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THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT


When I served a church in Greenville, Florida, one of our men was Joe Ball Reams; about 6'4" and a man's man! He farmed tobacco, corn and cotton to pay the bills. One of his entrepreneurial ventures is a 600 acre hunting club on family land. He has entertained Southern royalty there (Tennessee football coach Johnny Majors).


Joe loves to laugh and he is an excellent storyteller. He told me a whopper one time. He showed up at my door and told me he had a "hankerin' to go fishin', an', preacher, yer th' onliest feller left in town t'day, c'mon -- go with me." It was November, cold and rain was threatening, but when somebody that big invites -- you go!


We fished the marshes off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico south of Tallahassee in his flat-bottomed air boat. That's right....he was the captain in the seat above -- I sat on the floor of a skiff with a 1/2" thick aluminum hull for a seat!


The whopper was that Joe promised he'd stay close to shore where the water was calm. It rained for three hours -- I was shivering like a wet dog! On the way back to shore Joe Ball bolted away from land and got halfway to Europe where the big waves tossed the preacher with the bad back up and down like a ping pong ball on lottery drawing day. It was too noisy to complain, and too wet to walk home! When we finally got back to the car I had to ask him just why he had to head for the rough waters. He said, "Well, preacher, you know you just looked too comfortable down there, an' it was so temptin' -- well, I just guess the devil made me do it!" Then he laughed all the way back to Greenville!


Why do we do the things we know are just wrong? You could ask Joe Reams, but you already know -- temptation; and Satan knows the buttons to push!

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