The conception of this book came about from a series of recurrent dreams. In some of the dreams I was pregnant; in others I would have had the baby. In one of the dreams I was told the importance of what to eat and how it could directly affect the baby. Later on, in another dream, I could see myself breast feeding the baby. All of these dreams were very vivid.
The dreams continued to come in different stages over a span of twelve years. I had no idea as to what these dreams meant until much later. I thought the dreams might be a natural longing to have another child. However, I came to realize that was not the case. It was not a natural longing; it was spiritual.
After many dreams and much wondering and pondering, I began to question God as to what the dream meant. I heard these words: “Feed my sheep.” Of course, I took this literally to mean preaching, which frightened me. I put the thought on a shelf in my mind.
But the idea was always there, shouting at me, sometimes louder than others. I can certainly see now that it was a pregnant, unsettled matter. Maybe that was why God phrased it in this manner: “I have an issue with you.”
For years I pondered the dream and the statement, “Feed my sheep.” Eventually I moved to a new city and went to work for a Christian book store for some twelve years. The logo on the bags read, “Feed My Sheep.”
I realized one day as I was working that was indeed what I was doing by selling books. I finally began to feel that I was operating in the area of my ministry. This in a sense was preaching or “feeding the sheep.” It was a ministry to me.
However, after I retired from working outside my home, I woke abruptly early in the morning—2:00 A.M., to be exact. I heard the words, “I have an issue with you.” Needless to say, it got my attention.
I got up and went downstairs with pen and paper in hand. I recorded this in my journal: “Lord, why are you angry with me? What have I done or not done to make you so angry that you have an issue with me?”
I immediately thought of the fact that I still wasn’t preaching. Yes, maybe that was it. I wasn’t selling books anymore, or possibly it was something else. I just didn’t know.
Now I am amazed that I had that concept of God—to think that He would be angry with me. My concept about God needed to be dealt with as well. I referenced the dictionary and found the exact meaning that I was looking for; a matter of dispute between two or more parties, a vital or an unsettled matter, or the point at which an unsettled matter is ready for a decision.
At this point I could think of nothing else, except the fact I thought God was angry with me. And about what, I still didn’t know. All the same the thought was constantly on my mind. I would from time to time go back and ponder on the word, always coming up with the same definition, the one I had fixed in my mind. As I prayed and pondered, I again turned to the dictionary, and what I read this time absolutely astounded me. However, it would still be some time before the pieces began to fit.
Once again, I had been doing a lot of pondering, and I began to realize that I looked at things with tunnel vision. I saw things one way, and that was my way. Remember, I referred to the dictionary and found the definition that I was looking for—the definition for issue stated above. I had heard the word issue used many times in this context: “He or she has issues.” So I figured the issue God had with me was really serious.
Up to this point I hadn’t considered that words have multiple meanings. I begin to sense that God was challenging me to come out of my little box and see things from a different perspective.
On one of my biannual trips to California, I was visiting with one of my brothers. He had a meeting with a minister friend and invited me to ride along so we could visit on the trip. I agreed. As I waited for him to finish his meeting, the pastor’s wife came in and introduced herself to me.
She said, “Write the vision and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that read it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it, because it will surely come. It will not tarry.” She also said to write it in boxcar letters and store it on the computer. This, too, was something I pondered in my heart.
At this time I had written one acrostic. After the encounter with the pastor’s wife, the acrostics began to flow freely. I remembered the new definitions I had found for the word issue. Of course, there are many more definitions for the word. These are the ones that I choose to consider:
- The act of flowing out
- Something published or distributed
- An edition originating from a specified source
- To exit
- Act of going out
- Something produced, published, or offered
- To be published or circulated.
I remembered what the pastor’s wife had said to me about writing and putting it in boxcar letters. I started to get a clearer understanding of what God had been saying to me over the years through the dreams and in other ways.
I certainly was pregnant with an unsettled matter. I could now understand His saying to me, “I have an issue with you.” He had something He wanted birthed through me so that it could be published or circulated. I was to be the carrier. This is the issue.
The acrostics are plain in the sense that they are bold, clear, simple, and yet profound. Each acrostic is defined in such a way as to give you a vivid picture. Each acrostic is an
It has been a privilege to be a part of this publication. I want to honor God for what He has deposited in me. For He takes what He has deposited in us and uses it to His glory. I’m blessed to be used as an outlet to deliver what He so faithfully deposited into me.
God led me on this adventure to reveal to me that there is a much deeper meaning to words than what we first think. I had prayed for God to expand the borders of my mind, and I believe He did. I have had a wonderful time digging and pondering on the Word and the words.
God is indeed the Genius. He has shown me how the same word can have multiple meanings. He has used this time to bring about much healing in my life by broadening my perspective on many things. He helped me to realize that not everything is right or wrong. Some things are just different.
Words are valuable and contain messages. Discovering those messages has been like solving a puzzle. The Lord has reiterated the importance of the spoken and written word to me. We are living in an age where the meaning of words is constantly being changed. I have a new awareness of the importance of “guarding my heart,” for from it flow the issues of life.
And, most importantly, I’ve come to understand that my way of looking at things is not the only way; it is just my way. And my point of view is as small as the point on my pen or pencil. All truth comes from God and is found in His Word.
I pray that you will be as inspired reading this issue as I was in writing it and that you share this adventure with others as freely as I have shared my thoughts with you.
Message in a Word includes 52 acrostics, each followed by a short devotional. If you read one devotional each week, you will have time to meditate on it and absorb what the Lord has for you. However you use it, I pray that God’s Word and the messages in the words of these pages bless you and enrich your spiritual walk.
I now present to you the baby. Its name is Message in a Word. Birthed through me, it originated from none other than God Himself. Without Him, I couldn’t have done this. I thank Him for His patience and love for me from the conception to the delivery.
To God be all the glory and honor.