As I wake up this morning, I reflect on the day I had yesterday. It was an exceptional day. Shayna and Brenda worked overtime to pull off a multi-day sign involving a reading from a non-professional medium, a book by Maya Angelou, a heron (in Ohio), a song by Alicia Keys, and a podcast by Suzanne Giesemann. I even got validation from Suzanne. It blows my mind how that all comes together. The message I take from it is that I haven’t a clue how the universe works, so I might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.
To end the day, I have a Helping Parents Heal meeting with Reverend Peter Panagore. Reverend Panagore is a Near Death Experiencer who went on to become a United Church of Christ minister. I have heard his story a couple of times before, so when he posted in a Facebook group that he was looking for speaking engagements, I figured it was worth asking him if he’d talk to us even though we can’t pay. To my delight, he said yes, and we set up the meeting.
Peter spoke extemporaneously for an hour and a half. He spoke from the heart. As I woke up this morning, the thought that I had been to church came to mind. I rarely go to church anymore. I don’t feel I need to. Meetings like this, with like-minded people speaking from the heart about the deepest and ultimate truths; this is my church.
Peter told us about his NDE, the love he felt, and why he chose to come back. To my surprise he had a second NDE, I think after I had heard him speak the first time, and chose to come back again. When I asked why he chose to come back, not once, but twice, he said “love”. The first time, he was a young man and could not leave his parents. The second time, he was a father and a grandfather and could not leave his daughter and granddaughter. He freely admits his longing to go Home. But, he chooses to stay to serve, knowing this life is just the blink of an eye once we are back in eternity. We discussed suicide, punishment (hell), reincarnation, etc. He gave one of the best explanations for reincarnation that I’ve heard that lines up with where I am leaning on it these days.
He talked about the One thing we should all be pursuing, reminding me of Jesus’ advice to seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and everything else will be added to you. This is advice I need to hear over and over again. He talked about spiritual gifts. Joy, peace, strength, courage, humility, gratitude, and love were all on full display in his presentation. It was truly inspiring.
Something Peter said that resonated with me is “I work for God”. All of the years he worked for the church, they thought he worked for them. Peter has one boss, and it’s God. Much of what I do day-to-day, I don’t get paid for. However, that is my real job. The other stuff, I do because, in this world, you need money. I never forget my real mission though, what I’m on assignment to do.
One thing he said that might confuse some people is he says he is no longer a believer. When he stood in the pulpit those decades and told people he believed, he was lying. To say he lost his faith might sound like he doesn’t believe in God anymore. And, in a sense, he doesn’t. To believe in something is to say there’s some possibility it’s not true. We don’t say we believe in the chair we’re sitting in. We know we’re sitting in the chair. We know the chair is real. Peter no longer has faith in God, Peter knows God and knows that God knows him. So, yes, he’s lost his faith because when you know, there’s no need for faith.
We don’t normally post the videos from the HPH meetings, but he permitted me to post his so I could share it with you. As I said, it’s 90 minutes long, but I think it’s well worth taking the time to view. It’s not every day you get to hear from someone who knows.