I guess I'm felling my oats tonight. Over at Why Won't God Heel (mispelled word purposely) Amputees, you can read about all sorts of "reasons" why God isn't real. You can read about why prayer is worthless, and why answered prayers are nothing more than "coincidence".

It is with great hilarity that I take issue with the authors of that website, should they ever have enough balls to name themselves.

I am Tom Reindl. I believe in God, and in Jesus Christ. I will give you all sorts of reasons in the future (and have done so in the past) why I believe. What I will never give you is bad logic followed up by bad english...and then not give you my name. I will remain known, never anonymous, because I, like most people, realized long ago that the "power" in anonymity is merely an illusion.

You will never catch me ripping someone else's beliefs, and not giving my name. You'll never watch as I state "facts", and hide behind my anonymity. If I say something is fact, right or wrong, I'll admit to it.

However, I could say, anonymously, that the other day, I was run over by a unicorn, therefore, unicorns must exist. Such is the tripe you will read at Why Won't God Heal Amputees.

Obviously, my first problem with the website (have you guessed it yet?) is its anonymity. But it doesn't end there.

We live in a completely cause and effect universe, yet Why Won't God Heel Amputees "scientifically" tries to prove that "answers to prayer are nothing more than a coincidence".

Who here sees a problem with that logic?

For every cause, there is an effect. For every effect, there was a cause. There are no coincidences, unless you actually use the definition of the word "coincidence" correctly. Coincidence equals two separate incidents seemingly having something to do with one another, but not necessarily. Or, to get "old english" on this, merely, more than one incident, usually two, happening simultaneously.

In those definitions, there is nothing about cause and effect, nothing about "coincidences" meaning more than a term used to describe several incidents, neither benevolent nor malevolent. A Coincident cannot be the cause of an effect. It, therefore, cannot used to describe or define the reason behind an event, nor can it be used scientifically to prove that God does not answer prayer, as if by the mere use of the word "coincidence", God has been replaced by a perfectly "logical" reason. Reason dictates that for every effect, there was a cause, and reason also dictates that "coincidence" had nothing to do with the effects witnessed.

Two incidents. Several times, (actually more than several) the website mentioned above uses phrases such as "It's just a coincidence" as citing some well known "fact".. Not only is that phrase not provable, it's just plain bad English. But if it is provable beyond the shadow of a doubt, then I ask the wonderful authors of that website to display their unquestionable proof, which is what evidence beyond the shadow of a doubt is all about. And while you are at it, why not display your names? My name is Tom Reindl...what's yours?

Did I say "just plain bad English"? Of course I did. You never say "It's just a coincidence" and walk away unharmed. Okay, maybe I am exagerrating a little bit. But you certainly don't say "It's just a coincidence" and walk away believing you have solved the mystery of prayer, much less used good English. If you really wanted to use the word "coincidence" in a sentence, you'd have to pluralize it, and say something like "They were just coincidences", because a coincidence can never, ever, ever, be singular. By rule, a "coincidence" requires at least two separate incidents, and thus, is always plural.

English books away, please. Now take out your science books. In a cause and effect world, "coincidences" can never cause something. Nor can they be used to explain the cause of something, as Why Won't God Heal Amputees is well in the habit of doing. It would be like me saying, the light turned green just as you ran through the intersection by coincidence. On the surface, that sounds intelligent, but it's not. You ran through the intersection when it was green because the intersection before didn't hold you up long enough for you to have to stop on red, or you weren't side swiped while passing through two previous intersections. Both of these might be reasons, or causes, why you ran through an intersection just as it passed into green, but "coincidences" would never explain why you did what you did, or why something happened the way it did.

Let me state this simply: "Coincidence" is just another word for an excuse or an attempt to try and explain away something you haven't researched enough, or do not have enough scientific information to "explain" in any other way. Sadly, "coincidence", as stated above, can never be used as an explanation or a definition. It can't really even be used to philosophically explain why you do or don't believe something, such as the authors of Why Won't God Heel Amputees seem to be doing.

But, if you insist, we can at least allow for your bad English, and grant that "it's just a coincidence" that you think you have offered a scientific explanation for why God won't heal amputees when all you've really done is both misuse an overused word, and used it improperly in a sentence. Now those are coincidences, (Note the proper English), and as such, they are irrelevant, and have nothing to do with God or prayer at all, or any other form of scientific endeavor toward "disproving" the existence of God and answered prayer.

