Did You Believe That I Loved You?

I remember years ago hearing Brennen Manning for the first time. I had a tape of his talk Ruthless Trust which later became a book. My favorite quote from the book:

“The splendor of a human heart that trusts it is loved unconditionally gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”, Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”, the sight of 10,000 butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom. Trust is our gift back to God, and he finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for love of it.”

So, do you believe you are loved unconditionally?

What if you just shot up with cocaine? What if you just had sex with a prostitute or looked at porn? What if you just got drunk? Does he still love you?

Brennan had to believe it. He had to because he struggled with alcohol. He remembers binges where he would literally end up in the gutter. In spite of his failures he still believed in the love of God.


So, I have had to believe it too. I have habits and struggles with what we call addictions. Please pray for me! I haven’t been or behaved as someone I am proud of or even happy to be. I have been selfish and stubborn and most of all absent (even though I was there).

I still have to read An Open Letter to a Shitty Husband to wake me up to what a donkeys butt I’ve been (an ass squared) – so I can change. And ultimately, that’s what I’m ready for now. I lost a day of productivity today because I drank too many beers last night. I had nausea and a headache all day. I’ve also developed a new theory about puking.

And yet, in spite of it all and worse I really do believe God loves me. I believe he gently receives me back and holds me in his lap and says, “Let’s talk. I want to help you not to hurt yourself anymore. Do you trust me? Let’d do this together!”

I believe. And in spite of the nausea I also feel a tingle of Holy Spirit joy in the back of my head and a bright hope for the future.

Why? Because my God is a Good Good Father.

He greeted me this morning with one of the first songs my wife and I wrote together called Faithful God. Putting together the following video was about all I managed to do today… beside loving my wife (like really-best-friend-loving-my-wife-for-real!) which, so help me God, is going to turn into a very pleasant habit. Out with the old and in with the new.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

This also means that we don’t stay drunks or porn addicts. We grow into and toward God’s unconditional love that makes us holy. Here is my talk and my song for you:

Categories: Alcohol, Depression, Love of God | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“I Hurt Myself Today…”

These are the opening lyrics to Johnny Cash’s cover song, Hurt.

Someone reminded me of this song recently. I played it just the other day at a concert I was overwhelmed with God’s compassion for those who are in addictions. It doesn’t matter what it is, drugs, sexual bondages, alcohol… Jesus hurts for you. He hurts with you. As I performed the song, a scene from Pay it Forward flashed in my mind. I didn’t even know why until 30 seconds ago when I looked it up and watched it.

I am now crying.

Jesus is our merciful High priest who ever lives to intercede for us.

For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18

Jesus wants to fix your heart. Will you let him?

Categories: Alcohol, Depression | Tags: | 3 Comments

“How much have you loved with your life?” George Ritchie

I was discussing Dr. George Ritchies Near Death Experience the other night with a friend of mine. I felt compelled to share it with you because I wouldn’t be a good friend to you all if I held this back and didn’t share his story.

George stresses in interviews I’ve seen about how important it is for us all to overcome our sin issues lest we become earth bound (a form of hell) when we die. For instance, those who fail to overcome a drinking problem will be driven mad for alcohol as a spirit but never able to drink. They will essentially become evil spirits themselves and swarm bars and even try to vicariously experience drunkenness through a drunk whose spiritual defenses come down when really inebriated. I would not want to imagine what happens to those who fail to overcome their fears or lusts or other addictions and vices.

His story is interesting and I believe it is true. I believe he met Jesus, the Son of God, as he claims and was shown things that we could benefit from. Yet the above mentioned points are not the heart and soul of his story. Jesus is. His unconditional love and his question to us all:

“How much have you loved with your life?”

Dr. George Ritchie’s near-death experience:
adapted from

In December 1943, during World War II, twenty year old Dr. George Ritchie died of pneumonia. Nine minutes later, miraculously and unaccountably, he returned to life to tell of his amazing near-death experience in the afterlife. His near-death experience was the one that profoundly moved Dr. Raymond Moody to begin seriously investigating the near-death experience. Since Dr. Moody is considered to be the “father of the near-death experience” this near-death experience is in a class of its own. You will find this experience to be one of the most profound near-death experiences ever documented. The following is Dr. George Ritchie’s awesome near-death experience excerpted from his ground-breaking books, Return From Tomorrow and My Life After Dying.

His out-of-body experience
The men let go of my arms … I heard a click and a whirr. The whirr went on and on. It was getting louder. The whirr was inside my head and my knees were made of rubber. They were bending and I was falling and all the time the whirr grew louder.

I sat up with a start. What time was it? I looked at the bedside table but they’d taken the clock away. In fact, were was any of my stuff?

I jumped out of bed in alarm, looking for my clothes. My uniform wasn’t on the chair. I turned around, then froze.

Someone was lying in that bed.

I took a step closer. He was quite a young man, with short brown hair, lying very still. But, the thing was impossible! I myself had just gotten out of that bed! For a moment I wrestled with the mystery of it. It was too strange to think about – and anyway I didn’t have the time.

I went back past the offices and stepped out into the corridor. A sergeant was coming along it carrying an instrument tray covered with a cloth. Probably he didn’t know anything, but I was so glad to find someone awake that I started toward him.

“Excuse me, Sergeant,” I said. “You haven’t seen the ward boy for this unit, have you?”

He didn’t answer. Didn’t even glance at me. He just kept coming, straight at me, not slowing down.

“Look out!” I yelled, jumping out of his way.

The next minute he was past me, walking away down the corridor as if he had never seen me, though how we had kept from colliding I didn’t know.

And then I saw something that gave me a new idea. Farther down the corridor was one of the heavy metal doors that led to the outside. I hurried toward it. Even if I had missed that train, I’d find some way of getting to Richmond!

Almost without knowing it I found myself outside, racing swiftly along, traveling faster in fact than I’d ever moved in my life.

Looking down I was astonished to see not the ground, but the tops of mesquite bushes beneath me. Already Camp Barkeley seemed to be far behind me as I sped over the dark frozen desert. My mind kept telling me that what I was doing was impossible, and yet … it was happening.

I was going to Richmond; somehow I had known that from the moment I burst through that hospital door. Going to Richmond a hundred times faster than any train on earth could take me.

