So many people are trying to become pleasing to God. Then there are those who cry out, “Well…I doubt they ever really were Christians." Nothing makes me angrier. How judgmental can a person become than to condemn someone based solely on a few external actions they have witnessed?

Which leads me back to my original point. It’s all judging, and I am becoming convinced that one of the things we people do best is judge others and ourselves. Or, should I say, one of the things we do worst? That’s just the trouble, we don’t judge rightly, not even when it comes to ourselves.

We seem so busy with trying to fix the faults we find in ourselves, and I seldom see Christians simply enjoying life. The saddest thing I witness above all is that of someone who has been a believer for a long time, whose life becomes less and less joy filled. Yet time and again, I try to tell these people that if in fact they really do think that God loves them, and if in fact they really do think that they can never be separated from Him, there is absolutely no reason in the world for their lives to be anything less than as full and fantastic a life as they can imagine. No reason whatsoever.

This leads me to believe that not many people really think God loves them, or really think they can never be separated from Him, because not many people are living their lives in such a fantastic way. How my heart yearns for them to know for certain so that they can live free of fear; and, having that fear completely removed, they can excel and soar unfettered by the worries they once were enslaved to.

I will tell you a secret. The one thing I notice more than anything else in new believers is a changed life. Not just a life that now struggles to be free of the things that confined them. What I witness in them is true joy and freedom. Somehow, from the moment they believe to the moment they have been with Jesus for a length of time, that freedom slowly seeps out of them, until they are but a shadow of what they once were.

What is the cause of this? I believe one part of a cause of this is the belief that not all are redeemed, and that somehow, it is our position to judge the “unsaved” first, and then offer them an olive branch which they are free to accept or reject. The second part is that they never believe themselves to be truly redeemed; they always seem to have to prop themselves up on a bible verse, or in the past, when it seemed like they were more joyful.

The most alive Christians I have met have been the ones who could tell me RIGHT NOW how free they feel, how loved they feel, and how secure they feel. Truly, once all fear is gone, the land beneath our feet is like air under the wings of a bird. We can fly, when we are not shackled with fear. And what do we have to fear? Absolutely nothing.

Peace to you all has been proclaimed by Jesus Christ and his followers, peace between God and man. There is now nothing to fear or to be condemned for, so stop condemning yourself if you are, and stop fearing the worst if you do. The worst can no longer happen.



I will find out this week if that job as a project manager will be offered to me. One week ago last Friday, I went for a second interview, and I thought it went really well. I found out this last Friday that I was the only person to receive a second interview, which I take to mean the fellow who is doing the hiring either liked me, or just wanted to make sure his thoughts on my absolute inability to do the job were right the first time around. We'll see.

How are things going in your lives? This blog always ends up being about me, me, me. Well...maybe I want it to be a bit about you, you, you, today. So, what do you say? Care to share? Got a plot? Name the game, stay and play, let's talk a while, 'kay?



Check out Steve's latest post called Real Power. I was going to post something tonight, but I am pretty sure that I can't say it as well as Steve does. Go ahead, what are you waiting for?



I left this as a comment over at a friends blog, and realized that what I had said was sort of an illumination for people about how my faith works within my life. The question was asked, "what does trust in God do, what is it for?" Well, this is my answer. Thanks, Eddie, for asking the question, even though you didn't ask it of me directly.

We don't trust ourselves enough, even those who believe in God, and we ought to be able to trust ourselves more than anyone else, considering what Christ said about believing. Whether you believe in God or not, there is one thing that is most definitely true of the human race: A large lack of trust in ourselves. I think faith in God helps to overcome some of that. For whatever reason, we tend to believe of ourselves that we are very limited creatures. We tend to believe that we can't see in the dark. Yet when a person remains calm, and gives his eyes time to adjust, he can see in many more dark places than he believed at first.

We tend to believe that we could not survive a thirty foot fall uninjured, yet I myself have survived such a fall completely uninjured. People would say that such a fall would most likely kill a man, and certainly would injure him seriously in most cases.

In short, there seem to be more things we believe we cannot do than things we believe we can do. For me, trusting God makes everything possible. The only doubts I have are about my abilities, and even then, there are things I can do today that I believed I couldn't do years ago.

I believe the message of Christ is not just life after death, but Life during life. I believe that within me, there is a power unlike anything else in this physical world, and that this power is always available to me. Like I said, I don't trust in my ability to make use of that power, but there have been times when that power was most certainly manifested beyond the belief I had of my limits. Because of trusting in God, I am more inclined to believe I can do something than I was before. It is confidence, certainty, and strength where many times, people who don't believe in God would stop or not even try.

I am just learning about the lack of faith I have in me, and the strength of the God who makes up for any lack I have. I am a beginner, a cub, a calf, whatever name you would put on it. But the more I learn about the lies of the human mind in believing we have so many limits, the more I realize and experience that I am doing things I never could do before. Most of those things manifest themselves through my work, making things that others just look at and say, "How in the world did you ever make that with the tools you have?" Or someone being able to see the difference between my work and someone else's on the same project, such a difference that experience alone cannot explain. I'm not bragging here, either, it's just explaining a fact.

