When I was about three years old, I believe that I remember something about scissors and the Methodist Sunday school teacher woman being mad at me. When I went to Sacred Heart Catholic School beginning when I was six, I remember getting hit and beat every day. There I learned some more about God, Jesus, the Apostles, and Mary. But I think I understood about God without anybody having to tell me.
When I was a kid, I was pretty content riding my bike, making tree forts, exploring along the river banks, rowing my small boat. I didn’t think that anything bad was going to happen to me, and nothing did, which was kind of miraculous. I unknowingly walked up to a very large alligator when I was small, and it did nothing, it had probably seen me before and I didn’t notice him. I unknowingly walked beside rattlesnakes, and they only made noise when I was past them. I was followed by the largest shark that I have yet seen, when I was small and on a surfboard, but it didn’t get me. All of the aforementioned animals could have gotten me when I was small and by myself, but they didn’t.
I always felt that I was not alone. As I got older and had difficulties and problems, sometimes I didn’t understand what was going on, but I didn’t feel like I was alone. Just like the alligators, snakes, and sharks didn’t get me, my life kind of went on like that. I had good fortune in ways that I had not planned or expected. I was spared severe consequences for some mistakes I had made. More than I can count or wish to recall, there have been men and women who have tried to do all sorts of bad things to me, things that I didn’t know about, wasn’t thinking of, hadn’t even considered, so I was in no way prepared to defend myself, yet none of those bad things happened to me.
As I got older and older, I began to have more and more anxiety, as I recollected things and events that had occurred that I had really not understood at the time. One example, I had graduated first in my high school class, which I had never planned or thought about. I received a tuition free scholarship to a very expensive private college. I didn’t know it, but the dormitory student supervisor from a very wealthy family in New York City, didn’t think that I belonged at this college. I used to go to the lake on the edge of campus to do some of my homework. A female student was jogging not far from the lake, a young man tried to drag her into the woods, unsuccessful, he ran to a dormitory next door to where I lived. The dormitory supervisor who didn’t like me, considered me a prime suspect, and questioned me about my whereabouts in the days following, which I didn’t take seriously at all. After a few days, I was requested by the dormitory supervisor to come down to the lobby, standing in the lobby was a young lady that I had never met, which I walked up to, and a police officer said, “That’s far enough.”. She just smiled and said, “No”, and they left. I was only slightly irritated at the dormitory supervisor, it hadn’t wasted much of my time, and I didn’t give the situation much thought. Next year, a female student was grabbed while she was jogging, but this time the assailant was caught right on the spot, it was Neil from the dormitory next to where I lived. Neil did not look much different from me, and I then realized that it would have been very easy for the first young lady to have mistaken me for him, especially since my dormitory student manager was so eager to suggest that I was the one who did it.
Again and again, it was only later on that I would clearly recollect events in my life that most likely would have turned out very badly if it were not for Divine Intervention. I felt like Wilbur The Pig from the book “Charlotte’s Web”, only to a much greater degree. It was more than blind luck, both my good fortune and my lack of severe punishment for my mistakes. When I began working, I did not stay in jobs for much more than a year. Very mean employers would grind their teeth that I was always getting away with things in ways that normally wouldn’t happen. Benevolent employers promoted me to superintendent and project manager when I was young because things went well on my projects, and they laughed at the odd and unexpected ways that I was getting out of trouble.
I wanted to try living in the West, and I moved to different states, I tried different careers. Most of those years were O.K., some periods of happiness, some periods of anger and frustration. But again I had very good fortune, and was spared severe punishment for my mistakes. Through no planning and no intention, only circumstances, I had at one time two Porsches, two Mercedes, a Jaguar, a Jeep, three trucks, two motorcycles, all kinds of other things, and a house on five acres. A few years after that, I found out that my girlfriend had been an undercover informant for the FBI. I only found out when I did an internet search for her a few years later to see what she was up to. (You can go do a Google search for “Rebecca Flagstaff ATF informant” and you will see many articles about her.). Again, I was very very lucky that I was not in a lot of trouble.
