Anthony & Denise

Anthony & Denise

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Myths I learned.

  I have to get up early tomorrow so I'll make this one short, Dental appointment.

  I had always been in the mindset that God was this big angry being just waiting to damn you. He is not. But, I stand ahead of myself. Through courses of events and boastful pride I first assumed that God was not real as I grew older and actually what I thought was smarter. I was wrong. The imagine and thoughts I had before, the preconceived notions I had learned in church was this angry deity that one could not satisfy. The one who always ordered killings that seem unsubstantiated at times. Perhaps if churches stepped out of their footnotes of the same old stories and actually taught from the Bible, no matter who it offends or who thinks the preacher is crazy, it might change. I learned that God is a whole lot like not what I had learned. He is a loving God that wants everybody to make it and gives every chance to try to measure up.  It grieves Him to lose even one person. That He loves us enough that what we fall short reaching up to Him, He will make up the difference. I learned that He is a Merciful God and what true Grace feels like.

    I learned that we are our brother's keeper. Not his judge on his day to day things, but his keeper to see that our brother/sister is never in need. I also learned that we are responsible for only ourselves, but also we impact so many people. Was it a positive impact or a negative?

  I also learned the myth of being or feeling superior to anybody.

  I learned the myth of believing in moth and rust. I'll let you all look that one up.

  I learned (at least for me) that there was no sting of death. 

Some of what I had and had not done

  I have had a lot of people through emails, Facebook messages, and on the Blogs ask me what I saw that I had and had not done right. At the time I was 44 years old a a whole lot had accumulated. I certainly wasn't the worse but I also wasn't as good as I should have been and a far cry from what I thought I was. I still am found lacking in many ways, but I'm a work in progress.

   I was taught not to judge so harshly by Papa which also taught the rest of the family too. Some of his and Annie's teaching they taught their children and us I had abide by like never turn away someone hungry or run someone off your property. While I was exactly an honest person in my youth, UPS changed that policy and I found just as I had been taught, tell the truth. I did hurt feelings sometimes as I could have told it a lot more tactfully. That a good paycheck, and a organization was about the only thing other than the many friends I made at UPS. I though had compared myself to other people in the process. I was a fast driver, holding records that I later found didn't mean squat. The place became me and who I was. If you are your job, therein lies the big mistake. If your job commands you to do or alter what is right and good, it is not worth salvation. I think when I hear the word Capitalists, I remember much of what God don't approve of. Capitalism is a religion. I know that isn't a popular thing to say either these days as the disinformation is heavy to make people think that is the American way. But look at where we are now and where it has gotten us and if you like this scenario, just wait until the curtain goes down. It ain't pretty. 

  Many asked if I had done these things while in real estate. No. While I had my license for 6 years prior they mostly just hung on a wall. It wasn't until after an injury at work that I started doing it fully time and I had left UPS. I knew better by then, plus mom wouldn't have tolerated it and would have been disappointed. I worked under her the last 2 years before the throat cancer hit.

   There were times when I even took part in making fun of less fortunate people. It wasn't often but, it did happen to keep in good graces with management. I threw my slats too occasionally at those who didn't want to live, breathe, and sleep for the company all those years I was at UPS. Dedication can be taken too far when it is in the wrong place and family and friends and number 2 and 3 of the list. God being number 1. There were times that I could have made things a bit easier on people, many, many times. Like crippled and blind people that I do as directed and just dropped the package on the porch, knowing they would be at the mercy of family or friends to get it inside. Times I could have said something kind to ease someone and times I done good to be praised and seen rather than doing good for the sake of doing good.

   It gets better than that too. Imagine every thought you have... every thought. Check that lady out and think bad things. Curse someone in your mind, done that a lot. Think your better than someone else because you are all wrapped up in what you can afford. That comes under the he or she could do better if they weren't so lazy or if they applied themselves thing. I saw myself driving and cussing while smiling, or as one Helped laughed and said, potty mouth. There are a lot of stupid people out there and I think I was perhaps the dumbest of them all. Next time your driving down the road, especially in traffic, monitor yourself. You will be given so many times to do good and do bad. Getting pissed off at the car who isn't too much on curiosity or errs is not a good thing, neither is the California Howdy sign. :). Next time you are in a check out lane and someone jumps line what you say and do is always an opportunity for right and wrong, depending on how you handle the situational.   

