Andy Dimwitt

22 12 2017

All credit for this story goes to David Bercot and is used with his permission.  This story has come to my mind many times as I have questioned myself about my attitude with money.  I have determined that to use the money from this world to expand the Kingdom of God is tantemount to turning dung to diamonds or as David Bercot points out in his book,  Secrets of the Kingdom Life, turning play money into something with eternal value.  I hope this post challenges you and what you believe about our money and time.  I know it has me.

Andy is a 12 year old boy. It’s the first day of his summer vacation, and he’s hoping to be able to get to a summer job to earn some real money during summer. His dad works for Applegate Realty, a realty company that sells houses, empty lots, things like that. Now, a lot of the people selling their houses have already moved away, and so their house sits there, and during the summer, you need someone to mow the yard or it makes a very bad impression. My dad was a real estate salesman, and so one of my summer jobs growing up was mowing lawns of these vacant houses. When Andy’s father came home for lunch that day, he said, “Andy, I’ve got some really good news.” He said, “I asked Mr. Applegate whether we could perhaps hire you to mow the lawns of these vacant houses during the summer, and he said he would be willing to give you a try.”

Andy said, “Oh, thank you dad. Oh, I am so glad, and believe me, I will do a super job and you’ll be really pleased with it.” His father said, “I’m sure I will, but remember, this is a trial basis. We have a job to give you today. In fact, I’m going to be showing the house later today. It’ll probably be about 6 this evening but it could be as early as 4. As soon as lunch is over, I need you to go over there. It’s just about a block away. You can walk there and push the mower with you.” Andy said, “Well, that sounds good. How much will they pay me, dad?” His father said, “It’ll be $50. It shouldn’t take you more than two hours to mow it,” so that sounded like pretty good money for a 12 year old. It would be pretty good money probably for a lot of us.

He handed the address to Andy and Andy immediately ran upstairs and got in his work clothes. They finished lunch about 1:00 and Andy’s father returned to the office. His mother had gone on some errands so he was home alone. He was just walking out the door to go to the garage to get the lawnmower to go mow the yard. When he opened the door, he saw that coming up the sidewalk was a group of his friends. His best friend Tommy was one of them, and some of the other neighborhood boys, and Andy noticed that Tommy was holding a Monopoly game under his arm. They said, “Oh, hi, Andy. Guess what? We’ve come over to play Monopoly.”

Andy said, “Oh, I’m sorry, fellas, but I’ve got to mow a lawn this afternoon. I’m not going to be able to play.” They said, “Oh, we’re so disappointed. We had really looked forward to this. It’s the first day of summer vacation. How long is it going to take you to mow this yard?” Andy said, “Well, my dad said probably two hours.” They said, “When does it have to be done?” He said, “Well, he’s not sure when the people are going to look at it. It’ll probably be 6, maybe 4.” They said, “Well, we have time for a real quick game then.” He said, “Well, okay. It’s going to have to be real short.”

They came in. They sprawled out on the floors and set up the Monopoly board. One of the boys volunteered to be the banker, and so they got going. Next thing they knew, Andy looked up and he saw that it was 2:00. He said, “Oh, fellas. I’m sorry. I’ve got to leave right now. I hate to walk out in the middle of the game, but I’ve got to leave.” His friends says, “You can’t do that. The game is just getting interesting! If you leave now, it’s just going to be a mess for everybody. What are we supposed to do, the rest of us?” He said, “But I’ve got this yard to mow.” They said, “Well, look, just a half hour more. Just a half hour and I’m sure we’ll wrap it up by then.” “Oh, okay, I guess just a half hour more.”


Things started going really good for Andy. He ends up with Boardwalk and Park Place and three of the railroads and, wow, when 2:30 rolls around, he doesn’t even notice the time because he’s so wrapped up in his game. He keeps gaining and gaining. By 3:00, it’s just him and Tommy and one other guy is still in the game. They’ve picked up even more property and he’s accumulating all kinds of money. The time is flying by and Andy is so engrossed in the game and how many properties he’s accumulating and how much money, he doesn’t notice the time. 3:00 runs by, 3:30, 4:00. Now it’s just him and Tommy left and he’s got another Monopoly. He thinks he’s going to get this game won.

Well then, the next thing he knows, the door suddenly flings open and it’s his dad standing in the door with his arms folded and not a very happy look on his face. Andy immediately looks over at the clock; it’s 4:30. “Dad, I’m sorry. I’m leaving right now.” His dad said, “Just go ahead. No point rushing off. It’s too late now. The people decided to look at it at 4. I’ve just come back from there and the yard being overgrown over the sidewalk and everything did not make a very good impression, and the people decided not to buy the house.”

Andy said, “Oh dad, I feel so bad I let you down. I guarantee you it will never happen again.” His dad said, “Well, it won’t because when I told Mr. Applegate about the situation, he told me he’s going to go ahead and give the summer job to his nephew. That was your one chance and you blew it.” His dad said, “You know, this was real money that you could have earned and instead you threw it all away on some silly game.” Andy said, “Silly game? Dad, you don’t understand. I’ve got Boardwalk and Park Place. Not only that, dad, I have made $8,000.”

You’re probably thinking, Í guess his name fits him, “Andy Dimwit.” You might be wondering, “Well, what does that story have to do with any of us?” The problem is most of us are Andy Dimwits. We’ve been given a job to do by Jesus Christ and what happens is we get caught up in our Monopoly games and we forget all about the work that Jesus expects us to be doing. Turn with me to Matthew 25. Let’s look at verses 14 to 30. Matthew 25:14-30. We read, “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one of them he gave five talents.” Now, talents were a silver money. He’s not talking about abilities. He’s talking about some money he gave them.

“And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ ” Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing to hear from Jesus?

“He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.’ Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Jesus is serious about this. He makes it a salvation and eternal issue. Again, we’re not told we have to earn our salvation by doing business with His talents, but He does want to see that we are busy working on His behalf. If we’re not, He says the outcome is He’s going to cast us out into the outer darkness, and I think we know what that means. What happens to so many of us? Probably most professing Christians, well, we want to do things for Christ and maybe when we’re young, we do VS work, which is very commendable, giving some of our best years to the work of the Lord. I’m glad that that is a very strong tradition in most of our circles, and that is good.

