PART SIX – Harvest Haven to Surprise Visitors
The Third Dimension (cont’d)
(More of) The Feast of PENTECOST
When Lois Benson and Cathie Hafichuk went to a U-pick farm just outside of Lethbridge for farm-fresh strawberries, they told the owner that we were in the market for an acreage and asked if they knew of any for sale. The owner said that just the previous night, they’d decided to sell their 80-acre market farm that they’d owned for about 13 years (having purchased it from the Fortunes).
Marilyn and I went out to see it. It happened to be one we had visited years earlier, in 1988 or so, when shopping for lamb. At that time, seeing the many huge cottonwoods and house style, the thought had entered my mind, “I wouldn’t mind owning this place.” It was a simple, fleeting thought; I don’t recall ever thinking that way of any other property. The place wasn’t for sale then, and if it had been, we would have had no financial means whatsoever of buying it, nor did we have any interest in operating a market farm (not that it needed to continue as one).
It happened to be July 10th when we revisited the farm and spoke to the owners, Bill and Vera Mokoski. That night we decided we would buy, but first to sleep on it. The next day, July 11th, we struggled and debated, discussed it with Archie, and finally gave Mokoskis their asking price.
This was the third time that I assumed debt, contrary to what the Lord had taught me. The first was in 1974, when I married Marilyn, who had a student loan. That, of course, couldn’t be helped, and we paid it off. The second debt was when we were led to buy our Moon River home in 1988 and take over the assumable mortgage, which the Lord paid off only months later. Now in 1995, we assumed a small mortgage on the farm already in place with the Alberta Credit Union.
We shopped for a lawyer and settled on Dennis Pollock of Pollock and Co. However, I discovered that he was going to charge considerably more than Howard Heil, another lawyer in Lethbridge. When I told Dennis so, he said, “I know Howard Heil. If it had been any other lawyer in town (there were many dozens), I wouldn’t believe you. I will only charge what you say he would have charged you.”
He was true to his word. We cashed in our mutuals, which were now showing some growth. Rick Dempsey didn’t give us a hard time cashing in, unlike Bill Welton. Possession of the farm was slated for October 1, 1995.
Being the only child and lonely at times, Jonathan expressed a wish for a sibling. We were surprised to have confirmed at Dr. Morgan’s office that Marilyn was again pregnant. She was now 45. Was this going to be the little girl of Paul’s and Bob’s dreams? Somehow we were excited – yet we weren’t.
Jonathan Legg had a religious background. His father was ministering in Charismatic circles, but there had been some difficult circumstances in conflicts with others. It was evident Jonathan was hurting, wary, unbelieving, and perhaps bitter. When Sean brought him for a visit, we tried sharing with him, but he wasn’t to be persuaded out of his darkness.
We have seen so many people hurting, skeptical, and bitter because of religion and hypocrisy. I can only see that each of them was tried and found wanting. The true seeker after God will not be dissuaded from the path of Truth, but triflers and those preferring their own gain will fall away, using others as an excuse for their failures.
One day, Marilyn discovered she was spotting, went to the bathroom, and the toilet bowl was suddenly filled with blood and tissue. We called the clinic and they asked us to retrieve what we could for examination. I thought, “God, how gross! How unclean! How horrible! Why? Why? What’s happening?” There I was, hands in the toilet bowl, fishing out vile garbage… or our expected girl… or both.
We brought in the scant remains. They could determine nothing and persuaded us to have an ultrasound. There was no doubt that the fetus was dead. It was a shock, particularly because we were wondering why God would do this to us. Surely, He could give health and life. But He didn’t; instead, He erased the promise of it. Or did He? Unexpected and important benefits were to come.
Despite the sad circumstances, we weren’t overcome with grief or dismay. It was interesting to see the medical staff brace themselves for our reaction, trying to be caring. It seemed they overestimated our possible reactions. Or we didn’t react, I suppose, as couples usually would.
Faith in His loving sovereignty has held us together in many trying times.
You’ll recall that at Jonathan’s birth, I wanted a female doctor. My belief was that men shouldn’t be involved when a woman was naked. It didn’t happen. Without warning or permission, Dr. Hardin brought in a male pediatrician. She was a devious woman.
