PART SIX– Harvest Haven to Surprise Visitors (cont.)
“Marilyn” means “bitterness.” I spoke to her that morning and got absolutely nowhere. She said she saw what I saw of her, but she didn’t change. She continued to demand, boss, dictate, argue, interrupt, and adamantly insist on her rightness, way, and beliefs. I was helpless.
Again, behind my back, she conducted conversation with Lois, who stood with her.
On my walk, I begged You, Lord, to open my eyes, ears, and heart that I might see, hear, and understand. If wrong, correct, rebuke, even kill, but get it over with. “What is going on?” I asked, pleading with You. Immediately, the thought came: “Power struggle, two entities vying for power, authority.”
Of course! For 23 years, we had battled! We hadn’t been man and wife, but competing partners. Marilyn had been a tyrant in my life. In these days alone at home, I felt such a wonderful relief. At times, I’d been somewhat lonely and yet very relieved.
After all these years, I began to realize the utter control Marilyn had over every aspect of my life. She was a tyrant, a dictator, and a smooth one at that. I have many times also seen her colors come out when she didn’t get her way, even in small things, and if her schedule ever had to change, she was almost beside herself.
She told me how when her mother left when she was 12, she wasn’t going to let anyone anywhere know that there were any resulting adverse effects. “We are not hurting or shortchanged or abnormal; no way.” She would keep superb house and iron her younger brother Les’s shirts perfectly so that nobody would see they were hurting.
I could see bitterness over the circumstances having set in and taking root. Her parents’ marriage was one that went bad. Her mother had been an orphan, given up by her mother. Marilyn endeavored to cover up the tragedy and the pain. To do so, she took control and never let go. I was finally realizing what her brother had been saying just before we were married. She had dominated his life. I saw her run the lives of everyone at the church, controlling Bible studies and participants. She was the Baptist Student Union director. She controlled the social events at all stages – the list goes on.
I’d been the competition and quite impotent at it, I must confess. I was a figurehead, but she proudly said one day, “I am the hand of power behind the throne,” having red it concerning some woman, who was silently behind a husband in public power – I believe it was either Rosalynn Carter or Nancy Reagan.
Day 25: Because of Marilyn’s disturbing stance, I continued to fast today, but last night I believe could have been the end of it. So now this evening I decided to break it the next morning. Perhaps I just felt discouraged at how Marilyn was moping around after I raked her over the coals, bringing up all the things that now make all the sense in the world. Where do we go from here? God knows, and may He have mercy, resolving it all.
I wondered if I should not go to 40 days but, no, I felt it was done. August 14 was the last day, the 25th in fasting.
On this day, Chris Hafichuk accepted a deliberate bad check from a thief for nearly $100 in groceries, and it was raining on the second cut of hay. I wondered why we were suffering losses, though a Hutterite colony not far from us was completely hailed out, so relatively speaking, we weren’t so badly off. I still wondered, however, why the Lord wasn’t keeping us completely. I would have my answers.
On August 15, 1997, the fast was done, the battle finished, and victory was mine, in limited measure, and more as a promise or guarantee than as a present reality. I wept for joy, knowing the Lord wasn’t casting me away. Something was finished; I knew I had done what I needed to do.
Lois said that I had experienced forgiveness. This was strange to hear. Had I not experienced it when I repented in 1973? I surely had. Had I not experienced it in 1975 when we received the Spirit? Yes, I had. But those times were for my sins and sin. This time, it was for me! Something happened to the carnal man.
Marilyn and I came together, that is, we had sex. While it seemed a reconciliation of sorts, it soon turned out not to be the case. The victory I had experienced was yet to come for her and others.
I was angry with Christopher for accepting a check from a stranger without any identification or any kind of assurance. “Lord, is there no deliverance from this problem I have had with money and loss?” I cried. And the answer came: “Instead of getting angry and scolding them for the check, have mercy on them.” I decided to do so; that reaction changed it all in me. For the first time since childhood, I had a victory in this kind of matter I hadn’t known since my bad experience with loss at age 6 or 7.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
Marilyn had a vision in the summer or fall of 1997 wherein she saw a multitude of people waiting for me to go into a “tabernacle” with a black door. I had to cross a river to get there. The river was black, and seemed to go into eternity in both directions.
