ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: THE PSALM 23 ADVENTURE, Part 21
November 11, 2016
We’ll get to the next picture in our list of purposes and designs of the Lord in walking in the Paths of Righteousness shortly, but I’ve just remembered a couple of other stories that add to what we just shared last week in our discussion on walking and living by revelation rather than humanly acquired knowledge.[spaces:0]
Back in the mid 1960’s when I was serving as Minister of Youth at Bethel Union Church in Duarte, California, we had a very wealthy gentleman who was on the board of Elders who took to me and began fostering a relationship between us. Because of the financial limitations living on my salary as Minister of Youth (this was the ONLY time in my life when I accepted a salary from a church), he went out of his way to provide the occasional opportunity for me to earn extra money to supplement my income so that my family and I weren’t living on the razor’s edge.
Occasionally he would ask me to ride with him going different places, whether job-related or “just because.” He loved to talk about his early beginnings, living in near-poverty conditions. One day as we were heading to a particular job location, we pulled into a left-turn lane and stopped at the stop light.
He said to me, “Would you like to know how the Lord has so blessed me financially?” I said, “Sure!” “You’re sitting in it,” he answered. (We were sitting in a Lincoln Continental at the time.) I knew he wasn’t the designer of the Lincoln, and I wasn’t sure just what he was talking about.
He continued. “You are actually sitting in the midst of a dual blessing.” When this model of the Continental first came out, it suffered from a lot of road noise. I’ve always enjoyed Lincolns and wanted to keep driving them. The road noise in this car was not something I was willing to tolerate so I asked the Lord what the solution was. He gave me a total redesign of the floorboards by revelation. I sketched it out and presented it to Ford Motor Corporation. Their engineers immediately saw the benefits and made me a financial offer for the design that started me on the road to genuine wealthy living.”
When I expressed congratulations and admiration for it, he continued once again.
“That’s only part of the picture. You see where we are sitting in this left turn lane, don’t you?” I nodded my head. “I was sitting at a stop light one day, frustrated over the long wait time for opposing traffic and wanting to make a left turn before the light changed.” “Lord,” I said, “there’s got to be a solution to this! There are too many accidents from people who get tired of waiting to turn left and having to wait through multiple stop lights.”
I laughed and nodded my head.
“I hardly had the words out of my mouth and the Lord gave me the design for the left-turn lane and the left-turn light. I did some engineering on how big that left turn lane needed to be for average traffic conditions, sketched it on draft paper and presented to the State of California Highway Department. They accepted it after some discussion and presented it to the State House. The State House accepted it, approved it, and made me a very wealthy person with annual payments that continue to this day.”
As we all know, the left-turn lane is so common today, we don’t even think about its beginnings, or how we came to have it, and yet if you are old enough, you can easily remember the days when there was no such thing.
In 1962, when I was working for NASA at Lockheed in Palo Alto, we were working on a Command Programmer for the Agena Rocket and the Mercury Space Capsule (the same space capsule that most of the early astronauts took their first rides into space with). Pouring over a schematic drawing one day, a part of the circuit leaped off the pages to me. The function of that part of the circuit was something I wasn’t really clear on, but an application for it occurred to me. A discussion with one of the senior engineers in the lab confirmed for me exactly what I needed to know.
In that moment, the first design for a musical computer with specific applications was born by revelation. In my spare time (sometimes I wonder what that is anymore!), I “kluged” together the first tiny computer that would analyze the chord structure of my guitar playing and play an accompanying bass note. It tested out in the lab exactly as envisioned. The problem was that I didn’t begin to have the funds to develop it. It was fully ten years later in the early 1970’s when serving as Director of Manufacturing for an electronics company in Orange County that an opportunity presented itself.
I was given the opportunity to update the design into integrated circuits (Fairchild Semiconductor developed the IC’s necessary) and package the computer into something that was both esthetically pleasing and functionally appropriate for musicians.