   Every minute of every day, no, let me correct that. I was taught to take care of the seconds and the minutes will take care of themselves, in productivity. But what is productivity? I found out that night that productivity is not what I thought. Productivity is something that can't be measured with a dollar. Something that has nothing to do what producing a product. Being productive is doing a good job, but then again, a good job is good relations with people... especially family. I never brought home the stress or anger, but I sure did the attitude. I'm sure my family was quite content that I did work all the time. At home though we had a hatchery and a mail order business for farm and pet supplies. It grew when we went online being the first hatchery up on the web and the 2nd or 3rd supply company. I was honest but heartless.

   From one of my cousins I had grown up with who had gotten murdered at twenty years old I hated and hardened my heart. I didn't grow up with my two half brothers or sisters or step brother, I grew up with my cousins as brothers and still to this day consider themselves to be. My heart broke when Joe was murdered, and my faith took a hit. Annie had many talks with me over the next 8 months about that, she died 8 months later. Joe and Mark had lived with her and taken care of her, she couldn't handle Joe being killed and the cruel words I had said to Mark and just about everybody else. Mark is all that remains now, along with Bobbie and Joey. Gerald (Mark & Joe's dad) died a few years later followed by Edna, their mom. Joe's dad which had also helped raise me began to drink and eventually he couldn't control it after Annie died in his arms, I'm not sure what I would have done the same losing a son and my mother in one year that way. Then I had a bad divorce and a lay off from Pet Dairy in the same year. I started back to church and done really good at going for the first time since I had quit as a teenager. I learned a lot and in a few short years all that learning was taken away from just one job a few years later. Then one day, as we were leaving church the preacher said, "Anthony, you need to get both feet in or both feet out". My answer was, "Well Hell, that's not a problem now is it." I haven't went back faithfully to this day. Between that and what I was being brainwashed at UPS, added with a hate than ran deep, well I'll say this. I was the best person to be around. I was funny though, lol.

   I didn't do a lot of things like get drunk, step out on my wife, beat her (she's stronger than me, lol), run around, or screw somebody over. I wasn't kind though to worse of all, my family. I ran home like they ran me. In some ways I think I was abusive to Denise with my words, the kids too. Naw, let's face it, I was cruel at times, too many times. I took them for granite. For 11 years we never took a vacation. It's not like we're just minutes away from the Smokies, a picnic would have been nice. So was looking past some things that really didn't matter and tossing more compliments out. Being kind. Getting mad easily. Giving those Marine type speeches we got at work when something didn't go right. Not telling them how proud I was of them and how much I loved them, even when I hated myself. I swallow camels and choked on gnats, as the saying goes.

  The pride, arrogance, unforgiving, hate, deception... all come through that night. My God I didn't realize all I had done or how bad I had done it. I was at the top of my heap and you know, I thought it would never end. Funny how we seem to forget that we are here for just a blink of an eye. Funny that we forget how we came into the world naked and empty handed, and we go out the same way. I had done a lot of good things too though more than I had thought for all the wrong reasons. Those don't count, at least not in a positive way.

   The only thing I had done good was that night, and that was because I thought I would never get another chance to say anything to anybody.I was afraid that my ride had come to an end and so before I went as Denise walked along beside the bed, I looked at her and said after he explained that the blockage was probably massive and it could stop my heart when they went to stop the heart attack. I said, " I've got something to confess." I saw her worried and scared too and wanted to ease her, but I was scared myself. Denise looked like oh no, here it comes, but she remained silent. I told her "I know I haven't always been a good husband, and I know that I have lacked a lot in many way. I want you to know that you have been a great wife and I have always loved you and always will. And I'm sorry for not being as good a husband as I should have been. Whatever happens tonight, please don't be bitter. I love you." It did not have the calming effect I had hoped for. Actually it may have made it worse.

  There are just too, too many things for me to list individually. If it is a gray area it is a black area , gray don't exist. If everybody is doing it and it really doesn't seem like a bad thing, then it's not a good thing either. There is only 1 you when it comes to facing God for your wrongs, nothing is curved on if you were at work or not. If your work is you it is wrong. You should work to live not live to work. Your company is not your family nor your first priority, actually it is much lower on the list, no higher than fourth. What you speak openly, silently, and think all count. Or at least that is what I seen. Judge yourself to no one except Jesus. If you are then you are already falling way short. Love yourself least than you love everybody else. Forgive, even your enemies. Love nothing this earth has because it stays on this earth. The things that are worth the most here is faith, truth, love, and those around you. That is what I learned. Anything you can actually pay money for and buy is false wealth.  Be nice. Be truthful yet tactful. Be calm, inside and out. Be Humble. Be Kind. Serve rather than being served. Anybody can be served, but only great people can be servants.

