Dream : Carrier

Like most people I occasionally have dreams that I remember when I wake up. Unlike most people I believe that my dreams are one of the ways God chooses to talk to his people. One of the reasons I created this blog was to record dreams, visions, or other things God is telling me, so that in the future I can be reminded of them.

This morning I had a dream, where I and several others (who they were I don’t know) were being chased around this maze like building. We would run down one hall, then another, and then another, well you get the idea lots of running away from something or someone that I never saw. The hallways were dark and grey no real color to them. It reminded me of one of the levels from Goldeneye, if you’ve ever played that game. And while we were running, I noticed we kept crossing the path of a particular spider (black with yellow spots) that was always carrying things that seemed way too big for a spider to be carrying. And every time we crossed its path I saw it carrying something different (I don’t remember what), but it was always the same spider. Eventually I called the spider Carrier, because I’m creative like that.

After running around for awhile I found myself on top of a building, I saw a friend sitting on the edge overlooking an alley between two buildings (again with the same grey non-descript theme). As I sat there on the edge I looked down and saw the same spider again, and it looked like i had sat down on the path he was going to take. I pointed the spider out to the person sitting next to me (who turned out to be my dad), and he remarked that he had already seen him and was calling the spider Carrier. I thought I was really cool that we had both come up with the same name. I didn’t think to much else about it till the spider crawled up my back, and started biting me. I tried swatting it away, but then my back became numb. I told my dad what was going on, and he seemed remarkably calm about the whole situation (I definitely wasn’t). My dad starts patching me up, he did something to the bite, then applied some ointment, and finally he put a band-aide over. Well I’m sitting here thinking that’s all well and good, but we haven’t dealt with the root cause yet. The spider is still out there somewhere, and he is going to try and bite me again. No sooner had I told my dad this then I felt another bite. This time I was quick and caught the spider on my finger tips. As I pull my hand around to take a look at my enemy the spider starts biting my hand. Not knowing what else to do, I crushed the spider, killing it and waking myself up out of the dream.

Weird eh? I’ll post back here when I get an interpertation of what that dream meant.

My Journey Pt 3 : School Days

I started kindergarden while we were still living in Virgina Beach, VA. I have a lot of fond memories there, we played a game called 7Up and quite a few times my dad would pick me up in the mail van (he worked in the mail room, while he was in school). Its amazing how vivid my memory of that van is even to today. My dad graduated, and became the Rabbi at congregation Brit Hadasha in Memphis, TN that October. That spring I started at a new private school. My memories of that first semester are not quite as bright. The most I can remmeber is a math robot and darkness. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad place, just wasn’t as fun as the place i had come from. The rest of my years there were better, my teachers were truly dedicated my and my classmate’s educations and futures. With that said these were the hardest years of my education.  I struggled with spelling, reading, and math. I can remember hours upon hours of me and my mom studying spelling after school. I would get fustrated and start crying, she would get fustrated, but in the end we fought through it. After three hard years I got tested for dyslexia, they found I had a mild case of it. I struggled in class copying down information down from the board, but after finding this information out, my teachers really started pitching in and put forth a lot of extra effort to help me learn. After fifth grade my mom decided to homeschool me and my brother. I left private school behind in my reading, grammer, and math skills.

My mom homeschooled me from sixth grade to ninth grade. She invested so much extra time in teaching us. I remember waking up one morning to find a tray on the counter filled with dirt, she had made a fake archeological dig for us. She got us involved with a group of other homeschoolers, together we put on plays, took field trips, achievement tests, and quite a few other extra circular activities. All the while this was going on my mom was constantly trying out new techniques to help me learn. I remember spending several afternoons standing in the living spelling out words in the air. The idea was that tying the motion and the spelling toghether would imprint the information on my mind. It sounds silly, but it proved out to be very effective. I maintained the practice well into college through writting out again and again information from class in order to memorize it. During this time I over compensated for my reading deficency by reading every book I could get my hands on, this too was something that has carried through with me to today.

