PART EIGHT – Day 888 to Victory (cont.)
My leg pain increased, growing worse daily, and I could now hardly walk. Because I lied at the theater, saying we had diet restrictions, now I would have diet restrictions. What a horrible thing I did, and for what? A popcorn and soda snack in the theater, against their policies and wishes? How evil and carnal of me! And what a price to pay! “Lord, please forgive and cleanse and heal! I know I deserve evil – I do – yet I ask Your mercy. I had health, for which I should have praised and thanked You. Instead, I took it for granted and lied.”
On May 18th, the leg pain was so horrible and crippling, I couldn’t get out of bed, while Jonathan and Marilyn headed to the farm. I couldn’t so much as slightly flex my knee. One night, I moved it and shouted out loud in pain, unable to help myself. I was sure the neighbors, if awake, would hear and wonder at it. I began to take Tylenol, which I hated doing, knowing its evil effects, particularly on the liver. I had Chris Den Hertog and his wife do some of the quick, small chores for me each day, like watering the plants and feeding the birds.
Curiously, simultaneously, Lois scalded her feet with hot water, and Mark was having neck problems. It seemed we were the guilty ones and were suffering consequences for our sins, particularly opposing Marilyn and Sean.
On May 21st, the Lord made it known to me that He wasn’t condemning me for the theater incident but was exposing me for good. I told neighbor Chris of the incident and expressed how we humans are such a thankless bunch, not appreciating God’s blessings and taking so much for granted.
As I lay in bed, I was reading a book on the Feast of Tabernacles, which I had picked up at a garage sale. In it, Neusner, the author, was saying that the significance of this Feast was that all noxious and evil influences were being ceremonially removed. This struck me. My problems at the theater were hypocrisy, fear of man, and unbelief. Pain is a cleansing agent.
One day during this time, I had a series of sharp muscle spasms in my leg in a matter of minutes that drove me to tears. Marilyn sat there, coolly watching. Shortly after, I felt like something necessary happened. I got more spasms – the pain was as intense, but now dull instead of sharp. Something had changed, and I didn’t holler out. That evening, Marilyn said that Mark, Lois, and I were suffering because of our stance toward Sean.
I went to bed and slept very well for the first time in days, with no painkillers. In the night I was awakened by a spasm and was immediately told, “Suffer this and you’ll have your reward.” After that night and five days of being laid up, the pain slowly began to disappear, and I eventually regained full use of my leg. I visited Dr. Michael Pratt, MD, who diagnosed my problem as a meniscal cyst.
While confined in my room, I heard a robin calling, “We are all waiting for you.” It meant all of creation. There seemed to be an element of gentle impatience.
Dave and Marcia Hagedorn purchased the property behind our place. Marcia professed faith in Christ, but would have nothing to do with any conversation concerning Him. “Let’s just be friends, but let’s not talk about God.”
She deemed faith to be a personal thing and said she looked to Bill Roycroft of Lethbridge Christian Tabernacle as her pastor, friend, and mentor – the one she went to with problems or questions. Curiously, I asked the Lord what I could learn from Marcia.
The doctrine of free will has been used as a fear tactic to control others. It presupposes that it is in man to will and to do of God’s good pleasure. It suggests that man can be saved only if he wants to be, yet God says, “No man seeks after God, not one” (Romans 3). God says we’re slaves to sin, but man says we’re not. God says He alone is Savior, but man says he has the power to save himself by choosing the right path.
This doctrine breeds self-righteousness. “You’re not choosing right, not because you can’t, but because you won’t. I chose right – now you live up to my example and my expectations, or God and I will not approve.”
It seems to me that if I know I can do something and do it, it is far more likely I will look down my nose at my neighbor than if I believe that, unless God does something for me, I don’t stand a chance.
From the very beginning, men have tried to exercise power over other men and change them to their liking, only to find out they can’t change themselves. If they knew they couldn’t change themselves, would they be so inclined to try to change others? The doctrine, the lie that man is endowed with a free will, nurtures pride and contempt for both man and God.