Marilyn was on my side of the river, watching me go there. She said it was as though I was to join an assembly of saints and would have to die to go there. They were gathered and waiting for me.
Perhaps the most difficult part of a long fast is pulling out of it safely. Once one begins to put food back in the mouth, the hunger is acute and it’s hard to resist eating too much. Damage can result without discipline.
For breakfast on my first day after fasting, I had 3 or 4 ounces of fresh crabapple juice (because it was available) and 4 ounces of grapefruit juice, each diluted 50-50 with water. For lunch, I had 6 to 8 ounces of beef-vegetable broth with one small cracker section soaked in it and chewed well. For supper, I had 6 ounces of crabapple and grapefruit juice, again with equal parts of water.
I drank water as well, but perhaps not as much as I should have. My concentration wasn’t so much on what I had, as on quantity and ease of digestion. Information on fasting is abundantly available on the net and in bookstores, but individuals must know what’s right for them. I’m not saying my choices were necessary or wise; I didn’t know.
Though I was done with the fast and experienced victory within, it was almost immediately obvious that change, mostly in understanding, had come only for me. Marilyn wasn’t in agreement with me on anything; indeed, she was quite contemptuous and dismissive of me.
Had I succumbed to temptation by having sex with her? Perhaps I should have gone forty days, a Biblical number for fasting? I had these doubts, yet I also had an assurance that nothing more was required of me; there was no condemnation. I recalled having an assurance that my fast was ended the day before I ended it, at 24 days. I would have to be patient for the fruits to come, if any.
On the second day after the fast, I continued to drink water and have broth and crabapple juice.
On the third day, I had some juice for the first two meals along with small amounts of yogurt, raspberries, peach, and a piece of watermelon. The taste buds were in high sensitivity; I really enjoyed the food. For the last meal, I had some broth with onions in it. It’s hard to refrain from eating too much. I brushed my teeth and the gums bled considerably (I should have known). In the evening came the first bowel movement.
Day Four showed a 2-pound increase in weight, up to 145, though I hadn’t consumed two pounds of food. That’s right – fasting isn’t for losing weight, as many suppose. One gets it all back, every bit of it. I don’t know how, but that’s the way it works. I suspect that one loses mainly fluid and not so much fat and muscle.
I was now suffering a sore lip for a few days and knew to take Vitamin C; I only took 100 mg per meal. For breakfast, I had half a liter of honeyed water, mixed the night before, two plums, an orange, a glass of buttermilk, and some currents. For my second meal, a glass of apple juice, a half cup of cottage cheese, four pickling-size cucumbers, some currents, wild cranberries, and our crabapples – all organic and delicious. For the third meal, I had half a salad egg, some lettuce, some crabapple juice, some potato, yogurt, and peach.
I expect I was coming out of my fast too quickly, being so hungry and everything tasting so good. But I felt fine. I had a second bowel movement.
Day Five started with an orange, a plum, some cranberries, and honeyed water. All tasted so good and I was feeling very good. I lost a pound and continued my daily walk.
Spiritually, I was in victory and rest. However, this day we harvested our crabapple tree and I was a bad boy – I ate 15 of them and felt funny. I skipped the third meal of the day. This didn’t do my delicate intestinal system any favors. I wondered, years later, if this isn’t the sort of thing that can cause “leaky gut.”
August 20 was Day Six after the fast. I arose, feeling fine, though perhaps a little toxic from the crabs, with some bad breath and some phlegm in my throat. I had a huge bowel movement – no doubt the roughage of crabapples.