Now we were told that a D&C was necessary. A dictionary at Google states: “Dilation and curettage is a gynecological procedure performed on the female reproductive system. The procedure involves dilating the cervix and inserting instruments to clean out the lining of the uterus while the woman is under an anaesthetic. D&Cs are most commonly performed for the purposes of abortion or miscarriage, but these are far from the only reasons that a woman may require one.”
There it was, full exposure to Dr. Munoz, who would perform the operation. Marilyn insisted on the operation and I acquiesced. I gave up trying to protect our dignity.
How true the words of Isaiah, saying, “All our righteousnesses are as a menstruation cloth!” (Isaiah 64:6) Our righteousness is worse than worthless, but we like to preserve it, in God’s Name, no less, as though it was the fabled gold bullion of Fort Knox (which, by now, is nothing but a fable). We try to be our own defenders and PR people, the glory of God on two feet. He brings us down to defeat, humiliation, and failure to show us it’s about Him and not us; that He rules, not we. “The flesh profits nothing.”
When I told Archie Marilyn had miscarried, he instantly broke out in a smile of delight and quietly exclaimed, “Praise the Lord! I was right! I heard from the Lord!” While we were sorrowful, he was excited and quite tickled. “I heard the miscarriage was because you were bitter towards God for your losses in the stock market.”
“What?” His “revelation” took me by surprise. Yes, I had a very hard time in the stock world; yes, I was angry with God at times for not telling me clearly what to do, though He was telling me all along, and I was listening to Marilyn and Archie instead. I had been chastened as a money monger and acknowledged my wrong. Had I hung in the stock market to see “a quarter million to a million”? No. Was that unbelief? Perhaps it was.
God does instruct us to establish all things by two or three witnesses. Was I bitter towards God? Could be, but I certainly didn’t realize it. He hadn’t spoken a word to me or anyone else on this matter, before, during, or after Archie spoke.
Was that the Spirit of God coming by Archie, rejoicing at my judgment? Was Archie’s glorying justified in “hearing from God” about my disobedience and the consequences?
How could it not be the miscarriage was God’s wrath on us for one reason or another, though I received no revelation on it? Maybe it was true His wrath was on me for the reason Archie gave. After all, the Scriptures declare:
Proverbs 1:24-33 MKJV
(24) Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention;
(25) but you have despised all my advice, and would have none of my warning.
(26) I also will laugh at your trouble; I will mock when your fear comes;
(27) when your fear comes as a wasting away, and your ruin comes like a tempest when trouble and pain come upon you.
(28) Then they shall call upon me, and I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me;
(29) instead they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of Jehovah.
(30) They would have none of my counsel; they despised all my correction,
(31) and they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own desires.
(32) For the turning away of the simple kills them, and the ease of fools destroys them.
(33) But whoever listens to me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Was Nathan tickled because he heard from God when he had to deliver the message to David about the adultery and murder David committed?
There was never a warning that I was falling into bitterness. Why would God now condemn or rejoice against me after the fact? While I struggled with the matter for a while, trying to examine myself for that bitterness, I came to believe Archie was speaking not to correct, but out of bitterness to condemn and to rejoice over my apparent misfortune, defeat and suffering. This wouldn’t be the first time Archie displayed a competitive and envious spirit with me.
I concluded it was Satan speaking, the accuser of the brothers in Christ, not a spokesperson of God.
But shouldn’t I have known I was so wrong in pursuing gain in this world? Paul certainly and solemnly warned Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:9-11 MKJV
(9) But they who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which plunge men into destruction and perdition.
(10) For the love of money is a root of all evils, of which some having lusted after, they were seduced from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
(11) But you, O man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.
However, the story didn’t quite end there.
Since Marilyn gave birth to Jonathan, she hadn’t felt well. She was always really tired, having a general sense of malaise. There were also internal discomforts so that when we had sex, it was painful for her. She thought that all her discomfort was a result of having to get up nearly every night with Jonathan.
Then Marilyn had the D&C and all discomfort and pain disappeared, her energy returned promptly, and she felt like new. So was the miscarriage bad or good? We were certainly bettered by it. Now we were ready to take on the farm, though we didn’t know at the time it was something we’d have to do.
