Manís Restored Image Ministries Inc.
In the Hebrew Bible sleep is seen as a gift of God: "I lie down and sleep in peace, for thou alone, O God, makest me dwell in safety." (Ps. 4:9)
But the other side of sleep is also well known: Sleep is branded in the Bible as a sign of indifference or as a place of hiding, where people can avoid decisions and responsibility.
"Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." (Eph. 5:14)
(Richard Rohr & Andreas Ebert, Discovering the Enneagram, 1990, Crossroads Publishing, pgs. 224-225)
In all of my years of ministry I don't think I have ever come across a more humble person than Michael Jordan. Whenever the Word is preached whether corporately or individually, it can receive some harsh feedback. I never felt a more receptive spirit. He was very attentive to what was being said, and was very respectful towards the Words spoken and the messenger giving it. I have heard another minister call him A Giant in the Spirit, and I agree because that is what I saw, but what I see and what others see is irrelevant if it is not seen by the one it is spoken about. In the beginning Michael was receptive, but one can be open to whatever it wants as long as it benefits that person. How many times in Scripture alone have God called out to His people, pleading with them to hear His voice through those whom He has sent? Too many to even count, but this doesn't stop those that are true servants and ministers of God, and His Word.
There has been so much controversy surrounding the private life of the image the public has set up as one of the greatest conglomerates in the world. I am sure that even this story will add to the scrutiny that is already vibrating in his life, but I have always believed in truth, and at times truth sets you free. My actions and words concerning Michael have been misunderstood and misconstrued. Not only from my own peers, but from his associates as well. I have been told in so many words that that my presence in his life is not welcomed. I was even pulled aside on my former job because of an untruth that I was following Mr. Jordan around as he worked out in a gym in Washington DC. I was threatened by the gymís management and human resource staff that if I didnít stay away from him that I would be fired on the spot. I had to literally sign a paper stating that I would remain aloof from Mr. Jordan while he was present in the gym. I questioned an associate of his about the matter, and in turn was told that he nor Mr. Jordan had anything to do with it. I was very offended when he told me that Mr. Jordan didnít even know my last name, and that I was insignificant to him.
That was very disconcerting to say the least, when in all my interactions with Michael I have always been respectful and courteous. I am bringing this forth, not because of any vendetta or to receive an apology, but hopefully this will open the heart of Michael Jordan, the man I met and spoke with in 1998. The man that humbled himself in the presence of the Lord, and acknowledged His Word to him that day.
I was told by Mr. Jordan that he respected and trusted me, and in no uncertain terms would he ever do anything to hurt me intentionally. I cannot honestly say that this has been the case. I do not expect him to answer to my every whim, but I do expect him to be a man of honor, of integrity. A man is only as good as his word, and Mr. Jordan has shown that his word means nothing. I know the power of God, and I have witnessed in my ministering the Word of God for 18 years the tremendous impact on people that the anointing has. I know He is able to change the heart of any man or woman, so I do not question the Word that was spoken to Michael in 1998, and since then.
The actions of a man or woman do not dictate to God what He will or will not do, can or cannot perform in oneís life. I have debated in my heart many times about telling the whole story behind our meeting and interactions since then. Of course many will take my motive wrong for doing so, but I cannot please people when I am striving to please God. There is nothing negative that can be said from the subject at hand except for I trusted when I shouldnít have. As was said of Madame Guyon, a great woman of God of the 16th century, ďHer only crime was that of loving God.Ē
It is my only fault, if it can be labeled as such, that I love God so much that I left aside the persecution that I would receive, and the misconstrued ideas of a man that need what I have to offer to bring him the Word of God, to bring him life. As with anything great, it takes great pain to bring forth. This wasnít an easy task, nor will it get easier with time. I have set my face as a flint for what I know is right and true, and I know that one day God will take out Michaelís stony heart and make it pliable for His use. In time, he will understand all that I have done has been out of pure love, the unconditional love that God has for every man, woman, boy and girl. I would not be a true minister of the gospel if I allowed the appearance of what I do effect my ministry. So the story beginsÖ.