My trust in God is for perfection, not because I have to be perfect, but because I can be. My trust in God is for me to do those things I have believed I couldn't do because of perceived human limitations.



The following article appeared several years ago in a Newspaper called the Sydney Morning Herald. It was endorsed by Bob Murray, PhD, and Alicia Fortinberry, MS, who founded the Uplift Program. The Uplift program is dedicated to the treatment of depression and the overall mental well being of all people. I have read a little of Bob and Alicia’s work, and find their ideas fascinating, as well as similar to some Christian concepts of community and prayer, or even meditation. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

If you suufer from depression, and are looking for help, visit their website, The Uplift Program.

'The Prayer Spot' Found

May 22, 2001

A couple of years ago researchers at the University of California at San Diego found the famous 'God Spot,' a part of the brain that reacts to certain spiritual/religious stimuli. Now scientists have gone even further to probe the biological underpinnings of prayer and other kinds of religious experience.

Professor Newberg, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania whose work appears in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, takes images of the brains of people during peak religious experiences -- deep prayer and religious meditation.

A pattern has emerged from Professor Newberg's experiments. There is a small region near the back of the brain that constantly calculates a person's spatial orientation, the sense of where one's body ends and the world begins. During intense prayer or meditation, and for unknown reasons, this region becomes a quiet oasis of inactivity. "It creates a blurring of the self-other relationship," said Professor Newberg, "If they go far enough, they have a complete dissolving of the self, a sense of union, a sense of infinite spacelessness."

Professor Newberg and other scientists are finding that people's diverse devotional traditions have a powerful biological reality. During intense meditation and prayer, the brain and body experience signature changes, as yet poorly understood, that could yield new insights into the religious experience.

An example is a National Institutes of Health-sponsored clinical trial at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore that will study the effects of group prayer sessions among black women with breast cancer -- the first such study. Already, scientists say, the young field has provided evidence that these meditative states -- which rely on shutting down the senses and repeating words, phrases or movements -- are a natural part of the brain; that humans are, in some sense, inherently spiritual beings.

"Prayer is the modern brain's means of connecting to more powerful ancestral states of consciousness," said Gregg Jacobs, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. With meditative states, people seem to turn off what Professor Jacobs called "the internal chatter" of the higher, conscious brain.

Eventually, researchers hope to identify a common biological core in the world's many varieties of worship.

We have been saying for a long time that humans were inherently spiritual beings. This will not come as news to Fortinberry-Murray practitioners. Bob Murray, PhD.



I wrote A Reason To Believe not for its story, although I like stories, but rather for its capacity to inspire. In truth, I didn’t expect my story to inspire anyone, mainly because I believe it was meant to inspire me at a time when I had given up. Yet somehow, that story continues to inspire me, and now, I am told, that it inspires others as well.

I am both glad for that, and a little concerned. Glad to have been able to share one of my stories and allow people to see a part of my journey through my eyes. But concerned because for some, maybe this story inspires them because they believe they have nothing in their lives that is worthy of being inspiring. Maybe they do have something, but cannot recall it. Or maybe, they didn’t realize what an incredible lack of faith I had to have when this happened. This story isn’t the only such story I can tell. There are others.

You see, I have always believed that I was given these inspirations exactly because my faith was so weak. Surely someone with strong faith wouldn’t need to be reminded, would he? And surely, someone who told God to go to hell possibly requires a bit more evidence? After all, the healthy don’t need a doctor, do they?

At that moment in my life, I needed a lot more than a doctor. I needed something that was going to last, something I couldn’t make happen by myself, and something that someone else could verify, so that I didn’t end up believing I had made all of it up in my mind. You might think the chances of that are slim, but if you had known me before I met Christ, you’d know that my mindset would have eventually led me down that path. Putting it as lightly as I can, I think too much. I have been told this numerous times in my life, especially by other Christians.

In fact, Brett’s wife used to say it to me quite often. I work things around in my mind, never leaving them alone, constantly searching for the truth, and not being able to make sense of the things in my life. I question God a lot. I question His intelligence, I question His love. I question His presence, and I question His existence. Yes, even after the story I related to you, I still sometimes question His existence. Not for real long, though. Something usually happens fairly quickly to silence those questions for a good while.

Why am I writing this? Because it’s a part of who I am, and a part of the way I am. And all these parts of me, and all these experiences, have shaped how I view God and His love. I know deeply that any God who can be told to ‘eff’ off and still give me evidence of His presence must certainly love me beyond my capacity for understanding. And the lengths He goes to for me describe not only His love, but His veracity. I don’t believe He feels these things only for me.

But I do believe that my experiences with God are very unique. I believe that God does not deal with us only according to His own attributes, but to ours as well. That is why I have become a believer in salvation for all, even though I cannot pinpoint every bit of evidence for it. The evidence for me lies within God Himself, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, who, it is written, "takes away the sins of the world", without prejudice.

