Art and Doreen returned within a few weeks to apologize to us for their
behavior. Doreen did all the talking because, contrary to their religious
doctrine of women not wearing “that which pertaineth to a man,” she
wore the pants in the family.
Concerning women and their legs, they believed women could “cover” their
legs with see-through pantyhose or stockings, and thus wear dresses that
would show much of their legs that were theoretically or technically
So, as Doreen sat in the sofa chair across from me, talking to us, with
her legs crossed, one could see two-thirds of the way up her thigh. But
she covered her legs with hosiery! As I was listening to her apology,
I thought, “I wish I could say something to them about their contradictions,
but there’s no talking to them.”
Their apology wasn’t born of genuine repentance. They were just
trying to remove the self-incurred tarnish from their religious image.
They had been exposed even more than her “covered” legs -
quite naked actually, yet unchanged. They weren’t capable of genuine
change for the better. The apology they gave to cover their nakedness
was as revealing as her pantyhose.
Nevertheless, I told her that we didn’t hold anything against
them, forgiving them. They immediately left, having “done their
duty,” just as I had expected. I’m sure they went away dissatisfied
with our reaction.
Is it any wonder Jesus couldn’t and didn’t spare His words
with the scribes and Pharisees, the champions of external holiness?
Particle - No More Pork, No More Itch
We took to heart the Beals’ counsel not to eat unclean meats.
I had made the connection now between eating much pork while staying
with the Mielkes and the problem with my “aggravated” anus.
Within weeks, the itch disappeared. Parasites? Likely.
I had gone to a doctor for treatment, and the young intern, embarrassingly,
put his finger up my rectum for examination, caused it to bleed, and
prescribed a medication to be applied externally, but it didn’t
There goes the medical profession, treating symptoms instead of getting
at the root cause, and dealing in quick fixes, though fixing very little,
because knowing very little. Dealing with the cause and cutting out the
pork was the solution.
The Lord knew, however, as He knows all things. Not only did He know,
He also made it known to us – that’s the great part! He is
indeed the Great Physician.
Who says there is no God?
Particle – Alison Calls
Paul’s ex-wife, Alison, called our place. I don’t remember
why - likely, she was calling Paul to complete some divorce papers. We
talked a bit. I encouraged her, telling her there was no condemnation
She said, “I know you believe and are sincere in what you’re
I knew there was no resentment with her. I appreciated Alison and wished
that she could join us, but I knew she couldn’t. The Lord wasn’t
Particle – Beals Need Help Moving
Months after they had apologized to us, Art called. They needed a truck
to haul some of their furniture. I hauled it for them and didn’t
charge them for it. Was I a naïve sucker for punishment, or was
I given by God to give to them? I was never told we were doing wrong
in being generous with them, and we never lacked any good thing.
Particle – Mike
off the Hook, for Now
Mike Trepanier often
complained of how God wasn’t fair. I was
taken aback by this notion, especially when he would act so religious.
I told him he needed to take up the cross of Christ, rather than
seek glory and pleasure in His Name.
Paul wished to address Mike in his attitude and thinking, but I disagreed,
thinking there was no good reason to speak to him. Likely I didn’t
understand what Paul wanted to say. I later came to understand more of
what Mike was like, and was thus sorry for having prevented Paul. The
day would soon come when I would see Mike’s spiritual need much
Particle – Visiting My Parents
Fall of 1980 arrived, and we hadn’t seen my parents in Dauphin
since leaving for Israel in the spring of 1979, nearly a year and a half
before. We decided to drive to Dauphin, 200 miles north, in our Ford
F250. Paul was with us.
The moment we walked into my parents’ house on 8th
Ave. SW, across the back lane from where they once lived, I found
my mother cleaning
her oven, using a bread or butcher knife.
She came up to me with a menacing look. She brandished the knife in
my face and said, “I’ve been praying to God that He would
No gladness was expressed, though it may have been there and Mom wasn’t
able to show it. It was more like a defiant, “See? God hears my
(As I look back, I believe it must have grieved them that we hadn’t
come to visit them after returning from Israel. I can only say that we
weren’t free to do so.)
As always, Mom had nothing of substance to say. So often,
I had tried having a serious personal discussion with
her. She would
even call, saying, “Let’s talk,” and when pursuing
it, nothing would happen. It was frustrating. She would talk about “putting
down” 10 quarts of pickles, crocheting a doily, making a quilt,
anything but what really mattered. Mother was locked in a prison,
unable to escape to the outside world; she couldn’t face reality.
