Tuesday, 30 October 2012


The saying, "Too late smart and too soon old," certainly is one that transcends time and human experience. My youthful desire to be a witness for Christ caused friction between me and non-believers. Some of it was justified since I didn't think through the consequences of my actions. From my soon-to-be-published memoir, How I Was Razed, here is one instance where criticism of my witnessing was justified. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- While working at the smoke stand that summer, I discovered a new way to evangelize the customers. The Christian bookstore sold a collection of badges with slogans printed on them. I bought as many as I could afford, then wore several of them at a time on my shirt when I reported each day for work. Some customers mocked me but as far as I know, none gave their lives to Christ. I assumed nobody would mind what I wore until Bob confronted me one afternoon at the shop several weeks later. "You're going to have to take those badges off, Bruce." "What for?" "Because religion offends some people. You'll have to stop wearing T-shirts too. It doesn't look neat." "These badges aren't offensive. Besides that, I'm a Christian and I need to tell others about Jesus." "Well, do that on your own time. You're paid to work, you know." Though I hated Bob's order, he made a valid point. CNIB employed me so I needed to dress in a way which wouldn't repel customers. I stopped wearing T-shirts and badges on the job after Bob's warning. Instead, I pinned the badges to my coat. What I did off the job wasn't his concern. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ How I Was Razed is the testimony of how God lead me from cultism to Christianity. I hope to have it published soon. Meanwhile, check out my previous books at the Bruce Atchison's books link on my Blogspot page.

Friday, 26 October 2012


When I moved to the country in 2000, I didn't realize how frail the electrical supply to my home would be. Though they were a nuisance, I put up with both power blinks and blackouts. After all, neither lasted that long. The wind storm of October 25, 2008 changed my mind completely. As I ate sandwiches at lunch, the kitchen light went out. I finished eating and tried to call Atco Electric to alert them about the blackout. A recorded announcement reported outages in many areas of the province. The company estimated restoration of power in four hours. Having no power for the computer, I spent the afternoon tidying up my basement. About half past three, my neighbour knocked on the door and asked if my power had gone out. When he heard that it had, he asked if I'd phoned the company. When I said I did, he told me his cell phone battery went dead after ninety minutes of being on hold. I promised I'd get on the blower and find out what was taking them so long to restore power. My wall phone was still working so I dialed the Atco Electric number again. The recording gave me the same old song and dance about power being restored in a few hours and that I was to wait on the line for the first available operator. I gave up after a half hour and went back downstairs. The electricity still hadn't been restored by five o'clock. I was about to call Atco again when an idea struck me. I unplugged the cordless phone's power adapter from it's socket and plugged it into the computer's uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Then I dialed the power company again. This set-up let me work in the basement and stay on hold at the same time. After a half hour, a live operator spoke to me. I told her that I still was without power. She noted it and said somebody would come out to take care of it. Since I had an electric stove, I couldn't cook supper. So I opened a tin of stew and ate that. Then I listened to a battery-powered radio while I waited. By ten-thirty, I became concerned. The house was getting cold from the furnace not being able to run. I phoned Atco again and got the same announcement as before. I hung up after a half hour and hoped somebody would deal with the power. After I had placed extra blankets on the bed and dressed in several layers of long underwear, I heard the furnace start up. After eleven and a half hours, the ordeal was over. I vowed then and there to buy gas appliances which wouldn't fail in a blackout.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I'm ashamed to admit that I fell for the false prophecy that there would be a massive famine in 1975. So concerned were my mother and I that she began hoarding food. From my forthcoming How I Was Razed memoir, here's an excerpt showing how deceived we were. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As Mom stripped the sheets from our beds, I noticed that somebody pulled one of them away from the wall. A large cardboard box, half filled with canned goods, sat wedged behind its headboard. "What's all this for?" I asked her. "There's going to be a famine next year and I want to be ready for it." My jaw dropped. "Where did you find this out?" "It was in one of those Awake magazines." "Wow! So the Jehovah's Witnesses know about this too?" "Yes. They've been telling people about the coming famine for years." "Garner Ted Armstrong's been doing that too. It really must be serious then. Brother Herald warned us about the same thing." "I hope I can save enough to last. We've got to set aside enough money to buy extra food before the stores run out." After Mom carried the dirty bed clothes into the laundry room, I held my right hand over our stockpile. "Lord, please bless and multiply this food like you did the loaves and fishes," I prayed. "Thanks too that Mom understands at least one advanced truth." Though she didn't mention what we discussed after that day, I congratulated myself for doing well. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity will be in print and e-book form soon. Meanwhile, have a look at my two previous memoirs on the left hand side of this page.

