June 2017 – So begins life without a paycheck.

SUMMARY of June, in case you don’t want to read the whole thing:

– confirmations that I left my job at the right time.

– DREAM instructing me and a woman to join our lives together.

– DREAM about high school reunion and possible opportunity to pray for someone in real life.

– WORD about Hosea, an Old Testament prophet and a guy I don’t want to emulate.

– HOTSPOT that began on September 23 is still burning on September 27.

*

I was done with my job at the end of the first full week of the month. Here are some personalized ways I believed God confirmed I was leaving that job at exactly the right time:

– My user and admin network logins expired on schedule and coincidentally during the final week of my employment. I had to create new passwords to finish out the few days I’d be needing them.
– On June 12, 2012 I began using a particular legal pad for notes in our weekly team meetings. I used that same pad during all team meetings up to and including my final meeting in early June 2017. Five years to the day after I first used the notepad, June 12, 2017, was my first weekday in semi-retirement, away from team meetings and any other thing related to that day-to-day grind. I had tossed the notepad in the office recycle bin days earlier, when I was shutting down that phase of my life.
– My last day at work turned out to be eighteen years and one day after my hire date. That extra day allowed me to take casual and final advantage of my annual employee discount, replenished on each hire-date anniversary, before joining the great unwashed ranks of those who must pay the full price.

**

6/3 DREAM, VOICE: A man and woman are working at separate whiteboards, writing out what are the critical details of their lives, including their finances. Then the two people join together somehow, and I hear, “Stop keeping separate bank accounts.” END

After waking I considered the possibilities. The vignette might have been sleep noise that meant nothing. It might have been some kind of demonic distraction. It might have been a clear message from God that I should stop keeping my life separate from a significant woman in my life. I’ve been waiting on my ex for several years now, at what I’ve believed to be God’s instruction to do so. Her remarriage this year didn’t change the conviction to wait, though it did complicate the potential reunion dramatically. After the whiteboard dream, I resolved to wait and see what might happen to confirm that the dream was about my ex and me. I figured that if God had bothered to tell me to “quit keeping separate bank accounts” from her, while knowing that I’m only waiting for something to happen at her end, then He presumably has something productive in mind that I didn’t know about yet.

A few nights later I woke up at what felt like a weird time. I picked up my phone and saw that it was exactly midnight on my ex’s birthday. Even with most of my brain still asleep, I knew there had to be something significant about the event. I don’t wake up at exactly midnight. I sleepily considered that God had done something yet again on a significant date in my life. After waking enough to think it over later that morning, I figured it wasn’t unreasonable to consider the midnight episode to be confirmation about my ex and me at our whiteboards.

I again told God I would reunite with her, though not necessarily with the gladdest of hearts. From Day 1, she’s seemed at least as much an assignment from Him as anything more Hallmark-friendly. Six, maybe seven years ago, when I believe He first specifically called me in a dream to await reconciliation with her, I screamed defiantly at Him in that same dream. Now, I’m much more willing to submit myself to His eternally-significant plans, at the expense of my own desires. There would be a lot of lives impacted by His grace, if He were to engineer the impossible between my ex and me. That alone makes the submission worth the risk.

***

6/10 – DREAM – I’m at my high school reunion. There are a bunch of people there whom I know from my class. There is another guy whom I believe to be the younger brother of one of my former classmates. I haven’t seen the younger brother since junior high. The younger brother in my dream doesn’t look anything like his young self; but I think it is him. He is sitting next to me on some bleachers. He turns to me and tells me he has cancer. I ask him are, “Are you (his name)?” He replies in the affirmative. I tell him, “Sometimes when I pray for people, they get well.” That gets his attention, but he isn’t interested in me praying for him. END

After waking I decided I’d been pretty free and easy with encouragement in the dream. To the questionable extent that I see any results in my prayers for healing, there’s been absolutely nothing that would justify the confidence that I felt on the dream bleachers, in the face of dream cancer. One thing I could acknowledge was that God does the healing; we are just called to make ourselves available to set the process in motion. I was, on June 10, willing to trust that God might heal any cancer in this guy, if I or someone else got the ball rolling.

Later that day I poked around on the web and found the dream man is a real-life local restaurateur. I didn’t find any immediately easy contact info for him. I began what would be become a routine prayer request that God would get us in touch with each other, if He wants me to pray for the man in person. It wasn’t until writing this blog content, months after the fact, that I realized that the the dream occurred only hours after I’d finished the final day at my job and stepped out into whatever God might have for me on the other side. Interesting timing, at least.

****

6/14 – I woke up early and asked God how I might live that day as a sacrifice. Falling towards sleep again, I heard and saw the word “Hosea.” Not good. I’ve been thinking for a couple of years that I’m a living analog for several Biblical characters whose names are in some way similar to mine. Joseph the Patriarch is an obvious example who has received much airtime in this blog. None of the others are important now. Except Hosea.

Hosea is the first minor Old Testament prophet, a man who married a woman whom God so commanded. Things didn’t bode well for the marriage, as God described her as a “wife of harlotry”. The short version of a long story is, God used Hosea’s marriage situation as a metaphor for how He would take back an unfaithful Israel, after His chosen had chased after pagan idols and practices instead of Him. The restoration would not occur until after a period of chastisement; after that discipline God would joyfully embrace Israel once again.

The loose name connection from Hosea to Joe, for clarification, is a multilingual reach: the English pronunciation of Hosea is like the Spanish “Jose” with an “uh” on the end. There’s no immediate value in hashing out all the ways I might be living in parallel with Hosea. The important thing, for the record, is I believe the end result of that analogous life path will be my ex and I reconciled and remarried. This will require an obvious and obviously awkward end to her current marriage. There’s also a non-zero chance that she and I will begin a new family at our advancing middle age and despite the current medical impossibility of such a thing happening. .

If the other Bible characters and my possible relative analogous living are all interesting food for thought, Hosea has been unique among that crowd. He’s been a slow-dawning thing over the past year, and one that I’ve tried to shut out of my mind. I didn’t want anything to do with Hosea. All of the prophets were called to live non-standard lives, at the very least in as much as they (most of them) were consistently warning the Israelites to turn away from their idolatry and back to worshiping the one true God. The message was rarely received well. Hosea’s personal kick to the gut was being called by God to be a big ol’ chump: “Marry the woman I tell you to marry. She’s going to do you wrong. You have to take her back. You will live out my promise of reconciling with a wayward Israel.” No thanks.

