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.

Posted in Dreams, Otherwise Interesting | 2 Comments

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.
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
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.

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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April 2017, pt. 2 – Cowboys, Paying for Steak, and These Things

On or about this day, the NFL released the 2017 regular season schedule. Turns out the Cowboys and Seahawks are indeed playing in 2017: Sunday, December 24, at ATT Stadium. I am planning to go to the game. I am, at best, a casual follower of professional sports. Imagine the family weirdness when I explain that I’m compelled to attend a Cowboys game on Christmas Eve. And the Christmas Eve schedule definitely adds a bit of intrigue to the whole Moslem/security theme.

I feel like I am reading an old journal in my sleep. Something about sliding down a pole to get to something. Something else about ammunition. I hear in my spirit, “Right after we said ‘We are starting again’ is where you will find more of the same.” Then I see a bright flash of light behind my closed eyelids, and I realize I am actually awake. The only thing that is clear to me out of all that is the spoken word. The part about reading old journal content (sliding down pole, ammunition) is imaginary in the sense that I don’t have any real journal content about sliding down a pole and getting to ammunition. I wasn’t paying close attention to any of that. I wasn’t paying close attention to anything until the spoken word followed closely by the flash of light. I know then that I’ve been awake the whole time. I look at my phone and see 05:37.

The time 5:37 showed up on my radar last fall, maybe last winter. I haven’t mentioned it in the blog, and I won’t mention it again unless it’s really necessary. My kids and I have all been seeing XX:37 regularly for the past few weeks, for what it’s worth. But 5:37 alone has repeatedly stood out to me for the past several months. The fact that it was on the clock immediately after the events of this morning was interesting. The message itself was also interesting. “Right after we said, ‘We’re starting over’…”. That was a clear reference to the dream I had back in January or February, in which dream the voice told me something like, “It’s possible that you can be on a path towards a goal and then get knocked off track due to disobedience. When that happens, you have to start over. That’s what we’re doing now.” I sleepily resolved to go back and find relevant dream recordings and blog posts, to see what “more of the same” might mean.

Later that day I realized that the morning’s message was my first “awake” spoken word since maybe “Wichita Falls, Portland, Long Island,” back in 2013. Momentous.

I had lunch with my friend DC, who tried to get me in touch with “Man”, from the very first post on this blog. We hadn’t seen each other since Christmas Day 2016, when another friend gave me the “worthy and desirable” message. DC and I did a lot of catching up at lunch. For my part I shared the highs and lows of all that had transpired since mid-December. We left our visit with a good understanding of how we could effectively pray for one another.

I am driving through a neighborhood that has empty streets. I’m aware that, at some point in the past, the streets had been filled with hundreds of cars. There had been some huge party that has ended. All the party-goers had since left.

I pull into the driveway of a house and get out of the vehicle. The lighting outside is fairly dim, appropriate for dusk or dawn. The ground is covered in soil that looks to be tilled and very rich. There are two earthworms moving rapidly across the top of the soil. They are both moving downhill, leaving trails in the dirt as they travel. I wish that I could show my kids the unusually speedy worms.

I go to the front door and attempt to use my key to open the lock. The door is distinctly colored green. I accidentally drop my key, and it falls down into the door. Fortunately there is a retractable covering over a long vertical groove in the door. I pull down the covering and find my key at the bottom of the door. I use the key to open the door and find myself in an entry way that faces yet another door to the house. I hear a voice say something like, “He thought he was SOL, because he believed that he had the only key.” I notice two other keys on the ground, in opposite corners, on the same wall as the first door. Keys are everywhere.

I get inside the house proper and find young versions of my kids and my wife’s kids from her first marriage. Everyone looks to be an age consistent with a time when we were all still living under one roof. We greet each other as if it has been a long time since last we saw each other. WAKE

It’s been weeks since I’ve been able to remember any dreams, so I’m journalling this one. The rich soil; green door; spoken word; abundance of keys; and all the kids make this seem like a significant dream.

