Monopoly Man

Photo by BP Miller on Unsplash

Trade-craft for an intelligence operative can be considered to be easier in America. Especially, for those of us that were born here. Even more so if you are familiar with the city in which you are moving. Or, one might argue, the familiarity can be a distraction and keep the operative from staying vigilant. Familiarity working against your best interests. I would agree with both of those arguments and have – in my own mind – cautioned myself against complacency.

At least those were my thoughts as I was ferried ashore at three AM by two members of the embarked SEAL Team aboard the nuclear attack submarine USS Hawaii, Jerry and Tank. They joked about how they should be allowed to come ashore with me to act as my bodyguards…and get a good micro-brew from the Mad River Brewery. One of them – Jerry – had been to the Blue Lake casino and had visited the brewery. His favorite was the Slammin Salmon double IPA. I was sympathetic to his cause, but I had a job to do. A job I was puzzled by.

Before I forget, my name is Taylor Brean, I have had strange operational taskings during my tenure with the SOG (CIA’s Special Operations Group: many of their operatives come from Delta Force or The Teams). But, in most cases I chalk it up to the “need-to-know” syndrome. I only need to know enough to get my job done. Which in most cases is pretty much everything. It’s not very often that our leaders keep us in the dark as to the reasoning behind a mission. But, this one was different.

I was to meet up with and escort back to the submarine a man called Monopoly Man. I had the instructions about where to meet him and where our exfiltration would take place…the mouth of the Eel River…and that was about it. I had asked why, since this was the United States, why the FBI or the local police couldn’t just put the guy on a bus or Southwest to where ever it was they wanted to bring him. Crickets. They said that I would understand when I met the gentleman. The Monopoly Man? I was never very good at Monopoly; or Risk for that matter. Checkers, Battleship, Stratego, not many could beat me at Stratego. But, Monopoly? I just wasn’t gifted with that mentality. So, was this guy, a strategic genius in real estate negotiations? Was he a hyper-wealthy political contributor that had pulled some very subterranean strings? Can you even pull those strings. Can money buy a personal escort from a multi-billion dollar submarine taxi?

All of these thoughts raced through my head as I walked across Samoa Beach toward Cooper Lane. My contact was to meet me in the parking lot of the Samoa Cookhouse restaurant. Good eats! But, at four AM not open.

My contact was a student at Humboldt State University. We didn’t share names and hardly talked as he drove me over the Samoa Bridge into Eureka California. To anyone that would happen to be watching at four in the morning, I was just another hitch-hiker traveling up and down the Pacific Coast on highway 1. I was wearing well worn jeans, flannel shirt, gore-tex jacket, floppy hat, and carried my personal Cabela’s back pack.

The contact dropped me off at the McDonald’s on Highway 101. There were a number of people that looked just like me meandering up and down the highway, so I found a comfortable wall to lean my back pack against and checked my iPhone for messages. Nothing, and since I was scheduled to meet the Monopoly Man at nine AM I closed my eyes for a quick nap in the cold early June morning.

No matter how hard I try I cannot seem to sleep much beyond sunrise. Of course it doesn’t help to be attempting a nap on the ground in front of the McDonald’s on a main highway of a city along the Pacific Coast Highway. And, considering sunrise is before six in the morning here in northern California in June, that’s pretty early. I estimate I was able to sleep for maybe and hour. It would take me an hour or so to rent a car, but that should leave me plenty of time for a breakfast bagel at Los Bagels.

I love the north coast of California, Eureka, Ferndale, Patrick’s point state park, and many more places with memories attached to them. Many of those memories framed with tastes and people. Hopefully, none of those people would accidentally run into me. So the bagel was quick and I sat in my rental near the Samson House by eight-forty five.

Precisely at nine AM I walked over to the Samson House and wandered around the building. My instructions were to meet him here at the house. But, the instructions did not say anything about where at the house. Samson House is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Eureka. So I wondered about the intelligence of using such a site for a meet up like this. But, it was only a momentary thought.

