Evolution and Motive

Evolution does not meet a minimum standard for scientific inquiry.

Picture if you will a lone cell, a original cell, of no particular kind or purpose.    It is existing somewhere doing nothing, going nowhere, making no changes or decisions because it is inanimate.

Now from this inauspicious beginning the cell is supposed to do something.  Specifically scientists would have us assume that it makes a decision to “improve.” Perhaps it divides into 2 cells, that is an improvement as 2 is better than 1.  Perhaps.  After all if it is a bad cell, like a cancer cell, we’d be happier if it did not increase.

But scientists say this  double cell now decides, makes up its mind, perhaps assumes that it is going to be better and create something better than itself.

What kind of nonsense is this?  Good and bad are moral choices.  How does a non-moral cell make a moral choice to be “better” and what just is “better” to an inanimate object? And who suggested good vs. bad to this lonely cell.

And why would an inanimate cell which has no moral roots just as often decide not to improve, grow, evolve into something superior?  Perhaps a cell would simply choose to be a zero thing, not evolving but better still devolving into nothingness. It could just as well lie on the bottom of something doing nothing.

If we eliminate God from the process of creation we must also remove from it the choice of good over evil, or in reverse, choosing evil over good. But the natural universe cannot do that because, according to the believers in evolution, there is no moral choice available; all life improves.

We must conclude that a universe that improves in any way has behind it some intellect that knows the difference between good and bad and makes a choice about the future of the created world.

My mother taught me the difference between good and bad; who taught the cell?

 

 

What has God Called Your Nation to Be

All nations, like all individuals, have a clear cut call from God. (Jeremiah 29:11 for individuals). The Bible refers to nations as “ethnos” rather than  geographical divisions.

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations {ethnos} of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.

It’s not likely you’ll ever hear a sermon on this although you might learn about God’s divine intolerance for world government. That has been tried and failed, badly. About 5,500 B.C.E. at the Tower of Babel all human beings spoke the same language.  After they tried to replace the government of God with their own under the direction of a wicked dictator Nimrod, God scrambled all the languages and communication became impossible.

Today the unstable nature of the European Union should give us pause, that maybe this is not God’s perfect will for Europe. And the embarrassing failure of the United Nations is an example of why global government is a foolish goal. Unity is internal; union is external and God wants the former.

God prefers Unity with Him over Union in the natural. He classifies nations as either sheep or goat. He does have a clearly defined political jurisdiction in mind for all nations and a specific contribution to the whole of mankind for each individual nation.

The United States of America was formed officially 236 years ago but the call itself is eternal. And that destiny is clearly given in the Declaration of Independence

All men are created equal.

Americans bring to the world table the sanctity of the individual; it is the reason people flock here from across the globe.  It is also the same reason we can fail as a nation, if individualism gets out of hand as it has in the past four decades. That individualism has now come to a national mess, so out of control that thousands have not a clue who they actually are. Every blessing and call can be bastardized to an extreme and become a curse.

When President Donald Trump says he wants “to make America great again” he means to restore the primacy of the individual and God’s call to America as a model for individual liberty. Does President Trump know this? Probably not. He appears not to be a person who theorizes; he leaves that to philosophers. His word to the past managers of America is, “You’re fired.”

There are 191 nations today; each one has a call.  It is not my job to know what the call is for each one of them but I believe I know the call of these three.

  • England demonstrates a respect for history, especially to learn from history, and because of that respect England also is able to adjust to changes in the world and to culture. But like individualism in the USA it is also possible for that ability to change to be a trap and send the county into free fall.
  • China long continuous identity shows respect for and love of nationhood. Her glory days were the 15th century but in the 16th century China pulled away from the world to protect herself from change and world interaction. China became fearful.  When you embrace fear you make yourself weak and ineffective.  Fear is rightly called “frozen.” China wanted to preserve its identity so carefully that it withdrew into itself and the Chinese people have suffered great loss from this over the subsequent years. God looks at the long haul.
  • Estonia showed the world how to rid itself of a tyrannical dictatorship of the Soviet Union through spiritual warfare, in her case, the power of music to win freedom. To my knowledge Estonia has neither lost nor hindered that power or her ability to teach the rest of the world.

