PART FOUR– Bernalillo toMoon River (cont.)
Particle – Flying
Who hasn’t wanted to fly? Why do we have airplanes and stories like Peter Pan? Most of us have dreamt of flying – by faith, that is, powered by believing we could. Within, we can. God gives us that power in our relationship with Him whereby our spirits soar. In May of 1984, I was given a song to express these things (Listen here).
For the first time I am flying!
It’s what I’ve always dreamed of….
What I’ve always longed for!
Now I really have it….
A worm I am in blossom!
Mounting like a pretty
Butterfly, away up high
Up in the sky….
I am now an eagle
In the heights of Heaven
I can soar forever and ever and a day
Finally I’m flying!
Yes, I am flying!
Through the Andersons, we met John Poole and his wife. John, an ex-JW, was holding Bible studies for disaffected and disfellowshipped JWs. He was also instructing in Tai Chi. As we visited with them on July 10th, we were wondering if there was any opening to share the things of God. There was none. John took the reins, determined he was capable of shepherding, and was quite assertive about it.
Dropping in on Currie’s Groceries while soliciting business, I had a talk with the manager, Craig Currie, the owner’s son. He let me know they were having employee morale problems. I asked the Lord how I should proceed and received wisdom. I told Craig I would examine him, his employees, the operation, and provide recommendations. He agreed to a small fee of $400.
Craig turned out to be the problem. He was drinking, late for work, absent, suffering hangovers, unpredictable, temperamental, and miserable with his staff. They complained in confidentiality. When I presented the results to Craig, he didn’t deny any of it.
But what would be the solution? Again, I asked the Lord. Again, He gave me wisdom. Craig had followed in his father’s footsteps. His heart wasn’t in the business. He was there not because he wanted to be, but because his father wanted it. He acknowledged what I said was true. I told him he needed to leave, that remaining there wasn’t good or fair for anyone, especially for him.
Craig paid me the fee and was thankful for the advice. When his father found out about it, he was upset and said, “We didn’t need to spend that money! I could have told him he was the problem!” I replied that oftentimes one needs to hear it from an unbiased outside party.
I heard years later that Craig had taken up nursing, which had been his interest, and he was much happier there. I was thankful to hear it. I don’t know if he left the business, or the business left him, because Currie’s was soon no more.
Ray Spencer and his wife, Jan, owned and operated Sunwest Cabinets, a cabinet refacing business on Stafford Street in Lethbridge. He called me in response to my flyer, asking for help. He showed me the books, and I found a veritable mess. No doubt, most consultants would have advised him to declare bankruptcy.
I saw that his business had potential if handled properly. However, Ray was neglecting his creditors altogether while spending money foolishly. Furthermore, he was taking deposits from customers and not fulfilling his obligations. There were clients he left with jobs not duly completed. I could almost assume he was scamming, though the possibility existed that he was highly incompetent.
He had debts, current and old, everywhere. Again, I wasn’t interested in the mechanics, but in the principles of doing things legally, morally, and spiritually right, convinced that if one honored God and His ways, He would bless and make a way where there was none.
I advised Ray that it would only be right to pay all he owed, even though it would take time. He wasn’t too enthused, but knowing it was the right thing to do, he didn’t argue. I perceived he wasn’t interested in integrity, but because he didn’t directly resist, I proceeded.
I asked God for wisdom. Again, God was faithful to give. We drew up an agreement, and I told him I would give him the first 20 investigative hours at no charge, knowing he had little money and believing he needed encouragement to do the right thing.
He had several creditors, great and small, some of which had resigned to writing off his debts as losses. I went to those who were demanding payment and threatening suit, and asked them for patience, telling them we were in the process of trying to remedy the situation. Appreciating the consideration afforded them, and seeing there wasn’t much more they could do anyway, most were willing to cooperate.
I met Harvey Harsch, an accountant, who had just come to town and was staying in his trailer at the KOA until he and his family found a home. I decided to show him Ray’s books and get his opinion. He agreed the situation was bad, that most would advise closing such a business down, but he also conceded that it was possible to turn it around if the client cooperated. He didn’t hold out much hope for that, however, examining the nature of the business activity and concluding that the owner wasn’t much interested in honest, viable, equitable solutions.
