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My First Vision

My First “Vision of the Night” (June 1999)

‘“This Thing is from Me”’ (1 Kgs 12:24 NKJV)

            Before relating the content of my first vision, -which is for a contextualizing basis for the eschatological prophetic expositions presented in this preluding blog post, some summary, pertinent background information will be helpful here to provide the proper temporal and spiritual context of it. (Disclaimer: There is indeed a pertinent contextual purpose with everything that has been included/related. (cf., e.g., CET 134.1))

Note: A copy of some of the documents/(events) cited in this post are available in this PDF document (= 432 pages|68 MB). (These are referred here as [D###] with the ###-number indicating the page(s) number in that PDF document.)


Liked Father’s, Like Son’s (Pro 22:6)
            Growing up, as far as I can recall[D146 (jape)], I was always greatly and jealously (i.e., “zealously” -cf. explanation in this post) interested in the Bible and the things of the Church.[1] In fact my mother constantly, still amazed, keeps retelling me, and others, how, (while frustratingly sitting out an entire school year because I was 2 months shy of being 6 by September to be allowed to register in the First Grade of the SDA School, and effectively/eventually too old for kindergarten [cf. the years in D119 (pre-K) vs. D168 (G1)]) I, not wanting to scholastically/intellectually fall behind, decided to teach myself to read, and that by reading the Bible! I do remember those learning efforts and, (after the below mentioned rote-based practising), ability demonstrations, (now beginning with Genesis 1), which were being corrected by my mom as I read along. And though I really did not find it too complicated then, it probably was indeed amazing. It is actually not that: ‘I wanted to learn to read, so I read ‘a book like the Bible’’; but that: ‘I wanted to learn to read, so ‘what better book to read from than the Bible.’’ (Cf. Psa 119:130). I mean, I could have easily read from the interestingly illustrated set of Uncle Arthur’s 10-volume Bible Stories set that we owned. In more “pragmatic” reasons, reading from the Bible also gave me “springboarding” start by being able to, “reverse-engineeringly”, self-guide my reading by first starting with passages that I knew by “heart” (e.g, “The Lord’s Prayer,” Psa 1 & 23, etc [-which I initially had to ask my mom to first find for me in the Bible]). That ultimately all probably reflected how I had been ingrained to value the things of God from my infancy, which had indeed already become a significant part of my cognitive makeup,[2] and that, in probing retrospect, was all directly attributable to the way I ‘markedly observed’ (1 Cor 11:1) my father[e.g., D165, D166, D315] highly value and unwaveringly, tirelessly, and most cheerfully, devote himself to the work of the Church. He seemed to always be involved, as a laymen/(First) Elder, in regular personal Bible studies, Church Planting, Lay Preaching/(effective) Pastoring and/or leading in prayer meetings, and if not, then attending virtually all extra-worship service meetings or concerts in the local area Churches, (and for such was recognizingly dubbed by some as “the Apostle Paul”). His self-recorded audio tape collection of the various events and sermons became also interesting to me, primarily then, at that young age at the fascinating thing of hearing an audio recording and virtually reliving, moreover in my recollecting mind, those events. (Really, I felt bad for those who had only been able to here those, especially concerts, only once!). They indeed provided hours of Sacred, and character guiding/shaping/taming, entertainment for years growing up. Later on, that is as recently as this past September 2010, my father, who is now a formally recognized, (though, wrongly and unbiblically, non-paid) Lay Pastor in the Florida Conference [D431], answering my further questions, related to me in more detail, (more than an initial, partial relating in 2000, after a statement I had then made in relation to my WBSC plannings then [cf. D77-D82ff, D112-D117 & D279],[3] self-manifestly fulfilled a climatic part in it), that ever since he [and (to those who it apparently would (though, substantively, irrelevantly) concern) whose middle name is Joseph] had had an, indeed, impressive, spiritually-anchoring, dream, (actually a vision), in Jan/Feb 1970 (read it here), when 26 years old, which later more pointedly and fully spoke to a soon-after, personal “crisis of capacity of service”, (with fellow Church members moreoverly, constantly encouraging him to go and formally study for the ministry as he was self-evidently quite spiritually gifted for), wherein, among other details in that dream, (which have all, by now, and that recently, been fulfilled exactly as they were (doubly applicably), expectedly, and thus intendedly stipulated, -pointedly in relation to the eschatological fulfillment of this prophecy), a majestic figure that seemed like Jesus had told him to ‘keep on being faithful in bringing Him his “little gifts”’, he, since that day has had this unrelenting motivation to continue to faithfully do all that he can do in God’s work, even if it was to continue to be in a Layman capacity. This all also resulted his quite striking enthusiastic and serious Lay work efforts to subconsciously have quite an impression on me[4], and although I was, character/psyche-wise, more like my mom, expressing itself in terms of being practical and technical[5], this observable genuine and unrelenting passion of my father for the work of God greatly and increasingly shaped my mentality.[6] In fact at one time, at ca. 10-12 years of age I began to contemplate becoming a pastor when I grew up[7], overshadowing my innate passion up to then for “mechanical” things.[8]

More Than Sport (Eccl 2:11)
            However, growing up, and while not actually losing my interest in the Church, just not extraordinarily advancing and pursuing it, starting in my late elementary, then secondary school years (Grade 6 - Fall 1986+), I became fascinated, after buying a fact book[D210] for the hometown Hockey team (Montreal Canadiens), by the interrelatedness in sports statistics. At first, sports to me was just a game and I did not have much interest in it, however, when I began to see its congruent, “scientific” and mathematical aspects, such as in play techniques and statistics, I then became quite interested in it. So I began to watch, record, read about, practice and play virtually every major sport and athletic discipline.[9] When I moved from Montreal[D145], Canada in the summer of 1990, virtually, leaving behind, in those pre-internet and, by family choice, no cable (ever) days, my then “be-liked” [I had many, Spiritually-entrenched, limits to “fan-aticism”] Montreal Expos (MLB) and Canadiens (NHL), I actually, literally came to triple my involvement in sports having moved to Miami, to having, additionally, then up and coming and quite exciting sports teams in the Dolphins (NFL), Heat (NBA) and Hurricanes (NCAA Football), among others that I followed. So my Grand Slam+ of Sports was then complete[cf. D175], and I became a quite, though serenely, dedicated, indeed, relatively always: ‘with paramount Biblical perspective’, sports fan, to the point that, and I could honestly, sincerely feel, that it greatly perturbed and worried my father. I guess, looking back now, watching 13+ hours of sports on an NFL Sunday, plus the late night Sports Highlights/News shows, (and I didn’t even have Cable TV), during the Baseball post-season, all after having watched a tape delay of the College Football game from the previous afternoon, was a bit lot much. (It sure did not help that all of these 5+2 teams that I closely followed had either their very best, some of their best, and/or their, excitingly, ever-improving, seasons during that time (1990-1995 [+1986-1989 for the Montreal teams]).[10]

Thorns for the Flesh (2 Cor 10:3-4|Isa 49:1-2ff; 53:2)
            During all this ‘almost sports nut’ period, which lasted, at its “height” from ca. 1987-1994, but then began to increasingly, and drastically, wane from 1995-1997 as, it will be seen, my life was beginning to be consumed by another “Passion” (cf. here&here), I was honestly also weary of not letting sports become an idol, as my father, (while on (rare) occasions being, most reluctantly, supporting[D166] -more for exercising reasons)[11], had repeatedly, seriously cautioned and warned. I just did not have much else to do then to invest both my teenage technical and energetic youthful passions. Also, although I was naturally, and/or with practice, an above-average athlete[cf. in D189] in, especially, the sports of: Hockey (Center)[cf. e.g. D179], Baseball (Pitcher/Centerfielder)[cf. D71, (D147)], Football (Wide Receiver/Kick Returner/Cornerback) and Track[D134] (100m|200m|400m|800m|1500m)[12], I actually, realistically still could not pursue a desire then to seek to become a professional athlete, even when I planned to use it as a “platform” to preach the (SDA) Gospel Truth, (particularly, naturally by my intended, would be noticeable, faithful Sabbath observance[13]), mainly because of one of two “thorns in the flesh” (2 Cor 12:7-10) that God, manifestly (#1), and admittedly (by Him) (#2), gave to/assumed upon, me. The applicable first “thorn”, practically, often, virtually completely offsetted my above-average athletic capabilities. So although I seriously trained to be, at least, a two-sport athlete, that quite odd first “thorn,” which I still haven’t figured out ever since I surprisingly “discovered” it in the first grade, when it had then caused me to almost dislocate my jaw in crashing headlong into the stage steps[cf. D201] just beyond the finish line of a foot race (which I would have (at least) finished 2nd!!).[14]

            Anyway, in 1994, a single event really “spoiled” the euphoria of sports for me, when in the middle of the Baseball season, as my beloved Baseball team, the Montreal Expos had (objectively speaking) assembled raised up (i.e., (chiefly) from their farm system) one of the greatest (young) teams in Baseball history, and that despite having the second lowest payroll of the league’s 28 teams, and, with their major league leading 74-40 record, were then sitting in first place (cf. this highlight video of them that season), on pace to win an amazing 105 games, (which, to put it in disappointment perspective, would then have been the 8th best record in the 100+ year history of Major League Baseball (4th best in National League history, -being in that league the highest win total since 1909)), the baseball team owners decided to do a lockout, and the remainder of the season and post season was completely scratched. To “validate” my similar reaction to it, as stated here, this was considered to be “the worst work stoppage in sports history and it left the fans and the sports world outraged”. And also, as, then Expos player, Marquis Grissom later expressed it here (cf. here) in 2014 when also receiving the Casey Stengel award from the Baseball Writer’s Association of America on behalf of that team, during the celebrated/commemorated 20th Anniversary (cf. here) of their 1994 Season (interrupted)-Feat: ‘he has always responded to questioners that: ‘they had the team/talent to not only to go all the way in 1994, but also be winners in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998..’’. But much, much more than the disappointment in the lost opportunity for that, widely believed, most likely “World Series” Championship by the Expos, the beginning of a dislike of sports was suddenly instilled in me when I then fully realized that Sports was actually also, and that, clearly now, overmasterfully, nothing more a than capitalistic business! I really was appalled that Capitalism, which I innately hated, also had such power in what was to be pure fun and simply a game. I really did not know the full details of what Capitalism was, but I knew for sure that it was this manifested in such cold and heartless, “money first” ways. And I knew for sure that I hated it. Sure I had begun to see this as player salaries steadily, increasingly became (relatively) more and more obscene, but, all that I then, still obliviously and dismissively, really cared about was the Game! However when “the Game” came to a screeching halt because of money, that radically completely switched my view of it (cf. here). I mean, after all, couldn’t the, actually, players, more so that the team owners, here have waited until after the post-season had ended to do their strike, even if it extended into the next season??!? (To put this personally quite pivotal development in my life then in its fullest context and keyly, pointed, economics-related perspective, see the MLB documentary: Triumph to Tragedy & the 20th Anniversary Remembrance: The Perfect Storm on that historic 1994 Montreal Expos Season)
            So when everything came crashing down in the 1994 lockout, that pointedly brought home this nauseating reality. And by 1997, I couldn’t care less, beyond mere initial news surprise, that the Florida Marlins, a team I had previously, secondarily followed and rooted for, had, in just their 5th year of existence, won the World Series although I was in Miami around that time, with the 7th Game having been played in Miami, [in the Stadium some 7 minutes (by car) away from where I lived]. (See a video here - I actually had to double check the game details/info here.[15]) -Upon reviewing my agenda details of that time, I was actually in Haiti for my grandfather’s funeral at that time (i.e., from Oct. 23-27 during which Games #6 & #7 of the World Series were played in Miami), and this perfectly explains my total recalling blank in regards to those games. However, and nonetheless, my actual complete indifference was, even self-surprisingly and most tellingly to me, manifested in the fact that when, on the Sunday night of Oct 26, I, then sleeping over that night at the house of a, comparatively to the majority of the rest of the population, strikingly well-off distant relative, and had the option to watch virtually anything on their satellite TV, I, bypassingly, deliberately, much preferentially, opted to watch the ongoing Doug Batchelor/3ABN Storacles of Prophecy series (Night #18)[D307] broadcast rather than that Game #7 of the World Series; -which I actually had visibly, and slightly pausingly, passed while satellite channels switching. I did not even bother to find out who had won that game and upon my return early on Oct 27, the day after that 7th game, I did not even (emotionally) care for the news recaps and highlights (i.e., beyond mere information, especially given the fact that I could not believe the various “rumors” about this that I was then hearing around). By then in my life, I had become interested in much more important things. [Cf. the (similar) testimony of Joakim Hjortland here [15:18ff; 26:48ff]]. Indeed, not even the ‘healingly heralded’ “Home Run Ball” season of 1998 could ‘win me back’....in fact, it could not even begin to because, then being a Theology Major student at Andrews University, I was completely unaware of it, (pointedly as I then on campus only was watching 3ABN, literally (up to) 24/7); and also through having spent the summer doing colporteuring in Toronto. It literally was not until I heard Dwight Nelson commenting later that year (during Net ‘98) on Mark McGwire’s patent ‘thanking the big man upstairs’ gesture after hitting his record breaking home runs, that I became cognizant of that season’s “historical” development.

Heightened Learning (John 10:16)
            Around these latter times, during my early college years (1993+), I was interested in becoming an Electrical Engineer, having a great interest in Electronics. (Seeing that more and more mechanical things were being replaced by electronic components, I personally did not see much future in Mechanical Engineering, so I had made that subfield switch.)[16] However, as related in this blog post, starting with the incident related there, in ca. 1994, I began to engage in this pursuit of Spiritual/Church things by now having suddenly switch my secular music collection for a wholly Christian one. That really was the ‘turn of the key’ for me in this ongoing spiritual journey, because, beyond the praise, worship, fellowship and Holy Fun that I had in playing my growing collection of Christian Music, watching Christian music videos on TV (Praise TV), attending concerts[e.g. D131, D154] and music festivals, as this was occurring by the vast majority in non-SDA circles, I was also then beginning to personally realize how sincere non-SDA’s really were in their Christian Faith.

My One-Thousandth Word (Hab 2:2)
            Also around this time, although I had attended several SDA Evangelistic efforts when I was young, due to the way in which it was merely a spoken-word presentation back in the 1980's and early 90's, especially in the French Quebec Conference where I had grown up, I, in my youthfulness, being more interested in the Bible Stories than other aspects of it, I really did not grasp any of what was being said in these prophecy seminars. In fact by the age of 12, I had read through the Bible and Uncle Arthur’s 10 Volume Bible Stories set 2 and 3 times, respectively, yet I could only recall what I had read in the Bible Stories books. It probably was all the pictures that fixed these stories upon my mind. Well in a similar way, it was not until, then itinerant evangelist, Jim Gilley (currently 3ABN’s President) came to my then Church in Miami, Florida in 1995 and presented a Prophecy series using his dynamic 3-screen megaprojection that I actually began to, for myself,  “see the light” in the Adventist message beyond, really solely, my best-, if not only-, grasped tenet up to then that ‘we were right in worshiping on the Seventh Day.’[17] From that time of Gilley’s meetings, I became more excited and interested about my faith. I also simultaneously began to yearn to intelligently and convincingly share it with others. In fact this “profusing excitement” increasingly began during the series itself, to the point where I managed to convince a nominal Christian co-worker to attend, albeit one meeting. (He did not attend more meetings because my Church was ‘too far’ (indeed being ca. 25 miles from the (North Miami Beach) neighborhood where we both lived), and it also did not help that the Church, which on Sabbaths was filled to a capacity of ca 1000+, had (relatively, but quite noticeably due to its maximum capacity size) only a guesstimated 250 in attendance.).

"You're The Voice" (Acts 26:19)
-A pertinent personal tithing & ministry initiating experience around this time- Read here.

On the Mark!!... (Dan 12:3)
            Then in the fall of 1996, a watershed moment in my spiritual journey, and also, life, took place when Mark Finley’s Net ‘96 series[cf. D298] was carried by my, and other, local Churches in my area. Wanting to, this time capture what I was watching, unlike the 1995 meetings, I recorded the screen presentation of the opening night’s meeting with my camcorder (see e.g., here). And what was making things harder was that, about a year before, I had accidentally dropped my camcorder case onto the sidewalk which significantly skewed its (mini) video cassette tape compartment and prevented from recording directly/internally onto video cassettes. But I could still get a video feed from the camera and plug it into a VCR’s input and record on regular VHS cassette through there. So I had here also brought my VCR and was using that setup to record the screen presentation. Seeing what I was (convolutedly) doing, the Pastor (see here), bless his Godly heart, a Romanian, offered me to instead record the feed straight from the satellite receiver in the A/V room with my VCR. I was completely blown away pointedly because I thought, when he was approaching me after the meeting, that he was going to say that I could not be doing this. So from the next meeting up through the end, I captured the presentations in this high quality way. (I still have these VHS recordings (e.g. here). In the months following that series, I replayed these exciting, concretely presented, and quite convincing/convicting sermons. By the middle of the series, I was so excited by what I myself was newly learning, even as a 22-year SDA that I had to get some of my Christian and “seeker” friend to also hear this. I managed to get three of them to attend. (However they only came to a total of 5 meetings between them.).

...The Beginning of the End (The End of Beginning)’ (Dan 9:24)
            The watershed moment for me within this watershed moment of Net ‘96, came when Mark Finley present the 2300-day Prophecy. I knew priorly that this was a great prophecy in Adventism, however I then did not know it in detail, if at all, nor understand, much of it fulfillment events and chronological precisions. So in this meeting, which my enthusiasm for this prophecy had convinced two of my friends to accompany me to this presentation, I was probably more shocked and awed by the incredible precision in the prophecy than they were. They probably overhead me repeatedly thinking: “Wow!” throughout the presentation. From that day I knew that this was precisely the kind of “Proof” that I needed to help convince the other Christians that I would regularly mingle and worship with at Christian Music Events. However because the presentation of this prophecy inevitably dealt with the infamous and controversial “Great Disappointment”, I felt reticent about “introductorily” sharing it. Corroborating my reticence was my questioning then as to why this, at least, ‘most precise and Christocentric 70 Week Prophecy was not more prominently, spearheadingly, evangelistically presented to others by SDA’s. In fact, in the light of this prophecy which now to me most concretely confirmed that I was a member of the True Church, it is then that I inceptively asked the question: ‘What then is the problem with the Church??’ I.e., why were we not much more, at least, fully confident about our “Divine Calling/Appointment”, which sequiturly would naturally show itself in unapologetic and bold witnessing. My denominational course of events in the next months and then years gradually, fully answered that question, in a personally most awakening way. 
            Nonetheless, being personally anchored by this prophecy from that point on, I set out to help them see the great truths of Seventh-day Adventism, and prepared video tapes, (from the ca. 200 (6-8 hour) VHS tapes of sporting event recordings that I had priorly collected (1990-1995)), on several of these “distinctive truths” presentations of Net ‘96, such as the ones on the Sabbath, the State of the Dead, Revelation’s Babylon, the Mark of the Beast, the U.S. in Bible Prophecy, among others[D194-D196]. And then, at every friendship-based opportunity that I had, I gave a copy of these tapes to people who were, or had become, interested in Biblical Truth. (For some people who I felt could “fully handle it”, I included part of the ‘70 Weeks’ Presentation. However, about a year later, as it will be related, I saw and felt that: straightly, (even if only), starting with this Messianic 70 Weeks Prophecy was really the best (i.e., cornerstone) & bridge-building approach for my Ministry to reach other Christians with the Truth.).

?On the Road Again?
            In the Spring of 1997, I decided that I was going to meet in person (again), someone who had become one of my favorite Christian music artists/ministers, [the, since engaged, and by now, married+‘enrapturedly so’ (thus former)] Rebecca Jean Smallbone[D219, D220] (known by the “stage name” Rebecca St. James, -now also an actress -see this contra-abortion movie - [trailer] [music video]), and this time give her a copy of this series along with a copy of the Desire of Ages, which by then, I had read from cover to cover, (a first for me of an EGW book), and had found it to be most fascinating. I thought that despite its extra-biblical inspired statements and commentary, it would surely interest any sincere Christian. This was also done out of a motivation/objective of, (as counselled in the SOP in ChS 203.2), ‘contacting influential non-SDA Christians with the Biblical Truths of the Bible, in hope that they would, if/when convinced/convicted of them, share them with their audience’, -with Rebecca St. James indeed having a very deliberate teaching ministry, even during her concerts.[18] So on April 25 & 26[19] I attended the Ichthus (=“Fish”) Christian Music Festival in Wilmore, KY (17 miles SW of Lexington)[20], held just up the road from the Asbury University & Seminary. Had a great time there, including driving trip [There is just something harmoniously congruous, on top of being then most pertinently, personally spiritually/inspirationally “comprehending”, about driving on a meandering and coasting backroad of Tennessee {111|8}, at moreover ca. 2:30 A.M., while listening to Susan Ashton’s, e.g., A Distant Call - Track #10 Lonely River.{I.e., cf. my personally applied (="Psalmic") symbological meaning here}...[btw: Welcome Back!! (here = John 10:10?-!-! . . . Indeed!!]]. Long-distance road trips had long been customary to me growing up[e.g., D155] and now, since having my own car, such prolong car driving/traveling had also become a personal passion of mine. In fact the summer before I had done a 32-day, 13-States/Provinces, 23-cities, 8600-mile road trip across the Mid-Eastern and Eastern parts of the U.S. and Canada, also visiting Andrews University and the Adventist Village in Battle Creek during the trip[e.g., D202-D205 (some photos are from other year visits to those present trip-visited cities)]. So this ca. 2050+-mile trip to Kentucky and back, (including an excursion to nearby Cincinnati, Ohio[D75a] where I attended the local SDA Church[D75b] on that Saturday morning; along with other places of personal interest[e.g., D76] on the way back), was really nothing for me. I, then, actually needed a (road trip) vacation anyway. It was also probably the fact that my car, a 1989 (completely digital displays[cf. e.g., D226] and powered controls (including for the front seats), leather interior[cf. D227], among other (then) advanced/luxury features) Nissan Maxima (thanks to God for allowing me to have my “dream car,”[D66] -as it retrospectively turned out, He got that out of the way, and ala. Matt 6:33, -though all in “foreplanning”, electing expectation, though I would basely consider trading this all for the other costs, trials and privations that this endeavor has carried, attracted and necessitated), had by then become literally a high-end, concert hall, jukebox on wheels with the 700+ Watts, 14-speaker, CD, Mini-Disc and 100- (Home) CD-Changer (more on this later), car stereo system with a digital equalizer that I had managed to install in it,[e.g., D74] and was all dedicated to only playing Christian Music, although the “good songs” of, up to, 1995 Mariah Carey and 1996 (partly) Céline Dion[21], managed to get some “air play” (but only, literally ca. 0.5% of the time). So, in this way, my long road trips would pleasingly, unassumingly go by, as I was more engrossedly immersed in the listening of my Christian CD collection being over 300, (currently over 431[D122]), than noticing the miles go by.

‘How About These Others??’ (Matt 9:37-38)[D105ff]
            Now as I sat in the crowd at the Ichthus Festival, with over 18,000 people there,[D1a] inwardly glad that I was about to share Biblical Truth, when that Voice suddenly, clearly spoke to me, “punly” and friendly saying something in the line of: ‘You brought enough resources for a single person...How about these others??’ (cf. John 10:16) Indeed, here I had driven all this way and brought these Net ‘96 presentations and the Desire of Ages book for one person, yet all of these other people indeed also needed to hear of these truths.[22] I somewhat felt like the little boy who had brought his lunch to a meeting of Christ’s, however I could not miraculous have these documents be multiplied here. So as I drove back home from that meeting, having given the evangelistic package to the intended recipient during a post-concert autograph signing session,[D1b] I could not help but keep on thinking, and trying to figure out, how can I manage to accomplish this larger scale truth sharing need/task. Indeed all of these people needed, and likely would be glad, to hear of these truth.

Brain Drain (Psa 119:130)
            As I crunched the numbers, I began to see that this would be a costly initiative, way beyond my personal finances. Oddly enough, I then thought that only a pastor would have such “disposable income” for such an effort. By this time, all the while having been studying Electrical Engineering, I actually was becoming increasingly mythed by all of the, (to me), abstract “wild” math and “weird” science that was involved in this field as seen in the Calculus, Differential Equations and Physics for Engineers courses that I had/was taking. I was interested in Electrical (actually Electronic) Engineering mainly for the application/inventive side of the field. I was however quite bored by how much of the basics one had to learned for this field. I constantly could not help but thinking all the time, “who in the world actually uses these things?”[23] I just wanted to get to the practical/applicational aspects of this field. That was indeed where my interest lied.[24] I certainly was not interesting to “reinvent the wheel” or learn how it was developed and (effectively) has worked, but finding new or improved applications in which to ‘attach and role the wheel.’[25] In fact, when I noticed in 1994 that it was possible to copy the content of a music CD onto the hard drive of a computer (when a friend did so a CD of mine onto his Apple computer), I immediately, because of my need for such a capability for my CD collection, began to muse about getting a computer hard drive to work in my car, all the while mythly keeping on wondering why makers of computer had not done this already. If I had had the technical means, money and business info then, and patented it, I would have invented the first I-Pod around 1995, thus ca. 5 years before Steve Jobs. Oh well... However it was such things, which made me see more and more that, evidently, money was also so much “king” in the field of Electronics that it actually stifled rapid practical development, preferring to move along in a worshipfully infantile, hopscotching manner, clearly solely because, before moving forward with a new technologies, these companies first need/prefer to make enough money from their prior inventions/models. (I have increasingly become more convinced that these companies indeed “milk” consumers whenever competition sanctionedly allows them to.[26] By the Summer of 1997, I was completely blase with Engineering/Electronics. However my desire for large-scale evangelism kept on growing. I had kept on giving out, still in a friendship context, copies of the Net ‘96 tapes that I had made. However also by this time, I was also becoming myth by how dead my 1200-member, “rich”, home Church was in outreach and evangelistically.

My First of Posts (Jer 36:27, 28ff)
            Back in February of 1997, in a North America Division Edition of the Adventist Review, Andy Nash had written an article entitled ‘Net ‘98: A Friendly Dare,’ speaking of how the upcoming Net meetings in September/October of 1998, targeting Gen Xers could seek to be more attractive and interesting for this audience. Having by then been quite involved with the Contemporary Christian Music scene and by now being quite convinced of the Christian genuineness of the many artists that I followed, I sent a response letter to the Review suggesting how during Net ‘98 we could invite some of these artists, respecting their leadership gifts, to come and sing on our planned global stage; of course with “unplugged”/acoustic versions of their many great songs, as many of them already had/did in certain concert settings. I felt that this would be a great way to help them know SDAs better, and our message, and would vice versa help interest and attract young people to the meeting and to make these artists more widely known. The Review greatly liked the communication and its was one of 12 letters published in the April 1997 (NAD) edition of the magazine, albeit in a quite condensed, 2-summarized paragraphs, form, considering that my original letter was 3.5 pages long.[D2 - Miami, Florida entry] Then in May of 1997, I sent a similar copy of that suggestion letter to Net ‘98's speaker: Dwight Nelson[cf. D206a].

Career Life Turn (1 Cor 13:11)
            By this month of May 1997, then having had opted to pursue my goal to become an Electrical/Electronics Engineer through the more practical courses and training offered at a Technical/Vocational School[D136], as I had, however, also increasingly become more of a personal evangelist[cf. e.g., D157-D161 (draft)] than a student, with a core, increasingly interested, questioning, and variously convicted audience of 8-10 class/school-mates, (including a barely “nominal” SDA), with the instructor occasionally chiming in, I now decided to take things into my own hands and pursue becoming a full-time evangelist, all really so that I can fulfill the “need” that I had been strongly impressed with while at that Ichthus Festival a month before.[27] So I announced to my parents that I was going to study for the ministry and I proceeded to apply to the SDA Canadian Union College (later renamed: Canadian University College; [now called: Burman University]) CAUC[D148], in College Heights, Alberta, Canada. With Canada being my home country, I was paramountly excited to return there, after by then 7 years of living in the, variously, culture-shockingly different, United States.

...But Frankly Speaking... (Isa 58:1|Ev 32.4)
            My application to CAUC was accepted by July 10[D149, cf. D150-D153], and for July 12, I had accepted an open opportunity to be one of 3 young persons to preach during a youth day, and preached my first (actually second, lifetime) sermon, at my Home Church.[D320 (ca. 1990 photos)] It dealt with the Josiah reforms after his startling discovery of their discarded/ignored Bible then (2 Chr 34:19, 29-33 & 35:1, 2[D95-D104], {audio recording -"Disclaimer": ~2 Cor 10:10, 11}). Summarily, succinctly said, the sermon urged, inclusively the youth, lay people and leadership, to engage in more outreach activities to ‘seek to reach out to fellow Christians and others who were “so honestly ignoring” the truths we had’, especially as we were such a, variously, “well-off” Church. Despite the honestly unavoidable “sheep-shearing” tone of the sermon, which even surprised me because that is not how I had composed it, or envisioned/practiced delivering it. {As my Homiletics teacher would later say: ‘You can trim the wool off your sheep often, but you can only shear them once [actually, e.g.: once a year].’ And this was both my “first”, and based on my ministry plans, (probably) the only opportunity that I would have to speak to my home Church...so “shearing” it (emphasizingly) came to be...} It must have been the first round of early “Amen” at some the reprimanding/rebuking points that I was making that irked me, having made me wonder: ‘Then why aren’t you all already doing this?!?’ Despite the understood silence for the rest of the sermon[28], to my surprise, the sermon was expressedly quite well received, across the board.[D69] I guess they did indeed need that reality check call as I had perceived while preparatorily reading that Josiah story intending it solely for the youth.[29] In fact, the next week, the Church’s Senior Pastor, for whom I had also had a heightenedly, pointedly, though reword/restat-edly, delivered a line in the sermon[D100 line 20-24 (audio)] “came back” with a sermon on ‘what constitutes a dead church’ and based on an application of the healing of the paralytic in Mark 2:1-12 showed how ‘Church members should actively endeavor to assist the leadership in the Church’s work.’[30]

Unloading for the ‘Impressive Journey’ (1T 594ff)
            Now by late August 1997, I had managed to sell much of my “accumulated possessions” paid by my four years of work at a great job where I had made (and wholly spent, -though, as I have kept and filed ca. +97% of my expense receipts since 1992, can account for al of these spendings) a total of ca. $36,000 in a mostly, quite flexible/conceding, quasi-part time work, while I was also then attending School.[31] Most of the things that I decided to “unload” including, my car (the weekend before I left), (seamlessly) signing over, through the loaning bank, the remaining half of its payments[cf. D184] to the buyer, with most of the components from my stereo, were things that I would not be needing and/or taking with me to College and would probably become obsolete technologically by the time I returned to use them.[32] Then on the morning of Wednesday, August 27 my parents set off to drive me half way to my Western Canada destination.

Destine-ation Re-Routing (~Acts 9:3)
            Now while on the way there[cf. D180a picture taken during that trip], on the night of that first day, I had been impressed to prayed about the suggestion that I had made to Dwight Nelson and the PMC Church about Net ‘98.[D3-D6] So I silently prayed about it asking that God’s perfect will be done. Then the next day, while driving through Alabama, as I was retelling my parents of the parts in my 8600-mile road trip the previous year when I stopped at the Andrews University campus, my mother suddenly, interrupting me, and matter-of-factly saying: “If I were you, I would go to Andrews instead”; to which my father immediately, joyfully and gleefully enjoined “Yeahhhhh... that’s true!!!” Considering my out-of-the-blue impression, and my subsequent prayer, the night before, and even more strikingly, knowing how my father was overcautiously slow to, and defaultly in opposition to making and taking major changes and decision, (to the point where it had become, and still is, an enduring/running joke in the family that my father always, defaultly says “No” to any/every-thing, yet literally all of those major decisions, when he was eventually convinced to agree with them, have been the best choice that could have been made, as he later also would confess (actually, all except for one still most beneficial “No”)), even in non-spontaneous situations, particularly in temporal matters, which the decision to go to Andrews, being ultimately a financial one, as presumedly all SDA Religion Departments were the same, (or should be); and as this would be a costlier choice for my parents who would be paying for my tuition as, in the late 1990's the Canadian dollar was worth ca. $0.65 cents U.S. and so, by going to a SDA University in the U.S. they would lose this 35% exchange rate advantage, I, as well as my most surprised, mother could only see this quick and knowingly resolutely agreement as some sort of “sign” from God (also, for me, an implicit response to my prayer the night before). And so when I said okay to this proposal, readily seeing the great opportunity to being on the campus where Net ‘98 was going to take place, (yet not too thrilled that I would not be returning then to my home country of Canada), we continued on the way, this time re-routing towards Andrews at the proper highway junction.[33] As Andrews then started in late September, being on a quarterly schedule, thus ca. 1 month after CAUC which was on a semester schedule, I had plenty of time to (I assumed) have my applicable CAUC documents forwarded to Andrews, which readily processed them, and accepted me...if I recall accurately, (from a sent letter by them to my referenced uncle's address in Canada (since I myself was going to only have a temporary address for the next month)), by September 10. (However, I recently gathered from the testimony of Matthew Gamble here [43:58-45:17] that by October 1995 the Andrews Enrollment Department, under new leadership, had decided to nix their customary 9 month application processing time. I actually, and really naively, had been assuming that since another SDA College had already accepted me, then, since I was presuming that SDA Colleges were in networking harmony, it would not be a problem for that acceptance to be immediately accepted by Andrews.). I spent that month in Montreal, at then vacant rental home of my parents, deliberately, purposefully passing that time.[34] By late September (29), 1997, I was settled in at Andrews, fully ready for the start of classes the next day.

Elect Electives (Psa 139:16)
            Luckily for me, with all of the Electrical Engineering schooling that I had done in Florida, I opted to mainly take Religion/Theology classes at Andrews, having met much of the credits for my required electives, and in my opinion, much more than enough. I personally was extremely relieved by that, because by this time I was really bored by non-spiritual things and greatly loathed having to take “secular” classes. It was also a tremendous financial savings as my schooling in Florida, more than half of it having been covered by a full scholarship, was much less than that of Andrews. I was here also seeing how God had led in the past and thus far in this ministry journey. And with my memory being jogged now by the discovery of my latest credits transcripts from Andrews[D422] I recall now that I, against advisor’s counsels, deliberately skipped/delayed/procrastinated taking any non-Theology {subsequently -Religion, when switched for by that latest (March 1999) transcript, after I then planned to merely get a non-formally-Pastoral degree to do my ministry; -which produced more general electives to be taken since such courses as Biblical Languages were then removed} Major specific classes, and in retrospect now, could see how that was probably an inspired decision from God as He probably had a good idea that I wouldn’t indeed....or He would encouragingly not let me, be putting up for long with the “educational sham” which was, pertinently for me, that grossly deficient (undergraduate) Religion Department, and would eventually not be continuing taking classes from it...

From House to Den (John 2:17)
            Well, to now make a potential long segment short, as related in this blog post, it did not take long, ca. 6 days, for me to, for various capitally indicative reasons, become increasingly disillusioned with Andrews. The overarching “excessive straw” for me was the approach to Pastoral Ministry that was being used. Although I really wanted to be an Evangelist rather than a Pastor, I had accepted the fact that I would still need to take the full Pastoral Ministry curriculum. However what I could not begin to validate was the fact that I was being taught to, indicatively enough, properly: e.g., say “hello” and to “sing” in key in Greek; not to mention, (as observed): e.g., ‘having proper guttural pronunciations for Hebrew.’ Considering that Greek and Hebrew were a major part of my curriculum, that all greatly annoyed me. (Sure, learning should be fun, however this is not kindergarten). Again being more technically practical, I rather wanted learn how to accurately translate the Bible into English from its original languages. So I absolutely didn’t, and still don’t today, notwithstanding all that I have since then learned about Greek and Hebrew, care, nor see as necessary to learn about features of these languages which in a Biblical context, i.e., where the text would not change, nor would one be required to ever, with any significance, if for any reason at all, write/compose it out again, especially by freehand, in a Gospel ministry context, including even scholarly circles. So I just could not see why so much time, effort, energy and draining “brain strain” was being so “religiously” devoted to master these futile aspects.
            Also, probably more unique and specific to Andrews, it was manifestly clear that not much scholarship updating work was being done by my professors. It was clear that they were simply regurgitating what they had learned some 20-30 years before when they were in Theological school themselves. Probably in the same building. Moreover, I had come to Andrews to get definite answers to help me in my ministry goal, however here, for over $18,000 per year, I was getting much more questions and ambiguousness than any concrete answers to my various Biblical and Theological questions. I had expected, as it should have been the case, such a highly valuated education would provide me with spiritually wise and discerning professors who were dedicated to resolve all known issues. Instead I was getting an all-you-can-eat buffet of multiple views/choice lectures accompanied by many shrugging shoulders and blank looks at my questions. I’ll pass on the details of other manifested, but less theological, counterintuitive pet peeves. Anyway, by October 17, 1997, just 19 days into the school year, I had had enough.

“...Like The Leaves of Autumn...” (Ev 35, 36)
            On Oct. 20, spurred on by a recently discovered (back on Oct. 7, -certainly non-coincidentally, the very next day after the “smoke” incident related in this post), “heaven-highlighted and emphasized” admonition in the SOP in Ev 35, 36 (from Letter 296 (1904)), which uncannily, almost verbatim, and surely thematically, echoed the Christian Music Festival ministry that I was longing to accomplish (cf. here), I put most of my belongings in storage and proceeded to leave campus, heading back to Florida, with only what I needed to begin to set up this ministry. By then, for my intended Non-SDA Christian audience, I had formulated a plan to write a message sharing magazine that would cover some of the major teachings of the SDA Church, and that is a Christocentric way.[D332-D417][35] (See here in this post). All of these teachings would be anchored by the most convincing, Messianic, 70-Week prophecy. Since I obviously was not going to get the “fruit” that I needed from this deceptively pretentious “fig tree” of Andrews (cf. DA 580–588); and since, as I had hoped, I could use the money of my tuition to fund this preparation and starting part of this ministry, I saw that it was better for me to leave the campus. Frankly the only thing that I was going to greatly miss from AU was my free, over-the-air, access to the 3ABN Station on campus.
            My homeroom professor (K.M.) tried to get me to stay with various discouraging arguments, most notably, “sincerely(?)” asking me if I knew what an aorist was??  Admittedly, I did not, ...then..., however, -as it will be discussed later, before too long later on, it was I who was wondering and asking if: ‘any of them,’ -more importantly, ‘knew how to accurately translate an aorist??!’[36]

Do It Again... [If Necessary] (Psa 25:2-5)
            Backtracking a little here: Recalling on one hand, the timely, providential guidance, as related above, through which God had “redirected” me to Andrews, but seeing on the other hand the great urgency of this ministry vs. the 2+ years of academic work that would first need to be done, I was not too sure as to which of these two, respectively, spiritually and substantively, “God-ordained” roads to follow, so like Gideon, I placed a fleece before God. Having experienced the power of God to respond in a timely, I determined that just like God had intervened to direct me here, I was going to pack my belongings and make the plans and travel arrangements to leave, and if He wanted me to stay, then He had intervene at any time before I left. No such opposing manifestation came, with, quite to the contrary, an indirectly supporting one in my grandfather[D132 (b.1921)], who, after he was not able to fully regain his health after developing cancer ca. 2 years before, passing away, at the age of 76. (The actual cause of death however, has been said to most likely have been his choking on acid reflux, which has recently been bothering him, while sleeping.)[37] Being the oldest of his grandsons, and with the funeral going to take place in Haiti, thus probably not going to be attended by many of his grandchildren who all live in North America, I therefore, felt that I had to be present there.[38] And so that news served as a clinching reason for me to leave Andrews.

A-Plan (2T 247.1|Judges 5:23)
            So I was now back in Miami Florida, and after the short trip to Haiti for the funeral[D140 (-and no, as I have recently found out from people who at that funeral, I was not here: “talking to the dead” (LOL)....just, to clarify, actual making a, then budding ministry, vow.)], I immediately became fully engrossed in attempting to establish my ministry, actually planning to return to Andrews in January because it was inevitable to me that I would still need a pastoral degree and its income to properly conduct and fund this outreach ministry full-time once I had now finished setting it up. However since my planned magazine was, on top of sharing the Adventist message, going to be an advertising venue for various major SDA Ministries, on Oct. 30 I mailed out letters to all of these considered ministries sharing with them in detail my ministry plan,[D7-D11] mentioning the SOP “inspiration” for it. My worked out plan then was for a ca. 5-month itinerary (March 22-Aug 31, 1998), advertisingly leading up to Net ‘98, covering about 100 concerts and 11 Music festivals with a projected distribution of ca. 300,000 of these magazines. I also related the intended content of the magazine, the planned approach and method for distribution with the potential help of local SDA youth, by my careful calculation, with my parents being able to pay for my planned minivan rental and gas, (especially, I figured, with the money that I was now saving them), I would need only ca, $1400 to cover other traveling expenses.       
            I also told them of my plans to attend the Mission College of Evangelism, (then in Black Hills, SD) to take their 3-week Public Literature Evangelism training program in preparation for this ministry. All I really needed from these ministries was the backing and support to pay for the publishing of these magazine, intended to be freely distributed “like the leaves of autumn” (Ev 36), all the while allowing for any donations. Furthermore, these costs would surely be generally recovered in the expected increase in the sales of the books being advertised in it.

Strewn Obstacles (EW 81-83)
            Having mailed my letters to ca. 10 of these major ministries, I then started the task of writing the content for the magazine by undertaking to write out a summary article on the anchoring 70 Week prophecy as it undeniably, transparently and accurately proved the Messiahship of Jesus Christ. So, based on materials I had from various SDA ministries, I set out to compose it. However, it did not take long for me to have a halting question which I absolutely needed to concretely answer, at the very least for myself, because if, I, myself was not convinced of the concrete and factual veracity of what I was presenting, then how, and why, should I expect other to be so. This first question was ‘how do we know for sure that this precise chronological prophecy started in the Fall of 457 B.C.?’ None of the resources I had then had the answer. So I went to my local ABC and bought a couple of books that dwelt on the Great Second Advent Movement. However, they also did not have the answer. Neither did, nor would, the satellite Net Events that were going on at that time, namely Doug Batchelor’s Storacles of Prophecy and Kenneth Cox’s Hope Beyond 2000 series. So I decided to skip that first interpretational obstacle and move along in the prophecy. However the same thing happen over and over again with other points/issues. I kept on meeting with more claims for which I could not find proper, proving substantiations, if any, at least in my local area. (As it would turn out, all but really one of the actual concrete, conclusive and transparent answers that I was pointedly looking for (cf. here) were not, and would not be, available anywhere in the Church, neither in any publication nor evangelistic presentation.)

Decisions, Decisions (Mar 7:8-9)
            Starting on December 8, 1997, I finally started to get responses to my request letters to these SDA Ministries. The 5+ letters[39] that I eventually received by January 5, 1998 were quite approving and encouraging of the ministry idea itself, but they all did not accept to assist me.[D12-D17] The early refusal letters did not discourage me because, by then, having returned to the Andrews Campus on December 28, 1997, I had obtained a copy of the full EGW’s Letter 296[D18-D23] and saw by many statements in the full content that I was on the right and Godly, if not also, prophetic side and path, as EGW made statements such as: ‘she here was given instruction (i.e., by God) in regards to the warning that must be given to the world.’ She also went on to state how ‘our large books should have a wider circulation’ which was precisely what I was planning to do through the magazine.[40]
            I had also sent a letter to the NAD President, which was forwarded from the desk of the then absent (the late) Elder Alfred McClure to the then vice president for Evangelism for the NAD, Elder Cyril Miller. In the eventually processed response,[D17] he proceeded to give me a most constructive response with such ideas as ‘contacting certain SDA publishers to see if they would fully undertake the magazine printing’ and ‘to work with ABC’s to set up booths at these festivals.’ In fact, later on Feb 26, he informed me that he was going to present the idea to the ABC Committee that next day; however nothing eventually came from that attempt.[D26] So to here make a long, and quite trying, 3-month odyssey short, I, full-throttledly endeavored during these days to follow up on these suggestions and applicable variations/improvements thereof, also having serious discussions and magazine template submissions with Pacific Press’ Signs Magazine.[D24, D27-D42]

Whatever... (Mar 7:5-7ff)
            However, as oppositions began to basely and without basis rise up, a significant development that betrayed to me that something was, at least spiritually, not right in all of this was when the NAD’s youth ministry director, Jose Rojas, came to Andrews for a weekend series. He related in one of his sermons how a group of Gen Xers from Andrews had approached the NAD with an evangelism project that would involve 4 young people traveling, across the U.S. and holding (as then stated/inceptively planned) public outdoor music and artistic performance for kids and young people in various public locations such as mall parking lots, etc. The whole thing sounded like what I had been suggesting to the NAD and although I did not think that my idea had been ripped off by, specifically, those young people on campus, I was still mythed, to say the least, at what was said next. He announced that they were going to partially fund and help raise this $100,000 (or was it $300,000?) project, which turned out to involve as major acquisitions purchasing an extended pickup truck and a long trailer. The project named YouthNet eXtreme (cf. this 2000 Adventist Review article) soon had received all of its funding and support, and the painted on, advertising endorsement of various NAD Youth and Adult ministries. Thanks a lot! Although this was a blow to me and my efforts (to actually plant a much more significant quality of “truth seed”), inside I could only laugh at this, because I knew that somehow God would not let this spiritually base and unjust decision stand. The (potential) “[end-]times” surely needed much more than ‘a song, a homily and a puppet show.’
            I cannot say with certainty if Rojas was himself personally aware of my plans, however (a) being from the NAD leadership, and (b) given the similitude between my project and this one, also similarly going through the NAD leadership, at the very least, it, should have received the same, collaborating-ministries support.

From ‘Coup de Grace’ to Favor Coup (Isa 54:17)
            By March 1998, having had to unload my class load so that I could focus on completing the article content of my magazine, especially as my professors were not much help to some of the “concrete proof” questions that I had towards this end, I had indeed managed to complete this texts, however foregoing the answering of the questions that I still had and that no SDA resource could adequately answer. I had also completed a full blown layout of the magazine including the titles of all of the pertinent topical books that I planned to share. However I found no takers, nor supporters, for even solely the printing of the magazine. The “final nail” came on March 12, 1998 with a final refusal from Dale Galusha (Director) of the Signs ministries/magazine,[D43] of course with a “courteous”: “May God bless you” send off, and all that despite my concession in a March 1 letter to now sell the magazine for $3.00 to cover its printing costs. I had priorly even met Signs editor Marvin Moore in person when he was at Andrews back on Feb. 14, and had discussed this planned magazine with him, and he had, interestedly, said that: ‘if it was a one time thing that Signs would consider publishing it.’[D27] Yet nothing concrete came from all of this. Having by then, resolved to stay and complete my formal studies at Andrews, despite having wanted to attended, and been accepted at, the Mission College of Evangelism,[D25] fully realized and understood the great contribution that such an accomplished ministry task would make if it was done as planned before the upcoming Net ‘98 series, I still continued to try to accomplish the ministry, now also resuming my classes, with my writing study and compositional work having been completed.
            Evidently God Himself had not said His last word. On April 5, 1998, while walking back from visiting the off-campus ABC Store, on the main road through Berrien Springs, in front of the Campus (Old US-31 [US 139]), I was impressed by God in His, by then, unmistakable and common voice, to ‘keep on walking towards the farther campus entrance road’ (College Ave. - where the Lake Region Union Conference Building was located), bypassing my then preferred, shortcutting, immediate first road that I was going to take (the then existing W. Locust Ln)[D120-D121]. All the while, as I was heeding this impression, I reactionarily was thinking in regards to the felt giddy pressing insistence in this Voice and its instruction: “What’s the big deal God, the other street is still on my way back towards the dorm, (thus not really a detour, being another campus entering option). Well, when I reached that second road, College Ave., just as I was about to turn into the street, I, almost inevitably, peripherally noticed, and then almost instantly, dumfoundedly, squarely gawked towards, an open lot across the street, at, specifically, a minivan, a Dodge Caravan, that was being displayed for sale. A former Andrews student living in the Berrien Springs area was selling it. By the next day, with the help of my parents, I completed the purchase of the well-kept, 1988, $3,600 sale price, minivan.[D67] It was exactly what I had asked/needed for my ministry.

No Takers (Luke 18:8b)
With this major ministry need having been met, I then endeavored to achieve my already laid out plans, and greatly motivated by this God-guided turn of events, I saw a feasible ministry opportunity in the upcoming annual Dove Awards to be held on Thursday, April 23, 1999 at the Nashville Arena. Although I was not quite ready, I indeed saw an opportunity to fulfill the Ev 35, 36 mandate with the (presumed) ca. 20-25,000 people that were going to be attending this event. So in a last minute flurry to try to do something during this event, in the week of April 12-18, I contacted the local Lake Region Union Conference Home and Health Services Department, and proposed them a plan to provide some 10,000 (100 cases) of Darkness Before Dawn booklets for free distribution, planning to reimburse their cost from prospective profits of the planned ministry for that summer.[D45] However my request fell on completely deaf ears and there were no takers for this recently confirmed, “end time”, faith initiative. And so I had to cross this event off of my ministry plan.

Not Quite Right... (John 5:39...John 12:32-33...CET 228.2a-6)
            By April 24, I had manage to convince to local ABC to loan me (with a signed check as surety) some choice Message and Prophecy books to set up a vending station at the upcoming Ichthus Festival, the same which I had attended and where this ministry idea was born exactly one year before. However the great, last minutes, pressure and exhaustion due to the sleepless flurry in getting adequately ready for this festival, on top of the stressful 600-mile overnight drive there[41], with the personally quite discouraging fact that I was not going to be able to present this message in the tactful way that I had planned, really quenched my desire to set up my make-shift, on-the-spot-permitted, off-campground, but facing, street vending booth. So I disappointedly didn’t proceed to do so, yet all the while oddly feeling the fully understanding approval of God for having done, on my side, all that I could, leading up to this, in order to “properly” do this, as originally envisioned.

...Neither In Its Due “Light” (1 Thes 5:21-22)
            Two weeks later, I attempted to do a second festival on my own. This time however, still not having my preferred Christocentric magazine, I only brought along copies of the Desire of Ages, (in my preferred/appealing Remnant Publication edition/printing) along with some Darkness Before Dawn booklets, to sell.[D178] Still I was substantively not fully comfortable with also this approach, (with, personally, absolutely nothing against SOP works), and after driving all night to get to the Agape Festival at the Bounty County Fairgrounds in Greenville, IL,[D46] actually falling asleep at the wheel for who knows how long and “miraculously” not ramming the car in front of me, that I had not seen at all previously, whose now, oddly enough, suddenly brighter, braking red lights (despite being in the passing lane!) as I had unknowingly almost driven right up against its rear bumper, actually managed to wake me up, I also chose not to proceed to sell these books, as such, here either.

Summer Multi-Task (Matt 6:33)
            I then, with the unsurmountable obstacle of not having my magazine published, abandoned trying to go to the remaining festivals on my planned itinerary then and instead began to focus on completing a more detailed, book version of my magazine. And for the rest of that school year, which I did quite well in, also completing my first full quarter that Spring since I had first arrived at Andrews back in the Fall of 1997, I worked on this book.
            However for the summer, I agreed to do Literature Evangelism in a program in Toronto, Canada[cf. D243 -btw, in that photo is also present health educator Nyse Collins, host of Taste of Paradise program on 3ABN], however I brought along several books from the library to be able to keep on working on my book. And so spent most of my free-time during the two months of LE program reading, studying for, and writing out, my book.[42] (I eventually had to pay a substantial overdue fee later that Summer (ca. $330) for the days when I no longer could renew them by phone.)

Round 2's Bell Ringing
            By the end of the summer, on August 26, 1998 while staying at my sister’s house near Huntsville Alabama so that I can have ready access to the Oakwood College Library, I decided to undertake a more indepth, proving, study for one of my book chapters, -the one on the 70 Weeks. Quite interestingly enough, I readily came across some interesting works on this subject such as Desmond Ford’s book, among other, which provided some of the documented, though in this case objectionary, probings that I was needing as a sort of deeper search entry. (Nothing like having opposition to your views to help establish it, if indeed true, on an even higher level.)

Ashamed of Their Own Gospel
            All the while that I was doing these researches and coming up with more of such useful and intriguing “probing entry” information, I could not help but feel impressed that this was actually the “final straw”. Up to then I could not believe why various people and ministries in the Church with whom I had tried to get my pre-Net ‘98 ministry going did not step up to do so. The planned ministry, advertising most prominently the upcoming Net ‘98 series would be significantly preparing this ground with literally the best that SDAs had to offer in terms of our message books and ministries all packaged in an attractive, Christ-centered magazine. The whole things was just as odd and suspect to me as a car dealer vehemently refusing, though financially capable, to buy any of the new, high end cars that he is selling to others, also despite a company discount. Above all things, “there was a cause” (1 Sam 17:28-30 NKJV) with the potential, targeted audience and the Gen Xers meetings coming up in Net ‘98. All this senseless, ultimate indifference and opposition was clearly fueled also by a ‘Joseph’s jealous brothers’ attitude (Gen 37). I mean ‘why should the prophetic SOP statement in EV 35 and 36 be fulfilled by me in this ministry,’ they manifestly, innermostly felt.

My Cursing of this Fig Tree (6T 370.3)
            And so quite drastically, and with cause, and paramountly in faith that God would never honor such a base attitude, punctuatedly (i.e., after now over a year of fruitless anticipated fig fruit seeking), deliberately began my “Cursing of the Fig Tree” episode for me vs. the SDA Church (DA 580-588). No longer would I from then on be so sacrificing myself and fighting to help bring people to the SDA Church, but, at the very “least,” would now instead just present Biblical Truth without any encouragement to join the SDA Church. I had made this vow in the righteous and self-evident light that surely there was something much better than this whole, quite widespread, and sanctioned, base, “Who is the Greatest”, sectarian demeanor, and thus effectively, substantive ‘House-of-Card’ masquerading as God’s ideal in reaching the world. It did not take long for me to get the first of many, many Signs of God’s providential approvals in this judicial choice.

Concrete Shift of Paradigm (Mar 11:12-14)
            The week of my change of attitude vs. the Church was Sept 1-9, 1998. It was a stance that, even to my blindsidedness, quite painfully, concretely, though partially, honestly manifested itself in my visit with friends, former co-workers & classmates and acquaintances during my brief, end of summer stay in Miami, Florida from the Sep. 10-26 that month.[43] By Sunday night on the 27th I was back at Andrews University for the start of what felt like, and has since Biblically proven to have been (i.e., Dan 11:5ff), a momentous Spiritual Civil War, even spilling over beyond the walls of “Jerusalem” and borders of “Judah” and then “Israel”. 

MI-7 (Rev 1:20)
            Now, whereas, up to then, I had been attending SDA worship services for Inspirational reasons, as faith in something/someone normatively results in, from the time that I returned to Andrews in the Fall of 1998, having literally lost my faith that a Church in this observed state of, fundamentally, base dysfunctionality, was ever going be blessed as they could, I then began to attend church services merely for informational purposes. In fact, I also only read through the words of sung hymns instead of singing along, as I just could not joyfully and worshipfully sing along in these services (cf. Amos 5:21-23). To this effect, not wanting my customary full-time church attendance to only be truncated to the worship hour, given that there were many different church services around the Andrews campus and in the community, I attended PMC’s first service at 8:00 A.M., (especially as it was lest “festive” than the youthful 11:00 service), then the more technical Seminary sabbath school, then the 11:00 worship service in another church nearby, usually the Village Church, and then, as the Seminary Church usually ended around 1:30-2:00 PM, I attended that service lastly. My purpose in all of this was to glean as much information from these leading services, all to use in my overall, no-reason-to-be-ashamed, quasi-militant Campaign against this, now observedly, already, off-the-Narrow-Road, Church.
            Retrospectively speaking, here, in this was the inception of what has turned out to be my Jacob vs. Esau struggle for God’s Israel Blessing and, despite my justified animosity vs. the Church, I inherently still knew, felt and understood that God, as already manifested in the past,  was only going to accept that this open battle was won without any baseness and trickery, but solely in “right doing.”

But Where’s the Proof??! (1 Sam 17...16MR 34.1c)
            As I decidedly engaged, at the Andrews University Seminary Library, in studying out in more detail what I had begun to discover on the 70 Weeks while at the Oakwood College Library a month earlier, given the more resources this Seminary Library had, I became increasingly fascinated by the new and/or more conclusive information that I was indeed finding out. Yet after 10 days of intense research, I still could not get past the first major obstacle in proving that the prophecy had begun in the Fall (i.e, Sept/Oct) of 457 B.C. (I.e., a transparent proof that did not, as SDAs were doing, ignoring several valid objections to their, at best biasedly subjective “proof”, rely on circular, -and actually arbitrarily so, reasoning.). So then, swallowing up any pride and really wanting to ‘hold the deserving feet to the fire’ (i.e., place the blame where the blame evidently should be), on Thursday Oct. 8 I went to see some of my professors (K.M., W.W. & L.C.) to ask them this question, and also show them some of my other, related findings. However they could not give me any reply, nor comment to anything, and oddly enough, at all, either way. Finally I was told to go see the professors at the Seminary. So that afternoon I did, meeting with OT Professor Richard Davidson, and sharing the same information with him. After some, more quasi-vexatious than in/con-structive, (from his side), bantering questioning and discussion, he opened his Hebrew Bible and started to read out loud in Hebrew (evidently Dan 9:25) emphasizing the Hebrew word “schwub”, [=“to restore” - Strong’s #7725] in Hebrew. I non-facetiously acknowledged that ‘that indeed was a Hebrew word, but... “what did it mean??”’ Admittedly I did not know much about Hebrew then, not having yet, (nor ever since) taken a formal class in it (I have however since read and studied many quality textbooks, on top of doing further research), but that really shouldn’t have meant to him to  just spout out an answer in Hebrew that didn’t really prove anything in the context of this inquisitive discussion. I mean the fact that he spoke Hebrew, which I already knew, still did not answer the question at hand. Finally, and why he didn’t do this earlier, I do not know, [he may have known that my posed ‘precise/exact-start-of-70-Weeks’ question was (indeed) not specifically answered, (nor even pointedly discussed), in the book], when he finally realized that continuing to simply, emphatically, repeat that Hebrew word would not, -give me the gift of tongues, he reached back into the library behind him and pulled out the ATS-published dissertation of Brempong Owusu-Antwi, (promoted in this blog post), flipped to a page and began emphatically looking over the text, insinuatively indicating that this is where he had gotten his “certitude” for that word. Not having seen this orange book in my many hours of search in the library, despite thoroughly having gone through the section with books on Daniel, I, benefit-of-a-doubtly asked him ‘where was it in the library,’ (as if this was to remain some sort of “class-ified” Denominational secret). To which he recognized that it actually was not in the library. He then offered to sell me a copy ($19.95) and since I did not have the money then, I came back Monday to buy the book. Just flipping through it I could readily see that this was the kind documented  study that I was [generally] looking for. Then reading through the book over the next few days, I saw that it provided many documented and more conclusive answers to some key issues that I had. However, quite disappointedly, it still did not satisfactorily resolve most my questions, including, most paramountly then, the one on the Fall Start. Nonetheless, with now this study as, deductively, a research template and pertinent reference vault on this topic, I continued my studies on my previous findings.[44]

Wishful Thinking (Ezek 9:8)
            By Wednesday Oct. 28 I had begun to come close to provide a much more transparent and objective explanation/theory for at least an end of July/August start (Ezra 7:8), something which up to then I had not seen in the Church. However, with the manifestation of an external produced special sign from God during the Net ‘98 presentation (#16) that night (related below in Sign 1), which was on the historical change of the Sabbath to Sunday, and then subsequently seeing how Samuele Bacchiocchi’s doctoral dissertation was used as a guide by Dwight Nelson for this presentation, I (1) as it will be shown later, of myself, assumed that there may be some spiritual hope with this Church, and thus (2) saw that if I could complete my findings before the Net ‘98 meeting on the 70 Weeks scheduled for Nov. 4 (Night #22), perhaps Dwight Nelson, who I had become familiar with since my arrival at AU, especially during my efforts to do my magazine distribution ministry, could insert such proven findings as a key proof point in his presentation. So over the next week I worked virtually unceasingly to clinch this most possible explanation. Unfortunately by the time the meeting came up the next week, I still had not found the clinching documentarily objective and precise detail that I was convinced was ascertainable. In faith, I had been sure that God would not let this great prophecy, effectively fail, with this major, chronology anchoring, obstacle.[45] So that night, I dejectedly sat through that meeting which, as I fully expected, gave no conclusive proof for this point.

“From the mosa(Matt 21:42)
            At around 5:00 P.M. the next day, I wearily, suffering from a sudden withdrawal of the recent week long adrenaline rush, moped back to the library to resume my, oh-so-close research. I walked to the reference section and resumed my work looking through some books. Suddenly and unmistakably, especially by now, that Voice, like a silent “sonic boom” (indeed here faster than the speed of (the congealing completion) of even my (responding) thoughts (cf. Psa 139:4)), forcefully said to me “From the mowtsa...” indeed tailing off a the end of “mowtsa” as if the rest of that phrase was not as crucial. I immediately knew what was being referred to here by God, namely the start of Dan 9:25a; but my actual immediate reaction and question was: ‘Why Now!??’ ‘Why not yesterday when it would have timely counted???’ I.e., ‘Why the evidently guiding “special communication” now, ca. 24 hours too late??’ I was so upset, I wanted to, actually ignoramusly, dismissively blow this off as my own reasonings and continue what I was looking into then, but I just could not. After all, as I fully knew, God, unmistakably, had clearly spoken! So, knowing exactly where I could find more information on the key term in this phrase, I went over to a section of the reference books and then to the regular stacks, chainly going, and flipping, through various books. To make a detailed searching session short, one reference led to another and after a relatively short period of time, I had relatedly discovered what would, after much more indepth and painstaking full exegetical research, provedly come to be the cornerstone of my work on the 70 Weeks (cf. full results here). Hence the singular, commemorative, epigram-type, mention of this phrase on one of the opening book-matter pages in my book.[46]

Blessing Divinely Withheld (Jer 18:9-23)
            It then therefore became readily clear to me that God, with this self-manifest, deliberate withholding of this unlocking interpretation, was indicating that He Himself did not want to help, thus not bless, these dysfunctional and indolent Church Leaders. Indeed when properly appreciated, it arguably can be seen that this single prophecy, when rightly interpreted, like the slaying of Goliath, has the power in itself to completely route most of the objections and opposition to many fundamental Biblical Truths, and thus by linked implication, most, if not, the entire system of Truth of that the SDA Church upholds. Clearly “Esau” had much more preferred to satisfy their flesh with a serving of porridge than to value and strive for God’s “birthright” Blessing.
            This was all a convincingly perceived Divine Stance and Decision that I actually found so hard to believe that I had to confirmedly verify it for myself.  But first, about that special Sign, and more...

