PART NINE – Signs of New Times (cont.)
Particle – A Strange Reaction
A regular and pleased customer, Kathy Kvile, came to our farm. She was extremely curious about what we were all about, religiously and spiritually. She asked many questions, differing with us on many matters, such as creation, evolution, and homosexuality. She disagreed about not belonging to a formal church and about hearing the voice of God on many matters. The Bensons were present; we talked until 11:30 at night. We were patient and friendly with her, though frank and unapologetic. Kathy turned from incredulous to scornful.
We never heard from Kathy again. However, I did write her parents, Harvey and Janet, who were churchgoers, her mother professing faith. I described the incident to them, but never heard from them, either.
Sara arrived in Helena late in the afternoon of the 30th of July. On August 9th, Paul sent me a bomb by email. He had said nothing to me at the Hartman wedding twelve days earlier, but Paul was planning or hoping to marry Sara (unbeknownst to her) even before we saw him at Kerri’s wedding on the 29th.
Here is that email:
Good Day Victor!
I don’t know of a gentle way to introduce what I want to tell you in this letter. So I will only begin by saying this is a heavy duty thing I want to tell you about. It is time.
I have loved Sara for some time. It started, I think, after the first time I spoke with her on the phone. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced. It was not based on my need for affection, or perceived need for companionship, or physical attraction, or soulish camaraderie, or anything but a fundamental sharing of truth and desire to walk in Him, which was there with both of us.
I wondered at this and finally asked the Lord about what was going on between Sara and I the very same day I wrote her concerning the will of God that she forsake her family. That same day the Lord told me in answer to my question that Sara was cleaving to me. My understanding of this was that it was not a bad thing, but was what was happening in Him, that she was joining herself to me. I then remembered Marilyn’s dream of the girl that came to us and we held hands as we went into that house. I knew that was what was happening with us.
There were also a couple more things that the Lord gave me that made me wonder, being wonderful. At one time as I learned more about Sara’s life the Lord told me that her day of birth was significant in connection with my life. I asked her what it was: October 2, 1979! By my reckoning and the Word of the Lord, this was the day that you told me, by revelation and commandment of the Lord, to forsake Alison, and in which I received the Word of the Lord by faith. My breath was taken away when I heard this. In all this I said nothing to Sara.
Another thing that the Lord gave me that became fulfilled in a marvelous way more recently was as follows. After I had moved from Great Falls to Helena this past December I yet needed to retrieve a couple pieces of furniture. Kerri volunteered to bring them down with Todd. Her arrival here and the delivery of furniture took place in the beginning of January, and was in a way a very sad experience in part for me.
Firstly, it was clear to me that she still wanted to hope that something would change for me and we might yet be back together. I didn’t or don’t condemn her for that, but it was extremely sad for me to see that. And there was a finality to her dropping off my last things that was sad, though I was not in the least looking back or hoping otherwise, it was just sad in itself.
As Kerri and Todd took off I walked them to the top of the hill and waved, watching them go down the hill. As they were driving away I heard a noise from behind me. I turned around and it was a young woman on cross country skis. She was a natural type of person, healthy, down to earth, attractive in these things. The Lord told me at that moment that on the heels of Kerri’s departure so would mine come to me. I put this away and it wasn’t until now that I have marveled at the Lord’s Word and its fulfillment.
The very next day after the wedding, which for me held a sense of finality and departure that I rejoiced in, came Sara direct to my door! It was not planned in the least, by any human anyway. And this was not just any girl, but the woman of whom the Lord told me she was cleaving to me. Another thing, I met the young woman on skis a few months after the event on the hill, and her name is…Sara!
In all these things I said nothing to Sara and there was no indication on her part or in our conversations of these things, at least outwardly or in our conscious articulations. I felt that I would wait and see what happened when she arrived here, actually thinking that when we came to the farm perhaps these things could be opened up.
When Sara did arrive I held my peace for several days. However, during that time all that I had seen, heard and felt was confirmed and as the Scriptures put it, “my bowels did yearn upon my sister”. By this past Saturday night I began to speak to her. I told her what the Lord had told me about her cleaving to me. She considered this and agreed, she knew our lives were joined together. After a little more reflection she added that she didn’t think this meant we would necessarily be together as husband and wife, and then asked me what I thought.