  That is just a small touch of it, but I'm sure you get the jest of it. I can tell you just as many right things I did, but some were for the wrong reasons and telling them would be bragging. I also saw how that don't look too good either. Man I've told more than I meant too. While I'm far from a saint I try and watch what I done before. There is not a day goes by that I do not ask for forgiveness. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about the old me and ask that God help me to never be that man again. There is not a day that when we talk on the phone that I don't end it with I love you to Denise, the kids, the grandkids, and my parents... even to some friends. There is not a day that goes by that I don't give thanks for the great people that He has allowed me to be in the company of. People that have not only tolerated me but forgave me and loved me despite my past and my short comings. God is Good. 

  So I try and monitor myself these days, knowing how I fell the first time. That doesn't mean I still don't fall, I just know how it works now. I think this song pretty much says the truth.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Love, one aspect of the experience

  I think rather than knowing how to love I was taught that I was loved, and greatly so. This however was a different love. I really do not think this love can ever be achieved here in this world with these bodies. As I looked around and spotted Denise I felt a warm, complete, perfect love, stronger than I could ever explain. More pure than I could have ever know existed. As I watched the others in the room I felt the same way for them too. Though mentally I had an attachment to Denise, love was ll the same. Everybody was equally loved.

  I know, sounds a bit Hippie type sounding, but it is true. Here, we have different loves and levels of love... if we are fortunate. And it's perfectly natural to be that way, I think God made us to be that way apart from His presence by these bodies. We have different loves for our spouse, parents, children, God, family, friends... and within each of those different levels. That doesn't mean we do lot love truly or one better than the other. I think it is the natural way to keep order in our lives. We extend limits of our love depending upon who it is. We extend conditions on our love, depending on who it is.

  But when we are in the Light of God, maybe His love is so powerful that our souls feed off of it. I really don;t know how it works. I'm just guessing. God's love I felt that night was perfect, unconditional, complete, and a level that no words can describe.  

Friday, February 4, 2011

How Long was I dead?

Not long I think in earthly time. Once you leave your body though time does not exist. I can assure you not as long as I would have liked to.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just a thought

I am open to creating other topics that are important so if anybody thinks of one please let me know. Thank you Lori an the rest for coming up with this. Thank you also Lori for giving me the idea for some of the topics. I have a hard time separating one thing from the other as they all seem connected and important. I also know that I a question can be asked different ways for the same general answer and that people connect with how the question is asked.  So even if the question has been asked before, please feel free to ask it again if you want or need to.
   Please note that I will always try and state what I believe from what I experienced. I learned a lot that night and through this bout with throat cancer I learned ever more. I read a lot of different stuff because the night of the NDE didn't leave me with all the answers but rather with a thirst for truth and to learn even more. That night dispelled some myths for me and revealed truths and left me with just enough information to cause me to thirst for more information of the truth. I still have so very much to learn. Hopefully we can all learn from each other and through that become better people.
 Thanks, Anthony 



Questions about our experience at the Interview

  The initial interview was done here at our home. Chris came out by himself and it was more like a home movie with a fancy microphone. It was about 2 days after dad had his stroke. Chris asked if I was ok to do the interview and I said yes. Denise was at work and so he never got to interview her that day, he had a schedule that was full doing other interviews. His first words that he said and stressed were to say what I saw and what I experienced in my own words. It was perhaps the most important thing to him that it was in my own words and of my own choosing. He listened and asked questions, just like anybody would and does. I will have to say that he had no preconceived notions whatsoever.

  We got a call asking if we would be willing to do the next taping, we weren't chosen for the first one. This was about a month or two later. So we drove to Atlanta where they put us up in a motel room and gave us expenses to eat with and fuel money. They offered to fly us but it was only about a 4 hour drive and we needed that trip and alone time together. I thought that was extremely kind. Fox only put us in a room and flew us there. Newsweek came here, but they did send us pictures later on which was nice.