DC texted me in the morning and told me he’d been interceding on my behalf and kept hearing (presumably) ((hopefully?)) God say: “My promise to Joe is still on. The deal is still on.” DC didn’t get a sense that ‘the promise’ was necessarily anything to do with me and my fractured family. More about how God was going to use me. DC mentioned a dream and spoken word as well. He didn’t provide any details to that end, and I didn’t ask for any. He did say that it was rare that he would have such a dream as the one that related to my situation.

My thoughts after waking from the green door dream gravitated to the endless feedback loop that had been dominant for a few weeks: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had possibly offered to covenant with me. It was possible that Jesus Himself had defined some terms of the covenant. I’d ultimately failed in meeting my part of any deal, as far as I could tell from what I’d seen in dreams and in real life. This was a crushing burden and disappointment that, by its nature, pretty much required that I keep it to myself; or else be known as really crazy. Mary, Dave at the Office, and now recently DC are the only people with whom I’d gone into any detail about the whole thing.

And then there was possibly some version of starting over, maybe with a new covenant opportunity. Had I lost out on the opportunity to do everything that was originally offered? Was it any of my business? I toyed with the idea of asking God for some clarification. I didn’t ask for clarification. After DC’s encouragement on Wednesday, some of the sting was gone.

That morning I texted DC and asked him to share the details of his dream from the night after our lunch. Here’s a paraphrase of his description:
“We were at a steak restaurant and you were seated on a fancy chair inside a big plywood box, upholstered on the inside (like a coffin?); you had just come in from a car wreck (yours?) but you were ok and laughing and ordering a steak. Then dancing ladies dressed up in steak seasoning costumes came in. One was dressed as an onion, wearing tights; another as a garlic; another as black pepper – silly, but sexy. You were about to eat this fancy steak, presented by the dancing ladies. But you pushed it away and said “I can’t pay for this.” Then I woke up and clearly heard, “God is buying the steak.”

That dream/word preceded DC’s interceding on my behalf and believing God was telling him that “the promise” was still on.

Clearly, things appeared to be escalating out of nowhere. DC’s dream was a curious dovetail off of a couple of my own dreams: the last dream I remember having back in December 2016, regarding the apparent end of potential, was the dream about me having the head-on auto collision with the two black guys. I wasn’t injured in that wreck, according to my dream experience. The final element in that dream had been me trying to get the attention of an apparent authority figure, who ignored me. Maybe it was a “Sixth Sense” kind of thing, where I was dead in the dream, and the guy was ignoring me because I wasn’t really there. Too much speculation, not enough facts.

No matter the car wreck/casket thing, the most important element of David’s experience was the spoken word: “God is buying the steak.”

A full day after DC told me these details, I am further relieved about the situation. By way of summarizing what I know and believe:

I know that much has been prophesied about me.

I believe that the prophecies were originally supposed to have come to fruition by now.

I believe that God showed me my behavior is what stopped the prophecies from coming to fruition by now.

I believe that God showed me I was going to get another chance at something, despite my blowing it the first time.

I know that I’ve been grieving my failure in such a test of my character, as administered by the Creator of the Universe.

I know that in the past week, after some weeks of apparent radio silence, there have been a number of events that seem to indicate God is again communicating with me.

I believe that God has now spoken directly into this situation via the “paying for the steak” encouragement. Since I couldn’t pay the necessary price to reach the goal He’s got in mind, He’s going to pick up the tab. In that best-case scenario, everything that God intended for me is still available, whenever the time is right.

I know that I’m sick to death of writing about myself and am looking forward to the time when I can write about cool things that happen to other people.

If everything works out such that God finally opens the floodgates through me, I will always know that I didn’t earn any of that via my stalwart character. It will be due to God’s generosity despite my shortcomings; generosity that seems determined to get me involved in some amazing things. I do not know why He is so determined. I am humbled beyond words, even on this side of Whatever It Is.