Sign 1 - God’s Setup (Jer 29:11)
            First of all, to also continue “sketching” the pertinent background context, by this time, (skipping all the defining details here for ongoing (though, in part, currently, financially miscarried and to be resumed), legal/judicial reasons), since my return to AU, I had noticed that something, seemingly borne in the adversarial spiritual realm, either directly, or indirectly by achievable influence on various actionable degrees of “accessible/receptive”, utilizable “impish” pawns. (= Dan 11:7, 8a). Also during this time, I was going through a pretty trying, desired-personal-relationship episode[@ & here; cf. e.g., D188]. So finally, almost in a defiant way towards God for having allowed these straining obstacles all the while burdening me with this research work on the 70 Weeks, let alone my school work burden, I effectively gave God a sort of “make it clear” ultimatum, because something had to give here. So I sincerely, but boldly, “quasi-ordered” Him, or so I thought then, because it turned out that He had been pulling the “strings” “turning the clamp screw” all along, so that I would be “pressured” into blurting out this request on that very day.[47] So I (blackmailedly, but sincerely) said, at ca. 11:00 A.M., while on my way to the cafetaria for lunch: “If you want me to pursue this relationship, then you have to, through these occurring “adversarial spiritual” manifestations, give me an unmistakable sign in regards to this person. I.e., one that I could immediately identify/associate with her... and it has to be TONIGHT, during the Net ‘98 meeting!!!” I even added that I would not remind him of it for the rest of the day.
            I thought I had painted God in a corner where He would then have to, at the very least, begin to do, from then on, something with these disturbing adversarial spiritual occurrences which I could (ala Job) only believe that He was allowing, if he did not answer my prayer. And so I indeed went on my day, actually forgetting about my request, until I was about to walk into the PMC Church for that night’s meeting when, oddly enough to me, I, in retrospect was suddenly impressed to ‘go ahead and ask it again’(!?); i.e., what I had suddenly just remembered(?) for the first time since 11:00. Seeing here that God had, for some reason, some sort of sense of humor with what had been a, (ala Jonah (cf. 4:1ff)), sincere but somewhat upset “quasi-ordering” request by me, I more calmly restated the request, adding “...thy will be done.” So I sat upstairs, in the balcony, perturbedly slumping on the pew, awaiting for the main presentation to begin so that I can see if this sign would occur.
            At ca. 7:38 P.M., (some eight minutes later), as I later ascertained by watching the video, after the hosts had given their welcome and other details, Dwight Nelson came on and briefly discussed a few more preliminary things. Then he started to introduce the Seminary Choir that was on stage and said:

“... Tonight! Whoooaaaaa [i.e., “Wow” and not(??!): Stop’] Tonight! I am so delighted in having on our Next Millennium platform the Andrews University Theological Seminary Chorus. I am so proud of this chorus,...etc ... Tonight... (applause) .... They are going to sing this song “Cyahamba” (in Sulu), “Marching in the Light of God.” Listen as they sing!


{Video Clip of this Net 98 #15 segment [Wed. 10-28-98]}

            I had had to get these verbatim words of introduction from watching the tape again because when they were originally being said I was actually engrossed in thinking on something else, (probably my various burdens then), and completely missed them. But I then nearly fell out of my seat when they actually began to sing their song, for it unmistakably was that requested ‘unmistakable sign’!!! During the summer, when I had worked with this girl in the earlier mentioned LE program in Canada, she had taught this “new” song to a group of her friends and they then often sang it! I was absolutely speechless!!! My previous consternation immediately turn into hard to constrain, profusing joy. I did not even bother looking for another sign for the rest of the night, because that was unequivocally it. Also with it being effectuated by the Seminary Choir, I here, as it occurred before, also of myself, presumed that God, as manifested, could still work with this institution. (However as related before, that also turned out, to be an incorrect surface and wishful assumption of mine, which had actually been clearly resolved by God’s ‘thundering’ voice.

Sign 2 - God’s Instant Messaging (Psa 139:4) 
            The mention of that Sign above and the conclusion that I drew from it, would seem to most as not truly conclusive, and because of the various “despairing” consternation and doubts that crept back into my life about a month later, I allowed myself to doubt it. So I decided to, by faith, ask God for another sign that would ‘once again clearly help me realize what His answer was in this matter.’ The night I prayed that second request prayer was Friday November 27, around 8:00 P.M., and I asked God to ‘give me this Sign sometime tomorrow.’ I once again told God that I wouldn’t think about it, and little did I know that I really wouldn’t. (My belief was that God was capable of giving another such clear sign that it would catch my attention whether I was looking out for it or not.)  So I did go through most of the Sabbath day not thinking about it, but by the nearing evening, as I was preparing to go to the prison ministry and the sought for sign had not yet occurred, I began to get a little anxious. However I was immediately reassured by the fact that I was about to encounter a group of people who, as I spiritually understood it, by faithfully going to prison ministry, were “surely” in harmony with God’s Will, and thus His Spirit, and so God could surely work through them to produce the ‘singing sign’. And so, as we gathered and mingled in the Church’s foyer before leaving, I hawkishly looked out for anyone of them to suddenly produce that sign... but nothing occurred. Then, while driving with my habitual car pool group, I continued to eagerly look for any one of them to produce the sign... and yet still nothing occurred then. I more than less continued to look out for this sign during the rest of the ministry period, even wishfully thinking that it may come from an inmates I would meet, but to no avail. And then came the time came for us to drive back home, after a last post ministering gathering outside of the jail, which to my ever disappointment also did not produce the sign. And so it manifestly was my ensuing incapability to veil my quasi-angered disappointment (i.e., anger that manifestly God could not find anyone during that entire Sabbath day, and to my surprise, also from amongst these faithfully ministering “saints”, that led a 35+ year old friend of mine, who headed another car pool, which usually only had another 35+ year old guy with him, to offer me, oddly enough as if knowingly providing a solution to my manifested dilemma, as if he could, yet merely surfacely, read and understand my issue here, to ride back with them ‘instead’. I was about to, out of sheer frustration, readily accept this offer, but then hesitated a little as I calculated that ‘the other car pool, which had 5 other people, thus mathematically had more chances for a fulfillment than a two-person car pool’, but immediately, indicatively thought that ‘nothing had actually occurred with the other 5 people in that car pool, so why not take my chances with this, albeit, two-person car pool instead’. ‘However’, I continued to reason, ‘since nothing had occurred with anyone of them during the ample collective “opportunities” during the entire evening’, I actually, summarily, dismissed in my hopes any chance from then on of the sign occurring with any of them. And so, really more out of a upset wish to not want to, as normative, chat or interact with anyone on the drive back, and feeling that these two friends would better understand my preference here to be ‘left alone’, I accepted his offer to ride back with them.
            A few minutes into the drive back, in, to my surprise, prevalent silence, as these two guys were also mostly silent, with only an occasional brief comment exchange then and there, (as I had not driven back with them before, I did not know if this was customary for them or not), a most harrowing thought crossed my mind as I realized that I was heading back to the Andrews campus where I was, as lately habitual, going to expend what was wakingly left for me of that Saturday evening (it was about 8:40 P.M.) deliberately cloistered in my (single-occupancy) dorm room, working on my book manuscript. I then became internally, alarmedly upset at God at this bleak prospect of ‘not encountering anyone else for the rest of that evening’, as this strikingly reminded me of the precision in my request to have that sign fulfilled within this day, which I had thought would be within the Sabbath day’s hours. And I now really could not contain my added frustration here, and in the deafly silent car, it seemed that my brooding was clankingly reverberating out loud, to the point where the driver, the guy who had invited me to ride back with them, inquiringly look at me in the rear view mirror (I was seated being the front passenger’s seat). But I could not even begin to explain my quite manifest frustration to him, and so, with literally no where/no one else to turn to, I began to silently but quite frantically pray to God saying: “Oh no God! The ‘day[now appealing instead to a “worldy” midnight-to-midnight reckoning] is almost over and you have not given me a sign OH GOD.....” Lo and Behold... I did not even finish my prayer [=Gen 24:15] when one of my friends, the one who was sitting in the passenger seat suddenly began to sing out loud: “And Can It Be!” The amazing thing about this song is that it was a song that this girl had sang as a special song for one Friday vespers program, and as I was driving with her to the Church, she had been practicing it. Now what is even more amazing and indeed instantly “got me”, was that as she was then practicing it, she sang it in an air/melody in which I had never heard it sung before (i.e., ~this one). I had been only accustomed from the common version of it as, e.g. rendered by Steve Green in his Hymns album (see here). In fact I even played it for her from the CD in my collection, however she then preferedly insisted to sing it as she had known it. Well... the man in the car that November 28 night was singing it in the tune that she knew, and had sung it. This also then was only the second time that I had heard ever it being sung in that way.
            Unlike with the first sign, where, as I later theologically fully understood, God had variously constrained me into making this specific request on that very day when Net ‘98 had already scheduled for the Seminary Choir to sing, and they no doubt had chosen to sing that song a while before, here, clearly, the Holy Spirit injunctively acted upon this man to cause him at the very instance that I was praying, to, out loud, sing that very song, and in that specific way.[48] This unbelievable, Holy Spirit-led response, just completely took my breath away. Needless to say that after that, I was convinced. What I really couldn’t understand then was why persistently after that, this girl had not positively responded to my interest. The only answer that I could find then was the Biblical answer that if there is one thing that God greatly preferred not to do was to overrule any human’s will (i.e., make someone saying no say yes) and also that no matter what God decides, it will only be done if those through whom He wants it done, allow Him to do it.

Settled in 3 - God’s Overmastering Sovereignty (Num 23:16|24:13)
            The first two signs, in combination had indeed convinced me, either way, however, as I was walking back from the cafeteria to my dorm room I began to speak to God in my heart that: “I needed a third sign.” What was mostly upsetting me is that, if God had, according to my prior theological understanding of God and the future, “foreseen” that I would marry this girl and had worked out these two signs, then why hadn’t things worked out by then (i.e., the week of Dec 6-12, 1998). So I then proceeded to ask God for a third sign, and that, one which would be of the same “unmistakable” and “musical” nature as the other two, and also “before the end of this day,” eventhough it was relatively late then, being around 4:45 P.M. I reasoned that if He had answered my prayer in a matter of split seconds for the second sign, then surely he could do in these remaining 7+ hours, if not also immediately. But then I understandably thought that He would probably need a spirit-led/available person through whom to accomplish this request, and I felt that my chances of encountering such person amongst the students in the dorm where I was heading for probably the rest of the day, and that by the end of this day, was observedly, quite small.[49] So I just dropped my head, yet still in trusting disappointment, and kept on walking. Just then I saw someone come out of the dorm and was walking towards me. I had never seen this guy before and hopefully thought, per chance, that he may be a spiritual person that God can use. So I quickly sent up a prayer to God telling Him to ‘use this person to answer my request’, as I now knew He could. So I dropped my head again and continued walking towards him and looking out of the corner of my eye to see when he would be getting closer (or close enough so I can hear him). When he got close enough, I suddenly, in the most “concealed” way I could, without revealing any of my anticipations, looked up and actually ended up staring at him as he was coming even closer. I really expected him at any moment now to start singing or humming an “unmistakable song.” (I hadn’t specify which song it was, trusting that God would choose another “available” one). As we crossed each other, he still hadn’t said/sang anything, and I just turned and almost angrily, glared at him. He looked at me like, “What??? What have I done?”, disclaimedly acting as if he thought I was seriously mistaking him for someone else. By now I was reservedly fuming, because deep down inside I concluded that he clearly was also as unspiritual as the many others, and that is why God hadn’t been able to use him at this very instant to answer my request. So I dropped my head again, and more rapidly, and still fuming, and in a resulting unthinking absentmindedness, kept on walking towards the dorm door, all the while peevedly thinking: “Boy this school is full of unconverted pagans.” Then about 15 steps later as I was now in the walkway that led to the side entrance of the dorm hall. I, out of the clear blue, and still in fuming absentmindedness, started solemnly, audibly humming out a prayerful tune to God. I did not finish the first line when I then almost crumbled down to the ground in stunned disbelief. I was humming the Psa 42:1 song: “As a deer panteth for the waters,” and it then suddenly hit me that, that was ‘one of that girl’s most favorite songs,’ as, if I can remember correctly, she had either said to me, or mentioned to someone else, while I was also present, during the LE program that summer. I couldn’t believe it again, that God had , actually, gone out of His way to again quickly and clearly answer my request again, for he literally had forcefully and without my “knowledge” inspiredly/mentally constrained me to hum out this song.
            As I then felt the trying situation that I had put God in with this third request, yet He still “powerfully” had answered me, I personally vowed that I would not ask Him for another sign again, lest I then be actually “tempting/testing Him.” (Matt 4:7~Duet 6:16). For me then, when God has said something clearly three times, it was because He really meant to do it.
            To put it shortly, although things did not work out in this situation [contra. Gen 24:58|PP 173.3], for various reasons and probably, mainly due to, (1) the opted for, persisted hesitancy of this girl to accept these signs when I twice shared them with her, and then later (2) deemed spiritually and emotionally more important decisions on my side, (having by then become sketchily cognizant of what would concretely be variously involved in the ministry work and accompanying“battling” before me, -and not then being sure at all where all of this could/would end up in - cf. 3SP 95.3; eventually, by now, = GC 616.3ff -see in here); this entire episode, as well as the two, though lesser, others, like, respectively with Ezekiel (24:15-27), Jeremiah (Ch. 16), and Hosea (Ch. 1), (no characteristic similarities, per se, intended) served as a most theologically and prophetically insightful and guiding object lesson in regards to God’s dealing with His Israel. (=Jer 18:1-12). God works in mysterious ways! (Rom 8:28ff).

Pearls to Hogs (Matt 7:6)
            Now going back to the weeks after it was clearly demonstrated, through His delayment, that God had chosen not to “give” (cf. Rev 11:3a) to this present, Esau-like, basely indifferent and wasteful SDA generation (Ezek 15). At that time, though I knew I should believe this, I just couldn’t. In fact I mockingly/amusedly wanted to verify/confirm this observation for myself, and so I endeavored to do so. By Monday, Nov. 9, 1998, I had drafted a 7-page thesis-like paper on my specific finding for a concrete and objective proof of the Fall Start.[D48-D55] I proceeded to present it to my professors in the undergraduate department. I let them hold it so that they could review it, hoping that they would, at the very least, provide some pertinent and constructive criticism. The next day, one of my professors (W.W.) returned the paper to me without any type of writing or comment on it, either way, neither, again oddly enough, did he have anything at all to say about it, almost as if he was upset at something. (Perhaps such (extra) Biblical Research work did not fall within his/their salaried duties!) Being semi-mythed, because that is what I suspected could/would happen given God’s already manifested decision, I then wanted to further test this oblivious indifference out. So the next day Nov. 10, I returned to the seminary and met with Richard Davidson again. He immediately looked over the paper and then said that he was going to fax it to William Shea at the General Conference’s BRI. And so he did. Then 2 days later, Davidson called me to notify and inform me of Shea’s just faxed reply,[D56] I went by the Seminary to pick it up and in reading through it back in my dorm room, judging by his quite tangentially, non-pertinent, answers, I saw that he neither had taken the time to, probably, even read it. He indeed had begun his faxed answer by saying that: ‘He “didn’t have time to enter into an extended discussion, but...” (then citing 2 tangentially irrelevant notes).’ Well that was now the clear ‘first cannon blast’ for me, indeed confirming what God had clear indicated before. This was indeed a cause for war! The Church was manifestly too ingrained in its revered sectarian and dysfunctional approach to conducting God’s work, and I was now intending to give them a taste of their, effectively, “hogging” medicine. If they did not want this “birthright” then why, or even how can I, an undergraduate with, then, only one full Andrews quarter to his credit, force them to. The only drawback, as I had already perceived, was the extraordinary work load that this would bring upon me, however, as I thought, who was I to refuse begin to tread in this newly blazed, though much narrower path of God!?!
            So from then on I worked on my research alone, while still going to school full time, yet with all that I was finding and variously also learning, indeed much more than what I was being taught in my undergraduate classes, having to deeply delve in scholarly studies with occasional trips to the nearby library at Notre Dame University when the AU library did not have a resource, I certainly did not regret this decision at all. Indeed it has thus far easily been the most fulfilling time of my life, though while simultaneously also being, at that time, the most mentally straining and emotionally draining.

Deserted Efforts (Isa 59:16)
            So for the next 8 months (Nov-Jun), I worked unceasingly on my book, only taking any time off during the Sabbath hours, and resuming immediately after sunset Saturday. Now seeing that I potentially would have a great sharing resource for my planned Christian Music Festival ministry, incidently entitled Thy Word Is Truth, based on John 17:17, I endeavored to try to complete the book in time for the start of the festival season in the Spring of 1999. However seeing that I would not be able to do this, without probably flunking or doing poorly in all of my classes, I decided to lessen my course load to a single class for the Spring quarter. I also had to forego continuing with my pastoral practicum preaching (at the Burlington and Coldwater SDA Churches in Michigan[cf. D295]) because preparing a sermon with the depth and fullness that I personally preferred was just way too time consuming, taking me a full week for preparation. (Cf. here)[50] 
            On March 23, 1999, to take a much needed break from the pressures, disappointments and roller coaster emotions being experienced at Andrews, and in order to mentally/spiritually get ready and refocus myself for the planned summer ministry, I attended the Dove Awards ceremony held at the Nashville Arena[D57] in Tennessee. Later, not being fully ready yet, I had to cross of some of the early spring Music Festivals off of my planned itinerary starting with the 1999 Ichthus Festival[D58] in Wilmore, KY.
            However, by June 1999, I had managed to set organize the initial part of my ministry, having reserved vending booths at 3 festivals (costing a total of ca. $1270). Seeing that my book would not be finished by then, I then opted to sell some of the LE Magabooks[D59-D60] (= SOP and other books published in book magazine format) along with Biblical Perspective books from Samuele Bacchiocchi. That all was not my envisioned ideal in terms of books for sharing in this ministry as I would have much preferred my ‘70 Weeks Prophecy’ book, and it did not take long for me to see, in the very first festival (the Crossover CMF[D61] in Lake of the Ozarks, MO), that this also would not work, even for me. That was readily observable when most of the few people who visited my booth on that Thursday night only checked out the Kids Cookbook. I then decided, before the end of the night, for another reason which I deemed proper, and also not wanting to be selling only kids cookbooks during the Sabbath hours, to “pack it in,” actually the whole ministry attempt, for now, and focus on first completing my “ideal” book. And so this is what I did. The festival organizer was kind enough to return my booth rental fee ($250) in full. And by Friday afternoon, the next day, I was back on the Andrews Campus. I also proceeded to cancel my other two successfully reserved vending booth at, namely Alive ‘99[D62]and Creation ‘99[D63][51], and despite the penalty for a late, or any cancellation, being the total loss of the rental fee, one of the Festivals actually returned half of their $475 rental fee.
            And so, following a move to the Burman Hall for my planned summer long stay at the Andrews campus in order to have access to the Seminary Library, not wanting to be limited again like the summer before and also incurring over due book fees, I resumed my book research and writing.

7-1-1 (Psa 50:15ff|94:1ff)
Really, for the first time since I had started my book work, and with these recent ministry
disappointment, combined with the resentful fact that, my research and unfolding findings were however in turn necessitating even more in depth, and many times original, studies to concretely confirm and/or correct them, those who should be doing this work, and that easily could, given their “advanced education”, were more than likely, mindlessly relaxing, traveling about and otherwise enjoying their summer vacation. These, along with many other taxing issues, -for one’s life does go on even when working for God, practically completely crushed my psyche and spirit then. Looking through a prayer journal that I kept during that time, all of these emotions returned with such understood, overwhelming emotion, that I ask even from today’s perspective, how in the world did I make it through then. It must have been the ‘joyful promise’ that this book work reminded me every day, with each newly completed page. (cf. Heb 12:2)


My First Vision (1 Kgs 12:24 [~Isa 6:1-13])
            And so, it is in the midst of this maelstrom of angst, emotions, fears and pressures that I received what was self-evidently/explanatorily a vision from God.[52]
            I mentally fully awoke one morning in June, on some day between the 9th and the 22nd, immediately thinking that I must go and watch a program on the Christian TV station, the (Sumrall’s) LeSea Broadcasting Network, that I was, by then customarily watching more than 3ABN, particularly in the first half of the day, mainly to see and understand what Christians “out there,” the targeted audience for my book, were believing, preaching, and teaching. So fearing that I had not awoken in time that day, judging by, in the split second that my eyes had actually opened, the sunlight glare from behind the horizontal blinds, (the sun having risen then a few minutes after 6:00 A.M.[D138-D139] while my intended, usual first program, Life In The Word (now called Enjoying Everyday Life) with Joyce Meyer,[53] was scheduled at 5:30 A.M., I began to make a hurried, though I fully knew, futile pouncing move, all the while upset with myself for having overslept (as I, since doing this “other channel watching,” quite uncannily, had been consistently waking up, variously, (just) in time for this program), to get up out of bed, and still straightly go turn on the TV; as I was also planning to get up, and get to work then anyway. [(See another documented, similar accompanying spiritual experience in this post]. So I clearly felt my brain give my body this “get up and go” signal, and the fact that I did feel this normatively subconscious brain instruction, (like running into a brick wall), was that, not only my body didn’t respond at all, as I then was also quite consciously resending that same signal wondering ‘what in the world was going on,’ [analogically just as a person trying to neededly fire an empty gun but strikingly only repeatedly hearing, and ever-panickingly so, the clicking of the triggering mechanism] I was also perceptively, helplessly falling back into a sleeping state. I just could not stop this “reversal” despite the fact that I actually, quite consciously wanted to. (All this probably happen in a couple of seconds, but, like the few seconds during an accident, it uncannily seemed to pass by slowly.) Suddenly I found myself in the midst of a dream. I found myself trying to explain to my sister, as I had been variously doing in real life phone conversations what was happening to me, in what I had increasingly been understanding to be the beginning of the Ezekiel Shaking Time [Ezek 8(+9)]. As I was arguing with her in the dream, not being able to get her to also understand this, becoming upset, that conversation began to wane, and I suddenly saw that my room was pitch dark. Then, surprisingly, I suddenly noticed that my dorm room door, which was to the side of my bed, on the parallely opposing wall, and at the height of my bed head, had been partly opened (ca. one-quarter opened). I remember, feeling actually fully conscious, and in fact futilely still trying to get up from bed, but here actually feeling relieved that this was actually a dream because I could not get up to go close the door. (I.e., Since I obviously could no longer physically move, as noticed just before falling into this dream state, I thought that it was a “good thing” that this open door was only in the dream.) It then struck me that the door was opened outwards, as my door actually opened inwards. Just then I glanced down, in my dream, as I still could not get myself to get out of bed, and saw that smoke, like that in from a fog machine, was blowing outwards, seeming to all be blowing from underneath my bed, and going out through the opened door. However before blowing out, probably because of the partial opening, it collected in what seemed like a dense cloud at the foot of the door. Suddenly I got, or was made to get, the imagery here, this clearly was like ‘a door in the cloud,’ and I immediately thought of the imagery in Rev 4:1. (The way in which this smoke was actually in motion, along with its direction outwards, and another pertinent circumstance, also made me generally think of it as some sort of incense. (cf. Isa 6:4-5)) Now I also immediately noticed that someone was hiding around the corner of the door, pressed up against the wall so as to remain out of sight, and as I clearly perceived it, face towards the wall. I then instantly had the impressive, and almost suggested, feeling that this was a “Mighty Angel” i.e., not a regular angel. (To me it could only be the angel Gabriel.) This angel then proceeded to, semi-strictly tell me: ‘“Do not tell and/or try to explain to anyone what was happening to me.”’ As I had been trying to lean over in the dream to concretely verify this felt presence and see who it was, trying to look up towards their face, but noticing that I couldn’t fully extend to do so, it is then that, having now fully realized and being self-assured that this was a heaven-sent vision, I physically felt myself stopping to try to “break,” what had seemed up to then to be a spell, and thus I finally stop trying to get myself to get up and physically, i.e., in reality, relax.
            However, now understanding that this was an instructive dream from God, I began to in candid frustration, questioningly wonder in the dream “Why this “revelation”?” “Why all this “effort/trouble” to so, show me this and not, e.g., something related to the immediate issues and problems that I was dealing with. I was disappointedly upset at what I saw to be a “wasted opportunity” and ‘waste of a vision’ by God, and did pointedly inform Him of this. And as I was doing so, the Mighty Angel then solemnly said, or communicated from God, I was not able to ascertain exactly (~Exod 3:2, 4ff|Acts 7:30-31ff): “This thing is from me.” I immediately recognized that phrase, and realized here that God was after all pointedly addressing and answering something that I had seriously been considering in real life. Indeed like Rehoboam vs. the newly apostasied/separated 10 tribes in 1 Kgs 12:24, by then I was considering ending my now 8 months of deliberate “separation” and was going to “forcefully” attempt to make these people I was working in deliberate separation from, clearly, in a spiritual Ezek 9:4 “forehead marking” way, see their faults, so this could, yet still “justly”, be all ended. But clearly here, again, God was pointedly against this, actually quite sincere “desire” of mine, and again went out of His way to markedly make this tangibly known and understood. (cf. Ezek 11:13-25)
            However, seeing now that God actually wanted to communicate something tangible/applicational in this vision/dream, I then thought again that perhaps if I could lean over and look around this partly opened door, I could get more “available” information and/or see another answer to other such things that I was pointedly looking for. Yet with the initial restricting instruction and the known circumstance of the quoted verse, I also knew that I would not be able to use this to say that “I had seen a (mighty) angel...” or even, for that matter, say that ‘I had had this vision/dream...’ in an attempt to prove that I was and had been right and validate my commonly disdained work and ministry efforts. Still I again, and again in reality, tried to peer around the corner, but still couldn’t physically move, but in the vision/dream I could lean over, although, I still could not get out of the bed. So as I acceptedly only leaned over in the dream, as much as I could, slightly more than before, I felt that this angel was correspondingly pressing himself against the wall to remain out of sight. Seeing the whole oddity of this, wondering ‘why he was still refusing show his face since this was clearly now a vision from God and I clearly could feel that he was still right there, I began to doubt if this was rather an evil angel pretending to be good, but trusting in the fact that this had been a Biblical dream, I banished the thought.
            Then the dream began to fadedly end, and as I consciously noticed this progressive ending, still somewhat bothered by this persisted hiding at the end, I made one more physical move to get up, and surprisingly felt I could, and indeed inceptively began to. I also immediately, and still in what probably was a split second, then thought that if I got to the opened door I could, as I still was in the dream-like state, see exactly who was hiding themself behind the door. And so I physically continued this move to get out of bed, sitting up, but also then, now with my eyes wide open, suddenly feeling like I was gasping for a breath of air, (to some degree of someone sitting up from having lied down under water in a bathtub for a little time), and slightly pausing to verify that I was indeed breathing normally, and dismissing that feeling by the fact that I had been lying on my back, (mainly so that I would stop thinking into this worrying sensation and go ahead and rush to the door, however when I flipped the covers off and turned to pounce towards the door, I halted myself, noticing that it was completely closed. Although I felt like going over to open it to look around its corner (which I actually deliberately did later in the day when I went out for something else, -perhaps that Angel was still there?!), I knew that that was probably futile. However, I then also quickly glanced at the floor thinking that there should (scientifically, logically) at least be a lingering residue of that smoke, for smoke does not disappear that fast, but I saw nothing, I then was going to check underneath my bed where the smoke had been blowing from, thinking that maybe I would see some sort of fog machine, but then I realized the comical futility of these verification efforts and chose not to do so.
            However, I now felt upset that, not only I was not allowed to see any “concrete” trace proof of the vision/dream I just had, but I was also semi-strictly prohibited to do what I had previously been pondering to do. So, feeling both played and betrayed (cf. Jer 20:7-9ff), I angrily got out of my bed and walked over to turn on the TV to the LeSea broadcast all the while thinking, “Fine God. I’ll just take this dream as a “personal” reassuring and approving sign to “Carry on”, i.e., just as I had been doing prior to my mused “forehead sealing” plans. (And it was actually because of that upset, semi-dismissing, reaction that I did not make, even a mental note, of the date, and also specific time, when I had received that vision.)
            The reason why I had immediately remembered the quoted text in the dream, was that just a few days before, I had decided to not only limit my Bible study to my book work and research although it did involve much, even contextual, reading and study of the Biblical text itself. So I then decided to start doing a, note-taking, systematic Bible reading plan, but to avoid the “monotony” in generally ‘knowing what will come next’, I decided that instead of starting with the book of Genesis and onwards in canonical order, I would instead mix the book order, and decided to start with the book of 1 Kings. So by the time I had this vision/dream I had already read/studied through the episode in 1 Kings 12. Since I already knew, even in the dream what was haltingly meant by that quoted statement of 1 Kgs 12:24, although I proceeded to verify this verse in my Bible upon getting up, I did not bother to read the entire context again (i.e., Ch. 12). In fact I have only done so recently, 11 years later, in the writing out of this post and the transpired, full contextual meaning of what clearly had been a “loaded statement” by God, has now fully been seen by me.
            Nonetheless, although I had not received all of the tangible answers that I would have liked, this vision/dream greatly anchored me in my efforts and work.
            A more indepth “unpacking “ of this vision/dream will indeed be made later as it indeed turned out, over time, and, most significantly, with later added and fulfilling prophetic knowledge and personal and ministry experiences (cf. 1SM 25.4), to contain much more insight and light than what I initially first, readily, narrowly grasped from it. However first some more pertinent history for more context.



Renewed and Facilitated Continuance (Ezek 9:2b)
            An immediately derived effect of the first vision/dream, indeed concretely confirmed to me that I had been, and was, on the right track during this whole “struggle/battle” vs. various factions of the Church, since my arrival at Andrews, was that it gave me new energy in regards to my book work. As a result, whereas before I would in some sections just rely upon, and quote, or refer to the conclusion of secondary (=scholarly works) or even tertiary (mainstream books), defaultly trusting them despite the fact that I actually had not been fully satisfied with what was being concluded and/or claimed, I then, indeed with this assurance that said to me to: ‘maintain the present course, everything will be alright’, felt less pressure to hurry and finish, and instead focus more on providing more concrete and transparently conclusive  proofs for my book. I then went back on all of these permitted inconclusive inclusions and undertook original studies of them. I am still, forever grateful that I was strengthened enough to do this, because in most cases, what I had taken for granted was indeed not always, either the concrete fact of the matter, or the best proof possible. So I did this “deeper digging” work to arrive at the rock solid evidence. (Luke 6:46-49) This renewed and original effort also virtually opened up a new dimension in Biblical studies. In many ways, it felt like digging into a sand dune, as the more I dug the more there seem to be to dig out.
            Around the end of July, I came across a good deal on a used laptop on campus (an upgraded (4-year old) Windows 95, Toshiba Satellite Pro[D133] -[still works, (though its OS needs to be reinstalled), but since, 3X superceded (-every 3 years - genuinely have needed, and even concurrently, the greater processing, memory, recording and storage, among others, capabilities to, prominently and relatedly, further my four ministry projects work)[e.g., D218 (2008) - I have literally been “nailed” to this workstation [or variations/relocations thereof] 16/7, for now over 11 years, endeavoring to implement these projects. (= e.g., Ezek 3:24-27). Still according to God’s great timing, this technology today allows for such a ‘writing kit’ to be just as effective and efficient, planning wise, as tangible/concrete realities.]]). Whereas I had been unimpressed to purchase a previous, lesser laptop[D65] that had been on sale by this same student vendor, (which was later purchased by a classmate of mine (S.L.)), there now was no felt hesitancy for this one, and so I purchased it. That acquisition exponentially added to my productive ability, [cf. this thematically parallel AFCOE Presentationas, up to that time, I had been using an electronic (laptop look-a-like Brother) word processor which was functionally limited, especially for such documented, scholarly work. However from then on, with this laptop, it became so much easier to do many different things in relation to this book work, including adding and updating endnotes and footnotes, that it was, quite importantly, much less of a psychological burden and detriment to seek to also do the work to even obtain, and then pointedly include them, thus allowing me to make my book as transparent as I always wanted/preferred to, so that the reader who wanted to verify the evidence for statements and claims, could do so. As one of my professors, Samuele Bacchiocchi used to say, ‘you do not want to shoot a dead horse twice.’ So this was a major step for me being able to do so. This would also open the way for my next work “envisionment.”

WBSC (Zech 4:10 [cf. Zech 4:2; Rev 1:20b; 4:5 & 5:6])
            By early September, I had learned so much on my own from working on the book, that I felt that returning to my classes would not only be futile, but actually a waste of money. I, (1) figured that I could easily set up and run an independent ministry, relying more on transparent proofing than merely on ‘letter-abbreviations at the end of my name.’ As the goal of a university education is to know the subject matter, well during these studies I certainly had achieved this objective, and much more. In fact, I began to see in many areas that many things that could be done were not being done. Clearly also, the reason for this non-feasance was because of the amount of money that it would take to accomplish this. So I decided to also work on patching up this major faultline in the field of Biblical research, because no matter how beautiful and well built a high rise building is, if the foundation has cracks, or was improperly laid, the whole building, is doomed to inevitable come crashing down someday or remain inoccupable/inhabitable is standing (e.g., Tower of Pisa), especially when faced with an opposing force.
            So following a move from the summer dorm to an apartment on campus, I continued to engage in full time work on my book and also laying the plans, and lining up the projects, as I perceived and saw various Biblical research works that needed to be done, (including towards completing my book), in the institute that has now been planned for this -the World Biblical Society of Christ.

À Dieu (Matt 23:1-35)
            On November 11, 1999, my professors, having seen me around campus, and of course seeing that I was not attending classes, had the then student Andrews Ministerial Student Association Leader, and former classmate, Chris Holland call me to schedule a meeting with them during one of their staff meetings. The funny things is that when we did later meet, they never actually expressed why they had wanted to meet with me!?? In fact none of the 6 present said a single word. They probably noticed and straightly understood my seething rancor against them[cf. D83-90], mixed with a deliberate, contemptible mocking of them, even refusing to drink the glass of juice that one of them (L.C.) had poured out for me (probably in an attempt to help “extinguish” this noticeable, torching fire in me); [-all nothing actually “personal”, but mainly “Spiritual” (John 2:16|Matt 21:12-13)]; for by now I knew that whatever “help” they could offer, it would be: too little, too late, and worthlessly, just “more baggage”. I was more upset that they, in their self-confident “blindness,” were, in these favored positions, literally “cumbering up” so much space in God’s work and not producing anything of value,[54] probably conditioned to think that by contributing to the building upon such shoddy foundations, they were doing the popularly righted/politically acceptable thing. So after ca. 5 minutes of this transpired stale- checkmate, I effectively, though mutely, ‘thanked them for nothing,’ (cf. Judg 5:23|2T 247.1), inclusively for also the ‘microscopic-very-little-from-what-they-had,-at,-moreover,-my-great-disbursement,-taught-me-that-I-did-not,-and-at-my-added-various resources-expense/cost-have-to,-and-still-am-having-to,-originally-ascertain-and-substantively-correct-and/or-improve-upon’, and self-ended this meeting, going about my way. One Way or the (already planned) other, I knew they had it coming for all of this.
            However now seeing that they, in their oblivious “sincerity”, wanted to “help” in some way, I gave one of them (M.R. -who actually had not been present at that meeting, working on his dissertation, (Samuele Bacchiocchi was also absent, as normative, due to his demanding Biblical Perspective work; -Ranko Stefanovich was also present, but as he was then in the start of his first year as an (undergraduate) professor at Andrews University, and thus I had never had him as a professor, and, like M.R., he was also working on a major writing (=his 2009 first published commentary on Revelation.)), an opportunity to do so, in regards to the selecting of a Greek NT variant based upon two possible morphological alternative writings, all in regards to, ...wait for it..., the accurate translation of an aorist; however knowing in the back of my mind that it probably was also going to be useless. As expected, it was, because all that was done, as usual was the patent repetition of the same type of mindless “surface rationales/conclusion” they had been taught ages ago, which, I already had uncovered its shortcoming and knew needed more precise and improving research to proof. So I likewise, mutely ‘thanked him for nothing,’ however, a little less sincerely, due to his ongoing work efforts, although I knew, being aware of the potential in its subject-matter, that it was, and would probably remain in its final form just more of such dysfunctionally spurious upbuilding “contributions.”[cf. D90(b)][55]
           
Acquiescing the Scroll (Rev 5:7)
Starting back in ca. May 1999, while working on my book, on the section of the
Destruction of Jerusalem, I recalled that a portion of Dan 11 (vs. 15) spoke of ‘the laying of siege works against a city.’ I then presumed that this may prophetically be in relation to the 70 A.D. and the work of Titus against Jerusalem, but, basely, because both the extra exegetical work that would be needed to first exegetically study the entire prophecy of Dan 11 to ascertain this potential new light, and also the wish to reserve it for a distinct book, thus, I self-rationalized, if didn’t find out exactly what it was saying, I wouldn’t feel responsible to treat it then and include it. So I put it off. Later however, by September 1999, when I had some more time and less work load pressure, and resolutely opting to faithfully adhere to my approach of studying out everything thing that I found applicable to my book, I decided to also include it. Indeed choosing here to do the right thing rather than basely opting to mirror the common example that I had been seeing in the Church ‘of not doing anything but the readily observable necessary’. I had decided to spiritually-speaking, crucify these fleshly attitudes and base justification rooted actually/honestly in selfishness and greed, and set out to do this exegetical work, which I then new would be quite in depth, as I preferred, and neededly, was now customarily doing.
            Well it did not take long after beginning to read/study the prophecy for me to readily, and clearly, see that many of the prophetical elements stated, after the definite historical intro, before the somewhat disjunctive segue into now symbolic characters (i.e., the King of the North and South), that, particularly Dan 11:5-9, was pertinently allusive to the various experiences and especially the resulting, God-led and approved developments that I had been going through in recent times with regards to the SDA Church, ever since arriving at Andrews. Seeing these clear parallels, I plausibly understood that this prophecy too, like other prophecies that I had seen, could also have an eschatological fulfilment. So although, with reason, I did not understand every element in the prophecy, I, by faith, chose to accept that it very well may be here beginning to have an eschatological fulfillement. I then saw that a study in the historical interpretation would indeed be quite involved, especially to do it properly, and so, now with justified caused, put off the further study of it in this view.
            None the less, the perceived eschatological development was most enlightening and sustaining for me and in my subsequent decisions, it was a major guiding and confirmatory light, because, gradually, events prophesied in it continued to applicably be fulfilled, as I and my Ministry/Projects vs. the SDA Church and its works, continue to follow our parallel, but increasingly diverging paths. As it will be seen later, this discovery was even deeper than what I had, even up to the beginning of writing this post, realized. (See the Eschatological exposition on Dan 11 in this post.).

The Start of: 'Cave of Adullam'[56] Days (Rev 2:8-11)
            A little after that, on December 4, 1999 as certain circumstances, along with my increasing repulsion by the state of the Church, made it annoyingly unbearable to even attend the sermons at Churches, so from that day on I began, for these reasons, worshiping at home. I greatly missed hearing my 3-4 sermons per Sabbath, but this abstainment was all for my best, in many ways, skipping the specific details here...
            Being at Andrews when I first started this period, it was not hard to obtain the weekly (PMC) sermon, as it was broadcasted live on Saturday morning over the radio. However having left the Andrews Campus for my hometown of Montreal on February 17, 2000, as related next, and with me not being able to get web streaming from my laptop until July 2001, and also with not many SDA Churches not offering a web stream at that time, I instead got my “sermonic fix” then from my locally accessible Christian radio station, WCHP 760 AM.
            From July 2001 and forward, my technological ability, as well as web content in regards to SDA sermon, had steadily increased, so I was, since then able to fully resume my above mentioned preferred and critical MI-7 functions and operation.

Religio-Temporal Plannings (Matt 24:14)
            Noticing that money was, (or actually: ‘was being allowed to be’) a major obstacle to the advancement of the work of the Church, starting around January 2000, I began to brainstorm plans in order to be able to decidedly, and sustainedly, surmount this obstacle. This was the foundation of what later was fully developed into the present NJK Project and it quite early on came to also be a way to do much more than my initially, solely planned Biblical Research Work, and when I arrived in Montreal, I also began to concretely develop these socio-economic plans which facilitated the expected, full Gospel Work for God’s Church.

Moving “North” (Dan 11:9b ff)
            On Sabbath, January 8, 2000, after studying Ezek 8 [-see my later study&understanding in this post], I was suddenly, “unmistakably”/recognizably, strongly impressed to leave the Andrews Campus and return to live in my hometown of Montreal. Later the sermon I listened to of Dwight Nelson on the Latter Rain in which he also dwelt with the “Investedly Authoritative” Angel of Rev 18:1 [(audio) see at 05:04-06:03ff]. With this understanding being in line with ‘the Mighty Angel relating and/or speaking of himself the words of God’ in my vision/dream, which substantively reinforced my decision, I took this as a confirmation do indeed do this move. Living on campus was relatively costly, mainly in the monthly rental payment of $345, however ready access to, mainly the Seminary Library, made it (economically) worthwhile. However now I had reached a virtual impass with the certain major research tasks needed to first be done so that I can complete my book, so as I definitely realized, remaining on campus really would not help much in this area. I figured that I could set up the needed Research Institute to accomplish these major tasks, namely WBSC, in the Montreal area, and since I would be returning to one of my family’s mortgage-free homes, then partially in rental, I could use the money saved from rent to acquire any resources I would need.[57]
            And so I decided on that day to make this move, convincingly spurred on by what I saw and understood as fulfilling the prophecy in Dan 11:9b. And so this is what I did, taking, due to a car repair necessity,[58] a little over the required one month apartment leaving notice time to finalize my studies and work, and also collecting copies of parts of various key resources. Finally late on February 17, I left the Andrews Campus...never needing to return!!

Jerusalem D.C. (Rom 8:28)
            Quite literally, and divine-confirmed as being purposely beneficial, my initial attempt to move back to Canada was blocked and delayed at the Detroit-Windsor border, because I was supposed to first declare my American-bought car (the minivan) in advance, oddly enough to the U.S. Customs, so that it can be “cleared for export’, a process that would take 4 calender days to complete. So needing to kill 4 business days on the road, I preferably drove 520 miles from that U.S.-Canada Border, southeast to the Washington D.C. area to wait out this paperwork processing and from Fri., Feb 18 to Thur. Feb 24 was able to visit the U.S. capital city, including, daily, the Holocaust Museum (as it actually took 4 half days to properly see|read|watch everything), as well as Jerusalem D.C., i.e., the SDA General Conference and Review & Herald Buildings located nearby, all the while staying in a guest room at the Columbia Union Colombia - CUC (now Washington Adventist University - WAU), in Takoma Park, MD.
          This unexpected, but, ministry-wise, most beneficial excursion to, indeed, Jerusalem D.C., was immediately shown to be fully within the expressed will of God as, when I called my mother the next day to tell her where I was (i.e., had ended up) she related to me her dream during the past night in which this sudden, long and extended detour of mine was clearly depicted. Tangibly knowing, from past experiences, how God did indeed give such alerting/“foreplanning” (as later understood) communications to my mother (cf. below here),[59] I readily saw the acting hand of God in this, suppose-to-be, momentary frustration.
           
Walking Through the Opened Door (Rev 3:7-13)
            To state things succinctly here, in the first 4 months of my return to Montreal starting on Feb. 25, 2000, I immediately started laying the work for my various related plans, namely WBSC and the NJK Project. I then began to see that, barring Church member participation, which I did not expect, such project would take major independent funding to be established solely/mainly by, effectively, one person. And so I decided to pursue a technological idea that I had in the area of Electrical Engineering. God indeed greatly and powerfully, distinctively led, just as before, in these feasibility research for this concept and its intricate and complex implications, by now patented [CIPO #2,696,825][D68], is on the verge of being concretely implemented. [One of “four” major ongoing Projects that, when implemented, will, each on their own, fully fund the NJK Project.] (Only spurious capitalistic dogmatic parameters, as also ascribed to and revered by SDA (Physics|Engineering|Technology) University Departments, have delayed this thus far (Ezek 8:16), and that, for now over 10 years.)
            All of these heavenly gifts (Rev 11:3) and plannings concretized my understanding of what I had perceived that God had been doing in relation to the Church. All this was reflected in my first publicly released message entitled Testimony to the Church, on June 21ff, 2000, just before the start of the GC session that year in Toronto, Canada, (which I later partially attended from July 6-8). (Cf. one [~here & here] of several supportive responses to that message in [D308]).

Days of New Dimensions (Amos 3:6-8 = Isa 54:1-5ff)
            These “days/years” since my departure from Andrews have indeed been the dawning of new dimensions in the fulfilling of God’s expected and intended exhaustively comprehensive Gospel Commission. I have deliberately named this post, “My First Vision” because it was indeed the first of now 253+ (thus: “and counting”) such “revelations”, with, initially, the vast majority, (now 75+ to be precise), accompanied by the same physical “manifestations” (except, since the first, the felt need to gasp for air once they were finished). I have privately documented the content of each of these visions and in due time, whenever that fully becomes, may also publicly release them. They personally continue to astonish me with the beautiful, intricate symbolic complexity contained in them. In the meantime, all have to ‘play their fulfilling parts.’
            Some may knee-jerkedly, dismissively balk that God would “publicly” give such revelations/message for the entire Church, however, there is currently enough Biblical and SOP light to not need any of these messages, so they are indeed currently solely personally/privately beneficial for confirmatory and guiding reasons, especially due to persisting, base opposition. Also as seen with the prophecies of Ezekiel, although God may promise, and that through concrete planning revelations, a glorious, temporally triumphant future for His people, if their heart is not right, nor in harmony with Biblical truths, principles and light, even if these revelations are publicly revealed, they will still not be able to produce what God has intended; with God’s Israel, typologically enough, ‘opting for a temple devised and built by the providence of the quasi-religious state (the Herodian Temple) and his various alterations and additions, rather than fully according to God’s plans, all in due spiritual preparation for an antitypical Advent of Christ. Even the Solomon Temple, (which God apparently did not even want to (yet) have built then (2 Sam 6:4-7ff), and the selection of Solomon (vss. 12, 13), as with the establishing of a Monarchy, may not have been, time & circumstances-wise, ideal, as the people were not Spiritually ready for this “Triumphant” development, not having yet even “mastered” the “opened” lesson of the (inner) Sanctuary and would likely only make an idol of this grandiose Temple), unlike with Ezekiel’s one, was not done according to express specifications and plans of God.
            Added to the visions/dreams during these times, there have also been well over 300 Signs, in various degrees, similar to the God-led, constrained and actualized impressions as the 3 related above in this post. Most of them also have been textually documented. And just to compliment this undeniable divine leading, my mother, who since I can recall, has many times had dreams, mainly in regards to warnings and the direction that should be taken in family affairs,[60] has had a handful of most significant dreams in regards to the various works that I was engaged in. A couple of other key dreams and signs were also had by my father, including a most interesting tie in to my experience, from the dream he had, partially related at the start of this post, before I was born. All this to personally affirm that I have seen God’s encouraging hand in all of these major new, yet simply mission-advancing, developments.
            I personally do not make the content of my dreams the determiner of truth and course to follow. Most of these visions/dreams have initially solely served to give confirmation, though early on, for independently biblical decision that was made, however certain revelations have contained symbolic elements which have only been understood once a future, intermediary Biblical path had also, independently been followed. With the pattern of then two fulfilled symbolic aspects, the third and final understanding of these and other symbols can then more readily be understood and followed. However, in all of this the Bible, especially through more in depth research and exegetical studies has always been the initial indicator of the expected paths to engage upon.
            All of this has shown me that ‘where God guides, He abundantly, comprehensively provides for’ (i.e., Biblically, Spiritually and Temporally) (i.e., Biblically (i.e., e.g., Matt 11:7-11), Spiritually (i.e., e.g., Gen 28:10-22; 32:24-32; 46:2-4; Acts 18:9, 10), and Temporally (i.e., e.g., 1Kgs 17:2-6|7-9ff~Rev 12:13-16)), and how much more when He quite manifestly had fully expected such a “Shaking” development to occur in the Church and had amply “prepared and planned” for it.[61]
            Now with all of this pertinent contextual information said, the content and circumstance of my first vision can be unfolded, and, hopefully, Biblically understood.

My First Vision Commentary - Revealed Yet Signified (Num 12:6-8|Rev 1:1; CC 188.1-8)     
            Ever since I received that first vision/dream, further developments on its subject-matter as well as more in depth Bible studies on various other related topics, have come to help me further understand all that was being packed in this revelation, and there is probably still more to come.
The following is a bullet point-styled listing of these various pointers and details gathered over these now 14+ years.

Biblical Precedence/Parallels
- As I mentioned before, I say that this was my first vision, because there have, up to now, 252+ others, initially, the vast majority (now 75+, and counting) involving the same experience of: suddenly falling back into a dreamlike state when I was actually starting to make conscious move to, not even merely awake, but physically get up out of bed, having already, just awoken. I then suddenly have found myself unable to actually, physically move, as signaled from my brain. Clearly my muscles were made to no longer respond, thus resulting in me actually having no physical strength at all in me. (As also stated, above, the gasp for air following the vision, occurred/or was felt, only after the first one.). A now normative amount of them  have started first simply dreams, however just when they are about to end, they suddenly change to the visions-types, and which are always timed to coincide with substantive thematic change in the revelation that is now dealing with not yet occurred/future events and planned developments. (Which are summarily reflected in the "+" appended at the end of the “visions” counts above).
            The prophet Daniel, as well as EGW related having had such a ‘no more strength’ as (well as no breath) experiences, also suddenly falling into a “deep sleep) and, interestingly enough, in Daniel’s case (Dan 10:8-9, 16-17) this occurred solely in the third of his three prophecies of Dan 10-12.

Specific Types of Revelation
-Succinctly said here, (i.e., instead of relating all of the background exegetical details -(though see some more details here)), I have also referred to these occurrences as visions/dreams as, since, initially, the vast majority occurred while I had just regain full consciousness from sleep, indeed just about to get up from bed, they qualify as “visions” (Heb. Hazon Strong’s #2377 - a fully awake revelation), however as I was made to return to the sleep and/or a (different), more conscious dreaming state, than what I had just awaken from, this sudden return to a dream state in both physicalness and mentality, indeed qualify it as a “dream” (Heb. Halom/Halam #2472/#2492b). In studying Joel 2:28 more closely, I have since come to understand that this (here forced) type of revelation is more in line with what is called a “vision of the night” (Heb. Hizayon #2384 (cf. close relation, yet distinction between the two in 3SM 427.4; Bible: #2472 & #2377 in Isa 29:7b) = “young men’s” type of revelation [for future/advancing (eschatological) plans] vs. “old men’s” [for current testing for historical (i.e., EGW) plan] - cf. e.g., 2 Sam 7:17; cf. Job 4:13; 33:15). As stated some of these revelations, with the same striking and recognizable symbolic matter were experienced merely as dreams. However, I will henceforth refer to both types as vision(s). (Cf. Daniel’s ‘vision (=“hazon”) of the night’ in Dan 7:1, 2a, 7, 13)).

The Semi-Strict Command Validated (cf. 3SM 69.2b)
-As stated, the instruction in the vision: “not to [then] try to make others understand what was happening to me” all in the context of my observed understanding that elements in the lead up to the Shaking Vision in Ezek 8 (& 9) were being fulfilled, was made in a semi-strictly way. This understanding was grasped from the fact that when it was being said in the vision: “Do not tell and/or try to explain to anyone...” (and see PP 126.1ff) I immediately, and rather quite vehemently, reacted to what I clearly saw was going to be fully said here, and that command actually suddenly trailed off to an almost unspoken word for the rest of that statement, yet I could still fully understand what was being said. And moreover, unlike e.g., Acts 10:13-15, nor insisting retort came... at all... nothing in the immediate but unfollowed-up silence at the end of that then trailing off command uttering. So I then deduced that this was not such a strict command after all as I had quite literally “attenuated” it with my objecting/opposed reaction. And this all clearly indicated to me that I had the discretion to do so if I wanted to, but, preferably, later. When I “came out of” from that vision, I then assumed that this was a limitation only on those in “the opposition”. I then thought that it was not meant for my immediate family members, despite the fact that the vision had started with me trying to explain the start of these experienced Ezek 8 developments to my sister. So just later that day, when my sister actually called me, I “took the opportunity” to try to explain these Ezek 8 developments to her, yet not mentioning the vision. However as she was just not seeing things this way, this only resulted in a more-heat-than-light discussion. And I then just gave up, still not having shared the vision. Starting then, and much more over time I have seen the wisdom in this caution, as the elements in this Shaking prophecy had to first fully ripen before they could objectively be understood, and that without even the mention of this vision. As for me, that confirmation of my deeply perceived Ezek 8 understanding had settled the course for my ongoing independence actions and efforts.[62]

            And then, in regards to this semi-strict command, in spiritual retrospect, it manifestly also was a form of God’s principle revealed in Exod 32:10, in such instances of looming, deserved utter judgement, of veiledly-granted opportunity for obtainable mercy (Exod 32:33). (See a discussion on this Theological theme, including SOP comments on it, starting here). Yet, on the, actually original, “flip side”, given, in Moses’ episode, the only “harm” that would have occurred was, from what Moses pointed out, merely ‘the surrounding nations misconstruing God’ (Exod 32:12), and, with Moses being an offspring of Abraham, the covenant promise made to “Abraham, Isaac and Israel” would not have really been affected (Exod 32:13), and furthermore, given that that generation of Israelites went on to persist in their rebelliousness, and the generation of surrounding pagan nations were thus never granted a clear opportunity to ‘best understand God’ as it readily would have been the case through a most faithful and obedient Israel then, it seems that the original intended judgement action of God, however instantaneously destructive it would have been, was, all things considered, indeed the very best action that could/should have been taken then. (PP 318.1) Similarly, in regards to my semi-strict judgement, in God’s incredible, “costly” mercy, remaining completely silent about these judgement action that God had stated that He was going to do here (cf. Isa 22:14) was indeed, i.e., as He more widely saw, the very best action that should have been done as it would provide the best opportunity for those who would have remained in their (relative) “darkness” here to personally, eternally be saved, i.e., despite the fact that their long-wayward Church was going to end up hitting God’s erected brick wall, as this silence would afford them the opportunity over that time for them to gradually, individually die in passable complete ignorance (=1 Tim 1:12-13; cf. Act 3:17; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60) but now they ‘no longer have any excuse’ for they, though, tellingly enough, being still curtailingly dismissive of it, fully know what God actually fully expects of them (John 9:41; 15:22, 24).... Oh well (Matt 23:29-36).... I guess, like Moses should have (PP 318.2), I should have also bit the Divinely-dangling bait, and also here acted vindictively for past slightings, and also “zealously selfishly/individualistically”, only thinking/worrying about myself and, sanctimoniously, whatever I lonesomely (just like a new, lone progenitor Moses) would come to be able to do...Indeed just like the Church patently and pervasively/entrenchedly, systematically does (=Ezek 8:5-6).

-In studying the nature of the content of prophecies in the Bible and SOP, it becomes clear that the quicker God wants something to be understood and realized, both mentally and tangibly, the more straightforward it is expressed. Plain impressions given to various people to immediately set out to do something are an example of this, (E.g., Danny Shelton’s 3ABN Dream when he was seriously pondering why SDA’s are not also so prominently on TV.), particularly when that thing is relatively revolutionary, rather than readily obtainable from already understood Scriptures. However the more in the future and remote something is to be understood and done, the more concealed is its “revelation.” (See e.g., Dan 8:26). This prophetic feature also can occur conjunctively and or conflatedly in a single vision where the immediate (i.e., “here and now” and more literal) parts are more plainly stated or explained right in the prophecy, while future references are more concealed, ending with the most complex ones of all being the “eschatological elements”, i.e., elements referring to “last things.” In the “conflated” manner, a symbol may be readily understood as something for an immediate “here and now” application, while it then can also symbolically be relating to future/remote things that will be understood then after certain elucidating events have transpired and/or Biblical study/knowledge is deepened. The demonstration of this is clear the prophecies of e.g., Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Revelation, as well as the SOP. (Dan 12:4 indicates that this would be done experientially, with/when some would be ‘seeking to advance’, which verifiably is, historically, always the case.)
            This was fully the case in this vision. The things that God wanted me to understand for immediate implication were either plainly stated and/or, when symbolic, also had a “face value” understanding that dealt with the ‘here and now’. However, they simultaneous had further levels of  understandings that were only discovered with further advancing experiences and Bible Study. (Interestingly enough, I have observed the same multi-levels of applicable understandings in dreams/visions of other people which I have thus seen were indeed from God, namely Ernie Knoll and recently published, James Tierney, (see my comments on a couple of his dreams and other related issues in here). (I am still evaluating (i.e., 1 Thess 5:19-22) the ministry/messages of Ron W. Beaulieu.) [See this dedicated post for, spiritually, detailedly and analytically, much more these three SDA prophetic claims, as well as others] As I studiedly see it, the first (“here and now”) level of understanding of these visions was to have an immediate application to either the revelation’s receiver or the intended audience of it, however, and that for mainly reasons of various persisted waywardness, their subsequent “Historical” application has since begun to be applied.) The following explanations of various elements, also delineating when I came to grasp their fuller significance and also what I understood of them at the time, indeed involved these Biblical prophetic principle for understandings. An explanation of the elements in the prophecy is also made.

‘Here and Now’ Applications (June 1999)
-Fog like smoke on ground caused to look like a cloud = door was located in the heavens (Rev 4:1)

-The opened door = Rev 4:1 = ‘God was going to show me a different view of what is to take place in the future.’

-This partly (1/4) opened door = only a partial revelation at that time. I.e., not all details were
being given.

-Incense like smoke = prayers of saint(s) (cf. Rev 5:8; 8:3-4). It also represents the effectuation of God’s Judgement as a probationary period comes to an end. And that incense, which is initiatingly formed by the prayers of the saints (=Rev 6:9-11), is added to God’s censer and it is from that Sanctuary implement that this smoke then fills in God Sanctuary when that probationary period for the Judgement Day of Atonement ends (see e.g.: EW 32.3; 252.1| Lev 16:12-13; Isa 6:4; Rev 15:8; cf. EW 274.1).
            With the Temple smoke filling being actually prophetically shown to be done by/when the censer has been ‘thrown down to the sanctuary floor’ (LDE 229.1-3), and that “suddenly” (LDE 229.4-230.4). So that fog machine on the floor in is depictingly, pointedly representative of this ‘thrown down censer’. While this action/development was first shown to have formed a cloud which contributed to the Rev 4:1 imagery in this vision which develops into the 7 Seals sequence, it later, in Rev 8:5ff, opens up the sequence of the Eschatological 7 Trumpets, picking up things where the 7 Seals had left off (Rev 8:1) (= “Near-Future Application” below); and then ultimately opens then Eschatological 7 Plagues (=Rev 15:8ff) (= “Final, More Remote Future Application” below).
            And with the smoke filling not filling up the entire volume of the room as it was clinging to the floor, indeed actually rising up to ca. 15% of the height, thus volume, of the room, this is evidently depictively representative of the typological vs. ultimate fulfillment of this end of probation here. I.e., the full end will not then be, but merely a partial end, from which ‘God’s great work can later still (relatively/partially so, undisturbedly) go forward’. (15MR 292.3-4)

-“Mighty Angel” = I understood to only possibly being the Angel Gabriel...

-Angel’s careful face hiding = not significant to ascertain identity, though I already had a pretty good idea that it was Gabriel.

-Non-distinctness nor definiteness in origination of voice = deliberate ambiguousness (later understood to be possible with the angel because of God’s “invested authority” = Rev 18:1ff.

-“This thing is from me” = Similar instruction as to Rehoboam not to go, and affront rebelling brothers/countrymen, as I was, along the same lines, planning.

-“Do not tell/try to explain what is happening to me” - As the “what” that was being referred to here was in relation to my understanding of the sins leading up to God’s sealing prophecied in Ezek. 8, it is significant to note that the message here implicitly upheld this perceived experience as such. Indeed that is why the vision first started with that odd, seemingly non-sequitur Ezek, 8 episode. This was indeed a then transpiring understanding that I confirmedly understood later, as things continued to unravel. (See this blog post on Ezek. 8).

-(Another ‘here and now’ understanding was then immediately understood, however it is not specifically mentioned here).

Near-Future (= “Historical Development”) Applications (1999-2010)
“This thing is from me” statement (1 Kgs 12:24) = Reading and studying the greater episode context of this statement (1Kgs 11:34-12:33), which, when it was said, was through quoting the NKJV, (which had then been my devotional reading Bible version vs. the NASB for study and research),[63] particularly as I was about to prepare my Dan 11 study for posting on this blog in November of 2009, revealed the much deeper implication as seen here:

-The NASB has more rightly translated this statement, however it is also even more accurately rendered as:

“This judicial|legal|authoritative matter (Heb. dabar) has, of Me, been allowed to be done.”