Friday, 19 October 2012


Every once and a while, Jehovah's Witnesses come around to people's houses with their message of a coming doomsday. They cite Bible verses that appear to predict dire consequences for the people of this planet. In fact, this theological cult has predicted worldwide disaster for more than a century. Each time their predictions fail, their leaders set a new date. But will this world end with apocalyptic plagues, falling meteors, and the deaths of millions in a global war? Up until this year, I believed that a time of tribulation would precede the return of Jesus Christ to this world. Hank Hanegraaff, the president of the Christian Research Institute, has convinced me that all these dire predictions are based on a misreading of The Revelation of John the Divine. According to The Apocalypse Code, the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and the terrible persecution of Christians by Emperor Nero was the great tribulation. Hanegraaff further explained in his book that John's descriptions of the sun turning black, the moon turning blood red, and the stars falling from heaven are symbolic, not literal events. Similar language has been used by various Old Testament prophets to describe the fall of empires Similarly, the mark of the beast isn't some sort of RFID chip or tattoo, as many "end times" pundits claim. The mark of the beast and the mark of the lamb are metaphors for character. Those who had the mark of the beast were wicked and unbelieving people who refused the gospel message. They were easily recognized for their opposition to Christians proclaiming salvation through Christ. Believers were also recognized by their behaviour. The great red dragon in Revelation chapter twelve wasn't communism or Islam but a picture of Satan's attempt to kill the Christ child. The woman mentioned was Israel and the flood was the soldiers of Herod searching for Jesus. The key to Revelation is to understand that book by the other sixty-five in the Bible. It was written to the seven churches in Asia and the message was of what would soon take place. Nobody in the first century could possibly guess the identity of a twenty-first century antichrist. Therefore, Hanegraaff says that six-hundred, threescore, and six are the numbers indicating the name of Nero. I could write much more about the false and true interpretation of Revelation but I'll leave it for The Bible Answer Man to do. Check out www.equip.org for details about The Apocalypse Code and other resources.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Living with a bully is never easy but being in a residential school for deaf and blind children makes things much worse. As I wrote previously, the boy who I call Charlie dictated what entertainment we could enjoy. In Deliverance from Jericho, I wrote about the time I ran afoul of the bully's TV preferences. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Charlie also dictated what television programs we could watch. One gloomy Saturday morning, I tried to find an interesting show. When I turned the channel to one of the local stations, I realized that Batman was on. This was one show which he declared to be for "little kids" and none of us should watch it. Just as I was about to turn the channel, Geoffrey happened to open the door and peer in. Assuming that I had been secretly enjoying the show and I changed the channel because he caught me in the act, he raced to tell everybody the news. Soon all the boys were calling me "Batman" and saying what a "baby" I was. It mattered not that I told the truth regarding what happened. Charlie was especially harsh, not letting up on me for a minute. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of life in Canada's infamous school for the deaf and blind. Read more about it at the link on the left hand side of this page.