  Once were got to the studio we were greeted by Supryia and Alex, along with Chris. Again none wanted anything but the truth in our own words and stressed that. None had any preconceived notions of what the answers were or what our experience was. Well, they did have my interview from the previous one, but not Denise. There is a waiting area where I waited, away from the set. They couldn't hear me nor I them for sound quality. I goofed off, even went outside and took some pictures. Denise's interview lasted from about 9am to 12. We broke for lunch for an hour. They invited us to go with them but we wanted to see what we could and eat with each other. Funny, we never mentioned the show.

  When we went back my interview started. Chris sat across from me in a chair. They placed a towel between my hands so as not to make noise. My voice wasn't strong and other than a Morphine patch I was weaning off of I used Percocets to allow me to speak without as much pain being felt. I constantly sipped water as the Saliva glands didn't work... still don't. That may be why my interview last a bit longer. Mine started at 1pm and lasted until about 6:30pm. All three were very patient with me. We were interrupted a time or two by trains and a band downstairs, but it all worked out.

  Chris had asked me questions that many had never asked and I looked deeper recalling a lot of what I had experienced. That is perhaps the funny part. It is like things grow as time goes by. I have no idea why. Maybe it is just so complex that you have the outline but the depth is felt later on. Maybe it is planted like a seed that grows.

  So until the night came of the show I had no idea what was edited out, I'm not ever sure I knew what I said, lol. It seemed to upset Denise so much that I really just didn't mention it to her, nor her to me. When we broke for lunch her make-up was washed off. I didn't want to cause anymore pain.

  So we waited until it aired. It was suppose to air in October but for whatever reason it was postponed. I wasn't sure that it would air, but I figured that if it was meant to be then it would and if not that it was ok too. We had at least gotten away from the madness and gloom of the cancer treatments, if only briefly. When we watched the show that night I was so tickled and pleased that they had selected what they did of the interviews. If I am ever remembered then I want people to remember my smile and to remember to smile. To see the lighter side of life, for this isn't what we were created for.

Questions about what changed

Questions about The Light

   I get asked often what I experienced and I can only explain what I saw. Everything illuminated with a brilliant Light. A bright light where it was brilliant than the Sun yet not harmful or hurting. It is so hard to put into words. This is not a light as we see light as being in this world, but a brilliant light that is a perfect light. There are no shadows in this light, nothing at all has a shadow. There was not point of origin. No beginning. No end. The light enveloped everything and everyone. In this light there was love, not like love here, so much so that I experienced that love and was able to love the same way. There was a warmth, a kind of warmth not able to be experienced here. An acceptance. Kindness. Healing. Perfection. Intelligence. Compassion. Power. In this light words are unspoken and felt through the soul. There are no cares, no regrets, no fears, no pain, no questions. 

  I'm also asked what was this light and honestly I can't say. I associated this light with God. The light could have came from an angel, but with the power contained in it I would imagine God. He is the only entity that I could imagine would have all these attributes. I saw no spirits nor did I see God, but I felt His presence. I know that no matter what I write here, or verbally tell, or you read in the Bible or else where, one cannot even fathom how great this is.  

  I've also heard recently a preacher that I listened to say in a sermon that NDE people are New Age people because we say the light. I know some that are New Age but I am not. True that I word things funny sometimes but after reading some in the Bible it says that God the Father and Jesus have often been described as light. In many ways I'm glad that the preacher on the radio did say what he said for I have started back reading the Bible again. This also confirms to me that the light was from God. Below is a few of what i have found. I will let you decide.

1 John 1: 5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

1 John 6: 6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

Matthew 17: 2And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

John 8: 12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 9: 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Questions about my belief in Forgiveness

   I have a lot of people ask me questions about what all I was bad at, or what is called sinned. In some ways I was a good person and in some ways I wasn't. I think for me the things that shocked me most were the things I thought were ok, neutral ground. There is no such thing as neutral ground. There are no gray areas. There is no grading on a curve. It is what it is, right or wrong and what you or I perceive in that definition doesn't count. I have also been asked if my bad was in real estate. It wasn't. My mom would have been disappointed in me if had I have done that, plus I was raised better.