Then I don’t know what happens. Something happens after those first few years when we’re young. One of them is love. People end up getting married. Nothing wrong with that, that’s all in accord with Christ Jesus. Obviously, we can’t do the same things when we’re married. We have a family that we didn’t when we were single, but it’s more than just that. What happens to most people, when they were single, they were content with little. At least, that’s been my experience. When I was a single guy, wow, I could live in the smallest dump you could … I lived in refrigerator at one time. Honestly, it was an outdoor meat freezer. It was on this farm. It was just big enough, I could put in a twin mattress and just barely get it in there and that was where I lived for two or three months. I was happy as a lark with that. It was warm in the winter and well-insulated.

We get married, and this American dream takes over. The American dream is, “Yeah, let’s have all these nice, comfortable things.” I got pulled into that like anyone else. I can talk from experience, I’ll put it that way. Pretty soon, all these grand ideas, things you wanted to do for Christ, it’s so easy that they just get pushed in the background. Now, without a doubt, when we’re married and we have a family to support, our first kingdom responsibility is to take care of our family. No one is talking about neglecting our family or living in a tent. I doubt your new wife is going to appreciate that. No one is asking you to do that.

We get going and then like Andy, we get so engrossed. Our business, it grows and it grows and we think, “Wow. If it grows this big and I added this to it and add that, it’ll be that much bigger,” and pretty soon we are just wrapped up. We’re accumulating all of this Monopoly money. Because the instant we die, all of our money, as far as we’re concerned, turns into this. Everything that we thought was real money, it seems so real to us, the second we die, that’s all it is. Now, it’s still real money to the people left behind, but for our needs, for our eternal needs, that’s it. The nice house or houses we’ve built turn into these little wooden or plastic houses from Monopoly. The car we think so much of just turns into one of these little trinkets. I mean, that’s it. This stuff is just Monopoly money. It’s Monopoly possessions. It’s all gone when we die as far as here on out for us. The only thing that counts is: what did we do for Jesus Christ? In the next story we’re going to be talking a little bit about that.

We’ll leave it at that on Monopoly money. Let’s see what Christ would have us doing, among other things. This next story is about the sympathetic college professor. Dr. Rod Weiss teaches history at Greenburg State University. Every semester, he ends up having to flunk some of the students. Others he has to give a D or a C and he feels bad doing that. Now some professors I had seemed to take a lot of enjoyment in that, but not Professor Weiss. He really enjoyed his students and it just broke his heart to have to fail someone. Finally, one semester, he says, “I know what I’m going to do. Final exam is coming up and it counts for a third of their grade for this semester. I’m just going to go ahead and give them all the questions that are going to be on the exam ahead of time.”

He got thinking, “They might still mess them up. I know what I’ll do. I’ll give them the questions and I’ll give them the answers as well.” About a week before the exam, he walks into the classroom with his big stack of his papers in his hand. He had some of the students hand them out. They’re looking at him like, “What’s this?” He says, “Well, what you have in your hand now, these are the exact questions that are going to be on your final exam. Right below them are the correct answers that I want. Now, you don’t have to give them exactly the way I wrote them. Put them in your own words, but you’ve got the questions, you’ve got the answers. I want to see everybody in the class make an A this time.”

The students are really skeptical. “Okay, are you pulling our legs?” “No,” he says, “This is no joke. This is serious. Now, you’re going to have to learn these answers. You can’t bring this into class with you, but this will tell you what to study. You got the questions, you’ve got the answers. If any of you don’t make an A, it’s going to be totally your own fault.” A week later, he gives the exam and at the end of the hour, he takes them up. He goes to his office and he starts grading them. He’s thinking, “Boy, this is going to be fun. This is going to be all of these A’s, probably a bunch of 100 percents.”

He grades the first guy and next thing he knows, well, he’s having to mark this one wrong, mark that one wrong. He’s like, “How did this happen? Maybe the student was sick that day. I don’t remember.” He ends up flunking the student. The guy misses most of the questions, and he’s like, “How could that happen? I gave him everything.” Well, okay, that was a fluke. He picks up the next one and he starts grading it and he’s finding that this guy missed this one, and he missed this one, and he missed that one. He’s like, “What’s going on here?” The guy ended up with just a D. He passed, but just barely. Dr. Weiss was like, “What is going on?” He picks up the next one and grades it. This guy missed his questions right and left, ends up with a C, but that’s all. Pretty much the whole stack of papers went the same way.


He couldn’t figure that out. “What more could I do? I gave them the questions, I gave them the answers.” It had been the last day of school so he didn’t see the students again, so he spent the whole vacation time just trying to figure out what happened. The first day of the next semester, he’s walking towards his class and he see Susan, one of the students who had been in his class before, in the past semester. He says, “Oh, Susan. I’m wondering if you could clear up a mystery for me.” She says, “Well, I don’t know. I’ll try.” He says, “Last semester, at the end of the semester, I gave everybody the questions that were on the final exam and even the answers and all people had to do was to study them and learn them. Only you and two other people made an A on that exam. Most of the class ended up with C’s and there were a number who’d flunked it.” He says, “I’m dumbfounded. I mean, explain to me what happened.”

Susan says, “Well, I’m surprised too. I was assuming most people made A’s as well. Oh, I think I know.” She said, “Okay, I think I know what happened. Right after that class that day when you gave us the answers and the test questions, we all went over the student union (that’s like a snack bar thing on campus) and we were sitting around. We all got cokes and stuff and we’re sitting around talking about it. Remember Luther Little? He threw out a question. He said, ‘Now, do you really think Dr. Weiss would give us the questions and answers in advance? Does that make sense? I mean, the university, he could get in trouble with the university if everyone ends up making A’s.’ The students said, ‘Yeah. Hey, that’s a good point.’ He said, ‘I think that these aren’t the real answers. He’s wanting us to look deeper, to see if we’ll go further than that because he couldn’t possibly give us the questions and answers. No professor does that.’

