Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 232 - The Dream

I think that I have written that I hadn’t dreamed about Julia since she died. I know that Lisa has. I think Jennifer has and I know that Biddie, Cathy and some of her other friends have. But I hadn’t. Well, I’ve been asking God to let me dream about her and last night I did. It was a short dream, but very vivid in my memory.

I was somewhere in a strange city. I was early for a meeting and no one was there. Julia was supposed to meet me there. Then I was called back to meet some other people at another place. Well, I got on the Metro (something like MARTA) and went to my destination. But I couldn’t remember how to get back to the meeting place. There were a number of different lines that I could take. All I could remember was the exit number. I was looking at all the lines. They were each a different color. The lines were getting long and I needed to by a ticket. Then I saw her. Julia was standing in the line to go through the turnstile to get into the station. She smiled at me and was glad to see her. I ran up to her and kissed her cheek and asked her which line the destination was on. It’s the green line, she said. I ran off to get my ticket as she said she would wait for me. As I was getting the ticket, I woke up. Of course it WOULD be the GREEN line. I laughed and then went to sleep very peacefully. I know that she is saving me a place and God still has a sense of humor. It was a fun dream; I wish it could have been longer.

Today has been a good day. I spent most of it doing things like laundry. I had a lot to do to catch up. I also watered some plants and got a good run in. Then I spent some time on the computer looking for a motorcycle. I need to get some advice from a couple of friends before I actually buy something. Then tonight John and Biddie came over for “Dinner and a Movie”. Bud and Cathy are in New Hampshire for a birthday. We watched “The Godfather”. Bud and Cathy will have to catch up this week because next week we will watch “Godfather part II”. It looked like next week will be our last Monday night outing for a while. School starts the next Monday night. It’s been a fun thing to do over the past few weeks. I will miss it, but I’m also looking forward to school starting back.

As I look back on my dream last night, I am very thankful to have it. Julia was there is life. It was just like talking to her here in the house. At the same time, we can’t live in the past. She said she would wait for me, and I know that she is. I’m sure that I will dream of her in the future, but this first dream was almost like a first date; except I didn’t have to ask her to marry me. : > ) Who knows, maybe I’ll dream again tonight. But if I don’t, that’s OK too.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 231 - I Passed!

Well, it was another full day of riding, braking, swerving, turning and tight radius slow U turns on the range again. We started on the range riding at 8AM and practiced all of what I just said until about 3:30. Then we took the riding test. It started off with the figure 8 in the narrow box that I talked about. The one rule on the test was if you fell on the bike you were through, out, done. Everything else was a matter of doing the technique properly. Points would be deducted for going outside the area. Well, I had done much better practicing in the box during the day, but it was still my hardest maneuver to master. So I decided just to do the technique right and try to stay in the box, but above all be safe and not fall. So I went out of the box some and I knew points would be deducted. But I also knew that I could do everything else very well. So after the riding test was over I did very well and was really happy to have it over. Fortunately all nine of us passed. Sam, our instructor said that we were an above average class.

Then we came in and finished some review of the written test. There were 50 questions and we had to make an 80. Most of the questions I knew the answer to immediately. I think there were three where I gave an educated guess. I guessed right and made 100. So all in all it was a very satisfying day. This course was definitely very through and a lot of work. But it was a lot of fun, just like Sam said it would be.

So here is my dilemma. I have a great foundation on which to build on. This course taught me so much about riding and safety. I never knew that riding could be so involved. But in order to build on this foundation, I need to start riding. The longer I wait, the rustier I become. My next ride will be on the streets, not in the safety of the course. That was emphasized to us over and ever again this weekend. I guess that I will start looking for a used bike to start riding on. Of course I would love a Harley Davidson, but it all depends on what price I can find one for. So I guess I will call some of my friends and have them start looking for me and just see what comes up.

I missed church today and I really regret missing. I was thinking while I was going to school about the process of learning. I instruct pilots on the 737. We take new pilots and train them how to fly. We do it in a very similar way to the way they ran this school this weekend. First we start off with the basics, like how to start the engines, what system works when. How do you taxi and then take off? We teach them all that and then build on it with all the emergency procedures and abnormal flying. So we start with basic building blocks and then build on those until we can do very advanced maneuvers. That is exactly what we did this weekend on the motorcycle course. This is the way most operational training courses are run. We didn’t spend all weekend learning about a motorcycle fuel pump. We don’t care as long as it runs.

So why do most churches and seminaries or bible colleges spend so much time in the theoretical. There is very little hands on training. Most of the training is about understanding how the scriptures were written, who wrote them and why. Most bible studies spend a lot of time talking, but very little time actually doing. There are no basic building blocks to learn how to bring the Kingdom of God down to the earth. They never get to any of the advanced “maneuvers” like healing, deliverance or prophecy. Our small group is about to begin a study on the book of Acts. There is a lot of nice information in the material, but if we don’t get the basics and them begin to add to them until we are doing the stuff, we will have failed. This study is not to increase knowledge. Sure we can always learn, but knowledge is not the key. No the key is to experience God in such a way that you are forever changed and then you go out and change your part of the world. That is our goal this year.

Think about the church in the New Testament. Paul would go to a city and begin to bring people to Jesus through the Gospel of the Kingdom. Then he would stay and teach for a few months. After that he would pick a couple of men to be elders in the community and to lead the church in the city. Did these men know the scriptures back and forth? I doubt it because most of them were gentiles. There was no New Testament and the Old Testament was in the synagogue. So all these men had was the Holy Spirit to guide and teach them. I’m all for Bible reading, but if we think that Bible Studies will keep us on track, I am afraid that we might be off track a little. The key element that we should be working with, and that we are working with is hearing and obeying Holy Spirit.

I guess that is what I so liked about first yeat at BSSM and I know that second year will be more of the same. They teach using the building block method. Iti is more of an operational approach than a theroritical approach. Maybe that’s why I’m there, to help activate new Kingdom seekers. Afterall Jesus did say to “seek first the Kingdom of God….” That is what the school is all about. I’m really looking forward to it. Maybe I can ride my bike down there in good weather some. Now to begin the bike search.

Day 230 - Two Down And One To Go

I apologize, for some reason; probably operator error or some technical difficulty Saturday nights blog didn’t get posted. This is my entry for Saturday August 28. 2010. Tonight’s blog will be posted later. Blessings, Tom

The good news for me is that I feel better tonight than I did last night. I’ve run 14 Marathons and I don’t know how many half marathons and I can’t remember feeling as bad as I did last night. I was totally exhausted both physically and mentally. When you are trying to learn rules and new motor skills while balancing on two wheels in 90 plus weather for hours, it takes it out of you. To be honest, at the end of the session last night I was wondering what in the world I was doing. Sure it was exciting, but I was sure tired. But I did get a good night’s sleep.

Today was much better than yesterday. We started on the range at 8AM while it was still cool. We were on the range until 3PM with a lunch break included. That means we were learning and riding for over six hours. That’s a long time in training. It really didn’t start getting hot until after 11AM, and it never was as hot as it was yesterday. We were all drinking PowerAde and Gatorade at every break to stay hydrated. Although the exercises were much harder today and the skill set that was required was much more detailed, I did much better. I was wrong in the fact that I thought we would review. We didn’t. We just started off on a new module first thing. I really picked up better than I left off yesterday. I must have been really tired yesterday afternoon.

Most of the day went very well. We were doing weaving through cones; ninety degree turns between cones, simulating driving in very slow traffic. Then we spent time shifting up and down going fast, breaking and practicing maximum breaking. All that was pretty good and the day was going great then we had the exercise that pretty much ate my lunch. We had a box, probably about 60 – 70 feet long and around 30 feet wide. In that box we were supposed to drive in, make a u turn, cross over and make another u turn then exit the box. So it really was like a figure eight in the box. Then we drove to a sharp S curve and then to a very sharp and narrow 90-degree turn. Then we entered and crossed the range and did it again on the other side in the opposite direction. It’s to learn to maneuver in close quarters. The hard part is staying slow enough and counterbalancing in the turns to stay in the box. If you get two slow, you stall out, too fast and you can’t stay in the box. Well, we get to practice it again tomorrow. I didn’t stay in the box a single time. I came close some, so maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to do it. The rest of the exercise was hard, but I was able to do it pretty good. Anyway, tomorrow we have the test and I feel pretty good if I can just continue to improve it should be OK.

The last part of the afternoon was spent in the classroom going over the handbook and discussing various safety factors and how to avoid excess risk. Obviously, riding a motorcycle has more risk involved than riding a car. You can’t avoid all the risk, but you can reduce them significantly by doing the things that we are learning in class. I guess the question everyone who rides a motorcycle has to ask themselves is this: Is the risk worth the rewards of riding? That’s why I really wanted to take this course so that I could truly evaluate whether I wanted to take the risk or not. What I’m learning shows me that I can ride safely and avoid much of what could happen. Does it take away all the risk? Of course not. Am I willing to accept the risk, knowing that I will do everything in my power to be a safe rider? Yes, I think so.

So, tomorrow I will find out how good I am, and hopefully I will get the certificate that will give me my license. I’m glad I took this course. It is really one of the most challenging things I have done in years, both mentally and physically. So, two down and one to go. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 229 - Fun and Work

Fun and work; those two words don’t normally go together. Some of us are lucky enough to enjoy our jobs, bur most of the time we still don’t call our work fun. I was surprised this morning when our instructor wrote these words up on the white board. First he wrote the word Fun. We will have fun, he said. That’s what riding motorcycles is all about. Why else would you buy one and ride it if it wasn’t fun. But then he wrote to word work right under it. But in order to get to have even more fun, you are going to have to work. These next three days will be hard work, but they will be fun. Well, day one is in the books and so far he is absolutely right. It is fun, but it’s an awful lot of work.

