Friday, 27 September 2013


People have been conscienciously seeking to eat a well-balanced diet for decades, as well they should. Consuming roughage-laden grain products and vegetables helps digestion and intestinal motility. Cooking unprocessed food also provides more vitamines and minerals than packaged food does. But even the best diets can be counteracted by what's eating you.

In the autumn of 1981, I began having cramps. The pain became so bad that I was given sick leave from work during the month of September. After seeing my general practicioner, I went to a specialist. I underwent a variety of tests, including a barium X-ray and a colonoscopy. The doctor said one test showed  a positive indication of a parasite of some sort or other in my stool and gave me medicine for it.

The symptoms gradually subsided and I was able to return to work in October. The question still remained in my mind about why I suffered the cramps in the first place. As happens with illnesses, I heard no shortage of unsolicited advice. Friends From Crohn's disease to a lack of roughage, everybody had their own opinion about what was wrong with me.

The elders at the house church I attended at the time were particularly criticle in their judgements about my cramps. Sister Roberta ceised upon the opportunity by firing question after question at me about what I had been eating. Others sitting around the table after Sunday service also gave their dietary pronouncements.

Since I'd been eating whole grain bread and brown rice, Sister Roberta assumed that I must have a demon afflicting me. People gathered around me to  lay their hands on me. As they jabbered in tongues, Sister Roberta rebuked the demon and commanded it to come out. Afterward, when I felt no different, she admonished me to keep my faith up.

At an appointment in December with my specialist, he told me that I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome. A fair number of people suffer from that malady, according to him.

Though my doctor didn't say so, I believe my cramps were brought on by the stress of my job added to the stress of trying to work up my faith to be healed of my poor sight. I haven't had any serious problems since leaving the church and being put on disability by the government in 1995.

I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Were you part of the generation which pledged allegiance to the flag and said or heard "The Lord's Prayer" in school? It might seem like ancient history to children today but there was a time when these classroom activities were commonplace.

During grade one, we had to sing "O Canada" each morning before the teacher started her lesson. I assume it was supposed to create patriotism in us children. All I remember was that we were supposed to sing that song, not that it meant anything to me.

We also were instructed to say The Lord's Prayer, doubtless with the same idea of making us good little boys and girls. Not until I gave my life to Christ in August of 1969 did the words have any special meaning.

When I was sent to Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind, Our teacher read from the Bible before starting the day's lesson. The King James version is difficult enough for grown-ups to understand but it was doubly so for us. I forget which book of the Bible the teacher read from but it was incomprehensible to me. We would have been better served if she read from the gospels or the historical parts of the Old Testiment. The next year, the Bible readings mercifully ended.

I wrote previously about having to stand and listen to a record of The Lord's Prayer being sung. I was a born again Christian by the time I was mainstreamed into the public school system so the prayer meant more to me than the other kids. Even so, I understood their boredom about having to listen to some old man bellowing away to a totally uncool band. If they played a rock version, I think everybody would have enjoyed it more.

Having heard the pro and con arguments about religious activities in schools, I've come to the conclusion that children shouldn't be forced to partake in them during class time. Instead of teaching The Ten Commandments and reciting The Lord's Prayer, I believe it would be better if the concept of the "golden rule" be the basis for all lessons pertaining to moral issues. Imagine how much nicer attending school would be if pupils were taught to do to others only what they'd like done to them. Just that one rule would make life so much better.

Social studies classes should teach in a matter-of-fact way about people's beliefs but not hold one above the rest. Students would be better served by understanding why certain groups believe what they believe so that they don't form harmful opinions.

By the way, a Christian death-metal group named Vengeance recorded their version of The Lord's Prayer If I could have gone back in time and played this version over the public address system, I'm sure it would have blown everybody's minds.

I wrote extensively about my faith in Christ in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

Friday, 20 September 2013


Have you ever read something so outrageous in a newspaper that you felt compelled to write the editor? That happened to me in September of 1980. In fact, I had my letter printed in The Edmonton Sun the next week.

Back then, my sight was good enough that I could read newspapers with a magnifying glass. I had plenty of time to read during my security guard shifts as well. One news story attracted my attention. A man, convicted of starting forest fires in B.C., was caught on a surveillance tape praying that God would get him out of his perdiciment. The Crown's lawyer objected that the recording from the holding cell couldn't be admissable because God wasn't a person.

As soon as I arrived home that morning, I wrote a letter to the editor which stated that God was indeed a person and that many believers around the world maintained that belief. Though I doubted that anything would happen, the letter appeared in the paper the next week.

After the Wednesday evening Bible study, the minister of the house church I attended complemented me about the letter. I felt so proud. The elderly woman in whose house we met often criticized my activities and also restricted the time I could have alone with the minister. Receiving his praise blessed me and boosted  my confidence.

Though it wasn't the first time my name got into the newspaper, I kept the well-edited letter as a memento. Never did I suspect back then that I'd be a writer and that I'd publish a book on how God led me out of that toxic church. Thanks to modern technology, I'm able to write, edit, and publish just like a fully-sighted person.

