This morning I had a different kind of dream. I was on my knees in front of a man. And He proceeds to knight me (you know he touched both of my shoulders). He pronounces over me “Finances for MS or …” (I don’t know or remember what the second one was but I was given the understanding that MS stood for missions) and then he touched my forehead. With His touch I went into what could be described as seizure. I spent some on the floor, but as I started to get up another man reached down and helped me up. He looked at me and asked “How was that tingling sensation?”. I replied, “That was no tingle, it was the Holy Spirit.” “Good” was all he told me.
Hey Dad, Penn State won their first game 66-10. Awesome eh? 🙂 I know you are beyond these kinds of things but I’ll never be able to just see a score.
Of the twelve spies that Moses sent into the promised land, ten gave a bad report one of fear and human understanding. But two gave a positive report one full of understanding of the might and power of God.
Too often I’ve been in the company of the ten spies, limited by my human wisdom and knowledge.
My prayer is Lord that you will strip away my reliance on my own understanding. Open my eyes to your ways. My strength and my victory come from you. I pray that in everything that I do, whether it be work or spiritual battles, I’ll put my faith in. For all things are possible through Jesus. (Forgive my paraphase.)
I used to think that when people said things like “hungry for God” or “thirsty for God”, that they were speaking metophorically. I was so very wrong, so very deceived. I think it’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it, but it is so very real. I was only given a small glimpse of it before a great war in my spirit began. Sadly it was a war that I was losing for a time, but my Lord is not Lord of defeat, but one of VICTORY!
Lord sustain me with your word! Make your Spirit the water that fills my spirit. Return to a hunger and thirst for You and your rightousness. Take my excessive physical hunger and turn it into a spiritual hunger for the things of you.
Lord purify the desires of my heart.
The transition from high-school to college was one of fear and excitement. You start college not knowing anything (about college I mean). You worry about how to get from class to class, about the kind of professors you’ll get, how hard the work will be, what you’ll do for fun, and how you’ll survive on your own. But by your senior year, you will have the system down pat, you know what professors to get, none of your classes start before ten, you begin to like learning new things, and you like the freedom college offers you. Basically you have become comfortable. It’s usually about this time that you graduate and begin a new chapter in your life. And that’s where we pick up my story.
I graduated in December of 2004 a full semester early. Considering that most people told me to expect a fifth year of college, that’s a fact I’m proud of. I don’t remember much from the ceremony itself, it was typical bland almost boring, I don’t know what I expected maybe trumpets blaring or something else spectacular. But that’s not how the real world operates I guess. What I do remember is how proud my parents were, how much I appreciated them being there, and how happy I was to celebrate with my friends. The ceremony wasn’t the only disappointment about graduation, the other was waking up the next morning. Again I don’t know what I expected, maybe that I would wake up more mature, maybe I’d wake up the wise college graduate. But none of those things happened I woke up the next morning the same as the day before, feeling insecure about my future, feeling like I was eighteen again, young and not mature enough to handle myself in a bigger pond. In a word I was afraid, but I hid it, covered it up like I think a lot of high school and college graduates do. And maybe that is the essence of being a worldly person, covering up your own fear and insecurities in anyway possible.
After graduation I moved back to my parents house, for what would normally have just been winter break. Of course many people congratulated me, and then would follow that up with the dreaded question of the hour, “So what are your plans now?”. Plans?!?! I had no plan. My plan was to enjoy my Christmas break the way I always had. My parents let me slide a little bit, they let me enjoy the Christmas season, and thankfully after that was over they got on my case about finding a job. At the time I wasn’t so happy they were constantly bugging/nagging me to get a resume’ together, and go out to apply for jobs. Yep I graduated college and hadn’t really focused on putting my resume’ together. At first I almost resented their constant “So what have you done today to find a job?” interrogations, but they only had the best in mind for me. They wanted to see me grow and spread my wings, they probably knew better than me that if they merely allowed me to continue on hiding from the world, I would not become the man I was supposed to be.
So I started working on it, I put together a resume’ and posted it on every job website known to man. And then I waited. And waited. I got a few nibbles. A few phone interviews, but nothing serious. One company asked me to take a test, but they never called back after I took it. So to say the least I became discouraged. It was about that time, my dad, who I know was constantly praying about my situation, stepped in and started making a few phone calls. He set up a few meetings with friends of his, but before those could bear fruit. On of my friends from school sent me an IM saying that one of my old professors was trying to get in touch with me. It turns out that he had heard of a job posting and had sent a letter of recommendation for me. I got in touch with the company emailing them my resume’, and thanks to God they called me back to set up a time to interview. My Mom and Dad were more excited than I was, I think, this was my first real face to face job interview. My mom took me out to buy a suit, and my dad brought out his shoe shine kit (something rarely seen except for the High Holidays). So early in the morning I got up, drove out Ripley, TN to interview at Marvin Windows and Doors of Tennessee. To make a long story short, after about four or so interviews, during which I was insanely nervous, and jabbered on like an idiot at times; I returned home to wait for the phone call. I waited and waited during that time I put in an app to be a dock worker at the Memphis airport. And then one morning, I got a phone call, Marvin wanted to hire me on as an Associate Programmer/Analyst for $35,000 a year. Wow! For a kid just out of college that was a lot of money. On March the twenty-first I started my first real job.
