not something you can learn like biology or chemistry.  Yet, faith as small as a mustard seed can do miracles.  Miracles that we can’t believe in if we attempt to explain God with our limited understanding.  God is not just an idea, He is the driving factor for our very existence.  Each cell, each elementary particle was divinely designed by someone from above.  His name is Jesus Christ.

Questions! We need questions!

For those of you that don’t know, in my last blog I added a P.S. to the readers that asked for questions from all of you. If you’ve got any kind of question at all about the blog, me, or any of the topics I write about, then leave a comment that says “Question.” The. You can type your question below that. Please do send me as many questions as you can on the blog or any other form of social media, and hopefully, if I get enough questions I’ll do a Q&A session soon. Ask away, all! Comment your questions down below!

An Afternoon to Remember

Here’s a quick little story for you: Last week; June 1, 2019, was an awesome day.  For those of you that don’t know, I was invited to speak at the annual Taste of the World block party, which was an absolute blast.  They had pony rides, a fun bus, more food from different cultures than you could imagine, and more.  Being able to share something with the crowd that was there was a special experience, and I wanted to share some of my experience with you.  (Below is the link to the video.  Check it out!  Like and subscribe!)

Anyway, the day started usually.  Woke up at 7 A.M. on a Saturday, and it was full steam ahead from there.  The whole morning our resources were split up, attending this event and that.  When we finally got to the block party at New Durham Chapel in Piscataway, we were running on fumes.  Dead tired and thirsty, we began another long run of tedious work, setting up for our music set to be played at the event.  My mind was focused on doing many things at that time, as you would expect:  I was mentally preparing to speak, I was setting up, I was testing my sound, warming up my voice, and I was quite pre-occupied with how my message and our songs would go.  (Quick note:  Whenever I reference us I’m referring to our band, the Levitz.  There’ll be a link for that down below, too.  Oh, and yes, I will be getting to my talk soon.)

After a song set which went splendidly, the band unhooked their instruments and busied themselves with a plethora of after-gig necessities.  One of them being staying hydrated, obviously.  Another being doing a maintenance check of our stuff and instruments.  The second we struck our last chord, I grabbed my notes and rushed to the podium, and began.  For details of my talk, watch the video, but this is a quick summary of my points.

June 1, 2019 (Post-talk recap)

I touched upon 3 main ideas during my talk, which was a comedic re-telling of Jesus’ Feeding the Five Thousand.

  • Be prepared to present.  When God needs something from you in order to act on a promise, shying away could result in loss of a miracle
  • Be hungry.  The crowd that gathered to listen to Jesus that day was created accidentally when Jesus was trying to take a break from the people. They stayed there for hours on end in the wilderness, listening to their Savior speak.  Jesus took compassion on them and taught them and healed the sick.  The reward comes to those with passion, with fervor.
  • God will provide.  The obvious takeaway from the story.  God taught those who hungered for him, and not bread and fish, and in return they were satisfied both mentally and physically.

 

I’m happy that the talk was well-received, and I answered some questions from the audience after the talk.  Now, for my comedic retelling and everything that made my talk my talk, take a look at the links.

June 1st Talk

 

Levitz Band (A link you can check out at your leisure)

Youtube: Levitz Band on Youtube

 

A special thanks and shout out to Pastor Rich Sivo and New Durham Chapel for the opportunity to speak at Taste of the World 2019.  It was an absolutely incredible experience!  Thanks a bunch!

P.S. If you have any questions about anything.  Anything at all, then put them in the comments.  I’m looking to do a Q&A or something of the sort.  If you’d like to, please send your questions in your comments on the blog and/or other social media platforms.  Your support is greatly appreciated.  Now ask away!

thinkaboutit!!!

 

Follow the Leader… but which one?