I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Were you a part of the Jesus People movement back in the late sixties and early seventies? I certainly was. In fact, my convictions frequently got me into trouble with classmates and teachers alike.

"What's your sign?" was one question which my peers asked me. I invariably answered that I was a Christian and didn't believe in astrology. I wish I had said that it was the cross of Christ. That would have encouraged them to ask more questions or shortened the conversation. As it was, I feel I gave the wrong impression regarding being a believer as I seemed not to believe in anything fun.

I also had my mother cut off a peace medalian from the zipper of a sweater she had purchased. I felt it clashed with my convictions as a Christian because it, according to some preachers, was a pagen symbol.

Though I loved rock music, I drew the line at songs which openly promoted immorality or false beliefs. The Fifth Dimension's "Age Of Aquarious" was one song I hated above the rest. Whenever it came on the radio, I switched it off and waited until I felt the song had ended.

When I learned that George Harrison was singing about Crishna, I stopped listening to his "My Sweet Lord" song as well.

Additionally, I got into my classmates' bad books by standing with my head bowed for "The Lord's Prayer." Each morning during Grade eight and nine, Our teachers insisted we stand and listen to the scratchy record of that well-known Bible passage being played over the intercom. One teacher even praised me in front of the class for being so devout while everybody else fidgeted and shuffled their feet.

I caused quite a stir in English class when we held debates. When the teacher asked for topics to debate, I suggested that abortion  was murder. To her credit, our teacher allowed that debate topic. I'm sure it would be denied today.

I also handed out tracts during my high school years. Many students crumpled and tossed them back at me but I persisted for a while. The cost of those gospel messages soon became prohibitive since I was only given a little money from my dad to live on. Even so, I spoke up whenever the conversation turned to spiritual matters. Though my convictions got me into hot water,and still do today, I've found amazing peace in the cross of Christ. How wonderful that he cared and still cares for a nobody like me.

I wrote about my zeal for the Lord in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers cary the e-book and paper versions of this inspiring testimony of God's faithfulness.

Friday, 13 September 2013


When I think back to the fifteen years I spent in a toxic house church, I notice how superstitious the elders of it were. This is especially true when it came to its leader and his supposed visions. One of them involved a painting on the plaster of the basement wall above the baptismal tank.

When I returned from my summer holidays at my parents place to the house church, I immediately noticed that somebody had painted a picture of a river and impossibly steap green hills behind it. When I remarked about it to Sister Roberta, she crowed, "Brother Herald had a vision. He saw the city of refuge in the Nahanni Valley  mentioned in Revelation Chapter twelve."

As I admired the painting, Sister Roberta continued, "The swirles in the plaster matched exactly the hills and river in the vision so we painted them."

I stood and gawked in amazement at this supposed vision. We had been taught that when the mark of the beast was imposed on the world, the weak christians would be taken to a city of refuge in the Northwest Territories for three and a half years. The able-bodied Christians would fight the mark of the beast while the young and infirm believers would be kept safe in that northern location.

Now I realize that what we had been taught was completely wrong. The books of the Bible were written for us but not to us, as Hank Hanegraaff of the Bible Answer Man show rightly says. Consequently, the last book of the Bible was written to seven churches in what now is the nation of Turky.  Though we learn much from Scripture, none of it was written to twenty-first-century believers.

In Revelation 12:1-6, John portrays in symbolic form the life of Christ. The woman is Mary who fled to Egypt with Joseph and the Christ child.  The readers of the letter that John wrote to the seven churches would have recognized the allusion to Old Testiment apocolyptic language immediately. John used it to amplify his message to these congregations. That's why Revelation seems such a mysterious book to us. We can't relate to Old Testiment figures of speech. For more on the subject of the Bible being written for our instruction but to ancient peoples, check The Christian Research Institute's web site.

If I had only known how to read the Bible for all it's worth, and all its wealth, I would never have fallen for a blasphemous minister and his twisted lies. Even so, I feel that God wanted me to publish How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


Have you noticed how many different psychological problems "science" has come up with these days. So many emotional problems appear to be solvable with pills of some sort or another. Thanks to
Hope in the Night, June gave me the answer that actually helped me ditch most of my emotional suffering from the wrongs done to me.

June told me that my emotional burden was like having stones tied to the back of a car's bumper. When I unhooked them and let Jesus place them on his bumper, I could make much better progress.  Being much greater than us, Jesus can cary our burdens much easier than we could. June based her answer on 1 Peter 5:6and  7. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you."

June then asked me to make a list of all the people who hurt me during my life. Then she said that I should tell Christ how I felt about the incidents. She told me to pray that the Lord would take away both the pain and the terrible emotions that I felt regarding each specific incident.

The next day, I sat at my computer and made the list. Then I followed June's instructions. Whenever an unpleasant memory began to anger me, I took it to Jesus in prayer. Though the tormenting thoughts didn't immediately vanish, I've noticed the strength of the bitterness steadily waning .

