Life After Death

I believe in life after death. Yes, I believe that what we call death is not the end of life but merely the passageway from one type of life to a better one. When this mortal corruptible body of mine ceases to function and turns to ashes, I believe I will pass through the portal of death into an incorruptible body that will never die. I believe that death will mark the end of my life on this earth with its troubles, losses, grief, pain and tears as well as its joys and laughter and, yes, its hatred, lies, incivility, insults, injuries and sometimes unspeakable, unbelievable acts of evil. And I believe it will also mark the beginning of an unending life of beauty, love, joy and laughter in a world where God will wipe away all tears from my eyes, and there will be no more death, pain or sorrow and no more crying. I believe it will be there that I rejoin with my wife, and my grandparents, parents, relatives and friends who have gone on before me. So not only do I not fear death, but will welcome it when it comes, as it will for all of us.
That’s a beautiful scenario, you may say to me, but what if you are wrong and death is indeed the end of it all? And I would reply to you that would in no way diminish the abundant, challenging, adventure and accomplishment filled, joyful life I have lived in the midst of this fallen world with all of its pitfalls, failures and disappointments for nearly 8 decades.
And I would ask you, what if it is true? What would your life then be like in this world and the next? It’s definitely something worth pondering.


Yes, I believe in reincarnation, although not in the way you probably think of it. Allow me to explain. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and all that is within them. On the final day of creation God created mankind in God’s own image, male and female. He created the male first, fashioning him a body from the dust of the earth. God breathed into that body the breath of life (God’s spirit) and the male became a living soul in a mortal body. God then created a female from one of the male’s ribs to be an equal partner with him, thus completing God’s image in mankind.  This was the first incarnation.

Mankind was put in responsible charge of all that God had made, thus creating the world’s oldest profession. It was not long before mankind began to mess things up though, out of a misguided attempt to become as gods themselves, knowing good and evil. God had warned them against this, telling them if they became aware of evil it would introduce death into the world. But they did it anyway. Before long they were to taste of this. One of their sons became jealous of his brother and killed him, thus inventing fratricide, which we have become quite skilled at in the subsequent ages. Things continued to get worse from generation to generation to the point that God wiped out most of mankind and started over with just one family that had not fallen prey to such evil.

Once again, however, over the ensuing generations, mankind proceeded to wax more and more evil, despite God’s repeated warnings of the consequences. Finally God sent his only begotten son, whose name was Jesus, to be incarnated in a human body to demonstrate to mankind how they should live. Jesus told them it was possible to live as God had intended all along and, if they would only follow him, he would show them how. He then travelled around spreading this message, while befriending the outcasts of society, healing those who were sick and on at least one occasion raising back to life one who had died.

His message was not well received by those in authority, the rich and powerful, who felt their position threatened by him. So they trumped up false charges against him, tried him illegally and managed to have him executed. Although they thought that was the end of the matter, God soon proved them wrong. After just three days in the grave, Jesus was raised back to life in a new immortal body, which was not subject to death as his mortal body had been. You might say he was reincarnated.

The best news, however, is that, because Jesus, who was totally blameless, took upon himself the misdeeds of all of mankind, he suffered the consequential death on behalf of us all. Our debts are completely absolved. And, furthermore, we are promised that the death of our mortal body does not end the life of our soul, but it will be re-embodied into an immortal form, just as Jesus was. That is to say, we will also be reincarnated and thus able to live with God for eternity.

So yes, I believe in that kind of reincarnation, and I am eternally grateful for the promise of it.


Almost three years after the fact, it suddenly dawned on me that December 21, 2017, the day my wife Mary passed away, was the winter solstice. The winter solstice is the darkest day of the year, the one with the shortest period of daylight and the beginning of winter. And it was certainly the darkest day of my life.

But it is also the last day of diminishing light. Starting the next day the daylight period each day gets progressively longer until the summer solstice in June of the next year. The winter solstice also occurs during the last week of the Advent season, a season which includes the lighting of candles to represent the blessings to come from the birth of Jesus, the Savior, the light of the world. And shortly after the winter solstice comes Christmas day, followed a week later by the first day of a brand new year.

I remember that just three days after Mary passed away I celebrated the best Christmas Eve I ever had, knowing that she was in a place with no sorrow, pain or tears, other than tears of joy and laughter, and that I would one day in the not too distant future join her in that happy place. As I reflected in my book “Traveling Solo but Never Alone”, in the next days and months a brand new phase of my life began, one that is still proving to be full of challenge, adventure and accomplishment.