If you are paying attention you’ll notice I’ve eliminated Palestine which might be a nation in God’s eyes but because it claims Israel’s territory it cannot be identified as one. God set aside Israel as His own nation with its own specific estate, a land mass considerably larger than the one it now occupies. The deed for this land appears in Ezekiel 47. Because God disciplined His people for a time, other nations assumed they could take over.  They try that at their peril. God has promised once Israel is back in her land to defend her at all costs.

Goat nations are those that disobey basic moral laws and rebel against God. They need not stay that way. Like individuals, they can repent and reform. Today Syria is a good example of a nation badly astray. Also, North Korea is a goat nation which is coming down in our lifetime, thankfully.

I will let the other internationals reading this blog to search out their national Godly mission. If you find that out, let me know.

3 Types of People – Wise, Fools, Evil & How to Handle

VERY PERSONAL THOUGHT from Lance Wallnau October 2014

This week I was updated about a man I knew who stole from two women he dated. Another man, a millionaire is about to lose his business because his team can no longer work with his abusiveness. And I’ve had to make some tough calls with on-line personalities who don’t know when and how to push differences of opinion in chat rooms.

The first guy is evil, the second foolish and my hope is the third guy is wise. (But he may not be.) I assumed all three were wise – and thats why I am writing. To save you a lot of pain.

I owe a lot to Dr. Henry Cloud who enlightened me about:
the WISE, the FOOLISH, the EVIL. These are notes of his teaching with my thoughts added.

There really are 3 categories of people. Learn to DISCERN

1. WISE
Correct them and they change. (Assuming you are correct! Not always the case.) The wise thank you. So what do you do when you’re leading a wise person? You give them feedback. They listen. You may need coaching on how to coach them, but they respond to truth.

2. FOOLS
Good hearted people assume fools are wise and they get very confused when things get strange.

This is tricky. Fools are often very bright and gifted and charismatic. They can get results a lot of the time. This is why they’ve gotten as far as they have. But here’s the problem. With the wise person, when the light comes on, they adjust themselves to the light. With a fool, when the light comes on…it hurts their eyes. They try to dim it and they try to adjust the truth.

The wise man changes himself; the fool tries to change the truth.
“This wasn’t a big deal.”
“It’s not like that.”
Or, they shoot the messenger. When you give feedback and the first reflective move is defensiveness, let that be a warning sign. They externalize it, they shoot the messenger. A lot of times they get angry.
Here’s what the Bible says, and all research validates: “Rebuke a wise man and he will become wiser.”

But then the Bible changes its tone.

It says: “do not correct a fool, lest you incur insults upon yourself. Do not confront a mocker, lest they hate you. Etc.”

Here’s your strategy: Stop talking. Why? They have stopped listening.

You need to have a different conversation. Set a time limit and consequences. “Here’s whats going to happen.”

Fail to give boundaries and you are part of the problem.

3. EVIL
This one is sad to see good hearted Christians get linked to. These people can be seductive yet steal you blind. Rob your virginity. Destroy your reputation. Paul said “pray that we be delivered from wicked and EVIL men…” (2 Thess 3:2)

Evil people actually intend to destroy. They want to inflict pain. I’ve seen this, and you have to believe it. There truly are bad people in the world. I’ve seen it in board meetings, I’ve seen it in high levels of leadership. Paul writes: “Reject a divisive person after a second warning. Have nothing to do with them.”

Your Strategy: Don’t return calls. Don’t reason.
This is where Lawyers and money and armed security provide protection and warfare prayer needs to disrupt the enemies attack.

Was the Early Church Communist

https://stream.org/was-the-early-church-communist/?utm_source=The+Stream&utm_campaign=4a23d0735d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_08&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8da00e4cb4-4a23d0735d-499883285

How to Think – A Primer in an Age of Unsupported Opinion

Americans do not know how to think.  It is possible Chinese and British don’t know either but I’m not writing to them.  If you do not know how to think, you will be continually upset by other people not agreeing with your opinions, frustrated over not getting your point across, and possibly not even realizing your point is pointless.

Thinking involves the following skills.

  1. You must know words. If you don’t know the meaning of words, or only think you do, you will not be able to speak or ask questions clearly.
  2. You must recognize where your information is coming from. If your sources are flawed so will be your thinking.
  3. You must have most of the information you need. No one knows everything or has access to all the parts of a problem, but if you only know one side of an issue that has 4 sides, you are still at Square One.
  4. You must recognize when you are substituting emotion for knowledge. Critical thinking is not criticism and it is not a Group Hug.
  5. You will learn that all truth is external, and that (1) you have been lied to at some point or points in life and (2) that you don’t know everything you need to know.