At this point I could have punted and just agreed with her, but I decided to tell her the truth of what I thought, trusting the Lord to keep both her and I. I said that while she may be right that it didn’t necessarily mean that, I had reason to believe otherwise. I told her of the other things I had heard and what they meant to me, and above all I told her, I knew my own heart in the matter and I knew I loved her.
I told Sara that I loved her no matter what she felt and decided for herself in this matter, and that the things of the Lord for her, that He had done and given her were there and real, and that He would keep her. That was all wanted, for after all, if we love truly, it’s for the sake of others and not ourselves.
After my beautiful speech, she proceeded to kick me out! We were at Kerri’s place for this conversation and Sara wanted to be alone upon hearing this. I was filled with trepidation upon leaving, thinking what in the world have I done now. Then the Lord spoke and told me that by tomorrow she would know her answer. So I had some rest.
The next day I went down to Kerri’s, feeling very solicitous of Sara and her state. She seemed ok when I arrived, though clearly things were unsettled. At some point mid morning she said something to the effect that the Lord was in control and there was rest and faith in that that helped her and also me to hear that from her. Then the issue was no longer an issue and we proceeded more naturally on things at hand.
During the course of this time, on Sunday, we were making a salad and Sara remarked to me, not complaining but more so acknowledging the Lord, that these things have come on her very fast. I said to her, “If only you knew everything, you’d ask me, ‘what took you so long'”. I didn’t know it at that time, because she didn’t say anything right away, but that statement I made triggered her memory instantly of a dream she had sometime around or after the second time we spoke on the phone, which she had forgotten until now. In this dream she had come to Montana and directly upon arrival I met her at her car door and asked her to marry me. She said to me in the dream, “What took you so long?” She marveled when she remembered this and felt confirmed in an answer to her question to the Lord about the things I laid on her the night before. She had been seeking Him since and had literally cried to Him that night.
After a little while longer she told me of this dream and then told me she knew her own heart in this matter. She did love me and said so. There was peace in her answer and we both greatly rejoiced within.
I have wanted to tell you of these things Victor, but haven’t known where to start or how to begin. Finally it can wait no longer. The will of God be done.
It was Paul’s pace. I was angry; I felt betrayed and abused. He had lied to me, and he had not had the nerve to speak to me personally. As far as I was concerned, I was dealing with an enemy now. I wrote a stinging letter and sent a copy to the farm. I also asked the Lord to deal sharply and decisively with Paul and Sara.
So many things happening. I battled with Marilyn, Trevor, and again, Paul. It seemed we were on the road of destruction.
On August 11th, Paul and Sara called, apologizing. Lois had things to say to Sara. Lois told her that she was playing games and was a well with no water, but that she would be filled. Paul had sent a letter of apology the night before.
Mariko’s parents came to visit from Japan. Isoya and Mihoko stayed about five days, and we talked of many things. They were hoping Mark and Mariko would marry.
I blessed the Shinjis in the Name of the Lord, saying that the Lord would give Eriko (Mariko’s younger sister) an added dimension to her art. I said the parents would be thankful to God for their daughters and the daughters for the parents. The Shinjis expressed thankfulness to be here and deep gratitude for everything.
Trevor was so sure Wilma Vanden Dool was the woman God appointed for him as wife, as with so many other women that had come and gone. He wouldn’t listen to us, resenting us for opposing him. Then Wilma wrote, rejecting Trevor’s advances on four grounds:
1) she was lesbian;
2) we were a cult;
3) she disagreed with the Biblical stance on a woman’s place in relation to her husband;
4) she preferred the pleasures of this world.
Wilma was quite forward about her position and thinking. I thought, “If this doesn’t put a crimp in Trevor’s being so cocksure of himself when others knew better, nothing short of a beheading will.”
While in for a neck adjustment at Harper Chiropractic, I noticed that whereas Dr. Pierre Gaulin would take a considerable amount of time with me in former visits, and I was greatly helped, the time was reduced to a matter of 5 minutes or so in subsequent treatments. Yet the fee was always the same. As he was adjusting me, I was remarking on that change, if not complaining. I should have known better than to do that. I should have understood that Pierre was human, too. He was upset, cranked my neck vigorously that time, and there was no release snap of the vertebra to absorb the shock. I felt like I almost had my neck broken; I expected it was somehow slightly frayed.
