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I Once Was Blind…

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light…” -Matthew 6:22

I once was blind, but now I see.

There are few greater gifts than that of sight.

Vision is both a physical and a philosophical entity.

On the one hand, we are unable to see the world around us without our eyesight. We awaken each day and find a world of color and light bringing to us all the nuances of living. To our eyes, darkness is the veil of gloom, something we fear, and rightly so. As we age our eyes change and many become victims of cataracts or worse. As the light begins to fade, too often so does the spirit. That virility of the drive in our youth begins to wane, and as the sunset of life cast dark shadows around us. We sense an end, but there is so much more.

The other aspect of vision is that of the ability to spiritually or mentally see something that is not there. Some call having vision the gift to see into the future and to be able to prophesize as to what is to come. Others call having vision, the ability to think ahead of oneself and create something mentally before it exists. No matter which vision we are speaking of, there is something to be seen which is not evident, neither terrestrial or physical.

Before I had answered his calling to serve at the Trail, the optometrist had warned me of a quickly growing cataract. However, once the wheels of the journey began, there was little time to deal with physical ailments, let alone the fact that Marketplace Insurance would do little to cover the costs of the surgery needed to fix the affliction. So I continued on while the ever growing and diminishing eyesight continued.

All along, I knew in order to be better serve in my capacity as the Director of the Trail, I would have to be as the scriptures read, to die to my former self. “That was simple,” I reasoned. “I’m no longer an engineer, rather, I need to learn how to minister to those seeking faith.” As a dedicated Christian, everything I did, I did with an eye toward the Lord. So, I poured over the Bible like never before. I studied Church history and spent every waking hour filling my mind with the knowledge of what it would take to better serve Him. Every day, my eyesight grew dimmer as the darkness grew. The harder I worked, the greater the scope of the darkness around me seemed to expand as well. There had been many bridges burned before I ever arrived, whether intentional or not. Not only did I face a physical obstruction within, but there was also a force beyond that could not be battled alone. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”-1 Peter 5:8 In essence, I realized that to make the Trail all it could be, would take many years, not just a couple; nonetheless, I pushed on.

All the while, a greater awareness of the spiritual world around me began to take hold. There amongst the prayers, the coincidences that weren’t, to the unexplainable events a new perception of reality began to take hold. A new vision through the eyes of faith began to color the world around me. Like a shift from the days of black and white TV, to those of color TV, there was a gradual enrichment of life. This sweeter taste of living began to overwhelm my senses to the point nothing else compared. The desires of the past paled to what I now could see through the eyes of my new spirituality.

Meanwhile, God was making new plans for me, for this was not the final resting place in my journey; it was just the beginning, a stepping stone.

I soon found one door closing and a new one opening. Blessings answered doubts, fears were replaced with joys. However, amongst the beautiful changes, there was still the ever encroaching darkness. Day-by-day, the cataract grew until the vision out of my right eye was like looking through a sheet of wax paper. My left eye was deteriorating as well; time was running out. To add to the struggle, the drive to and from the new career required driving along curvy mountain roads unlike any I had ever traversed in my lifetime. The thought of those winding country roads back where I grew up on in Posey and Warrick Counties came to mind, but they were nothing compared to these mountain hairpin turns. At times they literally can take your breath away as you peer into the abyss that lay below, where no guardrail exists to block your view. My vision ha become so severe that at I would pray before leaving the house for School in the pre-dawn hours knowing what lay ahead. The ultimate test came the day the fog was so thick the lines on the road were barely visible. As I drove up the mountain, the fog increased in its density as the rain began to fall. Curve after curve, the rain and fog decreased my already reduced visibility to nearly nothing.

It was then, beyond all belief, the windshield wiper flew off.

I watched the last vestiges of my visibility seemed to fade to nothing. The car slowed to a crawl so that I might make sense of the blurred images before me.

God, if this is a test, please let me know when I can turn it in, cause I think I’m about at the end of my ability to cope.”

Slowly as I inched along, as if on cue, around the next turn, the clouds broke, the rain subsided, and the fog disappeared.

Thanks be to God,” I breathed a deep sigh of relief.

With time, God gives us the ability to understand more than we have before. With time, we learn from whence we came, and to that extent, we become more of whom we for which we were created. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” -Jeremiah 33:3

There came into my life a renewed expectance. Like one receiving a gift, there is the anticipation of what lies ahead. So it was when we found an optometrist that performed not only cataract surgery but repair of eye lenses, I knew God’s hand was at work. Not only was my physical vision repaired, but now, Thanks be to God, it is corrected for life. What was even more miraculous was that the blessings of help came from friends and a new medical policy which now covered the procedure. All of this would not have been possible if the door had not closed and the other one opened.

I was once blind, but now I see,” are words that I cannot take lightly anymore.

