I can remember a day, sometime during the spring or fall of 1991 I think, Toni and I were taking one of our driving adventures south of Denver in beautiful Douglas County. We were just south of Larkspur on an old, narrow, cement road that probably used to be the main road to Colorado Springs, when I looked to the west at the mountains and saw a reddish looking canyon with a dirt road switch backing up the side of the slope. Something inside of me was telling me that "There is something special up there.” I looked at Toni and told her that we were supposed to go up there, I didn't know why or what, but there was a very mystical feeling that I never had before in all of driving adventures drawing me up there.
It was a very beautiful area, a mountain subdivision named Woodmoor Mountain Estates, nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains overlooking the buttes and mesas of the plains below. We were exploring the different roads and were checking out some lots that might be good to build on when a vehicle pulled up to us at the end of an undeveloped cul-de-sac. I thought we were going to get in trouble for trespassing. It was a man and his family that owned the property we were on. But, as it turned out, he wasn't mad at us he wanted to sell the land and also had several other lots that we could look at as well.
Dean Bryant, the land owner, gave us a map and showed us where the other lots were. One of the lots had a breathtaking view of Denver 45 miles the northeast. Toni and I really liked it, but Dean said that lot was under contract and was not available. . None the less, I dreamed of having a house up there, or some similar place, with a garage like the one my Grandfather Smith had that my Dad grew up in. It had a workshop that I remember from my childhood, with fluorescent lights and lots of tools. I imagined having a family and building things with my children. I even drew a picture of my recording studio which would have a large window looking down into the Denver valley. It was something I really wanted.
Later that year, I was in Los Angeles to attend the Audio Engineering Society's Convention. I was there for about three or four days and since it was so close, I thought that it would be fun to go visit where I used to live in Santa Barbara. As I was thinking, I remembered showing somebody where I used to live on a 500 acre ranch located at the top of San Marcos Pass. It was a beautiful place with painted caves left by the Indians and lot of old oak trees. Louis Jean Kinevin owned it. She inherited it from her grandfather who homesteaded it long ago. The ranch had about 10 or so houses and cabins which she rented.
I thought for a little bit trying to remember who and when it was that I showed this place to. But try as I may I could not remember a time I had been there since I left in 1977! Not once, in 15 years had I returned to that ranch! It was very strange because I had this very vivid memory of looking at the person in the car next to me, at a specific location on the road leading up to the cabin and saying "This is it! This is where I used to live!" I rationalized and thought..." it must have been a dream I had." But deep inside, I didn’t really think that and the memory really mystified me.
About 5 months later, Toni and I went to Los Angeles for my cousin Steve's Wedding. It was a two and a half day drive and we spent the first night at a nice old adobe style motel in Truth or Consequence, New Mexico. In the morning we drove a little way into a state park with a large reservoir and fixed a breakfast. Sometime while we were there, I looked up and saw three water towers which reminded me of the cosmic spiritual world that I was well aware existed, but had been very frightened of because of the strange amazing coincidents that had happened to me during my life. I also thought that the number "three" had something to do with this cosmic world. I knew that there was more to life than meets the eye and believed that "time & space" were not necessarily as we thought. I believed in destiny and had prayed, not every night but often, since 1988 to God. My prayer would be something like..... "God, I'm not sure what's right. So I'm not really sure what to ask for. But I know you know what's right so am asking you to just make it right.”
But that morning I looked at the three towers and said to myself "Ok, cosmic world out there, I'm not afraid any more! I want to know more!” Never did I think those words would be answered like they would be. But I did sincerely "ask" and just a few short days later I was given a revelation that would be the beginning of an education indescribable, showing me great and mighty things that I did not know, things un-searchable.
We continued with our journey, spending the next night in San Diego and attending the wedding the following evening. The next few days would be some of the most extraordinary in my life. We decided to visit Santa Barbara.
We spent the day on the beach and I showed Toni the house where I used to live in the late sixties. We got a beautiful motel room down by the harbor and got ready to go up the mountain so I could show her Kinevin Ranch. I was wondering if anything amazingly coincidental was going to happen up there because of the strange memory (vision) I had had five months before. I had no concept of just how amazing the night would be until days later. It was actually a full year later that it became crystal clear.