It was not until I got to Dickinson, North Dakota, where the people were so mean, unfriendly, uncooperative, and hostile, that I was not O.K. Looking back, I would say that my Guardian Angel, whatever it was, who had been with me my whole life could barely handle this shit in Dickinson. Several times on jobsites in Dickinson, that I am aware of, that I can recount, I was spared horrible outcomes. A company owner told me that he had turned off a valve to a high pressure steam line at a refinery, for me to disconnect the line, I asked him didn’t it have to depressurize, he told me no, it was. I tried to disconnect it, it would not come loose. Company owner got mad, got up there, it disconnected on him, big explosion, everybody ran out of building to see what happened. Several other things like this in Dickinson, where I could have gotten hurt very bad on a jobsite, a lot of it caused by hostile and malicious North Dakotans, but I was spared through Divine Intervention probably. I feel very bad about the death of Eric Haider on a jobsite in Dickinson, because I was nearly killed several times by my wonderful bosses and coworkers.
Dickinson was so horrible, that I could not handle it on my own, though I said that I had never felt like I was alone, ever since I was a kid, when the alligators, snakes, and sharks didn’t get me, all through growing up, all through my different careers, living in different states. For the first time in my life, I felt that I needed to go to Church, that I should go to Church.
I won’t go into how I found a Church to go to because I don’t want to name it, but I had a lot of confidence in the pastor at first. I had confidence in the pastor, and I agreed with what he had to say. I explained to this pastor that I had always believed in God, I had always believed that God was watching over me, that I had always had very good fortune, that I had always been spared from bad things, and that I had no trouble with faith in God, however I was greatly distressed with the people here in Dickinson. He only partly understood, which I suppose means that he didn’t understand.
After some steady Church attendance, I believed in the people in this Church. I believed that they believed in God, that they wanted to do what was right and good, that they would try. I got to know some of the people in the Church, and they were good people. I gave some money to the Church, I provided some employment to people in the Church.
After some time, I began to have some doubts about the pastor. At first I still thought that he was a good person, he was doing what he thought was right. After more time passed, I thought that he should probably be able to see that some of the things that he was doing were not right. I quit going to Church partly because work got in the way, but partly due to growing doubt. This was troubling to me because I was seeking to be more confirmed in my faith by going to Church, but instead my doubt was increasing.
I discussed with a friend of mine who is a devout follower of the late Herbert Armstrong my concerns about the pastor of the Church that I had been attending. My friend pointed out many things that were wrong. In hours and hours of discussion with my friend, we agreed that the pastor was wrong about some things he was teaching and doing. But I disagreed with my friend also. We disagreed about the necessity of the Sabbath day actually being Saturday, that when you die you are dead until you are resurrected, that I should only date women my own age, and many other things.
I was disgusted. Everyone was believing, teaching, and doing something different. The Catholics in Dickinson go to Mass, and apparently that excuses them for quadrupling the rent and not helping people. The Mormons believe, “Just as God evolved, we too can evolve to become like God, and become God of our own planet one day.”. The Jehovah Witnesses believe that when you die, you are jut dead in the ground, until the resurrection. The Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, but not the Son of God. The Jews don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God. And the Church I go to denies that anyone has a parking space for me to put two trucks and two equipment trailers on. The Native American Red Elk teaches that life is our own dream, and that all the people are just players in our dream, and life will play out however we decide in our own dream.
I was disgusted and uncertain. Who is right? Who do you trust? What do you believe? Is there a God? Is this all made up? If it is all made up, maybe I should start having sex with other people’s wives. Maybe I should start stealing and robbing. I stopped short of making a deal with the Devil, that would have been to rule over Dickinson, and smite everyone.
Since the beginning of humans, whether in the continent of North America, South America, Africa, or Europe, people believed that a God or gods affected, guided, or controlled their lives. Sometimes these gods were nature spirits, deceased ancestors, or supreme beings. Does this mean that all human beings have a need to believe in gods in order to comfort themselves, reassure themselves that something is watching over them and protecting them? The Greeks and Romans believed in gods, was this because it made them feel better? Did the Greeks and Romans trade in their gods for the God of the Jews because their God was more appealing?
I have studied a lot of chemistry, biology, physics, math, and engineering, and I know with certainty that atoms with no brain, did not accidentally combine to form molecules, and these molecules did not decide, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking? We can form a cell wall, like a sphere, and it will be semi-permeable to let some things in and keep some things out. You guys over there, you form a nucleus in the center. Let’s keep some things in vacuoles. Let’s just let other things stay in our cytoplasm. We will store energy in our mitochondria. Can you remember all of this, we’ll have to store all of this information in special double helix lattice molecules called DNA. Do anyone of you molecules know how to make DNA? We can have some cells to make white blood cells, some to make red blood cells, some to make muscle, some to make ligaments, some to make a liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, intestines, bone, cartilage, veins, arteries, a brain, eyes, tongue, teeth, skin, hair, has anyone made toenails before?”. Note: atoms don’t have an alphabet or a written language, or a brain.