My sophmore year, something changed. Matt and I went back to private school (Sam remained homeschooled). The main reason for the change was that my mom really didn’t feel adaquate teaching us the higher level stuff. I worked very hard my first year back in private school, and I was very stressed. At times I wasn’t even able to eat dinner with my parents. The hard work payed of though, the next two years in comparison were so very easy. Overall my highschool experience academically was in stark constrast to my elementary school work. My skills in math grew by leaps and bounds, to the point of almost being easy. My reading and writting skills had caught up if not surpassed my classmates, and my love for history even won me a few awards. One of my favorite things about highschool was football. It was out on the practice field that I learned a lot about myself. I didn’t get to see a lot of playing time, but I did enjoy the times I got to get in there. The star of the show was my brother Matt, he was crazy out there, and I was so proud of his athletic accomplishments. There was way too much that went on in highschool for me to write out here, but it was definetly a positive experience.

My academic success continued on into college, where I majored in Computer Science, with a minor in Math. Its hard for me to say that without a smirk on my face. Recognizing all the hard work it was built upon. Lots of sweat equity was built into the foundation of that degree. My college years were a dark time in my walk with God. For the most part I was a Christian in name only. Sadly so were many of my friends. Its not that there were new areas of sin opened up in my life during this time, just that many of them just ran unchecked. I started drinking a few weeks before graduated high school, and it really bloomed in the fraternity lifestyle. There are nights that I can’t remember, many nights that I spent puking, or just in general making a fool of myself. At the time I viewed alcohol as a means to let myself go, as a way to put aside all my concerns and just focus on having a good time. But what I didn’t see were the chains that were binding me and blinding me to the truth, that my life was empty, hollow, void of any meaning aside from seeking self pleasure. My alcohol abuse hit its peak when my dad died, and I literally tried to use alcohol to soften the pain. Glory be to God that He woke me out of the stupor before alcohol consumed my life. It was also during this time (back to my college days) that pornography took an even deeper foothold in my life. Recognizing my shallow existance, I became suicidal. I never made any attempts, but I enjoyed thought. And on more than one occasion came very close to going through with it. Who am I to take away the gift God has given me? Who am I to undo my biological mother’s courageous decision? In the depths of my despair I couldn’t see the simple truth, that I was not alone. Even though I’m a wretched sinner amazingly God still loved me, and He wanted me to be restored to Him. Unfortunetly it took my dad dying for me to realize this. But I know that today, right now, he is rejoicing in heaven, as a whole man, a restored man! Again this was something that started before college, but so many nights bored nights with just me and my computer it became almost a way of life. This grew into sinful relationships with women. It wasn’t until I gave up this lifestyle that I found a true relationship with a Godly woman. Sadly one of the consequences of my sins will always be the lingering regret. But through God, I’ve been forgiven and my sins washed clean. Through God’s grace none of these things hindered my school work (unlike many of my friends who either dropped out or flunked out), and through Jesus’ blood I’ve been set free from the bondage that bound me.

Where MightyAnchor Comes From

My fiancee’ (w00t!) asked me yesterday where the name for my site came from, and while I didn’t want to go into it there at that moment, I thought it would be best to post the reason here.

In fall of 2005 I bought a new laptop and with the laptop I bought a game called World of Warcraft (henceforth referred to as WoW). I won’t go into the details of the game as you can read them on the link provided, but suffice to say I devoted nearly two years of my life to playing a stupid game. Now there are plenty of good things that came out of playing it, I met some wonderful people, I had a lot of fun, etc, but the reality was that I was trapped in a virtual world.