My neck pained me terribly for days, often to the point of nausea, and I knew there was nothing the chiropractor could do for me. Finally, Paul prayed for me when I talked to him about it. I received that my neck would be healed and that I would be OK. Thereafter, I took the Far Infrared Dome, known as the Hot House, from Hsin Ten, the Chi company, and put it over my head and neck for about 45 minutes before going to sleep. I was greatly relieved.
The following two or three nights I did the same thing. What results! Not only was the pain gone, but a wonderful sense of wellbeing came over me. I felt really, really good! The absence of pain would have been enough. What a bonus!
It didn’t end there. A few days later, I mounted the lawn tractor and started it up. What a noise! I had to put on my ear protectors, which I often did anyway, but this time, I had little choice. I thought, “This can’t be the tractor; it hasn’t changed; it’s got to be me!”
That night, I went to read some literature in fine print. I went to get my reading glasses, which I’ve been using for close to four years now. I hadn’t turned on the floor lamp, I hadn’t put on my glasses, and I suddenly realized I was reading fine print in poor lighting!
In the next days, I was wrestling with Jonathan, as we had been doing for years. I found my ears so sensitive to his voice. When I would pick up the phone, the voice of the one I was talking to would be loud so that whereas I was used to having the volume turned to the top, I had to turn it to its lowest. I thought, “What is going on here? What’s with my ears?” I also found my improved reading capabilities continuing. I didn’t need my reading glasses.
Suddenly, I realized my improved hearing and eyesight came right on the heels of my having had the Hot House over my head and neck area for close to an hour three or four nights in a row! There was nothing else out of the ordinary.
Particle – From No-Win to No-Lose
Dr. Jim Ripley later explained how these things could be very possible with Far Infrared treatment. My complaining attitude with the chiropractor and his reaction, neither of which were good, produced a wonderful bonus. I was beginning to discern a turnaround occurring in my life. Whereas at one time, it seemed I couldn’t win even if things seemed to go well, now I was experiencing benefit and blessing though initially things seemed to go wrong.
While this reversal was progressing in graduating degrees over my Christian life, it appeared to be kicking into high gear and being quite consistent. Now it was a matter of seeing the dots connecting and recognizing the blessings, which were often disguised as mishaps, if not curses.
Perhaps it was simply a changing of the attitude as much or more than a change of circumstance. I believe it was both.
Particle – The Las Vegas Hsin Ten Convention
Paul and I qualified for cost-free rooms and registration at the convention in Las Vegas beginning August 17th. We asked the Lord whether we should go or not and were directed to go. We left on the 16th with our Cressida and checked in at Bally’s the next day.
Las Vegas – what a place! Vanity Fair of Pilgrim’s Progress! A first-class appeal to the senses; almost unimaginable extravagance, terrible busyness, horrible emptiness, people of all kinds, a mad frenzy; many forlorn, dull, sad countenances, people having no time to think because of the myriads of things clamoring for their attention.
An example of the extravagance that amazed me: Las Vegas is in the desert. As we walk on the hot streets near the casinos, we feel the coolness of the air conditioning flowing to us from the wide-open entrances. Obviously, the open doors are to entice people to come in from the heat and spend their money on gambling, alcohol, and whatever else. Expensive or what? But doesn’t the blood of the clientele pay for these extravagances?
Another example of extravagance is the water usage. We look around and find countless swimming pools and great fountains in this desert hot, evaporative climate, with great displays of water shooting high into the air day and night. On the outdoor balconies of restaurants and bars are continual misters overhead to cool and comfort the clientele. Elsewhere, much of the world is suffering water shortage, including my home province, Alberta, Canada, where water is normally plentiful. Because of drought, we’ve had limitations for agriculture irrigation. It would seem that Las Vegas is “Sin City” for many reasons. There is a reckoning coming.
Stan Howell and Steve Pflieger were president level Hsin Ten distributors, so they were at the convention. Meeting up with them, it didn’t take long for sparks to fly. I told them it would go badly for Kathryn Padilla and those who followed her, believing her lies. I told Stan he was blind to her and devoid of truth because he was unrepentant of his sins and gods.