My first meal was honeyed water, some cold cereal with milk, wild Saskatoon berries, raspberries and… some sauerkraut, the salty juice of which I thought would have been good at the beginning of the fast-breaking, as a cleanser. Salt water would have been good for that purpose, too (one quart of tepid water with 2 level teaspoons of good salt, drinking it all within 10 minutes). For the rest of the day, I had some vegetables, fruit, and buttermilk.
On this day of August 20, I wrote what I now believe (years later) were prophetic words to describe something developing in me for the future:
“I am at rest but come across sternly at times with everyone. Is this self-righteousness or is it (signs of) the Day of the Lord? The Lion after the Lamb? The war instead of peace? The victory instead of death? To put away the enemy instead of laying down the life? The second coming versus the first? I really don’t know.”
I also wrote, “Marilyn received that I would be getting a ministry like Moses but in the next life. I received today that the ministry would be in this life, with healings and miracles, and that the work in Lethbridge is just to begin.”
I then wrote, “How does one possess? By letting go! In faith, we possess all things, though it appears we have nothing. In unbelief, though our possessions may be great, we have nothing.”
The cause and subject matter isn’t recorded, but on this day, I scolded Sean, something I rarely did.
On the seventh day after my fast, I was sticking to raw fruits and vegetables, milk, yogurt, and buttermilk, feeling great both physically and spiritually. I had a good bowel movement and my usual walk.
By Day Eight of the aftermath, I was up to 150 pounds, noting that I had been eating too much, but I felt fine and full of energy. I wondered that I continued to be separated from everyone at the farm, thinking that might have ended with the fast. There was little prayer compared to before.
At Day Nine, I find it almost impossible to control my eating, though it is mostly roughage. This morning, I wrote that I had the largest bowel movement in many years.
I wondered that I was not hearing anything from the Lord, conjecturing that perhaps I was eating too much. I was enjoying the food so much, no matter what I ate. My left eye healed up days before.
On Day 10, I didn’t have nearly the gas I had before. I ate some pizza and cake for supper. Day 11 shocked me at the weigh scale, up three pounds from the day before, to 153. So much for pizza and cake?
It wasn’t as though Marilyn and I hadn’t had many battles until this time, but now they were more frequent and intense. Why?
We also agreed on some points:
One, this was the “final battle,” generally speaking.
Two, Kerri wasn’t returning (not a decision, but a knowing).
Three, a big change was in the making.
Four, all was done, and it was only a matter of watching and waiting.
Five, I was accepted with the Lord and forgiven.
Six, there were great things in store for me, all of us, and many others.
Marilyn couldn’t agree that I wasn’t being taken physically by the Lord, and she condemned my less-than-flattering vision of her and Sean as the product of stress or fantasy growing out of sexual desire. I knew differently. These were curious circumstances indeed; we were in a state of agreeable contention – fighting, yet agreeing on important points.
By Day 12, I was chagrined, if not alarmed, that I was eating so much and enjoying it immensely. At the same time, I found myself interested in, and alert to, a greater diversity of things in which I had little or no interest before. I was reading anything I could get my hands on. Fasting does something for one mentally; it is very good.
Fasting also enables one to see what one may not want to see. On Day 13, I was seeing, as never before, the nature of sin in Marilyn and the others – Sean, Lois, and Trevor.
The general advice on fasting, I’ve been told, is to take as many days gradually working back to a regular diet as were spent fasting. By this day, I was ignoring that advice and ate meat (some chicken) for the first time since before the fast, and there were no apparent problems.
On Day 14, I was feeling great, but praying that God would keep me from doing my own thing and grant me to do His will. I was missing Marilyn and Jonathan in these many and lonely days.
What a peculiar thing! I recall being upset with the Lord that He gave me a son so late in my life. By age, I could be his grandfather and wouldn’t have as many years to spend with him as other fathers had with their sons. Little did I know how little time I would have with him!
Now I was separated from my people and family, taken away from everyone, including Jonathan, for these long stretches. And I also had no idea just how long these periods would be. But wasn’t Jonathan “icing on the cake”? I didn’t expect to have a son at all, and God certainly didn’t have to give me one. Who was I to complain against God’s gracious blessing?
