Happy 4th … ?

Happy 4th … ?

Guy and Joe at the 2010 booth. Alas, no mas?

The Fourth of July brings perhaps a variety of things to mind for many of us.

To most perhaps, it is a holiday to celebrate the Declaration of Independence and the vision America’s founding fathers had for this country. It’s also a reminder to us of the sacrifice of those who died to make such a dream come true, and those who have died to protect that dream since.

Along with that, the holiday is also filled with plans and memories of family picnics and awesome fireworks displays… good times!   Some these days however, may find themselves lamenting how far our country has apparently drifted lately from the ideals set forth in 1776 by these founding fathers. Perhaps you find yourself pondering if the principals that have been fought and died for over recent centuries even have a home in America today anymore?

Germane to this field and this website – and you specific readers! – it cannot be forgotten that the now-classic Sci-Fi film “Independence Day” was released this weekend in 1996, in some ways permanently also wedding the topic of “aliens” to the holiday, at least in the minds of geeks like us!

By coincidence (?) 1996 also birthed the earliest incarnation of The Roswell UFO Festival. In 1997 the UFO Festival received global press and attention by marking the 50th anniversary of the 1947 Incident, and the fest has since become something of an American icon now, having a life of its own, whether it’s a good year or bad year attendance-wise.

And it is in Roswell, and the UFO Festival, where my thoughts are this holiday weekend.

I moved to Roswell NM right around July 1st wayyyyy back in 1999, just in time to sign a lease on a dumpy $220/mo apartment, unload my red pick-em-up truck, and set up my very first “outreach booth” at the Festival. I received via UPS my first and only large print-run of my book/tract “Come Sail Away” from the publisher (2 days late, that is), had a few thousand paper handouts with the book cover’s art and the www.seekye1.com url – where the book could be read for free – printed out as giveaways. I had – for the first time – girded myself to appear in public to tell folks that the event and phenomena they were there to celebrate or learn of was a demonic deception and that Jesus Christ and The Bible were the answers to the questions they had, and were also how to be set free from the doctrines of devils (and, for some, tormenting spirits) they were opening themselves up to by delving further into the topic.

Ahh, who ever forgets their Freshman year?

The turn-out for that year’s Festival was pretty abysmal, btw – way below the numbers advertised by the promoters. As it turned out, this has often been the norm for the event since. But whether 1,000, 10,000, or 50,000, there were always people at the UFO Festival who needed and in some way responded to the materials and research offered by myself (and later my colleagues).

That wasn’t the only disappointment I had after moving to Roswell either. You probably know the story if you’re a regular visitor to this website – I’ve told it a hundred times since : My “plan” was to get the book placed in the tourist locations, then maybe set up re-order procedures and move back to Nashville. God had a different plan than I did apparently. Neither the UFO Museum nor the large Christian bookstore would carry the book. Also, the local churches weren’t exactly as receptive to my teaching or presence as I had vainly imagined they would be either. Too much money was made in Roswell off of merchandising “alien” stuff, so someone coming along and bashing it all (so to speak) was destined to have quite a hard time. I stayed, but absolutely nothing I thought would happen upon moving to Roswell ever came to pass.

I couldn’t find the type of work I wanted in Roswell either (applied as a writer/reporter for the local newspaper, wanted to work on business websites for the local ISP, etc). Altho I didn’t want to, out of financial necessity I began waiting tables again at yet another restaurant after a few weeks of living there.   Overall, it was just one long season of bitter disappointment in fact. But as you know, a different version of history than my plans afforded eventually played out. From 1999 – 2010 (12 festivals total) to me, the Fourth of July has meant nothing else but sometimes months of preparation (especially once the conferences started) and several long days of outreach related activity.

As I type this, the Roswell UFO Festival is currently underway, and I’m not there. Sure, 11-12 years is a long time to be doing anything. It’s not that “I miss it” so much that has me typing this or thinking these thoughts today tho. It’s just that I feel a burden of sorts : I am aware that there are people (tourists mostly) in Roswell right now wandering around looking for “the truth” behind aliens and UFOs, and as far as I am aware of, there is no Christian ministry presence there to meet them. I’m also aware of the type of occultic and New Age ambassadors that are there to meet them, whom this year, get to represent their messages unopposed, or without giving the tourists/seekers a Biblical answer to incorporate into whatever else they find in Roswell.

Add to that the fact that so far at least, pretty much nothing I/we envisioned about being here in Orlando has come to pass. It’s been tough. I currently work (seculalry) more shifts and earn less money than when we left Roswell, and for the first time in probably twenty years, as of this weekend, I once again know the feeling of being late on rent.

It all adds up to a feeling of “Have we missed God? Did we abandon our post? Why are we even here?”

It is said in modern terms, that “nature abhors a vacuum.” I wonder if this is God’s way as well? Perhaps it will prove out that our very absence – and the absence of the gospel being presented publicly at this event – is what it might take for some of the actual native Christian citizenry of Roswell to finally realize that this has been their mission field to work all along. I wasn’t the first and am far from the only Christian worker God has sent there to represent the gospel amongst the alien-enamored truth seekers that visit Roswell daily, and in droves during the July Festival. Cracked vessel that I am, ridden with so many faults and foibles, is it possible that I needed to leave so that God could send, or raise up, another, more qualified person or group? Or might He still call us back there – either full-time or just for Festivals?