The commute for this job was an hour and half, both ways! I remember waking up at 5:30 (now that was a real change from college) getting dressed and grabbing a banana on my way out the door. The drive wasn’t horrible, for the most part I was going the opposite way that the traffic was going, plus it was so stinking early in the morning that I rarely had problems getting to work. But the drive did start to wear me out. I made quick friends with another young fella who worked in the IT department, Brad. Brad had started three months or so before I had, so we were both somewhat new to the job and even though he was a few years older than I was were both new to the IT world. I could write a whole post on my experiences working for Marvin, but first they would mostly be technical in nature (and that’s not my desire for this blog) and second it would probably be boring to most of you.
One of my fondest memories of working at Marvin, was the time my dad got to visit the plant. I had been there a year or so when my dad was going to visit someone near Ripley, so he arranged it so that he would be in town around lunch time. For lunch we went to the local steak house (I think the sight of the Chinese restaurant scared him 🙂 ). It was awesome sitting there taking a lunch break with my dad. It’s one of the few times I actually felt like a grown up. We talked for a little bit and then I got to take him back to Marvin and show him around the plant a little bit. He was so impressed and so proud of me. I don’t think he ever understood what it was that I did, he had a general idea don’t get me wrong, but how I did it wasn’t something that was easy to explain or understand. But he was proud of his son, and that made me so happy.
It wasn’t too much longer after that, that I moved out of the house, and started sharing a place with my good friend Brad. I moved out of the house in March of 2006 and began a whole new adventure.
It’s been a little less than six months since I moved to Florida, but I feel like those months could easily have been a lifetime. Sometimes I find it hard to even remember the name of the town I used to live in, or remember the faces of my old friends. Those memories haven’t been wiped away, but new wonderful memories have been laid over top. Memories of new friends, new places to live and work, memories of an amazing new love of my life, and the return of an old love of my life to His rightful place in my heart.
There were times in my past when all I would do is dwell on the things of the past, old friends, old mistakes, or spend time wishing for a better life. But now I’m focused on the future, my regrets have been wiped away by hope and love. No longer am I haunted by the things I wish I had done, but rather I’m overjoyed by the thought of the things to come. God has blessed me in a mighty way. He used pain and sorrow to get me out of a rut, out of a life headed no where, and into a life of love. If these last months have been a lifetime, then I look forward to a new lifetime, a married life, full of joy and love.
I’m not naive, I know there will be tough times ahead. But I know, that through it all He will be there. At the end of the race we will look back, and not see the fights, saddness, or loss, no the good times will out way the bad. And we will see that even in the midst of the rough times God’s hand was there all along taking care of us, guiding us along the path.
I love you Arielle.
This one is short. I can’t remember any other part of my dream, but what I do remember was standing outside of church talking to Scotty. And Scotty was telling me that he was going to get a new Mercedes from Sacks (sp?) which is a grocery store the Pastors shop at to find these great deals. He told me about how it was on sale and what a great deal he was going to get on it.
So at church Arielle encouraged me to tell him about it. After a little dragging of my feet, I finally told him. Of course he calls his Mom over and tells her. I felt more at peace about it once she explained, and she explained it like this. That Scotty was going to have a rich ministry at very low cost. (Cars represent our ministry). Anyway i thought that was really cool, and I felt like God had used me and my (while reluctant) obediance to encourage and bless someone, which is really cool.
During the past week, I’ve been reading the book of Genesis. And what really struck me, was the way God led Abraham, Issac, and Jacob to bless their sons and others. So friday night I really had this passion in my heart for God to use me to bless others. It was something deep and a true desire of my heart. I’ve only really experienced that a few times, so I thought I would include it here.
So I ask God, use me Lord to bless others the way you used Abraham, Issac, and Jacob to bless their sons.
This wasn’t just one dream but a series of dreams. It starts off with me living in this apartment that was right next to a Jewish Synagoe. When i say right next to, I mean when I walked out my door I walked right into there worship service. And in order for me to get by, I would press my back against the back wall and creep by as slowly as I could hoping not to be noticed. I’m sorry but I don’t remember more of this one.