I met Michael in a little restaurant in Chicago in April 1998. It was a divine meeting for it was not planned by either of us, but it would truly be a day we would never forget. At first glance there was a tremendous surge of energy between us. Most would say that this was attraction, but I beg to differ because this was an energy unknown by either of us. We would like to blame it on the flesh, the bodily function, but the Lord brought us together totally by His Spirit to perform a miraculous feat. His plan was to bring a divine, holy union of the representation of Solomon and the mysterious Shulamite. This was not natural, therefore it was beyond reasoning, but Mr. Jordan was a reasoning, rational man. Surely there was a rational explanation for the meeting, for God would not dangle anything before him that would be a hindrance to the man.
As we talked for at least 45 minutes, we stared in each other's eyes as if we had known each other all our lives. We were comfortable and at rest with each other, and Mr. Jordan listened intently as I shared with him the things God had revealed to me concerning Him in the past year. He agreed with the things I said, and even wanted to hear more. I didn't pay attention at the time to the reason for his interest, only that he was willing to allow me to speak, and he was willing to listen. He had people waiting for him, some recognizable faces from the media. I told him that I didn't want to keep him from his meeting with the reporters, and he assured me that it was okay. I continued to speak when he put out his hand. I then realized that he wanted me to place my hand in his, and so I did. With this gesture God began to do something, and we both felt it all through us. We began to vibrate as if volts of electricity were pulsating through us. It was an experience I would never forget because it wasn't the idea of sitting next to him, or the fact that we were holding hands that made this occur. It was a pure act of God, for He promised me that He would confirm everything He showed me and told me up until that point.
It has always been my desire to please the Lord in all things, whether in thought, word or in deed. This goes for anything that I put my hands to do, because I know that in its own way it will affect God, and the way others will view Him. "My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom..." (I Corinthians 2:4) In my dealings with people especially those that are rich in the natural tend to feel they do not need God. They have their fill of life, and have no need for Him to save them, heal them, and deliver them. This grieves my spirit greatly because these men and women are living a lie, and have come to the position where they can't tell the reality from the illusion. A person is in denial when after hearing the Word, then dismissing it as if it was some sort of hoax. They do this in order to quiet their conscious, but know deep within that God has called unto them, and they have refused the call. There are many that are called, but only a few will be chosen. Michael Jordan is not just one of the called, but he is chosen by God for a specific purpose. We all have a destiny to fulfill while on this earth, and what one must do another cannot.
There are people from all walks of life that I have had the privilege of ministering to over the years, and many of them didn't like me after the Word was spoken, and some thanked me for the truth. When a person has much to lose, then he will do almost anything to drive back the forces that surround him daily. These forces are vibrations from God that He places in one's path to get our attention. God has never been one to pacify any man or woman, nor is He the begging type, but He will plead your case through those that intercede on their behalf. These actually become the person they are praying for asking God to save them or else. They are willing to lose their lives for another, and by this dedication, by this love the world shall know that we are His disciples. People liken love to some emotion that you feel when you think you love someone just because you get a mushy feeling, but love is more than that. Love is the epitome of I Corinthians 13, and believe me when I tell you - Love never fails!
I entitled this article The Sleeping Giant because its emphasis is on Michael Jordan. A giant he may be, but asleep he is. He represents all of mankind, black, white, Chinese, Russian, German, and so on, it doesn't matter the color or the gender, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is not one that is righteous, no not one. Only the Lord Jesus Christ is righteous. When a man denies God for wife, children, mother, father, job, money, prestige and image; then he is a lost soul. He has committed spiritual adultery against God even as the children of Israel did 6,000 years ago. There shall be no other gods before Him. What we hold dear in our hearts, no matter what or who it is, that is our treasure, and that treasure will keep us from God every time. It will keep us from truth and life, and most certainly keeps us from the way.
Michael and I hadn't seen or spoken to one another for three years following that first meeting. Then God spoke to me in prayer, and told me that now was the time for Michael to come to Washington, DC. I told Michael in 1998 that he would come to DC, and that God would then reveal to him part two of the Word that was spoken to him. He would only know this by going through me, therefore he was to seek for me with all his heart, so that he may find me. When he finds me, then he finds God. He that finds his soul, finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the Lord. This is symbolic of Jesus saying, "When you see me, you see the Father." This is why God uses people, so that He may show Himself. God is a Spirit, He is invisible, so He must make it so He is able to be experienced by mankind. But why me? God knew Michael wouldn't receive the Word from no one else. It was preordained from the foundation of the world that at that specific time in space we would meet.