Three years later in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic has produced a very dark period for people all over the world. However, the miraculous development of two highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, with more to come, provides a ray of hope that we are nearing the dawning of a brand new day in the new year of 2021 that will bring light to the world once again, and fill us to overflowing with joy and gratitude.


I don’t know about you, but I am really enjoying life right now. When the news of the COVID-19 pandemic broke here in March, I felt that God told me I had nothing to fear so long as I followed his directions. Since then I have been cautious, but never fearful. I have followed the recommended protocols, wearing a face mask in public and washing my hands much more frequently than ever before. I keep hand sanitizer in my apartment and in my car and use it when I can’t wash my hands.

But I have continued to go everywhere and do everything that the law allows. With the precautions I mentioned, I go grocery shopping at least once a week, I get a haircut every four weeks, and I go to my regular doctor and dental appointments. I dine out as frequently as ever since the restaurants have started opening up again, including sharing a meal with friends sometimes, and I have been to movie theaters at least half a dozen times so far. I continue to fly my radio control model airplanes at my club’s airfield.

I enjoy worship services and Sunday School classes online via Zoom, as well as several online meetings of other groups with which I am associated. When my schedule allows I attend the in-person networking meetings of the one group I know of that conducts them. I attend in-person meetings every two weeks of a men’s fellowship group to which I belong, and lately I have been attending outdoor Vesper services at my church and have had the pleasure of a face to face meeting with our new Senior Pastor. What a joy!

I am even enjoying some of the effects of the pandemic restrictions, as there is much less traffic on the roadways and most of the venues I visit are much less crowded.

In short I am doing everything I can as a 78 year old with underlying health issues (atrial fibrillation and hypertension) to enjoy life to the fullest for whatever time I have remaining on this earth. As Henry David Thoreau said, “I wanted to live deeply and suck out all the marrow of life…” And I am doing just that!


In this era of climate change concerns the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the entirety of humanity worldwide to the precipice of what is arguably the greatest crisis we have ever faced. Fortunately there is a sure remedy for the dilemma in which we find ourselves ensnared. Thousands of years ago God spoke and said:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (I Chronicles 7:14 NIV)

Simple. Concise. Comprehensive.

But do we really understand how to accomplish this? Let’s unpack this and examine it step by step.

Step 1: Humble ourselves

This should be the easiest part if we are really observant. As the beloved hymn says:

“O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.”

When we take the time to truly consider the magnitude and magnificence of the universe, we will realize how great and powerful God is and how lowly and weak we are in comparison. This should burst the bubble of our inflated egos and make us humble. So first of all, let’s be still and know who God is.

Step 2: Pray

At first blush this seems self-explanatory, but let’s examine it more closely. We need to remember that prayer is intended to be a dialogue between us and God. Dialogue implies two-way communication. We are remiss if we merely voice our concerns, complaints and cries for help without staying tuned to hear God’s reply. It is also good to give him thanks even before receiving the answer, but knowing it will come. This is a display of trust in God’s goodness and care for us.

Step 3: Seek God’s face

This would seem to create somewhat of a problem, for Scripture tells us when Moses on Mount Sinai asked God to show him his glory, God replied:

“I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” (Exodus 33:19-23 NIV)

What does it mean then to seek the face of God? To me the answer is simple when we remember that God created mankind in his image. To seek the face of God then means to try to see God’s face in the face of everyone around us, regardless of race, religion, skin color or sex. Our attitude towards those who are different from us will then be much more in keeping with Christ’s command (not suggestion) to us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

And finally, Step 4: Turn from our wicked ways

There are many facets to this requirement, but I believe they all stem from the fact we have forgotten that when God created mankind he gave us the authority and responsibility to nurture and care for all he had created, including all of the flora and fauna, as his stewards. That we have neglected the responsibilities of our stewardship is evident in the way we continue to abuse our privileged status. The natural world and other fellow humans have all suffered as a result. We must, as Christ enjoined us, “Repent {change your worldview}” and turn from our sins of abuse and neglect in order for our land to be healed.

One final thought:

God has already granted us forgiveness of our sins since Jesus has borne for us the penalty of death they demanded. And as to healing our land, I don’t believe God intends to sovereignly clean up our mess for us. I believe, having delegated the authority and responsibility to us, he intends to show us how we can and should clean up after ourselves.