We start at 8AM and finish at 6PM and we barely had 30 minutes for lunch. Today we spent all morning in the classroom. It was very enlightening. We talked about risk and risk management. We talked about how to maintain a margin of safety around you and many other thought provoking subjects including protective clothing and the proper type of helmets. Then we started learning about the primary and secondary controls of a motorcycle. I’ve never flown a helicopter, but I have heard that it is very different from flying an airplane because you use both hands and feet to do so many different things. When you fly an airplane, you use one hand for the throttles, one for the yoke (or controls) and both feet on the rudder and the brakes. Riding a motorcycle is vey similar. The right hand you use for the throttle and the front brake. You use the left hand for the clutch. The right foot is used for the rear brake and the left foot is used for shifting gears. So, today was primarily concerned with learning the functions of each and doing some coordination exercises.

Sounds easy, but using different muscle groups and coordinating al the parts is not easy. In fact it’s pretty tricky. At the same time we are on a little track where we don’t’ have very long straight runs. Anyway, I’m progressing, and as an instructor I know that I shouldn’t expect to be perfect on day one. However, I really need to see progress tomorrow. I’m sure that I will, because we are going to be outside on the range almost all day tomorrow. There should be review in the morning to reinforce what we have learned, then we will build on what we have learned. I know the drill; it’s a very similar approach to teaching someone to fly airplanes. The difference with a motorcycle is that you are part of the machine. Every move you make affects the way the machine moves.

By the end of the day today, I felt like I had been on a horse for 5 hours. I guess straddling that seat and using all these muscle groups that I haven’t used really took their toll. Then about five minutes ago, both of my legs started cramping up. So, I am eating a banana and drinking PowerAde as I continue to write. I think I will take some Advil when I finish this and get to bed early. I’m glad I don’t do the age thing. This course is not for someone who is old. One of the men today got too hot and almost passed out. After we cooled him off, he had to drop out. The instructors were afraid he might get worse if he stayed. I guess my running 5 miles in 90-degree weather three times a week helped prepare me for this course. I don’t feel comfortable on the bike yet, but I do feel more comfortable than I did when I started. I’m sure that when I finish the course I will definitely feel comfortable. If I do, I need to keep riding. I can see that I can’t take six months off and just pick up what I learned. Well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I was thinking about Julia this morning. We all had to go around the room saying something about ourselves. Different people were talking about their spouses and kids. The instructor happens to be a very smart man who was really riding this guy for wearing a Ga Bulldog shirt. So I just focused on my going to Tech and retiring from Delta. I was glad that I didn’t have to say anything else, and that no one asked me. I think Julia is OK with what I’m doing. I never pushed riding when we were married because she was afraid of motorcycles, but I bet if I had, she would have said “OK, but only if you take a training course.” So, I think she is smiling and saying that if I want to work that hard for something, go ahead. Anyway, over 90% of all the people in motorcycle accidents have never had any formal training. So, I am way ahead of the curve. Things will be good tomorrow. Hopefully it won’t be so hot though.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 228 - The Adventure Begins

It was another short night last night. But I did get a power nap in this afternoon, so I am feeling pretty good. Tonight was another Night of Healing Prayer at RiverStone. It was as much fun as always. It’s always fun when you are used by Him to release healing and hope to the sick and hopeless. This is really what life is all about. Whether it’s praying for the homeless and feeding them lunch or praying for someone at Wal-Mart of at church it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am in His will co laboring with Holy Spirit to bring down heaven on earth. Tonight was a time of praying, declaring and releasing the Kingdom of God upon the earth right here at RiverStone. It was a time of releasing the love of the father and bringing hope into situations that have no hope otherwise.

I was able to work this morning and then spend some good quality time with my Dad after work. It was a blessing just to be able to talk and share our hearts together. I know that my blog has allowed him a window into my heart that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible, and I am blessed that we can connect on an even deeper level. I am in the “calm before the storm.” I finished work this morning and I don’t work again until the 2nd of September. Starting tomorrow and going until Sunday evening I have the Motorcycle course up in Cartersville. It should be fun, and hopefully I will do all right. I go see Lisa next weekend, and then work, school and travel all pick up. Counting my days in Norfolk, I will be out of town about 14 days this month. That means I will be in town 16 days and I work 14 of those days and I start school and outreach three days a week. Yes, busy is not even close. But I am so excited and sooo ready for school.

Tonight I got an email from the guy at the cemetery that handles the grave markers. We have been working on a monument for Julia’s grave. I’ve basically decided on everything except the wording on the plaque. I’ve changed it three times after getting input from Jennifer and Lisa and other friends. But I think I’ve got it nailed down now. Unless Jenifer or Lisa has any things to add it will read: “ Julia A. Roan. Loving Wife, Mother, Nana and Friend. I think that covers most of the rolls that she played in life. This has been really hard to do, and I will be glad to get it finished. It should be installed in six to eight weeks. I guess I will go see it. So far in the past seven months I have been to the gravesite twice and I had to go work on this marker one of the times. I’m not really into graves or cemeteries at all. I might go there on the anniversary of her death, I just don’t know. She’s not there; it’s a pretty place though. I really have mixed feelings about the whole thing. That’s why I wanted my ashes scattered on a few different locations. Now, I guess I will have at least some of them buried next to Julia since I have that place.

Tomorrow will be an adventure. So will school when it starts. Australia will definitely be an adventure. September is going to be an exciting month. I hope it’s just the beginning of an exciting year. The motorcycle course should be fun, but who knows; I might take up skydiving again. I started it once and had one jump a long time ago. It might be time to pick it up again. I’ll have to see how much fun this course is first. Come back tomorrow and I will talk about day one on the course.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 227 - Poor in Spirit

Well, it’s 9PM and I’m ready for bed. I was up at 3 this morning, and will be up again tomorrow at 3 as well. Today was a good day. I worked and then had a meeting with our church planting network board. We have just sponsored another church planter. Jeff and Amanda are going to plant a church in Woodstock, and I know that it will become a great church. This couple is awesome. Julia and I have been friends with them for a couple of years. We have watched both of them grow up so much in the Lord. It makes me proud to see where they are and what they are doing. I know that Julia is smiling down from Heaven tonight as well. So we should have a church plane officially going in Woodstock maybe by late Spring 2011. It is really exciting to watch Holy Spirit in action.

I was able to get a run in this afternoon. I tried to read a little, but kept falling asleep so I just decided to watch a little TV. While I was running this afternoon, I was listening to a sermon by Bill Johnson. It was on the renewing of our mind. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Romans 12:1. So before we can transform a community, we have to be transformed. That means our minds have to be renewed. But what does that really mean? How do we renew our mind? I think it starts by being “poor in Spirit”. In the beatitudes I think it says that blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. So what does it mean to be poor in Spirit. Bill said, and I agree that it means to be able to know that you are needy and want more without going negative and turning inward in self pity. In other words, you recognize your need and you know that God is the ultimate source of what it is that will fix that need.

Think about it with me for a second. Isn’t it harder to minister to someone who doesn’t think that they have any needs? It’s easy to minister to someone who is so desperate they will try anything. Look in the Bible. The religious leaders missed Jesus because they had no “needs” that they were aware of. They were confident in their own ability and satisfied with their own position. The tax collectors and prostitutes, on the other hand, lived in constant awareness of their needs. They knew that they were sinners, and needed a savior. We need to be aware of our needs, no matter how far we have come. We have to realize that there is always MORE. We have to continue to go after that MORE. We have to be willing to be embarrassed, and be willing to relinquish our positions in order to get that MORE. In other words we have to remain “poor in Spirit” if we are to see the Kingdom of Heaven.

If we ever come to the place where we think we have arrived, we have just quit the race. We must realize that no matter how far we have come, we will never arrive. There is always more to be had, more to find. God wants us to continue to search out the hidden treasures. He desires us to seek after Him. In order to remain poor in spirit, our mind has to continue to be renewed. But what does that mean. I think that the renewing of the mind comes when we begin to realize that we really live from the Kingdom of Heaven down to here. When we begin to see things as He sees them, our mind begins to be renewed. That could mean that we begin to pull heaven down to earth in our everyday circumstances by declaring and binding and loosing.
As we pray we need to bind up on earth the things that are already bound up in Heaven. We begin to loose on earth the things that are loosed in Heaven. Then we need to declare those things that are not yet as if they were. In other words, as we see what should be in the Spirit, we have to begin to speak it into existence here on earth. This is not easy, but it is necessary. As we do it we will fail, but we will also succeed. We will fail less the more we do it. It’s like riding a bicycle. The more you practice, the better you are. We are citizens of another Kingdom. It’s time we learn the language and the currency of that Kingdom and use it to effect change here in this kingdom.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 226 -"Till Death Do Us Part?"

Today I went to Atkins Jewelers in Acworth. I have been thinking about having my wedding band engraved for a few months now. So today I took it in and they engraved the following on the inside: “Tom + Julia 7/11/71 – Forever”. It looks nice. I can feel it and read it if the light is right. If I take the ring off I can feel the engraving with my fingertips when I rub the inside of the ring. But on the outside nothing has changed, it looks just the same. When people see me, they think I’m still married. I think I’m still married. It’s just that Julia is not here. Sometimes it is like she is on a long trip, maybe at the girls. I almost expect her to come through the door back home. But that won’t happen, at least not in this life.