We will go over every one of these elements in detail and you should know if your thinking is valid and what to do about it.  No one wants to be an ineffective person; we all want to make the world a better place.  But we can’t do anything if our minds are wrapped in wrong ideas and processes.

Issue Number One: Know the Meaning of Words.

Quora is a public online venue where individuals identify their area of expertise and then answer questions, or ask them. This question came into my Quora Box.

How do we convince conservatives that the 2nd Amendment is unconstitutional?

My answer was frankly sarcastic. I told the guy to return his diploma and demand his money back. But his question got me to writing this for my blog.  Did he not know what the word constitutional meant? Or was he simply sloppy in framing the question?

The answer is yes, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution is constitutional.  If you do not like the Amendment there is a process for changing the United States Constitution. We have done so in our history and unfortunately some of those amendments have backfired, like the 14th and the 17th.

The man’s question should have been, “How do we convince Conservatives the 2nd Amendment is wrong and should be eliminated?” To answer that question one would need to come up with a series of good reasons to change the Constitution which is a convoluted and time consuming process.  If you do not know the meaning of a word, look it up or ask.

Chinese students must know 6,000 characters which are all different before they can consider a college career. English is much easier than Chinese so we need not complain about studying vocabulary.

We are all guilty of not asking enough or the right questions.  I was in a meeting where the speaker used the word “turbidity” which I’d never heard. (Turgid I knew, but not this one.) Out of 14 listeners only one asked what it meant. If you do not have intellectual curiosity, find some because that will help you to learn to think and think accurately.

Issue Number Two: Where are you getting your information

When I was ready to come home from teaching in China, Su Ying, one of the Chinese teachers, was visibly alarmed.

“Aren’t you scared,” she said?

“Of what,” said I.

“Of all the criminals and guns,” she replied.

This is a common example of someone living and thinking in a world of assumptions.  This teacher had been told that everyone in the USA carried guns and Americans were in constant danger of being killed.  In addition, she was taught that black people now live in squalid poverty without shoes, adequate food, and near slave conditions. She believed only white people were prosperous. This is what she read in her history book about America, a portion which I was able to read, and since American consumer goods and “nice” movies were not permitted, she only knew the America of the Mafia and gang murders.  I introduced the movie Beethoven to the Chinese children, but one teacher refused to watch it because she thought the movie would show the slaughter of the dog.

Assumptions cause you to believe and act in ways that are not in line with reality.

The Greeks have a fifty dollar word for this – Epistemology – how do you know what you know. We cannot blame the Chinese teacher for not knowing. She has been taught by Communists whose purpose is to keep her from wanting anything American.  But on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, Americans are just as badly informed about China.  We think the Chinese have freedom of religion and speech, the right to bear arms, the right to assemble in groups, the right to carry a gun, and a secret ballot.  They have none of these. Our government is not trying to keep us ignorant; we are just not taught about Chinese society which is a pity since they out number Americans five to one.

So examine your assumptions before you make key decisions.

This leads to an important issue – Know your Sources.

My mother would often warn me, “Put your brain in gear before you open your mouth.”

Back to the 2nd Amendment.  Our correspondent needs more information and he can look it up. It says:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Our writer wants conservatives to “infringe” this right. Define infringe act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on.

Now we can start thinking about this issue.  We have a definition of the elements of the question. We are nowhere near a real discussion.  We should have a profile of what the founders of our nation discussed about this amendment.  After all, the Constitution failed to ratify at the start until and unless these 10 amendments were included in our government.  For information we have the Federalist Papers, which itself is a good exercise in critical thinking and it is important to know the thinking process of those who created our democracy. We also know that there are many laws today which do infringe on this right.

Americans listen to poor and unqualified sources.  The fact that someone earns millions of dollars making movies, putting on special clothes and memorizing lines, does not qualify him or her to make comments about political issues.  Some celebrities have personal knowledge of issues, like Bono who knows about starvation and AIDS in Africa, or Clint Eastwood who was elected and served as mayor, or Gary Sinise who works with veterans.

These people have some intellectual skin in the game. The others may just need a little current publicity to shore up a failing career, or to look important to their friends. And if you are a good source on some subject, do not sit back and let someone who knows little or nothing horn in on the issue. Voters will often change their minds if they learn pertinent facts from private citizens. And not knowing what you are talking about will bring you some embarrassment.

