October 2020 – March 2021

Allen’s Journal


Hello family, 

Chalk this communication up to the sign of the times, or perhaps it is becoming that time in my life. Whichever, this is one of those times when I feel compelled to say something. The reason may not mean much because I am the only one in the family that has my particular viewpoint. I don’t mean a particular ideological viewpoint but a perch or ledge overlooking the vista that is our family. My wife, your mother, and grandmother, I can see on her perch not too far away, she made her way there by a different path than I made my way to mine. Many times, we were on the same path but often we see the view differently not because one of us is right and the other is wrong but because our paths are different. What I have to say is from my experiences which collectively are mine and mine alone. 

I know that our family is unique in many ways and our history has a long way to go so my opinion may amount to very little but it comes from events that ultimately have some seed in all your lives. In short, this is your life too. The only way to say what I have to say is to give a chronology as best as I can and relate some lessons I learned along the way. 

My earliest recollections are around 1955…

How many presidents have you had in your life? I have had 13. Lesson number one: I believe, with all her faults, we live in the greatest country on the planet. She can stand just about anything and survive.

The trick is to have compassion and offer a hand up without strings or accept a hand up with gratefulness, not resentment.

My earliest recollections are around 1955...

which brings me to my first point. Ask yourself how many presidents have you had in your life? I have had 13. Lesson number one I believe with all her faults we live in the greatest country on the planet and she can stand just about anything and survive. From time to time she has to stick her fingers down her throat and regurgitate her mistakes but she has always persevered. The flaws in our country are in the hearts and minds of her people not in the physical country.

From the time of my first recollections certain social and ethnic groups have been trying to improve their lives. As a child, I remember hearing, sadly sometimes from family members, jokes and put-downs about Italians (WOPS without papers) Jews (Kikes), Negros, Native Americans. Mexicans (Spic’s), Irish (Mick’s), and more. My own mother didn’t like Slavic people. The prejudice that one person has for another has to be learned but would easily die out if adults would not nurture them with an appetite steeped in revenge and or the unattainable desire to go back in history and right all wrongs. I have come to see that prejudice is just a waste of time. Striving for a “more perfect union” lies in getting up every morning and doing the next right thing.

We were known as poor white trash for much of my childhood because we were sharecroppers. I won’t go into the life of a sharecropper but to say financially, poverty and debt were constant pressure. We were white while most of our social-economical “class” were Hispanic. They didn’t like us much because we were white. Many whites looked down on us because we were poor. I had more than one bloody lip encounter trying to stake out some space to breathe at school. We owned virtually nothing except for some basic transportation. My mother and dad divorced shortly after I was born the youngest of five children. One brother died tragically in a fire, one sister died at birth another from several health issues. I started out spending several weeks in an incubator. My mother had been told to avoid getting pregnant as she couldn’t carry it to term. I spent most of the year with my mother and step-fathers (she married three times) on one farm or another and summers with my dad and stepmothers (he married three times)on one ranch or another or a forest service lookout tower. Oh yes, there was the time when mom and I lived alone for a while. My point is just this when someone opines about growing up in poverty and broken families I can more than just relate.

I was a farm boy, cowboy, alter boy, passed around a boy, and sometimes a wayward boy. Most of my life up until I turned fifteen, was out of a Mark Twain novel. My friends, close friends, were the Swift brothers Donald, Van, and Hugh. We had acres to roam and conquer, the purgatory river, and our imaginations. We laughed, we fought, played hard, and looked out for one another. The most important aspect of those times was that without a lot of adult interference we settled our differences and evolved into a natural hierarchy that suited each individual. We took risks because as growing boys we grew up. Our days were filled with a mountain of chores, guns, bows, slingshots, and anything else that could be used or converted to blow something up. Some of our activities produced “Trouble” which news of, somehow always made it home before we did and was handled in short order by an adult. I was never abused but by today’s standards some of the disciplines dished out would be frowned upon. Usually, one incident was enough to learn the lesson. Corporal punishment could be painful and administered by any parent or school official. I never had the feeling it was done other than to gain my attention and emphasize the lesson. Receiving “Swats” at school was a rite of passage including the honor of signing the paddle.

