May 8, 2011

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God In The Boardroom:Interview with Larry Cabaldon

God in the Boardroom interview by Stephen Christensen Founder & President Faith & Worklife with Larry Cabaldon, CEO Boardroom Performance and Co-Author.

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May 26, 2011

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Chapter 13:Uncovering Satan’s Strategies to Destroy Mankind

Uncovering Satan’s Strategies to Destroy Mankind

The Chairman God and Jesus want to shake the boardroom up so they ask Barry to interview the competition, Satan.  Barry is instructed to uncover Satan’s secrets so the leaders will understand what they are up against and hopefully fire up to meet this challenge…

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Three weeks had gone by since the big board meeting and though most of the members seemed on track, they were not moving fast enough with a unified focused purpose. Barry felt they had moved from 40% to almost 70% effectiveness, but that was not good enough. They simply had to hit at least 90% effectiveness before their final meeting.

From experience, Barry knew that the team needed a major push, but he didn’t know what to do to get the needed push.

Just then, he received a text message from the Chairman’s assistant. The Chairman wanted to meet briefly.

Barry returned to the corporate office. When he walked into the waiting area, the Chairman was sitting in one of the leather chairs, and the CEO was in another. “Take a seat,” the CEO said with a smile.

The Chairman began, “We’ve been talking, as you know, and we want to make a proposal that will shock many of the board members. It’s on purpose, but we believe it will have the desired effect. We want you to interview their competition.”

“That’s right,” the CEO interjected. “You will interview Satan and you will capture into clear print what his motives and techniques are. The board members need to hear it. Don’t worry, We’ll be with you every step of the way.”

Barry responded as logically as possible, though his stomach was instantly in knots “What you’ve proposed makes perfect sense. Satan is shrewd and undermines you at every turn, but will an interview give Satan attention that he does not deserve?”

“That’s what some people will think,” stated the Chairman. “But this once, giving him some attention will have the desired effect on the board members. They need to know that he is real and what he is up to. Also, addressing the competition will fire up the team and motivate them to win, not just stew in their guilt, fear, and weaknesses.”

The CEO noted, “Satan went underground many years ago because he wanted to be covert and have a major, invisible influence. He has a base in a basement in Watts, part of Los Angeles, but he travels all over the world and sets up his operation wherever he can stir up people to follow him. The meeting is already on the books.”

“Bring back a full report,” said the Chairman.

Barry stood to leave. The assistant called him over. “You’ll have to memorize this, as I can’t write this down,” she explained. “At 2 a.m. tomorrow morning, meet a black Mercedes at 54th and Crenshaw.”

At 1:45 a.m., Barry was standing on the corner. It was cold night, but his mind was racing. The sirens going off from two different directions and homeless men sauntering by didn’t even faze him. Barry was trying to mentally prepare himself for the most unexpected interview of his lifetime.

Suddenly, a black, glossy Mercedes pulled up and screeched to a stop up front of Barry. The darkened tinted windows fit the car. When the rear door opened, Barry got in quickly and shut the door. Two large, expensively dressed black men were in the front seat. They did not speak. They didn’t even look back.

They drove the back streets until they reached a warehouse district, lined with old factories. At a dilapidated auto transmission garage that had long ago been closed and boarded up, the car pulled to a stop. Barry was escorted through the empty cement workstation to a door that opened to an elevator. The elevator slowly descended two or three stories, and Barry found himself in a dark basement.

Barry could barely see a shadowy figure seated in a chair at the end of a large table. One of the silent escorts shoved Barry into a cold, hard folding chair. A deep voice said, “Barry, welcome to my boardroom.”

Voices in the shadows laughed at their leader’s joke.

“The Chairman must be concerned,” the voice said. “He’s losing here on earth. I don’t think he realized how I could influence people to turn from him.”

Then turning his full attention to Barry, he said, “So you want to know what the competition is doing. I’d be happy to tell you, because I cannot be stopped. It’s time for me to get some credit and recognition for my successful campaign of revenge. The loss of market share is because his leaders don’t understand how to appeal to the market. I give people what they naturally want. Did he show you a bunch of bad metrics?”

“Yes, quite a lot of it,” Barry stated, with as clear of a voice as he could muster.

“Ha!” he crowed, “What is funny is that all his bad metrics are my good metrics. One of my key metrics is how many people come to hell vs. go to heaven. I’m winning that one! I’m the equal opportunity fun God on earth, and people love it.”