To me the wedding ring has always symbolized commitment. I’ve worn one for so long it is like it’s a part of my hand. Julia always used to get on to me for slipping it on and off my finger. It’s like I was playing with it, and sometimes it did get me in trouble. I cam remember dropping it on the floor in church. Yes, I think I was pretty bored that day. It hit the floor and bounced and rolled about three rows back. It mad a lot of noise. I was more worried about the noise and what Julia was thinking (not good) than I was about getting it back. Everybody heard it, and it was passed back to me rather quickly. I often think of Frodo in Lord of the Rings. He had a hard time with the ring also. But his problem was he wanted to put it on and not taking it off. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t play with it because I wanted to take it off, I just liked to play with it. It is definitely a habit that probably should have been broken years ago. I still find myself playing with it. When people start asking me questions about my wife and I answer them it gets hard. It’s not really hard for me except for watching them squirm. But that is hard. So, I know that someday I will put the ring on a chain around my neck. But then I really will be like Frodo, because I will probably be putting it on instead of taking it off.

A ring also symbolizes infinity. The closed circle goes on and on. And so the ring really symbolizes infinite commitment. And that is where I am. More and more I am coming to despise the phrase in the traditional wedding vows; “till death do us part”. If you are both believers, death doesn’t part anything. Sure, there might be a “long trip” where one of you is out of town for an extended period of time. But in the end you will be reunited. Either Julia or I will someday come walking through the door of eternity and we will be together again. How does that work? I don’t know, and I am certainly not going to speculate. I do know that I have a big God and He can make anything work. I don’t have to think it all out rationally. It will work. So, if my commitment to Julia is forever like I believe it is, what does that mean for me while I’m still here on the earth? How does all this work out? Can I ever remarry or will I stay single for the rest of my life?

Well according to scripture I believe it is perfectly right for me to remarry if I choose to. I know many men, including my dad who has remarried after losing a spouse. I am thankful that my dad remarried. He has been wonderfully blessed. Many other men have been blessed as well. But that doesn’t mean that I have to remarry. I know many others who have chosen not to remarry. So, where am I going with this tonight? Will I ever remarry? Maybe. Will I never remarry? Maybe. Right now my only focus is on my relationship with Papa, Jesus and Holy Spirit. I’m sure that they will guide me in any decision that the future may hold. Of course today I have no desire to remarry. But I know that things change so I am willing to adapt to the perfect will of God in my life. But it will have to be His will, and I will need clear guidance. But even if I did remarry someday, that will never change my love or commitment to Julia. In fact, that commitment would probably only strengthen the commitment that I had for my new spouse.

So, no matter what the future holds, the ring is still symbolic. It’s still a symbol of infinite commitment or commitment forever, there is no “until death us do part”. They ought to take that out of the vows.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 225 - What is Reality?

Tonight we had another “Dinner and a Movie.” Bud and Cathy brought steaks, Johan and Biddie brought salad and rice and I had shrimp for an appetizer. It was a great meal and we watched the Matrix on Blu – Ray. It is at least the 5th time I have seen it, maybe more, but it is a movie that I like to watch periodically. There is so much in this movie. Yes, of course it’s just a movie, but the spiritual truths that are in it, and the prophetic emphasis is unbelievable. So it was good to see it again.

As we live our lives here on earth, until we are redeemed through Jesus, we are walking around thinking that we are living in “reality”. But what is true reality. True reality is eternal life and that begins when we are redeemed. We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to experience eternal life. We can and should experience it now. I am living eternal life now. This body will pass away, but I will get a glorified body. I have to learn to live supernaturally in this natural world. I have to learn that some of nature’s rules can be bent and some can be broken. Isn’t that what Jesus did when He healed the sick? What about when He raised the dead? I bet some rules were broken then. We have to learn to live as Jesus did and do what He did and more. We have been given both the power and the authority. The main problem is in our heads. I have to believe that what He says about me is reality and not what I have learned all my life. That is a shift that we all have to make.

The big question is how do I make the shift? How long is it going to take me to make it? I believe that I just have to keep pressing into Him with more intimacy and love. My heart needs to beat in rhythm with His heart. As our hearts become one, and as I continue to push out and risk, I will begin to make the shift. I can see that for me, I have been shifting, not as quickly as I would like, but there has been movement. So I just need to keep going after more of His presence and also bringing the Kingdom of God down into my environment. I think that it will only take as long as we need it too. Some of us are slow learners and processors. For us, it will probably take longer. For me, I have a lot of religious baggage to overcome, so it will probably take me longer than some. I know that being in school helps me. Just being around other radicals makes me push more than I normally would. The big thing about the school is that there is a concentration of over a hundred people who want so much more, and they are willing to do anything to get it.

So tonight was the culmination of another day off. I was able to get a few things done, but I have more to do tomorrow. I was able to get to the Y for a workout. Tomorrow I will get a run in, either at the Y or outside depending on the time of day and the temperature. I guess I am about as rested as I have been in a long time. So it’s time to be more intentional about trying to bring the Kingdom of God down here on earth. That’s the only way we will see true reality until we cross over to the heavenly realm.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 224 - Time in the Swing

Today was a nice relaxing day. I really haven’t had one of those in a while. I got up and went to 9AM church. Both Tom and Daniel were out of town, but worship was still good and so was Mark’s sermon. Then I went to Costco and got a few groceries. I bought a case of paper towels. That will probably last me six months. I am amazed at how little paper products I use without any women in the house. When Julia and the girls were with me, I used to say I was going to invest in the paper companies, because we kept them in business and making good money. After I got home and fixed lunch, I edged the lawn and cut the grass. I’ve been very fortunate and blessed with the rain showers this week, I know that they have been hit and miss, but I had over an inch in my rain gage from last night. That means I got over three inches of rain since Friday. I was glad the lawn had dried out enough to cut it. It looks pretty good, but someone needs to pull weeds. I guess I’ll try to do that tomorrow.

I was hot after mowing the lawn, but I really wanted to run. I didn’t get to run on Friday or Saturday. So, I got ready and went to Bentwater. I ran pretty good although very slow, for the heat. It was 91 with a heat index of 100. I did wind up walking the last one half mile because of the heat. I didn’t want to overdo it. But it was still good. After I got home, I tried to watch a movie, but it wasn’t any good. So I went outside to check out the temperature. Although it was still pretty hot, there was a nice breeze. It looked nice and shady down by the swing. I had been looking at the swing the other day, realizing that I hadn’t been down there in a while. So I got something cold to drink, a book and I went down to the swing. It was very nice and very refreshing. I sat down there for over an hour reading. The birds were flying around the feeder and a nice breeze was blowing. It was a good time. I did miss Julia’s presence, but I know that she was there watching me enjoy the late afternoon. As I was sitting there, I was looking around the back yard to see if there was any place level enough to build a Bocce Ball court. It would be a great place to have one, and I know that it would be a good game to play. Looking around, there might be one place. I’ll have to get the measurements of a court and see if it would work. If it will then I will have to decide if I really want to build it. I’m not really sure. Right now it is just a random thought.

I’ve got the next couple of days off. Although I have a couple of meetings and lunch engagements, I plan on relaxing and running. This is the calm before the storm. School starts on the 12th of September. Starting Friday I will have motorcycle lessons at the Harley Davidson Dealer in Cartersville. So all weekend from 8AM till 6PM I will be busy. Then the next weekend I will go to Norfolk to see Lisa and the girls. So these next few days are really my last time to just relax for a while. So I want to get caught up on the laundry and housework. I need to do some weeding and I definitely need some time just sitting out on the deck in the early morning, drinking coffee and reading. I’ve got one moe book to read before school. I just found out about it today, so I ordered it through Amazon. It should be here on Wednesday. It is by Jack Frost. It’s about going from Spiritual Servanthood to Spiritual Sonship. It should be a good book. I’m sure it will be a fast read.

Emotionally and spiritually I think that I am doing pretty good. I have come to look at all the good memories that I have with Julia, and not just her loss. I know mentally and emotionally that there is no going back or staying in one place. I have to move forward, and I am. I am excited about the future, and about this year in particular. This year is key to what lies ahead. School has taken on even more importance to me. I feel that it will help define my remaining years and right now that is critical. When I chose a college, that defined a sertain parameter of courses I my life. I feel that this year in school is just as important. I must remember to push myself out into areas that are outside my comfort zone, so that I can see what my new comfort zone becomes. It is exciting, but it will be challenging. I really can’t wait. I mean, here I am at my age as eager as a young schoolboy. Papa must have something good in store for me. The good thing is I know that I have an extra cheerleader in heaven cheering me on. Thanks Honey!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 223 - July in Toronto, Part II

Before I go back to the story, I just have to tell about part of my day. I spent the afternoon with an Outreach team from Bethel Atlanta at “the Safe House” in downtown Atlanta. We went around woodruff and Hurt parks talking to anyone we could talk to, mostly homeless men and women. We invited them over to the Safe House on Ellis street, and we cooked about 280 hamburgers. We fed them, talked with them, played games with them and also got to pray for them. We had a foot washing station where they could get their feet washed and a new pair of socks. I was there for about three hours. It was a blessing to see Jesus at work on the streets of Atlanta. I know that I will be going back many times this year. This is a great ministry and it is great to be able to help out. Now back to the story.

