Friday, June 15, 2012

Pardon the interruption

So part 2 was supposed to come out about now.  Well, things happened and that got in the way.  Part 2 will come later tonight.

Missions have been run on Empire avenue, people who didn't fulfill the mission to the satisfaction of the Creator have been called out for their transgressions.  It has been a big stink all day and all night long.  Before I tell you the rest of the story, I'll share this example with you to show what's been done:

Subject: On the desk -- please please read all the way through don't leave it on the desk 

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States. Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. . Every student was required to take this course his freshman year, regardless of his or her major.

Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor's class..

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. "How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Dr.. Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know.... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" again asked Dr. Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can...yeah, I can do it."

Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room.

When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No, these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. 

Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson' s class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

"Sure." Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on
Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.

When the professor asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own push-ups?"

Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten push-ups.

Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Dr. Christianson said, "Look! this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down . You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "No."

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?"

Steve did ten....Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks.

Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room.

When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him?"

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut."

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "give me a donut." "Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then Dr Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it alone. I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not. When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work.

Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?"

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father, 'into thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor, adding "Not all sermons are preached in words."

Turning to his class, the professor said, "My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not only His Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid."

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"
So, with this in mind, I went and did my 6 comments as requested.  And then went back and did an additional 28 comments that others didn't do.  I did this for a few reasons.  

1) I am a follower of Christ...  While i may not be a perfect example, I make mistakes, I get wound up, and then finally calm down.

2) One of my favorite parables was that of turning the other cheek.  It means take a licking and keep on ticking.  If someone steals from you, it probably means they need it more than you.

3) anyone who publicly proclaims their faith is called to carry the cross, and be above reproach.  Today, I was not above reproach.

4) no one is perfect and we're all fighting our own battles.  Calling people out in a public way for their transgressions has never gotten anyone anywhere.  When we do wrong, God forgives us before we ask for forgiveness.  Heck, it was 2000 years ago that God sent his son to die for us.  He forgave us that long ago knowing we'd make mistakes.  He doesn't put it on a banner in the sky saying "He messed up!" or "She cheated" or "He's a thief".  He patiently waits for people to correct their transgressions.

So with all that, I'm going to forgive what's been done to me, and instead work harder to accept everyone for who they are and not what i think they should be.  

Hopefully you'll do the same thing.


  1. Love the story. Went to post shout out but am new to EA and couldn't figure out how to post shout out. Then went to go back to mission and found that it was archived. Im a Peter fan and like him sometimes stumble and fall.

  2. Good words Justin, glad to read your story. I also am a man of faith though I may have a different take on it. When I read your profile I saw it mentioned faith and would have mentioned something but honestly it I was limiting my engagement with you as I have found these things tend to not be fruitful. I thought you had possible good intentions, but the problem was that you were verbally assaulting me for simply reporting the facts that those people stole from me, and after I offered them to make it right and they didn't I posted their names for the rest of the community.

    As the scriptures say you shall surely rebuke your brother and not suffer sin upon him. Rev says God does record every sin and that everyone shall confess. The gospel says repent for the kingdom is near. There are also laws in the Bible about stealing. Messiah did expose sin publicly that is why they wanted to kill him because how dare he openly expose the sins of the religious leaders of the community before everyone. He was right and they were in the wrong, but he said they hated the light because it revealed their dark deeds.

    Stealing from people behind closed doors and then acting like their friends is wicked and when I shined the lights on the people who wouldn't repent and finish the mission they took the eaves for, then I let the community know. The blood of Christ is for those who repent not everyone. You have to confess your sins as it says and then he can heal you.

    I am torn about whether I should remove the names or not. The reason is this. If someone didn't repent and still stealing from other people which for many of them I verified they were stealing on other recent missions. Then they are harming others. Like a watchman on the wall who warns and protects the people. I also feel compelled to not only call out the people stealing but also to the community of people who are being honest. "For what good deed do you stone me?" this is a question Messiah asked because the people who wanted to kill him were not justified, he had done nothing wrong but revealed the lies of pharisees and those who were wrong.

    I prayed about you that Elohim (God) would restrain you and be a shield for me as I was standing for what is right. I am humbled by your repentance and appreciate you took it upon yourself to help the others. (this site was for a client though so the goal was to raise awareness, and get more unique users to the site so tons of comments from you wasn't quite the goal). That being said I believe your heart was in the right place. My problem is that I feel it is the right thing to do so that they would stop stealing and repent it isn't about the missions alone. I wrote a post called cleaning up the streets of Empire Avenue where I feel the community needs to police it so it remains a place where honest people can do missions. I will think about it during my sabbath and see what I shall do. May God bless you and teach us all righteous judgement concerning this matter.

  3. you are a freaking legend Justin.

  4. Excellent post. Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it.

  5. I respect your actions it is a sign of intelligence to change stances. I apologize for any offense I may have caused.