“The others said, ‘Yeah, I think you’re right.’ ” She said, “So, anyway, they all agreed they were going to meet that night and go over the questions and then get out their books and find what the real answers should be.” He said, “Well, were you part of that?” She said, “No. After I left the student union, I got to thinking, is that really what I think of Dr. Weiss, that he would be so mean that he would tell us these are the correct answers and these are the questions and then trick us? Do I really think he would be that mean?” She said, “No, you’re not that kind of a teacher. I studied the questions and answers that you gave us and it was just like you said, I made an A. Nothing could have been easier.”

You’re probably thinking, “David, that story is as ridiculous as the first story.” I agree with you. It is an absurd story. Unfortunately, it happens to be true. I don’t mean that there’s a real Dr. Weiss in some university, but this is what happens in real life. Jesus has already told us what the questions are going to be on judgment day and what the answers are going to be. Yet most Christians don’t believe him. Let’s look at Matthew 25 verse 31.

Now, it’s very interesting, because we go to this section of Matthew 25, and this is immediately following the parable of the talents. I think Jesus is explaining here one way, maybe the chief way, that he wants us to be spending his kingdom money that he has invested with us. Verse 31: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And he will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.”

“Then the King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or naked and clothe you? Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'”

“Then he will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'” You think, “These guys must have really done something wicked.” He says, ” ‘For I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take me in, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you didn’t visit me.’ Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Now, I don’t know how Jesus could have made it more plain. He’s told us he is the judge. He is the one we will be standing in front of. He says, “Look, this is what I’m going to ask you on judgment day. Did you feed the hungry? Because you’re doing it to me. If you feed them, you’re feeding me. Did you visit me in prison? When I was sick? Everything he mentions are ministries open to everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brother or a sister. You don’t have to be ordained to do any of these things. You can be a teenager. You can be a young boy or girl. Everybody can visit the sick. You can give food to the hungry. The only limitation is what we put on ourselves. Yet even though he tells us this is what he wants to hear from us, what the question will be, what do most Protestants say? “Your works have no role in your salvation.”

I was looking at a tract as I was preparing this message and the tract said, “Remember, there is NOTHING” … in all capital letters … “you can DO” … in all capital letters … “to win heaven.” That’s what people hear. What’s Jesus doing here? Lying to us? Is this not what he wants to hear from us? I mean what do we think of our master? The parable of the talents, the servant says, “Well, I knew you to be a harsh man and you reap where you didn’t sow,” and all of that. That’s what people are saying to Jesus now: “Hey, I know you to be a tricky master. You said you want to see if we’re feeding the poor, but we know you want to know if we are counting on our works or do we depend on your righteousness imputed to us. You’re not going to fool us. We know what you’re really after.” That is really sad.

One final story. Now, we’re going to get back to Andy Dimwit. He never did find a summer job. He blew his one chance here, and so he and his friends spent the whole summer playing Monopoly every afternoon. I did that a lot when I was a boy when I didn’t have a job going. One day in the afternoon, Andy’s father comes in; it’s the middle of the afternoon. Andy’s friends are playing Monopoly and his dad said, “Andy, I’ve got some really good news for you.” Andy says, “Well, what is it?” He says, “My. Applegate called me into his office today and he asked me what you’re doing this summer. I told him that you and your friends are playing Monopoly most of the time. Andy said, “Yeah, and I bet he disapproves of it.” His father said, “No, no. No, wait. This is what he said. He said, ‘I want you to go over to your house right now, and however much money, Monopoly money, that Andy has, tell him I will give him real money in exchange for it. I’ll give him $1 of real money for every dollar he has of Monopoly money.”

Andy said, “Oh, come on. He’s not going to do that.” His father said, “No, he’s serious. I asked him the same question. I said, ‘This is a joke, right?’ and he said no. He is dead serious. However much Monopoly money you have right now in your hand, that you’ve won in the game, he will give you one real dollar for every dollar of Monopoly money.” Andy said, “Well, why would he do that?” He says, “He just told me he had his reasons. But let’s not worry about it. Count up what you have.” Andy said, “Well, I don’t know.” He starts counting and he ends up having a little bit over $4,000. His dad said, “Wow, we’ll turn that into 4,000 real dollars.” Then his dad said, “Now, how many houses and hotels do you have? Sell them back to the bank.” Andy said, “What?” His dad said, “Sell them back to the bank and then you can get cash for them.” Andy said, “Dad, you don’t realize, if you sell it back to the bank, you only get half of your money back that you’ve paid for it.”

He said, “The other thing, I’ve got the yellow Monopoly: Marvin Gardens and Ventnor and Atlantic, and I’ve got four houses on each one. If I sell those back to the bank, then when people land there, I just get like $28 rent. With the houses there, it’s going to be like $900 or something.” His dad said, “Andy, what are you thinking? We’re talking about real money here.” Andy says, “Oh, well, all right, but when do I get this money? You’re going to give it to me this afternoon?” His dad said, “No. What he said was you give him the money this afternoon, the Monopoly money, and then at the end of summer, which is only two months away, then he’s going to give you the real dollar for each Monopoly dollar.” “The end of summer?” Andy said, “Oh, come on.” His friends all looked up at the ceiling in disbelief. “That’s the dumbest offer I’ve ever heard. Who would go for that?” He said, “No deal. Man, if I have to wait till the end of summer, no, that’s ridiculous.” He kept his game and played. You’d be happy to know Andy did win the game that day. Again, you’re probably saying, “That is really dumb. If someone made that kind of offer, even an Andy Dimwit would take him up on it.”

Unfortunately, it’s another true story. Jesus tells us that basically on judgment day, he will take all these Monopoly money we’ve been earning and trade as real money, eternal money in place for it. In the Parable of the Unrighteous Steward, at the end he said, “Make for yourselves friends with unrighteous mammon so that when you fail, they will receive you into everlasting homes.” We can take this funny money, this Monopoly money that we make here on the earth. We can help the poor with it and because we do that, Jesus says we will be rewarded eternally. We can get an eternal benefit for just taking Monopoly money and spending it the way that he wants us to.