It was getting late and getting dark outside as we started up the mountain. By the time we got to the top of San Marcos Pass it was hard to see and I was having a hard time finding my way around the ranch. I knew approximately where I was but the trees and vegetation had grown a lot. We started up a hill and all of a sudden I knew exactly where I was. We were at the road where you could still see wagon wheel ruts that had been left in the late 1800's. We turned left and I looked over at Toni and said "This is it! This is where I used to live!"….not realizing I had just lived my strange memory that had me so mystified. I had just spoken the same words at the same exact place but did not realize it!
We went up to the cabin and talked to the person who lived there. He wore wire rim glasses and had a look that reminded me of Grandpa Smith. He showed us around and I saw some fancy wood trim I had done around a window in my old bedroom. Then he showed us a good size pine tree, just outside, and asked if it was there when I lived there and I remembered that we planted it there in 1977.
Then we went a couple of miles down the pass to a place called the Cold Creek Inn to have dinner. I told Toni how much I missed Santa Barbara and how it would be nice to live there but she didn't agree. We had to wait for a table so we had a drink at the bar. We were talking to the bartender about how I thought it was so nice in Santa Barbara and would love to move there but there were no recording studios and I didn't want to live in L.A. to work. As she lit my cigarette she told me that wasn't true and there were lots of recording studios in town. I didn't realize that. And at that very moment I made up my mind that I would get a job at one of those studios and Toni and I would move to Santa Barbara! It might as well already been done! It was something that I was going to do!
Just moments later, as we were moving to our table, a large man about six foot-five or so walked into the entry of the restaurant. He had long salt and pepper colored hair with a long beard weighing two hundred and ninety pounds or so, wearing a Mexican poncho. He began singing a song in a very strong and beautiful voice. It sounded like a perfect a cappella opera performance and the song he sang was "The Wind Cries Mariah". He looked over to me and made very direct eye contact, looking right at me. I realized he reminded me of my Paw Paw, Grandpa Dave, my mom’s dad. The look he gave me I will never forget. I looked at him smiling as if to say "I am enjoying your performance." After he finished he left quietly and I asked the host "who was that?" The host answered saying he's a wandering minstrel, a local hippie weirdo. Toni and I had a wonderful dinner and one of the most romantic nights of my life that is a treasured, precious memory.
That night I looked up at the vaulted ceiling of the motel room. There were four wooden beams that formed three crosses and it reminded me of Jesus at his crucifixion.. I wondered who the people were on the other two crosses. After thinking a bit, I spoke to Him saying “I don’t know what the real story is about you, but I believe in what you believed in and that is love."
The next day we had to be back in L.A to visit friends of my Nan Nan's so we didn't have much time to spend but I figured we had enough time to checkout one recording studio. It was in Carpentaria, a few miles south on the way to L...A. They gave us a tour and it was a beautiful studio. I had been going to school for Audio Engineering for the last two years and was ready for a job so I asked them if they needed anybody to make coffee and empty the trash. The studio manager told me that they had a person doing that already. As we left the manager gave me their card and told me that if I was serious about moving out to California to give them a call. Toni and I said good-by as we were getting into the car I was confused. I looked at her and asked "Was that a job offer?" She said it sure sounded like it was.
I was in shock. I had just made up my mind to move to Santa Barbara and get a job in a recording studio less than 12 hrs ago and now, moments later it was offered to me! I was in tears of joy! It was the happiest day of my life at that time. Just then at that moment I was aware of what happened the night before. I had lived my memory of saying to somebody sitting in the car next to me at a specific point on a dirt road "This is it! This is where I used to live!” And it did mean something. It was the happiest day of my life! Not only was it not a memory, it was a prophetic vision into the future! I looked over at Toni with tears running down my face, overwhelmed with emotions. She had tears running down her face too!
But soon I noticed that her tears were not of joy like mine. They were tears of sadness. She did not want to move to California at all. She was very comfortable living in Colorado. We traveled further down highway 101 and by the time we got to L.A. I was starting to get a little scared. I had a vision and then it happened! Life was not like I had known it before. Something very supernatural had just been revealed to me and I was blown away, thinking about things like the matches from the restaurant that the Bartender had lit my cigarette with that said "Kings III Restaurant".