Minions around the room seemed to love it as well, as they let out a whoop of laughter and cheering.

“So, you want to know how I captured the market? What my strategy is? Well, I can’t wait to tell you. No one has asked before because they don’t even think I exist. That’s part of my plan, of course. It’s like a secret chess game with the invisible man. I win most of the time. I don’t need to talk about how I got here, but I’ll just say that when I left heaven I came to rule the earth. I think the Chairman wanted to test man to see if mankind would follow him and resist me. The fact that I win most of the time must be driving him crazy!”

More laughing and cackling.

“My first win, with Eve in the Garden of Eden, was the just the beginning,” he continued. “Good old Adam quickly followed suit, and their disobedience spiraled the whole world out of control. You might say I started sin. I was very busy then and lost track of time, but it seemed like just a blink of the eye and along came the great flood. Almost everything he created was washed away! Do you know what that taught me?”

Not at all surprised, Barry played along, “No, I can’t really imagine.”

“It taught me patience,” he said with a sneer. “I knew there would never be another flood, so I could take my time. We concentrated our efforts on Noah’s family, and it didn’t take long at all until we were up to our old tricks, right boys!?”

The roar of delight and rage was deafening.

Finally, when the noise died down, and the voice went on, “I’ll tell you what I do, as my plan is perfect. I simply tempt and encourage people to do what they want to do. This gives them immediate pleasure and more power and authority to run their own lives. I help them to rebel and demand fairness and justice for themselves and others. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, and that’s the beauty of my approach. What I do is natural. It doesn’t take any discipline to follow me. I just let you go in the natural direction you want to go. I gave you encouragement, whether it’s immediate physical pleasure, ego respect, or intellectual rationalization. Its great sales approach, a no brainer for sure. I give them what they want and don’t charge anything for it.”

Barry spoke up, “But you demand a huge price in the future.”

“Oh, right you are!” laughed the voice, “but tell me, who is going to buy into the sacrificial ‘follow the narrow way and get your great reward in heaven’ approach? Come on, that’s lame! I give people what they want, and they want instant gratification. I don’t demand any immediate payment, but yes, there is a massive balloon payment at the end, like credit card debt gone wild. It’s easy money. It’s our little joke. It’s hell to pay, literally and eternally, but people are more than willing to strike a deal. In fact, they are lining up to join.”

More screeching and laughing. The noisy minions were starting to irritate me.

“God has a different reward and payment plan,” Barry stated. “And He wants ….”

Cutting Barry off, the voice joked, “Yeah, yeah, we know, but you say he gives life, then why all the rules on how to think, what people can’t do, and what people have to do? And the offer of eternal life is pushed way out into the future. According to his leaders, followers can’t have sex, money, drugs, or rock and roll. That’s unnatural and that’s no fun. Totally ridiculous! On top of that, those who don’t follow him are automatically mine. I get my own customers and his rejected customers as well. I really have too much business, but who is complaining?! I love my work!”

“What’s your strategy?” Barry asked, before the stupid little urchins could start giggling.

“My first strategy is to give them what they want at no charge,” he explained. “I encourage them to buy now and pay some time later. ‘You deserve it.’ No doubt you’ve heard that line. Christians want to hold you down and spoil your fun, and tell you what to do. I tell people that they are smart enough to run their own lives and make their own decisions. You don’t need silly old rules from the Bible or any authority to govern your life. Free yourself. Open your mind. Do your own thing. Throw off the chains of oppression. That’s my strategy.

“Then I help target people who they can demonize or blame. This creates a strong reason for freedom and a cause to fight for. Let’s take sex for example. Parents want to spoil the fun and churches are boring. I tell people of all ages, ‘It’s your body. You have the ultimate choice. Do what you want.’ This has spawned the sexual revolution, which swelled my ranks like you would not believe. The Chairman hates fornication for many reasons, and I will admit that it causes a lot of problems … so I made fornication a freedom issue and people went to bat to destroy each other, as well as the institution of marriage.”

On a roll, he kept on going, “The freedom of choice has been a great argument for abortion, one of my greatest mindset rationalizations of all time. It’s helped free women from male domination, which did wonders to further debase women, further enslave men to pornography, and further separate man from woman. It’s helped push minorities into the limelight, thus destroying many black communities because they were given the right to blame the white society, and with an attitude, they destroyed their own. In all of these, who can argue against freedom, choice, and equity? This has created a cycle: I undermine one, that undermines the next, and so on. The further down the chain people go, the less chance they ever have of getting back. It’s a riot!”