We’re also dumb. We say, “Well, that’s a bum deal. You mean I have to pay the Monopoly money now and I don’t get anything in return until I die? Who would go for such a stupid offer as that?” No one says that but that’s what we do with our lives. It’s like, “Well, I’ll give 10% maybe, but I don’t want to go anything beyond that.” We’re just like Andy Dimwit. “No, I want my Monopoly game. I’ve got all these houses on Marvin Gardens and stuff and, oh, if I give to the poor, I’ll lose some of that.” We are a bunch of dimwits. Jesus makes it so obvious to us. He tells us in advance how it’s all going to be and we don’t really believe him. This stuff seems so real right now and this stuff just seems really far away.

The point of the all three messages combined is: what is our view of money? What do we spend our time on? When we got in a situation where we can provide for our families, are we happy to stop there? Or do we say, “Let me make this business a little bigger and then a little bigger and a little bigger.” And pretty soon, we’re working day and night in our businesses. We can say things like, “Well, I make my business part of my spiritual worship.” And yes, our secular work, there is a sacred aspect of it, but let’s not kid ourselves. It’s sacred as long as we are providing necessities for our family. When we’re starting to accumulate all of these other stuff, we are just joking to say that that is something that is for God.




Money and Africa

17 05 2014

I am frequently asked about giving in Africa. I would love to tell folks that you can send a check to most charitable organizations in Africa and know that things will go as you planned. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

As you know, I am writing a series of articles meant to be used as tools for me to use when people ask me questions. I did one on why I don’t do micro loans and I plan others as well. It is a process. Recently, a Christian in the US asked if I would give a young man some money for bibles. This person had friended me on Facebook so I knew a little about him. I agreed. This story is salient to this topic.



The young man had been begging me to connect with him and teach him about discipleship, house church and other things he had followed me talking about on FB. So why not. Sure I will take the money for him to get bibles and give it to him. I needed to meet with him anyway so we would proceed. I sent Pastor Fred to met with him first. I clearly explained a bit about our mission via message on FB. Pastor Fred reiterated it in person. He wanted to bring his father, a traditional African pastor. I informed him that I actually taught AGAINST, the traditional Christianity he was mostly familiar with. That I taught that buildings were a waste of God’s money and that any pastor with a church building would find me teaching challenging things to say the least. He wanted me to speak in his fathers church but I declined. I stated that I would meet with him alone at first and conveyed that I would NOT meet with him until he read our literature explaining our teachings and agreed that what he thought I was teaching, was what he was called to do.

We teach the gospel as Jesus taught it, not the theological version of the West. You must take up your cross, lay down your life, drop your nets and come and follow Jesus. Like Jesus, we are making disciples not casual believers. You must repent, be baptized and obey the King of the Kingdom of God. He agreed. I got the funding from my friend in the US and scheduled the meeting after confirming the young man read the material. He did not have a copy but did have a computer and could download it for free to read. We set the meeting.

He showed up with a pastor and an evangelist. He had NOT read any of the materials and the pastor and evangelist immediately began asking for money to build a church building. Sigh. After I shared our vision I had Pastor Fred and Wilson take him to the bible store to buy the bibles. Instead of buying all bibles with the money they only wanted about 40% for the bibles and the rest in cash for them. My guys warned them that muzungus, white Westerners, viewed this as a betrayal and a serious breach of trust. The Africans persisted. I want to take this example and explain a few things.

First, Africans communicate to build relationships. Westerners communicate to convey facts. This is a shame honor culture. Meaning that confrontation is bad. It typically damages and can end a relationships. That does not mean you can’t deal with reality. It just means you need to understand what you are dealing with.

I rode a bus one time on a long journey. I turned to a young lady in the next seat and asked her how long to the next rest stop. I explained that I needed to go to the bathroom. She said 30 kilometers. 18 miles. Great I could wait. I fell asleep knowing I would awaken at the stop and be fine. I awoke an hour later. I ask her again how much further? 30 kilometers was the answer. You see here, it is bad manners not to help anther. She had no idea how far the next stop was. Africans, unless they are very Westernized, have no understanding of the value of accurate time and distance. To her, it was very important that she answer my question in a positive way so that I felt good about her answer and was happy. I know this sounds absurd but that is the way it is. I am constantly assured of facts that frankly have no bearing on reality.

As you might imagine this has become frustrating and a source of great trial and learning for me. I tell this story to help you understand that she did not want to lie to me. To her, telling me she did not know, was unacceptable. She would view herself as a bad hostess. She wanted me to be happy. And she gave me great hope. FYI, it was about 140 kilometers to the stop and I made if fine.

Back to the young man. He very much wanted to become my friend. A friendship with a white man is prestige and honor and potentially a source of great financial gain. To have me as a friend and colleague would be the equivalent of him getting his doctorate. It is likely he had every intention of reading the materials, but lacked the funding to get online with his computer. It is also likely that he had shared his good fortune in getting me to talk with him online and had shared it with his father. After having communicated that with his dad, I am sure his dad ask him about it often. In his enthusiasm of getting to met me, I am sure he shared this with his dad and, frankly, did not have the wisdom nor skills to deny his father come. And of course his father had shared with his evangelist friend. I am lucky 10 guys did not show up.

Of course the young man shared NONE of my information in the emails. Nothing about not building structures nor about the cost of discipleship. Hence the immediate request for money for a building. Now onto the money.

In Africa, once you give someone money for something, it now belongs to the person that you gave it to. It is not yours. It is none of your business. An honest and Godly man will spent the great majority of the money exactly or nearly exactly as you meant it. However, things are different here. It is completely possible and in fact likely, that since the person made a request to you other factors have come to bear. For example, the brothers may not have had the fare to to come to meet me and had to borrow it. They will have to pay it back. It could be that you sent money for a cow but that the price changed so they just bought milk and maize instead. That is acceptable here. In fact, they may explain this to you and ask for the money again to buy the cow. It would not occur to them that you would not understand. I am constantly sent money that is ear marked. It is hard for me to have 500 dollars for a widow I won’t see for two weeks and stand in front of a house with starving orphans with almost nothing to give. I can find a way. It is within my power to responsibly deal with this situation. Africans, on the other hand, don’t have the obligation, nor skills to deal with this all the time. They would just take the money earmarked for one thing and spend it on the greatest most pressing need. In fact you need to understand a few things here.

