I remember being on a conference call with team of students, including a good old boy from the South. I had just shared an application of a spiritual principle on “Monday morning” that took his breath away, and he paid me the absolute highest compliment he knew: “That dawg can HUNT!” speaking of my illustration.
I smiled at the time and bookmarked that bit of southern lore in my bulging trivia file.
Meanwhile, on Friday evening Megan and Sandy returned triumphant from the fabric store with a bundle of Velcro, just about the time Loretta pulled dinner out of the oven. I felt bad for her. The grocery store she shopped at supplies the food for the public school cafeteria lunches. Trying to salvage a meal out of that poor beginning would be a challenge.
But Loretta has played almost all of life with a handicap, so she never bothered to feel sorry for herself about the challenges before her (even though we all know that EVERY Servant has a big streak of competitiveness in them).
The main dish was a lovely crock pot stew with a stunning dessert. I didn’t ask the official pedigree of that gastronomic delight but it was a shirt tail hybrid relative of a cheese cake crossed with a cobbler. Simply excellent.
I had mentally scored her at a three, tied with her fellow Texan for first place (but who is keeping score) when she went and did it. Old habits die hard. The downward pull of the negative side of the redemptive gifts is a horrible vortex to swim against.
In a moment of weakness, the Servant apologized for lack of quality in the meal. I sighed and downgraded her to a 2.95. Gotta be real here.
We took our weary bodies to our respective abodes and I think we were all in bed by 8:30. It had been an intense day, even without any competition on any level at all, especially in the kitchen.
St. Patrick’s Day — also L. A. Marathon day — dawned cold and grey and turned into grey and rainy. Sandy and Loretta breezed in from their hotel in good spirits and we put our noses to the grind stone.
The new and improved contraption for the head gear was modified, tweaked, adjusted and then tested on Sandy. We moved to a different section of the office to try a modified configuration since not all hotel rooms will be the same.
I had Sandy choose from four chairs to see which one fit her best, since she had to sit still for a couple of hours. I meant for her to check chair height, the shape of the back and all those things.
She was far too canny for such trivia. She accurately spotted Megan’s old office chair and proclaimed the residual anointing in the chair to be quite absolutely splendiferous. I could tell she enjoyed mooching off it while we assaulted her head.
We wired her up and did another round of tests. Loretta was beginning to grow in confidence and our hand signals were working smoothly. On this one, instead of doing all of the exercises with Sandy’s eyes closed while her spirit listened to my instructions, I had her open her eyes and engage visually with my spirit.
The results were not so dramatic as the day before in terms of ecstatic little squiggles on the computer screen, but some of what transpired there settled a sore spot in her life, so she got good value from having to be poked and prodded for hours.
Then it was lunch time and The Lady calmly served her offering to the critics, in her most non-competitive style. There was just quiet confidence, poise and elegance all wrapped in a single package.
The main course was spanakopita with her incomparable phyllo crust. In honor of Sandy’s taste buds, she also had couscous salad with garbanzo beans which delighted Sandy no end. Dessert was frozen lemon pie with graham cracker crust.
I checked the refrigerator this morning. There were the least left overs from Megan’s offering. Understandably. I was about to give her a four when I found out that the frozen lemon pie was made by her mother when she was out here last week.
I was about to dock her half a point when the ladies celebrated her incomparable generosity in sharing such a rare treasure with the voracious tribe at work. I only docked her two tenths of a point instead.
The afternoon went a totally different direction than we had anticipated. Loretta was sufficiently competent on the computer that we decided to cross train her on wiring our volunteers so that we have more flexibility in the field.
As it turned out, we had another Plumbliner in the house on Saturday so we hit him up to do a stint at volunteering. He agreed so Sandy took her weary scalp to the library and curled up with the legendary tale of two Mercies mugging a Prophet while Megan started instructing Loretta on the art of measuring, wiring and juicing.
For this one, we had Megan do the queries. Being the original person she is, she declined to use any of the protocols I had used before. Both her questions and the intensity of her spirit caused remarkable spirit activity on the EEG.