Without explanation, the Mokoskis became quite unfriendly and uncooperative with us almost immediately after we bought the farm. They had seven acres of strawberries we were buying from them, but as we spoke to them in the strawberry patch, we sensed that picking and eating one strawberry was more than they could bear.
We had paid them their asking price for a rundown property, without dickering, even though they had no realtor fees to pay. Because we knew nothing about farming, and so that we could immediately take over the operations without shopping for equipment and machinery we weren’t familiar with, we bought most of their equipment at their asking prices.
Was that wise? Normally, one would prefer to know what they’re dealing with; however, it would take time for us to learn the markets, decide what we were going to do with the farm, how to do it, and to shop for whatever was needed. This way we could begin taking over their operation as is, good or bad.
But Bill was disgruntled. We later found out why by the “grapevine express,” an often unexpected, spontaneous, and effective vehicle of information.
During these years, Archie and his family were in constant touch with us. When they came out on Sundays, our traditional day of rest, there would be deadness and boredom. I wondered why I didn’t have anything of spiritual value to minister to them and if there wasn’t something wrong with me.
Then the Lord gave me to realize that the fault was not with the transmitter, but with the receiver.
Lois told us later that Cathie complained about Archie’s working on his day of rest. The complaint might have been legitimate, but neither Cathie nor Archie ever said anything to us about it. I would hear of other things that they whispered and murmured behind our backs. We could never trust them to be honest with us. We constantly discovered more backbiting, lies and deception. Those always bothered us. If there’s anything I have ever had a problem with, it’s being lied to.
Notwithstanding the indications of faith, we soon came to realize Monica Taylor, Paul’s broker friend, was showing signs of deception and questioning our motives, our faith, and us. She wasn’t honest with us, and she wasn’t willing to acknowledge wrong in her life or make necessary changes in her plans to harmonize her directions and lifestyle with ours.
For example, she was determined to go for liposuction to rid herself of her fat, which we rejected. We believed she needed to change her life, not rearrange the fruits of her sins and weaknesses. Addressing the root causes, problems would be effectively addressed. She didn’t see it that way. She was also prepared to marry another man, an unbeliever she had in mind if Paul wasn’t available. It became obvious there was more desire to marry than there was faith in God and desire to do right.
For months, Monica was frequently in touch with us. In the end, she became fretful and cynical. Perhaps she had doubts about our faith because Marilyn suffered a miscarriage instead of experiencing God’s grace and miraculous healing, as Monica had with her endometriosis when Paul prayed for her healing. I don’t know. One day, she cut off all communication and we never heard from her again.
I was sorry I had consented to her financial offering, which we didn’t receive. It could well be that my consent to accept it fed her doubts about us. But is there any way of appeasing unbelief? I wrote Monica, rebuking her for her deception, and telling her she was swinish. This was one time when I decided I wasn’t letting someone go away without some tough words.
I find it remarkable that she could receive a wonderfully miraculous healing and then walk away with cynicism. Yet Jesus said that unbelief would prevail though the dead were raised. After all, He raised Lazarus from the dead and they immediately sought to kill Him for it. Can you imagine? You’d think they’d fear and tremble at such awesome power.
Auntie Ann Atamanchuk, my surrogate mother for a year and a half or more, passed away. Being childless, she left her estate to be divided among all her nephews, nieces, and “godchildren.” After so many years of being apart without communication, and given my separation from the family, I was surprised to receive anything from her.
Whether it was my fears or reality, when I didn’t attend my father’s funeral, I expected some angry people in the family. While contemplating whether to phone her, I had the thought she’d be angry with me and hang up, so I didn’t call. I could have been wrong to think that way.
I recall how in the early 70’s, when I first believed, I spent time with Auntie Ann, trying to convert her to Christ. She argued that she couldn’t leave the Catholic Church or the family. While I wasn’t asking her to do either of those, I knew the division she expected would be necessary if she truly believed. Auntie had seen division with Mary Kozak, the first family relative that I’m aware to leave the Catholic Church. She saw it with Uncle’s brother and wife who became Jehovah’s Witnesses, and she saw it with me. She wasn’t prepared to pay the price.