Before Adam and Eve were ever defiled as we have been, they could choose, but they proved to choose only evil. How much more shall their progeny fail, with brother killing brother? And how much more shall we, their descendants in this present day, at the bottom of the barrel, fail without Christ the Savior? We have the freedom to choose, but do we have the freedom to do what is right? Not without Christ, we don’t. As the proverb goes:
“O LORD, I know that the way humans act is not under their control. Humans do not direct their steps as they walk” (Jeremiah 10:23 GW).
About May 23-24, 2000, Lois had a very interesting dream of me. In some busy public place she saw two of me, one, my present age, and one younger (about 25 to 30, she said). They were both clearly me, and they were laughing and talking to each other and to others.
Dave Roberts in 1975 or 1976 said mockingly, “I suppose you think you’re the two witnesses!” While he was speaking to me, was he meaning just me or me and someone unspecified with me? This comment came up out of the blue; the topic was not remotely discussed, though he and his partner, Bill Kellers, thought I was too serious about spiritual matters. (Dave was co-pastor with Bill; they were later exposed to be homosexuals.)
I was going to meet with a woman to address her on spiritual matters and error. Normally, I would take Marilyn with me to avoid complications of any kind or appearances of possible indiscretion. This time, I told Marilyn I didn’t want her with me. If she couldn’t stand with me in general life matters, why would I want her there as a second witness in talking to others of even more important matters?
Her reply was that I needed her there because I was with another woman. I said, “Listen to your own advice. How is it you retain the right and freedom to meet with Sean privately and engage in intimate conversation with him, yet are concerned about me? He fantasizes about you sexually, openly admits it, you don’t show any disagreement or displeasure about it, and you’re concerned about something like that happening to me? What gives?”
For the first time that I can recall, she partially admitted her folly and contradiction. She said she knew she was wrong but couldn’t do anything about it. Still, I heard defiance in her voice.
On May 26th, I wrote a letter to the farm and, with some hesitation, gave it to them on the 28th to read.
May 26, 2000
TO: All those at the farm
I hereby make the following changes in relationships at the farm. Effective immediately, under Marilyn, Lois, as a believing mother, will have the final word concerning all things pertinent to, and included in, the farm activities. Sean is no longer to be considered a head there nor permitted to tell anyone what to do. His spiritual stance and counsel are accursed. He will only request and seek permission and cooperation.
Why should I place Lois in charge?
1) Why should I have one in charge who opposes me (Sean)?
2) Lois may be a woman, but she now believes while the other, though a man, doesn’t; she submits while the other doesn’t; better a believing woman than an unbelieving man.
3) Shall an unapologetic and self-proclaimed adulterer of my wife remain over all that is mine?
4) Lois is the mother of two of the men there, and the third is their age.
5) She now has victory, having been tried and subjected to what was needed for the time.
6) It’s not acceptable that a young man should be there castigating a mother, and that before her sons. It breeds ill for the family and disrespect for parents, robbing mother and sons of dignity. I bear responsibility here.
7) Lois hears from the Lord while Sean doesn’t.
8) I expect more cooperation and harmony with one another if we make our relationships according to the ways of the Lord, and we will receive the Lord’s blessing (Proverbs 26:8).
As I contemplated these matters, I opened The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls and my eyes fell on the following words: “…fidelity is always rewarded and apostasy chastised.”
Shall I or we worship God or mammon? If the farm is to go, so be it.
Whom shall I place in charge of that which is mine? Someone who refuses to be rebuked and is unrepentant, or someone who has heard rebuke and humbled herself? Someone who thinks he knows it all or someone who humbles herself before the One Who knows it all?
I consider that we shall do well if, at long last, we so honor the Lord Who is All-Wise, forsaking one wise in his own eyes, but who has less hope than that of a fool. God will demonstrate the difference between looking to Him Who alone is indispensable and to one who only thinks and appears to be so. At this point I marvel that I allow Sean to stay at all.
