“Larry Leach just came on, Roxanne!” Junie Mae said excitedly to her friend on the
phone. “You know I can’t miss him!
I’d better go grab the clicker before Phil comes in and changes the channel!”
right!” Roxanne replied. “You watch your preacher and I’ll
go watch my soaps. ‘Bye now.”
Junie Mae begged. “Don’t hang up, Roxanne! You and Eddie are having
a hard time right now, aren’t you? If only you’ll watch the Larry
Leach Show on Prey TV he’ll teach you how you can prosper in life. It pays to follow Larry’s PROSPERITY POWER
PACT! It’s the hottest thing in church since overhead projectors. Larry’s
special guest is gonna be a real treat. It seems a special research team has
actually pinpointed the location of hell.”
yeah,” Roxanne sneered. “Hell is located in debtor’s court, and the more you pay the more the preacher prospers!
If it pays so much to pay the preacher, then why are you and Phil still struggling to pay off that old pickup truck?”
where faith comes in, Roxanne. Faith is the substance of things not yet seen…”
Roxanne laughed. “All I know, kid, is unless I see the green substance I don’t believe.”
tune me out , Roxanne! Larry Leach can’t be wrong if he teaches straight out of the Bible! Just listen to him once!”
in the phone. “My mom sent all her money in to TV preachers. When that ran out, she hocked her wedding ring to get more
money to send. Not only didn’t Mom ever win the lottery, but her rent just
went up. ”
maybe your mom didn’t follow all the preacher’s instructions,” Junie Mae said.
tell me Mom didn’t follow instructions!” Roxanne cried. “She
pasted the preacher’s Five Pennies of Victory in a straight line on the
yellow prayer card the preacher sent. She anointed each penny with canola oil. Then
Mom clipped off a tiny lock of her hair as a point of contact and wrapped up it in her biggest bill, which she inserted in
the orange envelope. She kissed the plastic Ring of Sonship the preacher sent.
Then she pressed the tip of the ring into the bit of Play Dough the preacher sent and said a special prayer over it. Mom said
the Play Dough represented the sealing wax Bible kings used on their official documents.
Mom used that ring to seal her vow of faith.”
else was your mom supposed to do, Roxanne?”
supposed to take the ‘Two Pigeons of Poverty’ drawing the preacher sent, then set fire to it over her barbeque
grill as her Burnt Offering of Faith. The preacher called that her Purge Out
Poverty Point of Contact. Then Mom was to wait till the ashes from the picture cooled and stick them in the pink envelope.
Then, my mom stuck all the smaller envelopes in the Green Pastures of Prosperity
envelope, and the whole shebang constituted her ‘Blessing
Kit’ for October. She stuck it under her pillow like the preacher told
her to, then slept on it for just one night, and rushed it to the post office
before the deadline. Only problem was, the post office went on strike that day,
so Mom couldn’t get it postmarked and put on a truck headed for Glory City,
California, till the following day.”
said your mom used canola oil to anoint her Victory Pennies?” Junie Mae asked.
Junie Mae, Mom ran out of olive oil.”
no WONDER your mom didn’t receive her blessing! If the preacher asked for olive oil, canola oil just won’t do!
And to make matters worse, her Blessing Kit didn’t get postmarked before the preacher’s deadline, Roxanne!”
it wasn’t Mom’s fault, Junie Mae! There weren’t any scabs crossing the post office picket line to load the
trucks that day. Please, Roxanne, I’m getting a headache. I’d rather just forget religion for now. So I’ll just hang up and go watch ‘As the Stomach Churns’. ”
Junie Mae snorted. Roxanne was so worldly she’d rather watch a soap opera than Larry Leach. Worse yet, her mother was too lazy to go out and buy the proper oil to produce her
miracle. Junie Mae plopped onto the sofa and clicked her favorite preacher on.
The opening song ‘Sow Harder When It’s Hardest” was already over and Brother Larry’s message was in
progress. Larry was young-looking for his sixty-odd years, with nary a wrinkle
on his boyish face. His brown hair was styled in a curly coiffure. His expensive suit was set off by a showy tie and diamond stick pin.