Any person wearing a uniform was to be respected, it never occurred to us to even talk back much less resist. Most of us wanted to grow up and wear a uniform. Most of us had close relatives that fought in WWII. My belief is that man is born with natural bents to adapt to each other’s life together and evolve to a higher place. Someone will always have had it better or worse than someone else. The trick is to have compassion and offer a hand up without strings or accept a hand up with gratefulness, not resentment. Another waste of time is to blame the past for your lack of drive to do something about your future. Study the past to learn not to revise any truth in it. You are entitled to your conclusions but not your own facts. Injustice is not the same for everyone. We will never agree, deal with injustice by confronting it, and diluting it with enlightened behavior until it is so weak it draws no attention. In the meantime avoid people and situations that break the law. Build on what you can compromise on and leave the rest in the trash. My point here is to refer back to the 13 presidents. Dear ones if you intend to cast your vote, and I hope you do, keep in mind that every president from Washington to Trump was and is imperfect. Politics is a nasty, harsh, devious, dishonest, lying profession. If you harbor even the slightest hope that there exists the perfect statesman or woman with clarity of the all-inclusive ideology and the skills to bring 350,000,000 people together under one banner, abandon it now as it is the biggest waste of time of all. The next lesson is, to be honest with yourself. Choose a side but don’t kid yourself that you do so for the betterment of mankind. We always choose the side that will do us the most good. Politics and politicians should solely be judged on the results of what they do and nothing about what they say. If you want a clue as to what they will do in the future look to their past and the decisions they made as they relate to their ambitions. The most clarifying clues can be found when you follow the money. They will pay those they owe. If you truly want to change something let your life reflect what you want, be prepared to answer as to why you believe what you believe, and develop the skills to persuade those who will listen. Do not expect the government to force those who disagree with you to submit to your will. As for me, I have an open mind about a lot of things, on the other hand, I have made up my mind about a lot of things. A hot button, a very hot button, is to threaten to advance on me or my family with the intent to force me or them into submission about anything. I do have a line in the sand, and brother you will know when you cross it.


I spent many hours with Dad, in the saddle, riding in a jeep, hunting, fishing, and alone on Deadman Lookout when he worked for the forest service.

He never turned anybody away that needed a hand and his personality was that of a calm man that always tried to reason with anger or a tense situation.

Many hours in the saddle, riding in a jeep...

There is an ongoing discussion in the culture about what constitutes a family.  The only perception I have for the basis of what I believe makes a family is what I grew up with. A family was a Dad, a mother, and children. From this comes Grandparents, going up the ladder, and aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. going down the ladder. From my perspective as a child how things spread out from there just ended up in boring discussions about what a first cousin or second cousin is and how they get removed once or twice.  It does seem that the farther you go back in time the more complicated it was and the future doesn’t appear to offer any relief that it is going to get any simpler. With that said what follows is what I remember now about our family history from the Webb ladder.  Remember this is what I remember living and what I remember being told.  I’ll do my best to break up the stories into digestible segments.  Also, I may not be brave enough to share everything but I promise to try.  These are recollections and I don’t submit them as one hundred percent accurate.  Oh, yes if you want more specific details Carole has done significant work on ancestry.com.

This was told to me by my father.  Great grandfather and grandmother lived in Canyon City, Colorado.

He was quite the gambler, so the story goes, and after several reversals of fortune, great-grandma took over the family finances and put him on a budget.  She didn’t try to stop his gambling but she did manage the winnings. Evidently, he had managed to win and lose several ranch properties in Colorado and Wyoming. If I remember correctly he won the local lumber yard which she managed. Dad told me that when grandpa lost his allotment he could be seen doing yard work around town to earn enough to get back in the game.

Story 2

Great-grandmother knew a famous outlaw, Jesse James I think. Dad said she knew them well enough that he stayed with them from time to time.

