Tuesday, 12 May 2015


Every once in a while, I come across a nifty little gadget that I wish I had known about years ago. While at the World Net Daily Superstore web page, I read about the Sparkie fire starter. Since they were only $10.00 each, I ordered two of them.

When the package containing my fire starters finally arrived, I immediately tried out the Sparkie. I didn't get the hang of it at first but I eventually figured it out. A short test in the kitchen sink demonstrated that it indeed gave off hot sparks which could light kindling.

There was a time in my life when I felt I might have to hide out in the wilderness. Back in 1986, I attended a house church which believed that the mark of the beast would be instituted  before Christ's return. Consequently, they stored up a large supply of canned goods against the day when nobody could buy or sell without the mark.

A novelty catalogue I received in the mail about that time had some exciting outdoor gadgets. I purchased a pocket-sized stove, a solar-powered cigarette lighter (useful for lighting kindling), a dynamo flashlight, and other useful items. The only problem with the lighter is that it wouldn't work during cloudy days or at night. The Sparkie would have solved that problem. As it was, I put some wooden matches in a waterproof container. I would have loved to have the Sparkie back then but I found no such fire starter in the catalogue.

Though I now believe that we need not fear this mark of the beast because it was a mark of character and that all events except for Christ's return mentioned in Revelation happened 2000 years ago, I still see useful applications for the Sparkie. It'll be handy when my pilot lights in the stove are blown out. If I do go camping, I could start the campfire. I might be invited on a picnic as well someday. Since the Sparkie relies on a flint rod, I don't have to worry about wet matches or lighters running out of fuel. According to the back panel on the product's packaging, the Sparkie lights kindling even if the device gets wet.

Though I enjoy practical emergency gadgets like the Sparkie, I'm glad I'm free from the paranoid teachings of that aberrant congregation. Some of the leader's doctrines were so incredibly wacky that I felt compelled to write a memoir about them. Please check out How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Books. The end of the paperback is especially gratifying, plus it contains the secret of how to rid oneself of emotional baggage.