As my memory serves ne, the second night went a little smother, but not much. Worship wa so good, and the preaching was better. The ministry time was unbelievable. I did get prayer, and so did Julia. Neither of us had any thing “weird” happen to us. I just remember a deep sense of God’s peace spread all over me. We were supposed to stay for another night, but the girls really wanted to go home early, and I could tell that Julia was ready too. Normally in this situation I would agree, and we would just leave to go back to Atlanta a day early. We had to fly standby anyway, and it was always better to try early incase you didn’t make it. But I really felt in my spirit that there was so much more for me here in Toronto. I was so afraid that if I left, I would really miss it. Later I realized how right I was. Often it takes at least three nights for someone who first comes into a move of the Spirit to be able to receive. You are like a sponge that is totally dry. When the sponge is so dry, that the first time water is poured onto it, the water just runs off. Then the next time, a little is soaked up and the sponge becomes more pliable. The next time, the sponge is able to soak up all the water that it can possibly receive. We found out that this is how it is many times in revival.

Anyway, Julia was not very happy we were staying and neither were the girls. If I remember correctly, they stayed back at the hotel on the third night when Julia and I went to the service. I was desperate. I know that it was my last night, and I felt that I hadn’t received what it was I came to get. All night during the worship and the preaching, I was just crying out to God for more of Him. I had to have more. As ministry time started, I made my way to as close to the front of the room as possible. I don’t even remember where Julia was. I was so desperate; I forgot about her and was just concentrating on Him. I cam remember standing there just asking God to either fill me up and give me all He had for me, or just kill me right there in the spot. I really didn’t want to go on without all that He had for me.

I really don’t know how long I stood there but it was a long while. A couple of teams had prayed for me, but I was still there waiting. I had my eyes closed, and then I began to see a lion. It was coming closer and I could tell that it was the Lion of Judah. As it came close to me, it began to roar over me. I think that I began shaking violently. The next thing I remember, I was down on the floor shaking uncontrollably. Then I found myself roaring at the top of my lungs. I don’t know how long this went on. I remember Carol Arnott bending over me holding my legs asking for a double portion, and I remember feeling waves of electricity coursing through my body. I was in terrible pain, I was embarrassed, but it felt sl good that I didn’t want to stop. I felt the Holy Spirit say to me that this was what I came for, and just to go with it and receive. I was probably on the ground for close to an hour befre I got the strength or the will power to move. During that time I know that God was doing some major work in my life. As I look back, I have never been the same again. His love was so real and fresh. My love for others was intensified so much. I was just so refreshed and yet so tired. I had forgotten all about Julia. When I got up, I went looking for her. I really wanted to share with her what had happened.

Remember the old saying “Houston, we have a problem”? Well, we had a big problem. Julia wasn’t near me, but she heard me. Imagine hearing your spouse, whom you thought was very sane, roaring to the top of their lungs in a room with over 400 people. Then she watched and waited while I shook, roared and shook some more. For over an hour, she had been waiting for me to “come to my senses”. While I wanted to share my excitement and joy worth her, all she could say was I’m glad the girls couldn’t hear you. So it was very quiet on the way back to the hotel. Remember, I’m the one that always jumps first and thinks later and Julia was the one that would process and then jump. Normally we always wound up jumping together, but not this time. The rest of the summer was very tense. I was trying to help bring her along, and she was having to study and process all that had happened.

What I didn’t say was that all this stuff was transferable. Pretty soon there were meetings all over the world. The English took it back to Britain. An Anglican church in London, Holy Trinity Brompton, started having renewal meetings. In fact an Evangelist named Steve Hill went there and then went to Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola Fl and the renewal broke out there also. Julia and I never got to Brownsville although some of our friends did. The Holy Spirit is so funny. Toronto’s main manifestation was laughter and refreshing while in Brownsville it was repentance and tears. It was the same God, same Spirit, but different emphasis.

That summer was one of the few times in our married life when Julia and I were not on the same page spiritually. Our love was so strong however that we both worked hard to get back on the same page. We talked, studied together, met with others to discuss all that had happened. Bu the fall, we were together again. I hadn’t pushed Julia, but let her travel at her on pace and she had caught up with me. We were now able to run together. And run we did. Things were beginning to heat up in Atlanta.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 222 - July 1994 in Toronto, Part I

After Mother’s Day 1994, Julia and I both wanted to take a trip to Toronto and experience for ourselves what was going on. Rumors were rampart. The manifestations had people either talking about the power of God or the power of the devil. Hank Hanagraf, “The Bible Answer man” was calling Toronto a cult and warning everyone about the antichrist. It was really getting vocal. But we had seen such fruit from what happened to us in England and then we saw fruit in our own life and other’s lives from that Mother’s Day service. We had friends, including Tony and Sandy, visit Toronto and they really believed it was a move of God. These were people that we trusted, credible witnesses. So, in July we were able to get away and fly up for a visit.

Maybe I was just na├»ve, but I wanted Jennifer and Lisa to experience it all with us, so they went as well. Looking back on it all, that was a big mistake. It wasn’t a mistake because of the affect it had on Jennifer and Lisa, but it was a mistake because of what happened with Julia. I’ll have more on that a little later. We flew into Toronto and went to the hotel. The service didn’t start until 7 but it was a small building and we were told that if we didn’t get there before 5 we wouldn’t get a seat. So at 4:30 or so, we were all in line to get into this little building on the other side of the airport. The Toronto Airport Vineyard was a church of around 400. I had a sanctuary that packed might seat 450, and there was an overflow room that might seat 100. They had been having meetings every night since January 14th, so it was around six months. I can’t imagine how tired the people were. There was childcare every night along with ministry teams and ushers. These people had basically put their normal life on hold for this “Revival”. We all pray for revival, we just don’t realize the cost. Then when it comes, we aren’t ready. I pray that when the next move of God comes in Atlanta that we will be ready and willing to pay the cost. I was excited and more than willing to stand in line. I think that Julia was too, but the girls weren’t quite as excited and that caused Julia more worry than me.

We were in the middle of the line and I think that they opened the doors at 6. The good news is we got in the main room and got seats. The bad news was that so many “weirdo’s” also got in. I really didn’t know what else to call them. They were already manifesting. Some were walking funny and acting like they were drunk while others were jerking even when they were sitting down. We had never seen anything like it, and it was really strange. But I was determined. I felt more strongly that the Holy Spirit was there, and I wanted all that I could get. But then there was the big overweight guy in the seat across from us. He had his eyes clesed like he was asleep. But instead of breathing or even snoring, he was roaring. Yes, roaring about every third breath. It wasn’t super loud, but loud enough to be noticed. That pretty well was the last straw. I could see that the girls really were uncomfortable and that was making Julia uncomfortable too.

Right now, I probably need to take a time out from the story and talk about the “roaring”. It was one of the manifestations that had stirred up so much criticism and had even pastors in the Vineyard divided. I’ll try to paraphrase what John Arnott said in his book when he wrote about the manifestations. John was out of town, and he called up the next morning to ask how the service the night before had gone. By this time Toronto was getting people coming from all around the world. It was amazing how many people were there from Europe and even Asia. Anyway the staff member said that there had been an extremely good meeting, but they had had an unusual manifestation. This Chinese pastor had been on his hands and knees roaring. John said that he was shocked and asked if they had stopped it. The staff member said that they had not stopped it because they had sensed that God was in it. John was upset, knowing what was going to be said on the radio and the newspapers. So that night he was able to talk with the pastor that “roared”. The pastor said that as he was being prayed for, a mighty jealousy and love for the people of China came over him. He felt so determined to free them from all the oppression. It was then that in the Spirit he saw the Lion of Judah roaring over his nation. Then it was as if the Lion of Judah caused him to roar in agreement with him. The pastor said to John Arnott. “For hundreds of years, the serpent has oppressed and ruled my nation. The Lion of Judah wants us to roar over it and set it free. John Arnott had the man give his testimony that night. After that it seemed that roaring was becoming a little more common place in the meetings.

Now, back to our story. So here we were waiting for the service really getting freaked out with some of the manifestations. But I was more determined than ever. We had come this far and I was not going back with out getting all that I felt God had for me. The first night, the worship was awesome and there was a guest preacher who really wasn’t very good. Then we had ministry time. It was well organized. Everyone who wanted ministry was to come down and line up on the multiple lines of duct tape that were on the floor. Oh yes, we had to move all the chairs out of the way and stack them on the sides. So ministry started and everyone was lined up standing. Two hours later, we still hadn’t been prayed for. Finally we were prayed for, but we were so tired, that we were in no condition to receive and we didn’t. So after about seven hours total, we were back in the hotel, totally exhausted and wondering why we had come. I could look at Julia and the girls’ faces. I knew that they were all ready to leave, but we had two more nights, and I knew that we were supposed to be there. God had something for us and I wasn’t leaving without it. Tomorrow would be better, it had to be, and I knew that it would be.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 221 - Moving Forward Again

These past two days writing about and thinking about Julia’s love have brought her closer to me than she has been in a long time. I could just live here, thinking about her love. But that is not a profitable thing to do. Life moves on and although this is a good place to visit, it is not a place to stop and pitch a tent. I thank Holy Spirit for opening that door. It was a door of healing for others and me. It will continue to be a door of healing, but it is not a door for dwelling. The family, friends and myself will always have those memories and that is why, I believe, Holy Spirit wanted them highlighted. But those memories are for comfort and to bring hope for the future. Julia is not there anymore and neither am I. The memories are the past, and no matter how good the past is, the present is where we are to live.