I also asked the advice of a financial advisor with a government institution helping businesses, who advised me to forget this fellow, that there was no hope of ability for, or sign of, integrity.
Isn’t it interesting how a man’s character can be judged by his accounting records? However, I proceeded, having the quiet conviction that I needed to do so in spite of the logic and appearances. It certainly wasn’t for the money!
After doing some work with Ray, I knew that a gentlemen’s agreement wasn’t likely to work. Knowing it very possible that I was dealing with a shyster, I needed to get a contract signed, in case I was ever forced to go to court. I suspected Ray wouldn’t sign it, but perhaps his wife might. I went to their office with the contract when he wasn’t there, hoping that somehow I could persuade her that it was in their best interests to sign. I suggested that the free hours I was giving them, as stipulated in the contract, needed someone’s acknowledgment. Jan, a principal of the company, signed.
I spent many hours addressing Ray’s problems and ways. I addressed his spending, advising him to tighten his belt. As I suspected, it wasn’t long before Ray and his wife decided to dismiss me. Didn’t he like what I was doing and advising him to do? Apparently not. Was he now dumping me without pay as he had been doing with everyone else? He declared that I hadn’t shown results, and therefore he wasn’t going to pay me. He said, “I’ve spent time; I know a con when I see one.”
Because he wasn’t giving me the opportunity to finish the job I had begun, and given that it therefore wasn’t fair that he should expect any results until I was done, I decided I wanted to get paid for my work, which he had previously agreed to pay for. When I called them to collect, Jan answered and suggested that Ray was violent, had a rifle, and that he had headed out in his pickup in a rage, upset with me. I asked her to pay me what they owed, suspecting an intimidating tactic.
It became perfectly obvious even to someone as slow on the uptake as me that he wasn’t going to pay. I would be forced to go to court if I wished to collect. Without a signed agreement, I knew the chances were slim for me to succeed. I was glad Jan had signed; I had the paper.
One of the reasons I had asked his creditors for time was to prevent a forced bankruptcy, thus ruining it for all creditors and clients involved. If I were to take him to court and prevail, I might do the very thing I was trying to prevent for others.
There was yet the most important consideration to me. As a believer in Jesus Christ, was I right in suing? Didn’t Jesus say, “But I say to you, Do not make use of force against an evil man; but to him who gives you a blow on the right side of your face let the left be turned. And if any man goes to law with you and takes away your coat, do not keep back your robe from him” (Matthew 5:39-40 BBE)?
If I were to take those words at face value, not only was I not to sue, I was to let my enemy wrongfully sue me and let him have whatever he wanted, and then some. Marilyn was tearfully distraught over this situation – frustrated, confused, fearful, and angry. She and I struggled with it, prayed, and concluded we had to take Ray Spencer to court.
I then heard the Lord say, as through the judge who would preside in this suit:
“I find no fault with this man. I find for the plaintiff.”
How strange! Were not those the kind of words heard as pertaining to a defendant? Was I not the plaintiff, the one suing? Yet, it seemed like I was going to be the defendant, though victorious.
Planning to do things without a lawyer, I went to present my suit in small claims court. There, waiting for me, was Donald Moffat, representing Ray Spencer. He was outspoken and boisterous. After the hearing, Donald deliberately met me at the door and sarcastically threatened, “Oh, and by the way, there’ll be a countersuit.”
Countersuit? What for? What had I possibly done that was wrong? I thought it was a bluff and intimidation tactic.
Thinking I might not do so well against a lawyer, I discussed the matter with Brian Bickerton, who said, “Victor, don’t do this on your own; get a lawyer. You don’t want to have to defend yourself.”
He immediately got on the phone with Claudio Chiste, a lawyer he knew.
“Hi Claudio, Brian Bickerton here. How are you? Good. Say, I have a friend who needs your services. His name is Victor Hafichuk. He’s suing someone for not paying him for some consulting he did.”