I worked my way around the back of the building and checked to see if anyone was around and the place was deserted. No one standing near the building at all. Then I found myself in the parking lot facing the harbor and a tall sea wall that separated the house from the waterfront road. As I walked towards the sea wall I noticed something perched on a short decorative cement bullock that seemed to divide the parking lot into informal segments. It looked as though a homeless person had left a mess of McDonald’s wrappings and their drink container around the bullock. So I figured I would go over and clean up the mess.

As I leaned down to collect – what I thought were the wrappings – a voice said, “Conductor?”. Instantly I stepped back and said, “Engineer!?”

There on the bullock was a very short, maybe ten inch tall man with a handlebar mustache! He was standing on the bullock and what I had thought to be McDonald’s wrappings were a small paisley train satchel and matching suitcase and laptop bag. He was wearing brown dungarees, a tan muslin shirt covered by a worn, but comfortable looking leather vest, a leather safari hat, and expensive looking leather hiking boots. He held an ornate cane topped with a lion’s head and was pointing it at me. “Yes, that’s the correct response. I was beginning to think you were some kind of mindless vagrant or perhaps a zombie. The way you were approaching me. It seemed your mind was someplace else. Not very good trade-craft if I can be so bold to point out.” The last statement was said more as an observation not an actual request. And, considering the way I had reacted to this unorthodox situation, I would have to agree with the little guy. I hadn’t handled the surprise very well at all.

“Well, let’s get the show on the road, shall we? We do have a boat to catch!” The Monopoly Man said looking me in the eyes with a bit of concern tinging his words. The last “Boat to Catch” emphasized as if he was Yoda from Star Wars.

Quickly I reached down and gathered up his luggage and stood for a second as I wondered how this was all going to work. “Ah, do you want to walk or do you want me to carry you? How does this work? Want to ride on my shoulder? I don’t want to seem rude but, I am sure you must realize you have me at a bit of a disadvantage. It’s not every day that I meet someone like yourself. I mean, are you really the Monopoly Man? You look just like what I would imagine if he…you…were really alive? Are you really alive?” The words tumbled out as my mind tried to make sense of the moment.

“No, I don’t think I would like being carried. I can walk thank you!”, he smiled. “Try to keep up!” And, with that the Monopoly Man set off with a brisk pace, his minuscule brass tipped cane making a barely discernible tapping sound as he flew across the parking lot. I struggled to keep up!

But, soon we were sitting in the rented 2020 Toyota Rav4. I did not even attempt to ask him to put on his seat belt. And, he made no effort to put it on either. But, once we were in the car and the engine started he looked up from his seat and said, “Thank you for being on time. I know this is a bit unorthodox, but quite necessary. There are certain people that need my help and you are one of them. Those that work in high stress situations on a daily basis, and even those that live ordinary lives, but have people that depend on them, need me. You need me.”

We were scheduled to make the rendezvous at Crab Park by 9:30 AM, and so far I was questioning why it had been necessary to devote these kind of assets to picking up the remarkable man. What was the strategic necessity of bringing him in in such a covert manner. “Can you explain to me why you are so important to the government that someone like me has to come and get you? I can see that you are quite the impressive individual. And, beyond the questions about where you come from, and whether there are others like you out there somewhere. To me you look like a pretty fragile individual. For instance, what’s to stop me from reaching over there and breaking your neck? Forgive me for being blunt, but you are a pretty small dude!”

The Monopoly Man looked up and chuckled, “Looks can be deceiving. How old do you think I am?”

“Well, that sounds like a loaded question if I ever heard one,” I said. “If I think this out logically, then you must be as old as the Monopoly Board Game, right? What was that, the 1950’s or something? That would make you in your sixties, correct?”

Monopoly Man looked up at me and said, “Actually, the game was published in 1935, but I am much older than that. I have been around go and collected $200.00 for so many years I stopped counting the money. Not to mention the years.” He held up his hand and stopped me before I could question him on the time-line he was implying. “Monopoly is a game that mimic’s human endeavor. Buying and selling, greed versus… What is missing from a Monopoly Game Board? Think carefully before you answer.” The Man was now standing in his seat and bracing himself against the back of the seat as we had left Eureka and now were traveling down Highway 101 at freeway speeds.

I thought for a second and could not think of anything that wasn’t on the board, and said so, “I can’t think of anything that isn’t on the board.”