Stan wouldn’t listen, while Steve was silent and troubled. Though he wasn’t following Stan’s prophetess, Stan was his business partner, so if Stan suffered loss, Steve would suffer with him.
Paul and I met up again with Steve in the mall of Bally’s two days later, on August 19th. He began to open up to us and asked for more correspondence from us. As we talked, Stan spotted us from a distance and came over. He was upset. “You’re either for me or against me,” he growled to Steve.
Then he turned on us. Pointing his finger at Paul, he prophesied, “God told me you are going to die of a heart attack!” He pointed to me and prophesied, “And you will be buried in an unmarked grave.” Of the two of us, he declared, “You are prehistoric!” whatever that meant. He then abruptly stormed off, not waiting for any response. I wanted to tell him those prophecies weren’t of God.
“See?” cried Steve, “This is what I’ve had to put up with ever since that prophetess took him over. You can’t reason with him. He won’t listen to anything!” He then related other incidents to us of similar nature. It appeared that Stan was possessive and paranoid, not to mention terribly deluded. I was convinced Kathryn Padilla had passed on an unclean spirit to Stan.
While Steve didn’t ask about the prophecies Stan just gave, I told him we had nothing to fear, but that Stan was in trouble from above for having done what he just did. I believe I told Steve the Bible said that those cursing God’s sons would be cursed.
Steve was torn; we told him he needed to trust God and turn to Him for answers. We were hoping to keep in touch with him, but it didn’t seem he was interested; troubled, yes, but not seeking God as one needs to seek to find Him. When I asked the Lord for wisdom for Steve, He told me Steve was already being given it. So it was.
On the 21st of August, as we were driving back home, we realized Stan had cursed us, that the Lord treats such thoughts, words, and intents like Stan’s as acts (Revelation 11:5), and therefore they must be fulfilled. As he cursed us, so must it be to him. We’d never before had anyone publicly curse us in the Name of the Lord. This was new; this was different; this was potentially very, very good.
Stan’s judgment in this was witnessed by Bob Nelson and family, Steve Pflieger, Sean Wu (head of HTE Canada), the Padilla group in Wisconsin, and many others. Would Bob Nelson see, heed, and repent as a result of this judgment on Stan? I hoped so, but I had learned not to deprive myself of oxygen in such situations.
Between the day Bob told us of Stan (June 2, 2001) and the day Stan gave his prophecy (August 19, 2001) are 77 days. We would surely be seeing Stan’s prophecies of us being fulfilled, albeit not as Stan expected.
I continue to shake my head at this one. On Sunday evening, the 19th, after the banquet dinner was done, Lidy Flom, a Hsin Ten president, and her friend came over to our table and boldly, aggressively invited Paul and me to dance.
I have to say that many, if not most, people naming Christ’s Name consider dancing, especially to rock ‘n roll, to be at least worldly (which it is), if not unclean (which it can be and often is), if not downright demonic (which it also can be and has often been). However, I don’t see it as strictly that way. At times I’ve seen unpretentiousness, honesty, creativity, originality, and a naturalness about some rock ‘n roll that is exciting and that appeals to me far more than the religious stuff one often hears or people think should be heard, whether in secular or religious circles. Jesus preferred cold to lukewarm. Assuming rock ‘n roll is cold, compare it to the rest of the music world, in church or theatre. How much of what we see in most cases is anything but lukewarm?
While I obviously can’t agree with most of the lyrics in rock ‘n roll, some are sound in reason and worth hearing. Concerning both music and words, I sometimes marvel at the imaginations, talents, boldness, and freedom many music artists have, and I appreciate them, right or wrong. They often express a search for what is good and right. Think about Bob Dylan, for example, or take a line out of Janis Joplin’s song, Me and Bobby McGee: “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” I hear heart cries, longing, pain; in short, reality.
