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.

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


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


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.







Most Valuable Commodity


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Reality. How do you define it when you wake up in the morning? You’re just…there? Real is the feel of the sheets keeping you warm. The fact that your eyes just opened and you groaned, “Here we go again.” Perhaps you began to run down the list of things to do today?


All we have is now. Today. Time. Ticking. But, how real is this…now? This moment? If you are a normal human being it’s as real as anything else in life. Sleep, eat, work, play, and back to Go; maybe collect $200.00 before starting all over again.

But, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ. Is this real?

Well? Is it?

The Bible paints a picture of eternity waiting for those that Love Jesus. A picture or perhaps a perspective that defines this moment. And, the next, and the next, and the next…That perspective describes an endless now. A place that the Bible can barely describe beyond the feeble attempts of a finite language set. Where the Bible explains; we lost access to a place so beautiful as to be best described in metaphysical terms as being in a different – indescribable – dimension. A place we are destined for…if we love Jesus.

One of the more important details of this reality is the ticking. One second after the next. A continuous stream of seconds – nanoseconds if you want to get nitpickingly scientific – ticking away with that monotonous regularity we have all come to accept as “normal”. But, is it normal? Or, is it desperately portentous? The most basic of elements to our existence is something that we take for granted with a fatality we ignore at our eternal peril.

But, those tick’s so quickly ticking away is more valuable than almost anything else in this reality. It’s just simple supply and demand. When the one thing that measures our future unrelentingly decreases, each subsequent “Tick” becomes exponentially more valuable than the one before it. And, what’s most depressing to think about is the fact that we don’t know how close the last tick is.

If your personal perspective is defined by “Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, May your Kingdom come, May Your Will be done, Here on Earth as it is in Heaven”? Then those ticks apply most importantly to you. Maybe not as much as someone who doesn’t know Jesus, but it’s desperately important that we give those ticks more value than we do. The supply of ticks is draining away, and we are wasting them at an alarming rate. And, we are oblivious.

I would say that this commodity is more precious than gold or uranium or platinum or any other commodity you care to mention.

Except for possibly one…

A Human Soul.

Do we measure the value of the loss of one Human Soul by the number of Ticks we allowed to drain away before giving a warning? How do we place a value on something that to The Father of Creation was so valuable he sacrificed His only begotten Son to save? This is the perspective that should be foremost in our hearts and minds. Especially if we call ourselves Jesus followers. There is no other perspective that matters.

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick…





The History of Things to Come


Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash


It has been a while since I have heard the Holy Spirit speak to me…drop a thought into my mind…during that time in between awake and asleep. But, last night was one of those moments. Sometimes He says things that can be difficult to understand. But, I recognize as something He is prompting me to write about. This one is a bit difficult, but bear with me as I attempt to describe this thought.

He said, “The past of things to come”…


As I laid there in bed trying to figure this one out, I realized it was similar to what I have come to understand as the contrast of how we understand the Holy Spirit (or try to). Where we come to understand the “Omnipotence” of God balanced by His Perfect Peace. How can the ultimate power of the Universe be the ultimate presence of peace at the same time? There is the contrast of God’s personality. He can be both at the same time.

But, how does that apply to what the Holy Spirit said to me?

How can there be a past tense in the future?

The only thing I could think of was that in Heaven there is no past or future, only now; an existence where there is no beginning and no end to time or the Creation. Which is hard enough to grasp as it is. But, it is just another indicator of the difference of Heaven from Earth where the past and the future come together in one person Jesus Christ.

Where the understanding of an infinite universe begins to make sense as the place where we will fulfill the first job God gave us in the beginning. To steward and husband the Creation, as well as worship Him throughout eternity.

For those of you that read this and thought this was a bit too spaced out. I agree. I am just trying to be obedient and put this out there. In my own heart, the thought of The Holy Spirit attempting to describe something that exists in the heavenly dimension to me is similar to when The Lord told Moses, “I Am that I Am.” Or, “Tell them I AM sent you.” How do you describe the indescribable in human finite terms?

But, the fact that He tried is precious to me.










This Terminal Existence


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This terminal existence is not the true life. It is not the pursuit of happiness but the pursuit of Jesus that is the true life of profound and living Joy.

The true life is not the riskless life of the nest. Although there are seasons of the nest. The true life is found in the footsteps of Jesus as he sprints into the messiness of a life full of the future.

There are two lives we live. One in the boat, one on the water. Joy comes in the pursuit of the footsteps – that disappear rather quickly – on the footpath across the sea that leads to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. (yes, footprints in the water disappear fast. This requires one to be very close to the person making the footprints…obviously)

Which one are you pursuing?

Are you desperately rowing for all you’re worth? Are you wondering why Jesus isn’t helping you row? Or, are you placing your feet in those footprints in the sea?