Almost immediately I noticed myself slowing down. Just below me now, where two streets came together, I caught a flickering blue glow. It came from a neon sign over the door of a red-roofed one-story building with a “Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer” sign propped in the front window. “Cafe,” the jittering letters over the door read, and from the windows light streamed onto the pavement.

Staring down at it, I realized I had stopped moving altogether. Finding myself somehow suspended fifty feet in the air was an even stranger feeling than the whirlwind flight had been. But I had no time to puzzle over it, for down the sidewalk toward the all-night cafe a man came briskly walking. At least, I thought, I could find out from him what town this was and in what direction I was heading. Even as the idea occurred to me – as though thought and motion had become the same thing – I found myself down on the sidewalk, hurrying along at the stranger’s side. He was a civilian, maybe forty or forty-five, wearing a topcoat but no hat. He was obviously thinking hard about something because he never glanced my way as I fell into step beside him.

“Can you tell me, please,” I said, “what city this is?”

He kept right on walking.

“Please sir!” I said, speaking louder, “I’m a stranger here and I’d appreciate it if – ”

We reached the cafe and he turned, reaching for the door handle. Was the fellow deaf? I put out my left hand to tap his shoulder.

There was nothing there.

I stood there in front of the door, gaping after him as he opened it and disappeared inside. It had been like touching thin air. Like no one had been there at all. And yet I had distinctly seen him, even to the beginnings of a black stubble on his chin where he needed a shave.

I backed away from the mystery of the substance-less man and leaned up against the guy wire of a telephone pole to think things through. My body went through that guy wire as though it too had not been there.

There on the sidewalk of that unknown city, I did some incredulous thinking. The strangest, most difficult thinking I had ever done. The man in the cafe, this telephone pole … suppose they were perfectly normal. Suppose I was the one who was – changed, somehow. What if in some impossible, unimaginable way, I lost my … hardness. My ability to grasp things, to make contact with the world. Even to be seen! The fellow just now. It was obvious he never saw or heard me.

And suddenly I remembered the young man I had seen in the bed in that little hospital room. What if that had been … me? Or anyhow, the material, concrete part of myself that in some unexplainable way I’d gotten separated from. What if the form which I had left lying in the hospital room in Texas was my own?

And if it were, how could I get back to it again? Why had I ever rushed off so unthinkingly?

I was moving again, speeding away from the city. Below me was the broad river. I appeared to be going back, back in the direction I had come from, and it seemed to me I was flashing across space even faster than before. Hills, lakes, farms slipped away beneath me as I sped in an unswerving straight line over the dark nighttime land.

I was standing in front of the base hospital.

And so began one of the strangest searches that can every have taken place: the search for myself. From one ward to another of that enormous complex I rushed, pausing in each small room, stooping over the occupant of the bed, hurrying on.

I backed toward the doorway. The man in that bed was dead! I felt the same reluctance I had the previous time at being in a room with a dead person. But … if that was my ring, then – then it was me, the separated part of me, lying under that sheet. Did that mean that I was …

It was the first time in this entire experience that the world “death” occurred to me in connection with what was happening.

But I wasn’t dead! How could I be dead and still be awake? Thinking. Experiencing. Death was different. Death was … I didn’t know. Blanking out. Nothingness. I was me, wide awake, only without a physical body to function in.

Frantically I clawed at the sheet, trying to draw it back, trying to uncover the figure on the bed. All my efforts did not even stir a breeze in the silent little room.

Meeting Jesus Christ

Suddenly I was aware that it was brighter, a lot brighter, than it had been. I stared in astonishment as the brightness increased, coming from nowhere, seeming to shine everywhere at once. All the light bulbs in the ward couldn’t give off that much light. All the bulbs in the world couldn’t! It was impossibly bright: it was like a million welders’ lamps all blazing at once. ‘I’m glad I don’t have physical eyes at this moment,’ I thought. ‘This light would destroy the retina in a tenth of a second.’

No, I corrected myself, not the light. He. He would be too bright to look at. For now I saw that it was not light but a Man who had entered the room, or rather, a Man made out of light, though this seemed no more possible to my mind than the incredible intensity of the brightness that made up His form.

The instant I perceived him, a command formed itself in my mind. “Stand up!” The words came from inside me, yet they had an authority my mere thoughts had never had. I got to my feet and as I did came the stupendous certainty: ‘You are in the presence of the Son of God.’

If this was the Son of God, then his name was Jesus. This person was power itself, older than time and yet more modern than anyone I had ever met.

Above all, with that same mysterious inner certainty, I knew that this man loved me. Far more even than power, what emanated from this Presence was unconditional love. An astonishing love. A love beyond my wildest imagining. This love knew every unlovable thing about me – the quarrels with my stepmother, my explosive temper, the sex thoughts I could never control, every mean, selfish thought and action since the day I was born – and accepted me just the same.

The life review

When I say He knew everything about me, this was simply an observable fact. For into that room along with his radiant presence – simultaneously, though in telling about it I have to describe them one by one – had also entered every single episode of my entire life. Everything that had ever happened to me was simply there, in full view, contemporary and current, all seemingly taking place at the same time. Every detail of twenty years of living was there to be looked at. The good, the bad, the high points, the run-of-the-mill. And with this all-inclusive view came a question. It was implicit in every scene and, like the scenes themselves, seemed to proceed from the living Light beside me.

“What did you do with your life?”

Desperately I looked around me for something that would seem worthwhile in the light of this blazing Reality. But there was only an endless, short-sighted, clamorous concern for myself. Hadn’t I ever gone beyond my own immediate interests, done anything other people would recognize as valuable?

And all at once the question itself built up in me. It wasn’t fair! Of course I hadn’t done anything with my life! I hadn’t had time. How could you judge a person who hadn’t even started?

The answering thought, however, held no trace of judgment. ‘Death,’ the word was infinitely loving, ‘can come at any age.’

‘What about the insurance money coming when I’m seventy?’ The words were out, in this strange realm where communication took place by thought instead of speech, before I could call them back.

If I’d suspected before that there was mirth in the Presence beside me, now I was sure of it: the brightness seemed to vibrate and shimmer with a kind of holy laughter – not at me and my silliness, not a mocking laughter, but a mirth that seemed to say that in spite of all error and tragedy, joy was more lasting still.