“Okay, I will tell you. There are no churches on the board.” Monopoly Man stopped talking and waited for my response.

“Huh! I blurted. “No churches? Wow, I never thought about that. That’s kind of strange. The most famous game about finances and philanthropy get’s left out?”

“That’s partly why I am here.

In Our Father’s Arms…

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

We’re a child in the car asleep
In the driveway at night
Our mother’s gonna slowly sneak
Our body inside
We can rest in the arms of trust
There’s no way that we can say
We’ve earned our way into light
All we have to do to is stay

These lyrics from the Christian band Needtobreathe evoke a profound feeling in many of us that have grown up in the age of automobiles. I can remember as a very young child those moments when the family would return from the drive-in movies, or an Aunt or Uncles house, late – well, late for a five year old – and I would be asleep in the back seat of the car.

And, like many parents this is the moment where your skills at transferring your child from the car to their bed is tested. As a parent, I have to say that I was very skilled at this. And, I also can remember when I was the transferee.

I remember the sense of comfort associated with the process of being carried – half-asleep – into the house. I didn’t want to wake up. But, even if I was aware of the process, I didn’t want Mom or Dad to know I was awake, because being carried to bed by Mom or Dad was just so comfortable. Perhaps, comforting would be a better word.

During this time of strife and worry in our country, the need for comfort is hard to come by. We are bombarded day and night by the news of the sorry state of our country. And, as believers this should drive us to our knees in prayer. It is not hard to see the our country going about it’s business as if nothing were wrong. We cry out to God, but our hopes and expectations seem to fade like fog in the afternoon.

So this was the sense last week for a couple of days upon awakening that I found myself experiencing a profound sense of comfort as I lay in bed praying. I know, most of you would say, “I feel that every morning. It’s the “I don’t want to get up and go to work syndrome”.” But, this was much more profound. And, the only way I can describe this was to draw your attention to that memory of comfort in your Father’s arms being carried to bed.

There are times when the Holy Spirit comes and makes you weak at the knees. Or, the excitement of His Presence in the room takes your breath away in ecstasy. Or, the times where the conviction is so strong – the beat of His Heart – all you can do is cry. This was pure comforting assurance. Assurance that He is in control. That all of “That out there”, cannot steal one moment of His Peace from His Children.

I laid there in wonder at the sense of loving, and comforting presence in my room. The intensity of the moment was such that it made me laugh and worship.

Our country is in deep trouble. The question is will we become desperate enough to truly pray the First Chronicles 7:14 prayer in a way that evokes His Promises, or touches his compassion and mercy. His promises never fail. There is a reward at the end of our desperate prayers. That is to see His Manifest Presence come and sweep all the boogeymen out the door. Those moments of comforting peace are a wonderful reminder of who is actually in charge in this world.

The Father’s got you in His Arms, the world is descending into chaos around you as he walks across the driveway, past the tricycle and sprinklers, up the front steps, past your Mother whispering for Father to be quieter, and into your room to your bed. The whole time you have your eyes cracked a tiny tiny bit so you can see what’s going on as you hang on to every second of that sense of loving comfort.

That memory will be brought out at strategic times during our adulthood/parenthood when we need it most.

Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord…

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

Yesterday I woke up and while lying in bed praying about the current political situation I sensed the Lord beginning to laugh. And, as our conversation played out it gravitated towards the idea that there is a seismic shift coming. The way I posted it on Facebook was that there is a “Spiritual Awakening Tsunami” coming that will heal the heart of America. I really didn’t expect the response I got to that post.

I did try to explain a little bit about what I sensed from the Holy Spirit and wrote this;

Everything that we are worried about right now; everything that is dividing us becomes a shadow of our fears as the heart of America turns to the one that matters most. I don’t want to say these things become irrelevant, but they just fade away into un-newsworthiness…lol. Even our concerns about who is in the White House fade. When God’s manifest presence sweeps the country no one will care much how much ranting and raving goes on. Essentially, what is coming will destroy everyone’s agendas. No one will be able to claim this as coming from their program. It will clear the tables of corruption both in the secular and in the church. In other words, it ain’t what anyone is expecting. And, nothing will stop it. It will be joyful, but the kind of thing that grabs you up by the seat of your pants and challenges you to get your act together. The way a good father challenges you to keep going when you want to woos out.