Faith is a muscle, you need to exercise it. Rowing as hard as you can in the boat will get you there…eventually. But, you will be exhausted, and will most likely miss the party on the other shore. Exercise the muscle. Get out of the boat, get out of the nest.

How can you tell if you are in the boat or the nest or standing on the sea? I think that might be a pretty simple question. Ask yourself. Are you living for your comforts? Are you living to build your nest? When you read John 14:12;

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.”

do you wonder why those things never happen in your nest? Or, if you do think about them are they just to be entertained or amazed? Seeking the gift and not the giver? (I have found myself in this one.) 

Miracles, signs, and wonders are a “Mythical Beast” in the riskless nest. But, when risk is removed there is no need for miracles, signs, and wonders. These are reserved for those living on the edge of the Kingdom – the boundary between Heaven and Earth – for the risk-takers, faith wielders, dragon slayers, soul savers, and water walkers.

Miracles, signs, and wonders are not circus tricks performed for the entertainment of the audiences of the world. They are the by-product of the risk-filled life. A life lived in the proximity of Jesus Christ, whose feet are firmly planted on the surface of the sea.




Wait, Wait ‘Till the Moon is Full…



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There are times in life where I tend to get impatient with God. I think we all experience this at times. In my case, I have gone through a transition in my business that I would describe as a divine intervention in my life. To say that the transition was exciting and terrifying at the same time would be pretty accurate. But, it was also comforting to know that Father God was right there with me in that transition.

That was almost nine months ago and all the dreams of progress – and yes – success have been put on hold. All of my expectations of where the Lord was taking me and my business have seemingly been put on pause. But, I still have a prevailing sense of peace in the midst of my wondering what is going on with this pause in progress.

Just to be clear this post is not about my responsibility to make things happen when given an opportunity. I get that and am working on the plan. It’s about Waiting. It’s about God’s perfect timing.

This morning as I was on my prayer walk. This children’s story – that was a staple bedtime story for all three of my kids – popped into my mind. And, I realized that to The Father, we are like the little Raccoon that Margaret Wise Brown so expertly illustrated. I realized that His promises made nine months ago were still good and to rest in His Peace as His timing came to fullness. For me to Wait, Wait ‘Till your Destiny is Full…

“If you want to go out in the woods,

and see the night

and know an Owl

and how dark is the dark

and see the Moon

and how big is the night

and listen to the Whip Poor Will

and stay up all night

and sleep all day

and see that the Moon isn’t a Rabbit

and what color is the night

and see a bird fall out of his nest

and fly away in the moonlight

and find another little Racoon to play with

Off you go, for…


The Moon is Full

Trust His timing in all things. Rest in His Peace for you and your family. His timing is Perfect and His Promises are forever. Do not fret, eventually, the Moon will be Full and your Destiny complete.



The New Creation


(Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash)

A number of years ago I gave up trying to fight the Lord in the early hours of the mornings when it seemed He wanted me to wake up and talk. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that those were some of the best most intriguing, most inspiring times of my life. I’ve joked about how I get to have Him all to myself during those early morning hours. But, it’s true. I’ve never missed the lost hours of sleep that I have spent talking to God. Never once have I complained that I should have been allowed to sleep because now I was too tired to work. Quite the opposite. Those times in the morning have energized me beyond what I would have imagined. So much so that now – before going to sleep – I invite the Lord to wake me up to talk.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, at times it is a challenge to hold up my end of the bargain. Very rarely has the Lord NOT taken me up on the invitation. The hard part – for me – is to remember that I invited Him to wake me up.

Sometimes it is just a time of prayer and presence that I can find depths of peace for my soul. Sometimes, it becomes a time of sharing my concerns and deep intercession for my children and the Hastings Tribe. And, sometimes He takes the time to download ideas to my imagination. All of the stories I have written come from that Divine Spark of Creative Imagination. ALL of them! That is the purpose of this blog today. The hard part – when He inspires my imagination – is to discipline myself enough to turn on the light and write down what He dictates.

On September first…yesterday…at 4:46 AM (Pacific Time), I managed to turn on the light and write down the following idea.

Every human being carries “potential” as a New Creation. Much like a sperm cell has the potential to create a new human being. Each new human being has the potential to enter the Kingdom of God. 

Each of us is given a measure of time to find the Truth and impregnate it with our potential. We are either successful and become the New Creation as our lives are “Born Again” in Jesus Christ. Or, we reject the truth and after we use up that measure of existence – gracefully given by The Creator – we are thrown onto the refuse pyre as failures.

Now I am sure some of you are thinking; “Doesn’t The Truth impregnate us instead?” And, all I could say is that this is what I was given. But, think about it. A sperm cell “Seeks” out the mother’s ovum (egg). And, although John 6:44 says;

“44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

We are called to seek Him in Jeremiah 29:13;

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

So it seems that there is a natural sense of mutual attraction that exists between the Creator and the creation. So the idea of a New Creation – a New Creature – being Born is a compelling Visual. As is the thought of people rejecting that birth, throwing away that potential to join God’s family.