And in the ecstasy of that laughter I realized that it was I who was judging the events around us so harshly. It was I who saw them as trivial, self-centered, unimportant. No such condemnation came from the Glory shining around me. He was not blaming or reproaching. He was simply … loving me. Filling the world with Himself and yet somehow attending to me personally. Waiting for my answer to the question that still hung in the dazzling air. ‘What have you done with your life to show me?’

The question, like everything else proceeding from Him, had to do with love. How much have you loved with your life? Have you loved others as I am loving you? Totally? Unconditionally?

Hearing the question like that, I saw how foolish it was even to try to find an answer in the scenes around us. Why, I hadn’t known love like this was possible. Someone should have told me, I thought indignantly!

“I did tell you.”

But how? Still wanting to justify myself: how could He have told me and I not heard?

“I told you by the life I lived. I told you by the death I died. And, if you keep your eyes on me, you will see more … ”

Seeing spirits among the living
With a start I noticed that we were moving. I hadn’t been aware of leaving the hospital, but now it was nowhere in sight. The living events of my life which had crowded round us had vanished too: instead we seemed to be high above the earth, speeding together toward a distant pinprick of light.

The distant pinprick resolved itself into a large city toward which we seemed to be descending. It was still nighttime but smoke poured from factory chimneys and many buildings had lights burning on every floor. There was an ocean or a large lake beyond the lights; it could have been Boston, Detroit, Toronto, certainly no place I had ever been, but obviously I thought as we came close enough to see the crowded streets, one where war industries were operating around the clock.

I noticed a certain phenomenon repeatedly – people unaware of others right beside them. I saw a group of assembly-line workers gathered around a coffee canteen. One of the women asked another for a cigarette, begged her in fact, as though she wanted it more than anything in the world. But the other one, chatting with her friends, ignored her. She took a pack of cigarettes from her coveralls, and without ever offering it to the woman who reached for it so eagerly, took one out and lit it. Fast as a striking snake the woman who had been refused snatched at the lighted cigarette in the other one’s mouth. Again she grabbed at it. And again … With a little chill of recognition I saw that she was unable to grip it.

Like me, in fact, she was dead.

In one house a younger man followed an older one from room to room. ‘I’m sorry, Pa!’ he kept saying. ‘I didn’t know what it would do to Mama! I didn’t understand.’

But though I could hear him clearly, it was obvious that the man he was speaking to could not. The old man was carrying a tray into a room where an elderly woman sat in bed. ‘I’m sorry, Pa,’ the young man said again. ‘I’m sorry, Mama.’ Endlessly, over and over, to ears that could not hear.

Several times we paused before similar scenes. A boy trailing a teenaged girl through the corridors of a school. ‘I’m sorry, Nancy!’ A middle-aged woman begging a gray-haired man to forgive her.

What are they so sorry for, Jesus?’ I pleaded. ‘Why do they keep talking to people who can’t hear them?’

Then from the Light beside me came the thought: ‘They are suicides, chained to every consequence of their act.’

Gradually I began to notice something else. All of the living people we were watching were surrounded by a faint luminous glow, almost like an electrical field over the surface of their bodies. This luminosity moved as they moved, like a second skin made out of pale, scarcely visible light.

At first I thought it must be reflected brightness from the Person at my side. But the buildings we entered gave off no reflection, neither did inanimate objects. And then I realized that the non-physical beings didn’t either. My own unsolid body, I now saw, was without this glowing sheath.

At this point the Light drew me inside a dingy bar and grill near what looked like a large naval base. A crowd of people, many of them sailors, lined the bar three deep, while others jammed wooden booths along the wall. Though a few were drinking beer, most of them seemed to be belting whiskies as fast as the two perspiring bartenders could pour them.

Then I noticed a striking thing. A number of the men standing at the bar seemed unable to lift their drinks to their lips. Over and over I watched them clutch at their shot glasses, hands passing through the solid tumblers, through the heavy wooden counter top, through the very arms and bodies of the drinkers around them.

And these men, every one of them, lacked the aureole of light that surrounded the others.

Then, the cocoon of light must be a property of physical bodies only. The dead, we who had lost our solidness, had lost this ‘second skin’ as well.

And it was obvious that these living people, the light-surrounded ones, the ones actually drinking, talking, jostling each other, could neither see the desperately thirsty disembodied beings among them, nor feel their frantic pushing to get at those glasses. (Though it was also clear to me, watching, that the non-solid people could both see and hear each other. Furious quarrels were constantly breaking out among them over glasses that none could actually get to his lips.)

I thought I had seen heavy drinking at fraternity parties in Richmond, but the way civilians and servicemen at this bar were going at it beat everything. I watched one young sailor rise unsteadily from a stool, take two or three steps, and sag heavily to the floor. Two of his buddies stooped down and started dragging him away from the crush.

But that was not what I was looking at. I was staring in amazement as the bright cocoon around the unconscious sailor simply opened up. It parted at the very crown of his head and began peeling away from his head, his shoulders. Instantly, quicker than I’d ever seen anyone move, one of the insubstantial beings who had been standing near him at the bar was on top of him. He had been hovering like a thirsty shadow at the sailor’s side, greedily following every swallow the young man made. Now he seemed to spring at him like a beast of prey.

In the next instant, to my utter mystification, the springing figure had vanished. It all happened even before the two men had dragged their unconscious load from under the feet of those at the bar. One minute I’d distinctly seen two individuals; by the time they propped the sailor against the wall, there was only one.

Twice more, as I stared, stupefied, the identical scene was repeated. A man passed out, a crack swiftly opened in the aureole round him, one of the non-solid people vanished as he hurled himself at that opening, almost as if he had scrambled inside the other man.

Was that covering of light some kind of shield, then? Was it a protection against … against disembodied beings like myself? Presumably these substance-less creatures had once had solid bodies, as I myself had had. Suppose that when they had been in these bodies they had developed a dependence on alcohol that went beyond the physical. That became mental. Spiritual, even. Then when they lost that body, except when they could briefly take possession of another one, they would be cut off for all eternity from the thing they could never stop craving.

An eternity like that – the thought sent a chill shuddering through me – surely that would be a form of hell. I had always thought of hell, when I thought of it at all, as a fiery place somewhere beneath the earth where evil people like Hitler would burn forever. But what if one level of hell existed right here on the surface – unseen and unsuspected by the living people occupying the same space. What if it meant remaining on earth but never again able to make contact with it. I thought of that woman who wanted that cigarette. To want most, to burn with most desire, where you were most powerless – that would be hell indeed.