            In that Bible episode, God had injunctively, justly vowed to punish the waywardness of Solomon who had let his wisdom and riches corrupt his ways, forsaking his humble reliance upon God, however God chose to maintain a house and kingdom for the sake of faithful king David. So when Rehoboam refused to make the required ‘service and “leadership” yoke’ lighter as desired and requested by the elder leaders, they turned to Jeroboam who promised to grant their wish, drawing 11 tribes with him. (Rehoboam’s cause would have been wholly justified had Solomon not indeed exceeded/abused his monarchial authority which needed reforms (see PK 88-91)). So it is in this way that this “official/judicial matter” causing this splitting up, and for that specific, base reason, was indeed “from God”. It both accomplished His necessity to punish unfaithful Israel who had chosen to follow in the false ways of King Solomon, all the while preserving a Davidic Remnant. Here began the Northern and Southern Kingdom split, and in here I have come to understand was a God-known, injunctive, Biblical basis for the ‘Israel Civil War North vs. South’ view on the Dan 11 prophecy, and that for an eschatological context.[64] As discussed in the blog post on this prophecy, God’s ultimate aim is to fully restore the 11 lost tribes of Israel, however he works from a, even sole-person, remnant originating from the previously faithful Southern kingdom to do so in the North.

Partly opened door in Heaven (Rev 4:1a) = The beginning of the unfolding of the eschatological interpretation of the prophecies in Revelation, as well as other Bible Prophecies, mainly in the postponed/not-yet-fulfilled prophecies concerning OT Israel. This, in a Historical sequence, was to occur after/beyond the Laodicean Church Age ((Rev 3:21-22ff); = ca. 1851-1999+) cf. Letter #2, 1851  in 18MR 252.1|7BC 966.5 where their Laodicean state has already been realized and denounced. {Cf. James White’s 1850 non-behavorial understanding and application (i.e. revolving around ‘a lingering, “lukewarm” belief since 1844 about the (only) past fulfillment of the 2300 days’) in November 1850 JWe, ARSH 8.11-14}. (See the later (2014) corroborating understanding on this Rev 4:1ff allusion here.).

Involved “voice like of a trumpet” (Rev 4:1b) - Throughout the Bible, the sound of a trumpet is associated with either judgement and/or military advance/conquest. As these aspects will be present when Christ returns to ‘execute judgement’ and ‘bring the decisive blow to the Great Controversy War’ it is indeed closely associated with the Second Coming (Matt 24:31; 1 Thess 4:16; 1 Cor 15:52). So in this allusion to Rev 4:1 in this dream, these concepts of judgement, military advance and also typological aspects of the Second Coming are both executed and to be revealed (i.e., “Come up... I will show you..”).

“Opened door” Theme = Church of Philadelphia (“love of the brethren”), the “Faithful Church” (Rev 3:7-13 = Isa 22:22). It is all based on the OT “Valley of the Vision of the Night” -Strongs’ #02384 (Isa 22:1, 5, 14 NIV; cf. Num 14:28-33|15MR 292.2-4) episode [with such injunctive communications through visions being the last warning, (cf. Amos 8:11-12; Pro 29:18: Ezek 7:26; Lam 2:9; 2 Chr 20:20), and thus precursor, of the “Day of the Lords” “Valley of Decision” (Joel 3:12-17 = Rev 14:14-16 || 17-20)] of a thorough replacement of the ‘prior/old, self-seeking and incompetent leaders/(royal) guard’ in Jerusalem and Judah (Isa 22:15ff; 22-23). It thus spiritually, prophetically involves elements such as: the key of David, keeping of God’s word and name (character); fight against synagogue of Satan (today: also SDAs); kept word of perseverance; avoidance of coming global hour of testing; designated crown; becoming a temple pillar; promise of name (character) of God, Heavenly New Jerusalem (= Church Triumphant), and new personal name (= the following of a new/God-recognized character. - See a more detailed exposition of this Sixth Church Message in this post).


Final, More Remote Future (= “Eschatological Resolution”) (2010+)
-Smoke clinging to the ground (vs. normatively rising to ceiling) = only achievable with a fog machine when dry ice is placed in hot water producing a dense fog that clings to the floor.
            -Hot water = the antidote for/antithesis of, Laodicea (Rev 3:15, 19) = Zealously Faithful People of God.
            -Dry ice = [this details involved in this understanding are proprietary at the moment] but it alludes to a key component in the above mentioned, personally patented concept.

            Only the mixture of these two elements here would produce this type of smoke/incense/cloud result (i.e., [Result of a consuming/purifying] Fire/[Offering/Answering of] Prayer of Saints/[Effectuation of always promised] New Things).


-Not Revealed Face - With that vision having indeed been theologically and substantively similar to the ‘let them ruin themselves’ commission given to Isaiah in Isa 6 (cf. Matt 13:10-17; cf. Rev 22:11-12), it is knee-jerkedly easy to assume that the deliberate non-revealing of the Face of that present Individual, and thus the non-concrete disclosure of His Identity would have to be along the commonly understood lines of ‘not being able to see God and live’. However as I was made to unequivocally perceive and understand that this was in fact an Angel, and at that, a Good Angel, moreoverly, the Mighty Angel Gabriel Himself, the truth here was indeed as it was being clearly conveyed. So as this was not God Himself, as it was in Isaiah’s vision (Isa 6:5), but, manifestly, “at least”, (see Exod 33:20, 22-23; John 6:46), in ‘glorious representation’ (=here: “smoke” (Isa 6:4) as this indeed was an ‘intercessions-ceasing, destructive judgements manifestation of God’ =Rev 15:8), yet as humans can see an angel face-to-face and live, even the “Angel of the Lord” (= Michael|Jesus, -who also was, since being “Begotten” back in Heaven, and again now is, in this Mighty Angel form, and also again, the Archangel (the “Chief of the Angels”)), then it really is to be, as I have done, asked and pondered, what was the significance in this: ‘Mighty Angel Gabriel’ being most careful not to show His face??
            Succinctly said, as with the above-discussed, three fulfilment levels involved in that vision, there are also three corresponding, intertwined answers here, and they are all tied with the advanced symbolism of “the face” which is: ‘to fully recognize and perceive something’.

#1 - That first answer is the notion of Faith. I.e., what I was going to draw from that revelation would have to be purely according to my faith. And so just enough was here revealed/given, that I could, from the start, readily draw strength and encouragement from, in order to carry on, as related above. (Heb 11:1-2ff).

#2 - For the same reason why God does not reveal his face to anyone, (and when He did to some degree, it was through the veiled incarnated form of His Son), which is so that no one then would come to fully know the things of God then. For, as relatively seen in the History of Israel, any disobedience in the light of those then “recognized” more concrete understandings could only merit swift, and even utter, judgement.[65]

#3 - After having studied the Biblical material for this blog post, I have come to (actually, confirmingly) Biblically see and understand that the third intertwined, and “eschatologically” ultimate reason for this ‘deliberate face non-disclosure’ here was, summarily stated: because I would immediately recognize that face!! And since, as seen in many instances in the Bible and SOP, an angel’s face can be seen while it is communicating a heavenly vision/dream to a human, (and conversely, if this had been an evil angel, it would surely have sought to seal its deception here through an “angel of light” counterfeit, and thus “prove” that it was an angel from heaven, and, “logically”, certainly not leave such an opportunity to doubt the origin and reject this message), then this third reason evidently was indeed the overarching and main reason for this deliberate full/exact identity hiding here!! And ironically/Interestingly enough, knowingly myself, not having the supporting Bible and SOP corroboration that I currently have on this topic, that recognition then would have actually led me to entirely disbelieve and dismiss that vision!


Ezek 8&9 = Rev 4&5 = Isa 6 = 1 Kgs 12 = Dan 10-12 Backgrounds & Motifs
            As seen throughout the account and comments&explanations given above on that first vision of mine, several key and “loaded”, thematically related episodes in the Bible were alluded to in that vision.

-Ezek 8&9 - As stated the whole vision started with me dealing with Ezek 8. So it is naturally understood that what would follow next in the vision would at the very least sequiturly be related to that judgement-precursor revelation, and/or be a reflection of the execution of the SDA Shaking (EW 269-273) Judgement prophecy in Ezek 9 and all that this prophetically implies.

-Rev 4&5 - Then, as stated, the clear and, most evident to me, -inspired/direct, impression that I got when I was seeing my room filling up with ground-clingly smoke and the partly opened door was the ‘opened door in Heaven’ theme in Rev 4:1ff. So the theme here of “what will take place next” in God’s plans is involved here, all starting with, as later Biblically discovered and understood, the (typological) “Little Lamb” enthronement next in Rev 5, which allows for the post-7/7th Church(es) history to develop and resolves that crisis.

-1 Kgs 12 - Then the explicitly clear linking to the statement in 1Kgs 12:24 was a linking to the, Israel-punishing and Kingdom-dividing pivotal judgement theme related in 1 Kgs 12. This is a judgement fallout condition which would last until God would, as discussed here, later sovereignly (as it desperately was necessary) intervene to try to begin to “heal”.

-Isa 6 - The depictions in the vision of a place/temple filling up with floor-level (=Rev 8:5) emanating smoke (=Isa 6:4) which is related to the closing of a probation; and involves the “glory (=Character-outshining) of God” (Rev 15:8); and by forming a ‘censer-emanating, prayers-aiding and fragrancing’ (=Rev 8:3-4) cloud, confirms that this is all depicted that this all actually takes place in a Most Holy Place/Throne Room of/for God (see EW 252.1).
            The semi-strict command stating/meaning ‘do not try to explain...’ came to be later
substantiatedly understood, after the later here-discovered exegetical and thematic “tenth” linkage in Rev 11:13|Isa 6:13, as this implicating God’s (ensuing) commission to Isaiah in Isa 6:8-13 (which Jesus also made foundational usage of (=Matt 13:10-17; cf. John 12:36-41) when Himself judging, “sifting” (Luke 3:16-17) and starting a new Remnant (Matt 16:18) starting with God’s Remnant of Israel then Judah. This is all related to the establishing of the Church Triumphant theme (=Rev 3:7-8ff|Isa 22:22-24 = Matt 16:19-21), which is the Church age which was to actually immediately follow the Philadelphian Church Triumphant Age instead of the aberration of the present Laodicean one.


-Dan 10-12 - And most interestingly enough, snippets from all of these the depictions and Biblical motifs from that first vision of mine, are included in the Revelation in Dan 10-12, (which in turn is linked to the pivotal episodes in both Ezek 10 & Rev 10). Namely it was likewise involved in that vision:

-a Mighty Angel appearance in the context of judgement (=Ezek 9's “man in linen’ as discussed here)
-The King North vs. South separation in Israel of 1 Kgs 12 now shown in Dan 11 to be for an Eschatological Civil War.
-Interestingly enough, there were no “lips-touching = sin-cleansing and/or strengthening” in that vision as done in Isa 6:7-8 & Dan 10:15-19.


            In this April 2013 sermon [10:56-14:36-19:23ff], Mark Finley goes into correct detailing of how Isa 6 does serve as the prophetic background for the vision in Rev 4. (Evangelical preacher John MacArthur of the Grace to You ministry also sees the same relationship as stated in his (NASB) Study Bible notes on Isa 6:1.) However Finley did the typical SDA thing here and stopped seeing the linked similarities between Isa 6 and Rev 4 at Isa 6:8. SDA’s indeed just eisegetically ignore what Isaiah commission actually was as stated in Isa 6:9-13, but that chapter cannot be rightly understood if its entire context is not taken into consideration for the depictions in Isa 6:1-7 are that of God’s wrathful Judgements on His People, and here the calling of someone to prophetically “represent” the Godhead for effectuating that Judgement. Indeed, as stated before, Isaiah had this Isa 6 experience before the prophecies he priorly had related in Isa 1-5. And just reading those prophecies, it is immediately quite clear that God was steaming mad against Israel. (I.e.: Isa 1; 2; 3; 5) and was now working towards establishing His replacing Remnant (Isa 4).

            And that is indeed all the pointed themes in Rev 4-5 as fully discussed in, indeed relatedly/pertinently enough, the preluding blog post to this one!


Epilogue
            “Naturally” (=1 Cor 2:14-16), there has been a general, mindlessly indifferent, reaction in the Church to this above vision (=“Testimony of Jesus” Rev 19:10), which is unequivocally now revealing that, just as God was deliberately and justly working in the days of 1 Kgs 12 to split up Israel for their sins during Solomon’s reign, and with the righteous Remnant being only the tribe of Judah and part of Benjamin, thus at most only ca. 8.3-12.5% of Israel, He now has been acting, indeed since before this June 1999 explicit indication, to bring about the long warned of Sealing event, then Shaking separation in the SDA Church (EW 269-271).[66] Of course, the “natural”, shallow, rationale in the Church has been, indeed as with every rebellious generation in God’s Israel, that: ‘since they are now “so close” to the goal, to the point where they can, through claims of prophetic fulfillments, practically see the Promise Land’ (= Ancient Israel on the borders of Canaan), and indeed ‘are prophetically sure that the promised end is soon to take place’ (=First Century Jews and the 70 Weeks prophecy), then, indifferently enough, there is no way that God would now be acting to enter into judgement, and even reject, the vast majority of them, nor be delaying/postponing, and especially not halting, and that for any reason, the Second Coming. As repeatedly cited throughout this blog, such, (actually defiantly insolent), arguments are easily defeated by many statements and examples to the sort throughout Biblical and Church History, right through the era of the Early SDA Church, all showing that God is indeed Sovereign and All Mighty, and therefore will do whatever He sees/deems as being Right and Just (cf. Psa 89:14; 97:2) given the actual, in-the-Church/Field, circumstances at hand then. 
            And added to this pervasive and prevalent unSpiritual rationalizing is the tacit claim that: ‘if/since God is still answering, even miraculously (i.e., through divine intervention), at least some of their prayed requests, then they must be on the right side, and still squarely within God’s will.’ However, as Jesus implied in the parable of ‘the woman and the judge’ in Luke 18:1-8, a Just God will always, somehow, answer the prayer of/from genuine faith. And the two key/operative words here are indeed “just” and “faith”. Since (genuine) faith is an expression of the actual/pure truth, God in His Justice will respond, in some favorable way to such a request, according to His greater will, which indeed may not at all be for the express purpose that the praying person limitedly had in mind. And as seen in the story of Jonah and the Ninevites, as well as many other examples in the Bible, such (genuine) faith is favorably, even overturningly, responded to when there comes to no longer be a state of sustained known sin in the requestor’s life (Jonah 3:5-10; 4:11); for ‘whatever is from (genuine) faith is not sin’ (Rom 14:23). Yet God also has the pointed intention, to be done in actually a/the most fair/opportune time, to reveal all unknown sins to each and everyone, both believer and unbeliever, and then, after such a clear confrontational revelation and warning, if these sins are still being sustained, then God, also Justly, will no longer answer that requestor’s, now ‘abominable prayers’. (Psa 28:9; 66:18; 109:7; Isa 1:15).
            And then there always is ‘God’s last resort way to ensure the destruction of a people who refuse to be corrected’ and that is His sleep-inducing, smooth and facilitating ways (Isa 42:15-18; Ezek 14:1-5; cf. Isa 6:9-12|Matt 13:10-17). Indeed, as Ezek 14:1-5 stipulates, for a Church that has resolutely preferred to make money their god, i.e., who determines what is right or wrong to do and what (economically profitable) actions the Church should take, then God will indeed allow them to believe that He is behind such a (base) mentality until the futility of that long and amply warned against course is eventually most painfully and most destructively seen. So do keep ‘trusting in your gold’!!
            So the actual key to surviving the already transpiring Shaking is not to, as commonly being done in the SDA Church, to merely chose to measure oneself, and the Church, by a past, thereto understood, standard, but according to God’s ever advancing standard of Righteousness and Justice. (2SAT 209.4; RH, June 20, 1882 par. 3-5; 8T 247.2). These traits benchmark are ‘the foundation of God’s Throne’ and are spearheaded through ‘Lovingkindness and Truth’ (Psa 89:14). And so, conversely speaking, if one’s “lovingkindness” and “truth” (two things which are zealously (but glibly) emphasized in the SDA Church) do not lead to this next, higher tangible Divine standard of ‘Right and Just actions’, then it is indeed Divinely deficient and thus entirely unacceptable, for one’s works then completely contradict such professions of faith. (=James 2:14-17; Matt 25:41-46; RH, September 6, 1881 par. 3-8ff).


            Along these lines of the customary/knee-jerk “natural/reactionary” response vs. a Biblically judicious one in regards to claims of Divine visions and dreams, some, as manifestly many have, would try to dismiss the entire vision above because the felt presence of a Mighty Angel in it was not facially, visually confirmed. Cf. e.g., here citing the following EGW statement in Ev 610.2:
           
“There will be those who will claim to have visions. When God gives you clear evidence that the vision is from Him, you may accept it, but do not accept it on any other evidence; for people are going to be led more and more astray in foreign countries and in America. The Lord wants His people to act like men and women of sense.”

            As related above in my vision, I too initially began to have doubts about the divine origin of that vision when that quite tangibly felt Mighty Angel presence would not reveal himself, however it was really the whole Biblical context and message of that revelation which convinced me otherwise. And for the reasons already discussed above, I now fully understand why that visual, facial confirmation was, on a couple of (human and spiritual) levels, never done. Indeed it is really not a visual/facial manifestation (as if anyone actually knows what either God, Jesus or any heavenly angel actually looks like) which confirms that a dream is from God. In fact, Satan can transform himself into an Angel of Light (2 Cor 11:14) as he indeed did when trying to deceive Jesus in the wilderness (DA 118.3). If that were the “surfacely shallow” case then we should all be Muslims and/or Mormons since, respectively, Muhammed ‘saw and received instruction from the Angel Gabriel’ and Joseph Smith saw and spoke with an angel named Moroni (and who is to say that this cannot be the name of a heavenly angel). [Or, at the very least, SDA’s should be widely accepting Ernie Knoll as a prophet since he, like EGW is being guided by an angel in his dreams, who prominently goes by the title of the “Herald”.] Only the Biblical test of Isa 8:20 begins to set one on the right track. And as the message given to Muhammed involved disregarding the Law of God (i.e., in regards to the 7th Day Sabbath) as well as denying Jesus Christ (contra 1 John 2:22-23; 4:1-3; 2 John 1:7, 9) whom the Bible had already amply proven to be the Messiah of God (e.g., Dan 9:24-27; Isa 53), as did also Joseph Smith’s message, on top of variously drawing away from Christ’s Heavenly ministry atonement, then that is really the above-EGW-cited ‘clear (i.e., Biblical) sensical evidence’ that confirms the origin of a message. All “prophetic” messages are to be thoroughly tested to ascertain its Biblical authenticity. (1 Thess 5:19-22).


Particular Nature of Prophetic Calling
            Some may object to my claim of a “prophetic calling” from this first vision* that a passage like Num 12:6a, which indeed supplies one of the tests of a prophet, stipulates that God would, “in a vision”, clearly and/or visually identify/reveal Himself to someone who He was calling to the prophetic office. Such confirmation is indeed seen at some point during the (initial) prophetic calling experiences which are related in the Bible (e.g., for Isaiah (Isa 6:1ff -that is if, as most claim, the prophecies in Isa 1-5 were given after the calling that is related in ch. 6); Jeremiah (Jer 1:9ff)), however for many other experiences, all that is related in the Bible is, (assuming that this was indeed the initial calling of these prophets (see e.g, Hos 1:2) is merely an audible “calling” saying that: “the word of the Lord came to...” (E.g., Joel 1:1; Amos 1:2; Obadiah 1:1; Jonah 1:1; Micah 1:1; and a case can even be made for Ezekiel who, “at best/clearest”, actually only saw ‘a man’ and “the semblance of, and the glory of, God’ (Ezek 1:26-2:2ff); [cf. Dan 10:5-9]).

* And it must actually be specified that, as related earlier in this blog I had priorly received to other ‘distinct ministry stage’, (and really: confirming-of-already-engaged-in-actions) callings: -see sections: “You’re the Voice” and How About These Others??), and this later distinct “prophetic calling” was, as related in the storyline above, also confirming of what I had been observing about the SDA Church from my cursory studies into Ezek 8 (cf. here)).

            The calling of the prophet Samuel (1 Sam 3) is a pertinently most interesting one here (i.e., in overall comparison to my own experience) as the Bible does not actually ever say that Samuel saw God speaking to him. He merely heard to voice of God. The closest statement to a visual sighting by Samuel is in 1 Sam 3:10 as it says “the Lord came and stood”. But it does not actually say that Samuel then saw the Lord standing there. He merely continued to hear God audibly calling and then talking with him. Indeed as this calling experience is summarily concluded in 1 Sam 3:21 this “re-appearance of God” after a long drought (1 Sam 3:1) was merely done in what was audibly said to Samuel then.
            Along these lines of non visual indication of God or an angel in an (even a calling) prophetic vision, while EGW does relate many times that her visions/dreams involved a visually seen guiding angel, (which she told her son helped her to differentiate prophetic dreams from common ones (SOP)), it evidently was not, as seen from simply reading through her published revelations, every single vision or dream which involved such clear indication. One such non-confirmed revelation experience is the one she had on (Fri.) March 19, 1896 (thus 51 years into her ministry), and relates in 11MR 326.3-327.4, where she merely perceived that “the whole room seemed to be filled with the atmosphere of heaven”, and “a holy, sacred presence seemed to be in my room”. She “saw no person” and “heard no audible voice”, but felt that “a heavenly Watcher seemed close beside me” and felt that she “was in the presence of Jesus” (11MR 326.3). Plus ‘The matter she had been writing upon [i.e. ‘exposition on John 15’] seemed to be lost to her mind and another matter distinctly opened before her’. The revelation went on to intimatingly stipulate to her through ‘A line of action that was laid out before her as if the unseen presence were speaking with her’ that she mercifully should give her ‘perverse of spirit’ & “deluded”, therefore troublesome, publishing assistant Fannie Bolton another chance and re-hire her.
            Knowing by now in my own Spiritual experience in interpreting and understanding God’s prophetic communications and experiences that He does not say nor do things out of insignificance, I jointly find the Samuel calling experience and this revelation to EGW to be allusively, confirmingly indicative of the nature of my own prophetic calling. From Samuel’s calling, with it not actually involving a visual sighting by Samuel, though God was actually “standing” right there, I confirmingly see how that was similarly done in my experience, with only the “word of the Lord” being conveyed. Same thing from that EGW experience, which for her did not actually involve any audible communication, yet she was still able to clearly understand what she must do. I actually suspect that through this Divine silence, God was instead using thoughts and feelings already present in EGW’s mind to formulate that message, also involving, given the fact that Fannie Bolton had been rightly dismissed before by EGW and would prove to only continue to be a detriment to her ministry, that God was allowing EGW to freely make her own decision on this matter, but then immediately reformulating these free decisions as Divine, really Divinely approved/ratified decisions, which can actually be the Divinely-permitted case with Spirit-filled people and/or Church (=Matt 16:19; 18:18-19; John 20:22-23).
            And the main reason which I see that these two prophetic experiences are indicatively allusive to mine are in the substance of these experiences as compared to what my own calling here would come to involve, as by now demonstrated/substantiated/confirmed by transpired history since that June 1999 calling. In/From Samuel’s case, he was told that thorough judgement was about to fall on the priestly house of Eli because he had knowingly ignored the waywardness of his ministering sons. He had failed to order his priestly house and so was going to be replaced, by Samuel. In EGW’s experience, as mentioned above, it involved her having to choose whether to once again deal with the troublesome Fannie Bolton. Really, God manifestly wanted to give Bolton one last chance, and that to put her beneficial literary skills to use in God’s work, aiding EGW, but, as it was related earlier in regards to my own experience here, evidently God was here, as it had occurred with Moses in Exod 32:9ff|PP 318.1-319.2 (see here), seeking to have a genuine intercessor to be able to do this. And, as deduced above, in what EGW evidently freely brought up, and God ratified, God obtained through EGW effective intercessory action that opportunity to be merciful to Fannie Bolton, given her a candid chance to ‘redeem, restore and safeguard’ herself (even from herself) as Satan was also actively working to, otherwise, bring her to complete ruin (11MR 327.2).
            Also ‘allusively interesting’ from Samuel’s situation was that God had actually not given any command to Samuel for him to relate that declared judgement to Eli. (It was actually Eli who manipulatively/psychologically (and really Spiritually vacuously) who constrained the youthful Samuel to tell him what God had said. (1 Sam 3:17-18|PP 582.2). And as stated in the SOP, as similarly naturally/inherently derived from that first vision of mine: “the message of condemnation to the house of Eli was Samuel's commission as a prophet of the Most High” (PP 581.1). As later discovered (see this post), God had long spoken of in the SOP of a sure judgement of the SDA Church, pointedly its leaders, if they, like Eli, chose to ignore the duty failures of its ministers. And, relatedly, ‘allusively’ from the Fannie Bolton revelation which involved given one more genuine opportunity for self-betterment to someone who was squandering their opportunities to be most fruitful, so has it been the case with the SDA leadership. But they have chosen to despise and reject that opportunity, indifferently, “naturally” (=1 Cor 2:6-16)  preferring to press on with their “half-ways” (=2 Cor 3:7-16).


            And so, as now most evidently seen/documented, the SDA Church has long been engaged in an abominable course that variously violates every one of God’s Ten Commandments (see here), and inclusively His two Chief ones (Matt 22:34-40), and all indeed in fulfillment of the Ezek 8 state to which Judah had sunk to (see here) just prior to, also, their Ezek 9 Shaking, then from that Biblical content, it can be objectively seen, at least to the Biblically honest and sincere, that this vision was indeed from God. Again, a defensive and base argument that claims either: the past direct guidance of God to establish the SDA denomination; supposedly irreversibly fulfilling “Signs of the Times” and/or, supposedly, no pointed statements of EGW in regards to such a radical development, are all easily disproven by what the Bible and the SOP actually (fully) relate and teach on this issue (see e.g., this post), and that is that God will always justly act to deal with whatever state His even once chosen and guided People have devolved into, and that at whatever time this would occur. Hence the, here involved, Rev 7:1-3ff development (see this post). So it is only to those who are spiritually in tune with all that God considers as sin, especially abominable ones, who will ever make such ‘evidentiary sense’ out of such revelations, particularly those which injunctively (as it is actually a pointed reason for prophetic revelations) speak against God’s, now (unsuspectingly) apostasied, people. Indeed it is for those same ‘objected to, sins-reproving’ reasons that most of the “Testimonies” given by EGW were “slighted”. (5T 62.1-83.2)


Post Script: January 26, 2013 - While it would surfacely seem defaulty counter-intuitive to some/most, it was actually most enlightening and confirming to me to hear in this Sabbath School presentation [54:21-54:48] of the, here-pertinent, sleep/dream phenomenon of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Intrusion (cf. narcolepsy; -EGW’s experiences were said by doubters/opposers to be out of epileptic seizures -see discussion here) because, seeing now that there are many quite natural elements and processes involved in such dreaming experiences, it to me actually highlights the clear mixed in Spiritual/Supernatural aspects of, and for, these experiences.
            First of all, God has clearly stated in Num 12:6-8 that when He would reveal Himself or something to a prophet, it would be through a vision or a dream. (That is in contrast to Him tangibly appearing to Moses to speak to him in person (Exod 33:7-11; cf. e.g., Exod 20:21; 24:12-18; 31:18), thus, with Moses then not at all being in any dreaming state but fully awake and lucid. But with others, it would be in a dream while they were asleep or through a vision which technically is an induced dream while not asleep. So for a vision, God actually uses the natural processes of REM Intrusion, and so it is not surprising to also see, as attested in especially the early, public prophetic/revelation experiences of Ellen White, the accompanying natural processes also at these times such as muscle atonia (a.k.a. muscular weakness/strengthlessness; =Dan 10:8's “losing all strength”) which causes necessary sleep paralysis in order to prevent someone from acting out their dreams. Now what is determinative here of a supernatural phenomenon is, first, for public demonstrations by God, Him Supernaturally overcoming those natural processes. So in EGW’s case, though she first would experience muscular weakness to the point of crumpling down to the ground (see, e.g., J.N. Loughborough’s eyewitness testimony here) but then being infused with supernatural strength that even others could not overcome. Also, while the muscle paralysis associated with sleep paralysis removes voluntary control of breathing, the person is actually still breathing of course, however in EGW’s case, God caused her breathing to cease all the time that she was in vision. Eventually most of EGW’s 2000+ visions and dreams were non-publicly experienced, and probably not accompanied by those attesting supernatural signs/demonstrations, but what is most pertinent from this past example is that what natural occurs with any person when they have a dream will also naturally occur when God gives, or induces an awake person to have a prophetic dream/vision. So the occurrence of those natural phenomenons is not, as some may dismissively claim, proof that there was nothing prophetic about the experience. As the saying goes, the “proof is in the pudding”, meaning of course that the proof of something prophetically genuine/significant (even if overcoming supernatural physical signs occur), is pointedly in the content of the dream or vision. And the jurisprudence/precedence/“chain” of proof for such cases is in an Isa 8:20 Biblical testing.
            Interestingly enough, this ‘chain of prophetic proof” effectively starts with the person which God spoke face to face with, thus Moses. (And this may have been the purposeful reason why God did speak face to face with Moses.) All other prophetic claims were to then be tested by whether they agreed or not, (or as it came to be the case with Jesus, acceptibly built upon)  with what Moses had written down from those in person meeting with, and revelations from, God. In fact, all of the prior revelations by God to people who lived before Moses, such as with Noah, Job, Abraham, Jacob, etc, are all really known and considered to be Biblically genuine and valid because Moses, who would later be publicly and concretely shown to have been in full communion with God, testified of them by himself writing them (i.e., the books of Genesis and Job). So the chain of proof here started with the in person confirmation give by God to, and through, Moses. As stated before, subsequent prophetic claims would come to be established as genuine if they also passed that comparative testing through what was revealed in the “Law” (fully, the First 5 books of the OT which all have some relation to Moses, though the books of Exodus-Deuteronomy were probably not composed as we have them by Moses himself, though the surely do contain his original words/statements and experiences), and that is how these later prophets came to also be validated and thus authoritative, -they were truly speaking a word from God and thus their testimony was as authoritative and binding as Moses’.
            So to determine whether a dream or “visionary” experience is, or is not, from God, its content has to indeed be thoroughly tested by all of the already established “Law and Prophets”.
            Interestingly enough to me, in my case, first finding out a while ago that there were such natural phenomenons as lucid dreams was quite confirming to me because I had long not been considering every single such lucid experiences as being a proof of a prophetic experience. The determinative factor for me would be whether or not the content of what I had seen in that experience had any Biblical or Spiritual import and/or even content. The ones which did have been reckoned as valid prophetic experiences, and interestingly enough, the most impressive and most significantly “packed/loaded” ones have been those which also involved the similar, most lucidly experienced dream phenomenons, as recounted above in this First Vision.
            It is also significant and telling to me that, just as Jesus had said in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit would speak through things which Jesus had already related to His disciples, bringing them back to His remembrance, all towards His work of ‘guiding into all truth and full righteousness’ (John 15:8-11), as well as revealing new things and/or future developments (John 15:12-13), for, as it is indeed common place with also prophetic experiences, (as it is discussed in this post), I have also experienced God using many things and experiences from my past and my Biblical knowledge and understanding to craft/construct those prophetically meaningful revelations. This is also seen in the book of Revelation. Much of its content comes from other parts of the Bible, especially the Old Testament. And that is not merely to symbolically encrypt its message where only those who are already fully in tune with those preceding elements can be able to decipher and understand this new prophetic revelation, but also to provide a validating attestation for this new revelation, -i.e., that it is Biblically valid, thus passing an Isa 8:20 testing.[67] So the past knowledge and experiences of a person can be used by God to specially craft their vision, (particularly, as for Daniel and Revelation, if He wants something to be known and understood by some, starting with that prophecy-receiving person, but not all/others), and/but the real proof that this is a valid prophetic experience is in the Spirituality of what results from this crafting.[68] For me, as occurring in this First Vision, I have since repeatedly seen in such experiences this mixture of: past personal knowledge/experiences/understandings, along with Biblical themes, and also expressions of either derived or outrightly new things (which later, through testing and/or fulfillment check out to have indeed been Biblically valid). And in regard to particularly the past personal elements that are incorporated therein, the telling and confirming indicator to me that it was God Himself making use of them, is they way in which those elements are most times internally or corporately arrange/rearranged to compose an entirely new experience or meaning. That is indeed done in the symbols of Revelation such as Rev 13:1-2a which draws from the beast symbols of Dan 7. And just as the fulfillment understanding of those prior symbols help to understand how and why they are re-used in Revelation, and what they mean (see this explanation in this post at Rev 17:3), I similar saw that the use by God of those past personal elements in my dream helped me to figure out what this then new arrangement of them here meant. Of course, a direct revelation by God vs. such symbolic ones would have been much better, but if/when God does not actually want something to be either known or understood by those who are not spiritually in tune to Him, He, as Jesus repeatedly learned, has to take special concealing measures to make sure that the message, though ascertainibly revealed, is not “freely” related/known. E.g., Jesus would tell His disciples and others not to tell of things He had said to, or done for (e.g., Matt 8:4; 9:30-31; 12:16; 17:9; 16:20), them; God revealed a (potentially possible) day and hour for the Second Coming (e.g., LDE 273.1; cf. this dream and this one), but these people would forget them upon awakening. To me this is all because of the most contingent conditionality of the prophetic element being related. Its concealed meaning will only be fully revealed if all conditions for its fulfillment are meant. If these are not, then that prophecy would then be able to imperceptibly disappear from the awareness and attention of pointedly those who had caused it to not be fulfilled. This cryptic method also ensures that no false, due to superficiality and shallowness, revival would be caused to occur with people merely repenting only because they had seen and understood these signs, and not out of the necessary faith. So God does all this in this way to ensure that this purposeful and necessary veiling can be sustained.
            So for me, seeing how even my personal past elements come to have, and that complete out of my own control, a new spiritually-significant depiction and meaning in those dreams, is demonstration to me that God is at the source of such a dream experience.

Natural vs. Spiritual Examination
            Now merely for the sake of those who would “moronically” deem this First Vision as having been nothing more than a mere naturalistic, lucid dream with “sleep paralysis” phenomena (which are stated/discussed here), I will here discuss elements in it which would be so summarily dismissed.
           
REM Intrusion - As discussed before, while REM Intrusion, i.e., a phenomena where someone suddenly falls into a dream-like state does naturally occur, it is quite manifest that if God is going to give someone a dream or vision, He too will be making use of these already existent natural processes to induce the necessary dreaming/visionary state. So the occurrence of this in that First Vision does not “explain away” the spiritual source/validity of this experience.

Sleep Paralysis - As also discussed above, sleep paralysis is defaultly involved in any deep/REM dreaming state (specifically known as REM atonia), protectively, so that a person does not act out their dream.[69] And as indeed not all dreams also have total sleep paralysis, evidently depending on whether or not REM state has been induced/reached, if this occurs in a dream that is proven to be prophetic it is clearly because God wants/needs it to be so. For me, in that First Vision, as I later tried to immediately do upon awakening from it, if I was not in that sleep paralysis state, I most likely would have physically gotten up, as I most lucidly knew I could do, and had been trying to do, to go and see who was hiding around the door, and would probably thus have interrupted that vision. So I see that God took measures to prevent this anticipated/expected/likely reaction of mine.

Panic Symptoms - Though I later illustrated my perception of not being able to move as ‘hearing the clicking sound of an empty gun’, I actually did not at all feel threatened or in danger during the entire vision. In fact, it was only towards the end, when that presence would further act to hide themselves that I began to think that it may be an evil angel, but I still was not afraid then, which actually revealed to me that I was just making up that adversarial possibility then since I clearly did not feel threatened by an evil force. So as I did not at all feel threatened by that Presence, which is actually not at all normative in sleep paralysis as ‘an ambiguous presence is, through an innate err-on-the-side-of-caution, defaultly deemed to be dangerous, even evil, my reaction then was not “natural”, and thus, to me, as indeed defaulty felt, supernaturally indicated to be a supportive Presence, i.e., from an angel of God. Which all leads into this following phenomenon:

Presence of an Intruder - Interestingly enough, it is said that many people who experience sleep paralysis also have a feeling of the presence of an intruder in the room, usually a menacing presence, (-which, as stated above, was not at all my feeling). Significantly to me, I “technically” did not perceive a presence in the room, but outside of the room, hiding just around the door.

Incubus Hallucination - Also contrary to the various theories that it is, e.g., the feeling of not being able to move which induces a “fancifully” subjective hallucination that someone (an incubus) must be in the room and trying to hurt, (even suffocate them through strangulation), is not applicable in this First Vision as I only became aware of a presence (relatively) long after several depictions in the vision had been given (Ezek 8 explainings, opened door, incense cloud), and which were all indicated to be Biblical themes and allusions. So the ca. Mid- to late experience of that Presence hiding around the door was not what had “hallucinatingly” produced the other, clearly Spiritual, elements in this vision.

Floating Sensation - A third type of hallucination that is said to typically occur with sleep paralysis experiences, is that of a person having a floating sensation stemming from faculty confusions from not being able to move. Contrary to having floating sensations, in my dream I could not actually get up out of my bed, but at best merely sit up in it. And I actually wanted to go and see what was around the door, but was just stuck in the bed and could only lean over to try to look around the door’s corner. So this experiencing here within the vision clearly was not out of such normative/natural, reactionarily induced hallucinations, but clearly to me, God’s own meaningful contributions.

Possible Eye Movement - While muscle atonia/weakness during REM sleep and sleep paralysis does not cause the eye muscles themselves to also not be able to move, I find it telling that just before the vision started I was able to open my eyes and clearly see that the sun had already risen, but then after I could not move to get out of bed, and found myself unstoppably falling back into a dream state, I could neither keep my eyes open nor open them again until the vision was over. Perhaps the eye lid muscles themselves actually also experience a weakness/paralysis. And though I then did not make a particular mental observation of it then, and just assumed that because I could no longer see the sunlight behind the blinds and in my room that my eyes had become shut as I had fallen back into a dreaming state, that may actually not have been the physical case, and that my eyes had instead remained open as initially before, but because of the vision, my surroundings still became pitch dark. So when the vision ended and I could clearly see light again, it may actually not have been by me having physically opened my eyes, but that my eyelids were all along always/still opened. (Num 24:4, 16)

Conclusion: The Determinative Evaluation
            So, as already stated earlier, the proof of whether or not God had been involved in this dream/vision experience all solely depends on the content of it. And as the SDA Church is indeed guilty of the 4 Chief Abominable Sins of Ezek 8, as expounded on in this post, which, as Abominable sins, will indeed result in the most fatal judgement of the Church through its Shaking, then the also involved Biblical theme of God here setting apart a (Davidic) Remnant (of the Remnant), to survive and surpass this Church Militant, i.e., the establishing of the Church Triumphant and its now necessary tangible, temporal Legacy, are all confirmed to have been direct, prophetic revelations from God. It can also be understood why God did not want this to be known/understood before by SDAs, until it would virtually become too late to avert this fate. (=Isa 6:1a, 4, 8-13). And, really/tellingly/fittingly/naturally, it is only those who either do not understand, or care, as to what constitute “abominable sin” here who will not see the (full) light here. (=5T 211.3ff = e.g., Ezek 8:3, 12ff)


Continuation:
             With all of this stated, one can better understand the view presented in the preluding blog post of this here post.

God Bless! (Matt 12:38-41)!


  
Notes
[1] Cases in point: (1) While attending Church School, in the First Grade[D168], classmates of mine, as kids typically do, started, and just couldn’t stop, at the gross sight of another classmate’s[standing next to me in D73], who was not an SDA, spoiled lunch leftover in his locker which he apparently forgotten to take home over the weekend, and now had inadvertently squashed with his boots that morning. Well the word of that gross sight got around like a wild first and pretty soon these classmates were huddled around this locker, laughing uncontrollably and chanting “J.’s got the ge-erms!” My locker was right next to his and I felt sorry for him, although I did chuckle a bit, all the while thinking: ‘Come on, don’t laugh at this/him... What kind of witness will this be to him?’ Well he went off bawling to the principal. Soon the principal came to our classroom with the student and he started pointing out all who had been laughing. He actually left me out at first, probably having noticed that I had not wanted to laugh, and/or it may have been because I then had glared at him, “reminding” him that ‘I really had not laughed as the others’. However feeling guilty now for having so pressured him into leaving me out, and also feeling guilty that I had not done what I could to stop the situation, I looked at him again, indicating that ‘it was okay,’ and, he, though hesitantly, called me out, last. -He had to tell the “whole truth.” In all of this, as I was walking to the principal’s office with the others, I was really more disappointed with myself than feeling guilty of wrongdoing because I had really tried not to laugh at the situation, and honestly held myself back quite well. So as we lined up to receive our metal ruler, hand-spanking punishment, I was having the inner battle of whether I should allow myself to be punished since I had not really laughed at him, and tell this to this spanking teacher (“assigned” by the principal who was looking on). However when my turn came, having deliberately made myself last, so that I could explain/excuse myself when the others had left to return to class after being punished, I however opted to “suffer in silence”, since I actually had not done anything to defend him. I also thought that these people probably would not even believe me. However I was not completely at peace with that inculpation, for, when that ruler finally struck my hand, “finally” because, with the first two attempts, I had moved my hand away in silent protest, to the actual intrigue, rather than anger, of the teacher, (I mean who would be stupid enough to twice do that), he manifestly understood that something was not just/right here, but made it clear that he was resolutely spanking me for having moved my hands, and did so, perceptively even harder than the others. I immediately started to cry, -the only one of the punished boys who did, not because he had spanked me, or even harder, but as I blurted out, in my then inchoative English*, while angrily stomping away across the office back to class: “I (relatively speaking) - didn’t - even - do - any-thing!!”


* The fact that my teacher for my first and second grades[cf. in D168 & D73], kept on writing in the last 7 of my first 8 quarterly report cars that ‘I was too talkative” in class completely baffled me. I was still learning the language! And for a while, my sister, having a couple of years of English under her belt had been my interpreter and translator. In fact, my parents seeing my complete dumbfoundedness by these claims, (and seeing that my grades were not at all affected by this), actually just LOL laughed it off, and even teased me about it, every time it would again be stated in my report cards. At best I was just asking around to make sure I had properly understood the teacher, but I do not even remember doing that, let alone constantly talking, and that, inherently, while she was teaching!?? Furthermore, I do not even recall her asking me once to be quiet!!

            (2) At another time in that Grade 1 school year, earlier than the above episode, a thief had broken into the school and absolutely ransacked the office. As my sister and I then travelled to school with the principal who lived near to our house in the northern suburb city of Montreal, we got to school as early as she did and waited in the office lobby for others to arrive. When we arrived that morning we found a couple of other teachers who had arrived first, having already discovered the break in and vandalism. But I found it strange that they were just looking at the mess and not cleaning things up. When she, being the principal also engaged in this odd-to-me staring-at-the-mess stance, I, began to personally feel that ‘all that we were doing by just standing around and not cleaning things up was letting those, (probably) hoodlums, win.’ So when I spotted on the floor the principal “stamp-roller licker” (if that’s the actual name of it), I, recognizing it and where it had been, from the time the year before (being then 5 -while my older sister was being registered for her first grade by my mother) when I had overturned it, thinking it was upside down, and be on the flip side so that it could roll on its “wheel”, and spilled all of the water inside onto her desk, I frantically picked it up and place it where it had specifically been on the desk. Then resuming to continue to ‘lead by example’ as my English was not great then, I search for something else that I would recognized to also place it back in its prior place. Seeing and understanding what I was doing, trying to get them to ‘do something already,’ they quickly, and to my surprised frantically lunged at me to prevent me from continuing. I thought they were upset for having possibly, unwillingly, “showed them up”, I ultimately just wanted to lend a stupor-jolting, helping hand and ‘just set this mess aright already’! However, it turned out that it was because they were going to have Police come over to dust the place for fingerprints. When they told me this, I actually upsetly walked out, being more disappointed that the police was going to come and see our school in such a mess.

            (3) My regretted non-feasance in story (1) stayed with me for a long time, mainly for the bad witness we had made to that non-SDA classmate. So the next time such a similar situation came up, when I was in the 5th grade, I more immediately stepped in to quash it. Indeed when a SDA 4th grade (different homerooms) schoolmate began to laugh, and try to incite others around him do so at another, non-SDA, guy because he thought this guy had a big head, as I also already had noticed this since his arrival back in the 2nd grade, as many others had, with some in recent years, as childhood mentalities defaultly devolved if not checked or redressed (cf. Pro 22:6), making concealed snickering remarks here and there, which just increasingly irked me every time I came across them, when this guy now, for some reason, aimed to ‘get this (once and forever) out in the open’ and thus resolutely started his cheerleading to incite others to openly mock the guy, and that right in his presence, I stepped right up to his face, looked at his own head, and began to mention ‘that I personally thought that it was too big’ (which it relatively was, (got the (i.e., including 'his'), yet prior, Grades 1 & 3) class pictures to prove it[D73 & D211]), (still I could not manage to get the last specifying mocking words ‘...was too big’ out). This manifestly was why he was seeking to diversionarily dump on the other (subjectively supposedly) “worse off” guy.* Seeing that he may not have gotten the point from my audibly curtailed statement, as he was still snickering, I resumed giving him a taste of his own medicine by acting as if I was going to try to incite others to similarly laugh at him, however I actually couldn’t also get myself to even begin to do that, also knowing that it was wrong. So I then tried to, myself, laugh at him, but I also could not get around to doing that either. With these three attempts however, he finally got/or decided to get, the message and abruptly dropped the smirk on his face. Fearing that my lack of acted out derisiveness would cause this fear on him to soon wear off, causing him to try to do this again another time, I told him that I myself, would tell the other guy’s older brother, who was in Secondary School here. Well by the end of the day, as we were all heading home, both older brothers of these two guys, who had gotten word of this incident, assured me: (a) on the “victim’s” side that” ‘it was alright, they weren’t upset,’ and (b) on the “perpetrator’s” side that: ‘his little brother would be reprimanded for this and kept in check,’ even proceeding to begin to reprimand him in front of me, however stopping when he noticed me cringing at the sight. It can be said that my motives here, and in the other two stories, were “self-serving” as I was admittedly and calculatedly more concerned with the detrimental SDA witness that was being variously effectuated, which everyone involved also always understood, but I really understood and saw this as ‘killing two birds with one stone.’

*Sort of like when a visiting evangelist (D.B.) came to my home Church in the fall of 1997 to do an preparation meeting with mainly our Church officials/leaders, which I sat in on, and, obviously for jealousy-based reasons, expressed that a ministry-wise, fellow, a then, and still currently, though retired, most prominent SDA Evangelist and Televangelist “had a huge head”!?? I could not shake that disparaging thought when I personally first met with that evangelist while at the 1998 (PUC’s) Westpoint of Evangelism[D108], and tried to intimate to him what his fellow (ministerial) co-worker(s?) was saying about him.


            (4) Back in my 3rd Grade year, we had a new French teacher who, most clearly, had an acute anger management problem. I did not know this scientific term for it then, nor that it was actually a official/clinical issue, but I was certain that this teacher was NUTS*. I had heard of him while he was teaching in the French SDA school, before he came to our school, from other Church members and students friend, however now I could see for myself that he was indeed (“goonishly”) ‘out of control.’ He would not only get violently upset for the littlest of things, but would then wildly “discipline” us by verbally abusing us, if solely by unnecessarily, angrily berating us for the littlest things, throwing chalkboard erasers at us, slapping us violently upside the head, etc. Corporal punishment was practised in this school by other teachers, but only in a normative/acceptable way. This guy instead was a physically assaulting quasi-criminal. So when he approached the smartest and quietest guy in the class (L.L.), at the very start of class for, (if I recall this quite insignificant thing correctly), as we were all still settling down, the boy clearly not having noticed that the teacher had entered the room, and so, surprising this exemplary boy acting as any normal kid, and proceeded to wind up and strike the glasses-wearing guy in the head with his the thin side of his metal-rimmed briefcase. The whole class just gasped in vexed astonishment. Moreover, he could have killed him. The next day, in our first class, we were further aghast when the guy came to school with a huge swollen bump-welt off the side of his forehead.
            A few classes later that morning, after recess, -I must have been “inspired,” because I do not know why I did what I did, nor how I imagined I could even pull it off and/or get away with it, or was it just that I knew it was the more right thing to do, but when the recess ending bell rang, I said out loud, actually only thinking out loud: “I am not going to that guy’s (the teacher’s) class. He nearly killed L..” Others around me heard me and quickly acknowledged this. Seeing the growing consensus, I hurriedly, now leading out that group of about 8-10, started to look around for a place to hide for that class, and saw the perfect place behind the curtains of gym’s stage. No one from our other elementary level school mates had seen us disappear afer recess. So there we quietly stayed, “striking” against that teacher. However, about 10 minutes later, all we could hear were virtually all of the school’s teachers frantically scurrying around looking for us, audibly discerning that they were not sure if they should be angry or worried. So we became scared when we overhead them worriedly say: “We have to call the police!” Now we didn’t know what to do. If we turned ourselves in, we would surely get in trouble; however, I personally thought, we surely could not let them get the police involved, if only for what they would think of us and the School for this “false alert”. So when they had cleared the gym area, I suggested that we sneak back to our class upstairs. As the School was only renting and occupying half of that school building, and the gym had a side door that led directly into that unoccupied part, so I suggested that we go up that way, then across the 2nd floor to the other side, towards our class. So that is what we did: and by hugging the halls walls in order to be able to weave in and out from between locker banks in order to quickly hide if someone came out of a classroom, and ducking under the door windows of the other in-progress classes,we were thus indeed able to sneak back into class. I was expecting that teacher to explode into a fit, but he didn’t say a thing. We just filed back into the class and sat down at our seats “unbothered”. However he did send another student to tell the principal that we had returned. When that was done, our home room teacher returned with that student and proceeded to call each one of us who had participated in this to follow her. We all went downstairs and crowded into the principal’s office. Thus far I was shocked that no one had reacted angrily at us. Even the principal just sat there, visibly, speechless, with an incredulous half-smile on her face. So (a) seeing that they evidently, guiltily knew something “right” was behind our “strike” action, and seeming to realize exactly what that was, (b) personally knowing that this had been my idea, (c) being somewhat familiar with this principal as she was the same one with whom my sister and I had travel to school every morning back in my first grade, (d) having seen her gentler/lighter side, despite her commonly presented, stern appearance, in her amusingly singing along to a “Shut-Up-in-Your-Face” chorus on the radio, seemingly almost every morning, when we were riding with her, all the while looking questionedly over to my sister, asking myself; despite her censoring of herself whenever the “s-word” came up: ‘Is she allowed to even listen to such an s-word song... especially with us in the car?!? I found it all hypocritically odd that she would not only listen to it, but actually enjoyed that (moreoverly ridiculous) song. It was absolutely no laughing/trivial matter to me because we students got scolded, and even spanked at her approval for saying that word!; and (e) also because I had the highest grades among that group of guys (second highest in my grade overall (second to the victim’s (L.) younger sister)), thus thinking that the principal would more readily believe a top student; -so, for parts of all of these reasons, which, especially with (a), (c) and (d), she seemed to most clearly understand, as seen in her then frantic, ‘lip-sealing’ miming gesture in clear, knowing reference to the circumstances in (d), (she would glance at me in her rearview mirror at my disapprovingly questioning reactions then), -I moved up in the sofa seat I was sitting in and, actually, defiantly (i.e., in a ‘punish this instead’ way!) blurted out our actual, justifying reason, for having done this: “...he hit (L.) right here [pointing to the similar head spot] yesterday, and now (L.) has a huge red bump on his head”. I was also implicitly, tonally, posing to her: “Did you guy even notice or deal with that? Don’t you care about us?” for clearly, they should have seen it. I am not sure if they, having probably already understood their non-feasance guilt, were going to punish us, but just to make sure that they did not even think that they could/should, or that they were being “merciful” in not doing so, I added: “He is not allowed to hit us in that way!!” I am pretty sure she got the intended legal message. Indeed one of my classmate instantly reacted indicating that ‘she gets it’, afraid that I would overpass my shown mercy here. However I wanted to drive in that owed responsibility also letting her understand that if he hit me like that I would go straight to the police. I think I was more surprised then her that I had said/intimated this to, however the restrained smile on her face as I was admittedly surprisingly saying/intimating this to her, was manifestly because she knew that this was right, and they were indeed, inexcusably, even criminally, completely wrong! And sure enough they let us go back to class with even saying, absolutely anything, indicatively enough, either way. A little while after we returned to the class, our homeroom teacher came back and called the boy (L.) to follow her. Apparently they then had him examined. As we had regained our seat, I intimated to the guy (an SDA by the way) that ‘we had done this for him, but next time... speak up for yourself.’
            Additionally, while we were in the principal’s office I had also added in my complaint to the principal, based on having overheard and been told of this teacher’s ‘ruthless and violent methods’ from his days at the French School, that: “He has always been that way!!” Tonally and “body-languagedly” intimating that they should have asked around about him before hiring him. Sure enough, probably not being able to make a mid-school year change, he was replaced for the start of the next school year (incidently by the spouse of my godfather). And come to think of it, for the rest of that school year, he actually, quite drastically changed. Indeed I do not even recall him actually disciplining a student after that, -observably, quite evidently being then under strict directives not to so do so again. In fact whenever he would “reprimand” a student after that (during his probably known, then “lame-duck” term), for e.g., talking in class or not doing their homework, with especially the then odd sheepish smiling smirk that would creep on his face in those instances, it was quite more hypocritically comical than purposefully disciplinary. I guess he learned his lesson!
            And upon me telling my parents of that school day’s strike, seeing how that teacher’s, (who they knew personally from having been members in his church), misbehavior was actually traumatizing me to the point of me skipping his class, my mother, fearing his out of control streaks, called him up and told him to never even hit me for any disciplinary reasons. His response became fodder for a family joke as he coyly tried to play the whole thing down by claiming that: ‘student of our day are just spoiled’, ‘if they were in their country of origin (Haiti) she would not even dare to complain in the light of the worse type of disciplinary punishment that was normative their’ and ‘it was because my parents, (manifestly mirroring other parents in such ‘western societies’) were so lax in disciplining their children that they were now complaining.’ To that, my mom, after playing around a bit with his manifest obliviousness to the dangerousness, and even criminality, of his actions, just pointedly restated her stern prohibition. (There actually had not been any conveyed/communicated ill-feeling in the discussion, which is why he was trying to play this all down, but he surely got the clear message.)

* A cursory and summary observation of mine, which, some {ca. 18} years later, through, confirmingly enough, the mandated professional examination of another SDA Academy, (this one in Miami, Florida), that also saw that his behavior was not at all “normal”, actually turned out to be the diagnosed, quasi-institutionalized, clinical case. {Manifestly the fact that he had a history of such abnormal/unmanageable/out of control and violent behavior, nor the specific case that he then here had technically criminally struck this student, never made it, or perhaps did not remain long enough, on his (even, presumably, SDA internal) “file”; -Or maybe this history/case was, hopefully, merely probationarily overlooked by, (as far as I am aware, at least) that future-employing SDA Academy.}
_________________

            In looking back upon such early childhood, genuine and candid occurrences, especially from the jaded and nuanced lens of retrospecting later adulthood, one can’t help but realize that that is indeed our life defining character (Pro 20:11), and like any “character” it was learned/shaped in various ways from an external, sub-consciously desired and thus influential source, and for me, in such situations, that was indeed clearly from the seriousness and voluntary/unforced leadership that I witnessed my father model in relation the Church and its work. Probably wouldn’t have stuck if I suspected that it was, in any way, “not real”.

[2] When I later, around the age of 6 or 7, became aware of the Biblical teaching of tithing, I decided to no longer be satisfied with, as I effectively was convicted of, “nickel and diming” God with my offerings, but instead whenever someone would give me money (e.g., $5/$10), I made proper change, and set apart a tithe of that gift, and that in a small separate money cardboard box that I had crafted and dedicated: “For the Tithe”, even making a second circular slot on its top side for the expected paper bills that I would be putting in this due to this higher yielding, “10%-of-all-monetary-gifts” approach. Clearly God immediately manifested His approval of this act of obedient faith, because in the first many instances of returning this tithe, immediately within their next week, someone (or some circumstance) would give me back that tithed amount, and many times, even much more, often, the full 100% of the amount from which I had tithed from in the first place. My parents were so shocked by this uncannily repeating occurrence, that when this was ceased, (i.e., as it is customary with God’s initial faith-confirming miraculous acts), they decided to deliberately be this “tithe fairy angel”. 
           (This early childhood tithing experience markedly affected me from then on, up through now, and, e.g., as related in this later experience, was a major underlying reason why I was at that time so stressed out over not being (timely) faithful in my tithing). 

[3] Significantly enough, it was my (now late [09/2010]) god-, and “spiritual”, father[D170; cf. D209c] (-who, while I was growing up was the constant personal evangelism “sidekick” of my father, thus also a great influence on, and example to, me), who had, back in the March 2000, suggested to me the alternative idea of making my planned WBSC Institute web-based, however, given the, relatively, rather primitive state of the internet then, particularly in regards to needed capabilities for networking, collaborative working, and relatively various communications, include A/V, I did not consider this as beneficial then, and therefore continued with my physical campus plans. (See an interesting, theologically significant couple of post-death dreams involving him here).

[4] Cases in point, around that age, though I was consciously striving to be a religiously-good person, I, comparing/gauging  myself with the best standard I then knew of: the unwavering devotion of my father, could only feel always self-judged for not doing all that I could be doing in that regard. So e.g., when, at around age 10, I had just received a brand new pair of beige, felt dress church shoes, and I had spent that first Sabbath Church Service constantly gazing down at them, while sitting in the front row, while my father was preaching, I spent the rest of the day, and most of that next week, feeling sorry about having done that after my father, later that Sabbath afternoon, quasi-teasingly and half-seriously, questioningly had pointed that out to me.

            Another such example occurred when I was asked to sing along in a special song with a small group of classmates from my Sabbath School class, but for various, and I’ll silently emphasize, quite valid reasons (one of them being one of my later mentioned “Thorns”), I decided not to. The Friday night before that special presentation, my father asked me why I was not going to participate. I could not tell him of those reasons (which I did not have an explanation for the “Thorn”, as during my Grade 1 accident in the hospital visit  (related below, in fact it was not until I was 30 that I told my parents about it.), and then went to bed. Having seen that he was more disappointed at the “senseless, reasonless” refusal, yet/but not upset, -visibly waving it off as ‘the fanciful caprice of a child’, I nonetheless began to snivel {loud enough} while laying in bed at this misunderstanding. My Father who, as I knew, as usual*, could, and would, hear me from his upstairs office, indeed did, and called me up. He sat me on his knee and tried to get me to say why I was not going sing, I still would/could not, and when he saw my genuine angst of being torn between telling him and not, he said that ‘it was okay’, wiped my tears, and sent me back to bed.
            The most striking of such examples of not wanting to disappoint/shame my father by literally being a bad example as, effectively, a ‘Lay “ePK”’, was when we were at the Conference campmeeting one summer (ca. 1985). On the Sabbath day, as common in SDA Campmeetings, the camp was the most attended, with buses coming from various Churches. Well that meant then that, after a week of having a few previously-known friends, I would now meet with many more friends from both Church School and other Local Churches. That indeed happened, and having spent that week exploring the mountain campground, I had come aware of a semi-beaten back trail through the woods that eventually led to the back of a natural pond[D222 (recent satellite photo w/backwoods path to now drained pond.)] and an above ground pool (where my sister was baptized) that was on that now changed campground. So I thus naturally led this newly regrouping of friends of mine on this expedition. When we did get to the back of the pond, -a muddy and marshy pond that was known for having frogs in it, I noticed a small dirt isle in about the middle of the pond. I somehow got the “great idea” to go to that small isle. After a couple of steps into the pond, I figured that it could be easily done as the water was quite shallow, and was persuading the others to follow after me. To show them that it was feasible/safe, I fully went ahead first. To my surprise, though it did not phase me, the pond quickly proved to be a little deeper with each step I took. To the point that when I did reach the isle, I had been ca. shin deep in the mud. Another friend of mine (the guy who had finished first in the foot race mentioned later in the “Thorns For the Flesh” section), followed me, but the rest decided to remain on the banks. However once the adrenaline involved here subsided I looked down at my feet and saw what looked like the buried silhouette of two large toads. That completely spooked me and my friend, and now realizing the drowning hazard of that mud pond that obviously had a very unstable/uncertain bottom, we did not want to venture back through it to the bank, fearing that this time we would accidentally follow a route that would come to be deeper. So we, and my other friends, started crying out for help. A church member that I knew, -(who is commonly called by his surname which happens to be: “Prophet” [see his ‘Disciples' Deliverance Prayer’ ministry card at D432]), came running to our rescue. As he first stood on the near, opposing side of the pond, we pointed to him how to go around the pond to where we entered it, as it was closer to the bank, than that other, and non-forded side. So he did, and I’ll never forget the compassionate sight. He was dressed in a, literally sun glistening, all-white suit, yet he did not hesitate one moment, nor even seem to consider that his suit was going to get messed up, as he began to come into the pond after us. Seeing, as he very quickly got shin deep in the mud, that he was really going to mess up his suit. I frantically urged him to stop. After a little more urging, I convinced him not to come in further and that we were going to walk back on our own instead. By this time, the news that ‘a couple of kids were in the infamous mud/frog pond’ had spread like a brush fire around the camp, and I could see, looking back towards the campground, a wave of people running down the slightly sloped field towards the pond. So I decided again, as this situation and whole commotion was all my fault, to go first to trail the best path back towards the bank for my friend. I tried to retrace my exact steps but that was impossible. The muddy waters had left no trace of the path that we had taken. After only a couple of steps back, I most evidently took a completely different path back and/or the previous bottom suddenly gave, because I was now a little above waist deep in mud. The man on the banks, “Prophet”, seeing this, began again to come further in after me, however I, despite being waist deep, managed to talk him out of it pointing out that it would probably be worst for him as he was heavier than me/us. So he instead got a long thick branch and was holding out above the water as far as possible for me to reach it, but it was still short. Most fortunately for me, and then my friend behind me, that was the deepest that pond got and we both made it out. Yet “Prophet”, in complete disregard for his suit, had even lunged towards me for the last few steps as I was slightly tottering on an uncertain pond floor. We both, I especially, profusely thanked him for what he had done, and to this day I can’t help but be thankful to him for this whenever I meet him.
            However by this time, this news had reached the main meeting tent where a Church Service was going on, and someone had told my father about me being one of those stranded kids, and he was now coming running, as I was making my way up that sloped field. I had already been most embarrassed at/for the assembled crowd, but when I saw my father coming running, with a convert-pastor friend of his next to him, I more deeply felt sorry, mostly for having so publicly embarrassed him. I felt this so deeply that I began wailing**, and moreover, having no reasonable excuse at all, as this had all been my unforced venture and fault. My father proceeded to make things “alright” by there giving me hug though I was covered up to my waste in mud. Though I indeed had no excuse for this great disturbance, that at least helped to here publicly “whitewash” me as, as I actually truly was, and cared to be so, not being a boy who customarily did such disorderly/mischievous these things. A shower and clothing change later, followed up by the ascertaining visits of “Prophet” and the convert-pastor friend of my father (pertinently more on this pastor later in Note #34), I became, more paramountly, religio-psychologically fine.