While it was obvious my parents wanted a relationship with us, it was
also plain they wanted it on their terms. I couldn’t see myself
indulging them in the slightest, without denying the Lord.
Particle – The Influence of My Mother
While we were in Dauphin, we spent the night in their home. The house
was spiritually dark and disorderly. I don’t recall if it was then,
or shortly thereafter, that I had another vision of my mother, a horrible
My mother was puttering with papers in her house. From under her dress,
coming out the back and immediately down to the floor was a large serpentine
tail, starting out as thick as her body and gradually getting thinner
as it extended through doorways and along stairs, filling the whole house.
Particle – Last Visit with Ron and Barb Hrehirchuk
The next day I decided to go visit Barbara and husband, Ron, at their
farm. Why? I was foolish. After all those years of rejection, I hadn’t
given up trying to reach them. Marilyn refused to come with me, having
much more sense. Paul didn’t come, either.
While there, Barb did all the talking, and the subject matter was superficial.
She and Ron decided to give me some decent quality suits and leather
coats Ron could no longer wear, having gained weight. It was ironic;
at one time he was the slim and I the overweight one.
As I left, Barb gave me a hug, saying, “I believe in the Lord,
and I love you.” I was skeptical, if not convinced that what she
and I meant by “believe” differed significantly, as night
Particle – Last Visit with Uncle Bill and
Marilyn, Paul, and I paid a visit to my second set of parents on earth,
my father’s uncle Bill and aunt Anne. I didn’t know it would
be the last, though it didn’t take a nuclear physicist to realize
the distinct possibility. They were thankful to see us and enjoyed the
visit. I find it sad that I didn’t have it in my heart to be more
considerate of all these people, but I’m convinced it was, and
had to be, the way it was.
Particle – The Pleasurable Prestaykos
As a kid living six miles from their dairy and grain farm, I always
enjoyed visiting, and especially spending some summer vacation time with,
Uncle Fred and Aunt Mary Prestayko. Aunt Mary was my father’s sister,
the youngest of nine. They were hard-working people and well-off as farmers,
enjoyed company and always took an interest in others, no matter who
they were, young or old. They teased, laughed, and enjoyed getting into
controversial subjects, whatever they might be. And they were unpretentious.
On this trip to Dauphin, Paul, Marilyn, and I paid them a visit. They
enjoyed it, and so did we. I again testified to them of the Lord and
they listened, soberly, though questioning and mildly objecting. There
was always the reality that I was divided from them, however - they naturally
sympathized with the rest of the family, and I had to let them go.
Particle – Fred and Mary’s
Bob was my oldest cousin by about 10 years, Fred and Mary’s only
son. His mother’s great interest was Hollywood. She loved buying
all the magazines and reading up on the stars. Her aspiration was that
Bob be a star, an actor or singer. He did have a super voice. However,
even after being granted auditions, he couldn’t get over stage
fright. He failed to realize his mother’s dreams (I now realize
it wasn’t his dream). Eventually he returned to Dauphin.
Bob was in derision of my life in Christ, though not aggressively. It
wouldn’t go well for him.
Particle - Forsaking
The Lord Jesus Christ calls all those who would follow Him to forsake
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother
and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life
also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and
come after Me, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26-27 MKJV).
“So then, everyone of you who does not forsake all his possessions,
he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33 MKJV).
Forsaking means letting go. It involves willingly leaving behind, in
terms of preference, that which is near and dear. It’s hard to
part with those you love and who love you, but that’s what forsaking
family and friends is all about.
Forsaking family was very difficult for me. My hesitation and looking
back caused a great amount of complication, aggravation, and pain. If
one is to forsake, he ought to get on with it and not delay or compromise.
As we were parting from my parents to return to Winnipeg, Olga
Gerard dropped by. We had a strained few minutes. She sympathized with my parents
concerning our relationship or lack thereof. I gathered she perceived
us as religious, selfish, deluded fools who were dreadfully hurting family
Though I knew my parents were hurting, there was nothing I could do,
except that which I should have done, and didn’t do. I should have
left them, put my hands to the plough, and not looked back. I should
have let the dead bury the dead. Instead, we lived a few years of frustration,
complications, sorrow, and vexation, trying to bridge the uncrossable
chasm between us. That visit with them was the last personal one I would
initiate for several years, though we would see them sooner, by their
As we watched, Olga whispered something to my parents from her car as
they stood by, leaning over. My father looked at me, and I could see
they had heard something unpleasant, though they were all in agreement.