April 30, 2017
Woke up early and had pre-dawn breakfast. Finished the blog post about 2013, more or less. I accidentally posted the almost-completed entry and went back to bed. As I was dozing off, I had some unmemorable and unconscious train of thought going through my head. The whole deal crashed into the inside of my skull when I heard in my spirit, “He wants you to have these things, Joe.” Full stop. The words had been seamlessly woven into whatever innocuous thing was going on in my thoughts. Even as I sleepily assessed the situation, I already couldn’t remember what the thoughts had been about. The words stood alone. I haven’t received a “spoken” word in…years, maybe. And now in the span of one week, I have had a couple; and my friend DC had the one about God buying the steak. One might suspect that there’s a loving God somewhere who is interested in me understanding some important point.

I tried to go back to sleep but was too awakened by the surprise message. I couldn’t make myself believe that I’d thought the words on my own. It was a statement addressed to me by name and wasn’t part of my own train of thought. Best case scenario, I’d heard from someone who is closely affiliated with whoever might be in a position to both want me to have “these things” and also have the capacity to dispatch a spirit messenger to let me know of that desire. At minimum, in such a scenario, I’d heard from a dispatched angel. I continually ask God to protect me from demonic attack and deception; and I don’t have any besetting sins that open me up to demonic attack in general. So I figured it was a safe to believe in the best-case possible with this.

I wondered: if God is buying the steak because I couldn’t pay for it myself; and if He wants me to have “these things”, then are we still waiting on anything in particular? Surely not a test of my character, which is now at least four months past failure. His wallet is forever fat; so we’re not waiting on the next paycheck to hit His account. Maybe just His timing. This is nuts. I’d resigned myself weeks ago to not hearing from God at all for the rest of the year. Now we’re back to a near-daily string of encounters. Just like 2013.

Later that morning I went to church. There are some interesting things afoot at Upper Room. The evening services are now dedicated to waiting on God to see what He might decide to do with a roomful of expectant people. The morning service continues on as primarily a teaching service. I attend the morning service. I arrived at about 11am. The first speakers were our missionaries in Croatia. They told the crowd about their mission in that spiritually dark nation. Upper Room has grown by perhaps more than 100% in the past year, so a lot of people in any given service haven’t heard of things like the missionaries in Croatia. While everything was going on, I was aware that I felt different – somehow changed. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I didn’t feel like I usually feel in context of that auditorium. I thought back over the events of the past week, and especially the word from that morning. “He wants you to have these things, Joe.” Could that have been a drop-off? As in, “Here are these things that He wants you to have.” And then those things were given to me and made me physically feel different. I may or may not have asked God to confirm. I can’t remember.

That evening I remembered something that seemed relevant to the “things” riddle. I refer the reader (for the second time in this entry) this post from February 2015. The post documents a wake-up voice, similar to the one that happened on April 30. I’d awakened at 0300 and immediately heard, “Would you like to have these sharp things I keep between the pads of my feet?” “These things”, the voice mentioned in 2015. And another voice mentioned “these things” again in 2017. I’ll harness the power of this word processor and run the two messages together:

“Would you like to have these sharp things I keep between the pads of my feet?”

Two years and two months later…

“He wants you to have these things, Joe.”

That makes some sense, from the standpoint of continuity. I wondered if I’d been given “these things”; and if I had, how would I know? Would it be blasphemous to try and make the weather change, just for the sake of doing it? I didn’t want to take the chance. I definitely felt different, after the morning’s events. I ultimately figured if I’d been given some ability, there would eventually be an opportunity to use it appropriately, in context of love and not just curiosity or demonstration.


Posted in Dreams, Who said it? | Leave a comment

April 2017, pt. 1 – Repentance, Burning Lips, and Covenant

In early April I repented of self-loathing. I recognized that the bitter grudge I’d held against myself since December was no less a toxic sin than if I’d held the same grudge against anyone else. There’s something that always teeters (in my mind) on the edge of self-indulgence and coddling, when it comes to forgiving oneself for one thing or another. I’m hypersensitive to our broader culture’s tendency to excuse any and every thing, short of holding to strict or even casual standards of Judeo-Christian morality. But Christ calls us to forgive; and I know from painful experience the fallout that comes from bearing grudges beyond any reasonable acknowledgement of a wrong done against me or mine. So I did the same prayerful forgiveness routine toward myself that I do in regard to anyone who has become less an object of reasonable anger and more an excuse for corrosive and self-righteous venom.

