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Foreword to “My Spirit Journey”

 (Themes right out of the life of the author, Col. Oscar Poole) 

There are many ways to say what I am seeking to say in the following themes (or essays).  But since nobody can be “me” they are uniquely Oscar Poole-ISH!  Since I am a unique person (my wife attests to this as well as those closest to me) what you read here is unique (significantly different)! 

My style or modus operandi is I write “out of myself”!  I am not a plagiarist (copy cat) although there is one book that I have used in describing my thoughts.  It’s called the dictionary!  You will find all the words I use in that book!  So, in that respect nothing I say is unique!

Inspiration:

I was “in-spired” to write essays.  They are concepts/dynamics spoken directly from my God-source (Spirit, I AM, Yahweh, Christ – whatever name you want to give your concept of God) into my deepest inner being.  You might say it is a dialogue between God and me!  I believe (and practice) that we have come to a time that God (the SPIRIT) talks directly into us.  You need no scripture, sermon, book, teacher, preacher, or theologian to tell you of these things.  It is simply the great I AM PRESENCE of the universe speaking inside you!  How wonderful! 

                 Of course, I am conditioned by:  my age (78), culture, southern heritage (parents), northern tourist environment (“Yankees” from the northern United States), education (five degrees of liberal arts), experience (pastor, teacher, builder, business man)…successes and failures (often I learned more from the latter.). 

Friends and Family 

                 Added to this list is quite an array of friends and family.  What a great family I have!  Edna, my wife of 58 years - sons, their wives and children.  No one is blest more than me in this area! 

                 Sometimes I write in the first person – I.  Other times in the third person.  When in the third it’s almost as if I’m in another dimension – looking down, even outside myself! 

“Off the Wall?!” 

                 You may not relate to anything I say!  You might not find any of my thoughts anywhere else!  To this I say “SO WHAT!”  This is I talking not him, or she, or they!

NOTE: These comments are originally written for the Internet.  To appear on my website:  wcba.tv.  As I am “nudged” or “prompted” by the Spirit within, I will write more.  Eventually, all these articles will appear in another little book.  Let me acknowledge my appreciation to Sandy Schubert, the best secretary anyone ever had – truly a “gift from God!” 

A Consortium 

NOTE:  You may encounter other articles shared by some of my friends on this website (book).  This will be some sort of “consortium” as truth is progressively revealed to each of us.  None of us has an edge or corner on THE TRUTH but each share in a portion of it!  Added together we hopefully have a “collective harmony” in the truth as each of us “sees” it.  No confrontations, please! I do not have the energy to argue the following “interpretations-of-truth” but I do welcome OPEN, HONEST, dialogue in search of better understandings thereof. 

Introductory Note from Col. Poole:

From time to time we will share with our WCBA.TV audience articles contributed by "Friends of La Vie."