I don’t recall even bothering to try to convert Uncle. He seemed so removed from the things of God, His Law, and morality. Near his end, however, Uncle, the crude, brutish man, was reading the Bible and excited about what he was finding, while Auntie, it seemed, had no interest in spiritual matters at all.
Who knows who will believe? God draws whom He will to the Son, no matter who they are or how they’ve lived. The most upstanding and moral people are often the ones left without, while harlots, drug dealers, drunks, and sexual perverts are granted sorrow for sin and repentance and are ushered into the Kingdom of God, marveling and jubilant in their sudden undeserved blessedness.
Sean Fife brought Chris Heynen, another young acquaintance from First Baptist Church in Lethbridge, for a visit in August.
As we seated ourselves on the back deck, Chris immediately assumed my chair, the prominent one, which accommodated my neck problems. I said nothing then (though I would today, being either “older and wiser,” or older and less reticent). I believe I was talking to him about abandonment to Christ. He said in a dramatic way, “I would give my right arm for Him.”
There he was, taking my chair in self-importance, disrespect, and disregard, but he would give his right arm for the Lord. Little did he know of how little value his arm was. What about his life, for which the Lord calls of every person in following Him:
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me’” (Matthew 16:24 MKJV).
A proverb: “He who claims his own virtue is void of it; the more he proclaims, the less he has.”
Oh, how men boast while taking upon themselves the Name of Jesus Christ. But who can find true faith? God isn’t looking for heroes, as is so often imagined. Cunning guides like Henry Blackaby and Rick Warren, self-ordained shepherds promoting their own glory, breed and encourage spiritual heroes, creating twofold the children of hell they are themselves. What else are Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life and Blackaby’s The Man God Uses all about, if not flattering appeals to heroism?
Such preachers, and there are many, promote man’s righteousness and appeal subtly to man’s own determination of worthiness before God. Whereas those with faith confess themselves unprofitable servants after having done their duty, those with feigned faith declare to themselves, “Well done, good and faithful servant! I’ve done great!”
We never heard directly from Chris again, but he did participate with others in a slanderous and deceptive public document written against me. We would find out that his shepherds at First Baptist – senior pastor John Dozois and youth pastor Doug Whelpton – approved of their judgments and denunciations of me.
Kerri Palermo received notice that she and her siblings were receiving $25,000 each from her Uncle Joe Palermo’s estate. The executor was Loy Anderson, a one-time friend of Kerri’s deceased uncle and “friend of the family.” It wasn’t long after they received the money that it was recalled. Loy said the estate couldn’t afford it.
Kerri suspected the estate assets to be considerable, though the debts were, as well. She objected to the reversal, promising to investigate; the refund request was promptly reversed without resistance. We suspected Loy had been taking advantage of the family. I advised Kerri to go to Florida and see what she could do for all concerned.
Kerri immediately assumed care of the senior Palermos, her ailing paternal grandparents in West Palm Beach. They found her comforting and competent, and soon decided to appoint Kerri as executrix instead of Loy Anderson.
According to Kerri, Loy was a phony religious charmer and schemer, which was later confirmed by some correspondence we had with him.
It wasn’t long after Kerri was chosen to be executrix that her grandfather passed away. Kerri had a difficult time, cleaning and renovating the house and disposing of her grandfather’s belongings. The grandmother was deteriorating in health and Kerri nursed her for several months. Mrs. Palermo was becoming irrational and uncooperative.
Kerri didn’t think she could handle it anymore. I told her to give thanks, that the Lord would see her through, that these things weren’t happening without purpose, and that she needed these trials.
One day, Mrs. Palermo decided to give Kerri her house. They went to the bank (or to the lawyer or both) to make legal arrangements in her will. Perhaps the authorities wanted to be assured that Kerri, being the executrix, wasn’t taking advantage of her.
After the event, Kerri reported that Mrs. Palermo was surprisingly rational and lucid in the meeting, miraculously so, and the officials were satisfied that things were in order, changing the will, which Mrs. Palermo signed.
Very shortly after, Mrs. Palermo suffered a stroke and, within days, passed on. We all marveled at how the events took place. We saw God’s hand in it all. Kerri ably handled the estate, with Paul’s help, who was now a financial broker with A.G. Edwards. She gave her siblings what was willed to them.