* This sounding was “usually” known because, growing up I had a recurring nose bleeding problem whenever my room would get too dry. And when that would happen, so that I would not spread blood everywhere as I made my way to my parents room, after a couple of such happenings, which were indeed tedious to clean up, I would just stay in bed and loudly imitate the sound of the siren of an ambulance, and sure enough my parents would hear me, and come running to my aid, -finding my pillow soaked in blood. That nose bleeding problem was finally fixed once and for all, when, after the use of a humidifier still did not prevent it, in then a subsequent occurrence, as usual, in the middle of the night (how/why I always woke up still beats me as I was a deep sleeper, and really should, and easily could, have bled to death, my parents took me straight to the hospital emergency room, and a doctor actually proceeded to singe/fuse off/closed the blood capillary/vessel in my nose that he saw was keeping on rupturing.
            The most eerie thing of all in relation to this was when, in 2007, I anecdotally told my then 9 year-old niece of how this used to always happen to me, and that very night she, for the first, and only time ever, she also had a nose bleed!?? (It also woke her up, -her however being a light sleeper.). One’s mind can be, and is, a powerful thing!

** Years later, during the 2000 GC Session in Toronto, I met with a friend, who I had become acquainted with while in Miami, in early 1997, as she had come to the University of Miami for a semester as an exchange student from her Ottawa, Ontario University, and was attending my local Church#, and we were both surprised to see, while trying to find a seat at the GC and came across “Prophet”, that we both knew him. Well I then, in still profusing, genuine, great gratitude, told her of how he had rescued me at that mid 1980's campmeeting. She suddenly stopped me in mid-story and said: ‘Ohhhh.... so it was you who was that boy who was wailing like that’, as she had actually been there. - Oooops... I didn’t realize it had been/appeared that bad, and I had moreover seemingly, actually come across as a cry baby. I knew I was not, and that it was pointedly, and solely for the ‘father-public-embarrassing’ reasons that/why I had so cried.

# And in a “small world” sense, I was quite surprised to find out while, after she had accepted my invitation to have her Sabbath Lunch with us, that when she told my parents about her parents it turned out that (a) my parents knew her parents, and moreover (b) my mom had, back in 1970, then not married, been a supposed “romantic interest” of my friend’s, also then not married, father. [Though my mom had suspected that that “interest” was opportunistically linked to the fact that she was about to lawfully emigrate to Quebec, Canada, as such “departing attachments” were actionably/beneficially customary then.] Whatever the case, we are obviously glad that that didn’t work out. In fact my friend had actually quipped that ‘my mom was lucky for having had “escaped” from that prospective marital relationship!!’

[5] Indeed, because of my mom’s patent and many ‘simple and working ideas’ in many different areas, including in her brother[D197 (with me in photo)]’s field of mechanical engineering, she had been reknownly dubbed as: “The Practical Woman”. (Significantly enough, it was this brother of hers who, seeing/knowing how innately intelligent my mom also was/has been, but not finding work since immigrating to Canada in her prior teaching profession, and instead doing at home sowing work, insistently encouraged her to get a degree nursing, which she did starting at the age of 32, graduating at 36, [and retired at 55], indeed being, as she, seemingly daily, “ventingly” related in our hearing, at the great jealousy of self-inducedly ‘threatened’ “ethnically local” classmates, and, quasi-persecutively, even some “ethnically local” professors, but correspondingly, to the ‘cheering on’ delight of like ethnicity class-|origin country- mates, the constant head of her classes. As one professor ““Freudianly” confessed” to her: ‘she did not get those high grades when studying nursing.’)

[6] Indeed, in self-psychoanalysis, I can see that from my mother’s side[D182] I took/assimilated what I personally wanted to be (i.e. temporally - someone who got to the bottom of things with practical and to-the-point, and fully satisfactory, solutions)*, while from my father’s side[D183] I took/assimilated what I knew I should be (Spiritually - someone who took the work of God most passionately, seriously, no matter the present (various life) circumstances and obstacles). Eventually these two temporal-Spiritual aspects interchangeably merged in my various tasks, where applicable, to aid each other achieve the ultimate, Biblical end of ‘doing them all to the glory of God’ (1 Cor 10:31).

* My mom, in her teens, and then later through her early-twenties, had greatly enjoyed being a student, and then working as a teacher, in a school of her Catholic Faith then, run by nuns, (-to the point that her sister, even occasionally to this day, called/call her a dimunitive equivalence of ‘Mother Superior’), but during which, in an interesting blending of the religious and ‘to-the-point’ practicality, she heard that the Catholic Church was going to no longer make daily confession, which she actually utterly loathed, mandatory. [A decision manifestly made and later released around or after the end of the 1962-1965 Vatican II Ecumenical Council]. One would think that, with that loathed practised (finally) removed, this would get someone who otherwise liked, and was greatly/conscientiously dedicated to the Church to, relievedly, and thus indifferently/defensively, condoningly, want to remain in it, however that sudden major reversal and undoing led my mom to: (1) self-observe that ‘clearly the Papacy was not as “infallible” as it claimed to be’; and (2) to question ‘what other teachings had the Church so dogmatically “erred” in??’ This ‘truth dawning’ led her to leave the Catholic Church when, soon after this, she came across the SDA message.

[7] This desire was heightened when our congregation, though not yet a formal Church, had been assigned a pastor whose sermons were mainly Bible story-based, injecting also some of his own experiences. As a youngster that caused me to listen more closely to his sermons and got me to think that pastoring can be fun and “real”. However, this “bubble” was caused to spring a leak, typologically enough, when I, seeking to be baptized, then a few weeks before my 12th birthday, asked this pastor, after a church service where he had preached, if he would to the baptism. I was literally, and I fully recall, visibly, quite shocked and dumfounded,  when he straightly answered that he wouldn’t be able to do it because he, (being then 65), was retired. My first thought was: ‘Pastors retire???’; then, ‘How does even that affect/prevent doing a Baptism?!?’ and also ‘How come you are still preaching then!?!’, then knowing how devoted my father was in Church work despite not being and pastor and never being paid, I just inwardly decried this whole “In-Church system” as just weird (i.e., non-biblical). It may have been because I then, after this visible billboard sequencing of thoughts, proceeded to just stomp off in anger as such a claimed “worldly” reason, but he later ‘came out of retirement(?)’ and perform the baptism[D70a], at another church, as well as, (if I recall precisely, as I was the first to be baptized and did not see the other two), the ones of two other people[D70b], who were from that other church, (including the older brother of the perpetrator in the 3rd story in Note #1).
            All this to say that, from very early on, I found it most odd that worldly system should have control over any aspect of the Church’s work, and once again it evidently, subconsciously, was because of the non-paid, devoted, extra-ordinary lay efforts and works of my father; -who in turn was continuing to be faithful to his own, subsequently divinely-confirmed, lay calling.
[8] This attraction to the mechanical, borne mainly out of my more pragmatic/practical, (indeed greatly “wowed/awed” up to then, by how my Mechanical Engineering Uncle always used to seemingly, if not literally, ‘just get any needing mechanical thing fixed’), and technical aspect of things, was also reflected in my interest then to become pastor seeing how Bible Stories did have tangible applications vs. then, the Theological, yet also in the presentation, I much preferred content/substance over demonstration. Case in point, when I was selected for my sixth grade graduation[D300] (from the SDA (now) Greaves Academy,[cf. D420 (1982)] -the namesake of my 1st-5th grade principal) as the class pastor[D92A]* and assigned to deliver a sermon, I knew from the start that I was going to focus on the content and how to accurately deliver it, rather than spend time memorizing it to put on the expected show, taking the risk, with this being my first sermon, of forgetting my words and/or becoming nervous and actually thus ruining the intended message of my sermon to my classmates. I perceived that some of them, probably the non-SDA’s would not be returning as our school had, establishment wise, dwindled down to a dilapidated , half-condemned building (which had (most unsafely) been broken into and/or internally vandalized, seemingly, every other month during that past year). So I wanted to try to apply for them what they had, pertinently, (hopefully) religiously been taught while at this SDA School, showing how this part of the education should practically translate with them. Hence my (impressed) odd, “Instrument of God’s Peace” topic. (A thematically-linked pre-cursor of God’s Eschatological “Covenant of Peace” motif??! - cf. here). Also, a burdenly deliberate underlying “pastorally-licensed” intention to my sermon was to “apologetically help them to understand that (despite this bad SDA example) it was the ‘unwavering light of the Bible’ that they needed to adhere to. So I probably surprised the people in the audience, having had managed to convince my teacher by then, that this was the best course to follow, when I walked on stage with the entire written sermon (1.25 pages[D93-D94] - seemed like 10 pages when delivering it), and read it through word for word, focusing instead on clearly and pointedly conveying it to my classmates.[D72] Indeed when I reached that ‘apologetic instruction’ on Psa 119:105, I squarely turn towards my classmates sitting of to my left, to directly address them on this understood issue, even “pastorally”, blessingly, implicitly intimated (for any conscience-needing chance) that their non-return would be understood as being with justified cause. To paraphrasingly use/apply a dramatic-license presumed statement of Joan of Arc when she was being “encouraged” by senior military officials to ‘just play the (figurehead) part of “this (believed) maid” but keep quiet in actual war plannings’...: ‘I am not pretending people, I am here by the will of God, the Authority of my Teacher and the Blessings of this Church School. And I say that these honest students must be freed of any such pressuring guilt!!’ [01:03:42ff] (clip).** Sure enough, only one of these 11 classmates (6 were non-SDA’s)[D92B] returned for the 7th Grade) with 2 new, other non-SDA students coming in, with our school then being held in various rooms in a local Church (with my grade’s class being in a section of the fellowship hall) for the first part of the year, and then in a Church member’s empty two-storey attached house.[see in D118]*** (To their, and our, dismay, my parents also pulled my sister and me out of the school for the next year following this ever-deepening debacle, putting us in local public schools, as the travel (4 hours round trip) and the tuition cost, as well as the felt shoddy education, was not worth these various investments. (When the three teachers in the school with school age children opt not to put (none but one (2nd grade kid) of 5 of) their own children in the school, you know something is up. Even if this was done so that they could take a pay cut, they could still have made their kids attend the school for moral support. Their, even free, attendance really wouldn’t have “cost” anything extra to even us paying students.) Attending public school for the first time in my life opened up a new, at times directly confrontational, quasi-legal, and even physical,*4* front for me[cf. in D189-D192; cf. in D200] against either/both students and teachers in regards to non-encountered affronts such as: evolutionary teaching*5*, the “devoted” treating of common/secular, even fictional, works and literature as if they were inspired writings and contained the keys for life (cf. in here);*6* attempted bullying, another teacher with (though physically, but not verbally, “contained”) anger management issues, watching PG-13 movies in (French) class, (and, compoundedly, the teacher was from France), -(sure we were all "13"+, but... Come on!!!*7*- I did not actually watch, nor, out of audible necessity, listen to, these presentations (moreover the whole ‘crooks-[nevermind that they were dressed as clowns]-successfully-robbing-a-bank’ theme of one of those movies was also just as offensive to me), opting instead to bury head and attention in a sports book, defiantly daring the (offending) professor to try to reprimand me); sex education in “Moral and Religious” class (which has now been removed in Quebec public schools), etc.) (I did manage to ‘leave my “mark”’ during those first two years in public school, being one of ca. 20-25 students (out of, puzzingly enough, ca. 300-400 students in each of these grades) to make the principal’s honor roll (for getting an overall 85+% grade average[e.g. D212 & D177 (D176); cf. in D189-D191] - my name is still on a plaque on the walls there), before moving to Florida for Grades 10-12, also in a public school, where, to my disappointment such “outstanding achievements”, which I would have qualified for[see D213], were not similarly recognized, however, tellingly enough in a country where college education was much more expensive than Canada (cf. here), it had its financial rewards.[see D214 & D215])

* I, (disappointingly), remember missing (also?) being “Valedictorian” by a couple of percentage points, to, actually my physical neighbor (2 houses over), a non-SDA, whose, Catholic mother had since Grade 3, been sending her to this school[cf. D119 vs. D171 & D211#] of ours (i.e., my sister’s and mine) because she was ‘looking for a good school, indeed bypassing several nearby other (even Catholic) public and private schools. In fact she had become alarmed by the gradual misbehaving changes in her daughter and had approached my mom to find out how come my sister and I were so well behaved. My mom then mentioned our school. (In my opinion, it was inceptively more from a respect for our parents and their good example...but a “good school” (capped by a good church) will indeed assist in sustaining that good home foundation.) Not surprising that following the here later mentioned, debacle of the school, this classmate was also withdrawn from the school and, adding ‘insult to us, to her injury’ placed in a (an all-girls), private, Catholic (boarding) High School ca. 0.5 (as-the-crow-flies) miles from where our SDA (duplex) school was for my 7th Grade.[D118] Even more humiliating/reproaching, we often met her on long public transportation trip back home, though by then we had moved (further away, north) from that neighborhood.
            (Incidently, that former neighbor and classmate, sent me bawling one morning back inside my house,  to my mother, during our pre-kindergarten year in a neighborhood public school[D119 - hint: solid overalls], when, having been raised by my parents to ‘look away and/or turn the dial when people are “[French] kissing” on TV’ (which was also the [pre- Age of Unreasondirectorial norm of many in early TV/Cinema), when she, being accustomed to greet her father with a “(French) peck” responded to my friendly smile to her (as we, along with my sister, had been friends for many of our early years) that morning, as we centrally met in front of the house between ours to await for the school bus, with such a “unholy kiss.” My mom finally was able to convince me that she had not just morphed into Jezebel, all while, the since arrived, school bus waited. However, retrospectively sad enough, though then justifiable, I was severely traumatized by the single, age 5, incident, to the point where I can now recount on one and a half hands, the times when I, in a  friendly, if actually/probably for any reason, ever addressed her again... ever again, helplessly, traumatizedly afraid that she would so wrongly mistake my friendliness again!! (Led to many, actually uncomfortable and awkward situations throughout those next ca. 8+ years given that we travelled everyday together and my sister was still a good friend of hers. (See also the accidental incident alluded to in D201). Knowing that it was her (not-so-seriously-Catholic(??)) father who had led her to accept this greeting act as normal, I also equally very reticent with him from then on. Oh Well! I just could not perish the thought that I had been, and that, double-teamedly, Religiously violated.)##

# [I somehow, suddenly, “miraculously” was healed from having to wear glasses after seeing this photo, which I indeed increasingly rarely, then never, did after that. (I guess I had not needed them “just like my sister” after all. (I also Samsonlike-vowed, from that picture on, to never let anyone else, but my father cut my hair, as I trustingly had not done the weekend before that photo!)]

## Come to more deeply think of it, stemming from asking “why” questions from the D119 photo which then floodingly led to many recollections, it has indeed led me to recall that there was more of a cause-to-effect reason for her profusely affectionate act here. That initial “why” question was, “why was I so ‘standing on guard’, and actually laughing vs. merely smiling, in that photo?’ The answer was because my teacher, there standing behind and next to me, had just placed my hands/arms loosely there, to my side so that I could have a proper stance for the photo, and at first was holding me so that I would maintain that pose. I found it odd and funny that I was being treated special here. Why did I so have to have the best maintained stance in the photo. That was all because, in the past, during that school year, I had survived a barrage of learned, quasi- prejudice, bigoted & racist comments and actions from many of the other students in that class, and while on the school bus rides, as had my sister the year before. However being younger here, I had learned from her own experiences and also from how my parents had helped her deal with themas they also were dealing with such actions from adults of this local ethnic majority. (And it ‘singling-outly’ also did not help that my sister, at the request of my parents, had been exempt from participating in their Catholic catechism session, -which was the main impetus for my sister being enrolled in the (better-than-the-French) English SDA school the next year.). So, compoundingly, with that 1979-80 year being a high point in Quebec nationalistic ambitions (see here; -and I remember seeing the many “OUI” or “NON” political signs affixedly flagged in front of some homes as we drove about during that referendum campaign), when I was asked the insistingly veiledly insolent, indifferently-oblivious question: “where/what is your country” [#“micro-aggression], and/or/= told to: “go back to your country”, I laughingly, had learned to reply: “I am in my country!!!” And when I was asked ‘why my skin was ‘brown/black’’, out of my own concoction, I most-amusedly (at such ignorance) replied: “My mother forgot me in the toaster.” (Though, scientifically speaking, that may ulteriorly be quite close to the truth. See my observations on this from this post.) And so on. (I actually just could not get enough of their reactionarily knee-jerk, squeamingly vexed/offended, albeit quasi-apologetic, “egg-in-my-face” expression; -but really, just a little less than the sure, settled peaceful silence that immediately ensued.).Indeed as my parents continually themselves laughed at the prejudices and bigotry that they were subjected to in those times, and substantively debunked them, -especially for us, when actually, substantively applicable/necessary, I not only had an answer for most of their attacks, but also found it hilarious how ignorant they really were (and also, as inherently the cause, ‘were being raised to be’).

            So during these times, I remember once trying to see/test if my teacher was also as bigotedly warped minded as some of these kids were, but recall, recognizingly/knowingly, deliberately not getting anything either way from her. I then assumed that she was just trying to remain neutral in all of this, and not take sides, perhaps seeing that I was dealing quite well with it on my own, manifestly due to some adult coaching, and who knows, perhaps was also addressing her own innate feelings. So, in this photo, when she tried to rearrange me for a better stance, and maintain it, I was actually quite surprised that she actually so cared, even briefly looking back at her, since I would not standing that differently from anyone else. So I then assumed a supposedly incontrovertible “on guard” stance and laughed at the fact that I had actually pulled away from her maintaining grasp so that the photo would not be taken while she was doing this, -for her sake, as she, as “evidently” demonstrated in the past, did not want to be known as one who was ‘pro-actively “sympathetic”’ to ethnic minorities.
            Well it was at the height of this constant bigoted ribbing that I smilingly overly-greeted this neighbor friend of mine on one of those mornings, as she was not like the other kids at school and was not bigoted, indeed as a fellow immigrant-child minority being of Italian descent. So I was glad that I could trust her in this regard. Unfortunately she took it either wrong, or probably, too far, and my ensuing bawling and return inside my house to my mom was, markedly, recalledly, indeed couched in a ‘Nooooo... not in that way’ thought, -indeed immediately attributing her ‘perverting’ here, as I then looked towards her house, which she also questionedly did, to her father. And the fact that I had stomped back inside the house to my mom was substantively because, in all of this, my mom manifestly was the only one that I could trust to rightly, (i.e., Godly) love/care for me.


            Given how I was, out of spurious and false bias reasons, mistreated during that early childhood time, it was actually a shaping reason to my character as I did not want to so mistreat someone simply based upon their external appearance or other related prejudices. So I naturally became drawn to befriending those people who many people socially do summarily reject and ignore (thematically ala. Heb. 2:18; cf.) [indeed starting that very school year with a guy, Hugo by name, who had a ‘neuro-physical’condition which caused his body’s muscles to always be spasmodically contorting[see (e.g.) in D119, far right], apparently medically termed Athetosis@], which has culminated in my current Matt 25:31-45-anchored endeavors to seek to physically help those who are currently being ignored by socio-financially well-off people, including in the SDA Church, particularly, the most vulnerable of all, subject-to-be-aborted infants.

@ Interestingly enough, and hopefully, (but probably), not by contagious transmission, as recounted in the “Thorns For the Flesh” section in this post, I later discovered, a couple of years later, in the first, and from what I have, in writing/researching this, just, [FINALLY!] self-diagnostically, figured out, that I have, (or apparently: ‘have been “given”’ i.e., indeed so due to the following seemingly unique characteristic), a much, much milder, specifically-triggered-occasional, form of this ‘neuro-physical’ condition!

** In fact I was still “hopping mad” when I later went on stage again to receive my diploma and contrary to my, actually quite fact happy/smiling demeanor which was snapped in Photo D300, I had just instants before that been most demonstrably scowling [believe me, it most visibly was] at the school principal, (also pictured there), because not only was he ultimately responsible for the school’s embarrassing debacle, but as many students would report, and as I also would see when walking by his office, he was often sound asleep at his desk. Talk about “sleeping at the switch”!! But as my reproaching scowl at him here at the graduation began to embarrassingly fluster him, (and he actually vindictively gestured to withhold my diploma), I then put on this fake smile and happy demeanor instead, yet all the while contrarily thinking in my head: ‘Well I hope we (the students) weren’t too “burdensome” for you [“gramps”].... retire already, will you??!’. (When he actually responded so cordially, even thankfully to my fake smile, I actually “broke” a little and genuinely smiled back, however I practically stomped off, stage-right, right after this because I was most honestly quite upset by how they had let our school become downtrodden and the likely Mass, particularly non-SDA, Exodus consequences that would ensue. I just wanted them to show more concern!) Sure enough, the principal did not return the next school year, (if I recall exactly, he actually took a position in an Ontario SDA School), yet, as stated below, things only got institutionally worse the next school year.

*** In one incident that year, the teacher who had spanked me back in Grade 1, in the above related incident in Note #1(1), had now become the principal in this, my Grade 7, well one day, we (the six of us in Grades 7[4] and 8[2] were all carrying on while waiting for an extremely late teacher to come to class, and he, with his office being in a room right next to ours, overheard us and opened the door. Everybody, being fearful of him, immediately stopped, but I, being the only SDA in my class, and by now being completely upset at how they had let the school degrade to this shoddy institutional, organizational and educational level, and feeling that I thus had the responsibility to stand up and protest this for the other students, who were somewhat accepting all of this as normal, I defiantly continued my conversation with my classmate, despite the fact that she was no longer paying attention to me, but to the principal. My whole point here was pointedly that, since he is not the scheduled teacher, then if they really want us to behave, then let them timely keep their teaching schedules. He clearly noticed my defiance but was still going to understandingly, guiltily ‘take it’, and was beginning to leave and pull the door closed, when I, having “pity” on him, with him looking more like a whipped guard dog, and, benefit-of-the-doubtly, thinking that he was maybe doing the best he could despite the present debacled appearances/conditions, looked at him as if to say: “well you are not even going to punish me?!?’ In all of this, I sacrificially wanted to show to my other classmates, all non-SDA’s, that the school still had discipline. He got the “baiting message” and motioned to me to follow him to his office. So I did, and when he got there, I was actually shocked that he was going to really spank me. I thought this would be a mutually understood ‘...let’s say we did’ thing, but as the class was right next door, he probably saw that it wouldn’t fool anyone. So I, now seething at this adverse turn of events, concedingly, disgruntledly held out my hand, but again, just like back in Grade 1 with him, likewise in protest, indeed reenacting that first grade protest, I moved my hand away at the first attempted blow. This time, probably instantly recalling that first grade incident, he didn’t insist to continue, and, dropping the ruler, motioned that I could go back to class. Knowing pointedly why I had “allowed” all of this, and also wanting to get my protesting point across, I then motioned to him that ‘he should spank himself for this embarrassing, make-shift situation that we were in. Having made my point, and with him deservingly, silently “taking it,” I left, going back to class with a covered up satisfaction for having made my point to him.

            In recollection, this ‘deliberate message vs. show’ attitude was my innate modus operandi, as also, when I was much young, (probably 6 or 7), I had been asked to recite a Bible text along with others in front of the Church, while I had been asked to join in doing this only that Sabbath morning, although it was an easy text, and I was asked to, and probably could have, memorized it, I figure then that since the goal was, or was supposed to be, the hearing of God’s word, then it was more important for me to properly read it, than to show how I had memorized it. So I insisted on having my Bible in hand, so that I could read it. Point passed!
            It was not that I was against Scripture memorization, it was just that I did not see any practical/necessary application to this memorization except merely for demonstration. In fact, also around this time, while in the second grade, we were going to have a test for Bible class in which we had fill in a table on the message to the 7 Churches in Revelation, topically mentioning their distinct elements under each Church heading. So, then seeing a practical application/need for this memorization, I proceeded to indeed memorize Rev 2 & 3, (finally practising what I had memorized during my 1.5 hour public bus ride to school the morning of the test), and aced the test. However, I recall feeling disappointed when the test was finished that I (foreseeably) really would not have another application for all that I had memorized.
            I still have this approach today which has extended into the deeper fields of Bible Study. There is much insistence on “Scripture memorization”, however as I understand the purpose of this effort to be, to ‘have the word of God in one’s heart’, I rather focus more on properly understanding “God’s word,” rather than memorizing a specific text and its location. Indeed when it is discovered that the text memorized has a more accurate rendering elsewhere in another version, this whole exercise can be self-muddling and even futile. However, in my view, this confusion is avoided by instead doing a more comprehension-based study.
            This approach also extends into the area of Biblical Discussion/Debate where I prefer to give a thought-out reply than the quick quip for a facially plausible, bantering retort. This is fundamentally why I have opted to engage, at the moment, in more in depth Biblical Research rather than public preaching/pastoring as, in many ways, I found out that what I was assuming as true still needed to first be concretely established, if not entirely corrected. Many in the Church today, being aware of this deficiencies, instead prefer to focus on what they think they know “for sure”, and cursorily ignore the opposing arguments and/or even unsure/unknown areas, however, most people who do not accept the Remnant Church’s message, do not do so because they object to the “known/sure proofs” but, honestly and sincerely, because of the, even handful of the quite strongly “opposing” ones.

            I cannot say for sure if this “certainty vs. show” preference of mine from my youth was naturally developed, or God-given/infused (cf. Jer 1:5), or, probably a combination of both, but either way, looking back on how, and where it has guided me, I equally thank God for this. Along the lines of the proverbial/fable saying: ‘It is better to start off on the right foot than to forego/procrastinate this ‘fundamental right footing’’; indeed only destined to result in a futile, mad dash at the “end.” (Cf. Matt 25:1-13).

*4*I.e., e.g., (me and my then ca. 5'5" ca. 120lbs) vs. a (ca. 6ft) moronic goon, an arrogantly/permissively presumptuous (ca. 160lbs) “big guy” [he came to need stitches], a (6ft+) attempting bully (who manifestly felt “threatened by” the fact that I (for now a fourth straight grade) carried around a briefcase as my school bag [originally a gift of my godmother[see in D182 - w/glasses], which I myself had now, honorarily, (re-)purchased after that first one had become too beat up (from having been treated as any normal school bag, along with customarily using it as a seat while waiting for the bus; [treated the second one more care-fully]) by my 6th grade)]; a fronting thug; as well as a couple of aspiring sociological/psychological bullies# all of which required such corresponding “reactions” to, indeed, permanently put them back in their place. As I told one, based on 3 (=1X+2X) past experiences, one of my, post-matter, inquiring teachers (Weight Training) in the aftermath of the expulsion of that thug (who was on the wrestling team), (who had also been a student of his), after he, while before the assistant principal for his committed (criminal) offense, had “accidentally” given his actual home address instead on the false one had been registered in the school with, during a seemingly perfunctory address double checking, (perhaps simply to ascertain the current mailing address to mail the assistant principal’s decision), which then suddenly, yet inclusively, trumped the 3-day suspension that he had just been given, -“[‘One Way (1X) or the other (2X)’] No one hits me and gets away with it!!## [Recently saw the “attempting bully” in a local newscast during a report on the Food Bank that he was working (or volunteering) in.]
            Incidently, the assistant principal had (quite self-evidently, “moronically”, I’ll preface) presumed to also give me a similar 3-day suspension because he (wrongly) felt that what I had said to the thug, as I myself had freely here related to him, had instigated/aggravated the incident. [Or, he, at my frustration at the selectively incomplete (= lying) account of thug had tried to pull a Solomon here (1 Kgs 3:25) to figure out who was telling the truth here - I really could not tell. My initial response however was, truthfully, along these Biblical lines as I asked: “Why should I get (equally) punished because he’s lying” -i.e., he was not telling the (following) whole story???] Knowing, and as I also had related to the assistant principal, that: (1) before I had made that, actually non-profane, matter-of-fact, statement, which pointedly addressed that guy’s real psychological issue here, to somehow now more forcefully get him to stop what he was insultingly, and even potentially harmingly, insisting on doing towards me, I had first twice, calmly had asked him to stop; and (2) I actually had not responded his subsequent, vexatious, “sucker punch” across the face, simply to not cause a circus scene in the school (the cafeteria), as it was commonly the case when fights broke out, with even the security guards[D142] just standing by, like hockey referees, and virtually quasi-cheering on a fight before they stepped in as it was ending, I, though ready to conceded a lesser punishment of e.g, 1 day or ½ a day or in some other form, took great offence to this offensive equating pronouncement and so, deliberately going over the principal’s head, simply for the way she had embarrassingly called me out of the (long) lunch line (morevover I was (finally) actually close to checking out), in a sort of a “perp walk” way, to summon me to this present meeting,### told the assistant principal (as I then got up and was leaving) expressedly ala Paul in Acts 25:11, that: “I appeal to the (..) School Board’” (indeed daring him to just try to further infringe upon my, even in this, paramountly “Supremely” trumping “Constitutional Freedom of Speech and Expression”). He never did enforce this pronounced and the next time I came across him a couple of days later while in the front of the school as students were heading home, he started to come over to me, maybe to formally announce to me that his pronounced suspension on me had been dropped, or even, judging by his cowering reaction, to pre-emptingly try to avoid me indeed following through, but by the way I actually, warningly, scowled at him, proceeding to headmotion to the police car that was, as customary, parked in front of the school when it ended, he stopped in his tracks and returned back where he had been standing, probably fully understanding that, seriously, if he dared make any (more) “moronic”,  insulting/aggravating/upsetting comment to me on this issue, such as: ‘why I had not followed through with my appeal’ I would indeed proceed to “throw the book” on this matter and, on top of indeed appealing his groundless and abusive decision to the school board, which, moreoverly, legally, indeed violated my first amendment right, (1) press criminal charges on the guy for the assault, (2) sue the school for non-feasance as, at least, one security guard[D142 - T.M.], as their indifferent preference was, had just stood by and did not intervene in this matter which he saw happen right before him. At the very least, that thug should have been immediately “taken in” by him for that, indeed criminal act, instead of him manifestly just waiting for a fight to break out before intervening, and near the end of it of course.
            In fact in one of such fights and, without fault, accompanying “circus scene”, between two guys and indeed what seemed like the whole school having quickly gathered around cheering it on, and sure enough, these security guards just standing there, on the inner ring of that frenzied circle, just watching the two guys wail away at each other, I, being on my way to my locker, was being blocked by this crowd, but, not wanting to be a spectator of this, nor also wanting to hang around and watch/witness one of those guys possibly receive a fatal blow, as I, by then semi-regrettably, experientially knew could potentially, easily happen, (which was another reason why I would later not fight with the thug. Another reason was that I was now living in a whole different environment in Miami were access to, and use of, guns was common, even by students as another student would at a future time, verbally threaten me with following a small altercation (i.e., my one-armed flooring, ‘out-of-my face’ removal of him for his, completely gameless, ‘NBA-style’, but variously quasi-assaulting, “in-your-face” dunking mimicking, of all other available space, right, indeed, in my face, at the field goal post/soccer net crossbars that I was standing under, then watching the gym class football scrimmage from the sidelines), saying that he would bring his father’s gun the next day -which he did not, -but I still should have reported that pointed, criminal threat), made my way through that outer ring of people in front of me, then nonchalantly walked across the open fighting circle space, by the two guys, causing them to puzzledly diminish their fighting to try to figure out what I was doing, and then, when they, by my actual total ignorance of them and probably the cringed look on my face, understood that I indeed did not want to ‘hang around and watch them potentially, literally kill each other,’ they suddenly switched their mode of pugilistic fighting to mere wrestling, actually now just passively holding each other in some sort of wrestling hold, to which these guards, now, stepped in to separate them. So I’ll indeed take credit here over these guards for having stopped that fight and while it may be argued that (like hockey referees) these security guards should not put themselves in harms way in/when trying to break up a fight, it can easily be seen that if they had a truly “zero tolerance” attitude, they could have actively done much more to actively, verbally encourage/order the fight to end asap, rather than just passively hanging around and “spectating”.

# These, respectively, peer pressuring and ethnical, aspiring sociological/psychological bullies (during my Miami High School days) both immediately cowered back into their “shell” when I openly offered them, both in the middle of class, and interruptingly loud enough so/that the teacher could, and did hear, to, euphemistically speaking, ‘“settle” our manifest, supposed, otherwise “non-reconcilable” differences once and for all after school.’ I think the fact that the teachers, (one of them being one guy’s varsity football head coach [I was then on the junior varsity team (-it didn’t have its games on Friday nights as the varsity team)]), who had been witnessing their encroachments, and my growing/festering annoyance to it, heard this and said, nor did, absolutely anything against it, nor me, scared them just a little less than the fact that they could readily sense that I was most serious. It must have been that trumpily quasi-maniacal smirk on my face that conveyed this notion resulting from knowing that I previously had already “settled” such affair with guys that were virtually twice their size/weight!
            In fact this ‘open during-class challenging’ is exactly the same way I had ‘settled’ my “difference” with the ‘(6ft+) attempting bully’, through a statement that technically, probably constituted a felony, yet the teacher then, ironically enough, of our Moral and Religious Education class [in, go figure, a public school system] also did not reprimand me, nor stop me from, (without permission), storming out of the class so that I could actually blow off this steam and get myself back under control so as to not actually follow through (then and there) with my “promise”. When I returned back to the class, the teacher still said absolutely nothing in way of reprimand, and of all things, the attempting bully sheepishly tried to patch things up. [Similarly, the “moronic goon” mentioned above was literally paralyzed into no further action, nor reaction, by the clearly understood, implied ‘you deserve it’ faulting by the non-intervening-in-any-way, game-officiating Phys. Ed. teacher, as I was finishing on my own terms/extent, (i.e., on, what ended up being, a 7-to-1 ratio), what that goon had “line-crossingly” physically instigated.].
            My main point in all of this is certainly not to advocate for such verbal quasi-confrontations for problem resolutions, but instead to highlight that such sociological/psychological bullies, especially at such teenage developmental ages, are usually acting out of a psycho-hypnotic conditioning where it takes such a “jolt of (ultimate) consequences” to make them realize the collective detrimental effects that their words/actions are having. And what clinches this psychoanalysis in those personal incidents is that, overall, all six of these variously confronted guys tried to, and that quite genuinely, get along with me afterwards, quite manifestly out of feeling guilty that they had got me (the “quiet kid” -which is why they had presumed to cross me) that upset!! The psychological truth is that they had not, up to then, realized how “ugly” and “cruel” they actually personally were/had been and so, they did not afterwards, indeed after having deliberately been openly exposed as really being quite despicable, want to maintain this embarrassing course. And as my hostility against then from then on would be a perpetual reminder of that fact about them, they therefore tried to have it disappear as fast, and as completely, as possible. 

## In applicably only one incident@ was this not the case as, while on the return portion of my 8600-mile, Summer 1996 road trip[D202-D205], after having spent a day visiting Washington D.C., I had gone to nearby Baltimore to go to a game[D236a] in order to visit the then 4-year old “Oriole Park” (the first of the “retro” major league ballparks vs. the common stadiums). During the game, as I had ‘seated myself’ some rows up on the first base side, just beyond first base, an actual line drive foul ball, which I peripherally noticed just in time to duck as it sailed just a few inches right over where my head had been. I could have just reached up and caught it, (at least try, knocking it down) but being so irked by how close that ball was coming towards me, when first noticed, and then had come to hitting me, I disgustedly just let it go by.@@ However I then, though being still upset at this close call, decided to get up and retrieved the foul ball which was actually just laying a few feet behind me in the first row of that section of seats. It was indeed so close to me that no one else had bothered to get up and get it, but then seeing that I was not going to get it, a few people then came running to get it. However despite my delayed action, I still got to where it was first and hurriedly reached my hand under the seat where it was just before a closest guy to it, second to me, could bend down and take it. In hurriedly reaching in like this I had actually scrapped my forearm on the cement flooring. I then also noticed that I almost wrecked my (only expensive-looking) wristwatch[D237] in the process. As I was looking it out to see if it was not scratched (notice the inherently involved time that had passed by), while also holding the ball, thus all for now a few seconds, that closest guy who had been standing there watching me inspecting my watch suddenly, in manifest frustration that I had gotten a ball which I evidently didn’t really care for and also manifestly because I was so “caring” for my watch, and apparently also wanting to “teach me a lesson” about ‘the risks involved in/associated with getting a foul ball,’ seemingly pointedly targeting my watch, just forcefully, pummeledly, steppingly laid, with his shiftedly thrusted full (over)weight injected, right into my forearm which was still laying against the concrete floor. It was “on its face” clearly an unnecessary, thus criminal, act of (gratuitous) assault. Holding back a derisive smile to a quasi-fiendish smirk, I indeed just couldn’t help laughing inside at the sheer stupidity of the guy as I could (in “an-other way”) either have the stadium security detain him to be formally charged by Police with assault or, were it but for my literally steam-venting tempering, “teach him a lesson” about ‘the physical consequences of striking me.’ But as I was only passing through Baltimore that evening, and wanting to get on with my trip’s travels that same night to reach a desired specific destination by later early that the morning, and not wanting to literally ruin the rest of my evening at the Police Department with the process of pressing these charges, let alone the physical and testimonial presentation responsibility for any future judicial action,@@@ I reluctantly let this go, however trusting with precedence that, he would, “One Way”, somehow get his just retribution (cf. Deut 32:35), particularly if he really, as manifested, believed that he could just so go around ‘physically taking his various (jealous) frustration out on people’ or have a right to ‘“teach” people lessons’. Still I was quite seething over this for a while after that and considered a couple of times to go and begin the steps of getting him into custody and filing a formal criminal complaint. In the second of those seriously pondered times, I was about to do so when I realized that, in my contained blinding rage until I turned and walked away, I really had not gotten a good look at the guy, however a man from a couple in front of me who took my picture with the foul ball[D236b - don't let my photo-posing smile fool you, I was still seething, and it was immediately after that photo that the second pondering came] indicated that he had no problem either identifying the guy and being a supporting witness for me. (In fact most other people sitting around me could have also done so.) However not wanting to (also) ruin their evening, I decided not to follow through.

@ That “applicably” is after an early childhood incident, when, when I was somewhere within 7-9, a jealous neighborhood kid struck me across the arm with a plastic tent picket he was holding. I was so shocked at that reaction, even more than feeling hurt by the actual pain, that I just went crying back inside the house to my mom. He and his friends had previously become jealous of me for having so many toy cars (in total I had ca. 100+%), and earlier they had, while I had left some of them outside in the front yard, right next to the sidewalk[cf. in D167a], to go and eat, had tried to smash them with a large rock. (He, indeed quite surprisingly, only managed to damage one of them, with them being made of metal, only breaking the hinges of that futuristic car’s front lifting, roof panel door off its hinges. He had not even been able to break that door’s large plastic window pane!?? [As it was a top-fitting door, it would actually perfectly stay in place and only fall out when the car flipped over. It also could not swing, and then stay open on its own, as before.] I was moreoverly even more incredulous and surprised that he/they had not just stolen them and remember seeing/perceiving, apparently by unrecognized deliberate Indicative Impression (ala. 1 Sam 3:7), “the hand of God” in all of this.) In fact it was because I practically mocked the kid when he later passed by for stupidly just not having stolen them, or even been successful in damaging them as he easily could have, though not letting him know of these reasons, that, seeing that he had not at all hurt me by his actions, and moreoverly, I was manifestly laughing at him, he proceeded to, vexatiously and embarrassedly, so “whack” me in order to make sure here that he “pained” me. My initial reaction, seeing the actual incomprehensible fury in his eyes, was: “This guy is completely crazy” (= Matt 5:39's "evil person")).
            And it was from that incident that I first came to be aware that people can, for no reason at all, physically act violently and be hurtful to others. This was a “realization” which literally prepared me for later incidents in my life, which, though they each also took me by surprise, given their similar non-justifications, made me, with “just cause”, “hold my ground” and, as deemed justified, and/or “worthwhile”, defend myself, and that to the applicable degree.

% These toy cars had all been, just a few days before, given to me by an Italian young man living further up on my street who then, after having passed me by, after a brief stop to talk to me, as I was playing with the couple of toy car I owned, went home and came back with a paint tub containing his 100+ toy car collection, and placed it down next to me. Evidently he had “outgrown” them. Though I was greatly excited at the presented gift, as I had been instructed not to take gifts from any stranger, I brought him, along with them carried by him, to the front door of our house to show my mom what he was giving me. As she went on to say it was okay, I thankfully accepted the gift from him. However, in accepting the gift, I, in my ca. eight-year old mind, actually refusing to comprehend, felt sad and sorry for him that ‘he had “victimedly” become so “grown up” that he felt more joy and satisfaction out of giving all his cars away than keeping, and playing with them. (In fact when he had first stopped as he was walking by, he had struck up a friendly conversation about ‘me playing with my car’ and ‘if I liked cars’. However it was that latter question which actually led me to treat him sort of “rudely” as, though I knew who he was, often riding by his house on my bicycle, I just couldn’t help but think: ‘I am only a kid and I know that’s getting really creepy/shady,’ all the while now mythly no longer looking up at him. So when he defensively started to say who he was and that he actually wanted to give me some cars, -‘No kidding’ I thought, given that he did not have the cars with him, ‘that’s why its so creepy/shady!’, I actually deliberately mutely chinned him to: ‘(Well then), first go get them and bring them back!’ (I guess he first wanted to make sure that I would want them before lugging that heavy tub along the ca. 400 feet between our houses. [Albeit, as if a kid (and one here playing with toy cars) would refuse a tub of toy cars!!?]) So I also partly felt kind of guilty, though out of societal necessity, having treated him so “rudely” yet accepting this gift from him. I guess, in all of this, I didn’t want to ruin his innocence!?! Go figure.). However the same thing would later occur with me when, at the age of 15, as we were in the process of moving to Florida, I joyfully gave away most of these same cars, along with other toys that I had later bought/obtained (e.g, my small G.I. Joe collection) to some youngster friends/acquaintances from Church. (~Matt 10:8)

@@ Indeed, I by now was increasingly becoming so not a fan of Sports as before, indeed going to games, as during this road trip, mainly for ‘ballpark-visiting touristic reasons’ than for the game, even for local games in Montreal, that I found it quite upsetingly ironic here that I almost “left my skin” at a/that game. I went on to make such an “ensuing” noticeable fuss about this gross lack of proper protection for the fans that the on-deck player then, Eddie Murray, (an MLB Player’s Representative) interactively, engagingly/responsively took pointed notice of it.

@@@ I have indeed had gotten others to face “the Law”/Justice for (tangibly) relatively lesser effectuated acts than that. Namely:

-Feb. 7, 2000, just before leaving Andrews, a customer, a friend of the auto parts store owner, tauntingly shoved his just opened, fuming beer bottle in my face as I was disapprovingly looking at it/him, and then, as he was leaving, came back in the store and threw a snowball just a few inches over my head. Though he was presumably aiming for the guy behind the counter, standing right in front of me, with this being done inside a store, and not knowing for sure, given his prior offending act, I, having, due to that prior violating act, gotten the license plate number off his pick up truck, reported it/him to the local police department who said he would go over to his house and “chew him out”. (Not sure if he actually did “chew him out”, but he probably did pay him a due visit.).

-May 16, 2000, just having returned to my hometown from Andrews, while shopping around in local hardware stores for the best prices on various materials, and several and parts, that I was needing for the building of a functional prototype for my invention[D68], which up to then had cost me over $600, after over 8 hours of doing these prices-noting visits in now 3 other stores, and now doing the same in this 4th (smaller scale) hardware store, the workers there intially objected to me doing so, coming over a couple of times to ask me what I was doing and who for, but they really had no legal reason to prevent me from doing so at all. After one of them asked me to view this comparative shopping listing, which I optionally chose to go ahead and allow him to, he went and showed it to the others, and then returned it to me. Then as I went on to continue to do so, one of them, then coming out of a back room and walking towards me as I was standing in an aisle, suddenly shoved me out of his way as he passed by, and then after taking a few further steps, suddenly stopped, turned back, grabbed my clip pad, and tore out my list and then walked away towards the front register. I went after him, telling him to give it back to me and asking what right he had to do this, to which he “responded” by proceeding to rip it up, as if ‘that was his authority”, and as I made a move to get even those ripped up papers from him, as it would be less costly, time wise for me, to piece back those pieces together than do spend another 8+ hours redoing the list, he suddenly, moroverly, had the hutzpah to grab me by the collar! Let’s just say that he was lucky that I (as above, also) found him to be comically “backwards” and so stupid, and moreoverly, as that temperly really was not enough, took note that he was wearing glasses. And not being as “backwards” and “stupid” as him, I, after getting myself out of his collar grip, picked up the phone on the counter and called the police. As the Police was taking a while to come (as evidently they normatively do for such non-emergencies), I, then waiting for them in my car outside, and with the store about to close at 6 p.m., proceeded to write down the license plate numbers of all of the cars in the store’s parking lot, along with noting the make, model and color of the cars (all employee cars as there were no customers there). And as these employees eventually left after the store closed, I crossed out each entry of a leaving car that was not driven by that man. After I thus was able to ascertain which car was his, and thus his identifying license plate number, I went home and called police again (my 3rd call), who now, following uply, asked me where I now was. They sent two officers over who wrote a report and with the license plate identification they then went to the man’s house and questioned him. Eventually formal criminal charges for “(Simple) Assault” were filed against him, and ca. a year later, on April 3, 2001, I, having been informed of his due date in court went to the proceeding. I didn’t need to testify as he straightly pleaded guilty and was sentenced by the judge to pay $250 in fine to a charity and was also put on probation for the next 45 days.

-May 25, 2000 - Succinctly said here, during an argument with the person then renting the upstairs portion of our rental house, but by then, not having paid for the last 2 months, he threatened to kill me. I called police. They came, checked with me if I felt threatened and then  questioned him, verifying how serious he was and readily feasible his threat was/could be (i.e., e.g., did he had a firearm). At the very least, if anything did happen to me in the house, he would be Prime Suspect #1. [Those renters eventually left without paying the final three months of their lease. My parents, despite my offered services to judicially collect on the court decision against them condemning them to pay, and with its granted 10-year collection period, chose to not do so.] [A similar court decision had earlier been made against a Church member who had rented the house for a year, (actually leaving his own home in full rental and renting our deliberately lower-priced house, thus making ca. a $800 profit per month; =$1500/month from the last 3 months when he then chose to no longer pay us rent). However, under the formally heightening reprimand of his Church’s Pastor and First Elder, who were both also friends of ours, he finally repented and decided to pay this “theftily” owe money.]


### Unbeknownst to me at that time, my mother had come by the school earlier that morning, after I had told her what had happen the day before, including how the security guard had just stood by and done nothing to even immediately haul the guy to the principal’s office for his, indeed criminal, act, and she had, effectively, (i.e., I slightly paraphrase), asked the people at the front desk then: ‘‘was it either “open-season” on her son!?!’ or ‘was I that thug’s punching bag!?!’’.

*5* My favorite of my mitigation measures was, when taking tests on the Evolution theory, defaultly beginning all of my answers with: “According to the theory of Evolution...”, as I was, notwithstandingly/nonethelessly, in the process of also substantively acing this test.
            Not to actually make fun here at all, as this was manifestly, actually not the malicious intent of most, if not sincerely, none, in the class, but just a virtually “incontrovertible” observational circumstance that even our teacher seemed to, playing along, “concede”, but as the 1993 song by CCM artist Geoff Moore: “Evolution... redefined” said: ‘our teacher actually seemed to solve this supposed elusive enigma of the “Missing Link”’!! (Just to avoid false accusations of being duplicitous here, in the light of what I related in Note #1(C), it factually were my pleadingly reproaching glares (mixed with a reprimand of their effective hypocrisy here as they actually devoted believed in this “Missing Link” fantasy) to my non-Creationist classmates, (two class-clown, ring leaders [namely “Jimmy” and “Tom” in particular (these “appellations” were actually derived from their full/real Greek names)]) who were itching to heighten this joke from its present restrained, spurting snickering level, which, indeed literally, actually quashed this joking before it broke out into open, and thus surely, self-fulfillingly, into disculpating, popularly accepted, derisive laughter, and it is upon observing this that the teacher acted as if such comments really did not bother him, in a: “I’ve heard it before” way.)

*6* In fact, I find the presentations on 'the non-factuality of (even/also) mathematics' by Clifford Goldstein quite confirming (see e.g., this one) because it indeed confirmed a sudden harrowing and most frustrating realization that I had during my Grade 12 Trigonometry course that I was also here, i.e., even in a Math class, being “religiously indoctrinated” when the teacher began teaching, self-admittingly-named-enough, imaginary numbers!! -And not too long into that lecture I came to pointedly, questioningly, look over my shoulder at one of the smartest guys in the class intimating: “Do you ‘believe’ that???”
            In fact I later took advantage of a rare opportunity of “humaness” “studentness” from our quite sharp and seriousness/silence obsessively sensitive teacher to try to implicitly make the point that 'this stuff did not have to be taken so seriously', when he spelled [or is it “spelt”!?] the word "exercise" as "excercise"...to which I raised my hand, and when he acknowledged me, I dryly pointed out the spelling error, which quasi-embarrassingly, but humbly playing along, surprised him; but then I added the punching, -mainly, underhand-complimenting jab at his teaching sharpness, but also maths-deprecating, line: “Ahhhh....No wonder you’re a Maaaath teacher!?!...” To both his and my surprise, the whole class, who manifestly were also awaiting such an opportunity to “relax” in that class, bursted [or is it “burst”, LOL] out into roaring laughter for (what seemed  like) the next 20 seconds. (Cf. this joke by Ravi Zacharias).

*7* Relatedly, as this spurious, and really substantively arbitrary, ‘increased-age-entitles-you-to-certain-“banned fruits of knowledge”’ (contra e.g., Luke 18:16, 17#), later when this popular notion became even more pronounced in Senior High School as the “revered” age of 18 neared then amongst these latest school peers[e.g, D207a], I was actually quite mythed, and even offended, that I was thrown a surprise 18th Birthday party[D207b]. It had actually greatly annoyed me because I had not so had a, if any, birthday celebrated in years, (indeed probably going back to my 12th [D207c]). Honestly, if I could have, disculpatingly, paid the secretly invited guests to go back home, I would have. However the party went on and I forced myself to look happy. But I sincerely was not, the various base/vile things that I had heard/encountered, and had to repeatedly fend off, surrounding “one’s 18th birthday, and beyond” had literally grossed me out. Though not substantively the case at all, I felt like it was a pagan ritual feast that was now being observed/celebrated with this party. As I later openly blurted out at one point in the party, no longer able to contain myself, and also to provide an explanation for my noticeable, paramount annoyed/glum mood throughout: “It’s not like anything was going to change” (i.e., ‘what’s the point of so celebrating this birthday’). In fact, the only moment of joy and worthwhileness for me in this whole affair was opening a ‘Bible on Cassette’ gift[D193].

#Case in point, I remember when I was young, a grown up had once told me that ‘I could not watch an upcoming, then (i.e., early ‘80's) actually, TV(-censored) movie because “it was not for children”’, not missing a beat, I replied: “Well it should not be for “Children of God” either!??!”

[9] To show how fascinated I indeed was with, particularly the statistical side of sports, in 1987 I invented my own Basketball Association (the RBA) -an indoor version of basketball (using an air-inflated (i.e., not helium) balloon), which, at its height in its 3th and 4th (and last) season had, after a league expansion, 11 teams, each playing 40-game schedules. That league include virtually everything that an actual league could have (from player contracts, individual stats, championship and award trophy, All-Star games and even a minor league in the 4th season). It gradually became so detailed stats-wise with each new season that, where a game itself, with the winner being the first team to reach 30 points, took ca. 8 minutes to play[e.g, D137], tabulating and updating all of the statistics[e.g., D109-D111], by hand, with paper and pencil in those pre-Windows PC & Software days of the late 1980's,* that it took ca. 30 finger-numbing minutes to complete. In total exactly 1000 games (an extra 3-game “Dream Team” exhibition was played out in 1992 to reach that round figure), including post season games over 4 seasons, so in total that all took about one full month of my life, (which in actuality (i.e., up to 5 games per day), was spread out over ca. 300 calender days in total).
            Later on I was able to see the benefit of such a discipline, (or was it rather my innate interest this mathematical discipline) with my various numbers crunching preparations needed for my NJK Project taking much more time and effort, however much less taxing as they were mostly done on a computer spreadsheet.

* During my computer lab class in the 8th grade (in 1989), where I brought in some of my RBA stats sheet to input them into the computer spreadsheet program we were learning[D141], even I, in fact even before this, from other interactions with early PC’s and their required source code/commands-knowledge (pointedly through a church friend who was studying computers in college), knew that this black screen, command-line user interface could be improved upon to make it more practical and accessible for the average person, indeed frustratingly asking this friend: ‘why is this so (“geekiely”) complicated,’ -a fully exploited perception/idea that would come to begin to make Bill Gates a multi-billionaire, starting ca. a year later.

[10] It also did not help that I had started off this Sports interest odyssey by being (somewhat) lucky as I had twice won in a hockey contest where I had to fill in a ballot and guess which player (on the Canadiens club) would score first for the team. The first time my name appeared, my selected player did not score first, however I got a great consolation prized in a personalized team Jersey[D172-D173]; however the next time (a couple of weeks later) my ballot was again picked, that player scored first and I won the $500 store certificate prize. (With which I bought my first computer (a Commodore 64C - I had it for 10 years until I sold it to a youngster while preparing to leave for University in 1997). It sure made it easy to be selected as I had literally “stuffed the ballot box” at my local (Canadian Tire) Store by, actually taking home about 3 blocks of entry forms and filling them in and then returning to the store a couple of days later to put them in the ballot box. (No rule said that this was illegal/unlawful and there were also over 15 stores with such ballot boxes throughout the city). Since a full prize winner could not be selected again to win the prize, my remaining ballots were probably repeatedly discarded. It felt nice to hear my name on the radio as I, the winner was excitedly announced immediately after that goal was scored. (I had an audio tape recording of it.) As the contest name was: I indeed felt that: ‘He (the Player) Shot; and I Scored’. Not so incidently, I, through my parent’s cooperation (paying something for them at the store with part of the certificates), also paid my tithe on that prize.

[11] Bikeriding was actually my fathers favorite “(hobbying) sporting activity” and it is most strikingly quite amazing that over a period of ca. 1460 days in which we, (my sister and I), probably asked him ca. 300 times to take us on a bike ride, it was the ca. 30 times when he agreed and took us on quite thrillingly* long rides that really memorably marked us right through today, to the point where it is quite shocking looking back that it occurred, indeed, relatively, “only” ca. 30 times. I know from such an experience that it really does not take much to have a “lasting impression” on a kid....and that probably does equally “work” either way.

* I mean, when you tracely still have the large, skin-peeling scar on a knee from having skidded and fallen on a patch of thin gravel in a curve and had pleadingly refused to end the bike ride and go back home, you must have been having ““ecstatic” fun”.

[12] And in the area of weightlifting, although I, e.g., could bench press much more than my 135 lbs of body weight, and, most notably, could easily do a full set (i.e., 3 sets of 8 reps) of (Preacher/Standing) Curls at 135 lbs, I was, due to my non-bulging frame, -despite such demonstrated weightlifting strength, known as “pencil-arms.”[cf. e.g. D421 (Summer 1993)] (Case in point, the Varsity baseball coach who, renownedly, visibly had huge muscular arms, once, while I was working out, tried to match my demonstrated Curling strength, but could not even do more than a first, drawn-out curl, which had nearly caused his arm muscles to explode!).
            Here also, in such weightlifting matters, I focused on the practical, and since my muscular strength would be most needed for baseball, particularly when at-bat, I mainly focused on building up strength in my arm muscles. I.e., could not see the correlation of bench pressing strength with being able to handle, and swing a bat with the needed strength and bat speed to actually, solidly hit a ball, let alone throw a fastball!

            And doubly, enjoinedly related here, what had ‘got me started/believing/dreaming’ into pursuing a baseball career, which I was by then convinced could/would be quite successful, and now as also a power hitter, indeed despite my non-bulging frame, and which would thus offer me an optionable workaround against my ‘first thorn”, was the fact that while I was 14-15 years old, and this being in my pre-weightlifting days, -which I only began to do at age 16, when in the 11th grade, (therefore I then had a physical frame somewhere in between the one in the picture taken ca. a couple of years before the age of 14[D207c] and the one of about a year after [D166 & D280-1]), was that while playing in ca. 10-15 formally organized pick-up games which then involved much faster pitching (vs. the pitching speeds I faced in my normative, almost everyday, batting/pitching practising with my friend), in about 40 at-bats during those games, I had been one of the few, ( as I recall only 3), of the total participants who had managed to hit an over-the-fence homerun, in fact myself doing that 3 times[see D296], and almost, if not, four times, with one hit (assumedly) bouncing a few feet in front of the fence and then over it for a “ground rule double”. (Albeit indeed as we only assumed then, and I conceded, with that fence being a mesh fence and that game being at night, under the lights, and no one, including the centerfielder who was playing far in (for ‘skinny’ me) and off towards right field then (for the batting side reason stated below), had had a good look at the ball to see if it had actually bounced just before or just beyond the fence.
            Well what had “got me believing” here was not merely the fact that I was one of the few, and easily the smallest/skinniest, players who had hit multiple homeruns during those games, -with 3-4 homeruns in ca. 40 at-bats working out to ca. 40-60 homeruns on a normative 600 at-bat (pro Baseball) season, (and I did encouragingly also keep detailed stats of those formal baseball games then, however I have now lost/misplaced those records); but actually the fact that (1) I had actually not “meant/intended” at all to hit those 3-4 homeruns, and (2) one, and my longest, homerun (249ft), along with the possible one, i.e., the disputed ground rule double, had come when I was batting lefthanded, which was my non-natural batting side, and which I was learning to hit from. I, along my others amazed teammates, all laudingly credited those homeruns to the clear fact that I had my swing mechanics down right. Indeed, in all of those hits, as insistently stressed by batting coaches, I had literally ‘seen the ball hit the bat’ and my immediately next surprised/shocked look from there was looking up, way up, and seeing the ball soaring away, and already two-thirds of the way out of the ballpark. So I was concretely more than convinced that if I could stick to those producing “right swing” mechanics, I could ‘make a successful career out of this’, and that way beyond my ready capability to variously get on base and steal bases.*
            And in actuality, while it is normative/typical to see a leading homerun hitter have a big frame and bulging arms, and usually willingly/demonstrably slug the ball over the fences, a contemporary modern day player that has come to prominently/consistently validate this “good mechanics power slugging success viability” observation of mine is the N.Y. Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez (-who incidently, but of course, absolutely inconsequential to me and my then all but fully abandoned pro sports career aspirations by then, was drafted in 1993 from a Miami area High School, as I too was a High School senior in the area. -His high school drafting was the talk of me and my other baseball career aspiring baseball team friends.). That is because, as seen e.g., in this highlight reel, he rarely, if actually ever, particularly early on in his career, demonstrably, purposefully, “overpowers” the ball when swinging, nor approaches/acts/swings like the stereo-typical slugger who is quite manifestly trying to hit the ball out of the ballpark. Yet Rodriguez, (who by the (related) way, is currently the highest paid player in Baseball History, and in the midst of a second, record setting 10-year/$25,000,000+ per year, contracts), by having become the fastest player in Major League Baseball history to reach the 600 HR career total, is on pace to break, if not shatter, the MLB career homerun record, (and with, currently, the second spot being filled by another physically/demonstrably unassuming super-slugger, namely Hank Aaron.) As it was my reaction, Rodriguez patently, candidly looks surprise to see that the ball he has just hit, is going to be a homerun. [And relatedly, of all sports, yet not to defend/condone the practice, while performance-enhancing drugs do bulk someone up and make them stronger, in particularly baseball, it does not actually automatically translate into more frequent, and longer distance, homeruns.]
            All this to say that, my surprisingly extraordinary slugging success at age 14-15 which was all clearly derived from proper mechanics, really excitedly got me to plunge into viably pursuing a, thorn-circumventing, professional baseball career. I later focused also on pitching than positional playing (i.e. centerfielding) to expand my thorn-circumventing options, and even became a viable switch-pitcher, having learn to also pitch well left handed.