There is a lot of conversation on both broadcast and social media these days about the new normal that will exist after the COVID-19 crisis has passed. There is no doubt that things will be different than what we have become accustomed to in the early days of the 21st century. But what we have considered to be normal in the last few years is vastly different than we did only a few decades ago. The emergence of the communication age has brought about great changes to the landscape in just a few years. Communicating by smartphone has largely taken the place of face-to-face communication. Online shopping has made great inroads into the marketplace, replacing much of the commerce for brick and mortar establishments. Takeout and delivery were already beginning to take the place of dining out even before the imposition of social distancing mandates meant to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

This should not be a great surprise to anyone who knows much about history. What has been considered the cultural norm has continued to evolve ever since Man began to leave the cave dwelling hunter-gatherer existence to begin farming and domestication of livestock and to dwell first in villages and later cities. During this time division and specialization of labor also came into play, and along with it a barter and later monetary economy. These changes were very gradual and more easily adjusted to as a result. Through this period of evolution Man continued for the most part to live in large family groups and closely related tribes, seldom venturing far from home. There were exceptions, of course, as the population grew and migration occurred to explore and develop new lands. But change still came slowly and gradually.

Then the onset of the Industrial Age began to change things much more rapidly as more and more people left the farm to live in cities and work in the new factories. The nuclear family of father, mother and children became the new norm and mass production and new inventions began to replace much of the cottage industry that had existed for many years. The Industrial Age also introduced new means of more rapid transportation, such as the automobile and the railroads, greatly increasing the mobility of the population and enabling population shifts to a variety of locations previously considered almost inaccessible. Although these changes were massive most people were gradually able to adjust to them as the “new norm”.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the introduction of the telegraph, the telephone, motion pictures, radio and television, as well as mainframe computers, leading eventually to personal computers, mobile phones and later smartphones with more computing power than early mainframe computers. The Information Age was upon us, flooding us with more information in a day than our ancestors had accumulated over their lifetimes. The effects of this information overload and the rapidly increasing rate of change were noted as early as the 1970’s by authors such as Alvin Toffler in “Future Shock” and “The Third Wave”, Daniel H. Pink in “A Whole New Mind” and Jeremy Rifkin in “ENTROPY: A New World View”. Generational rifts were developing between older people for whom the new technologies and the societal changes they were engendering were often baffling, even frightening, and younger ones who easily and rapidly adopted them, as well as between those who had access to the technology and could afford it and those who did not and could not. By the early 21st century society was becoming more and more divided and divisive, with people with differing views on politics, religion, lifestyles, globalization, climate change and many other things shouting at each other (often on social media) rather than calmly and logically discussing their differences and trying to understand the other’s point of view.

 That is where things stood when the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly burst onto the scene in 2020, eventually engulfing the entire globe. Another new normal was being thrust upon us, unready and unwilling as we might be to accept it. Social distancing became the recommendation and in many places the mandated rule, shuttering many business and throwing more people out of work in the United States than we had seen since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The virus was starting to overwhelm the health care system and the death rate was skyrocketing, particularly in the minority communities where many already had developed compromised immune systems and underlying medical conditions due to lack of lack of accessibility and affordability of adequate routine medical care. Public gatherings were largely banned, creating challenges for religious organizations and others in communicating with and ministering to their members. Online virtual meetings and religious services became the rule, rather than the exception.

On the positive side, though, these changes were forcing us to confront the problems caused by the fragmentation of family and societal structure and the distances we were creating between societal groups, regions and even nations. We began to realize that we, that is, the whole of humanity, were in this together and starting to acknowledge the need for treating each other with respect and kindness, even love. Families were spending time together, conversing face to face and sharing meals together. Friends and neighbors (even distant neighbors) were checking in on each other and offering help to those who needed it. Government was providing relief to businesses and individuals who had lost their sources of income. We were all seeming to care more about the welfare of others beside ourselves. This was becoming the latest new normal for many.

The new normal will, of course, continue to evolve after the COVID-19 crisis dies out. Many who lost their jobs will not be able to return to them, some because their employers no longer even exist. Workers will have to retrain for other types of work.  Owners who lost their businesses will have to start over to compete in the new economy. But although many former opportunities will be lost, many new ones will arise for those willing to do what is necessary to take advantage of them. This will be part of the new normal.