Not ‘would be,’ I realized with a start. Was. This was hell: And I was as much a part of it as these other discarnate creatures. I had died. I had lost my physical body. I existed now in a realm that would not respond to me in any way …

There were two other things distinctly unique about the beings of this realm. Since hypocrisy is impossible because others know your thoughts the minute you think them, they tend to group with the ones who think the same way they do. In our own plane of the existence, earth, we have a saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The main reason that they stick together is because it is too threatening to be with beings with whom you disagree when they know it.

One of the places we observed seemed to be a receiving station. Beings would arrive here oftentimes in a deep hypnotic sleep. I call it hypnotic because I realized they had put themselves in this state by their beliefs. Here were what I would call angels working with them trying to arouse them and help them realize God is truly a God of the living and that they did not have to lie around sleeping until Gabriel or someone came along blowing on a horn.

The plane of hell
We were moving again. We had left the Navy base with its circumference of seedy streets and bars, and were now standing, in this dimension where travel seemed to take no time at all, on the edge of a wide, flat plain. So far in our journeying we had visited places where the living and the dead existed side by side: indeed where disembodied beings, completely unsuspected by the living, hovered right on top of the physical things and people where their desire was focused.

Now, however, although we were apparently still somewhere on the surface of the earth, I could see no living man or woman. The plain was crowded, even jammed with hordes of ghostly discarnate beings; nowhere was there a solid, light-surrounded person to be seen. All of these thousands of people were apparently no more substantial than I myself. And they were the most frustrated, the angriest, the most completely miserable beings I had ever laid eyes on.

‘Lord Jesus!’ I cried. ‘Where are we?’

At first I thought we were looking at some great battlefield: everywhere spirits were locked in what looked like fights to the death, writhing, punching, gouging. No weapons of any sort, I saw as I looked closer, only bare hands and feet and teeth. And then I noticed that no one was apparently being injured. There was no blood, no bodies strewed the ground. A blow that ought to have eliminated an opponent would leave him exactly as before.

If I suspected that I was seeing hell, now I was sure of it. These creatures seemed locked into habits of mind and emotion, into hatred, lust, destructive thought-patterns.

Even more hideous than the bites and kicks they exchanged, were the sexual abuses many were performing in feverish pantomime. Perversions I had never dreamed of were being vainly attempted all around us. It was impossible to tell if the howls of frustration which reached us were actual sounds or only the transference of despairing thoughts. Indeed in this disembodied world it didn’t seem to matter. Whatever anyone thought, however fleetingly or unwillingly, was instantly apparent to all around him, more completely than words could have expressed it, faster than sound waves could have carried it.

And the thoughts most frequently communicated had to do with the superior knowledge, or abilities, or background of the thinker. ‘I told you so!’ ‘I always knew!’

‘Didn’t I warn you!’ were shrieked into the echoing air over and over. With a feeling of sick familiarity I recognized here my own thinking. In these yelps of envy and wounded self-importance I heard myself all to well.

Once again, however, no condemnation came from the Presence at my side, only a compassion for these unhappy creatures that was breaking His heart.

What was keeping them here? Why didn’t each one just get up and leave? I could see no reason why the person being screamed at by that man with the contorted face didn’t simply walk away. Or why that young woman didn’t put a thousand miles between herself and the other one who was so furiously beating her with insubstantial fists? They couldn’t actually hold onto their victims, any of these insanely angry beings. There were no fences. Nothing apparently prevented them from simply going off alone.

Unless – unless there was no ‘alone’ in this realm of disembodied spirits. No private corners in a universe where there were no walls. No place that was not inhabited by other beings to whom one was totally exposed at all times. What was it going to be like, I thought with sudden panic, to live forever where my most private thoughts were not private at all? No disguising them, no covering them up, no way to pretend I was anything but what I actually was. How unbearable. Unless of course everyone around me had the same kind of thoughts – Unless there was a kind of consolation in finding others as loathsome as one’s self, even if all we could do was hurl our venom at each other.

Perhaps this was the explanation for this hideous plain. Perhaps in the course of eons or of seconds, each creature here had sought out the company of others as pride and hatefilled as himself, until together they formed this society of the damned.

Perhaps it was not Jesus who had abandoned them, but they who had fled from the Light that showed up their darkness.

There were beings arguing over some religious or political point, trying to kill the ones who did not agree with them. I thought when I saw this, “No wonder our world is in such a mess and we have had so many tragic religious wars. No wonder this was breaking Christ’s heart, the One who came to teach us peace and love.”

The Temple Of Wisdom
We were moving again. First He had shown me a hellish realm, filled with beings trapped in some form of self-attention. Now behind, beyond, through all this I began to perceive a whole new realm! Enormous buildings stood in a beautiful sunny park that reminded me somewhat of a well-planned university. As we entered one of the buildings and doorways, the air was so hushed that I was actually startled to see people in the passageway.

I could not tell if they were men or women, old or young, for all were covered from head to foot in loose-flowing hooded cloaks which made me think vaguely of monks. But the atmosphere of the place was not at all as I imagined a monastery. It was more like some tremendous study center, humming with the excitement of great discovery. Everyone we passed in the wide halls and on the curving staircases seemed caught up in some all-engrossing activity; not many words were exchanged among them. And yet I sensed no unfriendliness between these beings, rather an aloofness of total concentration.

Whatever else these people might be, they appeared utterly and supremely self-forgetful – absorbed in some vast purpose beyond themselves. Through open doors I glimpsed at enormous rooms filled with complex equipment. In several of the rooms hooded figures bent over intricate charts and diagrams, or sat at the controls of elaborate consoles flickering with lights. Somehow I felt that some vast experiment was being pursued, perhaps dozens and dozens of such experiments.

And something more … In spite of His obvious delight in the beings around us, I sensed that even this was not the ultimate, that He had far greater things to show me if only I could see.

And so I followed Him into other buildings of this domain of thought. We entered a studio where music of a complexity I couldn’t begin to follow was being composed and performed. There were complicated rhythms, tones not on a scale I knew. ‘Why,’ I found myself thinking. ‘Bach is only the beginning!’

