Strait Jackets, Straight Lines, and James Randi

Over the past ten years, I’ve come to strenuously believe that God is actively involved in the minute-to-minute details of our lives. Beyond expectations already set to that effect by scripture in the Bible, I have lived in moments of custom-fit blessing that showed me God’s face and nature in ways that I’d been blind to before. I was raised in a Christian tradition that didn’t pay any attention to supernatural aspects of our faith; so I wasn’t prepared for this stuff when it started happening. I have slowly come to learn that blessed supernatural events are not only possible, they are actually pretty common. They are supposed to be common. We believers are supposed to be, as a matter of mundane course, speaking words of laser-guided comfort; healing physical malady by confident prayer; and casting out demons in Christ’s name. Yes, I actually typed that with a straight face. Just kidding; I used my toes, not my face. Not really.

Ten years ago, I had no idea that any of this was real. Since then, I have gotten to personally know more people than I can count off the top of my head who routinely go about the business of all that I listed in the previous paragraph. These are mostly very down-to-earth people who do not speak in mysterious affectations or wear animal skins or strait jackets or do anything else bizzaro that one might presume of people who claim to be able to do these things. I’ve read Christian authors who describe their own skepticism about such capabilities and how their skepticism was run over by a God who was more interested in them radically blessing people than in listening to their incomplete belief. And there are authors who believed and practiced for years before God blessed them with tangible results, like verifiable healing as a result of prayer.

This decision to embrace or not embrace the possibility of such phenomena as tongues, prophecy, healing, and deliverance will cause churches to split and friendships to end, as easily as it can lead to terrific blessing, if given proper honor. So how has it been such a secret to so many people? Or at least to me? Maybe the better question is: why don’t all Christians know of and practice these things? Probably a lot of reasons, and I don’t care to speculate and discuss in this post. I will surely speculate and discuss later. But I imagine God has a reason now for awakening people to some of the more immediately productive weapons in the Christian arsenal.

The results speak for themselves, as they knife straight through the most intellectual, scientific, and well-constructed rationalizations against Gawd and Jayzus. Effortlessly. With love and not condemnation. (I’ve actually prayed that God would use me to answer James Randi’s million dollar challenge. I could use a million bucks; and James could do with a clear vision of how much God loves him. Win/win. Maybe not in exactly the right spirit, though. Will continue praying.) Sounds like the perfect antidote to what looks to be an otherwise depressing and unstoppable secularization and decay in the West. For example.

So, these invisible gifts are real. There are people all over the place using them effectively. Their efforts and God’s grace are bringing peace, joy, health, and faith to believers and non-believers alike. Several of these people have told me over the past six to seven years that God is going to use me in some way that is worth anticipating. I’ve been anticipating. Tired of anticipating. But I think that a pattern of activity that started in 2003 and ramped up in 2009 is pointing to something happening or starting to happen.

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Back in mid-May of this year, I awoke once in the wee hours of the morning. I couldn’t sleep again for a while. My journal entry for that day doesn’t indicate whether I did anything productive with my time, in the interim. Only that, as I finally dozed off again, I heard a voice in my head say, “You…Wichita Falls, Portland, Long Island.” End of message. So that was interesting. I was jostled awake by the words. By May 2013, I was fully prepped to think God could speak to someone in a clearly discernible way, as a means of blessing them or someone else. On that particular morning, I didn’t see the blessing. I was mostly just stunned. I couldn’t deny that I’d heard the words; there’s little chance that, even in my most groggy and addled-brain sleepiness, I could have come up with that combination of locations on my own. I knew that the Portland in question was the Oregon one. Obviously, if it had been the Maine version, the voice would have specified. Obviously.

So, I’m laying there almost asleep, and a voice lists out for me a no-brainer city in Texas; a city name that has multiple possible locations, though I was automatically biased towards one option in particular; and a geographic land form that isn’t a city. All in the United States. Why? That’s pretty much the question I asked God many times over the coming weeks. What’s the point? “If this is a word of knowledge, whom is to benefit? If it’s not a word of knowledge, what it is?” In the midst of my genuine question mark, there was also a humbled satisfaction that God had apparently given me personally a puzzle, of sorts. He knows that I enjoy a good puzzle. So there’s one blessing right there.

I need to make a point here. It is scientifically proven under the most rigorous of laboratory conditions that voices anyone might hear in their sleepy head will come from God, Satan, or the mind. I am wearing my white lab coat and most erudite demeanor as I tell you this. I didn’t truly know which of those three spoke to me. I doubted it was my own mind; slim odds I would have thrown that together on auto-pilot. Which left God or Satan. Right? Right. I wasn’t made uneasy or maniacal or lustful or anything dark. There was a distinct peace to the whole thing. So I chose to believe it was God. Weeks turned into months, and the mid-May morning message was never far from the front of my mind. It was in good company with a bunch of other equally intriguing things that had happened before and after; but it was definitely a big player amongst its peers. Here’s a journal excerpt from late August:

Months ago, as I dozed one morning, I heard a voice say to me, “You: Wichita Falls, Portland, and Long Island.” I’m pretty sure that’s what I heard, and I’m pretty sure that’s ALL I heard. I haven’t forgotten it. But I haven’t really done anything with it. What to do with that experience? I initially filed it away with a “wait and see” approach. Now I’m wondering if I should do more. At least pray about it, about the places. Tonight I realized that a triangle drawn from those places would cover a large chunk of the USA. And I just read that John G. Lake prayed that Spirit would be elevated above intellect. I prayed that God would help me with that; immediately (I think) I became aware of those three locations again in a more insistent way.

I went to sleep thinking a lot about a triangle. The next day I browsed online and found a line drawing map of the states in the continental USA. I printed out the map and drew a dot on each location named in the May message. I drew in the lines of the triangle defined by those three points. There are many things I do not know about geometric shapes and how they are defined by random points on a map of the USA. One of the things I didn’t know is that if you draw a triangle with points on Wichita Falls, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and Long Island, New York, (depending on how you position the Long Island dot), you will draw a perfect isosceles triangle. Which is interesting.

I spent some time just staring at the map. Something significant was happening, but I didn’t know what it was. There was an impulse to celebrate, “AH HAHA HAAA YES I’M ONE STEP CLOSER TO” but that particular impulse died because I didn’t really know anything other than there seemed even less a chance now that the words were random brainfuzz. An isosceles triangle is nothing if not a deliberate shape. I took a picture of the map and sent it to a couple of friends. I talked to one of them on the phone. He’s the guy that suggested I start this blog, way back when. He told me of a prophecy he’d read by one Ruth Ward Heflin, about Dallas being a center of great revival for the USA. Perhaps the cities were significant in that light. We also discussed stories that obedient folks have told about going somewhere that they felt God had called them (“Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight…”). I found a reference to the prophecy of Ruth Ward Heflin, among others, at this link:

http://hozdallas.com/resources/propheticwords/DallasPropheciesSum2013.pdf

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Since the interesting geometric revelation in late August, I’ve made a consistent point to intercede on behalf of the people who live in the three places. I’ve asked God to prepare their hearts for revival. I’ve asked Him to show me if there’s anything else to be done with the riddle. The prayers of intercession are surely not a bad thing, but I don’t know that they are the best or only thing.

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By the end of this week, there should be something to report about the man referenced in the previous post.

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