"…he finds GOD there, far unlike his books."

The scene… today, at work. Luncheon hour, in the midst of a tedious day-long training seminar.

I was in a rather deep conversation with “Joe” (a dear colleague of mine) about his ardent (but peace-loving) Muslim faith, and we were really making some interesting inroads into the foundational aspects of his theology.

“Matthew?” the CEO`s secretary suddenly interrupted, “would you come to Mr. Brodie`s office, please?”

Loathe as I was to interrupt this conversation, it has been ongoing over the last few months and is bound to continue indefinitely. My boss, however, would probably only wait a few minutes before growing impatient. Furthermore, I was curious as to just what he needed to see me about.

Entering his office, I felt a twinge of apprehension when I saw the entire upper-management team gathered around his conference table. Their wide-eyed looks, keening and observant, wary and worried…

A chair was offered, coffee and water also… I refused the latter and sank into the former.

Curious and nervous. I studied the man`s face as he looked around at his staff, and paused for a moment`s collection.

“Matthew,” his low gentle voice tumbled forth in eager savor, “we would like to offer you the Director`s position at our new Club in Admiral Oaks.” Hesitating, to let it sink in, he continued: “We need you to bring your magic to our newest and weakest Club.”

A broad smile pulled at the corners of my mouth, and I did not resist.

I had sought this opportunity in prayer, and could not help but marvel that it had come so soon and so completely.

Admiral Oaks presents an immense challenge, as well as a fulfilling opportunity.

The neighborhood suffers from both the predatory encroachment of the ganglands as well as the inward squalor of dire poverty.

By GOD`s Grace, this Club shall serve as a beacon of opportunity to the people, as well as a broadside against the villainy that has oppressed the vulnerable for too long. 0-0, white castles King-side. Defend, so that I can attack.

“Oaks” will be the only Club in the county that is wholly devoted towards education and outreach. It will be the beneficiary of federal and private grants towards technology and academic enrichment. I plan on equipping my facility with a state-of-the-art computer lab, a free lending library, a common room, a community garden, a food pantry, and much much more!

In theory, we will be attempting to transform the culture by usurping one paradigm for another. In practice, I will seek to further the cause of the Gospel… for it is only by the Power of the Gospel that men`s hearts are changed.

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