We spent that night in L...A. and headed back home for Colorado. We decided to spend a little time in Las Vegas. I was starting to loose sleep over the magnitude of what had transpired realizing the wandering minstrel was singing a song about a man who left his loved one to go someplace, meaning to return back to her. But something happened and he never saw her again. It was beautiful but very sad.... "The Wind Cries Mariah".
I was torn and didn't know what to do. You see, I was willing to move to California even if Toni was not. I didn't want to end the relationship of my lifetime, but knowing the chance that it may fall apart if I did. Two days later, after loosing a lot of sleep, it became much clearer to me when a very amazing coincidence happened to me in the hallway of the motel.
I was going to get some ice, when a long haired man with a long beard, a little younger looking than the wandering minstrel, came out of the room next to ours. Two white haired ladies were with him and he was carrying suitcases out to their car. I asked him how their vacation had been and where they were from. He said "Sedalia, Colorado". I knew exactly where it was. It was right by Larkspur where the land we liked was! "Amazing coincidence!"… I exclaimed as I realized that my real desire was to have that house with a view in Douglas County with the garage that had so many tools in it where I was going to have a family, which I had already drawn pictures of. That was my destiny.
On the way back, traveling thru Utah I thought about what had happened over the last week. All of a sudden I realized that the lot at Woodmoor Estates was not under contract any more and we could buy it if we wanted! I told Toni that I just knew it because of the things that had happened
When we got back home, I called Dean Bryant, and sure enough the contract had fallen thru! I decided to tell him how I knew. I wouldn't have told most people because they would probably think I was crazy, but I had seen the Christian fish emblem on his car when we met him. I was not a Christian, but knew that if he was, he was not supposed to judge me, so I told him my strange story about the threes and the amazing coincidences. To my surprise, he didn't think it was weird. "As a matter of fact", he said, "your lot number is 111 three aces." It was starting not to scare me any more. It all made sense. I was dealing with something supernatural, but did not know where this power was coming from until sometime later. Meanwhile I began to say prayers much more often. "Dear God I'm not sure what’s right to pray for. But I know you know what is, so I just pray that You "make it right.""
Well, we made arrangements to purchase lot 111 at Woodmoor Mountain. We gave Dean Bryant a $300 down payment and agreed to give him $700 at the closing for a total down payment of $1,000. The price of the lot was $20,000. That was a lot of money. Since Toni and I had never priced any land in Douglas County before, we decided that we should do some shopping around before we made the final deal. Lot 111 at Woodmoor Mountain was 4 acres. It didn't take long to find some land that was a much better deal. It was 40 acres with a huge 100ft dome rock formation that could be seen clearly from downtown. It was 20 minutes closer to Denver, with a price tag of $45,000. It was twice the price but ten times as beautiful. The real estate broker said the owner was willing to carry the loan with a down payment of $9,000. We decided that this was a much better deal so we didn't buy the lot at Woodmoor Mountain. The name of the rock formation was Elephant Rock.
Of course, $9,000 was quite a bit more than $1,000 and I was worried that someone else would buy the land before we could. A month went by, and then a year or so more and still the land did not sell. By now I assumed it was my destiny to own Elephant Rock and was not really worried that it would sell before I came up with the $9,000 down payment. I was wrong.
It was about two years later; Toni and I had bought our first house and would visit Elephant Rock regularly. We would climb the rock which had a 360 degree panoramic view, hike all 40 acres and I knew every inch of the land like the back of my hand. One summer morning I woke up early. I had just had a very vivid dream about Elephant Rock, the kind of dream that is so real, you wake up and say "Wow, I felt like I was really there!” The dream was very short. I was climbing on the rock and it started to thunder and lightning and I decided that I better get cover by crawling into a large crevice.. That is all the dream was, but it was so very, very vivid! I had never had a dream about Elephant Rock before and wondered if it meant any thing. It was just before dawn and I decided to go see. I got in the car and drove down to Douglas County. Sure enough, when I got to Elephant Rock there were survey markers all over the place. I figured somebody had or was about to buy the land. I was practicably chased of the land by "Old Man McQuigg" who lived nearby, who said that his cousin from Tennessee had just bought it.
