Cleave for the win!

This is a follow-up to the post Facing our greatest weakness, together (link).

When my wife and I were married following our year-long Seattle to Chicago courtship, one or the other of us had to relocate. Since she loved teaching more than I loved my career in aerospace, I resigned my position of 20+ years and moved. My hope of finding employment in the rural Midwest was naive at best and after a year of job hunting without so much as an interview, we began to clash, often. Tension was fueled by our old fashioned expectation that a husband should be the principle bread-winner, despite the fact there was no employment in ‘Cornville’ for a former aerospace employee. Consequently, we were forced to make a number of adjustments for the reality of where we chose to make our marriage home.

Jack_and_KK

Feisty!  One of many joys marrying another first born. ;^D

I could write an entire article on how the experience affected my sense of manhood, pride, accomplishment and self worth, going from a highly paid professional position with excellent benefits to earning a few hundred dollars here and there for performing odd jobs while my wife supported me. Yet God’s hand was apparent in our situation, as He taught us to trust and rely on Him and replaced our system of valuation with His own standard of worth. Still it was a rough go at times that ultimately saw us swap typical gender roles. Karen worked hard and long, as most teachers do and I took over the Continue reading

A dream remembered

NOTE: This article is a follow up to the article Deacons? What were the apostles thinking?

The Strange Fishing Dream occurred 10-15 years ago and with the help of friends, the understanding seemed clear. Not long after, I had another fishing dream, forgotten until the Lord brought it to mind today and helped me to see the meaning.

The Dream

funnyfishFrom the window of a vacant industrial building on a pier over the Puget Sound, I was fishing and hooked a big fish, the size of a cow. Somehow I managed to reel it in on a pole much too small for the job, lifted it out of the water, pulled it through the window and placed it on what looked like a boat cradle. I don’t remember that the fish weighed anything.

It was a funny looking fish, with a rounded boxy shape and unlike anything I’d ever seen come out of the Puget Sound. It was bloated looking, smooth skinned and had a pleasant but dumb looking expression on its face. Continue reading

A dream: Barren mountain, lush valley

The dream:

I was anxiously making my way down the side of a mountain on foot with another man who seemed to be a mixture of my earthly and spiritual fathers. The mountain we were descending from was desert like, covered with rock, cactus and stumps. Not a single tree remained on the mountain, while the valley below was lush and inviting with green forest and clear streams. Though I could not see them from the rocky trail, I knew the valley to be filled with people, shelter, food, fellowship, etc. Conversely, the mountain I recognized as “snake country” (if I’ve never mentioned, I hate snakes!) stumpfernDespite my best efforts to convince my “father” to continue on to the valley, which we could have reached by nightfall, he decided instead to camp out on the mountain for the night. We unrolled our sleeping bags, even while I was objecting to it and the danger posed by snakes. My “father” laid out his sleeping bag next to an old rotting stump, from which a vine-like fern was growing and he began to eat the fern, which I thought was most unappetizing. Finally in response to my concerns about snakes, my “father” pulled a full size wall calendar from his pack and showed it to me. In the dream, I was aware it was the month of December, and the calendar was marked “snakes in hibernation” beginning in November. Upon seeing the calendar, I thought to myself “it’s the cold that sends them into hibernation but it’s unseasonably warm!” Consequently, I believed the signs of the times more so than the calendar. As we settled into our sleeping bags with our heads pointed up hill, I did seem to get over my concerns about snakes. We went to sleep.

End of dream.

The dream confused me for several reasons. Continue reading

Wheat field vision

The Vision. Spring of 2000.

wheatfield

Suddenly I was standing in the middle of a vast rolling wheat field. How I got there, I had no idea. It was as if one moment I was a stalk of wheat and the next I was a man. As the vision continued to unfold, I thought to myself I need to look for others and began to look around for a building where I might find other people or a phone where I could call someone to come and pick me up. Turning completely around I didn’t see ANY evidence of buildings or other men in sight. So I stood there, waiting.

Continue reading

I pledge my head to Christ Jesus

When the Lord prompted my wife and I to move to the mid-west from the Seattle area back in 1999, He gave me a dream which I did not understand until after we had left the institutional church the Lord sent us too.

The Dream

I was driving a white 1965 Mercury Monterey convertible with light blue interior. Ahead were the gates of what looked like an old west log fort. The gates swung open and I drove in. The church the Lord sent me to was near the back of the compound. After parking in front of the church, I exited the car and went around to the trunk to collect the gifts I’d brought for the church. From everywhere it seemed, child-like dwarfs emerged and surrounded me. As I began to show the gifts I’d brought, they began snatching them from my hands, treating them with disrespect, grabbing gifts from the trunk and throwing them back after handling them carelessly. Several were letting the air out of the tires and kicking the side panels, while others were jumping up and down on the seats.65monterey

Frantically I was trying to take back the gifts and put them away, while chasing them out of the trunk and car, Continue reading

An Abomination in the Lord’s Eyes

Following a shameful display of spiritual pride, a brother or sister once cautioned me with the words “the ground is level at the foot of the cross”. Though not a quote from scripture, the saying has occasionally prompted me to reflect upon my standing before the Savior. On the surface, it is a humbling reminder that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that all of us, no matter how upright and moral, need the Savior.

millstoneA few days ago, while writing a friend with with a word of encouragement, I found myself thinking about the word “the ground is level at the foot of the cross” once again. But the saying seemed unfitting for the situation my friend faced: applying salve to wounds received from a controlling pastor. As I was about to dismiss the thought, the Lord prompted me to consider it from His perspective on the cross. Continue reading

Strange fishing dream

fishing2The Lord gave me a dream several years ago, wherein I was fishing from a large rock that extended into the river. There was someone with me, but I do not remember who it was – a faceless friend would be a good way to describe my fishing buddy. I was using my steelhead pole with a level wind reel, cast the bait into the water and reeled in slowly to work the bait along the bottom of the river where the big fish are.

With the first cast, I reeled in too quickly and the bait did not reach the bottom. My fishing buddy suggested I reel in more slowly and keep my rod tip up to achieve more depth. With the 2nd cast, I felt the sinker bumping along the bottom of the river and I waited for the hesitation that would tell me I had a bite. When I felt what seemed like a bite, I set the hook and began to reel the fish in quickly. My ‘fishing buddy’ instructed me to slow down and take my time reeling in the fish, as a slow retrieve is better for landing Continue reading