There are times I get upset with people who don’t believe. There are times I cannot believe they don’t believe. But most of the time, I find myself accepting it, even when I am forced to because none of my words or deeds give them a reason to believe. I believe God allows people to stray. He has allowed me to stray far more often than I care to tell. If anyone has blasphemed God more than me, I’d like to hear their story, because I would have to doubt it based on memory and experience alone.

All people everywhere wander from God. The story of the prodigal son isn’t the story of one man who ran off with his inheritance. It’s the story of the whole of mankind, and the father who rushes out to meet him is the God of all creation. So if He allows you to wander…heck, if He allows you to blaspheme Him and ignore Him, to deny His very existence, I know that someday you will understand why He simply won’t crush you, the bruised reed. He will neither extinguish you, nor turn you away. And all of this is your inheritance simply for being created. I do not know when you will know this, but I hope it’s soon, so you can celebrate His love and joy of you with me.



“Why have you abandoned me!?”

I was done. I was completely spent, and drew my next breath deeply, my head suddenly pounding from the exertion and pressure inside.

Seconds later, my telephone rang…….

Brett was traveling about a hundred twenty miles away on the same morning I exploded. I had only known Brett for six months, having met him in a group setting with some other friends of ours from church. This group now met every Sunday evening; my wife having joined as well for the preceding six months.

We met to discuss issues of faith and love, and learned a lot about ourselves and God along the way. But in that time, I really only knew Brett and his wife Sherrie as acquaintances. We didn’t talk outside of the group, nor did we sit together in church or do anything together as friends sometimes do. There had never been a reason for either of the couples to interact outside of the group; as a result, Brett had never called me prior to that day.

During his travels that morning, Brett was troubled by something he couldn’t put his finger on. As a short amount of time passed, he became aware of an idea to give me a call. He shrugged it off several times, before the idea became more insistent in his mind. Still, he couldn’t decide whether he should call or not. You don’t just call someone out of the blue unless you have a reason, and from Brett’s point of view, never having called me before, he didn’t feel as though he had a reason. Yet he couldn’t shake the insistence of his thoughts.

He drove on for another while, and after a time, several hours had passed since his first inclination to call. The persistence of the idea to call me began to be louder in his mind, to the point of actually becoming a hindrance to his attention for the road on which he was driving.

When he finally could not stand it any longer, he pulled over to the side of the road. He had decided to call his wife, who was at home, to ask her for advice. He described to Sherrie what he was experiencing, and asked her what she thought he should do. After all, how do you tell someone that you have this incredible need to call them without any reason whatsoever? What should he say? What would Tom think?

Brett had never had a reason to call me prior to this, so his conundrum was fairly vivid to him. If there had been several other times where we had spoken, if only we knew each other better, maybe then a call such as this one wouldn’t seem so wacky. But to call out the wild blue like this?

Sherrie convinced Brett to try calling, so he asked her if she could look up my telephone number and give it to him. Before he hung up with Sherrie, she asked him to let her know how it went.

Here is how it went.

I gathered every remaining breath in my chest, and shouted deafeningly, at God, at the cross, “Why have you abandoned me!?”

I was done. I was completely spent, and drew my next breath deeply, my head suddenly pounding from the exertion and pressure inside.

Seconds later, my telephone rang…….

I looked at my telephone in disgust. “Who could possibly be calling me right now!?” I asked no one in particular. I hesitated. I couldn’t decide. Should I answer it? Why answer it? I was angry, sad, tired…defeated. I felt as though I had nothing left to say to anyone. I just wanted all of this over with. I wanted to not have to deal with it, to not have to think about it, to not have it be the only thing I knew in my life, the only thing that currently defined me. I wanted to run from it as far and as fast as I could, but I was too tired to run.

The phone rang three times, and then a thought occurred to me instantly. “I do NOT want to listen to any messages! If I let it ring again, I am going to have to listen to my wife’s voice telling someone to leave a message. To run out of the room, or to pick up the phone, what should I do?

I picked up the handset, pressed the “talk” button, and said, barely audibly, “Hello?”

Brett answered hesitantly (or so that is how it seemed to me at the time). “Hi Tom…it’s…Brett…LaChappelle. How are you doing?”

“Fine”, I lied. Of course I wasn’t doing fine! Who cared anyway? And what in the hell was Brett doing calling me?

Up until this moment, I had not confided in anyone what had occurred in my life. No one knew that my wife had left me. No one knew that I had lost my job. I certainly wasn’t going to tell Brett. My mind was made up!

That’s when Brett said, “Look…Tom…,” with more hesitation than before. “I don’t know why I’m calling you. I…I…don’t even know what I’m supposed to say.” He paused for an even longer moment. I was listening, and it strikes me now that it is so strange that what he was telling me then wasn’t registering in my mind as odd. I mean, it certainly was “odd”, but it didn’t seem “out of place”, if that is even a decent way of describing my thoughts about it all.