Issue Number Three – Do Your Homework

Su Ying, the Chinese teacher, is not allowed to look up anything on international internet so she has an excuse for repeating lies.  But Americans with a phone have no such excuse. If someone quotes (maybe misquotes) the Bible, you can look it up on your phone at Bible Gateway (it’s free) and in many languages and translations, including the original Greek. I spend an hour a day verifying what I read, although I do have some sources I can trust all the time.

All of us have been told lies, deliberately or accidentally so don’t be cynical; everybody at some time is lazy and fails to check their facts.  But you and you alone are responsible for the truth.  And it is true what Jesus said, it can make you free!

The internet is stuffed with data.  That wonderful TV news guy you love so much may have only a handful of viewers.  Check out TV by the Numbers.  Four million is considered only a blip on the screen. And when you search go down a scroll because the top messages have often been paid for. Also, search on several browsers as Google will give you an entirely different list from Bing, Yahoo and all the rest.

The devil is in the details is a good rule. China is the world’s worst polluter and anti-pollution laws are routinely ignored so any climate change legislation which requires compliance is largely a mirage. Stats on this are easy to find.  But every piece of legislation and government proposal is easy to research; it just takes time.

This week someone on Facebook scolded me about two famous preachers who wanted our government to be a theocracy – that is ruled by the church or possibly a Caliphate.  But she did not accurately know the name of one of the preachers she was quoting. Since I contribute regularly to this ministry I know what they teach and preach.

It is exactly the opposite – they want a government that will keep its paws off religion!! I must assume the writer does not listen to this ministry or know what they have said first hand.  Quoting someone else is not good thinking. If you are going to quote someone, at the very least you should know his name.

Finally, “show me the money” is a good rule.  Who is paying for this information or who benefits?  The richest man in America was a big promoter of wind farms but he had a huge investment in the process and equipment.  Wind farms have not done what they promised and many bird lovers are angry over the killing fields. Legislators will back off from controversial laws if they learn that large numbers of voters are watching and angry.  Unfortunately this same situation means many important decisions are not made at all, or postponed.

Once you have learned the process of thinking two things will happen.  In addition to not joining protesters who do damage in public places and get no more than a mention of the TV nightly news, you will not talk as much about your opinions, because now you realize they may be untested and flawed.  And when you do speak you will do so with the authority of one who can be listened to and respected, which is something we all want. That will get real results in the end.

 

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Immaculate Assumptions: All the Stuff You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

 

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An Incidence of Racism -that well – Wasn’t

TV people and news personalities have never ending commentary about racism but it is unknown in my church and in my daily world. Of course my world is small.  I probably speak to no more than 100 discrete individuals a year and writers spend most of their hours alone with their computers. So when this happened last summer it was a jolt.

My very good friend Pat from Texas came to visit with 3 of her four children.  She had married a black man and raised her children entirely in private schools and colleges.  The two girls were in their their 20’s and the 2 boys in their early teens.  My goal was to get the boys to apply for a job at the white water rafting companies we have up here in the mountains.

That Sunday night we went to a small restaurant. At a table nearby sat an elderly couple in their 60’s eating dinner silently, but the woman, who was well dressed and carefully made up, kept staring at us with something of a smug smile on her face.  I was uncomfortable.  So was Pat’s 24-year-old daughter Molly, who made a remark that she was used to “this stuff.”

After working at a male juvenile prison I’ve noticed that boys react to events much differently from girls. They will be angry or disgusted, while girls are more often angry and sad. The boys had this “same ole, same ole” look on their faces. As a white woman I’ve been given racist treatment but I try to ignore it; after all, I can always buy the item somewhere else.

The woman’s staring continued through most of the meal.  I was upset because these were my treasured guests. Finally the couple finished their meal but as they got up we noticed something unusual – the wife didn’t seem to react to her husband or to anyone else.  She stared into the distance as  before, smiling but almost dead-eyed.

I wondered, is she possibly blind?  Her husband guided her to the cashier like a grocery cart, and then it became obvious to us all that she either had Alzheimer’s or was partly demented.  At no time did she speak to anyone.

Then we all looked very sheepishly at each other!  Here we had jumped to the conclusion that we were victims of racism. How quick we were to react when we did not have all the facts.