Even as I’ve believed that The Ex and I are going to reconcile, I’ve chosen to imagine it will be a vague magical thing where we wake up one day in the same bed and start playing house again. As the specter of Hosea and all that he implies have been slowly dawning on me, I’ve told God several times I’m not interested in that particular relationship dynamic. God is often not interested in our personal preferences when He’s got eternity in the works. So my months’ worth of trying ignore “Hosea and Me” popped like a balloon in my face on June 14.

Wait and see, as usual.

*****

For the record the face hotspot that began on 9/23 (or the evening of 9/22) is still blazing right along. This is the longest I’ve had a continuous hotspot in several years, I think. I doubt that the dream vision about September 23, 2017, was sent just to announce the arrival of a hotspot. Maybe there’s something significant at the end of this particular face heat.

Wait and see, as usual, again.

Posted in Dreams, Hot Spots, Otherwise Interesting, Who said it? | Leave a comment

September 23 was a non-event.

Here in this skin, there were no fireworks on or around September 23. The dream/vision that had regarding September 23 was in a format that I’ve learned to trust over the past few months; so I’m comfortable believing it was God telling me something. The fact that I don’t (apparently) know what He was telling me is tiresome. I cannot in good faith say that I recommend the “charismatic” lifestyle for anyone who might be interested in pursuing such. There’s a lot of grey area, uncertainty, and second-guessing. At least in my experience.

God did light up my face hotspot on September 22 and right on through this posting at 1600hrs CDT on September 25. I believe that heat to be a comfort in this time of wondering. I haven’t had a multi-day hotspot in many months. Of course it’s well documented that I don’t really know what many of the interesting things in my life mean.

Life goes on. Wait and see. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

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May 2017, pt. 3 – The rest of May

Here are some highlights from the remainder of May 2017, mostly from weeks after I decided to quit my job. I’ve provided a summary here at the top, for anyone who doesn’t want to read the excruciating details:

* DREAM: Is John McCain a spy?

** VOICE: something about replacing weathermen. Maybe/maybe not related to the major life changes I’m beginning.

*** Personal interaction with a work colleague, with regard to my leaving the company. It turned into a unexpected and spiritually significant encounter.

**** Personal prophetic ministry detailed. God gave me solid confirmation about quitting my job, after I had already jumped off a cliff, in faith, and resigned my position.

***** New light shed on a visions from last December, when I became convinced I had blown my destiny.

***** * DREAM: something about preparing a place for those who will be doing healing work; also, another December 2017 dream re-visited

***** ** Evolution of a new hotspot

*
May 5, DREAM

I see a red and white pavilion-style tent in bright sunlight. A sign outside the tent reads, “Welcome, Spy.” I know that the spy in question is Senator John McCain. END

**

May 11, VOICE

I awake early in the morning and hear a voice talking about replacing weather men. “He gets replaced as soon as he starts caring more about the weather than the people around him.” This seems like a veiled explanation of either what I’d missed out on or a warning about what might happen if I don’t get more serious about living as a sacrifice on behalf of others. Maybe an explanation of what happened to the person that I was given a chance to replace. Maybe it means nothing. It is right on the heels of the avalanche of prophetic dreams, visions, and voices, though; so I pay attention to it.

***

Two weeks after giving my notice of resignation, I spent part of one day working at an offsite project that I’d started months earlier. I wanted to complete the thing before I left the company. I came into rare contact that morning with a fellow employee with whom I’d shared a lot of experience early on in our similar tenure at the company. We visited for a few minutes in her office. I told her I was resigning due to what I believed was an invitation from God to do so. I’d told so many people the same thing over the preceding weeks that I didn’t think too long about whether to say such a non-standard thing to yet another person. My friend was interested in my plans and revealed a particular passion in life that she would feel released to pursue if she were to leave the security of her job.

We discussed the sobering realization that comes from doing the safe thing year after year, until such a time as one notices that, to an extent, all you are doing is trading years of your life for a bi-weekly paycheck. She told me, “I want what you have,” referring to my conviction to leave stability for something less predictable. I believed that what I really had was a specific blessing from God to make a huge leap that I never would have made without said blessing. I couldn’t give that to anyone else; but I could pray for her, which I offered to do. She was agreeable. I figured I might as well go scorched-earth Christian, since the worst anyone could do to me at that point was fire me two weeks before my last day.

With her permission I put my hand on her shoulder. I thanked God for creating her; and I asked Him to let her know that He was indeed her creator and to let her know how much He loved her. That prayer is one that I’ve prayed over many other people, generally in remote intercession, because I think “it” all starts with anyone of us knowing how much God loves us (not that I have figured it out, myself). Prior to that encounter in my friend’s office, I’d offered that prayer face-to-face with only a few strangers on the streets. To do the thing with someone that I’d known for many years, and in a context essentially devoid of Christ, was unprecedented. It was an undeniably important moment for both of us in that office and one that neither of us had seen coming. We were both moved by the encounter.

She and I said our goodbyes. I drove back to my own office, aware (yet again) that good things happen when any one of us will step beyond self-imposed limitations and into the confidence to bless another as we have been blessed. On a very practical level, I was enjoying the freedom that came from knowing I would soon be gone from that job. It was the sole life circumstance that had spanned all phases of the metamorphosis I’d lived over the course of nearly twenty years. To a certain degree I was still anchored to the identity of the (spiritually) lost and (subsequently) dangerous new hire that I’d been in 1999. God had mercifully led me since that time through refining trials and turned me into someone who would risk much for the chance to live a life more fully in step with His will for me. Praying for my friend that day gave me a glimpse of what kind of person would soon be emerging from the cocoon of M-F, 9-5, and 401k.