Now I recognize that everything is purely voluntary on the part of all those at the farm; I can’t command anyone by law to do anything, but I do have a human, legal, and moral right to decide whether anyone does this or that with what is mine. Above all, I believe that this is the will of God for us all and that I follow His direction.
If this is so, I believe we will see God bless as He has not formerly been able. Why should He grant blessing without measure to those who stand in arrogance in the Name of the Lord, in the name of Harvest Haven, impudently flaunting adultery in the face of its owners, despising both man and God and His Law, defaming us and the Lord before all, being a law unto themselves, and usurping the rights and authority of the owners thereof?
Is not the hand of the Lord bound thus on our behalf? I think so. Only out of sheer mercy has He granted everything so far, though we’ll never be deserving of anything from Him. Yet, if there are no rewards but only further hardships, so be it. We have no choice and should have no inclination but to obey, not for reward, but for righteousness’ sake, for His sake.
Pertinent verses: Proverbs 12:15; 14:9; 15:5; 3:35; 13:19; 14:16; 26:8; 26:12; 28:26 [given below]
The following conditions apply:
1) I would hope that everyone assumes the same responsibilities he or she has, volunteering his or her talents and abilities as in the past, now in submission to Mrs. Benson’s discretion, yet taking responsibility for all things as before, without expecting Mrs. Benson to have the knowledge or capability of an earthly supervisor. The Lord is with her in her lack.
2) As her sons submit to, and honor, their mother, so I expect Sean to submit to Lois, and while they address her as “Mother,” Sean shall address her respectfully and dutifully as “Mrs. Benson,” particularly in public. It is as though all are sons in terms of what is expected of them, honoring and obeying a mother as dutiful, caring, responsible, godly sons. I don’t say that this is what they all are, but I am saying what they ought to be and what is expected of them.
3) Because Sean has seduced my wife, who can’t easily find her way to disagreeing with him on matters, there’s the danger that she’ll overrule on Sean’s behalf that which Lois decides and which he doesn’t agree with. I’ll trust Marilyn not to do so, but if at any time Mrs. Benson has any such concern, she can appeal to me and, reluctantly, I’ll render a decision as I see fit, Lord willing.
There are many things that could be discussed and considered. I would hope that Trevor and Mark would find themselves just in the Lord, not in selfishness taking advantage of the potential favor created in these circumstances, and that they would humbly seek to do what’s right and fair for all concerned. Indeed, you would do well to remember that the Lord watches over all and judges all.
Lois, your time of shame is at an end. The Lord has humbled, tried, healed, and delivered you. In believing Him, you’ve gained the victory. In humbling yourself before Him and repenting of your ways, He has seen fit to lift you up and honor you. You’re the first one there to prepare for the coming and comfort of the poor, the distressed, the downtrodden, those who will come to be ministered to, comforted, provided for, healed, and delivered.
Beware that from here on in, you don’t lift yourself up, taking unrighteous advantage of this honor. The throne is established by mercy and truth. You’ve been a butcher and a liar, a hypocrite, unfit for any good thing, but the Lord has had mercy on you in belief of the truth and you shall therefore function in same. Remember where you came from – God is no respecter of persons. He exalts the lowly and abases the proud and stiff-necked.
I’m sorry to have known the experience of Proverbs 17:21 but there it is, all in God’s wisdom and plan. “He who fathers a fool does it to his sorrow; the father of a fool has no joy.”
Marilyn, I ask that you begin to respect Lois’ spiritual counsel, rebuke, andor entreaties, considering they’re from the Lord and for your salvation. Don’t let me have to know that Sean withstands her as he does me. If he does, remaining unrepentant and arrogant as ever, I’ll have no choice but to take further action.
I consider that this great and terrible bog we’re in is the fruit of my doings because not understanding or practising the ways of the Lord. Nevertheless, He has spoken to me and shown me that we’re all in unrighteousness. He has purposed the delusion, snares, and judgment for our salvation that we may know good and evil, His authority and order and His righteousness, and that we may turn to Him with all our hearts. For all that, those who believe can be very thankful. A fresh breeze is indeed blowing across the land. It shall drive away the wicked like chaff, while the godly are left to stand in the congregation of the righteous.
