Monday, February 17, 2020

Musings: A Cup of Coffee and Two Small (For Now) Fish

Philippians 4:8, NIV: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." 

OK, I can do that...


I was sitting quietly this morning, coffee in hand, and spending time with my therapist. Actually two therapists in the above 60 gallon "Goldfish Bowl". It also serves as a Television as I have not owned one in 20 years.  Obviously with John Denver playing in the background many things come to mind.  Turning 70 when I am 27 in my head also helps
šŸ˜²


Poems, Prayer and Promises

I've been lately thinking about my life's time
All the things I've done and how it's been
And I can't help believing in my own mind
I know I'm gonna hate to see it end
I've seen a lot of sunshine
Slept out in the rain
Spent a night or two all on my own
I've known my lady's pleasures
Had myself some friends
And spent a time or two in my own home
And I have to say it now
It's been a good life all in all
It's really fine to have a chance to hang around
And lie there by the fire
And watch the evening tire
While all my friends and my old lady
Sit and pass the pipe around
And talk of poems and prayers and promises
And things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone
How right it is to care
How long it's been since yesterday
And what about tomorrow
And what about our dreams
And all the memories we share
I got to thinking about my brother and all the years of a quick dinner after church and then off to the State Hospital to visit him. This was a weekly ritual.  It was in that State Hospital in Newark New York much of the fixer in me felt the tug towards ministry. After all, it was the greatest story ever told and ending up in WCG is no mystery to me.  With a blind, deaf and speechless brother, those Wonderful World Tomorrow scriptures beckoned.  They don't speak of such things in the Dutch Reformed environment. You live, you stay in church, you die and you go to Heaven. That's it.  Even Hell never came up with the Dutch. 

 I have recounted the brother story a number of times, so as to avoid the "here we go again" problem, I'll just leave the story at that.  The experiences every week seeing what can go so badly wrong with humans, mentally and physically as they mixed them all together back in the day, needless to say, molded my worldview from about age 5 onwards. And too...it was the 60's.

That being said, I got to thinking about Dr Bob Thiel. Behind the scenes of his life, I know he, his wife and siblings if present have the same challenge , or at least I believe this to be so and correct me if I am mistaken, with a special needs child.  I don't know the nature of it.  But I do know the challenge it must be as a parent. I know the work it takes to keep up with it all and the extra care needed to keep the family together and thriving. I know it's hard mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The well meaning, I suppose, Presbyterian minister of my parents day told them at some point "Well, you must have done something wrong or you'd not have had a handicapped child".  A bit enraging of course but that crack motivated my mom to spend the rest of her life being the perfect mom, perfect woman and perfect human being.  She spent a lot of her life, it seemed, proving "I'm not dirty!"  I miss them both, of course, but they made it to just under a hundred years old and died within months of each other as we suspected they would. 

  I also know how appealing the "Good News of the Wonderful World Tomorrow" can be and why one can end up not only embracing it because of our own special needs but because of having such a challenge in the family.  It may explain  a lot of the zeal to believe and do the right things and share that belief. We all do it as only the subjects and motives change I suppose. 

That being said, credit where credit is due and all differences, and my own theological or weather related criticisms aside :),  for the moment, I understand the quiet behind the scenes struggle and burden special needs children bring to the family table. This includes, of course, Mrs Thiel and any other children whose lives also are affected in many ways in such an environment growing up.  It does bestow compassion , patience and a perspective that seeks hope that perhaps only those who have experienced it can understand.  I have also seen it tear families to shreds with the stress and strain of it all.

I just wanted to honor and say something positive Dr Bob Thiel and family though  in spite of our observations about  the Wild World Church of God experience, splits and splinters. 





Gotta go...
My therapist says we're not finished, wrap it up and to pay attention, or she will move on to another appointment



.



69 comments:

Ronco said...

Speaking of Dr Bob, it looks like the same old curtains to me...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn-NydkDOkc

TLA said...

Having a special needs child changes everything.
Too bad there are no miraculous healings.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, I've always found your struggle to help your brother as an endearing and significant aspect to the path you took on this journey.

Godspeed to all who may find themselves in a similar situation- which, I suspect, is less unusual than many may think when considered a bit more broadly.

Thank you for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...


Dennis, you need to get those ugly faces off your wall ASAP. If you do not, your own face could start to look like them. Maybe throw them in with the fish. Or in the trash.

Start fresh, and get a new outlook on life, by buying some of those round, yellow, smiley faces. Think positive.

nck said...

Amen.
As "journalist/bloggers", it's good to keep the pressure on perceived evils. At times however one should pause and reflect upon the humanity of all and excercise compassion.

Prince Harry took a victim of media/internet vitriol to Canada. We wouldn't want to return the gesture by pressuring "the chosen one" the other way.

I believe this is about my 2nd response only to a posting concerning Thiel and Diehls compassion brought it about.

I understand Diehls Dealings with the "pre destined" folk. I have commented about my dealings with the "black stockings" as a kid, when 20 kids in the hood contracted Polio and my mother councelled with our wcg minister to have us vaccinated.

Luckily he did not feel it was up to my mother to decide and test whether we were also "predestined" to that particular affliction Mr Roosevelt was also famous for.

As a group the Reformed do care for their afflicted with many health facilities. Going to an *outsider" public school we children would joke that perhaps they would not have needed those facilities if they would have just dated more widely. (which led to our yearly street fight between 2 schools) as the catholics were a couple of miles further and did not deal with either the Reformed or the "atheists", except for hide and seek and tennis.

I did play with children of all faiths but never liked their stinky socks on the inflatable cushion" so I did not join on the cushion and went to sabbath services instead to be hit by my YOU peasant friends on the arms each sabbath after they sat quietly for 2 hours.

I would return to our Reformed town with paralyzed arms and the next day would be quiet as NOTHING moved on the Lord's Day except the ladies with the black hats and the long skirts and the men who looked like funeral guests when I would observe theur group as something from "The Little House on the Prairy", without Michael Landon's sweaty chest hair for sure.

Bck

Anonymous said...

Dennis, there's one big difference between your situation and Bob's. Your brother's disability was already there when you began your journey. Indeed, in some measure it animated your journey.

