I liked George Lynn, and I cannot diminish the importance of his
impact on my life, though the credit must go to Jesus Christ, where
it surely completely belongs. I’d like to relate a side of
George, however, that will be relevant when I speak of things to
come concerning him. George, as any man, had his weaknesses - he
had a self-righteousness that did not glorify the Lord. For example,
he proudly displayed his memorization of Scripture and of the books
of the Bible.
One day I questioned prayer in public (Matthew 6:5-6), and he said, “Victor,
I went into a restaurant one day. Sitting there was a man who lit
up a cigarette while he waited for his order. On the other hand,
when my order came, I bowed my head and gave thanks. There he was,
glorifying the Devil, and there I was, glorifying God.”
Such things did I witness with George. As time passed and I learned
more of the Bible and the stories Jesus taught, I thought, “What
is the difference between George comparing himself to that smoker
and the Pharisee comparing himself to the publican (Luke 18:10-14)?
Both George and the Pharisee prayed while looking down on the one
who is not as good as they are (in their eyes).”
Years later, I would see things of George that were not pleasant
to see, taking place not only in this world, but also in the next.
Particle –Little Chicks Soon Get Homely
But I should talk about self-righteousness! One day my parents
talked me into coming on a May long weekend to Ron and Barb’s
to help plant potatoes. I was going to show them how a Christian
helps out and works hard! I planted hard and fast. I was later
to learn that I had planted too deep and packed the earth too solidly.
None of my potatoes came up, while everyone else’s did.
We new believers can be such a self-righteous lot! It reminds me
of how chicks are cute when first hatched, but soon turn downright
ugly, until they grow out of it.
Particle –Grandmother Grandstands and Grandslams
I paid Dora Hafichuk, my paternal grandmother, a visit. She was
quite alarmed by my sudden interest in the Bible and my life being
turned around so much that it divided me from family. Her greatest
concern was my leaving the Catholic Church and the many things I
was sharing with everyone that were so contrary to Catholic doctrine
In our visit, she gave it all she had to impress me with her Catholic
devotion to God. She spoke of the horrors of how they treated Jesus
so brutally at His time of death, mentioning the different aspects
of His suffering, expressing great sorrow for Him in piteous, affected
tones. I knew there was something wrong with her perspective, but
I was too young in my spiritual development to understand.
I now realize that it is not about pitying Jesus Christ. In fact,
to do so is an act of direct disobedience. Jesus Himself said:
“Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for Me. Cry for yourselves
and for your children” (Luke 23:28 MSG).
Mel Gibson’s The Passion inordinately focuses on His suffering.
It is as if we could appreciate His sacrifice, in the very flesh
that crucified Him. We are not saved by pitying Him; we are saved
because He has pity on us. We are to be thankful for His sacrifice,
but that can only happen if we have experienced the reality of the
new birth made possible by His death and resurrection in us. (As
you may know, Mel Gibson is an orthodox Catholic.)
Many years later, it would be revealed to me that my grandmother’s
performance was an unwitting mystical reenactment of the weeping
of Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:14).
As I left, my grandmother pulled out her rosary and challenged me
to kiss the crucifix. To prove that my testimony or new religious
persuasion was not antiChrist, I reluctantly kissed it. I immediately
perceived a mild grin on her face, not of thankfulness or relief,
but of satisfaction that I had somewhat come her way.
I realized I had done wrong by honoring an image, something clearly
condemned by God in the Second Commandment. I came to regret having
succumbed at that moment, though the Lord never chided me for it.
Particle –Two Different Gods?
I had conflicts with my new companions at the Alliance. I was reading
my Bible avidly, and I discovered that few people in the church red
theirs. While they had their pet verses to support their primary
doctrines, it was about all they had. I found truths in Scripture,
and in sharing these, I found myself at odds with others whom I expected
to be knowledgeable and pious.
For example, when I found that God said He would bring sword, famine,
pestilence, and wild beast to judge His people, they had a hard time
with that. “He allows evil, but He doesn’t do it,” they
said. I gave them passages, of which there were several, that proved
He not only allowed, but also did. Somehow they denied the validity
of those Scriptures, awkwardly explaining them away.
