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"THE UNGUARDED MOMENT!"--By Father David       DFO838       29 November 1979

       1. BELOVED, YOU BETTER STAY CLOSE TO THE LORD! You think you couldn't leave or go back, but you could do anything if you don't stay close to the Lord! There's not one of us that's above it, none of us are any good! Without Jesus we're nothing, & you better stay close to Him or you'll do it too! You say,

       2. "OH, I COULD NEVER HAVE DONE A THING LIKE TIM OR RACHEL DID or others did! No, I'd never do that!" That's what the Apostle Peter said! "Lord, far be it from Thee to die! Lord, if you die I'll be faithful unto the death, I'll never deny You!" The Lord must have been almost a little sadly amused, knowing the frailty of human nature. He said, "Peter, you're going to deny Me three times tonight, even before the cock crows!" (Mt.26:33-35.)--All because of the opinions of men, & fear!

       3. THERE'S A STORY I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER TOLD YOU ABOUT A WOMAN IN OUR CHURCH, to show you what violence can do & what an unguarded moment can do, what you can do if you don't stay close to the Lord! You think you'd never do it, you couldn't do it, it's impossible. But Jesus said, "Without Me ye can do nothing!"--Nothing good! (Jn.15:5.) Well, we can paraphrase it & say, "Without Him you can do anything evil!" So don't get too stuck on yourself & thinking you're so good, & that a lot of other people would do it but you would never do it!

       4. THERE WAS A LADY WHO PLAYED THE PIANO FOR US IN OUR BIG TABERNACLE IN MIAMI for Sunday School services, & also played her violin in the orchestra. She was quite musical & quite talented, sang & so on. But her husband was an absolute devil, an absolute demon! They had about 6 or 7 children that she always brought to Sunday School in spite of all his opposition & his violence. He'd beat her up & kick her! She told my mother one time,

       5. "YOU KNOW, HE KICKED ME TEN TIMES THIS MORNING before I came to Sunday School. But you know, I loved him more after the tenth kick than after the first one!" Well, I don't know as that's so damned smart, really, some women are pretty stupid! But anyway, she certainly loved him, that's for sure. No woman should ever put up with as much as she put up with from that cruel monster!

       6. HE BEAT HER UP BEFORE SHE CAME TO CHURCH NEARLY EVERY SUNDAY MORNING, & would do every thing he could to keep the kids from going with her! He was just a devil! And this particular Sunday morning he came in laughing sardonically to breakfast while she was slicing the bread for the children & said , "You're not going to play for Sunday School this morning!" She said, "Yes I am. That's my job for the Lord." He said, "Not this morning." She said, "Well, I am!

       7. "WHATEVER YOU DO, I'M GOING TO GO & PLAY FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL!" "No, you're not! I ripped all the strings off your violin!" Of course she felt real bad, but said, "I'm going to go anyway, I can at least play the piano." And he ranted & he raved & he beat on her & he kicked her & he got violent with the children & cursed & swore!

       8. IN THE DAYS WHEN I WAS A LITTLE BOY THEY DIDN'T HAVE SLICED BREAD. I'll never forget the first bread slicer we had down at our corner grocery store at the bakery. I was the guy who would always have to slice it at home, & I got all kinds of complaints from the family if I didn't get it straight or if it didn't fit the toaster. I came to buy bread one day & the baker said:

       9. "SONNY, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE YOUR BREAD SLICED TODAY?" I said, "What do you mean?" I was about eight or nine. He said, "Look at this new machine I've got!" It was like a bunch of hacksaw blades that would jiggle up & down just the length of a loaf of bread. He said, "Watch, I'll show you!" And he took a whole loaf of bread & shoved it right through, & it came out the other side all sliced up real nice! But when I was younger, everybody had to slice their own bread with a big bread knife.

       10. SHE WAS SLICING THE BREAD NICELY FOR THE CHILDREN & fixing their breakfast, and all of a sudden he came at her! He was going to hit her! He came at her, & involuntarily--it was just an involuntary movement just like you automatically lift your hand or something to protect yourself--she raised the knife & plunged it right into his throat!--She didn't intend to, it was purely accidental.

       11. HE RAN OUT IN THE YARD WITH THE BLOOD GUSHING FROM HIS THROAT! I'm sorry to tell you such a terrible story, but it's true, & it's just to shake you up a little bit & warn you! And he died in the arms of a neighbour. She was screaming & the kids were screaming & he was gurgling & he said "Don't blame her! It was my fault, it was really an accident! It was an accident, don't blame her!" The courts always take the testimony of a dying man, & this neighbour testified in the court that he said it was an accident & they let her off.

       12. SHE WAS IN JAIL FOR AWHILE WHILE THE CASE WAS GOING ON, but the court exonerated her & let her off. The judge advised her to leave town & change her name & go someplace else with the children so she could begin a new life where people didn't know about what had happened. She told my mother when she went to see her in jail, "Sister, I know you know all about it & we know the Lord forgives & we know it was an accident, yet you know?

       13. "IF I HAD REALLY BEEN AS CLOSE TO THE LORD AS I SHOULD HAVE BEEN & in prayer like I should have been that morning, I still don't think it would have happened! I don't think the Lord would have let it happen if I'd stayed close to the Lord," She said, "I want you to tell the people, & I want you to warn the people everywhere you go of what happened to me.

       14. "TELL THEM MY STORY, & THE THING I WANT YOU TO TELL THEM IS THAT IT HAPPENED IN AN UNGUARDED MOMENT!--An unguarded moment!--Just a sudden split-second involuntary movement, just a sudden quick thoughtless act, an unguarded moment! You tell the people to look out for unguarded moments!"

       15. YOU THINK YOU'LL NEVER DO IT, YOU'LL NEVER SAY IT, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO YOU! Well, it can if you don't stay close to the Lord! ...You say, "Oh, I'll never be a Timothy! I'll never be a Rachel! I couldn't do a thing like that!" Oh yes you could! We're all capable of it, except for the Lord! Without Him you can do nothing good, & without Him you can do anything bad!

       16. SO DON'T THINK YOU'RE SO GOOD & SO RIGHTEOUS & so perfect that, "Oh, they may go back but I never will!" "Let all men deny Thee, but I will never deny Thee!" Peter said. Then he turned right around that night & denied Him three times! Just because a little servant girl was putting the finger on him! The secret of Peter's denial is where it says when Jesus was arrested that he "followed Him afar off" he followed afar off. (Mt.26:58)

       17. HE WAS FOLLOWING JESUS, BUT HE WAS FOLLOWING AFAR OFF! Rachel was following Jesus too, but she got too far away. He got too far ahead & she got too far behind. Timothy too. Timothy saw the choice he had to make & he saw what it was going to cost, & he wasn't willing to pay the price. He had a woman working on him, he had three woman working on him--one for the Lord & two against! So, isn't that something? I never dreamed to tell you that story, but maybe somebody needs it. She said,

       18. "WARN THE PEOPLE OF THE UNGUARDED MOMENT!" It was an accident, she didn't intend to, a sudden involuntary movement, self-defence, right in front of her children!--Think of it! What a horrible thing for them to have to remember! Of course they knew what a beast & what a monster he was & that he deserved it, but still it was a horrible thing! You say,

       19. "WELL HOW CAN I PREVENT AN UNGUARDED MOMENT?" Well, you can't guard yourself from everything, but you can just stay so close to the Lord--awake or asleep, conscious or unconscious, whatever--that the Lord will see to it that there's not a moment that's unguarded! PTL! Amen? GBAKY from unguarded moments because you keep close to the Lord!--Love,--Dad.

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