This is THE most important decision any Human can make ever. And, the most strategic point that Satan attacks. The tragedy is when Satan deceives a person into rejecting life in Jesus Christ. He aborts the New Creation.

Pray for your family. Pray for your prodigals. Pray for your tribe and your neighbors that the eyes of their heart, soul, and spirit would be opened to see The Truth. Pray for that process of seeking and finding. Pray for their “Knowers” to recognize His Presence and embrace the New Creation. To step into that New Birthday!



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My life changed the day I pulled myself into the Library. It was a place I never wanted to visit. Life was a daily grind of launching and landing. The struggle to keep the lack of gravity from dominating my life. Just like everyone else I knew. The struggle was very real. The day began with releasing the belts that held me in my bed so that I could sleep without worrying about floating to the ceiling or out the window and out into space. 

Then breakfast. Tubes of “Cap’n Crunch” squirted into my hungry mouth, trying to ignore the longing to have a plain old bowl of “Cap’n Crunch” in a bowl with milk and the satisfying sensation of the actual Crunch. Still, I wondered at the very existence of that thought. No one ever experienced that. This was life on Earth. A weightless existence. We all made the best of it. 

Every day, began the same. The effort to get from point A to point B. Home to work and back again. Everyone’s strategy was different, and much of it depended on how much money you had saved up. How wealthy you were dictated how much ease you were able to experience as you went about business every day. 

The most basic was the cable poles that lined the streets. First I would open the front door of my apartment and hold onto the door frame. Concentration is everything when attempting to move from point to point. And, yes after a bit you gain a certain amount of expertise in this. You either learn to move or you eventually give up and hide in your home and never come out. Thousands of people in our city give up every day. The insane asylums are overflowing with those that give up. But, I digress. Back to the door frame. 

Using my arms like the elastic bands of a slingshot I launch myself at the pole outside the apartment building. There I can grab the cable that winds its way through the city until I reach my office. The hard part is when you encounter people going the other direction. Yes, certain cables are designated for one-way traffic. But, many people let their frustrations get the better of them and they ignore those rules and just grab the first cable they come to. 

Then there are those that can afford a propulsion backpack. As I am pulling myself along on the cable I can look up and see the wealthy powering their way to work effortlessly and in their cocoon of privacy afforded by their backpack. 

Then there are the EMTs in their helicopters rescuing those that lost their grip on the cable. Or those daredevils that use the ancient launchers from the tops of their homes or apartments. A dangerous proposition as you actually need to have a computer app that will calculate exactly what kind of power to use on the launcher and at what angle and elevation to set it to reach your destination. It definitely requires a daredevil mindset to use those. These daredevils keep the EMTs busy. And, we lose a few every week as their launchers malfunction and send their users into orbit and out into space.

As I pulled myself along on the cable a sense of desperate hopelessness rose up in my heart. Why was living this way? Why was there a sense of something better nagging at the back of my mind? Wasn’t life always this way? 

Then I saw him.

About a mile ahead I saw a man walking down the sidewalk all by himself with a big grin and a to-go coffee cup. And, he didn’t have a hold on the cable. He was just walking as if his feet we stuck to the ground. I had heard that there were a few companies working on shoes that would stick to the sidewalks. But, the costs were thought to be too prohibitive as most thought the sidewalks would need to be electrified so that the shoes could be magnetized…or whatever it would take to make that work.

I was dumbstruck. How was that possible? That man was unaffected by the lack of gravity. Then he was gone. He WALKED around the corner. Unfortunately, I had stopped on the cable and received a quite nasty push from the woman behind me. So I continued on my way to my office. 

But, I never made it to the office. I saw a building I had never really noticed until this morning. “Public Library”, the dingy unlit sign proclaimed on the outside of the red brick building. There was that nagging at the back of my mind. Something that said that there was something new, something containing hope. Something tells me that life wasn’t meant to be hopeless and the same-old-same-old. My heart screamed to follow the nagging. So I launched myself towards the two large oddly barbershop poles on either side of the doors of the Library. 

I managed to grab the pole to the right of the double doors. Each door was made of solid dark stained oak and had large smiling faces carved into each door. The faces looked like the face of that mythological character Santa Claus that my father used to tell me about as a child. All those old stories about Santa and a man from the dark times named Jesus. I forgot about those stories. Probably hadn’t thought of them in years. Years and years of struggle to stay on the ground and not drift off into space. Just a life of survival and the mind-numbing hopelessness of the sameness that kept going like a bad dream.

As I opened the door a warm blast of air escaped and washed over my face, and light streamed out the growing gap between the two doors as I pulled with as much leverage as I could gain from the pole. Until I finally stood next to the door.