Story 3

Dad’s youth didn’t reflect a model family structure. His father died in his early thirties from an influenza epidemic.  His mother abandoned him and his siblings to relatives.  My brother tells the story that he received notice of her death in the late fifties but showed little or no emotions of the event.  This seems odd to me as I always found him to be empathetic.  He never turned anybody away that needed a hand and his personality was that of a calm man that always tried to reason with anger or a tense situation.

I spent many hours with him in the saddle, riding in a jeep, hunting, fishing, and alone on Deadman Lookout when he worked for the forest service.  He took in young men from time to time gave them ranch work and a roof.  Two such were John Walker and a fellow named Marshall.  John lives in Arizona I believe, while Marshall tragically committed suicide and Dad found him in the barn at the ranch.

Dad had several talents a couple of which were carpentry plus he could play the guitar and sing cowboy ballads.  His voice however was a little bit Tex Ritter and someone that gargled with Dutch Cleanser.

He had a lot of patience with kids but when it came to his sons he didn’t suffer “attitude” when he was teaching us something.  You had no doubt when you crossed the line and immediately you began to look forward to when things were back to normal. We had nicknames Lenoard was Capitan, Bobby was Skip and I was Corky or most of the time Cork. Jerry our sister was just sis.  Oddly because of the divorce, it was extremely rare to find us all together with Dad. For the sake of continuity, I’ll end this section with a reminder that Dad was married to Flora, my mother, then Mary, and finally Edith. Mother was married to Dad, Ernie, and finally Tommy.  There will be stories about all these folks as each one influenced my life.


Visitors would camp around the base in a campground provided by the Forest Service. I always felt like a big shot because Dad was the star of the show. He repeated the same stories about Smokey The Bear, forest etiquette, how Deadman got its name, etc.  I handed out comic books, bookmarks, and little metal buttons with Smokies’ pictures on them.

it was Dad and me most of the time during the summer...

My time at the tower was special because it was unique to me.  It was just Dad and me most of the time during those summers.  From time to time Mary, Dad’s wife, would come up and spend a little time with us as well.

Visitors would camp around the base in a campground provided by the Forest Service. These folks would sometimes come up the stairs to find the catwalk door locked. This was because they didn’t stop to think we had to get up and get dressed like anybody else. When we did open up to them I always felt like a big shot because Dad was the star of the show, he repeated the same stories about Smokey The Bear, forest etiquette, how Deadman got its name, etc.  I handed out comic books, bookmarks, and little metal buttons with Smokies’ pictures on them.

Inside the tower was a kids’ delight, after all, who wouldn’t want to camp over 50 feet in the air.  There was a double bed in one corner where the early morning sun would shine through the big plate-glass windows and make my side warm and toasty. Some mornings we would wake up and the fog and cloud cover was so thick it was just a sea of white with just a few of the taller trees sticking their tops through the heavy mist.  There was a wood-burning cookstove in the center where we cooked up many delights like Spam, Dinty Moore corned beef hash, and truckloads of Dinty Moore beef stew.  Real guy food, but I do have to admit that when the weekend came it was nice to have Mary cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 Pretty much in the very center of the tower, was a stand that had a rangefinder mounted on it. It consisted of a round map with a metal band with numbers on it. There was a short stand On one side of the circle was a slider that had a little peephole in it. On the opposite side, what is a crosshair, like you would find in a rifle scope. These two elements were connected by a metal band with numbers on it also. The idea was to get what was thought to be smoke in the crosshairs using the slider. Somehow, and I never understood the math, dad using the numbers on The metal band with a string with a tack in it could come up with map coordinates which we radioed to the hotshot crew so that they could go and investigate the fire. The act of actually spotting smoke over such a large area was also a mystery to me, when dad did spot something suspicious he would very patiently use the binoculars to get it pointed out to me. In actuality even after he pointed it out to me many times I just took his word for what I was looking at was smoke. However, many were the time that we would hear on the radio that the hotshot crew had found the fire and was working to put it out.

