Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Gary Sinise as Dr. McCoy?

I came home this evening to find an email from a fellow De fan, Janet Wicks in Great Britain, who sent me the following link and note:


I suppose you have seen the news that Gary Sinese may play Dr McCoy in the new film to start production this year? Well I said a while ago I hoped he could play De's role as a tribute to him and am so glad he has been selected. I like Gary Sinese in CSI New York and Of Mice of Men - Forrest Gump was great as well and I think he will do a good job.

Take care - thanks for your blog spot e-mail.

If anyone else should play Dr. McCoy (big IF), it should be Gary Sinise. He could pull it off.

Terry Lee Rioux and I both said that if either of our books about De were picked up for production into a mini-series or motion picture, we would want Harve Bennett to adapt it, Nick Meyer to direct it, and Gary Sinise to portray De -- as De was, not as Dr. McCoy. (Why? Because Harve and Nick knew De, they wouldn't screw it up. They'd get his essence right.) Gary Sinise bears a striking-enough resemblance, first off, but he's also one of the most outstanding actors to come along in many years. (Yes, dears.. he's even a better actor than De was.) So I would be curious to see him as McCoy. No one else would get me into a theater to see the Doc redux. So I'm for it. It's an exciting development.

On another front... a dear man in the TREK realm (who shall remain nameless) sent me a fun email today. He wrote (about my invitation to subscribe to this blogspot):

Thanks Kris. I will check it out. Probably do this old atheist some good, right? ;-)

I laughed myself silly and then responded:

Oh, I doubt it... hee hee hee

You might not believe in God, but He believes in you... so ... you're tops with me!

If you want me to try to convince you, let me know. I can point you to some really good books. If not, I honor your (not uncommon) perspective totally.

I can respond with love and understanding in this way because, frankly, I wasn't ready until I was ready, either. ("When the student is ready, the Teacher appears.") I was never an atheist but I spent a good number of years -- most of my life until 1999 -- as an agnostic. I simply didn't know for sure; hadn't studied the Bible or talked to anyone who had.

Oh, I believed completely that Jesus was a historical figure and that he died absolutely convinced that he was on that cross as a ransom for the otherwise-condemned eternal souls of everyone in the world, but I wasn't truly convinced that He was in possession of his right mind when he undertook all he did to redeem us. You know? The evangelical conundrum is this: Either he is who he said he was/is, or he was a lunatic or a liar, delusional or bent on deluding others as so many others in history, past and present, have been.

But here's the thing. Most religions (including Islam) consider Jesus a prophet of God or, at the very least, a godly wise man and teacher because of what he said and how he lived. Yet, if he isn't who who he said he was/is, what qualifies him as being anything other than a delusional liar? How can a delusional liar be viewed as a great man by anyone? His mental malady would certainly negate any "human greatness" that people or religions ascribe to him.

I was not convinced Jesus was divine. I thought he was just a great guy -- someone to emulate. I was a "fan" of his in the way I was a fan of De's.


One day in August 1998, just two months after De had passed away, I was in the same hospital continuing to serve Mrs. Kelley... and as I walked up and down the corridors each day I began to get a mental impression that Someone was saying to me, "You need to be baptized." This happened repeatedly. I was utterly astonished. I hadn't been on the inside of a church in over 30 years at that point.

The entire conversion experience is in my book, PURPOSEFUL CHRISTIANITY.

I am now fully convinced that Jesus is exactly who He says He is and that he did for us what He said He did. More than a few very scholarly, logical, scoffing skeptics set out to prove Christianity (the resurrection specifically) a hoax, and all converted as a result of the evidence they uncovered. (If you're interested in who they are, here's the list and the titles of the books they wrote: "Who Moved The Stone? by Frank Morrison; "Evidence That Demands A Verdict" and "More Than a Carpenter" by Josh McDowell, and "Mere Christianity" by C.S Lewis.)

The chief proof for myself, of course, is that the gentle Voice that embraced me as I walked those hospital corridors in my unchurched state most certainly did not come from Ronald McDonald or Satan -- and it decidedly did not come from me...

By logical deduction, that leaves the Holy Spirit who was beckoning me to become baptized...

It was not a command. It carried the pure essence of a spirit of unconditional, redeeming Love
-- Someone opening His arms to receive me. It was just too lovely to ignore -- even though I wanted to, and did, for several days, figuring it was perhaps something I ate... or imagined... or ???

Finally, because the invitation was so sweetly insistent, I called my dad (who was still alive at the time, but not for much longer) and asked him, "Was I ever baptized as a child?" I figured if I was, I was off the hook and could smile with gratitude for the divine visitation and move on, you see, saved and safe in eternity! (Mom had passed away nine months before so she wasn't around to ask anymore.) When I asked Dad, he responded, to my disbelief and shock:
"I don't remember."

I have to tell you, the moment he said that, a red flag ran up my spine. I nearly shuddered.

Suddenly it became urgent that I should be baptized!

I went to the chaplain at the hospital the next day and asked him "Do I have to claim any particular denomination in order to be baptized as a Christian?" and he said, "No." I immediately started to tear up and urgently told him, "Good! I don't want it to be a churchy thing. I just want Jesus to know I get it and I'm his!" Pastor Grant grinned ear to ear and proclaimed, "My girl, you are ready!"

So, you see, I can't fault anyone for not believing who hasn't had an experience like mine. Belief and faith are things that happen as a result of a personal interaction with the living God. Usually you have to consciously and earnestly ask for it to receive the visitation, but not in all cases. (The Apostle Paul is another instance of an unsolicited invitation.)

Once you have had that merciful, glorious, one-on-one experience, you'll spend much of the rest of your life during quiet times trying to recapture that moment and get intimately in touch with God again.

I don't drink. I don't use drugs. Never have. This incident of being invited into a personal relationship with God was as real to me as if you walked up to me and patted my hand.

I can no longer deny that there is a realm we cannot see where mighty forces exist -- forces both good and evil -- and we are the target and the heart's desire of both powers. One sends armies of angels to battle for us and beckon us into the Kingdom of God (which extends to earth as we claim it and extend it as a natural part of our inheritance); the other sends depraved, savaging minions in a concerted effort to make us feel impotent, to minimize us, to convince us that God is bogus so that we will elect to become allied with them on toxic soil doing toxic things to ourselves and to others. The powers of darkness and deceit don't come at us wearing horns and bearing pitchforks, of course. That would be too obvious. They come as part of an elaborate masquerade, wolves in sheep's clothing. All would flee from them if they came as they really are, you see -- and they know it!

So... I don't consider atheists and agnostics losers or lost causes. I was one of them once. God knows who they are and what brought them to their present conclusions. If those of us who do believe can meet them where they are and continue to shine the love of God in all directions, I have little doubt that at some point they may decide to find out what it is we know that gives us such a positive, fond view of our destinies.

But it's the love that will convince them, not the logic.

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