To them, it seemed to be all about love. Love is the thing, surely,
and how could I disagree? But to me, love without truth was like
refined, processed sugar – sweet, but nutritionless and even
highly detrimental to one’s health.
Particle –Some Curious Christian Differences
Not only were there differences between me and the others in terms
of interest and knowledge of Scripture (I saw some plain Biblical
declarations, while they did not), I also came to discover that those
I thought to be pious were not as pious as they appeared. For example,
it seemed that most were not tithing to the church as I was and as
Another difference I found (and this one subtly and quietly poked
at me so as to make me feel rather lonely) was that very few people
I knew in these circles ever had division in their families. If they
purportedly believed and their families did not, there was still
not the division in most cases; they seemed to get along. There was
a stark difference between their lots and mine. I had strong opposition
from my family; there was no compromise, no “live and let live” scenario
of any kind. It was all or nothing on both sides.
Not so with my new companions. They could visit about all sorts
of things, perhaps occasionally even about the things of God, and
get along just fine. I saw little division between apparent believer
and unbeliever in their midst. Usually, their families were members
of the same church or at least other evangelical denominations; they
all got along quite well for the most part.
This made me wonder if there was not something essentially wrong
with me and my relationship with God. Perhaps I was too zealous,
demanding, dogmatic, legalistic, religious, ignorant, or too young
in the Lord to know any better? I didn’t know, but eventually
I found out the reason for this difference between us. It was a sobering
revelation, and I would be alone again.
Particle –Burping and Soiling Diapers
I also recall being very religious, and I have no doubt there were
many who had to bite their tongues, having to endure my spiritual
infancy. It could have done me some harm if they had expressed the
contempt that I may have deserved, but I think it would have done
them more harm than me. It seemed that men would not discourage me,
but those who offend a young one, though a foolish one, have a conscience
to wrestle with thereafter. I have offended in such a way, as you
will see, and I was so sorry ever since.
“I have hurt and I have been hurt; it is easier and better
to be hurt” (Proverb 1462, ThePathofTruth.com).
Particle –Touching Base with Harry Roder
I was excited about my new life and freedom. One of the first people
that came to mind to share with was Concept-Therapy instructor, Harry
Roder. I wrote him saying, “Harry! I have the Answer! I have ‘cosmic
consciousness’ – and Jesus did it! When I wrote telling
you of all the problems I had, asking for answers, you told me I
would get my answers the next year or the year after at ‘phase
such-and-such’ seminar. Jesus didn’t make me wait! He
answered my questions, all of them! I don’t need Concept-Therapy!
I don’t have to pay a cent! Truth is free, here and now, and
you can have it, too!”
Harry never replied. The wisdom of God is foolishness to men.
Particle –Tell It Like It Is
I had this contention with the Eidses, above others: “Why
didn’t you tell me more about the Lord? Why were you not more
persistent? Wasn’t the Lord more important to you than Amway,
LOC, PV, or Rich DeVos?”
Lenore had tried to give me her witness of the Lord in various tactful
ways, but I was now feeling like, “You should have told me
straight out! Why did you beat around the bush? Where were your priorities?
Why did you hold out on me? This is the very thing I was looking
for and needed so badly!”
Particle –Dissatisfaction from the Upper Levels
I also discovered that I had greatly let them down in Amway. They
had hoped that I would be a promising breakthrough in their business.
But it was not to be. God had other plans.
When I set Amway aside to sell mobile homes, the people in my downline
were left to fend for themselves. Bert and Helen Huebner, Ralph and
Lenore’s sponsors, were not happy with me. They said I had
recklessly abandoned my downline, and they probably thought I also
disillusioned Ralph and Lenore. The Huebners did not seem to know
or care that I didn’t have a stable downline to begin with.
Those in my organization were not motivated to continue. I was forever
pushing them, and I was tired of it; I had had enough.
Particle –Two Masters, One for the Lips, the Other for the
Though Bert and Helen professed faith in Christ, I didn’t
appreciate their ways. Bert went to church, and he preached or witnessed
to others, but his motivation was to sponsor them into Amway. They
rationalized that they were giving a “hand up” rather
than a “hand out.” From Rich DeVos’ inspirational
leadership, they repeated the principle that rather than continuously
give a man fish to eat, it was better to teach a man to fish, so
he could be independent. Thus, they promoted free enterprise rather
They were confusing free enterprise with salvation, however, and
Jesus Christ with Rich DeVos. Their goal, it seemed, was more to
sponsor people into their Amway distributorship network than to usher
souls into the Kingdom of Heaven. As professing believers, the Huebners
seemed unaware of the Lord’s words:
“No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the
one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise
the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24 MKJV).
“Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth
and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But
lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor
rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For
where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew
A tragedy would come for the Huebners that would prove these words
of the Lord true:
“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his
soul?” (Matthew 16:26 KJV)
Particle –What One Sows, He Surely Reaps
Becoming a believer, I sought to break ties with those who were
not believers, according to this Scriptural counsel of the apostle
“Do not try to work together as equals with unbelievers, for
it cannot be done. How can right and wrong be partners? How can light
and darkness live together?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 GNB)
When I was transferred to Prince Albert with Homes Canada, the year
before I believed, Dave Miller, my partner in the house we had purchased,
collected the rent from our roomers and lived in the house while
I rented elsewhere. Except for making the mortgage payments, he didn’t
allow for his advantages, which I felt was unfair.
When I tried to discuss this with him, he wouldn’t listen.
When I realized I would likely not be returning to Winnipeg, I gave
him notice that I had decided to sell my half. David, in great and
surprising bitterness, pressed for a brutal buyout, while I was in
the disadvantage of working and living hundreds of miles away.
I couldn’t understand at the time why he reacted
the way he did. Bewildered by his attitude, chagrined that a friend
treat me that way, and not wanting to strive over financial matters
as a Christian, I caved to a very unreasonable offer he made me for
the house, wherein I lost thousands of dollars. It hurt, but I felt
helpless, not wanting to fight him. I know that part of it was that
I did not wish to bring shame to the Lord by an unChristian strife
over money matters.
The cookware was worth $200 wholesale. It was only fair that I split
that with Dave, but no, I had to be a selfish brute. As a consequence,
Dave ended up taking all my furniture when we sold the house, paid
no realtor fees to buy my half, yet charged me realtor fees for my
half of the house in the event that he would have to sell it by realtor
in future. What’s more, he forced me to sell him the house
for about 20% less than it might have sold for on the market. My
selfish gain of $100 cost me a possible $3,000 or more, not to mention
the torment of being abused, which might be even more costly. Dave
got me good, and I had it coming. We reap what we sow; don’t
doubt it for a moment. God was in this all the way, dealing with
me as He does with all men.
The lessons? Listen to the caring advice of your elders, especially
of your parents (my father had cautioned me against going into a
partnership). Also, understand what you are doing when you go into
partnerships with others. Try to anticipate problems, prepare, and
make allowances for them, not that you will foresee them all. If
you mustn’t go into a partnership, don’t do it. The potential
gains are not worth the heartache and frustration.
Having said this, there have been successful partnerships in the
world, wherein the advantages outweighed the disadvantages, or so
I am told. It might be wise to find out why or how, before assuming
But most importantly, here is the real lesson: Do to others as you
would have them do to you. They will not be nearly so swift or inclined
to reward you with evil. One can only reap what he or she sows. Had
I not sown, I would not have reaped.
Particle –No Restitution, No Forgiveness
There are those who think that once one has repented before God,
confessing oneself a sinner, it is finished and there is no need
of restitution or amends of any kind. That is a false repentance.
If one is not prepared to make things right where possible (it is
not always possible), confession or “accepting Jesus as Savior
into one’s heart” is not sufficient to God. On the contrary,
it is a sham and a thumbing of the nose at Him. Genuine repentance
brings fruits of love, justice, equity, and truth for all.
“The past is forgotten; the slate is wiped clean,” some
argue. That is a false gospel, founded on lies. Shall I keep the
watch I stole from my neighbor and wear it proudly, even in his presence,
simply because I am forgiven and saved? Should I wear it while I
witness to him of how God made my life right? Shall my neighbor be
pleased? What do you think?
Or shall I wear it only when he isn’t present, perhaps at
prayer meetings and Bible studies?
One who does not restitute is not saved.