True, we can learn from the past. Our heritage and past help define who we are in the sense that they give us foundation. But the building takes place in the present. I have much to do. We have a destiny, all of us. We can’t let our past, good or bad, hold us and keep us from what we are to become. I have a habit, probably a bad habit, of talking about what I want to be when I “grow up”. Well, we grow up in the present. As I have said many times, God told Moses that His name was “I AM”. That is present tense. He wants us to live for Him today. Sure, we plan for tomorrow, but we are always living in the present.

So, here I am tonight, back in the present. I am so thankful for all the wonderful years that I had with Julia. The really do define me in so many ways. She is still so much a part of me and she probably always will be. But as I look to this coming school year and beyond, I want Holy Spirit to sharpen me. If I need to be redefined in areas, I am open and willing to change. I never want to be stuck in doing something because that’s the way Julia and I did it. I guess the example of the “matched pair” of horses that worked together to pull in unison is the past. The present is that now I am a lone stallion that is free in open pasture. Free to run and discover things that I hadn’t even thought of in the past. So in some ways it does mean that I have to change.

That is a novel thought. What was good for both of us to do might not be what God wants me to continue to do. How does that play out? I have no clue. I’m sure that most of what we did, I will continue. I take that back, I’m not really that sure about anything except this: I want to be in His perfect will and intimate relationship. If I am there, then everything else will take care of itself. I do know that I am at such peace in my spirit. Does that mean everything is perfect in my life? Of course not! Some would probably say that I had no right to be at peace about anything. But I am at peace at such a deep level. I’m not sure when I have ever felt a peace like I am living in right now. Obviously it is from Him. I guess the truth that I have known in my head is finally setteling deep into my spirit. The truth is that I don’t have to do anything; I just have to be in His presence. It’s all about being, not doing.

OK all you Mary’s out there, that doesn’t mean that I won’t do anything. It’s just that my self worth and my worth to Him is not based on my doing. I will do out of the overflow of love. Just like Julia did for me and out kids. Just like I did for her and do for my kids. It’s not out of performance, it’s all done out of love. So, as I move forward, it must be out of love. I can’t do something because I feel required to do it, it has to be out of the overflow of His love. I need to be so filled with Papa’s love that I want to do. I have to listen for Him to tell me what He wants me to do. As we move through life it still boils down to this. Hear and Obey.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 220 - Her Love, Part II

As I have moved through the day, my thoughts have gone back to last night’s post. Did I talk about this? Did I talk about that? It didn’t take long to realize that I am probably not through exploring this new door that was opened. So tonight I will continue. I really don’t know how long the post will be, because I have no clue as to what I am going to focus on. If you have been with me through the year, you know that this blog is a journey, and like any journey you never know what might be around the bend. So I’m just going to follow Holy Spirit into whatever area He wants to touch on tonight.

Julia loved our girls so much. I remember when Jennifer was born. We were both scared to death. Here we had just brought this little baby girl home, and we had no clue as to what to do. We had had some basic training as to how to change diapers and stuff like that, but what do you do when your baby starts crying and cries basically all night, every night. We were trying everything, getting advice from all our friends. We were in Hawaii and our parents were in Georgia. Basically we were all alone, and she took the brunt of dealing with a crying baby. I can remember hugging her and telling her she was a good mom, but she had a hard time believing it. She somehow blamed herself that she couldn’t make the baby happy. She really was a good mom. She loved to make Jennifer and Lisa clothes, and she adored them. She was willing to do anything for them, sacrifice whatever was necessary to see that their needs were met. She was like a lioness protecting her cubs if anyone or anything threatened them, yet at the same time, she could be very tough on them. She had high standards and if the girls were not meeting them, they would know it pretty quickly.

As with almost all mothers and daughters, there comes a time in the teenage years when they really don’t get along like each of them hoped that they would. It’s not a lack of love, but more a growing independence that the daughters have to begin to flex. There were many nights during this time when Julia would come in, and I would hold her. She would tell me how she had “blown it” with Jennifer, Lisa or maybe both. She loved them so much; she would blame herself and doubt whether she was a good mother. I would hold her, listen to her, and then reassure her that she was a good mother. We didn’t always agree, but we always tried to stand behind the other and support their decisions. You know love without works probably isn’t love. Julia’s love was filled with works.

One of her love languages was a gift of service. She loved to help the girls move, or paint or anything hard. Well, if you know me, you know that is not one of my love languages. But I loved her, so I would gladly help, just to see her happy. I guess that’s why her not being there in July when both girls moved was so different. I know that she would have been flying back and forth from Ft Lauderdale to Norfolk to make sure both places were unpacked and that all the kids were settled in. She loved her girls so much. If she thought that anything or anyone was mistreating them or taking advantage of them, she would go after what she felt was wrong with a tenacity of a Mountain Lion. She had great discernment, and was always able to pick up on feelings or things that weren’t right, even if they were unspoken.

Finally she was a great “Nana”. I don’t know of anyone who enjoyed being a grandmther more than she did. When Adair was born, it was like another level of love was released in her. Then Meleah and Anna Roan came along. She couldn’t do enough for the girls. Every Christmas, every holiday, every birthday, shoot she didn’t need a reason to give them presents, but more than that she gave them so much love. We were able to take Adair and Meleah to the beach a number of times. We had so many plans for Anna Roan. Julia Anne, her namesake will never know her Nana except through pictures, stories and perhaps this blog. But Julia loved her too. She was planning to leave for Mobile to be with Lisa for the birth. No, her love is so strong that even though she is not here it remains.

Her love remains in theis house, in our hearts and especially in the lives of our granddaughters. They are her Legacy. Just like our daughters. The love and prayers that their mother and nana has released into the heavens for them will never pass away. It remains today. The prayers are still active, and being answered for all of them. She still loves us and she is sitting beside someone who loves us even more. Her prayers are still going forth. Now though, she is like a cheerleader who knows how the game ends. She is cheering us on to do all we need to do, knowing that we will get there. Julia you are loved, and when we get together as a family, you are so close we can feel you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Her Love

I sat down about 10 minutes ago to write, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about tonight. So I just started listening to Love Came down and just resting in Papa’s arms. I really had no clue as to what to write, and I didn’t care at that point because of the peace that surrounds me. Then as I was just resting I heard Holy Spirit say to write about her love. Then I realized that all this time I have been writing about how much I love her, and how much I miss her. I know I’ve hit around it, but I don’t think I have written about how much she loved me. This might be hard tonight, but I feel that Papa and Holy Spirit have opened a crack in a door that I didn’t know existed, so I am going to explore my feelings about Julia’s love tonight. Where this will lead, I have no clue, but here goes.

I’ll just be honest; right now tears are just flowing like a gentle rain, coming down my cheeks. Hopefully when you grow up, your mother and father love you. Most of the time, if you are lucky, they do. But they are supposed to because they are your parents and parents love their children. But if you are so fortunate to find a mate; that is where you are loved not because you were born, but you are loved because of who you are. Those of us who found true soul – mates are so blessed. Julia was truly a wonderful gift from God to me. After over 38 years, she knew all of my faults and all of my weaknesses, but she loved me more than I can express. I know it by the way that she looked at me. I know it by the way she valued my presence and I also know it by the way she gave me freedom to do things that were my passion.

I’m better now. I’m just lost in the knowledge of her love. We could sit for hours and not say anything, or we could get lost in conversation about something we were passionate about. It didn’t matter as long as we were together. We loved so many of the same things and yet we were so different. We also had our own interest, and had learned over time to give each other space too. I couldn’t sleep at night if I thought something was wrong in our relationship. My problem was I didn’t see it when we were slipping too far apart. She always seemed to sense it first, and would begin to make me realize it. She knew my heart, and that I wanted her close. We were really like a “matched pair” of horses. Matched so that we could run together in unison almost as one. We knew what each other was thinking because most of the time we were thinking the same thing.

She loved to cook for me and see me smile when I tried something new, but she let me do all the grilling. She also loved for me to make omelets for her for breakfast. She said that I made better omelets than she did. I did teach her, but I think she just let me be good at something in the kitchen. She loved to make my favorite desserts. Her coconut cake is unbelievable. Everyone always wanted some. It was always a big hit at family Christmas. She only made it once or twice a year. For one thing, it was too hard to make. But the main reason was we would have gained twenty pounds if we had it all the time. Another way she showed her love for me was to host our family Christmas for so many years. She was the one that did most of the work, decorating and preparing the house. It was always a lovely time.

All this was good, but to me, she was like having the love of God here on earth. She is where I could come to when I needed to be held. Her arms were always open to me. I’ve learned since her passing to run to Papa and His arms. That has sustained me, and I wish I had known how to do that before. But I really didn’t need to. Whenever self-doubt crept in, or I was feeling low or depressed she was there. Her arms were like a safe harbor. She accepted me when I blew it just as easily as when I excelled. Her love was so wonderful. Sure, I could hurt her feelings, and often did. But when we had worked everything out, she was always there right by my side.

Spiritually we were almost always together, equals pressing in for more. There were only a couple of times when we were in different paces, and those times were very hard. I can’t imagine how married couples make it who aren’t equally yoked in the spirit. I pray that my granddaughters will make sure that their mates are on the same page with them spiritually. It’s more than just being a Christian; you have to be going after the same thing. You have to have the same passion because if you don’t, there will be constant tension until one of you gives up your dream. Our dreams ere the same, and that gave us common goals and common ground.

