The Occasional Blog


The pendulum swings . . . in a favorable direction

The three great atrocities in our country’s history are Native American mistreatment, slavery, and abortion.  I’m stunned that now in the 21st century we permit the maiming, torturing, and murdering of millions of babies.  We point to human rights violations that occur all over the globe, but our own actions scream “hypocrisy”.   The Holocaust resulted in the killing of six million European Jews by Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany and we memorialize it as an atrocious blot on human history, yet the good ole USA has the blood of 8X as many babies on its hands.  How any human with a heart, brain, and soul could rationalize that such a practice is our right is beyond comprehension.  It is pure evil.  

Not all is so grim.  This year, 2018, marks a beginning of the pendulum swinging the other way in the direction of what is good and right.  Several state legislatures have taken steps to quell the abortion tide that has swept over our country and drowned many with its moral decay.  I’m sad to report that two states, Washington and Oregon, instituted new laws to expand abortion.  They must worship Moloch, the Canaanite god of child sacrifice.  However, I’m delighted to report that other states–namely, Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana, Idaho, and Mississippi–have acted responsibly and proactively toward what is so obviously right.  

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed the “heartbeat” bill into law.  It bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, which is about six weeks.  Exceptions are made in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts approved a bill that cuts off federal Title X funding to Planned Parenthood.  This action is perfectly legal and a giant step in shutting down abortion mills in the state.  I hope other states follow this creative approach.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed a new law that will require medical providers who treat women for complications arising from abortions to report detailed patient information to the state.  It’s a small step, but one nonetheless.  

Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed a bill into law that informs patients seeking medical abortions that drug-induced abortions may be halted halfway.  In short, it gives women a second chance to change their minds midstream in the process.  

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law a bill that bans abortions after 15 weeks of gestation.  Within an hour the state was hit with a lawsuit, which was exactly the state’s desired response.  The objective is to take this new law through the courts to hopefully overturn Roe vs. Wade.  

These results have emerged in the last couple of months.  I consider it awesomely good news!  There is hope for our country in protecting its most vulnerable citizens.  

GQ what?

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the GQ magazine article on 12 Books You Don’t Need to Read–a list that includes the Holy Bible.  Here’s what it stated:  “The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.”  The article continues with a recommendation of another book one should read instead.  The not-so-big surprise is that it’s by the same author who wrote this comment.  His name doesn’t merit being mentioned.  

The backlash against the GQ article has been swift and severe.  I won’t add anything because the reasons are so glaringly obvious.  

Unlike many Christians, I didn’t get worked up over this news.  It’s a publicity stunt.  GQ needs more readers and the author wants to be known.  How better to do so than to incite some controversy?  It’s an attempt to get free advertising for a faltering magazine and little-known author.  

Why do you suppose GQ and the author didn’t attack the Quran?  I suspect it’s because they wanted to live to see tomorrow.

Do you remember when Dennis Rodman, fabulous basketball player for the Chicago Bulls, would dress up as a woman, date a famous singer and actress, wrestle in the WWE, establish a friendship with Kim Jong-un, etc.?  All his stunts have been done to gain attention and remain in the public’s eye.  Had he just played basketball and retired, no one would even think about him today.  It’s the same principle.  Be controversial and get your name in the news.  

Will GQ and the writer benefit from this stunt?  Yawn.  I seriously doubt it.  

Back at discussing demons again

My two devotionals on demons of a few days ago proved timely.  By now you’ve seen the news about the Waffle House shooting in Antioch, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.  Travis Reinking eluded police for 1-1/2 days before being arrested, charged with killing four people.  I hate to be politically correct by assuming his innocence until proven guilty, so I’ll report that he allegedly approached and entered the Waffle House firing an AR-15 while in the nude except for wearing a jacket.  

Reinking has had previous run-ins with the law.  One arrest occurred in Washington, D. C. when he carried four weapons too close to the White House in seeking a meeting with President Trump.  Also, he’s the guy who believed Taylor Swift had been stalking him.   

Do you get the picture?  To use a Southern expression, “he’s not right”.   In the coming weeks I’m certain we’ll likely hear about a plea of innocence by reason of insanity.  I sympathize with persons struggling with mental illness, and we need to extend help and understanding to them.  I also suggest that some mental illnesses characterized by violent behavior toward others reflect demon possession.  Most mental health professionals would scoff at this suggestion.

This current event resembles another one that occurred two thousand years ago.  Jesus and His disciples had crossed the Sea of Galilee headed to the area of Gerasenes.  After arrival on land, He met a wild man living in the tombs.  This guy ran around naked and could not be contained, hurting others and himself.  The description of this fellow sounds a lot like Reinking.  

What did this man say to Jesus?  First, he acknowledged Him as God.  Second, he reported being filled with a legion–that is, a huge number–of demons.  He didn’t pass himself off as being insane.  

What happened next?  Jesus cast out all the demons from this man and he became perfectly normal and calm.  There was no mention or acknowledgement of anything else causing the man’s behavior.