Pressing needs come first. Forget what the earmark is for to an African. It may go to exactly what you want, at least some of it, but it might go to something else more pressing. that is acceptable here. And not dishonorable.

I am sorry to say that many Pastors and leaders here know what Westerners will and won’t give to. You will help widows and orphans. You won’t send school fees for the pastors kids to go to a private school nor build him a badly needed house or a perceived need of a car. So he says he has a widow in need and he buys a car. That is the reality here. It is an example of the corruption that goes on here from Bishops down to deacons. It is horrific in Kenya especially. Entire ministries are set up online that are completely bogus. Are they run by conman and thieves? Nope. Bishops and Pastors. Complete teams of them. They have also learned that the more other pastors involved the more likely you are to think they are trustworthy. And by the way, they praise God for answering their prayer for the new car. They spend their time asking Westerners for money. I have actually overheard a conversation between two pastors. One ask the other what he had been doing. Evangelizing? NO. Shepherding? NO. His answer was, seeking money from Muzungus, (white Westerners) as usual.

We brought the prosperity gospel and the easy believism of the West here and they have bought it hook line and sinker. We sowed this seed and this is the harvest.

On to the next point. It is their money. You gave it. They can do what ever they want. I know of a man locally that went to the neighbors for help for a terrible medical need. Everyone gave generously. So generously that he had more than enough. So he kept soliciting. He got enough for the medical need, a laptop and a new Iphone. He did not stop he just kept going. I have had to confront, yes confront, a team of pastors that I knew had raised enough for a plane ticket many times over and they just kept going. I can tell you that in this case I ruined any chance at fellowshiping with these men again. I was so angry that I trembled. I was so angry that I raised my voice. I was furious, as the money was to transport my dear friend Paul Imam to be buried in his home country. Men that had never visited Paul in the hospital nor seen him in years came out of the wood work fundraising for a cause they would never contribute to. This is common here.

So the brothers took 60% of the money and left with it. To my knowledge the young man has never read the materials. We have decided to wait and see if he tries to connect with us again. And if he does, one of the brothers will handle it from here. I am out of this one. I am no longer working or meeting with folks with the where with all to connect with me on the internet. Period. We seek out the poor and lost. Surprisingly, the truly poor seldom ask for anything. They don’t know how.

So my advice to Westerners. Give to people you know. To proven disciples. And don’t give to the big Western agencies either. They will eat up most of your funds with overheads and salaries. I don’t know what is worse. An African spending 30% of your givings on widows or a Westerner doing the same. I must say I have little sympathy to groups that pay a CED hundreds of thousands of dollars and have staffs numbering in the hundreds. I know some good folks that are not just MY people. Let me know, I can help.

I hope this does not discourage you. I hope it will not give you an excuse NOT to obey Jesus to help the least of these. Eternity is at risk here.

Kuji the Dog

20 04 2013

Kuji the Dog

Yes that is Kuji, and that other thing is what we refer to as elephant, “sign”.

The Kingdom in the Slums

10 02 2013

I received word that two of the pastors I had held a seminar with on Expanding the Kingdom of God had planted six churches in the slums of Nairobi. I quickly scheduled a trip to go and encourage the new believers and connect with the work there in a real and personal way.

Upon arriving I found that ONE of the pastors planted six churches and the other eleven.  I determined to visit and speak to each church.  As you might imagine life in the slums is startling to the Western mind.  No infrastructure, no jobs little hope.  There are also few churches and little outreach.  At least the two that I visited.


Most miss at least a day of meals a week and eat a limited diet of ugali and some vegetables.  Ugali is a corn mush made from boiled crushed corn with no seasoning and not much flavour.  But it is filling and that matters when you are hungry. Each house church I visited was actually a 15×10 room with a couch some chairs separated from the sleeping part of the house by bed sheets or sacks for privacy.  Some of the churches were just a few neighbors and others had over 30 members.  No windows, one door, a single light bulb, no running water or toilet facilities.  The streets are dirt and stone with sewage running down the streets.  This is where the children play.  The few schools are packed with children eager to learn.

I purposefully expressed my vision for the church there and asked about jobs and food.  It seemed that each church had one or two women with a vegetable stand or a couple sharing a sewing machine to provide income.  The others in the church walked the streets when someone would watch their children, in the richer neighborhoods and looked for work cleaning floors or doing laundry.  The men went out almost everyday in search of work as a casual laborer.  One man, in all the churches I visited had a regular job he worked at and got a regular check.  He loaded trucks.

Being an entrepreneur, I immediately began to scheme on sustainable solutions.  I asked the ones that could sew to show me their work places and explain their challenges.  One could sew most of the work but had to send parts of it out and pay others to do things like pleats due to her machine only did so much.  Another, was successful but due to the needs of her congregation she was drained to nothing helping others eat.  Another knew how to buy and sell used clothing but the lady she worked for had closed her business.


My solution.  I asked if the sewing ladies would teach other ladies to sew if I agreed to purchase the newer machines to expand existing business models and do additional stitching eliminating the need to sub out work. Everyone like the idea.  I also introduced a new product of sewing bags using flour sacks that was quite popular in Arusha with tourist interested in getting a great African souvenir  while contributing to a worthy cause.  Finally, I agreed to fund the initial inventory for a used clothing shop if the lady with the skill set would agree to train and provide purchasing expertise to other women in a distant slum.  The wheels are turning on sustainable incomes for these ladies while they connect and serve one another.

Each lady understands that none of these programs are for their personal enrichment but rather to benefit the entire body of Christ.  The spirit of sharing and helping is entrenched in the poor in Africa and this element was easily understood and accepted.  We encouraged the believers and passed out bibles and literature.  I am going back in one month to begin the investment and follow up on the training.  New believers came to Christ on the visit and we are baptizing when I return, hopefully in a rented swimming pool.

