THE FACTS: ( "Just the facts, Ma'am!" )
- 1. There is only one true GOD and His name is JEHOVAH!!! HE is the GOD of the Bible.
- 2. The Bible is the inspired Word of GOD and is infallible, without error or omission.
- 3. JEHOVAH(the Father), JESUS(the Son), and The HOLY SPIRIT are ONE and GOD.
- 4. Man was created in GOD's image as depicted in Genesis.
- 5. GOD created everything, there is nothing but of GOD.
- 6. Those that Love GOD will be with HIM forever, those that hate HIM will be not.
- 7. GOD provided His Son as a ransom for those HE has chosen to be with HIM forever.
I Timothy 2:4,5,6 - Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. - KJV
The following narrative describes my life from birth to the mid 90's. Obviously, there is a lot more to it, but who would want to hear it. Trust me, God has done so many things in my life, you would probably think I was crazy if I told you all of it. Meanwhile, I can only describe my life today as pampered (by the Holy Spirit). I live with my wife of 42 years in a condo with an african grey parrot named Buzzer, two dogs, Elwood and Emma, two green singing finches, and one tank of tropical fish. All I can say is that God continues to bless us daily in the spiritual and physical realms. I can take no credit for any of these blessings, God being the author and finisher. Not that we are not tested, but that God always provides. To look around and see God in your life, is my prayer for you. Thank you Jesus!
Bob's Story: I was born on January the 7th, 1948 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, to two very different parents. My Dad was your typical "I'm the Boss" and I'm always right, ex-World War II authoritarian. He grew up under strict German (2) (3) descent parents who were strait as an arrow. They were poor farmers who tried shoving religion down my Father's throat which consequently left him hating anything to do with God (my supposition). He always claimed he was an atheist, the very word he claimed should not even exist because that was the natural state. My Grandparents were God fearing people (my Grandmother was 89 when she died, and my Grandfather was 97) who I believe are in heaven. They did not preach to me at all, but I knew they believed in God. They were one reason I tried to stay out of trouble in my early years as I did not want to bring them any grief.
Now my Mother (who died in 2007 at the age of 94; my Dad died in 1990 at the age of 72 from cancer)was a fun loving person with a stubborn streak, the single child of older parents (I really have no recollection of these Grandparents as my Grandfather died before I was born and my Grandmother died when I was really young). She was a very honest person (as was my dad) and stayed with my dad because of my brother and me, even though their relationship lacked intimacy. I do not remember my dad hugging or kissing my mother ever. As a matter of fact , I cannot ever remember my dad giving my brother or me a hug or any other sign of affection, but I believe he loved us and cared about our ultimate well being. On the other hand, my mother loved us in the traditional sense, and we had a very good relationship with her, even though she was powerless to stop our father when he had his outbursts of anger. We lived in fear of him (he was 6ft. 3in. and had to weigh 220lbs. or more. My mother was only 5ft. 3in.), and all levity stopped when he came home.
My Mother became a Jehovah Witness when I was 6 years old and this put a bigger wedge between my father and mother. Shortly thereafter, when I was 8 years old, my dad moved us to a 160 acre virgin land farm, which he acquired under the Veterans Land Act. This severed my brother (he was 1 year younger) and me from any regular contact with other playmates (except for school which we had to be bussed 6 miles to and from, consequently separating us from our fellow classmates). We spent 10 years here, living in a one room "house", 12ft. by 28ft.. This I am sure was the beginning of a life long battle with depression and an inferiority complex.
We were never hungry but money was scarce. I remember dragging a magnet around to collect BB's as we could not afford to buy a new pack for 7 cents. My mother use to walk the six miles into town to clean houses(the daughter of one such client eventually became my wife but I did not meet her until I was 22 years old). She used to give my brother and me 25 cents a week as my father gave us money only on special occasions. The only thing I had to be proud of was my ability to excel in school where I became an honor student. I won a scholarship to the fledgling Medicine Hat Junior College in 1966 and spent two fairly happy years there, before I dropped out of school (I spent one week at the University of Alberta in Edmonton). All I could think of was riding and working on motorcycles which were my one and only love. My mother and father divorced in 1968 and I lived with my mother until I got married in 1971. I started my motorcycle career in 1966 when my father finally allowed me to buy a used Honda cub 50. This progressed to a Honda 90 (used), to a new Honda 90, a Suzuki 200, a Honda 350, a Honda 450, a Suzuki 350, a Suzuki 500, and a Honda 750 all new (plus several others, including a Suzuki 50 that I completely painted and used for "bootin'" around, even in the winter. I hated winter because I could not ride my bike).