James Brown was on that night, as were so many other 60’s entertainers. We accepted the invitation from the women to dance, had a free time, they had a free time, and I don’t know that it hurt anyone. But I have wondered, and I have to say I don’t believe I’d do it again. Why did it happen, then? I don’t know, but it didn’t seem a problem at the time. Perhaps we got into the flesh and it was that simple. I wasn’t attracted to the woman I danced with, nor she to me, as far as I could tell, but I believe it may have helped her somehow. I thanked her for dancing with me. I don’t recall her name.
At the convention VIP dinner, our table companions were Nes and Elaine Kotyk, Bill and Connie Kleinhans, Lisa Tran, and Vinh Nhan of Calgary. That evening, we had the privilege to personally meet Mr. Gordon Pan from Hong Kong, founder of HTE. We also got to visit with Sean Wu, the Canadian manager, and Kenny Lai of the New York office.
We visited with Sal Caliente, an employee with the head office in New York, who was open and even enthusiastic in discussing spiritual matters with us. He professed faith in Christ and revealed to us how his wife and family opposed, indeed despised, him. We told him he needed to forsake his wife.
We visited with Bill and Connie Kleinhans, who professed faith in Jesus Christ. They were also quite enthused about being HTE distributors, particularly about making a lot of money. Theirs was a common rationale – we will make lots of money so that we can preach the Gospel and help people. This rationale never goes anywhere good. Jesus never promoted getting wealth to help the poor or to support preaching. The day would come when we would have to talk to them of their error.
Particle – Jack Mormons
On the road trip back, we picked up a hitchhiker, Phil Harvey, and gave him a ride to St. George. He and his wife Kim just lost their home and were in tough circumstances financially, health-wise, and much in every way. They called themselves “Jack Mormons” because they were outcasts from the organization, not flowing with it and its dictates. The things they mentioned that the Mormons disapproved of was their drinking and smoking.
There was nothing we were free to do with or for them. They didn’t seem to be honest; there was something they were holding back from us – perhaps that’s the way most addicts are. I was seriously considering giving them a Chi Machine, thus giving them at once a hand up as well as a handout, so that they might have an opportunity to do something for themselves. However, suspecting they were drug addicts, I wasn’t sure it would be wise. Paul also didn’t believe I should do it, so we left it. I was wishing I could have done it.
Many plagues and diseases have hit America and are bringing it down. Drugs are one of many. It is nearing the end for this once great nation, with derelicts and victims of every sort everywhere.
We decided to visit Young Living Essential Oils in Utah. It had been on my mind recently to enter the world of fragrances in a new and more meaningful way. Food fragrances are wonderful, and so are flower fragrances, but how often do we have the pleasure of smelling flowers? Commercial flowers are totally void of anything but unpleasant smells, while garden flowers have a limited life and use.
I wanted to enjoy fragrances indoors, year around; I wanted to be wearing them. I suspected that natural oils and fragrances would have therapeutic benefits as well as offer great pleasure. All we smell, for the most part, are synthetic, toxic substances that are offensive to our noses, our health, and our wallets. I was glad to expand our world with the pleasant sense of scents.
I also found that while Young Living oils were nice, they weren’t necessarily organic. It occurred to us that because the oils are concentrated, the chemicals with which these oils were produced would be concentrated. We then searched out other companies and found one that seemed to have excellent quality and were certified organic – Mountain Rose Herbs. They were considerably less expensive, too. Welcome to the world of healthy, life-giving fragrances!
You’ll recall the that came upon me most suddenly some years ago, which seemed to be related to a good deed I did out of empathy for a little boy. It was on this trip to and from Las Vegas that I noticed my urgent need for peeing was gone. The Lord took care of the problem.
I had served my time of offense (not minding my own business, helping others based on my own motivation, rather than being led by Him to do good when He called for it). But I do wonder if, for some reason, He used the Chi Machine to correct me physiologically, though obviously He didn’t need to do it that way.
Here’s the portion of my Chi Machine testimony pertaining to my past problem of incontinence:
And that’s still not all… there’s better yet! About 7 or 8 years ago, I suddenly began to experience incontinence (“I had to have a bathroom nearby or 20 minutes from the time I had to go, I’d pee my pants,” is another way to say it). That problem was with me… until recently. I realized it was gone when we took a 900-mile road trip to a convention in Las Vegas. At one point in that trip I had to go slightly. I left it and we kept driving. We passed rest area and town after rest area and town until, about 200 miles and over 3 hours later, I finally pulled over!