****

One Saturday morning in late May, I went to a music clinic at our church. I also wanted to attend the prophetic prayer rooms, as well. I got in line early for the prophetic ministry; they told me they would hold my place and I could receive ministry whenever the clinic ended in an hour or so. I went next door to the clinic and watched a world class bass player do world class things on some bass guitars. When the clinic concluded, I went back over to the main church building. Prophetic team members were gathered together and visiting in the lobby of the church. All customers other than me had been served. The ministry was finished for the day and also for the summer break, with the exception of the final team that was waiting specifically for me. I went into the conference room and thanked the team members for waiting. They prayed for a minute or so and then began speaking words which I have paraphrased here:

Man 1: I had a feeling you were going to come in. I had a word before you got here. You ARE hearing from the Lord. You ask, “Is it Him?” It is Him. Sometimes you hear preachers say, “I had a message prepared, but God told me to do something different.” Sometimes we ignore those messages, God telling us to go a certain way. When we hear from the Holy Spirit, sometimes we say, “Is my mind just playing tricks with me? Am I really hearing from the Lord? Is He telling me to step out of this box and do something different?” If you will follow His leading, you will be able to go where He tells you, and you can tell people that God loves them. When you tell someone “God loves you,” you are touching their soul.

Man 2: You hear from Him really, really well; so well that you don’t even realize you’re hearing Him. So sometimes you blow it off. (Laughs) We all do that. It comes because we are united with Him in Christ. When you are aligned with Him and His word, many of the things that run through your spirit, many of the intuitions you get, are directly from Him. A lot of times we like to second-guess the thing and we ask Him to give us some proof that it’s Him. “Please give me a word of confirmation.” Or, “Let me put my fleece on the ground.” And He’s willing to do that. But there come a point in our relationship with Him when He laughs and says, “Why? You know Me. You heard Me the first time.” I feel like the Lord is affirming right now that you know His voice, that the things that people call intuition are Him saying, “It’s Me, and it’s Me directing you.” This is a call to say “yes” to those things.That’s where the breakthrough happens.

Man 1: We are all Jonah. We are all supposed to listen and say, “Really? That’s why I’m supposed to do?”

Man 2: Don’t look to other people to confirm what the Lord has told specifically to you. Even if they are walking closely with Him, He’s not necessarily telling them everything that He’s told you. He’s not going to hold them accountable for things that He specifically told only to you.

Woman 1: Have you ever been to Portland, Oregon?

Me: (Whoa) Yes. And Wichita Falls and Long Island.

Woman 1: I don’t know if you should go back to Portland or go somewhere else. But the Lord is calling you into other places, so that people can see His works. I feel like you’ve been hibernating so you can learn to hear Him so clearly. Now it’s time (laughs) to show off what the Lord is doing.

Me: How did you come up with Portland?

Woman 1: I was listening to music this morning. I stopped to look at my phone to see the name of a song that was playing. It was called “Portland, Oregon.” I thought, “That’s weird.” Then the Lord said, “Someone is supposed to go to Portland; someone you’re going to see today.” I forgot all about that until you walked into the room.

Woman 2: I see a rainbow coming over you, and it represents wisdom, not just in one area, but in several areas of your life. I feel that you like to move from one task to the next. I feel that God is telling you “Let Me take your agenda.” I pray that you will be able, with the wisdom that God has given you, to see His timing and His season; so you can hear Him and then run. Because I think God is calling you to be not a sprinter but a long distance runner.

I feel like you are supposed to slow down for a little bit. It’s not that you have to sit down and not do anything. Sometimes we misunderstand what it means to rest in the Lord. Faith requires action. You don’t just “have” faith or hope. The path that you’ll be walking, let God speak from that place. I’m reminding myself, it’s like Elijah went to the cave and heard the still small voice. I feel there are so many adventures to come in this journey that He has for you. But have the moments where you can be quiet and just wait for His whisper. Sometimes the direction for our life comes from that place.

Me: (tell story of WFPLI and this years-long season of refining. How I had little left at one point but to trust Him. Much concern that I’d short-circuited my destiny. The many preparatory motivating dreams and visions that led me to quit my job. No clue what’s next. Portland? A brief description of Joe turning to Joseph.)

Woman 1: I forgot that I’d written this down earlier, but I got distracted: “There are new beginnings. Do not be afraid to walk in. You have not missed it. You’re not late. You’re right on time.”

Me: (freaking out)

(Concluding comments and prayer.)

One of the primary reasons I wanted to receive prophetic ministry that Saturday was to see if God might reveal anything of the the previous month’s spiritual gymnastics to and through the prophetic team. I believed I had made the right decision to leave my job. But I thought it would be encouraging if the Saturday praying prophets were to hear anything from God regarding all that. What actually happened was that essentially every word spoken to me was right on target, with some time warp thrown in for good measure.

If there’s any way to summarize what I think God was saying during the prophetic prayer session, it would be: “You wanted a fleece when you wrestled with leaving your job. Ta da! Here it is.” He didn’t give me such rich confirmation until I’d already acted in (for me) extreme and unusual faith. If I’d received those same encouraging words three weeks earlier, when I was first presented with the wild opportunity to quit my job, I would have had little need to exercise said faith. It would have been a slam-dunk decision: “It’s from God, no question. I QUIT RIGHT NOW!” Instead, I had lived one conflicted week, after the invitation to quit, capped by my resignation; and then two more weeks of disoriented preparations for an entirely unanticipated new life. The timing of the Saturday prophecies was such that I was able to exercise my faith muscle and still get a most welcome confirmation from the Lord that I had done the right thing.

In all the years that I’ve somewhat regularly received this type of ministry, no one has ever told me anything like “Yes, you are hearing from God about doing something improbable.” And the one man’s reference to touching people’s souls by telling them that God loves them – that is exactly what had happened a day or two prior, when I prayed for my friend at work. It had been an unprecedented thing in my life and (I think) in the life of my coworker. The reference to visiting Portland tied the past to the present. The description of me hibernating in order to learn how to hear from the Lord was a comforting acknowledgement of what has been a grueling, humbling, years-long lifestyle. The encouragement to be still and hear His voice was an acknowledgement of that same lifestyle. More importantly, it was also a foreshadowing of opportunities to hear God in the still and quiet on any given day, and to do His specific will on that day. At no point in the years that I have believed in and availed myself of prophetic ministry had there ever been a more appropriate time for me to hear what those folks shared with me that morning. They were precisely the right words at precisely the right time. To me, that means it was from God.