He continued,”I have just had this feeling that I should call you, and it’s been getting worse all morning.”

“Oh yeah?” I asked, not really interested too much at that moment. I don’t know when it finally kicked in to me that this was weird.

“Yeah”, He said. “I was driving along, and had to pull over and ask Sherrie if I should call you, and then I didn’t have your phone number, so I had to ask her for that, too.”

“Oh yeah?”, I asked again. Something was beginning to register now, and I remember trying to figure out just what Brett was trying to get at. Then it came.

“Is everything alright with you, Tom? I don’t know what else to ask, Like I said, I don’t even know why I am calling.” Brett said, and something about the concern in his voice, or maybe it was simply agitation at the position he was in, cut its way through the fog that contained me.

Now I had a choice, and I was very, very aware of that choice. I don’t know why I remember that awareness so vividly. I had to choose whether to tell Brett what had happened. At that moment, it seemed so hard to say anything, like it would just take too much effort to tell the story, and I really, really didn’t want to tell it. I was ashamed, struck low, angry, and sad. “What will he think of me, a failure as a husband?” I asked myself inwardly.

There was a long pause before I said anything. It was like the calm before the storm.

“Brett, Nina left me…for another man. She took Ally” I said, through sobs and tears, “and I haven’t seen her since yesterday…..”

After that, the entire conversation is a blur in my memory. I told Brett as much as I could, and balled like a newborn baby over the phone. Through it all, Brett listened. He didn’t interrupt too much except to ask a few questions. Other than that, he just listened.

In exactly three months, it will be six years to the morning since this event occurred.

Every so often, Brett and I talk about that morning, and that phone call. Every so often, Brett talks about that phone call with Sherrie. Nearly every day, I think about that morning. I can still fell the pressurized throbbing inside of my head from shouting “Why have you abandoned me!?” I can still feel the first breath after that shout; long, ragged, and deep. But what I think about most, what brings tears of joy and hope to my eyes even now is the answer I didn’t have enough faith to believe in on my own.

I had walked away from God on that morning. I told Him to go to hell. I dropped MY faith like a bad habit, and was glad in my anger to be rid of it.

This is one story.

This is my story, but it isn’t the only story in my life. It’s just the story that God used to give me a reason to believe.

Nothing else in my life has inspired me in the way this event did. I used to believe in a lot of things, none of them God. I used to believe in my ability to carve my world and my results myself. I used to believe that it was up to me to make my world a better place; I used to believe I could actually do it. I used to believe in science, and in math, in everything I could see, and in nothing I couldn’t.

Now, whenever I begin to doubt, I think of that morning, and how I lost faith. Now, I know that I will lose my faith many times. But when I think of that morning, I know that the faith God gave me will never die. The two are different, my faith and His. The one is fickle and completely reliant upon circumstance. The other is not.

May the God of Sherrie, Brett, and Tom be with you all. He the God of the Living, and not the God of the dead.



It was early on the morning after my wife left me for another man. The prior evening, I cried myself to sleep, with the pain inside often welling up into uncontrollable sobs and heaves of the heart. Several times during the night I woke up, unable to recall my bearings, until the memories of the last day would rush at me once again, and I would cry myself to sleep once more. I was in a fog on that morning, sipping coffee which threatened to blast back out the way it had come; my stomach was doing turns and overall, my intestines felt as if they were doing back flips.

I sat at my desk in my home office, trying to make sense of the last few days, in which my wife had told me I was not a satisfactory husband, and that she had never really loved me anyway. She had told me she deserved better than me. None of what she told me meshed with my memories of what our marriage had been like, especially the early years; the years she claimed she used me and never loved me. I had been deceived.

It was this deception that began to spark an anger within me which could not be measured. I had never grown so incensed, so enraged against God, as was occurring within me while the morning drew on. Yet for a while, I remained silent on the outside, while my insides were dying. For over an hour, I remained as a statue at that desk, recalling also the events of the prior week.

My home office was small, hot, and quiet, as I considered how for the last nine years, I worked as a project manager for a firm specializing in HVAC construction and design; four of those years in the very home office I was currently sitting in. It had all come to an abrupt end on the past Monday, when my boss had called me to drive an hour and a half for a meeting with him. I thought nothing odd of the meeting; we met regularly on Mondays to discuss strategies and projects. I thought this meeting was going to be another of the same nature. But when I arrived, my boss immediately began to berate me, declaring that I was being fired for attempting a hostile takeover of his company, all the while leaving the door to his office open, ensuring that everyone within the building that day could hear how the best project manager this firm had ever employed was being taken apart by the Owner of the firm.