So let me clarify a little more; as I have prayed into this there are a couple of things that have been impressed upon me. One of which is actually a burden I have carried for quite some time. One of the strongest points/areas that will accompany this coming awakening is the profound wave of Prodigals that will be swept back into the Kingdom. What The Lord is going to do will be the answer to most of the prodigals arguments about why they left the church in the first place. Mostly, that is due to the inability of their parents to exhibit any sign of the power of God. Or, even to answer any of their hardest questions. This awakening will be the first time that they will actually see God move in their lives and their response will be, “Aha! There it is!” These prodigals will sweep through the Church with the Truth of the Presence of Jesus Christ. This could get awkward for their parents that now will – happily – be playing catch up to their kids.

Another point I felt the Holy Spirit making is that this is not going to be anything like what anyone thinks. It will be joyful and will result in a wave of heartfelt repentance that will sweep the nation. But, the Holy Spirit seemed to be issuing a warning that this isn’t an opportunity for the Church to just kick back and let Him do it all. Thus the title of this blog today. “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord”. Don’t misunderstand me. He will do the heavy lifting, His Presence will be the Tsunami pushing this across the world. But, the Church is woefully unprepared to “Haul in the Nets”. He is expecting – aggressively expecting – the Church to Co-Labor with Him to bring in this Harvest. So I think part of this is a warning to get prepared.

Mercy and Grace extended to the lost and the prodigals. But, a LOVING expectation of discipline and commitment, Holiness and Purity, for and from the Bride of Christ.

There will be no tolerance for those that continue to dabble in evil either in the Church or the secular world. Especially those that use their positions to line their pockets. or expect their plan to “Reset” society, or establish a “New Normal” to come to fruition. God is laughing at all these that believe no one is watching. Or that no one can stop their plans.

The one thing that caught me off guard was the suggestion that it doesn’t matter who is in the White House. Once the Tsunami comes, their attempts to mitigate what Jesus wants to do here in America won’t amount to much. The Kingdom will decide what is right in the light of Jesus Christ. Change will come organically as the hearts of the population, and thus the heart of America become “Born Again” …again.

I hope all that makes sense. Please feel free to comment.

The Glorious Potential

Photo by Holger Link on Unsplash

August 2nd, 2020…

Two lines face each other – anarchists and policemen – under the blinding light of floodlights and bonfires. Teargas floats through the night mingling with the smell of smoke, sweat, and fear.

Two blocks away; in the belly of an abandoned building, a husband and wife lay face down on the moldy pitch-black floor crying out to Almighty God to intervene.

They have been here for over a month.

Midnight approaches and a hush falls on the battle line, and a wind begins to blow. First softly, carrying away the smoke and the teargas. Then it begins to snow. Softly imposing its presence as the wind begins to strengthen picking up trash and sweeping it down the ruined street and getting caught in the chain-link fences surrounding the federal courthouse.

The hush is replaced by the sound of a song riding on the wind that grows stronger and stronger, and the snow increases to a blizzard. The battle is forgotten and both sides on the battle line realize something different; something important is happening.

Within minutes every person on the street is leaning desperately into the wind, holding onto each other or anything bolted to or growing from the ground. No one is dressed to withstand the cold or the wind. Then the night disappears with a brilliant light brighter than the sun at midday and a figure descends between the two groups of combatants…he is difficult to look at through the light. He is a magnificent creature wings extended and as he descends the wind begins to soften, but the song rises to a crescendo. And, the angel raises his hands.

Everyone falls to their faces as they are confronted with the Glorious Potential of their enemies. Their eyes are opened and the see what Jesus sees. The true potential of each soul there on that now silent street. The Love of Jesus pours out over the street.

And, the weeping began…

Epic Fantasy – Epic Reality

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I finished reading the Wheel of Time series in January of this year (2020). It is considered the longest epic Fantasy available. I started it in June of 2019. There are over four million words. Each book is close to a thousand pages long. It was written by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (the last 3 books). Jordan’s world-building is amazing and comparable to anything that Tolkien or Lewis wrote. I am a big fan.