*****

May 30

Before going to sleep that night, I was reading a internet message forum. There was a thread dedicated to favorite fictional battles. One of the posters suggested King Kong vs the biplanes. I immediately thought of the King Kong vision I’d had back in December. It was one of two visions that seemed to indicate that I had definitely blown a destiny or something. The other image had been the dream view of the B-17 with open bombay doors, with a voice telling me the bomber been hit by flak in the bombay at 12:12.

As soon as I read the post about King Kong and his biplanes, something clicked in my mind. “Favorite fictional battles. Fictional. King Kong was fictional.” As in, he wasn’t real. He wasn’t “really” a sign that I’d blown anything. On a hunch or on their own, my eyes browsed the timestamp of that post. 12:37.

***** *

5/31 DREAM

I’m in a cavernous room where there are numerous pallets laid on the floor. I am staring at my feet. Each foot is positioned exactly inside a rectangular box outline, painted on the floor. I am standing next to one of the pallets, and my position relative to the outlines on the floor indicates I am standing in exactly the right place. I look up and see a young and robust version of a man whom I’d only known in life as an aged and infirm person and who had died in the past year. He was in this life a tireless worker for the Kingdom. I somehow know the dream man is a young version of that guy. He says to a person next to him, “These (pallets) are being prepared for those who will be doing healing. (Pointing at me) He’ll be one of them.” I wonder if the pallets are for the healers to lie down on or for the infirm to lie on and receive healing. END.

Later that evening, I walked to the grocery store. I wasn’t even out of any groceries in particular. It just seemed like shopping was the thing to do that evening. So I went. I love grocery shopping. No idea why.

While walking the mile or so to the store, I contemplated the King Kong thing. If the King Kong vision hadn’t really been a confirmation in December that I’d blown it all, then what about the B-17 dream/vision? The weird thing about the B-17 image was that it was unique among all the numerous WWII-era bomber imagery that had shown up in my dreams over the years. All the others had been B-24’s. Which might be a tedious distinction; but there’s something to be said for consistency. Even after waking from the dream that morning in December, it was obvious that the B-17 didn’t really fit the established theme.

If the King Kong vision had been a false positive, then maybe that bomber vision had been also. And if those two things had been false positives, then maybe I hadn’t really blown anything. How does that even work? I thought back to the young woman who had the encouraging prophecy for me the previous week: “New beginnings. Do not be afraid to walk in. You have not missed it. You’re not late. You’re right on time.” Seemed too good to be true at the time. As I walked the final long block to the store, I was aware of how completely improbable it was to wonder about a dream vision of a World War II bomber and its potential relationship to whether or not God was going to powerfully reveal Himself in Dallas, Texas any time soon.

A couple of minutes later, I was walking across the parking lot towards another few days worth of groceries. I love grocery shopping. No idea why. There was one vehicle in the final parking space before the traffic lane next to the store. It was the only vehicle parked within several spaces. It was a nondescript white pickup truck that seemed out of place in that parking lot, otherwise occupied as it was with more hip/urban/new transports. I’ve walked past hundreds of cars in that parking lot over the years without noticing anything about most of them. I couldn’t help but pay closer attention to the truck for some reason, which is why I quickly and abruptly stopped dead in my tracks. On the back window of the truck was a decal of a WWII-era bomber dropping decal bombs. The bomber was a B-17. Bombs were trailing out of the plane, down the back window of the truck. The plane had clearly not been hit in the bombay doors at 12:12 or any other time.

Like anyone else who has lived decades in an urban setting, I estimate that I’ve seen several hundred thousand cars in my lifetime. I’ve never seen one with anything like that display, much less one appearing as it did at exactly the right moment to fit into this narrative that I wouldn’t even bother trying to make up for fear it would sound so implausible. I stared for a bit longer and walked on into the store, with a further shifting perspective on what did or did not happen in December.

I love grocery shopping. No idea why.

***** **

Sometime at the end of this past February and into March, my lips began burning in a way that was consistent with what I’ve called “hot spots” in this blog. In case I haven’t mentioned it already: by the month of May, that hot lips effect had spread to cover most of the left side of my face. Just like most of the previous hotspots had been on the left half of my body – generally on my left leg – this new hotspot was almost exclusively on the left side of my face. The only exceptional heat was an occasional burn on my left heel or up my left calf muscle. The life cycle of any given mouth/face hotspot seemed related to how I ate. Something about eating for pleasure and peace, as opposed to seeking to find my ultimate satisfaction in the Lord. (Even now, as of this writing in September, I can’t say for sure what the parameters of this hotspot are.) The point is the hotspot had spread it’s boundaries significantly by the month of May.
***** ***
That is all.

 

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What hiatus? And September 23.

I put this blog on hold a month and a half ago in order to bring some much needed peace to my life. Keeping this thing reasonably current at any given time is a major resource commitment. Starting in December 2016, and moving into and through this year, noteworthy events became consistently so numerous that keeping content satisfactorily up-to-date was no longer feasible. Hence the hiatus.

Now I’m taking the blog off hold, for today at least, and am planning to post at few months’ worth of info starting next weekend. I figure there’s no time like the present to start shoveling content onto the internet again. I’ll start by posting some info out of chronological order, because it is of a time-sensitive nature.

*

August 7
DREAM: There’s something about my promised “promotion”, I think. I hear a voice speaking words that I can also see: “We know the who and the why. There’s nothing left but the how and the when.” Then I see a date: September 23, 2017. WAKE

I fumbled around in my brain with a resolve to record the details of the dream. As I struggled to hang on to the September date in particular, it occurred to me that the date seemed familiar. I emailed Mary and got her confirmation: September 23, 2017, is the date upon which a rare celestial event will occur. Various astral bodies will be arranged such that they will effectively illustrate the imagery recorded in Revelation 12. Depending on who defines the illustration, at least.

I’d become aware of this occurrence in the previous month. I can’t remember now how it came to my attention. Maybe Mary sent something my way. I can definitely confirm that, before I heard about how the universe was apparently going to express Revelation 12, I couldn’t have told you the first thing about Revelation 12. I’ve read Revelation enough times to have a really firm understanding that I don’t much understand what I’m reading. Consequently, I’m generally and deliberately not attuned to Revelation/End Times-themed excitement, other than I’m ready for Jesus to return. Any second now, actually.