Next we walked through a library the size of the whole University of Richmond. I gazed into rooms lined floor to ceiling with documents on parchment, clay, leather, metal, paper. ‘Here,’ the thought occurred to me, ‘are assembled the important books of the universe.’

Immediately I knew this was impossible. How could books be written somewhere beyond the earth! But the thought persisted, although my mind rejected it. ‘The key works of the universe,’ the phrase kept recurring as we roamed the domed reading rooms crowded with silent scholars. Then abruptly, at the door to one of the smaller rooms, almost an annex: ‘Here is the central thought of this earth.’

‘Is this … heaven, Lord Jesus?’ I ventured. The calm, the brightness, they were surely heaven-like! So was the absence of self, of clamoring ego. ‘When these people were on earth did they grow beyond selfish desires?’

‘They grew, and they have kept on growing.’ The answer shone like sunlight in that intent and eager atmosphere. But if growth could continue, then this was not all. Then … there must be something even these serene beings lacked. And suddenly I wondered if it was the same thing missing in the ‘lower realm’. Were these selfless seeking creatures also failing in some degree to see Jesus? Or perhaps, to see Him for Himself? Bits and hints of Him they surely had; obviously it was the truth they were so single-mindedly pursuing. But what if even a thirst for truth could distract from the Truth Himself, standing here in their midst while they searched for Him in books and test tubes …

I didn’t know. And next to His unutterable love, my own bewilderment, all the questions I wanted to ask, seemed incidental. Perhaps, I concluded at last, He cannot tell me more than I can see: perhaps there is nothing in me yet that could understand an explanation.

It is this realm which removes forever the concept that we stop learning or progressing in knowledge when we die. I could call this realm the realm of research, or the mental realm or the realm of intellectual, scientific and religious knowledge. All would be correct.

This is the realm where I believe the souls go who have developed the greatest interest in a particular field of life’s endeavor, the ones who want to keep on researching and learning more in their particular fields. This gives hope to all people who want to keep learning and have established enough wisdom to realize we have just begun to scratch the surface in any field when we are on the Earth’s level of development.

I became aware that the Christ was watching some souls in their study of the universe’s religions and saw He did not judge any of them. They too were not judging the religions which they were studying but were interested in the many different ways the beings of the universe had attempted to come to understand their Creator. I suddenly realized how wrong it was for any of us on earth to judge another’s approach to God or to feel we have the only answers. The moment that realization came into my mind it was followed by His thought placed in my mind:

“You are right, for if I, LOVE, be lifted up, I shall draw all humanity unto Me. If you come to know the Father, you will come to know Me. If you come to know Me you will come to know that LOVE includes all beings regardless of their race, creeds or color.”

The city of God
The central fact, the all-adequate one, remained this Personality at my side. Whatever additional facts He was showing me, He remained every moment the real focus of my attention.

Up until this point I had had the impression that we were traveling – though in what manner I could not imagine – upon the earth itself. Even what I had come to think of as a ‘higher plane’ of deep thoughts and learning, was obviously not far distant from the ‘physical plane’ where bodiless beings were still bound to a solid world.

Now however, we seemed to have left the earth behind.

And then I saw, infinitely far off, far too distant to be visible with any kind of sight I knew of – a city. A glowing, seemingly endless city, bright enough to be seen over all the unimaginable distance between. The brightness seemed to shine from the very walls and streets of this place, and from beings which I could now discern moving about within it. In fact, the city and everything in it seemed to be made of light, even as the Figure at my side was made of light.

At this time I had not yet read the Book of Revelation. I could only gape in awe at this faraway spectacle, wondering how bright each building, each inhabitant, must be to be seen over so many light-years of distance. Could these radiant beings, I wondered, amazed, be those who had indeed kept Jesus the focus of their lives? Was I seeing at last ones who had looked for Him in everything? Looked so well and so closely that they had been changed into His very likeness? Even as I asked the question, two of the bright figures seemed to detach themselves from the city and start toward us, hurling themselves across that infinity with the speed of light.

Now this was surprising because this was the first realm in which the inhabitants could see the Christ and me. Even more amazing, they exuded light almost as brilliant as the Christ. As the two beings approached us, I could also feel the love flowing from them toward us. The complete joy they showed at seeing the Christ was unmistakable.

Seeing these beings and feeling the joy, peace and happiness which swelled up from them made me feel that here was the place of all places, the top realm of all realms. The beings who inhabited it were full of love. This, I was and am convinced, is heaven. As marvelous as I thought the previous realm was, after glimpsing this new realm we were seeing, I began to understand for the first time what Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians 13 when he wrote: “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing”.

I do not infer that the wonderful souls of the fourth realm did not have love because they did but not to the degree that the souls of this realm had reached.

But as fast as they came toward us, we drew away. Desperately I cried out to Him not to leave me, to make me ready for that shining city, not to abandon me in this dark and narrow place. From that loneliest moment of my existence I had leapt into the most perfect belonging I had ever known. The Light of Jesus had entered my life and filled it completely, and the idea of being separated from Him was more than I could bear.

Then He did a startling thing. He opened a corridor through time which showed me increasing natural disasters coming upon this earth. There were more and more hurricanes and floods occurring over different areas of our planet. The earthquakes and volcanoes were increasing. We were becoming more and more selfish and self-righteous. Families were splitting, governments were breaking apart because people were thinking only of themselves. I saw armies marching on the United States from the south and explosions occurring over the entire world that were of a magnitude beyond my capacity to imagine. I realized if they continued, human life as we have known it could not continue to exist.

Suddenly this corridor was closed off and a second corridor started to open through time. At the beginning they appeared very similar but the further the second one unfolded, the more different it became. The planet grew more peaceful. Humanity and nature both were better. Humanity was not as critical of himself or others. He was not as destructive of nature and he was beginning to understand what love is. Then we stood at a place in time where we were more like the beings of the fourth and fifth realm. The Lord sent the mental message to me, “It is left to humanity which direction they shall choose. I came to this planet to show you through the life I led how to love. Without OUR FATHER you can do nothing, neither could I. I showed you this. You have 45 years.”

He then gave me orders to return to the human plane and mentally said, “You have 45 years.” I had no understanding at that moment what he meant by 45 years.

My throat was on fire and the weight on my chest was crushing me.

(Here George Ritchie’s death experience ends and he returns to earthly life.)

