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 an 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 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.
Before going to sleep that night, I was reading an 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 bomb bay doors, with a voice telling me the bomber been hit by flak in the bomb bay 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.
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 bomb bay 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.