* And as an additional case in point for me and this “good mechanics” observation, while participating, in 1994, in a Fan Homerun Derby at the then Florida Marlins Baseball stadium[D71], I only hit the ball well, -to the out-loud, noting, oooing/awing surprise of the other participants watching as the ball just popped off my bat, thinking I had hit the ball out of the park, when I stopped “swinging for the fences” at my fifth and final derby pitch, and just focused there on literally seeing the ball hit the bat, which I actually saw. [I had a video of my at-bat in this event but accidently recorded over it]. And the fact that the pitching machine was, deferentially, set up to throw the ball quite slow (probably at ca. 65 mph), as most participants were presumed to be novice hitting amateurs, and also as it was actually not throwing strikes, but throwing the ball at the height of (my) shoulders, really, addedly/compoundedly threw me off in my first four pitches and I had to gradually, mentally and positionally, adjust myself to these key differences, and which I finally perfected by the fifth pitch. Upon seeing that adjusted-last-pitch great contact and results, despite the still slow and wrongly high pitching, the guys operating the pitching machine wanted to rearrange it for me, and grant me another set of 5 pitches, but as I was actually quite late for work then, and it would not really be fair for the others here that I get 10 pitches, and addedly not fair to those who had gone before me and had had to manage with those same bad/wrong pitching parameters, I turned down their offer. As I was leaving, they did go ahead and adjust the pitching machine, and, as I was about to later walk out the stadium’s seatings area, the next batter after me, who was actually shorter (but stockier) than me, was almost hitting every one of those better pitches out of the ball park.


[13] That deliberate objective became concretized by me out of my very first attempt to play organized sports, when, after having made the Junior Varsity High School team in my Sophomore year, the coach stood before us and said that starting with tomorrow’s first double header games, all games were going to be on Saturday (during the day). That completely caught me by surprise and I (unhesitantly) had to announce before everyone that I could not continue with them because I went to Church on Saturdays. They all understood and were very supportive of my commitment, including the coach, but what was most interesting to me was seeing the pensive and quasi-ashamed reaction of the many players on the team who were Jewish, and at the very least, knew exactly what was Biblically, fully involved here! My deliberate gaze to them as I made this announced probably did engage this self-retrospection.

[14] Conversely in the formal races cited above[D134] the two silver medals I won there would have actually been gold medals were it but for the sudden last second manifestation of that first thorn near the finish line which allowed the runner then behind me to catch up and make it a photofinish win for him at the finish line. I personally know, from normative experience, that the fact that this thorn manifested itself well into my running that race, right near the finish line, was most likely not “natural”.
            In regards to the first experienced manifestation of this first thorn in that first grade foot race, which, through experiential retrospect, was quite manifestly also “non-natural”, from that start, the whole thing was so weird to me that when I was taken to the Children’s Hospital to have my jaw examined, I chose not explain to the doctor what I had noticed had actually caused the sudden fall.*
            In regards to that second “thorn”, I most clearly, especially due to the non-sequitur oddness, as related below, recall hearing God most strikingly/ironically tell me after a (previously oblivious to**) diastema aggravatingly-accentuating, baseball accident (while in the 8th Grade), and was now observing this “damage” in the bathroom mirror after having immediately rushed home from the park in order to visually see this “felt damage”, (not taking the reassuring assessment of my friend that ‘I was fine’ - i.e., ‘my teeth were all there’), that: "I have done this” (i.e., self-understandably, “allowed this for a purpose...” -a “purpose” which I did readily grasp the immediate application given a particular inceptive development, involving a Greek “goddess” (Did I say that out loud??!) [@ now married with, at least, one child]...{recursively, “ditto” ca. four years later}, although I still did then, knowing the swinging-for-the-fences-but-missed-slip-and-fall-(due-to-a-drenched-field)-mouth-(ayoye)-first-upon-my-dropped-bat circumstance of this accident, opt to mildly retort at that utilized literal statement: “Oh yeah then, HOW??!” [My, much later, theological understanding of ‘God and the Future’ allowed me to see that here, God had injunctively, opportunistically, assumed full responsibility for this sudden accident, -indeed ‘for a purpose.’ (Rom 8:28) - Albeit, indeed as literally expressed, by not having previously strongly warned me that playing on that muddily-slick baseball diamond[cf. D296] was not safe.].***
           In recollection, like youthful Samuel (1 Sam 3), this was, and retrospectively, non, indeed, “purposelessly”, the first time that I (so pronouncedly/distinctly) “heard” the “Voice of God”.

            And given the fact that, (1) “level-playing-field”-wise, I had tangibly proven to be an above average (floor) hockey player, and (2) hockey was actually the one sport that was most “impervious” to my “first thorn”, [though not 100%, as in a case where is (perhaps) resulted in a player scoring a “break-away” (“insurance”) goal against my team as I knowingly did not even bother sprinting after him to catch up with him being the closest opposing player to him; and us losing a championship match 3-1 (I had just shortly before scored the lone, 2-0 comeback attempt, goal for my team) [and, in an actual “blown call” way, that player was actually offside on that breakaway pass]]; that, “aggravatedly”-second thorn actually caused me to be phobically dissuaded about learning how to ice skate, though I had bought a pair of ice skates and my local park built an ice hockey rink each winter, (still does), [and also, in order to getting a certain “feel”, I at times actually did practice in my garage while wearing my ice skates], as I did not want to take the risk of falling down and breaking my teeth. But I, indeed “phobically” (i.e., out of a psychological basis) never did not go that further step of actually ice (or similarly, [contrary to my sister]: roller) skating. (And “Roller Hockey” is (viably) actually also a quite popular (even pro) sport[D316] in hockey-obsessed Montreal.).



* In fact, when, after having awaken from a granted nap in my classroom, I, through my deliberately persisted distraught expression on my face, made my teacher and the principal call my father to come and take me to the hospital. My father, upon arriving, then readily understanding, by my own cues, that I really was not physically hurt or still in pain, wanting to “test” my seriousness here of, at least, wanting (vs. needing), to see a doctor, before driving off to do so, (as he confirmingly told me only some years later, but I had also figured it out at that time), giddily offered me my favorite meal which he had brought along. Indeed it was, as renown amongst my relatives, my favorite meal, and that thus strikingly from babyhood, as I had then, literally pushed aside my baby foods, so that I would instead be only fed this meal that/when my mom was eating (it). And though she had to blend this food so that I could then safely eat it, I still preferred it to those baby foods. (I mean, if my core meal is going to be blended foods either way, then it might as well be something that I like!!). And so when I, with a responding: “That’s not fair” expression turned down this offer by my father, he then concedingly recognized that I was evidently quite serious about this request from some reason, and drove off to take me to the Children’s Hospital.

** See e.g. Grades: One[D169, D168]; Two[D156, D73]; Five[D171] photos. This Eighth Grade school photo[D164] was taken shortly after that accident...with me suddenly quite amusedly realizing there-then|in that I would not be able to “grin my candy-grill”, -as my mom used to repeatedly purposely-tease me when I brought home those school photos, as before. (All along, during those years, I was actually, para-consciously, emphatically making the, unwittingly-mythed, thus naturally opposingly, bubbly-giggly point that ‘I myself did not at all need to say: “Cheeeeese!!!” in order to smile in the photo’.... ‘I mean,’ I wondered: ‘why was that even being required for kids??!!!...’)...I actually, literally, “got that” when that was, “recommendedly”, asked of me by the stalling photographer for that Eighth Grade photo...and I, alternatingly, refused to “comply”...).
            (I deliberately, uncharacteristically, did not smile, even was semi-pouting, in my 4th Grade class photo [D211], to self-sabotage/boycott my photo [not being aware then, as stated in Note #8*#, that my glasses and my recent haircut, were doing this job all on their own. (I actually thought then that these, respectively, would, and was, doing the exact opposite -which is what had traumatically shocked me into my eyesight miracle)], in order to atone for the damage I had caused to my neighbor-classmate (standing next to me), by, confessedly, semi-accidently tripping her. See the “dramatic-licensed-account” in[D201]. (I stress “semi-accidently” because I thought, and she, as well as others around me (e.g., my godsister), most seemingly knew/realized that she had “voluntarily” taken a dive when I, out of frustration for the sudden of my “physical thorn” in this footrace causing me to abandon the race to avert another accident as in the first grade, I did cause my feet to become entangled with hers, however she “agreed to be tripped, and thus fall” only after a further step and half, though it turned out worst than she planned as she fell hard on the gym floor and chipped one of her front tooth. In fact, because I clearly saw that she had taken a dive, I initially did not feel sorry for her at all, though I later show some sympathy however actually never did apologize because it indeed had been a clear cut dive, i.e., I did not make her fall. Nor, case in point, did she ever, nor even begin to, hold it against me.) Nonetheless, because my semi-accidental action had caused damage to her smile for a little while before that photo, as dentist were able to fully and tracelessly restore her tooth (apparently with a glued “ceramic chip prosthesis” covered with veneer), I playfully, but resolutely seriously, decided here not to smile to atone for that unintentionally damage. Noticing this, and understanding pointedly why, she had actually turned towards me and fully smiled, to indicate that it was okay, as it indeed physically was, but I personally had to do this atonement for the lingering “spiritual scars”.))

*** Following that incident, I had considered getting braces to correct that accident, however I never go through to asking my parents for this directly stemming from the fact that, while in Elementary School (Grades 3-5), a girl who had to wear a complex, external dental apparatus [see in D211] was completely barraged with hurtful, “witch-hunting” mocking, headed by a couple of sisters, one 3 Grades ahead of her, who just would not stop despite the oppositions and defenses of many for the teased girl. The teasing girls found just enough of a supporting audience to continue on unabated, -teasings which only took place outside of school, on the bus rides home. I never participated in the mocking, however I always felt that I could have done more to help her than just ‘not laugh at her.’ I indirectly tried to get my sister to deal with that older, ring-leading girl, who was one Grade ahead of her, but that did not do much. So it was directly out of these events, which actually also traumatized me, that I did not dare get braces in this 8th Grade on, as I concluded that, if that was done to someone “in Israel” (i.e., ‘in an SDA School’), what would be the onslaught done outside of it (i.e., ‘in the Public Schools’ that I was now, and would be, attending). I however had enough “evidence” in these public schools that this would not be the case (at least in regards to normal/internal braces), however, I thought, the sure “cringing” expression on my face, stemming from that SDA School incident, would probably have brought this on. And so I didn’t. I found some solace in that decision that I was here also paying some sort of penance for not having more actively defended that girl!
[15] Whereas, just a few years before, after having read through, who knows how many times,  a Sporting News publication covering every Baseball World Series since 1903-1985+ and having memorized some of these Series main results, I could, by memory, tell you which teams played in the World Series in any year during that period (and forward), who won and in how many games, as well as some major events during the series. I still have a large residue of that memorization archived in my brain’s hard drive!! (Don’t ask why I so “religiously” did this memorization, for in retrospect, it indeed was a quasi-idolatrous fanatical accomplishment.)

[16] I however kept a related “Mechanical Interest” as a practical/useful “hobby” which indeed helped me save over $5000 on car repairs.*
            Probably the most “memorable” of all of those do-it-yourself repairs, though not for the reason of what was repaired, occurred while I was at Andrews. As the dorm handbook said, it was against the dorm policies to do repairs on one’s vehicle in the parking areas. However I ventured to still ask the dorm’s dean if I could change my minivan’s rack and pinion, (which by now, after several weeks of showing increasing leakage signs of failure, was going through a quart of power steering fluid every week), as I just did not want to expend an extra ca. $200 to have it done in a garage. I had tried the Andrews University Institutional garage, but found out that it actually was not there to service the cars of students, which was/is logically and Spiritually entirely “counterintuitive” to me** as it would be a great help to many students while also serving as practise for the mechanic students. When I then defiantly told the teacher there that I just would do it myself, he spurted out a listing of warnings of how difficult that job was. I actually felt like this was all yet another typical manifestation of a ‘Saul and others warning David against Goliath’ episode (1 Sam 17:26-30, 31-37), as this present “controversy” was stemming out of the incomprehensible-to-me fact that the University Garage did not, and that not defaultly, service student vehicles, but however rather worked on other cars. Indeed it was all representative of the wider dysfunction and non-collaboration that I had long observed and adversely experienced in the Church, particularly since attending Andrews.
            When I then went and asked the dorm’s Dean for permission to work on the car, I surprisingly found out (if that actually was not an on the spot, injunctive decision by him), that I could do the repairs on my car, but in the dorm’s 2-car garage and this repair began to become “memorable” to me from that point on, when he then most sternly/seriously instructed me, upon finding out that I was going to change the rack and pinion, (which required removing both front tires and getting underneath the car right into the “neck” of steering column to guide the groove extension of the new assembly back into proper alignment with the steering wheel’s socket), to: ‘make sure that I first secure the jack up car on the two available jack stands.’ That did not at all come to my mind, and if he had not said so, I would have just raised the minivan on its emergency tire changing jacks and “secured” it on the removed tires plus my spare. After having worked on the car, which indeed involved being virtually buried inside the steering column area, as the Mechanic professor had inclusively “warned” me, -the re-aligning of the new part and the steering column was the most intricate part of the whole repair process, as I literally had to “see” what I was doing then to get it to align properly, I realized that all of the needed shaking and jostling in this undercarriage repair would most likely have caused the minivan to come off of whatever alternative, make shift “securing” stand I would have put it on, and just crushed me. And as I had then readily perceived in the Dean’s quite alarmed instructions to make sure I do this, at the background of all of this was the fact that that past Weekend had been the funeral of a Church Member living in the Andrews Community who had been crushed to death when the car he was working on, repairing the transmission, most unfortunately, fell on him.

* My attempt to redo the engine bloc’s blown head gaskets# on my minivan[D67] which I did but not carefully following available guiding repair instructions, ended the functional life of my van. (And nothing worst then ending such a job and having ca. 2-3 bolts left over.) Actually a first head gaskets repair attempt had partially worked, however the minivan was burning gas so fast after that, I literally saw the gas needle moving (perhaps having a performance of only 5-10 miles per gallon) that I had to redo it, but that time I could not get it to start up again. I never got around to fixing it, until, by then having been given another car by my parents, I reluctantly, having waited over 5 years from the 2002 botched repair, as I considered this scraping action as sacrilegious, given how God had led me to have this minivan (as related later), decided sell it to the scrap yard.

# For an actually justified in itself reason then, I opted not to fully heed the notification of a passer by who stopped as he was walking by me seated in my van to point that my car was leaking antifreeze. Upon inspection, I saw that it was coming from the water pump and after topping it off, I drove home with it. However the next day, while driving to Church, then engine suddenly, drastically lost considerable power and I later understood that I had blown the head gasket. I still made it to Church, driving much slowly, but not by choice, but on the way back, the problem worsen to the point where I did not want to risk continuing driving it and stopped by a park, near my old Church School.
            Deeming this an emergency, I actually called for a tow truck on my AAA service, however during the call, I decided that it was not right to supply additional work for this tow truck driver (Exod 20:10 -who knows, I may be his only duty that Saturday) and told them to never mind. I had decided to wait out the remaining ca. 7.5 hours of the Sabbath and then call them later, however they, probably seeing the Caller ID location from public phone I had used, still sent a tow truck who was clearly looking for someone as he was inching along around the streets and park where I was. They obviously saw no problem at all in coming to help me since I had confirmed that I was a AAA member, which was also valid in Canada. I however just let him drive right by me without waving him over. Interestingly, and confirmingly enough, when I called them after the Sabbath hours, the person responding, obviously, even concernedly, remembering my earlier call, oddly asked me: ‘where are you now??’.
            In retrospect, for many and variously now seen and understood reasons, it was indeed quite significantly in God’s will that the end of the functional life of my van begin to occur then (I continued driving it, though quite limitedly, because of it high gas consumption, for another 6.5 months after that (by which time its residual Michigan tag expired and it certainly was not in a mechanical position to pass the Quebec Vehicle Inspection to get a local tag, and so I put off repairing it until a couple of years later (2002), at which time I then rendered it completely non-functional)).

** Hint, Hint: the (original), SOP-endorsed, Madison College missions-facilitating idea and ideal of a moneyless, self-servicing, missionary work-aimed operation, all concepts which are heightenedly inherent the current NJK Project.
[17] Honestly speaking, although I had heard the name Ellen White a lot and saw some of her (dark red) books in my father’s library, I did not know much about her, nor what she had written. Perhaps this is a testament to my parents that, as EGW says herself, if we adhere to the principles set out in the Bibles, there would not be need for the special counsels and messages in e.g., the Testimonies. Though my father, most probably, incorporatively passed on her counsels and instructions.

[18] The genesis of this here exercised idea was, interestingly enough, inceptively born from a statement that CCM artist Gary Chapman, (then the husband of Amy Grant), had made while he was one of the 5 hosts of the 26th Dove Awards ceremony (April 1995). While he was doing a segment with his co-host CeCe Winans, he, made a quipping statement in regards to ‘observing the Sabbath, also, if I recall correctly, in further relation to a Friday night Sabbath start, and someone then being a Seventh-day Adventist’. (I had a VHS copy of that entire ceremony but it apparently got lost and/or got recorded over). As Chapman is renown for his quirky-witty, and dry/deadpan, sense of humor, (e.g., While hosting his weekly CCM “20 Countdown Magazine”, he, in a serious tone, introduced the inspirational pop group FFH as: “Freshly Flogged Hermits”; [those initials actually stand for Far From Home; -full story: that full name was already taken by another group, so they used the initials instead]), his co-host CeCe Winans, as I recall, had to give him a double take to verify what precisely/really was his point in saying this. In fact she may have known it was coming, but the way he delivered it seemed to throw her off as if he was adlibbing a more substantively serious meaning. Yet, and indeed, given his utilized typical deadpan delivery here, it, and also I, was not possible|able to read him correctly.
            Interestingly enough, later that year, in August, I saw in the CCM concert listings in my subscribed to CCM Magazine that Amy Grant, one of my favorite Christian Artists, was having a concert in the Ft. Lauderdale Broward Performing Arts Center, on a Wednesday and Thursday, as part of her latest “cross over” (1994) House of Love CD tour. [She has since ‘crossed back’ in starting in 2002]. On that Thursday evening, I found myself driving in that area, and as I was passing by the center, I decided to stop by and just take in the scene from the outside as I did not have tickets. As I came near the front doors I saw that many people were standing/walking around in the lobby. I was surprised that the concert was over already, and seeing that it apparently had just ended, I went in to quickly see if I could get a glimpse of what the concert atmosphere had been. I walked through the packed lobby and found my way into the concert hall. I then realized, seeing all of the rearranging activities on stage, that this was just an intermission. I then [no advice intended here] decided to take a seat and watch the second half of the concert. It turned out that Gary Chapman, who I then did not know was Amy Grant’s husband, had been her opening act, (which I also did not know), and now the Amy Grant concert was about to begin. About 2-3 hours later, I had experienced one of the greatest concert performances in my life. Her rendition of Ask Me, from her Heart in Motion CD just blew me away both performance-wise, and also message-wise as she first explanatorily introduced it. I have to admit that one of the reasons why I had not sought to buy tickets for this concert, though I would probably have had time even if I did find out about it kind of late (that is, if it actually was not sold out), was because this was her House of Love CD tour, which did not surfacely, spiritually impress me. However her songs-contextualizing concert convinced me of its valid and valuable Christian purpose, Message “roots”, and Positively Influencing potential.
            However, back to the pointed issue at hand here, at the end of her concert, she had an appeal type segment where pertinently so-moved/affected people came down the aisle to the front. I had not necessarily been “so-moved/affected” however I made my way to the front with the crowd which by now had left only room in the aisles, to actually, merely get a closer/better look, while here in person, of/at Amy. (I had “conscientiously” been sitting in the back section, a couple of rows in front of the, (or her tour’s own), sound mixing/lighting control section. After, if I recall properly, a prayer, I saw some people in front of me making their way back to their seats. As the concert was then ending, with her and others in her band saying goodbyes and taking a final bow, I decided to stay where I was by the front until they left, as they indeed were in the process of doing. Well as she was walking off stage, to (her) left towards the side exit just in front of where I was standing, she “noticed” me and quite friendly smiled (perhaps seeing/perceiving, by my then visible squinting, that I was, but did not want to make it seem, just trying to get a closer/better look of/at her). (Underlyingly, and really actually, I wanted to, in this way, pertinently “better know” this favorite artist of mine to try to figure out and/or understand (ala. Pro 31:30) if her perceptively infamous “cross-over” odyssey was out of some vain beauty conceit.) As I saw that she did “notice” me out of, what I thought was, a crowd of people, and given the “chance” of me catching this concert of hers on her last day in the area, I thought that this was a God-arranged (potential) opportunity to meet with her. She oddly enough, seemed to understand all of this and was now “understandingly” quite friendly smiling at me, even motioning with her head towards the offstage side exit where I could come and meet her. I, denyingly, could not believed that she had figured this out, and not wanting to appear as a “stalking groupie”, I visibly refused her manifestly evident offer, given the perception-wise, inherent impropriety. I then intimated my original intention which was that I actually just wanted to get a “closer/better look of/at her” and so, understanding this, actually slowed her walk off stage so that I could do so. As it was visibly bothering me that it was appearing that I was “hitting on”|flirting with, her, as I thought she would/could really only understand, she actually then momentarily stopped so that I could meet with her there, in public, instead of just getting this “closer/better look”. I was surprised by her willingness to do so, but despite seeing this God-given, truth-witnessing opportunity, I still thought that this was all way ‘too good to be true’, in the light of the fact that the rest of the concert crowd probably also wanted to do so. And so I intimatedly responded to this that: (in such circumstances) ‘it can’t be that easy to personally meet with you’. So I, refusing also this offered opportunity, turned to leave. It is then that I suddenly saw that I was actually the only one standing in the aisle.{sort of as this} And, furthermore, although the concert was over, most of the people who had come up front, had just returned to their seats, instead of leaving, (perhaps hoping for an encore return; which did not happen)). I then realized that this is why she had so easily and pointedly noticed me, however given her friendly, understanding and moreover inviting reaction, I then, somewhat offendedly, retroactively felt that she, misundertandingly, given this awkward “lone-interested person reality”, most likely had thought that I just had stalking-type intentions. So turned back to her to try to clarify any possible misunderstanding here, now also thinking her initial ‘special meeting offer’ to probably be along this apparent line. And so I, (not knowing that she was married), and not believing that she was either single or “available, or moreoverly, so “easily/readily accessible”, gentlemanly, “concedingly”, [knowing she was, relatively speaking from my youthful perspective then, “much” older then me (14 years to be exact, -my 20 years of age to her 34)], by self-faulting myself for this potential/possible/apparent misunderstanding, intimatedly, but quasi-reproachedly, reactingly responded that: ‘it was not my fault, (her being so well-known/popular), if I did not know of/if she was single or not,’ and that, ‘if she was even married,’ (as she was publicly known by her maiden name since the start of her career). Well not only did she manifestly get all of this as seen by her sudden disappointed reaction that I would think this of her pervious understanding/inviting offer/reaction, but evidently also did “Gary Chapman”, who up to then, had been walking a few feet behind her, but now, here suddenly came running up to her side quasi-affectionately reaching for her. Given the fact that (a) I did not then know Gary Chapman was her husband, (something I myself only found out a while later when I rented a video recording of her “1982 Age to Age” tour from Blockbuster Video - they then had just married), I thought, (moreoverly not even recognizing him, also not having then even known that he, i.e., the CCM artist Gary Chapman, had been the one who had been her opening act), that he was just one of her band members who was here so reacting out of some sort of jealousy, given her initial and continued friendly/understanding reactions. [I guess it would have helped me if I had had actually been present for the concert from its start as Gary Chapman had opened for her, and, from other concert videos that I later saw, they typically made some type of mention/allusion/indication of their marital status|relationship.] And so, not wanting to cause apparently any relational trouble here between him and her, who, again I had thought/assumed was her prospective romantic interest, I, with somewhat vexed reaction by what I had understood “Chapman’s” thoughts were, intimated that: “I would actually only be wanting to meet them to discuss Biblical topics” to which, they both seem to get and Chapman now similarly responded by motioning towards the side exit, i.e., for me to then meet them offstage. I then also made the same disbelieving reaction as before, intimating that: “this really could not be that easy”, which they indeed both seem to also readily/accurately get. (It must have been a Holy Spirit thing), as they both then looked at the seated crowd in front of them, then back to me, now motioning to me that ‘this invitation of theirs was because I was acting like I had something special/urgent to share with them.’ I then reacted that ‘I (effectively) indeed had, but was deliberately declining to do so’, making an “empty pocket” gesture indicating that ‘I here did not have anything tangible (i.e., literature) to share/leave with them. Oddly enough, Chapman seemed to reproachedly motion that: ‘I could just tell them these things’, which, as he was now placing this “burden/onus” on me, individually, I intimatedly motioned back that: ‘they probably already knew these things, (as indeed many non-SDA Christians did)’. (I figured that he had probably had figured out that I as I was evidently not a “mainstream” Christian, I was either a Jehovah’s Witness or an SDA. [The likelihood of being thought to be a Mormon was pretty slim to me]). It is then that Chapman reacted as if ‘he was found out’, probably recalling his SDA/Sabbath statement at the Dove Awards. Again I did not make the link between him standing there and the CCM artist “Gary Chapman” also from the last Dove Awards, but did have that statement in mind in making that “generalized” reproach, which was in reality most pointed for him and he indeed seemed to fully understand this. As well as Amy Grant for that matter, as she was now, somewhat humorously, but also “disculpatingly”, motioning towards him seemingly saying: “I didn’t say this” and/or “indeed speak to him, he said it”. With Gary Chapman now acting as if I “obviously” should know who he was, I tried to use this valid reproach as an out, as I should indeed better know those artists before so trying to witness to them, and turned to leave intimating that: ‘if he had not already had the opportunity, he would probably somehow hear of this Message/Truths anyway.’ However then seeing that I was indeed confessedly also intimating that: ‘I was also refusing to meet with them because they would probably be upset if/when they found out that I had effectively “crashed” Amy’s concert’, Chapman visibly jumped on that confessed indication to, now, as quite apparent, acting as if he was not pleased by that, thus this way indeed finding fault with me for this not realized meeting.
            And so our seemingly “time-stopping” interaction/exchange effectively ended there. I am indeed pretty sure that, even though nothing was verbally said, “somehow”, I not only read their various actions and reactions accurately, but they also did in regards to what I was intimating. It probably, mercifully and/or, (though still mercifully), Truth-for-Truth, was a God-led/permitted encounter and understood exchange. I indeed did not walk in the Center with the intention of crashing Amy Grant’s concert. It is just, tongue-in-cheekly, wishful thinkingly, (indeed not the factually-detailed case) that, so-to-speak: once I was inside the Concert Hall itself, and taking in the supposed residual festive atmosphere, indeed with many people “still” standing around there, the lights suddenly dimmed, the large main doors shut, and then the music started playing... and I was hookedly, dilemmically “trapped”, ala. Phil 1:21-26, given my fundamental desire to ‘better know the potential evangelistic field of this CCM world’. Anyway, if it means anything, me witnessing Amy Grant’s amazing concert performance led me to, (as I actually lastly/partingly intimated to them as I was turning away to leave), seek out and buy all the albums of hers, beyond her (1986) The Collection CD that I had. Albeit most of these were from CD Exchange stores, when I could find them there and indeed I had previously not bought some of her CD’s that I had, for a while now, seen there, -but now did!
         And in the inherent/innate likelihood that I had, in some parts, but not likely, in whole, misunderstood anything here, this encounter, as I understood it, did serve as a key/foundational building block to my future ministry in this regards. So, at the very least, that is inclusively what God wanted me to understand/take away from all of this.
[19] I still have my daily agendas from those days forward i.e., 1996+, in which such significant events in my life are marked in, as well as virtually all of my purchase receipts, so that is how I am able to provide precise dates for many of the events mentioned throughout this account.

[20] On my way to the Festival, and then being in the state of Kentucky, while I was filling up at a gas station, the sharp and spiffy sight of a U.S. Marine on the other side of the pump (likely from the nearby Fort Knox military base), frankly impressed me... though I had to, with deliberateness, step over my personal antagonistic feelings aside towards U.S. Militarism. Actually it was pointedly the odd sight of him pumping gas while still wearing his white gloves that was most striking to me, as it struck me that he was really taking this ‘staunch military decorum’ thing quite seriously. Having my photo camera on hand, I asked if I could take a picture of him, to which he gladly agreed.[D244] After taking the photo however, misunderstanding my ‘reticence then to express support’ as ‘me being ashamed of not also being in the military,’ he, trying to facilitate things here, enthusiastically, but still formally, interrogatively asked me: “Why are you not in the Military?!” Being offended at this quasi-reproach, I restrained myself in order to spare him my contributively-tiered (i.e., Personal|SDA|(native) [truly] Canadian), spiel on what I (admittedly then in 1997), inceptively anecdotedly thought (i.e., vs. what I would later more factually and documentedly, concretely know today) of the: ‘obliviously self-serving, teflon-justifying, moronic-propagandizing, pompously arrogant, geopolitically-lawless, greedily opportunistic, “pseudoed”-imperialism’, among other base traits/conduct, of American Militarism (cf. an example of this in this post),* and let him and his enthusiasm continue as is, while simply wishing him the best.
            I nonetheless had since always found this encounter to be a potentially good sermon illustration of how ‘we as SDA’s should be proud and enthusiastic about our Faith and so defaultly find it strange that others are not also adhering to/joining it. However upon, especially recent, comparative ponderings, particularly in the light of what has since transpired in my experience with the SDA Church, during those 14+years since, (as partly recounted in this blog post), I now more holistically see that it is not ‘merely significant to be “obliviously” proud and enthusiastic about an “organization” that we may belong to/represent’, as this Marine was, but to also ascertain that what we are, effectively “peddling” to others is actually Truthfully and Transparently Godly and Praiseworthy in itself. And as seen in this post, what the SDA Church has now come to believe and practice, and what God’s Truths actually are, are completely different, and clashingly opposing, things. Indeed Isa 55:8!!

* Relatedly, and comically enough to me, in my ca. 3rd year of college, my mom finally told me that: all throughout my junior and senior years in high school, she was continually throwing out U.S. Military recruiting advertisements, that would come in the mail, and eerily enough, personally addressed to me, before I could see them. I couldn’t help but find her worry here quite unnecessary, and chose to view the throwing out of mail address to me as “comical”, as, as I unequivocally told her then, ‘you, (even if the U.S. Military would do), could not pay me to join the U.S. Military.’ I greatly loathed living in that Country to start with, -increasingly with each reconfirming manifestation of what America was really all about (cf. here), longing to return to my “home and native land” of Canada, so why would I want to put my future/health/life on the line for the U.S.!?? Furthermore, I pointed out to my mom that there had been a continual U.S. Military recruiting presence at my high school, in my guidance counsellor’s office, (and I knew of a couple of guys in one of my classes who had joined up). More than ever, by today, I rather engage and endeavor in my current striving: “For (the non-dichotomizing) God’s Country (cf. Matt 6:10).

[21] Who, "incidentally", until May 2012 (when her and her husband René Angélil decided to sell), had their Quebec residence in a (gated, private island, $29.5M, ‘mega-(castle-like)-24K sq.ft.-mansion’) home [D312] ca. 1.38 miles (“as the crow flies”) from where I [presently, still] live. (cf. this other then “neighbor” of hers).

[22] Relatedly, it was around the following development that I then heard that unmistakable Voice. I was seated in the middle of the crowd[D1] for the Saturday afternoon concerts, which now featured Margaret Becker, and she was playing some songs from her upcoming album, Falling Forward (1998), her first in 3 years, which I had found then was quite a while (I just read in that Wikipedia article that was actually on a book writing sabbatical then), and as artists usually sing their best songs during such promotions I, comparing those songs with some of her previous, personal favorite, great songs from two of her recent albums (Soul (1993) and Grace (1995)), such as: “Say the Name”; “Deep Calling Deep”; “We May Never”; “This I Know”; etc, found the, presumingly, “best songs” that she was then performing to be rather, frankly, “blah”. And I guess I couldn’t, as I didn’t, hide the disappointed expression on my face, but to my surprise she actually noticed that from the stage. (People who have done public speaking can understand that one’s perspective/perception in an audience is not as “remote” as it is from up front of, facing that audience, and a speaker/singer can indeed notice much from their stage.) Well she clearly noticed my expression and reacted to it, looking at me. When I perceived that, I was a little embarrassed that she had noticed and would have tried to patch things up a bit... but just could not. I felt that the songs were, again “comparatively”, disappointingly “blah”. So I made the expressive reaction of: “sorry but I just cannot “non-genuinely” change my mind here.” To my surprise she “understandingly reacted by also pointedly waving good bye at me as she was leaving the stage. I knowingly, coyly tried to dismiss it by turning to look behind me to “possibly” see who she could instead be waving at, and when I turned back to look up front, she had actually stopped walking off the stage to wait until I had turned back to look towards the front to start again pointedly waving at me. I then stopped being coy and acknowledgingly half-smiled at her, as this was evidently only what was going to get her to stop her from pointedly waving at me. It was a half-smile as I was still mythly disappointed by her new album promo songs.
            Well, interestingly, and relatedly enough to the general issue here with that Voice’s and its punly reproaching statement, that interaction with Margaret Becker initiated a friend-making conversation from the, seriously/platonically, “sweetheart”, -Kathy by first name, sitting next to me. It clearly was ‘“mutual infatuation” at first sight’ and in order for me to not get off my “other”, potential objective then, I had to all along keep loopingly repeat in my head, with her seeming to be in her mid to late teens: “she (probably) is (way) too young for you”, with me then being 22, or, desperately, even: “wait till you tell her you’re an SDA”.*
            And it was, upon hearing God’s reproaching statement around that time, that I had dropped my head in ‘defeat’, -actually trying to fault God for not having told me this before! It was actually the two distinct, but related, interactions here which brought this point of God home for me... “How about these others??” indeed!!

* A relationship “opportunity” which, applicable, pertinent, “element” by “element”, all honestly does not begin to compare to a similar, but, [all most specifying/identifying/identifiable details deliberately withheld], to say the least, extremely, (relatively) ideal other “opportunity”, (moreover, sealingly, a (-from my cursory observations [over then ca. 7 years]: devoted) SDA), suddenly, intimatingly made her-self ‘enthusiastically available’ about a week before I left for, (as later recounted), that SDA University, -a spontaneous development which I did not at all expect/suspect, [then-manifest-relationship-status wise, (as relatedly “witnessed” just that past Sabbath)], could, and thus neither,  would, be the response when I had made my quasi-teasing, actually, given a certain relationship issue, spiritual object-lesson, “advance/quasi-inquiry”! Certainly did not expect that my DA 273.4 “testing” could/would then actually get that substantively/emotionally difficult/strenuous! But herein also, I (albeit, then instantly/concurrently already regrettingly) would not let myself get off my, then higher than “mostly also personal”, ultimate ministry objective...and, actually also determinatively influential to me here then, for “some” not-unfounded reason, I “somehow” knew, through some experiences thus far in ministering attempts/efforts, and also given the fact that it was so evident to me that, given the (supposed/purported) ‘incontrovertibly provable Bible truths’ that we had, there had got to be “something” seriously “wrong” with my Church and/or the way it was going about presenting these “rock-solid” truths. And so I couldn’t help but shake the impression that my, either prospective (SDA) “pastoral” ministry was going to be along the same “sheep-shearing” lines as my first sermon (related later), could avoid but (truthfully/sincerely) be and/or my prospective evangelism ministry may put me at certain odds with the SDA Church. [Who had a clue the extent to which both of these would need to be true?!! Manifestly, as involved in this later “First Vision”, only God did/could (cf. Acts 9:15-16)] So, with me more than less being conscious of these “potential probabilities” I did not think that she would be enchanted by such a marital life nor ministry odyssey...I myself surely was, and still am, not!!
[23] Case in point, in pursuit of my later-mentioned, currently patented concept, I recently met with two multi-advanced degree engineers at a local aircraft manufacturer to discuss an R&D assistance and initial venture partnership. At one point, a specific power calculation had to be precised, but neither one of them could actually remember what the (actually simple) formula for horsepower was!! (i.e. [(Torque x RPM)/5252]). The strange thing is, they virtually generally, fundamentally deal with these formulas everyday in developing and perfecting aircraft powerplants!
[24] An example: While car stereo professionals in 1996+ were selling 6-10 disc changers for cars at, then ca. $600, I had figured out and managed in March of 1996, for the same price, how to install a JVC 100-Disc Home system[D181] in my car, along with keeping it 100% skip-free at all times,* as well as being able to easily control it with its infra-red remote (quite indispensable for changing disc while driving). Also my Sony MiniDisc system, which I had bought before the CD changer to make CD quality and accessibility, “best of”, compilations from my CD collection, was also a Home, Disc-Recording Unit[D187]. In both case, professional technologies only matched what I had achieved about 1.5 years later.
            (I previously also had managed to, leak-free, install a powered sunroof in my previous (first) car, a 1988 Toyota Tercel (2-Door Coupe), which I had taken out from a Honda Accord at a junk yard. (Price: $30.00[D302]; DIY Sky/Stars/Sun View: Priceless; -Nonetheless, nothing was more trepidating, [perhaps other than: ‘deciding to amputate your own forearm to save your life’], than the all-or-bust feeling in knowing that once the tole scissors would make the first incision in my car’s roof to cut out the opening for the sunroof, there virtually was no going back!))
            It was these type of practical applications that I was much more preferring and seeking to engage in with Electronics.

            And manifestly by having continually witnessed from my early childhood, many successful examples of “outside the box” work from, e.g., my father’s many do-it-yourself projects (cf. here); my mother’s problem solving practical solutions; my uncle’s mechanical prowess; my other uncle’s free or highly reduced electrical work for my parents, various free or cheaply provided services from certain church members, among several other sources; I can now see where I have also developed a similar disposition to ‘not defaultly/blindly trust “professionals”, -“religiously” paying the whimsical market price’, but instead do what actually, quite logically seems right, including, in terms of costs, which leads to doing things myself, rather than paying the typically high & inflated (capitalistic) costs. Perhaps such a disposition, as many behavorial things in one’s makeup (cf. here), is more ‘observationally/externally “learned”’ than ‘hereditarily/internally “inherited”’, but I can see from where I, either way, derivedly, originally, got it from my grandmother, -being passed on through my mother from her own “inheritance” of it, for as my grandmother’s children all repeatedly say whenever she, once again, has just baffled them with her amazing “un-formally-learned” astuteness into various areas of life: ‘If she fully had had formal schooling in her life, she would have been/be a Head of State.’**
            As a general example, while visiting my grandmother in New York City in early February 2007 for her 80th birthday[D303], I had made the trip, by bus, while having had, and now for weeks, an increasingly alarming malignant dysfunction in my left foot’s big toe. It was by now quite black and blue, and was rather discomfortable. I had had this same manifestation of this problem the year before but it had eventually gone away, and it definitely did not get to this year’s affected point. I continue to daily disinfectedly treat the manifest, but inexplicable, bodily wound, but it was just getting worse every day. Although, living in Canada, I had free healthcare,*** for various reasons here, and mainly conscientiously wanting to do my small part to not overburden our national socialized healthcare system, I put off going to get my problem professionally checked. But while at my grandma’s house, with both my mother[D304] being a nurse and who, (since I was refusing to go to the hospital) had been instructing me on how to treat my wound problem over the phone so that it would not, as she greatly feared, (dangerously) become infected; and my uncle, her [younger] brother[D305] also a nurse, (and also a SDA)*4* being there, I thought that I would then finally get this problem resolved by them both being able to diagnostic it in person. As they were looking it over, yet still not having a clue manifestly as to what it actually was, nor also on how to remedy it, my grandmother finally, blurtingly, spoke out, manifestly having been holding back her opinion for a while until my mom and my uncle had had  their chance to have their observation and say, and said: ‘Well I would just remove the whole thing [i.e., nail] out’, -manifestly assuming that my mom and my uncle had themselves “no brainedly” recognized that it was related to the toe nail (which they actually had not). Being quite taken aback by that solution, which I thought, in its focus on my toenail was irrelevant, but giving her some kind of benefit of the doubt that she was speaking out from experience, while I yet still trustingly believed that this might indeed be a solution, with neither my nurse mom and uncle having made any reference al all to the toe nail itself as the culprit, I thought that my grandmother’s solution was, if indeed applicable, yet still way too drastic and this could be remedied otherwise. And so I just continued to do my disinfecting treatments with my mom now doing them herself while there to make sure they were properly done (thinking that my problem was not yet healed because I had been wrongly doing those treatments all along before).
            About two weeks after that, while now back home in Canada, the problem just go worse, and oh so much more painful; -i.e., On top of being almost completely black and blue, every time that toe would come into any degree of striking contact with anything, it was as if someone was hammering a thick nail into/through the top of it. So I then just literally could not take it any more and went to a local clinic. There, the receiving/sorting nurse just took one look at it, and immediately told me what it (actually) was: ‘Your toe nail is ingrown’ [Medically termed an “Onychocryptosis”]. That doubly completely shocked me because, (1) although I had heard of “ingrown toenails” many times before, I had absolutely no idea what it actually was, and it shocked me to learn that this was what it was; and (2) I had no idea that it could be that, (appropriately-enough described), ex-cruciat-ingly (i.e., a word which in itself is actually etymologically related to the nailing and suffering during (Roman) crucifixions (cf. here)) painful. In fact I initially, disbelievingly scoffed at that nurse’s diagnosis, to which she reaffirmed me that this is indeed what it was. And so ca. 8 hours later (good thing I had knowingly,  anticipatively, brought along a (Greek text-) book to read [and that expected long waiting time had been another reason why I had not wanted to go to the hospital/clinic before (also not wanting to be (unnecessarily) adding to these wait times; -although, as I later found out, if I had set up an appointment instead, as I had the treatment discretion to, given my non-urgent care need, I would not have had to wait in such “emergency/waiting room lines”)], I was seen by a doctor. And as I was one of the last person’s to be called that day, then at ca. 45 minutes before closing, given the many other people in the waiting room who were not seen, I assume that they had considered my aggravated condition to be a relative emergency, and fitted me in for treatment that same day.
            And from here is where the openingly spoken of ‘learned “out-of-the-box”’ thinking, as well as this being, here quite pertinently, innately possessed by, and derivedly passed on from, my grandmother (through my mother), came into play, as, after looking at the toe, the doctor immediately said: “Okay, I am going to (surgically) remove the whole toe nail” -just as my grandmother had advanced. However, I still had a problem with that solution, as, all pertinent things being considered, I still found it to be (“butchedly”) drastic. I understood that this was evidently standard operating procedure for this doctor, however given the clear and present fact that the problem was, (as quite typical of ingrown nails), only in a corner side of my toe, and knowing from personal experiences of wrongly/overly clipped toe/finger -nails, how they can normatively grow back in a “evenly filling-in” way, i.e., rounding out, over a short time, a nail that has been unevenly clipped, I instead strongly suggested, and really knowing that I unalienably had the final decision over any doctor as to what I would allow to be done to my body,*5* that only an eighth to a quarter longwise slice of the toe’s nail, thus only immediately along  the ingrown part, had to be removed, instead of “the whole nail”. (I was also trying to avoid the “by ca. six months” growing back time that the attending nurse had said it would take for my nail to fully grow back. I was also trying to prevent a scenario which I though could be possible where the nail actually did not grow back at all. The doctor was then away so that, as I had requested, a couple take a little time to ponder whether or not I was going to allow him to surgically do as he had stated.) And so after getting some more information from the attending nurse, when the doctor returned, I then suggested to him my ‘one-eight to one quarter” alternative, and the nurse, having found at my prior suggestion of this to her that this was actually a good, and indeed better, idea, backed me up in my request, and the doctor finally agreed. That was somewhat risky for him for if he agreed to do a procedure that was not the best solution, and worst of all the problem only got worst, he could be held responsible for such adverse consequence, and at the very least, if it did not actually remedy the problem, he would then have to do the (whole) procedure again, this time as he had originally suggested, thus ripplingly wasting various healthcare resources. However my idea was not only indeed a better solution, but manifestly not one that he had known to do before, evidently having been instructed to always do a ‘full nail removal’. I was however surprised that this simplified procedure would still require him to do a local anesthetic, and, (as pertinently seen later), it should have been an indicator to me of how unbearably painful this even minor/simple surgical procedure was, by also the subsequent fact that, although my toe was then now “sensibly frozen”, I still could tracely, though non-painfully, feel (not having the desire/“stomach” to look at the procedure), him removing the ingrown nail. Apparently, my solution became quite immediately a “hit” at the clinic, because when I came back to have my surgery wound cleaned, and its dressing changed the next day’s late afternoon, a different nurse, upon seeing my reduced cut for the first time (with perhaps the doctor, or the surgery attending nurse, having filled her in on this “unorthodox”/new simplified procedure detail), proceeded to reassure me, reading my silently thought fear that maybe this partial cutting would only result in again an ingrownly grown back nail, giddily, manifestly knowingly, reassured me that ‘this partial cutting should also grow back normally as would have a full removal’. Which it indeed did! And I am not sure if it was due to this, my followed simplified procedure, but I did not have any need at all to go and buy the painkillers that I was anticipatively prescribed for the recovery period. (So if this simplified procedure was written up (as due) in a (provincially and/or nationally) centralized medical procedure repository, I may have caused significant savings to our provincial/national health care system, including post surgery treatment time (as well as full (nail) recovery success rates).
            As a pertinent post script to the overall theme in this actually pragmatically illustrative anecdote, three times after that, starting about a year later, I again had ingrown nails, one in each big toes, and another in my left middle finger. In all of these cases, I had not acted soon enough, i.e., upon the first small paining sign of an skewingly growing/ingrowing nail, to clip it and remove the ingrowing part, but had let these instances reach virtually the same “black and blue” affected levels as the one when I went to see a doctor. Again then, for almost all of the same various reasons as before, (except for the avoidable waiting times), I did not want to go to the clinic again. But when things then really got to an incontrovertible point, I just had to have a minor surgical procedure to fix the problem, and since I still was not wanting to go to the clinic...I endeavored to, rather quite crudely, i.e., using a double edge razor’s blade, a (makeshift) tweezer and peroxide, do it myself. This is where, as mentioned before, I should have taken a clue as to why local anesthetic was necessary for this procedure, with it yet still being not strong enough to dull all sensation. To put in succinctly here: ‘you know something is excruciatingly painful when you do not absentmindedly “sense” that you are merely feeling pain at the point of hurt is, but, and not only all over your physical body, but actually right inside your brain. -I probably could now pass any physical torture, namely ‘crude nail removal’, with flying colors!!!....most likely not.) [The quasi-surgical procedure on my middle finger’s ingrown nail, which was equally as acutely painful to do as priorly upon my larger, big toes, had its excruciating pain problem directly compounded as it implicated that I then only had one free hand to work with, -and it is a good thing that the problem was on my dexterically offhand, my left hand.]
            Anyways, I, after much head&brain-splitting, tear-inducing, pain managed to remove those ingrown nails, which by then each had come to have flesh growing again about it, and due to prior inadequate, and also painful, surgical treatment attempts, had loose nail clippings now entrenched further inside the freshly closing prior surgical wound. Indeed all of these interventions would require the (repeated) cutting my flesh with the razor blade in order to get to the ingrown nail edge, as well as these subsequent nail debris, and what was most “head shaking” in all of this to me was that, at the very instant that I finally had managed to either dislodge the ingrowing nail and/or remove the last loose debris stuck in my flesh, all of the pain instantly went away, and moreover, within three days, the previous discolored and mutilatedly mangled digit had perfectly regained its former unaffected, perfectly healthy state, even without leaving any intervention trace. (We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made (Psa 139:14)). Indeed I could then and there strike my post-successful surgery, blood-soaked/stained, un-closed/mended wound, toe/finger [sorry for such gory details, but there is indeed a larger point here] against an object and feel absolutely not pain at all, as normative with any unaffected digit tip.
            -All this to objectedly say that, on top of the also pertinent, important general lesson of “nipping things in the bud” instead of having to more “costly” deal with them later when they then have become much more complicated, this is somewhat of a further example, as with my earlier recounted ‘irreversible sunroof decision’, of the extent that I would go to in order to circumvent something which I saw/see, though it is being popularly lauded, even entrenchedly systematized, to be either unnecessary, spurious and/or just (“moronically”) plain wrong. (And in regards to the subsequent 3 quasi-surgical self-procedures, included in my main reasons for not then going to the clinic for them, was my wish not to want to take away from healthcare resources for a procedure which I knew I could (safely) do myself. And if it was not for the great pain, the whole thing would literally be a cinch!) And that is indeed what has been at the foundation of, as seen throughout this blog, my increased staunch chief opposition to the moronic, spurious and actually vitally quite detrimental, socio-economic system of Capitalism. And given any chance to lawfully circumvent this uncodified system, as Biblical Socialism opposingly allows for, I certainly will, even if it is to involve, as it has repeatedly been the case in my experience, going “over the head” of supposed professionals, scholars and/or teachers, -and that in both the secular/civic and religious realms.
            My main observation during all of this ‘out of the box thinking/acting’ has been that when people have gone through formal schooling, pointedly here graduate and post-graduate university education, they mostly, defaultly, deludedly think that ‘they now “know it all” and don’t can/have to, particularly foundationally (i.e., in regards to what they had learned while in college), learn anything more’. So that is why, e.g., in the religious realm, pastors, as commonly seen in the SDA Church, typically don’t (actually) advance their scholarly knowledge of the Bible beyond what they had learned in university/seminary. They just end up teaching “more from the same”, and that can eventually go back to what they had learned up to 40+ years before. And so, case in point, you will hear a pastor say something about Biblical Greek or Hebrew, such as: ‘the Greek aorist indicates a “once and for all” action’, when that has long been shown in recent and advanced Greek scholarship to be a fallacious understanding. The same thing goes with Systematized Theology. (cf. e.g., here). Beyond that, what you will also generally find with people who have managed to obtain a university degree is that in their ensuing work in that learned field, they will gradually, only proficiently, if even outrightly, remember what they are currently constantly/repetitively using from past period of intensive higher education. So, e.g., ‘a mechanical/electrical engineer may not recall what the formula for horsepower is’; ‘a nurse may not recognize an ingrown toenail’ {-my mom had specialized in Hospital(ized) (vs. Clinic(al)) Pediatric Care}; and ‘a pastor may not understand a Greek aorist tense or what the different Hebrew tenses distinctively indicate’, eventhough all of these things are actually quite foundational/“elementary” to their ongoing profession. Yet these same professionals are usually “instead” quite knowledgeable, astute and proficient in another sector of their field, which, as stated before, is normatively/typically something that they are habitually engaging. In fact, I am willing to suggest, based on the fact that he once said in a TV interview that ‘he viewed some things that a computer could do as “magical”’, that computer-programming-whizz Bill Gates himself, could not fully explain the various coding that is being used in e.g., the Microsoft Windows operating system, even those which were developed when he was Microsoft’s CEO.  And in the Biblical Scholarship realm, this “atrophying knowledge” state of things is another foundational reason for the WBSC College of Biblical Research initiative as it would serve to “poolingly” contributively reassemble the straggling resources from the various “exclusionary specialized” knowledge and abilities of Bible Students/scholars.
            So, to succinctly conclude here, in all of the 4 major contributive projects (cf. here) which I am working on, including their various sub-projects, towards implementing the grand NJK Project, I can now see fully see the both tangible, as well and intertwined, spiritual benefits of this “learned”, if not “hereditarily inherited” (albeit, probably not, -cf. e.g., in here) disposition to ‘act and/or think “outside the box”’, -and that, with much learned, realized, and/or viably potential success thus far. (Just have not yet found enough people, even from amongst SDA’s, who are willing to undergo the “Babylon disintoxication process” (see Rev 18:3, 23b) to similar see so). Just merely, deferentially, “following the leader”, and that any leader/“leading thing/system”, is by now definitely not my conditioned/quasi knee-jerk disposition. In fact, and with (readily perceived) cause, I now do not hesitate to defaulty second-guess literally everything, from any source, and all out of a pervasive, controlling Theological View/Biblical Understanding that ‘there has got to be a better way’. I.e., ‘what the world has managed to (mostly, as mantrically-lauded, “capitalistically”) do thus far is quite observationally not the very best that could/can be done, but that there indeed is much more that can be achieved, both in terms of developmental furtherance and also widely-benefiting scope. In fact, as emblematically with the often stated claim that ‘a cure for cancer is possibly, merely a few billions of dollars of research investment away from being found’, it is indeed spurious and artificial Capitalistic limitations (both Economically, and permittedly, also Spiritually) which are preventing life on this Earth to be, (even if merely through God’s Faithful Israel), all that it can actually quite feasibly be, even in this Fallen Side of eternity (=Matt 6:10; cf. Gen 12:2-3 & e.g., Isa 35:1ff)! And in short, that is what the NJK Project is, most crucially, i.e., from its ‘anchoringly setting foundations’, endeavoring to lastingly accomplish.


* Due to the fact that the 100 discs storage player was suspension-mounted, on a special platform deep inside the trunk hanging by bungee straps, being also top-couched by a thick spongy pad underneath the rear seat’s/window’s ledge. It would skip if I just laid it directly upon the trunk’s bed.

** The 2006 movie The Queen which depicted the elderly Queen of England literally quasi-sealed that belief for my mom, as seen by her chorusly-voiced exclamatory observations throughout of: ‘my-mother-could/would-do/(still-be-doing)-that’.

*** Interestingly enough, upon moving from Andrews, and the United Stated to Canada in February 2000, after ca. 10 years of living in the U.S., I quasi-recalcitrantly put off signing up for a healthcare card, then (without really any justified reason) trying to avoid explicitly receiving any aid from the government (cf. a thematically similar early stance in SDA Church history here) all in regards to my then just embarked upon and burgeoning ‘New and Independent Christian Country work’. So when I finally went to get my healthcare card after ca. 2 years, the person at the service desk, upon ascertaining that I had been a constant resident of Quebec/Canada for those past two years just could understand why I had taken two years to get my card. Of course I did not explain my reason to him, but, wink|nudge (to whom it may concern), it is derivedly quite nice to live in a country where all you need to do to get paid for health care is to.... merely signup for it (cf. here). In fact, if I had had a medical service need/emergency during those prior two years, (which I came to have about 3 months after having signed up for my card, in a ca. 3 A.M. emergency room visit by [actually (later)-out-of-pocket-paid-for] ambulance, -(I thought that the constant and pressuring chest pains that I was having since having shovelled snow earlier that day were acute signs/symptoms of a heart attack, -turned out to only be an inflamedly bruised middle chest muscle, nonetheless caused by my shovelling efforts)), all that I would have had to do to get my medical bills paid was to, at the most extreme, prove, as I did while signing up for the card, that I had been a constant resident in the province/country for those two past years!!

*4* In related regard to the possible quite vivid memory of a child, usually engravedly etched by eitherly striking memories, I still cannot get over the fact that, upon my here uncle’s immigrating to Canada in July of 1979, when he was 18 or 19, that I, being then 4 years and 8 months old, remember in protracted detail, and as if it was just yesterday, when we went and picked him up at the airport. I even also vividly recall the car ride to the airport as it, fascinatingly enough for me then, was in my other uncle[see in D182]’s taxi vehicle. (It was that it “thrillingly” was like getting a free ca. 30 minute taxi ride, especially with the bright red digits of the fare meter stayed on $00.00). In fact I just recently recalled for my mom the source of the hand-crafted, natively-themed, table centerpiece she has, -and to this day still decorates her dining table, as having been a gift from her brother, as I moreoverly clearly remembered him having this gift, unwrapped, when we first met him at the airport, for the “striking” reason then that he had not been able to safely fit it inside his luggage, and so had preferred to openly carry it during the flight. So it was lying on top of his luggage when we first me him and he right then had presented it to my mom.
            And actually in fact, my two earliest childhood memories were when I was around 3 years of age as in the first, it was during the wedding of my above cited other uncle[see in D182] in the summer of 1977, thus when I was ca. 2 years and 8 months old, when pictures were being taken in the Church foyer of the wedding “cortege” which my sister had been a part of. I wanted to be in the pictures “since my sister was in them, and it thus was not fair that I was not”, and furthermore, and this is what really impressed that moment in my mind, “some other guy” was standing next to her, taking my default place, and moreover holding her hand, -which had struck me, especially in that wedding context, (and in the light of some of the passing “match-making” quips being made by others standing by), as surely ‘“not allowed” for a non-sibling’!! (In fact, I am pretty sure I recall properly that it was my scowling, reprimanding look at my sister as I was standing next to the person taking the picture which trigger, as seen in the photo[D330] that (by now, through a lifetime of observation, known to be) characteristic look/reaction in her, distracting her from, and “suspectingly” disinteresting her about, the picture taking, with her even having started in response to pull/shy away, as it reflectingly similarly did for the guy. -On top of them also hearing those queasying comments, it was (I am sure) my reprimanding glare which sealed their discomfort. (Or so I was led to sequiturly think/conclude then.) Hey, I was/am after all: ‘my sister’s keeper’!!# The second moment was just a few instances later that day when, now having stepped outside, being most irritatingly “itching hot” due to a prickling-fabric sweater that I was made to wear under my suit for the wedding[D329], on moreover that sweating hot summer day. So I was most comfortable, and as was actually torn in the dilemma that I knew that I had to be dressed up for the wedding...but did it really have to be in that hellish garb??! As I was trying to make my complaint heard, but no one was paying attention to it and just dismissing me, and moreover then, someone wanted to take a picture of me because: ‘I looked cute in my outfit’...I just began wailing! And what added to also impressing this distinct moment in my mind was the obnoxious, ca. young teenage girl, who was the daughter of family-friends of ours, who just kept making, what I only saw as, fun of me, mockingly imitating my wailing and moreover characterizing it with hurtful name-calling (-which I still clearly remember!!, -especially as I re-heard them every time that picture was “amusedly” being shown to someone else. [-Even Hollywood celebrities can get offended/hurt by ‘mean, personal, Tweets (then again, they are: “actors”).... how much more a 4 years-old’s psyche....]). So that only “irritated” me much more, and thus it stuck in my mind, -indeed by being brought back to my mind then each time I would meet that girl again. (I seriously actually had a residual/flashback-like PTSD moment in 1996 when I crossed paths with her!!) [Recently, that then teenage girl was part of a local initiative to have French SDA media in Quebec... so I guess she has since repented and been converted!!].
            And in both instances, what served to most concretely singed/seared/sealed both of those distinct moments in my mind, (indeed I do not remember anything else from the wedding), was seeing the two pictures [D330 & D331] which were taken then, which I saw for myself just a few days afterwards. Which all makes me (somewhat enviously) think of the memory-recalling potential/opportunity of the present ubiquitous and simple (digital) video generation! A video is surely worth at least 100,000 words!!.

# For a forcibly brief period in my ca. late childhood years, I had the great idea that the solution to help my older sister avoid the various minor difficulties that she was having... she should become more like me. So it really started with trying to get her to be more athletic.@ And one of our first games was in running sprints between a long width-wide stretch of the house, in the kitchen, stretching in a straight line between the pantry and “front” door[which had actually long been made to be the side porch’s door -D167a]. So we were timing each other doing sprints between those two points and when it was my turn, I would cheerleadingly encourage my sister into improving her time and try to match mine and as I was seeing that she was indeed improving, which also thrilled her, I enthusiastically encouraged with shouts of “Faster”, “Faster”.... which abruptly switched to, after a brief shock-recovery period, to matter-of-factly urgent calls of: ““Mooommm”.... ‘Daaaaad@@” because the forehand that my sister had been using to brace herself in her pivots at the ends of these stretches, had just gone straight through the “front” door’s glass window....and there was blood gushing all over the place from a gash in her (under)wrist. So after my mom stopped the bleeding, we rushed to the Emergency Room, where a cut tendon in my sister’s wrist was sown back, and then her forearm was placed in a cast, and when we reached back home, finally understanding that she was (eventually) going to alright, I, generously wholly taking the blame here, profusedly promised her that I would never try to ‘make her like me again’!
            It has been variously harder to ‘be my sister’s keeper’ that way....but what are you gonna do!?? (~Gen 1:26-27; 3:11)

@ As during those years, it had been our leisure habit to play our version of “doll house” with our growing collection of 50+ stuffed figurines and dolls (including a couple of stuffed dolls, which my mom, who was then working at home in sowing, and at times sowed doll dresses, had made for us%), which was a (usually Sun-) day long, elaborate acted out dramatization of, (as quasi-subconsciously, mirroringly typical with children), our own lives, and thus mainly included: a grouping of the dolls into families, each with their own homes, with, compressedly, non-chaotic everyday lives, who went to Church on “Saturday” and even went to Campmeeting “annually”, vacational road trips, etc.), and so I felt in all of this, always thinking in the back of my mind that doll playing was essentially a “girl thing”, that I had done my part in ‘meeting my sister half way’ and so she did sort of “owe me” to be more athletic so that I could have also have a dependable/trustworthy playmate, (i.e., versus the (relatively) “pagan” kids in the neighborhood), in my guy games/activities.

% Mine, which was square-headed in order to distinguish as a guy, actually made it on our 1980-81 Christmas Season break, Montreal-Miami road trip and “cool-ly” took a picture in between my sister and me at the gates of the “Cape Canaveral Space” Shuttle Launch site.[I would include that picture here but it was developed in diapositives format].

@@Daaaaad’ is here cited in single-quotes because, due to the fact that my mom used to babysit a friend of ours and she always so comically called my father by the diminutive for his first name, -(rrrooollling the third letter [which his family members have always (merely) stressed], that we would more-than-less silently gloss over), we ended up infectiously doing the same thing, and it has seamlessly, and quite normally to us, stuck, to this day.