I admit that not everyone is changing yet. There is still too much name calling, backbiting and finger pointing. And there are those who are still acting selfishly, ignoring social distancing mandates and hoarding vital resources for themselves. However, I am hopeful, if not yet fully convinced, that those who seek a kinder, gentler, more loving and caring society will soon reach a tipping point that will tilt society in that direction. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”

When that occurs perhaps we can one day reach a state where everyone’s needs are met and we can all lead carefree lives, being fully present in the daily now, accepting what is, without concern for the past or the future. We will then have returned to the original normal, as it was in the Garden of Eden before Man’s fall, enjoying each moment and savoring our close relationship with our Creator. That is God’s heartfelt desire for all of us. May it be so.


In his book “The Power of Now” Ekhart Tolle urges us to forget about the disappointment and hurts of the past, stop worrying about the future, and concentrate on being fully conscious in the present. After all, the present is all we ever have. It’s always today. Yesterday is gone forever and tomorrow may never come. If we miss out on what is going on in the present we are wasting our most valuable (and irreplaceable) asset: time.

Another way to put this is, life is not so much about a future destination as it is about the journey. Today is all you really have, so carpe diem (seize the day)! Jesus was quite clear about this when he said:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34 NIV)

At the beginning of his ministry Jesus had given the invitation to follow him and to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And he made it clear that meant here and now, not at some time in the future. The kingdom of heaven is in your midst he said. The invitation was to journey along with him to enjoy his presence and to learn from him. His disciples left everything behind and did follow him although they didn’t really understand what that meant. Up to the end of his ministry they expected the Messiah to be a conquering hero who would overthrow the oppressive government and set them free from Roman domination. He did that indeed, although he did it through all powerful love and not destructive force. When the disciples finally understood that after the Holy Spirit filled them at Pentecost, they went out in love and conquered the whole world in Jesus’ name, including the Roman Empire.

Fellowship with God is what we are created for, to travel the journey of life with him, enjoying his presence with us and learning from him, as it was in the Garden of Eden. Jesus’ ancestor King David had said many years before,

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4 NIV) and

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1, 2 NKJV)

David did not have the advantage we have today of the full time indwelling of God’s Spirit and looked forward to the day he could enjoy God’s uninterrupted presence. But Jesus still calls us to follow him on life’s journey today and every day. If you think of salvation only as a “golden ticket” to a future paradise you are sadly mistaken. God’s call is to join him now in the kingdom of heaven. Life is a journey we can enjoy today more than a location to arrive at some future time.




In his book, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose”, Eckhart Tolle warns against believing the roles one plays are our identity. As he points out, our roles in society in centuries past were largely determined by the circumstances of our birth. We were assigned to a social class from which it was usually next to impossible to escape and then expected to continue in the roles assigned to our family (butcher, baker, candlestick maker, homemaker, etc.) whether or not that was what we really wanted to do. And most people identified themselves by the roles they filled.

These days we for the most part are able to choose the roles we want to fill, such as trade or profession, and even whether or not to marry and raise a family. Even then there is a danger in identifying ourselves with those roles. Will we lose our sense of identity if and when those roles change? The current global COVID-19 crisis has brought this question into sharp focus. Although only a small proportion of the world’s population has actually contracted the virus and an even smaller proportion has died from it, everyone in the world has been impacted by the virtual shutdown of society with the exception of what are teemed vital services. A great many people have lost their jobs (their source of the income needed to care for themselves and their families). For many of these their health insurance also disappeared with their job. And there is a real possibility many of the roles they played in their jobs and the jobs themselves will not exist after the crisis is past. In many cases their former employers may not even exist.

If they identified themselves by their former roles, they may not know who they are anymore, and how they will fit in to the new society that exists post crisis. Even before the COVID-19 crisis erupted around the world, society was changing so rapidly that Tolle was telling us:

“In fact, in the modern world more and more people are confused as to where they fit in, what their purpose is, and even who they are.”

The key to understanding our purpose in life is to know who we are. When we realize who we truly are, all roles aside, it becomes obvious what our life purpose is. We are God’s children, made in his image, and our purpose is clearly spelled out for us. We are made, first of all, for fellowship with God. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism posits it:

Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

That was the state that existed in the Garden of Eden before Mankind decided that, instead of just enjoying God’s presence, trusting him to supply all their needs, they wanted to begin to learn about good and evil so they could take control of their lives and make their own decisions instead of relying on God. They desired to be like God themselves. Look where that has led us.

Jesus made our purpose clear when he answered the question of what God’s greatest commandment was. He said;

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment.”