Olga drove off and we left for Winnipeg.
It’s hard to see one’s parents siding with others against
their own children, particularly when the children seek their parents’ good.
It downright hurt, but there was nothing I could do.
“And a brother will betray a brother to death, and a father his
son. And children will rise up against their parents and will cause them
to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake,
but he enduring to the end, that one will be kept safe” (Mark 13:12-13
Particle – Tried By Tires and the Lord Answers
In the trip to Dauphin and back, the alignment in my truck was off.
I felt the slight pull, but thought, “The dealer was supposed to
look everything over to make sure it was OK.”
By the time we returned to Winnipeg, a new set of 16-inch front tires
were destroyed. I felt badly about it and took the truck to the used
car dealer from whom I had bought it. They sent me for an alignment,
and the truck had a peculiar problem. The alignment technician scratched
his head, trying to understand what was wrong. Try as he might, he couldn’t
bring the truck into alignment.
I thought, “They sold me a dud truck! Now what?” I cried
to the Lord for help. No sooner had I done so, the technician realized
the problem. He found that a part in the steering system wasn’t
the right size, forcing the alignment off. (Possibly the former owner,
a thrifty do-it-yourself farmer, had put it in by mistake.) The tech
replaced it, thus correcting the alignment, I bought two more tires,
and we were in business again.
Who says there is no God?
Because of unpleasant monetary experiences in my childhood, I very much
hated suffering loss or being taken advantage of in any way. The tires
I had to replace became precious to me, being relatively costly and seeing
I hadn’t received value out of them because of my ignorance and
lack of due diligence.
One other detail of these tires was of great significance to me: When
I bought the truck, the dealer obtained, at my request, a used spare
tire and charged me for it. God was going to do something unusual with
Particle – Paul Loses My Spare Tire
One day after Paul had returned to be with us for a while, he and I
took a haul to the dump. Paul left the tailgate open, and so we lost
the unsecured spare tire. When I discovered what had happened, I was
very upset with him.
Why? I was covetous and I hated losing things. I was still hurting from
having worn out two new identical tires because of negligence. That kind
of tire was hard to come by secondhand and could be expensive to replace.
I eventually found another used one, but still regretted the loss. I
was angry with myself for having trusted Paul to do things properly,
he being young and inexperienced. I was annoyed with him for some time.
I had a thing about that tire.
The loss was God’s first half of the plan, but there’s more
to that tire, as you’ll see….
Particle – Proper Equipment
We worked hard in the hauling, doing everything the hard way, including
carrying 17-cubic-foot (or larger) freezers, fridges, washers, and heavy
hide-a-beds up and down long sets of stairs. Finally I wised up and bought
an appliance dolly. What a difference it made!
Why do we not see these simple things? Why don’t we learn sooner?
In my case, one of the reasons was because I was so miserly. To skimp
is very expensive. Love of money costs life.
Particle – A Baal Worship Service
Art and Doreen called, inviting us to a meeting at the Mount Zion Apostolic
Church in north Winnipeg. Their friend, Franklin Walden, was in town
from Georgia to preach. We went.
Franklin was trying to preach as do Negro preachers, with passion, gravelly
voice, and theatrics. He added the Negroid language and voice characteristics,
which Caucasians don’t naturally have. It was all show, and we
couldn’t enter into the atmosphere of the meeting. People were
shouting, singing, praising, and raising their hands, as is often the
case at Pentecostal meetings.
When Art and Doreen saw we weren’t falling in and flowing with
the crowd, they were offended and accused us of disturbing the “moving
of the Spirit,” in which case, they said, we would “jeopardize
souls being saved.”
At the end of the service, most people were responding to the altar
call, going forward and raising their hands toward Franklin Walden as
he stood there. He seemed to be taking in all the worship and praise
As we watched, who should come in but Moishe Weinberger! He acknowledged
us, but was in a hurry to get to the front of the sanctuary to meet someone
there by appointment. At the front, we saw someone give him some money.
Of course! He had no sooner received it than he was swiftly on his way
out the door.
As we watched the people at the front, the Lord spoke to me saying, “This
is a Baal worship service.” I was floored. I knew He wasn’t
speaking figuratively. The meeting was literally what He called it.