  So what was it that looked so bad? The list is too long to go in to and that alone would be a book. Rather than go into the worst of things, how about some of the gray areas. Some of the bad things I had done are pretty self evident. I can assure you that wrong is wrong and most of the wrongs are equal, it is only man that attributes levels of wrong in many cases. None it looks good or less bad when you view it. Thing is, will you confess to it. That is one reason I say practice honesty now. Make it a habit that you keep so that you will not mess up.

  A lot of my life I told lies, mostly white lies, but lies just the same. One of the things I learned real fast at UPS was to be honest and let the chips fall where they may. We were however told from many times to lie to customers. Then there was the priority thing. I placed money and pats on the back at work before my family. I was my job. Then there were those times that we secretly made fun of people. They didn't know it, but God did. In my personal business I was pretty much heartless. Therein I learned that God don't see two people standing there, just one. No excuses are accepted. Just those offenses alone were many. Add to that pride. then the feeling of judging others, now there is the real kicker and worthy of a new paragraph.

  How many times have you said or thought, "They made their own bed, now sleep in it." or similar. How many times has someone wrong you either intentionally or unintentionally then apologized and you didn't accept it. You may or may have said you did but in your heart you didn't. How many times have you said that a condition, emotional, monetary, physical, or anything else that is their problem. Or the famous words they did it to themselves which is usually followed by they can deal with it. How many times has someone asked for your help but you said no, when you really could have. How many times have you had more than what you needed (key word, needed) and someone else was in need and you did not help them. I done all of these and many times. How many times have you lusted for someone, even though you said nothing.

  Now comes the kicker. It isn't just what you said and done but what you thought. Imagine your thoughts plus you're actions. For that matter, just your thoughts alone. How many things did you do for glory? How many things have you done for the wrong reasons. Hate gays or people of another or no faith. Think about that one. Notice the first word, hate. By now you can well imagine the terror. Nothing spoken, done, or thought is excluded. If you look at someone and feel better than they are, more righteous than they are, more deserving than they are... you've already fallen way short. We are not compared to anybody or anything on earth. We are all judged the same accountancy to God's laws. We stand alone in our own sins and account alone for them. But all is revealed. Yea, I was scared. If you have ever said let justice be served, pray that God doesn't serve justice on you. I am thankful that He didn't on me.

  With all this accumulated I was forgiven. Not only forgiven but loved and welcomed with a clean slate. It was all forgotten. Wiped away. What I learned is that we judge our fellow man far more harshly than God judges us. True, there are things that we must make judgments on, but I think we overstep our bounds. Some people are so busy pointing out what someone else should be doing. In this I learned to let live and let go. I don't worry so much about the other person, theirs habits or likes or dislikes that may be wrong. I have enough on myself to worry about fixing, and I am a long ways from where I should be. I have learned to forgive, which I believe is a requirement.

  So again I looked at the Bible to see if what I was taught that night was in writing. Here are a few excerpts.

Matthew 7:
1Judge not, that ye be not judged.  2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Luke 6:
 36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
 37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
 38Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 Mark 11: 25And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

 Luke 6 :
36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
 38Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Questions about God and and My beliefs

Did I see God, no, but I felt Him and stood wrapped up by His Light. He did not speak as we speak to each other but rather the words are felt rather than heard. Warm and with kind, compassionate authority. I have been reading lately on who is God of the Bible, and I a have been shocked. I have however found maybe the reason I didn't see God. Look at verse 8, I was not and still am not pure at heart. 

Matthew 5

 1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
 2And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
 3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
 5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
 6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
 7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
 8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
 9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
 10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

General Questions about my NDE

Questions about my belief in Heaven

I've been asked if I believe in Heaven, yes I do. Did I see Heaven that night, no. My entire time I remained in the room and looked over to the left into the observation room watching Denise and the crew most of the time.

  I'm going to add this though. Knowing how great it felt to stand in the Light Of God, I can't imagine how great Heaven must be. 

Questions about my belief in Jesus

On many of the dated posts I answered questions about my belief in Jesus.I believe in Jesus. I believe that Jesus is the son of the Father God who was tortured and sacrificed for our sins. Did I see Jesus, no. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah.

  Do I pray to Jesus? No. I pray the way Jesus said to pray and then use that format to add what I need to add. Jesus is the mediator to God the Father. Yes, I also know Jesus' name is pronounced Yahshua. 

Please allow me to quote a few examples.:

Matthew 6:
7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
 9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
 11Give us this day our daily bread.
 12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
 14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

John 14
 5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
 6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
 7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.