The first one is by the Rev. Randall Smith who accompanied Col. Poole to Iowa in January 2008. (Col. Poole went to Iowa in support of Mitt Romney for President.)

~~~~~~~~~~

On The Iowa Caucus 2008 
By Randall W. Smith

This is the year of caucuses! My friend, Oscar, and I traveled to Iowa for the Iowa Caucus. Why did we make the trip? I’m sure for each of us there exists a different reason. However, on the surface, we both wanted to experience the lure of political 
intrigue and the opportunity to see the first major political vote for presidential candidates in the 2008 Presidential Election process. I, personally, have longed to go to Iowa for this experience since becoming an adult. The question of why this particular vote is so very important has always escaped my understanding and challenged me as to its significance. Voting in the cornfields of Iowa on a cold winter’s day in January for someone who may or may not be on the ticket of either major political party in November, seems a bit of an oxymoron or incongruous at the least, for my thinking.  

Insight into the scheme of caucusing came from the conversation of two ladies having breakfast in our hotel restaurant and from news reports in the “Des Moines Register” newspaper. Oscar and I were told that Republicans caucus by taking a ballot with the highest number of votes cast for a particular candidate declared the winner! Then, the voters in attendance caucus for specific details in the party platform before going home. 

Democrats, on the other hand, caucus per candidate throughout the caucus room. The lowest number of participants or voters for a particular candidate are set aside and seen as supporting non-viable candidates. The stronger caucuses of viable candidates solicit the supporters of the non-viable candidates and so it goes until the strongest caucus or highest number of voters for a particular candidate wins! After this process takes place, the party platform caucus begins. 

Sporting his Uncle Sam caricature with a Southern twist, Oscar and I attended several functions of caucus week. Dressed in a yellow suit, stars and stripes top hat and tie, Oscar became an attraction of political excitement to all he met. Politics persists as the talk of the day, but Oscar brings fun into the political game for those seeking an escape from the monotony of voter list phone calls, home visits, sign making and cheerleading for the particular candidate of choice. Volunteering our services, Oscar and I shared our Southern drawl with Iowa voters and enthusiastically made signs and cheered on the candidates. We attended a “house party” where Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, gave a speech. I spoke with him as he canvassed the room shaking hands with most everyone in attendance. 

At a news conference for Mike Huckabee, Oscar and I watched and listened as he withdrew his negative ad campaign against Mitt Romney, but it was said by those close to the lectern that he left the advertisement videos in a box on stage for reporters to take.  As suspected, the negative videos aired on news broadcasts throughout the week. During a rally for Republican Senator John McCain, not only did we have the opportunity to shake the Senator’s hand and say a word or two, but we met a number of other people such as Tim Russert of news fame and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cox (Patricia Nixon) as well. 

Temperatures hovered between minus seven degrees to zero degrees throughout the week. Burr, it was cold! Snow and ice lay on the ground and snow flurries added to the wintry mix. After leaving the John McCain rally, it took me over two hours to thaw!

Whether in saying the “Pledge of Allegiance,” or publicly offering avenues for hospitality and communication, the Iowa caucuses are major social events that oblige the candidates to not only face the electorate, but engage in meaningful dialogue concerning issues of the day. It is one of the few times and settings that those seeking the presidency interact with the general population of voters. The caucus events are scheduled in such a way to emphasize the importance of the man or woman on the street, the ordinary individuals of America, not just the influential, very important persons of political clout. 

Whether Republican or Democrat, the candidates are out and about. Yes, we are in an election year! The candidates know the significance of the caucus and traveled to the frozen earth of the Midwest to begin their dialogue with the American people. In doing so, they received the hospitality of our heartland to nurture their dreams, not only for themselves, but for America, this wonderful land, we all love!

~~~~~~~~~~
CHAPTER I

 PRO-GRESSIVE REVELATION”

 Truth (the Ultimate Constant) is seen collectively as well as individually.  Often one “sees beyond his years,” or experiences IN-SIGHTS overlooked by others.  It is exciting to KNOW that any of us may receive his share in the total scheme of truth.

 Progressively Revealed

                 Truth is progressively revealed.  It is like a journey.  A truth, revealed at one time in history is superceded by another.  Even though truth may be (eventually) an ultimate constant, and revealed progressively – that is, in “bits and pieces” one’s perspective is conditioned by his place in history, his culture, his circumstances, or his ability (or lack of) to RECEIVE it. 

                 One may actually be in possession of a truth and not know it!   Truth often comes almost unconsciously and the one who receives it is totally surprised!  Are you aware that there are truths deeply hidden WITHIN you that are waiting to burst out, to help free a world that needs to hear what you have to say?  (Perhaps you have a truth within that needs to be EX-pressed in this series!) 

GOD

Or Spirit, or Yahweh, or Christ or I AM or Ultimate Constant, or Prime Mover, or whatever name turns you on!  You see, God has many names and as He told Moses, “I AM WHOMEVER I CHOOSE TO BE”!  (Some translations have it “Whomever I choose to BECOME!”) 

