Minister Dies and comes to

As most of you know, I’m a huge fan of NDERF or the Near Death Experience Foundation.  Their URL is

This is a submission from a minister who died of a heart attack after shoveling Snow:

I was having a heart attack after shoveling snow. My wife drove me to the hospital. The doctor said I was having ‘a really good heart attack’ not long before I blacked out at the time of my arrest. There was a brief darkness, a sensation of going through a dark void of some sort then I was in another place. I saw dogs playing in a grass-covered field and I was with them. I have always loved dogs. I think they were dogs that I once had as an adult or child. I’m a minister and I don’t really believe ‘all dogs go to heaven’ but there they were!

Then I was in a different place. It was bright or red? Then there was an extremely bright light, like a vertical column of light.  But it was much more than light, like a pillar of pure energy.  It was sparking, sparkling, and much, much brighter and whiter than any sun. I floated over near it. I don’t know if I wanted to or not, but I was about 6 inches from it. It was not hot or cold, just pure white energy. I was face-to-face with whatever this was. I took it to be the pure divine presence of God. 

I felt if I touched it, that would NOT BE GOOD. But I felt total peace and that God was going to take care of everything, take care or me, and take care of my family. There was a low rumbling going throughout everything, like the lowest note on an organ.  It was a very holy sound.  The sound wasn’t intimidating as in ‘scary’ but it was intimidating as in totally awesome and awe inspiring; maybe coming from the pillar? Then I realized, ‘If I am here, I am either dead or dying!’ So I said a prayer, ‘Please send me back! Can I go back?  If there is any way, please send me back!”

The next thing I felt was the paddles shocking me.  ‘Ow!’ Those things hurt! I remember looking up at the doctor and he looked at the paddles like, ‘Wow! They worked!’ I did not know but they had shocked me 15 to 20 times or so in the past 40 minutes. They were getting ready to call my time of death.  The doctor had come out several times and told my wife absolutely nothing was working and there was no response to anything.  When they tried one last time that is when I came to. They transported me to another hospital by helicopter where I arrested two more times on the flight.

They put a big stent in my heart in the left anterior descending artery.  They shocked me yet again to start the heart up and it started. The best hope they held out to my wife was that I would have significant organ damage, almost certainly significant brain damage, and that I would likely live out the rest of my days in a nursing home.

When I work up, I was in the cooling blankets.  As soon as I could move again I started talking and telling jokes. My family and my wife couldn’t believe it. A year later the only damage they have found is a EF of 35% for my heart, but after running 5 kilometer races for several years, it is up to 40%.  I hope one day to get it up to 50% again which is a normal reading. Soon after my experience, I noticed light was too bright, especially sunlight. Sounds were too much also. That has continued to get worse the past several years to the point where this winter with the sun on the snow, I almost could not even look at it without a LOT of discomfort.  



Think about it. In baseball, a starting pitcher usually tries to throw 7+ innings. In life, if you’re lucky (or not) you go 7+ decades. In your late 50s you start to wonder if you will make it another 2 – 3 innings. Sometimes you give up homeruns and sometimes you strike out the side. Either way, you get to point where no matter what you throw, (curve, slider, high heat, change up) you realize that you need to throw strikes. The more you learn in life the easier life is to survive. If you’re like the retired great Hershiser, Orel you learned your opponent and took index cards out to mound so you knew who could hit your high heat even if it was 98 MPH. He knew what the out pitch was for each batter. This is why in the playoffs, the Homerun kings and Batting champs are rarely productive. It’s usually some crappy guy name Chico with a season avg. of .224 with 40 RBIs and 7 homeruns that gets the Series MVP. WHY? Because the focus is on the Blue chip hitters. In life, it’s often the people you over look that do the most damage. (The people you don’t worry about).

Great pitchers like Orel Hershiser learned never to show anger at their authoritative figure. (The plate ump or their manager). The same is good advice in real life. Don’t yell at a cop when you get pulled over and be happy with a minimum speed, speeding ticket. It beats going to the slam.

Sometimes pitchers get hit in the face by a comeback pitch and are taken out in the first inning. Some kids die of crib death. (or SIDS). Some pitchers get scratched that are suppose to start. Some kids never make it out of the womb alive.

Some pitchers have great careers cut short because of Tommy John surgery. Some people come back from Iraq unable to stay in the game.

World Series Giants Royals Baseball

If you have good coaches and a manager, they’ll show guidance and help you with a good long Cy Young Career. If your team is blessed with 2 more great pitchers, you won’t be counted on to carry the load. If you have good parents or mentors, they’ll step in and stop you from being self destructive. The duty of a parent or a good manager is to get the best performance of his pitcher that he’s capable of.


Sometimes a pitcher works with a great catcher like Buster Posey or Johnny Bench. In life, we’re often blessed with good spouses. They often tell you what you’re doing wrong to help you. A bad catcher just wants to make sure the ball doesn’t get pass him. A bad spouse just wants to cash/catch that paycheck.

Unfortunately, what makes a good pitcher is a good team. In life, you sometimes have to go it alone. No family or spouse.  This is where good friends come in.  If that’s the case, it’s all the more important that you throw good pitches. Personally, I don’t want to be left on the mound if I can no longer hit the strike zone.

Strike zone

Often the secret to a long career or a productive life grid is knowing your strengths as well as your weaknesses.  We’ve already discussed the value of knowing your opponent’s weaknesses.  In baseball you can fall victim to biting off more than you can chew.  If you know your batter is a sucker for high heat, you’ll often throw “Outside of the Strike Zone” (up and away) to get him to bite.  The best time to do this is when you’re up on the batter with an 0 and 2 count (no balls & 2 Strikes) you can afford to waste a couple of sucker pitches.

In life however; you can buy stuff on credit.  It’s called buy now pay later.  It’s better if you save the money for something then buy it without credit.  Or at least have 2/3rds of the item paid for (Like an 0/2 count) then charge the last 33%.  Otherwise you find yourself chewing off more than you can handle.  If I had an 0/2 count and I throw one in the dirt, one high and away and a brush back pitch, then all of a sudden I have a full count and have to come down middle or risk giving up a walk. (Or worse, a homerun)  In real life this could be bankruptcy or divorce, often both.  Be prudent, go for the 0/2 count,  then waste one or two pitches, then throw the batter your out pitch.

In real life, make sure you can afford what you buy.  The term “In the hole” is a negative term in baseball.  (As so in real life).

Sit down

“Sit Down”