God is doing great things.  In the short term we bought 40 kilos of rice and placed it in and elders home.  No one knows we are doing this and his job is to personally stay on top of needs and make sure no one is going without food.  There are many house churches all with many children.  I am honored and pleased with what is happening in these slums.

I told them all that Christians back in America loved them and were their brothers and sisters.  I took pictures of every church member present.  Most of the men were out looking for work.  But I want you to see the people and the environment and consider reaching out to serve them.  They are the least of these.  They are those that Jesus proclaimed, that when we serve them we are serving Him.  Will you feed Jesus?  Clothe Him, and give Him something to drink?  We are promised that on Judgement Day, that there will be a judgement for us to determine how we served Him.  Him, in the disguise of the Least Of These.  Come let us adore Him!  Email me at and asked me how.  Or go to and make a tax deductible donation through Paypal or your credit or debit card.  Image

My Sister Wears a Burka

8 02 2013

I sat in a room of missionaries at a conference I was obligated to attend from the agency that helped me get my visa.  I was not looking forward to this, but now I was electrified.  The men in this conference were all retelling their testimonies to the group.  About half the men were from Muslim backgrounds and told of wives and family being killed in front of them and losing their homes.  They were beaten and hunted.  They had come to countries that allowed them in as refugees but were pursued even there.  I wrote my first blog about them titled,  In the Presence of Giants: Victims of Radical Islam on this blog.    I shared their stories at that time but later became involved with the ministry of one of the men.

Ezra and Joe, another African Missionary, told me they were taking women off of the street that had come to Christ and were dismissed from their homes by their husbands, abandoned with the smallest children.  The husband kept the older ones that could work.  These women were the lucky ones.  Their husbands did not report them, harm them or kill them immediately so they had time to flee.  Now they were on the streets.  No home, no food, only their new found faith for comfort and the mercy of God.  I was told that some returned to Islam rather than starve or be hunted, or preyed upon by criminals.  Ezra and Joe took many in and provided housing in safe houses away from prying and unmerciful eyes.  Then they dropped a bombshell on me.  They knew of others but simply could not afford to care for them.  I was stunned.  How could this be?  They said they were doing all the could do and could only leave the others in God’s hand.
I have since written and raised money to save these women and also support the former Imams and Muslim leaders that come to Christ and are in hiding.  I understand the persecution of former Imams and evangelist.  I was not prepared for my last trip.
Upon arriving in this country,  last week I was met with stunning news.  One of the  new converts, Howa, recently only missing, was now confirmed dead.  I wanted to learn the details and was told only the lady that lead her to Christ knew the whole story.  We arranged a meeting.  We went to a Somali restaurant to met Ruth.  At first I did not know who was approaching out table as the lady approaching wore a full burka.  Turns out that is the perfect disguise for our persecuted ladies.  Ruth sat down and raised her facial piece and revealed an attractive and smiling petite lady in her mid 30’s.  I tried to immediately speak but was cautioned to wait.  As is the case many times in these meetings we have to wait till those with us who are understanding of the culture and risk can assess the situation.  We sit and drink tea but it is determined that we cannot speak other than casually.  We speak of food and different Somali dishes.  Then we leave and go to a coffee shop.  We drink coffee but the boisterous crowd will not stop engaging us directly and it is obvious this is a bad choice for a discreet conversation.  We move again.

Finally, we enter a restaurant with private booths and curtains.  The story unfolds.  Ruth I am told lost her own husband, killed in front of her very eyes in her home country.  Her children are being raised by her mother.  She has not seen them in 4 years.  She has slightly mishapped lips from a vigorous interrogation earlier in her Christian walk.  She smiles beautifully.  She begins to unfold the story of Howa.

A former Muslim man was pulled off of the street.  He was tortured for the names of other Christians like himself.  After some time he was told he would be released if he shared some names.  How many we don’t know.  He wrote down some names and was told if he wrote more he would be turned lose.  He filled the front and back of a page and they slit his throat.  Howa was on that list.  She was grabbed in front of her home.  Luckily her children were with her brother.  She was dragged behind the slum mid rise she lived in.  They searched her backpack and found an Arabic New Testament.  She frequently shared her faith with other Muslims and meet with the local underground house church.  They struck her in the head with a machete.  She fell to the ground where they left her.  The neighbors saw her but were afraid to help.  She bleed out over the night and it was confirmed she was dead the next morning.  Locals, not affiliated with the murder, poured oil over her body and burned it to protect the area from police problems.  We did not know she was dead.  Only missing.  This happens among refugees and normally means little.  It was troubling since she would never leave her children.  She has been missing since around Thanksgiving.  The story is now known for the first time.  Pieced together by the neighborhood, her brother and an anonymous informer.

Is Ruth on the list, she does not know. Ezra?  Not likely.  They don’t seem worried.  It is in God’s hands they say.  The world is not worthy of those who die for Him  I am sitting at a table full of men and women who accept that risk, live in poverty, share their faith, lead house churches and are constantly looking over their shoulders.  They find it hard to get  regular jobs as they are refugees.  When they get money they share it among themselves to eat and live.  I slip them money for rent and food.  We plan to take more women with children off the street.  Mostly they live four or five  in 12×12 rooms with a mattress and no furniture.  They cook some rice and add some vegetables and once or twice a month, meat.  When God blesses.  Their house church meetings are in these small rooms.  They whisper their worship.  They come and leave meetings staggered over hours of time to avoid detection.  They love Jesus and each other.  They don’t know you, but I told them you loved them.  I told them you sent me to love them and help them.  They want you to know they love you so much.  Greetings from Ruth, Ezra, Imam and many others.  You see my sister wears a burka and so does yours.