No more incontinence. And we were drinking our water all the way, too. The only difference in lifestyle, aside from the fact that I haven’t been getting my exercise, is the Chi. I should allow that in the last five years, we’ve been eating much more organic. That should make a difference, too, and quite honestly, that may be the prime cause of the correction. But I think the Chi gets credit here, at least in part. I must confess that God has done wonderful things for me recently, and to Him belongs all glory and credit, one way or another.
Sara had supper waiting for us when we returned to Helena about 10 p.m. on August 21st. It was good to see her again. I told her generally what the Lord had done in my life, for which she was thankful. I also wrote a letter to her parents, trying to reason with them, and Sara expressed thankfulness for the letter.
But now Kerri was brooding. She invited us to her place for supper. Steve was away trying to help his daughter Dawn who was having problems. It was becoming apparent that Kerri was bitter about my having intervened in Paul’s plans to marry Sara. She said she was being reminded of the thoughts and feelings she had when I told her and Paul it wasn’t God’s will that they marry.
I thought all was settled when Kerri united with Steve; I thought she had resigned herself and even embraced her new relationship as the one God intended for her, in which case she ought to be thankful the former path with Paul was not continued. Bitterness would take its toll.
Didn’t I bless Kerri and Steve’s marriage? So what gives? Was I wrong? Was the prophecy out of my own desire and imagination? Can it be that a blessing is nullified when the one blessed despises it? We see how the Jews were enormously blessed by God in receiving many great and wonderful promises, yet they brought grievous curses on themselves because of unbelief.
Kerri decided to judge and embitter herself against me. Why? In doing so, she cursed herself and her marriage and lost all potential goodness.
On August 28th, Marilyn picked up a hitchhiker on her way home from the farm. It took me some time to understand what was happening with Forrest Browatzke. He said he came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ about two years before, but God really came alive to him at The Gate in Lethbridge and at the Son Rise Community Baptist Church in Coaldale, where his sister, Aleitha Ward, attended. I think he said it was somewhat by her mediation (or her church’s) that he came to faith in Christ.
According to Forrest, his background was a tough one. He had been involved in organized crime and drugs. His real father was such that he sexually abused two of Forrest’s half-brothers (not his sons), who consequently suicided.
Forrest soon declared his belief that he was the last prophet, of whom Moses spoke (Deuteronomy 18), and one of the two witnesses, as mentioned in Revelation 11. (How many have believed that! What is it about so many?) I think he was still looking for the second witness. I told him I had heard God tell me years ago, “And if you can receive it, you are My two witnesses.” There was no reaction.
Forrest believed God was engineering his circumstances to lead him (which He was, of course!). So when Marilyn stopped for him, he saw it as God’s will to accept the ride. I wondered if he thumbed for a ride or if she stopped without any indication he was looking for a ride. If we invited him to remain with us, he would accept. That was his understanding of things. I wondered how long it was going to last. I asked him what his destination and plans were. He had none, and he had no money. He was heading out by faith, expecting the Lord to provide and lead all the way. Which can be good. After all:
“And He called the Twelve near and began to send them out two by two. And He gave them authority over the unclean spirits, and charged them that they take nothing in the way, except only a staff; no bag, no bread, no copper in the belt; but having tied on sandals, and not putting on two tunics” (Mark 6:7-9 LITV).
I found this both fascinating and disturbing. Truly, I’d often thought that was the only way to live if one professed faith in Christ. Whether I simply didn’t have the faith and the courage to step out and let God take over, or I wasn’t led or given to do so, others may judge for themselves. At this point with Forrest, I thought, “Maybe we have now met someone for the first time who is stepping out with nothing but true, childlike faith in God.” It looked insane or childish, yes, but then things of God have been very strange in so many cases, so who was I to question Forrest?
It made sense that one should sell all to follow the Lord. It made sense that we should befriend the poor and common people, instead of preaching to them or to the converted, as Forrest was saying. It made sense that we should identify with them, in principle. These things had been the desire of my heart, too.
