Authors: Leif Hetland
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Box 3049, Peachtree City, Georgia 30269
Copyright © 2014 Leif Hetland
All rights reserved.
All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated. (MSG) Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. (NIV ) THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. (NKJV ) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (NASB) Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)
A Message From Leif:
What follows is a story derived from a vision that the Holy Spirit gave me a few years ago. I was asking him how to help others access the amazing abundance that is available in God’s Kingdom. Learning to seize the bounty of heaven is not a skill to be developed, but the result of a transformed heart and a renewed mind. Rather than try and simply teach the ways of
, I decided to start with a story. Maybe not every message in this story will speak to your mind, but I guarantee it will enter your heart. Since I believe that accessing heaven’s abundance requires both a mind and heart transformation, I’ve also included a series of appendices. Some have great quotes to help condition your thought patterns, and the rest are a series of biblical outlines of God’s plan for abundance in your life.
Please continue pursuing
, using these tools, as well as the ones the Holy Spirit gives you. Too much of God’s goodness has remained unclaimed by His children. Lets learn to grab it and steward it together.
It was Tuesday. Adam slumped through the door, barely noticing the state of his unkempt apartment. He tossed his keys toward the pile of unopened bills on the couch, dropped into his chair, while not bothering to turn on a light. The remote was laid where he left it, with the TV had been on the same channel for hours.
He sat and watched, switching channels whenever a commercial appeared. He fought to block out the thoughts that had been running through his head all day, or, at the very least, drown them out with the sounds coming from the television.
His mind haunted him,
how long has it been like this? How long have I been struggling to keep the shop above water? How long has it been sinking? How long have I been behind on the lease for the shop? How long has it been since I've paid rent on the apartment? How long before they shut off my lights?
Beads of sweat formed on his forehead, and a sick feeling began to boil deep in his stomach. He changed the channel and turned up the volume, cramming every worry into a dark pile in the corner of his mind.
Adam was well into his third rerun of an old sitcom when the phone rang. The shock of a sound coming from anywhere but the glowing box on the far side of the room caused him to jump to his feet with alarm. His eyes darted from left to right, searching for the source of the sound. The sound blasting from the television made it difficult, so he walked over and mashed the off button. He quickly found the phone under a crumpled pile of food wrappers near his chair, and fumbled his thumb to the answer button.
" he said taking in a deep breath.
Adam felt his hands go numb. It had been years since he had heard that voice, but it was as immediately familiar as the feeling of the ground under his feet.
" The word felt dry in his mouth, making the rest of his sentence get caught somewhere in the back of his throat. Adam had ignored so many calls –thrown away so many unopened letters. What do you say after you've worked so hard to say nothing?
I know that it's been a long time,
" his Father said, filling the gap in the conversation, "
but I still want to talk to
Adam remained silent.
Now, I know you don't want to talk to me and that's alright.
Adam bit his lip. Holding back tears or a shout, he couldn't tell which.
I have a gift I want to give you. What you do with it is entirely up to you.
" Despite the palpable tension, Adam's Father maintained a gentle tone, "
You can keep and care for it, or you can leave it alone. All I ask is that you come see it.
His Father paused, waiting for a response. When He didn't get one, He asked, "
Did you get the letter I sent you?
Adam looked back at the small mountain of mail on his couch and answered, "
Good, then I hope to be seeing you soon. I love you, son.
Those last four words landed like four hot pokers in Adam's ear, causing him to cringe and blurt out, "
You know I don't need anything. I don't need any help.
I know, son.
Adam's Father took in a long breath and said, "
I hope to see you soon.
After the line went silent, Adam dropped the phone back into the pile of wrappers and slumped onto the couch next to the pile of mail. He absently pushed through the pile with one hand, causing a small avalanche of bills to fall to the floor. It was easy to find his Father's letter, it was the only one written by hand.
You are my son. It has been too long since we have spoken. Just this morning I was walking through the vineyards where we used to spend so much time together. We played so many games of hide and seek. I suppose it's no different now. You always were the best at hiding. Now it's time for me to hide for you, though I'm sure you know where to find me.
It's time to come home. I have something to give you.
I Love you,
His Father's signature adorned the bottom of the page. Adam had seen that signature on every check his Father had sent before he tore it up.
" he asked the empty room, "
Adam noticed an airplane ticket hanging partway out of the opened envelope. The flight left early the next morning.
A deep ache formed in the pit of his stomach. Though the thought of having to face all of the pain that had been shared between him and his Father was overwhelming, the thought of staying here to wait for the bill collectors to come knocking was even more overwhelming.
The brief contents of the letter and phone call were the most Adam had heard his Father say in over five years. Part of him wanted to hang on to his anger and disappointment, but the rest was so inexplicably relieved that it made him light headed. Maybe it was just that he was at the end of his rope, or maybe enough time had finally passed. He wasn't sure. Mixed as his emotions were, clarity had come to Adam's mind that had been gone for far too long. He may not be sure why, but he had to go.
Adam fought to keep his nerves under control. He tried to read a magazine article on the flight, but gave up after he reread the first paragraph for the third time, unable to retain any of its contents. Was he excited? Scared? Yes. Last night had been the first time he had heard his Father's voice in years. The idea of seeing Him face to face made his hands shake.
After his plane landed, Adam rushed through the crowded airport, his small suitcase knocking into knees and rolling over toes behind him. He was looking for a taxi to flag down when he heard a voice.
Adam turned to see a gray-haired man with neatly combed hair and piercing grey-blue eyes, "
Happy to hear that the years have not made me completely unrecognizable,
" the man smiled, "
I am here to take you to your Father's house.
Howard Smith had been the keeper and caretaker of his Father's estate for longer than Adam could remember. Wherever there was a torn shirt or scraped knee, Howard was there. Whenever a baseball went through a window or a faucet spouted muddy water, he was there and moments later the problem was solved.
You haven't aged a day,
" Adam said with a grin.
I can't say the same for you. You were a skinny mess of unkempt hair and unbridled energy last time I saw you. A man has grown around the boy I knew.
” Howard replied.
Adam gave a sheepish smile.
" Howard said, laughing as he gestured toward a black limousine parked nearby. "
Your Father is waiting.
Ducking into the backseat of the limo, Adam began to feel the tingling nervousness rise in his stomach again. His Father was a wealthy man who regularly used His wealth for the benefit of others. He had always admired this, but whenever this generosity was pointed at him, Adam felt uneasy. Humility was what he called it in his mind. Many people took advantage of his Father's quickness to give.
Adam never wanted to be one of them.
Alone in the back of the limousine, there was nothing to distract from the anxious excitement growing in Adam's chest. What was his Father going to say? What was this gift? All these questions washed from his mind as his childhood home appeared from over the horizon.
Built on a cliff overlooking the ocean, his Father's house was an architectural masterpiece. Acres of lush farmland overflowing with every kind of fruit and vegetable filled the landscape with color. The rising sun glinted off the many tall windows that overlooked the countryside. Though the estate was adorned with many tall stone pillars, intricate brass fixtures, and thick stonewalls, it always felt like a home. Even visitors that were not accustomed to such extravagance would often remark about the comfort of the estate.
The limousine drove up the cobblestone path and came to stop near the large front door, which his Father had carved by hand. Adam remembered seeing it come together piece by piece in his Father's shop. How long ago had that been?