1. My 2002 Dodge has a new engine in it. It's getting a second chance cause it kept me dry and warm sleeping in it during a cold winter. Yes, its just metal and paint but that truck counts as a friend. Friends who save your six get second chances
2. Favorite- Shop class! Not mechanically inclined whatsoever but that class provided confidence to take on things I know very little about. Eric Dahle was like an uncle and didn't put up with bullying or favoritism. Returned to visit him during my first year of college cause he was dieing from cancer and thanked him for providing one of the only refuges I had known. My 13-16 years were a nightmare and his class provided a two hour break from a world that was tough in school and home. Just enough rest to get me through...before I left- asked him to find my Grandpa Walt on the other side and tell him I said hi. Pretty sure Mr. Dahle kept his word...gonna be good to see him again.
For a couple years a Math teacher was running a chess club and we talked foreign policy. Told him in November, 2001 we would go after Iraq next and he didn't believe me. Yeah, he finally respected my abilities while we watched the invasion in 2003.
Least favorite- gym, the favoritism and bullying... unprintable things happened. Took years to go back and visit and not remember things...
3. Joseph- man I love a good dewd who will obey an angel then take the hit so others wont. Especially in that tight knit society, Joseph paid a price and it was steep so Jesus and Mary could be protected when they were most vulnerable. Doesn't surprise me Joseph had no qualms about poping smoke to Egypt...he was willing to give up his status and business in the community so leaving the community to protect Jesus and go to Egypt was no big deal. Lot's more to the Mary-Joseph angle than we see on paper but can be comfortably inferred. Joseph gave up everything, had a back bone and a pair of brass balls. Not enough in the Bible about him and it's an issue i'll take up with God someday. Lesson: the most effective and at first glance- failures- are people who don't care what others think cause they know the mission God has given them and are gonna see this through. That's crazy and dangerous...and Joseph was key towards Jesus accomplishing his mission. Dangerous men are unafraid of failure and taking the hit so others can accomplish what needs to be done.
Jeremiah- American believers avoid Jeremiah like he has the plague and just reading the book we will get it. We like soft pews-comfort, success- big churches where we can tell each other we are blessed, convenience- who hasn't ignored the poor person or judged the single mom instead of offering to help, sacrificing kids to football, hockey, soccer-hello idolatry?..not to mention Kardashians (I'm particular to Khloe.)
Jeremiah warned Israel that the party-idolatry-success- was going to end. Israel basically told ole Jer to kick rocks and pound sand. I dug deep into ole Jer a few years ago and grew a deep respect and borderline kinship with the guy. We are gonna have one heck of a chat on the other side....
Why? Great question thanks for asking! In 2007, was hot and sweaty sitting in a humvee thinking Im wasting my time sucking sand. I knew Iraq was the second most mentioned place in the Bible. America invaded it. Coincidence? ....not a chance. Knew there was something bigger going on, couldn't put a finger on it and worse yet? Couldn't keep my big mouth shut and asked why. (Be careful what you ask God for- you might just get it. There's a reason I never asked for patience.)I hear this voice say "I'm setting things up." ok...this aint revelations. Knew God was throwing a bread crumb and it was time to follow the trail. Must be OT. So I blindly open my Bible and there is Ezekiel Ch. 38 and 39 and I do the geography of the battle in my head. (Not hard when you're in a war and looking at maps every day)
It clicks. Iraq is between Persia and Israel, by invading Iraq we are going to put in a govt that will be on good terms with Iran. America has just kicked open the door to make the next steps possible...
Fast foward:2014, was a train conductor and these engineers are asking whats going on in the Middle East. I explain whats going on and whats going to happen. (When you're on a train for 12 hours- gives you a lot of time to think and read.) So these engineers keep telling me I need to write this stuff down..
Soon after God gave a dream that I was going to be leaving the railroad. Month later events occur out of my control and I got fired. I sensed God was directing me to start writing...and the conclusions havn't been well received. The party is going to end in America (Ezekiel 39 vs. 6)
Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel...yeah crazy dewds who on the surface look bad, lost everything in the process and still get the mission done fascinate me.
Always wanted to know how Elijah called down fire from heaven and it actually happened...the town I grew up in would've been magically changed into a big BBQ pit
Gandalf..be careful what you ask for....you might just get it.
4. Tom Clancy- he wrote a book-in the 90's I believe- about a pilot flying a plane and crashing it into DC. His literature was food for an intellectually starved high schooler who saw 9/11 and Iraq coming...
5. Who has encouraged me? Too many to count. I'll answer that one after some zzz's.