Maybe this is happening in the wider world too.  Maybe it makes headlines and good photo ops to call it racism when it is something else.  After all, a crime in a store can be simply a crime, not about the race and who is the criminal?  It is far too easy to say people are criminals because of race or lack of income and education, but a large number of Islamic terrorists were well off financially and well educated.  It is a foolish business to ascribe motives when we don’t really know what they are.  The woman’s blank, sickly sweet smile looked like contempt. In actual fact her mind was far, far away from us and that restaurant.

The media has used our ignorance and our rush to judgment to stir up antagonism in our society. While we cannot know everyone’s motive we can turn off the TV news and discipline those who pander to public emotion.  It’s not much but it is a start.

Seeing the World through God’s Eyes

Poor ‘ole God gets blamed for so very many things He had nothing to do with. His plan for Man is that we live in our own way, our government, our decisions, and our culture.  Those 70 years give us enough time to make up our minds to follow God’s principles or not.  The results become ours. And because He does not interrupt our lives, our nations, our wars, unless we make a federal case out of it, we blame Him.

Not so fast. We can’t live in free will at one point and then insist that God step in.  We can’t have it both ways. What God does is to listen to our honest prayers and then provide an impact on life wherever we have made ourselves available to His will.  The result is that God is able to make something good come out of evil.  He always does.

I would have preferred to have never lived through the 2nd World War.  Millions of souls were lost, not to mention the awful loss of property, animals, destruction of families, and refugees.  But God was able to make something good out of it all.  He had promised the Jews (@ 2,000 B.C.E.) that He would restore their homeland (Isaiah 11:11) at some point in history.  That war, and the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis, sufficiently embarrassed the European nations to arrange for the Israelis to return. They’ve had a hard time keeping the peace but they are still holding on to their land.

No one was happy about the Korean War, cutely referred to as a “police action,” but the long range results were that South Korea is the strongest Christian nation in the Pacific Rim and the major missionary nation to the orient. South Korea is wildly prosperous, educated, westernized and hope-filled and when it is forced to revive North Korea, a nation that knows no equal for evil and loss, the nation will have the wherewithal to do it.

President George Bush gets a pile of grief for going into Iraq, but it is a strong and prosperous nation and will get on its feet as soon as ISIS is eliminated. They have money in the bank! We have the same hope for the Kurds in the North who have been treated badly for generations and yet are the best hope for any group stuck in a Muslim enclave of nations.

God’s plan for earth is that all men should be saved.  That they are not is not God’s fault.  God has set up a system of salvation hat man must follow, but in actual practice it is not all that hard. One single man thousands of years ago got it into his head that God was a personality who actually made the universe and everything in it.  God was so impressed He visited him personally (Genesis 14) and the family of Israel, and God’s precious people began there.  So if you, or some unsaved friend believe God is the creator, you are half way there.

God usually takes bad situations and bails them out. I was nearly killed as a child, removed from the home and sent to a private school.  I received a scholarship to an Ivy League College and my life changed permanently and forever.  I suspect nothing like this could have happened otherwise. God can take anything and reform it. And it all happened without me being any the wiser for the events that brought this on.

This isn’t Pollyanna stuff.  We are not trying to make silk purses out of sows’ ears.  But we must not assume that God is a “deist” off somewhere ignoring man and his systems. Nor is He under any compulsion to inform us ahead of time. He has a whole set of plans for you, me and our universe of which we as yet have not one hint.

One Deed can Change Your Life Forever

A pilot glanced outside his cockpit and froze.

He blinked hard and looked again, hoping it was just a mirage. But his co-pilot stared at the same horrible vision.
“My God, this is a nightmare,” the co-pilot said.
“He’s going to destroy us,” the pilot agreed.
The men were looking at a grey German Messerschmitt fighter hovering just three feet off their wingtip.
It was five days before Christmas 1943, and the fighter had closed in on their crippled American B-17 bomber for the kill.
 image
BROWN’s Crippled B-17 Stalked by STIGLER’s ME-109
  
The B-17 Pilot, Charles BROWN, was a 21-year-old West Virginia farm boy on his first combat mission.
His bomber had been shot to pieces by swarming fighters, and his plane was alone, struggling to stay in the skies above Germany. Half his crew was wounded, and the tail gunner was dead, his blood frozen in icicles over the machine guns.
But when BROWN and his co-pilot, Spencer “Pinky” LUKE, looked at the fighter pilot again, something odd happened.
The German fighter pilot didn’t pull the trigger.
He stared back at the bomber in amazement and respect.
Instead of pressing the attack, he nodded at BROWN and saluted. What happened next was one of the most remarkable acts of chivalry recorded during World War Il.
image 
Luftwaffe Major Franz STIGLER
  