But, it’s not the most epic story out there. It is after all purely a work of fiction. It cannot compare to the reality that is The Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

I like to imagine the authors of the story; the Holy Trinity, The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, dancing and singing creation into existence from the pure force of their passion for life to exist. And, when they were finished they said it was all good. That includes humankind. We were created to be part of the family. One of the main characters in the most epic story ever imagined. And, yes we were born in the mind of God the Creator. He imagined and sang into existence an endless universe filled with glory and power. And, in the midst of that He placed man and woman.

However, every good story has elements that are there to keep the reader interested in the story. There is the Protagonist – the good guy or gal, the Antagonist – the bad guy or gal, the supporting characters, sub-plots, back-story, and the main story-line. In this case the antagonist comes in the form of pure evil. The purpose of this is to allow the protagonist to grow and shape his or her character until the successful completion of the story where it all comes together and the reader is left wanting to read more of that author’s books.

Except in this story, the ending has brutal and eternal consequences, because this is real life. Some may – to their own peril – believe that this is merely a legend or a myth propagated by some arcane Druid from ten thousand years ago. But, this epic is not any harder to believe in than the thousands of fantasy worlds created over the last few hundred years by the imaginations of the writers of the world. This epic has all the elements of a good fantasy or sci-fi novel. Time travel? This reality exists where there is no time, and the Creator of the Universe see’s everything that has happened in a continuous now. Teleportation? Light speed travel? Who needs a warp drive when you can travel at the speed of thought, ala Stephen visiting the eunuch one the road to Gaza. Immortality? Got that one in the bag. Immense glorious magnificent floating cities? The New Jerusalem. Frightening seemingly all-powerful Evil Ruler? Satan takes the cake. Even if he is somewhat of a comical figure considering we all know how it ends for him. Cataclysmic Apocalyptic final battle to determine eternity? Read the Book of Revelations.

Again, there is nothing that compares to the epic reality that is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Where are you in this epic story? There are only two places to stand in this reality. Either on the side of the good guy Jesus Christ or on the side of Satan. You can’t opt out of this choice. By not choosing you choose the second choice. You must take a stand, one way or the other. This story is not fiction, even though it has all the elements of a good epic fantasy, this is epic reality. And, you have been created to join the Good Guys and explore the Epic Imagination forever.

Choose wisely.

Kingdom Normal

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The New Normal. I have thought a bit about this and my initial response was to rebel against the obvious attempt by those behind the globalist agenda to attempt to redefine what the world see’s as “Normal Life”. However, this morning the Holy Spirit reminded me of something that showed me that He would like a New Normal also. No more business as usual, no more “Same Old, Same Old”.

He reminded me of how the agenda of the Black Lives Matter people had been hijacked by the Socialists and now the whole agenda is about systemic racism anymore. It’s about politics and socialism.

Well, Jesus wants to hijack all of those agendas. In fact, He told us that was His intention in the first place. “Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed by thy Name. Thy KINGDOM COME, Thy WILL BE DONE, here on Earth as it is in Heaven. There will be a New Normal. But, it won’t be the normal that the globalists agenda is working so hard to convince us all that it is for our own good. The Lord’s Prayer instructs us to call forth a New Normal, the Kingdom Normal.

The new normal is going to be the Kingdom Normal!

What the enemy of our souls has intended to accomplish with this attempt to redefine the idea of normalcy in our day to day lives, is going to be Hi-Jacked by The Lord. Just as when Jesus won the victory for us on the Cross and turned the tables on Satan. Satan’s plan to kill the Messiah played right into The Father’s hands. So too will all these plans that form the Globalist Agenda fail. It may look like Evil has the momentum. The globalists have the media in their back pocket. So they can frame the social narrative. But, don’t be deceived. Not everyone watches the news. Not everyone is on Social Media. That perception that comes from focusing on what the media wants you to believe is a false narrative of reality. Focus on Jesus and His Normal, His reality.