Life goes on.


The events of March 24 stayed fresh and impossible into April. I’d expected in January and February of 2017 to spend the bulk of the year left to my own devices, eventually hearing from God late in the year or in 2018. March 24 steamrolled all those expectations and left me not only relieved and gratetful, but also expectant and hopeful. I’d pretty much decided beforehand that I’d never feel either expectant or hopeful again. God is such a good Father.

Encouraging as March 24 may have been, I couldn’t help but wonder a whole lot about how March 24 fit in with the dark weeks since mid-December. I believed without a doubt that I had somehow short-circuited or delayed or outright cancelled some great blessing from God, due to my persistent rebellion. March 24 made all that concern appear to be misguided or overblown. Just like that, “Oh, that whole, ‘You blew it!’ thing; that was just a simple misunderstanding.” Something wasn’t adding up. But I was still encouraged enormously, in the midst of confusion.


My lips continued burning in April, in a what I eventually realized was very persistent fashion. The sensation would come and go on no apparent schedule; but it was with me a lot. There were a couple of remarkable instances in which I did make a connection between my lips burning and then not burning, relative to my own actions. Before my three-day April fast, as one example, I’d eaten a normal diet for several weeks, with the exception that I’d abstained from sugary stuff like candy, ice cream, and cookies. My lips were really lit up and just blazing away for many days before and the during the three-day fast. I broke my fast on a Saturday. I forget what actual food I ate to do the breaking – something standard like a banana and a hard-boiled egg. Not too long afterwards, I ate a couple of pieces of dark chocolate. Within the hour, I noticed my lips had grown starkly cool. If it was instructive to see a possible connection between this new hotspot and my eating habits, it was frustrating to realize that said new hotspot was apparently ringing in a new “opportunity” to give up something that I’d really rather not.

The first round of hotspots, from 2009 to 2016, would go away when I masturbated. We know all about that, at this point. And now there was a new hotspot that would evidently go away when I ate sweets. It appeared God was telling me to give up sweets. Or cut way back on my intake. Something like that. I couldn’t tell for sure. It wasn’t the first time that I’d been down that road with Him; I’ve certainly blogged about it before. Throughout April I struggled against this perceived limitation. Why did there have to be another hotspot thing? Sweets? I know for a fact that I was eating sweets with varying degrees of regularity during the 2009-2016 timeframe, and it never had any impact on the hotspots back then. That’s what was bugging me the most in April. God was evidently changing the rules on me. That which was once not linked to a hotspot and any clear suggestion to Quit Doing That was now so linked. (Of course, as I type these words, I’m reminded that the masturbation hotspot didn’t flare up until I’d been doing that whole thing for close to thirty years.) I was back to chafing at God’s direction to stop something that gave me comfort apart from Him.


I spent some time in mid-April digging through forgotten drawers, either keeping or trashing whatever I found. In one drawer was a collection of school works that had survived similar purges in the past. One spiral notebook contained class notes from my Survey of the Bible course in college. It was, along with Biblical Archaeology, one of the few classes in college that I truly enjoyed; although I was already (by the time of taking that course) headlong into confirmed rebellion against God. I wouldn’t come to my spiritual senses for another fifteen fairly tragic years.

On the inside cover of the pink Writeright spiral notebook, I found the hastily scrawled name and phone number of friend of mine from high school who also attended the same university. I couldn’t remember if we had the survey class together, and I had no recollection of her writing in my book. I recognized the three-number phone exchange prefix as one being nearly ubiquitous back in that college town. What a simpler telecom existence, in all possible ways. I found out by bored internet stalking of various old acquaintances a couple of years ago that my friend had died of cancer not long before my search. She’d evidently become quite a celebrated and loved teacher in her professional years, judging from the deluge of sentiment from past and present students. Much of the online memorializing made mention of her strong Christian faith; so I look forward to visiting with her again on the other side, where universal suckage like cancer and death are yesterday’s news.