I am Tom Reindl, and I state, for the record, that IT is merely a coincidence that I wrote this post several days after reading Why Won't God Heal Amputees, or at least, several days after reading as much as my stomach could handle before vomiting voluminously. Two separate incidents, but do they really have anything to do with each other?

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. It is, after all, only done in good fun.



I would like to lay down a challenge today.

My best friend is currently looking at changing career paths, and has a few concerns about the financial aspects of what he hopes to accomplish. That is understandable. I have been there many times myself.

It was during those times that I realized something. I would spend much of my time praying and worrying to God to provide for me, to bring me what I needed. The culmination of understanding and experience began to wear me down, until I finally realized that what I was praying for was ALREADY done.

Knock, and maybe the door will open. Seek, and you might find.

Words of Jesus?

I think not. Those are more likely the words of we who say we believe in Him.

What we need is already here. Those are the words of Jesus. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it will open for you.

Praying isn't going to magically dump what you need in your lap. But there is something that prayer might accomplish. It just might help us understand that what we need, what we are asking for, has already been provided, long before we even knew we needed it. We only need to seek it, for it is already somewhere within reach.

That has been my experience.

So the challenge is this:

Can we act and live as though everything we need is already given? What would that do to our lives?



Wisconsin may soon be considering adding random checkpoints for sobriety along its highways and streets as a means of fixing the drunk driving problem in our state. I listened today to a fellow named Jeff Hanson on WTMJ news radio out of Milwaukee extol the virtues of such a plan.

One fact he kept repeating was that Wisconsin was one of about ten states who do not currently use such checkpoints in the fight against drunk drivers. About forty states, he said, employ such checkpoints, and in his words, "It works".

It is against the law in the state of Wisconsin for a police officer to pull over any driver without reasonable cause which he can articulate in report. That used to be against the law in every state. In the case of a drunk driver, no police officer can pull over a vehicle merely because that vehicle is the only vehicle on the road at a very late hour; that alone is not sufficient cause. But if the officer can articulate that the driver is speeding, or swerving across the center line, he then has enough cause to pull the vehicle over. Under current Wisconsin law, random check points are illegal.

On his talk show, Jeff Hanson seemed to be very much for this system of random check points, citing other state's success time and again. Many of his callers agreed with him, especially when Jeff stated that thses types of check points would only be utilized after bar closes (2:30 am in Wisconsin). I got the feeling that many of the callers who agreed with him wouldn't feel the same way if there was the chance of a random check point squaring up on them after happy hour (5:00 -6:00 pm). After all, that type of checkpoint system might produce some very interesting results for many people between the ages of thirty and fifty-five, including Mr. Hanson. But it seems these adults have no problem with subjecting the youth of our state to a checkpoint system that likely will never affect them.

I am not against such a checkpoint system. Neither am I for it. In fact, I think such a system could lead to further infringes upon a person's privacy, but since the system is still just in the discussion stage, there's no reason to raise a red flag.

What bothers me most about such "systems" isn't that they are good or bad. It's that they are worthless.

If we take out the rhetoric "it works", and change the vocabulary to what should be said, such as "it produces more arrests than not doing it", then maybe one might be able to make a case that such a system "works". But the goal shouldn't be more arrests. The goal, if we are going to shoot for something that "works", should be no more drunk driving...period.

A check point system will not deter drunk drivers. Such a system only reacts to a problem in an untimely manner. It doesn't solve anything, and that's why I am a little bothered by the rhetoric "it works".

Law enforcement's job is too protect citizens. Meeting a drunk at a checkpoint when he has already driven several or many miles is too late. It's also completely hit or miss, leaving many other drunk drivers free to wreak havoc or barely make it home. The moment an intoxicated person starts his car, it's already too late. At best, law enforcement can only react, and everyone knows that wars are lost when the initiative belongs to the other side. Reacting isn't the answer.

What ever happened to devices that wouldn't allow any driver to start his or her car if they were intoxicated? The type of device I am thinking of is a small computer that measures blood alcohol content, and if a certain level is reached, renders the ignition system of the vehicle unusable. Such a system would certainly eliminate almost ALL drunk driving incidents, leaving the police free to protect us in other ways.