Friday, 12 October 2012


One of my many childhood regrets is that I missed the original showing of The Beatles' movie, Yellow Submarine. I could have seen it in October of 1968 but the school bully insisted we refuse the offer. In my Deliverance from Jericho memoir, I explained how this came about. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Charlie not only bullied me but he dominated the entire dorm. One cloudy October Saturday afternoon, I stood with a few boys in the parking lot. Suddenly Geoffrey ran up. "Tell Mr. Dunston when he comes that you don't want to see that Yellow Submarine movie. Charlie says it's stupid." We reluctantly complied, knowing he would make our lives miserable if we defied him. Having to refuse this offer depressed me. I particularly wanted to see this Beatles cartoon, being a devoted fan of theirs. Though the band members were involved in some peculiar activities of late, I still loved their music. When Mr. Dunston strolled out of the dorm and offered to take us to the movie, we all refused. "I don't understand. I thought you kids loved rock music." As he turned and walked back into the building, I wished I possessed the courage to buck the trend and go with him. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of life in Canada's infamous school for the deaf and blind. More information about this book is available on the links at the left hand side of this page.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Though Canadian Thanksgiving Day is over, I thank God every day for the wondrous freedoms I enjoy. One precious freedom is the lack of pain I now feel about being sent to a residential school for deaf and blind students in Vancouver, British Columbia. At the tender age of seven, my parents sent me five-hundred miles from my home for months at a stretch I'm so glad that school no longer exists. How was this miracle accomplished? June Hunt, the host of Hope in the Night, gave me the answer back in 2003. It all stems from a proper understanding of forgiveness. The word originally meant to write off a debt. Since vengeance is the Lord's and he'll repay, we can hand over our assumed right to revenge to him. June told me to make a list of all the hurtful situations and list the names of those who wounded me emotionally. Then she said to go down the list and hand each hurt or person over to Christ to deal with. She cautioned that the pain would keep coming back but I would eventually be free of it. I did as she said and it worked. The memories and bad dreams don't trouble me anymore. Though I still think it was wrong for the Alberta government to convince Mom and Dad to send me so far from home for such long periods, the poignancy of the memories is greatly diminished. I've forgiven the people who exiled me to Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind but that doesn't mean that I now approve of what they did. Had I been given a strong magnifying glass and monocular, to view the blackboard with, I could have gone all the way through public school. I'm thankful that today's disabled students are educated along with their sighted peers. Segregating them into distant institutions is rarely done these days. Sight-impaired students now have access to computers and visual aids barely dreamt of when I was in school. I wrote about the time I was sent to that institution in a book called Deliverance from Jericho. Check it out on the left side of this page.

Friday, 5 October 2012


Remember CB radio? Back in the late seventies, it was all the rage. I was caught up in it as well. Though some people were rude jerks on the air, I met many excellent CBers and formed strong friendships with them. I remember very clearly the last coffee break that The Channel Five Crowd, as we referred to ourselves, met for the last time. Auntie Diane, as we called her, organized it at a certain restaurant for an afternoon in October. Over burgers and many cups of coffee, the six of us talked for several hours. Afterward, we posed for pictures by the Edmonton Colosseum, as it was called then. We eventually parted, not realizing it was the last time we'd meet together. My friends and I continued to be active on the radio but something changed that day. One by one, my CB buddies disappeared. I eventually gave up the CB and studied for my amateur radio licence. Though my new ham operator friends and I met for coffee occasionally, the informal warmth of The Channel Five Crowd was missing. I wrote about my love of radio in Deliverance from Jericho and When a Man Loves a Rabbit. Both books are available from this page.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012


Long after most folks have given up on cassettes, I still find them useful. Even better, a few companies continue to manufacture them. One of those is National Audio Company. I found this company a few years ago on the Internet. As cassettes and players grew scarce, I realized I'd better find some and buy them before they were gone. That's why I put in an order for 300 C-95s. Now I have plenty of tapes. I also bought some cassette recorders when they were on sale at a discount store. While not being top end machines, they still played tapes. Additionally, I bought several VersaCorders from C. Crane Company. These record at regular speed as well as quarter speed, making them handy for taping long talk shows. Now that the company has discontinued selling them, I'll have plenty of machines in store for the future. Some friends have mentioned to me that the sound quality of cassettes isn't as good as digital media and that the tape gets mangled easily. I've found that only the cheap tape recorders or old decks that have become misaligned will eat tapes. By carefully winding the tape back into the shell, I can keep on listening to it. CD-Rs also are prone to CD rot. One tiny scratch and the whole disk is ruined. I have tapes from decades ago which still work while some of my CD-Rs from six years ago are inaccessible. Many elderly folks also prefer cassettes. They're easy to play and stop. Additionally, the cassettes start at the exact spot that they were stopped. This is so handy when listening to long talks. CDs won't allow that. A user must scan back and fourth to find the spot where the recording was stopped. I'm also involved with providing programs on tape for a Christian cassette magazine called Vision Tape Ministry. Jack Kinley, the main force behind this free publication, doesn't know how to use computers or how to connect CD players to his cassette machine. I tape sermons from the Internet and send those to him through the post. Many of my tapes have been used as part of the bi-monthly publication.