Bob, however, was already a glad-handing, ministerial-butt-kissing, attention-seeking dotard well before he had a special needs ("mentally-disabled," in Bob's own words) son. Unfortunately, the birth of that son didn't prompt Bob to stop his own attention-seeking behavior and focus instead on his son's care. The same Bob who went on to pronounce Rod Meredith's stroke and Sheryl Meredith's cancer to be curses for Rod's disobedience did not think for a moment that God was cursing him, nor that he should become more of a father and less of a Prophet in order to help his own son.

Dennis, I applaud your attempt at charity in considering Bob's situation. One could call much of your journey noble, though misguided. Bob's journey, however, is very much unlike yours, as Bob has had repeated opportunities to humble himself, admit his mistakes, and restore some normalcy to his life and his family. Unfortunately, Bob's pattern is to reject every opportunity God provides him to be humbled. Bob desperately wants to be as special as HWA, and to upstage his turncoat daddy-surrogate Rod Meredith. Eventually the cognitive dissonance may become so great that the stress will cause Bob to crack. I just hope that when he cracks he will go alone like Philip Apartian, and not take others with him like Terry Ratzmann.

Byker Bob said...

One of my high school buddies got into political science at university, earned his doctorate with his field of expertise being the Middle East. He became a respected journalist and commentator in the city in which we had grown up. He had a special needs child, and took on the mantle as an advocate for special needs children.

I've often felt that Bob Thiel would do so much more good for humanity if he devoted himself to advocacy for children like his own, as opposed to wasting himself on all of this weird stuff like declaring himself to be a prophet, and promoting Armstrongism. I believe it would actually be much more fulfilling for him, because people would listen to him. It's a choice. Sometimes people feel as if they have a calling in one direction, when a more compelling case could be made for a calling in a totally different direction. They just don't see it, and end up leading a life of total frustration.

BB

Anonymous said...

Nck/Bck-
Please try to post more clearly. In much of your 7:36 AM post, I had no idea what the fuck you were talking about. And, that observation is true for countless other posts of yours, too, including you trying to stir the pot for the sake of liking and promoting discord among those who read and comment, which is a much different thing than someone steering others compassionately toward independent thought.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...

"Dennis, you need to get those ugly faces off your wall ASAP. If you do not, your own face could start to look like them. Maybe throw them in with the fish. Or in the trash.

Start fresh, and get a new outlook on life, by buying some of those round, yellow, smiley faces. Think positive."

Not to worry! Those are the masks issued to me to wear as a WCG Pastor. I never wore them so I hung them up to remind me of who I am not. :) I'm a lot more positive than you can imagine.

Anonymous said...

I ask myself how can I make a response to DD?
The reason I make this comment if I send it is due to some reminiscing in reading a family newsletter in 2007 and comparing it to my life today. I was somewhat shocked when I recognized that my life today is dealing with aging then as it is in life today. In 2007 I was 76 years old and was dealing with aging in my life and the lives of three families. These three families were my family (father, mother, me and my 4 brothers and 1 sister) my wife’s family (father, mother, my wife, 6 brothers, 7 sisters) our family (me, my wife, 2 sons, 2 daughters, and their families). A many have already died but many (including me and my wife) are still in the struggling stag. In those family letters I focused on the positive side of life focused on a daily living that did the best we could encouraging each other when going through difficult times in life. I find that critical condemnation adds burden to an already burdened life. There is another thing that I never say any more. That Is “I know how you feel”. My wife suffers chronic pain day and night, but the only help I can give is ask her if there is anything that I can do help ease the pain? I never mention that I will pray for a person suffering unless they ask me too, but I am a strong believer in the power of prayer so I always put people in my prayers when I am aware of the problems. I know God answers those prayers but I never take credit for an answered prayer. I could go on and on about things in my life, but there is nothing I can say that would prove God is actively involved. I will say that my life has been and is a journey filled with successes and failures but there is nothing that I can think of that would has been an improvement. It has been a learning experience and I am still learning as head for 89 years. I do remember a saying “we have met the enemy and the enemy is us” I do find that my enemy may be me. ASB

nck said...

8:38

It's a response to Dennis's compassionate posting to a guy receiving vitriol over the internet. The same type of vitriol that lost Britain a princess a prince and Meghan anx this weekend killed a TV presenter.

The rest were musings about my past amongst the people of Dennis denomination of his youth...... I think he understands what I wrote unless they were liberal.

As for discord. That's because l stick to the truth amongst liars, although I write in code so the most offended won't understand what I'm writing about and the truthful people do........ Kinda like the parables. I'll be happy to clarify any specific question that might remain.

Sincerely

Nck

Retired Prof said...

Dennis, you have turned 70? Congratulations!

At threescore and ten, you have completed your official biblical life span. You are now safe from the curse of premature death. When I mentioned to a colleague how safe we were, she brightened up and said, "That's right! All those things they told us not to do because they would lead to an early grave? We can do them now. They can't get us any more!"

Your death will still be untimely, because whenever it occurs from here on out, it will technically be overdue. At 78 myself, I say the longer overdue the better, for both of us.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
Nck/Bck-
Please try to post more clearly. In much of your 7:36 AM post, I had no idea what the fuck you were talking about"

LOL, I withheld my view on this in case I was missing something, like my mind, but thanks for not leaving me thinking I was the only one at times who thought, "Huh???"


" Anonymous said...
Dennis, there's one big difference between your situation and Bob's. Your brother's disability was already there when you began your journey. Indeed, in some measure it animated your journey."

I see your point and I agree. I don't know Bob in any other context but here on Banned. I just got thinking that he takes a lot of heat from us on the issues, major and minor but he and family have real life challenges as do we all. I had an experience recently with actually knowing and speaking at length with someone here who is anonymous here. I had one impression when they were anonymous and a much better one in person. I imagine it would be that way for a lot us who wrangle with each other over the basic bullshit of life and religion. lol

Anonymous said...

Dennis charitably wrote:

I don't know Bob in any other context but here on Banned. I just got thinking that he takes a lot of heat from us on the issues, major and minor but he and family have real life challenges as do we all.

The problem is that Bob doesn't have the gift of relating to other people as peers and equals, or even as fellow seekers on a journey. He has chosen to be the Important Person Who Knows Things. That wears thin after a while in any normal relationship. As a result, Bob has very few normal relationships.

