Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mexican Hitchhiker


Mexican Hitchhiker, 1988 ©

by

Matthew A. Nelson
                                                                                      
July, 1996

“You need to take the Bronco and go someplace. I don’t want you sitting around for three days saying, ‘Gee, I wish I had gone somewhere’.” After almost sixteen years of marriage, Karoline recognized the restlessness in my soul hated staying home on three-day weekends. The Memorial Day weekend was approaching. Why not go visit my friend Dave Honea and his wife Jean in Austin? “Matt, we are going to Nuevo Laredo. Why don’t you join us for dinner on Saturday at 7 PM at the Cadillac Bar and Grill?”

            Sounded good to me. With a couple of oranges, some graham crackers, some drinking water, beef jerky, I headed West in my nine-month old Bronco. The Houston area is too humid, too coastal, too much of East Texas. My Western heritage needed to be revitalized. Wide open spaces. Mesquite trees (or bushes). No cars for miles, on a two-lane highway. Laredo is about six hours from my house. I found a place to park the Bronco, and walked across the International Bridge, because I didn’t feel comfortable about driving into Mexico.

            Old women and dirty children and crippled men and others tugged at the heartstrings with their begging on the bridge street. I always have mixed emotions about beggars. I know that I am better off, but I wonder how many of them use the heartstrings to make a substantial living. If you give one coin, then all of a sudden you are the Pied Piper. I feel guilty when I don’t give, but I sometimes feel conned when I do. I wandered the streets of Nuevo Laredo for an hour before going to the Cadillac Bar and Grill. It is a few blocks away from the bridge, so the beggars had thinned, and I was long forgotten as the vendors of leather goods, cheap booze and cigarettes, and black velvet paintings were hustling the latest people who had just walked over the bridge.

            I met Dave on my first trip to the South Pole. We have shared meals at the galleys of the South Pole and McMurdo, Antarctica, at the Auckland, New Zealand airport, in Austin, and with this meal, in Mexico. His wife is an expert on Arctic archeology. They have Wintered-over in McMurdo, and have spent a few years in Alaska. Dave has travelled to Mexico several times to explore caves. He sent me a photograph himself on a salmon fishing trip in Alaska that could be on the cover of Field and Stream. After our meal, we listened to a Mexican Band in a park, watching young men trying to impress their girlfriends. I left Dave and Jean there about 9 PM, walked across the Bridge back to the Bronco, thinking about where to go for the next two days.

            As I recall, I headed West, but without a particular destination in mind. I drove for about three hours, until I found some cheap motel to spend the night. I almost slept in the Bronco. It wouldn’t be the first, nor will it be the last time, but when I do sleep overnight in a vehicle, I always wake up feeling grungy, and hate my own smell the rest of the day. So, I tend to find cheap motels where I can take a shower. Of course, there have been some motels that I would have been better off sleeping in the Bronco.

            Sunday at Noon, I tied the Bronco to the hitching post at Judge Roy Bean’s saloon in Langtry, half expecting the Hanging Judge to wander through with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a hanging rope in the other, as he administered justice with his Law West of the Pecos. The Western artifacts looked like those in the Ft. Caspar, Wyoming museum. One six-shooter pretty much looks the same as another. Horseshoes don’t vary in shape. Imagination takes over. Forget the Made in Taiwan genuine whatever as the cash registers ring. Close your eyes. That’s where the Judge sat. Maybe his ghost is living its eternity in West Texas with the souls of the men he hung just a few miles West of the Pecos. 

            Time to hit the trail. Buy some liquid hay for the Bronco, enough to keep it going for another five hundred miles. Ought to make Big Bend by early evening. No sleeping bags nor camping equipment, just some oranges and graham crackers and beef jerky and some water. Who knows? Maybe tonight the Bronco will be my campground, but that’s several hours away. I won’t have many hours to spend in Big Bend, but at least will have an idea what it looks like, and I always can come back later when I have more time. Eight years later, as I write this, guess I just haven’t found the time. Big Bend is still on my Gonna List.