“The wise shall inherit glory; but shame shall be the promotion of fools” (Proverbs 3:35 MKJV).
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who listens to advice is wise” (Proverbs 12:15 MKJV).
“The desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but it is hateful to fools to turn from evil” (Proverbs 13:19 MKJV).
“Fools laugh at sin, but among the righteous there is favor” (Proverbs 14:9 MKJV).
“A wise one fears and departs from evil, but the fool rages and is sure” (Proverbs 14:16 MKJV).
“A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who listens to correction is wise” (Proverbs 15:5 MKJV).
“As he who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honor to a fool” (Proverbs 26:8 MKJV).
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 26:12 MKJV).
“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool; but whoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26 MKJV).
This letter was written 140 days after I reported to the farm my vision of Sean dying.
I didn’t tell Marilyn about the letter until the night before delivery. She blew! The whole house, the neighborhood, and the countryside were charred, as though a great bomb was detonated. She spent the night planning divorce.
And what did the letter call for? Only respect for elders, for authorities, and for parents, proper order of things, and cooperation. Nor did I take away her authority as owner of the farm, except that I had final say, which should be so, anyway. Her utter disgust was primarily at the notion that Sean should treat Lois with the respect due an older person, a mother, and a believer in Christ.
Marilyn rejected this letter as not of God. She said so and said she wouldn’t honor or comply with it. I told her that she could do as she pleased, that I was no longer willing to strive with her, and that I was no longer responsible for her. I offered her a settlement of half the goods, though I didn’t believe it was coming to her.
She had rejected divorce, saying she expected things to change. I told her I wasn’t going to wait around to die, as she was, and I was no longer willing to live in a relationship where she dominated, one in which she rejected me as her head.
I now waited on the Lord for the next step. This letter served to further expose Sean and her, though I wondered that there was any further need. Clearly, she was an adulteress – one who plays between two or more, one being a legitimate husband – and made no apology for it. Witchcraft was at work here.
The Lord held against a church that they permitted Jezebel to do the very things Marilyn did. Was I hesitating and neglecting to do something I’d been commanded to do (as per Jonathan’s prophecy)? I would know. I truly hated what she did to Jonathan.
“Lord, I pray Your direction and intervention. Thank You. ”
I saw a Medusa-headed dragon roused from her lair, full of fire, smoke, and fury, rocks splitting, earth shaking, feet stomping, raging, screaming hideously to pierce not only ears, but soul and heart. When I asked Marilyn what specifically she found wrong with the letter, she couldn’t say. All I saw the letter doing was calling for humility, obedience, lawfulness, and order, according to God and not man. True, wrong people could be placed in authority (how much choice did we have left?), but who, of all people, was she to decide who would be in charge?
On the night of May 30, 2000, I had a dream. There were people coming to kill me; they were familiar and posing as friends. I had opportunity to run and escape. I was afraid and very sorrowful. I began to run and could have escaped, apparently, but a nondescript friend advised and encouraged me not to run but to let them do their will on me. I expected to be stabbed, more likely from the back than from the front. But when they came, they set me in a large wooden chair with bulky arms, upon which they laid my arms.
There was debate and hesitation among them, almost as if they sought justification within and without to kill me, though I was entirely innocent. The emotional pain of it was terrible. I knew there would be no reprieve or mercy. A great part of the pain was that these people justified themselves and posed as friends, yet were plainly my enemies.
One young man didn’t want to wait any longer. He took an old-fashioned spike in one hand and a hammer in the other. The spike was thick and about four inches long. They held my right arm down on the wooden arm of the chair, and he drove in the spike. I screamed. The pain was horrible, and then shock began to set in and the pain assuaged. They then did the same to my left hand. They took my feet and nailed them, one over the other to the cement floor. I wondered how the spike could penetrate the cement.