After I came home from Edmonton in the fall of 1968, I got a job at Kresge's as a manager trainee (alias box boy/grunt). This lasted 8 months and I quit because I was afraid to transfer and I also did not like the work. At this time, I was offered a job at the Suzuki shop (they sold bicycles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, lawnmowers, etc., as well as sharpened saws and did locksmith work) as a bicycle mechanic and where I had worked the previous summer. My big hope was to get to work on motorcycles which happened after about a year as a bicycle/lawnmower man. I stayed here about 4 years when I left in a huff over wages and not being made part of the business, and joined the CPR railroad as a brakeman. I lasted 9 months here. I did enjoy the job, but my wife (her dad was an engineer at the CPR), who I had married in august of 1971, was not too happy about my absences, seeing I spent a lot of my time at the Honda shop on my days off.
Within a month of leaving the railroad, I got a job offer to work at the Honda shop, but first they wanted me to attend a training seminar in Vancouver. This was in February of 1974 and seeing I had a couple of weeks before the course began, I took off in my car for California. I spent a total of 8 days and 5000 miles touring around (at the height of the gas shortages there), having not told my wife where I was going. In Flagstaff, Arizona, I met a black fellow in a burger joint who asked if he could sit with me. He saw the wedding ring on my hand and asked about my wife. I told him that we were having problems and I did not care about her anymore. He began telling me about the problems he was having with his girlfriend, how he could do big things for her, like repair her car, but she would still be upset with him if he forgot to do the little kindnesses. He sounded like the relationship was over. After much discussion, he told me I should go home and make up with my wife. Nothing like this had ever happened before in my life (or since), and on my way home I decided that I should renew my relationship with my wife.
Upon arriving home I discovered that my wife had been going to a dance club and had met someone who had intentions for her. I had to go to Vancouver at this time to attend my training course without really having settled things with my wife. My phone calls to her were not comforting at all and all I could think of was going home to rectify things. Out of desperation, I phoned my dad who lived in Sicamous, B.C.. He told me that I should complete the course and he would come back with me to help. This was the hardest thing that I had ever done in my life up to this point, but I did as he said and things worked out. Not to say everything was rosy (as I myself had quite the temper), but we made up and I smartened up somewhat.
Through the years, looking back, I always wondered about that chance (???) meeting in Flagstaff. It was if an Angel had been sent to intervene in my life, but still, at the time I could not really believe even though I wanted to believe. But just in case there was a God, I did my best to toe the line. During my life so far good things would happen to me and events seemed to fall into place. I did not drink or smoke and was celibate until I married. For example, in the fall of 1975, I had been unemployed for several months (I had quit the Honda shop that spring due to personal conflicts with the boss) and one day I told my wife I was going out to look for a job. I drove up to the light industrial area of the Hat and went into a concrete redimix outfit and asked if they had a truck driving job (I had gotten my class 3 licence working for a fracking company called Eskimo that spring). The boss asked some questions about my personal life and when he found out that I had worked for Eskimo he hired me. I was in heaven driving this old dump truck delivering sand and gravel to the plant and elsewhere.
The next summer, I got to drive a brand new Jimmy diesel GMC. That spring (1976), we had adopted a 2 month old boy and started another adventure(we had tried to have a child but were unsuccessful). That same fall we put our house up for sale and sold it within days for $36,500.00 (we had paid $9,500.00 in 1972). We wanted to move to British Columbia, which is on the west coast of Canada, so we got a Block Brothers real estate catalogue from my dad's cousin who had sold our house, and checked it out. We decided on Kamloops,as it was cheaper than Kelowna, and planned a trip to look for a house. This included a cross country motorcycle race in Hinton, Alberta. I had built my own four-stroke dirt bike from the frame up in the basement of our house the winter before and had been racing it that spring and summer in the mountains (the reason that I had wanted to move to Kamloops was the fact that it had great riding areas and I loved riding and racing). Can you believe I won the race as well as the over 250cc class for the year. I was not that good and usually placed around 20th..