            In West Texas, one can drive for miles without seeing anyone. I might have been out of radio range, or just wanted to serenade my horse, my faithful Bronco. Sometimes, when I am driving alone, I sing. Nobody criticizes my voice nor tells me about buckets nor tells me I don’t have the words right. I guess when I say I sing, I am using the wrong choice of words. Beller is a better choice of words. Sometimes I beller the same words and the same tune over and over. Sometimes I make up words. I am not sure that I have the correct spelling of beller, but I like the way it looks on the computer machine, so I am going to leave it that way. In West Texas, nobody cares how you spell beller. You can beller and nobody complains. You can almost drive as fast as you want if you don’t have somebody indicating to you that it would have been to your financial advantage to have slowed down before he caught you with the radar gun that operates at the speed of light. When one is bellerin’ at ninety miles an hour on an empty and lonely stretch of West Texas highway, one doesn’t expect to see a hitchhiker sneak out of the mesquite trees and wave him down. So I put the Bronco in Whoa gear, stopped the bellerin’, and decided to give the man a ride who has forever influenced my attitude of picking up hitchhikers.

            The two piles of grass and alfalfa that fell out of his shoes indicated he had been sleeping in other places than Broncos or in cheap motels. My keen sense of smell detected other signs that cheap motels with working showers were out of his price range. His tour package of West Texas is not printed in the brochures found in travel offices; had it been printed, it would have said, “Meals not included”. When I asked him if he was hungry, he gave me one of his few smiles, and it was adios for most of the oranges and crackers.

            We spoke very few words. I tried to converse with him, but he spoke very little English. He was a Mexican, heading back to Mexico. That in itself is unusual, because in that part of Texas, that close to the Border, the Mexicans are travelling North. During the course of the day, I did learn that he had three children, and it had been eight months since he had seen them. As we drove along, he opened up one of those envelopes banks give out from drive-up windows that I had on the front seat, and gave a look of disgust upon finding it empty. His clothes were the typical white pullover shirt and baggy pants that Mexicans are often stereotyped as wearing. Only he wasn’t the typical Mexican just trying to make a living to feed his family.

            I have the impression that he had just been released, or had just escaped from jail. His dark eyes were cold, hard, suspicious. The tattoos on his arms and hands were homemade. On his right inside forearm a two-inch beetle had eight legs. Across the top of his right hand was a name that I couldn’t read. In the soft area of skin between his left thumb and index finger was an upside-down cross, with two dots on either side of the crossbar. If the cross had been right side up, the dots would have been above the crossbar. We were about two hundred miles from Big Ben, the only people on the highway. When I saw the upside-down cross, I had cold shivers, but I didn’t know why.

            We drove in silence. My few attempts at conversation were met with hostile resistance. I didn’t know where to leave him. Along the way, I saw some signs for some colorful rocks, or a waterfall. I don’t remember what it was. I turned in there, because I thought other people might be there. It was deserted. I took a couple of photographs of something, while he waited in the Bronco. I made a futile attempt to conceal my anguish. In hindsight, he probably would have asked me to stop and let him out if I had started bellering again. At that point I was concerned about my safety. But nothing happened. We drove to Big Bend without incident.

            He seemed agitated when I drove to the park headquarters. I paid five dollars for the entrance fee, while he waited outside. Since I planned on staying at Big Bend, I thought I would drop him off at Terlingua, the next town. But it was a desolate town, and I didn’t want to leave him in the middle of nowhere. The next town was Lajitas, which is a town right on the Rio Grande River. It is a small resort town. I knew the guy didn’t have any money, but I was hungry by that time, and figured he was too. As uncomfortable as I felt around him, I just couldn’t drop him off and then go and enjoy a good dinner. I asked him if he was hungry, and he said in broken English, “A little bit”. After three or four hours with this guy, I figured another half an hour wouldn’t make much difference.