He grinned at the camera, showing perfect snowy-white teeth. He pranced around in a make-believe garden graced by synthetic
his ringed finger straight at Junie Mae. “Don’t you DARE appear before the Lord without an offering! And don’t use the excuse that you can’t afford it! God’s been so good to you, you can’t
afford NOT to send an offering in to support this faith ministry! Jesus says in Matthew 11:12: The kingdom of heaven suffereth
violence, and the violent take it by force. Saints, it’s high time we got VIOLENT about getting what’s rightfully
ours by faith! If you’ll turn with me to Proverbs 13:22 I’ll give
you still more valuable insight into what’s rightfully yours as a child of God.”
grinned as he read: “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner
is laid up for the just.”
if you’re any kind of a decent Christian at all, you’ll leave more than a cold body behind when you go to be with
Jesus. You’ll leave something valuable to your children and even your grandchildren. The Lord is tired of hearing His people moan and groan about not being able to pay
their bills, and how they’re barely scraping by. But consider how both
parts of this verse fit together. You have a right to expect that your godly
parents or grandparents are leaving YOU a precious inheritance too! And even
if they aren’t godly, God says the wealth of the wicked is laid up for YOU! Now
when you apply this scripture by adding what Jesus said about the violent taking the Kingdom by force, He didn’t mean
to break into anyone’s house to steal the wealth of the wicked. Jesus meant that we have to be aggressive in prayer
and in standing on the Word of God. Tell your parents or grandparents you have
a mission to fulfill in life which will benefit all of humanity, and ask them if they are able to bequeath your part of their
estate to you while they’re still living. GO to them and OPEN YOUR MOUTH
boldly! Be sweet, but remember this: Faith must be acted upon or your faith is
dead. Your relatives can’t take their treasures with them when they die. So invite your prosperous relative out to lunch or over to dinner, whether they’re
saved or lost it makes no difference. Softly and tenderly remind them that mortal
life is not forever and though they own the cattle on a thousand hills, they can’t take it with them when they go.”
rich relative is saved, your job is even easier. Tell them to make this faith
ministry the prime beneficiary of their life insurance policy. We at Seedbag
Ministries serve as stewards of God’s earthly assets, and we will invest that money wisely. We operate missions which feed the hungry and clothe the naked in third-world countries. Don’t YOU want to be a part of what God is doing?”
music played. A video clip was shown of hungry children with huge eyes, looking
up at the camera and holding rice bowls. Miserable babies cried in the heat.
It made Junie Mae’s heart ache to see such suffering. A woman stirred a
pot as listless toddlers lined up for their daily helping of porridge.
Junie Mae sometimes
wondered how much of Brother Leach’s donations actually reached those poor people overseas, but she was mostly interested
in how she could get her own miracle.
music followed. A woman sang her heart out as Brother Leach extended his ringed
hand and kept pleading for partners to “covenant with him” to make a difference in lives around the world.
could come any moment, saints!” the preacher cried. “Don’t
ya see? All your earthly treasures will go up in smoke someday if you don’t
invest ‘em in the things of God! But if you buy stock in God’s Kingdom,
all your treasures will be laid up way beyond the blue and they’ll be safe on the other side. Give what you have to help us help others around the globe. Seedbag Ministries is a faith ministry that
counts on YOU! And if you persuade that aunt, uncle or grandma that’s been materially blessed to include us in their
will and use that money for God’s glory before they pass on, then your precious loved ones will be investing in their
own salvation. Even as God remembered all the precious gifts given by the Roman centurion Cornelius in Acts Chapter 10, He will remember the sacrifices your unconverted loved
ones make to the Kingdom of God. Man, God will go out of His way to save your
precious loved ones, just like He did for Cornelius, if only they’ll share
their substance with this worthy work of God. Saints, please, please please persuade your relatives to take a tiny step of
faith towards Jesus. Their eternal destiny depends on it! And right here we have
Dr. Flavil Broadman, Chief Chair of Geological Forensics at Marmaduke University. “Dr.Broadman, we’re proud to
have you here on the Seedbag Sowers Show. Tell me, do the findings of your research
team substantiate the Biblical allegation that hell is a place to be feared?”
man in a purple suit shook hands with the preacher and warmly greeted the TV audience.
