We are walking documentaries. God wrote our stories before time began. As 2 Timothy 1:8-9 says, “God . . . had saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” It’s difficult to comprehend “before time began,” much less what took place as God spoke the universe and the light of the stars and galaxies to be light. But Scripture reveals that God laid out His great purpose and plan for humankind before time began, long before creation!
I can only imagine the story I am to live and how I might use the calling God designed for me before time existed. I fall from His plan often. Free will allows us to “off-script” and muck up our perfect story. Our choices and decisions along our life’s path throw us on rough, dusty, and dangerous roads. Roads called desperation, despair, desolation, depression, defeat, and death. When we fail in our holy calling, we infuse chaos across the universe. Sounds crazy, but true, our departure from the plan God has for us causes a tsunami of adverse effects on the universe and other people we may not know.
Just before his murder in Memphis, Martin Luther King gave his last sermon at Washington Cathedral entitled, ‘Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution.’ I pulled these excerpts from it:
“Our world is a neighborhood. Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made this world a neighborhood, yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make it a brotherhood.”
“We must all learn to live together as brothers, or we will all perish together as fools.”
“We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can only be what you ought to be once I am what I ought to be.”
Yesterday I was looking off into the fog, wondering about the next story I should write and what video I could produce, and the thought came to me—write the story designed before time began. I hope and pray I may live my story God intended before time began. I have made bad choices and gone astray, but even those failures and self-inflicted detours God has used as cauldrons of life lessons to make me the man He intended. Well, about 85% of him, but I have a bit more time, at least today, to refine.
Each year I age, each verse of Scripture I read focuses on my purpose and calling. We are living in a heavenly revolution known before time, before creation. God’s prophecies are clear and fulfilled daily. I want to avoid sleeping through this revolution. Are we living in the last days? I cannot say. I do know we are living the prophecies Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:
“Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time, many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
The world is in disarray because humankind has abandoned God again and gone off-script. As Martin Luther King said: “We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.” Each of us must discover what God intended for our role so we can be what we ought to be, allowing others also to be what they should be. I try to be a good and righteous man and spread love as God intended. My calling and purpose have developed strangely beyond my capabilities. That’s a God thing—choosing the incapable to do extraordinary tasks. My role is simple, not a “David against Goliath” task. Most of my friends ask me, “What the heck are you doing? I don’t recognize you anymore.” I have changed from the man I was in my youth. I thank God daily for my redemption.
Why does wisdom come late in a man’s life? The scars tell his story, the painful lessons he has learned in his short years on earth. The wounds of regret make a man wise and beckon him to help children avoid the same pain. But words of wisdom go unheard and the child stumbles into the same dark hole as the father. The child becomes the father, and the cycle continues. I pray our children will hear and abide by these words of wisdom. Open your heart, mind, and soul to the purpose and intent God wrote in your story, then live it abundantly. Then, in the end, death will not be frightening; it will be welcomed. I read Socrates’ Apology, his words on living a life abundant and being what we ought to be so others may also. Socrates understood wisdom comes from knowing oneself and the timeless story we are to live. Now my calling is to document the good news stories presented along my life’s path.
I lack all the skills to tell these God-centered stories in words and pictures feels ridiculous. I feel like Gideon, who was called from cowering in a winepress to be “A Great Warrior” when he had no skill or power. Far from becoming a great warrior, My calling is to be a storyteller to spread the good news. I still have moments of sheer terror as I press the “publish button” to expose myself to the world. But with God, all things are possible. I can see Him working in my writings and His creativity in our videos.
Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Linda and I have often discussed how much of this evil globalist revolution we have slept. Content in our dreams and desires, we ignore the corrupt underbelly of the world. Rip Van Winkle slept the twenty years between King George the third and George Washington. Suddenly we find ourselves in an unknown greedy globalist world and an America where people are locked up gulag style—the new woke, God-rejecting America sprang up from the darkness faster than a choking weed.
The world is totally off script from God’s plan and has a global population that cannot be who they must be or fulfill their calling because others also are not living their role as God designed before time. We rely on one another to be brothers—you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. Humanity believes they are gods and claw for power in a pit of vipers.
The good news is that God is in control and intends to fulfill his covenants with man. We have been saved through Christ Jesus and will be with Him again in paradise soon.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. Isaiah 65:17
I find myself seeking clarity in the role God designed for me on a foreign social media stage, using undeveloped skills and technology tools I do not understand. It must be God’s will because God selects the least likely unskilled to challenge big tasks, then all will know it is God who deserves honor in everything we accomplish. A Super Bowl touchdown, a photograph of the stars, a rising sun, or doing the dishes, do it all for God and do it well.
Now that I understand the “WHY,” I capture the images God created and write the words God breaths in me to disciple others back into the “In God WE Trust” design of society. I will endeavor to learn how to tell stories with God as my producer. That is a tall order, as my grandfather would say.
Understanding the “Why” is discipleship, what stories I tell, and how do I tell them? I have been pressing new skills and capabilities in preparing to be a visual storyteller, but what stories do I share? Where do I find these stories? The answer came immediately. God will bring the stories to me. I need to venture out and be open to everyone’s stories. Understanding the “Why” and “What,” the next question that needs answering is “How” I tell these stories.
The answer came in a YouTube video discussion between Jordan Peterson and Dr. Temple Grandin, who has harnessed her autism for “Visual Thinking.” I am also a visual thinker, and most of the world thinks visually. Photography and videography are universal languages that everyone can understand. The images can tell a story without a word spoken. The idea is to use cinema and stills to tell short stories and micro-documentaries, then publish them on all internet platforms.
The final question remaining is “When.” Do I finish editing and publishing these stories? I wanted to wait until I could make the perfect video or take amazing photos. That is just my ego talking. I have captured visual stories for eleven years, and those images are locked in solid-state memory for none to see. The when is now. My simple role has taken a lifetime to understand, and God planned it before time existed. I will follow the calling and perform the purpose to the best of my abilities to disciple others to be what they ought to be and honor God in every moment. In this process, I will stumble and fall short but gain experience from the scars. Then when my expiration time comes, I can welcome death, knowing I have answered God’s calling and the confidence I have done the job well, doing what I ought and allowing others to do the same.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. ~ Proverbs 16:3
Work hard so God can say to you, “Well done.” Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work.
2 Timothy 2:15
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:8