            This was Memorial Day weekend, time for the RV crowd to visit Big Bend. The town has an old Western flavor, with only one restaurant. The hostess seated us in back, where we had to walk in front of the RV crowd. Everybody stared. In perfect English, he ordered a chicken-fried steak. I had fajitas in the town of Lajitas, which I thought sounded poetic. While we were waiting for the food to be served, he did something I shall never forget. He took a fork off the table and started combing his black bushy hair. He jerked the fork hard several times to untangle his matted hair. Everybody stared. Then very deliberately, he slithered the fork into his pants pocket. I made the most classic statement: “Put the fork back on the table. I will buy you a comb.” His eyes twisted into something dark and evil. “No.”  “Put the fork back.”  “No.” Shortly after that, the food came. We ate in silence.

            That really angered me. Earlier in the day, I had even thought of driving him further down the road. All of a sudden, that fork became a weapon. I could almost feel it in my ribs. We walked out to the cash register, where I wanted to pay a dollar extra for the fork, but he was right by my side. I fully expected to be arrested for being an accomplice to this guy stealing a fork. Once outside, I walked to the right side of the Bronco, grabbed the rest of the oranges and the crackers, and gave them to him. He said, again in very good English, “Where are you going?” I said, “I am going to Big Bend. I don’t care where you go.” He whined, “Look man, I don’t have no money.” So I gave him five or ten dollars. I just wanted to be rid of him.

            Once I left there, I kept on going. I did not stop at Big Bend. I kept checking my rear view mirror to see if some sheriff was going to arrest me for this guy stealing a fork. I drove to Alpine, passing through an Immigration checkpoint without any problems. But I just knew they had radioed ahead to the sheriff in Alpine. In Alpine, I found another cheap motel. The next day, I drove back home, without bellering, contemplating the previous day.

            At work the next day, I was laughing about it. Especially about him combing his hair with a fork. Israel Vinces, one of the guys I worked with, had been born in Mexico, and told me that I really didn’t want to know about his tattoos. When I convinced him to tell me, he said, “Matthew, there is a gang of people who go up and down the Mexican border who are devil worshippers. That is why they have the upside-down cross tattooed on their left hand. The two dots are snake eyes. They find innocent people, kill them, and mutilate their bodies. If you had driven him further, they may never have found your body. He probably all ready figured out where to sell your Bronco.”



            For a long time, the people at work teased me about this guy combing his hair with a fork. Nine months later, the local TV news told a story of a college kid on Spring Break whose mutilated body was found along the Mexican border, killed by devil worshippers who had upside-down crosses and two dots tattooed on their left hands. My blood ran cold. My Guardian Angel had protected me on Memorial Day weekend, from a man that I now realize had every intention of killing me.

The Only Time Someone Pulled a Knife on Me


[Matt Nelson picked me up hitchhiking in Montana a few months ago.  He emailed me some of his short stories for me to read.  My Sheep Hear My Voice ]

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Minority Report



Back in 2004, I was hitchhiking and I ended up in Clarkson, Washington.  I got a motel room and the Holy Ghost fell very heavy that night and into the next morning.  I knew something was up---I was in that motel room for a reason. I turned on the TV early that morning and the film Minority Report was on some channel---I knew in my spirit that the Lord wanted me to watch that film.

I watched the film and thought it was very good.  There were these three people---two men and one woman---who were called precogs (precognitive) and they had a gift of foreseeing the future.  The woman precog was especially talented.  In their dreams or visions they could predict a murder before it happened.  Tom Cruise played a cop who worked with the precogs to prevent crimes, like murder, from happening.


Later in 2008, I was hitchhiking in Nebraska and I walked several miles to this place that had a motel and cafe.  The Lord told me to get a motel room that night.  That afternoon the film Minority Report was on TV and I watched it again.  The Lord showed me that my dreams would come true---the dreams that the Lord gave me would come true.  I thought of my very vivid dream of the Las Vegas Earthquake.
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I think it is great how the Lord will use circumstances, people, films and other things to get our attention to show us things and teach us things in our walk with the Lord.  Jesus Christ is Lord over our lives everyday.
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I think that it is very interesting that in the film, John Anderton had his eyes surgically removed and then had to get new eyes for him to penetrate the PreCrime organization and get to the truth of Ann Lively's and his son's death.  New eyes, new birth through baptism (he was hiding under water in the bath tub), new vision (prophetic vision with the help of the precog Agatha) and new life.  And this is how John Anderton exposed and defeated  Director Lamar Burgess and the Gates of Hell.
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Matthew 16: 18:  "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
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Dreams from the LORD 2007-2010
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"Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, directed by Steven Spielberg. Precog. Ann Lively. Visions. Dreams come true. John Anderton. New eyes. A prophet’s eyes. Prevision. Las Vegas Earthquake."
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Gatekeeper



This is from the blog Daily Meditation:

2Kings 7:11: Then the gatekeepers called out, and it was told within the king’s household.

