BOTH LYLE HARRON and Hayseed Stephens were dreamers. One was my best friend; the other was the man I most admired. And both had a passion for Israel and that in the Last Days, oil would be discovered in that Biblical land.
Harron and Stephens believed such a "miracle" find would occur when the world was facing its final days with enemies confronting it on every side.
The reason I thought of these two men was the fears, which has sent shivers across the world, that Israel's bitterest enemy, Iran, was closing in on nuclear weaponry and the posture of its vile dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, could be an imminent warning to not only Israel, but the rest of the planet. And another bulletin had Israel planning a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuke facilities.
In quoting from Thursday's London Times, both the U.S. and Western allies believe Iran is not using its nuke program for electrical production purposes, but as a "cover for weapon development."
And what could be a saving point for Israel, which has always been the No. 1 target, and followed by the U.S., would be the world's "lifeline" -- oil.
When I met Harron for the first time near Edmonton in 1984, I thought he was kind of peculiar, only because of what he wore -- everything in red, even his socks. I would later learn such a dress code signified the "Blood of Christ." However, he had a belief that oil in Israel would be significant in the troubled days ahead..
This one-time bank manager and his kind and compassionate wife, Doreen, were heavily involved in oil exploration near Netanya, Israel, and in traveling throughout the world; spreading the Gospel and showing kindness and love for their fellow human beings.
In November, 1990, Harron was my guide throughout Ethiopia and then in opening my eyes to The Land, traveling to the "Good Fence," which separates the war zone of Lebanon and Israel and also to the south and the Dead Sea and the great fortress, known as Masada.
We would later travel throughout Israel in 1999 when I was the Middle East bureau chief for a major news-gathering organization, and based in Jerusalem.
And then there was respected Texas oil man, Harold (Hayseed) Stephens. In 1998, he told me that he expected a $30-million, six-to-eight-month project to uncover the world's largest oil field atop a salt dome at the southwest end of the Dead Sea.
"Until now, Israel's Islamic enemies have possessed nearly 75 per cent of the world's oil reserves with Israel's supply only a fraction of that," I wrote at the time, adding, "It's reported that Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia, all sworn enemies of the tiny Jewish state, have trillions of barrels while Israel has only enough oil to supply itself for about one and a half days and depends on other countries for the remainder."
After a tragic car accident involving his family cut short his playing days with the now-defunct New York Titans, Stephens returned to Texas to make his fortune in the oil business and to the fast life of gambling and booze. However, in January 1978, Stephens, who had been "partying" for days, had an experience like the Apostle Paul on the Damascus Road.
A meeting in 1982 played a key role in establishing Stephens' relationship with Israel and the Jewish people. Stephens said he felt to give then-Israeli PM Menachen Begin a large, Texas cowboy hat and it was then that Begin, unknowingly, spoke prophetic words: "Maybe, you will be the one to come and find oil in Israel."
Two hours later, Stephens recalled the Lord spoke to him, telling him the "greatest oil field in the world," lay beneath the southwest end of the Dead Sea.
While Hayseed Stephens passed away in May, 2003 and Lyle Harron in August, 2006, the "dream" of finding oil in Israel has never died. And with such searing present-day threats from the likes of Ahmadinejad, this would be the ideal time for such prophecy to be realized.