Along comes this September 23 thing, and I’m officially interested. Whether or not you buy into the notion that there’s any significance to the book of Revelation (or the Bible itself, for that matter), it’s hard to ignore the way the September 23 sky is apparently going to act out a scene described by the apostle John nearly two thousand years ago. It’s nothing if not a very interesting physical phenomenon, with some possible metaphysical implications. Boy, are there possible metaphysical implications. And it’s the potential metaphysics that have people of a particular Judeo-Christian bent getting most excited. I’d now like to summarize the various reasons people are looking with such anticipation toward this early autumnal date. But I cannot summarize the reasons because it’s impossible for me to get my head around it all.

There’s a lot to do with prophecies from Daniel, I (or II, I can’t remember) Peter, and Revelation, at the least. There’s likewise a significant confluence of events in the Hebrew calendar happening around the date in question. And nature has clearly been putting on quite a show in the past month. Some people who understand all that stuff much better or differently that I do believe that September 23 will see Christ return to rapture some or all of the church. Or maybe some other stuff.

All I know for sure is that I was aware that many eyeballs were looking ahead to a particular date; and that I had a dream in August that highlighted the date on a personal level. If something big is going to happen in my life on that date, I assume there will be Jesus-style global things happening as well. It’s unlikely that God would spend all that apparent capital to herald events in the life of a random guy in Dallas. I think. We’ll know more in six short days.

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Blog hiatus

This blog is officially more trouble than it’s worth, for the time being. There’s so much blog-worthy stuff happening, and I’m so far behind, that I’d have to dedicate more time than I want to in order to keep current. If there was any one reason that I kept the thing going for so long, it was a desire that skeptical people like myself might see a reality that they perhaps hadn’t considered before. That reality being: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the living God; Jesus Christ is His risen Son; and the Holy Spirit is active today. I don’t think a blog, in and of itself, will necessarily convince anyone of that. But information like that which I’ve published here is clear evidence, at the very least, that either 1) there’s much more to this world than meets the eye; or 2) I’m insane. I vote for option number one.

As of now I have no intention of posting again unless/until there’s something that I would consider a real breakthrough, in context of the journey that is voluminously documented here since 2013. If you are the praying sort, I’d appreciate any prayers you might offer on my behalf, specifically regarding patience, obedience, and discipline. If you have any prayer requests, please submit them as comments to the blog; I will intercede on your behalf without posting the blog comment. I think that will work. Anyway, thank you for your consideration.

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May 2017, pt. 2 – We are off the chain.

(Added 8/4/17: This entry explains in detail why I made a huge life decision. If you’d like to skip the minutia, there’s a summary at the bottom of the page. A summary of the summary sums it all up in two sentences.)

May 3, 2017

DREAM
I am associated with some kind of production in which a speaker is scheduled for a particular time slot. I get a call from someone else associated with the same production. The caller ID display shows “SE”. The voice at the other end of the connection tells me that the scheduled speaker will not be able to attend. In his place we are going to instead allow a secondary speaker an opportunity to take the stage. I am having trouble understanding exactly what the person is telling me. From what little I can discern, we are giving the secondary speaker an opportunity to prove himself; but he won’t have much time to work. “If he hasn’t done enough to warrant further consideration before a certain point,” the voice tells me, and I interrupt, “The music will just start getting louder?” I was thinking about what happens when awards ceremonies like the Oscars crank up music in order to hustle someone out of a speech and off the stage. I laugh at the idea, and so did the person on the phone. I gather somehow that the second speaker will have a ceiling of sorts on how much he will be allowed to do, which ceiling would not have been in place for the first speaker. It’s possible that the second speaker’s ceiling of potential will rise with acceptable performance.

DREAM
I see a woman who looks like someone who works in my office. In real life this woman and I have no relationship at all and might have spoken three words to each other in as many years. In the dream she is some kind manager, unlike her real-life position. She is giving lessons on how to deal with sudden and massive change. She tells a male instructor to go get a stone from her office. Her office is apparently in Spain. The guy returns with the requested stone. It’s about the size of a football and is shaped irregularly, like a chewed piece of gum. He gives her a choice: she can either lie down on the table and have the stone placed on her face; or she can lie on her stomach, with her face resting on the stone. Somehow this choice demonstrates how to deal with sudden and massive change. END

After waking I believe that the lesson is there’s no comfortable way to deal with sudden and massive change.

DREAM
I’m at a college football stadium. I see lettering written all over the stadium, and it appears the lettering is Greek presentation of fraternity names. I see the letters “KD” particularly well. I recognize this symbolizes the Kappa Delta fraternity. But the “D” is backward, for some reason. END

I awoke and recognized that the D in the previous dream wasn’t the Greek alphabet delta that one would normally see in the display of Kappa Delta or any other Greek fraternal organization. It was a Latin alphabet D. I fell into half and full sleep for the next couple of hours. It seemed like every time I dozed off something else would happen. I awoke again at 0537, which was 0537 in the morning of May 3, 2017. Pretty interesting, if you’re into that kind of thing.

While dictating voicenotes about these dreams, I got a brief and intense burst of pain in an unusual spot in my back. I get pains in my back with some regularity, depending on my general level of fitness and amount of time elapsed since my last chiropractic adjustment. But the spot that flared pain this morning was not a normal problem spot. I made an audible complaint of the pain while recording the voicenote. After dictating the note, I fell asleep again.

DREAM/VISION
I see someone’s hands at a keyboard. One hand strikes the Enter key…and suddenly I’m inside what appears to be a cathedral. I’m looking up at a massive vaulted ceiling. The size of the place is overwhelming. I actually hear myself gasp. There is a tangible sense that the structure is real and I’m actually inside the thing, somehow transported there from my sleeping position in bed. I am aware that the building is somehow the result of my work. My efforts in this life are indirectly contributing to the construction. There’s something missing, though. As awesome as the place is, it is not beautiful – it is incomplete. When I stare closely at the ceiling, I see decorative painting that is not finished in any detail. END

In real life I’m not a gasper. And I’ve definitely never gasped from looking at a ceiling, as far as I can remember. I’ve never been to Rome, FWIW. Anyway, the view in that vision was stunning.

