Thursday, January 14, 2021

Saved by Morton Carpenter

Why do bad things happen to good people?

This is one of the oldest questions in humankind. The oldest book of the bible, Job, was all about this. Haven’t most people pondered this question from time to time?

I certainly don’t know the reason God lets this happen, but I can guess. Maybe it has to do with allowing everyone to have free choice; even bad people.

Jesus said,  "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."  I personally think that it is very hard for an arrogant man to submit to Jesus.

I, like so many of my generation had slowly drifted away from God. I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church in a parish where the pastor was a crook and a pedophile. I barely escaped his clutches, but some of my friends were not so lucky.

Then I became a scientist and all the so-called scientific arguments against God seemed right. I was also pretty full of myself which of course drew me farther away from God.

I was married to a wonderful woman who also had drifted away from God. Both of us still had that empty hole in our chests where God should reside, but we didn’t know how to get it back.

I made some poor business decisions and lost almost everything we owned. I got a job right away flying for Pan American World Airways, but they went out of business after two years just after we had started paying this month’s bills this month; my wife’s father invited us to move in with him in the town my wife had grown up in.

We both started feeling more of a draw towards God and my wife started going to church. I went with her reluctantly. I still had a lot of questions about organized religion and a lot of questions about God.

One day I was up in the attack looking for something when a book fell off a tall stack and almost hit me on the head. I picked it up and looked at the book that had the audacity to hit me; it was Josh McDowell’s “More Than a Carpenter”. I sat down on a step and started to reading it right through.

Every time someone had ever tried to get me to believe in God it always boiled down to a set of feelings, “Oh, you will know it is right when you feel God in your soul,” or  “you should believe in God because of the existence of intelligence, love, altruism, and art.”

These emotional arguments never seemed to hit home with me.

Josh McDowell’s tome on the other hand was a logical set of reasons of why I should believe in God. I guess Josh was an atheist and he sat down to read the bible one day to strengthen his arguments against God; by the time he had reached the end he was a convert. This was the first time anyone had ever tried to use logical arguments to win me over.

It wasn’t over yet because I still had a lot of scientific questions not answered like “how do dinosaurs fit with the bible,” or “how uranium dating fit with the bible’s timeline?” Amazingly enough, somehow a book or a resource was always shown to me to answer all my questions. I was later baptized and have been a practicing Christian for many years now.

Years later in another church I was telling this story to a small group at coffee hour when the pastor’s wife heard some of what I was saying. Later she asked me who this Morton guy was that helped save me.


If you liked this blog post I know you will love my Hating God Trilogy. Please go to Amazon where you can read for free “Hating God”, “Ignoring God”, and “Loving God” if you subscribe to Kindleunlimited.



Sunday, August 30, 2020

My dad would have loved Emmett Love

(My dad is in the top row 4th from the left)

 My Dad passed away 29 years ago this past summer and my memories of him are starting to get frayed around the edges.  I do remember that he was a very heroic guy who loved other heroes!

Like many from his generation he went to sign up for WW II.  When rejected by the Army for flat feet he was devastated. I never realized how much this devastated him until I saw the movie Hacksaw Ridge where Desmond T. Doss testified that several people in his home town committed suicide when they were found to be 4F, unqualified for service. My Dad went to the Army Air Corp recruiter the next day and the first question he was asked was whether or not he had been rejected by any other service.  My Dad hung his head and admitted that the Army had rejected him for flat feet.  The Army Air Corp recruiter smiled and said, “Come on in boy, we don’t do any marching in the Air Corp!” My Dad then enlisted in the Army Air Corps and ended up as a waist gunner in a photographic B-29 Superfortress  in the South Pacific.

On the morning of August 6th, 1945 he and his crew took off from the island of Guam to make a photographic damage assessment over Japan.  The crew picked this mission to bring along a real-to-real recorder in order to record their in-plane conversations to send home to the folks.

Little did they know that on this same morning the Enola Gay took off from the same island for their rendezvous with the city of Hiroshima.  In a typical military SNAFU, my Dad's airplane was never meant to take off that eventful day.  Once they found out, the decision was made to let them go; they couldn't very well get on the radios and recall them telling them they were dropping the big one today!