*5* A prior surgical experience of my mother, while then living in Miami, had made me hyper-sensitive to that as a (Cuban) surgeon announced to her after a surgery she had at his hand that ‘he had (also) removed her cecal appendage’. ...Let’s see: She had not had the surgery for that purpose; nor had she asked for this procedure; nor was there any problem at all with her appendix.... Uhhhhh... Hello.... What???... she was you living human “cavia cobaya”??!! My mom never, though she seriously pondered it, acceded to my insistent pressings for her to sue him/the hospital for this actually quite ethically and personably outrageous, (and not at all “preventively conscientious”), violation.
[25] It certainly was not that I could not deal with the scientific/mathematical aspect, it is more that I didn’t want to expend so much mental energy and effort to do so as I considered it to really be secondary to both what I wanted to do in this field of study[see e.g., in D162-D163 -a college essay on writing and my (then) career choice. Ironically enough, writing would later become the crux of my pursued life work], and also what was mostly being utilized out in the professional field, especially with the advanced advent of computers. In my view, while learning and understanding the basics is useful, especially for professionals, I still think that it is somewhat redundant in the advance stages of our day. As it will be discussed later, I later had the same issue with the approach to learning, the actually dead, and textually static, languages of Biblical/Ancient Hebrew and Greek. I rather burn some brain cells on the dynamic and applicational aspects of these fields.
            The drop that began to make my cup overflow in my Engineering field was when we were beginning to learn Computer Aided Drafting. The program being used, even for late 1995, was relatively primitive. All that I can think was, why can’t they do like the recently released Windows 95 (August 24), and have a more practical/graphical interface and/or have also developed a version that works on the graphical platform, rather than this vector terminal interface. (This is indeed what AutoCAD began to do a little later). I felt fooled and played with to be literally wasting my time having to learn a logically passing program. I then began to more strongly feel that I was really wasting my time in getting entangled in this sectarian competitive rat race, where even computer programs did not evolve in unison as the “logically” should. I began to feel that if I could wait out these people until they first literally ‘got their individual acts together’ I, without a hesitation, would.
            Underlying this increasing loathing that I was having for my career choice of Engineering was how I was feeling that I was being gradually reprogrammed to become a “worldling,” as such advanced scientific learning really then would only contribute to advancing worldly endeavors. I wanted to become and Electronic Engineer, but loathed to have to be rewired to be ingrained to think like one. That was much more than I had bargained for. And so I was now in a sort of career-choice limbo.
[26] E.g., if a 128MB RAM Card is the same size and configuration as a 3096MB one, only requiring a finer circuitry imprinting, then couldn’t the makers of these parts have invented the 3096MB card, e.g., 10 years ago??? The same thing goes, and that, much more, for a strictly storage device as a hard drive. This is even more evident today as these companies clearly do know what to do to increase the capacities and performances of their various parts, and that without affect its size and compatibility.

[27] What pointedly clinched* this decision for me was when, during a break in classes at the Technical School, I resumed a discussion on the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath with a 40+ year old classmate who said he had previously studied at Bible College. In the light of this more scholarly knowledge of the Bible I had just recently brought him a couple of books of Samuele Bacchiocchi that I had recently bought when Bacchiocchi had held his Sabbath Enrichment Seminar at my Church. He cursorily looked into the books, but then retorted with an argument from Greek that effectively said: ‘not all sin is sin’, i.e., ‘not all sins were “transgressions of the Law”.’ I was quite taken aback by this argument, no then knowing anything about Biblical Greek, however I decided to look into this, and that afternoon, I took a little time off from going to work, and first went to a local Christian Bookstore and sitting at one of their reading tables with a Strong’s Concordance, I researched all of these Greek words for “sin.” In short here, my exhaustive study complete blew away his argument as it showed that the “sin” that was spoken of as the transgression of God’s Law was the default, most common and pervasively, variously applied term for sin in the NT/Bible.
            It was when I realized how easily and thoroughly that argument of his had been defeated through this deeper, and somewhat scholarly, study, which he, most comically, was completely, and actually indifferently, speechless when I presented it to him, I then saw that this was the “tool” that I needed to accomplish my increasingly, deeply impressed and greatly desired Christian evangelistic ministry. So it is then that I decided to formally go and study for the ministry in order to readily have such scholarly knowledge at hand to thus properly and effectively do this planned Christian ministry. So I then took decided steps towards that end within that week.

* And an initiating event that began this “formal ministry ball rolling is the following which occurred in early March 1997 (I priorly had related it during this Facebook discussionhere (with its follow up comments here) on June 7|10, 2012, and these are posted here, more than less, as they were posted there):
            At my sister's wedding in 1997, in a Church in the Oakwood College area, we were, after Sabbath, setting up the Church's Fellowship Hall for the Wedding Reception when all of a sudden it was announced that we had to move the Reception somewhere else because the Church pastor just found out that we were planning to serve meat during the reception (chicken) and it was against his Church policy to cook or serve meat in the Church. I'll spare you the details but that was quite a frustrating and "ugly" scene, especially for the many non-SDA who were helping us out. We then undid the setting up that we had done, and finally found another Church which agreed to have us set up there. However, if I recall correctly, it was the youth/associate pastor who agreed, but when the Senior pastor was informed, he disagreed for the same reasons that the first Church's pastor had. So by now we were literally without a place to have the reception and it was by quite late that Saturday night, and most the non-SDA people who were there and helping to set up, had traveled there, to Hunstville, Alabama that same day, and by now were extremely tired.
            Finally, after seeing how ugly they had made the situation, given the actual circumstances that this was all an honest misunderstanding as the Churches where those who had prepared the meat were coming from had no problem with this, the Senior Pastor of the First Church, bless his humble heart, decided to fix the situation as best a possible, and restore a degree of being a sensical Church to our non-SDA guests, by offering to freely provide for vegetarian meat alternatives AND also having members from his Church come and freely prepare/cook it for us.
So he thus, to some degree, was able to redeem the situation and himself.

            Indeed the incident related above during my sister's wedding was a watershed (or, sequentially, the ‘waters damming up’) moment for me as I couldn't accept that God/the SDA Religion could be so subjective, and, to say the least, it really (as in: angrily stomping off while muttering then, at that first blockage; -not sure how that deliberately re/de-monstrative reaction influenced that observing pastor’s later ‘amending generosity’) irritated me that there was such a contrasting difference from what one SDA Church taught/believed/practiced vs. another one. And that was one of the major reasons why I decided ca. a month later, on top of the other major reasons of us (i.e., SDA's) not being able to convince non-SDA's of our supposedly incontrovertibly "rock-solid" Biblical Truth, to go and study Theology at an SDA University, to, at the very least, find out for myself what exactly what the actual Biblical truth in all of those matter and circumstances were. I just did not find it acceptable nor Biblical to have to go by the effectively whimsical, subjective opinion of others, even pastors and elders as they themselves evidently did not know what the truth was on such matters. And, to say the very least, I surely have not regretted it then, especially in regards to having long discovered that the actual issue here was not that we could not arrive at the absolute and transparently concrete truth on many matters, but for various quite base reasons, people did not want to do the variously costly/self-sacrificing work to be able to obtain this truth (=Matt 13:44), all resulting in our various denominational deficiencies and dysfunctionalities. And not surprising, due to this lack of diligence and cooperation resulted in many deeper Biblical truths never being "dis/un-covered". (=CS 244.5). And that is indeed a most pivotal issue for the Church today as it is associated with “The Shaking” (16MR 32.2) (See COL 103-114).

[28] Evidently they got “the message” of me (really) feigning to close up my sermon folder-book and taking a seat since, as indicated by those early rounds of “Amening” they already knew and agreed with these things...but clearly where not practicising them. (I guess that it was then innate/nature case for me then that, -as with anything else that I get involved in, whether it was i.e. in, e.g., sports, music, romantic relationships, career choice, career/ministry work, if there was not both: a point to the engagement/activity and it was not just ‘doing something just for the sake of doing something’, indeed merely repetitiously so, I likewise was not into ‘preaching for the sake of preaching’ = “preaching to the choir”. Which all explains my current ministry stance and approach, which I certainly have not regretted, of not settling to hover over already known/understood things, and, -outside of a purely evangelistic context, preaching them over and over, (and most especially if the “returns” are not what they objectively, easily should be), as patently seen in the default/typical ‘SDA preacher’s, (really jealous-idolatrous), “rock star” building and touring approach’ (see here+here, cf. in here); but instead, as prophetically (literally) stated in Dan 12:4, 10 (productively) “seeking to advance”.
            It also was not my surprise, as it was no-brainly obvious to me, to later confirm (i.e., in the (2010) SDA Church Manual p.124), that, (as I then had ensued to intimate at that pivotal point in that first sermon, by also directionally glancing towards the partial glass wall enclosure location of the Church’s (new) boardroom): ‘if the rest of the (adults) in this Church had, -as their chorus of agreeing “Amens” was indicating, this same issue/complaint with the leadership, then they needed to have already voiced this by attending, and participating in, the Church’s, (then logically assuming, -given the SDA Church’s Constitutional democratic decision-making process), business/board meetings.’ But then also realizing/conceding the actually limited space in that (new) boardroom, I directionally glanced back towards the present sanctuary intimating that they easily could hold such (supposed to always be open/public) sessions in here instead. (See this GYC 2014 presentation by Kameron DeVasher copiously remonstrating what both the (Local) Church and actually, explicitly so, its weekly/regular board/business meetings, are actually to be primarily/prominently all about, namely: (not, as most commonly heard about, ‘the Budget’, or ‘the carpet color’, but: Evangelism!!! (=AA 9.1ff). [It perhaps may be the ensuing related case that a couple of month later (October 1997), that the Church held, in the Youth Room, an opened Evangelism Series planning/preparation meeting with the coming It Is Written evangelist; -(which, as later related, I, being temporarily back home from Andrews then, attended).]

[29] In the sermon [at D101 Line #23 & #24], I had inserted an “Church member insider knowledge” line that I knew many would get the pointed point. That was the one about speaking on a rather dismal evangelistic spirit in this Church of over 1200 members which slightly varyingly was said from how I had written it that: ‘this church had not been raised in these last days of earth history to be confined to this building that we worship in’. The back story of that line was that a few years before, a visiting Senior Pastor from the North Miami Church had preached a sermon on ‘the fig tree with beautiful leaves but no fruit.’ With this Church building being renownly one of the most beautiful[cf. D320] in the Miami area, yet the Church then not known for being too Spiritually alive/awake (hence my sermon also), many people in the Church then had felt, as probably due, that this visiting Pastor had preached on this parable pointedly at them. So the paramount general reaction to against the sermon was in the line of: ‘how dare he!?’. So, with me having attended, and then been a member of, that Church for close to all of my years 7 years since moving to Miami, indeed being eventually the only one in my family who had stayed in that Church, with my parent leaving after about 2 years in to start another Church, and then my sister leaving to attend another Church nearby about a year later, I felt that I had enough attendance/membership “capital” to make, upon weekly observation and knowledge, the exact same point that that visiting Senior Pastor had made. And so I deliberately, though veiledly, did make it in this sermon.

            Relatedly, albeit, “as a matter of (Pastoral) staff”, in making my above ad-lib “rely upon” instead of the manuscript-written “trust” statement, I also had in mind the very bad idea of the youth pastor/department having had a youth outing at, out of all places, a topless beach!?? (~here) Really???? out of all of the miles of beach that there are in South Florida, you had to pick (moreover, reserving a volleyball spot at) that section. I mean, really, why not just the same have the meeting at a topless bar. Really what is the difference. It was only when I mentioned this upcoming Church outing to this South Beach to my boss, for I had requested the day of for that Sunday, that I first learned from him that it was a topless beach as he was actually perceivingly, matter-of-factly (as he had no qualms about such places), correcting my manifested queasiness about that beach area as I thought that it was a “gay” beach. (I knew there was something, alternative pun intended: ‘not “natural”’ about that “notorietous” beach.). And just judging by the reactions of many of the young boys to that inevitable decadent scene, it indeed was a variously, spiritually “bankrupt” idea. ...And, at a later time, trying to relatedly diffuse the whole wider issue by claiming that “it’s only a piece of meat”, -to which I am sure God was addedly, doubly offended-, just did not right the whole matter.

[30] The fact that I had, that Sabbath morning, been, both, (a) able to (physically) be present, and deliver (b) that sermon, was for factual reasons, a quasi-miracle and sign to me, so when I had begun that sermon by ‘thanking the Youth Pastor for the granted opportunity’ and then, ad lib-ly, also, raising my eyes to Heaven ‘thanking God for being here’ was, for that latter thank, not at all mere formalism, nor an empty statement, given what I knew I had gone through in the couple of weeks leading up to this sermon.
            This opportunity to preach on Sabbath July 12, (1997), had been granted to me back towards the end of the month of June, however I had a planned family road trip (with my mom, my sister & her husband, -then newly married for just over 4 months), to Montreal, Canada (via Toney, AL to pick up my sister and {then}brother-in-law). For one thing, we nearly got into an accident during our overnight drive when we came across a whole bumper that was strewn across my lane on the highway, which I suddenly saw at the last moment, however was able brake enough to manoeuver safely around it. On the next day, having reached Canada, we had decided to drive through, and visit, the city of Toronto, which I had told them how nice it was, from my prior visits of it in the past 2 years, including, during my 8600-mile road trip the summer before. After having visited Toronto, we decided, also at my knowing recommendation, to make a trip to nearby Niagara Falls.
            However, on the way there, a sudden discussion came up between me vs. my mom and my sister, which, somewhat indirectly, but inevitably, encroached too close upon: my decision to go into the Ministry; the various sacrifices that I was making to make this happen; and my pointed focus on the type of ministry I wanted to do and targeted audience. I did not at all appreciate the snide, mindless and inconsiderate remarks that were being made, with much being loudly said by what was not (expectedly) being said, and just (righteously indignantly) “blew it”, but, as I know myself to do, in a still-screwed-shut-pressure-cooker type of way. I.e., I could get ‘controllably within myself’ as opposed to “uncontrollably, besides myself.” I had had enough of this hinting mocking and “prodding”, and suddenly, seeing an exit, having looked in my mirrors first[cf. D185 (jape)], I crossed over 4+ lanes to take the exit, at maintained highway speed, slowing down only further down in the exit, but, yet fully in control, coming to a calculated, most-minimal, quasi-anti-locking, semi-screechless stop just a few inches over the intersection’s white line at that red light.[see in D123] Then, turning right, mulling over what to do next, and not finding a suitable place to pullover for about half a mile, I pulled partway into the driveway of one of the houses lining that road, got out of the car, took my backpack from the back seat floor, and walked away.[see in D123] Knowing me quite well (from previous such experiences), my sister and mother did not bother to wait for me to cool down and return, because they knew that even if/when I cooled down, I would do/attempt just about anything else than return on a decision that I had made, even, and especially, if in anger. For the most part this is borne out of a (choleric) character trait where, as many of my friends have pointed out to me, ‘when I set my mind to do something, I see it through to its own actual or virtual/logical end.’ And indeed here, I had made up my mind. I was going to show them that my lesser-thought-of calling, ministry and cause were all from God, and that they were wrong in so lightly/disdainedly referring to it. My plan right then and there was to go from this unknown location, which was just outside of the city limits of Toronto, right to the Canadian University College (CAUC) in Alberta, Canada, where I was expecting/anticipating to be accepted (indeed 9 days later[D149ff]); and have my personal stuff from back home in Miami shipped to me. Being the strict organizational type that I am, I knew that I would much more prefer to personally pack my things rather than have someone else do it for me and ship them. I, also in order to “get things done right’, would have much more prefer to travel with my belongings rather than have them “blindly” ship independently. However not even these normatively paramount factors could convince me to go back on this decision. So I kept on walking a little more (ca. 0.5 miles) further away from the highway and sat by a golf course,[see in D123] pondering my next move onward, towards this decided end. What I really wanted to do in/through all of this was get this ministry decision started already so that I can also silence such doubts. (I think my Grandmother[D239], then not an SDA, (in fact then vehemently, personally, opposed to it,* just as she now, since her baptism in 2003, fervently believes in the message, having had grown tired of hearing, various and what she increasingly Biblically knew were, and openly decried to fellow members as, ‘complete nonsense’ from her Baptist Church in regards to several key teachings and (non-)practices (and in the years leading up to her baptism, as she was increasingly seriously pondering that decision, encouraged people who wanted to become Christians or switch denominations, to join the SDA Church as, she would say, ‘they were the most truth-full’)), had the most spiritually discerning, understanding and encouraging words, which had immediately impressed me as inspired (cf. John 11:51-52), in the early start and misses of my ministry endeavors, when in December of 1997, while I was on my way back to Andrews, here having, en route, gathered at my sister’s house in Alabama for the birth of, in here my sister’s daughter, my grandmother’s first, (of by now 11), great grand-children[cf. D306] [inclusively having counted quasi-step great grandchildren]), encouragingly said that ‘I was like Abraham, ‘not really knowing where I was going, (yet still... going)’’ (Heb 11:8-10|PP 126.1-4)).
            After I while, fearing that I was, with my bulging backpack, looking like a lost/homeless person to the bypassing golfers, I decided to walk back to Toronto. “Fortunately” for me the exit I had taken led, on the other side of the highway, right to a main secondary (scenic) “provincial road” type of road (Lakeshore Drive),[see in D124] which I knew went straight back to Toronto. However what I did not know/realize then was that I had driven over 40 miles away from downtown Toronto. So as I kept walking back along this road, it increasingly seemed strange to me that even after, now ca. 5 hours (=just over 15 miles) that I had not reached Toronto yet. And now night was about to fall. I then saw a sign for the local commuter (GO) train station up a cross road (Winston Churchill blvd.)[see in D124]. I was quite restrained to pay for a ride back because, with it being a Tuesday (July 1) then, and me only having the few bucks I had in my pocket (ca. $24.00) to my name then until my paycheck from my prior week of work was direct-deposited into my bank account on Thursday (July 3), (-still, then, incorrigibly, spending all of paychecks within a week and not saving anything), I would need to make that money stretch for these next ca. 3 days, until I would then have this money, to also buy my train ticket to travel to CAUC. However I just could not walk any more, and the sun was about to set. So I decided to take the commuter train. When I indeed did, I quite relievedly felt that it was the best decision I had made, despite its relatively steep cost of $4.60[D126], as I saw that it then still took ca. half an hour to reach downtown Toronto which, unknown to me, was ca. 25 miles away from where I took the train.[see in D125]
            Now came another unforethought of problem: where to spend the night and also the next one. I did not know anyone in Toronto. The last thing I wanted to happen to me was to get mugged in the streets with it now being around 10 P.M. Toronto (“the Good”) was, around that time, relatively, a very safe big city, however it still was not that safe to me. After walking around a little in the downtown area, I came across one of the side entrances of a block filling, hotel complex, and... skipping the explanatory details here..., went on to sleep 2 nights at The Royal York Hotel,[see in D125] probably the most prestigious/luxurious hotel in the Toronto area, and not called “Royal” for no “common” reason. The fact that no one at all had checked my dispenser-purchased ticket on the commuter train actually (quasi-vindictively) emboldened made me take this chance with this Hotel when I can across its side entrance, actually just hoping to hang out in the lobby all night. Well, let’s just summarily say for now, (however see below), that I (still) owe them for two nights of stay, and, voluntarily, with due interest.
            The next day, Wednesday July 2, I went to the Toronto Bay Side and walked into a hotel lobby to make a phone check of my bank account’s balance. To my surprise while I was there in the lobby, three Montreal Expos players (Pedro Martinez (who I had met before in Florida) then in the midst of his first of several league leading season in which he won the Cy Young awards as the National League’s top pitcher [cf. a highlight video]; the up and coming star, Vladimir Guerrero, [cf. a highlight video], then in his (full) rookie season [and, fulfilling many widely held anticipations even from then, in just the next 7 years with Montreal, Guerrero went on to be “unanimously deemed by experts” as the best ever Expos’ player in the 36-year lifetime of the team], and another (new) player that I did not know/recognize) came out of an elevator and were walking by me. The Montreal Expos were in Toronto for a first of newly started InterLeague series and this series had been set up between these two Canadian teams around this Canada Day (July 1st) national holiday. In my “prior life”, which was engulfed in Sports, I would have been quite glad (though not, (groupiely) fanatically delirious) to meet these (esp. “star”) players, in fact I used to stay around after baseball games near the player’s parking lot area, when the Expos came to play in South Florida, and try to get autographs from some players and meet them[D127a**&b; cf. D198-D199]. I indeed had, pointedly, been glad to meet Pedro Martinez before, back in the 1994 season, when during warm ups, ca. 1 hour before the start of the game, I, half-jokingly chided him for having developed an infamous reputation as being the league’s “head hunter” then, which had made him pause and ponder, and which he seemed to here pointedly recall. However by then, in 1997, and although, on the day that I had left for this trip on June 29, I had perfunctorily gone to, what I had then thought would be my last time that I would see the Expos in person, at least for a while, if not ever, when they were then playing in South Florida[D128], I had become most disillusioned, with as stated before, particularly, the overreaching “business” in Sports. So here, I quarter-heartedly, if even that, just raised my chin towards them to greet em. They were slightly taken aback by this cold greeting, especially Pedro, and what made it oddly worse, as Martinez actually quasi-vexed/offended/slighted, pointingly, intimitatedly retorted, was that I wearing my Expos’ (Spring Training) jersey then, solely because, given its meshed fabric makeup, it was quite-comfortable to wear on such hot summer days, especially while travelling by car[e.g., D180a&b***]. I, nonetheless, actually seriously considered to use this “potentially opportune|chance|fortunate meeting” to ask, particularly, Pedro Martinez, if he could help me out to pay for a place to stay for that (second, last) night, but thought better of this, knowing that even if he had the money (with his $3,615,000 salary then) and may actually do it, it, in all fairness, was not at all proper, nor even necessary, to ask this of him. All of which considerations he manifestly seemed to notice (i.e., that I was in some sort of need here) as he, noticing my strikingly, contrasting change of observable mood here from: a cheerful “Hey maybe...” to a dismissive “ahhh forget it”), suddenly, looking/acting affected/concerned, then glancing down at my back pack to seemingly indicate that he could understand. However I smiled at him to show that I was fine, and “acted” as if I had to stay on the phone for why I was not going over to meet them. So he, Vlad and the other player kept walking by across the lobby, on their way to their ball game.
            However, with the Expos in town here, I then saw a, more than less, “perfect” opportunity to “pass time”. And with then only one day left before my check was deposited on Thursday morning, I decided that it was okay to splurge a little and, moreoverly to pass time, especially for the evening since I could not go to the Royal York Hotel too early in the evening. So I went to this last Expos-Blue Jays series game, buying the cheapest ticket ($4.00)[D129]. It was quite telling to me that the most interesting part of that game, was actually when they closed the massive retractable roof, (the first of its kind), of the (then called) SkyDome (i.e., before a business corporation [now, Rogers] renamed it for profit, -another peeving pet peeve of mine in regards to increasingly then, overtly “corporatized” Sports), because of a threatening rain. (Incidently this is the venue where the 2000 General Conference Session was held). Then, to make the account of the two non-eventful and long days of stay in Toronto short, in which I carefully spent my money, eating subs sandwiches for my two meals per day ration, I stayed for a final night at the York Hotel.*4*
            For some reason, the next morning, Thursday, July 3rd, as soon as I confirmed that my paycheck was deposited, I went to the train station to buy my ticket for College Heights, Alberta to go to CAUC, however when I got to the station, I began, for the first time, to become greatly weary of all of the would-be implication of this major decision, if followed through. However, with now having been personally satisfied with my stance here showing, at least to me, that I was indeed going to follow through with this ministry decision, no matter who/what may come against me, I then decided that I should, and thus was going to, do this right. So I changed my mind and decided to instead go to Montreal, where my family was since Monday night.*5* So I bought a train ticket (mainly to seize this, really, first opportunity to relive a prior (and only), memorable train travel of a Grade 2 field trip to the Provincial Capital: Quebec City*6*) for Montreal, which left around noon that day.
            I also further saw the guiding hand of God during all of this, as during the train ride, two ladies behind me were discussing how they were frustrated with all of the various faults they were seeing in some Christian Churches they were interested in. Seeing here a God-ordained opportunity, I, as they just kept on complaining about this, took out a “Truth That Matters” sharing booklet (1997, by Keavin Hayden [however see also in here about him]) that I had in my back pack, which deals with the distinctive truths of Seventh-day Adventism, and gave it to them.
            So I later arrived in Montreal, but however, slept at a friend’s house that night, and  surprised my family the next day, Friday (July 4), when I walked in the front door of our (then in between renters, vacant) house. And after a few days of stay there, and then a visit to New York City[e.g. D130a&b], we left to return to Miami on the morning of Wednesday July 9.
            What was greatly interesting to me then was that since I decided to return to Montreal back on July 3rd, I began to rack my brain to figure out what I was going to preach for that still scheduled and now surely binding sermon appointment on July 12, yet all the while, during my stay in Montreal and NYC, I could not come up with anything. Thinking that maybe it was because of too many socializing/touring distractions then, I thought that I would better concentrate and come up with something on the drive back to Miami. I even passed up my non-crucial driving time, given the other 3 drivers in the car, so I could work on the sermon, but still nothing “viable” came to mind, resulting in many ‘starts and misses.’ It actually was not until I arrived back home in Miami around Thursday afternoon, that this ‘Josiah’s Rediscovery of the Bible’ sermon floodingly came to mind point by point, and I completed its 8-page manuscript drafting by that Thursday Night. It was so quickly and thoroughly completed that I actually could go to work the next day, which I had not thought I would be able to do, though for half a day,*7* after having first gone over to the Youth Pastor’s house, who lived near to me, that morning, to have the sermon reviewed. To me, the ease and quite effortlessness with which this sermon came to my mind, impressed me of its manifest, Source provenance and pertinent importance.


* Case in point, I recall the time in early 1996 when, while we we’re visiting my Grandfather in a New York City Hospital following his surgery for his prostate cancer, my Grandmother, (appropriately, affectionately, from 1963 (i.e., when, finally, from/in (contemporary & local) nature, was demonstrated|realized, and thus provided, a fitting depiction/comparison), dubbed and still most naturally/normatively called, “Flora” (cf. D303), after an all-time most destructive Carribean Hurricane that year) though most sincerely, all but (then) dispatched my mother to Hell for her having had some SDA major teachings Bible Study with my grandfather while at his bed side. Simply said, I then heard another level of the commonly so-assumed: ‘evils of SDA’s’ that I never thought were conceivable, nor relatable! Okay... it indeed may not have been the best set of topics for a ‘while-on-your-“sickbed”-cross’ sermon, an apparently my mildly intimated reproach to my mom had “green-lighted” that barrage of comments, however to a ‘I-didn’t-mean-that’, sub-orbital level. Nonethless, my recoveringly weak grandfather, (who would later join the Salvation Army Church, evidently mainly because they faithfully tended to him while he was on his death bed in Haiti#), then had to pleadingly intercede for my now tearfully distraught mother.

# My grandpa would, a little later after his surgery, stay with us for a while in Miami in order to complete his rehabilitation, as the surgery had affected his prior healthy walking mobility. And while with us, he would daily be pushing himself to, as soon as possible, walk normally again, if possible even without the use of his cane now, for he wanted to get Haiti to resume his managing of his various small business operations, particularly as many people in his community benefited and depended on them.

** Upon meeting Moises Alou (cf. here [01:16:15-01:21:39]) during the time of this picture, from then on, we interestingly enough, and surprising to me, had a sort of “connection”. He indeed struck me as a grounded, and quite personable person, and it was probably his feeling of my, spiritually-controlled, reticence to get “all chummy” with him, a professional athlete (given these athlete’s notoriously typical wild side/life), which “endeared” him, -from perhaps the fact that he himself, being a somewhat quiet/reclusive guy, was choosing to not live that wild life. Well whatever it was, he would from then on recognizingly, perfunctorily speaking, variously “salute” me whenever he spotted me in the stands during a game, (mainly as he was jogging back to his field position (i.e., to right or left field), -including one time when I was at a game with my mom [the only time my mom accompanied me to a game#]. I (then being with a friend) also briefly spoke with Alou when I met him in Miami during December of the 1995 Baseball post-regular season when the Montreal Canadiens were in town for a hockey game against the Florida Panthers[D317]{For a quite renown reason, I was quite leery of shaking his hand!} I inquired about the progress of his recent shoulder injury which had been season ending and, semi-relatedly, also kidded him for being notorious for having some of the most freakish baseball injuries (see e.g., here) (My photo of him then didn’t come out because the flash didn’t go off, and though he immediately indicated this to me, as I also didn’t want to draw (more) attention to him as he was standing there on the Arena’s entrance step, with most people just passing him by not knowing/recognizing him, I declined to retake the photo. I chiefly declined because I did not want to influence my younger church friend who was with me by here, in any way, acting “fanatical”, nor did I want him to glean wrong things by thinking I was “all chummy” with a professional athlete.).
            In a game in Montreal with a friend in 1996, on August 11, while I was there during my 8600-mile road trip, I was surprised that he also spotted me there, as I was seated in the right field bleachers just behind him, and as usual, he “saluted” me. By then, in 1996, being then almost completely down the “other side of the hill” of my sports fan experience, I was really just merely, dwindlingly, attending sporting events to “pass time”, having no real/actual interest in the game’s outcome, even play-by-play denouements, (and was unknowingly awaiting for a then growingly new passion in my life, which was Evangelism, to fully “take over”). And so, when Alou drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, ending the game, and as his teammates were congratulating him as he was making his way back to the dugout, I was noticeably quite uninterestedly tepidly “celebratory” slow-motionedly clapping, indeed several notches, especially enthusiastically, below most of the other 20,000+ fans, including my friend right next to me. Though the Expos were then in second place in their division, only 7 games behind the leader with 46 games to go, I “had been down this road before” and was quite pessimistic here, not only in regard to my disbelief that they would not catch up to the division leader (which they did not), but that, as expected, as like at the end of the last two years, there would be yet another “exodus” of star players, in mainly the form of free agents, leaving the team to sign more lucrative contracts elsewhere. And it so happened that Moises Alou was then going to also be a free agent, and manifestly noticing my tepid reaction as he glanced towards me, his celebratory expression non-sequiturly visibly changed as he was now looking fully out towards me in right field, even gesturing at my, rather confused, friend next to me who abruptly stopped enthusiastically celebrating, not getting what was going on here, to which Alou, now quite upsetly disturbed, and manifestly perceiving the widely-discussed ‘likely free agency exodus’ implication, motioned towards my friend as if to point out that my tepid indifference had affected him. And so I began to hypocritically, quasi-jeeringly cheer, which only, quite visibly, upset him more, and so I stopped, intimating to him: ‘well then let’s see if you re-sign and come back next year.’ I didn’t expect that he would care that much, but he did take my reaction quite personally, by then, being demonstrably and expressively still visibly upset, no longer acknowledging his, at that point, morale-boosting endeavoring, resolutely still embracing and congratulating teammates, then questioningly implying to him: ‘Hey, why are you upset!?!’.
            At the end of the season, as expected, he, though he did all that was rationally possible to resign with the team, ended up signing with the Florida Marlins for $4.5 million, as the Expos just could no longer afford even his then just over $3 million dollar salary.## And he would still then, though less pronouncedly, as if not wanting to “rub it in”, -and with me still proudly wearing my Expos’ jersey[cf. D180a&b], merely recognizingly acknowledge me when he spotted me when I was at a Marlins, which by then was only when the Montreal Expos were in town.

# Relatedly, I only offered to take my father to a sporting event when I had won a couple of box seat tickets (to a Florida Panthers Hockey Game[D318]) in a call-in radio question contest. We indeed had the entire “Sky” box to ourselves, so, as I was atmospherily especially leery of for my father, there were no unruly and/or beer guzzingly drunken fans around him.

## And therein was also seen, my now long-loathed, ruthless, vicious circle of Capitalism (also in sports). I guess it “surfacely” was because the Montreal Baseball fans did not attend home games in large enough amounts to help provide the needed money to afford the salaries of their  stars players which led to these players leaving for other teams who offered more money. But if the team was a winning/championship team, as it could easily have been if those star players had remained, then more people would attend the home games. However these players could have actually chosen to take a pay cut, i.e., remain on the team with their previous affordable salaries in order to provide this championship team, but as Capitalism quasi-dictates, they individually chose to ‘do what is best for themselves’ instead of the team or the city/fans and opted to go as free agents to the highest bidder. As usual, (as increasingly seen in the SDA Church), you just can’t begin to collectively win against such conditioned individualistic/selfish Capitalistic thinking.


*** (Interesting side anecdote about the occasion of the [D180b] photo, it was taken when I, along with a friend[D240a&b] (who I had met and befriended from his relatively brief time at my work) went on a spontaneous mid-afternoon trip to Key West Florida. After a brief visit, we left to return back to Miami a little after sunset. However it quite oddly to us got so pitch dark then, in that non-urban area, that we did not even notice when we crossed over the renown 7-Mile (Oversea) Bridge[D241a], which had been quite a breath-takingly awesome sight/experience when crossing it on the way to Key West[cf. D241b & see this driving video]. Well as we kept drive along, my friend, then 16 years old, but who was “already”, though somewhat/indirectly, “embroiled” in a local juvenile gang in his neighborhood (affectionately called “Blanc” for obvious distinguishing reasons), mostly on a friendship level with his friends who were more deeply entrenched in this lifestyle, (and he was seeking to avoid the quasi/petty criminal element of that lifestyle, even enjoying occasionally going to Church with me, along with having attended a couple of Net ‘96 meetings, -all to the relief of his mom, -who was additionally eased by the fact that I would be providing a dress shirt for him which she was greatly desiring for), well on that drive back, he suddenly began to gaze through the open sunroof and, (and I, though I knew he was a really candid and “down-to-earth” guy at heart and in observed actions/reactions, did not think, given his mainly preferred/resorted, quasi-jaded “front”, that he could ever get so profusely unashamedly/self-admittingly, unjadingly amazed as he had now), suddenly started, indeed unashamedly “awing” and “wowing”.[cf. here[14:12-19:40ff]; here from (the late) Paul Walker; here from Francis Chan]. After I got over this initial shock of this sudden awed manifestation of his, I, as I was still driving, quickly looked up to see what he was so amazed by..., and I then just had to pull over and we both got out of the car to take, that indeed awesome sight, in. It was as if I was looking at the ceiling of a planetarium when it is presenting an explanation on the stars and constellations in the universe. They were not only so numerous and bright, (which I was actually, in someway, expecting), but this unimpeded and most vivid presence of theirs compoundedly made it seem as if the sky’s ceiling was only a couple of thousand of feet above. In, then ca. 7 years of living in the city of Miami, I had never seen such a sight. And my friend either.
            Well, I, being then increasingly more evangelistically minded, did not want to waste such a perfect object-lesson moment, and so I utilized his still unfaded/unfazed, enraptured admiration, (indeed by now he was seated on the trunk of the car to more easily lean back, resting on the back windshield, to look up into the sky), I, with deliberateness, re-directed his “imagination” to the assertive and non-circuitous fact, (as he was at least “partial” to Godly things), that ‘this is the work of a God,’ -which indeed got him thinking and asking some questions on that issue when we drove on.
            Indeed as the 2005 song “Stars” by the CCM band Switchfoot, [who has an SDA band member] says: When I look at the stars - I see someone else ... [&] I feel like myself! [and vice versa] (See the song’s Dove Award winning Music Video here).)

*4*To be detailed here, I slept those 2 nights, with my back pack as my pillow, underneath a banquet table, behind|within its floor-reaching table covers, of its second floor ballroom which had yet to cleaned up after what probably had been, as I just recently, (in writing this) realized for the first time, a Canada Day celebration. (At the time, I thought it had been from a Sunday (wedding?) celebration.) And so found it most odd that it was still not cleaned up two days later, which in turn “assured” me that this hall was probably a good place to temporarily stay/quasi-squat as it was “manifestly” overlooked and quasi-abandoned). 
            To me, retrospectively, even Spiritually, looking back at it now, this experience somewhat all felt quite like a contracted, concatenated conflation of Jacob’s various journeying nights (i.e., at Bethel & Peniel - Gen 28:10ff & 32:24ff) because I then moreoverly made myself quite aware that I really would not give up on this most felt special mission and self-sure calling, no matter what, until I saw it through its end. In my mind, if I survived this ordeal, nothing else could faze me on this journey and it was indeed, in its own right, probably due to its “firstness”, an anchoring point for this great adventure.

*5*My mom later told me that, after(?!?) their visit to Niagara Falls, they had returned to the place where I had left them to, hopefully, still find me there, and when they did not see me there, went to a nearby Police Station to ask for assistance. However the officer told them that, in such a “volitional” situation, they had to wait at least 24 hours before the Police could begin to do anything towards locating for me.

*6* By the way, another interesting field trip that we took while I was at that SDA School was in the late Spring of either 1986 or (probably) 1987 (during my 5th or 6th Grade) to a big top tent which had been set up in a vacant parking lot by a group of former street performers in the Montreal area, who were themselves all performing various tricks, feats and acrobatics instead of using animals....That happened to be the infancy stage that is now globally known as the $850 million performance entertainment titan: Cirque du Soleil!

*7*In that half-day of going to work, I was actually hoping to, in person, clinch the priorly expressed, serious interest of a couple of co-workers of mine, who had said they would come with me to Church that Sabbath, to hear me preach. However, to my surprised, they, after some more thought, suddenly decided not to go. And in retrospect, following the sermon’s delivery, I was thankful to God that they had not, for: you don’t want to have guests over when you have to take care of an overdue pile of laundry!


[31] Easily the greatest of the only job[D135] I ever had [05/93-08/97] -(due to God’s prescient providence who knew that “time” would be the most needed and valuable resource for this “planned” ministry and its “Narrow Path” (Matt 7:12-14) Course. And even if my present, and since 1999, full time work of various, (mainly/chiefly/foundationally Biblical), and related Research, Study, Writing and Development was formal and paid for employment, it still would not feel like “a job”, -just as most ‘self-employed business’ vs. “working for someone else”, is.). -My bosses (the business owners) at that job, the operations manager son, (who was 8 years older than me), who were Jewish, though more (non-religiously) culturally, (even atheistic/secular* also here -{succinctly/summarily here}; [cf. here (audio)] with certain ones**), than religious, were very encouraging to me to pursue my University-degree goals and endeavors, and were even reluctant to increase my work hours, which they actually wanted to do out of performant-productivity reasons,*** when I said that I could take on more work time, not failing however to remind me to keep at it at school, the son, repeatedly seriously-jokingly adding that ‘he did not want to be responsible for me getting bad grades’.

* The “boss-son” was immediately an enthusiastic fan of Jonathan S. Leibowitz (b.k.a. Jon Stewart) and once “enthusiastically” asked me if I watched his (then increasingly popular) (prior) show (e.g. here), manifestly thinking that I would then get an idea about “cultural and/or secular/atheist Jews” (cf. e.g. here)... -To which, -having already overheard the relatively “non-kosher” nature of the content of the show, I, “pre-emptively”, generalizingly replied, and protractedly repeated again when he re-posed the question: “I don’t have cable.”

** So much so that, e.g., (A) when, at the end of my first week of work, on the Friday, the mom owner offered me to work late that day in the retail part of the business which would remain open until 9 P.M. I found the offer quite odd coming from her, a Jew, even if alone for the fact that they were allowing their business to remain open on the Sabbath (I didn’t think/know any Jewish person ever did that), and so I hintingly, and tonally, semi-reproachingly, responded: “I do not work on Friday nights; to which, she, taking this obvious bait, asked “why”, which I answered: “because it is Sabbath!” She, of course immediately got it, and it was indeed, something that she should have known and rightly understood, and be properly applying. (Cf. here).
            (B) On the day after a Network TV broadcast of the Movie the Ten Commandments (1962), I was discussing it with some other co-workers, however not thinking that the boss son would be interested, I did not discuss it with him, to which he baffledly, most honestly, retorted: ‘They are my people!’ That response completely took me by surprise as I really didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t put the two together here.# I then wanted to ask him: ‘if he then also believed in: the 10 Plagues, the parting of the Red Sea; and that God gave Moses the Tablets of the 10 Commandments, etc,’ but did not, but he manifestly understood my half-laughing, ‘just forget it’ intimation to this end.

# After I, upon [if I recall precisely] just my second day, made it quite clear to him (and also another employee then) that, contrary to the evident male default/norm there, I was not going to be an interested/receptive audience to reports of his/their debauch anecdotes, jokes, movies/films, (week-end) escapades, and/or, etc, -even intimatingly clearly indicating then that this would be an “employment-breaker” for me, (but then actually challengingly intimating that I actually had a right to not be so unwillingly/blindsidedly exposed, nor harassed in the workplace)...we got along just fine, (i.e., I, in 4 years of work there, most deliberately, literally was, even out-of-the-way, never made to have to deal with such a situation again); (minus the lingering interpersonal leery traumatism that that single incident had entrenchedly created.
            Given my particular mindset then upon starting that job of me generally viewing taking an employment early on (i.e., while still in school) as having been “subjugated by the (corrupt) Capitalist system”, being so immediately confronted with such an issue which I saw as infringing on my religious faith, was indeed shockingly traumatizing.

*** In fact, (not meaning to brag, for as Baseball oldtimer Dizzy Dean used to say: “it ain’t braggin’ if it’s true”), the parting words of the son to me, “embarrassingly”, due to its deliberateness, in the hearing of others, were that: ‘he always said that if he had 10 more workers like me, he would be set.’# (Thanks again everyone for everything.[e.g., D144]).

# Actually when a perfect opportunity presented itself, I figured that I could also tangibly help in that regards, seeing that I most likely would not go wrong in a known “liked father’s (self-motivated work ethic) like son’s” scenario. And so, knowing at work that they were working on opening a new retail store in the South Florida metropolitan area, (the then commercially bustling Hollywood area), one afternoon, being then concerned about my father’s inability to find a stable job, (he had tried a private employment and self-employment ventures but they had not lasted@), I approached my father when, as usual, he was at his office, deep in his Bible studies for his lay pastoring/ministry work, and, with  me actually feeling a little “worldly” for especially interrupting him then, and to make this comparatively “secular” suggestion, but also having even then an innate rancour and righteous indignation that my father’s full time lay pastoring and ministry work, then working with a newly planted Church in the North Miami area, which was indeed as demanding and fully met as the work of any paid SDA Pastor, was not being paid, and also knowing from my own working experience at this type of job, which was actually neither that physically draining, nor mentally taxing, and thus allowed me to also attend college/university full time, that it was all indeed a perfect match for him to seek an employment there. But not wanting to cause my father unfair expectations and comparisons to the more youthful me, and given the fact that my father had not had steadily worked in the context of a non-self employed job since 1982, and also knowing that my father was not fluent in English which may cause some understanding issues, yet also knowing from his many valuable do-it-yourself accomplishment that my father was most industrious at whatever task he put his mind to, but also thinking that if he did want to ‘put his mind’ into that secular job, instead having his mind preoccupied on his lay Church work, that he would not perform at the job as well as he could, I also jointly suggested that he let his prospective employers make their own decision by him not mentioning at all that I was the one who had told him this employment opening. In fact, though I could myself have recommended my father to my boss at my work, because I actually did not see it as best for my father to work under my youthful boss who could be was somewhat “explosively impetus”, and given the naturally siding and uncomfortable situations that could occur, the company actually had a policy of not employee two family members at the same place, I therefore did not mention this at all to my boss. So my father would be meeting other bosses/regional managers in the company, (who actually also knew me from having met them as they did their regional managerial rounds of the company’s establishments), when he went to that new location.
            So that is what my father did. Unbeknownst to me, in regards to the hiring process, the, what I had assumed would be pre-hiring for that new store was actually not yet being done, nor was it then not being done at that location (and in all of this ‘early meeting’ I had wanted my father to get any favoring ‘early/first arrival’ advantage) , and so the woman boss/regional manager my father met did not actually have an obligation to say or do anything more than tersely tell my father that they were not hiring. But she pressed on to find out find out just how he knew that they could be hiring here and now. So my father went on to tell her: ‘that his son had told him’. My father then said that things suddenly changed for the favoring better when he then answered her subsequent: “who is your son??” by telling her it was me. As I said she knew who I was, and upon hearing that added info, she redirected my father to the companies retail store warehouse and main offices location ca. 15 miles further north in Broward County’s Oakland Park area.
            When my father got there, he met with the father-owner/boss of the company, who had (most likely) been told of my father’s coming by that regional manager. Unbeknownst to me, the company actually had a policy of not hiring two people from the same family at all, but did make rare exceptions, as, (case in point, there was then the daughter of a someone at that Oakland Park location who worked where I did, -and later on, her brother also worked at that location), and so the father-boss/owner told my father of this policy but immediately added that: ‘because he knew me, and knew me to be a good worker, that he would hire him.’ And so, as the Hollywood store was not yet opened, he told my father that he would call him when it was. A couple of weeks went by, (and I do not know at what stage of preparation that Hollywood store was at then), and my father called to verify if he had not been forgotten. He was told by that boss that the store was not yet ready, however, in order to get some practice/experience into the main receivings job that my father would have at that store, he was then offered to come and work right away at that Oakland Park location. And there, an outright extra receivings job was created for him.
            It turned out that the Hollywood store later opened, but, (for some reason?), my father was kept to work at the Oakland Park location, until one incident. It is something quite right out of the twilight zone to here a Jewish business owner give a directive that, apparently because of an unexpected back up in business operations: ‘all warehouse employees had to report to work tomorrow, Saturday,...or else!!!’ As a Jamaican co-worker of my father understood it, and knowing my father to be a Sabbathkeeper, (as did also the boss-owner, as my father had made this clear to him from the beginning): ‘you can call your wife with the bad news.... you’re done tomorrow.’ That all of course disturbed my father and he went to see the father-boss and told him how: ‘from the beginning, he had told him that he was a Seventh Day Sabbath Observer, etc....’ Well obviously that fact had slipped the mind of the boss-owner and he immediately began to profusely apologize for what indeed had been a misunderstanding and not at all his intent. And, as he went on to say, ‘to avoid any such situations in the future’, where all warehouse employees occasionally did have to come in to work on Saturdays, he told my father that he would be transferring him to the Hollywood store where, after having had verified if my father observed the Sabbath according to the “Jewish way” (=indeed/actually, “Biblical”) of “evening to evening”: ‘he would only be working “9-5” and would get the weekends off. And so that is what happened, along with my father getting a raise for that heightened responsibility job.
            I had thought, actually never having sustainedly spoken English to my father, that he would have had a main problem with a language issue customer relation-wise, but, to my surprise, that was not at all the case. In fact, in a somewhat pertinently related incident, while now working at the Hollywood store, a lady came in looking for a couple of items. As it is typical in the Party/Celebration Supply business, sometimes at the last minute, it is suddenly harrowingly discovered that you are short of something, and manifestly that was the case with that woman as she was desperately looking for an item. The fact was however that the item was just not on the shelf, nor, after my father had checked, was it in the supply room. However the woman was so desperate and insistent that my father decided to go look about in the stock room again. And quite surprising to him, he found the item, which had been somehow buried somewhere, by someone. Well the lady was so happy that, when she was paying at the cashier’s she asked for a sheet of paper a wrote a most extolling letter to ‘whoever my father’s bosses were’ on: ‘how my father was the very best employee that this company could have.’ (The letter was shown to my father). (Indeed if you have received a store treatment where an employment just does not want to be bothered beyond the bear minimum of service/attention/effort, you can self-appreciate a conscientious employee, particularly if it is/was a last minute, “urgent” situation.) Apparently the letter was (someway) communicated to the head office bosses as in the next pay check, my father had been given a raise!
            In fact, the other main concern that I personally had with my father working in the secular/public arena in general was in regards to someone endeavoring to take advantage of his quiet/reserved character (in a way, I do get that from him, however, for myself, somewhat proportionally offset by my mom’s more readily outspoken character, which she gets, though at a much less “dosage”, from her mother). Work place “bullying” can be an issue. I perceive that my bosses readily picked up on my reticence in this area, probably reading between the lines that I had not, as stated above, presented my father to my immediate boss, the boss-son, when I was looking for an employment for him. As I said, I “observationally” had not seen that it would be best for my father to work directly with/under him (nothing personal actually), and, most likely out of their own rightness of heart, my father never had any of such problems/issues with his bosses or other employees, completely quite to the contrary, -he even got a mini, in-store, goodbye/(possible) retirement@@ party with a cake, when he left the job after 9 years of working there@@@ except for a lone, actually rogue/“aberrational” instance.
            At one point, while working in the Hollywood store, a manager, who I had just priorly been working with at another store, was transferred to my father store, and, as I also knew of him, he would eventually get co-workers on their nerve. As it is typical with people with such a innate “bullyish” attitude, when you variously, confrontationally stand up to them, they come to “respect” you, and as I, from the start, seeing what type of person he was, let him clear know/feel that, ‘those things won’t begin to work with me’, he and I got along just fine (i.e., without an “escalated” incident.) Well, unfortunately, he was not so lucky with my father given his less readily confrontational character in an “adversarial” situation, and at one instance, while a regional manager who my father had worked with at the Oakland Park store was visiting the Hollywood store, that store’s manager decided that he was going to show the regional manager what a good manager he was, and as my father was taking a box of emptied out boxes to the dumpster out back, he came after my father, calling him back, and asked to check to box, either implying, “at best”, that my father was probably throwing out store merchandise, or “at much worst”, was smuggling items out the store, to the dumpster to later retrieve them. “Either way” my father became offendedly indignant and angrily threw down the box of empties at the feet of that manager for him to check it (himself). The manager ruffled through the empties and then “okayed” the box/es to be throw out. Well the regional manager had indeed been watching the whole scene and when my father returned he tried to make light of the whole, obviously still offending/upsetting-to-my-father situation by joking: “Well I see they have an “eye” on you here!!”. Well, either that incident was, as likely, the ‘drop that made the cup overrun’ for that manager or it was just the ‘single drop that was considered to be “way too much”’, but a few days later, that manager was suddenly gone...fired from the company!@4@
           

@ The private employment opportunity came when my father was repainting our house and a passing neighbor, (incidentally, a Jew), was manifestly impressed by at least the initiative effort of my father to “do this himself” (although he pointed out that because my father had (non-knowingly) not properly “primed” the old paint coating, the new paint would eventually peel, which it indeed did), he offered my father to work with him in his house painting private business. That lasted a little while, and then came the self-employment attempt, when my father, having by then learned the proper way to paint a (Florida-type (=cement block)) house, saw that, though they were at best, from my father’s perspective, equally doing these painting jobs, my father was receiving an hourly-based wage, whereas the other man was keeping most of the job’s labour money, so my father saw that it would be much more profitable for him to start his own, self-employed, painting business. However despite business cards advertising and all, it was not as in-demand as my father expected. And so, after a few contracted paint jobs, that endeavor was ended.

@@ Since my parents were then permanently moving from South Florida to the Western Florida area, my father was considering retiring then, however, when, a few years later, an employment opportunity as a school bus drive which was quite accommodating to his then more formal and regular lay pastoring duties, having a daily non-working period of ca. 10 A.M. to 1 P.M. during which my father could work on his pastoral work, though, as it practically turned out, with most of the calls and in-week pastoral work towards members occurred in the evening, that non-working time was mostly, best, pragmatically, used, to recover from the (relatively) late nights and still due 4:00 A.M. awakenings, it still turned out that working as a lay pastor and also having a regular employment, though still technically part-time, was still just as having two full jobs. Which is another reason why I am against, non-paid lay pastoring. Even God, as seen in His OT-established “compensation/remuneration” system, as well as Jesus (Matt 10:9-10) fully knew/understood this. It is only out of circumstances of, particularly systemic, non-justice from the Church, as it was done to the Apostle Paul, that a “lay pastor” has to be forced to work in secular employment while also engaged in leadership work in/for the Church. And while full participation of the lay membership is the ideal goal, God actually does not see it as ideal to have a “leaderless” Church. There are even various leaders in heaven, (e.g., “archangels” who lead divisions of angels (e.g,. SD 295.5; 3MR 19.3; HP 371.4; 1SP 22.1). There is “systematic order” in all of God’s Creation, as e.g., seen in the nuclear family.

@@@ The other son-owner/boss, [the brother of the son-owner/boss which I had worked with], who had worked with my father at the Oakland Park store, called him to wish him well and also offered to provide any recommendation for my father if he would pursue another employment.%
            And, just previously, in the early summer of 2000, as my parents were coming to visit me here in
Montreal, prior to us all going to the General Conference Session in Toronto, my father’s manager at that time, who I had priorly also worked with prior to her being a manager, sent me a card in which she said that: ‘... It was a pleasure working with my father! ...’ 

% Which all reminds of the time when I had asked his brother, my boss to write a recommendation letter for me when, as recounted here, I was planning/attempting to go to McGill University, but then later changed my mind. When I told him that I had decided not to go to McGill, he, glad that I would be staying, summarily informed me that had written ‘quite a good recommendation.’ (I was me who actually neither wanted to see the letter nor hear its detailed content). And, when it was that I was leaving for a SDA University in 1997and he had come by the store where I was working to say goodbye, he may have “seamlessly” shared a line/statement from that letter with me then.

@4@ In the ecclesiastical realm, as similar thing occurred with my father, as people in the Church he was lay pastoring, began acting as Dathans, Korahs and Abirams and were just determined to find fault with whatever my father did. It created a division and conflict in the Church to the point where the Conference’s Regional Pastor/Administrator was sent to try to resolve the issue. The case was however a matter of one’s word against another, with many false accusations being made against my father, but “unfortunately” for the rebellious camp, the Regional Pastor then was someone who knew my father well, from the days when, following Hurricane Andrew in 1992 [See “As it Happened” here and here], our family had answered a call at my sister’s Church, in the Kendall, South Miami are, to help house Church members who homes had been completely destroyed by the hurricane, and we had taken in his family for a few weeks, until they were able to find a place to stay by themselves. Well, upon hearing both sides of the story, the administrators judged on the issue by saying that the claims being made by the “other [=contentious/rebellious] camp” did not at all harmonize with the person he knew my father to be. And so their false claims were dismissed by him. However, the problem continued, to the point that one that, my father having had enough, will praying during the Church Service, prayed out loud that ‘God himself remove all of the rebellious one’...and it was a few weeks later, as the other members of the Church began to notice, all of those who had been basely opposing my father, had each, at some point suddenly left the Church since that prayer, with also several of them having been found out to have been living in sinful conditions then. (That explains much!!).
[32] Not long after I sold the car, while I was at Andrews, my mother called me to tell me of a dream she had had in which she saw that a huge funeral wreath had been strapped to my car. Knowing of the significance of her dreams (cf. below herehere and here and the one detailedly related in here), we both readily saw and believed, from on that “revelation”, that I had made the right decision in selling the car, also seeing that such performant “Sport Edition” car [(the, conceptually, first of) “The 4-Door Sports Car ["4DSC"]”] was indeed, driving temptation-wise, probably not the best things to have for college.* Well it was not too long later that we understood full meaning of the dream, the Church member’s friend of the SDA who had bought the car told my mom how the accelerator cable had snapped while that friend of hers was driving through a Church’s parking lot and the unstoppable and ever increasing in speed car slammed into the side of the Church building and was totalled! (Everyone aboard was okay.)


