Vision and Reality : Part II

Part II: “Our vision is about what we are going to do, but God’s vision is about what we are going to become…”

When Dustie’s husband, Andy, asked if he could search through our attic for something he intended to use to honor Dustie for her 50th birthday last week, I wondered what it would be? But when he came down with one of Dustie’s early creations–– furniture she designed for children–– I knew his message would be a word from Oswald Chambers:

“What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.” My Utmost for His Highest, July 28th

The little furniture set Andy found spoke volumes, as he recalled that “Character is living out a commitment once the emotion is gone.” Dustie was not a quitter even though financially she never prospered from her furniture, or from the many remodeling jobs she did. but the important thing was that during those times of hard work, there was something bigger growing in Dustie’s heart. She kept feeling like she was to find and old building in Asheboro, remake it into some kind of business. What kind of business changed constantly, but she never quit searching. For nine years a vision grew in her heart.

One day she found an old brick building that she knew was perfect for her dream. Broken windows, a collapsed roof, water soaked walls and floors — the building was far from perfect, but she bought it anyway, not exactly sure what she was going to use it for. But she was so pumped with excitement while always asking, “Daddy, what is God telling you about my building?” And I’d always answer the same way, “Nothing.”

This continued for a long time until finally, she’d had enough. “Daddy. God speaks to you all the time giving you words for people all over the world, yet you get nothing from God for me,” she blurted out in frustration.

That did it. I wondered myself why I could hear God for everyone but my own daughter. I went to God and before I could verbalize my prayer He answered. I wrote down His answer in my journal and headed straight next door to Dustie’s, and before I could even knock on her door, she met me.

“Daddy. I finally understand. This morning God told me why He’s not speaking to you about my plans. He wants me to hear Him for myself. Just like you’ve always told me,‘God wants to speak to me more than I even want to hear.’ Isn’t that true, Daddy?”

We both hugged each other for a long and wonderful time.

 
 

I smiled at the little ensemble of table and chairs, while tears of joy ran down my face. Andy found them to recall all of Dustie’s hard work while never giving up on her dream for a business in Asheboro were people could sit and fellowship around a table. Yes, her vision became a reality. But God’s vision was for much more. His vision was to free His daughter to come to His Table and sit and fellowship with Himself and hear the plans of His heart…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

Vision and Reality : Part I

I shoved hard to get the rusted metal door to slide just enough for me to squeeze into the old two story brick building the city of Asheboro was going to tear down and make into parking deck. That was the intent until my daughter, Dustie, presented them a proposal they could not resist. A project of restoration.

Dustie opened their eyes to see what was previously invisible.

As my eyes adjusted I really wanted to turn around and go back outside because everything in sight was ugly & grotesque, but I caught my eye on an old metal chair and sat down. As I was observing the neglected building, I was reminded of a conversation which took place five years ago when my little girl called, “Mom. Dad. Come quickly. I’ve found it. The perfect place. Please hurry. Can’t wait to show it to you. Just what I’ve been looking for.”

When we arrived, my heart sank. The “perfect place” was a dilapidated, ugly brick building with broken windows that needed three sticks of dynamite, immediately (personal opinion). Jumping around like she did when she was five and got the green Schwynn bicycle for her birthday, she beckoned us through the front door that was about to fall off its rusted hinges to see the luxurious inside. Did I say “luxurious?” We couldn’t go much further than the doorway because the place was filled with two inches of yucky water that settled into the moldy walls where the roof had collapsed.

I tried to feel Dustie’s excitement but instead spoke my mind: “Dustie. Listen to me. This can’t be your ‘dream come true,’ cause this place is a disaster. Tell me you aren’t serious?” She paid no attention and just kept describing how she could see the front part filled with customers and how she envisioned people sitting out at the brick patio with little tables and umbrellas and…THERE WASN’T A BRICK PATIO. I stood beside my ecstatic daughter and knew right then this was the place where her vision would become a reality.

And it happened. One year later, The Table opened its doors to an overflowing capacity crowd that has not ceased.

So, sitting amongst the rubble of a new vision, I was overcome with peace in knowing that Dustie sees what no one else can. That’s when the lyrics of her brother’s (Jonathan David) song, “I See”, began ringing in my ear.

I see a mountain, You see a miracle
 I see wasteland, You see a garden
 I see dry bones, You see an army
I see impossible, You see everything, Everything
I see a seed, You see the harvest
I see the water, You see the wine
I see the broken, You see your Body
I see my enemy, You see your footstool…

“That’s it,” I thought.
I see a headache. Dustie sees a place for people to rest.
I see a multitude of problems. Dustie sees a place of future success.
I see debris and ugly. Dustie sees beautiful.
As I was wandering around in the rubble of the dreary place, Dustie approached me and asked with exuberance, “How do you like it daddy? Doesn’t it have incredible possibilities?”
Without answering, I motioned her outside and pointed up into the brilliant blue sky.
“Dustie, do you see the magnificent stars?”
She paused, giving me an incredulous look, wondering if I had lost my mind. But then she began to smile and turned to look into the sky.
“No, Daddy. I can’t see them. But that doesn’t mean they are not there!”
Awed by her faith, I pulled her close and hugged her tightly, giving her a Father’s blessing.
“We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” II Corinthians 4:18

Spencer’s Perspective: Over the years I have been able to witness the creative power the Lord has blessed my Aunt Dustie with. I remember when she first pitched her idea of The Table to me. I wasn't skeptical. I was just curious as to how she was going to pull it off. However, I never doubted her ability to make something beautiful out of nothing and neither did our family. Once we saw that she was serious about this endeavor, everyone jumped on board with support, whether it was tangible or by genuine encouragement. There’s a quote that I love from Jim Valvano, which says, “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” For Dustie, she had complete confidence in knowing that not only did her earthly father support her plans, but her Heavenly Father did as well. I am truly mystified by her gift of being able to envision something beautiful out of that which is broken and deformed.