At his pause, and the impish voices cheered with delight.

“What about the truth?” Barry asked, trying to get my words in before the chorus got too loud. “The Bible says the ‘truth will set you free.’ Doesn’t that slow you down?”

Now the imps were yelling at Barry.

“They don’t like it when you quote from the Bible … none of us do, but I understand your question,” he said. “That’s my other approach. I slightly distract people from the truth. I get them off track just a little bit, and in time, they will inevitably miss their mark. Remember, I’m a patient guy! I’ve distracted pastors to focus on small stuff and move away from the powerful messages of the Bible. Then I added humanism to their sermons and programs. That’s why the Chairman is so angry. His leaders stress what is important to them, and to everyone else, these are indeed important, but it’s not the Chairman’s top priority. As a result, the top priority issues get marginalized. I’m telling you, every Sunday morning, we are down here laughing our heads off. We have multiple big screen TVs set up along the wall and we watch 100 churches at a time. It’s very seldom that we have to change the channel. Most are focusing on items of no real importance to the Chairman’s kingdom. And the beautiful thing is, they don’t even know I’m involved.”

More laughing from the dark recesses of the room. Barry wanted desperately to get some fresh air.

“Why do you hide down here?” Barry asked. “Wouldn’t you lead a better revolt if you came out of hiding?”

“I am purposely covert, and that is not hiding,” he said with a sneer. “I flat out hate people. You know that. They disgust me. Every one of them! Is that a weakness of mine? I don’t think so. It’s my perspective, and that reality won’t cause any shockwaves on the surface. People expect it, I guess. Maybe it’s printed into their DNA or something, so me staying off the radar, that’s part of my plan. I want people to think that they are living life based on their own decisions and rational thinking. I just plant a few seeds and they take it from there. If I were to go topside, people would be forced to choose between me and the Chairman, and I don’t think that would be very fun.”

Flipping to another page in his notebook, Barry was about to ask another question when a dark voice spoke up, “Master, tell him about major coup #317.”

“Ah, yes. Good point!” he said. “The separation of church and state has been one of my crowning victories in this country. The founding fathers are turning over in their graves on that one. I have successfully taken God out of the schools, ripped right from the belly of the Christian schools themselves. What a joke!”

That part of recent history was not a new flash. “Yes,” Barry agreed. “Yale, Harvard, Stanford, USC, and many other state colleges, they were originally schools that trained men for the ministry.”

“The accent is on were, if you please,” he laughed. “That’s a good one, I must say. Thank you for setting that one up. Anyway, I planted the seed about separation of church and state and then I got the government to threaten colleges that funding would be withdrawn, and presto, it was God or money, and money won. Well, actually, I won, but I’m not publicizing that fact. This secular mindset is now deliciously working its way into the churches.”

“You must be proud,” Barry stated with his own bit of sarcasm.

“That’s funny,” he quipped, “and yes I am. You see, by taking God out, it created a vacuum that they fill with elements of my domain, such as media, education, and government. They are doing my bidding, but again, I’m not broadcasting that to the world. These young minds are now either anti-God or intellectually acceptant of everything under the sun, which means either way I’ve won. Brilliant, yet again!”

He held up his hand to stop the inevitable chorus of demented laughter and said, “Want to hear another great one, this time about this country’s government?” Maybe he was getting tired of the minions as well.

“Sure,” Barry replied, “though your handiwork has been visible there for many years.”

“No doubt that’s true,” he chuckled to himself. “Thanks to me, the government funds schools that keep God out, it funds abortion as a woman’s right, it funds welfare that keeps people poor, it funds causes that were not even dreamed of a few years ago, and it funds many other wonderful things. As a direct result, it controls the minds, behaviors, options, and money. It’s a government that is increasingly without God. Brilliant, huh?”

Barry asked directly, “So, does political correctness have a number associated with it?”

“That’s major coup #589,” came the same voice in the darkness. He must be the treasurer or the keeper of the minutes. Every board has a brainiac.

“Political correctness started small, but I knew it would spread into all areas of society,” he said with pride. “I waited patiently, and now, everything you say has to fit into templates of behavior and speech, whether you are on a bus, in school, at the mall, on the radio, or in church. This affects everything people say and do, and that in turn pushes so many buttons at the same time that we can hardly track the resounding results: further disempowering of white men, diversity trumps all, tolerance in the name of anything except Christianity, new laws, rights, and equalities that have destroyed the authority and ability of truly capable leaders, the blame game, perversion in the name of art, and more. It’s hard to fathom the destruction that it’s caused. Everybody loses! I’m brilliant. I am the king!”