After this exhilarating experience, we went to Kamloops and picked out a 2 year old house in 2 days for $42,500.00. It was located only blocks from my uncle Fred's house (he had moved to Kamloops years before). At this time, even though I did not want to work in any motorcycle shops anymore, I put my name in at the Honda shop for a job as that was convenient and safe. The boss (Al) was in Europe racing in the Six Days Trial (I had seen him at a race earlier in Alberta but had not talked to him). At the time I thought, what is that old man doing racing (he is 10yrs. older than me), but he won the race.
My family and I went back to Medicine Hat, where within 2 weeks, the Honda shop owner (Al) in Kamloops phoned me and hired me over the phone without even seeing me. So I had a job even before we even moved, to a town with high unemployment and in the fall when most shops are laying off. So in the fall of 1976, my wife, my infant son, and I moved 600 miles to a completely foreign environment. I had some health problems that winter and I was constantly tempted to quit and take it easy. This was an impossibility as the condition of our getting a mortgage on our house was that I had to be employed for 6 months before the existing one could be transferred to us. We were just making payments on the previous owners mortgage until this could be done. Working alone on trade-ins and basket cases was pretty boring but safe. In the spring, business picked up, I got to go riding, I started laying out cross-country courses, and generally was having a good time. I met a lot of new dirt bikers and was inspired by there confidence and abilities, which improved my riding skills and competitive drive. I attended ever race I could, generally bringing my family with me. I was out to make a name for myself in racing and life in general.
Also in the fall of 1976, I decided to get my private pilots licence. This was a bold step forward for me. Moving to Kamloops seemed to have liberated my inhibitions. I completed my licence in the spring and went on to find a partner and purchase a 1966 Piper Cherokee 180 in January of 1978. At approximately the same time I gave my notice at the Honda shop that I was quitting. The boss was flabbergasted, but seemed to think I would be returning in the spring. I had asked to be layed off for the winter, but he had refused. It must sound that we were wealthy (nothing could have been further from the truth), but I think things were just better back then (ie. airplane fuel was $0.98 a gallon).
Our second son had been born in the fall of 1977, and with all these responsibilities, I did not seem too worried. Finally I thought I had escaped from the motorcycle industry. Not to be. The owner called me that spring(1978) and asked me if I would go and manage his Suzuki shop (a separate business on the other side of town) as he was not happy with the fellow who had been doing it up till then. Under the guise of intending to buy the place, I accepted his offer. I did not want to hurt anyone's feelings or have him mad at me (we were riding buddies at time). This lasted a while but my conscience got the better of me and I decided to ask the boss if I could buy half the business and be his partner. He readily agreed and in May I became a 50% owner. We bought the building we occupied and I was enjoying the freedom of being my own boss.
So for the next two years I had plenty to keep myself busy. Our third son was born in the fall of 1978. This was the high point of my life to date. I continued to successfully run the shop, I had the time and means to do all the cross country racing and laying out of courses I wanted (having an airplane was a great assistance in spotting trails from above), my wife and I had built a new house on 5 acres, and I also had the means to fly all over southern B.C., even going to the Air Races in Reno. But somehow I was not a happy man.
We sold our airplane in 1980, I sold my half of the Suzuki shop to my partner in 1981, and stayed on as a mechanic. The bouts of depression I had struggled with all my life and were still with me, my feelings of inadequacy, my total rejection of God (I had ceased to even believe that there might be a God, which feelings I had expressed out loud to a friend of mine who had become a Christian), and my physical problems (I had increased to 235 lbs. in weight from 165 lbs. over the years and I seemed to get sick more often), were sapping the energy out of me. I was afraid. I had a family to look after so I had to work but it was a struggle. Spiritually I was bankrupt. At this time I believe God started to close in on me (obviously I was unaware of this at the time). We had bought a boat and had started taking our kids out on Kamloops lake to fish (the thought of sitting in a boat for hours had abhorred me before, being an on the go guy, but now I seemed able to do this for hours on end).
