This post is starting out a little different from all of the others. I wrote about the "flashes of light" that nudge me to write daily. They usually come around 4:30 in the morning. Last night it was around 2:00 am and it was more like a "bolt of lightning".
Before I share the message, let me give you some background....it is important for you to know that I was raised in a family of "believers". We went to church every Sunday but we did not read the Bible. This had to do with leaders who were afraid church followers would misinterpret something if they tried to read the Bible alone. This thinking has been changed and today all of us are encouraged to take Bible study classes and read the Bible often.
When I went to Christian camp for the first time, my neighbor encouraged me to buy a Bible so I could follow some of the speakers. I felt strange because all the other Christians were quick to find a passage while I fumbled. Many had tabs to divide the sections but my Bible was like brand new. I pretty much used it during vacations to camp and it sat in a drawer the rest of the year.
The first time I recall getting a flash of light it was like a strange dream. A close family member was changing churches and another family member felt there was some mis-information that needed to be challenged so this relative could have the facts. I was told that our faith needed to be defended by showing our history. Since I did not know much history other than stories about Adam and Eve, Moses, Abraham and Noah, I prayed to God for help learning about the early history of the church. That night I had a dream but I did not think it had anything to do with my prayer request. Here is the dream...
I saw a bunch of people wearing white outfits. They were in pairs and they were each in deep discussion. Some guy was there and his outfit was red in color. Somehow, I knew his name and I knew he was not the leader but he kind of stood out. His name was John. The place looked similar to the dry wash my family went to for picnics in Arizona where I grew up.
When I woke up, I asked my wife what was going on in Antioch. I knew that these people wearing strange clothes were in Antioch. My wife recognized the name but told me nothing was going on that she was aware of. I searched the newspaper and checked the news on tv...nothing.
While serving customers, I kept asking if anyone was aware of Antioch. Finally, at the end of the day, my future business partner disclosed that Antioch was in the Bible. He told me it was the first place that followers of Christ were called Christians. At that very moment I connected the dream to my prayer request for knowledge of the early church. I was stunned and could not wait to open my unused Bible when I got home from work.
It turns out that the place I saw in my dream was a real place. It is also the only place I know of in the Bible where someone was called by their first and last name. This person is named John Mark and he was in Antioch at the time that "teaching" was going on. That is probably what I witnessed when these Christians were in pairs.
Tomorrow I will publish what happened when I prayed for God to show me who I am. My past, present and future were all revealed to me with one Bible passage. As for my future, if you are reading these posts, you are part of it. Tune in tomorrow for more.
Happy Labor Day weekend! I am off to the beach with my mother and my brother's family. My brother is younger than me and he is already a grandpa! We met his grandson for the first time last night. Now it is time for me to be a good host. It feels so good to have three days off!