Introduction

“Jesus loves you.”

You’ve heard it in songs.  You’ve seen it on bumper stickers.  A phrase that people use to try to make you feel better…

Or, guilty.

They use it to hit you over the head with their religion.  It’s over used, over dramatized, overkill.

Oh, and then there’s, “God is always with you” as if to give you comfort.

But where is this God?  You can’t see Him.  You can’t touch Him.  Surely, something you can’t see can’t really exist.  Life is just random moments of chance and luck.  We are in charge of our own destiny…

Right?

When I was a kid I played “I spy with my little eye…” with my Grandma. She lived in a small town on Main Street, directly across from the only grocery store for miles. There was always lots of activity, lots to watch, a perfect place to play “I Spy,” and we would sit on her front porch for hours.

It was always fun to be the “spy-er,” because until the other person found what it was you were focused on it was invisible to them.  They couldn’t see it.  They were essentially blind until enough hints in the form of yes or no questions were given or they gave up and it literally had to be pointed it out to them.

Think back on your life.  You’ve experienced great happiness as well as terrible sadness.  Times of heartbreak and disappointment while other times of great excitement and joy.  Times of proud and sure moments and still others of question and doubt.  It seems so random and unorganized.

You’ve heard the stories… those miraculous events where it seems like God might actually be working in lives; unexplained healing from an illness or disease or someone walking away from a terrible car accident.  But God doesn’t work that way in your life.

Are you sure?

There have been moments; the closest parking space open in the pouring rain, an extra $5 left in your coat pocket when you forgot your lunch at home, shopping for a new pair of jeans and finding a perfect fit.  Are you absolutely certain that those little moments aren’t God trying to get your attention?

Think of a time when you worried about something…you needed money for a bill due or you needed more time to finish a project, whatever, and think about how things always seem to work themselves out…  Perhaps someone loaned you the money or you were given extra hours at work; you were able to finish the project on time, the due date was extended, or maybe even the project was scrapped.  You probably exhaled a sweet sigh of relief when you were no longer weighed down by your burden, and you may have even noticed the way in which it resolved itself and considered yourself lucky.

It’s in those moments.  At those times where everything just seems to come together and life seems, just for a moment to get easier.  Those times when you realize the stars have aligned, fate has been revealed, and you may even utter “thank God” and in the same thought dismiss it as coincidence.  Those are the moments when God can be seen.  Those are the moments He uses to try to get your attention.

co•in•ci•dence   noun \kō-ˈin(t)-sə-dən(t)s\
Definition: the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection; also: any of these occurrences

iro•ny   noun \ˈī-rə-nē also ˈī(-ə)r-nē\
Definition 1: the use of words that mean the opposite of what one really intends
2: inconsistency between an actual and an expected result of a sequence of events

fate    noun \ˈfāt\
Definition 1: the will or principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do : destiny
2a: an inevitable and often adverse outcome, condition, or end
b: disaster; especially : death

luck   noun \ˈlək\
Definition 1: a force that brings good fortune or adversity
2: the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual

chance     noun \ˈchan(t)s\
Definition 1a: something that happens unpredictably without discernible human intention or observable cause
b: the assumed impersonal purposeless determiner of unaccountable happenings : luck <an outcome decided by chance>

ac•ci•dent   noun \ˈak-sə-dənt\
Definition 1: an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance
b: lack of intention or necessity : chance

There are no coincidences, fate, irony, chance, or luck in life… all details are fashioned and planned by God, for His glory, and He longs for us to see how tangible and involved in life He really is!

God is always at work in our lives but we are too busy acting like spoiled children, living and doing as we please, to recognize it.  He desperately wants us to notice Him and uses any means possible to get our attention, and if we stop just long enough to look around, He can be seen clearly working, guiding, and protecting, even when we aren’t even aware of His existence.

That is what I Spy God is all about.  God wants only the best for us, and has plans for our lives that we can’t even fathom. Even before we’re born He’s planning our future, the steps we will take, the people we will know, the adventures we will have.

 THE PILOT

Alan was a pilot in the United States Air Force during the era of the Vietnam war, and was frequently relocated due to his job in the armed forces.   He and his wife Donna lived on Homestead Air Force Base in Florida with their daughter Michelle when he received orders to ship out to Ubon, Thailand.   Like so many other pilots and soldiers assigned to Vietnam stations, Alan was given orders to join them and fly the AC130 gunship, a heavily-armed ground attack aircraft, over Vietnam.

Several of his comrades; fellow pilots including his Aircraft Commander, Maj. Ramsower, with whom he commonly co-piloted, had begun a two-week intensive training for piloting the gunships, and would eventually orbit areas of Vietnam raining gunfire on the land to clear out any hostile forces.

Alan was scheduled to begin his training in October, 1971 and plans were made for Donna and Michelle to return home to Wisconsin during the time Alan would be stationed in Thailand.  Two weeks before Alan was to be shipped out, orders were given for him to join the 11th Tactical Drone Squadron (TDS) in Tucson, Arizona which rescinded the previous orders to Thailand.

Alan, Donna and Michelle then relocated to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ.

While stationed in Tucson, Alan and his squadron received updates on the squadrons serving in Vietnam.  Several months after relocating Alan heard the following report:

On the night of March 29, 1972, an AC130A Hercules ‘Spectre’ Gunship departed Ubon Airfield, Thailand on a night reconnaissance mission over supply routes used by North Vietnamese forces in Laos.  As the aircraft was in the jungle foothills 56 miles east of Savannakhet in southern Laos, it was shot down by a Russian Surface to Air Missile (SAM) and all 13 crew members aboard were killed.

One of the pilots aboard that aircraft was Maj. Irving B. Ramsower II, the Aircraft Commander Alan commonly flew with in Florida, and had Alan’s orders not changed, he most likely would have been on that aircraft.

I was born on March 28, 1973, precisely one year later.

“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.”   Ecclesiastes 11:5 

It’s in moments like these where “I Spy God,” what my stories focus on, and why I am writing this book…because God certainly isn’t little or mundane!  I long to share the stories God has given me with you and want to help you ‘spy’ Him in your own life’s stories.  I pray that the Spirit will open your eyes to see and help you understand that God works in every aspect and detail of your day.

I truly believe that God wants us to see Him in the little things, and the more we give Him the credit and the glory, the more we will see Him trying to get our attention!  Would you join me in a little game?  A God hunt of sorts.  Let’s play I Spy God and take a journey to find God in the little things.  He is everywhere, always trying to get our attention, from a beautiful sunset to every green light on the way to work when you’re running just a tad bit late.   Don’t miss another moment to see Him …

“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”  1 Kings 19:11-12 (nkjv)

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