VOICE
I’m briefly awake in the night, and I hear, “If you don’t take this and run with it, we’ll find someone who will.” I wonder to God what exactly what “this” is, that I’m supposed to run with. I don’t even question if the voice is God or not. By now I’m living second by second, somewhat numb from the constant bombardment of messages. I’m generally a “run with it” kind of guy, which I point out to God or myself. But I don’t know in that moment what is expected of me. Which is frustrating, since my running with said “this” determines whether or not I get to keep the opportunity.

IMAGE/VOICE
In a brief waking state, I’m thinking about the cathedral experience. I see an image of a friend of mine, whom I comfortably presume to be someone who does not claim Christ as His savior. While I’m thinking about this flood of things that is happening around my sleep, I hear a man’s voice. I become aware that the voice has been speaking for some time. He’s talking about my friend. The voice is telling me something about how, if I will do some particular thing, then my friend will believe in Christ. My testimony will convince him.

I woke up and recorded a second voice note about my friend and this new admonition to “run with it.” I also asked God, through a somewhat frazzled consciousness, “How can I live this day as a sacrifice?” It is at once terrifying and liberating to ask that question of God, I noticed. I didn’t want to hear His answer, because it might mean that something was required of me. I am selfish and do not want to sacrifice on anyone’s behalf, unless it suits me. Also, if I ask God how I might live as a sacrifice, and He tells me exactly how to do so; then I’m on the hook for either doing the thing or living as an affront to His will. But right there along with the humbling terror is an inexplicable peace and freedom that comes from completely submitting oneself and one’s agenda to the Living God. It also seems, in very practical terms, that even considering asking the question of the Lord precipitated in my life a veritable landslide of communications, if the morning’s activities were any accurate indication.

Submission is a good thing.

 

May 5, 2017
DREAM
I see a small image that I know is a section of an aircraft, and I know the aircraft is a B-52. WAKE

Previous bomber imagery in the past few years of my faith walk has been of B-24’s and (in one questionable instance) a B-17, both World War II-era aircraft. The B-52 is a Viet Nam-era aircraft that is still in use by the United States military. The B-52 is in all practical ways superior to the older aircraft. This dream image is the first hint that there might be an upgrade in offensive spiritual capabilities. And this after I’d wondered if I’d lost all rights to have offensive capabilities at all back in December. Totally unexpected thing, this B-52 image. Unbelievably encouraging. Taken in context of the similar Great Wall of China dream image, which also immediately preceded an abrupt awakening, I wondered if God was telling me that I might one day possibly be the complete offensive and defensive package.

Please help me get there, Lord.

 

May 6, 2017
I awake at 0200. Through sleepy and slow lips, I ask Jesus, “How can I live as a sacrifice today?” Immediately, I hear in my mind the voice of my manager at work. “Well, we found someone to replace (former employee), and we can find someone to replace you.” Former Employee left our company around ten years ago. I believe right away my manager’s voice is God suggesting I should quit my job. I also right away believe such an instruction to be completely nuts. My entire life is entwined with the one full-time job that I’ve held for the better part of twenty years. I lie silent for a few moments, much more alert than before I had prayed. “Lord,” I request, “can you confirm?” Instantly, I hear, “YES!” A shouted confirmation. Seems clear enough. I should quit my job. However, what about my entire life? Health insurance, child support, steady income – just for starters. “What am I supposed to do?” I whisper, fearful and incredulous. Without missing a beat, I hear, “Follow me.”

This exchange was, in effect, me having a real-time conversation with some spiritual entity. I believe it was Jesus Christ. I was in some way detached enough to think, this is crazy. I went weeks without having a memorable dream; I went months or years without any spoken words. Now in one week there’s been a dump truck backed up and unloaded on me.

I fell asleep again.

DREAM
I am driving at night. I think my kids are in the car with me. There’s nothing in view but my dashboard and the road ahead. The road is lit from within, an iridescent blue strip expanding out ahead of our car. “Look at this!” I enthusiastically called to my passengers. “I’ve never seen the road do this before.” END

DREAM
I am sprinting on a sidewalk. Passing me, going the opposite direction, are guys sprinting toward some goal. They are being timed. I hear one guy griping about his time of 00:22. Somebody tells him he has to run it again.

DREAM
I am in an unfamiliar house. I am naked. There is a woman from my employer’s HR department. We see each other when I round a corner. I quickly start backing away from her, covering myself with a fast food drink cup. The woman from HR keeps coming toward me. I’m surprised by this, since I’m clearly naked and expected her to be as uncomfortable with the situation as I am. She walks confidently up to me and says, “Joe, don’t forget to put on your clothes and your drums. END.

DREAM
I am carrying a lockbox down into some cave-like natural formation. The enclosure is cluttered with my personal possessions. I have dropped the key to my lock box into all the mess, and I can’t find it. I am asking God for direction. I’m totally nervous and freaked out, so I refer to Him as “Mr. God.” I immediately think this sounds ridiculous. I am relieved that the box isn’t locked, since I have lost the key. END

VOICE
A voice speaks into my sleep: “This is an invitation.”

While recording the voicenote for this morning’s activities, I again made mention of the pain in my back. This would be the pain that showed up in an unusual place, first mentioned in notes for 5/3/17. The only time that spot hurt was when I was lying down in bed at night. And it only hurt during this most unusual of weeks.

 

May 7, 2017
I awaken at 1212 and cannot go back to sleep. Later in the day I am reading the Gospel of Matthew with my kids. At the end of chapter 16, there’s the section where Jesus describes what one must do in order to follow Him. The Thomas Nelson NKJV says, in Matthew 16:24-27: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”

I don’t know how many times I’d read that passage before May 7, 2017. Enough times to know intellectually what the words said, and even with some real-world experience to add weight to the words. But this latest reading was through brand new eyes. “Do not satisfy yourself,” the voice had admonished me, eight years ago. That sounds reasonably similar to “let him deny himself.” “Follow me,” the voice had said, right after I had asked how I might, effectively, lay down my life. Stepping out in faith by resigning my secure position in a great company fits in with the whole laying down life and taking up cross part; at least as a profound first step in that process. I’d already been engaged in an eight-year battle both against my Self and on behalf of Myself, straddling the line between that which I’d known God was calling me to and that which I couldn’t imagine giving up. I’d wanted to save my own life; perhaps not at the expense of my soul, but almost certainly at the expense of certain rewards according to my works. That dynamic had been perfectly illustrated by my sleep visitation into that grand-yet-incomplete structure.