What does Kingdom Normal look like? It looks like transformational revival. Cities where crime is so low the police resort to forming Barbershop Quartets to supplement their income (similar to what happened in Alamalonga Guatamala). Where alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, and political corruption, disappear. Where the land itself begins to heal and produce crops on a biblical scale. Kingdom normal is not a day-dream. It has happened throughout history around the world. There are many documented cases of Kingdom Normal. You can see those documentaries at https://www.sentinelgroup.org/

There is only one Normal. If you have been born again, that is your destiny. You are a citizen of the True Normal, the Kingdom Normal. But, our part is to pray that normal from Heaven to Earth. Those of our world that are being deceived into believing the False Normal, need our prayers. One of the main things that is common to all of the transformed communities in the Sentinel Group documentaries has been desperate prayer. Desperate believers crying out for the Kingdom to come and change their cities as a habitation for The Lord.

Take your eyes off of social media and use that time to intercede for the True Normal, The Kingdom Normal.

Infectious Joy!

Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

On my walks in the morning there are a number of people I see almost every morning. Many of them I know their names and will stop and talk to at times. But, there is one person that I doubt I will ever get to meet, but, who has had an effect on my attitude every time I see.

This morning was one of those days and I received a nudge from the Holy Spirit about this person.

He, or She, is a young black Lab. You can always tell when you are going to see him. His master takes him out every morning somewhere for exercise – I am guessing here – and the dog rides in the back of his master’s truck and sticks his head into the wind and barks continually with this goofy look of joy on his face. You can hear him coming from a long way off.

Bark, bark, bark, bark…

The joy on his face is infectious!

That was when the Holy Spirit nudged me and said, “Are you this happy to be with me? Is your joy this infectious that people will notice?”

That’s a really great question. And, I know; the Word says that they will know us by our Love for One Another, not how happy we seem. But, I don’t think the Holy Spirit asked me that question to contradict His Word. I think He is just checking my heart. And, He was not trying to make me feel guilty, because at the moment He was saying these things I was quite overwhelmed by His Presence. I could feel His Love towards me.

I pray for our Joy today. Check your heart. Are you happy He saved your soul? Or, has 2020 robbed you of that? Just like any Good Father He want us to be Happy. And, yes that means happiness in the midst of persecution, trials and tribulation. We are so favored. If we could see how favored we are in the Kingdom we would be speechless.

A Call to the Daniel Nash’s

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To the Daniel Nash’s of our time.

The Bowls are close to tipping. It is time to press in even more. To stay on your faces until the tide changes. To stay on your faces until the world breaks. To stay on your faces until the flood comes. To stay on your faces until the divide comes down.

Do not allow Satan to cause you to stand on one side of the Great Divisiveness or the other. You are not Them or They. You are the New Creation, the holders of Jesus’s Authority. Jesus didn’t tell you to pray from the right or the left. He told you to pray from Heaven to Earth. On one side is Mercy and on the other side is Justice. But, both find their Truth in Jesus not on Earth.

The Bowls are tipping and time is ticking. Never has Time been so valuable. Put aside the divisiveness. It is time for Jesus to sweep this all into the Kingdom.

Stay on your faces until the bowls…

Destiny and the One Ring…


(Photo by Ankhesenamun 96 on Unsplash)


Lately, I have seen several people on Facebook sharing a quote from Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings series expressing regret for living in, “such a time as this”.

“I wish the Ring had never come to me.  I wish none of this had happened.”

“So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.  All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Of course, this is about the impact on our lives from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just like many Facebook memes; this one is taken out of context. The obvious context of the statement itself is a gentle exhortation to evaluate how you respond to the world you live in. Which in itself is a decent exhortation.

But, the overall context of the conversation that Gandalf and Frodo were having was much deeper and dealt with the destiny of Smeagol/Gollum and the Fellowship of the Ring. In the greater context, Frodo expresses the desire that Bibo had killed Gollum when he had the chance.

It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when had the chance.”

“Pity?  It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand.  Many that live, deserve death and many that die, deserve life. Can you give it to them Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment Even the very wise cannot see all ends.  My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play, yet for good or ill…. before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.”

Then Gandalf gets to the core of the message he is attempting to explain to Frodo.

“There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.  Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you also were meant to have it and that is an encouraging thought.”