Does anyone know more about the ways in which we might eliminate drunk driving? Obviously, eliminating alcohol would be one way, but let's face it; it won't happen again in this country, and for my part, I am not certain we would ever need to.

Is there a way to introduce such a computer into every vehicle at a cost that is neglible? Wouldn't it make more sense to eliminate the opportunity rather than simply trying to react to an already large problem by invading everyone's privacy?

What do you think?


Just a brief update for those of you who may be interested.

I am coming to a close on the big project I have been working on for nearly two years, and it is a fulfilling set of moments to see a project come together, apply the finishes, and then step back and view the entire scope of it all. Millions of dollars went into this project, which is a renovation of an old hospital to be used soley for senior citizens as a nursing home as well as over forty assisted living apartments and various amenities pertaining to such.

In all, I am pleased with the end product, insofar as it is not yet complete, but things have come together as well as could have been expected. To be certain, the project has taken longer than antiicipated, but then again, I expect most projects to take longer than anticipated, so it's really not a surprise. With so many aspects and so many disciplines of construction involved in a project this size, it is sometimes a wonder to me that it would be completed at all. But, when you have a set of plans, and you walk resolutely towards the completion of those plans, I suppose sooner or later somehow those plans will be complete.

However, there were many changes, and the original plans are not so much a map of this project anymore as they are what was once a dream of how things could be. Plans change, and learning to live flexibly is as true in the construction industry as it is in real life. I can't count the changes any longer; I just deal with them one by one as they come up.

I guess my advice to anyone I meet would be the same; don't sweat the changes in life, just be flexible and deal with them one by one. We truly don't have more control than that.



I don't know what I'm doing.

Have you ever admitted that to anyone? Well, I am admitting it to you. But first, I admitted it to God, many times lately.

It's true; I really don't know what I am doing. Oh, I know how to do my job, and I know (somewhat) how to love my daughter. Heck, I even know how to change oil in my car and truck.

I use to love to think I could sit here, and type words of wisdom showing you all how much I know, and how together I am. But the truth is, I am not together. This admission does not come on the heels of any depression or anxiety disorder, and finally and loudly, no, I do not have adult attention deficit disorder, and I am not autistic; not even somewhat. I do not need Xanax or Paxil to help get me through this, and I do not need to see a pshrink.

You see, this is life...real life.

I do not know what I am doing. I do not have a plan, except to live through this one day, and maybe a few various hopes or dreams that vaguely represent my ideal future.

I could tell you all about the things I'd LIKE to do, and what I think it would take to accomplish those things, but then I'd also have to explain how ridiculously small and foolish my plans are when compared to the fact that I have no control over anything that is not in my control. What does that mean? It means that despite the idea that I am an intelligent man, there are people, and circumstances that will not bow down to my will no matter how hard I try, and no matter how loud my temper tantrum. In essence, I am not in control, and I'd be a fool to try and convince you otherwise.

I do not have it all together, and furthermore, I have no idea how to get it all together. But, I CAN fake it pretty good, and sometimes, for your benefit, I think I should fake it. After all, if we don't all try our best to keep the illusion of togetherness alive...why...someday, we may actually have to face the truth.

And what is that truth?

That none of us have it all together; not a single one of us. I can pick out a clean pair of underwear with the best of them, brush my teeth in the morning, and go all the way until 9:30 AM without a bite to eat. But if I go much beyond that time, I start to feel faint. Truly, this cowboy does not have it all together.

So maybe you'd like to think you have it all together? Maybe you'd like to share with me, and with the rest of us goofs what the secrets to your success are? Or maybe here, for the first time in your life, you'd like to share, even if it is anonymously, just how untogether you really are? Maybe you'd like to share your greatest plan, and how bit by bit, that plan fell apart, and you found yourself revising it to the point where in the end (if there ever is an end) that plan no longer even remotely resembled your original plan.

Welcome to the human race.

Maybe you'd like to share with us instead how every plan you have ever set in motion has succeeded exactly as you designed?

I know, it's not likely, is it?

I do not know what I am doing. I guess I haven't even got a clue. I tell God that all of the time now. Some might say that isn't really a prayer, but maybe just an admission is enough to qualify? After all, I don't really even know what I'm doing when it comes to prayer, either. Could you expect more from someone whose opening statement here was "I don't know what I'm doing"?