I've forgiven those who hurt me with lies and cruel words but I still hate what they did. The worst offences against me were abuses of my eagerness to learn more about Christianity. In an effort to warn and comfort fellow Christians, I wrote How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. This paperback and e-book chronicles the guidence of the heavenly Father and his patience with me. Since millions of people have been harmed by toxic churches, My memoir is a valuable resource to them and their loved ones.

How I Was Razed is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers

Friday, 6 September 2013


Summer tourist destinations, such as Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies, tend to be crowded during warmer months. That's why I chose to visit Banff and Jasper in September of 1988. Even better for my sanity, I did it alone.

Having discovered a bus route going from Banff to Jasper, I paid my fair and found a window seat. As I looked out at the scenery, I felt awestruck at the height of the mountains next to the road. Some cliffs towered over the highway like skyscrapers.

Another fascinating sight greeted us as we reached Jasper. A deer stood grazing by the road. The driver turned the bus around and passed by her again so we could get a closer look. Unfortunately, I didn't get my camera out fast enough to photograph that doe.

I chose to stay in a hotel room for that part of my trip. To my surprise, the air conditioner sat in the window. It was off but the room still felt freezing cold. I went down to the front desk to complain to the manager. A middle-aged man, all red-faced and flustered, assured me that the appliance would be removed from the window as soon as possible. Jasper had experienced a heat wave before I arrived, consequently the air conditioners had been installed but not yet removed.

I managed to sleep in spite of the chill and woke the next morning ready to explore the park. After a hearty breakfast at the hotel's restaurant, I spent my first full day exploring the town and finding out which attractions were still open. I also bought a few souvenirs.

Hearing that the gondola on Whistler Mountain was still running, I rode it to the top the next day. Unlike Sulphur Mountain, I noticed no wildlife at the terminal. But I did see something else that fascinated me. Down in the valley, clouds floated between the peaks. I couldn't resist taking photos of that. After talking to a ham operator riding in his car near the town of Edson on my hand-held radio, I rode the gondola back down.

Reality cought up with me as I realized I was running low on cash. I pondered whether to stay another day in Jasper without buying more souvenirs or leaving a day sooner with extra trinkets. I chose the latter and received my refund from the hotel. Then I bought my bus ticket and a few more post cards.

When I arrived home, I felt surprised at how chilly the house had become. I turned the furnace on and unpacked my suitcase as the house warmed.

Among the factors I enjoyed about my vacation were the freedom to change my mind as well as spend my money how I wished. Nobody objected to what I bought or what I ate. I walked where I wanted to and I didn't have to keep with a group. It didn't matter to somebody else when I gave thanks to God for my food either. Such freedom made the trip even more pleasurable.

I've often mentioned how I prefered to be alone in the pages of my three memoirs. I particularly wrote of it in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers stock both the e-book and paperback versions.

You can also see what I'm up to, or down to, these days at my RebelMouse page.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


People generally like to take vacations with family and friends. The idea is to share experiences and each other's company. On the other hand, people such as myself enjoy the freedom of spending a holiday alone.

Back in September of 1988, I decided to visit Banff and Jasper on my own. I had been to Banff with Sister Eileen and my brother Roy three years previously and we did have some fun then. Even so, I decided to go alone and find out if I would have more fun than with company.

Having checked out accomodation prices, I decided to rent a motel room. It was simply furnished with a bed, table, two chairs, and a wardrobe. The room also had a bathroom with a shower and bath tub. I slept well that night since nobody was in a partying mood there. On my previous visit, I rented a hotel room above a bar. I had to sleep with earplugs and even then I could still feel the vibrations from the amps.

I spent the next few days touring the town. Being able to eat when I felt like and go where I wanted to without checking with others felt exhilarating. On past trips, I had to go wherever others wanted to visit. On this trip, I had the freedom of walking wherever I desired.

My ride on the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain was equally pleasing and better than in 1985. Though there were still some tourists riding with me, I felt at ease. They had no expectations of me and I had none of them.

The best part of the trip was seeing bighorn sheep eues close up. Though there was a fine for feeding the animals, they felt no fear of us as we took photos of them. At one point, a eue and her lamb stood within three feet of me as I took their picture. I felt a sensation of peaceful coexistance with those beautiful creatures as we regarded one another. Then the eue wandered away with her lamb following her.

There were also little squirrels who dashed around us. Since there was no fine for feeding them, the eager rodents mugged for hand-outs. One even jumped on my thigh as I sat on the wooden pathway.

Though there were moments when I wanted to share my experience with somebody, I felt happy on that part of the trip. I boarded a bus to Jasper with the feeling that visiting that national park alone would be just as pleasurable.

I didn't mention this vacation in my book called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. The focus of the memoir was on how the heavenly Father led me out of error and into the freedom of knowing his character more perfectly. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers distribute this inspiring testimony of my deliverance from false teachers.