He rubbed his chin. “From a rational, objective perspective, Brother
Larry, our findings should fill the viewer with awe. Our team traveled recently
to the remote village of Birkenstock, Siberia to conduct some tests at the site of a deep natural shaft in the earth’s
crust. Ultrasound data we gathered indicates that this volcanic shaft extends
thousands of miles below the crust, or top layer of the earth. In fact, this
fissure sinks thousands of miles down into the earth’s mantle. Using remote
control jet propulsion technology, we launched a robotic data-gathering device deep down into this remarkable rip in the fabric
of the earth, and our device is now gathering precious data in a spot close to
the earth’s magnetic core.”
this new data collection technology have any particular name, Dr. Broadman?” inquired Brother Leach.
Brother Larry. Our Subterranean Camera-assisted Robotic Explorer is is called the ‘SCARE’. And what an appropriate
name it is. You wouldn’t believe what we discovered down there! All I know is this: if I didn’t believe in a devil’s hell, I’d reconsider after hearing
and viewing the scientifically documented evidence we’ve accumulated.”
smiled piously and lowered his eyes. “Our sister Belinda Cotter will sing
us a song and then we’ll continue to dig deeper into this vital truth.”
Junie Mae bit
her nails. The entire show was only thirty minutes long, and twenty minutes had
already elapsed. Hopefully, the song wouldn’t be a long one.
After the song,
which seemed to go on forever, Dr. Broadman rambled on about his experience in the science of data analysis. His monotonous mutterings filled up precious air time but
inspired no one. Near the end of the program the “eminent professor of geology” let everyone know his “DVD
of shocking revelations” was being made freely available to faithful supporters of
thanked Dr. Broadman for his enlightening lecture and announced: “To every supporter who sends in a $2000 donation this week, we’ll send not only Dr. Broadman’s shocking DVD on hell, but we’ll
also send free of charge his new book: Scary Excursions in the Devil’s Domain. Plus,
we’ll send you, free of charge, our vast collection of It’s SOW Good! Victory DVD’s. As an added bonus, we’ll throw in a DVD of the Holy
Land trip Minnie and I made twelve years ago, when it was still safe to visit that part of the world. You’ll journey with us through King Hezekiah’s Tunnel.
You’ll take a camel ride with us as we explore the streets of Old Jerusalem and stop at a snack stand to witness
to the locals. You even get to see me being stoned with stale falafel balls just
because I made a few boo boos when I practiced my Arabic. But seriously, saints,
please persuade your Aunt Bessie or Uncle Joe to sow seeds to secure their own salvation!
No one knows how much longer they’ve got to live. If they will honor the Lord with a sacrificial gift, He will
meet them halfway and do everything in His power to get them saved. Saints, you NEED these precious DVD’s to prepare
your family for the terrible days ahead.”
As Larry Leach
signed off, Junie Mae breathed hard. The only member of her family who had any
money was her wealthy Aunt Fibula. But the old lady was reputed to be as tight-fisted
as a heavyweight boxer. Junie Mae rifled through a shoebox full of family memorabilia till she found the long-distance phone number. Little beads of sweat formed on her forehead
as her shaky hand dialed the phone, hoping against hope Aunt Fibula was still at that number.
Aunt Fibula?” Junie Mae breathed.
this!” demanded a sharp voice on the other end.
it’s your great niece Junie Mae, you know, the daughter of your niece Clara.”
know if I remember you much. Haven’t seen hide nor hair of you since you
were knee-high to a grasshopper. What’s up, Junie Mae? Has your mother
gotten divorced yet?”
Fibula. Daddy died two years ago.”
Junie Mae tried to hide part of the truth without actually lying. “There
are needs which need to be met, and I feel so desperate right now.”
the sharp old lady cried. “You couldn’t care less about ME! Honey, you aren’t the first long-lost relative who came looking for me in time
of need. What is it you REALLY want?”
Like a spider
spinning a web, Junie Mae chose her words carefully, and choked on them like a polished actress. “Jamie, my son, he’s
real smart, and we can’t afford his college education. Jamie could be a
doctor if he had the opportunity, Auntie Fibula. He could be a lawyer. But Phil got laid off last year from Rocket Sprockets, and work is drying up in this area. Jamie’s
a wonderful boy, Aunt Fibula. He mustn’t be denied his chance in life just
because times are bad.”
was nobody’s fool. After a few more questions about Jamie, which Junie
Mae fudged, she asked: “Could I meet Jamie, Junie Mae? I’ll personally
pay Jamie’s air fare if he’d like to spend a few days visiting me in Florida. He could meet a lot of long-lost
cousins who are his own age…”
Junie Mae abruptly
hung up. Yes, Jamie WAS capable of becoming a lawyer or a doctor. But that wasn’t Jamie’s bag. For the past year,
Jamie had been busking the streets of faraway Frisco trying to break into the music business. No grammatical lie had been
uttered by Junie Mae, but falsehood had been conveyed to the mind of the listener in an effort to get “seed faith money”.