I guess one of the things that I miss most is that there is no one here on earth that knows me like Julia knew me. That is something that I am learning to live with, and it’s probably the hardest thing that I have to deal with. She was my confidant. I could share everything with her. I respected her wisdom and discernment. I really miss that more than anything. I’ve learned to rest in the presence of Papa, Jesus and Holy Spirit. I know that they hear me and I can talk to them. But I really miss being able to just hang out with Julia and share deep things or just the little things. I miss her hand slipping into mine when we walked. I miss the way her deep blue eyes could look deep into my heart. I miss her presence around the house. All of these were qualities that made her love so strong. Yes, I do miss her love. I know it still exist, but like in the Velveteen Rabbit, I miss having the love with “skin on”.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 218 - Invictus

Well it is very late considering that 3AM comes early. So no matter how long or short I write, this will be a short night. But that’s all right. I just finished “Dinner and a Movie with John, Biddie, Cathy and Bud. We had it here at the house, and I grilled chicken and onions. Biddie and John brought fresh peas and corn and salsa. But and Cathy brought a great salad. It was an excellent dinner and then we finished it off with the movie Invictus. I also made popcorn (organic) of course. WE had a great time. I really enjoyed myself and it was good to have other people in the house for a change.

When I was thinking about dinner this morning during work I thought that I would need to use the dining room. I knew that the breakfast table was too small for six. So I would sit the dining room table. I had thought that all day, then when I started to set the table I remembered there were only five of us. I had mentally been counting Julia with me. All I could do was smile and just tell her that I really wish she was going to sit at the table. So we wound up eating at the breakfast table because it’s much easier to clean and fix.

If you haven’t seen the move, it is definitely a “must see”. I think it is one of the most inspiring movies I have seen in a long time. It is also a true story which makes it that much more inspiring. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon should have both won awards for their parts in the movie. I won’t give the plot away, but there were so many things that had such deep spiritual connotations. I have to see it again soon. In fact, this is one that I would really love to buy and keep.

Tonight was a great night. It is so much fun just to hang out with friends and talk, laugh and listen to each other. This is the kind of night that Julia loved. She never really liked to go out to parties or events. Both of us felt much more comfortable having friends over for a good dinner and great fellowship. She must have been happy tonight watching us. I know that she was happy that I was entertaining. Maybe I did learn something from her during all of those years. I was thinking this afternoon about that. I got home from work and was thinking about going for a short run. Then I started looking around. The table needed to be set and onions needed to be chopped before everyone came at 6. Also I needed to put peppercorns in the pepper grinder and salt in the salt grinder. There were just a lot of little things that needed to be done. There was really no time for a run. If Julia had been here, I would have taken the run because she would have taken care of everything.

Many times I am amazed at how blessed I was to have her for almost 39 years and how much she took care of me. I have had to learn a lot of things over the past seven months. I’m sure I have much more to learn as I adapt to this “new normal” that I am discovering. It is an adventure. I never know what I will need to discover next. It could be anything from something she left in the basement like the jewelry box or how to really fold fitted sheets. I used the garlic press for the first time last night when I made a marinade for the chicken. I’ve gotten better at remembering when to water the plants. I’m even thinking about expanding my cooking skills. My problem is a lack of time, so whatever I make, needs to be easy and quick. I know that when school starts, I will probably be out at least four nights a week. I get tired just thinking about it but I know that when the time comes everything will be OK.

Well, I know that there was not really a focus tonight except this. Tonight was fun, and we all need a little fun in our life. It was fun, but I still missed her. Goodnight.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 217 - How Big is God?

I’m back home tonight in my rocking chair doing what is now becoming such a part of my life that I plan my evenings around it. I look at my schedule and make sure I have enough time to sit here, think, meditate and write. I really don’t know how many people are reading each day, but it really doesn’t matter. The fact that I am taking the time to write has opened up so many new areas in my thoughts. Like tonight; the title will make sense as we go along, but for the past few days I have been thinking about God. I have been thinking about my view of Him, and I have determined that my view of God is still too small. So many times, I just think of Him like I would myself. Yet, if I limit him to my image, he would not be God.

I’ve often told other people that if we have to understand everything God does, then we are limiting Him to be no wiser or better than we are. Yesterday at Starbucks I was reading “The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind” by Bill Johnson. I’ve read it before, but this time it’s like I’m reading it for the first time. He said something that really hit me, and I want to quote it now:

“We cannot afford to live in only what we understand because the we don’t grow or progress anymore; we just travel on the same familiar roads that we have traveled all of our Christian life. It is important that we expose ourselves to impossibilities that force us to have questions that we cannot answer”

We all like answers. We all want to think that we can understand God. When something happens we want a rational explanation. If we don’t have one, we have theories that give us one. Believe me, there are a lot of things that I want answered, but I am learning that the answer is not up to me. It’s not really my job to develop theories or even embrace other people’s theories, no matter how good they are. It’s my responsibility as a believer to focus on God. It’s my job as a believer to worship Him and acknowledge His worth. As I get to know Him more, His love and goodness grow in my heart. I truly believe that Jesus Christ is perfect theology and as I read the New Testament I never find Him judging sinners. I see him saying “Go and sin no more” and I hear him saying many times “your sin’s are forgiven”. But the only people I really ever see Him angry with are those who are using the religious system an the house of God for their own gain. Am I wrong? Am I missing something? I am certainly open to learn. I sure don’t have all the answers.

So, I am constantly amazed at how much He loves me and how much He loves us all. So when I realize that I have began to place him in another box, all I can do is ask Him to show himself bigger than the box I have Him in. Think about it, we all have put God in a box. It’s how we think. “He can do this, but maybe not this.” Or the other way we do it is we say, “Yes, I know He can, but I don’t know if He will”. I admit that I am guilty, and I bet you are to. I know that the only way for me to break the boundaries that I have placed on Him is to love Him and worship Him more. I have to become more fully related and acquainted with the total Godhead; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The reason I call Father “Papa” is a term of love. I know that He loves me so much more than someone I would just call Father. My calling Him Papa is my way of returning the love and respect that I have for Him. The same is for Jesus and Holy Spirit. I love them to, but their names are names that I can associate my love with. Papa is just so much more intimate than Father. His love is the one that I am really getting to know.

So, the real question of the night is not “How Big is God?” The question we all must answer is “How Big is He in my Life? And the second question is “Why isn’t He Bigger?” In other words, what have I done to limit His love and presence in my life right now? That’s what I want to ask Holy Spirit tonight. He will give me a straight answer if I am willing to change where I need to. So I think that I will end this post tonight and just sit here and talk with Holy Spirit. I know that He has something to say, and to often I am too busy to listen.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 216 - Fun at the Beach

It’s been a good day with the kids. We were able to go to the beach for a couple of hours this afternoon. I went with Sean to Starbucks this morning and them got to go on a four mile run this afternoon in the heat. It was hot, but I ran down the road to the beach and by the Inter Costal waterway. Boy there are some big beautiful boats tied up down there. It was a beautiful sight as I ran by them. The water at the beach today was perfectly clear and very beautiful today. After the run, I got into the pool with Meleah while Sean grilled chicken and sausage for dinner. Then we watched a movie together. It has really been a good day with the family.

During dinner we started talking about my post the other night on Mother’s Day 1994. I was shocked when Jennifer and Sean reminded me that that was the first time that Sean had come to meet us, and he and Jennifer were both there that day. We all laughed as I asked Sean about it. Well, Sean’s background was Conservative Presbyterian. He had never been to any other church, and here he was with us at the Atlanta Vineyard on the one day when the Holy Spirit fell so much and all types of manifestations were taking place. I asked Sean tonight what he was thinking. He said He stood there and just closed his eyes. All this “weird” stuff was going on around him. Later he told Jennifer that he still just wanted to be a Presbyterian pastor. I asked him what he thought about us and he laughed and just said you guys seemed normal otherwise so I figured everything would be OK. Anyway, I was surprised that I didn’t remember that. Isn’t it just like Holy Spirit? You bring in strangers who you want to “impress” and that is when everything happens. I love it.

It’s been a quick but very fun visit. I hate to leave tomorrow, but I have to work on Monday morning. Jennifer and Sean have a very nice place, and I know that Julia would love it. It’s in a great location for them, and I am excited for what God is going to do this next year in their lives. Obviously God had other plans and Sean didn’t become a Presbyterian minister. He might not have understood all that God was doing that Mother’s Day, but there was an opening in the Spirit that day and Sean was there. I think it impacted him a lot more than he realized. What it did for him, and what Holy Spirit has done for so many was just give them a little taste; a taste to show them that there is more. There is more and it is OK to begin to seek it.