This is why later in January 2001, when we saw each other again, Michael spoke these words, "It was in the stars that we should meet." It was three years later when God decided to bring us together again. He was now President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards. This was prophecy fulfilled, even though Michael will not admit it. He is still too carnal to realize what is really taking place, but God assured me that he would one day come forth and say, "Gloria, now I know. Now I understand everything, and I submit, I surrender to the will of God." I know that this is going to happen because everything else thus far has occurred just as God said it would.
The first thing I asked Michael was why hadn't he contacted me about what I spoke to him three years prior? He only shrugged and stated that he was busy. This is typical of those I minister to, and they are not ready to leave their world behind for the will of God for their lives. They tend to go into denial, as if you never spoke anything spiritual to them at all. He began to make fun of what I said, by making little innuendos about the Word. I kept my cool, and was patient with him. I knew that God was counting on me to remain in my place of Spirit, and to realize that this was going to be a bumpy ride. Anytime God calls a person, and that person is so entrenched in the things of the world, it is a battle for their soul and mind. The mind has to be changed, in other words there must be a repentant heart. I didn't see this with Michael that night, nor any other time I saw him after that. This is when I realized that God was going to have me deal with him in a much different manner than I had anticipated.
Time after time I reached out for him to receive again what he received in 1998, but he refused. Instead of Michael dealing with me personally, or out of respect for my stature he put others between us, as if he was now beyond me. I had to go through every obstacle that was placed before me in order to remotely speak to him. When I did get a chance, he would make up excuses as to why he couldn't talk to me. He would state that he was trying to do better (meaning his marriage), but the things I saw didn't reveal that at all. It was grievous to say the least that he would shun the Word and the messenger with lies and excuses, but had the time to entertain his flesh. I prayed constantly and consistently for him that God would soften his heart that he may receive again.
I reached out to him with letters, spiritual books to encourage him in the faith, but it only backfired in my face. For he then made it seem to those around him that I was stalking him, and was asked to stop. This was the last straw, and I told God I couldn't possibly pray for him anymore. It grieved my heart that he would say such a thing, knowing it was not true. He knew what I wanted, and he knew what I stood for, but he refused to acknowledge that in any way. It seemed to hinder his desire to move in any capacity he wanted, and he definitely didn't want to answer to God at this point in his life. I knew that he was living a lie, and that he would eventually be broken by the Lord at some point. The Lord spoke to me, and asked me to extend mercy, even as he has done so many times for me. I agreed and continued in my prayers for Mr. Jordan.
It wasn't easy because many felt I was wasting my time on him, and that he could care less about God and His Word. I couldn't allow these things to deter me because God said otherwise, and I believed him. I tried not to look at Michael anymore for manifestation, but only to God. He was moving only according to the will of God for him at the time. Even as God hardened Pharaohís heart against Moses and the Word, so God was hardening Michael's heart for a purpose. A purpose I would find out much later. God wanted me to come to this point of standing on the Word no matter what the consequences would be. Even if I was looked upon as an adulteress or anything else other than a child of God it would be worth it to see Michael changed into another man. Jesus too was called names outside his character and nature, but it did not move Him in any way from His purpose. Neither will I move from my purpose, and that is to allow God to use me in any capacity He so chooses to bring Michael Jordan to Him.
Why is it when I minister to a man that he is afraid to tell his wife? There should be nothing to hide when the Word of the Lord has been spoken. These actions make it look as if there is something impure about the Word going forth, but the Word is pure, and nothing and no one can pollute it no matter how hard they try. The unclean vessels operating in the carnal mind, which is death, pollutes the Word making it out to be something it is not. Over the years I have seen Michael forget the goodness, mercy and grace of the Lord. Yes, there are many that do this, but everyone else did not make the statement or the claim that he did with me. When a man or woman claims they love God, and receive the Word that was given then God holds them accountable for it. Sin is not an act, but a way of life, as is holiness and righteousness. Sin' s definition is a separation or failure to reach a goal. In this case it is the goal of being the man or woman God has declared and appointed us to be. It is in essence a complete denial of God Himself, and everything that represents Him.
