From Love to Adoration
To read the previous entry to this story, go here. After I had the "It's time!" dream, I called my uncle Chris in California (he is the president of Cleansing Stream Ministries). When I told him the dream, he said he a picture popped into his mind for us. He said that he saw a ship languishing in the water. For some reason the captain was no longer on board. A rowboat of joyful men came to land and picked us up to take us to the ship. He said that when we found the community we were to be a part of, we would have a sense that we had finally found our home, and it would be a joyful time. Some months later, Lisa and I with our 3 young children arrived here in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, Canada, in August of 1995. Now, some months earlier, in May, we spontaneously attended a conference put on by Rothesay Vineyard. It was crazy. It was in renewal, Toronto Blessing style full swing. Everything was electric with charismatic manifestations. Prophecies abounded. It was a wild and happy time. It was at this conference that Lisa felt we should return to this church and just take part in it. It seemed to have the mix we were looking for: passionate charismatic worship and community life along with dynamic teaching. (I have since radically distanced myself from much of the teaching, to the chagrin of many.) Between May and August, we stayed with my parents in Ontario. We were unemployed, poor, and very, very happy. We returned to Quispamsis, simply pulling up in our van and walking into church on a Sunday morning. We sort of recognized some people, and a few remembered us from the conference. I was looking forward to meeting the pastor, Steve Witt, but he was away that weekend. Doug, his assistant, preached instead. It was a wonderful morning. I knew we were home. We were the happiest we'd ever been. Dreams came true! We asked where there was a campground nearby. All we had was a tent. One couple, Dan and PJ, welcomed us to pitch our tent in their back yard. So we did. They were very generous and kind to us. They were on the leadership team of the church, and we would soon become good friends. We started to meet all kinds of people from the church, and one by one they had all kinds of prophecies for us, and blessed us in so many ways. We were in heaven! I finally got a job at Tim Horton's, a coffee and donut chain very popular in Canada. I worked for minimum wage delivering the donuts before dawn, and sweeping the parking lots later. It was humble and often humiliating work, but I didn't care. I didn't move there for employment, but for the church. So many nights a week we were at church meetings, having supper with people, at home groups, prayer meetings, and so on. We were busy and so content. It was exactly what we were looking for. After about a week or so the pastor returned. We had the opportunity to meet him. After a while, I would have the opportunity to develop a close friendship with Steve. In fact, over time, I fell head over heels for him. I loved him. This is where the problems began, not later on when I was perceived as a rebel, but here, right here, when my love for Steve went up a notch. I began to not just admire, but adore him. He could do no wrong, was always right, highly anointed of God, gifted, charismatic, popular, prophetic, successful, authoritative and wise. Not that any of these are not applicable to him. The problem was that in my heart, mind and eyes, Steve became more than just a man, but in fact became, in a sense, the object of my undying loyalty and devotion. But I wouldn't realize this until over a year later.