HE 

Man’s first revelation of God was that of the “HOLY OTHER” – God-in-the-third-Person – OUTSIDE…a HE!  Of course, this is how He appeared to Moses talking through a burning bush!  It is a wonder they didn’t call God “Bush” (or an it)! 

Fear Awe, Wonder 

                 These are the apparent emotions these early responders (Moses, Abraham, et.al.) experienced. 

                 Simply stated, they were afraid of God! – Him – OUT THERE!  They were in Awe of Him.  Their hearts experienced wonder as they began to understand that He made the majestic mountains, made the lightnings flash and the thunder roll! 

                 They didn’t even know His name – and when they did – they were afraid to say it!  Can you imagine trying to pronounce a name without vowels – YHWH?!  Someone finally added vowels “a”, and then “e” – to make YAHWEH!  (I assume the reader knows that “GOD” is not God’s name!  It is only a concept of a Supreme Being!  God has several names – just like you and me – Some are OUTSIDE the Bible – Like “Elohim” et.al.  Does this surprise you?) 

The Wholly Other (or Holy) 

                 Way OUT THERE – sitting on a throne – watching the clouds go by – or, maybe “off on a trip” somewhere!  (Who was left back here running the earth, planets and stars?)  More wonder. 

                 This “other” God, though awesome was unknowable and untouchable.  He was sort of like “Off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard-of-Oz!”  The movie (one of my favorites) is about the view some people have of God!  It is not the Bible view! 

YOU 

                 As centuries passed, man elevated God from the third person to the second, You.  After David came along and experienced such beautiful one-on-one loving fellowship with the “Maker of heaven and earth” it was discovered that one could have personal fellowship with this “other” God who was coming closer!  This only increased the awe and wonder “of it all”!  Written language began to reflect this growing perception of God and man beginning to ENJOY each other.  No longer a “He” but a “Thou” – it had to be Old English (even though English itself was WAY OFF!  This is written for all you King James thumpers!  Just having a little fun!)  Martin Buber, a Jewish theologian, deals with this revelation of God in his “I-THOU” book.  (And don’t forget for you Christians the Jews came first! And that we are discussing progressive revelation!) 

I-YOU 

                 Someone finally decided we could upgrade from “THOU” to “YOU”!  (I have an idea that some of you reading this have a problem of using “You” instead of “Thou”!  It’s so much a part of us as that’s about all we heard from our youth!  Actually, what is so sacred about “Thee and Thou”?!  Do we use Old English at the bank?  Do you approach the bank teller with “How art thou this morning?” 

I - I AM 

                 NOW we have brought God into the first person!  WOW!  From third (He)-to second (You)-to first (I).

                 And yet, are we returning to the original revelation in response to Moses’ question:  “Who are You?!”  The voice right out of a burning bush:  I AM THAT I AM!”

                 Back to where we started?!  Has this truth been there all along and we missed it?

                 Again, now we are finally hearing the words of Paul when he spoke of the “CHRIST-IN-YOU” in the book of Colossians?  That Paul said “was HIDDEN for ages, but NOW REVEALED TO/IN YOU?!”

                 It is becoming more common that discussions of I AM are popping up such as the Saint Germains, Eckhart Tolles, et.al. that ALL OF US – Christians, Jewish, Buddhists, Hindus – are ALL part of the great I AM – that I (Oscar Poole) and you (your name) are all “partakers of the divine nature” (the Apostle Peter).

                 Is this a part of the old hymn we have sung all my life, “And He walks with me and He talks with me…”  How about “You ask me how I know He lives – He lives WITHIN my heart!  Simple gospel hymns declares present Truth (truth more powerfully BEING REVEALED even as we speak).  That God – who used to be WAY OUT THERE – is NOW RIGHT IN HERE deep within my inner being (heart)?!

                 Is this the truth?!  You mean God and I are “ONE”?!  That I AM ALL THAT HE IS?!