I know the answer to none of this. I do know that – no money aside – we had no vision from God calling or compelling us to go and work a booth, or speak, or hold a conference this year. Maybe it’s so that the above dynamics can be played out, I don’t know. We’ve also considered that the events I’ve co-produced since 2003 – first intended as an alternative to other views being peddled – had perhaps themselves become an attraction, making the UFO Festival larger and more successful than it needed to be.

It’s no secret that the UFO Festival itself had nearly fizzled to a slow death by 2005-2006, before the new Mayor got involved and put City funds and staff into making it larger. And God saw fit to allow me favor in “that regime” to incorporate Christian teachings on the UFO/Alien topic into the larger mix. But last year the new Mayor pulled The City out of it as a whole, just as God was (we thought) leading us to leave as well.

From what I’ve heard so far, it’s a pretty lack-luster event this year again. The event used to get global press months in advance, but the first news story that came out on it this year – only about a week in advance for that matter – reads UFO Festival Drops Some Events After Low Interest. Can’t help wonder if the lack of sponsors, City funding, Christian conferences and even “interest” according to that local news story all mean that it’s just going to fizzle out again?

If there’s a need for us to be there next year, I bet God will make a way (through donations from people like you perhaps, haha – we’ll keep you posted of any vision we have for such).

In the meantime, we’ll keep asking God what He wants us to do – either while here or from here – and hopefully be attentive to how He leads next. I know that seasons of of “wandering aimlessly, asking why we ever left and wondering where we’re going” is often the norm for God’s people. I’ve been through it before, perhaps you have too, and it is in fact how the Jewish calendar starts in the first place. I can only hope that this is normative, and part of God’s plan for us this time as well.

This year, my 4th of July will be spent on a “double-shift” waiting tables both lunch and dinner. Either way you look at it, it’s never a holiday for me I guess, but a long work day.

Those so inclined, please continue to pray for us here in Florida, for God’s vision and provision to be realized.

And Happy 4th to everyone, whatever it means to you this year!

In Christ,

Guy






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8 Responsesto “Happy 4th … ?”

  1. Terry says:

    Hi Guy,
    Just a note to lift you up and remind you that you have friends all over. I started talking to you back in, I don’t know, maybe 2001 or 2002? You sent me a free copy of your book “Come Sail Away”. I lift you up regularly in prayer and wanted to remind you that although sometimes we feel lost from what we thought our calling was, we remember that there is also “a time, a reason, or a season for things and when we may have come to the end of the season we loved so much, that time of dryness is also a time of resting and preparation for what God has next for us. How well we handle that time of rest (testing) will determine how well we will handle the next task God puts before us. You are doing awesome. You have a great wife and a interesting life. (I read your blog too.) Hang tight dude. You know what you believe is true. And your rewards for your faithfulness will be great.
    Love ya!
    Terry

  2. Scott says:

    I had always wanted to come to Roswell to see the festival and hopefully attend one of your conferences. I am sad to hear both are relics of the past now. I first came to your website about 4 or 5 years ago and it re-ignited my interest in this field, which I originally stepped away from in the 90’s as a Biblical studies PhD student trying to tie together the “ancient astronaut” theories with the fallen angels and trans-dimensional beings masquerading as counterfeit “gods” to the real God.
    Back in the 90’s it was considered Art Bell stuff, but now mainstream scholars are puruing it as a legitimate field of exploration.

    Keep up the good work and searching for God’s will in your life. Perhaps a conference in a city other than Roswell????

  3. Robert Kemper says:

    So far, any experience I’ve had with anyone concerning UFO’s, whether they’re Christian or secular, most
    don’t want to discuss the topic, as though being associated with it would brand them as some kind of a
    kook. When I suggest that I believe that the whole subject can be laid at the door of Satan and Demons
    from the Spirit world, they either will laugh or give me a wierd look and change the subject. Most people
    just seem to be afraid of any serious meaningful discussion of the unknown.

  4. mary says:

    hey guy, you sound like you got the blues. you didn’t ask for suggestions but that never stops me, lol. to assauge your fear of the lack of truth being manifested in roswell to the tourists- why don’t you go online, find a cheap billboard somewhere there and (when you’ve got the money) put your message about aliens/spirits on it? then everyone coming to roswell will see it and go to your website for more info. and waiting tables is below minimum wage work, i know. look in the sunday paper for night office cleaning jobs– its much easier work than bussing tables or cleaning hotels. its steady year round, pays over minimum; monday – friday nights, holidays off, usually 5pm to midnight or so. i did it and played half the day in the waterslides at wetnwild. life was good. and can be for you and your wife, don’t let these temporary blues keep you down, always keep your eyes open for other options. and i’m praying for you.

  5. Cris Putnam says:

    Guy,

    You also made a world wide impact on the internet in those days and you exposed a lot of to the work of Dr Heiser and others. Those old conference DVDs are classics. The ministry you did there made a big ripple in the pond of ideas that is still sending waves.

    Your Brother,
    Cris

  6. Kelvin Bomar says:

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post

  7. Dino Kebalka says:

    Great review! This is exactly the type of blog post that should be shared around the web. Shame on the Yahoo for not ranking this post higher!

  8. We certainly loved studying this. This topic acquired using a person is extremely effective for accurate planning.

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