But this I do know; Living in the grace of God has allowed me to admit that I do not know what I am doing, to be okay with it, and to know that God is also okay with it. In fact, He's more than okay with it. He's more than okay with my fumbled attempts at prayer, with my starts and stops in faith, with my deepest faults and guilts, many of which I could never admit openly to anyone but Him. Living in the grace of God has allowed me to begin to see myself, the REAL me, for the first time in my life. He is more than okay with me.

The depth of love He feels for me I do not understand, and yet again, I find myself admitting that when it comes to feeling His love, or returning it...I do not know what I am doing. Day after day now, I enter the day not knowing what I am doing, not knowing what will happen, and somehow, trusting that everything will work out fine, that my highs will be higher than I imagined, and my lows will be lower than I want. I just never know what the day will bring, because with each day, I know I have never lived this day before; how could I be expected to know what I am doing with it?

You know what? It's sort of exciting; this not knowing what I am doing.



Can believing that God is angry with you cause you to develop an inferiority complex?

How free must we be in order to achieve the potential within us?

Most of us would agree that there is immeasurable potential inside of each person. I suppose if you are named amongst today's Christians, you also might believe that there are certain things that will cause God to either turn toward you or away from you, in anger. If you attend a Catholic, or Protestant church in America (evangelical included), doubtless you have heard that you have the ability to disappoint or please God, based on your actions.

"Staying celibate so long as you are unmarried would please God."

"Gossiping about others disappoints (angers?) God".

"Drinking alcohol and going to bars does not honor God; thus, it can only disappoint Him."

"Giving ten percent or more of your earnings to the church will please your heavenly father".

It sounds to me as if God is a puppet, and we hold the strings that control His emotional well-being. With so many billions of us throughout the ages, each of us pulling a different emotional string simultaneously, and repeatedly, God must have the largest prescription for Paxil or Xanax in the Universe.


God is complete already without us (something you might be surprised to find is ALSO taught amongst Christian sects in America). In other words, we do not complete His emotional well-being. I believe it is the contradiction between the two teachings that leaves us and our children most confused about what or who God is.

If God cannot control His emotions; if He is bound by our actions to feel one way or another, then He is not complete. On the other hand, if He is complete, then all this teaching about "what pleases God" and "what doesn't please God" is just a bunch of garbage we would be better to burn.

Is God so minimal as to be held bound by our fickle attentions and actions? If He is, then He isn't all powerful.

But the message of the gospel tells us a far different story. It tells us of a God who, despite our worst actions and thoughts, has granted an olive branch to cover us; ALL OF US. It tells of a Father who is so secure in Himself that nothing we do could ever change His love for us; not even believing or disbelieving.

God has nothing to worry about; He is complete in Himself, and that is one teaching we might do better to understand more fully. But if we understand that teaching more fully, we had better watch out, because when we get it, we might also understand that the idea of a person needing to believe in order to be redeemed to the Father is ludicrous.

Remember, Father needs nothing from us. What measure of belief are you going to offer up to Him that will change the way He sees you? If He, as common Christian practice preaches, is angry with you, and views you as damned, what measure of belief, or what other action will ever change His mind about you?

Only a God who is emotionally controlled by people will ever be affected by the confession, "I believe in Jesus!" An all-powerfull God is already complete, He needs no such confession from you. In fact, He already knew that you could never believe enough to affect what He thought about you, so He sent His son, the physical image of Himself, to be the faith we could not muster on our own, and to bear the penalty the world believes is due us.

What manner of heights will you reach with the freedom that comes from knowing God is not angered with you? What mountain will you climb now because you understand that failure isn't the end; but merely another reason to begin again?

We often sabotage our own success, and I am coming to believe that we do so because for too long, we have been held bound by the idea that every time we do something "wrong", God is angry with us again. We became slaves to failure because we have been taught, and come to believe, that God sees only the failure within us as being worthy of any lasting emotion. Sure, maybe we please Him every so often, but for the most part, He stands with hands on hips, clucking his tongue at us, and shaking His almighty, Holy head in anger.

What a bunch of nonsense. If God is all-powerful, and all-knowing, then neither is He surprised when we succeed, nor is He displeased when we fail. To be anything else would make God our hostage; one whose emotional well-being hinged completely on our actions.