What you have got to understand, that even though atoms can randomly combine to form molecules, in order to form even a single cell, individual molecules would have to have a brain to conceive a thought, remember that thought, have a language to communicate that thought to other molecules, have sensory perception like eyes and ears, and a means of locomotion, self awareness, and life, which molecules have none of these things, they are merely a combination of atoms. Atoms and molecules do not have a brain, and can not conceive, plan, and direct the construction of even a single cell. Even a single living cell is very complex in its component parts and structures, as complex as a house with a roof, framing, siding, plumbing, and electric. Would you expect non-living atoms to know how to build a house?
We are talking about just a single living cell. How the hell would a single living cell know what a circulatory system is, a respiratory system, a skeletal system, a central nervous system, a digestive system, much less how to construct one. If you expect that a single living cell would know how to do all of this, do you realize that a completed human being medical doctor does not have the knowledge and understanding to create even one human finger. In fact, all the medical doctors living on earth right now working together could not create even one living human finger, because they don’t even have the ability to create living skin. How do you expect a single cell to know how to make a finger, a hand, a foot, a heart?
All human beings on earth right now, working together, all the doctors and scientists, could not create a simple living creature like a mouse. A mouse has living cells constantly building its bones, muscles, blood, brain, heart, lungs, digestive system, and a reproductive system that can create another mouse. All human beings working together could not create even a mouse, but you think that all living things just kind of happened on their own?
We human beings did create bicycles, skateboards, microwave ovens, televisions, telephones, and trains, which are less complicated to make than a living mouse, which we suppose a living mouse just naturally occurred on its own. Why then in nature didn’t much simpler things like bicycles, skateboards, and microwave ovens just occur on their own?
If you understand biology, physics, and engineering, and if you propose that living animals appeared on their own given enough time and chance, then you would have to admit that much simpler things would have also appeared on their own given enough time and chance, things like a record player, a microscope, a telescope, a wheel. Given that a wheel is one of the most simple, yet most useful things in existence, why didn’t it occur all on its own in nature?
We humans use plants for food, medicine, clothing, furniture, heating, and to construct our houses. We give off carbon dioxide. Plants use our carbon dioxide and give us oxygen. The way that plants supply our needs, the way that animals spread plant seeds, the more you look into it, the more you will see that life on earth was planned, designed, engineered, and created. Since we humans with all of our science and technology, with our maximum effort can not even create a small simple living creature, how could all the living plants and animals on earth just create themselves accidentally by atoms bumping into each other?
Life on Earth was created. All the plants and animals are way too complex to have come into existence by random, brainless molecules colliding. Once you realize that life on Earth was planned, designed, and created, you realize that there must have been a creator. He would have had to have been far superior to human beings in order to create all of this. It would have been a tremendous amount of work, even for a superior being. This supreme being that went through all of the effort to create all the plants and animals, probably cares and has some interest in what is happening with what he created.
I came to the conclusion that there was a creator, a supreme being, who had some interest in what was happening with what he created. However, I could no longer be sure that he watched every person every minute of every day, it wouldn’t be logical to think that he did.
I had become so discouraged by the people in Dickinson, that I felt I needed to go to Church. I had wanted to have reassurance that there was a God, and that there were people trying to do what was right, despite most of the people in Dickinson being unfriendly, uncooperative, hostile, and greedy. I did not know that the pastor would cause me to wonder if God existed at all, to begin to feel that this was all a bunch of made up bullshit. Some of the things that he was teaching and doing did not seem right. Every religion that I could think of, was doing things that didn’t seem right. What are you to believe? Most religions want you to believe that God is a loving father that watches everyone, all the time, and that he doesn’t like it when you don’t go to Church, when you go to Church on the wrong day, when you aren’t baptized. Why would you need to be baptized, God created you in the first place. There were many, many things about religious teachings that seemed to be “made up”. For instance, in the Old Testament of the Bible, the Jews were sacrificing animals. Why would a God who created all the animals, want people to go kill his animals?
The pastor of the Church in Dickinson caused me to question and doubt religion so much, that I pretty much had to just discard every religious belief that I had, and start over completely on my own. The only thing that I could continue to truly believe, was that there is a creator, a supreme being that created life on earth, that went through a lot of work to do it, so he therefore probably cares somewhat about what is happening to what he created, but is probably not extremely interested in what each individual person is doing all of the time. Why had I had so much good fortune, and been spared from bad things so many times, I don’t know.