When I later asked Art about Walden’s black preaching style, he
explained that, being from Georgia, Walden preached as the blacks there
like to hear it. Was he being all things to all men, or was he a manpleaser?
(I didn’t see one black at this meeting.) If I am to believe the
Lord’s words, I would have to say he was a manpleaser.
Particle – Looking to a Hero
In pondering the Lord’s Word about Baal worship, He later revealed
to me that it was essentially hero worship. People in the churches are
following men and worshipping those who are charismatic, impressive,
or outstanding, like Billy Graham, T. D. Jakes, John Hagee, Joyce Meyer,
political leaders, famous, wealthy, and powerful business people, and
movie and sports stars.
Man looks on the outward appearance. Those who excel in the flesh often
seek to be, and are, worshipped. The greater crime is that in religious
circles, these things are done in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Particle – Jehu’s Wonderful
Works against Baal
I came to delight in Jehu, king of Israel, who invited Jehonadab to
join him in his chariot as Jehu demonstrated his zeal for the Lord. He
destroyed wicked King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, and took decisive measures
to wipe Baal worship out of Israel. But I was saddened to see he didn’t
go all the way with God. He failed to remove the idolatrous worship center
and images King Jeroboam of Israel had devised to keep the people from
abandoning him (see 2 Kings 10:15-31).
Particle – Ancient Gods Not So Ancient
Around this time, the Lord gave me another shocking revelation. The
ancient false gods Israel worshipped in Biblical days are being worshipped
today in nominal Christian churches, as well as by all non-Christian
religions. These gods are namely Ashtoreth (the goddess of love, fertility,
and prosperity) and Baal (the god of might and heroism). Most Christians
are worshipping these, yet they think they’re worshipping Jesus
They worship heroes (Baals) such as prominent televangelists, and walk
in false love. Their love is a feigned, selfish, self-righteous one,
the counterfeit spirit of Satan, who comes as an angel of light. It is
a getting love and not a giving one. The worst of it is that they do
these things in the Name of Jesus.
Particle – Light Shines Best
I was called to move some furniture in Winnipeg’s north end for
a young cook at a pizzeria, who related to me that he was a new convert
to Christ. Besides paying me for the work, he gave me a free pizza.
That wasn’t all he gave me. There are those rare occasions where
one experiences something wonderful, in whatever dimension, though he
may not realize it sufficiently. He invited me into his house, where
there were several people, friends and family, I suppose (I wasn’t
In the living room I sensed that I was present with people who were
believers and those who weren’t, but I couldn’t tell which
was which. I didn’t have time to focus on individuals, and the
fellow, being a new believer, was still rather worldly. Some were drinking
beer and some weren’t, but one party wasn’t rejecting the
other, at least from appearances.
I saw that the young man was having a difficult time finding his way
through the complexities of faith in the midst of an unbelieving world,
trying to judge and do what’s right. Though I didn’t know
it then, I was seeing that light shines best, not in light, or among
other lights, but in darkness. And salt is useless in a shaker if it
remains there. Light and salt must be used where they’re needed.
What I appreciated, upon reflection for many years, was the absence
of religion – of formality, posturing, and pretense. All these
people were themselves, and those who believed didn’t judge or
condemn those who didn’t. I suspect I perceived the casual atmosphere
and Christ’s unobtrusive Presence, without condemnation for sinners.
Those who didn’t believe were realizing that they were being left
behind by those who believed, while those who believed weren’t
trashing everything and everybody, as if they were suddenly superior
What I witnessed was a wonderfully welcome contrast to what is found
so commonly in churches, where those professing faith parade their righteousness
before one another, impressing nobody but those they please, “preaching
to the choir.” I saw in this house, not posturing, but reality.
Which reminds me of another vision or dream I had, and which I have forgotten
about for so long….
I don’t recall if this was a vision or dream, and I don’t
recall when it came. It’s been many years since then.
In the scene, I was surrounded by several older saintly people, both
women and men. By “saintly,” I don’t mean anything
like what the Catholic Church portrays in pictures. Those are merely
figments of an artist’s carnal imagination. What I’m talking
about is an unaffected, unimposing piety, a “right being” with
genuine innocence, humility, joy, peace, and love for all.
They seemed outwardly poor or humbly dressed, but oh, how rich they
were within! Their spiritual wealth was evident in their eyes and countenances.
It was so good to be in their company. It was so real that I now wonder
if I had not met such people before, not remembering where or when.