Coming Soon - Part II: Our vision is about what we are going to do, but God’s vision is about what we are going to become…

This morning, January 20th, I read My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. Then I wrote my prayer:

Yours, O Lord, is a never ending supply of everything we need for life, and by partaking of Your food we are made fresh everyday for all things. I am not sure I understand this but OC makes a distinction between freshness and obedience?

“Freshness is not the result of obedience; it comes from the Holy Spirit.” OC 1/20

“The Lord writes in the register of the peoples, ‘This one was born in Zion.’ And as they make music they will sing, ‘All my fresh springs are in you.’” Psalms 87:7

So, my question, O Lord, is how does a person (myself) stay fresh in the Spirit of the Lord? Speak, my God, for I am wanting to hear from You…

Father’s Voice:
You have nothing to fear. Through my Grace, I always want to speak to You more than you want to listen, but wanting to listen is key to freshness. Just as in hunger you eat, and the more the hunger pains, the less choosy you are as to what you eat. It is when you are full that you go for choice portions on a plate, but when you are really hungry it matters little as to what is put before you.

Back to my prayer as dialogue flows between the Spirit and I…
Lord, I heard last night that Donald Trump is not choosy in what he eats (he prefers meatloaf as much as he likes steak) but I pray he begins to realize in his inner person that there are only so many hours in a day and he cannot move forward if he pays attention to the media more than he listens to You. Make his highest priority in the office of President to listen and heed and obey Your voice. O God, make him to be a wise man on behalf of the United States of America.

Then the Lord showed me from the book of Proverbs what a wise man is and I pray over each one of these points that Donald Trump would be arrested by them:
Pr 9:8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
Pr 9:9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
Pr 12:15 The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
Pr 14:16 A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.
Pr 16:14 A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, but a wise man will appease it.
Pr16:23 A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.
Pr 21:11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom; when a wise man is instructed, he gets knowledge.
Pr 21:22 A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.
Pr 24:5 A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength;
Pr 25:12 Like an ear-ring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.
Pr 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

Father’s Voice: 
My longing in raising up my servant and my son is that he would become a wise man but he has to go through what ever follower of mine has to experience: Brokenness that leads to wholeness and his pride has to be broken for that to happen. So, your prayer should be that he puts around him believers that are equally as wise if not more wise than himself. Pray for humility that comes from the rebuke of wise men who seek Me for their wisdom and not the media of public opinion.

O Lord, I will pray…

And Linda and I join together now, after taking a short break so watch our new president to be sworn in, who gave quite strong vision for the days ahead, so strong that it can only take place by the strength, blessings, favor of God’s Grace, that we commit each day for the next four years to lift up our president, our government, and our nation to God in prayer.

After hours of hard labor, unable to figure out the GPS unit on the new car my wife and I were buying, the salesman, about my age, throws up his hands and says, “I quit. Take it home and get your grandchildren to show you how it works.” I did. And Cadence Helser, in less than 10 minutes got it going.

That’s cause the younger generation speaks the technological language of today.

So, while I was trying to figure out the best way to communicate my heart on social media, my grandson Spencer has stepped in to save the day for his Papa. Home from YWAM, Kona, and an incredible outreach in Nepal, Spencer was looking for a part time job before he goes back to staff a new school in April. I got him at a deal to help work with me on setting up some blogs, videos, and podcasts on A Place for the Heart web site.
This is only a beginning, and let me give you a hint: If you don’t have My Utmost for His Highest, a devotional book by my friend for 46 plus years, Oswald Chambers, go get one. Please. More later.

Am I excited? Yes. At 72, having buried four friends in the last two weeks, I am so aware of the adage, “You can’t take it with you!” But you can leave some good things behind–– the wisdom you get from chasing hard after God and learning Him by the way you live. I want that to speak way after my grave. In the last quarter of the last quarter of the game, what a joy to head toward the finish line with my grandchildren behind me cheering me on.

Personal note from Spencer: Wow. What an incredible opportunity Papa Ken has presented me with! When he asked me if I would be willing to help him with something, in my mind I said yes before I even knew what the project was going to be. He said he needed help setting up a page where he could blog some of the revelations the Lord has shown him over the years. Of course, my answer was an immediate, “Yes, Papa. I’d love to.” As we began scheming what method we were going to use to present the blog (Facebook, Wordpress, etc.), I began thinking about how blessed and privileged I was to be in this position. I get to assist my grandfather, a man with an unbelievable amount of Godly wisdom, in publishing some of the discoveries he's made in Christ throughout the years. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace over this new endeavor because I know this is something he’s been wanting to do for some years now. One thing I’ve learned about Papa Ken is that he practices hearing God’s voice daily. After being around him for 20 years, I can attest that he always, and I mean always, finds time to spend with the Lord every single day. Not only does he dwell with the Father in the secret place, but he applies what he’s learned to every day life. So when He told me it was time to begin publishing his thoughts, I knew it was not only Ken’s timing, but the Lord’s as well. These stories are just an overflow of his unique, deep relationship with Jesus. They portray his hunger and passion for living out what he boldly professes. I am overjoyed to embark on this new journey with him and cannot thank him enough for the impact he’s had on my life. Love you, Papa. –– Spencer Daniel Wilson

“Until you want someone else to live the life you’re living, you don't have a very powerful witness.” - Papa Ken