Junie Mae grumbled. “I’ve just gotta get that big collection of DVD’s!
I’ve just gotta find out what hell is like! I only need two grand!”
At that moment,
some scripture-twistin’ imp reminded Junie Mae of a story in II Kings Chapter 4 where Elisha asked the poor widow: “What
do you have in your house?” and subsequently a miracle came into the needy lady’s life. Junie Mae’s face
cracked into a smile. “Aha! That’s
the same story Pastor Gary tells us over and over again at church! It’s
in the Bible, so I’ll use what’s in my house to get my miracle!”
All Junie Mae
had to hock was cheap costume jewelry, and an expert could definitely tell the difference. But wait…there was Phil’s
shotgun, which he seldom used. And Phil had a wealth of old first edition comic
books, kept in his old army footlocker! Why, they dated all the way back to the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, and
had been passed on to him by his dad! And Phil’s old Elvis records! Not
to mention Phil’s antique Robby Robot and his Motorola Juke Box, still in mint condition! They were all stashed away in the cobwebby attic, long forgotten. Junie Mae could hock them at the pawn
shop, and long before Phil noticed they were missing she could redeem them once her “miracle harvest” came in.
And, she reasoned, wasn’t feeding the hungry more important than hoarding up treasures in this earth?
All night long
Junie Mae wrestled with her conscience. But she had become so addicted to seed faith gambling that once Phil walked out the
door in the morning she went to work on her scheme. She called the pawn broker,
who actually got excited about her vintage treasures. The man agreed to come out to her house at four o’clock, about
three hours before Phil was due home from his house painting job.
heart was in her mouth as she peeked through the blinds and saw the big white van pull up in her driveway. Cordially she invited the man in and led him up the attic stairs.
The pawnbroker told Junie Mae he’d carefully appraise each piece before finally agreeing on how much money he
could loan her. If he liked her stuff enough, he said, he might offer to buy
the whole lot outright for his auctioneer business.
Junie Mae showed
the man an antique radio. “It still works,” she said, “and
I can prove it.” She waded through a pile of junk and located an electrical outlet.
Good. The old cloth-covered cord wasn’t too frayed. Junie Mae plugged
the radio in and fiddled with its old buttons till she cut through the crackling static and found a clear station.
The radio was
going loud and clear when an old pickup truck pulled into the driveway. Junie
Mae couldn’t hear it because of the radio and the remarks of the pawn broker.
He liked the music so much he turned it up louder. “I was crazy
about this song when I was a kid,” he said. Let’s Go Steady Again reverberated throughout the house as the pawn broker boogied away. What an odd character, Junie Mae thought as she pulled comics out of the old war chest.
As the music
played, Junie Mae showed the man some old DC Comics. Thrilled by the treasures
in the attic, he sang: “C’mon, baby, let’s go steady again!”
IN BLAZES IS GOING ON HERE!” a big voice boomed.
Phil, you weren’t supposed to come home for three hours…” Junie Mae began weakly.
my spackle gun and caulking!” Phil cried. “So who is HE, and what
are you two doing up here?”
wanted to see your antiques, Phil!” Junie Mae cried.
ELSE did you want to see?” Phil demanded, his eyes bulging with fury.
man,” the pawn broker pleaded. “I wasn’t after your woman…”
WERE after my Wonder Woman comic books, and Superman, and Green Lantern, and Batman!” Phil fumed. “And you don’t know how much those old valuables mean to me!” Phil’s face was red
as a beet and his fists were on his hips. He looked scary to the pawn dealer,
who was barely half his size.