I have seen so many people just like my son in law. These are people who loved God, but didn’t realize how much more there was to experience. But when they experienced His presence in a new way, even if they didn’t understand, they began a journey. This journey would take them into places that they had never dreamed of going in the past. This journey would totally change their lives. I believe that Mother’s Day in 1994 along with other significant events significantly impacted both Sean and Jennifer’s lives. They have been on a journey. Shoot, they are still on a journey, we all are. It’s been hard at times, but they have come so far. I’m proud of them and can’t wait to see what God does in their lives next.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is August 15th. Man, where does the time go. I will be back in school in less than a month, and then things really will get hectic. I need to go and see Lisa before school starts. I want to be able to see them too. There is just not enough time to do all that I want to do. But time with family has to be worked into everything I want to do in the Kingdom. It is a priority of the Kingdom and I know that God will help me work everything in that He wants me to do. So, I don’t have to worry, it will work itself out if I just continue to seek after His will in my life. Well, now to bed, it has been a very good day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 215 - Keeping Focused

Tonight I am in Ft Lauderdale. It is really great to be with Sean, Jennifer, Adair and Meleah. It is great to be here to see their new place and just “hang out” with them. The girls are growing up so fast. We went out to eat after I got here, and then tonight we took a walk together. I know this weekend will go fast, but I am sure glad to be here. I worked this morning and then was able to ride on the jump seat down. It’s a good thing too. The plane was completely full. I think that I heard that eight standby passengers got on. I would not have made it. I know that Sunday afternoon will be the same way.

This is just another way that I have been blessed by having this job. In this economy and time in our nation where fear tries to grip us wherever we turn, we need to take time each day and really be thankful for the blessings that we have and the many ways our God does provide all of our needs. I used to be a news junkie. I constantly watched the news and listened to all the talk radio shows. But for me at least, I had to really cut back. I think it was Bill Johnson who said He was always only five minutes from depression and it depended on what He focused on. That’s pretty much where I am now. I can’t afford to focus on fear or bad news. Sure some of it may be true, and I might be wrong. But right now, I have to focus on the promises of God. You know, like the ones I talked about yesterday. I have to focus on what He can do and not what the government or politicians say they will do, or even what they actually do.

That doesn’t mean I’m not informed with what is going on in the world. I still am. I do watch and read enough to say abreast of the news, but my focus is not on it or on any doom and gloom scenario. My focus has to be on His goodness and His grace. My focus has to stay on His love for me, and the fact that He will never leave me or forsake me. I have to focus on the fact that no matter how dark it gets; the light in us will get brighter. He is the answer to all the problems; and no matter what we go through as a nation, or as individuals, His Kingdom will prevail. Fear is the opposite of Faith. We can’t have both. I have a choice to make daily. Well really sometimes hourly in these times. Am I going to give into the fear that is being broadcast over the airways or am I going to trust the one who knows the beginning and the end. Remember, what we behold is what we become. I have to make sure I am spending more time beholding Him than I am worrying about the future.

I got up early this morning to water some plants and pack. I had to be at work at 10AM, so I got up around 5AM. I know that’s early, but I had a number of things to do. While I was in the bathroom I was taken by surprise. On a wall above our garden tub in the master bath, I saw three glass vases. I had seen them many times but had never paid any attention to them. The two outside vases had some artificial “saw grass” sticking out of them with moss in the glass vase. But the inside one was different. It had rocks and water in it with a stick of bamboo growing in it. Yes growing, with new growth. It still had water. This plant hasn’t been touched for over 7 months and it was growing. I just laughed. I’ve had such a hard time keeping the other plants alive, and this one is thriving with no help whatsoever. That was surprise number one. Then I went in the closet and I was getting some of my stuff to pack when I came across a little book. I looked at it and realized that it was Julia’s day planner. I had probably seen it a number of times, but today I opened it up and looked at it. She had phone numbers, email addresses and more. I opened to the month of January and began to read. I could see her plans for the month. That’s when it hit me. The wall I pain and grief that I thought was gone was suddenly engulfing me like the ocean swallows up a drowning man. It was like a punch in the stomach.

Surprise number two was the intensity of the pain. Immediately I realized that this probably wouldn’t be the last time that I would be surprised like that. Well, I wasn’t about to stay in that place, so I immediately started calling out to Papa and worshiping Him. I looked at my watch and I had five minutes to spare before I needed to get dressed for work. So I just lay down on the floor and started thinking about the goodness of God and His love for me. I was thinking about all the blessings that He has given me and praising Him and worshiping Him with out music or even words for that matter. As quickly as the pain came, it left. After those five minutes, I got up, got dressed and went on about my day.

So here is my lesson for today. I have to choose to focus on God and worship Him in all situations. If I had kept my focus on my loss of Julia, no telling what my day would have been like. The really is this: What we behold, we become. What do you want to become?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 214 - Believing the Promises

It’s been a full week, and it is nowhere near over. I’ve worked every day, and we had cell tonight. It was good to see everyone. Only meeting once a month has been a blessing because the summer has gone by so fast, but I could sense tonight that everyone was ready to get back to weekly meetings. The ministry time tonight was powerful and very needed. People need connections and home groups should bring life. That’s what ours does, and no matter how much I feel like missing sometimes, I am always blessed when I go. So, come September 2nd, I’ll be at cell if at all possible. But with school and travel coming up, I’m not sure how much I will be able to attend this fall. I’ll try, but only time will tell.

I’ve got the dryer going and I still need to pack and clean up a little bit. I work again tomorrow morning and I will leave straight from work. The good news is that there is a 737 going to Ft Lauderdale this month. That is the plane I train on, and I can jump seat down. So I don’t have to worry about trying to fly standby on a Friday afternoon. My flight leaves at 2:55 and arrives around 4:45. I am really looking forward to seeing Sean, Jennifer and the girls. I haven’t seen their new place yet. I know that they like it a lot, and I am happy for them. Adair and Meleah haven’t started school yet. They don’t start until August 23rd. I don’t know about the weather, but maybe we will get to the beach or the pool on Saturday.

I had a word given to me tonight. I believe it was right on. The friend who was praying for me said that she saw Julia and she was going up to Jesus asking “What about the promises? What about the promises?” Jesus looked over to her smiling and said “It’s all taken care of”. Now she didn’t know what or even if there were promises. But there were promises that Julia and I together were believing and praying about. They were prophetic words spoken long ago that we have been holding on to. In fact, I was praying over some of them the other day. So that picture was very meaningful. When I close my eyes, I can almost see Julia doing that.

We should never forget the promises of God. Not just those general promises given to all believers in scripture. Yes they are important, but there are specific promises that God has given me. And specific ones He has given you. Many of these words, we have to contend for. They don’t just necessarily happen, we have to take the ground and co labor with them until they do happen. That’s where we fall down most of the time. We get a word, and expect it to come to pass without our doing anything. That’s wrong, we have to pray over it, and co labor with it in the Spirit and in the natural to see it planted and bring fruit. We have to keep the promises of God close to our heart. We have to believe what He says and not what we see. It’s our job to call out what is not until it becomes what is. The scripture “We walk by faith and not by sight” is so true. That is where the victory comes, where the promises are realized.

So, tonight as I go to sleep, I am going to once again review as many of the promises of God that I can remember. I’m going to agree with Julia as she asked Jesus “What about the promises?” What is even more important is I am going to receive in my spirit His words; “It’s all taken care of”. I should sleep very well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 213 - Mother's Day 1994

Why is it that most of the time when the Holy Spirit falls in power at a church the senior pastor is out of town? No, I’m not trying to be funny, it’s just my experience. I can name time after time, in church after church, that the first meaningful move of the Spirit came when the senior leader was out of town. So the logical question is: Why? I believe the reason is because of the need to control. I don’t care how “free” the senior leader is, there is something about having the responsibility over the congregation, and the desire to protect them that can hinder the flow of Holy Spirit. Nome of these things are wrong. The senior pastor should feel a responsibility for the congregation, and it is a good trait to desire to protect them. The problem comes when that desire to protect keeps something that the Holy Spirit wants to release from happening. Sometimes in our zealous desire to do the best that we can, we wind up unintentionally blocking God’s best because it doesn’t look right or feel right or we don’t understand what is happening. So in my experience the Holy Spirit often waits until the senior leader is absent and then comes in and literally “rocks the boat”.

I think the first time I witnessed this phenomena was on Mother’s Day 1994 at the Atlanta Vineyard. So here, to the best of my memory is that story. The reason that I am telling it is because it was so significant to both Julia and myself. I will probably spend a few nights telling other parts of the year 1994 because of it’s impact on our marriage and our ministry. So it here goes.

The “Toronto refreshing” started in January and was continuing to grow. The Vineyard had been sending some it’s regional directors to Toronto to “check it out”. One of those directors was Happy Layman ( I think I got the name right). Happy was from Indiana, and he was going to the meetings and writing about what he saw and then gathering testimonies from many of the participants. He was sending out these notes to the Vineyard pastors. He called these notes the “Happy Notes”. Now for you prophetic types, isn’t that wild. Here is Toronto where most of the manifestations are about laughter, refreshing and renewal. A place where all the ministry is being done by ministry teams consisting of lay people, and the pastor chronicling all of this is named “Happy Layman” and his notes are “Happy notes.” Don’t tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. Anyway, I digress.

We in leadership had been hearing about these notes, but had not really seen them. Finally Johnny showed them to all of us and we were blown away. We wanted what was going on up there; at least we thought we did. Well, the congregation still had not really heard the full story about what was taking place. It was like the Vineyard as a whole was teetering on the edge of a cliff, trying to decide if this was really God or not. Many of the pastors were skeptical, rightly so. I believe that Johnny was torn as to which way to go. He never said that, and we didn’t know that then, but looking back I believe it to be true. Well Johnny and Anne were out of town on vacation the week of Mother’s Day. Tony Cavener, our associate pastor was scheduled to preach. That seemed safe enough. How can a Mother’s Day sermon stir anything up?