Only weeks earlier, Paul said to me, “Marilyn is betrothed” (to Sean). On the fifteenth day after my fast, those words hit me. I was very angry, in a way I had never experienced anger, not in intensity, so much as in nature. They seemed the words of a sadistic, tormenting devil. Paul even seemed to take pleasure in them.
I knew what Paul said was true in spirit. Marilyn was defending and siding with Sean in everything, great or small. From her perspective, Sean could see, speak, and do no evil. She worshipped the farm manure on his shoes.
A short while before, I said to Marilyn, “You have a decision to make; you must decide who is your husband, Sean or me. This can’t go on.” She didn’t reply. Little did I know what she would do.
Day 16 after the fast found me wondering why everything was at a standstill. On this day, I weighed 153 pounds. On Day 17, I weighed 157 pounds! How could this possibly be?
Marilyn was cold and bitter. Notwithstanding the things on which we agreed, her firm conviction had always been and remained that I would be physically dying and she would be marrying Sean. Indeed, it was her earnest desire. There was no telling her otherwise. Lois and Sean were firmly with her in this belief.
On Day 18, I broke out in a rash near both armpits, on my hip, forearms, and bellybutton. My head hair also started to fall out in clumps. Was it from fasting? No. I had been eating 15 apricot pits a day for a few days, suspecting I might have prostate problems, and thinking the substance in the pits from which laetrile, an alleged anti-carcinogen curative substance is made, might help.
Stupid; yes, I know. No wonder apricot pits are bitter – they aren’t supposed to be eaten in great quantities, if at all; they are toxic! I had poisoned myself. My unbelief and consequent foolishness knew no bounds.
On this day, the Lord made me to realize I mustn’t and shouldn’t be apologetic for what I’ve spoken against the church systems, nominal orthodox Christian doctrines and wicked people. My self-righteousness was what made me doubt or hesitate in these things God had revealed to me.
Day 19 ushered in three more pounds. I was back to regular eating, meat included. Meanwhile, the rash began to subside upon quitting the apricot pits. On day 20, September 3, I shed four pounds. My weight was erratic; I was consistent in weighing myself, unclothed, at the same time each day.
Now that I’m back to eating regularly and symptoms of fasting have disappeared, I will cease to report on the fast unless I discern something unusual that might be connected to the fast.
I discovered after fasting that my eyesight had improved. Because I was also spending much more time reading out on the deck, I found a great difference between artificial and natural light. I don’t doubt that artificial light strains our eyes. I could read finer print so much more easily in subdued sunlight than I could with incandescent lighting.
Lois called saying she had a vision of my having passed to the other side, acknowledging that Marilyn was right. Would I or wouldn’t I die? Would I die physically, as Marilyn and Lois insisted? If so, when? What was going on? Why was there a “love” connection between Marilyn and Sean while I was still around? The Bible plainly says:
“For the married woman was bound by law to the living husband. But if the husband is dead, she is set free from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress by becoming another man’s wife” (Romans 7:2-3 MKJV).
Why were we so in the dark about this? (I try to write this as it was before the hindsight. With hindsight, the Lord was telling me everything I needed to know, but I believed Marilyn instead of Him, which was the very problem He was dealing with in all of this.)
Time and time again, while God didn’t give full understanding, we were reminded not to try to figure things out. We were to wait patiently for God’s mysterious work to be completed in us. We were promised that when it was done, we would all be very thankful.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV).
As I watched their lives and marriage over the years, I felt really bad about Charles and Diana. I often wondered if I shouldn’t try to talk to her. I didn’t believe Charles would listen to me, but Diana? She had talked to Anthony Robbins. Just before the tragedy, she was running around with another man, a Muslim Egyptian playboy.