To repent doesn't mean to say you are sorry and then hope that you don't commit the act again. Repentance is ongoing, and it is a changing of the mind. When Jesus admonished the people to repent, in the Greek metanoiete, He meant for them to think differently, or as Richard Rohr states, "Unlearn!"
"Jesus invites people to see God and the world in a completely new and different way. He calls them to break out of their customary ways of thinking and to dare "new thinking," which takes into account the Good News that the reign of Divine Love is near." (Richard Rohr & Andreas Ebert, Discovering the Enneagram, 1990, Crossroads Publishing, pg 181) We must come to a place of repentance in order to really receive the Word of God. The Word can be spoken to you, and you can even read it in the Bible, but unless you come to a place of change, you will never become a receptacle for the Word. Michael Jordan heard the Word, but did he receive it? If he received it, he would be a changed man, because that is what the Word does. It changes everything it comes in contact with, because God's Word doesn't return unto Him void. It always accomplishes what it is sent forth to do. It is powerful and it is sharp as a sword, and able to cut asunder flesh and spirit.
No one who really comprehends the responsibility of being the mouthpiece of God takes it lightly when they must breathe forth the Word to any man or woman no matter what their stature is. There are not great men and plain, ordinary men to God, all is the same to Him, even as light and darkness are alike to Him. He is never intimidated by any person or circumstance, and neither are those in whom He lives and has His being. For my part in the ministry to Michael Jordan I have been condemned and persecuted because of lack of understanding. Many have said that I have used the Gospel just to get near him, and continue to use it to remain close to him. I do not feel any need to defend myself, because to do so would be to demean all that the Father has done in me and through me.
God didn't send me to speak a Word to Michael on April 26, 1998 because He had nothing else to do, but He had a great love for this man. A love so great, that He led me to him totally by the Spirit in order to let him know that in spite of his faults, God saw his need. His need is to be delivered from the snare of the world, and its devices. To deliver him from the lie . What is the lie? It is that which he believes is true to his nature, believing that his puny existence as what he is in the flesh is all there is to life itself. Believing that if he concentrate hard enough, focus hard enough that he will stop all the things he is doing that are bad or as we say sinful. Sorry to say, but it doesnít work that way. No man is able in and of himself to stop sinning, no matter what he does. If Michael really saw the truth, he wouldn't desire half of the things he has now, nor would he even care to chase after the things that out of his reach as of now.
To be married is good, but to be married to God is better, and to be in union with the right one, the one of Godís choice, and not our own is best! He can't see that because he is in it (the world), therefore is blinded by its allures. In the world there is darkness, but in God there is light, illumination, understanding, and wisdom. A man is never truly wise unless he has come to fear the Lord and worship Him. Jesus said, "I am not of this world, even though I am in it." If you are a part of this world, and love the things belonging to the world, then you cannot see that you are lost. You can't comprehend the need to be saved or delivered from your present situation. People ask me why do I use Michael when there are so many operating in this frame of mind? God has shown me that Michael is the 8th day man, a new beginning, a new order that God is bringing forth to be an example for others, but before He can bring him forth in the newness of life, he must first eradicate the first one. He must abolish the first man to establish the second man.
He wasn't chosen by God after he became a great basketball player, or a multimillionaire. He was chosen before the foundation of the world, and now is the appointed time of the Lord that he shall be set free. The people of this world idolize this man, this body of flesh, therefore God put Michael before them as a symbol. A symbolization that no matter how deep in sin, and no matter how far one has moved away from God, He is able to bring him back. It is giving the people of God hope that if God can penetrate a man so entrenched in the world and the lust of it, that He is still in control of this world, and never for one moment lost that control. But like the world and its inhabitants today, God is shunned and denied on every level of humanity. When a man is willing to sign a document just to make money, and states a person cannot stand or endorse God, and His Son Jesus Christ shows the detriment of our society. When a man cannot be a friend to a person who believes in the Lord because he feels it will disrupt his career in some way is sad and grievous to say the least.
