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"Our Answer is God. God's answer is us. Through partnership we make our world better."
- Dorian Scott Cole

Transformation Series Article
Articles in the Transformation series are about personal and organizational transformation.

Can I Be Forgiven? Part 1.

Copyright © 2009 Dorian S. Cole


Where do we start turning things around? Sometimes it seems we are in such a deep hole and all we can do is keep digging. Is there a ladder back to the top, or is that wishful thinking? Is there anything, or too many things, that we have done that we can never get back? There is good news.

Some things you just can't pretend didn't happen. Sometimes you just can't pretend to be someone that you're not. What is, is. We are what we are. What we have done and what we are, our past, seem like a permanent chain strapped to our leg - everyone can see it and it holds us in place. Is there a way to get free and move on?

Yes. Definitely, yes.

Most of us, when we look at a baby, see something perfect. But it isn't perfect, it is simply innocence that we see. None of us are born perfect - everyone has flaws. There may be physical problems that won't show up until old age. There are often biochemical problems that affect how we think and react.

When I was six, my first grade teacher would say, "Scott.... Scott!" Finally she would get my attention. She didn't know where I was. Physically I was present, but I wasn't there. I can concentrate and pay attention for hours when I want to. Over half a century later I am still off in my own little world, and I aggravate my wife to death. "Are you listening?" "Yes, dear, I heard two of the five words you spoke. Want to know what they are?"

When I was seven, my mother would send me across the street to the grocery store to get two items. As soon as I arrived I would call to find out what the other item was. Today I still have the memory of a bucket with no bottom - what goes in falls straight through. I often joke with my wife that I married her for her memory because I don't have one. But I now have a lot of devices for remembering.

At twenty-four, or five - see, there is that memory problem again - I ruptured a disk in my back and lived in pain varying between a level 2 and 7 for 16 years. And the physical problems are just the beginning. Even today I still remember things that I did at age 8 and beyond that I wish I could take back. In fact, every year I think I remember those things with even more pain. But what is, is.

None of us are perfect. But God created us. Now is that just a trite statement that God created us? None of us can know the mind of God and understand why God does what God does. We can wonder at his creation and ask if something was a mistake. We can wonder if man messed it up. We can wonder if woman was his second attempt to get it right. It's fun to muse. But these things are simply conjecture. In reality, the most that we can say is that God created. What is, is.

When God set in motion the forces of nature and life, he seems to have put in the mechanism for infinite variety. Not one of us has the same fingerprint - not even identical twins. Not one of us has the same DNA - not even identical twins. We are all totally different from each other. And in those differences we have both strengths and weaknesses. Some of us are not even born with all of the typical parts. We all have different tendencies that result in different behaviors.

God created. We also believe that when he finished he said, "This is good." In that wonderful infinite variety that he created, man had infinite variety and infinite potential. We believe that through the ages of history, God spent time with man, and that we communicate. In my studies of many ancient religions, I hear God inviting us to, "Become like me." Creating wasn't just an idle past-time for God, it was purposeful. People are important to God. People have potential. 

God created. We are not born into a perfect environment. We are born into an environment where we make a difference. Whether for ourselves or for others, we all get challenges. We all get things we must overcome. We have a perfect situation for growth as individuals.

When God sees a baby, we can feel strongly that he sees something good that he created, and that he sees an infant that will have unique struggles in this life as he tries to find his way and balance his weaknesses against his strengths. Life will be a struggle - it is for everyone. He may have a memory like mine and have to devise ways to help remember things. People have potential to overcome a lot.

Wherever we are in life, from his lofty view God still sees a unique individual that struggles with life. We try, we fail. We do it again. We lose hope. We learn. We struggle some more. From our point of view, we are at the bottom of a deep hole. From God's point of view, we are in a pothole in our struggles. And we can feel strongly that God says, "This is good." People have potential to overcome adversity.

Someone who was becoming very frustrated with trying to lead people once asked me, "Do people ever change?" I answered, "Yes, but it takes a looooooooooooooooooong time." We mistake intellectually knowing about good behavior for actually being able to do it. It's a struggle. It's a learning curve. But God is patient. He knows us. People have potential to eventually overcome even themselves. 

Not only is God's creation good, we believe from experience that God's help will get us through. While at the bottom of that pothole, we know that if we look to God and his ways, the pothole isn't a permanent place, it's just a low point in our unique journey. Someday we will look back from a mountaintop and barely be able to see it. People have potential to overcome all that happened in their past.