I recalled the verse: “Do not be forgetful of hospitality, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2 MKJV). Was this perhaps an angel in disguise? No. He tells me his origins. Was this true faith? If so, I wanted what he had, if it was meant for me. Or was this just another mixed-up fellow who needed help? If so, would we be able to help him? With such high-minded notions about himself, would he be willing to listen to godly reason? Few, if any, are ever able and willing to receive help.
I talked with Forrest all the next day. I had to confront him on many things that were false, contradicted the Scriptures, and fed his ego, but which things he thought he heard from God. All his counselors he mentioned were false, ignorant, and presumptuous.
I was made once again to feel like the ogre, Pharisee, tyrant, predator, or legalist. Yet I have seen the “free” perish again and again, filled with the “love of God,” condemning, hating me. “I don’t want to have anything to do with your God,” they say. “The God I know is not like yours; my God (god) is a god of love, mercy, kindness, patience, and understanding. He’s not judgmental; I love Him with all my heart; I’d do anything for Him. Yours you can have!”
While we visited, Ben Hafichuk called again. I had to tell him it wasn’t God’s will that he come to live at the farm. He accepted our decision without argument or reasoning. But interestingly, Forrest thought I made the wrong decision, that I shouldn’t have refused him. I was persuaded otherwise, having asked God to give me His answer.
I invited Forrest to the farm to stay a while and hear more. He accepted. Paul and Sara joined us from Helena. Forrest talked about his calling. It seemed that he expected us to sit at his feet and listen to him, for days if necessary, without regard for our daily duties. I suppose he expected that we should be as Mary, “choosing the better part” by receiving his revelations and understanding, rather than being as Martha, who was “distracted with much serving,” and “anxious and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:39-42). But we had chores to do, animals to feed, cows to milk, and many other jobs to tend. It seems he was oblivious to all but his world and he expected the same of us.
As we proceeded to do our work, I asked Forrest to join and help us. After all, he was receiving free room and board! But he had a problem with that. It wasn’t long before his frustration was visible. He refused to work, declaring it wasn’t God’s intention for him. So what happened to accepting circumstances as they came along as being God’s will?! While it was fine to receive and be provided for, it wasn’t fine to work? I recalled the Scripture:
“For even when we were with you, we commanded you this, that if anyone would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk disorderly among you, not working at all, but being busybodies” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-11 MKJV).
We tried hard to reason with Forrest. For a while there seemed to be hope. We took him to see his sister in Coaldale to resolve misunderstandings and improve relationships. Forrest was repentant of his past deeds, thankful, and apparently rejoicing in the Lord. Mariko had a dream that Mark and Forrest would be speaking to many people, working together, yet apart. Jonathan had a prophecy of him, saying, “Forrest will endure the chastenings, unlike many others” (“unlike Evan, for example,” he said).
Forrest’s free, easy-going attitude and enthusiasm affected Trevor such that he decided to fly free in his own thinking about anything. Forrest was speaking of his own thoughts as being of God and Trevor decided that whatever thoughts he entertained were of God, too. His “south brain” was engaging full speed ahead now. He was laying rubber. Now it was in his mind to pursue Sara. He decided she was going to be his wife and that he needed to go to Kansas City with her and testify to her parents. He had dreams of Sara and him sitting on a couch in the Schmidt home talking enthusiastically to Sara’s parents.
He was wild-eyed and ecstatic about it, full of sensations, imaginations, and plain tomfoolery – a raving lunatic. I made up for it with more groaning within. “Lord, what will it take to cure this guy,” I wondered, “castration?” Forrest was encouraging him to “follow his dream,” so to speak, and we had to rain on his one-man parade with a thunderstorm, lest he manifest himself as the damned fool he was yet again. I was getting quite fed up with his antics, and Paul’s were not much different. I wondered if their ways would ever end. I was good and ready to toss both fish overboard, head for shore, and maybe never fish again.
Jonathan came to me saying, “Dad, I think I just had a prophecy: Trevor is to drop this whole thing with Sara right now.” I was feeling like this time if Trevor insisted on his ways and thoughts, the Lord was finished with him. We would have to let him go.
Trevor didn’t quit. He wrote Paul, presumably looking for a sympathetic ear. Paul felt the same way I did. Trevor was so childish, selfish, stubborn, lazy, and slovenly.