* Although, by this time of ca. 1.5 years after I had bought this car, I had, in fact since its second month after its purchase, had accidentally, slightly damaged its transmission (which allowed for its smooth powerful accelerations, especially from dead stops), when during a trip to Oakwood College Alumni weekend with 4 other friends from Church, along with my mother (who had come along mainly in order to visit my sister), I had misused the transmission’s Overdrive feature, leaving it always on, apparently thus forcing the transmission to work too hard, vs. the engine, with such a load in the car (as everyone also had a couple of travel bags). And so a little after we arrived in Huntsville Alabama, the car began to violently shake whenever I would decelerate to stop. Thankfully that problem never got worst, in fact it soon stopped before that day ended, however I could quite noticeably sense that the car was not as performantly responsive in accelerations as before, i.e., as I “experienced” in the now two-months of driving since its purchase. In retrospect, that was probably a Providential Bless-ing”: in the sense of that word which having its root/etymology in the Middle English “blessen” which is from the Old English “bletsian, bledsian”, and therefore has the basic/inherent meaning of: “to consecrate [i.e., ‘set apart for a holy use’] (with blood)”, and as such may in turn all be related to the French (homonym?): “blesser” = “to wound” (-which sequiturly throws a radical new light on the commonly and tritely stated, mantra plea: “God Bless America”!!), as I just could not get enough of the “rush” from the seat pinning, g-force sensing, smooth 0-45/60+ acceleration, nor from the fact that I could take on any turn without slowing down, in fact very little, especially when compared to my prior car (‘88 Toyota Tercel) and, further case in point, on 5 distinct, though brief, instances, I had taken it over 100 mph (4x just for the “fun” of it, [-all these on stretches of vacant highways, with 3 being late at night]; the other instance is related below). However, even after that “bless-ing” which mainly affected accelerations, once the car had reached “cruising speeds”, it was just as smooth and performant as priorly.#

# Major case in point: On the very first travel day of my Summer 1996, 8600- road trip, on June 23, I was, in my view, just cruising along on the highway [Interstate Highway 75N], slightly enraptured by the playing Christian Music, having just left Florida and now in Georgia when I noticed a police car careening at high speed across the highway median heading at a deliberate angle right towards me. At first I thought he had lost control of his car, however as he kept readjusting his bee-line angle towards me, I began to suspect that he was, at least, “targeting” me. However, I just could not figure out what his problem was and indeed just glared towards him as kept getting pointedly closer, even, finally pulling up right into, before coming to a stop, the shoulder right next to the left lane I was in, just as I crossed by him. When I then saw that he was looking angrily at me, it is then that I realized that he actually had a problem with me. Readily deducing then that it could only be a speeding issue, though I could not see how his risky, high speed, median careening crossing, warranted this degree of (highly hazardous) “force” for speeding, I then looked at my (digital) speeding dial (as its derived Heads-Up Display (HUD), digitally displayed on the interior lower lefthand corner of my windshield[cf. D228a -green "30 [mph]" reading, [its location is externally visible in D66]], was not visible due to the ca. noon time sun glare then), and was absolutely shocked at the reading: 97 mph!!!... It felt like, and as I thought, that at most, I was going at 70 mph and that this (re)action of the police for ‘going just 5 mph over the speed limit’ was grossly exaggerated, not to mention unnecessarily dangerous, and thus an abuse of police power.
            As I now conceded that I was “caught lead footed”, indeed with my, by now, wildly beeping and flashing radar detector indicating that I was being clocked, I however still found valid fault with the cop’s, a County Sheriff, action, as, at the very least,... he never had put on his traffic stop signaling lights. That, I found to be a legal violation, and based on that I, [not essentially recommended] aimed to demonstrate that I still didn’t have to pull over until he made this normative and lawful required signaling. (Indeed one legally does not have to pull over for every cop car I crossed path with.) And so I, actually... “speeded up”, and that quite “easily/effortlessly”, to now 105, all so that I could pass a truck that was just slightly ahead of me to my right and clear it sufficiently, and still have time/space to take the upcoming exit [#45]. I was now going so fast, indeed practically “flying low”, that, misjudging the braking distance needed for the traffic stop at the end of that exit’s ramp, I only came to a screeching stop in the middle of the intersection. In order to not to actually add to what I expected could lawfully only be a speeding ticket, I then signaled in order to make a right turn, just as the police officer, who had actually caused all traffic behind me to stop so that he could awkwardly, transversely embark on the highway, took the exit. As he still did not have his police lights on I went ahead and kept on driving, making the right turn, onto that cross road however now driving at this road’s speed limit. I noticed however in my rearview mirror, as the officer then reached and also turned onto that crossroad, that he was driving quite slowly, as if he wanted to give up coming after me. That may have been the case, or he may have been distracted with making back up calls in order to have me cut off ahead, probably noticing that he may not be able to catch up to me with me being ca. 800 feet ahead of him, so I significantly slowed down, practically to a relative crawl, and he then immediately, pouncedly accelerated after me. It is only then, as he approached me, that he turned on his police lights. With that recognizable and legally clear, indication, I pulled over as he came right up behind me, and now since he also pulled over (as he potentially could have just been intending to pass by me), I then stopped. His first question after he came over to me was: “Do you know where are you?” To which I replied: “Uhhh, somewhere in Georgia”!? To which he, jumping to a legally non-sequitur (thus non valid) questioning conclusion, claimed/asked: “You’re trying to run away from me?!!” Knowing the ‘no lights’ issue, and also knowing that he could have, and probably had recorded the speed I was at when I first crossed him, I, as is legally permissible, (“the 5th”), opted not to answer this question. He then asked me to pull into a clear area further ahead[see in D230], then asked me to come meet him in front of his car, and then asked me to put my hands on the hood of the car. Having never been arrested in my life, I had no idea that he was in the process of arresting me. If I did, I would have immediately objected, and perhaps it was for the better that I didn’t know, because when I realized this, after he checked my pocket and I heard him pull out his handcuffs, I immediately, questioningly/shruggingly turned around to point out that ‘I had had no (legally-binding/indicative) idea that he wanted me to pull over’! Indeed it was not until he turned on his police lights when he was about 100 feet behind me in that crossroad, to which I immediately complied. Well he just forcefully turned me back against the hood, and seeing that I was alone with him in this currently “desert” area[cf. in D235 (1993)], I didn’t do, nor say anything more, indeed knowingly quasi-winking into his dash camera that was supposedly filming this (false) arrest, which he noticed and immediately, even quite literally, backed off, and that by shruggingly taking a back step, as if to try to show that he was not using excessive force, and then resumed to hand cuff me, not even stating on what legal grounds nor informing me of my rights. The whole thing was thus practically a kidnapping.
            On the trip to the police station, with now a called flatbed tow truck transporting my car in front of us, with it being positioned backwards on the flatbed, he began to ask me a series of questions which I “smartly”, barely, answered back, as (a) I didn’t have to talk to/answer him, and (b) what he wanted to know was substantively absolutely none of his business. Questions such: “What do you do in life?” Answer: “I am student”; Q:“How do you get money? (head motioning towards my car), A:“I work”; Q:“Where?” A:“At the Party Supermarket”[cf. D135]; Q:“The What???” A: “The Party.... Super....Market”; Q:“[Oh yeah] What do you do there?” A:“Help people party”; Q:“What???”, A:“Help...people...party”. Manifestly feeling now a bit “threatened,” moreover with me actually sitting right up to the back of the front bank seat of his car, in the middle, he told me to ‘sit back’. To which I matter-of-factly replied, as it was factually the case: “Take off these handcuff and I’ll sit just fine.” Indeed it was impossible to normally sit back with those regular back seats in his police car. (Cf. below in %) By then he began to understand that I was not going to tell him/answer anything substantively serious, and probably realizing that he was coming across as being unlawful, he asked me about a license plate that I had on the front bumper of my car, which was facing us. It was an old, real but expired, Quebec license plate which I had gotten from my father when he sold our van after moving to Florida with it, and since Florida only required a license on the back, I had, commemoratively, as it was actually quite commonly done in Florida, especially by “transplants” from other States, put this Quebec License plate on the front. He warned me that this was illegal, which greatly surprised me. I then figured that it must only be illegal in places which required license plates on the front and rear of a vehicle.@ {Interestingly enough, Sebastien Braxton here [01:04:38-01:19:31] [see his full testimony (e.g.) here (mp3); see details on his first, 2+2-hour, Bible study here [01:15:49-01:19:44]], had a severally converse (pre-conversion-issuing) arrest & incarceration experience than mine here; stemming from, and revolving in, the mindsetting fact that I myself had innately, increasingly, had, even prior to then (i.e. July 1996), perceived and understood a different ministry mission/mandate vs. the world than his: i.e. here [49:33-51:28] versus e.g., Isa 63:1-6|Rev 14:17-20; 19:15; {=this post, see from here: =(e.g.) RH, Feb. 4, 1902 par. 18; 18MR 187.3; EW 120.2; RH, Nov. 10, 1896 par. 14; 14MR 280.4; CET 228.2's: ‘terrible “right”eousness’!}; -and, as discussed here, the Full and True Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Matt 24:14) cannot actually be properly/bindingly shared without the naturally accompanying “testimonialmanifestation & demonstration of it, all stemming from the truly converted righteousness character realization of professing followers of Christ. (E.g. Acts 10:38; Matt 10:7-10; COL 69.1-2; 384.2ff; LDE 218.3-219.3; =Luke 19:27; Matt 25:45-46; Rev 14:9-11; Rev 6:16-17; DA 825.4). And this is what God is now endeavoring to, now, necessarily protractedly, do in the “prolonged time” “Plan A” Jubilee Millennium Era.}
            So to make a long segment short here, when we eventually arrived at the police station ca. 6.5 miles away[D231], with me having not talked to him any further in the car, as soon as he uncuffed me, and with now other police officers present, I... “let him have it” in regards to this being an ‘unlawful arrest and a violation of my civil rights’ as he “NEVER HAD HIS LIGHTS ON”. I had waited for him to first uncuff me before angrily blurting this out just in case he wanted to vexatiously use “force” against me for saying this in this intended reciprocally deserved way. That, embarrassingly, completely caught him by surprise, and I went on to learn the lesson here of ‘not silently expecting, even a police officer, to do the right thing’ as saving face is most likely to be chosen, and he and the other officers there, proceeded to still charge me with “eluding an officer” which was a $450 fine, on top of the ca. $200 for the speeding (which he could only limit to his clocked 97  mph). Since I did not have the money to pay for them, and since my AAA Speeding Fine-paying provision could not be applied when there were other charges involved, and as most of my road trip travel money was in the credit form of a Mobil and a Chevron gas card [which I charged for ca. $700 for that 8600-mile trip], they placed me in the jail adjacent to that Police Station[D232; D228b; cf. D180a - photos taken a year later (August 1997) while on my way to Andrews] until my mom could wire, and have processed, which took a total of ca. 4 hours, this $650 via the required Western Union money transfer. I considered making the best of this situation and speaking on religious issues with my jail house mates, but I was so upset by this, indeed unfair in its extent, turn of events, that I couldn’t honoringly do so. And just slept for most of those 4 hours.
            When the money transfer was finally complete and I was immediately released, and then had traumatically got a ride to the garage[D233] where my car had been impounded ca. 1.5 miles away,[see in D234] from another officer, that garage’s owner, noticing that I was looking through my stuff in the car to see if anything was missing, (in relation to which, I had had actually seen, from my jail house window, the “(falsely) arresting” officer doing an inventory of all that I had in the car), vexatiously said that ‘he had not touched anything just as the officer had told him,’ which I indeed saw was manifestly true as he did not even turn off the brightly lighted red power button that powered on my 700 Watt amplifier system, along with the DC to AC power for my CD Changer and MiniDisc systems, (in fact the music from my system was still playing, shuffling through the 100 CD’s, at the low level that I had reduced it when the officer had first pulled me over), to the point that this powering switch soon after overheated and blew (i.e., melted down) from this non-normal, partly pent up power flowing into it, but not proportionately enough, also out of it.
            I still tried to dispute the resulting, reckoned $140 towing/impounding cost stemming from this false arrest and false imprisonment, to which the garage’s owner said that it was because ‘his tow truck had been tied up for ca. 2 hours.’ As I was refusing to pay this additional “penalty”, and when he saw I actually could enter my locked car, though he had the keys, through the door’s keyless entry system, although I had a back up key on me in my wallet, I didn’t use it, not wanting to falsely alarm him. I just wanted to turn off my stereo system and check if all my stuff was there. However he did become falsely alarmed and called the police, to which a detective and two other officers came. I tried to explain to them that this whole charge, imprisonment and impounding was legally false, but he finally insisted that I pay the “towing fee”. And then when he subsequently proceeded to hint that ‘he was going to arrest me, for (now) “trespassing”’, after I  pointed out that my car was on the property (on top of being legally falsely there), I spun on my heels and just left them, to their surprise, standing there, to effectively so “play around” with themselves. Frankly I felt as if I had stepped by into backwards America. I made my walk across the street, to a phone cabin, to again call my mom so that she could transfer to my bank account this added amount, all the while watching these “stranded” officers trying to figure out what to do now, and then finally deciding to leave while I was still on the phone. A short while later I had the money to pay that cost, but from then considered suing the Police Department for these civil right violations, and, [may still do so, under an exception statute of limitations request given applicable and valid circumstances which prevented an earlier prosecuting.]
            All this to say that this experience turned out to be “beneficial”. On one hand, I became more aware of my speed during the rest of that trip, though I got another speeding ticket.@@ Along these “beneficial” lines, the father in a relative family where I stayed over for a couple of days in Atlanta, while attending the free areas/attractions of the 1996 Olympics, (3 days before that Centennial Park’s Bombing), probably put it in its best perspective, and as I tamingly, “inspiredly” took it, when he albeit sternly said, after having heard at what speed I was driving: ‘you’re lucky you only had to call your mom to bail you out, at such speeds, the next time they’ll be calling to ‘identify the body’!
            Relatedly, but succinctly said here, from then on, pointedly after the end of the trip, when the travelling euphoria had wore off to where I began to more deeply ponder the legal implications of these transpired events, I did not then give, even Law Enforcement, the “benefit of the doubt,” and indeed every time I either preemptively or subsequently challenged them, on even the littlest of omitted facts and/or non-conforming procedural action, among other pertinent/applicable issues, I was able to either preempt, or have thrown out in court (2.5X)@@@, 11 traffic (speeding+) citations, including most notably, in August 1999, when again driving through Georgia, (probably the strictest state in regards to speeding as it automatically arrests people above a certain speed), when the officer who wanted to ticket for speeding (75/70), along his claim of me ‘not having a safe following distance,’ and quasi-quibblingly, ‘a license plate ornament that he said was obstruction my tags,’ literally took off scurrying back to his car, indeed leaving me standing there between my car and his, when I pointed out that he should be ticketed for having hazardously stood by, transversely, with the front end of his car well into the emergency shoulder, as he, and as he admitted, was just controlling traffic, and not trying to get on the highway. He actually only stopped his flight to literally double check if I was done with him. I.e., if I was indeed not going to perform a Citizen’s Arrest for his infraction. Before I could even start my car to leave he was long gone. (It seems to me, after running my plate (which was similarly personalized as my previous Florida one[D229b vs. D229a]), that he was aware of previous false arrest and imprisonment episode. Hence his odd “fleeing” reaction here when I objected and ‘counter cited’ him.) All this to say, and with Eschatological, Spiritual implications now: ‘Whereas before I may have let things go, now, “It’s on”!! I.e.,: ‘If Law Enforcement is going to cite my for a violation of Law, then they themselves better not be unlawfully violating it!! (cf. John 18:22, 23).
           

@ I, later on in that trip, having left that front tag on, found out that it was indeed greatly frowned upon in States which required two license plates, as while stopped at a light in Jersey City, NJ with my friend travelling with me, (who I had previously picked up in Toronto and drove back to Chicago which he wanted to see), I saw in my two side mirrors, two scrubbly dressed men running up towards me along either side of my car. They both then simultaneously looked into our completely rolled down windows, and I was about to, defensively, literally run the one next to me over, making a sharp left u-turn out of my leftmost lane and into the empty opposing traffic lanes, when I noticed a necklace around his neck with the word “Police” dangling from them. As I did not see that as formal identification if he indeed was a police officer, (i.e., vs. an official Police badge with a serial identification), and as moreoverly, neither of them vocally identified themselves as ‘Police’, as they were especially supposed to do in such undercover “interventions”, I was going to proceed with this overrunning U-Turn when the one next to me, motioned as if he was reaching for a gun behind him. Still not knowing if these were tugs or police officers, I figuring that no one would be dumb enough to engage in a car jacking in a middle of a busy intersection, in the middle of the day, so I put the car in park, shut it off and got out of the car, indeed before this “guy” pulled out a weapon. I had to assume they were police because they never went on to say so, nor tell us why they had stopped us. And here again, still assuming that they were police, again could not comprehend ‘where, effectively, the fire was’. I.e., why all the Police drama here. He was actually surprised by how quickly I then fully “complied” with this manifest arresting procedure, with me going ahead putting my hands on the roof and spreading my legs, having “learned” this, or rather been traumatized into this reaction by the Georgia mal-experience some 10 days before, and he manifestly thought that he had captured an otherwise culpable, even “warrant dodging” criminal. A little while later, I saw a couple of marked police cars, lights flashing, come, all haphazardly into the traffic to where we were and it is actually only then that I knew for sure that I was actually dealing with Police. In fact I wanted to make a complaining statement about this to those arrived uniformed police, but then realized that they were actually ‘on the same side’.
            Then the other undercover officer jumped into my car, and like a kid in a candy store, was euphorically looking about at all of the electronic gadgets in the car, even being baffled at first that he could not see anything on the dashboard, since I had turned the car completely off, thus shutting off the digidash, leaving only a black “screen”. I became worried at this quite unprofessional behavior and “interest” in my car as they then proceeded to put us into one of the marked police car,% and still not having told us why we had been stopped, and now arrested. It was finally at the police station, after having virtually rummaged through my personal belongings and questioned me on almost all of the content of my wallet, indeed card by card, especially my 6 credit/store cards, to which I responded that if he had a problem with me having them, he just had to complain to the credit companies/merchandiser who had issued them to me. It is actually only after all this charade that he pointed out that they had stopped me because I have two different license plates on the car. I just could not believe that all this commotion had been for that, to the point that when he handed me the taken-off expired Quebec license plate, I just left him holding it. It is was so “dangerously” illegal, and since I actually did not care for it as much as they made it seem to be, then he, literally, ‘could keep it.’ While in Montreal, I replaced with a realistic looking, but fake, one[D229c].
            Outside, then back at my car, I, with the two undercover officers seated in their car behind me, recalling on one hand, the unprofessional “interest” of one of them in my car, and with the comment in mind that he had made to me in his questioning that: “I had a lot of “stuff” in my car,” and here finding a cigarette pack of theirs in my center console, [Really... you had to take a smoke in my car??!], I, having now attracted their attention by holding up that cigarette pack, and then chucking it aside into a grass patch beyond the sidewalk behind me, indeed so that they could see and understand why I was now going to search through my car, (and also for them not to mistake this for me looking for a weapon), I then proceeded to indeed thoroughly looked through my car, including/especially the packed trunk, to see if they had not “planted” something (illegal).

% With that police car having backless seats, it was indeed, as I had remarked during the “transport” in my Georgia arrest, easier to fully sit back while posteriorly handcuffed.

@@ For, quibblingly enough, doing 76 in a 70, and that at 3:00 A.M., in West Virginia on my return travel home. Though it was really a “Godsend” as the police officer, oddly enough, asked me to come sit next to him, i.e., in the front seat, of his car, as he wrote the ticket, where his bone-shivering, teeth-rattling, Arctic cold air conditioning literally woke me up for the rest of that night. (Perhaps he had noticed that I was drowsy and just wanted, at least, a “closer” ascertainment. -Whatever his reason, he evidently wasn’t a Godsent angel, unless he also had access to Police Computer Networks, as that ticket did normatively show up on my driving record, and I moreover did have to pay it!).
            I also had 2 aborted Speed ticketing attempts, one, in Michigan, which was “called off” when I motioned to the officer behind me, signaling me to pull over, towards a car that he surely must have seen that had passed me at at least 10 mph higher than my 75 in this 65. And indeed after he passed me and sped on, I soon passed him having pulled over that car. (The second one was while driving in the city of Montreal, my trip’s ultimate/stay destination, when the also signaling officer who had pulled up behind me noticed my foreign tag[D232a] and decided to abort as I may not have known the low 30 mph speed limit in that area, which indeed, I did not.) 


@@@ These 2.5 court “wins” came out of an uncanny flurry of 3 tickets around a Sabbath on December 25/26, 1998, all within 22 hours. I got ticketed just before Sabbath on Friday just off the Andrews Campus; {-having had first deliberately driven into the parking lot of the bank where I was going before “pulling over”, I actually went ahead and did my banking while the officer, who had actually said it was okay, wrote the ticket outside...I guess that could have tacitly mens rea-demonstrated that I ‘was in a hurry’}; then the next morning while on my way to a preaching assignment at my Pastoral Practicum Church ca. 80 miles away from Andrews; and then another one on my way back home. I was not aware at all of any of going at those claimed speeding excesses, namely and respectively: [41/25 (+stop sign)]; [91/70]; [85/55] which all shocked me and, in the last two cases, probably influenced the officers to drop them to [75/70] and [80/55]. However I still challenged all of them for various observed key disculpatory issues. In the first case, the officer didn’t show up for the informal hearing, so I won by default (though I was well prepared to substantively, and determinatively, challenge the accuracy of all his claimed infractions, namely along the lines that what he said he saw did not match what he actually wrote down). In the second, I used a just explained ‘radar process/methodology’ by the presiding magistrate to point out that the officer’s claim was not conclusive and likely erroneous in pinpointing that it was my car that was speeding as he had been driving on the opposite side of the highway with dense traffic both way. The officer’s last effort attempt to point out that this was for a claimed 91/70 violation didn’t prevent him from losing. And in the third, the “half” win, because of several added, and key inconsistencies brought up during the informal hearing, I filed for a formal court process.[Though I still have all of the documentation for all of these ticketing, litigating/judicial instances, they have not been posted as not really being substantively necessary.] This time, as actually normative for them for a formal hearing, the officer had a lawyer. I indeed seriously had several reasons not only to challenge his citation claim, but also his core/functional credibility/integrity (as that ticket was on the face of these inconsistencies seemingly a “ghost ticket” as many things just didn’t logically/rationally add up nor check out). However the whole, and not anticipated, formality of the process (including the officer having a lawyer, which I did not at all expect) actually greatly flustered me where I could not properly make my case and arguments, still I made enough of a case for the judge to drop the citation down to 70/55 and also waive any court fees. Due to the actionable fact that this change of claimed speed was, technically, ‘a number picked out of thin air,’ and indeed really actually had any sort of tangible supporting proof, I indicated in, actually, upsetly leaving before had the judge ended the proceeding, while he was still writing down his decision, and after I had intimatedly posed to him: ‘where was his proof for this new speed claim’, that I was going to appeal.
            I later decided, all things considered, including displacement & court costs, not file for an appeal, and just paid that reduced fine. Yet for merely reasons of principle, I wish I had, indeed just to set this, at least litigatious, precedence that, ‘it really should be “all that (i.e., exactly what) is claimed/cited/charged or nothing”’. Though I had not known at all at what speed I was going, yet had answered under examination, (actually by the judge) that I was ‘“probably” speeding’; (as 56/55 technically/actually would be “speeding”), a response that the officer’s lawyer harped all over with lawyerese and referential case law “jargon”, my legal/litigation view/philosophy here was that this, actually generous, concession, (as I legally should have, indeed honestly/“truthfully” said that ‘I didn’t know if I was speeding or not’, - so I conversely actually made a false statement under oath by conceding this “probably”), a ruling could, and should, have been made for just a 56/55 citation. That new claim of 70/55, however common in judicial proceedings, was indeed purely made up, and had no concrete evidence in itself at all. Indeed the courts, and their rulings can be quite fickle/whimsical. Case in point, I opted to court for my very first traffic ticket back in 1994 [speeding: 62/45], and after pleading “No Contest” before the judge, the case was actually dropped because the actually present, ticketing officer who was going through a series of tickets he had given in a common court presence, said that he did not have/bring the paperwork for my ticket. As the ruling judge said: “Well this must be your lucky day...”. In parting, I actually quasi-frowningly looked at both of them with the accompanying one raised eyebrow, intimatingly asking ‘you guys can’t be serious’. My actual reason and deeper question here was in regards to this local/county judicial systems as a whole: specifically: “so people can get away with a law enforcement violation simply because such a ‘no present paperwork’ reasons??!


[33] A similar plans-alteration had occurred earlier in my college career as, in 1995, with my two years at a community College (MDCC) having been completed which had been mostly paid by a High School Scholarship Award[D215], I then made plans to move on to a 4-year university. I first seriously considered, and endeavored to attend, Andrews University in their Electrical Engineering program, but did not complete those efforts[D216] when I realized how similarly costly this was going to compared to any secular universities. (From my sister’s recounted experiences at another SDA College (Oakwood) for now 2 years, and my own awareness from the stories of ex-students there that AU was not that much better, if not in certain areas, worst, (cf. this post), it seemed way too high of a “price” to pay, for “not much” -spiritual-atmosphere wise. So I then opted to ‘kill 2 birds of mine with 1 stone’ by (1) endeavoring to return to my hometown of Montreal to attend the EE program at McGill University, which, (2) as a native Canadian, would be much cheaper tuition-wise. I fully completed, and followed through, with this application, however when I called a friend in Montreal to announce to him this news, just after I had mailed the application, his topically ominously-sounding warning that ‘there were no jobs in Montreal’ absolutely spooked me. The last thing I wanted was to get stuck in Montreal with no work (and not really wanting to live elsewhere in Canada), either during school or after I completed it, and then, furthermore, have difficulty competing for employment in potentially the U.S. with this Canadian degree, if that was my best option then. So I decided to, literally, have my application to McGill asap pulled (no need, if possible, to waste the $65.00 application fee), and it was indeed withdrawn and, as requested, not even opened up.[D217] (I later that month picked it up in person while on a Spring Break vacation in Montreal.) And so I then remained in South Florida to pursue for my EE university studies attending Florida International University.

[34] I indeed felt that this “extra” month long stay was “holy” time, as I could have been in school studying Theology at CAUC, and therefore did not want to spend it on trivial matters. At first, seeing nothing productive to do, and making some money that I could use towards my studies would be helpful, I had, at the job-opening notification of my friend, tried to get a temporary job in a small manufacturing plant in a nearby light industry park. So I went to that hiring job site and filled in an application, however, I all along felt that it would not be fair to take the job knowing that I would quite in a month, probably causing someone else who needed this job to lose it, and that half-heartedness probably came through during my brief interview with the boss. So I was quite glad when I was not called for it.

            Previously, in the category of “where were you when?”, while I was in our then vacant rental house, with barely a little more than a thin mattress and a radio for furniture/amenities, I, on that first Saturday night, was boredly turning through the radio stations looking for something worthwhile to listen to from this wholly secular field of station. (I had overplayed the ca. 12 Christian CD that I had selectively brought along, [having left my other 300+ CD’s with my other stuff in Andrew’s dorm storage]). I did find a relatively good music station, and during the newscast, it was announced that Princess Diana had just been killed in a car accident in Paris. What really caught my now paramount Theological mindset then was the subsequent outpouring of emotion throughout the world towards her, and what she had come to socio-humanitarianly represent for many. The following week, I made it a point to watch the entire ca. 6 hours of a recording of the broadcast of her funeral (see here -Part 1 of 39) that my uncle ([see in D182]) had done. So as to not overly disturb anyone, not having a TV or VCR at home, I did this long viewing while visiting, as it was customary by then during that stay, the downtown McGill University campus, in their A/V room. While also visiting that campus during my stay, I attended a Muslim-Christian meeting that had been organized on campus, as this would also be helpful to my studies and ministry plans. I wanted to also get a better understanding for the past 1993 WTC bombing [(Docu.) (Mov.)], which had caused me to have a default animosity towards Muslims.*
            What turned out to probably/potentially be the most worthwhile thing that I managed to do during this stay was, while attending a Religious Liberty conference (on my second Friday - September 5, 1997) held in an SDA Church, then with a GC representative in this department, John Graz. When my friends informed me about it, what had interested me to go was that I thought they had said that the speaker would be ‘John Grys’, as this person had been my youth pastor for a couple of years back in Miami.[cf. D321] I was disappointed when I got to Church and saw that it was not as I had thought, when John Graz got up to speak. I admittedly was quite annoyedly bored by the presentation, as I, by then, had a growing Biblical understanding that such, inherently ‘last days persecution’ messages would become moot if the actual Gospel work, which involved preaching a most sound message, which is why I was seeking formal theological education and going into the ministry, was not done, as I clearly saw that it was not being done. So by the time the meeting finally ended, I was visibly most annoyed at what had essentially been, ‘an ominous warning of growing/marshalling persecutive developments in the world.’ I however innately knew that God would not allow such things to unravel (cf. Rev 7:1-3) if the work had not been done, so I strongly felt that this should not be the type of, practically, run-for-the-hills, message that, especially the GC should be presenting to the Churches. So when the meeting ended, I got up, and was frustratedly walking out, when I then glanced across to the other side of the Church and saw a French Canadian guy who was a childhood, family acquaintance. I was going to go over to greet him, however I was so uncontrollably upset from that message, moreover feeling that he may not understand the reason, I felt that it would be better not to. However, as he had been an exemplary youth leader (see his testimony here (2010-08-21 sermon) [mp4] [mp3]), I was wondering to myself, why God had not also laid this burden on Him to go into the ministry as a youth, in the light of this manifest non-work and false alarming message by, even quite manifestly here, also the top level of the Church. So I was proceeding to continue to walk towards the exit, when I came across the pew where an also family friend[cf. D224, D225] since my childhood, and who I had met, and long spoken with, the weekend before while visiting another Church. He, along with his then partner, since/now wife, had been brought {actually for him, back} to the SDA, even, at least, non-nominal, Christian, message, {he had been born SDA but left the Church in his youth}, through the personal evangelistic work of my father, along with a companion, when they knocked on his door, their very first door on that Sunday in the late 1970's. After accepting the message within a week, -(went to Church the very next Sabbath, taking a ride from my father), he went on to study for the ministry a little later at the Collognes SDA College in France.** So upon seeing him here again, here in relation to that other French Canadian friend, a flood of anecdotes came to my mind virtually pushing me to go to speak to acquaintance.
            The first of these anecdotal recollections was indeed the fact that this now pastor had  indeed gone on to become a pastor, and being Belgian, he was one of the few Caucasian pastors in this Quebec Conference, which had a population field who were predominately French-Canadian/Québécois. So I found that need to be a first reason why I should go over and speak to that acquaintance to see if he too would become aware of this tangible local, culturally, relationally sensitive, and helpful evangelistic need/possibility. This pastor family friend apparently noticed that reasoning of mine, and seeing my hesitation, shrug his shoulders as if to intimate that such racial issues were a non-factor for him. Indeed he would make this most point explicitly known in his ministry when he later would repeatedly tell of his conversion story in various local Churches, making an emphatic point of this saying: ‘I [of all people] can’t (begin to) be (a) racist... it was  a black man who brought me to Christ & the Adventist message.’ (And in/as a recent (i.e., 11/2014) example, my father was visiting a Church in Montreal and a pastor who he did not priorly know came over to him and deliberately introduced himself as: ‘the one who works with the person my father had brought to the Message.’) In pointedly saying this, he was probably trying to also counter growing calls and attempts around that time to split that Conference into North and South Conferences which would naturally result in a racial/cultural split, -as it was made most clear to me, while on a visit to the Northern Quebec church of a colporteur (CYC 2000)[D243] friend in March 2000, when the local elder, (J.G. T - now on the It Is Written Quebec team), who was later featured/interviewed on a program of the GC’s Global Mission broadcast aired on 3ABN, which focused on the work in Quebec, when he bluntly and candidly expressed that ‘the need for this separate Northern conference was because the Southern part of the Province, [where most of the Conferences’ members lived, -living around the Montreal area], “were all Ethnics”’, indeed quasi-verbatim re-echoing the infamous thought/statement of a Sovereignty Political Party Leader after a 1995 Provincial Separation Referendum 1.12% loss (cf. here), spuriously blaming it (most pertinently) on the “Ethnic Vote” (video -cf. here). (That does not begin to realistically compute, as even today, only 9% of the entire Quebec population are visible minorities.). Being, moreoverly, the only (or one of two) “Ethnic” person in the audience then, I was quite shocked by that bigotedly loaded statement, and pointedly glared at him while he was on the pulpit, which he could not ignore, to make him realized exactly what he had just said. He, even unflappabingly, defiantly looked back. Later, after Church, I made a point of shaking hands with everyone around him, except for him. All I could then laughingly say to all of this in my head at this unchristian mindlessness was that: ‘in Heaven, we’re all going to be Ethnics.’ I.e., get with God’s (actual) program. (Indeed, it in fact is from the Greek word for “Gentiles” that we get this, even Theological, “Ethnic” term).
            Anyway, seeing that pastor friend that Friday Night (who actually later, is now pastoring that Northern Quebec Conference Church, after he had been assigned to an all-Ghanaian/African congregation, and (no doubt, as his custom was) shared with them his conversion testimony, probably just as pointedly as he customarily would (as other Church friends related to us, as he would mention my father by name***), that brought that hindering local racial issue to my concern here. Still not quite convinced to do this, I therefore was then, addedly, literally made to recall a related incident of my father’s, which indeed did convince me to go ahead and do this.
            That related incident was when, in ca. the early 80's, as my parents were members of the first SDA Church in Quebec, since their immigration to Montreal in 1969(f) & 70(m), which had been founded by various white SDA, mostly Québécois and French Europeans, along with some other Caucasian immigrants. My father was one of the few non-white members in the Church, but everyone got along perfectly. Race was a total non-issue amongst them. Then around this time, of around the turn of the 1980's, as foreign Canadian immigration had been greatly increased and many people, especially from the nearby French-speaking Haiti, were immigrating to Quebec, and most of these SDA immigrants from Haiti were joining this virtually lone, flagship, French Church, where, by now, most of the members were non-whites and mostly Haitian, one of those newly joining members had the “inspired idea” to make an new ministry initiative to be only exclusive to/for Haitian people. My father, immediately categorically opposed this baseless, racial sectarian effort to the point where the one who was marshalling these efforts would no longer shake his hand in Church. Such campaigns however came to make the increasingly minority white members feel unwanted and eventually led to most of them graciously leaving the Church to start other Churches. Indeed “graciously” as they, as the founding members of that Church, were the ones who had paid to have build that flagship Church from the ground up. And it was the most beautiful French Church in Montreal, and is still regarded as the Flagship, and largest (ca. 750 members), Church in the Quebec Conference. (Indeed it was the one where this 1997, Conference-wide, Religious Liberty meeting was being held, as most Conference (Francophone) meetings are.) But they raised no issue on that fact.*4* Most went to form a new Church in the unentered Montreal South Shore and my father, along with several other families, desiring to also “enter” the opposite unentered Montreal North Shore, went to start a new Church towards that region. They initially met for Services in the basement of a local, northern Montreal, English Church, during ca. 1981-83. Later on, in ca. 1984, that group moved further north, across the river which surrounded Montreal, to the Island City of Laval, the third largest city in the Province of Quebec (formerly called Jesus Island), and established the first SDA congregation in that city/community, which now has been seconded by another Church. (When in 1985 a large group of Québecois were converted by a evangelistic meeting by (the now apostasied) French evangelist Gérald Dis*5*, the Conference took that newly formed group and joined it to the Laval Group forming the Laval [West] Church[D221 - official, joining Sabbath, picture].
            So it was pointedly the ‘non-handshaking event stemming out of a race implicating difference’ that was brought to my mind at this time and impelled me to, in imitation of the racial bridging actions of my father, cross over to the other side where this French Canadian, childhood acquaintance was, and, at least, share with him my decision to go into the ministry, to see if that would not come to peak his interest to also do this, especially given the local, made-essential, need to have local Québécois pastors in order to reach out the general population. So I did indeed went over to where he was and cordially met with him, and did go on to share my recent experiences and efforts to go and study for the ministry. He gradually realized that I was indeed implying/inviting him to also do the same, an invitation which I crowned by intimating this most apparent, great evangelistic need for local pastors.  And so, with that said and related to him, I left, and to my surprise and delight three years later, in the summer of 2000, probably after this sowed/planted ‘ministry seed’ had go on to bud, he did indeed do so, going to CAUC to study Theology, and has since been a pastor in the Canadian Union Conference. And, given the exemplary Christian devotion and enthusiasm that he always had, which had indeed made me see him as a prime candidate to be a pastor, he has also been a guest on the It Is Written Canada telecast. (His mother works with the distinct It Is Written Quebec (= French) telecast. So that latter encounter alone, with this probably-borne-from decision to join the ministry, made this one month stay over in Montreal most worthwhile.

* [Cf. D223 - a 1996 roadtrip photo, while in Chicago, which, as seen, I had punly captioned in my trip’s photo album as: “A Drive-by Shooting”. (It was taken by a mid-trip joining friend, who had noticed, and wanted to also capture, my deliberatedly-manifested, animostic attitude, teemming from the then recent (1993) World Trade Center Car Bombing. In fact, I would, more (Religiously) orneryly than (“patriotically”) proudly, wear my: “I Survived Terror at the Towers” T-shirt[D245&D246])]] (For all due fairness on this ongoing tense, socio-political issue, do see my related “Islamophobia” section in this blog post, which sets forth my current understandings on this issue, indeed based upon being more objectively, and less Western-propagandizedly, informed.)

** In pertinent relation to my growing, inherent hatred for Capitalism, indeed probably inceptively brought about by the following related incident, when this, to-become, pastor friend was preparing to leave for Collonges, France in the early 1980, he, seeing that my father had a very undependable car, sold us, at a very good/under market value (perhaps -60%), price, his 1976 Ford Maverick car. It instantly became my favorite car, and we had it for ca. the next 4-5 years, until it, having then recently had some mechanical problems, left us stranded in a mall parking lot late one Saturday night. My uncle came to assist us, however when it was seen that the problem was going to require a garage visit, my parents called a tow truck. However while I was sitting with my sister in my uncle’s car, I did not know that, at the indication of the car’s probable/evident problem by the tow truck driver, they had decided to instead just scrap the car. So it absolutely shocked me when, due to an existing, growing crack in its windshield, the tow truck driver pulled out a sledge hammer and just bashed in the car’s windshield. I just snapped and started to wail, and even more loudly scream with each additional blow. My uncle, eventually frustratedly, at my resolute crying/mourning insistence, tried in vain to silence me. When I was later told by my parents that the car was being scrapped, I could not compute how in the world thrashing a car which had a repairable problem was logical. It economically turned out that getting money for the car by scrapping it, instead of spending money to repair that problem, but with other problems to come, was the economically beneficial reason for that decision here. However, that still made no realistic sense to me.# I felt as if a family pet had been put down, and that for no “incurable” reason. (Indeed such common, even default, capitalistically-derived actions of throwing away something that needs a minor repair, simply because market prices for the repair are, and that mostly, labor wise, more costly, still make no realistic sense to me due to the tangible material waste; as also, just putting down a wounded animal, which is actually, in most cases, because taking the veterinarian medical measures needed to (surgically) fix and/or, then, (therapeutically) heal that animal would be “too costly.” So I sadly, mockingly laugh whenever someone feels ‘sanctimoniously justified’ to put down an animal, especially a wild one, for, e.g., a broken leg.)

# I had a similar, “psyche-jolting” encounter with Capitalism later on, when in Grade 9, being then in the school’s band, I needed to bring home my saxophone from school in order to practice over the Christmas holidays.[cf. D301] As my saxophone’s case was much bulkier than my band mate’s, he agreed to let me take his saxophone home instead, as it, being a much newer one than mine, came in a more compact case. (I actually could not just switch cases with him because, as his tenor saxophone was a newer build than mine, it was slightly more compact and thus my saxophone could not fit in his case’s snug moulding, thus preventing the case to close.) Then after the holidays, on the first day back, I brought the saxophone back to school only to find out, as I went to the band room right after the final band had rung, that my band teacher had actually not been here that day and thus was not now here, as normative, in the band room immediately right after classes for us to return or take our instruments home. And so, not wanting to lug that, albeit compact, saxophone case and instrument back home, and not having the time to run back upstairs to the third floor and put it once again in my regular locker as my school bus was going to leave soon, I decided to leave it in one of the many empty and unassigned lockers on that basement floor near where our band room was located, and locked it with a spare combination lock I had.
            The next day, as I was going to my scheduled band class then, I was quite dismayedly shocked to find out that someone had busted my lock and stolen the saxophone. And from here on is where it got even more shocking to me, for the fact that ‘someone had stolen something here’ was actually not really most “revelatorily” shocking to me. Upon hearing of what had happened, my teacher told me to go and report this to the principal. And so I went and did, and as I was feeling somewhat responsible for what had happened, although I had taken all satisfactory precautions, as the principal actually readily understood and had already not-at-all-faultingly dismissed me, I turned back and offered for my parents to pay for it. He mutely looked at me holding back a chuckle, and glancing at the assistant principal he had been talking with, and as I was insisting that my parents could and would pay for it, thinking that this was the problem here, he then rhetorically asked: “Do you know how much it costs??”..., which I didn’t and was about to say $300 when he completed his statement by saying: “$2700”. Upon hearing that, I had a mixed reaction of utter bewilderment as well as vexed anger. The bewilderment was of course at not being able to make any rational/logical sense out of ‘why an instrument would cost so much,’ -as I compared it then, as much as a good used car, and the vexed anger was at the wider, collective implication of ‘why then were such expensive items, as those band instruments were, being given to students, not that we could not handle/care for them, as we indeed normatively did, but in regards to, in the light of this transpired theft which showed that certain people out there were willing to steal them, -probably fully aware of their high value, and most likely not to own or play them, but sell them, and thus that we were at some tangible risk by carrying them around from school as we usually did. I then, being now quite incensed by this previously unknown wild high cost, and the associated inherent risk to my security, actually proceeded to intimate to them that: “it then served them right that I was stolen.” Indeed I actually quite vexed that it was as if I was supporting this underlying involved perverse “Capitalistic” pricing/valuing here. But then, just before turning to go, I corrected that already conveyed intimation, lest also they think come to think by such ill-wishing that I had something to do with the theft, to slightly less “vitriolicly” express: ‘well, then, I hope you all have insurance for those costly instruments!!’


*** He had so pointedly and copiously done so, that, in 1996, while in Montreal during my 8600-mile road trip, and joined there for a week by my mom, we were shopping at the Conference ABC bookstore, when during the conversation with the acting-cashier, who was primarily a conference official, [presently the conference president], my mother mentioned that we (i.e., her and my father who were both now living in Florida), used to be members in this Quebec Conference. And in the “small-world” that the Quebec Conference SDA Community was especially back then, we had many acquaintances and friends throughout Quebec Churches and Regions. As I was however reacting as if it was somewhat presumptuous for my mom, in saying this, to expect this person, who did not personally know us, to know who we were, he, if I recall accurately, do a double take of our family name on the credit card my mom had handed him, reassuringly confirmed that he actually had heard about us stating as the reason that: ‘That pastor is always talking about you.’ And as it had been a while since we had spoken to that pastor, my mom began inquiring about him, to which the cashier, voluntarily offered to let her call him/them long distance at their Trois-Rivières, Quebec home (ca. 90 mile north of Montreal), on the Conference phone (Probably an already paid call based on a long distance plan). Which she did!
            Incidently, my mother had a similar ‘personal convert-to-pastor’ experience as, about a year and a half after her own conversion to Adventism, she, not being able to convince her cousin [specifically: the son of her father’s cousin, thus, non-colloquially, her “second cousin” (cf. chart)] to attend some meetings that were going on, took advantage of his wanting to get a box of crackers that she had, to make an agreement with him that she would give it to him only if he attended at least one evangelistic meeting with her. Which he did... got the cracker box... and also attended all of the meetings, and got baptized. He went on to become a pastor in Haiti# and, even to this day, my mom is surprised by how much he had come to be widely known and also loved by so many, as seen in the, both surprised and profusely complimentary, and ‘you are/were cousins of his’, comments/exclamations she  repeatedly (still) gets when she mentions him in a conversation with a fellow Haitian. In fact this story of how he first encountered the SDA message further surprised them. I referred to him in the past tense because, unfortunately, he, while jogging one day, due to a prior cardiac intervention complication here, fainted, fell and hit his head on a rock, which inflicted a fatal wound.
            Upon hearing of this conversion story from my mom, former speaker of It Is Written Quebec (French), George Hermans, a friend of the family [cf. in D208b]##, wrote it up for a local conference publication under the tongue-in-cheek title “Le Pasteur Biscuit” (eng. -‘The Cookie Pastor’).

# I met him in 1997, when in Haiti for my grandfather’s funeral, as a pastor friend of ours@ took my mom and me to the SDA University where he was a professor. Upon seeing and excitedly saluting my mom, who he had not seen in ca. 27 years, through the windows of his classroom, he then almost immediately, (i.e., yet, perhaps only upon my intimated, semi-reproaching look as he at first did not at once come out to greet her, which, relatively/pertinently, justifyingly posed: ‘well would you actually be standing there teaching if it wasn’t for her??!’), turned over the class to a student (who interestingly enough, continued on without manifestly missing anything), and came outside to greet my mom and me. (I was just justly getting the credit where the credit was due!)

@ This other pastor friend of ours, pertinently enough, in relation to the statements made in regards to my father at the beginning of this post, was greatly thankful to my father for having, almost uniquely, encouraged, and spiritually supported him to going on to study for the ministry when most of his other even Church peers/friends, family and local pastoral/Church leaders, actually, and quite oddly enough, even derisively, dissuadingly, did not take him seriously. So with that support of my father, who, like the Paul-Timothy|Titus relationship (1 Cor 4:17; 1 Tim 1:2, 18; 2 Tim 1:2| Tit 1:4), he considered as his spiritual father in the faith, he went on to do his Pastoral Ministry Studies at Weimar College.%
            This ca. November 5, 1990 picture[D280-1] was taken while he was visiting us in Miami[cf. D167c] during a Weimar College school break of his. I was actually, deliberately less jubilant/exuberant, -indeed restrainedly more “solemn”, in that photo, than with the prior one he had taken of me with my sports-inert’ dad[D166] for after having “finally” convinced both of them to assist me in my baseball practice, I, knowing him to be somewhat of a sports/baseball fan, from our past interactions going back a number of years, while we were then living in Montreal[cf. D221 -center], did not want my exuberance here for playing sports, indeed while I was then in the midst of almost being a Sports nut, and was then seriously endeavoring to make a career out of, here baseball (for, as mentioned earlier, ultimately, and quite seriously so, “evangelizing intents”, -which I why I had been pestering them to help me practice), to be, in any way, a ‘stumbling influence’ on his devotion to becoming [“straightly”] a minister, which I admired, (honestly) respected, (-despite the fact that he was, and increasingly so, while visiting during some of his Weimar College break, constantly getting on, (with my sister and I (reciprocally), spiritually considering him as our older brother[cf. D280-2]), our cases for not [yet] having a vegetarian diet. My personal, main hang up here was: ‘if what he was saying was the (SDA) Truth, then why were not my/more local SDA Pastor(s)/Church(es) also emphasizing this lifestyle requirement.’ I then dismissed his admonishments as being a ‘fringe/“Weimar” thing’. I, as stated before in this post, did not become, actually convinced to be a vegetarian until this was most readily “facilitated” by me being at an SDA Campus (Andrews 1997ff) where the cafeteria menu was only vegetarian. I, relatedly, also did not adopt a, more than less, vegan diet until 2000 when then, given the compactness of my countertop minifridge during the first 2 years after having return to live in Montreal from Andrews, Soy Milk was more practical for me in terms of its possible, very long, unrefrigerated shelf life. And along this vegan way, something also became self-evidently clear as not being quite right in how cow’s milk defaultly needed to be kept cold in order to remain consumable. So to me that was an object-reason in itself as to why Soy Milk was probably indeed much healthier, and that made me stick to it even after I got a larger fridge. (Notwithstanding, it was also a determinative good thing that Soy Milk manufacturers increasingly made their product “silkily” more palatable!!).

% Upon graduating, he went on to become a regional pastor in Haiti (cf. here [23:07-24:45]+here [29:00-32:44]) for several years before returning, for a while, to the Quebec Conference where he had been pastoring in the Montreal area (cf. here), and his effectuated Pastoral ministry work, with various great responsibilities along the way, was the unstated, underlying reason why I intimated to a Church elder in the Burlington, Michigan SDA Church, where I was doing my Pastoral Practicum while studying at Andrews, that his just cited: ‘I studied at Weimar College’ reason was actually not a valid “excuse” for why he could not  pastor that Church, (or any other SDA Church), as I had initially suggested to make practical use of the manifest above average Bible and SOP knowledge that he had, suggestingly/remonstratingly, explicitly stating: "Well I have a [pastor] friend who went to Weimar", and pertinently because I was then seriously pondering, and really knew, knowing myself, that I had thus actually effectively already decided, as mentioned before in this post, self-ending my pastoral practicum preaching duties in order to wholly focus instead on my 70 Weeks book, and the Michigan Conference’s, (or pastor’s), 2 Church pastor-sharing scheme which made this Church first hold its Divine Service from 8:30-9:30 A.M. just didn’t seem to me to be conducive to ‘accommodating church evangelism’, i.e., is it more likely that a non-SDA visitor will attend the Church’s Divine Service ca. 2.5 hours earlier than normal/normative!!! (See more here).

## Who, incidently, had dubbed me as a baby as: “Mr. No” due to the fact that for a while my first, default, and if not, only, answer to many people was a terse “No”. [Hmmmm.... wonder where I got that from?!!....] I just was not the ‘deferential, convinceable,“social baby” type’, i.e., e.g., who gladly accepted to be: “kidded”, passed around, and/or held by any/every-one!!

*4* It was not until a summer 1996, 30th Anniversary celebration of the flagship Church (which I attended as I was then visiting Montreal while also on that 8600-mile road trip) that many members of that by then/now, all-Haitian Church (whereas the derived, eventual, Laval Church has remained racially mixed#), became aware of the actual non-white beginnings of that Church when the pastor of that Church then had managed to get many of the founding members still alive to attend this celebration, and made a point to formally, publicly present, recognize and thank them for their great founding contributions, and thus try to right this long-standing wrong.

# When we later, in the summer of 1990, moved to Miami, transferring from this culturally mixed, and most harmoniously so, Laval Church (which it indeed became reknowned for in the Montreal area, with the face of this congregation being a singing group of five young men in their 30's who had two Québécois members who literally marvelled other local Haitian congregations in a couple of the songs in their concerts, as these songs were in Créole, yet these two French Canadians singers had absolutely no problem singing along, with one of them even doing a solo verse entirely in Créole.), my parents seeing the formally organized racial divisions in the Florida Conference (see in this post), which brought back these loathed experiences that they had had in Montreal, decided, after we had done ca. six month of “Church S-hopping” to join the Miami Temple Church in southwest Miami, though it was far from our North East Miami home, ca. 27 (highway) miles (a ca. 30-minute drive), and did indeed bypass several French/Haitian, and English, Churches because its multicultural membership (with even an annual International Day (Sabbath) to celebrate this diversity) best reminded them of our Laval Church. In fact, they did this more for us then them, as they, not being then very fluent in English, had a tremendous language obstacle to continually deal with and try to overcome. That was moreoverly, particularly a burden to my father who could not function as he was “giftedly” accustomed to in a Church. The size of that congregation then, of ca. 1200-members, also made this desire for him to continue this compelling vocation of his more bleak, and so, when in ca. 1992 a fellow Haitian SDA colleague informed him that they were forming a new Church group in the North Miami area, though it was going to be an all-Haitian group, because it was out of a valid need to have a French/Créole-speaking Church in that area, as there were only English Churches there then, he agreed to join them in this Church Planting effort, and thus was able to resume his Church leadership vocational function. The fact that my sister and I could drive on our own by then, it made this decision easier for them, as we could continue to go to the Miami Temple Church, which also had a great youth group.(That newly formed group soon became a Church in the Florida Conference, and initially under the responsibility of the Miami Temple Church, though it was miles away, and the North Miami Church, in the same Conference, was less than 10 blocks away.)

*5* I saw Gérald Dis on a local newscast during the 9/11 events, as he was then being featured and interviewed as a Quebecer in New York City who was helping out, which he was doing by offering, among other food donations, shrimps from his seafoods restaurant!


[35] A short time later, I came across what would have been the perfect and ready photo painting for the cover of the magazine when I saw the July/August 1995 Ministry Magazine (Vol 68 Number 7)[D44] cover photo which was the painting of Elfred Lee entitled “The Truth As It Is In Jesus”. Flipping through more carefully just now (Dec. 5, 2010), through the magazine, and not recalling oddly enough, especially as this would have been the next best solution for my ministry, having this level of observation when I did before, my planned magazine would be a lot like it in content, layout and object, I am actually surprised, that although I had made mentioned of the magazine, for potential use in this capacity, in communications with Signs of the Time, it had made no different. At the very least they could have agreed to print another run of the Magazine
            Apparently, whether explicitly or implicitly, realizing now that it was a Review and Herald publication (who, by the way had also been asked to help but had offered absolutely no answer), it was because this had not been a Pacific Press work. (Sort of here: ‘the left hand not knowing what the right hand has done’). Still the restating of the articles and layout in a way that would have been attractive to these concert and festival audience was indeed the best option.
            Moreoverly, though, in simply this non-discovery of this potential utilizable magazine, their manifestly was not any interest to help and/or do this kind of “end time” ministry, despite its, generally, strong “divine” endorsement in the SOP (EV 35, 36 - Letter 296); and that by a Church that was mostly believing that ‘the End was “even at the doors”.’
[36] See also another later (documented) key spiritual incident with this professor in this post (Note #8)[D77-D90, D112-D117 & D279].

[37] I recently, personally went through a similar ‘reflux bout’ which were occurring seemingly every other night, for several months, and I was just terrifiedly shocked by how I would wake up just in time. I.e., it was not a choking feeling and auto-struggling which awoke me, because upon waking up, I did not immediately feel this, but every time, just instances after, I would literally begin choking to the point where I could barely make it in time to the bathroom next door to manage to expel the clogging reflux. And given the added fact that I could literally ‘sleep through an earthquake’, those sudden, middle of the night, “just in time”, awakenings were most evident to me, the watchful work of my guardian angel.
            Eventually, God, also evidently miraculously, answered my prayer, (indeed completely and instantly without any residual trace), because, as I “reminded” Him: ‘if He did not heal me of that problem, and soon, it was going to manage to choke me to death.’

[38] Indeed only 2 of his 17 grandchildren were able to attend. And “confirmingly” enough to me, I was pleasantly surprised to unexpectingly see, when I walked into the my grandfather’s house living room, a, as far as I saw, grandchildren-uniquely-enough, large photo of myself (which, without my awareness, had been given to him by my grandmother) hanging on the wall, -which helped me understand the several quasi-familiar/recognizing looks and “head chinning” (ala.: “Ahhh it’s you!!’) that I had been getting before, and also after, from his present and visiting friends and neighbors; and especially as my grandfather had also been proudly announcing to them that I was going to be a pastor!...(My mother discreetly flew back home with that photo, for well-known precautions in regards to Haitian beliefs|practice|culture, (see e.g., here (=e.g., Luke 13:11-13, 16; Mar 5:9; Luke 8:2) [and with Western Culture increasingly shifting towards such an explicitly welcoming state])...for, as she had then just recently had, quite Spiritual-warfarely, battled against, and counter-Inspiredly triumphed over, in various “family-borne” attempts against my then engaged, then recently married, pregnant and all the while successfully studying (a popular trifecta in those (supposedly?) “sapping” spiritism circles, I gather), sister: a “voodoo doll” perhaps is “caricaturishly mascoty” & “old school” compared to an actual photo....-but it probably actually depends on what’s that sap’s actual “point” then.)!
[39] These respondents namely were (signees): The Quiet Hour (Marilyn Senier)[D12]; The Voice of Prophecy (H.M.S. Richards, Jr.)[D13]; Three Angels Broadcasting Network (Danny and Linda Shelton)[D14]; NAD - Evangelism/Global Mission (Cyril Miller)[D15]; Amazing Facts (Doug Batchelor)[D16].
[40] Interestingly enough, I have just noticed (i.e., on Dec. 4, 2010) in rereading this full letter, that it was addressed to, then (Oct. 1904), GC President A.G. Daniells, and Vice President W.W. Prescott -who also was chair of the Review and Herald Publishing Association board, and editor of the Review and Herald. This explains the pertinent pressing issues raised by Ellen White in this letter.
[41] A terracing, possibly food-poisoning, from a fast food meal that I had purchased surely did not help either. It may have all been caused by the fact that this was the first time I had eaten meat in six months, since (campus-cafeteria facilitating, “conveniently”) becoming a vegetarian starting upon my arrival at Andrews in late September 1997.

[42] That Canada Youth Challenge, (CYC 2000), Literature Evangelism program in itself [then led by current Sacramento Central SDA pastoral staffer Chris Buttery (see in here pp.8-9)...now the senior pastor there (see here [08:46-13:45])] was quite a blessing, from meeting the occasional person out there who needed to have what you were selling, to fellowshipping with like-minded Adventists young people. Though my 2-month of sales was rather successful, resulting in ca. $944.32 in sales,[D47 & D91] trying to sell the books were not my favorite thing to do. I really would prefer if I could offer them for free to people who really wanted them. What I came to enjoy was the selling/giving of a small booklet entitled Darkness Before Dawn (DBD) which was a condensed rendering of the final chapters of the Great Controversy book. It also contained invites to the Discover Bible Study Guides as well as to the full Conflict of the Ages books. This booklet was offered last to the people we encountered, and was given for any donation. Being somewhat frustrated that I was not selling more large books, (ca. 0-2 per day), I decided to, in order to still get the message out during my encounters, take an act of faith, and began to also freely give away the DBD booklets to people who actually wanted them but wouldn’t be able to give a donation. Not surprisingly, and to everyone else’s astonishment, I began to go through these booklets like hot cakes, averaging over 35-40 per outing, while the normative sale rate was less than 10. The amazing thing was, I only came out under in my outing sale receipts once during that time (it was for a couple of dollars, which I made up from my own money). The generous donations of some people for their booklet would cover the freely given ones, and at times any more needed receipt money would come out of the ca. $5-10 personal profits that I would have made from a large book sale. I didn’t mind. I was more satisfied with having tangibly gotten the Message out and I saw that it did impress the people who I was giving these books to the import of my message that I was clearly more concerned with getting out this message than with making money. [Hint, Hint SDAs!]
            As the Discover Bible Study Subscriptions we also offered were free, even, as I emphasized in offering them: ‘capable of being cancelled at any time (simply by not returning the answers for the latest lesson)’, it was also easy for me to convince many people to sign up for them. It was indeed quite popular amongst our group, as, e.g., at the end of a week-long satellite session in Ottawa with a smaller group of Literature Evangelists, I handed off a wad of over 300 requests for Bible Studies we had obtained to the Local Church’s Evangelism, actually supposed to be: “Interests”, Coordinator. {See (2010) SDA Church Manual p.84}. [I made sure to deliberately made it a point to announce this “hand over” during our group’s short presentation to the Church just to help make it less likely that these requests would be silently cast aside. We had done all of the most arduous “leg & meeting work” in his area to obtain them, so the very least he could do was be faithful in following up on them (cf. prophetically GW92 329.2; 1T 646.2b & practically here [21:59-23:53ff]), which hopefully, he also, fully, did.[cf. D242]]
            One memorable book sale experience that I had, which showed me that the Holy Spirit will give you just the right thing to say when needed, was the time I tried to sell a book to a man on the go. Selling books to someone who was standing at their door was tough enough, however, as we were going down a street, I saw a man across the street, leaving his house heading to his car, to leave. My friend across the street, who was working on that side of the street, had not yet reached that house, but I was strangely impressed to go and “canvas” this man since we obviously would not be able to do so later. So I hurried to run up ahead were he was and met up with him in the middle of the street, as he had already backed out of his driveway. He was nice enough stop to hear what I was selling, and seeing that I would not have time to go through my normative 3-4 book lead-up presentations, I immediately went to the presentation for the Great Controversy book. As I began to explain how ‘it went through Christian Church History and...’ he abruptly cut me off, now seeing that I was selling Christian books, and immediately entered into a defensive mode, rattling off a string of objections as to ‘why he was not interested at all in Christianity,’ highlighted by: “the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland are always blowing each other apart.” I, quite early, ran out of on-the-fly rebuttal attempts for what he was stating, but when he finished his objecting spiel, and now resumed his driving manoeuvres to drive away, however with his stated “excuses” suddenly reminding me of the common objections to Christianity cited by Doug Batchelor in his 1997 Storacles of Prophecy series, I was “out-of-the-blue” further impressed to therefore mention to him the seemingly trivial, also cited factoid that I had also heard during that Evangelistic series that: ‘the author of this GC book, [Ellen White], was the second most published American author to Benjamin Franklin). And so I just blurted that out, even chuckling myself a bit at the seeming persuasive weakness of this rebuttal compared to all that he had just expressed. To my surprise, upon hearing this, he literally stopped the beginning-to-accelerate car in its tracks, and now with a drastically sudden, most serious expression on his face, as if to show that ‘he himself did not find this funny at all,’* he said: “Now you’ve touched one of my chords. Ben Franklin happens to be my favourite author.” And for “preferably” that reason, he bought the GC book!! (cf. Matt 10:19, 20). Wow, either way, praise be to God; -indeed for this timely ‘rock’ and ‘hard place’!!! (Matt 21:44; cf. 2 Cor 5:11).
            All during that summer’s canvassing, I used to hand out a brochure of all of Samuele Bacchiocchi’s books[D319; cf. here] and, because I only had about 40 of those handouts, I would only give them to people I would encounter who I observed were serious Bible students. However, I was here, oddly enough, most impressed to give it to this man, of all people. And so I “mindlessly” did, and was quite shocked, as he began flipping through it, that when he came across Bacchiocchi’s book on Hal Lindsey, (Hal Lindey’s Prophetic Jigsaw Puzzle), perhaps to reassure me, as he probably noticed my reticence in, nonetheless, giving him this resources, he, seeing the large lettering for ‘Hal Lindsey’ in the title, started to sing the praises of Hal Lindsey?!? He, however, perplexedly suddenly stopped, surely due to now noticing the steam coming out of my ears and my eyes loopingly rolling in my head. I then pointed him to the smaller caption in the subtitle: “Five Predictions That Failed!”. I just could not believe that even a, manifestly, Christianity-despising atheist/agnostic, could, and would, also have been fully duped by this popular ‘Left Behind’ false teaching scenario.

* It must be pointed out that, unlike Sarah (Gen 18:13-15), my chuckle was not at all directed towards God or His Power, but had a deliberately intimated double-entente that this man was really wise and honest enough to choose to pick up on. It indeed had the included intended conveyed meaning of: ‘Seriously....Is that your best reason for rejecting Christianity’. In other words, like a judged looking over his glasses from his bench to an accused having just given his defence: ‘Really....you’re facing the death penalty...you state under oath your innocent... and this is the best defense you give for yourself!??’ The man did indeed catch on to this fact that I was also laughing at the actual glibness of his talking-point objections to Christianity. I did indeed also give him a, personally patent, look# inquiring if he actually personally believed in these rattled off reasons. So with the now available “Ben Franklin” hook, he much preferentially, even moreover preferring to tacitly admit/recognize a “Spiritual” manifestation, went on to find another “reason” why he should disregard all of those prior “reasons.” And when one thinks about it, that new reason was so peripheral and tangential that it should not have been influential enough, even at all, to sway him from his priorly expressed defense/view.

# That “personally patent look”, which may not be personal at all in itself, but probably in the situations in which I have chosen to apply it, indeed stems back to my youngster days, whenever, especially a grown up, or a person who considered themselves “superior,” did something that they actually should have known better than to do. Most notably, I once did it at the risk of a “back fire”, (pun will be intended), as, being around 9 or 10, my sister and I were waiting in the end of the line, (from school), bus terminal for my father to pick us up. I was, as usual, engrossed in trying to use this waiting time to finish all of my homework so I would have free time at home to do anything else, when I nonetheless, as there was not much people traffic, did peripherally notice a man oddly walk briskly by us after having come in from the exit doors facing our bench. When he walked out however, I more squarely took notice of him this time, being caused to look up from my work, as he was now leap-running out of the pharmacy he had walked into. I also saw that he had a brown paper bag in one hand and a large hunting rifle in the other hand. I couldn’t tell if he had openly walked in with that long gun because I had not looked up at him then, but it was clear now what he had just done. He had held up that pharmacy. He was also, perhaps just now, or probably since he had walked  in, wearing a full ski mask. Upon seeing this, I actually, keeping my cool, gave him that intimating look right into his appearing eye circles, which he seemed to fully understand to say: ‘Aren’t you ashamed of yourself??’ And then: ‘Heyyy... there are kids here!!’ As he continued leap-run away towards the exit, taking the time to defensively stare back at my reprimanding look, I demonstrably looked away not wanting to be, or be held, responsible for foiling his getaway. But since he kept staring, I just had to get one more “point” in. And that was: ‘Well it’s clear that, contrary to locally highlighted propaganda/beliefs, it is not only “black people” who commit crimes in this province.’ He did indeed also get that last point, from the accompanying, intimating looks on my face, and started to point his head towards me emphasizing his eye circles, and slightly raise his uncover hands, as if to confirm that he was indeed an “ethnically local” guy. The also conveyed look on my face that had intimated: ‘We’ll (i.e., black people) will probably also get blamed for this’, probably got him.
            When he reacted in that relatively (i.e., for a robber) sympathetic, confirming way, I nudged my sister (who had awarely chosen to keep her head in her book), to which she looked up towards me and raising my chin towards the man still “running” away, yet having slowed down for my sister to also see this confirmation, tried to get her to see that fact. As she wouldn’t look towards him, I was going to turn to the now practically stalled and awaiting man to, out of actual permitted necessity, indicate to him that he could go on through the exits doors and leave, when I laughingly instead chose to not so “encourage” him to run away, and rather looked down into my books. However as soon as he disappeared I looked towards the pharmacist lady, an “ethnically local” person like him, who had actually been looking at that protracted exchange/interaction between me and him, and as she was seemingly, nonchalantly going about her business as usual, apparently not having even called police, as if this was something normal, in a spurious ‘no-harm-no-foul’ way, I therefore reprimandedly, if applicable, glared at her. Well police did silently come a while later.@
            Succinctly addedly said here, in late 2000, while on a trip to Walla Walla University to meet with the faculty of their Physics and Engineering Department for a, now patented, concept and invention I had, I met a fellow Quebecer (himself a “French Canadian”, from Quebec City) on the travel bus (on his way through Miami for a vacation in Jamaica). We got to discussing ‘Creation vs. Evolution’ and when he gave me a supposed “rock-solid defence” of why he considered Evolution to be scientific and thus true, after I gave him that “look”@@, holding back the usually accompanying chuckle to a smirk, and asked him a rhetorical question that highlighted the complete irrationality of his posited “scientific example”which he readily recognized. Seeing that he was a sincere and/but/yet malinformed seeker of truth I offered him a booklet that I was carrying in my backpack, Dwight Nelson’s: Built to Last, having plan to read it on the journey, and he, feeling a bit intellectually “exposed” and embarrassed, most gladly accepted my offer, along with a Bible Answers booklet.


@ Indeed retrospectively/pensively looking back, I clearly see that I did always hold “grown ups” and people occupying certain positions, and thus: ‘people who should and do know better’ indeed responsible for ‘what it is that they should better know and do’. This is honestly, incontrovertibly still a fundamental and controlling “ideology/belief” in my views and why I still just cannot accept the literal “slap in the face” of ‘someone claiming to be something but not actually, adequately being that thing.’ And that pervades many areas where such a due responsibility is to be applicable. And it is indeed the major reason why I am, 4-fold, ministry-wise, where I am today. I.e., Nothing worst to me than, most prominently, e.g., a “pastor” or Bible Scholar who actually cannot properly (i.e., exegetically) present/defend Biblical Truth, and with the common/popular supposedly disculpating reason of: ‘not having a formal education’ being further not acceptable at all to me in the SDA Church which has university departments for that full educational purpose. (It is just revered spurious capitalistic parameters that are preventing this needed element in Church Ministry from being fully done).