I don’t recall which was worse; my feelings of embarrassment, or the fact that I was being fired because of a lie. A young man named Mark, whom I had helped recruit, hire, and train, had told a story to my boss. His story included a fable about how I had informed Mark that I was going to start my own firm, and steal several projects and principals right from under my bosses’ nose. It was just the sort of story my boss would believe, because he was admittedly a very paranoid person. And later I would find out that Mark had admitted to a friend of mine that he had indeed made the entire story up in order to gain my position in the firm. I never had a chance to explain that the story was a lie. Before I even opened my mouth to refute the lie, my boss had shouted, “I don’t believe anything you say! Get out!”.

The entire day seemed surrealistic; I couldn’t believe that I, the top project manager, had been fired because someone had lied about me. It didn’t seem real. I couldn’t shake my funk over the entire issue, and drove home wondering where to go from there. Could I fight this? Would there be any kind of a business relationship to return to? Being a Newbie Christian, I tried to pray, but my mind kept interrupting, and there was no peace for me the entire drive home. During the week, I tried to talk to my boss on the phone, but he wouldn’t take my calls.

Three days later, my wife informed me that she was in love with another man, and was leaving me. She said many other things, all of which I wish I could no longer remember.

Prior to that week, I had been a very confident man, even after coming to know Christ. I believed there wasn’t anything that was beyond my abilities. I was arrogant in my beliefs about myself. Yet somehow, I had been able to separate that arrogance from my family, which I loved as best I could. Apparently, that wasn’t nearly good enough. My wife left me for a man who left his wife, and his newborn daughter.

Nothing seemed to compute. How could this man be such a wonderful man, I wondered? How could my wife fall in love with someone who was willing to abandon his newborn daughter for the sake of his pecker? That thought was typical of how my mind was working that morning.

As the rage continued to build within me, I recalled my adult life up until this point. I had been a husband to a beautiful wife, was father to a wonderful daughter, was a success in business, owned a nice house, two nice cars, and had seemingly everything under control.

In the space of one week, all of it was gone. Everything I knew, everything that daily made me “me” had changed, or been taken away. But what angered me most wasn’t because it happened for reasons I didn’t understand, or under very suspicious circumstances. What angered me most was that once I began to know Christ, everything fell apart. I had started becoming a human being. I had stopped being a machine, and started feeling again. Instead of being concerned only about money in business, I had started to be concerned about the people. I had started to learn how to put my wife first. I had started a love affair of fatherhood with my daughter that grows even until today.

What angered me most was that I had thought I was able to control everything, and that my growing love for God, my wife, daughter, and people in general would help guide me the rest of the way. But it all disappeared like a small comet smashing into a mountainside.

I began to talk to God, loudly. I paced around my house, crying, speaking, imploring, begging. All I received in answer was silence, and that silence destroyed what little control I had left. I shouted things at God I am ashamed to repeat. I screamed and raged that he didn’t love me, that everything had been just a big joke, and that this “game” of his was stupid, and furthermore, I no longer wanted any part of it. I cannot recall how many times I told God to “fuck off”, or “go to hell”. I used every word I knew, and uttered every blasphemy known to man; I didn’t care. As far as I was concerned, there was no God, how could there be if the moment I started learning how to be a fellow human being, learning how to feel again, he would allow this catastrophe in my life?

I couldn’t see past this day; I honestly felt as though I was going to end my life.

Still, there was nothing but silence, and I finally entered into the area of rejection in my heart. I screamed even more brashly at God, calling him a liar, and a harlot for allowing my wife to leave me for a corpse of a man. I accused God of harming my little daughter, of not caring what this was going to do to her. My mind was racing, my head was pounding, and my throat was beginning to become raw. I asked God, “What does it matter if I leave you? Who gives a shit? You sure as hell don’t!” I said all of this as I was staring at a cross I had nailed to my wall a few months earlier.

For some reason, that cross made me weep, and as I bent over my kitchen countertop sobbing uncontrollably, rivers of tears streamed down my cheeks and dripped onto the countertop, forming a puddle.

But the tears only lasted a few minutes, and soon my anger reared again. I paced before that cross, again shouting at Him, asking Him “Why?!” I asked Him what I was supposed to do now, and waited in my rage, knowing after a minute that God’s only answer was silence, because in my mind, He didn’t give a crap about me, or anyone else.

This infuriated me even further, and I gathered every remaining breath in my chest, and shouted deafeningly, at God, at the cross, “Why have you abandoned me!?”




What is at the foundation of our searching?

All people search. We seek answers, we seek truth, we seek purpose and meaning. We seek other things as well.

What is at the root of all this searching?

What is the crux of the human condition? Is it sin, as we have been told? Well, look for yourself, in your own bible. Try to find one statement where God says the human condition is sin, and all of our problems can be traced back to that. Did Paul ever say it? Did Jesus? Why do we perpetuate an idea that has no foundation in the gospels or in the epistles, neither in the psalms or the prophets? Why, when we are asked, do we answer, “It’s because of sin”?

“I feel empty inside”, one man might say. The Christian answers, “It’s because of sin, because sin is the human condition.”

There is a great mention of sin in our own bibles. But I have been finding an even greater theme in my bible.