I settled into my easy chair and took one cursory pass through the pages of the notebook, front to back. Most immediately remarkable was the discovery of doodles I could remember making some thirty years back. One fairly sophisticated drawing was a top-down view of me at my drum kit. At the collegiate stage of my life it was going to be drums or nothing that got me through the rest of my years. I had no hope in anything other than a volcanic passion to play music, along with a percussive style to match. College classes were a necessary evil to occupy my time between gigs which would eventually (or else) lead to my career as a rock drummer, beholden to no one.
That scenario never quite played itself out.

I was curious in April 2017 as to how much content from that class, subject as it was to rote memorization at the time, was an easy part of my 21st Century Biblical body of knowledge. I’m always interested in testing myself on Bible content, more so than any other bunch of stuff that I might challenge. I think it has something to do with my old perceptions of the Bible versus current understanding. When I was younger, and especially before the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to truth in scriptures, the Bible was nothing more than an incomprehensibly dense mass of names, facts, fables, and rules. Immediately after my flashbulb transformation back in 2003, the Bible was suddenly a key to life as I’d never imagined it. I couldn’t get enough of reading it. Even the Old Testament. No lie. Fourteen years after that comprehensive and instantaneous remodeling of me, I still find the Bible to be filled with purposeful form and eternal hope, instead of shapeless confusion and tedious regulations.

One more time through the notes, this time focusing on the class content. I was pleased to find that, yes, I did now know pretty much everything that I used to not. The exceptions to that rule tended to be history of ancient civilizations and related cultural context. Our professor was a Biblical archaeologist, so he was a great fount of such perspective. One thing did catch my attention as I read through the Old Testament notes – our professor had heavily emphasized the concept of covenant, in terms of God’s relationship with the ancients. I could vaguely remember sitting in class and hearing him make the point over and over that God would establish covenants with the ancients. He really hammered that point. Back in the day, I had no context for or real interest in the concept of covenant. Covenant was among many words that I had learn well enough to pass a class. But I didn’t really dial into the concept of “You do this; and I’ll do that.” I didn’t dial into it thirty years ago, that is; but the way the professor had highlighted the covenant-ing nature of God thirty years ago definitely reverberated in my April 2017 reading.

This is taking way too long to set up. The point is, it took browsing back through that old notebook to clue me in to the possibility that God had been offering for several years to covenant with me. Maybe “Do not satisfy yourself” wasn’t just a disembodied suggestion, aiming to get me more squared away with the Lord ‘just because’. Maybe all the consistent prophetic encouragements about great things to come were likewise born of a greater purpose than I’d imagined to date. One realization that slowly dawned on my over the previous eight years was that, IF all this stuff was real, and IF it came to pass, it would be absolutely huge. Biblical, even. A covenant opportunity wouldn’t be out the realm of possibility, in context. And if the Creator of the Universe had been graciously and patiently offering to covenant with me, while I’d been fighting Him about whether or not I should continue to beat off…the mind boggles at the waste of opportunity.
Lotta speculation. But it’s worth considering. Anyway, here’s the blessed end of the college notebook section.

Posted in Hot Spots | Leave a comment

March 2017: Security, Cash, and The Return of Joseph

(I thinned out the content of this post on July 14, 2017.)

((And then I edited the post for improved clarity on September 9, 2019.))

One afternoon in early March, I was walking home from work. I saw White Car Guy out at his usual observation post. In early March there was much speculation regarding the future of one Tony Romo, who had long quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys. I took an educated guess that WCG and I could talk Cowboys, if nothing else. I smiled and waved to WCG, and he responded in kind. I figured there was no better time than the present and no easier means of breaking the ice. “What are they going to do about Romo?” I called out. And we were off. We talked Romo, Cowboys, Dallas history, apartment history, family lives, and so on. We talked for a good twenty minutes. It was a crash course, of sorts. I left the conversation with a new friend.