Later, I saw my body from above as though it were someone else’s. I saw the gaping wounds in the feet and a large gaping wound in the right side. I don’t recall clearly seeing the hands. Viewing this body from above, I was dressed in a long white gown that hung down to my feet, and on my feet were those spike wounds, quite open and large, not covered by the hem of the gown. A woman looked at my wounded feet as if to say, “No big deal.” I was bare and tender-footed on bare ground.
Marilyn had asked, “Where is God?” The best I could answer was that by remaining and not fleeing, by letting them do their will on me, killing me, this was God. Doing His will was Him. I also felt that this was not a future matter, but one I was experiencing. I’m reminded of Zechariah 13:6:
“And one shall say to him, ‘What are these wounds in your hands?’ Then he shall answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of those who love Me’” (Zechariah 13:6 MKJV).
I know how Jesus felt when He was taken and slain.
It is said that God hates the sin, but loves the sinner. This isn’t true. The sinner produces the sin. He hates the sinner. However, His solution is to save and not destroy that which He hates.
I’d said to Marilyn, who oft said that I hated her, “I don’t hate you, but I hate what you are.” This may sound convoluted or contradictory, but I think these to be accurate and just words. We are grievous creatures as sinners, and He hates us as we are, but He determines to lay down His life to save us from our hateful selves. Indeed, only by laying down the life can He have us, if He wants us. Now to lay down the life for such – that is love, not this touchy-feely, emotional, sentimental, pretentious thing preachers promote everywhere in nominal Christian circles that makes the proud gloat and the humble gag.
On June 1st, I prayed with Marilyn that the Lord’s grace would overcome her sin and that His power would be manifest as greater than hers. She resented the prayer. She mocked and taunted me. I said, “The Lord rebuke you.” I told her that the day she took full responsibility for herself, instead of blaming everyone and everything else, especially me, the door would open to her salvation. I also warned her that she better encourage Sean to submit to Lois because if he resisted her, out he went.
Sean refused to recognize any authority other than himself and wouldn’t do as I requested. He continued to ignore me and to have business talks with Marilyn. I again warned her that they were to be in consultation with Lois. Jonathan reported to me that Sean only pretended to comply just so he wouldn’t be thrown out. Jonathan also continuously heard, “Fulfill the prophecy,” referring to casting Sean out. Barring a miracle, I would be notifying Sean to leave.
Sean and I had a talk. He said he wasn’t coming against me. He had a problem with Lois ever since she had her fast. He said my recent letter wasn’t of God.
“Where do you see yourself in relationship to the Lord right now?” I asked.
“If I believe and walk by faith, I’m okay,” he replied (meaning to believe Marilyn’s prophecy that I was going to die and that they were going to marry).
“Where do you see yourself in relationship to me?” I asked.
“Beloved enemy, bitter friend,” was the phrase that came to him.
“Where do you stand in relationship to Marilyn?” I asked.
He said that two years before, he related to her as his mother, and then said, “She will be my wife.” He said he saw her as mother, wife, and fellow worker. He said that on June 8, 1998, I had asked him to choose between me and Marilyn. He said he chose Marilyn, believed the prophecy, and the fruits of that faith would be forthcoming. As Marilyn heard these answers, she was impressed, flattered, and relieved that he was taking this stand.
He said he didn’t know if he had red all the letters I sent to them at the farm. His main disagreement with the last letter was having to call Lois “Mrs. Benson.” (By the way, Lois was about 25 years older than he.) He rejected Lois’ right to run the farm. In other words, I as the owner had no right to choose whom I would. He didn’t say that, but what else could it mean?
On June 4th, Marilyn said to me, “Sean is my husband, not you; he is my head and I submit to him, not you.” Which provoked me to say, “Sean goes, and if you choose, you go with him” (she had said that if he went, she would go with him). I called Lois to tell him to pack. He questioned why I didn’t come to him personally. Marilyn declared that we should meet and talk. I agreed and we went.