The theme I am pondering is separation and reunion. Wow! It’s all over the place.

When I leave for work in the morning, every morning, I kiss my daughter’s cheek as she sleeps. I feel separation. When I pick her up from school, I feel reunion. I know of no greater joy than that reunion with my daughter.

All this “pondering” has led me to wonder if the real human condition isn’t separation? When I talk with people who are hurting, the number one answer I hear is always, “I feel so lonely”. That response comes up more than any other. I do not hear them say, “I feel so sinful” or I feel so guilty.”

“I feel lonely”.

In America at least, loneliness is a common theme for many people. I wonder if it hasn’t always been. Some people might not claim they are lonely, they may have a different name for it. But this I know; our society feels lonely. Our world feels lonely, even with five billion souls living on it. We pay huge amounts of money to scientists to find the truth. We search the skies for life. We search the world for the beginning of life. We search space for the beginning of everything.

We hear our own thoughts inside of our minds, and yet we do not understand the thoughts of others, though those thoughts are often the same as ours. We hear the words “Love your neighbor as yourself” and try as we might, we just can’t do it. We can’t feel what they feel unless we make great effort, we can’t relate to their heart, even though we know very well what’s inside of it; it’s the same stuff that is in our hearts. We try to love, and often fail, and yet when others fail us, we cannot understand how they could have.

Logic would dictate that all things being equal, the commandment to love others as if they are us should be a slam dunk. After all, as different as we are, we are all very much alike. We have the same thoughts, we all share the same emotions. We all know what it feels like to be betrayed, or hurt, to be loved or to be sad. These emotions and experiences are not unique to each individual. We all share them. And yet to love everyone else as if he were me is not a slam dunk.

The fact is, my mind rarely makes the connection that my neighbor might be me. I am guessing that I am not unique in this.

I feel a separation from my neighbor. I feel one with myself; I do not feel one with him. I am aware of myself; I think about myself almost constantly. Again, I do not believe I am unique in this. And amidst all of this is the world screaming that we should embrace our individuality. Yet when tragedies occur, if we were embracing our individuality, the pleas for helps and mercies would fall on deaf ears. After all, what is the one suffering to me? I am individual from them, distinct in my own being. Separate. Complete.

But there is the lie. I am not complete without my neighbor. I am fooling myself if I think I am. I am separate from him, and incomplete. And I am finding, the more I search, that separation is a much larger problem than we have ever considered it to be.

It happens everywhere, even in churches. In the church, we are supposed to be the most accepting people in the world, yet often we separate people according to their “sins”, because “sin” is the human condition. But the message of Christ isn’t one of sin, but of acceptance, of reconciliation and reunion.

I may be wrong; I have been many times before. But I think the human condition is separation. We feel separated. That’s why we seek, that’s we try to find answers and truth and love. We look for meaning and purpose because on our own, we feel separated from everything around us. We feel individual, even separate from God, who supposedly lives within us.

The message of Christ is inclusion, acceptance, and love. I believe God created us to be together, with Him. I believe his death and resurrection showed this to be true, and ever since, we have been learning how not to be reunited with everyone and everything else.



There are times that scientists and sociologists make statements that are maddeningly generalized. Sometimes these statements begin to have legs of their own.

I believe such a statement was made on Sixty Minutes tonight. I didn’t note the name of the man who made this statement, but he said that according to statistics, the more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay. Just like that, matter of factly, he made a statement that I believe will have legs.

The interviewer asked, “Really?”

He answered, “Really!” emphatically.

I have three older brothers. I am not gay

My little brother has four older brothers. He is not gay. Yet according to this man who was interviewed on Sixty Minutes and his statistics, I and my little brother stood a real good chance that we would end up gay. My guess is, if this man knew how many older brothers my little bro and I had, he would call us statistical aberrations for ending up as we did. Psychologists might start asking us if we were being honest about our sexuality…after all, how could statistics be wrong?

Let me explain how and when statistics can be wrong, and let’s then use this post as a sort of precursor to my series, “Why I No Longer Trust Modern Science”.

I do not have data to back me up in this instance, so I am going to be up front and tell you that the following statement is a completely wild guess.

My guess is that the statistics this man was citing were woefully unrepresentational. My guess is, his statistics are based only on families that have gay men in them, and that families of straight men were not polled. Now I understand that this is an awful large guess on my part, but you need to know that science does polls that are not representative of the whole quite often. And, quite often, statistics then become skewed toward a certain opinion, or guess, for lack of a better word.

America is inundated with statistics every day. From mortality rates to birth rates, and everything else in between, there seems to be one statistic or another attached to the events and leanings of our lives. Scientists make statistics for the possibilities, and then publish their findings to an eagerly awaiting audience. If this audience only knew that the statistics they are reading about might well be biased to lend authority to a theory, how much credibility would we give to these statistics?

Here is a true statistic. In a family where no one is gay, there is not a chance that anyone is gay. Some would argue that point. According to the man on Sixty Minutes, there is a real good chance that I or my brother will be gay. I say…not a chance.