In WCG, Bob knew LOTS of people in central and northern California. With only the rarest exceptions, those people learned to avoid him because he was such a fatuous and arrogant ass.

In LCG, Bob knew LOTS of members around the world. LCG leaders felt obligated to treat Bob with kid gloves because he was a big tither in a sect of poor people. LCG members, however, with only the rarest exceptions, learned to avoid Bob because he was such a fatuous and arrogant ass.

Dennis, I expect that your anonymous board acquaintance turned out to be someone with a small and loyal circle of friends whose presence vouched for his balance and character in at least some settings. Bob has very little of that. He has a customer base as a naturopath and as a donor of laptop computers. Beyond that, he provides a playground where a few eccentric people can go to play church if they don't fit in with their previous group. Bob may warrant our empathy, or even our pity, but his conduct does not warrant our respect.

Anonymous said...

Anon said, "Dennis, you need to get those ugly faces off your wall ASAP. If you do not, your own face could start to look like them. Maybe throw them in with the fish. Or in the trash.
I've been to Tanzania and Kenya about 9 times and purchased those "ugly face" masks, also. When my wife saw them, she said that they look demonic. I asked her if she knew what a demon looks like. She said no, but they are creepy looking masks. There is symbolism in the features of some of these masks. Partially closed eyes symbolized humility. High forehead, wisdom, and so on. You can look at the masks and interpret them as reminders of the gifts of the spirit. When looked at them this way, they are no longer creepy or demonic. Just like HWA claiming that this and that is pagan. Symbols mean whatever you want them to mean. The cross can be a reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus made or it can be ridiculed as a pagan symbol because someone else attached a different meaning to it. When in S. Korea I noticed the swatzika on Buddhist temples. Were these temple Nazi branch of Buddhism? I don't think so. So, let's lighten up, shall we?

Anonymous said...

He has a customer base as a naturopath

Is there such a thing as a socionaturopath ?

DennisCDiehl said...

RP.. it's tough to know no one will say anymore that " he died too soon"šŸ˜‚ Where goes the time? Everything was just 20 minutes ago.

Anonymous said...

TLA said: “Too bad there are no miraculous healings.”

Just coz you don’t hear of ‘em doesn’t mean there ain’t any.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous at 8:38 AM said... “Nck/Bck-Please try to post more clearly. In much of your 7:36 AM post, I had no idea what the fuck you were talking about. And, that observation is true for countless other posts of yours, too, including you trying to stir the pot for the sake of liking and promoting discord among those who read and comment, which is a much different thing than someone steering others compassionately toward independent thought.”


Nck/Bck could possibly be interesting if he were not almost totally illiterate and utterly unable to spell, write, and communicate clearly.

Retired Prof said...

Dennis, the former colleague who engaged in that bit of banter with me died a couple of years ago. In her eulogy I told that anecdote and admitted that even though we both had a good laugh at the time, her death still came too soon. Maybe if we maintain good relations with our friends and loved ones, some of them will think our deaths came too soon as well, no matter how long "overdue."

On the other hand, there is something to be said for playing out the string to the point where one's death seems timely or just a little bit overdue. A few of my relatives, including my mother and some of her siblings, lived long lives but spent their last months or years essentially lying on their deathbeds, so that all of us had grieved thoroughly by the actual death. The funerals could then be devoted to fond remembrances and family bonding. People shed a few sentimental tears but nobody went into distracting paroxysms of grief.

Miller Jones said...

Dennis,
Kindness, empathy and compassion never go out of style - they are qualities that transcend labels like theist or atheist. Although I have been frustrated over the years with what I have considered to be the evangelical nature of some of your posts, there have also been many moments when I have felt like you were one of the most spiritual commentators on this blog. Those of us who wear the label of theist or Christian would do well to take a page out of this book - well done!
Lonnie

Allen C. Dexter said...

Glad you've made it to 70, Dennis. I dimly remember that time still down in Phoenix and going strong in my carpet service business that I'd built up over the years. I was still a pretty dynamic guy back then. Now, at 85, I miss the strength I had back then, even though it was waning just a little bit. Just moving some cement blocks around yesterday plumb tuckered me out. That bursting energy from all those hormones is what I miss the most. I hope you make it to an age comparable to your parents ages, but none of us have any guarantees in that area.

Byker Bob said...

Most of the time it doesn't take too much effort for one to decypher nck's posts. In a way, it's like speaking with a friend or colleague who has a foreign accent. Once you get used to the nuances, communication becomes easy. Even though I patently disagree with his opinions relating to HWA, what he says is at least worthy of discussion, and as such, contributes to the blog. I admit, though, I'm kind of a globalist in my approach to humanity. My work involves Japanese equipment, I watch Canadian, British and Irish TV programs, and my wives and girfriends have mostly been Hispanic.

BB

nck said...

"My work involves Japanese equipment, I watch Canadian, British and Irish TV programs, and my wives and girfriends have mostly been Hispanic."


Sorry for sounding like a foreign manual for consumer electronics, those translations are hilarious though. I'll tone down my efforts to be a greek unto the greek and a jew unto the jew AT THE SAME TIME, since a holiday is pending anyway. BB is quite right and I believe it must be difficult if one does not have a clue if the manual is about a camera or a coffee machine. If one has established the frame the cues are fairly easy, I think. (for instance "black stockings" I would be surprised if Dennis didn't get that part of my personal story he always asks for versus the commenter who could not understand my ramblings "most of the time")

nck

DennisCDiehl said...

Allen C. Dexter said...
Glad you've made it to 70, Dennis

Thank you Allen. I have always enjoyed your perspectives and insights into your own journey in and out of WCG. It's crazy how, for no good reason it seems at times, the body just hurts! lol. (Or not LOL depending). I had my Medicare "Physical" and blood test last week. The doc asked me when was the last time I had a physical? "Ummm….you're not going to like this" I said, "I was 14 and it was for the Boy Scouts" He looked at me with blood test results in his hand so I figured the Karma Fairy was about to strike. "Well..what's the news?" I asked. He said, "I don't know what you're doing, but whatever it is keep it up. These numbers are stellar!" He was the doc who took me through my WCG anxiety and depression 20 years ago so he knows me pretty well. Of course the fates can be unkind. My health food sister nurse, as you know, was killed on the way home from the hospital last year so it's time and chance. I met a Ford F 150, in Oregon, head on as it attempted to pass 5 or 6 cars that were in his way at the peak of a hill. I don't know how I got out of that one.