I had lots of time to just think. It was during these times I wondered at the delicate nature of the fish we were catching and how they could have survived a so called primordial soup, from which they were supposed to have evolved. Maybe there was a God. In 1980, I made a trip to the Reno Air Races (by van)in Nevada and on the way home, I was channel surfing on the radio when I came across a fellow who was talking about the way people tick. He mentioned God as if He existed. Normally I would have changed stations immediately someone mentioned God (I didn't want to hear any such nonsense), but this fellow (today I don't believe him to be a Christian, but God used him at that point in my life) made such sense about people and their workings, I was hooked on listening to him. If a fellow like this (compassion for the human condition) could believe in God, it got me thinking there could be a God.
When I got back home, I went looking for the Bible my mother had given me when I was 8 years old and actually found it (I had moved 7 times since then and had not remembered looking after it). It was a King James version and hard to read but sometimes I would read whole books in the New Testament without stopping. It was one morning in June of 1982, while walking to work (something I had started to do to lose some weight), that I felt an urge to invite Jesus into my heart. Whether out loud or in my mind I do not remember, but I simply said, "Jesus come into my life". No bells or whistles, just carried on with life. Two weeks later, my wife asked a friend (Bonnie), her husband (Bobby), and family to the house with the idea of getting me to go to their church. I had never seen these people in my life before but being a nice guy, I tried to make friends with them, although Bobby did not seem too excited to be there. My wife thought I needed something in my life (not that she was religious or anything), so I eventually agreed.
Now here I am going to the last place on earth I wanted to be, but the people were very friendly, especially one well dressed man (Jack) who seemed pretty solid. What was a guy like this doing here? You would think he had enough sense to see through this scam. I do not really remember the sermon, but every time we stood up to sing, I began crying and was moved deeply by the Love of God. When it came time for the invitation, I was moved to go up front (this again would be the last place on earth I would voluntarily go as I did not like getting up in front of people, especially strangers), but resisted. It was like I was on top of a mountain and I had to make a decision to go to the light or the dark. Well after about three calls, I said to myself, If they have one more call I will go. Sure enough the pastor (Bobby) made one more call and I said to my wife, I have to go. I went up front in tears and told Bobby that I wanted to accept Jesus. He introduced me to the crowd (some who looked pleased and others who looked skeptical) and sat me down. It was at this time that I began to sob in repentance and realized that every good thing that I had done in my life had a selfish twist to it. After the service he invited me down to his office where we went through a formal prayer to accept Christ into my life (which at the time seemed funny because I thought I had just done this upstairs so why are we doing this again, the beginning of many doubts which plagued me until my experience 8 months later), after which he invited me and our families out to dinner which made me feel special.
At this time the salvation of my wife became foremost in my mind but she was a stubborn cookie. Even though, she finally came forward four weeks later and accepted Christ. We attended Church and Bible study regularly for the next 6 months or so until a squabble between Bobby and one of the deacons set me off. I had a relapse and was not going to go anymore, but decided in my mind that I would go and just sit in the back and mind my own business. I think my problem stemmed from seeing my mother and father argue continually and I was upset that so called Godly people were doing the same thing.
What I needed was some time out, so with the permission of my wife, in February of 1983 I took off for a trip to California with the intent of getting to know God (increase my faith) through some time alone. I was still overweight at that time and felt in my inner being that I should only eat one hamburger a day. I had also intended not to visit my aunt and uncle in San Diego (a life long problem I had of avoiding confrontation), but the closer I got the more I was persuaded to stop and see them. Listening to the songs on my radio, it seemed God was touching my heart and softening it. When I arrived, I found myself witnessing to them (they were devout Jehovah's Witnesses), even quoting scriptures I had never read myself before (ie. For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are One. 1 John 5:7), and my apprehension and fear had disappeared.