I was devastated! How could this be! I was so certain that this land was to be my destiny. This had to mean something! I thought to myself, Elephants, Elephants....Elephants don't forget! Well, I thought, I should remember not to procrastinate! I could have saved the $9,000 down payment in the two years or so that had gone by but I had procrastinated! I called our real estate broker to find out if there was any possibility that I might still be able to buy the land. He told me to go to the county assessor’s office and find out who owned the land get in touch with them to find out.
When I got to the assessor's office, I had to cross-reference maps to give the person the corresponding number of the section that would show the map of the lots which would give me a number that I could enter into their computer that would give me the owners address. When the person gave me the map I asked for I thought they had made a mistake. The map they showed me was a subdevelopment that had over 30 lots with roads and cul-de-sacs. I told them that it could not be the right map....that the map they gave me must be down in one of the cities because there wasn't a sub development in the area I had asked for. They said "No, this is the map that you gave me the number for.", so I rechecked. The number I gave them was correct. Puzzled, I stared at the map. Then I realized that the sub development was wrapped around a large piece of land, the Elephant Rock lot! I knew the roads, but they were old dirt roads, some of which were still there, others were grown over with trees or barely there. The sub development had never been developed!
I entered all the plat numbers into the computer, got all the owners addresses, and immediately called the owner of the Elephant Rock lot. The old owner said the buyer had paid $45,000 cash and it was definitely a done deal. This did not bother me to much because I was certain that one of the owners of the small sub development lots would be willing to sell theirs. I was right!
Orville and Claretta Reeves were willing to sell their two lots for a very reasonable price, $1,000! Orville, a retired plumber who was 80+ years old, had received the land for some work he had done years ago. As a matter of fact it was given to him a few months after I was born in 1955. The Listen Foundation, a non profit organization that helped hearing impaired children learn how to read lips and use sign language, owned a lot right next to the two other lots which we had already bought. They were willing to sell their lot for $500. We paid Orville and Claretta $700 for their two lots for a total $1200 for the three lots. The total acreage was about half an acre with an absolutely beautiful view of the Denver valley just like lot 111 at Woodmoor Mountain only much closer and completely paid for! The view of the picture that I had drawn of my house with the recording studio and a garage with a workshop to build things with my children would be the same and my dream was still intact!
A year or so went by, and it was in February 1993 that we were celebrating my sister Susan, my brother in law Phillip and my own birthdays at my sister Debra's house. Susan and Gary Wood gave me a Bible, which she didn't think I had, for a gift. (Actually my Mother, Father, and Debra had given me one seven years before as I was very interested in the book of revelation and wondered what the real story about the mark of the beast, “666", was.) Anyway she had scriptures listed and insisted that I read them out loud at the dinner table that night. I did so reluctantly.
Susan and I had had many conversations about Jesus Christ before. I thought that she was "way off base" in her beliefs, a radical pushy Christian that pushed more people away from Christianity than she brought to it. I thought she had many problems, her spiritual beliefs were one of her biggest, or so I thought. She thought the only way to God was thru Jesus. I told her that it was not about JESUS it was about "LOVE!”…. and we would be in total agreement if she would understand that point. She insisted that Jesus was the only way to God and that His love for us is perfect and complete. So complete that he was willing to give his life for our sins and all the sins of mankind past, present and future! That God loves us so much that he gave His only Son so that those who would believe in him would have everlasting life. I insisted that we were accountable for our own sins, that nobody could pay the price for them except us! Most of our conversations about God would end up in arguments with either me or her hanging up the telephone!
About a week after the birthday celebration at Deb & Phil's, Susan gave me some more scriptures to read. I can't remember whether she wrote them in a letter or gave them to me over the phone, but one of them was Jeremiah 33:3. I thought to myself, "three threes, if there is some sort of answer to my questions about the spiritual world, maybe I would give the Bible some consideration" (Keep in mind, that I had had many, many spiritual "Amazing Coincidences", many more than I have mentioned here, where the number three had been a key part of.) But at this point in my life I was convinced that the Bible was just an old book that had been translated thru many languages from a long time ago, and that all the stories of creation, the flood, Jonah and the fish and especially the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, could not possibly be true.
