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  • Russ Newton

Religion

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Depending on how close of a friend you are to me, you know I have always had doubts about Religion. I think the closest description of my beliefs would be severely agnostic since the age of 13 to 60. I flirted with Atheism, but believed anyone that was that certain there wasn't a God was as guilty as the person that believed there was a God. So I was a 6.9 on the scale of 0-7, 0 being a full believer and and a 7 being a full believer that there wasn't a God. All the evidence I could see with my own eyes was that the world was random in its outcomes. That God did not enter into it in anyway. Another way of saying that is that all outcomes appeared to be random, that if there was a God, he (or she) would have appeared but did not. Think about the Jews in World War Two, think about the tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people. But all that changed due the events that happened to me after I was diagnose with ALS. You could say I had a foxhole conversion. But that actually held me up for a few weeks. I said, how can you embrace religion now that you have an end date? That is cheating what you have believed in for your entire life. it is a chickenshit move. But then I had three angels visit me. I was living in Hayward, CA for a month after my diagnoses. On the last night I was going to live there, the day before I got in my car to drive to Texas, I went for a walk with my dog Oly. We walked by the car wash were a guy I had gotten to know over the two years I was living there. He and his wife washed several cars almost every night at this self car wash. His name is Francisco. He always talked to me about God. This night, he said (knowing about my illness) that God was the answer to my problems. I equivocated with him like so many times before. He finished his sermon that night with "maybe God sent me to talk to you" I said in response, "Well if God sent you and he knows me, he better send two more angels before I believe it. I am not going to knuckle under just because I have a fatal illness. That is not who I am". Well, I finished my walk and was sitting in my living room about 7pm when the phone rang with the second angel. Phillip Brandt, a good friend I got to know when I was working at the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune. He called me and said "Believe in God, it can help you". He said more than that, but he was the second angel. Than it got to be around 10pm and I said to Oly, (you talk to your dog when you are by yourself) "Well Oly, the third Angel didn't show up" when my phone rang again and it was Matt Miller, a guy I worked with 34 years ago at the Army Times in Springfield, VA. Matt is religious guy who has gone through some very rough times. his wife, Pamela, a great human being. had died on April 13th, 2019 https://www.brinsfieldfuneral.com/obituary/pamela-miller from cancer at 56 years of age. It wrecked Matt and rocked his faith too I imagine. but he gave words of scripture on this call. He was my third angel. So after that I said what choice do I have? I laid down the challenge. and God answered it. So now I believe. I am hopeful I am considerd a member of Matt's church in Mechanicsville , MD. I attended a service at his church on

June 7th, then again yesterday via Zoom. I went to the Barnes and Noble and purchase a Bible. So I am all in now folks! A foxhole conversion. Russ


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