                 Wow!  NO WONDER I AM WRITING IN CAPITAL LETTERS WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS!

                 It’s a NEW DAY…A NEW AGE – TIME has already overtaken us!  We are living in the ETERNAL NOW!

                 We are now speaking of ourselves as “PART” of the I AM – God!  “I am ALL THAT HE (God) IS!”

Am I God?!

                 No!  Not exclusively – that would be separation. But I AM a “part” of God.  He and I are “one!”  I call Him “FATHER” – Sometimes “Daddy!”  It is an INTIMATE relationship.

AN “EXPLOSION” OF REVELATIONS!

                 Now!  Right Now!  Everywhere!  Here, there – in strange and unexpected places!

                 There is RIGHT NOW a NEW move of God amongst men!  If it’s NEW, it’s NOW, and if it’s NOW, it’s NEW – NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE!  There are no past models.  We are already traveling into “UNCHARTED WATERS”!  We NEED new guidance for a new day!

                 And we have it!  God is talking to us ANEW!  He (in us and sometimes AS us) is SHOWING US THE WAY!

A New Paradigm 

                 All is NEW!  This “wind-of-change” (Spirit) is sweeping over us!  It is not “about time” – IT IS TIME!

                 Let’s LISTEN and be RESPONSIVE!  It’s the same God but revealing Himself in NEW, EXCITING ways!

NOTE:  You may say, “Oscar, you’ve only scratched the surface”!  THAT’S RIGHT!  You can “fill in the rest!”

FROM I AM TO WE ARE!

                 Remember, we are “moving progressively” – FORWARD!

                 I am not “over here by myself” – I am amongst “others” with whom I am “CONNECTED”.  That’s you and me – and the SEVEN BILLION others on this planet.

                 It is NOW a “WE ARE”!  A collective being.  We are “ONE” with each other – and others and others – even ALL FORMS OF LIFE…trees, flowers, the animal kingdom, yes…even of bushes-those burning and those “still green”!

                 This is the “corporate man” spoken of by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4.  (Notice how “scriptural” I have been in this essay on NEW matters!)  “Til we all come into the UNITY of a PERFECT MAN!”

                 Am I God?  Is God I?  It is some of BOTH!  I like to say of myself that I am a “God-being!”  Yes, I consider myself a “part” of God - and He a part of me!  I mentioned earlier in this essay that you and I are “PARTAKERS of the DIVINE NATURE!”  This is a direct quote from the Apostle Peter!  (New Testament)

                 We have come from “He” God – WAY OUT THERE someplace to “Thou or You” - to “I AM” (God-in-me) - to WE ARE (since the I AM PRESENCE of the UNIVERSE is in you – and we are “CONNECTED”-IT IS NOW A “WE ARE!”

                 - He

                 - Thou (You)

                 - I AM

                 - WE ARE

                 I have tried to illustrate a little of my view of “PRO-GRESSIVE REVELATION” through the use of these personal pronouns – from “God-in-the-third person” to “God in the first person” (I and we/us).

                 He (in us and as us) is PRESENT RIGHT HERE INSIDE YOU and ME…He’s EVERYWHERE!

                 To me this is a beautiful concept/dynamic.  You and I are privileged to witness this unfolding drama of ALL HISTORY!

                 No more illusory separation - we are all “ONE”!

                 Now we can live the abundant life that Jesus spoke about!

                 There is much more to this but I hope that I have helped a little!

Col. Oscar Poole

P.S.  And what is the GREATEST truth?  To “LOVE ONE ANOTHER…AS HE (NOW living inside us) HAS LOVED US.

                 Don’t forget there “is more to come!”  This is the very nature of truth - PRO-GRESSIVELY REVEALED!

                 “Fear not” – There is an abundance of “GREAT TYDINGS” headed our way!  Since we are living in a world without END (Isaiah and Paul) there is NO END in sight nor beyond!