Archive for March, 2008

Change of Flight Plan

It was 1970 and I had flown to Hawaii to meet my husband for R&R. He had been serving in the U.S. Army, in Vietnam. We had a wonderful week there and neither of us wanted to leave. He had to return to Vietnam and I had to fly back to Tennessee.

I was flying on a special military stand-by fare. The night prior to our departure, I received a call from the airline telling me that I had been placed on a later flight, due to my original flight being oversold. “What am I going to do with all this time between you leaving and my flight time?” I cried, as I melted into his arms. I was so sad about being separated and this just added to my distress.

When I returned home on the later flight, I was stunned to see on the news that the flight I initially was scheduled to be on had crashed, killing everyone aboard! I have never questioned a flight change or delay since.

Pam Archer

Welcome Back

I awoke on the morning of August 2, 1977 with such intense nausea, that I barely made it to the bathroom. You can imagine my horror when upon vomiting I beheld a stream of bright, red blood! The heaving went on unabated. I could not stop it until finally, blind, I surmise by a dramatic drop in blood pressure, I felt my way to the top of the stairs and called for Danny. He found me, unconscious, on the bathroom floor, where I had felt my way back, still blind, to vomit again.


There was no tunnel. There was simply this lovely, soft, ever brightening light. It was like being cradled within a frosted light bulb – all white and soft and glowing, and it was as though the air was made up of music and vibrations. It was a place of teaching, a place of learning, a place… of love. Slowly, oh so slowly, I became aware of a feeling of complete acceptance. Here was love! Profound, exquisite love! I was bathed in it, enveloped in it, completely surrounded by it. I was with God, Creator, whatever name you wish to give the Supreme Being, and I was saturated with love! Finally, I understood what He meant in my earlier vision when He said, “I love you!”

To come to any kind of understanding of what I felt, one would have to go back, back, back to when they were so very young, were hungry, maybe crying. Their mother would come, pick them up, and hold them, and they went from being hungry and uncomfortable to a feeling of warmth and safety and love. That comes as close as I can get to explaining how I felt.

I had never experienced this type of love and acceptance before. I remember thinking, This is how it is! I knew it would be this way! And, I remember finally feeling whole and worthy and safe.

There is a saying that goes something like “Recipe for one happy adult: Take one child, marinate in love for approximately 16 years until ripe and juicy.” This must be what God does. We are not aware of it on this plane, but deep down, the love is there. I don’t think we could function if we felt the full force of God’s love. The glory of it would be too distracting. When I went Home, I recognized it instantly and knew that it had been there all along! Now, I knew who I was! I had my reference, my compass, my oar! I was so happy, so very, very happy.


It was with a great deal of reluctance, that I opened my eyes in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. I returned to this life with deep sorrow for what I had left behind. I felt lonely, bereft, robbed of my birthright. I was back in the cold, heartless world in which I had spent 24 years, without love, protection and companionship. I wept.

I felt someone holding my hand and looked up. There was Michelle, a friend of mine, who was a nurse at the hospital. She smiled, and smoothing the hair back from my face, whispered through a tear-filled voice, “We thought we had lost you. Welcome back.”

Excerpt from Son of My Soul – The Adoption of Christopher, Debra Shiveley Welch, Saga Books: Chapter 10 “The Reborn”

Online networking an instrument of God-incidence

Some months ago I started my own recruiting firm.

I have been truly blessed during this time.  Recently I received a resume from a software developer I had met through LinkedIn. His start up company had just lost their funding.

I had nothing for him at the time. Two hours later, I received an email from a friend describing an open position at his company that was an excellent match for my candidate.  (A God-incidence in itself).

I set up an interview for my candidate the following morning and received a call from my candidate about 45 minutes after he was scheduled to interview. I asked him how it went and he thought it had gone very well (everybody thinks their interview went well so I thought I’d wait and see).

He then went on to tell me that in the first few minutes of the interview he and the hiring manager discovered they had both graduated from a small Catholic high school in Minot, North Dakota. Now let me put this in perspective for readers who are not familiar with this area. Minot, North Dakota is a city of about 37,000 residents, making it the fourth largest cities in North Dakota, a state with a population of under 1,000,000. Minot is 500 miles away from Minneapolis where the client and the candidate both live. Bishop Ryan High’s average graduating class size is 50 students.

Now, I can’t tell you what the probability of this happening is, but it truly ranks as a Godincidence in my book. BTW, he was immediately scheduled for a second interview the following week.

Lonny J. Gulden
Chief Connections Officer™
Deep Valley Consulting LLC

Look Straight Ahead

Sitting on the couch in my mother’s living room day and night, doing nothing but rocking, rocking, rocking, I was uncertain if I could survive this devastating blow. Unable to eat, I was still having problems with anorexia and the slightest stress would throw me into weeklong fasts.  I was becoming weak and my already slight frame became emaciated.  My heart was broken.  Once again, I had been thrown over for someone else and my fragile pain-ridden spirit could endure no more.

I am not sure how long I had been living back home with my mother.  All I know is that I had not moved from the couch, had not changed my clothes, eaten, or taken any liquids.  I was an empty shell and had it not been for what happened next, I don’t think I would be here today.

I had lain down on the sofa and closed my eyes.  Did I sleep?  I must have, because what happened next could only have been a dream.

I found myself on a dirt road.  I remember it was hot…and the dust was swirling in places, irritating my nose; I sneezed.  I saw a man up ahead, sitting on a bench.  I walked over to him slowly as you sometimes walk in dreams…so slowly that it was almost as if I were standing still and he was moving toward me.  I stood before him swaying slightly; even in the dream, I was weak from not eating.  The man reached up and drew me down onto his lap, pressing my cheek to his shoulder.

The material of his shirt irritated my cheek, but I didn’t want to move my head.  I felt peaceful and content.  I think I may have been ready to die right there, filled with a serenity I had only found in the deep woods and rolling pastures of Southern Ohio.

He began to speak.  His voice was deep and resonant, a lot like Robert Duvall’s voice; so deep and rich, that it almost sounded like singing, it was so melodious.  “I love you,” He said, rocking me like a baby.  I remember asking, “How will I know this is not a dream?”  He answered, “When you awake, look not to the right or left.  Do not look behind.  Look straight ahead and your answer will be there.”  When I awoke, there was a cross on the wall directly ahead of me.  It remained there until the day we moved, when it disappeared as magically as it had appeared.

Excerpt from Son of My Soul – The Adoption of Christopher, Debra Shiveley Welch, Saga Books: Chapter 9 “The Forgotten.”

Networking even when not planned

Several years ago I was unemployed. Through another unemployed individual with whom I networked I was introduced to Bible Study Fellowship. I attended regularly, but was always challenged to get there on time.

One of the companies I had targeted in my job search was called FSI International, a supplier of capital equipment to the semiconductor industry. Try as I might, I just couldn’t find a networking contact into the company.

Monday night came along and I felt driven to get to BSF on time. After the introduction, one of the small group leaders was introduced to give his faith story. You can imagine my surprise when the teaching leader when he said, “Tonight we will be hearing from Peter Pope. During the week, Peter is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for FSI International.”

I would like to be able to say the result of that meeting was a new job, but it wasn’t. It was, however, the beginning of a friendship which lasted until Peter’s untimely death a few years later. This was truly a Godincidence.

Lonny J. Gulden
Chief Connections Officer™
Deep Valley Consulting LLC