A commentary
Across the ages, as He did in the Garden of Eden, God still calls out to man, “Where are you, Adam?” The churches have not explained our potential as “gods”, with our God-given creative power, and how necessary it is for us to be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God when we use this power. Quoting Psalms 82:6, Jesus asked, “Is it not written in your law, I said, you are gods?” St. Irenaeus, a famous early Christian leader stated that God became a human being in order that human beings might become God. I would change what he said only to the degree that I would say that Jesus showed us the God that God, our Father created us to be.

Instead the churches lead us to believe that the church was given the authority to decide who was going to heaven, and that those who didn’t join their particular denomination were going to hell. This is incongruous with the teachings of Jesus, the Christ, who told us the tale of the Prodigal Son not only to help us understand the love and forgiveness of God but to help us understand that the Prodigal Son is the cosmic tale of each and every human being. We have all forgotten that we are sons and daughters of the most high God; that our spiritual side, the soul of man, needs to return to have total fellowship with the Father. To do this we have to come to ourselves and realize that in this human plane of existence, our human, selfish side has led us down the road of materialism and of living only for ourselves, which caused us to turn away from our Father and our divine destiny and forget who we are. It caused our spiritual death.

Jesus went on the cross to show us that we must die to this human egotistical side in order to let the soul of man, which has carried the knowledge of who it is and from whence it came, come to life and into control.

This is our Ultimate Destiny, to reach out and begin to communicate with the Christ, so that He can lead us back to being alive (i.e. into that perfect union with our Father) and let Him pass His love and thinking through us to one another. We must come to know the living resurrected Christ within us, and depend on passing His love to one another and to God, because our human love isn’t enough. When we recognize this truth, then, like the Prodigal Son Jesus told about, we will have “come to ourself”; that is, we will come alive, and will decide to go home, for we will know that even being a servant in our Father’s household is better than being dead spiritually, the way we have been living.

Then, with the Christ, the Holy Spirit and our Father – all of us joined together – we shall be helping to create a universe and no long a diverse.

This is what I believe Jesus meant when He said, “And I shall draw all humanity to myself, when I am lifted up from the Earth.” Christ showed us that He had to go through the death of His physical self in order for the resurrection of His spiritual self to take place. I think that His death on the cross also symbolized that we must realize we are dead before we can be raised up by the resurrected Christ within us. I find it hard to believe that in our present state of spiritual death we can conquer our self-centered lower physical nature without going through the death and surrender of our will as did Jesus on the cross. I can say from the Risen Christ’s having conducted me through four realms of life after death, that in the highest realm, He showed me beings who had followed His teachings and were now resurrected into spiritual beings who were like Him when it came to the love, light and life they put forth.

I believe Jesus did not incarnate just to die for our sins, but that He also lived and died to show all of humanity, regardless of race, creed, or color, how much God our Father loved us. He expects us to do the same thing. When we come to realize this, then He will truly be lifted up for we shall be keeping the great commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Our destiny is not only to come to know and rise above our human side, but, by following His example of dying to self, to come to know and activate, or bring to life, our spiritual side, which He showed was in every man, woman, and child. He showed us how to die to self and how to rise from the dead and ascend into our higher self, life.

I’m not saying that we have to make a sacrificial death on a cross as Jesus did. I am saying that we have to reach the place where we are willing to face the death of our self-centered nature so that our higher spiritual nature can gain control. I believe that being willing to follow such a total surrender to God’s Will will bring about a resurrection and ascension of the transformed self, which can change a world into a heaven on earth. He started this transformation first in Himself to show what can happen to all who would follow Him. It changed Him and all who followed Him because He surrendered His will to God our Father, who, He showed, is pure LOVE. Our destiny is to do the same thing in order to survive and change our world. His commission wasn’t just to teach and show us how to reach the highest realm, heaven, but rather how to create heaven on earth.

Categories: Alcohol, Death, Near Death Experiences | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Jesus and Alcohol (My Confession)

Dreams are one of the ways God speaks to me. Sometimes I don’t listen very well and I soon forget the very important message Jesus was doing his best to convey to me.

The other night I dreamed I was with some brothers and sisters in Christ explaining how I didn’t want to be associated with alcohol or anything else short of Jesus, Redemption, and Love. One girl started to sing a song about the love of God for us. She sang it poorly but it didn’t matter. The truth of the lyrics immediately made me cry. It made me cry because I knew all the ways I resist God and shut him out and yet He still loves me deeply.

I wanted to learn that song so someone printed off just the chords without lyrics. I played it on my guitar and someone else sang an epic version of a beautiful song about the love of God for us… a song I hope to write soon.

(Note: I was informed this post comes across disjointed. That’s what happens when you start a post in July and finish it in December.)

Since my last posts on the subject (see Alcohol and Jesus) I have grown a great deal in my views of alcohols proper place in the believer’s life (if at all). As a follower of Jesus we all have a responsibility to heed the Lord’s personal direction concerning all things, including the use (or lack of use) of alcohol.

My friend Jeff asked me, “So what’s the upside to alcohol?”

My attempt to answer that:

1.) To enjoy with family when we get together?

While perfectly enjoyable and acceptable, it must be with discretion. For instance, are we setting a good example for young impressionable children in the family? Maybe we can do this by showing how to use moderately and not abuse? But often times it is best to just refrain.

2.) Perhaps there is an occasion where you are hanging with lost people or slippery Christians that having a beer might help build a bridge for sharing the Gospel? (Jesus wants to save Christians too!)

I remember hearing a pastor tell of how he was invited to his neighbor’s house for a barbecue. Someone tossed him a cold beer. He tossed it back announcing, “I don’t drink, I am a Christian.” He regrets that to this day and says, “Why didn’t I just have the beer?” So with this story in mind I firmly believed a beer or a glass of wine could build a bridge for the Gospel of God’s grace (and being led by the Spirit on all future occasions this might still be employed).

Has it ever worked for me? Maybe… but I don’t think so. What has happened on a few occasions is that either I, or the person or people I am with, have too much to drink. This leaves either of us with a sense of shame and regret (or regrettably not). Jesus was not given glory. People are not closer to Jesus thanks to alcohol.

3.) For the pure enjoyment and relaxation “a” beer or glass of wine can bring?

