“MY CONVERSATION WITH DEATH”

Death:

“Excuse me, is your name Damon?”

Me:

“Stop it!” “You know who I am, what do you want this time?”

Death:

“The same as before, but this time there will be no interruptions!”

Me:

“Oh really, and how did you come to this conclusion?”

Death:

“I waited, man is not perfect, it was just a matter of time, and I have plenty of that!”

Me:

Well I am sorry to to inform you, but you are going to have to wait a little longer, for I may not be perfect, but the Lord knows my heart!”

Death:

“I need you to lie, I need you to steal, I need you to commit adultery, I need you to have false idols, I need you to not honor your father and mother, I need you to use the Lords name in vain, “DAMMIT, I NEED YOU!”

Me:

“I understand your needs, but there comes a time in ones life when one has to understand that his or her needs should take precedence over the needs that belong to someone else. With that said, I have nothing to offer you!”

“WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO OFFER DEATH?”

DAME

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“ROSE”

1986…..

Years ago when I was on my high school basketball team we spent time with young children that were battling cancer at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California. During one of our visits I was introduced to a spirited young girl named Rose. There was something about Rose that stood out to me, I couldn’t put my finger on it at that particular time, but I was informed that Rose had stage 4 throat cancer…

“STAFF:

“Don’t get to attached to her, she doesn’t have much time left!”

As the week was winding down Rose and I became close, I believe that we became attached spiritually in that brief moment of time, we laughed, and I cried. Rose showed me more strength in a week, than many have shown in a lifetime, including myself. I did not know it at the time, but the Lord was preparing me for my journey. My friend Rose, with that big beautiful smile, accompanied by that one lonely tear passed away a short time later. Rose may be gone, but my memories of her will live on until my journey is complete, and I pray that I have the strength that Rose displayed during her short, but impactful journey. I wanted to share this short story with you for one reason…..

2017…..

MAN:

“Mr. O’Bannon, you have stage 4 throat cancer.”

MAN:

“Don’t get too attached to him, he doesn’t have much time left!”

2020…..

ME:

THANK YOU JESUS!

DAME

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“WE” HAVE OUR REASONS TO BELIEVE…..

March 1, 2018

Me:

“Babe, I wonder what this chemo treatment is going to be like?”

Wife:

“Trust in the Lord, that is all that we can do!”

Me:

“Excuse me, are these two seats taken?”

Woman:

“No, they are all yours, how are you doing today? My name is Joanne, I haven’t seen you here before, is this your first time?”

Me:

“Hello Joanne, my name is Damon and this is my wife Diana, it is a pleasure to meet you, and yes, this is our first time. I was recently told that I have stage 4 throat cancer, so I apologize if I seem somewhat preoccupied mentally. It is a bit intimidating once you actually walk in, but what can we do?”

Joanne:

We can pray! I have been receiving treatments for about six weeks now, so we will be seeing a lot of each other over the next few weeks. Don’t worry, the Lord is with us.”

“RING” “RING” “RING”

Me:

“What is that?”

Joanne:

“When we finish our last treatment, we ring the bell.”

Me:

“That is a blessing!”

I never seen Joanne after that day, I do not know what happened to her, but she will be forever in my prayers.

April 14, 2018

Young man:

“Excuse me sir, is this seat taken?”

Me:

“NO, it’s all yours. How are you doing today young man? I haven’t seen you here before, my name is Damon, it is a pleasure to meet you.”

Young man:

“Hello Damon, my name is Bobby, I am fourteen years old, hey dad!”

Roberts father:

“Thanks for talking to my son. My name is Mike, we are a little nervous, this is our first treatment.”

Me:

“PRAY!” My wife and I know that feeling well, we have been getting treatments for six weeks now. We have three weeks left, so we will be seeing a lot of each other, don’t worry, the Lord is with us.

Three weeks later…

“RING” “RING” “RING”

One year later…..

Thank you Jesus!

DAME

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“NICE TO MEET YOU”

DECEPTIVENESS- giving an appearance or impression different from the true one; misleading.

“There is a thin line between being authentic and being counterfeit, for the world is full of deceptiveness.”