After saying goodbye to my aunt and uncle, I headed east on Interstate 8 with the intention of going as far as Tuscon, then back tracking to Pheonix via Interstate 10, on to Los Angeles, and then north to Canada on Interstate 5. When I was about 100 miles from Tuscon, I began experiencing a great dread of continuing on to Tuscon (night fall was approaching at this time also). I seemed to know it would be a mistake to turn around, so in spite of what I can only describe as demonic fear, I pushed on to the other side of Tuscon and made my turn back toward Pheonix. At this time I was overwhelmed with an intense feeling of love, and found myself sobbing as if experiencing a release and forgiveness of my past transgressions. Again I found myself in tears while driving driving through the big cities on I-5. It was like I was feeling all the Love God had for the people in these concrete jungles.
Just north of Seattle I had a similar experience, but this time I felt a tingling sensation in my left shoulder and arm. I had the premonition that God was going to finish something later that night. I had promised to pick up some stuff for Al on my way through Vancouver, but did not really want to scratch the box of my brand new Toyota 4x4. God spared me and all of it fit on the floor of my cab.
Back on the road, I headed for Kamloops on the #1 highway. It had turned dark by the time I reached Yale, a tiny village in the Fraser Canyon. I had turned off my radio earlier even though it was my security blanket. Just as I was entering a tunnel on the other side of Yale, my left arm shot up in the air and it felt like it was being electrified. At the same time my mind became completely clear and intense like nothing I can really describe. I began preaching at the top of my lungs about things of which I cannot really remember (one thing sticks in my mind about telling someone to stop smoking), and commenced to hammering on the steering wheel for emphasis. The next thing I remember was a period of calm coming over me and beginning to talk with God, one to One. I could not hear a voice but seemed to"know" what He was saying, and also what to say or ask. I remember saying, "Your the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob"? "Yes" was the reply in my mind. Well this carried on for about two hours, the time it takes to drive from Yale to Cache Creek (about a 100 miles on one of the worst highways in B.C., twisting and turning through the Fraser Canyon and then the Thompson River valley). I remember asking Him how he made the rocks, but HE said I did not need to know at this time. Just like a kid in the arms of a loving and kind father, I had a sense of complete security and acceptance and love. I have no recollection of the road or driving except for the one time He had me look in the rear view mirror and I saw headlights. I also remember shifting down gears at this time. Near the end of my experience, I could feel God pulling Himself back from me and I begged Him not to go. With gentleness, He left and I awakened to find myself coming down the hill into Cache Creek. But He had not completely left and to this day I can still talk to Him, but not like that million dollar experience. Needless to say, I was like a roman candle going off trying to explain this to people, but I seemed to know how to handle it.
Before I had left, I did not really believe the Bible was totally true (even though I wanted to believe), but after my return I have never doubted it's TRUTH down to the last period and comma. This exuberance lasted about two weeks, but slowly the sin in my life deadened that intense relationship with God, but He did continue to work in my life.
I stayed on at the Suzuki shop until 1984 when my former partner laid me off in the fall of that year. I had no place to go, but in my mind I was the happiest guy on the planet because I knew I never had to work on those motorcycles again. I had wanted to quit for the last few years but knew in my heart that I had to stick it out. I had not ever stayed at one job for more than 4 years until I came to B.C., and even that was broken into 3 segments (1 year at the Honda shop, almost 4 years as manager/owner of the Suzuki shop, and 3 years as a mechanic). During my life, I had worked on the farm for my dad (mostly with out pay), at a glass factory, for a cement outfit laying sidewalks, in a retail store, in numerous motorcycle shops , on the railroad, in the oil patch, driving a gravel truck, and almost became a policeman. I would say that I had burnt out. All the energy and drive I ever had was gone and all I could do was go through the motions.
I stayed on U.I. for a year, faithfully putting in my required number of job applications each week, hoping in my heart no one would hire me, not knowing where I would end up. I purchased a Suzuki road bike in the spring of 1985, and started riding again. I went to the Reno Air races that September with my former partner and enjoyed myself. I was afraid to go alone but this trip broke the ice. Over the next several years, I put 100,000 kms. on my Intruder and travelled as far as Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. God used these trips to build my faith in HIM. Meanwhile, winter was approaching (the dreaded time of the year) and my U.I. was running out.