Particle –The Joy of Restitution
Upon repentance, I had a great desire to make things right wherever
I could, and it was a joy. I recalled taking a 3-hole puncher and
something else from my office at the Bay when I had left two years
earlier. I wrote Jerry Jellison, confessed my offence, and included
a check in payment and then some, along with a testimony.
When I was at the Bay, he was courting a woman who was a member
of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, so I suspected that my act of repentance
might have some effect on him, though that was not my primary motive
for compensating for the stolen equipment. He replied with gratitude
and wonder, for which I was thankful.
Particle –Apology to Frank Hickey
I then apologized to Frank
Hickey of the Bank of Nova
I did not expect he would forgive me, because I had assaulted his
dignity and person, besides committing a crime. I somewhat tried
not to incriminate Homes Canada. He was gracious about it, though
The people that bought the mobile home were very happy, and they
thanked me some time later. The last I heard, they did not default.
I did not know it then, but sincere apologies would become a significant
part of my life. I would be constantly offending and constantly apologizing
for many years to come.
Particle –More Joy
I then drove to Dauphin and went straight to the owners of the drive-in
theatre. Working for them while in junior high school, I had stolen
revenues at the ticket booth. I confessed this to them, willing to
pay whatever they required (I did not know how much I had taken).
They were surprised that I had stolen, thankful that I owned up to
it, and gladly forgave me. I was thankful.
More, All with Forgiveness
Recalling only a particular market gardener, but not
the rest of the private gardens we
had randomly raided, I went to
the owner, Zenin Bilous, and confessed
my sin to him and his wife, Sharon. I told them the cause of my change
in heart, and I offered restitution. Their reaction was the same
as that of the others, one of surprise, appreciation, and glad forgiveness
It was indeed a pleasant activity, this confessing and being willing
to make things right. It would also have been good had I been required
to pay, but not one person demanded a thing of me or would accept
restitution. All were thankful, and my guilt was removed.
Particle –Restitution to an Institution
When I joined Amway as an independent distributor in 1971, I had
gone to the Bank of Montreal on Broadway in Winnipeg to get a loan
for buying Amway inventory. The credit loans manager, Chuck Wilcox,
trusted me and lent me the money without collateral. I soon fell
into uncontrollable debt, however, and defaulted.
When the Lord turned everything around for me, I returned to that
bank nearly two years later to pay off the loan, which they had already
written off. While Chuck was no longer there, the manager was. He
marveled, and though he did not press me to pay, he happily accepted,
thanked me, and I went my way. It was good to be able to do it.
I know the bank did not need to be paid, but I needed to pay.
Particle –Powerful Catholic Apologetics
In the first months of repentance and deliverance from my sins,
I red a book by John O’Brien, The Faith of Millions. This book
was a defense of the Catholic Church and its doctrines. I don’t
recall who gave it to me, but I was moved by it and intellectually
persuaded that, indeed, the Roman Catholic Church was the one true
Church, and her doctrines and practices true and godly. I began telling
people at the Alliance Church that I needed to go back to the Catholic
Church. They were quite disturbed by the prospect.
Particle –Seeking Social Sympathy
Paul Dull owned a motel and trailer court near our Homes Canada
office in Prince Albert. I was always trying to make business connections
and alliances to improve and establish sales. Paul was sending business
to Frank Scheller and Harold Duncan of P.A. Mobile Homes, my competitor.
These were local people, while I was the stranger in town - life
can be difficult and uncomfortable for strangers.
Paul was Catholic. We had agreeable conversations about Catholicism
and O’Brien’s book. The thought of winning Paul’s
favor and alliance was a comforting one. This comfortability of friend
versus the uncomfortability of foe was another facet of the temptation
to go back to familiar territory.
Did he send me any business? No, although I’m sure that if
he thought to earn more referral fees from me, he would have done
it, whether I was Catholic or not. Money is a mighty motivator.
Eighth Injury – A Drop at Death’s
Door Deals Deliverance
One day, only months after my conversion and just days before I
was planning to go forward at the Alliance to announce that I was
returning to the Catholic Church, I became very ill. Late that evening,
Murray and Ila, my landlords, saw my car uncustomarily home and found
me in bed with a high temperature, vomiting green bile. They immediately
took me to the hospital and contacted my young doctor, Lorne Rabuka,
who was also the adult Sunday school teacher at the Alliance Church.
