Tuesday, June 13, 2006

From atheist to disgustingly religious

Saying for the Day: Its's not what you know but who that really counts.

Its back to the artifact box and here we find one of those little books people sign at the end of camp. It is there to remind me of the end of my time as an atheist and the beginning of the journey that would bring me into the ministry.

The summer after I got confirmed one of my friends from confirmation talked me into going to Bible Camp.
His name was Karl Rundman .
He was not religious and the reason he felt we should go to Bible camp was because there were five girls there for every boy.
Those are great odds. I figured I could put up with the religious nonsense for a chance for romance. The way Karl described it we would swim with the girls, sit with them at evening campfires, and take evening walks to the baseball field.

So I went. The program was about as dull as I expected it to be.

But there was a Pastor.
An old Pastor who was different.

He didn’t talk about God as an idea.

He didn’t try to prove God.

He shared with us a God that was and had been for years a personal friend. This God was as real to him as the campers. I marveled at that.

There was a joy and a peace the guy had I had never seen in anybody.

I wanted what he had.

I told myself over and over that it was silly.
There is no God and so God can’t be his friend.
He can’t know what isn’t there.

But he did. He honestly loved God.

Then something happened which I can not explain. At some point during that week I stepped over the line and went from being an atheist to being disgustingly religious.

I didn’t want it to happen.
I did everything I could to keep it from happening .

I have no idea why it happened. (Boy I wish I did)
Lots of kids left that camp just the way they came but I didn’t.

Karl Rundman did . He ran into God later in his journey.

Suddenly there was a joy and a peace in my life beyond anything I had ever known. God was real and He loved me.

I still had no answer to Robert’s death.
But I did know that God had entered into our suffering and shared it with us.

Everything changed. I came home a different person.

My mother was horrified.
She hoped it would wear off.

But God was no longer an idea to be accepted or rejected.
God was a being that loved me and the journey to the pulpit had begun.

News from Pigeon Falls– the little town in my backyard– So far not a single person has found a copy of the constitution but a lot of people are looking. Eino decided that they should look through the old copies of “The Birdseed” from 1950 to 1962 since the constitution was published in the paper at that time. “The Birdseed” went out of business in 1985 and so the only bound and available copies are at the Museum. Eino got three council members to go with him and they started going through the volumes. That’s when they discovered that the volume for the first half of 1958 was missing. The museum people thought the collection was complete but that volume is missing, very strange. In any case they failed to find the constitution.
Plans are continuing for the great Father’s day race. Father’s come from all around to participate. So far there are 30 father’s registered. The committee is not sure how to rope off main street with no council to give them permission . Bill thinks they should just do and put a man with a baseball bat on each end to make sure that nobody drives through. I think he was kidding about the baseball bat. They do have one other problem. Robert Kellomaki wants to carry his father in the race. Robert is 57 and his dad is 89. He said years ago his dad carried him in a number of these races. They even won once. He still has the shirt that says “ My dad carried me to victory in Pigeon Falls.” The committee is considering his request.
No dead pigeons today and no white rabbit.
Nancy says the Kellors are planing to take advantage of Dr. Fortress’s trip to Disney World special. You know where they take the train to Iron Mountain and then fly to Orlando by way of Chicago. The only problem is their three Neapolitan mastiffs. These are huge dogs that look like they want to tear you limb from limb. The Romans used them to fight lions. Nobody wants to baby sit those dogs and there is no local kennel. Nancy is asking everybody that comes in if they would help out but so far no takers.

We pulled out the waterfalls again and started over again. I hope we get it right this time. We set off some fireworks this evening which my grandkids loved. (nothing illegal) Well I need a breathing treatment.

Todays JC point link is Starbender. For JC totals and usless information click on JC Point Update on side panel. Remember to put the words Dr.John in the comment.


Blogger Chana said...

i don't think you are or could ever be disgustingly anything, specially religious. the only thing that give religion a bad name is the fanatics out there. i lived with them and amongst them. i assure you are not.devotion and deep faith is lovely and so is just story today. what a beautiful one and thank you dearly for sharing it. you said that you wish you knew why it all came to be. one word answer: God. He wanted you then and there. how beautiful is that! But i do wonder why your mom wanted your fervor to be over soon?

i'm glad there was no pigeon death today. i'm thinking that the reason the museum was broken into was to get rid of that one volume. and that trip to Disney World Dr. Fortress is offering sounds pretty sweet. i wonder if his wive is named Betty? the Kellor's dogs sound scary, i don't see how they will have any volunteer babysitters...

have a wonderful day and read you tomorrow.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

The old pastor sounds really special. I am glad you crossed paths. I guess this is when you started your over religious phase?

7:47 AM  
Blogger Honey said...

Sorry I missed comment Monday!! But I am back and hopefully in business with my fellow bloggers.
I went to church camp and absolutely loved it. I already knew I loved God, I didn't know why but I knew it was okay to. But, I loved going to the church camp it was always soooo much fun and I loved the people that went there with me. Now that I think of it that probably was a good estimate of the boy-girl ratio at mine too. I didn't care because there were other fun stuff to worry about that dumb ol boys...lol!
Take Care!

7:55 AM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

Thank goodness for Karl. Visit Bree's blog today if you get a chance.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Sister Chris said...

have you sent your nephen an e-mail lately?? I think we will be comming up for a visit when he gets back and Robyn has some time to get away!! (probably late August)
Love Chris and George

8:49 AM  
Blogger starbender said...

I wanna go 2 church camp! I luv 2 camp! I've believed in God all my life, now I just have 2 find him-
I think I musta got lost!

Thanx soo much 4 the link today!
I luv 2 C new faces in the comments, and thanx 2 U Dr. John- we have a bunch today!


8:50 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Just found your blog. Loved your post today, the pastor sounds like an amazing person, and thank God for Karl.

God Bless,

9:43 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

We never know who God is going to use to reach us. It could be a Pastor at camp or the next person you are going to meet. We should keep our our ears, eyes and hearts open.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Janvangogh said...

God seems to like to use that same scenario over and over again. Guess if it works, dont fix it.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

That is a touching story Dr John...and I am so glad you didnt turn out to be an atheist..your much to good of a person for that! I think Church camp is good for kids...my daugher loved it.

I hope they let the guy carry his Dad in the race..what a lovely thing to do!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Everyone comes into our life for a reason... You were meant to meet that old pastor all along, because God planned it that way :-)

4:02 PM  
Blogger Hedwig Dasouza said...

Dr John
recommend my site too
u get a cut

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not a religious person. You are a spiritual person. There's a difference, you know. A religious person is caught up in the rules and regulations of his church. A spiritual person is caught up in Jesus Christ and his word. I'd much rather be spiritual than religious. First and foremost be a Christian.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

I'm glad you met this Rundman character.

3:38 AM  

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