Marilyn fought, but the Lord gave me words to speak, particularly Scriptures such as Psalm 1; 119:105, and Proverbs 29:18. Marilyn and Sean spoke adamantly of walking by faith, even while they brushed aside the Word and Law of God. I said the devils also believe; the whole spiritual realm operates by faith; faith in and of itself can be idolatry and valueless when we don’t have love for God and neighbor (I Corinthians 13:2).
They had cast aside the Law of God, contemning it, all in the Name of the Lord and in pretense of walking by faith. The Scripture we brought up was that we are to live by every word that proceeds from God’s mouth. Lois emphasized the word “every,” including the written Word they have rejected. I think the Scripture with the emphasis on “every” was a significant thrust of the sword into the heart of the enemy. Was that the shot that tore the bear’s heart?
Marilyn proposed that she cease going to the farm, that I go and run it, and that she would give me whatever input she could, provided Sean stayed. Nobody agreed to it, not the Bensons, not Jonathan, and not I. Jonathan had a vision of something from the east that would come for Sean. We began to think in terms of Bob Fife coming to get Sean. We called Bob, and he prepared to come.
For what it’s worth, Jonathan said he saw a “V,” as of a passenger jet taking off to the east, wondering about Sean leaving and going in that direction. I suppose he was considering possibilities of Sean having a place to go. He asked who lived in that direction, asking about my mother in Manitoba and about Sean’s father in Toronto.
On June 6th, I composed and sent the following letter to Archie. Lois wasn’t in agreement and neither was anyone else, but I insisted. The others thought that perhaps I was seeing things given of God they didn’t understand and therefore didn’t wish to withstand me. They also wanted good things for Archie and his family.
The letter is poorly expressed and written, but I thought it best to leave it unedited as a reflection of where I was at the time:
June 6, 2000
TO: Archie, Cathie, and family
I have something else to apologize to you all for. It came to me before yet escaped my memory and therefore the last letter. I don’t know why, because God knows it has bothered me so much that it was such an abominable thing to me, though I don’t know that it was the most hurtful by any measure or means.
I twice apologized to Danny for it, and he said he forgave me, but I didn’t apologize to you, Archie and Cathie, and should have. It was when I gave Danny the nosebleed. If it is any consolation, I did not mean to hurt him, nor did I expect to happen what happened by the way I did it, but it happened. I also think that the blood would make it seem much worse than it might be.
I know that the spankings the kids got, any and every one of them, would have been far more painful. But I did this in a stupid and evil anger; I did it without you, his parents, having no right to do it even with you. If it is any consolation again, I was constantly lied to, there were so many things seemingly out of control, with nobody wanting to take responsibility and care for anything, and I was constantly losing it, that incident being only one of many with all.
But none of these things absolve me. I’m guilty, I know it, and I ask your forgiveness. If you had done something like that to Jonathan, I would have been prepared to shoot you, I should think, at least have nothing more to do with you, just as you feel toward me now. What is worst of all is that the Lord brought you and entrusted you to me and I sorely abused that trust.
Another thing, Archie: As a work of love, as a faithful and generous servant, you hand-made a dresser for Jonathan. You rejoiced at his coming; you rejoiced with me; I remember it, in spite of the battles you were having. I have enjoyed it; Jonathan has enjoyed it but I have not appreciated YOU.
So then, you made a rifle for the boys. Out of your busy time and pressures, you lovingly fashioned toys for them, for my son, and what did I do? Send it back to you when you were leaving, kicked out. Hypocrite! Yes, I was debating the idea of guns but I don’t believe that was the issue. I was returning something of you.
Well then, why not return the dresser? Hypocrite! Too valuable? Too much trouble? Yes, there is a line drawn somewhere in time but the whole thing was a wicked thing, as far as I’m concerned. I have caused you and Cathie great grief. So has Marilyn, and how much you don’t know, but right now I don’t speak for her but for myself, and of myself I am thoroughly ashamed.