 ” Lookouts sizing up smoke and reporting in using a Type T – Model D Ten Meter Radio in 1952

Osborne Firefinder in a Fire Lookout Tower on the San Bernardino National Forest. Photo by John Miller

Another bit of special apparatus was a small four-legged stool with glass insulators on each foot. The function of this little stool was that during an electrical storm one was supposed to stand on the stool so that if the tower were struck by lightning the person standing on the stool would not get a large jolt or worse. A couple of times we experienced such storms I felt much safer under the covers in bed. However one night we did get to experience Saint Elmo‘s fire. During an electrical storm the tower was struck by lightning, the charge was directed by a copper tower mounted on the peak of the roof and then grounded by a bike copper cable to the base of the tower into the ground. The static electricity from the strike caused the railings and several other components of the structure to glow with weird blue dancing light. I was too awestruck to be afraid.

The wind could make things exciting when you’re that far off the ground. Sometimes the whole tower would rock back-and-forth enough so that the Coleman lantern hanging from the ceiling would have to be removed for fear of it jumping out of the hook it hung from.

It should be noted, this conclusion was reached after personal observation and clinical studies, that a healthy specimen can store a small bag of peanuts, two strings of licorice, one marshmallow, and the better part of a Kit Kat candy bar in its cheeks in a single attempt.

Cute, fuzzy, and immortalized by Walt Disney doesn't preclude them from trying to eat you...

Nov. 11, 2020

To be certain, one cannot spend a significant amount of time in the middle of the Roosevelt National Forest and not encounter a critter or two. From the smallest to the largest my recollections would start with the noble chipmunk. Sometimes friend and other times foe I spent a fair amount of time feeding, luring, catching, and freeing these wily rascals.

I had a cage with a wheel mounted on the inside and the captured prisoner could earn his freedom by driving Dad crazy with constant, and I do admit annoying, squeaking of the thing as it rotated.  Trapping one was accomplished by the tried and true method of a box a stick and a piece of string.  Oh yes, and a small portion of bait.  The word had obviously circulated that after you had eaten the bait, rested in the cage, that it was simply a matter of a few spins in the wheel and you were free.  I did learn a lesson or two about nature. Just because they are cute, fuzzy, and immortalized by Walt Disney doesn’t preclude them from trying to eat you whole if given the opportunity. It should be noted, this conclusion was reached after personal observation and clinical studies, that a healthy specimen can store a small bag of peanuts, two strings of licorice, one marshmallow, and the better part of a Kit Kat candy bar in its cheeks in a single attempt.

They will steal anything eatable left out unprotected...


I am not sure of the scientific name of this bird but it ought to translate as curious, quick, and bold. They will steal anything eatable left out unprotected. My game was to open the door and lay a trail of bread crumbs from the catwalk to inside with the intent to entice one to eat out my hand. The problem was that when one came in more were soon to follow. Eventually, they did what birds will do and that is when Dad would put an end to the game. After cleaning up I was usually invited to go outside and find something more constructive to do like splitting wood.

One afternoon I was out exploring a large rock slide at the base of the tower. During an imaginary heated gun battle with a band of outlaws, I flushed a covey of large grouse. They are a noisy bunch when spooked and the hens will often act as if wounded while moving away from their nests to draw predators away from eggs or chicks. I ran to the top of the tower to report to Dad. He couldn’t resist sending me out on a mission to kill one, with the assurance he would cook it up for dinner. I had my trusty slingshot but I admit that the thought of killing something was weighing heavy on my mind. After returning to the area there were only two of the larger birds still clucking about. I managed to launch several pounds of stones in the general direction of my prey that had no intention of being anybody’s dinner. I returned to the tower with an in-depth description of my valiant but unsuccessful effort. Spam was on the menu again that night.

A person can count themselves fortunate if they have one true magical moment during a lifetime. The kind of event I am speaking about is an encounter that not only transcends the moment but becomes such a vivid memory you carry it with you in such precision you can return to it at any time and contemplate its effect and meaning.

I was further away from the tower than I had ever been before...