Kerri decided to give a great portion of her remaining liquid assets to the Lord, and sent them to us as an offering. I was surprised, saying she wasn’t obligated to do so by any law of God. She insisted that she wanted to do it, so we accepted. Not only so, but she also committed herself, entirely of her own volition, to give the proceeds to the Lord once she sold the house.
With that money, we were able to pay the debt on the farm, pay much needed farm laborers, and purchase necessary machinery and equipment. Otherwise, we didn’t have the funds. Having entered the farm purchase on faith and without means, I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t been for the Lord’s unexpected provision. It was as though we had naively stepped on to a bridge that would have collapsed had not the angel of the Lord rescued us.
Who says there is no God?
There was a major road expansion on #3 Highway West near our place with large construction equipment in operation. Jonathan loved to watch bulldozers and earthmovers on tape, so seeing the construction in real life was a treat for him. We would park within a few meters of the earthmovers, and I would move the car as necessary, sometimes as close as about 15 feet away from them.
I think the operators may have been a bit annoyed with me, but Jonathan and I waved and smiled and they saw the little guy enjoying himself so they decided not to scoop us up and bury us.
While doing the work, they uncovered a whole nest of boulders of all sizes, most of them brown, rounded, and oblong. The unusual feature they had was that they were composed of fossilized shells. I liked their color, shape, and composition so wondered if I might be able to get some for our home and farm.
I spoke to the construction foreman, who, rubbing his thumb with his first two fingers, promptly suggested he would do it if I rewarded him for his favors. I would have to arrange transportation.
I called the only trucker I knew of who had steel rail car boxes that were capable of hauling large boulders, but it was immediately evident he was determined to get the boulders for himself. When talking to Marilyn about the boulders, her attitude was, “Who needs them?” which was quite true from a practical standpoint. But is “practical” sufficient? I know I’ve often been too practical.
With these several obstacles, I gave up the idea. But I always wondered if I shouldn’t have been dissuaded. What an answer awaited me – one certainly beyond my dreams! I would have my oblong and precious boulders, after all, but not for a long time!
During this time, Mark Benson was dealing with Miyuki Sasaki in Japan. Miyuki was a single woman in her late twenties with a responsible, supervisory position in the postal service. She was looking for a husband. Her mother and aunt were living with her, depending on her support. In Japanese society, it was the responsibility of the eldest sibling, male or female, to take care of needy or elderly parents. Mark shared about the Lord with Miyuki and expended great energies to persuade her of the value of Biblical virtue and faith in Jesus Christ.
Being stubborn and self-willed, though professing faith in God, she slept with a man on a date and became pregnant. He was crude and brutish, and wanted nothing to do with a child. Many were counseling Miyuki to have an abortion, which we stood against. She kept the baby and called her “Rutsu” (Ruth) after Biblical Ruth.
Some time thereafter, the Lord confronted Miyuki with leaving her occupation, which was an insurmountable challenge to her. The prospect began to affect her health and wellbeing. We tried to encourage her to trust the Lord, no matter how necessary it seemed to keep her job. She acknowledged forsaking her job was the right thing to do, but she continuously waffled. Her mother, aunt, employer, work associates, friends, and siblings all advised against leaving her job.
Miyuki came to great turmoil. Knowing she didn’t believe as she professed, and expecting she might do herself more harm than good, I finally said to her, “Miyuki, if you can’t do this by faith, there’s no point in it. Doing it mechanically won’t be good.”
God had tried her and found her wanting, perhaps as with the rich young ruler mentioned in the Gospels (Luke 18:18-24.) Miyuki remained at her job, but I knew by experience, Scriptural testimony, and the Spirit’s witness, that it wouldn’t go well for her. I’m reminded by others that I had a prophecy at that time that said her situation of unbelief would be a fearful example to others of the consequences of not believing and obeying God.
Do you expect people to appreciate honesty and favors done for them? Don’t count on it.
I wanted more trees in our yard. I had appreciated dealing with Karen Barbie at Green Haven Garden Centre, but I had the impression she was offended with me because of spiritual disagreement. I had told her of a vision I had of her that she didn’t appreciate.
One day I found a pair of Felco hand pruners on the ground on the Moon River Estates boulevard. Seeing Coaldale Nurseries planting trees in our area, I took the pruners to one of the workers, who happened to be Dave Kuperus, the owner’s son, whom I didn’t know at the time. He said it was likely theirs.