FRANZ STIGLER pressed his hand over the rosary he kept in
his flight jacket.  He eased his index finger off the trigger.
He couldn’t shoot. It would be murder. STIGLER wasn’t just motivated by vengeance that day. He also lived by a code.
He could trace his family’s ancestry to Knights in 16th Century Europe. He had once studied to be a priest.
A German pilot who spared the enemy, though,
risked death in Nazi Germany.
If someone reported him, he would be executed.
Yet, STIGLER could also hear the voice of his commanding officer, who once told him: “You follow the rules of war for you… not your enemy. You fight by rules to keep your humanity.”
  
Alone with the crippled bomber, STIGLER changed his mission. He nodded at the American pilot and began flying in formation so German anti-aircraft gunners on the ground wouldn’t shoot down the slow-moving bomber.
(The Luftwaffe had B-17’s of its own, shot down and
rebuilt for secret missions and training.)
STIGLER escorted the bomber over the North Sea and took one last look at the American Pilot. Then he saluted him, peeled his fighter away, and returned to Germany.
  
“Good luck,” STIGLER said to himself. “You’re in God’s hands now.”
Franz STIGLER didn’t think the big B-17 could make it back to England and wondered for years what happened to the American pilot and crew he encountered in combat.
image 
Charles BROWN, with his wife, Jackie (left),
with Franz STIGLER, with his wife, Hiya.
 
As he watched the German fighter peel away that December day, 2nd Lt. Charles BROWN wasn’t thinking of the philosophical connection between enemies. He was thinking of survival.
He flew his crippled plane, filled with wounded, back to his base in England and landed with one of four engines knocked out, one failing, and barely any fuel left.
After his bomber came to a stop, he leaned back in his chair and put a hand over a pocket bible he kept in his flight jacket. Then he sat in silence.
  
BROWN flew more missions before the war ended.
Life moved on.
He was married, had two daughters, supervised foreign aid for the US State Department during the Vietnam War, and eventually retired to Florida. Late in life, though, the encounter with the German pilot began to gnaw at him.
He started having nightmares, but in his dream there would be no act of mercy. He would awaken just before his bomber crashed.
  
BROWN took on a new mission. He had to find that German Pilot. Who was he? Why did he save my life? He scoured military archives in the US and England. He attended a pilots’ reunion and shared his story. He finally placed an advertisement in a German newsletter for former Luftwaffe pilots, retelling the story and asking if anyone knew the pilot.
  
On 18th January 1990, BROWN received a letter. He opened it and read:  
“Dear Charles,
All these years I wondered what happened to that B-17, did she make it home?  Did her crew survive their wounds?
To hear of your survival has filled me with indescribable joy.” It was STIGLER.
  
He had had left Germany after the war and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1953. He became a prosperous  businessman.
Now retired, STIGLER told BROWN that he would be in Florida come summer, and “it sure would be nice to talk about our encounter.” BROWN was so excited, that he couldn’t wait to see STIGLER.
He called Directory Assistance for Vancouver and asked whether there was a number for a Franz STIGLER. He dialed the number, and STIGLER picked up.
“My God, it’s you!” BROWN shouted as tears ran down his cheeks. BROWN had to do more.
He wrote a letter to STIGLER in which he said:
“To say thank you, thank you, thank you on behalf of my surviving crew members and their families appears totally inadequate.”
The two pilots would meet again, but this time in person, in the lobby of a Florida hotel. One of BROWN’s friends was there to record the summer reunion.  Both men looked like retired businessmen: they were plump, sporting neat ties and formal shirts.
They fell into each other’s arms and wept and laughed.
They talked about their encounter in a light, jovial tone.
The mood then changed. Someone asked STIGLER what he thought about BROWN. STIGLER sighed and his square jaw tightened. He began to fight back tears before he said in heavily accented English, “I love you, Charlie.”
 