Could or should I pay you for the dresser? I’d be glad to, if you say, “Yes,” and name a price. But I know that money is not the issue and paying you for it would be an insult to you.
I had other thoughts on the loan. That was a strange incident and I do wish you would refresh my memory of the details because they do escape me truly. In getting a loan, you weren’t trying to rob or deceive. You were trying to pay something you, in your mind, whether accurate or not, owed. In honoring that debt, you were prepared to go into debt if necessary. In your state, you could see no other way.
Justified or not, unbelief or not, it wasn’t as though you were trying to do something immoral or illegal, although the man picking up sticks on the Sabbath wasn’t doing anything immoral in itself (or even illegal in itself until Moses’ Law came in force), but he was stoned, counted one as worthy of death for what we can, in the flesh, count a petty misdemeanor.
Who can understand God’s judgments as to their legitimacy or severity? No man. So even as I write these things, trying to see them from your standpoint, I get checked, reminded that though I have been such a wicked person in my own sight, so regretful of hurting you people (and I can’t deny these things to be true of me), still the Lord was over all and there was purpose in it, His judgment, His ways, past finding out. So I must have balance here for both our sakes.
But I know this, that the day of my fury and anger and force are gone, by the grace of God never to return, the thought of such returning as the thought of eating your, or anyone else’s, dung to me. That is how much I hate what I’ve done with you guys. Will you please, please forgive me? I beg you to forgive me.
I know that money buys no forgiveness or repentance or any other good thing, and I don’t offer it to you for that reason. I also know that money will not buy me a clean conscience.
If you will believe me in spite of what I write you here, while I have abhorrence and deep regret for the way I’ve been, I also have a victory. The Lord has forgiven me for my sins and has spared me and not cast me off as I knew I fully deserved and as I expected He would, and thought He had.
It is only out of victory, brokenness before the Lord that you would find me repenting of my wrongs to you, confessing them and begging your forgiveness. It is only out of the Lord’s kind of victory and not man’s (in which flesh vaunts itself) that I can humble myself before you and in tears beg your forgiveness. I don’t care how wrong you might have been, real or perceived. I only care about how wrong I’ve been, toward you, toward Paul and Kerri, toward everyone. I care to rectify, to restitute, compensate, redeem, restore, to make right anything I can, anything God grants me to do so.
Do not think that I speak out of desperate circumstances. Whether things go well or hard, I want to reconcile myself with you in the Lord. I want to do you good, to do all I can for you. If money answers any matters, not because it is the solution, so be it. If you have dental bills or dental work to be done; if you need chiropractic or medical care; if you are in dire straits, in need of anything, I would like to help you.
I’m not trying to buy you or buy clean conscience or pay for my wrongs with money. It simply can’t be done; I know that. I just want you to know that I DO LOVE YOU NOW, THAT GOD LOVES YOU, and that I am prepared to give and to serve however is pleasing in God’s sight for your sakes.
Lois too has come to a victory she has never had. She too is sorry for all she has been and done to you guys. She has seen herself as an ugly, brutish whore. I know that you would have to hear from her and Lord willing, you will. She doesn’t want to write; she wants to talk to you. Why you haven’t heard from her thus far, I don’t know, except that, as I said earlier, the Lord is giving a check, as if saying:
“Let’s not get this out of balance; yes, you’ve been wrong, as all flesh is, but Archie and Cathie too are flesh and therefore have been in wrongness as well, and while it behooves you to repent of your wrongs toward them, still have I worked all things according to the counsel of My will and all things have been with purpose. It will help them to forgive you and to be reconciled with you in knowing that while you meant things for evil, I have meant them for good. Yet I know too, that you did not mean them evil any more than David meant the children of Israel evil when I provoked him to count them and thus many perished in the plagues I sent because of the census.”
You had said in a note, “Let the Lord show you.” Well, He is. Please forgive. Please answer. Nevertheless, I know that all things are in the hands of the Lord, that things must all have their time and so I will leave it there and not badger you. The Lord’s will be done. The Lord grant you all that you need, for His sake and for all of our sakes.