For other related stories see, Monday is Sunday on my blog to see a week in an evangelical Christians life that came from Islam.  (again Barrett you can link this if you want)

Congratulations, It’s a Boy! Monkeys, Mayhem and Meetings

26 01 2013

Out for my morning run  I came across a young man painting corn on corn stalks.  Or at least that is what it looked like.  He had a crude straw brush and was dipping it in a 3 gallon bucket and then painting the substance on the corn itself, of course, still in the husk.  Harvest time is coming but is a few more weeks away.  The substance had no color.  Curious, I stopped and began the Tanzanian tradition of greetings.  We say the equivalent of good morning, how are you?  How was your waking up?  How is your family? These greetings are very important and there are hundreds of optional greetings you can learn.  And if you want to belong you must learn at least a few dozen.  I have finally mastered enough to make a tolerable showing for myself.

I asked the young man what he is doing and in my limited understanding, I understand he is painting on some substance to ward off some insect or creature. I get him to show me the contents of the bucket and find it is pili pili juice.  Or as we would say in America, Jalapeno peppers juice.  They are hot and tasty here and Mama James keeps some hidden behind the cardboard wall covering in her home.  At dinner she pulls one out of a hole in the wall and I cut it up and season whatever I like and then she hides it again.

I can’t quite figure out what in the world this young man is warding off. Later I learn it is monkeys.  They come down from the hill above and feast on the corn but do NOT like the pili pili.  We have to protect our corn here and it is not from the normal pest of insects and worms.  Just a month back some elephants got in the corn a few kilometers away and when a local farmer went to shoo them one of the elephants attacked and killed him by stepping on his chest.  Elephants are fierce creatures and fear no one.  They are a great danger when you confront one and it is best just to get out of the area.  Quick.  Monkeys, baboons, rats and mice, however, are mostly just thieves.  Once they find food someplace and have success securing it there is no end of their attempts to steal.  So you have to address the issue quickly.  Evidently addressing issues was the order of the day.

Today James was asked to come and summon me to meet with Babu.  This is a strange request.  Babu is the patriarchal leader of our shamba.  A shamba is a parcel of land that belongs to a family and is farmed.  It usually has between three and eight houses and the families in each house divide up the farming responsibilities.  They share life together and make decisions together.  If Babu chooses to he has final say on most decisions. I sensed something was up as I had never been summoned. I have been called to bring medicine, to greet a visitor or come to a meal.  But never summoned.  I sensed something was up in my spirit.  Upon arriving I found out that James, my translator and faithful brother had no idea what this was about.  I was handed a crudely written paper with the words lease on it.  This was a bit of a surprise as I have recently built a house on some land the family had given me and no mention of a lease was involved.

We were told to sit in one room and wait for Babu and then moved to a circle of chairs outside.  Evidently, there were going to be more people in the meeting.  It turns out that the meeting was held in anticipation of possible problems.  I was told I was now part of the family.  I was welcomed and was going to be treated as a son of Babu.  Babu had a brother that was causing some issue wanting to sell some land and Babu forbid it.  They anticipated some sort of action to be taken by the brother and wanted to make sure that I was protected so they were in effect adopting me legally.  Now legally here has several levels and meanings.  While there is a government and procedures for adoptions they don’t really consider that salient.  We are talking tribal issues. So a paper was drawn up “legally”  leasing me the land and declaring that the lease was for no sum of money.  But that I could live there as long as I choose with their blessings.  I was their friend and considered a son and had all the rights of a son.

Afterwards there was a bit of controversy as James was declared the host of the meeting.  Now remember James nor I knew anything of this meeting.  But because he translated for me he was responsible.  That is particularly funny since most of the meeting was in a tribal language that even James does not understand.  At the end of the meeting Babu suggested that James now serve them goat.  This was quite a shocker as first of all preparing a goat would take a day or twos planning, 80000 schillings and a goat!  Negotiations ensued.  As you might imagine James was a bit perplexed and perhaps upset.  I felt a little awkward as I am the only one that can financially fix this situation and even then I need a day or twos notice.

We are pulled aside and it is determined that since the family forgot that James would need time  (huh?) to pull this together he could just buy them a soda.  Yes that is what they decided.  So to me the meeting was hastily called due to the emergency nature of the crisis and they were offering James a cheap and easy way out while still covering decorum.  Then they decided that the sodas were not even necessary that he could just give the group 30,000 schillings and they would get their own sodas.  I am laughing and James is objecting.  We negotiated and finally gave them a sum much less than the one requested.

I am trying to learn about the culture and don’t pretend to have it all understood.  We were all avoiding problems and perhaps mayhem today.  Some with peppers, some with words scribbled on notebook paper.  But one thing is sure, we anticipate problems and we deal with them in a way unique to Africa.  At the end of the day, once again, God has shown His great love for me in a most unusual way.  I have a wonderful and loving family in America.  I have many great brothers and sister that are my family in Christ.  And now, I also have an African family, and I am the adopted son of Babu.  Perhaps I am becoming a child of Africa, I know I am a child of God.

Help I’ve Fallen, Jogging in Africa

17 12 2012

Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up

Jogging in Africa

There was a time when if you called me a jogger I would have been offended and quickly told you I was a runner.  I have run upwards of a hundred miles a week  training for a marathon.  But then that is when I was in my 20’s.  I am now 56.  I no longer run on smooth surfaces ideal for quick paces and tracks for speed work.  I run in Africa.  Now it is all rural dirt roads, uneven and strewn with rocks.  And that is a good day.  When in Dar es Salaam I share the road with push carts, motor bikes, cars, trucks and other pedestrians.  But no runners.  I am the odd muzungu out running for apparently no reason.


Before I tell you about my running I must tell you about the effect my running has on those around me.  My host family in Dar es Salaam told me I would be robbed or worse if I went running in Mbezi, Louis, the area they live.  I would also, according to them, likely be killed.  I have had boda boda, (motorcycle taxis) pull over and scold me for not letting them take me to where ever I was trying to go.  Many shout out to me asking where I am going because I seem to be lost.  You see no muzungu could possibly run if he had another option, according to them, since only the poor walk and if late run to their destination.  It turns out I had nothing to fear from the populace.  In fact they feared for my safety and expressed it everywhere.