Angie, being mostly vegan and very "this is food and this is not" conscious helps set the tone around the house. Not a meat eater for the most part, never smoked and lost the taste for alcohol. It was not my friend. Her being 12 years younger helps too! She trekked to Machu Picchu, in Peru five years ago and is leaving for Amsterdam and a spin trekking around Germany and Slovenia in a couple of weeks for a month. I'll stay home, though invited, and guard the fort and feed the fish.

Lonnie, I have enjoyed your posts and insights as well. We're all hear, perhaps, to learn and then grow old, if we're lucky, and forget what we learned! lol. Life an all it entails fascinates me and always has even from a child. I'm sure we all look back on our experiences and beliefs and wonder "why did I believe or do THAT!?"

Sorry if I feel evangelical about stuff. It just reflects the wonder and "hey look at this!' enthusiasm in me.

DennisCDiehl said...

...and too... John Denver, thus the lyrics posted, seemed to sing well and reflect my own perspectives. I recall his tragic death during the Feast of Tabernacles in Niagara Falls. I think I spent more time thinking about that loss of an introspective artist more than whatever I was going to speak about that year. I find so many people don't have an introspective thought nor would ever share them if they did.

Anonymous said...

John Denver died in a experimental plane crash that he was flying. The main cause was a hard to reach tank switch. That's living dangerously. The holy spirit warned me away from flying several decades ago.

Stoned Stephen Society said...

Dennis, you mentioning John Denver dying during the feast reminded me of the day Rod Meredith died. I didn't know Rod Meredith and therefore never harbored any animosity toward him. Chris Cornell, the frontman for Soundgarden and Audioslave, was murdered on the same day. I didn't know Chris either but my emotional responses throughout the day favored Chris. Probably because I spent 6 more years of my life listening to Chris. But, also because I think it speaks to the power of music. The Churches of God provide a head knowledge, a gnosticism. It stimulates (used to) the intellect. Music speaks to the heart and soul and is more spiritually uplifting than the stale verbal vomit I hear in services anymore. A little Chris Cornell on the sabbath might go a long way compared to the funeral dirges of Dwight Armstrong.

Anonymous said...

Jim-AZ said
Anon 4:10. So the Holy Spirit warned you away from flying? Good for you.
However the Holy Spirit didn’t warn me away from flying. I worked at a small airport when I was 15. I fueled small planes, I pulled them out of the hanger in the morning and pushed them back in the evening. I knew every make and model of small plane. Later in life I took flying lessons. After 6 hours of initial training, my flight instructor said I was ready to solo. So I buckled in, called the tower and asked for instructions to taxis. I am thinking what am I doing? God I hope I don’t kill myself. So one cleared for take off I lined up on the runway, pushed the big knob (throttle) in and started rolling. Lifting off I felt pretty good. So I made a left turn keeping the runway in sight because I didn’t want to get lost. Called the tower and said I was staying in the pattern and would be making a touch and go. Tower cleared me for the touch and go. My plan was to fly about a 1/4 mile past the runway turn and line up with the runway for my first landing. Altitude was 800 feet and speed about 85 knots. I pulled the throttle back and waited for my speed to decrease. I waited for my speed to decrease, I waited and waited. Hmm still going about 85 knots. So figured I was doing something wrong! Called the tower and said I was going around, tower cleared me to go around. Now I am thinking hard—what have I forgotten to do. I turned left keeping runway insight swallowed hard and called the tower. I said, tower I am a student pilot, this is my first solo flight and for some reason I can’t slow down. Tower operator calmly called back. Can you fly straight and level? I answered yes, tower said stand by I will call your flight instructor.
If anyone is interested or still reading I will continue
Jim-AZ

Anonymous said...

Jim-AZ said
A couple minutes later tower called and said I have your instructor on the phone. He said, make sure your pulling the big knob in the middle all the way back. There are three knobs, 1st carb heat, 2nd throttle, 3rd mixture. I looked CAREFULLY, the big knob was all the way back. My thoughts God please don’t let me die, I have a wife and small child! I called the tower back and said, the big knob IS all the way back. Tower: please stand by can you fly straight and level, my answer yes. A couple minutes later call from tower, can you make a “dead stick landing?” Not sure what I was thinking but probably “O HELL! I answered and said I have never made one. Tower said your instructor will walk you through one. I will relay his instructions. Go out about a mile from end of runway. Line up with runway maintain 800 feet. When you get to 1/4 mile from end of runway pull the mixture control knob out. Engine will die make normal landing. (sure this will be a normal landing, God please don’t let me die.). Well I pulled the mixture control back, the engine sputtered and died. It is real quiet when the engine dies. Low and behold I was slowing down. I barely made it to the end of the runway touched down rolled to a stop. I got out of the plane and started walking. To heck with the plane. Well I got picked up and a mechanic towed the plane back to the hanger. I got in my car and drove him thanking God for being alive. Thinking that was my last lesson!
Cont
Jim-AZ

Anonymous said...

Jim-AZ
I got a call later that day from my flight instructor telling me the mechanic found that the throttle control had come loose and was no longer connected to the carburetor. Tried to encourage me by telling me what a good job I had done. (yeah sure I was still alive.). Well I went on to take more lessons. Got my private license at a little over 40 hours. Then I bought a Cessna 175. Kept it for a couple of years. Next I got my single engine commercial license. Next I worked on getting my instrument rating. Next multi-engine rating. Then I got my air transport rating. Then I went to US Air for jet training. Later to Boeing in Seattle. I ended up flying a Boeing 757. I have a few other stories that happened along the way. So the Holy Spirit didn’t guide me away from flying.
Jim-AZ

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
John Denver died in a experimental plane crash that he was flying. The main cause was a hard to reach tank switch. That's living dangerously. The holy spirit warned me away from flying several decades ago.

Life is dangerous 410. Freeways are dangerous. Mountain roads are dangerous. Pringles, peanuts , hot dogs and peanut butter can be dangerous. This country was built by people living dangerously as was stepping on the Moon.