Claudio replied, “Victor Hafichuk? I saw his name cross my desk on a rental agreement as a tenant of Richard and Cindy Willis in the fall of 1982.”
“That’s the guy. Will you help him? Here’s the situation…” Brian explained, later telling me Claudio had a phenomenal memory and was a member of Mensa.
“Send him over,” Claudio responded.
Claudio and I talked, he took the case, and I went home wondering what Spencer and Moffat were up to. Would they accuse me falsely? Would they sue me and cause me to pay something?
I called Claudio a couple of times about my suspicions and his bold advice was, “Victor, stop speculating! Put it away; deal with the facts!”
I was notorious for speculating. It was a lesson I needed to learn and which would serve me well and those with me in future years – if I practiced it.
Our day in court arrived, and Spencer and Moffat didn’t try as much as I expected. They could only attempt to cast doubt on my qualifications as a business consultant. Claudio was right – speculation would have profited nothing.
When Judge Byrne asked me to speak, Claudio asked me what my work history was, and I gave my past business history. He asked me to relate our agreement (the judge had the signed contract), what I had to say about it, and what Spencer had to say. I repeated Spencer’s words, saying he would not pay me, that he had spent time and knew a con when he saw one. (I expected this information might do something, and I thought I saw Moffat react, and Spencer and Chiste wince.) When we were done, the judge asked me what I would like from the defendant. I told him I wanted pay for hours I had put in beyond the free twenty.
Judge Byrne didn’t take time to deliberate. He said, “I find no fault with this man. I find for the plaintiff.” Those were the words I was told I would hear. God is sovereign over all things. I was thankful to win and thankful to have heard the encouragement from the Lord and to see His Word fulfilled.
Who says there is no God?
Because Spencer wouldn’t pay, the sheriff was sent to confiscate his shop equipment. He came up with the money, and the case was closed, and so was his business; he was finished in Lethbridge. Yes, his creditors lost out. It wouldn’t occur to me until many years later (the usual speed of my uptake) why I had to sue Ray Spencer. Do you have any idea why?
I was sorry I didn’t ask for legal costs. Somehow I thought Claudio was going to speak up for me on that matter, but he didn’t. He seemed unsure whether it was possible to receive those; more likely, he was afraid. It wouldn’t have hurt to try. It was certainly owed me.
I have to say I was disappointed with Claudio. He was so timid. I felt like I had to be the one doing the speaking. But I liked the guy and don’t hold anything against him.
From my experience with Claudio, I received revelation and shared it with him. Read I See A Boy.
My original questions going into consulting: Who do I counsel? In what matters do I counsel? Do I charge? If so, how do I charge, how much, and for what? The Lord, by MH Consulting, answered those questions for me within three months.
I knew I could no longer continue what I was doing. There were too many contradictions and complications. I was cut out for something different, something more, better, cleaner, and much higher. Business consulting per se would not do.
I realized that while there were those who appreciated my counsel and paid for it, my business was to bring what He gave me, as He directed, not to the world, but to His chosen people. It was up to Him, not me, to choose whom I was to help and how.
I was to give as I had received, without charge. That takes care of the “how,” the “for what,” and the “how much.” As for paying my way, or earning a living, I had temporarily forgotten or disbelieved the Lord’s promise in Bernalillo, that as I addressed His concerns, He would take care of mine. I didn’t have to charge a penny or worry about provision. What burdens lifted!
As I was sitting outside at the KOA, I remembered the first time the Lord made Himself known to me, twelve years earlier, possibly to the very day. It was in the dream of His coming, which I had in 1972. Suddenly, I knew who the man was walking with the Lord. I knew! I was astounded!
I told Marilyn what I had received and she immediately agreed (it witnessed with her). However, I’m not free to tell you who it was. But it wouldn’t be long before others, with surprised faces, as if something was suddenly dawning on them, correctly told me who it was.
Though I’m not sure when this took place, it was during this general period that I received the final verses to The Shadow of the Gallows Tree. It was now “The Butterfly.”
The heavy stone is rolled away; I’ve risen from the earth.