During the church service today, the pastor asked all of us who needed healing prayer to stand. I stood. Our pastor requested that those around us who were not standing should lay hands on us and pray. Vince Corcoran was sitting behind me. He got up and came around the chairs. We greeted each other, and he asked me what I needed prayers for. I told him I had a laundry list but that the big issues were my shoulder and the spermatocele. Vince told me the first healing he’d ever participated in was for testicular cancer. Encouraging.

For purposes of convenience and socially acceptable laying on of hands, Vince decided to focus on my shoulder. I showed him my limited range of motion. He prayed for me for a minute or so, until our pastor instructed everyone to take a break and check for any improvements. I hadn’t felt anything during the prayer, which didn’t necessarily mean anything. I checked for any change in my range of motion and immediately noticed a slight difference. Maybe. I hesitated to embrace or celebrate any change so slight; I’m extremely aware that some perceived healings are nothing more than imaginations based on suggestibility and wishful thinking. Do not want.

We had one more round of prayer, after which I didn’t notice any improvement. I took a turn on the microphone and told the room that I thought there had been some amount of healing and that I was ready to have more. I left church aware that not all healing takes place immediately.

That night in my sleep I moved in some way sufficient to make my shoulder pop loudly. I was jerked awake by the sound of that bone moving into a better place than it had been. I praised God and fell back asleep. Fully awake the next morning, I found I had a remarkably improved range of motion. Not so much that I’d call it healed. But it was much better. Two shoulder healings within two months. Thank you, God!

My lips started burning again. I hadn’t had the hot sauce in a few weeks. So the lip thing was definitely a hot spot.

Grief was noticeably diminishing by this time. In place of the waning grief were resignation and acceptance. I was officially broken more than I’d ever been before, without a doubt. But my feet were less made of lead, by now, and facing each new day wasn’t a burdensome reinvention of some forsaken wheel. I was hanging on to “worthy and desirable.” My shoulder was much improved, and I figured the new hotspot had to mean something. God was apparently giving tangible evidence that we were starting over – new plan, new hotspot, new whatever.

I even came to peace with something that had been driving me nuts for a while: assuming “we” are starting over, how would I know what to do and when to do it? I felt stranded and alone; ill-equipped to do anything at all, much less reboot a process of the magnitude and apparent complexity of that which has been fodder for several years’ worth of blog posts. Not only that, but there was also a nagging question of whether I was still Joseph in prison. If I had ever been a modern-day Joseph in a metaphorical prison, then there was a decent chance that I was now going to be stuck in that prison for the rest of my life. Such a thing wouldn’t be the end of the world, since I’ve probably got no more than twenty to thirty years left on this side. But still, in such a scenario I would likely live every second of the remainder of my life filled with regret.

Enter God’s mercy, by which He showed something important. I “realized” at some point today that all three of the people who had given me “Joseph” encouragements in 2010 and 2015 had some interesting commonality: prior to the respective incidents in which they each dropped the Joseph word on me, I (mostly) hadn’t known the people at all. The only exception was the guy at Upper Room who actually did his Joseph thing on the second of two consecutive Sundays in which he spoke to me, which were the first two times I’d ever seen him. And I’ve never seen him since then, for what it’s worth.

Also, in each Joseph instance, the people offering the Joseph word were making an unsolicited contribution to the fund, so to speak. I hadn’t asked for any such thing, and I wasn’t looking for it at all, in any of the three encounters. The closest any of the three had to being a response to my inquiry was Charles Slagle, in February 2010. I had approached him as a total stranger, wanting him to pray prophetically over me. I didn’t really even know what I was asking for; I just knew that I was miserable and that any encouragement would be welcome. “Joseph” got started on that day.

The summary realization of that previous paragraph is: “God will tell me what He wants me to know, when He wants me to know it.” Just like He has done so many times in the past. I don’t need to worry about the “what” and the “when”. I don’t need to worry about whether I’m still Joseph. I simply need to relax into the uncertainty of the present and know that He will provide info on an as-needed basis. Easier said than done, for sure. But it is something that allows me a smidgen of control, this intentional surrender to God’s timing of my expectations.