A person can count themselves fortunate if they have one true magical moment during a lifetime. The kind of event I am speaking about is an encounter that not only transcends the moment but becomes such a vivid memory you carry it with you in such precision you can return to it at any time and contemplate its effect and meaning.
I was further away from the tower than I had ever been before. I had learned to stay in sight but had also discovered that even if I was deep enough into the trees to lose sight gaining a little elevation usually revealed some portion of the massive logs that were the structure. It was midday and it felt good to be out of the sun and in the cool cover of the massive pines overhead. I sat down between two large rocks and wedged myself into a perfect comfort.
My whole body relaxed and I could feel the desire to just give in to sleep. My mind was fixed on nothing, no fears, no cares, no anxiety just peace. How long I was in this state I cannot say but I heard a sound, a natural sound like a small rock bouncing off another or perhaps a dead branch finding its way to the forest floor. It was just enough that I raised my head. About fifteen yards directly in front of me stopped in mid-stride one front foot still suspended its eyes looking directly at me was a pure white fox. It was frozen with the only movement being its fur gently rising and falling with the rhythm of its breathing and the occasional blinking of its coal-black eyes.
I could only stare back, it was so out of place as I am sure it thought the same about me. My only thought was not to frighten it. I didn’t want it to run away I didn’t speak and was barely breathing. It seemed to relax letting the suspended paw come to earth. I took a long deep look and was taken by just how white it was, head to a large plumed tail. Pure and clean it struck me how it could live in the forest and stay so clean? Had it been winter it would have been invisible with the snow as a backdrop. Then it took one step and then another raising its ears it stopped and looked back at me. In a while, it soft-footed down the rocks and I watched until it was just a white dot in the trees and then nothing.
When I made my way back to the comfort of the towering dad was filling the wood box. He could tell something was on my mind because I pitched in to help without being told. He asked if I had seen anything special today. I don’t know why but I told him that I had seen a white dog. He just smiled and told me it wasn’t a dog I had seen but a fox. He said their fur was very valuable. Then, as what seemed like an afterthought, he asked if I had talked with it. I shook my head no and we never spoke about it again.

Simple he said you count their legs and divide by four…
Situated so high up in the tower the view was well into Wyoming and the Prairie Divide. Dad had a great sense of direction and a talent for spotting unusual interesting bits from our perch. The ranch was in Tie Siding, Wyoming.

Simple he said you count their legs and divide by four...


Certain events can happen with semi-regularity but you are always in awe when they do come about. Situated so high up in the tower the view was well into Wyoming and the Prairie Divide. Dad had a great sense of direction and a talent for spotting unusual interesting bits from our perch. I remember him pointing out the reflection of the new tin roof on the barn of a ranch where his stepson was the foreman. The ranch was in Tie Siding Wyoming. I would do my first real cowboy work for Bob Boyd a few years later on that same ranch. He also pointed out, only certain times of the day, the reflections off car windshields as they made their way up the trail ridge road about a zillion miles away. We could also see the next tower in the system, I think it was Twin Sisters deep into Colorado.

One event that I always looked forward to was the migration of the elk herd. The large open fields of grass, they were called parks in that part of the country, would turn from green to black as the hundreds of animals would move in to graze. As they grazed the bulls went about their business of gathering their harems and establishing their boundaries. They would bugle, grunt and snort while pawing the ground and testing their massive antlers against one another. I remember asking Dad how many there were and he gave me a number. I didn’t doubt him but asked how he counted them. Simple he said you count their legs and divide by four. Astonishingly, the Rocky Mountain elk can grow these massive racks from scratch so to speak every year. I wouldn’t believe it when Dad said they can grow up to as much as an inch a day. I shouldn’t have doubted him, I looked it up. They would bed down for the night and because it was so quiet up there we could hear them breathing and snorting well into the night. I would wake up in the morning and the park would be empty.

The next lesson has to do with people and influence...