            To me, one of the perfect anecdote of how this “due responsibility ideology” came to be always at the forefront with me, was seen when in a closely linked, two-fold incident (so much so linked that I had priorly actually intertwinely conflated them in my recollection until my mother dichotomized the facts) which actually had its genesis when I was ca. 5 years. One day my father announced, as he was stepping out the door, that he was going to the local hardware store, and left. I, after asking my mom if I could also go, and her refusing with a claim that my father (probably) didn’t want me to come along, felt that that was not good/valid reason, and promptly made a dash out the door after him since he himself had not said “no.” I do not know why exactly, except perhaps by provisional impetus, even if solely for having been headstrongly disobeyed, but my mom suddenly took off after me and actually [not knowing her to be, nor have been, at least in adulthood, athletic, -in fact she is still baffled that she cannot ride a bicycle] caught up with me just as I was about to run across the street to where our car was park. She grabbed me just by a large tree that was at the end of our driveway[cf. D167a  (tree is however not visible there)] and to our surprise, just as a Police car, who was actually driving too fast for a residential street, went by. The telling scene also, as I recall, surprised (visibly to me, at least) the passenger side officer, as seen on his face as they passed by. They did not even have reactionary time to brake and slow down.
            My mom now, being stunnedly upset, and after having discussed with my now approached father of how the police car was actually driving too fast, dragged me, now crying and screaming, being upset for being confirmingly refused to go out by my father, back towards the house, and I wished that I would have conceived as a possibility that her reprimanding here could escalatingly get more severe/stern, as I then would have saved all of my energy and tears for what would come next because... well let’s just say here that she grabbed my sister’s rubber skipping rope that was laying on the porch and I knew she was not intending to skip rope with it... especially not indoors!!
            In all of this I just could not help but blamingly think at the really disculpating fact that Police Car had just been driving too fast on this street. I was really most vexed that it was really their fault, on top of me perplexedly coming to terms here with having to conceive this notion that a Policeman could actually do harm, and moreover that I was being, effectively, punished for it!!? Indeed it was “understandably” because then that the approaching police car was so far out of my peripheral view, yet driving overly fast enough to quickly make up this distance by the time that I would have crossed, that I had not noticed him at all. So for all of those implications and developments that incident remained with me. It then came flooding back a few years later when another almost identical one occurred when I was ca. 8 or 9.
            Again my father was setting out to go to a nearby store and I delayedly announced that I was going to go with him as I made my way for the door (no opposition this time). I then ran towards the car parked across the street, but this time, with now a sudden feeling of déjà vu, knew to carefully look up the street before crossing. Sure enough, there was, this time, an ambulance coming along. I looked at my father who may leave, but had actually now, seeing what was about to (re-)occur, stopped getting into the car, eventhough I had already stopped running, and then I looked at the approaching ambulance. It is then that my above-related “ideological reason” came to involve itself in my decision making process, as I, though not really needing to run after my now awaiting father any more, thought: ‘well (1) that ambulance did not have its lights on so it was not in a hurry, and moreover (2) of all drivers, ambulance drivers, indeed compared to the already flashbacked previous incident’s police car who were uniquely in the life-saving business [i.e., even at times having to care for perpetrators that Police had seriously wounded in neutralizing/arresting them], should be the most careful ones out there....so I, resumed my halted running and bolted across the street, in front of the ambulance, to the car, now excitedly tugging on the back door handle to get in. The only problem was that my father did not at all think that there was any acceptable justification for this deliberate risk/chancing. Yes the ambulance driver had come to a complete stopped when he saw that I was still going to cross the street in front of him, however I saw that that stopping was really not necessary as I made it across the street in plenty of time. But my fahter still sent me back inside the house, albeit, correspondingly, without any “need” for an inculcating correction in this incident, as it was administered by my mom in the almost identical prior one.
            On a pertinent note, that prior incident’s correction from my mom was actually the only corporal punishment that I ever received from her (I actually subconsciously and consciously recall less than a handful from both of my parents combined), and to this day I jokingly still give her a hard time for that administered “non-rope-skipping lesson,” yet it may very well be that punishment which has made it that I can still be around to jokingly do so. Indeed even the sight of the passing police car just before me as my mom was holding me did not register with me then as a danger lesson to be learned.

@@ It must be emphasized that this “look” especially in regards to Biblically related encounters, is both quite candidly genuine, and not intended at all to be manipulative. It is just that I am evermore, increasingly so persuaded of the Biblical Truth that I cannot help but react in this ‘seriously warning way’ (2 Cor 5:10-16) towards especially seemingly sincere/honestly-minded people who are literally mindlessly building their lives without any, and/or Sure/True, Foundations. (Luke 6:47-49).
            Indeed it is more than merely ‘a look’ but conveys this above-mentioned underlying ‘viability/“reliability”’ check’ notion, to which is also intimated: ‘if/since that is what you truly believe then, why don’t you truly/fully live your life in that way?’ (E.g. Luke 18:19; Matt 15:21-28 (that Canaanite woman was indeed requesting this because she had great faith in Jesus); cf. 2 Thess 2:11-12). That usually reasons honest/sincere “fence-sitters”, who nonetheless were leaning more towards the popular side of opposing Biblical Truths. (The details of an example where this approach actually, and remotely, helped to save the life of a calling friend who, as he furtheringly informed me, was in the process of committing suicide% will not be stated here, however the conveyed “checking” and rescuing notion then was, (and with no ill-will involved but a most serious attempt to get that person to indeed reason in that situation, and that, most crucially, for themselves): ‘obviously you really can’t rely on this choice of ‘living according to a “guilt-free” lifestyle’’!?? 
I nonetheless still prayed with him over the phone. (He soon fully recovered, and is doing quite well, especially by now.) And in all due proper light and fairness to this friend and his ‘seeker’s honesty’, when, in 1996, he had priorly, after several times of telling me about an inner-city feeding van ministry that he was a part of, finally convinced me to join, I was, (self-confirmingly), shockedly embarrassed to see when we drove into the van’s loading/starting/gathering spot, that we had driven into the parking lot of my home, “commuter”, SDA Church!![cf. D324 (ca. 1990 photos)] (cf. Luke 10:36-37; Matt 25:45 - It is then that I then understood why he had all along been so, evidently knowingly (-except for the unknown ‘own home Church part’) insistent!)%% (He had priorly [or perhaps it was after] also attended a Net ‘96 meeting (the earlier cited one on the 2300 days), and then [surely] after this episode, a regular Church Service at this Church with me. Moreover he also appreciated the prominent message CCM tracks that I had (e.g., Point of Grace - Keep the Candle Burning) than I, (by then), “granted takenly” did!!... and, indeed pointedly in regards to that song’s message. It is only now that I have (fully) realized/understood why...(after all, I had deliberately,  pointedly started to play that song/track for him...just did think he liked it...and/or needed it anymore...but he manifestly, evidently had, appreciatively and appreciatingly, actually been listening to the lyrics instead....I just assumed he was being polite...and changed tracks.).

% Topically related, see this (controversial) documentary.

%% I actually did not go to another one of those outreach outings because, while we were going about in our van distributing the sandwiches to the inner city’s homeless, I increasingly could not help but think that (a) though this was indeed God’s will and work, this was really just a drop in the bucket, and (b) if those people actually needed/depended on that weekly sandwich to live, then they were in serious trouble. So, unless various Churches/Denominations coordinatedly went out each day, 3 times a day to provide these people with such meals, then much, much more should be done in this regard to actually be helping them, even politically-wise, i.e., providing them with adequate Government Welfare. And since I was not seeing all of this as a “need”, especially not an urgent/indispensable need, e.g., compared with people around the world who would actually die if/since they would not receive such a meal, and seeing that the SDA Church itself with its Global resources should be doing something much more tangible in this regard...if they actually wanted to, starting with my own “ministering” local Church here which was one of the richest in the Florida Conference, (for if they could have afforded to pay the market’s price of $300,000 for new carpeting, then they could easily afford to better/more amply feed these people), I decided to then instead focus on the “preaching” aspects of Gospel Ministry, seeing this as the only viable and soon realizable alternative for, benefittingly and inclusively, such homeless people. Increasingly later on, I will have come to Biblically see that Gospel Preaching and Humanitarian works are neither mutually exclusive, nor a “zero-sum” endeavor where the proportion to which one is done determines what is left to do in the other. Indeed quite to the contrary. And I also saw how the SDA Church is indeed (selfishly/self-servingly/self-interestedly) preferring to not use its various purposely given resources to help all those in need, and that because of the religious and idolatrous deference it was variously paying to the world’s (capitalistic) systems. So whatever “Three Angels Message Preaching’ it was doing, was being cancelled out by the fact that they themselves were walking in the path of the anti-Sabbatical Mark of the Beast. So unless that issue was rectified, they would not be preaching and finishing Christ’s Gospel Works and this would, and has, actually resulted in them being Shaken out of God’s Zion.

[43] Indeed ‘telling someone about the binding truths of the Bible but also discouraging them to join the Church that, at least surfacely/in word, upholds these truths’ is as compoundedly detrimental as throwing to someone drowning at sea an unattached coil of rope.
            In a related issue, and to also highlight the need to take missionary work seriously, while near the end of a 4-day, diagonally cross-country trip in late 2000 to Walla Walla University (having left for it from Southwest Florida), I was in Salt Lake City, Utah, on a scheduled 9-hour layover between buses (ca. 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and took that opportunity to visit the nearby campus-style headquarter of the LDS/Mormon Church, “Temple Square[D238] (which included their quite impressive genealogic/“FamilySearch” center and General Conference Convention center) and also had time to watch the theater presentation of their (pretty well produced) Testament of One Fold and One Shepherd movie. While visiting their “Tabernacle” on that site (not the, actually off visiting limits, Salt Lake City Temple) and sitting for a while to listen to, what I presume was, the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsing, I was warmly greeted by two young women (“Sister Brewer and Sister Yawney” by name, -accurately recalled for reasons later stated). Seeing that they were probably well-informed about their Church, being missionaries, I asked them several questions about the LDS religion. As one of them had a Book of Mormon in hand, she repeatedly read some passages out of it to substantiate her answers. Seeing my interest in that Book of Mormon (which was actually out of Christian/Religious Research reasons), she quite cheerfully/generously gave it (her personalizedly key verses-(multi-neon-color tabs)-tagged BoMto me and wrote her and her friends name in the front page for more studying information.* Then she additionally asked me if I wanted to have studies on Mormonism (not convinced that the term “Bible” Studies is actually applicable here), offering me a request card. I then explained that I was not from the area. She told me that wasn’t a problem and, not wanting to seem rude, I accepted the offer and filled it in. Since I figured that when they and/or the ones processing it would see that I lived miles away, and in another country, in Laval, Quebec, they would not follow up on it, I actually included my full and accurate address.
            About a month after I had returned from that trip, on a Wednesday, on March 7, 2001, I opened the door and invited in a couple of Mormon missionaries who had rung my doorbell. I figured here that I would also want to be well/objectively received when doing missionary work, and so did not send them away without hearing them out. As we began to converse, they were quite surprised that I was treating them as if they were complete “strangers”, and confusedly asked: “Didn’t you request these studies??” I was even more surprised by that question, and as they seemed to be sure about this, I self-doubtingly asked: “I did??” They then informed me that they had received a Study Request card (effectively) from me. I then recalled the request card I had filled in while in Salt Lake City. This care in them processing that “request” over 2200 miles, and cross country borders was actually quite commendable. The fact that it had taken this long to process, to me testified to the great care, and deliberateness involved in this. (It may also have taken this long to process because I had mentioned to the Salt Lake City missionaries that I was travelling and would not be returning home for an unknown while. So they either themselves took extra time to process the card, or had indicated on it to delay the beginning of these studies for a while.)
            So I took advantage of this opportunity to have this discussion, however mainly out of reasons of showing these two missionaries (called “elders”, Elder K. and Elder F.), who were in their early 20's the errors in their religion and beliefs. Well that “offensive” line of discussion manifestly did catch them off script/guard, and indeed really visibly rattled one of them, who was increasingly acting as if he was about to renounce his Mormon faith. The “fact” that apparently sunk his Mormon “faith” was when I pointed them, in their next visit, to an “ex-Mormons” website where more arguments were made against their beliefs. By the third visit, that young man had been replaced by another, and older, “elder” for some reason.
            Unfortunately they caught me at a time when I was in, and still is, the midst of my Dan 11 Civil War vs. the SDA Church, and as my actions here against these Mormons would be mostly, merely “destructive”, i.e., deliberately not pointing them to a standing Denominational alternative (i.e., a local SDA Church), indeed despite their actual interest then in what my beliefs were, and also knowing that I was then in the midst re-examining in depth all that I had accepted as truth to find out what they more fully taught, as I then was only able to present them a partially completed “powerpoint” of my almost completed studies on Daniel’s 70 Weeks, I decided to, unfortunately (Isa 63:2-6 = Rev 14:19, 20), end these study sessions. A sobering “seed” had however been planted in them, which probably led them to verify what they were, probably quasi-indoctrinatedly, accepting as truth. The same thing had, self-initiatedly happened with me in my SDA experience and I am indeed still finding many ways in which SDA Beliefs and Practices need to be advanced to become actually more Biblical, even outrightly correct.

* I quasi-|semi-conversely did a similar thing while canvassing in the summer of 1998, as, while in the home of a Jehovah Witness family and trying to interest them in the Great Controversy, the father went over to his bookshelf and pulled out an ‘SDA’s C.M. Maxwell - God Cares’ look-a-like, copiously-illustrated, JW book on the book of Revelation, in an attempt to match my extra-canvas, Great Controversy book touting and claims. As that JW book was the exact kind of JW study material that I was looking for, (also for my Christian/Religious Research purposes), I offered to trade it for my Great Controversy book, -which he gladly did.

[44] It is surfacely easy to say that in having produced this work (published then 3 years before, in 1995), the SDA Church/ATS had done it part in this area of study. However, as quickly preceived then, that substantively was not fully the case. Nonetheless, what I could not figure out was (1) why were there so many questions and varying/mis-interpretations out there, including in the SDA Church, as there oddly still is in the Church 12 years later (!!) about such a precise prophecy, and indeed (2) why was such a work so unknown, particularly back then, and still is, by those who should know about it. In fact it was not until this Sabbath School Lesson in May 2002 that I heard, what is arguably the most valuable and crucial contribution of this work, in the proper understanding of the word “to restore”, in any public SDA circle, and other than, with Stephen Bohr, starting with a PDF of Daniel 9 notes in ca. 2004, that is the last time that I have heard an SDA Evangelist either knowingly mention, i.e., emphasizing this distinct meaning, and present it to the Church, and I’ve listened to virtually, if not literally, every widely (freely) distributed SDA sermon on this prophecy. (Oddly enough, but quite common place in this Church there reigns a base, competitive, selfish, capitalistic and moronic: “if-I didn’t-think-of-it-I-shouldn’t-use-it-in-my-sermon” attitude where Pastors and Evangelists are “fearful” to even implicitly mention such contributions of, interestingly enough, especially fellow SDAs.
            Such a manifested dichotomic dysfunction between the Church’s scholars and even, inexcusably enough, the pastoral leadership, really mythed me. Anyway, all this to say that from the time that I decided to go into the ministry for myself in May 1997, noticing even then the symptoms of such a cancerous dysfunction, I have duly judged the Church by the standard of “what should be” and not merely by “what is”; -i.e., ‘by what is not being seen/heard’ (Isa 11:3; cf. 8T 247). Haven’t regretted it at all as this is simultaneously what has helped me to arrive at concrete and full Biblical truths.
[45] Indeed if the start of this prophecy is objectively, transparently and conclusively established, it would do much to defeat other interpretations and reckonings starting on other dates, understandably deemed to be more “truthful” (e.g., 444 B.C. with Nehemiah’s building work.
[46] As I was about to start writing out the draft of this present “From the mowtsa section for this blog post, I was about to close a looked up webpage where Hiram Edson had been named. Knowing of his experience in regards to the 2300 day the day after Oct. 22, 1844 while walking through a corn field where, as I recalled then, he apparently saw a vision of the heavenly sanctuary, I was however impressed to re-read the account of his experience. So I pulled out my J.N. Loughborough book, The Great Second Advent Movement and was surprise to read of non-recalled, or unknown-to-me, details of this account, as Loughborough (p. 193) wrote:

“Hiram Edson, of Port Gibson, N.Y., told me that the day after the passing of the time in 1844, as he was praying behind the shocks of corn in a field, the Spirit of God came upon him in such a powerful manner that he was almost smitten to the earth, and with it came an impression, "The sanctuary to be cleansed is in heaven." He communicated this thought to O. R. L. Crosier, and they together carefully investigated the subject. (1905 JNL, GSAM 193.1) 

            Clearly God still speaks in the same manner, correspondingly saying just what one needs to (in needed aid) know. (Believing, with cause, in a scientifically realistic God, I would venture to deductively say that, that felt “smittening/booming” effect is a naturally accompanying effect to God’s (thundering John 12:27-31) voice, probably when inaudible, though still “displacing the air” around the receiver. And the “faster” the ‘speed-of-thought’, instant response, the more forceful and louder the caused “sonic boom.” And indeed it, with Biblical support, is a subsequent response to what one had just thought/said, thus the need for varying response speeds. Just an experiential, observational thought!).
[47] These are all theological concepts that I would only actually understand later as I Biblically came to the correct view on God and the Future.
[48] In the actualization of this sign, God may have also had set things up for such a result, i.e., by again, constraining me to make that request the night before, and then, as it turned out, also constraining me, at the last minute, to optionally ride back home from the prison ministry in the car of these guys vs. the usual car that I rode in, because, ultimately, God needed someone who knew that song, in that particularly melody.

[49] Prior to having come to this observationally, increasingly dismal view of the Andrews University student body, from my up to then various encounters and experiences, early in the 1998 Fall semester, a little while just before ‘everything started unravelling’ as recounted in this post, I notwithstandingly gave them the benefit of any growing doubt, -as it was pointedly manifested in an encounter with a, literally, glassy-eyed, quasi-mouth foaming, Bible-thumping, “fire and brimstone” non-SDA preacher who had “wandered” upon the Campus. -(ala. 40+ year open-air College Campus preacher Jed Smock [movie trailer]*By his scruffy, almost homeless looking, appearance, he did not seem to be a local resident, but rather someone who was going around various campuses to preach his message. (In a certain visible-resemblance sense it seemed that a morphed figure of the campus’ namesake J.N. Andrews, having the controlled-fiery temperament of James White had come back to life to denounce the, pioneers comparative, decline of this Campus that prominently bore both their names (i.e., with also their James White Library). Perhaps this would pass as the post-historical-Rev 10's pending SDA’s Two Witnesses fulfillment!?)
            The manifest itinerant preacher had his large signs spelling out that ‘Hell Fire’s Eternal Judgement was surely coming.’ He seemed to be more generically, than actually pointedly, preaching to/against the passing Andrews student, and he should have gotten a clue that his, non-pejoratively speaking, basic Gospel message (cf. Heb 6:1-2ff), which was quite detrimentally being marred by his ‘Eternal Hell Torment’ message, was being met with more puzzled looks than any vehement and heckling opposition, -which he was quite manifestly bracing himself for, but, as I was standing there, never came in any way. So after standing around him a while, (as were now several other students), hearing out in contextualizing detail what he was saying, I really just could not take anymore of his, though honest, yet quite discordant, irreconcilable ‘Gospel Salvation + Eternal Hell Torment’ message, and so I took him up on that point. I began asking him quasi-rhetorical questions involving the Bible passages which spoke of ‘Hell’s Torment actually having an end, and also correctingly explaining the ensuing passages he would sheepishly, having by then increasingly, visibly, become confused, present and/or point out from his banners, to claim a support for his view of Hell. During our discussion, as he was actually quite surprised by this Bible-based teaching that Hell was not actually eternal, I offered him more information, which he welcomed and left him for a moment in order to go to my dorm room and get some printed material that I had (including a two-tape set of leftover Net ‘96 sermons, (mentioned earlier[D194]), that I had) which indeed more deeply and detailedly dealt with this topic. He gladly received them and after a little more discussion, which included my pointing out to him something which he apparently was not actually aware of, namely that this was a Christian Campus/University,** and so now seeing that he was actually “preaching to the choir”, which moreover actually seemed to know their Bible better/more correctly than him, he was now scraping for an applicable/relevant message to proclaim here. Unfortunately for him, someone had by then reported him to the Campus “Veggie” Police, and by now our, amicably dubbed, “Robocop” officer was standing next to him about to escort him off campus. I however saw something not quite right with the scene of that action, for after all, we were essentially on the same side (e.g., Mark 9:38-41; Matt 10:41b-42; cf. 10:14-15), and more personally, he was doing a public outreach ministry work that I was then similarly seeking to do. And so, as our “Robocop” ‘could not compute’ granting my request to allow him to have lunch with me at the Campus Cafeteria, (as it was then lunch time), (I guess because that involved him remaining longer on campus, and probably necessitating that “Robocop” hung around until he ate his lunch to see through and then complete his mandated expulsion), I instead asked “Robocop” to ‘pause his expulsion command’ for little while, while I go and get a takeout lunch for the preacher. As “Robocop” granted that request, that is what I did, (returning just in time before “Robocop” had a hardware meltdown from this prolonged pause command execution. -Just kidding, Robocop was quite understanding in allowing all of this, (and he was also quite needed, security-wise, during the Net ‘98 series, being expressedly seated on the front row, to manifestly deal with some tangible threats), but where indeed was the inherent/due/default Christianity/humanity?!)
            I guess the more pointed lesson in all of this was, if it was for the actually “expressed”  patent mute indifference of the passing, or even momentarily standing, campus students vs. duly engaging this sincere, and actually quite respectful, preacher, and rightly correcting him as the actual need was, [perhaps those students really did not have/know anything to properly say in constructive response], this sincere preacher would have been summarily “booted off” campus without knowing at all that: (a) he had an incorrect view of Hell, (b) this was actually a Christian Campus/University, and (c) we did not really have any ill will or feeling towards him and/or his ministry efforts.... Apathetic indifference, which is quite patent in the SDA Church on various level, is indeed much more insidious than open opposition....A for that pivotal, latter matter alone, in retro-applicable hindsight, and, of course, minus the “eternal” part, he was actually spiritually on to something with his involved ‘Hell Torment Judgement to SDA’s’  (Cf. Matt 11:16-24; 23:13, 15, 29-33ff - See this post).

*-Who, btw, Clifford Goldstein used to ‘epicly’, =abusively, harangue & heckle back in ca. 1979 at the Univ. of Florida (Gainesville) (cf. here[21:41] ...until, as Goldstein relates in his testimony book, Smock inceptively launched Goldstein on his Truth-seeking realization & journey with a: ‘publicly humiliating, shutting down&up, psyche-stripping, bravura-peeling, true colors exposing, “dirty”/low blow snapping retort of: “You who scream the loudest, seek the hardest!” (p.10))...
            ...And then, an adventurous+“seeking” long&winding, conversional year and a half later, Cliff found himself when back in/on the Gainesville area and Campus, preaching right along side Jed Smock exhortingly saying:

“I might not agree with everything Jed preaches,” I say to the crowd, “or even the way Jed says it, but the truth is, each one of you knows deep inside that God exists.”
            Of course, it’s only justice–they heckle me!
I take the abuse. For God alone knows how many more Clifford Goldsteins stand in the crowd, their curses covering the cries within. (p. 92)
  
             -Which all strikes me, why isn’t there a similar University Campuses, public/open-air preaching SDA ministry like this presenting the prophecy of Daniel 2 (video), with an (inflatable) Metallic Man prop (=William Miller-style)...[-if/as, even amongst younger believers, trust in the Inspired/Divine wisdom and/or reliability of/in the Bible is the, present & increasing, inceptive/fundamental ‘root issue’], another “Sebastien Braxton” could, as related earlier with his testimony, could likewise be found on a (secular) college campus.

** Perhaps if he had come to the campus some 10 years later, in 2008, he may not have been unaware of that fact as he would have likely passed under the arches of the new $2.5 million J.N. Andrews Blvd. Entrance (cf. here) which by then visibly professed this!

[50] See a ‘Development Years of Christ’ sermon, (referred to in this blog post), preached during this time[D247-D278], and as related, three-faceted, sermons, namely as a: Christmas sermon[D247-D261] then, for a preaching assignment in another Church, as a ‘Christian Walk’ sermon[D262-D264 & D251-D261] and then, for a sermon in another Church, adapted for its 1888 Message implications.[D265-D278] See also a sermon on the topic of “Foreknowledge” mentioned in this post.[D281-D295]

[51] A third early summer festival was attempted with the AtlantaFest ‘99[D64] ($555) however the vendor application was refused because the Family Christian Bookstore had reserved exclusive rights with the Festival in regards to book sales. (A circumstance that had not been properly indicated in the vendor application).  [‘Capitalism in the Christian Church....’]

[52] I have recently also supplied my first two written recording of this first vision mainly for fully “corroborating”/documenting reasons. See [D418] & [D419]. For the reasons later manifested right after having that first vision, namely that I thought that it was ‘a waste of a vision’ as it did not pointedly elucidate what I was then burdened with, and perplexed about, I actually did not write down that vision, which occurred in June of 1999, until August of 2000[=D418]. That was because, as it is actually clearly seen from the ordering in that notebook jotting down, that it was not until I had a subsequent Visions, starting with a Second one on August 19, 2000, [but only upon a Third Vision soon after on August 22, 2000], which, as my ending exclamation there[D418] stated, that I then began/more clearly see the actual/fuller purpose and meaning for, and in, that First Vision, as that Second Vision, had involved the theme of the Faithful Watchman in Ezekiel 18, which revealed to me how God had been guiding all along. I.e. since that time, when then, having left the Campus of Andrews University back in Feb. 2000, and running into further ministry obstacles while now back in the Montreal, QC area, I was now somewhat concerned about how all these ministry plans and now also related projects would work out. What was also significant to me about that Second Vision, timeliness wise, was that, as I saw later when the responding letter mentioned below from the Joyce Meyer Ministry arrived during the next week, I saw that this encouraging Second Vision was given after that responding letter was written (Thursday August 17, 2000) and mailed (presumably the same day, or perhaps on the same Saturday Aug. 19 when I had that Second vision). So upon having a Third Vision which I saw that I needed to jot it down, and was about to, I then saw that I should similarly also record that earlier First and most recently Second Vision, and, hurriedly/summarily did so, before taking more space (2 full notebook pages) to jot down that Third Vision. And as it can been seen in that scanned copy of the First and Second Vision jotting down, I actually wrote the Second vison as a first vision until, upon completing it I saw how it complimented that First Vision I had over a year ago, which I really was still upsetly considering as ‘a waste of a vision’. So, as seen there in the red ink, I record that Second Vison first, as Dreams II” and then summarily wrote down my actually First Vision as DREAM IA” on to sometime later correct things here and cross out in black ink that appended “A” part, accurately making it: DREAM I and adding a “I” to the first jotting down to accurately reflect that it was actually Dream II I also had to correct with liquid paper the circled numbering at the upper left of those records to accurately reflect the actual chronological order of when I had received those Visions. As also seen with the crossing out of “August” and correctly writing the general date of “June 1999”, I had not made a note of what date exactly I had had that First Vision. But at the Second one, I could easily recall the date, as I wrote it down just 2 days after on August 22, 2000. And by the Third Vision, I also made note of the time, as that seem to be timeliness wise, significant to me.
            Now in [D419] is my more detailed recording of that First Vision as I was then moving those records from that notebook to a wordprocessor document. I was doing this in January of 2001, (which involved then the first 24 visions that I had), while I was then at the Campus of Walla Walla University during a ca. 3-week stay there in relation to one of my projects. (That stay is later recounted, albeit in passing, in this blog post). As my written records were much more detailed from my Third Vision and onward there was not much to add detailing wise with them.
            So those August 22, 2000 and then January 2001 jotting down of this First Vision give an early documentation of it, and in the writing it of it for this blog post which was done in December 2010, I do so in all of its both substantive, and also my involved emotional and reflecting details. By that December 2010 writing, I had come to better appreciate what I had seen in that vision as I now actually understood what they meant/involved and thus saw them as significant, indeed significant enough to also mention them.

[53] Later on, in the summer of August 2000, in an attempt to typologically fulfill the potentially typologically fulfillable/applicable development in 1 Kgs 17:8-9, I would write the Joyce Meyer Ministry to seek this needed, ministry aid/partnering[D325-D327]. Unfortunately ‘they were unable to accommodate that special request’.[D328]
[54] Cf. e.g., RH, Nov. 19, 1914 par. 12; ST, February 21, 1878 par. 12; {ST, August 22, 1878 par. 5}; 4T 385. (Or, also, do a “cumberers” search in the EGW (complete) writings and read those statements.)
[55] A similar situation had occurred earlier, that time with ‘Resident Rabbi’: Hebrew Professor Jacques Doukhan, as I had a question on an aspect of Hebrew Syntax in a statement in the 70 Week prophecy, i.e., in how it should be best/most accurately rendered in English. Not having seen any serious/indepth/involved, if any, syntactical discussion in the 70 Weeks book published out by the ATS which I had bought earlier from Davidson, I was actually more mythed and shocked, than gleefully, (I-knew-it), surprised, when Douhkan walked over to his office library and pulled out the same textbook (Waltke and O’Connor, Intro. to Biblical Hebrew Syntax) that I had myself independently bought to study in relation to my book work. He began to verify what I was advancing, however, having by then vowed not to materially aid any of these professors in anyway, as they should have both known, and be doing such things already, seeing that I may be here aiding him, I pulled off a “mad David”, I guess (1 Sam 21:13), however, by then no longer masking my concealed seething anger at him, and the Seminary he also represented, (which I had been constraining up to then in order to not prevent the obtainment of this information from him). And as expected and anticipated, he ‘took the bait’ and literally, sent me away packing, using my manifested angry disapproval as a cop out, while visibly being simultaneously confused as to why I was disdaining his possible contribution, and muttering for additional self-defending justification something snarky about my non-seminary level education.
            As desired, I quite gladly left, relieved, that even if he went on to figure out this key interpretational segment, I wouldn’t have further facilitated this for him and ...the dysfunctional, discordant and ineffective,  “barren fig tree” Seminary he also represented. As the French say: “À la guerre comme à la guerre.” (Eng. -wooden:To war, as in war”; -“colloquial”:  ‘All's fair in war’) and this was (and indeed, is), effectively, and by now ever-heightenedly, most define-itely, (Civil) WAR! (=GC 45.3|CET 228.1-3; cf. GCB, April 6, 1903 par. 24) [cf.]. 

[56] See in this part of this post for more on this typologically developing theme.

[57] A later (Spring 2000) dream given to my mom, showing how this return of mine to our the family home where I had also grown up (ages 11-15)[D143], that was given in depictions that were allusive to the “wall-digging” episode in Ezekiel 8:7-8ff {see this post} (cf. 12:5, 7, 12), readily confirmed to me that this was indeed God’s pre-planned, and indeed according to plan, Guided, and ever-developing, doing.

[58] That ‘notice month+’ time was indeed quite beneficial for me in a couple of related car repairing ways, as I principally needed all of it to finally get a quite uncanny problem accurately diagnosed and fixed in my minivan. For now over 6 months, when the car’s engine got normatively hot, thus after driving it for a little while, whenever I would do a left hand turn, the car would suddenly cut off. It however had absolutely no problem in right hand turns. After changing several sensors especially, several times, the oxygen sensor, as this is what the car’s computer coding would repeatedly signal was faulty, and the car would actually work well for a while after those changes (case in point, I actually ventured a ca. 2000-mile, late September, weekend trip to Montreal and back during that period, changing the oxygen sensor just before I left Andrews, and then buying another one and replacing it just before the return trip from Montreal; -sensors cost $120: my “heart” felt that it was a worthwhile, “urgent”, expenditure, and (easily) overruled my mind ), I, by now just giving up on getting this problem fixed myself, and as the minivan was then not starting due to a completely dead battery, decided to have it towed (via my AAA service) to the nearest Dodge Dealership and have its “make specialists” there look at it. Well only ca. 45 minutes and $65 later, the Dodge mechanic/technician showed me that the problem was that a bundle of wires off of the left side of the engine bloc had come loose off of the clamp that was supposed to keep them in place and every time I turned left, just like the applicable physics forces sways car passengers to the opposition side of a turn, these wired also swayed to their opposite side, thus to their right, and came into contact with the then extremely hot engine manifold piping which evidently sent all kinds of wrong signals to the car’s computer and caused it to, apparently for safety reasons, cut off fuel to the car and/or otherwise shut it down. Once I was told what the problem was, I didn’t let the dealership expend and extra minute on the car given there expensive hourly rate, even if simply to properly secure the wires, but had the car towed back to my Andrews apartment lot where I did the minor fix myself. [Surprising to me, I had to pay out-of-pocket for that tow back as towing from a garage, (vs. than to a garage), was not covered by the AAA service.] With that problem finally repaired, I left Andrews the next day.
            Oddly enough, when the Dodge guy mentioned what the problem was, I instantly figured out how this whole problem had come about, as I recalled exactly when I began having this problem. Back in July (1999), after an abundant rainfall on campus, I was driving through the  Campus when I came across a visibly, lengthwise, large puddle of water. As I figured that it probably was not that deep, not having noticed a significant depression in the road at that spot before, I, actually going against a ‘can’t-say-I-didn’t-alert-you’ warning voice softly telling me to ‘slow down’,* drove without slowing down through the “puddle.” To my surprise I immediately could actually hear the water, which actually almost stopped the car itself, hit the underside of the hood as I drove into it. Being then forced to slow down, I drove through the rest of the long puddle slowly, but it is from that day on that this problem began occurring. And so evidently the force of the water itself had dislodged this bundle of wires off of their securing clamp.
            The other related way in which this whole 6-month ‘trial and error’ repair saga was actually worthwhile is that I, in the course of these trial and error repairs, came to, as actually my last do-it-myself repair attempt, try to change the fuel pump, which is actually located inside the gas tank, thinking that the fuel was being cut off from it during left turn, and while doing so, in the middle of the winter and snow, I saw how corroded and worn out the connector of this original/old fuel pump had become, and so, on top of changing the pump, I also fixed that serious issue. That likely connector problem itself would indeed most probably would have cause a major breakdown soon, and probably during my upcoming moving trip from Andrews to Montreal, detourly via the Washington D.C. Area (see the “Jerusalem D.C.” next Section), with my minivan then being packed up to ca. 12-16 inches from its top.** That would have been quite a compounded complicated problem to have to deal with. So that whole uncanny car trouble actually turned out to be a (veiled) blessing in the end. (Rom 8:28).

* Since this uncanny problem was quite hazardous, with my car shutting down with most left turns, at times in the middle of intersections, -although it would always restart, (though a few times the oncoming traffic, having also a green light, had to come to a full stop while I was restarting the car to clear the intersection), it caused me to greatly reduce the use of my car.# Therefore, if I hadn’t incurred this uncanny car trouble and thus had continued on my normative much more frequent driving pattern, the potential and likely problem with the corroded fuel pump connection may have come to naturally occur sometime before I left the Andrews Campus. Or God could have used another way to bring it to my attention. So discovering it via this, circuitous, protracted and overall, much more costly, uncanny damage way, could have been completely avoided had I heeded that still small voice alerting me to “slow down”.

# That was quite a blow as it was most periodically recharging and soothing to me, especially during those days of opposition and ensuing, derived hardships, for me to “recall/relive” my past usual fun times, particularly prior to coming to Andrews, of just going out for a CCM-themed sonic drive, to just get in my minivan (which had a relatively pretty good factory stereo system) and go for a drive on the backroads of Southwest Michigan, however that recurring problem really made it not worth the quite hazardous risk, and also the “moment” was virtually entirely frustrated by the accompanying aggravation. So I instead substituted these outings with late-nights or mid-nights walks around the Andrews Campus. [I had been granted “Grad status” even when living in the dorm, so there never was a curfew issue involved here]. As I had heard that angels used to walk around this campus, and moreover, based on my above related vision, I thought that actually meeting with one could be a possibility.
            In the alternative of not meeting with an angel who would have a comforting and encouraging, I would then “recharge” my emotional/psychological batteries by sitting at the feet of our Campus’ $75,000 ‘little Buddha’ statue, -the bronze J.N. Andrews “Legacy of Leadership” sculpture in front of the campus’s Pioneer Memorial Church (cf. here), and hope that the missionary spirit of the subject of this memorial (cf. this sermon [45:40-54:00]) would, through osmosis, inspirationally infuse me with the strength to carrying on, -hopefully without metallic poisoning. (Wasn’t that the purpose/function of this icon??!). Anyways reality soon perspectively set in on one of those early, actually non-facetious, and Spiritually-serious, “sittings”, when I was rudely disturbed in my mid-night meditations by the “strange fire” incense odor of marijuana (cf. in this post) from a couple of students(??) walking by the sculpture, and stopping by me thinking I was ‘one of them’, however they soon sheepishly left and went about their ‘hell-bound’ way when I pointedly paid them absolutely no time of day night.
            My night Campus walkabouts however later came to a premature end  when I saw that it was bothersome to the Campus’ “veggie police” [which, as I found out in 2 instances, gave quite real tickets (speeding - the first being on the first day after I had bought my minivan and didn’t (a) know that there was a sped limit on the campus [30 mph]; nor (b) realize that my (actually unaware of) speed of 45 mph was excessive in itself.)] on their overnight patrol. So as not to cause them any added concern, and as I was also then living in the Campus apartments, I headed my night walks towards the surrounding community neighborhoods.

** That left over “crawl space” was useful when I could not concedingly/complying get over the asking price of $45 per night for a guest dorm room at the CUC (now WAU) Dorm and instead slept in my minivan, while parked in the dorm’s parking lot, in that crawl space for two nights, until I could Spiritually convince the dorm’s dean to reasonably lower that price where a: travelling SDA student, as I was, and moreoverly here, caught in a travelling emergency, could afford it for my remaining next 3 nights. Indeed: ‘where was the inherently due Denominational aiding brotherhood’, or is every possession of the Church supposed to be utilized as the commonplace, Capitalistic cut throat, profiteering business’. And so, claiming that it was because ‘he would not be supplying bedding’, he “reduced” it to an effectively convicted# $15.00 a night. (#I.e., Like it actually costs $90 (= after my three days) for someone to wash the beddings in the college’s laundry; or non-realistically/“lyingly” worst, (as inherent/fundamental in/for Capitalism), an extra ‘$30 for each  additional night of use’).

[59] One of those dreams that my mom had about me when I was a child, in which I had been most seriously hit by a car literally has “spooked” me to this day. It however made me most mindful and deliberate when I am anywhere near, and/or within the potential reach of, a moving vehicle, e.g., crossing the street or riding my bike in the street, to the point where, to this day, if I am riding my bike in the street, if there is a sidewalk, I actually use it; and also, I always ride against the flow of traffic instead of “with it”, especially when there is no sidewalk, (though both of these actions are actually officially proscribed). So this early childhood “warning” dream has served to greatly secure my life from such an accident, especially when I was younger, and indeed in a couple of instances, it was this very “spooking” dream that help me to avert and prevent two clear cut instances, where I, respectively, would and could, have been, also respectively, killed and  seriously hurt by two specific moving vehicles. (One, the first, involved crossing the street immediately after getting of the city bus, where I first mindfully stopped before stepping out from in front of the bus, to see a dump truck whizz by the stopped bus. The other instance, for certain reasons, will remain undetailed.) Especially also, was this warning be most self-cautioning, in the ca. 2 years leading up to the purchase of my first car in December 1993, when I used to cycle all over the proximate North Dade suburban area (great exercise...-too bad it wasn’t ‘“bankable” for a lazy day’...or decade!), especially after I started my first job in late May 1993 and had much more money to shop. I even used to weekly go through my bank’s drive-thru tellers to cash my paycheck (no direct-deposit yet then) on my way home from work (and then to various stores), as the bank branch had closed before I got out of work.*


* Speaking of close calls in my life, (disregarding the inceptive “advice” , with even offered, “underground”, (non-surgical) “assistance”, given to my mom by a “SDA Christian Sister” to abort me, (sanctimoniously justifyingly, of course, for the “valid” [but false], “health concern” reason that she thought my (24-year old) mom was then to underweight to bear a (actually, her second!) child [WTH], -as that “advice” did not begin to come close to being heeded - (some 24 years later that woman’s son was murdered#)), I remember planning a trip to New York City to, among other things, and justifyingly, mainly to do some city infrastructure observing for my New Country/Floating City plans and work. Included in my plans was visit to the observation deck of the World Trade Center. This was moreover a facilitated opportunity to go as I would have a travelling companion in my mom who would be leaving from her stay in Montreal. However on the Thursday before I was supposed to leave, I suddenly no longer felt like going, even despite the beneficial on site observations that I would be doing for my New Country project. However the struggle to go or not continued through that Saturday night. And so my mom left alone that Saturday night at ca. 10:30 P.M. The date of my planned trip was from that Saturday, August 25, 2001 with actually a planned ca. 2 weeks stay there, staying with my grandmother. Of course that stay would have been quite close to, and possibly through, the attacks on September 11, but more telling to me, as I later would more precisely understand it with then having understood the Biblical teaching on “God and the Future”, as seen in this entry of a detailed timeline of the 9/11 events, it was not until that Saturday August 25 that the hijackers set in stone the date of 9/11 by starting to buy the first of their plane tickets for that date, a date that was apparently previously loosely circled, also being “moved up”, around August 14-20. So as I now Theologically understand it, I was, indeed as then felt, divinely being dissuaded from making that trip, indeed, oddly enough, despite its great and main ministry purposes, from that Thursday until a final resolute decision that Saturday night, after Sabbath, when I then had enough time to still pack to go. Who knows where exactly I would have been on 9/11, indeed hence the impression to entirely cancel this NYC sightseeing, WTC visit included, trip.
            I also had a: ‘I-promise-I’ll-never-do-this-again-if-you-get- me-out-of this-alive’ incident, when on April 2, 2000, ca. one month after having left Andrews for my hometown Laval, QC, while visiting, on that early Sunday afternoon, with two long ago neighborhood friends who I used to play baseball with in the late 1980's, one of them, being ca. 10 years older than me and my other friend, offered to take me on a ride on his sports motorcycle, as he had previously done with my friend a while before. I agreed, and we rode around the neighborhood. Then he offered to take me on the nearby highway. And after getting me used to properly bracing for/against the braking “power” of the motorcycle, and also instructing me to also duck whenever he would lest I be blown off the bike, we indeed went on the highway. Admittedly, I had knowingly agreed to this out of a semi God -daring/quasi-Elijahcidal (1 Kgs 19:4 [-Thank Jesus for, among other things, songs like this one which reminds one that: ‘there indeed is much more to (even this) life’ (John 10:10)]) momentaneous psycho-spiritual “recession” in the face of all of the even more demanding ministry work that I was going to have to do, and manifestly, at least initially, alone (cf. 1 Kgs 19:9ff & 13-18ff - see here), and it was a short while after accepting this that I made my “promisory prayer”, promising God that, though, still semi God -daring/quasi-Elijahcidal, after this one ride/time, I would never, effectively, indeed “tempt/test” Him (Luke 4:12) like this again, as he went on to sustainedly go around 200 km/h (124 mph), and as fast as 218 km/h (137 mph), (if, as I was not always checking, not more; and, as seen in the similar linked footage below, at some, manifestly “perceptival”, point, it all seemed to be the same-“staticly”-paced blur)!!! It was like riding in a parking lot as we were passing by cars as if they were standing still, going more than twice their highway speeds. [In fact it was something like in this footage, minus the “lane-splitting”; and, of course, up to 81 ‘klicks’ on the dial]. The only prior “reassurance” to me from this guy as I had been inquiring on how safe this was, was: ‘if we were to crash, you won’t actually feel anything.’ “Ohhhh.... Great!!” I thought.## My confidence had actually been, having left Andrews to continue my ministry by what I knew was God’s will, leading and directing, was that I knew that God would not let me die “uselessly/purposelessly/prematurely” like this. It was actually a good thing that he had first trained me to brace myself during rapid decelerations/braking, (by correspondingly strongly pushing against the motorcycle’s gas tank in front of him, -which, especially later, literally felt like doing a push up with 50 lbs on my back), because when he actually had to make a rapid deceleration/braking, I would have both, flown right off the bike###, and as I would have “intuitively” instead been holding on to him, instead of always having my hands on/against the gas tank, I probably would have yanked him off the motorcycle also.

# A quasi-ironic, probable “relatable” development in all of this turn of events was the fact that, a few weeks before this guy was murdered, (his body found with bullet wounds floating in a local river), we had actually crossed paths for the first time since the days when we were students in the local SDA School together some 4-5 years earlier. At this present time, I was now in a public school near my house, in Grade 8, and my friends and I were playing baseball outdoors during our lunch break, with this being a few days after the snow had melted in the Spring of 1989. While I was pitching, I noticed someone walking towards us from across the empty fields behind our school grounds. I had not seen exactly where he had come from, but it may have been through an opening in the fencing that separated these fields from the housing areas beyond the school. Well as he got nearer and nearer, I clearly saw who it was and excitedly, as he had always been a jovial and friendly guy, indeed being the class clown in my sister’s classes, (being in the same grade as her, which was 2 years ahead of me), however he did not here “jovially” respond back. In fact he seemed completely “out of it” with an “iced” and glazed over, and also greatly perturbed, “strung out” look on his face. Frankly, it was quite evident that he was “stoned”. My friends were a little surprised that I knew this guy, and being personally quite embarrassed by his evident “junkie” appearance, quite manifestly also skipping school, with him not being a student in my sister’s Senior High School which was about a couple of miles up the road that my Junior High School was on, I disgruntedly then just turned and ignored him. In fact, I had also rationalized that: ‘he knew better than to be in that “mess”’, and ‘it would be quite a bad witness to my non-SDA friends if I explained to them how/from where exactly we knew each other from’. However feeling a mental tug that ‘I could still probably help him’, as he evidently needed it, e.g., I could help put him in touch with his former school mates, such as my sister. However he moreoverly so personally creeped me out that I really didn’t see this as a good, nor safe, idea. So as I turned my attention away from him, back to pitching, he, seeing my dilemma here, started “acting” as he usually used to be, all jovial and cordial, even chucklingly adding an “it’s me” posturing, but it was quite evident that he was greatly forcing himself in a literal “(state of) mind over matter” way to be as he used to be. I had started to be drawn back to him with that “retrospective re-opening”, however seeing that it/he was not at all 100% “present”, I just chinned him off, intimating: ‘just forget it...why don’t you get yourself “fixed up” first.’ And so he, returned back on the cross-field-heading that he had been on and continued walking by. And the next news I heard of him was a few weeks later, of his criminal death. Upon hearing this, I immediately thought of that recent path crossing of ours and also how I could have probably have helped him avoid this fate if I had gone ahead and given him some contact information where he could, through contacting my sister, get in touch with his former Church School friends. Who knows?... (In relation to the pointed reason for relating this incident here, I could now basely, actually “triumphantly”, vindictively quip a common saying about “Karma”, but as that would be: Theologically non-truthful, “insensitive”, and expressionally irreverent, I, generally, thematically, punningly/double-entently speaking, abstain instead.).

## Judging by the unfortunate, fatal accident of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during the 2010 Winter Olympics (story & photos) while going at 145 km/h (90 mph)... I don’t see/think so.

### Indeed during campmeeting in late 1980's, I was riding on my sister’s bike, sitting behind an older friend, as we were going down the campsite’s hill road[see in D222]. He suddenly went over a medium sized rock embedded in the dirt road which caused a violent bump, and then losing control of the bike, proceeded to slam on the pedal brakes. I, being seated on the bike’s seat while he was pedalling standing up, still managed to fly off the bike, clear right over the top of his head, and landed on the dirt road a few feet ahead. I am still surprised I didn’t break anything, nor was even hurt. I got nicknamed “Superman” during the rest of that campmeeting week, and repeatedly in the Church meetings in between, right through the next year’s campmeeting, and residually, occasionally beyond, by those who he went on to tell of that jaw dropping sight/flight of me flying by overhead.
[60] Including a “lean years” warning, just before the real-estate downturn, in early (ca. February) 2008, which was not fully and timely, heeded and acted upon, (as alluded in this post, Note #42 [end of Section G-1]), ongoing significant property assets detriment, as these properties could have easily been lucratively sold when the market then had reached its peak. (This warning was not acted upon because my father had refused to continue to, what he thought then had been, and would be, “sell/ing-short”.)

[61] So in these resolutely ongoing, Forcedly Enslaved/Falsely Imprisoned (Gen 37; 39-44)|Ruthlessly Ostracized (2 Cor 11:24)|Fugitive/Cave of Adullam days (really, what else can you expect from: capitalism-brainwashed, “Matt 25:2a morons”), I will continue to keep on: “Hanging by a Moment”, for since I have come to, “confirmedly”, fully find God’s Ultimate “Full” Biblical Truth there indeed is: ‘nothing else to lose, and nothing else to find....And there is nothing in the world that can change my mind.’* (=1 Tim 6:18-19; LDE 219.4; Acts 5:32; indeed =“being born again/from above” John 3:3|COL 384.2)...and: there indeed is a day (=Rev 21:25-26|Isa 60; 16MR 19.2)...**

* For those who have (understandably) wondered if this late 2000/early 2001 Christian and Secular chart-topping song by the (CCM) band Lifehouse is about a relationship with God or with a girl, well: (a) as seen in their music video for the song (view also here), the notion of ‘speaking to a girl’ actually is never depicted, at all, in the video, as it normatively should have been. (In my Theological View on such a genuine expression by a CCM artist (see part of it here for now [and an example of what I have stated there, here]#), it was a, [somewhat relatively speaking], quite formidable ‘Matt 10:16 coup’ by them.); and (b) as someone has rightly commented, ‘it is too much/way too intense to be a song about a relationship with a girl.’ Indeed if it was so, it would be bordering on creepy, quasi-psychotic stalking. However, in the realm of Biblical Faith, thus in relation to: a God who one knows does infinitely Love you; wants the very best for you; and wants to be in a full, never waning, and passionately committed relationship with you, -in such a Spiritual journey to/with God, where dark days and moments can come, it is fittingly appropriate and indeed Most Biblical. (e.g. ~Matt 26:37-46; cf. Heb 12:3-11 & 5:7-10). Indeed, there is a notion of a finally achieved/effectuated, mutually reciprocal relationship that runs throughout the song that would not be the case if he was ‘desperately pursuing a non-responding girl’. Also, (c), IMO, seems to me that the lyric phrase (cf. here): “I'm living for the only thing I know” (cf. 1 Cor 2:2) substantively tips the scale on the side of a Spiritual relationship! Therefore the only “angst” in this song is how this decidedly achieved and resolutely persisted “Faith in God” relationship is being perceived/judged by “outsiders”.

# God commendably knows that all of these variously most gifted/talented CCM, who thus could easily make a fortune in the secular world, -as many singers who are “actually” (at least/best nominal) Christians defaultly choose/prefer to do, could indeed easily, notably/emblematically speaking: ‘substantively (i.e., in term of the nature/theme of the subject matter) go from (PK2) Katy Hudson to Katy Perry’... and Liked It! [and by now further/overtly Satanicly so (cf. here|here)]...(-actually: indeed Evidently Not!!,  or they would have, even initially, done so already...it manifestly just has not been/is not their pursued life/“spiritual” experience and/nor choice!! Indeed ‘why ever even want to gain the whole world but lose your soul!??’). Call it, -as I have, an actual Spiritual premonition, (or don’t), but, nonetheless, and now quite unfortunately so, from the start, I just couldn’t get past a first impression from the deliberately expressed/conveyed shiftiness in Jennifer Knapp’s debut single’s video, -now seemingly, in retrospect, deliberately/pointedly, or simply “Freudianly”, entitled: “Undo Me” (Audio) [see her “outing” publicizing interview here (4 parts); cf. pertinent comments here]; nor couldn’t I help but perplexedly think out loud, upon hearing on a CCM Station, [which I clearly recall was in 1999 while then at Andrews University], of Katy Hudson’s first Christian single “Trust in Me”: ‘Boy... that shakily, even wailingly, sounds constrained/forced!!? -Cf. here’.

** So, as seen in many experiences in the Bible (cf. Heb 11), as well as many Christian leaders today, between a Promise of God and the realization of that Promise, there many times is quite a long and faith-demanding/testing period of wait.....with various shades of mockers (cf. 2 Pet 3:3-4ff) and various shades of nay-sayers lined along the way....and I have always been saying all along that the worst part about ‘waiting on God (to fulfill His Promise)’ is that life naturally continues to go on. I.e. there is not only day-to-day living to have to deal with, but people you know experience problems, get sick and even die...It would be nice if God would freeze time while you are in waiting, but that of course is neither realistic nor feasible...even if ‘the sun stood still’ (Josh 10:12-14) or ‘went back ca. one hour’ (Isa 38:7-8) every now and then...
            So while this waiting was back then also still going on, in/by ca. 2010, my mother, -who is of a nursing background/career, (literally) “misdiagnosed” my so-called ‘stalled ministry’ as some sort of fault/problem on my part (~John 2:3-4), namely a major/clinical depression (~Mark 3:20-21, 22). To her slight defense for this (nonetheless not necessary: ~John 2:5) misunderstanding, all along I had been saying, however in pointed response to these “depression” claims, that I was instead “being frustrated”...i.e. by having thus far encountered people who, for various Babylon-adoring and/or deferential reason, could/would not see further than their nose in order to ascribe to the various far-seeing and far-reaching projects that I am working to accomplish. So I indeed have been left with the only option to try to do the work of hundreds, even thousands....as in: 144,000....But that is not going to happen....-not that it actually could/would happen even if I wanted to, i.e. ‘do the work of thousands in one lifetime’. So in the meantime, I keep doing the work of one, namely my own work in this regards, which is the NJK Monarchial work which sets the Grand Mandate/Agenda for what is to be done in this 4-Faced Ministry!!!!
            But no circumstance of ‘people around who do not Spiritual perceive, nor understand, nor appreciate what you are trying to do and, ultimately, waiting on God to accomplish’ is ever complete without someone from that close/inner circle, -“inadvertently” of course, suggesting, -from their own Biblically/Theologically-deficient (~Mark 3:23-30), defaultly faithless and humanistic, view/comprehension-point (~e.g. Job 4-5; 8; 11; 15; 18; 20; 25; 32-37), something that you yourself immediately Spiritually discern to sound exactly like what Satan himself would “caringly” slither to you if he didn’t already have people around you who would “naturally” (cf. 2 Cor 3:12-18) do so. (~Matt 16:21-23)...Whatever it takes to actually get you off the Faith Path that God has set you on....(~Job 2:9)
            ...So, -along this scenario, by then the ca. 10-13 year of my 1997/2000-started “frustrated ministering journeying”, -as introductorily stated in the present bio-post, my mother, who has been sponsoring, -from her, of late lower, retirement incomes, this ministry with ca. $400-$600 in expenditure per month, (plus another ca. $1500-$2000 lost monthly rental revenue income in regards to my supplied housing; cf. in here), my thought she had come across the perfect and sure solution for my “problem”, -my ‘stallingly-depressed’ problem, while she was shopping-strolling about in New York City while visiting her mother prior to coming here to visit me....She had come across a street vendor who was selling this revolutionary book, a ‘20 million copies in 50 languages’, -thus manifestly hit, book entitled: Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, by L. Ron Hubbard....The only thing that that hair-raisingly “resolved” in me was that I had just witnessed in this suggestion/offering yet another reassuring Sign, through virtually having seen Matt 16:23 played out before me....Because I myself had immediately recognized that book to be that infamous textbook of the Mega Cult of Scientology and its loony cult leader. (Cf. this exposing documentary). So “thanks”, but no thanks!!!!
            ....But, most eerily enough, not at all to be deterred by what should have been a most startling and thus sobering fail (~Luke 22:31-34; Matt 26:50-54), when my mother visited the next year, she, this time had purchased and brought a couple of book about dealing with (my supposed) depression....At least this time they were not written by cult leaders...and actual (medical/psychological) “scientists”.....
            One of those books was: “Getting Your Life Back”: The Complete Guide to Recovery From Depression (2001) by J.H. Wright (M.D. Ph.D.) & M.R. Basco (Ph. D.). This book offered to:
-“Reverse Hopelessness and Self-Criticism”
-“Develop Positive Coping Strategies”
-“Get The Most From Biological Treatments”
-“Come To Terms With Grief And Other Life Changes”
-“Find Depth And Purpose to Recovery”....
            The other book was at least by an SDA psychologist: Elden M. Chalmers (Ph.D): Healing the Broken BrainScience and the Bible reveal how the Brain Heals (Remnant Publications, 1998)....
            ...Well I guess that all confirmed to me that my own mother had not been reading my e.g. website and blog.... because the Grand and pragmatically thought-through, far-looking “vision” plus the Biblically/Theologically/Spiritually/Scholarly studies posted there easily debunk this fundamental premise that its author is “depressed”....I definitely do have a bleak outlook on almost everything that people common admired and revere today, pointedly because virtually everything is being in some way merely Capitalistically-worshipped, while millions of people are being left to suffer and die....So in that case, do consider me as being “Depressed” about what most (rich) people in the (Western) world is “life-fulfilled”...But that certainly does not mean that I have the/a, moreover clinical-psychological, problem...It instead means that this world is still ‘upside-down’ (Acts 17:6)....
            But that’s the quite common thing with people who are not being diligent to “fully & deeply” value/appreciate (cf. Matt 13:24|16MR 32.2|CS 244.5 discussed here) all that God has provided in His Perfect Word, -including the strategically “signified (Rev 1:1) and sealed (Dan 12:4, 10) prophetic parts...they then “naturally” think that it is you who has a Spiritual and/or Physical/Mental problem, pointedly because you are not seeing this World and its “temples” and human-revered institutions (cf. Matt 24:1-2ff), as they limitedly and idolatrously are....

            But, summarily stated here, -as it is expounded on through this blog, what is really going on here is that this is all the effectuation of the Shaking, God’s “Rev13 (Little Time of Trouble) Test” where it is those who are “sealedly” (LDE 219.4) refusing to be going by the world’s Capitalistic-idols who will be undergoing suffering, especially, pertinently-enough, “mentally anguishing ordeals” (EW 270.4; GC 619.1ff)....But in this trialing meantime until the Promised “Deliverance” by God’s Voice (2 Pet 3:5-7ff; GC 635ff)...I’ll keep on setting up, and working on, the structures for the Biblical and Prophetic Organization and Plans that will be Righteously Implemented and Executed at that Captivity- !!!

[62] Being greatly appreciative of the way Dwight Nelson had variously been spiritually understanding and supportive of my ministry efforts and research/studies from my first days at Andrews when I crossed paths with him, -then, i.e., in those first days, not knowing exactly why I was ‘supposed to be at Andrews,’ I decided a few days later to stop by his office and discuss (even have Biblically verified/confirm) the meaning and validity of this, ala Isa 6, -visionally/visually most striking but, content-wise, admittedly/recognizedly, -radically SDA-contraring|opposing, revelation, however while sitting in his office and stallingly small-talking on other things, to try to lead into this main subject, after an ensuing long pause on my part, during which I didn’t mind at all that he get back to his work at hand while I gathered, actually “weighed”, my “option” here, knowing that I, as indeed ‘semi-strickly instructed’, didn’t have to either tell/explain also to him what I had experienced, and also not getting the asked for, ‘conceding Divine green light’, decided, though quite frustratedly (~Ezek 9:8; 11:13), to leave, -and thus, purposely, silently so, -without any explanation, as any ‘attempt’ at stating any part of the actual truth here would actually, hintingly and unravellingly, indeed probably give the essence of the matter away here.
[63] As seen with the famous (‘infamous’ to some), ‘Joseph Bates and EGW and the moons of Saturn and Jupiter,’ (see a discussion on this here and also here), God does use what we are familiar with to intuitively communicate with us, as done here quoting the NKJV version though the NASB was more accurate, particularly when it is the principally spirit of the message that matters, at least at/for that time.

[64] Non-accidentally, the major vision of Dan 11, which as it has been shown in the preluding blog post for this post, eschatologically, wholly encapsulate developments under the Third Angel Message, and which has its entire context in Dan 10-12, is similarly labelled as a “legal/judicial matter” = dabar (Dan 10:1 - “message”\word - NASB; “thing” - KJV).

[65] That is indeed the fundamental reason why God most mercifully has chosen to not give “incontrovertible”/overt/tangible/concrete proof that He exists, and nor that He is the one who has created everything, -and thus ought to be solely worship by everyone (Heb 11:3). Indeed many more people will actually come to be saved, through a then possible relative judging of their lives, than would be if such accessible proof was available but later, inherently “obliviously” ignored in any degree/way. (Just like today one is usually not given the full punishment of the law if it is shown that they had no reasonable idea/knowledge that they were breaking an existing law.)

[66] In terms of actual, i.e., active, members in the SDA Church today, a (typologically) similar percentage would work out to at the most ca. 522,900-787,500 members surviving this Ezek 8 & 9 Shaking (cf., respectively, this post and this one).And with the actual number being probably at best ca. 1/20 (5%) (cf. LDE 172.3), = 315,000 members.

[67] I pointedly see this as most beneficial for people who claim to believe in the OT, such as Jews and Muslims, as, especially objectively/demonstrably fulfilled prophecies in Revelation which had been stated in those OT symbolisms, would self-demonstrate that this was not the fabrications of man (namely John, [or a NT believer claiming to be John]), for he just could not have accurately predicted/prognosticated these future developments. So, as only God could do that (see Isa 46:9-11), the those prophecies were indeed given by God, and through Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1)

[68] Interestingly enough, for a while the book of Revelation was shunned in latter Christian circles, as its content was not being surfacely seen as Biblical. But of course, the Bible, in particularly Daniel attested to this type of imagery, and of course, the content, when fully and properly studied out, as it was gradually done in Church History, came to show that it was indeed inspired by God. (=2 Pet 1:20-21)
[69] And I personally do appreciate this protective measure because, e.g., I recently had, what manifestly was a light sleep (=non-REM) dream, of being tackled by a friend while playing football in the living room of our house in Miami, and in the dream I reacted by pushing him off, and as I was meeting some resistance, I pushed harder against him, only to be suddenly awakened by the sound of things falling to the ground, which were the things which I had on the night table next to my bed which I had actually been literally/physically pushing against!! And most people can recount similar “acted out dreams”, even sleepwalking*, experiences.

* Personally I, and actually based mostly on what I have been told because I barely vaguely, if at all, remember-ed the claimed instances, used to sleepwalk “often” when I was a young child. In one instance when I was around 9 or 10, my father managed to be awakened from hearing, from his upstairs bedroom, me trying to unlock and open the front door to go out; (and from that time on, but merely for a little while after that, my parents barricaded the front door with a chair, which was more to either make noise if I would later try to go out and managed to unlock and open the door and/or to throw me off as, while asleep, I wouldn’t be expecting a chair to be so placed or found in front of the door. Evidently that never came to be an issue again.); and another instance, which I less vaguely recall, was when I was around 12 or 13 and my parents were then awakened by me opening the hallway closet, and, testimonially, “just in time” to redirect me to the bathroom, which is what I was looking for!

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