You know, if you are reaching out your hand to God, and God is reaching out his hand to you, you can't be anywhere but in a good place. What is, is. And the next place can be better. Please think for a while about how God created us, and is pulling for us, before going on to page 2.

Part 2 of Can I Be Forgiven.

Yours in Christ,

- Dorian Scott Cole

Author's Books

The Prophetic Pattern: Discussion Guide for Ancient and Modern Prophecy

Are we all going to die on Friday, December 21, 2012? My new book critically examines that question. Available in print and ebook formats from various sources. Secure credit card purchasing. Description.

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On Friday, December 21, 2012, are we all going to die? Are there really signposts to the world's end? Does modern prophecy really merge with ancient prophecy? Will all of the Christians suddenly disappear? The answers may surprise you.

Millions of Americans are anxiously waiting for December 21, 2012 to see if the world will end. Despite the fact that signs seem to be everywhere in all ancient and modern prophecy and even science, the major sign pointed to by both Daniel and Christ is overlooked by prophecy interpreters. And interpretation of modern prophecy overlooks intent. Like a scary movie, prophecy is great fun until it starts affecting people's lives.

This book explores how to distinguish the intent of various types of prophecies and oracles, both ancient and modern. The five chapters in this discussion guide are rich in information, providing one legitimate point of view, and are intended to encourage discussion and additional research. A ten meeting discussion group is the minimum recommended.

Subjects to explore include:

  • History, and the situations surrounding prophecy
  • Types of prophecy
  • Other interpretations of prophecy
  • Are faith and prophetic belief blind?
  • Societies that go bad - are they destroyed?
  • Social change - saving ourselves
  • The challenges of the 21st.Century

Available in print and ebook formats from various sources. Secure credit card purchasing.

About the author: Dorian Scott Cole is an independent, cross-disciplinary scholar with education and experience in psychology, philosophy, religion, language, visual semiotics, and technology. He is a licensed minister with a mainline denomination with full time pastoral and counseling experience. His education in religion and psychology was through a state university (IU) followed by independent study. Other books and publications: Ontology of God, How to Write a Screenplay, Writers Workshop Script Doctor,, and

Reading type: Mainstream, nonfiction.

Ontology of God: The voices of the ancients speak.

My recent book, Ontology of God, looks at what we can learn through the ages regarding the history of several aspects of religious development as affected by the ancient societies they were in, including law, mercy, and love. Available in print and ebook formats from various sources. Secure credit card purchasing. Description.
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Echoing through time are the voices of ancient people telling us about God. From Mesopotamia and Egypt 5000 years ago, often from even earlier oral traditions, every civilization has been inspired to tell us about God. Their voices vary widely and even conflict. Is there a common message that they thought was so important that they had to pass it on? In this book, the ancient voices speak.

This study follows the thread of the basic religious concepts of law, mercy, and love that are prominent in many religions. Major religions around the world are investigated up to the launch of the Common Era when most religions had been developed, including religions that later developed independently such as the Mayan.

These are messages refined by the fire of experience through the ages. The repeated messages collectively bear the tests of validity.

This study also looks at the many methods we use to try to understand God and religious literature. Is the nature of God reflected in what he asks of us? The premise is that it is.

By understanding the nature of God, perhaps we can filter out the many competing voices that tell us that God stands for such things as the murder of innocents and destruction.

The very nature of religion is illuminated in the light of the voices from the ages. But is ancient religion a path that we have lost, or does history hammer out newer voices to bear the truth of new experience as people try to understand their relationship with God?

Available in print and ebook formats from various sources. Secure credit card purchasing.

About the author: Dorian Scott Cole is an independent, cross-disciplinary scholar with education and experience in psychology, philosophy, religion, language, visual semiotics, and technology. Other books and publications: How to Write a Screenplay, Writers Workshop Script Doctor,, and

Reading type: Mainstream Scholarly Specialist

Distribution notice:

You are welcome to make standard size quotations from this article with proper attribution (Dorian Scott Cole, One Spirit Resources Web site). This material is not public domain and may not be sold, mass distributed, published, or made electronically available in any form, without permission from Dorian Scott Cole


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Copyright © 2009 Dorian Scott Cole. Feedback and statistical corrections are welcome: Author, Webmaster, publisher.