It is great to have heroes but remember they’re not perfect. Bad people and bad influences are to be avoided. It usually takes courage but the simplest approach is to think with your feet and don’t worry about looking graceful. Do it early in the relationship and with a surgical attitude. Life is a grand buffet, look carefully but be cautious about what you pick up and put on your plate. Give credence to circumstances, the best friend in the world will betray the relationship if their circumstances become dire enough. Avoid those that pull you down and gravitate toward those that lift you. John 15:13 is the test. Learn, usually through practice, the art of forgiveness. Learn the lesson, forgive the transgression and the transgressor then don’t repeat the mistake. As my Dad would say “There is nothing wrong with being smarter on Tuesday than you were on Monday.” Above all don’t pack around transgressions believing there is any nourishment to be had by reliving them or using them to punish the transgressor. These axioms I learned first-hand nobody taught them to me. My life is a map of mistakes, broken promises, broken commandments, broken laws, and betrayals. Some events are done to me and some by me. Life goes on and there is less future than past so I intend to follow my own advice and produce more happiness than sadness. I place no burdens on my family nor will I outline any obligations. If in your hearts you do not know the right thing to do, no spoken or written word from me will likely change your motivation.

The most important relationships in your life are the ones you choose to cultivate, among which are God, spouse, and friends. In my case, my relationship with God wasn’t cultivated as much as it was plowed under and replanted. The path to my relationship with Christ looked like the remnants of a barroom brawl but eventually, we came to terms. The night I publicly committed was the first absolutely spiritual moment in my life. Until that moment God was only a concept, I could not have resisted if I had wanted. I opened the door and he moved in. It has become a fairly predictable relationship pattern of finding myself in the coals of his forge, to gain my attention, then to the anvil, to reshape my attitude, and finally the oil quench to seal my commitment. I stray from time to time but he has infinite patience and an inexhaustible supply of coal.

When I met Carole I was at the top of my game, I was part of the fair-haired group in the theater department at N.A.U.  I was more popular than I had ever been in my life with stacks of friends and more freedom to do what I wanted that I ever had before.  I have no idea why she was attracted to me but she quickly became the emotional center of my universe.  Those days of our lives were a grand gift.  I think about them every day.  My attraction to her was final and I would have been devastated had she not married me.  I have a lot more to share about our 50+ years together but this is not the appropriate place. An important lesson I learned but often forgot is to not let the romantic overshadow the practical.  The bill for your decisions will come due and when the bill is overdue it will quench the fire of passion.  Get advice from couples that have extended solid relationships.  Face the cold hard facts about what it takes to function as a couple on a daily basis.  Do not dismiss the reality that you are marrying a family, not just one person in a family. Philosophically I’ll end with this, marriage is a commitment to service not an exercise in behavior modification of one another.

The crucial aspect of friends is that you get to choose them.  Be careful about relationships that are easy to engage in but are not nourishment to the ones you are committed to.  Any friendship that pulls you away from your core commitments need to be adjusted no matter how attractive they may seem. Aristotle surmised that there were three kinds of friendships, utility, pleasure, and good. The first two are a bit superficial but the third is based on mutual respect and admiration. The rare jewel I would say. The Bible mentions friendship many times and in each instance, there is a valuable lesson but none with more clarity than John 15:13.  If you are new to Bible study friendship is a great study to start.

An attempt to explain my faith...