During that period of my life, I decided to create my own website. After struggling for weeks if not months to think of a name I decided to use the name of my main character in WoW, and after a few suggestions from a friend I settled on MightyAnchor, Anchor being the name of my character. Now you have to understand why my character was named that to begin with; I’ve always seen my self as that type of person, someone who is an anchor, or someone who is not easily swayed from one thing to the next. And even some of my fellow gamers commented on how the name was appropriate, since at times I held the group together whether through play or through leadership. Even today I still maintain that self image to a degree, but that’s not why I kept the site.

After my Dad passed away, I made a conscious decision to turn away from the game that was swallowing me whole. I used my grief as motivation to make something of my life, and I was determined to live a life that honored my earthly and heavenly Fathers (again at some point I’ll explore this point in my life more thoroughly, but for now it provides the proper context). Through God’s grace I haven’t played WoW for more than 7 months, and have no desire to return to that life. That may seem like a short time to you, but to me it’s a life time. If you are thinking that sounds similar to what a addict might say, then you are right.

Recently I felt compelled or encouraged to start making a journal where I could record some dreams I’ve been having, as well as, my running testimony. Rather than go out and get a new web address which I could have easily done. I thought it would be a great testimony for God and wonderfully ironic to turn something the Devil would have used for self glorification, into something that glorifies the ONLY one truly worthy of it, the Lord God.

God is truly my mighty anchor.

My Journey Pt 2 : Family

It’s funny how life changes. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about my future family. I proposed to a wonderful woman, who is truly a gift from God. (She said yes, by the way.) Now I worry about how I’ll provide for my future bride and our children. I worry about how I’ll be able to raise Godly children, the same way I was raised. Will I raise my children in such a way that after I’m gone my children will find their strength in God and carry on in a Godly manner? I can only put my trust in God and know that His will, will be done. To find guidance and a path forward I look to my earthly family as well as my heavenly father. As I told you before, at only a few weeks old I was adopted into a family overflowing with love.

My father was a man who loved everyone he came into contact with; good or bad, he loved them just the same. There wasn’t a person he didn’t visit in the hospital or jail. There wasn’t a wedding he didn’t celebrate at or baby dedication he didn’t do. When I was young, my dad’s attention to the things going on in others’ lives was something that I resented. My head knew he was doing the right thing, but a lot of the time my heart wasn’t in sync. As I grew up, our relationship changed from one of just father and son to one more like friends. My best memories are from times when just he and I would do things together, whether it was sporting events, trips around the country, or congregational events. Every year I looked forward to the Passover season because it was a time when my dad would get invited out to churches around the city, and more often then not he would take me or one of my brothers along with him. At these Seders my dad would give his testimony and bring out the strong Messianic message hidden in the story of the exodus. The message was always the same, but it never got old to me. Every once and awhile my dad and I would take trips together. When I was young we went down to Orlando for a conference. It was just he and I in a car for hours. Years later we went to another conference together over in Virginia. This time around I did most of the driving and it was great to do that service for my father. It was during these trips that we had some of our best one-on-one conversations where I learned a lot about who my dad was and hopefully he learned about me. Many of the things I love (Israel, football, God, etc.) were imprinted on me from birth as gifts from my earthly father.

My dad passed away over seven months ago. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. In some ways it could have only happened yesterday. At first his passing didn’t seem real, like it was something happening in a movie, but over the course of time life without my dad has become my reality. I’m so happy that now my dad is whole again, he’s no longer in pain or suffering, but he’s rejoicing with God and my grandma. Trust me when I say that this realization didn’t come easy; God has done an amazing work to finally bring my head and heart into sync on this. When dad passed, a major force in my life was taken out of my life, an amazing amount of regret was left behind, things left unsaid and feelings unexpressed. We had a good relationship, but as with anything in this world it could have been so much better, it could have been so much deeper.