“A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will perish.”

Proverbs 19:9

DAME

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“KEEP IT UP IF YOU WANT TO!”

“DO NOT MISTAKE MY SPIRITUAL MATURATION PROCESS AS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS, FOR IF YOU DO, YOU WILL SURELY BE DISAPPOINTED!”

SURELY DISAPPOINTED!

“A TIME TO LOVE, AND A TIME TO HATE; A TIME FOR WAR, AND A TIME FOR PEACE.”

Ecclesiastes 3:8

DAME

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“HATE?”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and If they can “learn” to hate, they can be “taught” to love.”

Nelson Mandela

DAME

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“DON’T TRUST THEM”

I am going to tell you a little story that was told to me by my father years ago. There was once a slave named Johnny Boy, now Johnny Boy was younger and more competent than your average slave, and although young, Johnny Boy was taught to read under the stars at night while massa was asleep. Johnny Boy could read well but he was told to keep his talent hidden, for if massa found out he would cut Johnny Boys wise tongue out. Johnny Boy was constantly thinking of ways to escape the plantation that held him hostage, for his mind was young, and his appetite for freedom kept his mind full of ways to escape. Then one day massa came up to Johnny Boy and told him that he would be working for him in the Big House. Johnny Boy had been working hard for years trying to please massa for the opportunity to get into the Big House, for that was his plan all along. Johnny Boy felt that this was his first major step to escaping his chains, so Johnny Boy packed up his few belongings and headed towards the Big House. Once inside the Big House Johnny Boy began to take mental notes of everything that was now at his disposal, for he knows that his stay in the Big House would be short lived, “NEVER LET NIGGERS GET TOO COMFORTABLE,” massa would often say. Then one day out of the blue while Johnny Boy was cleaning house, massa came up to him and said, “You are free now boy!” With a look of astonishment Johnny Boy responded with his best ignorant nigger act, “I is free now boss, I is a free man now?” “Yes!” “Now leave this place, for shortly you will be charged with trespassing” he said, all while holding on tight to his shotgun and smiling mischievously. Without delay, Johnny Boy grabbed his belongings and left the Big House. Once outside Johnny Boy seen many slaves jumping in jubilation, “We are free!” We are free!” “We are free!” Although elated, Johnny Boy noticed that many of the older slaves were not celebrating their freedom, they just shook their heads and kept their eyes on their work. “They are just old,” Johnny Boy thought to himself as he continued to celebrate his freedom while working his way off of the plantation. Although free, Johnny Boy realized that he had no where to go, but he knew one thing, he knew he was not going back from whence he came. Johnny Boy was never heard from again……

If another human being was given the authority to punish you on a daily and continuous basis for years, and then one day decides to let you free from your life of servitude because he knows that you have nowhere to go, what would you do? Massa knows that your freedom needs to eat, it needs to stay hydrated, it needs to stay warm, and it needs direction, for massa knows the cost of freedom, a cost that a free slave can not afford. Once the free slaves realized that they could not afford to stay free, many decided that it would be in their best interest to go back to their plantations. But the white man is a evil one, he conjured up a law to recapture the free slaves who continued to search for a way to pay for their so called freedom, a law that exist to this day……..

VAGRANCY: state of living as a vagrant; homeless; loitering.

1. Vagrancy Act of 1866- made it a crime for a person to wander from place to place without visible means of support. Basically, these laws criminalized being jobless and homeless. The law came shortly after the American Civil War, when hundreds of thousands of African Americans, many of them just free from slavery, wandered in search of work and displaced family members.

“But you God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days, but as for me, I TRUST IN YOU!

Psalm 55:23

DAME

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“BLAH” “BLAH” “BLAH”

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

Pluto

Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.

Ecclesiastes 10:12

DAME

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“DEEP WATERS”

Cesspool- a disgusting, evil, filthy, or corrupt place.

The world is a cesspool that is too deep for me to swim in without aid, for the world has no lifeguard on duty. In life there are pockets of deep waters where a life jacket alone will not be enough to keep you afloat……

“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters.”

2 Samuel 22:17

DAME

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