It is not how one begins, but how one ends that counts. One can begin in the things of God, loving Him and His Word, but end up denying Him in the end. This is detrimental for society as a whole, and for the next generation to follow. What we do now has great bearing on what will be later. Our new generation coming forth have no respect or fear of God. There is no respect and honor for the ministers of God, and that is the fault of some of the ministers themselves. For they have polluted God's name for their own sake, and have made Him a laughing stock to the world; but God has a remnant that He has hidden away. He will bring them forth like a mighty weapon that has been in seclusion all this time, but now is ready to be made known. By bringing the Michael Jordan's to their knees in submission and adoration of the Lord God shall catapult humanity into a whole new level of worship. It can't remain dark forever, and neither can the darkness out weigh the true light.
There are many foundations that people of stature and money become involved with in order to show their morality, but this is still not Godís will. The awards handed out to men and women who show interest in society and its youth is commendable, but it is still not the perfect will of God. To raise up sons and daughters that are law abiding citizens are good, but it is still not the will of God, because if that same person doesnít acknowledge Him, then it is futile. The work that Michael and his wife Juanita does for the community is nice, but it will not change one soul. Money and time, which is easily given because it is there, is not going to change the hearts of our youth. Speaking out on injustice in your neighborhood means nothing when you cannot even see the injustice in your own household, in your own marriage.
The only problem we have in society today, with the youth of today, with the prejudiced of today is plain outright SIN. It is the missing of the mark every single time, and those that the youth look up to do not have a positive role model either, therefore the cycle continues. No one wants to hear ďrepentĒ anymore. No one wants to hear the Word in Chronicles which state, ďIf My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray; then I (God) will hear from heaven, and heal the land.Ē When society desires to hear the Word of the Lord again, when people can say, ďBlessed is he/she who comes in the name of the Lord,Ē again, then, and only then will God heal us and our youth.
It doesn't bother me to see devastation brought to one's life, if it will bring that person to the Lord. For at times the Lord may have to wreck someone's life before He can save it. This is what I see God doing with Michael, because on his own he will not humble himself, even as King Nebucchanezer. He too, was a great man, but he used his greatness in an arrogant manner. His pride led to his down fall, but it also led to his salvation and acknowledgement of the Lord. After seven years of God's humbling in him, he finally stated without reservation that God was the only God, and from that point on he would serve and worship Him. This is what God commands and demands of every man and woman, including Michael Jordan.
When there were times that I asked to speak with him concerning what was said to him in 1998, he just shunned me. He out rightly ignored the Word and its messenger time after time. He never seem to have time to hear what God wanted to say to him, and his view of the messenger was tainted by sin and carnality. His own view of himself, and the upkeep of his image continued to be a hindrance in his submission to the Word. He had time for everything else, including "scratching an itch," and play basketball again. He had time for golf, parties, clubs, women and booze, but never time for God. Yes, he is a true example of society as a whole today. This mindset deludes itself that it can hide from others what is taking place, but the heart never lies. God sees when no one else can. I know that God allowed the negative things to come forth about Michael in order to get his attention. To remind him of his word that he spoke before God, and even though he felt that no one else heard it but me, God heard it, and this day God is requiring his life.
God doesn't want lip service, but heart service. God requires complete obedience, or nothing at all. Michael and all those like him are asleep to true reality, and that reality is Christ in us, the hope of glory. Without Him, there is no hope, no truth, no way, and no life. No matter how much money he accumulates, no matter where he may go in the world, no matter who he may meet, he will never find fulfillment in any of it until he seeks for the Lord with all his heart. The same way he has sought after everything of the world, so God requires him to seek for Him this way. King Solomon fell because he ran after other gods through the foreign women he married. He started out by marrying the daughter of Pharaoh, an Egyptian. She and her kind didn't serve the one and only true God, and therefore, Solomon was caught in a web of destruction that would eventually bring forth the loss of the kingdom. God made a promise to David that He would not forget him, and that he will have an heir upon the throne. When God told Michael that he was Solomon and that he would finish what he didn't, He wasn't speaking in the natural as if Solomon was reincarnated in Michael Jordan. He meant that the wisdom, power, peace and authority that came with Solomon's rule would be evident again in a people, starting with him.
The wisdom of God has made it so that we cannot live unto ourselves, or as Thomas Merton once put it, ďNo man is an island.Ē We must answer to each other, and especially those that are serving as Godís ministers in the earth today. God has made it so that Michael must answer to Him through me, and when that is accomplished then Michael can see again. Even as Paul was blinded by the Lord on his way to Damascus. I said on his way because even though he thought he was doing the will of God he wasnít, and God had to stop him in his tracks by any means necessary to bring him to the understanding of first, who God was, and second, what his destiny was.