The gatekeeper serves a special role in the house. He determines what goes in and what goes out of the house and what is no allowed to leave or enter the house.  They guard and so have to be strong mentally because their work is highly demanding, and needs a high level of alertness. They are like watchmen.

The bible says that the watchmen over Jerusalem must not keep silent but must bother God day and night until he makes Jerusalem praiseworthy throughout the earth (Isaiah 62:6-7). They want to let God in as gatekeepers to make changes in the place. Watchmen also shut the gate against the operations of the devil, as it is written: what you bind (restrict) on earth is bound in heaven and what you lose (in the reality of God) on earth is loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18).

Gatekeepers in a spiritual sense do their “gate-keeping” in the place of prayer. Samuel, though disappointed with the choice made by the children of Israel, to seek for a king, rejecting Samuel, declared that he does not have any other choice but to continue to pray for the children of Israel, as a true gatekeeper (1Samuel 12:23), binding and loosing things on their behalf. The gatekeeper is a person of spiritual authority.

Jesus said that he will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). Hell has its gatekeepers while the kingdom of God also has its gatekeepers, since God is Spirit and the devil is also a spirit, they both need conduits of their wills on earth, they need people willing to be gatekeepers for the advancement of the alternative kingdoms.

That was why the incarnation of God in Jesus, was a master stroke of divine genius. God (the Son) himself became the gatekeeper on the earth (rebuking the Pharisees and releasing healing and truth) with total commitment to his own cause.

It was a foolproof arrangement to achieve salvation for the world. There was no loophole. It was God offering himself as sacrifice to appease God; it was God having shedding his blood to save us, with Jesus as the gatekeeper for the life of God to come to the on the earth. Everything starts and ends with Jesus, who is the alpha and omega of our faith (Revelation 1:8, Hebrews 12:2).

When Jesus was leaving the earth he prepared replacement gatekeepers, his disciples, who will be conduits for the Holy Spirit, the representatives of heaven. They would be gatekeepers of the church. Paul wrote that when Jesus was ascending to heaven, he led captivity captive and gave gifts to men: apostles prophets, evangelist, pastor, teachers, these are to be gatekeepers to the saints (the church) (Ephesians 4:18-24), bringing the goods of heaven to them, protecting them from false doctrines. One of their mandates is to equip the saints, so that they are not moved to and fro by every wind of doctrine.

It was a wind of doctrine/teaching which destroyed the chance Adam and Eve had to continue to live in the Garden of Eden, in that place of blessing (Genesis 3). They were moved from standing firm in the word of God. But it was Adam who was made the gatekeeper of the garden, with Eve as his helper.

He was told to keep and tend the garden, which was his assignment and territory; he was supposed to guard it against any invader. But they were not on guard against the devil because he did not look threatening when he called on them in the Garden. Satan did not invade the garden with chariots and horses; he invaded the thoughts of Eve, making her believe in a different doctrine from what God gave them they fell. That is why the bible says we should guard our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). The gatekeepers need to guard the hearts of the people, allowing only truth to enter and preventing falsehood from taking root.

Paul in writing to the church in Galatia said he was afraid lest in the same way that the devil deceived Eve, they have also been moved away from the simplicity of the devotion to Christ, to another gospel and another Christ. In his letter as a gatekeeper, he wanted to rid the hearts of the Christians there of false doctrines.

Jude also performed the work of a gatekeeper in his letter. He wrote about certain people that his audience should be on the lookout for and that to not fall into their errors, they should build themselves up on their most holy faith as they pray in the Holy Spirit. The watchman comes with warning and may sometimes be seen as overly negative.