I thought, “Perhaps I can talk to him about purchasing some trees,” which I did. I ordered $3,000 worth. The father and founder of the business, Hans, conducted the business with me. He chose several Sargent poplars, three elms, and three maples. The maples died because they weren’t supposed to be handled at that time of year. I would find that out later from Dave.
I’ll save the rest for later on how the Kuperuses came to abuse us. So much for returning their lost goods and being appreciated for it.
While we went for a walk at Indian Battle Park, Archie made a suggestion: “Victor, we want to bless you. I believe the Lord wants you to give us the farm so that we can bless you with it.”
I was surprised to hear that suggestion. I wanted to buy them a home, but I wasn’t expecting to give them ownership rights to it. Perhaps he was right, though, I thought. It could well have been a satisfactory arrangement, wherein Marilyn and I would be free of the financial and operational responsibility of the farm.
I was willing to give them the farm if the Lord so willed. When Marilyn and I discussed it, her response was, “Over my dead body!” We didn’t receive a second witness from the Lord that we should sign everything over to them. Archie was the only one claiming to hear something from the Lord. I didn’t hear from the Lord directly or through anyone other than Archie.
For example, Abraham heard personally from the Lord when resisting casting Hagar out at Sarah’s insistence, or when called upon to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice, or when he was to leave his country and kin for a land God would show and give him.
If one witness isn’t good enough for God, why should it be good enough for me? Frankly, I believe I would have been foolish to heed Archie’s beliefs. Time and time again, he proved to be untrustworthy and unpredictable – the stock market, the miscarriage, and now this.
Was it not enough to have purchased a home for him and his family, whereby they could live on an acreage and have so many benefits? Must he also own it all, without obligation or deservedness?
On another note… By “we,” was he meaning he and Cathie or the spirit entities in him, which spoke later, in 1996? This just occurred to me after several edits of this Theo-auto Part VI.
No doubt some will report fantastic success or at least relatively trouble-free stock market experiences. In our case, though stock earnings started to improve, it was a vexation to the end, even with a broker who was much easier to get along with. If God’s blessing wasn’t on our stock market foray, how could Rick Dempsey or anyone else do well by us? The issue was where we were at.
When the stocks were cashed to pay for the farm, they were on a temporary decline. Whatever we had gained, we lost. To the very end, I have no doubt the Lord was driving home the lesson that the stock market and working for financial gain was no place for a Christian, much less a man of God:
“But they who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which plunge men into destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all evils, of which some having lusted after, they were seduced from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness” (1 Timothy 6:9-11).
I had red this many times. Why didn’t I see it before? The reason is simple: We see only what we want or are given to see. The point, then, is to get our desires corrected – only then can we see clearly. That is exactly what the Lord was doing with me in the stock market – making my eye single. So many times has He made alive the Scriptures by bringing us through the very experiences and trials of principles set forth.
“Lay not up treasures on earth….”
“The light of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is sound, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is evil, your body also is full of darkness” (Luke 11:34 MKJV).
Could it be Marilyn suffered the miscarriage because we were still in the market? Maybe, but again, I never heard a word from the Lord, directly or from anyone else but Archie, that I was bitter. It didn’t fit; it didn’t witness with me, and I couldn’t rest or trust that Archie’s source was godly.
The stock market gave me some understanding for those who have money and the troubles and challenges that come with possessions. Solomon said:
“The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12).
I learned firsthand the meaning of those words. I also learned that the rich have a price to pay for their wealth. James said this of such:
“Come now, rich ones, weep and howl for your hardships coming on. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes have become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their poison will be a witness against you, and will eat your flesh as fire. You heaped treasure in the last days” (James 5:1-3).
I’m now more able to relate to the wealthy and their troubles, having more compassion for them than I once had. Despite what the masses may think or perceive, the rich are burdened, their troubles amply counterbalancing their privileges and the powers of wealth.
Worst of all, the rich are trapped in a deceptive, erroneous mindset that says, “My money will deliver me.” That notion is the antithesis of the truth; their wealth is their problem (they may not be aware of the deception, even denying it exists). Jesus’ words hold true:
“No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Mathew 6:24).