Things were not looking bright. Barry commented, “By giving people what they want, planting intellectual seeds, pitting one against another, rejecting responsibility, offering rebellion and disobedience as good things, all at no cost now, I can see why you are winning. How can they love God and each other when they are so wrapped up in resentment, resistance, and revenge?”

“Let me describe how this works,” said the dark voice. “People start with great principles, then I get them focused on creating and enforcing rules. God’s principles to help mankind, such as the Great Commandment of love, the Great Commission to spread that love, the Fruit of the Spirit, the Golden Rule, and so on, actually work … but I work distort it each and every time. Remember when Jesus said to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s? He didn’t ask the Romans to tax people to provide for widows. No, he asked the people to take responsibly for the widows and not to force others to pay for the poor. I love it when some politician or leader uses one of God’s principles and then proposes a rule to force others to pay or lose a freedom.”

Barry questioned, “I don’t quite see the connection. I mean, I see how this gets people to focus on the rules, but doesn’t that still get the job done?”

More laughing from the darkness.

“Not many people realize that once they become rules oriented they lose the power because they lose sight of God,” said the voice. “My little focus-on-the-rules strategy has destroyed countless marriages and families, divided nations, and led to major wars. Hitler‘s atrocities were part of his desire to lift up the German people. In churches I appeal to the Pharisee mentality where rules are more important than love. Jesus had the greatest problem with the Pharisees, and the Pharisees were the ones who killed him. So I pit the self-righteousness against each other, and voila, another coup for me!”

Holding up his pencil, Barry was beginning to see the situation more clearly. “But if people really analyzed their beliefs and rules and whether they were Godly principles or not, the whole world would change, wouldn’t it?”

“Very perceptive,” mocked the voice. “Of course things would change, but things won’t change because people won’t change. They are too proud. They love being right and enjoy blindly imposing their rules on others. I am going to keep on winning! Brilliant, isn’t it?”

Nodding, Barry stated the obvious, “Yes, it is pretty clever, but God is far stronger than you.”

The little imps were quiet, thankfully.

“Yes, God is more powerful than me, but that’s not the question,” he breathed, seething with anger and defiance. “I rule the earth. His followers are not capable of turning things around, which is why I’m proud to tell you my strategy. And if God comes down and wipes out mankind again, I’ll be happy and I’ll win again!”

Barry felt a cold hand on his shoulder, and he stood before the chair was yanked out from under him.

“Barry, good luck with this assignment. You’re going to need it! The truth is, those board members aren’t going to change. You should quit while you are behind.”

As Barry was being pushed toward the elevator, he looked back and said, “I’ve seen transformation already among the members, and I’m confident that the CEO and Chairman are on the right track.”

The jeering and hissing only stopped when the elevator doors closed shut. “Phew,” Barry said, his face both white and flushed, “I think I need some time to decompress.”

When the elevator doors opened, the black car awaited.

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Jul 30, 2011

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Most Pastors Don’t Believe In Satan

(Reference Chapter 13 on Satan’s Strategies in God In The Boardroom for the background on this topic.)

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May 12, 2011

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Chapter 4:Are Christian Leaders Asking the Right Questions?

Are Christian Leaders Asking the Right Questions?

Barry meets with a successful mega church pastor who has all the answers.  Barry gives him the assignment- “Listen, learn and report. Don’t preach or lead the interviewees”.  Barry wonders if Pastor Joe will listen.

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May 13, 2011

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Chapter 5:Why Is the Church Losing Young Warriors?

Pastor Joe meets with a wounded warrior who left his church.  Halden tells him that young soldiers are committed followers of Christ and supporters of each other, but do not like institutional religion including pastors.  Pastor Joe is moved by the meeting..

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May 16, 2011

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Chapter 6: Is the Church Connecting with the Marketplace?

Pastor Mike interviews John Carrington, a businessman he forced out the church.  John was a giving, caring member of the church but felt compelled to leave because of Pastor Mike’s criticism of business people as greedy, self-centered people who should be doing more.  Pastor Mike realizes he did not even consider John’s ideas and contribution, but now is confronted with the truth and must examine his own feelings about businessmen.

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