What’s wrong with this? Nothing really. Used in moderation alcohol is not evil. In fact, there are many health benefits to wine. Look it up. My perceptions are that in other cultures, the use of alcohol does not have the same stigma as it does in America. Take Europe for example. Wine with every meal is perfectly acceptable (Christian or not).

images-1Here in America alcohol is often seen as just a tool to get drunk. Likely, our history with the prohibition (and a puritanical Church stance) is to blame for rendering alcohol with its low reputation. It’s given the sin tax by the government as if to say, “Sure, we will allow you this evil much like we allow you to smoke and give yourself cancer or allow you to kill your baby.”

I wonder if America were mentioned in the Bible would it be on par with the Cretans reputation (“Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons”). Personally I don’t have much respect for how our American ancestors behaved when it came to alcohol or otherwise. A quote from the movie “Gangs of New York” comes to mind: “America was born in the streets”. I have heard or read stories of American history when seemingly everyone was getting drunk, and often. We lacked self-control and alcohol plagued our society for quite some time (and it still does). This is why the prohibition came about. Politicians and sensible people at the time saw the destruction alcohol was wreaking upon society and wanted it stopped.

So yes, I enjoy the fleeting happiness a favorite beer or glass of wine can bring. But I also certainly hate the shame and regret, not to mention the physical consequences, of having too much alcohol. It pains me to see what it is doing to my family, friends, and neighbors. And just as the Bible predicts, it’s difficult being a voice against its abuse when I was “for” its use. After all, I wouldn’t want anyone to feel bad or anything or jeopardize my own tolerance for it in my life. “Yea, I know we drink a lot”, someone would say to me. My response: “Well, I enjoy a glass of wine myself.” (And while it’s probably a good thing to refrain from being everyone’s conscience for them, it’s also good not to invalidate their own conscience’s convictions and conclusions.)

Can You Drink AND Love Jesus?

Some may and do come to the conclusion that just as drinking and driving don’t mix, neither does drinking and radically loving Jesus. This would be a position I would never take. Think about it. Can you honestly say to someone who has an occasional drink (like Jesus did) that they cannot radically love Jesus? No, not really.

However, for those Israelites who wished to be close to God they would take a Nazarite vow which meant that they would abstain from alcohol for a season. For a few of the most important prophets in Biblical history this was a lifelong commitment. So there is definitely a strong biblical argument for giving it up for good, especially considering the times and the need for prophets who are close to Jesus and hear from him.

This blog post isn’t about using alcohol responsibly. It’s about the times we fail to do so… and I have failed to do so. In my last post on the subject I talked about how I would never abuse alcohol again! Did you know that “never” can also mean “in two months”? Yes, I have slipped a few times. That is the strength of a persons resolve.

I recently watched a sobering movie about an alcoholic. It was amazing to see the freedom and even faith gained in the end by someone choosing honesty and facing who you are rather than continuing to lie. In Elementary, one of my favorite shows, Sherlock is a recovering addict. What baffles me is how we can even manage to “control” one area of our life, as the character in Elementary does, but then allow other areas of our life to be completely out of control. For instance Sherlock controls his substance addiction but gives himself complete license when it comes to sexual sin.

Isn’t there a higher goal beyond controlling our addictions or managing our sin? Indeed there is. Jesus holds out to us complete and absolute freedom in our relationship with him and gives us a kind of grace that is a game changer.

It’s his commitment to forgive and remain committed to love us that teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live soberly and righteous lives.

 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,  while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14 NIV)

I have an unparalleled ability in recent years to immediately receive the grace and forgiveness of Jesus when I fail – which is a REALLY GOOD THING! I don’t wallow in shame or beat myself up. Honestly I didn’t expect any better from the saboteur anyway. BUT, I would never want to justify my sin! I’d rather simply part ways with it. Thankfully Jesus makes repenting and parting ways with sin rather simple. You just have to be ruthlessly honest about yourself and your sin (not always as publicly as I am).

Because I came out publicly with such a “pro” argument for its acceptable use I felt the need to address this issue again (hopefully for the last time). This is why I am publicly repenting of my abuse of alcohol and being as brutally honest as I can be… OK, that’s a lie. You will never get the full brutally honest story. Only God knows that one.

I met a woman recently who had been sober 24 years after being an alcoholic for most of her life previous. She said she has never felt accepted or loved until she found it in Jesus. She keeps trying to reach her alcoholic son and refuses to give up hope for him because Jesus never gave up on her.

I recently came back from visiting where I grew up. One of the people I used to drink with is still a raging alcoholic nearly twenty years later. Don’t we ever learn? Another has turned to alcohol to self medicate a constant physical pain and I think perhaps to also numb the emotional pain of the past. But even more than this I think it is used to numb the ache of just missing Jesus.

In a broken world such as ours with so much pain and anguish, is it any wonder people turn to alcohol (among other things)? But don’t we know to turn to Jesus? Why not?

So many people just don’t know, or don’t believe, that Jesus loves them. I don’t know about you but most of the time when I hear, “Jesus loves you”, it seems trite and silly like that old Sunday school song. It’s old hat. You know what I mean? The message so often fails to even enter our heart. We are immune and inoculated from the love of Jesus.


I think it’s because we aren’t willing to trust and be willing to give up all the carefully constructed ways we medicate our misery. Ultimately, this isn’t about drinking at all, is it? It’s about knowing and loving Jesus. Do we really know him? Have we embraced his love? Are we really his disciple? (See a previous blog about being a disciple called Dust).

In the beginning of June of this year the Lord was trying to get my attention and was calling me to be his disciple. He did this by giving me the following dream:

I saw the world for what it truly was in the spiritual dimension. It was a place of darkness and confusion and the air was filled with poison. It was as if the entire world was a house filled with carbon monoxide. People were dropping around me like flies and I was shaken by it. Someone, who I perceived was the Lord, was trying his best to rescue people. But people were hiding from him. Demons were also constantly busy hiding people from Jesus and in frustration he said to himself (the Trinity) “It seems like they are going to get away with everything.”

So how in the world did I turn a profound dream of Jesus loving rescue operation into a defense for a Christians right to drink? How slippery I am!

In fact, after I poured out all my alcohol, I was making it again within two days! Why, you may ask? Oh, I had my reasons. Among all my reasons, the biggest reason is this:

I miss Jesus. I wanted to relieve the ache of missing him. Alcohol did that for me and I wasn’t ready to give it up. Now, however, I’d rather just have Jesus, even if it means never having alcohol ever again.