One gets nowhere but separate from the Life Source while trusting in riches.
And Solomon’s words aren’t reassuring to any person of wealth:
“Do not labor to be rich; cease from your own understanding. Will your eyes fly on it? And it is gone! For surely it makes wings for itself; it flies into the heavens like an eagle” (Proverbs 23:4-5 MKJV).
Because we had to assume a mortgage on 20% of the value of the farm, we were compelled to buy insurance. Having met Brenda Pierson, we went to her and took the minimum coverage until the mortgage was paid.
From there, I continued a limited acquaintance with Brenda based on spiritual values for a time.
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Page 5 PART SIX– Harvest Haven to Surprise Visitors (cont.) Particle – A Word in Need, August 1996 During this time, I was stirred to cry out to the Lord, and I received a Word from Him: “Thus says the Lord: I have carried you and cared for you from your mother's womb. Long before you knew Me, I knew and formed you. Before you were, I purposed to have and to hold you because I chose to do so. There was nobody to stop Me and I have never changed My mind. When you were yet in your sins, I purposed your future with everything in it. I chose your paths, your every step. I chose those with whom you would have to do, both your friends and your enemies. I prepared you for the tasks to come, not so that you would gain the world's wealth, but so that you would gain Mine. I want you to have the very best there is. Do you not want the very best for your son? Are you not My son? Have I not spoken to you and blessed you with many good things? Have I not shared my heart with you? Have I not shared intimately with you? Have I not chastened and scourged you when you've needed it? Or have I let you go to do whatever you wished even as does the world, which doesn't know Me?” Lord, Father, I'm so afraid. Do not my writings testify or bear witness of myself, as in Here Is the Way It Is? Am I not haughty and proud, dogmatic, critical, self-righteous in those writings, in my thinking, attitude, and conduct towards others? Am I not foul-mouthed, uncharitable, impatient, ...
Page 8 PART THREE– Israel to Bernalillo (cont.) Particle – Eating Out Perhaps a year after the event with the young man, we dropped in on the pizza place where the young fellow had worked. He wasn't there but we were hungry and ordered a pizza. I like my pizza half-baked and expressly ordered it that way. It came out so well done, it was black on the edges. As well, I had ordered two extra toppings, both of which were merely sprinkled, but for which we paid perhaps a third again of what the pizza was worth. When I brought the overdone part to their attention, they would do nothing about it. The owner did the waiting and was openly dismissive. We ate it, paid, and left. This was just another of several continuous bad experiences in eating out. The Lord was teaching me something here. On another occasion, Carroll and Yvonne Vance had taken us out for dinner to The Keg on Macleod Trail in Calgary. In my food I found pieces of glass. Calling the headwaiter over, he laughed about it and did nothing. Being with the Vances, I didn't press the matter. What could I do? Besides, I was far more interested in what Carroll, one gifted in prophecy from God, had to say, and didn't want to be distracted from spiritual matters or to disturb him. Eating pizza burned black at a pizza place in Brooks with the Mediwakes after church services on Sunday was also unpleasant. The waiters did nothing about it, perhaps because they were very busy, seeing the church crowds were out for...
Page 12 PART FOUR– Bernalillo to Moon River (cont.) Particle - So, What Is a Christian? You may well ask, “If Penny's husband wasn't a Christian, what about Lois? How could she possibly be a Christian the way she was? What about those terrible visions of her, unlike of so many?” It isn't man's righteousness, but God's, that determines a believer. It isn't reactions, so much as actions and lifestyle choices, that make the difference. We are all human, with our fleshly passions and infirmities, Christian or not, like it or not. The chosen lifestyle comprises the main difference between sheep and goats, between the real Christian and the merely nominal one, between the true and the false. Many are the examples of the recorded weaknesses and infirmities of real believers, even those of great faith, like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Peter, Paul, and others. Though they fell, they still chose to go on in faith. They didn't choose to live in the incontinency of the world. Lois and her boys, despite the passions and weaknesses of their humanity, chose: “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a time, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for [they were] looking to the reward. By faith [they] left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the [world], for [they] endured as seeing Him Who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:25-27 MKJV). While Mr. Lazarowich made a show of religion and faith (accord...