At that time, the Bible version we had in our house was a NSRV... (I do not use this version anymore)... I opened it to verse 3 of the 33rd chapter of Jeremiah.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (nsrv)
This didn't just touch or hint at my questions about the spiritual world! It was not just slightly or vaguely coincidental! It hit the nail smack square on the head! It sunk the nail clean into the wood with one hit, cleanly, perfectly and completely without any imperfection! It was amazingly coincidental! As a matter of fact it could not be a coincidence. The supernatural power I had experienced was telling me that the power was from the Bible, God's Book! This was mind boggling! This was the last thing that I had expected! I had argued against it for so many years, that this book could not possibly be true! But I could not deny what had just happened. I asked the supernatural power, the cosmic world, looking at three water towers in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, to know more, that I was not afraid any more, and now the source of the power had been revealed! It was not the answer that I had expected, but I could not deny it! The first thing that entered my thoughts was, "Well, Jeremiah 33:3 is Old Testament, It was not written by the same people that wrote the New Testament, what about Jesus? Is he the divine son of God?" I wondered. I had a lot of time to think about it. In fact, that was all I could think about!
About a week later, Toni and I were watching the music awards on television. There was Billy Ray Cyrus singing his country song "Achy-breaky-heart". He had been a male strip dancer, as I currently was, who made it big that year with the song he was singing. He was wearing a tee-shirt that said John 3:16 on it. Knowing that it was a scripture from the Bible, I asked Toni, "What is John 3:16?" She took the Bible from underneath the coffee table we were sitting by, turned to the scripture and handed it to me to read. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." I looked up at Toni, who had never, in all our five years together, talked about religion. She had the most beautiful smile in the world on her face, as if to say “It’s true honey, but I never told you!" She never spoke a word. But at that moment I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior! This brings tears to my eyes almost every time I think about it. Hallelujah! Praise God! Such a precious gift is his blood! I could never thank Him enough! He is Jesus, our father God, the Holy Spirit! The Triunion Power, Creator of all things!
Now I had peace within. I knew I had the most powerful guardian power that could ever be! Nothing is impossible for Him! He has blessed me so much and worked such miracles in my life; it would take a whole other story of this nature to list them all. He is always with me. He shows His love for me each and every day of my life. I know that I have nothing to fear. I lay up my treasures in Heaven not in this world. The only thing that matters to me is providing for my wife Toni, my son Caleb Morrison, and living my life, which really is His anyway, to please and glorify God! Hallelujah! Amen! Thank You Lord! He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, He truly is the King of Love! I had a relationship with God before this all happened, and I loved God! But it was Nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing compared to what I have now!
The next day, the first thing I did, was call my Aunt Martha. I knew she would be so glad to hear the good news. She told me she thought that my Great Aunt Deli has been praying for our family all this time and I know she must be smiling now! I know exactly what Aunt Martha will be thinking when she reads the paragraph above. She will feel the same way I do…. because she loves Him too. She wants everybody, especially our love ones, to have what we have and to be able to feel like we do! We could never thank Him enough! (By the way, Elephant Rock's Mailing address is Sedalia, Colorado. My Nan Nan told me that Sedalia is the name of the town my Great Aunt Deli's farm was by. "Mariah", the name of the song the wandering minstrel, who looked like my Paw-Paw, who sang to me moments after I lived my vision, means "The Lord is my teacher".)
A few months after accepting Jesus Christ as my savior, I was down in the basement of our house looking at some USGA maps, As I was looking at my map of New Mexico, I happened to notice that by the city of Truth or Consequences, the name of the of the place that I asked to know more about the spiritual world, looking at three water towers, was Elephant Butte Reservoir! (I could tell you many more similar amazing coincidences but this is the short version of my testimony.) From Elephant Butte to Elephant Rock, are they amazing coincidences or from God you decide!
If you are the least bit curious, I urge you to ask God yourself, earnestly and sincerely, "God....is Jesus Christ really your divine Son?" I know three things with absolute certainty. He loves you and yearns to talk to you, He will answer you if you ask, and I know what his answer will be!
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and I will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3.20 KJV)