I didn’t believe Diana did this because she chose to love other men. I believed it was Charles’ fault and that if he accorded her the love, respect, and devotion she warranted as a wife, she’d gladly walk with him. I felt he was proud and envious of her popularity. With a positive reaction, he could have enjoyed the benefits of her favor with people. Instead, it seemed like his reaction was the ruin of them both and a sad spectacle for many. As is always true, no doubt there was much more to it.
Am I guilty for not having spoken to her? I didn’t receive anything specific from God to do so. But who was I to speak to anyone about marriage? There was my wife, hoping for my death, already involving herself with another man young enough by several years to be her son, in the presence of all my associates and our young son. With her help and encouragement, Sean was gradually taking everything over, my wife, son, friends, status (in all aspects), and possessions. Again, how could I talk about correcting others’ relationships? So I cried out to the Lord and He spoke to me. Here is what He said:
“Again, My son, I say you are troubled by many things but you see how much fewer they are than before. You thought one could dwell on matters and not be troubled, but you are learning that one must not dwell at all on matters not of importance or pertaining to his calling as I have ordained it.
If one plays with fire, he is burned. If one stays away from fire, he cannot burn himself. One does not practice the overcoming of adultery by being an adulterer. One does not overcome the love of money by setting his mind and heart on money. You are to set your mind on Me, My Kingdom, My sheep, and on the things above. Therein are your calling, your responsibility, your fulfillment, and your rest. I remind you of the covenant I made with you in 1984 at Bernalillo, wherein I promised you that I would take care of all your needs and concerns, while you took care of Mine. My Word to you in that day stands.
You are troubled about your family, the farm, your prostate (because you arise at night for relief), and I say to you that I am the God of all. You must trust Me.
You will not die; I have told you so. I have much of importance for you. You have neither the time nor the right to die. But have you not died? Have you not willingly laid down your life and forsaken all for My sake? Do you not now wait on Me to reveal My purpose for you?
The British royal family, their doings and consequences trouble you. They die. They are of the world. They rule nothing. I rule and I have better things for you than for them because you are Mine.
I have provided people to take care of your affairs and I am taking you for Myself to take care of My affairs. Ask of Me, My son, and I will give you whatever you ask of Me. I will give you the heathen for your inheritance, health for you and your loved ones and all those who ask of you. I will give you whatever you desire or need. Don’t be preoccupied with these things. Stay your heart on Me. I want you to love Me, My son, even as you desire that your son love you.
Arise! The time is at hand for you to be about the work for which you are prepared. I have rewarded you according as your work shall be. This is the day I have made. You and yours will be glad and rejoice in it greatly. Your enemies will be greatly bitter and I have heard your prayers. I will destroy them all or have them worshipping before your feet. Watch Me.
Those who do not understand you will follow you. I am your portion and you are theirs and they are yours. You will lose none of those I have given to you.
You will do mighty deeds in My Name and you will not publicize or proclaim them. They will be genuine, having no need for proclamation. They will proclaim themselves. Those that believe will come and receive. Walk with Me.
Your children all cry out for acceptance. Receive them, My son, and they will receive you and seek you out. They love you and need your love.
You have indulged in literature and communications of the religious. They speak truths but they do not speak the Truth. Therefore have you been somewhat confounded and perplexed. Yet you see clearly and know that things are as you see them. Continue in Me, set yourself apart from the world and its activities and ways, separate yourself unto Me and you will never stumble in darkness. Furthermore, you will be a light to the blind and a redeemer to the lost and the prisoner.
You have defeated Satan. The strong man is bound. It is only for you to take his captives and his possessions at will, even as he did when his power remained. His power is now broken. I have dethroned and defrocked the one who has usurped My authority and My possessions and lands.
You have pondered the purpose of the farm, yet it has been given to all of you to know. The farm is as it is called – a haven, a place of provision of all things for you and for those I bring. As the ark was a sifter and judgment, so is the farm. You will testify against those who destroy the earth and I will judge them all, even as I have judged you. All will give an account.
I have left you with your weaknesses, lest you get puffed up. They are for your good and you will know that, in all things, it is not your righteousness or power but Mine and Mine alone.