Dying to one’s former self is more than just the occupation, as I had thought. Yes, I realized that one would also die to those former earthly desires of the flesh, but what I hadn’t understood was that it was an awakening of perception of life as a whole. In the past, my five and ten-year goals were based around climbing the corporate ladder, finding myself in a greater place of wealth, and striving to obtain earthly possessions. Once my vision changed, so did my perception of my purpose in life as a whole. The slamming door made me realize that He had blessed me with knowledge for a reason. While I was to serve Him in all that I do, it was also using all that I am. In other words, part of my former self was still necessary in order to go forward with my journey at hand.

My learning continues as I now stand before those who are doing likewise. As I strive to be better in my new-found career, I also continue in parallel my study of His Word. My goals are nothing more than to make myself better equipped to serve Him in this journey and to see the world as He would have me to do so.

My vision is clearer more than ever before. With new eyes I see.

Like the blind beggar, we only have to ask in order to receive, “So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”

42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.” – Luke 18:40-42

My vision of the future now has only one goal; to seek Him and receive the gift of eternal life. He gave His only Son to us, so that we may have eternal life. How much greater motivation do we need than that? “…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In all that we do, let us strive to be all that we can for His will.

For I once was blind, but now I see.”

Thanks be to God!

You can learn more about God’s plan for my journey at Mission to Ride.

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Trains Blowin’ in the Wind…

I have no idea where I was, other than there being green grass on a hillside that dropped off into a valley below. I was there to preach a sermon to a people, yet I had seen nobody. All around me there were what appeared to be white sheets hanging down from the sky, as if there were a huge clothesline in the heavens hanging their laundry out to dry. I searched for someplace secluded that I could change out of my overalls into my suit, so I could prepare for today’s preaching. I was doing like my good friend, Pastor Johnson had suggested and dress up. So today, I actually brought a suit to wear for today’s ministering.

I found a little building setting off to one side, away from the expanse of white cloth that was gently swaying in the breeze. There was a tiny bathroom in the building, and once inside I realized it was so disgustingly filthy that I was afraid to lay anything down, which made changing all that much more difficult. There was no sink in the room, just the toilet. The toilet was the institutional type, so there was no tank or lid where one could place belongings upon. Changing in here would be liability if nothing else, but I continued on.  I eventually succeeded and re-emerged from the glorified outhouse to still find the sheets wafting gently over the green vista before me. The clean air made me quickly forget the filth I had just experienced and I walked through the sweet smelling sheets, reaching out and feeling their freshness as I walked passed. Somehow, touching them made me feel whole and gave me great comfort.

I awoke from the dream, only having acquired half of the sleep I needed for the day, but was somehow refreshed. I wrote down what I had seen just then, but didn’t understand it or what it meant; if anything. I figured I’d give it some time and if it was important, God would reveal it to me.

Sunday we were sitting in our class, preparing for the lesson. The class was speaking about concerns for the members and while they were doing so I looked over my neighbors shoulder to find out what scripture was being covered in today’s lesson. I had missed several weeks and didn’t have the new study guide. I found Isaiah 6:1-8 posted on her weekly study guide, so I silently turned to it and began reading it while the class continued on with their discussions.

At first the Seraphim stood out, with its six wings. I looked up what a Seraphim was while the class was now beginning to read the scripture out loud. As they did I was still listening when I too turned back to the scripture to read along. It was then I heard the words, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.”

“The train of his robe,” I thought to myself, then about that time somebody or a voice said out loud, “That would look like sheets hanging down from the sky.” I nearly fell out of my chair. I had my journal with me and turned to the page from last Thursday to see what I drew, and there it was; the picture of the sheets hanging down from the Heavens.

I then feverishly read all of the scripture again, pretty much losing track of where and what the class was discussing until I overheard the teacher ask if anyone had ever had visions. One of my dear friends, Laverne Thornton, looked over at me and then pointing in my direction said,”Tim seems to have them quite often.”

“Well, now that you mention it, I was just finding that today’s lesson revealed to me what I had seen last Thursday,” I said as I opened my journal to the drawing. I then explained my vision to the class, and explained to them at the time I had no idea what it meant; not until today. We passed the drawing around for everyone to see. I told them it was giving me chill bumps just thinking about it, because it was still sinking in.

Laverne replied with his usual humorous quip, “I still have that referral to a psychiatrist that I need to get to you.’

We continued following the scripture, but I jumped ahead to the end and saw the final words, “Here I am, Send Me.” I realize that somehow, I had been in God’s throne room, while the train of his robe blew about me. Was I there to receive my orders? Unbeknownst to me the Word of God reached out to me once more when,

“I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,

And who will go for Us?”

Then it struck me again, “Here I am, Send Me.”

What else can I say?

Now to find those Seraphim.


“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”

4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

5 So I said:

“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.”

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”- Isaiah 6:1-8


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The T-120 Thread…

weboflifeI sometimes wonder how many threads of life can be unwoven if we take the time to consider all the possibilities?