The watchman has his eyes on possible invasion, and has the task of sounding the alarm so that the people will be ready, or else their blood will be on his neck (Ezekiel 3:17-21, 33:1-11), as God told Ezekiel.

Peter was a gatekeeper. Before he departed from earth, he warned the people about false teachers, who are on assignment for their own ego and belly and that when not checked they will cause a lot of damage to the church (2Peter 2:1-3). He wanted the people to be on guard.

Jesus by the spirit of prophecy warned seven churches in Asia through Apostle John(Revelation 2-3). He was operating in John as a gatekeeper. John wrote that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, which means the reality of the living Jesus is expressed when the spirit of prophecy is in operation and Paul said when we prophesy the secret things get revealed.

So Jesus revealed the things that were going on in the churches of Asia, addressing the letter to the leaders of those churches who are also gatekeepers of the individual churches, he told them what he wanted the church to change: to remove or include, to stop or start. He needs the gatekeepers to take action.

Jesus told some of his disciples: watch and pray so they would not fall into temptation (Matthew 46:41). To watch means to be on guard, so in our own lives we need to be on guard as our own gatekeepers.

White Washed or Washed White?

Jesus warning the Pharisees--white-washed walls

This is from the blog My Dreams and Visions:

I had a dream 12/11/2013. In the dream I saw people lined up at a church altar and it looked at first as though they had responded to an altar call. Then I noticed the church leaders, both pastors and elders, had buckets of white paint and these large paintbrushes in their hands, the kind you would use to paint a barn. These church leaders were painting the people standing there with the white wash that they had in their paint buckets. It would seem that instead of coming clean and confessing their sins they were instead being covered with this whitewash to give the semblance of being clean and in essence told that everything was ok. I also noticed that the hands of the people at the altar were black, I’m assuming that the black represented sin.  I do not remember hearing any message of repentance or any telling the people assembled at the altar to change the way that they think or act. They just stood there and allowed the church leaders to cover them with the whitewash.

What comes to mind here is the following scriptures.

When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
(Isa 1:15-18)


“It is definitely because they have misled My people by saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace. And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over with whitewash; so tell those who plaster it over with whitewash, that it will fall. A flooding rain will come, and you, O hailstones, will fall; and a violent wind will break out. “Behold, when the wall has fallen, will you not be asked, ‘Where is the plaster with which you plastered it?'” Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, “I will make a violent wind break out in My wrath. There will also be in My anger a flooding rain and hailstones to consume it in wrath. “So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the LORD. “Thus I will spend My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it over with whitewash; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is gone and its plasterers are gone,
(Eze 13:10-15)


They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.
(Jer 8:11)


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Shiloh
By Tim Shey

Brutal deathdance;
My eyes weep blood.
Pharisees smile like vipers,
They laugh and mock their venom:
Blind snakes leading
The deaf and dumb multitude.

Where are my friends?
The landscape is dry and desolate.
They have stretched my shredded body
On this humiliating tree.

The hands that healed
And the feet that brought good news
They have pierced
With their fierce hatred.

The man-made whip
That opened up my back
Preaches from a proper pulpit.
They sit in comfort:
That vacant-eyed congregation.
The respected, demon-possessed reverend
Forks his tongue
Scratching itchy ears
While Cain bludgeons
Abel into silence.

My flesh in tattered pieces
Clots red and cold and sticks
To the rough-hewn timber
That props up my limp, vertical carcase
Between heaven and earth.
My life drips and puddles
Below my feet,
As I gaze down dizzily
On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.

The chapter-and-versed wolves
Jeer and taunt me.
Their sheepwool clothing
Is stained black with the furious violence
Of their heart of stone.
They worship me in lip service,
But I confess,
I never knew them
(Though they are my creation).

My tongue tastes like ashes:
It sticks to the roof of my mouth.
I am so thirsty.
This famine is too much for me.
The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.
Papa, into your hands
I commend my Spirit.

Ethos
February/March 1997
Iowa State University

Genesis 49: 10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”