Does that sound like Good news to you?



I have never been one to fuss over birthdays, especially my own. Neither have I stood on ceremony when it came to anniversaries, holidays, Religious days, or National days. It has been a struggle all of my adult life to try and understand why other people are different from the way I am in that regard. I do my best to leave people to celebrate in their own way, even if that means that maybe I think they overdo it sometimes.

I wish I was given the same respect. But as I mellow with my age, I can even begin to tolerate and understand why people aren't willing to let me be nonchalant about bithdays and other notable dates. But, when it comes to my family, I can sincerely say that for the most part, they allow me to be unenthusiastic for holidays and birthdays. Maybe some would say something out of earshot, but I have never heard anyone complain to me about the "lazy approach" I take to someone else's birthday. I am completely hit or miss when it comes to remembering these dates, even though my mom filled a small calander book for me, complete with every relatives' birthday, including all of the little people we call nephews and nieces. (They truly are so cute!)

I have come to the conclusion that it is hopeless for me to change whatever it is that causes me to miss these important dates. Furthermore, even when I remember, I almost always forget to send a card. Along those lines, I would encourage everyone who knows me to forget to send me a birthday card every year...it wouldn't be missed...I wouldn't even know who had forgotten, and might not even remember it was my birthday. But I know; not everyone is like that, and sometimes I wonder if I am really offending people seriously by by being so careless about their days.

I hope they aren't offended, because I surely do not want anyone to be offended, especially not on account of me. But I am also sort of hoping (wishing, really) that my lack of a birthday greeting or anniversary greeting isn't even missed. There were six children in my family...it is possible. There's a lot to remember when it comes to special events and days with that many people, and I tip my hat to those who pull it off; I truly do.

Yet deep inside, in the honest place, I realize I am not all that fussed about being this way. Is that selfishness? Or is it just the way I am?

I have never been one to dwell on these days. I also have never been one to make much of the past. History, although interesting and intriguing, doesn't seem all that important to me either. I can't even tell you when John F. Kennedy got shot, and someday, I'll probably forget September Eleventh as well. Dates and numbers denoting certain things just don't mean all that much to me. Christmas and Easter seem more like Monday and Tuesday to me than a holiday to celebrate.

What is far more important to me is the people who were affected by those dates and numbers. You could cuss me out for forgetting to send you a birthday card, and I'd be far more concerned about how you are today than how you were on the day I forgot to send you a card. Even my own birthday mostly goes forgotten, save for my family who all send cards. I can't remember the last time anyone came to visit me on my birthday, except maybe the Lachappelles (good friends who have been mentioned here numerous times). The truth of it is, it doesn't bother me that no one visits; in fact, I am kind of uncomfortable with the day and the idea that someone would go out of their way to visit me. Why visit me that day, but none other?

Why call me or send me a card to let me know you are thinking about me on that day, but on none other?. Why can't I send you an email every so often, or call you to let you know you are on my mind? Why is a birthday card more important than a greeting on a day you didn't expect anything?

Do you see why I find it difficult to understand the whole special day thing? I am the first to admit I try to make my daughter's birthday special, but then again, I try to make every day special if it is within my ability to do it. My daughter knows how much I fail at that, but I still try. When her birthday comes around, I don't want to feel like a hypocrite. Every day is a living day, not just her birthday.

But there are two ways to look at this, and my way is only one way. Others might say, "Can't you just do something special for them one day? Is it that hard"

I was about to say I wish I was different, but that would have been a lie. I don't wish I was different. I wish I was better at making every day special for people; but anyone who knows me also knows I have a lot to learn in order to pull that off. I guess I just don't get the special day thing, and although I know I'll make attempts to remember, I'll still forget someone, and I'll be left hoping they weren't offended because I did.

I do not stand on ceremony, and the past is the past. I have lived a life that could be filled with regret, if I could just remember what it is I am supposed to regret. I cannot honestly say I regret not sending more greeting cards.

My only hope in all of this regard is that I do not create a regret in someone else's life. I do sincerely wish that the greeting card industry had never been born, but now that it is a grandpa already, I can only hope it dies quickly. I say that, because I know I'll never be the one to remember to keep the greeting card grandpa alive by faithfully sending cards on every birthday and holiday. If the greeting card grandpa is left in my care, he will starve to death.