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A Strange Place II

Glad that Header Photo got your attention!

It was sent to me early this morning after calling a confidant and trusted friend, one of the few in my life with the same spiritual orientation as myself. (aka, He gets me!).

Both of us were raised in the deepest of Pentecostal persuasions, hold relatively well respected roles in our professional community, and have witnessed both the bizarre and the beautiful.

All this common background provides for some electrifying moments of truth- telling in the cabin at times, or as with this morning, impromptu and quite humorous phone conversations, along with the occasional exchange of an irreverent emoji!

I was sharing with him the 3-D, if not 5th dimensional, spiritual environment in which I have found myself of late.

For any first time readers, I am well-church'd, and hold membership in one of the best in the Triad, with a pastor renowned for his delivery of the "Good News". As well, he has authored numerous best selling books, with his global reach carried on scores of radio stations daily.

He is a dear friend, charismatic in personality, well credentialed and recieved in our city. He is also full open to an understanding of the gifts of the Spirit, evangelical in the truest sense of the word, less the political intertwinement of most.

All that to say, I feel that I am well grounded spiritually, in case you find yourselves wondering!

Then there is the other side of my life, one well spent preparing for a career in education, holding two graduate degrees in Leadership, with a passionate calling to cities.

The combination of both the spiritual grounding above and my academic preparation led me, after twenty years in public education, to walk into a good faith offer to serve a large Pentecostal church.

I had for 30 years been intimately involved in its expansive campus growth, though of late only passively observing, as it shifts in its 70+ year trajectory, the property sold to a nearby university. All those years framed by the best intent of men as a light to our city.

Though I trust the shift to be to her good, there remains some sense of felt vacuum, even question in my being of my own best efforts, which somewhat framed the possibilities that now lie before her. Such is the nature of true devotion.

Meanwhile in another dimension, my own business life and extended family blessed in such a way as to enter my last couple decades fully provided for, with a spouse and daughter well admired for their love, service to others and their capacity to honor my own occasional whining.

I laugh at how I must sound at times to the Lord, even this morning, as I found myself expressing my most inner thoughts to my younger friend, it was as if I could hear the Lord saying, "Go ahead John, with your 'Nobody knows the trouble I've seen' song'..I'll play the violin!" Ha!

My friend's quick response was the source of my ridiculous but telling header photo! Love it!

All this musing is layered atop such an amazing moment of deep joy which I recently experienced while addressing our local Chamber, just last week. Truly, feeling the love of so many community leaders as we discussed our PFE, Purpose for Existence, that "piece" of God assigned to each of us, one beyond all our understanding, so critical to humanity that it be fully unpacked!

Then coupled immediately with two weekend meetings that blew my mind, as I watched a supernatural land transaction come together, as described in yesterday's blog post!

Some of this deep thought (at least in my mind) was stirred by a book given me Saturday by a native born Czech sister. The book is entitled, "Czech Wells, The Heritage of Czech and Moravian Reformation" and details the horrible price paid some 500+ years ago that led us into Luther's Reformation, eventually establishing the historic Salem in my hometown.

Their tongues nailed to the wall, hands severed and heads removed all because of their insistence upon sharing a more "progressive revelation." Later reinforced by an "outpouring of the Spirit in Hernnhut, Germany where they had fled both the Institutional Church and the political hierarchy then so entangled! Hello!

As I have desperately tried to capture in words since 2008, I carry my own sense of burden that we are in the throws of another such transformational moment.

Then, almost like cold water in my face, my 50 year read through the scriptures, slaps me back into reality. This mysterious book seems always so in pace with my life, another dimension of sorts in which I "live, and move, and have 'my' being!" Acts 17:28.

This morning's read, Luke 12:4-7 KJV‬‬:

"And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."

I am so blessed, with so much still yet to be shared. "Come Let Us Reason Together" seems appropriate language, "though our sins (our best of intent seems) as scarlet!"

Thank God in Christ, we are counted "white as snow"!

Can you hear the hint of another book!

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Blinding believes

“I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be…

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