My next dream I was in a car, my brother Matt and I were in the back seat (I don’t know who was driving), but as we were going along this green john deere type tractor rams our car hittng the door that Matt had his back to. I tried to warn him but he didn’t seem to understand what I was saying. Again the tractor rammed us, this time a saw that was attached to his tractor came through the window. This went on several times, and as it was going on, I got a good look at the guy driving the green tractor, and I noticed that he was asleep! I don’t know if it was my yelling or what but finally the guy woke up and got control of his machine. With the crisis past we stopped the car at what looked like a rural european town. As we were standing there I noticed off into the distance that same green tractor, and it looked like he was meeting up with a buddy in an orange tractor. I called out to Matt and we headed after the two guys. As we snuck up on them the guy on the green tractor took off, he got by me, but Matt (the football pro tackled him). No sooner had this happened than the other bad guy, the guy from the orange tractor comes out and throws a wrench at Matt and hits him in the head. Angered I tackled the orange tractor guy from behind and started beating him.
My last dream started off with my mom, Sam, and myself flying home. Literally we were flying like you always see superman fly. As we were flying, we flew over Iran, and as we approached you could see plumes of smoke rising from the ground. At first I was excited or happy thinking to myself that Israel or the US had finally taken care of our enemy, but to my horror I found that they were not plumes of smoke from destruction. But rather plumes of smoke from missle launches. Quickly I followed the smoke trail flying on ahead of the rest of my family. Soon I could tell I was over the Mediterainian Sea, and I thought to check out the land of Israel to see if any of the missles had hit there. So I swooped down, but there was no destruction there. I said a quick prayer of thanks, and resumed my search of the missles. I caught up with them somewhere over the Alantic Ocean as I got close I could see that they were red missles and they were destined for my country. When I finally arrived over the US I could see the East and the West coast in flames burnring destruction up and down both coasts. I could see a few gaps along the eastern sea shore, places where bombs had missed or places that God had protected. I then checked on my home state of Tennessee. Thankfully it was clear of damage no bombs had dropped there. We were staying in wooded area in what looked like really fancy cabins, the family was gathered around the tv discussing what was going on, and my mom orders pizza. I guess the delievery guy couldn’t get in, so he calls my mom and tells her what she’s ordered, it was a really long list that I didn’t understand. And she asks me to go meet him and bring the pizza back. As I’m walking through this wooded area to meet the delivery guy, there are all these people going around in circles on what appeared to be scooters or little go carts. Only these weren’t normal go-carts, these things had what looked almost like a peacocks tail only with branches instead of feathers. And there was some crazy lady there trying to sell the carts to anyone passing by. Me being preoccupied with my own thoughts just brushed past her. As I was walking I kept thinking about what was I going to do, should I join the army, but I knew that Arielle wouldn’t want me to go, I knew that she and my family needed my protection. But I had this tug on my heart to fight, so it was a tough decision. And I woke up.
The main theme throughout these dreams seemed to be violence, I don’t know how, but it also tied into the first dream as well, I just can’t remember it. I don’t know what God was trying to tell me about violence, but He’ll show me.
Let me just paint this picture for you. Imagine a tree with two giant, flat, round stones wrapped around its base. The two stones are laying on top of each other and there’s a small gap where the two stones meet that allow someone to pour different grains in to be ground up into flour. Now these two stones are way to large for any human being to move so attached to the top stone are large sails that catch the wind in order to turn the stones to grind the grain. You would think based on the size of the stones that you would need a large almost tornado like wind to get the grinding going. But no the slightest breeze turns these stones and the sails seem to multiple the wind’s effectiveness. I climbed on to the stones, and sails turned almost into a ramp leading up to a little treehouse. The treehouse was small and sparse there’s really only enough room to lay down while the windmill does its work. When the wind begins to move the stones I had to run down and fill the mill with grain, once that was done I would return to the top of the tree and lay down. At night a latern would be lit and the whole tree would be filled with a soft warm light.
After that dream I had another dream, in this dream I was packing a large black bag. I was running from somewhere where my stuff was to a little picnic area just outside of Brit (the congregation where my dad was the rabbi) and the journey between the two places wasn’t an easy one, along the way there were obstacles I had to jump over while carrying this stuff. I would get to Brit put the stuff in the black bag, then realize I had left something behind, and run back to where ever it was I needed to go. This happened three times. On the second trip back, Jen (my old roommates finace’) was waiting at the picnic table and she gave me plans for some new type of suitcase. I realized I had forgotten something, and ran back and forth again. On the third trip Vic (my current boss) was waiting for me at the picnic table, and he gave me the suitcase that Jen had given me the plans for, so I threw them in the black bag. Oh and the whole time i was doing this, I was in my boxers. So you can imagine me jumping over these ditches while running back and forh…. Well maybe you shouldn’t.
Those were my dreams.