That summer I had used a computer program at the Unemployment Office to determine what job I was best suited for and the results told me I was best suited to work with people on an intellectual level. They had a longterm care aid course that they were sponsoring available, so I signed up for it. An opening was not available until the next spring. Well December rolled around and my U.I. was about to run out. Two weeks before this was to happen, the Unemployment Office called and asked if I was still interested in their course, as an opening had come up for their December class. They would extend my benefits for 14 weeks (the length of the course) and cover the costs. Saved again. As this course progressed, it became apparent to me that I was not cut out for the intimate physical part of the job, although the course itself gave me an insight into older people and their lives. One thing that eased the strain of it all was the fellowship of an old acquaintance who had entered the same program. He was in the same boat as myself (a low point in his life), and we became soul mates in a sea of women candidates. He was having problems with the custody of his son as his ex-wife had turned into a really vindictive creature. We had each other as sounding boards.
In February of 1986 (about ten weeks into the course), I was doing a practicome at the Overlander Extended Care Home and had been assigned the care of two elderly people. My job was to take care of them for the day, having to get them up, prepare them for breakfast, help feed them, and so on during the day. When I came home that evening, I told my wife that I did not know what I was going to do for the rest of my life, but I new for sure that I wasn't going to be a Longterm Care Aide. Her reply was to tell me that a Mr. Hall had called from the prison and wanted me to call back. Surprise, surprise. I had forgotten that I had applied for Corrections as an after thought (one of the fellows at Church had gotten a job there and I had thought well why not me) six months before when I had gone in to apply at the Sheriffs office(which I would have preferred).
This was the first time (I had told my wife before that God would not open several doors and make me choose, so I knew this was the one) during my unemployment that I had been offered a chance at a real job. I called him back and this began a month long process of interviews, exams, medical tests, and physical testing. In the mean time, I completed my L.T.C.A. course, tying for top spot and receiving an honors certificate from the college. The course ended on March 14th and my training began at the jail on the 22nd of March. I had not missed even one hour of the course. It all just worked out. After four long days(11 hour shifts) and two long nights, we (10 of us out of approximately 80 applicants had been selected) had our final exam at 4 o'clock in the morning to determine (if we passed) in what order we would begin our employment. Now let me explain that this would have been one of the last places on the planet (how about never) I would ever had applied for a job.
During a Church visitation program a few years before, prompted by an ex-con (a former Satan's Choice Biker, now a member of our Church), I had visited inmates there and was not impressed with the place. The land of spiritual Goliaths, the likes of, I would normally avoid at all costs. But this was God's plan. So I was picked number one (one guy just left during training and another never stuck around to start, leaving eight of us, of which five are left today in 2004), and started my first shift in the cell block (remand awaiting trial) on April the 11th, 1986. My partner, Dennis, was very patient with me and gave me the least amount of work, actually doing part of my job also. One thing I had to do was go down the tiers (there were four with six cells each on the north blocks and seven cells each on the south blocks) and count the inmates when they were on tier (out of their cells). If one of them had said "boo", I would have dropped dead I was so terrified.
Well the days passed and I became more comfortable. I kept mostly to myself, learning as much of the job as I could and trying to stay out of trouble. After about 9 shifts I was sent to the Justice Institute with the number two man for two and a half weeks training. I got all P1"s(highest mark) on my tests and returned back to work with the greatest of intentions. During my first few years there, I never missed a chance to witness to my partners, although they were unimpressed. A more indifferent group of people I don't think you will ever find. I spent 15 months on the spare board, whereupon I paneled for a permanent position, and came in third. I was posted to gangs for the next year and a half. This entailed taking the inmates out to work on the grounds during the week, and half a day on Saturday. We did visits Saturday afternoon and Sundays. Trying to keep your eyes on up to 18 inmates and keep them busy was a full time job. I had the chance to talk to them about my new life in Christ as I supervised their work (sawing and splitting wood, peeling poles, yard and garden work, and shoveling snow in the winter), hoping it would make a difference in their lives.