Three times I’ve told you that if you wait on Me, you’ll not be ashamed.
I will minister to you in your loneliness.
You have been given honor among your own, and I will deal with those who oppose it because they oppose Me, presuming I treat all equally. And why? Because they want the preeminence. But I give it to whomsoever I choose.
There will come an end to the battle that rages between you and your wife, a battle due to division I have formed and purposed, a battle of My doing. As I am your portion, so you are Marilyn’s portion. Without Me, you have nothing; without you, she has nothing, except I change it. It never came into My mind to do so nor do I purpose it now (a change). Hereafter, you will understand even as now you understand.
My son, you have learned that there is a time to gain and a time to lose, that losing for My sake is great gain, and that with loss comes emancipation, freedom from chains and burdens, possessions that possess. Be thankful when things do not go the way you prefer, such as the weather. Remember, I promised you I would replenish, restore, resurrect, restitute. That promise ever stands.
Today, you receive more news of dishonesty and lack of candidness from one of your own. See how your obedience and self-denial serve to righteousness and how your indulgence to the flesh promotes life in the flesh. Therefore, don’t be dismayed, but thankful, and walk with Me.”
(Sharing these words with Marilyn, she didn’t agree that the prophecy just written was from the Lord, though she said the things said were all true. She said the words “lacked the germ of life.” Sharing with Lois, she felt those words were from the Lord but were only for me.)
We received a letter from Mark in Japan, he confessing sins hidden from us for many months. The confession was prompted by our informing him of our extended fasting while he was indulging in the lusts of the flesh.
In response to the Lord’s words, I prayed, prophetically:
“There are threatenings on every side and from above and beneath. The green trees threaten to die and be gone forever. The One with Whom I walk remains silent unless I believe and hear. Lord, You do not make it easy…for the flesh, impossible. Where will, when will, the end be of danger, uncertainty, and turmoil?
We are tempted on every side, accosted by thieves and liars, hated because of You and because of our faults. ‘You are He that divides us as wood and casts us into the fire.’ Even those enemies who have seen Your power with us defy You and defy us, thinking that You cannot see or that You are not with us. Lord, how do they curse and taunt, despise, and withstand us! Be to them as they are to us. Reward them according to their doings. Lord, when will the righteous come forth, manifest for all creation to see? When will You slay the 450? When will You answer by fire? When will there be deliverance for all and harmony among the delivered?
My enemies mock and ignore me. They dwell carelessly and do as they please. The occasional one You do rebuke and sometimes even, I think, severely, but mostly, I see enemies walk away scornful and derisive.
How have boys grown in the fire! How have they blossomed so quickly! But my wife and I stand on opposite sides of an impassable chasm and each of us thinks the other is wrong. For the first time, it seems I have eyes to see that which I haven’t seen before, yet I cringe at what I see, and I know it can’t go on – at least not according to the way I think things should be.
God, have mercy! Grant us all deliverance and understanding. Grant us to walk in the light and be saved from ourselves and our delusions. Open our ears, our eyes; purge us.”
The Lord had no sooner spoken to me than unbelief came charging through the door. I say “charging through the door” because when unbelief comes, it doesn’t seem to sneak in; it just comes, as though it has every right and freedom to do so. There’s a line about the thinness of onionskin paper between belief and unbelief. It’s like the “twilight zone,” parallel worlds existing next to each other; one can pass from one to the other without notice. I must confess that I’ve been a horrible unbeliever as a believer.
Now I wrote, “We are all in bondage! I have brought all these, promising them liberty. I have lost my son, my wife bitterly prefers her course, thinking she does God service, and I’m imprisoned in loneliness, isolation, and abandonment. Yet two appear to join me [thinking of Paul and Lois]. I don’t understand. Where are we? Why all these things? Lord God, what are You doing? This is so hard, Father.”
I was then reminded, “It is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God Who shows mercy.” We can only trust in His mercy, and if He isn’t willing to give it, that’s His business.