Thursday, July 22, 2010

IN HIS TIME -PART 4

So how can I apply this in my time…the situations I’m facing today and tomorrow?
I pray this testimony may be an encouragement to you all!

This last year has not been easy for our family, but the Lord has been with us and led us. As some of you know, Erica and I were involved with a ministry, leading a Training Centre during the last 4 years. Some of you were eagles with us then. We enjoyed wonderful times in God’s Presence. The Holy Spirit revealed our Identity (we are not turkeys, but His eagles) to release us into our Destiny (get our 2 wings to fly and soar with Christ) and fulfill God’s kingdom purpose in our lives.
However, in the midst of these ‘glories’, strong discrepancies appeared between the ministry’s professed vision-values and its actual reality. My wife and I met with the leadership and challenged what we discerned to be hypocrisy and deception. We did not seek to condemn; we simply sought to be honest and loving, at the same time. Part of an eagle’s training is to simply use both wings: speak the truth in love.
We did. It was not received. We knew our time was finished. However, for the sake of the students, I felt we needed to stay until the end of the term…another 2 ½ months. This would not be easy, but somehow I felt strongly that this was necessary.
Time did not fly by; in fact, it often seemed to grind to a halt. Especially when the ministry went into revival mode and God appeared to be suddenly blessing (?) what we had questioned! It all grew very confusing!

Finally, the last day of the semester arrived and our class shared in a time of communion. Students were speaking their hearts and I felt I needed to also.
So after others had shared about how they were facing changes, I also told them about ours: this would probably be our last year as leaders in the Training Centre. Many responded: some with understanding; others were upset. It’s not easy to go against the flow of what appears. However, I felt I had to take a stand, be honest publicly and leave the rest to the Lord.

That was on Friday. Sunday night was graduation. Monday we were finished!
So I thought: “Now I can just kick back and finally rest…let’s get a movie!”

Do you think God can speak any way He wants?

He definitely speaks through His Word and His Spirit in many ways: people, circumstances, thoughts, feelings, dreams, but what about movies?
Is He free to speak and confirm whatever way He wants? Come and See!

Looking through the titles on the DVD racks, I thought I should get a chick flick for Erica. Found one, but can’t even remember what it was now. But just in case she didn’t like my first choice, I thought I’d better get a back-up. I walked up and down the rows, sampling different covers. I picked them up and checked them over, then put them down again. One seemed to linger longer in my hands: a baseball story called “Off the Black”. Never heard of it! The popular movies all had multiple copies on the shelf; this one stood alone. So much for it being well-known and popular! Nick Nolte was the lead actor. I’d heard of him, but nothing too earth-shaking. Put it down, continued sampling. No particular movie suited my mood or taste, and I found myself back with “Off the Black”.
I reread the storyline. Again put it down, and picked it up a third time.
Finally I decided, “Oh, why not?!’ and took it home.

That evening we watched the chick flick, but Erica lost interest halfway through and went to bed. However, I was now in vacation mode and wanted some amusement. I wanted to turn my mind off and just relax.
Curious, I popped in “Off the Black”.
Scene opened: a baseball diamond. Nick Nolte’s character, a somewhat rounded, 60ish and balding umpire calls out, “Ball Four!” and in walks the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. ‘Off the Black’ means ‘off target; outside the strike zone’. That meant a loss for the teenage pitcher and he was not a happy camper. He’s so upset, in fact, he wants revenge for what he views as a bad call that cost him the game. So he and a couple of his buddies decide to trash the ump’s yard. A few nights later, 2:30 in the morning, they strike: general mayhem, toilet paper strewn throughout the trees, a rock crashes through Nick’s car’s side window. Inside, ‘Nick’ is passed out in his easy chair, surrounded by empty beer bottles, TV still on, but no one’s watching …not much of a life! But the breaking window awakens him, he rises, stumbles groggily to the doorway and catches the pitcher as he tries to make his getaway.
“What…? Who…? he stammers, trying to assess what’s going on and what he’ll do.
He can only threaten, “You’ll pay for this! You’re going to fix this up… or else!”
“Ah, stop bugging me, old man!”
“Old man!? I’ll show you!”
But before either of them does anything foolish, the teenager relents and over the next few afternoons, returns to clean up his mess. The two even begin to strike up a friendly relationship.
Also during this time, Nick receives an invitation to an upcoming high school grad reunion. He graduated in 1966. Same year as me! Hmmmm!?
Looking at his life, he feels like a real loser, a turkey, no eagle at all. No family, no measure of any success whatever. He feels he has nothing to share with old grad friends. But somehow this crazy idea gets in his head. He fights it, but the next day when the kid comes over, he makes his offer.
“I’ve got this invitation to my grad reunion. I was thinking about going, but then I figured I really got nothing to tell anyone ...no stories, no family, no exciting experiences. But then I was also thinkin’… that window’s gonna cost you a lot to fix and seein’ you haven’t got money like that, uhh… so I was thinking, how about you come with me to the grad, be my son for the day, and we’ll call it even, hey?”
“You’re crazy!” and the kid stormed off.
However, he reconsidered, came back in a few hours, and both agreed to the deal.
Over the next few days, their relationship grew and suddenly the scene shifts to a boat out in a lake and the two of them fishing. The shadows show it’s late afternoon; the kid’s impatience shows they haven’t had much luck.