STIGLER had lost his brother, his friends, and his country in WW11.  He was virtually exiled by his countrymen after the war. There were 28,000 pilots who fought for the German Air Force. Only 1,200 survived.  The war cost him everything.
Charlie BROWN was the only good thing that came out of the War for Franz Stigler. It was the one thing he could be proud of. The meeting helped BROWN as well, says his oldest daughter, Dawn WARNER.   
image 
They met as enemies but Franz STIGLER, on
left, and Charles BROWN, ended up as fishing
buddies.
  
BROWN and STIGLER became pals. They would take fishing trips together. They would fly cross-country to each other homes and take road trips together to share their story at schools and veterans’ reunions. Their wives, Jackie BROWN and Hiya STIGLER, became friends.
  
BROWN’s daughter says her father would worry about  STIGLER’s health and constantly checked on him.
“It wasn’t just for show,” she says. “They really did feel for each other. They talked about once a week.” 
As his friendship with STIGLER deepened, something else happened to her father, DAWN WARNER says “The nightmares went away.”
BROWN had written a letter of thanks to STIGLER, but one day he showed the extent of his gratitude.
He organised a reunion of his surviving crew members along with their extended families. He invited STIGLER as a guest of honour. During the reunion, a video was played showing all the faces of the people that now lived…
children, grandchildren, relativesbecause of STIGLER’s act of chivalry.
STIGLER watched the film from his seat of honour.
“Everybody was crying, not just him,” DAWN WARNER says.
STIGLER and BROWN died within months of each other
in 2008. STIGLER was 92, and BROWN was 87.
They had started off as enemies, became friends, and then something more.   
After he died, DAWN WARNER was searching through BROWN’s library when she came across a book on German fighter jets. STIGLER had given the book to BROWN. 
Both were country boys who loved to read about planes.
DAWN WARNER opened the book and saw an inscription STIGLER had written to BROWN:
 
“In 1940, I lost my only brother as a night fighter.
On the 20th of December, four days before Christmas,
I had the chance to save a B-17 from her destruction,
a plane so badly damaged, it was a wonder that she
was still flying. The pilot, Charlie BROWN, is for me as precious as
my brother was. Thanks Charlie.
Your brother,
Franz

You Don’t Need to be Wicked to End up in Hell

I’m dancing around a problem these days.  I have an acquaintance who is headed for hell.  Furthermore he is ill and I suspect he doesn’t have that much time left.  His background is completely non-Christian.  His father was a Unitarian minister, the parents divorced and he attended Berkeley in California in the 1960s.  He knocked around the world playing in bands, and he believes that as a Flower Child all will be rosy and happy when he dies. 

He knows I wrote a book and I said I would print out a chapter for him because it is not yet ready for the presses.  He asked for something on philosophy or psychology. He was not all that interested in religion or information about God.

So consider this portion of a verse. Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge.

This man is not evil.  He doesn’t rape, steal or murder at will.  He does not beat up small children or march with rioters in the streets.  He just has no place for God in his mind or his life. Yet he thinks that because he has committed no great sin heaven will be open to him where he can live a life of love, joy and peace with all his old buddies, playing the guitar and singing on the beach by a nice campfire.  Something like that.

But the hard truth is that heaven is God’s hometown.  If you end up there it is because God wants you and you want Him.  You just don’t slip in unnoticed because you haven’t bombed a church somewhere or set fire to your neighbor’s laundry. Heaven, and by extension hell, is serious business.

Hell is not all torment, screaming, and flames. Parts of hell are in complete isolation where there is barely a scrap of light and not another single person, a place of total loneliness.  If you want to hear something you’ll have to do your own screaming. There may not even be a single demon to contend with. Other parts are wastelands, like the burned out cities with sticks and rocks left from a firestorm.  Or complete quiet.  Or unremitting noise.

But most of all the decision about where you go after you die is not in your hands.  You only have free will on this side of the grave. If you made the wrong choice here, it is too late after you die to change your mind. Everyone has everlasting existence; not everyone has everlasting life.  The difference is in the decision we make for God now.

Free will lulls us to sleep, makes us comfortable in this life, allowing us to enjoy an uneasy peace. You may be saying to yourself, “Oh I’ll get saved before I die.  NO problem.  I just want to have some fun first.” But the truth about life is that it often ends without warning, not on your schedule but someone else’s.

Three thousand people entered the two towers in New York City for a normal work day on September 11, 2001 and nearly that many died before noon.  The calming notion that you have any time left for decision making is a cruel ruse. Put God back in your mind, and back into your life while you still have a chance.