Now, in consideration of the Reinking murders in Antioch and the illogical nature of his actions, is it really a stretch to accept that he’s demon-possessed?  In my opinion, not at all, and I recognize that some readers will regard me as backwards for thinking so.  However, Jesus thought this way–correctly, I should add–so perhaps we should as well.  

What church?

This blog reflects my personal opinion about the different churches.  If you disagree, that’s fine.  Just don’t bother to send messages telling me I’m wrong.  I get that there are other points-of-view.  

The Church is the Body of Christ.  Its members are believers.  It’s NOT a particular denomination or brand name or any other label.  Can you imagine going to heaven and expecting only those believers from your particular church being there?  

All Christians should share certain core beliefs.  What separates us is the small stuff that really doesn’t matter at the end of the day.  These differences come in many packages.  Here are just a few examples:  style of worship music; use of instruments; Bible translation; type of baptism; infant baptism; who can take communion; one cup vs. small cups in communion; miracles; manifestation of the Holy spirit; dress style; outward appearance; alcohol consumption; divorce and remarriage, tithing, etc.  I could probably list a few hundred differences off of the top of my head.  You get the picture.  

Here’s the reality:  no church is 100% correct on everything.  Believers are united on the major tenants, but we lose it with the minor things.  It’s unfortunate that human nature is to sweat the small stuff when it comes to spiritual matters.  

My wife and I don’t worship at any denominational or brand name church.  For us, we chose to attend non-denominational churches that are Bible-based and accept the core beliefs of Christianity.  However, one must still exercise good judgment, because  a non-denominational church may simply reflect the views of a controlling and erroneous pastor and not be Biblical.   

When asked by someone where they should go to church, I suggest finding a body of believers where you fit, and use spiritual discernment to determine if it’s the right one.  If you trip across one that claims exclusivity on salvation, run rather than walk away from it.  

Can you believe it?

This website officially launched on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018.  Right now when I’m writing this piece, it is only 2-1/2 weeks old.  I’m trying different types of stories and styles, searching for what’s most effective in reaching any readers.

You beliefs may not coincide 100% with mine, and that’s okay.  I trust that we agree on the major doctrines of Christianity and may disagree on the small stuff.  The objective is to make disciples–either new converts or re-energized believers.  Considering these points, should anyone be offended by this website?

Of course not!  However, the reality is that some people feel negatively about it–enough to do it harm.  In the few days of online life, there have been 318 malicious attempts to hack into this website.  I have no idea of how many people are involved in such an effort.  It may just be one.  Today I figured out one particular individual whose goal is to load the pages with advertisements.  He’s up to doing evil, and he’s certainly not being guided by the Holy Spirit.

If you ever check-out this website and find strange ads, links, pornography or who knows what, don’t click on anything. In the meantime, know that my virus protection has worked fabulously well.



The Other Side…

Sulynne, my wife of 45 years, experienced her second heart attack on January 18, 2017–about 11 years following her first one. We were fortunate that I was home at the time; otherwise, she might have been a goner.

After the EMTs placed her in an ambulance and assessed her condition, one asked about her spiritual background and encouraged her to pray en route to the hospital. Somewhere along the way she flat-lined, which required being zapped by high-voltage paddles to restart her heart. During this time-frame an amazing thing occurred. She had an out-of-body experience.

Sulynne made it down a dark corridor to what others have called the death veil, a translucent curtain that she could see though hazily. People were on the other side, and she could see the outline of her brother, Bob, who had died years ago from a heart attack. It was quite noisy. She could not make out the words or sounds, but the place conveyed a sense of happiness. Behind the people she could see a bright light–brighter than the sun–but she couldn’t make out what it was. Interestingly, time did not exist, and she has no idea of how long she was in this place.

She felt at peace during this experience. She heard a faint voice in the distance calling her name, then a second time louder, and finally a third time very loudly. She felt no inclination to come back and wished that she had not been disturbed. She awakened when her heart started beating again. Immediately she actually chastised the EMT for bringing her back, as she had felt so close and wanting to pass through the veil to the other side. He responded, “not on my watch” and “God has more for you to do!”

People reading this story about her experience will have various reactions. Skeptics, including agnostics and atheists, may rationalize it was some naturally occurring psychological phenomenon caused by various chemicals within the brain being primed by electric impulses controlling the thought processes and body organs. Some religious folks will point out Bible verses about dying only once and claim nothing really happened, simply because her experience is inconsistent with their understanding of the Scriptures.

Others will be inspired by the story. Sulynne obviously didn’t die. However, she had a near-death experience. One should not dismiss it out-of-hand. She has described that it was just as real as seeing and talking with me face-to-face. I don’t know who deserves the credit for this quotation as it has been attributed to several people, but it applies to all of us: “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”

On reflection Sulynne is happy the heart attack occurred to cause this near-death experience. It has firmly clarified her eternal destiny. What a great assurance! She doesn’t fear death and is actually looking forward to the return trip and remaining in the heavenly realm.

Before this event she was a little shy and tentative about sharing a personal testimony about Jesus Christ. She’s not this way any more! She approaches people–even strangers–and uses her near-death experience as a segue to presenting the message of God’s grace. Just know this: all of us have an eternal destiny. Be prepared.