“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV
And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!
Led Zeppelin's iconic song -
There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven
There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder
There's a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
and it makes me wonder
really makes me wonder
And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forest will echo with laughter
If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean from the May Queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, Ooh, it makes me wonder
Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know
The piper's calling you to join him
Dear lady, can't you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind
And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all is one and one is all, yeah
To be a rock and not to roll.
And she's buying the stairway to heaven
- There was the Sunday School I attended with a kindergarten friend in which we made a Noah's Ark over the course of two Sundays. I had to come back to finish my own Ark. They gave us cookies and we had fun. I never went to church but for two weeks I went and probably absorbed something?
- My Dad used to like to sing, "Tell Me Why" on nights when the skies were clear and we could see the stars and he would teach me the various constellations. He never told me about Jesus but he did assert to me a belief in God.
- Grandpa Wesner used to always preach to us about Jesus. Marc and I even prayed the "Sinner's Prayer" with him once so he would quit doing it, but then that just caused him to bug us to go to church with him so we just couldn't win! We didn't really mean it because we didn't understand it but I knew that he absolutely believed, because he would talk about Jesus to the point his wife and children would roll their eyes. Some people are just evangelists! He gave me a leather-bound Bible and I did try to read it but got bogged down in the story partway through Genesis and put it down to gather dust.
- A grade school friend got me to come to church with him and I thought the Sunday School was okay, but in the main service the preacher was scolding people for not giving enough money and that turned me off of church after that.
- I was good buddies with lots of Greeks in high school and I was declared an honorary Son of Pericles by some of them. I dated a Greek girl, had three great friends who were all Greek and so I went to a Greek Orthodox service with them once. There was incense being burned and lots of ceremony. It wasn't unpleasant, it was just a bit confusing.
- The first girl I ever actually loved was a Catholic and I went to church with her once. There was a lot of standing up and sitting down and kneeling and none of it meant anything to me at all. It seemed like a lot of ceremony and not much else. Greek Orthodox part two?
- Once when I was hitchhiking in California, I was picked up by a couple of guys who wanted to pray before they broke out their marijuana to share with me. So we got out of the car and prayed out loud and then we started driving again and passed the doobies around. That was kind of strange, admittedly.
- In the Army, I was for a time working in the Pentagon (hated the place) and there was an Air Force guy who targeted me for salvation. There was also an Army Major who was pretty sure I was possessed by the Devil (I was pretty wild back then) and took me to see some priest to determine whether I should be a candidate for exorcism. No, I am not kidding! The Major meant well. The priest gave me a few verses from the Bible I should read and think on but they didn't mean anything to me and I kept on being a party animal in my private life.
- One of my old Greek buddies continued to try to tell me that God was real after I got out of the Army and came back "home." I dismissed him with the various arguments against God and the Bible I had learned from my college classes.
- My wife had gone to a church and had "gotten saved" as she told me. Frankly I was planning on abandoning her and only the fact that we had a daughter together had kept me around. It was only a matter of time in my mind because she had changed a LOT after having our daughter, becoming a complaining and whining pain in the butt who I was getting sick of and fast! Suddenly she was being sweet instead of sour and I found myself wondering if it was real or a temporary aberration?
- Then the pastor of that church came to talk to me and somehow the Spirit of God spoke to me during our conversation and in an instant of time I had belief in this Jesus Christ as real, the actual Savior of mankind and I immediately wanted to know this God I had rejected my entire life! Pastor Wood prayed with me but frankly I know I was born again the very second I believed. The transformation was immediate and dramatic. It took just a few weeks to turn me from a wild party animal with a reputation that actually caused that pastor to fear me (found this out years later) into a guy who was going to church and reading the Bible incessantly and wanting to do God's will no matter what!