I was afraid to feel the pain of Christ for others as well. I avoided this pain and so was sabotaging the advancement of the kingdom of God. Unless you and I embrace the love of Jesus and join with Jesus in his rescue operation, unless that becomes our driving ambition in our life as it is Christ’s, and yes, even embrace the pain that comes with the mission of actually caring about lost people, then we become part of the problem. We end up putting sandbags on the drowning victims instead of pulling them to safety. We end up turning away from, and skirting around, the beat up victim instead of coming to their aid (see the Good Samaritan story). We end up handing a drink to the alcoholic. We remain silent when we should speak out. We stand by and watch them suffocate. We stand by and watch people drown themselves with alcohol and give them encouragement, “It’s ok. It’s your Christian right to drink.”

I don’t want that anymore.

I don’t want any more people whom Jesus dearly loves to slip by and never fully embrace the love and grace and redemption that Jesus has for them! I don’t want Christian brothers and sisters to settle for an existence that is so far below anything you could remotely call an ‘abundant life’ that Jesus offers them. I want everyone to “be found” by Jesus and be in love with their Creator and Savior!

This isn’t really about alcohol at all. This is about Jesus finding people and saving them from whatever may be distracting and drowning them (their idols). This is about people becoming disciples of Jesus.

There are probably plenty of reasons to never drink again. My permissive attitudes might have already encouraged others to drink who shouldn’t be drinking. This is tragic and feels like I’m handing a loaded gun to someone who is suicidal.

I was reminded today from reflecting on the Psalms that God holds each one of us accountable. You and I will be held accountable and none of our excuses will be valid or amount to anything. Sooner or later our hearts WILL be exposed, our sin will come to light. I choose the sooner.

My wife was reading through the Bible and came upon this Scripture from the prophet Micah:

“Suppose a prophet full of lies would say to you,
“I’ll preach to you the joys of wine and alcohol!”
That’s just the kind of prophet you would like!” Micah 2:11 NLT

I was arrested.

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12 NLT

Even if it is entirely ok for me to drink or even have a winemaking hobby, (which I know it is – I do still agree with everything in my first blog on this topic), God has a way of exposing our carefully constructed arguments and excuses for what they are to expose our heart and motives.

Why was an occasional drink so important to me anyway?

I felt it made me more human. I felt that it further separated me from the realm of religious prick (which I abhor) and into the realm of real and human and love. This is why I was committed to not being a teetotaler.

But… on the flip side, might I be a partaker of destroying lives and helping people to hide from Jesus and giving them a Biblical defense to do so? If that is the case, then God help me!

The thing is, God has helped me and continues to help me. He sets me free from idols… because even if I had the slightest doubt that alcohol stood between me and Jesus, then guess what… it did. Because, “whatever is not of faith is sin.”

The simple truth is this. Our conscience dictates all these gray areas of morality. This makes perfect sense when you think of this in terms of relationship. I am one side of the relationship, God is on the other. If I think something is hindering that relationship then it most certainly is because I “think” it is and that affects me. Even if to God that gray area is perfectly acceptable, I may not be mature or aware enough to know that. My faith may not connect with that.

Paul writes about this in terms of meat offered to idols. My understanding is that in Paul’s day in age you could hardly find meat in the market that hadn’t been offered to an idol because the butcher shops served the idol worship industry that was so prevalent. Many early Christians ceased eating meat altogether lest they “offend God” by unwittingly taking part of idol worship. Paul was mature and aware of the fact that an idol is nothing and nonsense so enjoy the meat, but never at the expense of another’s conscience. In that case the persons conscience always trumped the “freedom” because that person’s relationship is worth more than the freedom.

A person’s relationship with God is always worth more than any freedom.

My bottom line is this: What do we want our life to be about?

I don’t want to be known as the guy who makes and enjoys wine, but as the man who loves and is passionate about Jesus! Ultimately I want my life to be about knowing and experiencing fully and then preaching the joy of knowing Jesus.  I’d rather not be a stumbling block to anyone finding that joy!

Please pray for me.

Categories: Alcohol, Dreams, Exposing Self-Righteous Religion | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Drunk Canoeing

This story has got to be from around ten years ago. I’m glad I no longer feel like I’m at odds with God as I did then. After a canoe outing tonight with a friend and our children, I thought I’d share this piece of comedy from my past:

So this little story came up in a Bible study the other week. We were discussing our “perfect steak” experiences. This reminded me of my “perfect steak” experience, which also happened to be the first time in ten years that I got drunk. I wonder if the two were related… hmmm… I share the experience because, not only is this story quite comical, there is also a lesson in there… somewhere.

I was on a canoeing trip with some friends. On our drive up, we stopped to pick up some steaks – the best that money could buy, and a bottle of vodka. That night, as we were cooking them over the grill, I imagined that all the bears and wolves in the area smelled our delicious and savory steaks and were licking their chops just out of reach of the firelight. (I later learned that the area we were in is home to wolves)

wolf with no coffeeDid I mention that wolves terrify me? Yes, I know that God controls all the creatures of the forest including wolves but this is not exactly a comforting thought when you feel at odds with him (which, at the time, was how I felt). God could in fact lead every wolf within a hundred miles right to you if he so desired.

After having my perfect steak and a few drinks, I continued to meditate on the fact that God could kill me with a wolf attack, and attempted to go to sleep. It was no use.

Imagine lying there in a tent hearing all sorts of noises outside, staring at the thin wall of the tent conjuring up in your mind images of a wolf ripping through it and into you. I panicked. I grabbed a flashlight and ventured outside for a look. I was so badly frightened that I ran down to the water, got into the canoe and paddled out to the middle of the lake. So there I sat, in the middle of the lake in the middle of the night, safe from the big bad wolf. And then… it began to rain.

‘Just perfect’, I thought.

You hear a lot about drunk driving but I have never heard anything about drunk canoeing. There is no slogan that says “don’t drink and canoe”. Not very catchy. It dawned on me that I was definitely a high risk for a drowning that night.

Disclaimer: Drunkenness is in fact not advisable under any circumstances but especially while operating vehicles whether it be it a car, tricycle, skateboard, or canoe.

and remember: Don’t drink and canoe! Get a designated paddler.

Categories: Alcohol | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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