One case I can remember, an inmate kept asking why I always had a smile on my face and I told him about my relationship with Jesus. He scoffed and I thought that was the end of it. A week or so later, I came to work and he was working in the kitchen. You have to understand that he was on the lowest crew (crew #3, mine) where all the deadbeats with bad attitudes went and now he was working in the premo job of the jail. When I asked him if someone had hit him with a brick, he told me that he had accepted Jesus at the prompting of another inmate. Within a short time, he was transferred to camp (minimum security) and then to the Community Correctional Centre (minimal security in the community). The last time I saw him, he was walking down the road of our main centre (he and another fellow were turning themselves in for a minor infraction), and then he was gone for good. This was the most dramatic turn around I have ever witnessed in my life to date.
During my tour on gangs, construction began on a new jail a short distance away and I had to start dealing with the prospect of moving to a different setting. During a tour of the new jail, I was impressed with the complex maze of stairwells, halls and units. I like black holes and this suited me fine. Just before we were to move (and my last day on gangs), I made a mistake which resulted in a letter of reprimand being put on my file ( my perfect, in my mind, record down the tubes). If I had not told the whole truth I could have avoided it, but I knew I was being tested. All my life I had told little white lies to keep myself out of trouble and I knew I had to stop and take my medicine. I became bitter over this and was tempted to quit, a senario that had repeated itself over and over in my past. In order to break this cycle, I knew I had to hang in there (it was quite a few years before I truly forgave my bosses and God).
In February of 1989 we moved up to the new jail, where I started in "H" block, a remand unit with up to 20 inmates and just me. When they were out of their cells, I was on tier with them, totally different than the cell block at the old jail. The new environment was the key as the people had not changed. God was good to me and I stayed out of trouble, actually enjoying interacting with the inmates, even though some of them were charged for murder and were facing 25 year sentences. People are people and respond to fair and equitable treatment. The saying, "by mercy and truth iniquity is purged", is a good stand to go by.
The next year(1990), I was placed on prowl, a job that entails carrying a radio and security equipment, which took me out of the unit and allowed me to move about the jail doing escorts, checking on security, and responding to incidents. That November, my father died leaving me and my brother with some money, not enough to retire on, but it helped us do some things for our children. My grandfather had left $15,000 to my dad in the 70"s, and we bought some property at Shuswap Lake (for about the same price) with the idea of it being a legacy to our children and so on, something out of the ordinary for us. Even now I can see the value in this as it is hard to find a camping spot during the summer season. We also bought each one of them a car to be theirs if they stayed on track. It gave them something to work for plus the confidence booster among their peers.
In 1993, I was asked to do a project for the jail, which I reluctantly accepted. God always has a way of asking and this time He used a man (Ray) at the jail that I respected, probably the only guy I would have said yes to. This was definitely a growing experience as I had to teach a new government policy to all the staff (including the bosses) of the jail and our two camps. God has a way of taking out His new creations and letting them see how much He has changed them. Thank you Jesus for loving a scared little boy who has a resentment toward power and authority in this world. What better way than get him involved in the very thing he is afraid of and distrusts, something he would never do on or under his own power or choice. He knows our innermost needs and supplies them at the appropriate time, thus fulfilling our desires and building our faith. Thank you, thank you.
As of today, I am retired after 23 years at the prison, still learning and growing in faith, watching God at work in my life and the lives of others, waiting for His glorious appearance. I believe we are in the last days so one day at a time, enjoying God's company, following His direction, studying to lead a quiet life in all humbleness.
God Bless. Love,
In a Nutshell, my supernatural experience happened at night in February of 1983, beginning at the Yale tunnel near Yale, BC, Canada and ending at Cache Creek, BC. This is where God took over the control of my physical being in this world and conversed with me for the two hours it took for my 1982 Toyota 4x4 to traverse from Yale to Cache Creek on the Trans Canada Hwy. Physically and situationally, I was still in the cab of my truck, but my spirit was communing with the LORD. See my video on the route through the Fraser River and Thompson River Canyons with the complete narrative, HERE.
As an aside, the Trans Canada Hwy is the main route from coast to coast in Canada. My journey took place before the section from Kamloops to Hope was replaced with the Coquihalla, starting in 1986.
"Just the facts, Ma'am!" "Up, Up, and Away"