 My Dad's crew members were speaking very professional knowing that they were being recorded; they had brought a real to real onboard to tape their mission to send home to the folks. "Pilot to Bombardier.  Roger Pilot, this is the Bombardier."  Then the bomb "Little Boy" reached its target and it looked like a star had exploded.   "Roger Bombardier, this is the pilot.  How far ... What the fudge is that?"  Only they didn't use the word fudge.

The crew members of the Enola gay commanded by Paul Tibbets were dressed in radiation suits with leaded goggles to protect them from the blast.  My Dad's crew members were wearing their usual T-shirts and sun glasses.

After they returned to base they were severely debriefed and their real-to-real recording was confiscated.  No one knows to this day where that recording is; probably in some warehouse in Washington next to the Arc of the Covenant!

What a hero, but if you could ask him today, he would say he was born 60 years too late; he really wanted to be a cowboy.  He would have been a regular at the Lucky Spur in Dodge City, he would have fallen in love with Gentry and he would have backed Emmett Love up whenever he needed it.

How do I know this, well as a child I watched every John Wayne western ever made with my Dad, not to mention every episode of Bonanza and Gun Smoke at least 2-3 times.  My Dad loved the allure of the Wild West and I know he would have loved to have been a bronco-buster back then.  I can picture my Dad escorting a wagon train or going into a saloon for a drink, a game of stud poker or some other pleasures.

If my Dad was still alive he would have devoured every word of "Follow the Stone" and "Don't Poke the Bear" and then would have moved on to all the Donavan Creed novels. 

How do I know he would have loved Donovan Creed?  Well, there was that time he decided to live in the attic for 6 months!

I can't write intriguing stories like John Locke can.  But, I am a Christian and I like to share my faith.


If you liked this blog post I know you will love my Hating God Trilogy. Please go to Amazon where you can read for free “Hating God”, “Ignoring God”, and “Loving God” if you subscribe to Kindleunlimited.



Friday, August 14, 2020

The Americans with Disabilities Act


My Libertarian leanings have always made me lean towards having less Federal government. I never agreed with The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that required handicap bathrooms, handicap access and handicap parking spaces for private businesses (public buildings are a different matter). I always felt that a private business shouldn’t be forced to make these accommodations; that they should be willing to make them on their own out of altruistic feelings or to attract more business. 

When I started writing my Hating God Trilogy, I chose Carl Spenser as one of my main characters who had lost both of his feet in Afghanistan serving in the Army. In “Hating God”, the first book of the trilogy he spent the entire book using a wheel chair. In “Ignoring God”, the second book of the trilogy he visits Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, Inc. in Manchester, New Hampshire to get fitted for a snazzy set of prosthetic feet and lower legs featuring the stars and stripes. He acclimates to these prosthetics fast and actually skis on them in “Loving God”, the final book of the trilogy. 

I had to do a lot of research about people in wheel chairs to write that first book. I had to think about how a person saddled with a wheel chair handled many things that we walkers take for granted. What type of bathroom set-up is conducive to a wheelchair bound person and how does the procedure even work? How hard is it to maneuver a wheel chair in inclement weather; forget about wheeling on ice or snow? How does a wheelchair bound person use a handicap bathroom stall? What kind of Olympic Gymnastic move is required to use a bathroom stall that is not handicap accessible? How hard is it to cook your own food? 

The more I researched how wheelchair bound people accomplished even the simplest actions, the more I empathized with them. I actually went through a major back surgery during this period and the thought of having to use a wheel chair for the rest of my life became more than just a thought exercise, but a distinct possibility. 

Political philosophies many times don’t stand up when they collide with the harsh realities of life. I must say that I am leaning more towards the ADA giving more benefit to mankind than it takes away. I must say that my dander still pops up when I drive by a strip mall and all four of the handicap parking spaces are always empty outside the martial arts studio. 


If you liked this blog post I know you will love my Hating God Trilogy. Please go to Amazon where you can read for free “Hating God”, “Ignoring God”, and “Loving God” if you subscribe to Kindleunlimited.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Hating God Trilogy

“Why do bad things happen to good people?” is probably the most asked question in human history. 

The first book of the controversial Hating God Trilogy, Hating God, introduces readers to an intriguing character they won’t soon forget – Susan Lynn Buckley.