Now, lest you think I am bashing homosexuals, let me explain clearly that I am not. I am merely using a readily available example of what statistics really mean, and what the “experts” sometimes claim they mean.

I realize that my family isn’t representative of all men in every family. I also realize that poles and studies are often biased in efforts to prove a presupposition. Several years ago, a study was done which claimed that homosexuality was genetic, and that a person was predispositioned to be such based solely upon his DNA. Not surprisingly, many lay people still believe this is true. I don’t know what ever happened to that “study”, but I do know that it is no longer considered valid by most scientists.

It should have been obvious from the moment the statement was made. After all, I know of several examples of identical twins where one is straight and one is gay. Identical twins share the same DNA. How would it be possible for one to be gay and not the other, if genetics dictated a person’s sexuality? Yet the story of this study showed up on the front page of many major newspapers, and for that moment, was accepted as truth. The statements made grew legs, and here we are.

Seriously, how can we go from a study which PROVES something to be true, only to find out later that it isn’t? And how can the normal person, who isn’t Einstein, figure all of this out for themselves?

Sociologists and scientists bear a heavy burden, but I don’t think they understand the exact nature of that burden. Science is a pursuit of the truth, and many scientists would tell you that truth is the burden that they bear. Here is where they are wrong. The burden they bear is that they have been raised into a position to discover the truth, and in their pursuit of it, they must remain people of honesty and integrity, never succumbing to the temptation to falsify data and discoveries. That is one huge burden, and as I said, I doubt that most scientists realize that this is the real burden they bear. The pursuit of truth is lost completely once integrity and honesty are no longer the rule and not the exception.

In my thirty-eight short years, I have seen more “studies” and “proofs” exposed as fraudulent than I care to count.

Remember the story several years ago, about how a human being had already been cloned?

What ever happened to that human being?

Beware of men bearing statistics and probabilities, for the statistics they bear often only represent what they want to represent, and the probabilities they cite are often only probabilities that have not taken into account every influencing factor.

Many scientists are as influenced today by money and prestige as they are by actual truth. Sadly, the same can be said for religion, which should be altogether different, but is not.

Where are you going to go for truth, when it seems like it’s for sale to the highest bidder?



I went for an interview today. Yes, I am considering going back to being a project manager, and leaving my business to a much different version, as in, almost never.

In case you didn't know it, a while ago, I was a project manager for a construction firm in Milwaukee. My end of things was more management and sales than construction. This new job I interviewed would be a discipline of more construction and management, and very little sales. I think I like that a lot more.

Still, I don't think I will ever say no to someone who wants me to do some finish carpentry work for them, so long as it isn't too huge a project, if I take the job I interviewed for. I enjoy the aspects of doing something very well, something few people can do well, and doing it because I love it. Not everybody gets to love their job. I have been blessed because I have loved just about every job I ever had (except for that teenage stint at McDonalds). That love is what drives me to do the job well. It isn't the excitement, it isn't the pay (most definitely not the pay when you are a carpenter), and it isn't the prestige.

They say love covers over a multitude of sins. I think love also covers over a multitude of boredom, dirt, and sweat. If I take this job (if I am offered it), I know I will love it, because I loved it before. I am familiar with it in the sense that in some ways, I never really stopped managing projects, when you consider that I still manage all my own projects.

I guess in the end, love is all that really matters. Stars and rocks don't love me, but I love them. Wood and projects don't love me, but I love them. The job isn't going to love me; in fact, if I recall correctly, this job will likely try to own me. I won't let it. I'll just love it, and in that, my identity will be safe.

We'll see what happens, but of this there is no doubt; Love will win out.



I currently feel like a college student again. I am working on two different Blogpost series right now, and both of them are swallowing huge amounts of my spare time due to research. That’s okay, I like researching and finding the truth about statements made, facts given, and sources quoted.

One of the best things about libraries is public funding. There are so many books available to research from, that it is mind boggling, and after a while, you just have to choose the amount of research you can honestly undertake. But all of these books are available, and woudn't be if I had to buy them myself. Then there is the internet, which in itself is a veritable gold mine of information, although to be honest, it can be difficult to find enough good information to make any sense of it because many of the articles are so short or merely quotes from a larger article that isn’t available online.

Altogether, I must admit; I like researching better than I like writing…and I like writing a lot. I could spend days reading, cross-checking, and following leads that I have found examining books and articles.

These two Blogpost series are indeed intriguing to me, because so much of them pertain to my life prior to knowing Christ, when I thought I was on the cutting edge of science information and proving the idea of Christ false. Obviously, my life took a different turn. It is simply amazing to me to see how different my beliefs are now as opposed to then. This has been an adventure, the research I am doing, showing me where I was, where I went, and where I am now. It’s sort of like a chronicle of my young life, and I look forward to sharing some of the results with you.



Is 45:23 "I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.”

Many Christians claim this verse is a threat.

I think it is a promise.

What do you think?