No Holy Spirit warned you away from flying decades ago. You evidently fear flying to begin with and warned yourself. How many countless, Holy Spirit on vacation evidently, Christians have died screaming for help and deliverance as they fell out of the sky? But you got a warning decades ago?

I missed a flight out of LAX on Sunday evening June 6, 1971 to Salt Lake and on to Boise on Air West 706. I had been asked to postpone the flight to work one night on the campus. I wimped out and did.

"Flight 706 had departed Los Angeles just after 6 pm en route to Seattle, with scheduled stopovers in Salt Lake City, Utah; Boise and Lewiston in Idaho; and Pasco and Yakima in Washington. The F-4 Phantom was arriving at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro near Irvine, California at the end of a flight from Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada. The F-4 pilot and all 49 passengers and crew on board the civilian airliner perished in the collision over the San Gabriel Mountains, near Duarte, California."

I can only surmise that the Holy Spirit warned me in this way so I could go on to pastor in the Wildworld Church of God way too long only to have it go full circle and returned to my Presbyterian roots. Throw in a few "What the Hell did I get myself into" along the way and I can then surmise the Holy Spirit really wanted me in Therapeutic Massage and not a paleontologist, geologist or cosmologist. I suppose I would have appreciated a Holy Spirit warning about 30 years earlier though. I guess the HS thought it would be funny. "Oh Zule...you nut" (Let him who has seen Ghost Busters understand}

I'm sure you believe about your warning. That's fine. Not to give you a hard time. It is just when others read that they agonize their own experiences where the HS was apparently out to lunch, not interested in their pleas or thought it would be fun to ignore their pleas. Your statement is akin to the "praise God for saving the teen in my church" rave a Pastor spent way too long on at the feast. I knew three families in the audience whose children had drown, been chopped up in a bush hog or died of gunshot wounds feeling pretty low and ignored by the HS in their times of need. I spoke to the pastor at lunch and told him he needed to be more considerate of his audience and their real lives. He looked pissed at me for bringing it up.

Great story JIM! I also almost fell out of Cessna dropping duffle packs to hunters by parachute. Door off, no seats, push packs out, take a look...pilot banks to look too, swingout hanging on to door frame with pine trees below, pilot banks left and throws me back in. It was awesome! lol

DennisCDiehl said...

Oh, and too. My trip in a Bonanza with a member pilot who was determined to set GTA straight in a Minneapolis appearance. We flew from Ohio but I did not know his motives. Over Michigan City we hit a car wash of a thunderstorm he flew into, believing God wanted him in Minneapolis I am sure. I knew we were toast when he screamed "Look for the ground!" Oh great, he's the pilot, we're in a carwash not knowing up from down and I'm suppose to look for the ground.

"Oh, I see the gro...……."

DennisCDiehl said...

….after almost falling out of the doorless, seatless save for the pilot, Cessna, we flew back to Boise too late in the day. He tried to land but the runway was too hot and kept the plane aloft and unable to land well. Eventually he slammed it down on the runway and I went home and puked. lol I could practically hear the Holy Spirt laughing itself, himself, herself to tears...

DennisCDiehl said...

And that's the Plane Truth! :)

TLA said...

Yes, I know there are miracles or unexplainable events- but there are ironclad promises in the Bible about healing that we explained away by saying the Bible didn’t say when - which was a total copout.
The prayer of faith will save the sick.
It doesn’t say maybe after you die.

WHAT ABOUT THE TRUTH said...

Great post Mr. Diehl. It brings back memories to a time when I was 12 and my parents took us on a beach vacation. Looking across the parking lot to the next set of rooms there was a really cute looking girl that I noticed and she noticed me as well. Running into her and her family on the beach I noticed her severely disabled brother. I also quickly noticed when talking to this really pretty girl that she viewed her brother as a type of extended stigma upon herself that acceptance of her solely would only depend upon my reaction to and acceptance of her brother. Pretty headed stuff for what was just a quick family vaction.

In the WCG we had a rising star member with a mentally disabled child in our congregation. He was such a good speaker in the "Clubs" we all knew ordination would be soon. What came as a shock to us all was that he just left with no disagreement and started his own church.

Two strong examples in my life of people acting and making decisions in life influenced by a strong degree upon the circumstance of a disabled person within the family.

The empathy for the situation is definitely warranted for everyone of the human race touched by circumstances or events that have had dramatic altering effects upon their lives.

As others have said, If Bob would lose the prophet mania mindset, he might not be that bad of a overseer of his followers.

Anonymous said...

Jim-AZ
Dennis maybe the holy spirt was telling you something. Your accounts are funny now but not then. I had a similar account flying commercial. I got off a flight in Denver to change flight to Burbank. The fight I got off went on to Colorado Springs where it crashed killing everyone one board
Jim-AZ

Anonymous said...

Are people mocking me for saying that the holy spirit warmed me away from flying? It seems that plane crashes with fatalities appear on a regular basis in the news. And often with experienced pilots. There's the proverbial businessman's risk such as driving a car, that's unavoidable. But others such as flying, are a much higher risk. For instance, insurance companies don't want to know you if you do sky diving or scuba diving.

If one is baptised, ones salvation and eternal reward are on the line. If one dies prematurely in a high risk endeavour. ones growth is cut short, resulting in a smaller eternal reward. So it's not worth the risk. The risk-reward thingy.

PS Jim-AZ, you failed to mention all those who have died in plane crashes.

Near_Earth_Object said...

This thread has gone on for a long time. I need to say something. The goldfish looks like it is going to explode. My guess is that its internal pressure is greater than what's in the tires on my car. What are you feeding it? Maybe you should take it to a vet. I don't think that fish can be about being happy and relaxed no matter what Diehl says.

And I don't understand what Nck writes. Gave up a long time ago. If Nck understands what he himself writes - maybe that is as good as it gets.

The Painful Truth said...

Nice post Dennis, and without all the hate from the religious crowd.

Anonymous said...

Dennis said...
"No Holy Spirit warned you away from flying decades ago. You evidently fear flying to begin with and warned yourself."

We all observe gravity. But what is it?

