Close Encounters

[As you may know I’ve experienced a major health scare. I am still in hospital dealing with this, but trying to normalize my life. Getting my blog up and running is part of that. I’d like to thank my oldest son, Daryl, for accessing my blog account and sending out the message about my health. Enjoy this post and hopefully I’ll be back next week. ]

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Ecclesiastes 9:5

Back in 1977, on the heels of the extremely successful movie Jaws, Stephen Spielberg returned with another blockbuster hit called Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Although vastly different in their stories, they both feature an incredible but short and memorable sound clip. But in Jaws it was the “ba dum, ba dum, ba dum…” that sounded every time the shark was about to appear, except once which is one of the most terrifying scene because suddenly the shark appears without warning. In Close Encounters it’s the five note melody that the people use to establish communication with the alien craft.

Years later, those notes will bring back the feelings of seeing those movies all over again. But while sharks are very real, aliens are still up for debate, but fantasy allows us to dream about creatures coming to visit us from a far off world. But in reality travel amongst the stars is restrictive in so many ways until new ways of travel are discovered.

But one story that is not fiction is The Bible. It’s a collection of 66 books written by different authors through divine inspiration. The Bible can support itself if it is read properly and you allow it to interpret itself. Everyone, regardless of what your church leaders may say, should read and understand The Bible so that you can fully grasp God’s words. Listening to others is not enough because you’re getting their interpretation and not God’s!

Having a major illness like Guillain Barré Syndrome takes its toll on people in multiple ways. Unexpected expenses arise for which there is no coverage. In addition, even though I had income protection, it doesn’t provide full income, and yet the bills continue. We’d appreciate any donation to our cause, no matter how small that amount is.

Go Fund Me – Paul Croft (GBS)

But back to close encounters. On Wednesday September 11, 2019, as my health took a serious downturn, I was told that I needed to go to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and be intubated. I was very scared but had no choice. I had very little voice left, basically just a whisper. I looked at my doctor and asked a question that he couldn’t hear. He brought his ear up to my mouth and I whispered “Am I dying. “ His response was “Not on my watch. “ And at that point I was rushed into ICU put to sleep and had the procedure.

The next thing I remember is waking up from a bad dream and found myself on the table with a tube down my throat and a nurse calling my name. Thus began a few weeks of being trapped inside my body. A few days later I had a conversation with my wife and she told me that the doctor has told her that if I hadn’t had the procedure when I did, they may have lost me!

So I had a close encounter with death! Many people who have a close encounter with death, and many of those who actually are dead and revived, speak about seeing a tunnel with bright lights and relatives and friends who have already passed away. I saw nothing. In fact all I remember is being put to sleep and immediately being woke up as if no time had passed at all.

According to The Bible, which we accept as Gods words, the dead know nothing and are sleeping. When they awake upon Jesus’ return, they will rise from their graves and ascend to heaven. (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18). So if they’re sleeping, as I was , they know nothing and therefore cannot see a tunnel or in a bright light unless Jesus has returned! I’m quite confident that during my procedure and with the fact that my doctor felt I was close to dying, even though he has told me different, I would’ve had a close encounter with family and friends who have already passed away. But I didn’t and feel that the simple answer to that question is that my family and friends are still in their graves, sleeping, and waiting for Jesus to return.

Most churches do not teach this. Instead they speak of the dead going straight to heaven and look down upon us. Not only is that wrong, but also highly disturbing. Some churches also teach that you can buy your dead relatives a seat into heaven after they’ve passed. Once they’ve passed their judgement has begun and no amount of money or candles can change their final fate. Our fate is decided by our own actions, not by the actions of others.

If I had not survived the procedure or the procedure of having tracheostomy a few days later, my time on earth would’ve been over, and whether I awoke when Jesus returned and ascended to heaven with the righteous or was sentenced to die a second death was over. The next thing I would’ve experienced would’ve been that judgement.

Thankfully I made it through the procedures and am well on my way to recovery. I know that God has a plan for me still. What that plan is, I do not know, I have some ideas, but God has not revealed that to me yet. When He does reveal it to me, I know that He will help me to bring it to completion.

Until that time I’m focusing on my recovery and getting my strength back and getting out of hospital. Your prayers for my healing and strength for my family are greatly appreciated. This has been a huge and unexpected struggle for myself and my family.

God Bless

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