God didnít just supernaturally heal Paulís blindness without any human intervention. He went to a man named Annanias and told him to go and lay hands on Paul, and tell him what his destiny would be. Annaias didnít want to go of course because he had heard how Paul was persecuting the Christians, and having them imprisoned, but God reaffirmed His Word and told Annanias to go. He went and did all God instructed him to do, and Paulís sight was restored. He was able to see again, but this time not in his own way, but Godís way. So shall it be with Michael. He too will be able to see again when God removes the scales from his eyes, because even though he thinks that what he is doing is right, it is not the will of God for him. Our righteousness is as filthy rags to God. There are many plans of a man, but Godís plans, Godís will outweighs them all.
I too was like Annanias, and didnít want to go to a man that I knew nothing about except that he was famous, unreachable, and untouchable. I didnít want to be the one to say to him the depth of his existence here on this earth at this time in his life, because I knew that he would not understand at first. I didnít want to be ridiculed, laughed at, misunderstood, and persecuted, but nevertheless, even as God led Annanias so he led me. He pushed me forward, and told me to have no fear, and no doubt. That it didnít matter whether he understood or not, but in all actuality Michael was waiting for me. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5)
He didnít realize the cry of his heart at the time, but yet I knew because the Lord showed it to me on those nights that I stayed awake praying for him. He showed me the times of Michael as a child, and the times in college. The uncertainties of life and his career. The fear of losing everything, but yet knowing deep in his heart that he still did not possess everything. In reality it possessed him, and God came to release him from that bondage; but just as a man may walk up to an animal or even a person who has been enslaved for so long and has grown accustomed to its environment. So it is with those who God comes to set free, but never walk away from the chains because it knows nothing else.
When it does experience something else, even if it is only for a moment, it is frightened of what it feels because it feels foreign. It brings forth a feeling that this canít be right, because I do not understand it. It is this feeling that we run from every time only to be running in circles. When the time is right, God stops us in our tracks and shows us the way to freedom, to peace.
I heard Michaelís mother say one time that she hears all the things that people say about him, and felt that it was too much to put on one man. This was after God spoke the Word to him, but I beg to differ. If one sees with the eyes of Spirit instead of their natural eyes, they can see a lot further. At times it is hard to see it in your own child. It was hard for Jacob to see it in his own son, Joseph when he shared his dream of his father (Jacob) and his brothers one day bowing down to him. I have two sons myself, and at times I have to remind myself that they are more than meets the eye, and that God has a plan for them too no matter what it appears to be at present.
Moses was one man, but God was with him. So was Abraham, Elijah, David, and many more, and Michael is no different than they were. For they were of like passions as he, and God can move through him just as He moved through them. It is not a lot to put on him because God called and chosen him for it. The people are only reacting to the innate truth that surrounds him without even realizing what they are really doing. No, Michael is not Jesus Christ in tennis shoes, but I do see that God is in him, and where God is, is holy ground. The ground may not be fertile yet, but God is tilling the ground, turning it over so that it may bring forth a harvest. He is turning Michaelís life upside down in order to bring forth His glory in him.
Godís plan for Michaelís life will eventually outweigh his plans, but only when it is Godís time. We can plant and we can water, but God must give the increase. As God increases, so shall he decrease, and then the world shall give praise to God for what He has done. Michael may deny every word written in this article. He may even deny me, but he can never truly deny God, because to do so would be to deny himself. We are held accountable for every word that proceeds out of our mouths no matter who we are. There are many that say, ďThere is no god,Ē but God will show them not by mere words of men that are empty puffs of smoke, vapors that are here and then vanish away. He will reveal His glory and power through action, through effect. He is the Cause of all things, and the effects are enormous!
Gloria Minatti - Founder/President
Manís Restored Image Ministries Inc.
3567 Fort Meade Rd Suite 306
Laurel, MD 20724
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Gloria, I just started reading this but realized it is so very long, I doubt I have the time tonight to finish the entire thing. I don't want to start it and not finish, so in the future, if I have time, I will read it in its entirety.