We could explain gravity as caused by the supernatural interfering in the natural order. But we don't. Why not? The brightest minds in theoretical physics can't even come up with a way to incorporate gravity into the rest of physics.

So why don't we assume we're witnessing the action of invisible angels whose job it is to push things together? What if this is a lack of faith? A missed opportunity to show God how thankful we are for every little thing he does for us all the time, like keeping our feet on the ground so we don't float off into space?

But on the other hand, if we were to assume that even inexplicable gravity is a natural process, then consistency demands that we assume similar things about other similar observations.

You prayed to get over the flu and lo and behold, you got over it. Supernatural healing or regular old natural healing? Supernatural intervention or your body just doing what it does?

You felt "warned" not to fly. A message from the supernatural, or merely a natural message from your own natural brain? Was it God beaming prophetic warnings telepathically into your consciousness, or just you talking to yourself? Supernatural intervention or your body just doing what it does?

You prayed for the weather to cooperate, and lo and behold, it does. God suspending the natural order on your behalf? Or merely random chance acting in a random universe? Supernatural intervention or just the universe doing what it does?

There is nothing which is attributed to the gods which couldn't be explained more simply and more coherently by natural processes. Not even creation itself.

Why does the universe need to be explained by an vastly complex anthropomorphic agency, and not a simple universe-creating process? And if God's existence doesn't need to be explained, then why would the existence of this universe-creating process need to be explained? If one thing can be a prime mover, why can't another? What can be arbitrarily assigned to the gods can more simply and more coherently be assigned to the natural.

Just like we all do with gravity.

Unless, of course, you're nuts.

DennisCDiehl said...

Near_Earth_Object said...
This thread has gone on for a long time. I need to say something. The goldfish looks like it is going to explode. My guess is that its internal pressure is greater than what's in the tires on my car. What are you feeding it? Maybe you should take it to a vet. I don't think that fish can be about being happy and relaxed no matter what Diehl says."

Your guess is wrong. "Oranda is one of the most fancy colored goldfish species. Its body length is from 20 to 31 centimeters (8 to 12 inches) long. However, the fish grows that large only if it dwells in open waters. Oranda’s lifespan is 10-15 years and even up to 20 years provided with good tank or open water conditions."

DennisCDiehl said...

1236 said "If one is baptised, ones salvation and eternal reward are on the line. If one dies prematurely in a high risk endeavour. ones growth is cut short, resulting in a smaller eternal reward. So it's not worth the risk. The risk-reward thingy."

Well that's a kind of reasoning I've not yet, until now, heard here on Banned. The "resulting in a smaller eternal reward" because "one's growth is cut short" wins the prize. Did you just make this bit of theological reasoning up? Or are you just determined to credit the Holy Spirt telling you not to fly? How did it tell you? In a dream? Vision? Email?

DennisCDiehl said...

Near Earth Object said: " I don't think that fish can be about being happy and relaxed no matter what Diehl says."

Fish is happy. 60 gallons of pure heaven and a lifetime of care, no matter what Object says.

Anonymous said...

Dennis
No I didn't just make it up. It's in your bible in the parable of the talents. If ones life is cut short, one produces less pounds, hence rules less cities. This is confirmed in other scriptures which point out that Christians refused Gods deliverance that they might obtain a better eternal reward.
This is why John the baptist blundered by pressuring Christ to deliver him from jail. He was delivered when they chopped off his head. But it meant a lesser reward for not enduring a painful trial.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:17 PM has apparently never read the Parable of the Vineyard in Matthew 20. Some who labor only briefly will receive the same reward (or greater) compared to others who labored for their whole lives. A tiny quantity of excellent fruit is far more desirable than mountains and mountains of mediocre fruit.

Anonymous said...

When we came into the WCG back in the 60's, my dad was an aircraft commander on a Coast Guard C-130 in Elizabeth City, NC. He made the mistake of setting me in the cockpit one day when I was six years old. I started my lessons at 14, soloed on my 16th birthday, received my Private Pilot's license at 17. I was in flight school when I started in the WCG myself as an adult and was baptized in 1986, and AC soon followed. I left AC and continued my aviation career. I went on to instruct, run flight schools, fly charter in Barons, King Airs and Lear Jets. I was hired by the airlines in 1998. I flew for my company for almost 8 years until we went bankrupt due to 9-11. I was at work that day as an airline pilot and was sound asleep in a hotel room in SGF when I got the phone call. We landed the previous night late and were scheduled to depart the next afternoon.
I had to get home, so I drove 15 hours straight, to be sure I got back in time to host a personal GTA meeting in our local area. 9-11 changed my aviation career. Now, I instruct in my local area, and am a volunteer for the FAA Safety FAAST TEAM group. My airline days are over. I am a CFI/CFII/MEI, with ATP SE and ME, plus a gold seal instructor with over 11,000 hours, and over 40 years of flying.

The most dangerous aspect of flying is the drive to the airport. The Holy Spirit has never told me not to fly, and I have had my ass saved numerous times while flying by the Creator and angels. John Denver died because he did not understand the systems of the aircraft he was test flying before he bought the plane.


blue skies....



LXX

Near_Earth_Object said...

DD:

I was being tongue-in-cheek. I am familiar with these fish. I used to raise tropicals but never raised goldfish. Sold my tank and gear a few years back. When I had fish, I found that I watched them a lot.

TLA said...

Poor Jesus - only lived 33 years in the flesh - according to your "logic" Jesus has a lesser reward than Moses who had 120 years, and how about Noah with his 950 years!

Anonymous said...

Dennis concerning anon 5:17

Are you taking notes on this person’s scriptural understanding? I understand you have reached the 70 club. Great! Now you can rule more cities. At 75 I don’t have enough energy to rule more cities. Be careful, don’t get your head chopped off or your reward will be a lesser reward.

According to a 2018 study there were 7.2 deaths by car for every billion miles traveled. There were 0.07 deaths by air travel pet billion miles traveled. Mr. Anon 5:17 you are more likely to die while walking to your destination than by flying. On a mile for mile comparison flying is safer than a bus, a train, a ferry, and last a car. A lot of people are afraid to fly. Nothing wrong with that. BUT— your going to rule more cites by not flying.

I better stop eating chicken-I might choke on a bone!