I will never forget that day for as long as I live. For some reason, worship was over the top. Vineyard worship was always good, but you could just sense a freedom in the Spirit and we went on longer and went farther into the presence of God than we usually did. Then Tony got up to preach. I loved hearing Tony preach because He was so prophetic and I always seemed to receive revelation that I wasn’t expecting. To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations, after all, it was Mother’s Day and I had heard all the Mother’s Day sermons anyone could possibly preach. Then he did the unexpected. Instead of preaching, he started talking about receiving the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to move, not only in our life, but corporately through the church. Then he said that he was going to read the “Happy Notes” about what God was doing in Toronto. That’s what he did. He just read the notes word for word. But as he read, you could feel the breath of Holy Spirit begin to blow through out the church. People were getting hungry. Hungry for MORE! More of His presence, More of His power and More of His love. The room was electric! The presence of God was so strong, stronger than I had ever felt it at the Atlanta Vineyard.

After he had finished reading the notes, Tony gave a simple invitation. He asked all of those who wanted more of God, all of those who were willing to risk being called fools, all of those who had to have what was going on in Toronto. He asked all of these people to step forward toward the front. It seemed like everyone in the building tried to get down to the front. The front and all the aisles were full of people. Then He said three simple words, “Come Holy Spirit”, and He came.

Think about it with me for a minute. How can God ignore 400 people who are desperately seeking and crying out for more of His presence? He can’t. When we finally get this one thought, we can change the world. He didn’t ignore us that day. All of a sudden it was total chaos. People were laughing some were crying, some fell on the floor and were shaking and many were moving around like they had been shocked by lightning. After a while, some of us were able to pray for others, but many of us were just out in the Spirit on the floor for a long time. I know that personally, it just made me want so much more of Him. It was like I had tasted something sweet for the first time and life would never be the same without it. It was much the same for Julia. We both wanted more, and we would never be able to turn back, although there would be many times when we were tempted.

For me, Mother’s Day has never be the same. No matter where I am in church, I remember that day. It was the day a switch was turned on in my Spirit. It was a day that I learned that there really was more. Little did Julia and I realize what a shift we had made that day. There was no turning back. We didn’t know it then, but we would find out soon enough.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 212 - Finding Our True Dream

Maybe it’s just being back at work and into the “normal” routine of life after being in Virginia last week, but tonight I have a case of the “blahs”. Nothing is wrong, I feel OK. Maybe it has to do with the diet I started on Monday. I’ll see if I can last more than a week. For the past month I think that I have started 3 diets, none of which lasted five days. That’s probably it. I made a vegetable drink with my Vita Mix tonight. While it filled me up, it really wasn’t something to enjoy. Well, whatever it is, I just didn’t feel like continuing last night’s history. I’ll pick it up tomorrow or sometime soon.

I was talking with one of my daughters today about dreams. My problem is that until the last few years, I have always been too pragmatic. I guess that when I was young, I couldn’t really dream, otherwise I would have been in Viet Nam in the army. My dreams were always bounded by certain parameters. In truth, most dreams are bounded by certain parameters. But what if there were no boundaries, nothing that would hold us back? Well that is not quite possible either. I could dream to be a worked famous artist, and that would never happen because I don’t have the talent level. A friend talked about dreams in her devotional. I didn’t see it today, but I think she was talking about how much bigger God’s dreams for us are than our own dreams for us. So if His dreams for me are bigger and better than I can dream, what I need to do is to seek out His dreams for me. Not only are they big, but also with His power behind them, they are possible. His dreams for me are the dreams without boundaries.

So, how do we find out His dreams for us? I believe it first requires a deep level of intimacy with Him. If we are to cultivate anything it should be a deeper knowledge and love of Him. That comes through worship and meditation in His word. Secondly, we need to begin to see ourselves as He sees us. We will never be able to walk into the dreams He has for us if we don’t know who we are. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. He lives within us and we can do ALL things through Him. Yes these are fine scriptures, but they are much more. They are words to live by. We have to believe that we can before we will do. So we have to do both of these things to begin to understand what He wants to see us do. Our destiny is tied up in the dreams that He has for us. I think that for most of my life I have been going after my dreams. Well that’s being kind. Most of my life has really been just about living and getting by. It’s been about providing for my family and raising my children. Not there is anything wrong with that. I know that a part of His dream for me is to see me do that. So many times we don’t realize what a difference we are making in just living. Dreams don’t have to be “grand” to be big. I look at Julia’s life. Her dreams weren’t “grand” in the world’s eyes, but they were big in God’s eyes. You see, she did the first two steps. She knew Him and she knew who she was in Him. Her dreams were so simple yet powerful. She dreamed of a family that was healed and whole, of grandchildren who loved each other and loved their God. She dreamed of the Kingdom of God coming down into people’s lives and changing things. She dreamed of praying and interceding until change came. She dreamed that she could make a difference in the lived of others every day, and she did. No her dreams weren’t “grand”, but they were big, and she got to see many of them fulfilled.

So I continue to press into the dream God has for me now. It is big, and the third step that we must take is to be willing to risk. I have always been a risk taker. That has been a good thing and a bad thing in my life. But this is not taking risk just to take risk. It’s being willing to step out when you finally know that’s what you have to do. You know it because you have connected in the first two steps. I pray that my daughters and granddaughters will always be willing to take risks once they have heard God. You can have plenty of dreams, but the one dream is what you need. His dream is something you can wrap your life around. The other dreams are like wisps of smoke. When you think you catch them, they just disappear and leave you feeling empty. So I want to give myself to the BIG dreams of God. They are something that I can invest my life in. The grand things of man will pass away. Who is to say what makes a difference in the earth? The only real difference is if His Kingdom comes. You can bring the Kingdom with you no matter what you are doing. Whether you are a pilot, a nurse, a housewife, or a banker. We all have our on sphere of influence; we all have a ministry.

So in closing tonight I guess the bottom line is this. First, make it a priority to spend time in worship and meditation with Him. Get to know Him more than you ever thought possible. Second, realize who you are in Christ. Realize that you are a King or a Queen and that through Him you can do all things. Then seek his heart and allow His heart to blend into your heart. In doing this, you will begin to sense a path, a direction. Finally, once you sense your path, be willing to risk everything to go after it. Don’t worry if your path seems mundane or if it seems adventurous. It’s your path and upon it lies your dream and your destiny.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 211 - The Toronto "Refreshing"

It was January 1994 and we had just finished the Christmas season at the Atlanta Vineyard. We were still talking about our trip to England and all the weird manifestations we had seen. It seemed that the Holy Spirit was beginning to move in ways that we hadn’t seen before. We had been overwhelmed by the response and the “fruit” of what had happened in England. Many of the people were saved for the first time. Those who had been saved were renewed and had a new passion for Jesus. The testimonies we had heard from the people who spent time “on the floor” were incredible. It had to be God, although we had no grid to measure what had happened. Then we heard about what was going on at the Toronto Airport Vineyard. This little church of about 4oo was experiencing all that we had seen and even more.

John Arnott, the pastor had asked Randy Clark, a Vineyard pastor from St Louis, to come do a series of meetings for the youth. Then John and Carol, his wife, went out of town for a few days. Randy Clark had been in a lot of Rodney Howard Brown’s meetings and was seeking more of God, but he had not seen any increase of power or anointing. Anyway, the Holy Spirit fell during the youth meetings. It fell so strongly that everyone was on the floor laughing. People were doing weird things. People were shaking like they were getting electrocuted. If you believed that the Holy Spirit was a gentleman and wouldn’t do anything you didn’t want, then your belief system was shattered. Randy called John and asked him if he wanted the meetings to continue or if they should be stopped. John and Carol said to continue them and they came back to Toronto immediately. Then the meetings were opened to the adults and to the public. They were meeting every night and the crowds started growing.

We found out about the meetings because John Arnott wanted help in understanding what was going on. He had many Vineyard pastors and other theologians attend and give input as to what they thought. We in leadership were getting regular reports about what was going on although most of our people didn’t know yet. Everybody wondered what was happening and where this was going. Was it God? Yes, most definitely. Many of the same things that we had seen in England were taking place, and the testimonies of the people were so strong. It had to be God. Was there flesh involved? Of course there was. I’m sure that as God began to move and manifest, there were people who tried to imitate the manifestations to get attention. That always happens. What about the demonic, was that involved? Sure, in the manner that demons have to flee in the presence of so much power. So how do you pastor something like that? Do you shut it down to preserve “order”? What is God’s order anyway? Is it like man’s order? All these questions were floating around. I will always admire John and Carol Arnott because they risk all that they had by allowing this move to continue. They chose to release freedom and allow the manifestations to continue, and even increase. They couldn’t proof text everything that happened in the Bible, but they did have researchers begin to go back and check out historical revivals of the past. There they began to see many of the things that were going on had happened before.

John wanted the Holy Spirit to move freely. His main fear was to quench what God was doing and then stop this move. If he erred, he chose to do it on the side of freedom. I’ll never forget one of his quotes. He said what if three people were all lying side by side on the floor, shaking and screaming. To look at them, they looked exactly the same. But the first one was being sovereignty touched by God. The second was screaming because everybody else was doing it. Finally the last one was screaming because they were being delivered from the enemy. What would you do? If you stopped the first, you would be quenching a move of God. If you stopped the third one you would be stopping someone from gaining freedom. If you stopped the second, you would be stopping someone from doing something for no reason. But how would you know which was which? That is the real key.

I guess my prayer is that when we really see God come in power, we as leaders will be willing to err on the side of freedom like John Arnott did. Because of his leadership, the Toronto meetings continued. Julia and I wanted to go check it out. Our time to go up there would soon come.