The next lesson in an attempt to explain my faith. I will put down in words what I believe. It is not an attempt to intrude on anyone’s own conclusions. The obvious place for me to start is with faith. The belief in things unseen or this case the supernatural. As simple as seems to me now it was very confusing at the start. I made it very hard on myself because of a false sense of my own self-reliance, in short, I was too dumb to know how dumb I was. I became a believer, having faith in the supernatural, intelligent design, and God. One night after I had decided to outline how I would give a stranger a reason why I believed the way I did, keeping in mind that at this point I didn’t really know the difference between the disciples and the seven dwarfs, the ascension and old age pension and the Trinity was a mystery better left for another day. I came upon some illustrations about the origins of the cosmos and the relationship between the planets and the stars. At this point in my quest, I had reduced origins down to two basic positions. Fiat and chance. Either God spoke creation into existence or everything in the universe, at one time was compressed into a thimble-sized lump and then for no apparent reason spontaneously exploded creating the cosmos and unlimited opportunity for life. Apparently, there is a question as to why the whole thing is still expanding when it should react like a rubber band and snapback. At no point have I found a plausible explanation as to where the lump of matter came from nor the space it occupied. The only alternative at the time in my mind was that George Lucas had a file folder in a box in his attic that held the secret. I could not get over the hump that something has to be eternal. Something has to be always. You can make something out of nothing, can you? Added to that conundrum was the observation that the earth in all its glory takes up about as much space in the universe as the little toe of an ant. In other words, a little old man lives on little old earth using his little old brain to conclude a little old next to nothing we can actually declare as the truth. Looking back to how many presidents I have lived under to calculate how many issues of National Geographic I have thumbed through, it comes to roughly 850, If I had $100 for every time the cover announced a new theory about how man has evolved, the origin of the universe, the demise of the dinosaurs, the death of God and so forth I would have a pocket wad. However to be fair, if I hadn’t gone through each issue searching for social enhancement, in the form of pictures of bare-breasted native girls, I may have never developed any interest in the age-old question of Who, what where when, and how? So I concluded there is a God. I don’t want to minimize this conclusion as a snap decision. I actually put a lot of time and effort into the wonderment of it all. Starting with a pretty fair effort into disproving his existence. I must be very direct here, I really didn’t want a relationship with anything “religious.” Some of this reluctance was rooted in my association with the Episcopal Church. To avoid any speculation, I was an altar boy for two priests over a period of about three years. There were some great times, some mysteries about the faith, some mysteries about life, and some mysteries about people that are best left alone. Suffice to say I have concluded the difference between religion and a personal relationship with God is as different as “the east is from the west.”

The arguments about what religion or denomination is right can be interesting but have very little to do with being right about a relationship with God. Most denominations are or have become rather like a funhouse of mirrors, curtains, and false passages. I see a relationship with God as personal, rooted in honesty, intimacy, and faith. Frankly, if we are talking about my soul I want to work directly with the architect.

I don’t have a picture of God, I don’t know what he looks like. I rely upon the Bible for clues as to his character. Next lesson, Why the Bible? First things first no matter what Bible you possess it has one thing in common with all the other Bibles in print, it is a translation of what is acceptable to a majority of Christians the original writings of forty-four, plus or minus, complex men who put to quill and papyrus the events of their lives and those of their generations. Without authentication, which is a direct connection to God, the canon of scriptures are just sixty-six books full of interesting, sometimes confusing, often boring books. This authentication relies on one figure, Jesus Christ, who is either exactly who these writings say he is or he was the biggest hoax since the creation, however, it happened.

The first bump in the road, is Jesus supernatural? If he is who he says he is, he has to be. If he did the deeds that were written about him, he has to be. I don’t see how it can be any other way. John 10:30. Based on many hours, and I mean many hours of personal research to cross-check internal, external, and archaeological research by others I reasoned or concluded beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus is God. Coming back from the dead is no small feat. Call me if a skeleton turns up wearing a bracelet inscribed “What would I Do?” Turns out that is not all he is, a study of the Holy Spirit can be a real mind-bender. This along with the Dead Sea Scrolls are the taproot for my decision to attempt to do what he asks of me 2 Timothy 3:16. In the end, I want John 3:16. If anyone has any questions about the obvious gaps in this compressed narrative feel free to ask. Finally, at least for this narrative, whatever knowledge becomes revealed in the future about the cosmos doesn’t live in the fear that these revelations will disprove a supernatural God, after all, he is supernatural. Note: If you struggle with the trinity, wrap your brain around this. The Trinity is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three individual entities that together make up the one Godhead yet are separate. How can it be? Well I sure as heck don’t have the answer but I will say, Time, Space, and Energy Three individual elements that makeup one cosmos, yet are separate. Could we be living in a Trinity? Finally, read the Bible, study the Bible, (It really isn’t that difficult), but don’t try to rewrite it, bend it, or change it. If there is something in scripture you disagree with, your beef is with the author not with people who will not change it to suit your belief system.

Allen’s Journal