A prototype was constructed and I arranged a live demonstration with my guitar for the president and vice-president of the company. The look on their faces when they heard it was more than enough. They immediately called the president of CBS Musical Instruments (Fender Guitars) and asked him to come over for a demo. Once he heard it, he agreed to purchase the design and begin manufacture. Since we were an electronics manufacturing company, he was glad for us to begin producing it and the Fender Bassmaster became a reality.
[Some folks ask me why I don’t use it today and my answer is that with spontaneous praise and worship, I much prefer having Rich Warren playing live bass with me. He adds a Spirit-led variety and musical diversity that the computer simply lacks. (We’ve been together for the past ten years. His wife, DeAngela, is part of our worship team, and the four of us just flow together,)]
For nearly 60 years, the Lord has given me revelation of new products and new designs – the overwhelming majority of them coming when there was a necessity or a desire for greater flexibility or musical diversity. In the 1950’s while at Southwestern Bible College, the Lord gave me the design for the Stereo Guitar. In the 1970’s, I was approached by a manufacturing supervisor for Audio Magnetics – a company that was mass producing cassette tapes – both the inexpensive sonic-weld variety and the much more expensive screw case variety. He asked me to accompany him into one of the production areas where there were rows of people assembling the screw-type cassettes.
It was obviously a tedious process. He looked at me and said, “Is there anything you can come up with that would speed this up?” No sooner had he asked the question when the Lord gave me the design for a machine that would assemble those cassettes in a fraction of a second. I went home, built a prototype with the assistance of a metal-fabrication plant, and then took it to Audio Magnetics for a demonstration. My supervisor friend took one of the ladies off the assembly line so she could use that machine. When she was able to assemble a screw-type cassette in less than a second, whereas before it could easily take two minutes, she was a happy camper! I sold that prototype to Audio Magnetics outright. They proceeded to build many of them and the rest was history.
These stories could go on and on, and there are many more examples I could share, but this is a good place to move on to the next item in our list of purposes for walking in the Paths of Righteousness. My point in sharing all these stories is to show you that we definitely can live by revelation. Living by information may be pleasing to the soul, but it does nothing for our spiritual growth and outlook. When God gives the revelation, and opens the doors of opportunity, there just is no substitute!
5. If there is anything that needs to be developed in our lives as we continue this walk and grow in our relationship with the Lord with His Righteousness on display, we have to learn what it means to be “supernaturally natural” and “naturally supernatural.”
Those are catch-phrases I’ve used for years, but they have real meaning. Consider Jesus.
Luke 19: 2-10: And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Maybe it doesn’t strike you at first, but in this one single event Jesus is both supernaturally natural, and naturally supernatural. Because of Who He is at this point, Jesus is totally supernatural in His operation. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who had heard about Jesus and wanted to check Him out. Because he was a short man – likely close to five feet in height – he just couldn’t see over the crowds. So he climbs up into this tree to get a better view.
Jesus sees Zacchaeus and knows instantly by the Spirit that there is a hunger in the man for something a whole lot more than his wealth. The wealth can temporarily satisfy his soul, but it has done nothing for his spirit. So Jesus does something totally unexpected. He acts supernaturally natural. He invites Himself to Zacchaeus’ house. Zacchaeus, of course, quickly descends from the tree, overjoyed that he – a man much despised by the common folks, much less the priests – gets to host this most famous and talked-about rabbi.
The very presence of the Lord with Holy Spirit permeating Him and filling the place has a dramatic impact.
There’s too much to share here, so let’s continue this next week.
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call normally takes place on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Our call-in number is (712) 775-7035. The Access Code is: 323859#. For Canadians who have difficulty getting in to this number, you can call (559) 546-1400. If someone answers and asks what your original call-in number was, you can give them the 712 number and access code.
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (605) 562-3140, and the access code is 308640#. We hope to make these gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long. If you miss the live call, you can dial (605) 562-3149, enter the same access code and listen in later.
Blessings on you!
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