“You: here, now. Me: no plans, no expectations.”


I am taking a walk during lunchtime at work. For the first time I speak these words out loud to God: “You will tell me what You want me to know, when You want me to know it.” It’s not a command, of course, but a comfortable acknowledgement of a truth that I know from experience. It is a comforting thing, to know that the Creator will let me know when it’s time to know something new. If waiting is often a grind, He is always generous and faithful. Speaking the words one time out loud doesn’t do justice to the peace He brings. So I say it again. “You will let me know what You want me to know, when You want me to know it.” I am amazed by Him, even as I speak the words. I finish the walk and my work day.

I leave work early, because I’d come in early that morning. Walking home at an odd time of day, I’m struck by the unfamiliar position of the sun. The automobile traffic has a different flow than it does during my typical walk home. The unusual circumstances make for a “new” feel to things. Fifteen minutes into my walk, I turn off the main sidewalk, onto the property of our apartment community. There are several people in front of me, walking their dogs. There are other people out in the athletic fields, in the volleyball sand, and in the driving range enclosure. The dog-walkers in front of me stop so their dogs can do dog things with each other. I pass them.

Spring is definitely in the air, and some portion of the grinding regret of the previous four months just falls right off me. I feel like I’m on sudden vacation. I tell God, “I feel like I’m on sudden vaca…” and then I notice something unusual on the path in front of me. There is money on the path. Money is never on the path. However, there it is, right there. My brain is jarred a bit by the image of United States currency on the walking path, where it has never been before. I scan my immediate surroundings. There’s no one within fifty feet of me. I squat down and scoop up the bills from the asphalt walkway. My mind struggles to adjust to this alien reality, even as I count one hundred and eleven dollars. Two $50’s, one $10, and one $1. Clearly, 111 is a good-sized chunk of 1111; and 1111 had been a player for quite some time.

I have the presence of mind to laugh and suggest to God that $1111.00 would have been an even more prophetic amount of cash. But the most important thing is, NO WAY did I just find one hundred and eleven dollars on the walking path. Yes way, indeed I did, even though I’ve walked thousands of miles on that path over the past seven years without ever finding any money. The sense of sudden vacation is not diminished in the least by the likewise-sudden discovery of cash.

I continue walking and taking assessment of the money situation. It’s too perfect. One hundred and eleven dollars? Come on. I consider the distinct possibility that God will soon present me with a chance to give that money to someone else. I resolve to not get too attached to the money. I am planning to attend a church small group that evening, for the first time since April of 2016, when the guy gave me the “kicking through walls” prophetic encouragement. I imagine a scenario in which someone at the meeting announces a need for one hundred and eleven dollars for something or other. I plan to take the money to the group and give it to whoever has such a need. We’ll all have a cool God story to tell.

By the time I’ve come to quick terms with giving the money away, I’m rounding the bend down past the tennis courts and towards the first of two large ponds. It’s early yet on a Friday afternoon; but the park area is busy with people walking dogs, baby strollers, and young children. A couple of lingering Canada geese stand in stark contrast to the usual mallard and Muscovy ducks. These two geese are stretching out their winter visit longer than usual; their dozen or so companions have already flown back north. Diagonally across the pond and up into the visible parking lot, I see White Car Man, leaning against said car and taking in the afternoon sights. I’ve got plenty of time before I need to leave for the church group; so I head over his way.

When I’m close enough to him, I call out his name and wave. He waves back and returns the greeting. We begin what turns into another lengthy conversation. Our talk at one point turns to the topic of White Car Man’s employment. Turns out he’s indirectly affiliated with one aspect of the whole Dallas Cowboys/Seattle Seahawks scene. When he tells me his job, I continue casually talking and listening, all the while some big chunk of my mind begins almost frantically reflecting with a giant eyeball behind a magnifying glass on the potential Cowboys-Seahawks dream reference. That same big chunk of my mind is pretty incredulous. Within weeks of having the dream and deciding there’s a chance that God is sending me to that game, I’m discovering that White Car Man, THE White Car Man, is a possible player in that world. It should be tiresome by now to think or say or type, “No WAY.” But things keep happening to prompt such a response