‘Want to call it a day? Haven't had any bites all day.”
Nick replies, ‘You're a real whiner, you know that! Do you know Henry Schmidt?’

… I believe I dropped off the couch! I could not believe my ears! Had I heard correctly? Wasn’t that my name?

Nick continued. I listened, scarcely able to take in what followed.
“This fellow was a pitcher from Texas. In his rookie year, he played for the Dodgers, won 20 games. Know what he did for his 2nd year?
He sent in his 2nd season contract unsigned with a note attached to it: I do not like to live in the East & I won't report.
He never played another game in the majors.”

‘Why?’ the kid asked.

‘Why?

Because Henry Schmidt knew he had to walk away.
Because some voice deep inside of him was telling him it was time.
Now, do you have a voice deep inside of you that's telling you, “It’s time?”’

And that was the end of it! A couple minutes' dialogue out in a boat, totally unrelated to the rest of the movie, a scene out of nowhere with my name in it! It’s not like my name is that popular that it pops up normally in books or movies. I sat there…literally dumbfounded!
I reached for the remote and pressed Replay. Played it again. Sure enough…that was my name! Clearly I was not hearing things.
And then the message!
Henry Schmidt knew he had to walk away because he had a voice deep inside telling him it was time!
That fit! I played it again…and again…and again.
But then I started second guessing: maybe someone’s made a mistake or they’re playing a cruel joke on me. But it was no mistake. I thought of waking Erica up. But then I figured if it was true, it would keep until morning.
It was true. Check out the movie for yourself. In fact, I’ve attached it to the end of this blog. I don’t know if the director really knew why he was putting that scene in his movie, but I am convinced it was solely and ultimately for my benefit! The message and its timing were extraordinary! Exactly the issue I had been facing! Precisely what we had felt, but without any external confirmations! In fact, what evidence there was seemed to show I was dead wrong!

My confidence level soared! I googled ‘Henry Schmidt’ and sure enough: he was not a fictional character, but a real pitcher, played his rookie season for Brooklyn in 1903. Exactly like Nick had described!
It’s not my name in the movie that was so amazing, but how I’d chosen it (or had it chosen me?) the very day after our classes finished, neither a week/month/year before or after, but that very day!
The timing was more than incidental; it was Godcidental!
And the message: it was a prophetic word for us to know that regardless of what people said or what things looked like, it was God’s opinion and timing that mattered most.
Not too many stood with us during the test, but the Lord wanted us to know He was standing with us! And He led us away when it was the right time in His time.
Paul writes, “But the Lord stood with me” (2Tim 4:17) and when it comes right down to it, what else really matters?

Do you have a voice deep inside you telling you, ‘It’s time?’

P.S. Click on the following and you can actually check out the actual scene itself!
Isn’t God amazing?



video

9 comments:

  1. God speaks through movies...I am convinced. Amazing...simply amazing

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  2. I remember how much you struggled, and the "holy hush" I felt when you shared this with me months back. Thank you for sharing all of it with us.

    HE IS FAITHFUL!

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  3. Aboslutely amazing!! My son and i just listened to the video. God, you are amazing!
    Dale Traber

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  4. really powerful Henry!! God IS indeed Faithful and He is with you guys!!

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  5. What an amazing God! He knows our name. Reminds me of Josiah who was prophesied about many generations before he was born. Who says we don't have a destiny? I know God has a wonderful destiny for you, Henry and Erica and all of your kids.

    Love you!

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  6. Hey Henry:
    We know that you have struggled to make sense of this situation. I believe that your seperating from FFM is God's opportunity to bring you into your/His future plans. He is always looking for those who will obey His word, and stand for truth. God knows your heart and He will use any means nessecary to make Himself known. Praise God, He is not limited in His communication. He can use DVD.s, numbers, dreams, etc.etc.,
    Blessings,
    David M

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  7. Henry
    What a Loving GOD. Yes he can speak to his children any way He choses. In 1989 me and my wife were involved with a Church and I took a stand on the Word of God,and the leaders did not receive it very well.After much prayer the Lord spoke to me throgh a song,and we moved on. When one door closes god will open a better one. God does not limit us,we limit him. Lets take the limits off. God bless you Tommy Bowers

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  8. Wow, what an amazing story! God is faithful! He had you in the palm of His Hand!

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