When I’d begun asking God how I might live any given day as a sacrifice, I’d unconsciously expected that eventually He’d communicate something to me. No way would He allow such a humbled posture (however reserved and uncomfortable it might have been for me) to go unaddressed. But I’d had no real expectations of how or when He might actually respond. Had I thought things through at all, I’d likely have expected something like, “Help the old woman with her groceries when you’re shopping today, ” and even that maybe only after a few months of asking. Instead He gave me a terrifying opportunity to walk out profound scripture; with Jesus’ warm and enthusiastic encouragement to help me get started; and mere days after I first asked. I think it is best to not ask certain things of Him unless you are prepared for life-changing opportunities.

May 8, 2017
I’m at my desk at work, pretty much numb from what’s been happening. I’m typing a description of the previous week’s events, in order to tell Mary what’s been going on and eventually post this blog entry. I have some reasonable concern over whether it is God that I’ve been hearing from. The stakes are sky high. I’d like to be 100% sure that it’s God and not some demonic imposter suggesting I quit my job. Because there’s really no way I can quit my job. It’s juuust this side of impossible. “Is this really You?”, I wonder, staring off absently into space. I consider asking God for a fleece. As soon as the thought leaves my synapses, that weird spot in my back twinges, as if to say, “Yes, it’s Me.” The spot in my back had not made a sound since I was lying in bed on the morning of 050617.

May 12, 2017
I walk down the long (100-something yards) hall at our office to the kitchen, where I fill my cup with cold filtered water. This, my first trip of the day to the kitchen, is at an atypical time for me. I usually wait until later in the morning. Everything is off-kilter today. I have decided to turn in my notice of intent to resign, as soon I return to my desk with the filtered water. I don’t have filtered water at my apartment. Most of the water I’ve drunk at all in the past eighteen years has come from the filtered sources at my office, I consider. I wonder how much better my health is now, compared to if I’d been drinking tap water at work all that time. Everything in my life is about to change, not least of which is the fact that I will no longer have easy access to free filtered water. With filtered water and impending total obliteration of my life’s rhythms weighing surprisingly lightly on my mind, I step out of the kitchen and almost crash headlong in the woman from HR who was in that one naked dream from May 6. That’s the morning I had the conversation with (I think) Jesus, where He invited me to quit my job. Fortunately for all involved, I am not actually naked this morning.

The HR woman is unaware of her participation in the naked dream and, therefore, unaware of how completely crazy it is that she and I almost ran into each other, just like in the dream. She’s likewise not likely blown away by the fact that she and I have never almost run into each other, rounding a corner like that, until after that dream and with me on my way to give my notice. I, on the other hand, am blown away by all that. I decide to not inform her of the naked dream, so we are immediately comfortable talking with each other. She and I have been working in the same office for a good ten years now. I got to know her quite well back in the Stone Age, when I was in-house support for the HR software. She is someone that I will miss seeing, even as seldom as we do see each other. We visit while walking back down the hall, me to my office and she to the mail room. She already knows that I’m leaving the company, because I’d previously emailed her some questions about benefits. She bids me best wishes, and I take the filtered water back to my desk, where I email my manager with my notice of resignation.

Nobody, including me pretty much, saw this resignation coming. So I give a month’s notice, with the option to modify the date in case of problems with staffing. My manager comes to my desk and asks me to join him in his office. He is understandably concerned that fifty percent of my group is resigning, right after the previous thirty-three percent resigned only a few weeks prior. He wants to know my motivation. I tell him over the past few years, I’ve learned to trust what I believe is God giving me instructions or suggestions; that when I do what God suggests, good things happen; and when I do not do what God suggests, things are generally “less than”. And I believe God suggested that I quit my job. I do not tell my manager that God used my manager’s voice to suggest I resign. I assume, during our conversation, that I will never again have a more unlikely discussion than this one with an employer. My manager rolls with the whole thing, and I go back to my desk to drink filtered water and figure out how to extract myself from the company within the next month.
*
SUMMARY of April 24 – May 12:
On April 24 I heard the first “awake” spoken message that I’ve heard in some years. The voice referenced the “asleep” spoken word message from earlier in the year that indicated “we” were starting over. This April 24 event kicked off what became an unprecedented (for me) series of encounters with God in and around my sleep. A friend even got in on the action, having a dream and spoken word about my situation on April 26. Almost daily there after, until May 6, I heard and saw what eventually were revealed to be encouragements to prepare me for the big event on May 6. On that day God used my manager’s voice to suggest I should quit my job. Working backwards from that point through many of the dreams and words of the previous two weeks, I see that God was prepping me for that suggestion. He showed me that there was an opportunity that required a huge leap into sudden and massive change; that the opportunity was originally offered to someone else who didn’t follow through; that there was a timed element to the thing, which demanded that I meet certain expectations within a certain time frame in order to maintain status as a candidate for whatever it is. Then came the invitation to quit my job and jump off that cliff. After a week’s consideration, I gave my notice.
**
SUMMARY of the SUMMARY:
God said, “How about you quit your job?” So I did.

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May 2017, pt. 1 – More of the same, indeed.

The beginning of May saw a continuation of the rich and unexpected activities that erupted in April. For the sake of continuity, I saw no evidence that anything had changed in me at the end of April, despite a days-long period in which I definitely felt very different. My limited experience shows that a holy visitation can sometimes leave me “feeling” very different for a few days after the fact.

May 1, 2017
DREAM
A pack of three dogs approach me aggressively. They are intent on attacking me. Because I have power and authority gifted by the Holy Spirit, I calm the dogs with a gesture and maybe a few words. END.

DREAM
I am with a bunch of high school friends. We are up on a high cliff, overlooking the ocean. I am completely naked. I jump off the cliff, much farther out over the water than I should be able to. Launched out over the water, I am aware that my friends are behind me, still on the cliff. I descend toward the water and protect everything as well as possible for the inevitable and violent splashdown. END

Five months ago the dog dream would have been very encouraging. Today, it is immediately discouraging. “This is all I’m going to be able to do…calm packs of wild dogs? How often will that even be a thing?” I apologize to God for devaluing His gifts, even without knowing if the dream is from Him at all.