The cumulative affect of finding the money and then hearing what it is that WCM does for his own money significantly challenges my orientations to person, place, and time. WCM and I finish our conversation and I continue on my walk home. I can’t decide if this day has really become as weird as I think it has. It feels like one long God encounter, lasting the entirety of my walk across the expansive grounds of this apartment world. In the parking lot of my own complex, I spy a lone penny on the ground. Normally, I’ll stop and pick up a loose penny, if only to check and see if it’s an old solid copper one worth saving for the metal value. On this day, flush with $111 sudden dollars in my pocket, I coolly breeze past the hapless cent, leaving it to whatever fate might befall it there on the concrete. (Only days later, at the prompting of Dave From the Office, will I realize that God did indeed give me 1111 that day; only with a different decimal placement than I’d suggested upon finding the paper money.) ((UPDATE January 19, 2019 – I just realized today that I got my decimal place wrong. The added penny made my total haul $111.01, not 111.10. Decimal places are important and deserve updates from twenty-one months in the future.))

A couple of hours later I walk the pleasant mile or so to the church small group. I arrive after a few people have already begun setting up for the evening’s dinner. The host introduces me to several new (for me) faces and gives me a tour of his and his wife’s families, via the photos in the kitchen shelves. The small group is established for over a year, so there are some very comfortable relationships in the room. There are a few faces I’ve seen around church before and one in particular that I’ve known personally for a few years. Mostly it’s people whom I do not know and do not know me. There is some pre-dinner visiting, and then we eat dinner in groups around various tables. The group feels like an easy fit for me, and I can easily see myself making this my regular small group home.

After dinner the host/leaders call us all to the living area. We move chairs into whatever configuration will accommodate the group in that end of the room. Once everyone is seated and we’ve had an opening prayer, the leaders ask everyone to share experiences where God has showed up powerfully in their lives. I volunteer a story about how God changed me dramatically in an instant, several years ago, after I’d gotten serious about seeking and offering forgiveness, among other unprecedented acts of humility in my life. I emphasize some of the more striking differences in the person I had been one second before the change, versus the very different person I instantaneously became.

The group leaders offer some feed back, and we prepare to move to the next person. Before anyone else gets started, a young woman interjects something to me. “While you were talking, I got the sense that you’ve been waiting for something. You’re like Joseph in the Bible. You’ve been waiting for something. Don’t give up. It’s going to happen.” She speaks with comfortable authority, and I am appropriately floored by her words. I give her and the rest of the group a brief explanation of my history with Joseph, including a belief that I’d blown whatever promised blessing was supposed to come my way. She says, “I hear God laughing.” She adds something to the effect, “We aren’t powerful enough to derail the plans God has for our lives.” I believe her, and yet I also know what I’ve been living through and experiencing for a few years. Some of my experience has reasonably led me to believe that my actions absolutely have an impact one way or the other on how God deals with me. But most importantly in that moment, there’s this new Joseph encouragement, one year and a couple of weeks after the guy in Ben Gurion Airport.

There’s no way or need for me to convey to the group how nuts this evening is turning out, as a continuation of the already-unreal day in an increasingly unreal life. The focus moves off of me and onto other people who want to share what God has done in their lives. We continue on in group discussion format for another hour or so. Independent of the shocking Joseph business, the whole experience is encouraging and faith-affirming. The husband-and-wife leaders promote authenticity and humility in the room. At the end of the evening, I stop by the new Joseph prophet and thank her for speaking out. “It changed my life,” I tell her in all seriousness. One of the group members drops me off at my apartment, saving me the walk home.


It was not until the next that day that I realized the young Joseph woman’s full name – first and last – is a comical reminder from God that He can effortlessly bring together the most unlikely of elements in the most sudden of encounters, to let everyone within earshot know that He’s in control. Suffice it to state the obvious, He can do anything.

Posted in Gifts of the Spirit, Hot Spots, Joseph | 1 Comment