Devastated by the loss of her parents to a drunk driver at age twelve, Susan has hated God for many years. Surrounded by the doctrine of a liberal Woman’s Studies Department, Susan doesn’t seem to believe in God anymore.

Who is this strong, godly man, Carl Spenser, who Susan is attracted to like a flower to the sun? And why is she so jealous of Maria Alvarez, who seems so close to him? Carl gave his feet to his country in Afghanistan, and Susan can’t understand why he doesn’t hate God; perhaps she believes in God a little bit more than she thinks?

The second book of the Trilogy, Ignoring God, focuses on sexual assault and all the hurt it causes, not only to the victim, but also to the victim’s family and friends. Susan and Carl can’t understand why Maria won’t positively identify her attacker, so they team up to try and find him. A big problem is what will Carl do to the attacker if he finds him and what condition will he be in when he is turned over to the police?

This book introduces Carl’s support dog, Sgt. Timms, a huge German shepherd and an Iraqi war veteran who still suffers from PTSD. Carl Spenser, an Afghanistan war veteran double amputee still has his problems. They are a match made in heaven and are best friends; who takes care of whom is the big question. The only thing Sgt. Timms can’t understand is why Carl and Susan Buckley aren’t together; their bond continues to smolder throughout this book.

The final book of the Trilogy, Loving God, is a whirlwind of drama and struggle. Vexed by Carl’s rejection, Susan lashes out at him by joining with a married Professor, finding her desires lead to undesired returns. With so many seeking love and belonging, suffering through the consequences of their actions, will God's plan for their lives be found, and will it be worth it?

Maria gives birth to two healthy babies and settles into the hard life of a single mother. Her visit with the babies’ father in jail is larger-than-life and what happens to him is mind-boggling.

If Sgt. Timms gets what he wants then there might even be a happy ending.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Retirement Sucks!

Ah, beautiful retirement, when you can go to bed when you want and get up when you want; no more marching to someone else’s beat!

Total freedom; except that after forty years of training, my eyes pop open at 6 am every morning whether I want them to or not.

The worst thing about retirement is that you are old!

When I wake up, my back feels like it has slowly twisted into a pretzel overnight. I stagger to the bathroom to start my day.  Thirty minutes of yoga and stretching and I’m barely feeling human again.  After a leisurely breakfast, I’m ready to face the day.

Great, but what am I going to do?

The second worst thing about retirement is that you have lost the reason you got up every morning for the last forty plus years!

No more deadlines, no more e-mails, no more text messages, no more advising, no more personal decisions to make, no more orders to give, and no more timelines to meet.

No nothing!

Every fifteen minutes I feel a void when I check my phone and there is no new e-mails; there is no more life altering advice to give out.

No more prepping for class.  No more mapping the future of the department.  No more collaborating with colleagues over the future of our students.

No nothing!

What’s an old professor to do?

In the immortal words of Tommy Shaw from the group Styx, “I got nothing to do and all day to do it.”

Retirement really sucks!


I wake up on my second day of retirement and the world seems full of possibility.  The sun is shining and I’m ready to take on the world!

All of a sudden, I have that energy that I get every time I start a new job.  I’m a little scared, but really excited.

I attack my morning exercise with a new purpose.  I need my body to function at peak performance (peak performance for an old guy that is) so that I can get the most out of retirement.
All sorts of new possibilities present themselves to me.

I remember listening to a tape from Wayne Dwyer where he talked about a hundred year old man who planted a tree and couldn’t wait to watch it grow.  I remember Wayne saying he wouldn’t be outdone; he went out and planted a Redwood!

I’m not ready to be so courageous.  I’ll start small by rototilling my garden.  Even though I don’t have the greatest love of vegetables, I do love the enjoyment my family and friends get out of the various types of squash I will grow.  I see many batches of spaghetti sauce in my future!

By mid-afternoon I’m a little weary, but not quite ready to enter the nap-taking season of my life.  I pull a random book out of my library and enjoy the act of reading for enjoyment.  I don’t have to preview text books, study or prep courses anymore.

It’s not too long later that I open my eyes and think about what my wife and I want for dinner.

Life is pretty good!

I wonder what the third day of retirement will bring.

I got an e-mail from Tom Topolski, a college roommate, saying, "remember, no matter what your day was like in retirement, tomorrow is Saturday!"