I drift off towards sleep again. I hear a question: “Does this journey make sense to you?” I think, in reply, “No, not really.” I figure it should make more sense than it does by now and that it’s probably my fault that it doesn’t. Somehow I get around to asking, “Are we ready to go?” As in, is it time to get going for real, on this journey that doesn’t make sense? After all, someone just acknowledged that this is, in fact, a journey, and not just a series of disjointed and oftentimes interesting occurrences. I hear, within a few minutes, “This path is yours to exalt.” Or exult. Exalt works better grammatically. Taken at face value and either way, it sounds like someone is telling me the ball is in my court.

I eventually got out of bed to face Monday morning life. I was still noticeably disoriented or whatever it was from the previous morning’s confirmation that “he” does, indeed, want me to have those things. That strange perspective was further compounded by the two messages from this morning. Three spoken words in two days, after who-knows-how-long it had been since the last one. Crazy. If the ball is in my court, I considered, maybe I need to be really proactive somehow. Had I not been already? Who knows. I was already on record as saying the journey didn’t make sense to me.

May 2, 2017
I pulled a “Me, Myself, and I” stunt on this day, which resulted in immediate chagrin, given the context of preceding dreams and what not. I had been planning for weeks to take the day off work specifically to do some writing and other chores. This blog was running months behind since December; and I was determined to get a chunk of content published. The day finally rolled around, after I’d made the necessary plans to be away from work. I had scheduled and prioritized writing, shopping, exercise, and cleaning, down to the minute. On a whim of half-baked sincerity, I asked God that morning, “Is there anything You’d like me to do today?” That was me being proactive. I didn’t hear anything directly in response; but there was an immediate “sense” that I should relax and spend time with God. I recognized straight away that God didn’t understand how much I needed to get done, or else He would not have suggested I spend precious time with Him. All that writing to do! I ignored the impulse to spend time with God and then set about my day. God would surely be impressed by my productivity later on. Even if He was not, I planned to be.

In late morning I was busy thinking and writing about the particular social dynamic of increasingly radicalized anger in black Americans. I believed God had been highlighting black Americans to me for years; with the understanding and growing hope that He would use me to address the situation in a profound way. I was actually writing blog content about same, when an initial report came on the radio news about a black guy with a rifle who had shot a fire department paramedic, in what was an apparent ambush. The situation was developing, they said.

I was stopped cold. I immediately felt the sting – real or imagined – of reproach from God. My thoughts returned to the strange vision I’d had on April 24, the day that all of this current round of excitement burst onto the scene. That morning one week prior, I’d felt like I was reading a personal journal entry in my sleep; the entry had something to do with sliding down a pole and something else about getting to some ammunition. Those two acts, distinct from and possible unrelated to each other, were what I was trying to decipher, when I’d heard The Voice say, “Right after we said, ‘We are starting again’ is where you will find more of the same.'” Then there was a bright flash of light, which clued me into the fact that all that stuff had been happening while I was awake, not sleeping.

What if the vision (such as it was) had been some warning about this day’s shooter getting his ammunition and the paramedic going down a pole in order to quickly respond in a way that saw him walk into an ambush? Perhaps if I’d been obedient to the perceived invitation from God that morning, things might have worked out very differently for the two men involved in the ambush. Of course, it was just as likely that the vision elements represented some idealized version of myself, ready to go at a moment’s notice, fully stocked with ammunition to deal with whatever God had put in front of me. There was no proof that God would have used me to thwart the May 2 attack. But there was no proof that He wouldn’t have. That’s the problem with ignoring God’s suggestions – it introduces uncertainty about situations for which there are eternal consequences.

It had been obvious for years that much of what I perceived to be delay or frustration with a release of blessing into my life and the lives of those around me was due to the fact that I was hung up on doing my own agenda. Or doing God’s agenda on my own terms. “I’m going to live this way, despite the fact that God is suggesting a preferred alternative.” Less so than in the past, in any given month; but still enough that I was left to wonder in early May 2017 about something as crazy as whether God would have used me to stop an ambush in East Dallas. Old news, of course, for anyone who has read much of this blog. And here I was, mere days after being encouraged by words spoken into my spirit for the first time in years, caught still doing my own thing.

This episode forced me to formally assemble and act on some thoughts that had been floating around in my consciousness for a while. Jesus reported in at least one of the Gospels that He only did what He saw His father doing. That is (I take it), He didn’t walk around with a completely blank agenda on any given day; He got something like marching orders from God the Father and then acted accordingly. Somewhere else in the Gospels there is also a description of Christ spending early morning hours in prayer, communing with His Father. Maybe it was during that early morning prayer time that Jesus got the day’s agenda from God the Father. And if that’s how Jesus did it, then might not we be able to do something similar? If any one of us were to ask God to provide His agenda for our day, there’s at least a chance that He would actually provide His vision for those hours.

Taking it a step further than merely asking for His agenda, it necessarily follows that we can expect to sacrifice our own agenda to satisfy His. I can expect that, anyway. There are slim odds that I awaken on any given day with God’s agenda burning in my heart. (As I type this, I recall seeing Bradford McClendon teach about doing this very thing, maybe three years ago now.) And if I’m giving up my plans to satisfy God’s, it’s going to be a sacrifice of my own will. There’s clearly no shortage of my will getting in the way of good things, these days. There is much material for available for sacrifice on the altar of My Own Plans. But it would presumably be a sacrifice worth making, since He would be the one coming up with the agenda. And His ideas are better than mine, if our ideas aren’t the same.

I resolved while leaning on my kitchen counter, disgusted with myself yet again, that I should start each morning by asking God in all sincerity, “How can I live as a sacrifice today?” That is, “How would You, God, have me spend my time, above and beyond that which is possibly or probably already laid out in the normal course of planning a random day in my random life?” If Christ is the role model – and He is – then I had to give this intentional and daily sacrifice thing a shot. Isn’t that essentially what Christ did, day in and day out – live as a sacrifice on behalf of others? Sure looks that way from my reading. And I’ve already speculated that He got His agenda from God during morning communion. I would strive to do the same, starting the following morning.

Incidentally, I lost track of and apparently deleted the aforementioned blog content about black Americans, during the chaos of May. I’ve recreated this day’s entry from memory, just to get the main points across.

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