I am not mocking you. I think your logic is flawed.
Jim-AZ

nck said...

I get it, NEO.
My usual quantum mechanical musings turned out too mad hatter this time.

However, what I consider beyond the pale is that the Holy Spirit sends Dennis 2 messages through his pisces and he still decides to not join his friend to "Oranda."

Perhaps the ongoing debate at the "Synod of the plane" is due to that.

Most people "rather discuss the fish than the message."

Nck

Anonymous said...

Jim-AZ
The deaths per mile argument is debatable. By that reasoning, space travel is safe, which it is not. I believe that deaths per hour on such endeavours is more meaningful.

5.48 PM
The payment in the parable of the vineyard is eternal life. It is not the reward in heaven such as the number of cities one rules. You can't just ignore the parable of the talents because you don't like it.

It's common sense that the more one matures, the more responsibility one can be trusted with. So whatever you do, avoid having your head chopped off.

Byker Bob said...

Nck, did you compose your 7:17 comment while having cocktails with friends in the bar on the 40th floor of 30 St, Mary Axe?

BB

Anonymous said...

I love it when nick drink posts. Crazier than hell.

nck said...

Byker

I don't have a clue what in my 7:17 comment made you think of a Gherkin........My musings on Japanese Raw fish perhaps?

Anyway, your question focusses on a specific location not my persona so I'll be specific.

To the outsider I was at a similar that looks like that venue, completely different however. From "there" they push the buttons, send the "starbucks, google, amazon" money to "here", where those "revenues" are miraculously transubstantiated from profits into losses under a different tax regime. After resting for a day or two that money continues its journey to Singapore, Ireland or the USA depending on Mr Trump's twitter mood or Bernie Sander's polls.

I actually attended a little meeting on the flow of investment in Quantum Computing research and how ecosystems could be linked or be nudged to cooperate.

The lady who lectured got quizzed by a fearful man, exclaiming I don't want a computer who knows what I want before I do. The lady said that those questions should be adressed but they are not at the research lab. One of the teamleaders told her to "shut op and calculate", meaning we will start the philosophical debate when we have something viable and workable.

Then she proceeded....................But since you ask............I have this slide for you and would recommend these books for starting the discussion:
-How the Hippies saved Physics
-Entangled Minds
-The politics of Quantum Mechanics
-The many worlds of Quantum Mechanics


Now I don't know what in my comment directed to Dennis prompted this talk. I was quite clear. While his friend has a vacation in "Oranda" - (japanese name of his fish and the country she will be visiting shortly) I surmised it to be "a sign". I also surmized that he might ignore that "sign" due to the ongoing debate on the safety of flying. It is not a good thing to discuss John Denver when your friend asks you to join you on a transatlantic flight.

I will be having cocktails shortly at 7500 ft snow amongst the gods.

nck



DennisCDiehl said...

Near_Earth_Object said...
DD:

I was being tongue-in-cheek. I am familiar with these fish. I used to raise tropicals but never raised goldfish. Sold my tank and gear a few years back. When I had fish, I found that I watched them a lot.

No problem. The comment did not reflect your familiarity and referring to people by their last name only has a certain ring of contempt to it, which of course we all tend to do to people we have contempt for! lol.

I watch my fish way too much. It evidently substitutes for the TV I don't have and haven't for over 20 years. I have kept fish since I was ten and get lost in the care for them and watching for some reason. A nicely present and bubbly tank can put me in a coma! lol

Anonymous said...

12:36/5:17 claimed...
If one is baptised, ones salvation and eternal reward are on the line. If one dies prematurely in a high risk endeavour. ones growth is cut short, resulting in a smaller eternal reward. So it's not worth the risk. The risk-reward thingy./ Dennis No I didn't just make it up. It's in your bible in the parable of the talents. If ones life is cut short, one produces less pounds, hence rules less cities. This is confirmed in other scriptures which point out that Christians refused Gods deliverance that they might obtain a better eternal reward. This is why John the baptist blundered by pressuring Christ to deliver him from jail. He was delivered when they chopped off his head. But it meant a lesser reward for not enduring a painful trial.

TLA responded...
Poor Jesus - only lived 33 years in the flesh - according to your "logic" Jesus has a lesser reward than Moses who had 120 years, and how about Noah with his 950 years!

I was going to reply the same TLA! ;-) And what about Samson who asked God to mercy kill him since he could endure his shame and pain no more? And God allowed him the supernatural strength to commit suicide at the same time as wreak vengeance on his enemies for blinding and enslaving him? You’d think by Anon’s logic God would’ve denied his request since he was so young and it’d supposedly result in less of a spiritual reward.
Also, Anon’s confusing what Heb 11:35 says: “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.” It doesn’t mean the saints refused God’s deliverance by living longer lives. It means they accepted His deliverance by dying untimely or premature deaths!

Anonymous said...

Diehl said: “The comment did not reflect your familiarity and referring to people by their last name only has a certain ring of contempt to it, which of course we all tend to do to people we have contempt for! lol.”

What?! Maybe to those indoctrinated by Armstrongism who think we need to refer to others as Mr or Mrs or whatever titles before we use their surname. In journalism you simply refer to a person by their surname eg At start of article you’d refer to the subject with their full name ie “Tom Holland said...” Later references are simply abbreviated by use of the person’s surname alone ie “While in the city Holland also...” No need for titles wasting ink, paper, time and money.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon 443 said What?! Maybe to those indoctrinated by Armstrongism who think we need to refer to others as Mr or Mrs or whatever titles before we use their surname.

No Anonymous, My entire ministry I insisted on being called Dennis. Not Mr Diehl, Your Highness, Pastor Dennis or Herbie's Boy. Simply Dennis. I understand your point in business etc but here, where we have all had our experiences and share them on Banned, it sounds, to me maybe only, a distancing from our common experience. Here it does have a certain ring of snark and contempt but that is just my radar perhaps.

We're not doing journalism here. We're sharing and while we disagree on this or that and some comment or contribute more than others, we still would do better to at least use first names. It is friendlier. However, I can only refer to you as "Anonymous fill in the time" which is the luxury you have chosen in being an unknown person here on Banned.

You're in journalism evidently. I'm into people, sharing lessons learned and knowledge gained whether we agree or not.