If you liked this blog post I know you will love my Hating God Trilogy. Please go to Amazon where you can read for free “Hating God”, “Ignoring God”, and “Loving God” if you subscribe to Kindleunlimited.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Am I Saved?

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with sin every day!

Does this mean that I’m not saved?

I’m definitely not the only person who every thought this.  It was such a big topic in the early church that the Apostle John wrote his Tests of Assurance in First John.  Here are the three tests:

  • ·        Doctrinal 2:18-27, 4:1-6.  You must not deny Christ.
  • ·        Moral 2:3-6, 3:4-10.  You must keep the commandments.
  • ·        Social 2:7-11, 3:11-18, 4:7-21.  You must love your brothers.

To me, “Loving your Brother”, is probably the hardest of these tests.  It is so hard to love the jerk next door.  Can you imagine having to love the drunk driver that killed a member of your family?  The best I can say is that I am not perfect, but am on my journey to accomplish this ideal.

Keeping the Ten Commandments is not easy.  I’m pretty good at not stealing or murdering, but I could use some help in not coveting.  I just have to accept that Jesus was the only perfect person and that I will always be struggling to emulate Him.

How many times does someone ask you, right out of the blue, do you believe in God?  I must admit that I have been asked this question or one just like it when I least expected it and sometimes I stumbled to come up with the right answer.


I have often thought that if it is so hard for me to answer that question in a socially awkward situation, how hard was it for Rachel Joy Scott to answer that question at Columbine knowing that she was basically writing her own death sentence by not denying Christ.  She was the first person to go to sleep at that school and I am sure that she woke up in heaven.

I can only pray that I will have the courage to answer that same way if every faced with that horrible situation!

I find comfort that the Apostle John took the time to address the subject of my salvation.  I’m definitely not perfect, but I am saved!


If you liked this blog post I know you will love my Hating God Trilogy. Please go to Amazon where you can read for free “Hating God”, “Ignoring God”, and “Loving God” if you subscribe to Kindleunlimited.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Coward - an American Hero

Desmond T. Doss, because of his religious beliefs, refused to carry a weapon when he enlisted into the Army during World War II.  In basic training other enlistees taunted him ruthlessly, threw their boots at him and called him a coward.  The army made him a stretcher carrier.


Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Urasoe Mura, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 29 April-21 May 1945. Entered service at: Lynchburg, Va. Birth: Lynchburg, Va. G.O. No.: 97, 1 November 1945.
Citation: He was a company aid man when the 1st Battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet high. As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machinegun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them 1 by 1 to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands. On 2 May, he exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in rescuing a wounded man 200 yards forward of the lines on the same escarpment; and 2 days later he treated 4 men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave, advancing through a shower of grenades to within 8 yards of enemy forces in a cave's mouth, where he dressed his comrades' wounds before making 4 separate trips under fire to evacuate them to safety. On 5 May, he unhesitatingly braved enemy shelling and small arms fire to assist an artillery officer. He applied bandages, moved his patient to a spot that offered protection from small arms fire and, while artillery and mortar shells fell close by, painstakingly administered plasma. Later that day, when an American was severely wounded by fire from a cave, Pfc. Doss crawled to him where he had fallen 25 feet from the enemy position, rendered aid, and carried him 100 yards to safety while continually exposed to enemy fire. On 21 May, in a night attack on high ground near Shuri, he remained in exposed territory while the rest of his company took cover, fearlessly risking the chance that he would be mistaken for an infiltrating Japanese and giving aid to the injured until he was himself seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of a grenade. Rather than call another aid man from cover, he cared for his own injuries and waited 5 hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover. The trio was caught in an enemy tank attack and Pfc. Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter; and directed the bearers to give their first attention to the other man. Awaiting the litter bearers' return, he was again struck, this time suffering a compound fracture of 1 arm. With magnificent fortitude he bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to the aid station. Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions Pfc. Doss saved the lives of many soldiers. His name became a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty.
When President Harry S Truman presented The Congressional Medal of Honor to Desmond Doss he said, " I’m proud of you, you really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being president."

The above post came from my book Conquer the Losing Attitude of Job Hunters.

If you liked this blog post I know you will love my Hating God Trilogy. Please go to Amazon where you can read for free “Hating God”, “Ignoring God”, and “Loving God” if you subscribe to Kindleunlimited.