I have new life and power now; I’ve had my second birth.
The day for Him to judge is here; I sit upon His throne;
He draws His sword a second time, and I am not alone.
Yes, now I am that butterfly, no more to crawl or squirm,
But it’s His work, I can’t deny,
For I was but a worm….
Yes, it’s His work, I can’t deny,
For I was but a worm.
(Click HERE to listen to “The Butterfly,” or to read the full lyrics.)
I met Karen Alm while visiting at Paramount Printers, I believe. She was an employee there. We spent some time visiting later, because she professed to believe and attended the Park Meadows Baptist Church. She was a troubled lady and I was hoping I could help her, but it seemed she wasn’t in earnest search of righteousness and truth.
I also met her sister, Theresa, who appeared to be her dominant twin. Both were lost and fearful souls, searching for their place. Ladies, the Lord can do for you what nobody else and nothing else can, but you must be prepared to put your trust in Him. Religion and church attendance are not what He’s after.
The Lord gave me a number of poems during this time. I will give a few in completion in this Part, and others you can read on our website, via the provided links:
(The incomprehensible frivolity of those who deem it enjoyable and sporting to make a game of killing and suffering!
Such acts and attitudes are symptoms of a horridly sick society indeed. To make a sport of the tragedies of mankind is to demonstrate a madness of the vilest kind on earth, worse than that which we find in asylums because those out and about, free to do as they please, are pleased to mimic the worst there is, though they are judged by the rest of society to be sane and responsible. The judges are as ill as the judged, if they find no fault or harm in such behavior.)
(One day I was filled with the excitement of knowing that God is our sufficiency in all things. My thoughts then turned to a city and what makes a city. I knew firstly that God’s rule applies in all things of life, and secondly the city was greatly lacking, in all ways, of His rule and healing power. Furthermore, it was those who were in authority who were supposed to be teaching, directing, leading, and delivering, but instead, they were the ones responsible for the corruption and degeneration of the people. Only outside the city, but not far away, was The Remedy.)
(It has occurred to me that if there ever was a lie, if there ever was anything so unscientifically accurate, so preposterous, so utterly stupid and incredibly farcical, if there was anything that made supposedly educated and intelligent men look like babbling idiots and pea-brained morons, it is the theory of evolution.
Taught as fact, contradicting truth, and while in some cases and ways trying to accommodate God somewhere in their schemes, evolutionists have denied Him. Rather than coming from monkeys, they’ve gone to them. Yet they won’t believe me when I tell them creation is regressing.)
(Social and moral issues abound. There is no want of them – ever. And rarely are they settled to the true benefit of all. Debate goes on and on. The minds involved grow deeper in darkness until, with all their statistics and evidence, arguments and logic, all sides are as raving madmen, utterly failing to put their finger on the problem, much less finding a solution for it.
Darkened minds must be given the right and the opportunity to suffer the fruits of their thinking. Their consequences will speak far louder than the voices of those who try to spare them their folly.)
On July 20, 1984, I wrote the poem “Grabbing”:
Who is going to do it – I or God? Who will initiate – the one led or the One leading? Do we help Him? Does He need our help? Were we around to help Him start it all? Do we think we must at least be around to help Him finish it? Do we have any understanding as to how the end should look?
Either we reign or God reigns. Either we call the shots or He does. And every soul is in confusion until it learns to put its trust entirely in Him. As one person put it, “Let go and let God.”
Grab a hold! Grab with all you’ve got!
Grab? Grab what?
I’ve grabbed and grabbed and grabbed.
I now find nothing to grab, and if I did,
I would be too exhausted to grab.
I once sat and waited.
I waited. I waited to see. I waited to hear and to understand.
Nothing came for me to grab.
But then nothing grabbed me and I could wait no more.
I went out to grab, finding something to grab.
Now I grab instead of wait.
And I hurt for grabbing.
I grab again and the pain grows intense, intolerable.
Then I remember…………. no more grabbing!
So I wait until I’m grabbed again by the One
Who already holds me and Who teaches me not to grab,
But to rest and to be grabbed.