Do this, do that.  No!  You’re doing it wrong, because you’re doing it right!  That’s my job!  Hey, 8:00 means 8:00, not 7:59!  Who’s the boss?  Who is it?  Common flashes of imagination that flood our minds when we think of bosses, or more broadly, leadership or forced authority in general.  Let’s face the facts, most people – probably you included *cough* –  don’t like authority.  Not many people enjoy the feeling of someone with power constantly over your shoulder, but there is another side to leadership than you witness from day to day.  Today, let’s venture into the field of leadership, and find out what makes the best leader.

Appointed Leaders:  Men who are given the title of leader and are put in charge of a group of people.  These leaders are formally appointed, hence the name, and they hold the authority over their team members.

Expert Leaders:  One of the most influential types of leaders.  This leader is never formally appointed or given the title of team captain.  He is often a member of the team, and works to influence or inspire the team using his expertise.  He competes not to be named a leader, for that would take from him the value of his knowledge.

I ask you, which of these leaders is better?  To explain, a short story:

Deep within the jungle, there lived a nomadic tribe of monkeys.  They were rowdy, unkempt, and lived in constant chaos and anarchy.  One day, the Brown Monkey, one of the wiser of the tribe decided that they needed a leader, someone with official power over the tribe. 

“Here me, monkeys!  I say to you; we need a leader, one appointed to rule us.  We live in the moment, and are often never prepared for anything at all.  We need a formal leader to keep the peace and to keep us in check!  I appoint, given the power that has not been bestowed upon me considering the fact that we have no leader, The Black Monkey!”  The Brown Monkey howled, and his cohorts cheered in approval.  The Black Monkey was put in power, and he saw to it that the tribe prospered.  They settled down, and the quarrels and disputes that often took place quietened.  Squabbles over food or territory ended.  The Black Monkey screeched in excitement one afternoon as he looked over his realm. 

“Oh!  What peace, what prosperity I have brought forth!  By bringing forth appointed rule we have now established a chain of command for these ruffians to follow!”  The Black Monkey grunted and he began to walk away, but just as he was doing so, he overheard the strangest of conversations between two of his close friends.

“Did you hear of the White Monkey?”  The Green Monkey whispered to his companion.

“Oh yes!  While the Black Monkey has created an imperishable system, the rumor goes that the White Monkey holds the true hearts of the tribe!”  The Blue Monkey grinned.

“Of course, but how?  He is no elected leader!”

“No, but he has something else with him.  The love of the tribe.  Somehow, he has managed to influence the hearts and minds of the monkeys.  Some even claim that it was him, not the Black Monkey that solved the squabbles of the land.”

“How interesting,”  the Black Monkey muttered.  “I must find this White Monkey and see exactly how he accomplished all that my companions say he did.”

A few days followed, and the Black Monkey had the White Monkey found and brought to him. 

“Tell me friend, the forest animals say that you have a greater influence than I, the leader do.  Tell me, is this true?”

“Black Monkey, would all due respect, I do agree to all that you have said.  My influence is greater in this forest.  Would you like to know why?”  The White Monkey asked.

“Oh, joy!  Share your divine secrets with me, White one.”  The Black Monkey hooted and scratched an itch in his rear

“Well, Black Monkey, I couldn’t have done all that I have done without you.  You are what I call an appointed leader, one who is set in place for the purpose of bringing in order, but my expert leadership is what ended the squabbles and more.  I inspired the tribe, I brought them to peace and ended their disputes.  I influenced the monkeys with my expert leadership which gave me power among the people.  Power I can use to do even more good.  I couldn’t have done it without you, a formal leader bringing order to the scene, but an expert leader needs no name or fame.  An expert leader doesn’t need to be appointed.  He’s just another of the the tribe, one that leads them without ever raising a command.”  The White Monkey excused himself, and left the palace of Black Monkey, leaving him stunned and awe-struck.

“He’s right. He is absolutely right.”

Which type of leader is more important? Well they both hold an equal amount of importance. Without an ordained leader everything has the chance of falling into anarchy, but without an expert leader you’re just blindly following an appointed leader. Some leaders a hybrid of both, which makes the best type of leader. The point is, never complain because you don’t hold a title or more, for even a member of the team can become the most powerful leading force of all…