My mother was a woman always in the process of taking care of others, usually me and my brothers. When we were sick she was there, when we were celebrating she was there, when we were crying she was there, and when we were misbehaving she was there to chase us around the house with a large wooden spoon. I can think of thousands of meals we’ve eaten in her kitchen, and I can’t imagine the number of hours she spent working over a hot stove. While our house wasn’t huge, three young boys sure do make a mess, and some how she always managed to keep it clean. I can remember her staying up all night working on one project for school or another. And then for middle school she homeschooled us, and based on our college grades she did a wonderful job. I think between the three boys she’s learned more about football than she ever thought possible. You’d be so surprised or scared sitting next to her at one of our games. She is definitely one of our biggest cheerleaders. On my weekends home from college Mom would always fuss over me, feed me, and send me back with a bag of food. Nothing can make you feel worse than when you go to leave your mom gives you all the money she has in her purse. And she felt bad that it wasn’t more! I cried on quite a few trips back to school. She didn’t need to do that, but she loved me and wanted to bless me. My mom has taught me so many things, how to iron, how to sew, wash dishes, and how to was my clothes. All things my future wife will be pleased to find out. If my father lived out the love of Jesus for us then my mother lives out faithfulness.

I am a blessed man. This truth is worth repeating over and over again, because God has truly blessed me, and it is a theme that you will see through out my life. I’m blessed because I had a Godly Mother and Father to teach me and to raise me up. I could have been adopted by anyone, I could have been adopted into a life of abuse or neglect, but God blessed me with two loving parents, and two brothers who are as unique and diverse as possible. My family had a huge impact on my life and helped me to become the man I am today. I don’t know how to say thank you enough. I love you.

In retrospect, I don’t need to worry about these things. Throughout my life we have always been dependant on God to provide, and I never gone without something that I needed. And if I can follow the example of my earthly parents, I’m sure that my children will be raised to follow God. Don’t get me wrong, my folks were not perfect; my dad would be the first to tell you that. But where they failed, where they stumbled, God intervened, God covered them in His grace and it worked out for His glory. My hope, my faith, and my trust are in Him and through Him I can do all things!

My Journey Pt 1

I was born to two people who loved each other very much, and planned on getting married one day. But at the time both were still in college, and weren’t ready for the added responsibility of a child. At least that is the story my Mom always tells me about my biological parents, and since I know nothing else about them I accept it as fact.

My Mom and Dad had been struggling for years to have kids, they had gone to all kinds of doctors, and tried various kinds of treatment. For all that work, the doctors still had no idea why they were not able to have kids. Not knowing what else to do, they decided to adopt.

Looking back we can see God’s hand at work, His master plan already unfolding in the life of a very young man.

My biological mother had a lot of options, Roe v Wade had been decided ten years earlier. She could have viewed me as a cancer growing insider of her, something almost parasitic in nature, or as merely an inconvenience, something standing in the way of the life she wanted. Both of these paths lead to one thing, the death of a living human being.

Instead she made a courageous decision, my biological mother went to a Christian Adoption agency and put me up for adoption. She willingly endured  nine months of pregnancy, and painful child birth. I’m sure she was encouraged during those tough months just to take the easy way out. To think of herself and the life she could have been living, if it weren’t for that little inconvenience growing inside of her. Instead she gave me away knowing that, she would never know who I grew up to be. I couldn’t be more thankful for the great sacrifice that she made, and I believe in my heart that God blessed her greatly for her obedience. I love a woman that I’ve never met, simply because she made a tough decision that saved my life.

Since 1973 there have been 48,589,993 (2007) abortions in the United States. I could have been part of that statistic, really what is the difference between 48,589,993 and 48,589,994. Who am I that I was chosen to live? What could I have possibly done in the womb that made me worth saving more than one of my other brothers or sisters who perished? How can I live a life that speaks for so many?

I was giving the gift of life, it is a precious gift from God, throughout my life God has continued to pour out undeserved gifts. And there is nothing I can do to earn them, they are a result of God’s love for me and there is nothing I can do to earn that either. He gives every good thing freely.

As the song we sing at Passover time goes, had God done nothing else for me saving my life would have been enough. But no God provided an amazingly loving family that adopted me.