It was quite amusing because Megan was completely engaged in leading the volunteer but Loretta was feeling over her head because of the fact that we had obviously broken new ground in terms of spirit activity, and she was afraid of making a mistake with the equipment and messing anything up.
But what choice did she have? There was no backup.
In the final question, Megan directed the volunteer’s spirit to go to the seat of dominion and do some aligning work. The spirit did, and Loretta watched with amazement as all nineteen waves synchronized in a way we had never seen before.
It wasn’t just a set of data that was visually or intellectually captivating. The spiritual intensity in the room was so strong that the fear of the Lord overwhelmed her.
Now it is important for you to understand that Loretta is no novice at ministering to people’s spirits. She has logged a lot of hours, with a lot of different kinds of people. She has worked over the phone and in person, in the US and in Europe, directly and through a translator, with leaders and with beginners.
She has a particular anointing for finding the places where an individual portion of the spirit is stuck and exposing the cause. Loretta has witnessed dozens of glory moments as freedom has come to the captives, dignity has ambushed the unsuspecting and hope has washed over the wounded.
But nothing in all her past history of giving and receiving spirit ministry has prepared her for the alignment of the spiritual realm in the whole room when someone’s spirit acts upon the seat of dominion the way God intended.
And this was the very first time this volunteer had experienced anyone directing his spirit to the seat of dominion. He knew the concept, but was surprised by the experience.
We were all a bit wobbly as Megan saved the data, Loretta unwired the guy and started the clean up process. After a few minutes we regrouped, called Hanna to join us in the celebration over the phone and debriefed.
Clearly we are engaged in something far larger than anything we had anticipated. Far from looking diligently for nuances in the EEGs that MIGHT give us a clue to some spirit activity, it looks as though we have major markers of a whole new dynamic.
We need to have Megan edit the files and send them to some people with more experience interpreting them to be sure we are not attributing significance to the ordinary, but the presence of the Spirit and the strength of our spirits’ reactions lead us to believe that dawg will hunt real good!
We wound down the day at that point. Megan did a quick edit of two sections of Sandy’s tests so she could give her a graphic representation of what went on. Loretta cleaned and packed the gear. I hammered away at office trivia which tends to materialize with regularity.
We spent another block of time in savoring the surprises and the lessons learned from the days together. Among other things we rejoiced in the wonderful team we have. All of us have been on dysfunctional teams, and teams where we were beaten in the name of the Lord. We are so wealthy to have the deep friendships we do in Sapphire.
It is so lovely to work together on a task without having to worry about bumping someone’s woundedness and with no competition except in the kitchen.
Speaking of which, I took the team out to eat at Rutabegorz in Orange. Keeping in mind that I had two Texans with me and they both had indicated a bias against certain facets of California, I deliberately avoided telling them about the history of the restaurant.
We wandered around the traffic circle savoring the eau de Teacher that Orange is famous for, then went in to the old house which had been converted to a restaurant.
The menus came. I easily decided on a falafel wrap in a whole grain tortilla with hummus on the side, which shows the value of being a decisive CEO. The three of them struggled with the multitudinous savory offerings and finally ordered. Sandy actually had to Google one of the dressings to tell Megan what the ingredients were.
The prices are low for the local market, so the newbies were quite surprised at the gargantuan portions. But Rutabegorz is much more than just big portions. They use high quality ingredients and assemble them like the artisans they are.
Loretta dominated the evening with her awe over what God had done. We could not savor it enough.
Eventually we wandered back out to the car. After they assured me they had absolutely enjoyed the meal, I told them they had just eaten at an authentic California hippie joint.
Rutabegorz was started back in the day and as the culture changed and hippies went out of style, they stuck to their look and feel and found that there was still a place for them in the culture that was rapidly moving from hip to cool to classy to degraded.
So one more point for my non-competitive culinary endeavors. The Texans acquitted themselves well, but the homeboys didn’t do too badly either.
On Wednesday we leave the wonders of our own kitchen and engage in the dismal realities of airplane food and rushed encounters with random restaurants.
Come 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning in Virginia, it will be GAME ON!