I was standing.

There before me were rows and rows of shelves filled with books and people standing around reading books…not held down by anything. 

I walked into the library and came face to face with the Librarian. 

“Hello, Derek. Welcome to the Library. I am here to answer your questions and to lead you into all understanding into the land of Gravity. Out of the darkness and into the light. Out of the hopeless and into the New Creation. My name is Jesus. 

You have been called out of a world that has lost its anchor. I am the anchor. I am the Way, The Truth and the Life. There are weight and gravity in the Kindom and a future. Life without Me is without gravity and lost. Most of the people outside those doors are stuck in their ignorance and have no idea they are lost and drifting off into nothingness. 

You have been called to take the message of gravity to those lost and clueless about their lostness. It won’t be easy as those lost can’t see the hope. Indeed, most won’t even see you. They can’t see beyond their hopelessness. There is a kind of comfort to being lost. Especially when you don’t know you are lost. 

Welcome to the New Creation. Welcome to Gravity.”







Converting Dollars to Souls?


(Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash)


This morning was a “monument” moment for me. Where the peace of God led me into thoughts about life that captured my imagination. Most likely this resulted from our prayer time last night. We were praying for that anointing expressed famously by Patrick Henry’s quote, (I am including more of the context of the speech as I think it adds more drama to the actual quote) 

“Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable²and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry was expressing his frustration with British Rule over his life. That frustration had grown to the point of being willing to fight and die to gain freedom from that Tyranny. But, last night we were praying that that level of commitment towards Jesus would be evident in our relationship with Him. Instead of the typical American Church “Just-enough-to-get-by” approach. We were hoping for an anointing from the Holy Spirit that would spark that courage in us, to become the world changers He says we are.

As I type this I realized that yesterday there was also a significant bit of input from our speaker at church. It was all about casting off the tyranny of another kind. That of the tyranny of Money over our lives.

Freedom from the tyranny of Money. Freedom from the tyranny of the world’s expectations for our lives. This is what the Holy Spirit addressed for me this morning.

“Wealth in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is not measured in dollars, pounds, or the renminbi (China’s currency). It is measured in Human Souls!” In other words, Heaven doesn’t operate with the same set of rules/physical restraints that the world does.

So let me take you down a couple of bunny trails with that thought.

I am part of Sentinel Group. Our ministry is to document the places God is moving and transforming cities, regions, and countries. Our research focuses on the difference between a community experiencing a simple revival where many people come to the Lord and church membership grows, and an instance of transforming revival where the entire society is affected and changes in a short period of time. Both are good! But, there is a difference.

One of the thoughts that came to me this morning was that a truly transformed society doesn’t “NEED” money. When one word from the Lord can create wealth…or an entirely new concept of wealth transfer. Thus, the statement that Wealth in the Kingdom is not measured in currency of any kind, but in Human Souls! Wealth in Heaven is not measured in currency. It is measured in relationships. We all know the verses about storing up treasure in Heaven. And, attempting to store up any kind of physical wealth in Heaven is a fool’s errand.

So in a transformed society; capitalism, socialism, and communism are irrelevant. When money (as opposed to wealth) can no longer be used as a tool to manipulate. There is freedom from the tyranny of money over our lives. And, the New Creation walks in freedom.

Does that mean that I think money, capitalism, socialism, and communism would disappear in a truly transformed society? No. That’s just not realistic. That probably would result in people attempting to form the ideal utopia and calling it Transformationalism! But, it would look very different than our secular, dog eat dog, every man for himself, world. And, yes I am talking in abstract terms here. Even the communities that we know are experiencing transforming revival today don’t function like this. Are there miraculous wealth creation events where wealth is needed as a blessing. Yes, there are. But, our “corporate level of faith” in this country is not on the level of Jesus providing loaves and fishes for the five thousand.

But, can our faith grow to that extent where our understanding of wealth is centered in Heaven? Yes, absolutely! Would that result in – in what the secular world would see as – miracles? Where wealth is created like loaves and fishes? Most likely!

Wealth in the Kingdom can be anything of value that extends the Kingdom of Jesus Christ – that brings Souls into the Kingdom. And, to finish my thought about the anointing of courage to be a world changer. To pray and believe about our relationship with money or this world from A Kingdom perspective frees us from the tyranny the enemy of our souls intends by keeping our focus on the things of this earth.

Which led to another thought that I will leave with you and maybe you will get a chuckle out of it.

If we use money (currency) to fund evangelism and the day to day efforts of attempting to build His Kingdom. But, Heavenly wealth is measured by “souls saved”? What is the conversion rate for Dollars to Souls? How would you calculate that? Would Google have a calculator for that like Dollars to Pounds or Dollars to Pesos? Perhaps one of you that are mathematically inclined could figure that out?