Three times today I walked out to my truck, from the same side, and didn’t notice it. On the fourth trip, I couldn’t miss it; a cracked windshield, starting from the pillar on the passenger side. I shook my mind in disbelief, and moved to run my hand over the smooth glass. I wanted to feel the crack, and find out if I could determine what had caused the ten inch crooked line across my windshield. Try as I might, there was no evidence of an impact to be found. I checked for the little pits that one sometimes finds; pits that would have been caused by a small pebble bouncing off the glass. There was no mark in sight.

Jimmy the Doorframe couldn’t believe his eyes, either. He mentioned that he would have noticed such a crack, because he had been sitting in his truck directly across from mine just an hour earlier. His next comment was one I was dreading, but one I knew my mind would eventually arrive at. “There goes three hundred bucks”. I can always trust Jimmy to come to the point of things quickly.

“But how?”, I asked myself. How could this perfectly clear windshield have cracked with the truck just sitting here? Had I slammed the passenger door too hard? I racked my brain briefly before recalling that no one had even used the passenger door today. I rechecked the crack, again trying to find something that would signal the source. After a few seconds, I gave up, realizing that the glass was irreparably cracked, there was no clue as to how it happened, and I was going to have to pay several hundred dollars to fix it.

I went to my office and called the AAA insurance agent hoping that by some miracle, cracked windshields would be covered without a deductible having to be paid. No mystery there; my deductible of five hundred dollars would apply, and it wouldn’t benefit me to report a claim. I resigned myself to the fact that this broken windshield without a known cause was completely my financial responsibility.

While still in my office, I decided to call around for estimates to have it replaced. Can someone tell me why discovering the cause of a broken windshield is such a big mystery, while finding out how much it is going to cost is not? Something seems unbalanced about that.

I called three services, and the first two were within five dollars of each other, the lowest being Two-hundred-eighty-five dollars. The third one must have been the charm, because he got the job.

The total for my new windshield which I didn’t even want to need? Two hundred-twenty-five dollars installed. What a way to spend that much money. It would be wonderful if my truck’s windshield was one of those really old ones; you know the kind, with little chips and deep scratches all over the place. But my existing windshield was perfect, except for the big crack. It’s a pity, really, to throw away something that was so nice aside from one small area.

Oh well, it could have been much worse. Truck and car repairs can sometimes cost people thousands of dollars. As I sit here typing this story, I find myself glad and thankful it was only a broken windshield, even if I never find out why it cracked.



I have done a thing I am not proud of.

A friend of mine is experiencing a new road in his life, and he joined another friend and began writing on that friend's blog. Did I welcome him back? Did I support him?

No. Instead, I attacked his beliefs on his own blog. I thought I was right to do so, and I still can't believe it took me so long to figure out that I wasn't. If I am a friend as I claim to be, well...friends don't do that.

I still have a lot of trouble with my stubborness and my inclination toward argument. And all it ever accomplishes is tension and the probability that I hurt people with my words.

I should have just said, "glad to see you back". But this was no accident. I argued from the moment I got to his blog. So on some level, I intended to cause tension.

I feel as though I have intruded once again into this man's thoughts and tried to make him feel as though his thoughts and beliefs were inferior. And it's just wrong.

There is no wise ending to this blog post. I just don't want to cause tension like that anymore. This world is hard enough without people attacking everything you say. He deserves far better. I am sorry I didn't respect his freedom to express his beliefs. Eddie, I am not a good example of Christ.



I heard a great one yesterday. A friend of mine told me,

"There is no way that evolution is not true...just look at my daughter, she is nothing like her fat, loud mother."

When asked what evidence this gave toward evolution, my friend answered, "I don't know, but hadn't we all better hope evolution is true? Otherwise, we'll keep producing mother-in-laws and ex-wives. Now who needs that?"

If you have to have a reason to believe something is true, I guess maybe that's as good a reason as any. :)



My daughter has a dream. She dreams of becoming an archaeologist one day.When she talks about it, she gets the same look in her eyes that she has when she talks about music. She doesn't know that she has this look, but anyone can see the joy and hope in her eyes.

I imagine she feels good, heart-good, when she thinks of archaeology. I believe she envisions being somewhere in the Middle East, or climbing the steps of a pyramid, unearthing history...she dreams. Her dreams give her a purpose, and from those dreams, she draws ambition and plans on the same canvas.

Her imagination is vivid with the details of her future work. Anticipation courses through her veins as rapidly as the blood that flows within them. She is alive, fully alive when she is dreaming and hoping, making plans and wondering at the memories she will one day make.

"That they may have life, and have it to the fullest."

I believe a full life includes not just the past and present, but dreams of the future. I believe that people dream of the future when they allow themselves to hope. A life is not as full as it can be when hope is stifled. Hope is the stuff of our dreams, and the foundation of our future possibilities.

Do you have dreams? No matter how old you are, or how much you have experienced, do you still dare to dream of impossible things, and all of their possibilities?