And of course on these imperfect roads, goat trails and paths I also fall down.  No, I am not so old and tottering that I can no longer run upright.  I typically run for a little over an hour.  The terrain is hilly and rocky and here on Mt. Meru, I dodge, cows, goats, motorcycles, pedestrians and chickens.  And of course that also means, a lot of pooh.  Fine with me as long as I avoid the baboons.  They live to the East of me and I don’t jog there anymore.  I hate being surprised.  But in spite of my best efforts I do fall down.  I have fallen in Kiminimi, Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, Dar es Salaam and as of today twice on Mt. Meru.  I am the master of the tuck and roll.  Now this is not a new phase in my life.  I have also fallen all over Downtown and Midtown Memphis.  If you run enough you will fall.  Fall enough and you will either quit, learn the aforementioned tuck and roll or you will stay skinned up.  I usually just roll jump up and keep on trucking.  Sometimes a bit embarrassed, especially if I have a large audience.  And yes that has happened.

Today I was running along enjoying the solitude.  I rounded the first corner and there were my morning cheering section of small children waiting on me to come by  at a blazing 11 minute a mile pace, I did say I was a jogger now didn’t I? They line up or rush at me hoping for a high five.  I oblige them most mornings if they are close enough.  The shy ones just watch.  Today, however, they were so thrilled that they began to run with me.  Now this has happened many times.  But today the crowd was large and they pressed in close laughing and having a ball yelling muzungu.  I was forced to run in the middle of the road instead of the smooth tracks worn by the years of various types of traffic.  And of course the middle is crowned and has grass on it and in that grass the rocks hide.  I tripped.  No graceful tuck and roll.  Just a hard and resounding plop.  The children stopped laughing and were obviously convinced I would not survive such a fall.  Or perhaps they had never seen a muzungu “fail”.  Whether I failed or fell the results where the same.  I stood and realized quickly that I had to reassure them as some seemed on the verge of tears.  I told them I was fine.  And limped as I began my run again.  Looking down I had skinned my knee pretty good.  It was bleeding but the volcanic dirt from Mt. Meru, truly amazing stuff, quickly, somehow worked as a coagulant and stopped the bleeding.  The children, however, were having no more of my run.  I do this two laps a morning and they were nowhere to be found on the second round.  I am afraid I have somehow altered their childhood.

Now you may be saying about now, dude, why are you writing about running, and not about something spiritual or perhaps some baptisms and salvations?  Well funny you mentioned that.  I often think of what I would tell my readers about on these morning runs.  They are mostly only interesting if you are there.  But there has been an development.  Since my Swahili is slowly, (poly poly) improving I began a new phase in my running.  Each morning I run by little farms of about 4 acres called shambas.  Typically they have one to four buildings on them, some goats, a cow, chickens and some maze or potatoes planted.  Workers are almost always in the fields and children are everywhere.  I now greet everyone I can.  When they see me several days in a row I try one of my more extended greetings.  Greetings are of paramount importance in Tanzania.  I have learned DO NOT LET THEM start the greeting process.  In my Swahili course they teach you a few common greetings.  The only problem is that Tanzanians use dozens if not hundreds and they are always working on new ones.  Especially the young coming up with cool slang greetings, like mombo vipi, poa, freshy, etc.  Seem like there is a new one every month.  So if I let them start I am going to get a greeting I have no idea of the meaning.  BUT, if I start things off I am in the driver’s seat.  So I rattle of a few quick ones, Hujambo Mama, Habari za asubuhi, Umaa mkagi.  Now that last one is only used by the aged and if you search in your English to Swahili books or online service you will not find it so I am not sure of the spelling.  It means, “how was your waking up”.  When you use it people stop in their tracks, as it is not a tourist phrase.  I use the above sequence and then when I have them stumped I quickly add that I speak only “kidogo” Kiswahili, meaning little.  I vow to return later in the day to visit and then with my translator, they say, “karibu”, welcome.  I have just gotten invited to stop by later in the day or sometimes the next.  I show up with my translator and I share the gospel of the Kingdom of God.  In Tanzania they love visitors so much they cannot refuse your request to share.  Whether they are Muslim, animist or Christian they will listen.  I have only been turned down once and they guy admitted he was basically drunk.  He is on my list for a return visit.


I run slowly, under the beauty of African skies.  I cannot run at night as there is absolutely NO light where I live.  It would be like running in a closet with the lights out as far as vision goes and even with a full moon the canopy of trees would reduce vision to zero.  Did I mention baboons?  But I do go out at night and look at the Milky Way.  I run mostly under Mt. Meru the second highest mountain in Africa.  But I have had occasion to run under Mt. Kilimanjaro as well.  It is dangerous for me to run there, as I can’t take my eyes off of the beautiful glacier at the top.  I fall a lot there.  It is the only glacier in the world at the equator.  Even Mt. Meru has a little snow from time to time.  It is like paradise.  In my heyday of running, Toto, a rock group had a song called Africa.  I always fantasized about running on Mt. Kilimanjaro when listening to it..  Since I was in my 20’s then the vision of myself was me speeding along, effortlessly, tanned and handsome climbing higher and higher towards the summit.   Well I am 56, you can’t run up this mountain, it take a week to hike it in heavy foliage.  But if you listen to the song you might get a glimpse of my fantasy.  I no longer have that fantasy but I have a vision.  You will have to read more of my blog to catch it.

I know that when I go to heaven I will fall there also.  There was an evangelist when I was a young man or perhaps just a television preacher named Jimmy Swaggart.  He got caught in a terrible scandal and is no longer on TV.  I share little theologically with Jimmy but he had an amazing song about a supposed dream he had once where he was in heaven.  The angles in the dream were taking him around showing him the streets of gold, and the beautiful city of God and the gates.  But he told them he only wanted to see one thing.  That asked him what was that?  He said he wanted to see Jesus.  And then when he saw Him, he fell and cried Holy.  I too will fall one day, in heaven.  And I will cry Holy.  Google that song.  It is better than my running fantasy.  It is a reality of the redeemed before their Redeemer.