Ultimately it matters not. You communicate as you need to and I will do the same.

Anonymous said...

4.31 PM
Christ lived trillions of years before becoming a human being, so His eternal status and reward is not purely based on His short human life. I am not sure that Sampson had the holy spirit, but even if he did, God often grants peoples requests, as mentioned in Psalm 37:4. With the ACOGs control freak church culture, I know that the concept of freedom, individual choice and self responsibility are hard to grasp for many present and former members.

Your interpretation of Hebrew 11.35 flies in opposition to its simple reading. People refused deliverance from torture so that they might obtain a better reward. That is, enduring trials equals more character, and hence a better eternal reward.

Anonymous said...

6:57 said: “Your interpretation of Hebrew 11.35 flies in opposition to its simple reading. People refused deliverance from torture so that they might obtain a better reward. That is, enduring trials equals more character, and hence a better eternal reward.”

I was responding to (12:36 too if one and same person as) 5:17’s statement that: “... If ones life is cut short, one produces less pounds, hence rules less cities. This is confirmed in other scriptures which point out that Christians refused Gods deliverance that they might obtain a better eternal reward. This is why John the baptist blundered by pressuring Christ to deliver him from jail. He was delivered when they chopped off his head. But it meant a lesser reward for not enduring a painful trial.”

The way I understood this statement was that it was claiming the saints refused to be delivered by God (via premature or untimely death) and thus continued in their suffering, sickness or torture, but I interpret Heb 11:35 as the saints having rejected God’s deliverance (via healing or rescue from suffering, sickness and torture) by dying a premature or untimely death. I don’t believe that a Christian’s salvation and reward is determined on the length of his/her life. As 5:48 noted it’s quality not quantity that’s important to God and thus should be to us all. Added to this your remark that JB would obtain a “lesser reward for not enduring a painful trial” is unfounded. Even Christ’s statement that “For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” (Luke 7:28) infers that the success or failure, greatness or smallness of our lives from an earthly view has exactly no bearing on our status in the KOG, which I beg to declare is an error you’re making by equating a longer lifespan with endurance of more suffering and evidence of a greater reward in the KOG.

Byker Bob said...

Nck, this is becoming reminiscent of my experiences in doing some work for the Rand Corporation back in the '80s.(actually true). We didn't have the Gherkin to wind down in, though.

BB

nck said...

Carol Wojtyla seemed to endure leadership of a billion people.

Some COG family with Alzheimer are falling into deeper depression though since they cannot attend services anymore and feel they are failing God in All their doing.

I wonder how the commenter feels about self chosen euthanasia after an accomplished life that only gets worse and worse and I mean really really bad?

Based on a true story.

Nck

Anonymous said...

8.57 PM
A trait of God is that He honors the reality that He created. Hence for example, Christ turned water into wine, since wine is mostly water. In nature, you have the law of gradualness. Animals and plants grow at a certain rate. The same with humans. It takes time to morally mature. So your quality, not quantity argument needs to be qualified. If there are two identical people who overcame at the same rate, the one who lives longer will have grown more, and will obtain a better reward. We experience this all the time with older people often being more mature than younger people. So I'm surprised that this is an issue.

I fail to see how the least in the kingdom is greater than any human prophet, is related to the endurance-reward debate. All Christ was saying is that any resurrected Christian will dwarf in power and glory any human being who ever lived.

Anonymous said...

10:17 said: "...It takes time to morally mature. So your quality, not quantity argument needs to be qualified. If there are two identical people who overcame at the same rate, the one who lives longer will have grown more, and will obtain a better reward. We experience this all the time with older people often being more mature than younger people. So I'm surprised that this is an issue."

I'll have to respectfully disagree. It's a false assumption to equate a long life with greater morality and/or maturity. Let's assume Cain and Abel were identical twins. Whose sacrifice was accepted by God and, thus, accepted by God? It was Abel who later, due to his brother's jealousy and anger, was murdered by Cain. According to your view Cain, due to his longer life, should've grown in morality and maturity and, thus, should obtain a better reward in the Kingdom than his brother, Abel, who suffered a premature or untimely death--assuming Cain will be in the Kingdom of course. Like TLA noted according to your faulty logic Methuselah who, according to the Bible, was the oldest man who ever lived at 969 years should receive a better reward than Moses or Elijah. Also, in my experience I've encountered plenty of "older people" who act just as immoral or immature--if not worse!--than children, so again the allusion to old age, moral maturity and a better spiritual reward is, imo, a completely false assumption.

nck said...

Yes BB.

At least you had the beach though!!
This one was organized by one of the Silicon Valley evangelistic thinktanks.
They preach not "the end is nigh", but "the Singularity is nigh" = which I have equalled on this blog with "the Kingdom"........... as in the epithomization of the 1939 World of Tomorrow tech fair and the solutions for mankind and "eternal life" in the Cloud.

I believe this is a major key as to how my "nutcase" defense of "the presenter of The World Tomorrow" may be interpreted as I see "prophecy being fulfilled".

At least I hope we"ll find solutions to be scaled...........Alas it seems mankind is still in need of a "changed mind." Perhaps Quantum can save us............or perhaps the saving has been done already through other channels, I'll leave that open to debate. I usually do not interfere if people believe that and if it is working in their life, not even if they testify about that on blogs.

nck

Byker Bob said...

OK, that explains many things, nck. If I understand correctly, you have superimposed your Silicon Valley think tank's paradigms upon the life work of HWA, reinventing him for your own purposes by purging him of the odd amalgam of error and heresies which he picked up from Hislop, JH Allen, GG Rupert, Dugger and Dodd.

Great, if that works for you and has improved your quality of life, even if it is totally an artificial construct. Who amongst us would relish the idea that our time spent in Armstrongism was a total waste? I'm sure we have all attempted to salvage whatever deep meaning we can from our own personal tribulations, as authored and imposed by HWA.

Mankind has consistently realized over the millennia that he needs something to get him up to speed and operating at fuller potential. We seem to have the minds of gods, only driven by the ups and downs of our emotions. All of the philosophies, religions, psychoanalyses, therapies and self-help techniques are dedicated to dealing with this and perhaps enabling us to optimize our level of operation.

BB

jim said...

Dennis,
I very much enjoyed your poem.