Again, I know that victory will come for you when you acknowledge Jesus as Lord of all things, both good and evil, past and present, obvious and hidden, giving thanks in everything, this being the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning all those who are His. His kingdom does indeed reign over all, neither can the gates of Hell prevail against His will; indeed, they serve His purposes. God is to be praised.
I wouldn’t hear from Archie until the end of February 2001.
Page 19 PART ONE – Darkness to Light (cont.) Particle – John R. Rice The Sword of the Lord was a publication that stirred up considerable controversy among the evangelicals in the early seventies. John R. Rice was bombastic, lambasting evangelicals. I recall them saying he was a brother, but not very loving or Christlike. I didn't know what to make of Mr. Rice. Though he stood out as different among evangelicals, I was not drawn to his teaching. Particle – Heeding Head or Heart The issue was never a matter of doctrine to me so much as spirit and life. My guidelines for choosing my teachers seemed different than those of most others. I was led more by the strings of the heart than by the chains of the head or denominational partisanship, though I didn't know it. Particle – Lukewarm Lambs, Likewise Leaders Members of the Alliance Church once talked of how a visiting preacher confronted a congregation. He asked, “How many people here hate God?” No hands went up. “How many people are on absolute fire for God, willing to do anything for Him?” Very few, if any, hands went up. Finally, he asked, “How many are somewhere in between?” There was a great show of hands. He then had them open their Bibles to the following passage: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16 MKJV). The fellow telling the story (himself an or...
Page 13 PART ONE – Darkness to Light (cont.) Particle – Friends of Friends Not the Best of Friends Have you ever noticed how one will attract companions from different directions and bring them into his personal group of friends? Gerry McClintock was a personality who did that with those whom I personally would not have sought out as close friends. Dave Miller was such a rather awkward relation to me – he was Gerry's personal choice of friend and not mine. There was nothing particularly wrong with him; he had his weaknesses and strengths, as with all. I think I simply lacked empathy or closeness with him. In spite of this, we went into buying and living in a house together. It was a similar situation with Ed Korpan in junior high. He was the extroverted ringleader who attracted a variety of people. I would not have chosen Ken Dowson and Wayne Childs for personal friends, but Ed was our social common denominator. Outside of him, we had nothing to do with one another. But I had lots to do with Dave. Things could have been better, had I been a decent fellow, but I wasn't. Particle – No Mercy for the Distressed My former roommate, Rick Steinke, rented a room from us. I deeply regret getting after him to get a job when he was out of work, having no sympathy or patience while watching him sit and play guitar in his bedroom month after month, going drinking with his buddies, and falling behind on his rent. Rick, wherever you are, I apologize. (I owe many people apologies....
Page 11 PART TEN - The Issues of Life (cont.) Particle - Larry Spencer Resurfaces Around December 3, 2003, we heard in the news that Larry Spencer, whom we met through Henry Blackaby in our Baptist work in Regina in 1974, had been expelled by Stephen Harper from the federal conservative Canadian Alliance party caucus for making remarks about homosexuals. I called him and we talked. I shared our website with him, expecting that as a Baptist minister, he would disagree with much of the content. Later, I found his public apology of November 27 and wrote him. Here is the letter and apology, to which I received no reply: December 4, 2003 Hi, Larry and Sue, I opened up the Alliance newsletter they send by email and found your apology in it. Then I recalled that I wanted to express my disagreement with at least part of it: "I apologize for linking the homosexual community with pedophilia. I was wrong to draw such an inference." "I apologize to my colleague Svend Robinson [homosexual Member of Parliament]. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Robinson as both an individual and as a parliamentarian." First, I do agree that not all homosexuals can be accused of pedophilia, at least not directly. Therefore, from a technical, legal, and political perspective, you were speaking unadvisedly. However, you and I both very well know that the two sins, according to Scripture, are more than close cousins. When God gives men over to the lusts of the flesh, as you said the night of our...