Yesterday I had tried to return a phone call to a radio station that I am trying to make connections with in order to start my book ministry for “Bruecke to Heaven”. I had called them earlier in the day and left a message on their recording device. Unfortunately, they tried to call me back after I had already layed down to try to get some sleep for my next night-shift. Once I got up, after not sleeping nearly enough, I tried returning their call. I kept getting a fast busy signal, meaning either their phone was off the hook or there were transmission problems with the phone connection. As I drove toward Goldston, heading for our Thursday JAM classes, after having just attempted to call the station for the fourth time, it was apparent the fast busy was not going away and that I was not going to get through; at least not today. When these road-blocks get in my way, I look at them as God intended; meaning, there is a higher purpose as to why I’m not able to do what I’m attempting to do.

For fun, I began to look at how the fast busy could have been God-created.

Having worked in telecommunications for many years, I know the technical aspects of what it takes to create the fast busy signal we hear on the phone when our call is not able to connect. The particular signal I was hearing was not a “Busy” signal, but rather, it was what we call in the industry a T-120, which means there is a network blockage or tranmission problem. As I thought about this, my mind continued to follow the thread, and how some poor engineer had possibly made a mistake and either entered the wrong information into the network equipment or made some other mistake and inadvertently caused the outage. In the industry, that’s a big deal since lots of revenue can be lost; time is money. In some cases, if the error is great enough, the engineer could lose their job.

In my thread, the error had cost the poor guy his job and he had been dismissed early from work. Disheartened and afraid to go home and tell his family that he was without a job, he headed for the local pub to drown his sorrows. A few hours later, he emerged and began to make another poor judgement and decided to drive himself home. Eventually, after swerving and running off the road since leaving the pub, he crashed headlong into a telephone pole, destroying the transformer that fed half the Tinytown, the little town in which he lived. The power instantly went off in hundreds of homes and the Tinytown elementary school.

Ms. Jones had been diligently working on her dissertation for her Masters degree in education. She had nearly completed the paper and was about to hit the “Save” button when the power went off. Her class had been taking a test while she worked and now there could be heard a collective sigh of relief from the students as the power died, darkening their classroom. Ms. Jone, overcome with frustration, stood up scooting her chair back loudly, startling some of the students who had been nearly in a trance-like state during the test. Some of the students even seemed as if they had nearly fallen asleep in the warm room. It was not uncommon for Ms. Jones to keep her room heated. She was originally from Texas and loved to keep her thermostat near 80 degrees. Today, she had the room furnace cranked up to keep the chilly spring air from freezing her feet. In addition to fighting fatigue, all of her students unknowingly had slight headaches which they believed to be from too much thinking.

“OK class,” she said with a bit of anger in her voice which was not directed at the students as much as it was at her own recent loss of effort, “Lets all put down your pencils and turn over your tests.”

There was a rustle of papers and clicks of the sounds of pencils being placed on the desks at her command. Still standing she looked outside for signs of storms or weather and only saw the brigh sunshine. “Hmmm,” she thought,”Another day of power interruption in Tinytown,” she scoffed. Ms. Jones wasn’t one to dwell upon the negative though and since it appeared the power wasn’t about to come back on anytime soon, she realized an opportunity to enjoy some beautiful spring weather and decided to take her class outside for an early recess. The students were more than overjoyed to hear of their early break and all eagerly lined up and quickly exited, following Ms. Jones out the door.

Little did they know, as they left, there had been a slow gas leak in the room. It was discovered afterward that the sluggishness and dazed feeling the students had experienced during their test time was not from the overwhelmed thought processes of testing but rather, the gas slowing poisoning their bodies. The janitor stopped by Ms. Jones room shortly after they had gone outside to catch up on some housekeeping and unfortunately created a spark when he touched a metal bucket in the closet, having shuffled his feet along the carpet to reach the door inside the classroom. The fireball that followed created an explosion that could be heard clear across Tinytown. The firestation nearby quickly dispatched trucks to the school as the remainder of the schools population, all unharmed, quickly evacuated the school to join their other classmates in a joyful afternoon long recess.

The engineer who experienced the car wreck was airlifted by Life Flight from the scene to the nearby big city hospital The chopper would quickly return to pick up the janitor who was also taken to the same emergency center. Both the engineer and janitor would survive, both with life debilating injuries. The janitor, who was also a deacon at the Tinytown Baptist church, would get to know the engineer while in the emergency room and both would share the same hospital room, each becoming life long friends. The engineer would find salvation through the janitor and his life would turn around when he began to find strength in the Lord and no longer through the bottle. Each man, the janitor and the engineer would come to realize that their lives, previously separate, had become intertwined and that both of them had inadvertently saved the lives of many others who unknowingly had been caught up in the same thread of time.

And so it goes…God weaves the thread of our lives, whether we want to believe or not.

The radio station returned my call today and I was able to answer. God once again has answered my prayers and we take another step forward in the journey.

So the thread continues…

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
– Romans 8:14

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