Dr. Rabuka had been treating me for heartburn in the past months
when I complained of abdominal discomfort. At the hospital, he didn’t
know what was wrong. An older doctor happened to walk by and saw
me on a gurney in the hall. He came over, inquired, gave me a press
in the lower abdomen that nearly sent me through the ceiling, and
said, “I think you will find that he has acute appendicitis.
We need to get him into the operating room immediately.”
This was around midnight. By two o’clock in the morning, they
were operating. I was told later that I had been on the verge of
a burst appendix, which could have meant death.
Was this an injury? Yes, it was and not an insignificant one at
that. The injury was my doing by a prolonged lifestyle process, primarily
through poor diet.
Whereas doctors for a long time believed it to have no use, now
we are told that the appendix supplies lubricant to facilitate cleansing
the bowel and supply the intestines with beneficial flora. How often
have I suffered from constipation – though I can’t tell
the exact cause! If what they now say is true, the missing appendix
may be a factor.
Particle –Some Busybodies to Be Appreciated
A lesson: Don’t be too concerned about landlords and neighbors
you may consider to be busybodies! Had Murray and Ila not checked
in on me, it’s possible you wouldn’t be reading this.
Nevertheless, God sent both them and the nosy doctor who successfully
diagnosed me in time.
Particle –The Children of This World Wiser in Their Generation
Another lesson: My doctor, a graduate from Prairie Bible Institute,
Three Hills, Alberta, and professing believer in Christ, had set
up practice on his own not long after getting out of medical school.
I had gone to him because he was a Christian, and I didn’t
know better. He had been treating me for a few months because I complained
about abdominal discomfort. He gave me stuff to drink, and that was
it. Though well meaning, he was not experienced or knowledgeable.
I could have died because of his incompetence.
Every doctor who graduates from medical school should be required
to work as an apprentice or associate with experienced doctors for
several years. I know that some people professing Christ believe
that they know better than those who don’t profess faith and
that they ought not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, whether
in business or even in consultation. They would prefer to be “led
by God” rather than by unbelieving men. But Jesus said that
the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the
children of light.
I may not be alive today had it not been for the older doctor present
that night. Even as I lay on the gurney, Dr. Rabuka couldn’t
identify my problem. Was that older doctor a believer? I don’t
know, and it doesn’t matter. He was sent of God to help, and
help he did. God is over all and is no respecter of persons; each
has his or her place. Christian doctors ought to be willing to learn
from non-Christian doctors, and vice versa; that goes for every other
Particle –Switching Sources of Spiritual Sustenance
Within two days or so, I was out of the hospital and convalescing
at home. I went home early because I had no medical coverage, being
a Manitoban out of province and not having tended to the paperwork
when I first transferred (Homes Canada had led me to believe the
stay in Saskatchewan was temporary and that I would soon be back
in Manitoba, but they changed their minds about a sales branch in
Winnipeg). Dr. Rabuka was kind to have forfeited surgery fees on
his part, knowing I did not have coverage. Perhaps he had misgivings
about his incompetence?
When the hospital asked for my choice of minister or priest, I did
not have Ernest Regier, the Alliance pastor, visit me; I had the
Catholic priest do so, which disturbed my Alliance friends, though
they faithfully visited me and did not argue or criticize. All they
did was pray (I didn’t know of their prayers till weeks later).
I had many questions to ask of the Catholic priest. I found him
amiable and persuasive, yet unobtrusive, but I found his knowledge
of the Bible to be limited and his opinions of it not credible. I
now look back and realize I was learning to use the Bible as my authoritative
source to determine truth from error. There always seemed to be answers
for questions and explanations of things in Scripture when I needed
Particle –Timely Words from a Stranger
Ila Garneau had a friend visiting her who also professed faith.
One evening, her friend had some words for me that stuck at a time
of need. The Catholic priest had said some speculative things of
Adam, Eve, Eden, and the Trees – he said those things never
really happened, but were an allegory. I repeated these things to
the ladies, arguing that the Bible didn’t say those things
were not allegorical, to which she replied, “Neither does the
Bible substantiate them as allegorical.” That was true; in
fact, the genealogies indicate Adam and Eve were real persons.