Then he continued;

“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

And he concluded;

“All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

So there you have it in a nutshell: our identity and our purpose. If we keep these in mind in whatever roles we undertake, we will not confuse our identity and purpose with the roles we are currently filling, and when those roles change, as they undoubtedly will, we will never lose our sense of identity and purpose.

ESP and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Yes, I believe in ESP, and I believe we all can and should being engaging in it. And here’s why. When we experience something we can’t see, hear, touch, smell or taste but we know somehow it is real, that is commonly called ESP or Extrasensory Perception (or sixth sense). I have come to understand that what is really happening is we are Experiencing Spiritual Prompting. That is to say we are “hearing” what God’s Holy Spirit is quietly whispering to our hearts and souls. God is always whispering to us by his Spirit, but we are usually so preoccupied with the cacophony of voices competing for our attention that we cannot hear him. It is in our unguarded moments that God is most often able to break through to us. This is not very often and that is a shame.

It’s a shame because while we are busily trying to deal with the host of complicated issues confronting us, which are just beyond the reach of our ability to fully comprehend, much less conceive of solutions to, we are not listening for the voice of the one who can and will provide us with the answers when we are not even sure what all the questions are. God alone understands not only what we are currently experiencing, but also what we will be confronted with in the future. And he is eager to guide us through the wilderness to the Promised Land.

It seems to me that since the current COVID-19 pandemic has created a world-wide crisis that we are all struggling to understand and combat, it is more important than ever to be listening for God’s solutions to the myriad questions we have about it.  Now is the time to quiet our minds and open our hearts and souls to Experience Spiritual Prompting. That is the ESP which will see us through this crisis.

So let’s all be still and listen intently for that still small voice. Let’s Experience Spiritual Prompting.


As Oliver Hardy of the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy of the 1920’s and 30’s was fond of saying to his partner Stan Laurel. “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into”. With the global COVID-19 pandemic raging, we certainly find ourselves in another nice mess today, arguably the biggest mess the world has ever seen. And our first response is like Oliver’s, finding somebody to blame for it – the Chinese, the Europeans, our own governments (local, state and national) or even God himself. The fact of the matter is we have forgotten the basic requirements of stewardship, or what I like to call the world’s oldest profession. We have forgotten that when God spoke his creation into existence, his final act before resting was to create humankind in God’s own image, both masculine and feminine, and to place us in charge of tending his creation as his stewards. Stewardship of God’s creation is still the profession to which all of mankind is called.

Unfortunately we have forgotten about that and have treated the earth as our own, rather than God’s, to be exploited for our own purposes, rather than his. And, having ignored God’s advice not to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we have attempted to explore the heights and depths of both causing all sorts of problems. In the process we have also forgotten that all of mankind, as well as all of the other creatures, are part of his creation we are called to tend and care for and have focused largely on satisfying our own personal perceived needs and desires. And once again we are reaping the fruits of the neglect of our stewardship obligations. In other words, we (yes, you and I) are the reason we find ourselves in such a nice mess. And we are groping to find ways to clean up our mess.

God will not sovereignly do that for us, although he certainly could. No, he long ago gave us that responsibility as his stewards. So it is up to us. He will, however, do what he has always promised to do. He will give us instructions on how to avoid evil consequences by choosing the good alternatives he provides us. When we do choose to abide by his instructions he has promised us peace, prosperity and long life. But when we choose to ignore them he warns us we will reap death and destruction. That is the harsh lesson we are currently learning.

All is not lost, however. There are hopeful signs emerging in the midst of this crisis. Everywhere we turn we hear “We are all in this together”. As indeed we are. And more and more people are banding together (while maintaining social distancing) to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus and searching for a cure. More and more of us are heeding the advice to self-isolate to preserve our own health and help prevent the unintentional spread of the virus. Industries are retooling to produce vital supplies such as face masks, ventilators and hand sanitizers in lieu of their regular consumer products. Health professionals are working overtime to care for those who have contracted the virus. And, miraculous to say, even the congressional Democrats and Republicans are at least attempting to forgo their bickering and name-calling and to work together to provide financial relief to the businesses and individuals hardest hit by the virtual cessation of commerce throughout the land.

In other words, we are beginning to honor our responsibilities as stewards of this earth and all of its inhabitants to love and respect ourselves and all those around us. And we are seeking God’s face to comfort and protect us and to provide a way through and out of this crisis. We are beginning to take God up on his long-standing promise:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

We will survive this crisis, and we will be better off for having gone through it, if we continue to fulfill our responsibilities as God’s stewards of his creation.