man shoved a pile of old magazines in Phil’s pathway, making him stumble long enough so he could scamper down the stairs
and make a run for it. But
to his dismay, he found his van blocked by Phil’s pickup. Scared out of his wits, he revved up the van as Phil bolted
outside demanding a further explanation. The man made a U-turn in the front yard,
squashing some flower beds. Phil ran after him, rapping on the back of his van and yelling about pulverized petunias. The white van roared down the road. Phil scratched his head and said, “All I
was trying to do was talk, for Pete’s sake!”
you think he got so scared?” he asked Junie Mae.
you have been shaving your head lately, and you’ve got such a sunburn it made you look madder than you actually were.”
mad, Junie Mae. What was I supposed to think, seeing another man dancing in the
attic with my wife?”
she cried. “For Pete’s sake, he was old enough to be my dad!”
still got a few good miles left in him!”
only checking the radio to see if it worked, and he just happened to like that particular song, that’s all.”
I happen to like the stuff that belongs to me!” Phil reminded her. “Just
because it’s up in the attic gathering dust doesn’t make it any less precious to me!”
lucky I don’t hit women!” he hissed. “What’re you, crazy or something, selling my stuff behind my back?”
Phil, I wasn’t selling it, only pawning it, as collateral for a $2000 loan! The preacher on TV promised he’d send a big stack of free DVD’s free of
charge to anybody who sent in a minimum donation of $2000, and that offer expires in just a few days! You never used that
junk anyway, Phil, and once the Lord multiplied the money back I could have redeemed it all out of pawn!”
still stealing, Junie Mae! Or didn’t your preacher ever teach you that?”
wanted to get Larry Leach’s DVD and find out what hell is like!” she blubbered.
know, Junie Mae, is if I ever catch you trying to sell my stuff again, you’ll REALLY find out what hell is like! And
how anybody could ever think their “love gift of third-rate DVD’s is free when you’ve gotta send in a $2000
donation, and the way you were gonna get that money…”
Phil, don’t be mad at me!” She backed away from him.
I ever laid a hand on you, or anybody else before, Junie Mae? Fact is, I feel sorry for you! You’re no different from
those drug addicts I saw walking the streets of L.A.! They’d beg, borrow
or steal to get their next fix, and religious gambling just happens to be your habit!”
I thought you were a Christian…”
think I’m no Christian just because I expect others to respect my personal property, and just because I can see through
those religious pimps on Prey TV? THEY’RE the ones in danger of going to hell, Junie Mae, the way they mess up people’s
minds! They’ve turned the good Lord into a routlette wheel, a bookie to
be paid off with bucks any way you can get ‘em, just like gangsters out in the real world!”
her eyes widened.
“Yeah! They tell people in so many words: ‘Send us money or God will let you rot in
your troubles and forget you exist. Pay up, people, or we won’t tell you
what hell is really like! But THEY know what hell is like, Junie Mae, and every
time they come on that TV and make a pitch for money they show you the true meaning of hell!
Hell’s full of liars, swindlers, and parasites like they are! I
get mad sometimes, Junie Mae, but at least I go out every day and earn an honest living by the sweat of my brow! Those leeches on Prey TV, the only sweating they ever do is if the camera lights get too bright! The day
I hear of one of those religious cons actually using their own two hands to build something, or do an honest day’s labor,
or even cleaning their own bathroom, is the day hell will freeze over.”
* * * * *
a week later before Junie Mae got a distress call from Roxanne. “My mother’s
flipped. She took money she’d saved for new dentures and actually sent it to Brother Bradley Bellows on Prey TV!”
say!” Junie Mae gasped. “Tell me more.”
has been in constant pain from slipping dentures. But Brother Bellows did his
song and dance routine on TV as usual. Anyhow, his latest line is this: ‘Sacrifice
more and you’ll reach the Lord’ And: ‘Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.’ He’s saying that it’s ‘when the sacrifice hurts the worst it proves God’s about
to move.’ And what could hurt my poor mother more than sore gums? So Mom made one last gamble of faith with what little she had left. But things only got worse for her, believe it or not. The
electric company just turned off her juice, and me and Eddie had to bail her out. But
we don’t have the money for her dentures.”
are you gonna do, Roxanne?”
like we’re up against a brick wall. Anyhow, I did some digging and got
the number of a close associate of Brother Bellows. I explained that my mother
gets carried away sometimes, but she made a terrible mistake sacrificing her badly
needed denture money, and could they please refund it as an act of Christian charity?”
did he say?”
hell freezes over.”