Gandalf wants to turn Frodo’s negative thoughts about how life seemed to be going towards a greater theme that was working its way into Frodo’s destiny. He turns Frodo’s attention to the fact that Bilbo was supposed to find the ring and therefore Frodo was also supposed to be exactly where he was. Directly in God’s plan for the Fellowship. In other words, God has confidence in Frodo and the Fellowship to accomplish their mission.

This is also an encouraging message that Tolkein is trying to get across to all of us. God’s plan is perfect in itself. Both in timing and intention. Even when it seems that everything is out of control. God is still in control and walking with us through our own epic journey through the storm.

So instead of leaving you thinking that dealing with the pandemic is all up to you and how you deal with this situation – emotionally and physically – Gandalf – and Tolkein – is pointing to the fact that God’s plan for Bilbo and Frodo, is the same plan He has for us. And, for us in the “Non-Fiction” world, Jeremiah 29:11 describes what Tolkein was trying to teach Frodo.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm youplans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to youYou will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Finally, be encouraged by this, that you are not alone in the midst of all of this uncertainty.

The Contrast of God


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My day is not complete if I don’t get a chance to walk with Jesus in the mornings. This morning was a good walk and my mind, soul, and spirit were fed by His Presence. 

Besides my collaboration with Him on the stories I write, sometimes I recognize a truth about Him or His Kingdom. This morning I was brought back to a familiar thought about God’s contrasts.

1 Kings19: 11 – 13 talks about this contrast. The contrast between His Power and His Peace. The verse talks about how God wasn’t in the wind, earthquake, or fire. But, he came with a gentle whisper.

Is God pointing out a way to recognize Him? I believe so. The Psalms and Proverbs and the Prophecies all point out His Powerful capabilities of throwing mountains into the sea. Ending Kingdoms, blotting out nations, etc. But, He chooses to speak to Elijah in a whisper. He comes to Elijah by illustrating his contrasting personality traits. He could destroy the mountain the cave is part of, but He chose to come to Elijah gently.

The understanding this contrast I caught this morning on the trail by Little Chico Creek, started with a sense of amazement with how life in our universe is incredibly prolific. Without the constant efforts of man to maintain order in our world, life would take over and soon erase signs of our having been here. Any gardener understands this, as he/she attends to the weeds in the garden. You cannot stop life from springing up in the most interesting and unlikely places. There is a naturally chaotic momentum to this. To the orderly human mind’s impulse to seek order in all things, there is a futility to the wildness of creation. This leads the unbeliever to a distrust that God is in control of anything at all.

But, this wild, unstoppable nature of life is a reflection of our own relationship with The Father as evidenced by the above description of God’s conversation with Elijah. Our free will is just as wild and unstoppable. Without freedom of choice, love is coerced. And, it has never been God’s job to bring order to the creation. It has been ours.

Which brings me to another facet of all this. To the unbeliever, this chaotic nature – the unstoppability of life – is a sign that there is no God. But, to the believer, it is a sign of His Majesty, His Power, His Wisdom, and His Love. This very unstoppable nature of life itself is evidence of His Being. And, I would say, and have to believe, that it is evidence of extraterrestrial life throughout our universe. Why would He stop here? (Bunny trail?)

God spoke our universe into existence (some say he sang it into existence). The whole universe was declared “Good”, by The Father. God is the ultimate Dr. Seuss of life. Life exists here on Earth in an endless array of designs. From microscopic microbes to the whales. To the moles that burrow to the eagles that fly. There is so much diversity that – in my humble opinion – it is more of a stretch of the imagination to believe that life only exists here on Earth than it is to believe that that same diversity extends throughout the universe.

My God, the Creator of all things, the Almighty, Most Holy, has no limits and has placed none on life itself. And, the wonder of all wonders is that He has invited us to be part of joyfully shaping the creation into Glory upon Glory for all time.

No, the amazingly complex seemingly chaotic unstoppable nature of life is not a sign that God is not there. It is a sign of His Contrast. Ultimate Power balanced with Perfect and Precisely designed Peace. The perfection of a Humming-Bird to address the prolific display of flowering plants. There is a balance to the apparent chaos. Power and Peace. The Word and the Spirit. God is in the contrast.