Homer Kizer Ministries


An Open Letter:

Brother to Brother


[found poem]



Dec 14th, 1967—

Just a note as it's almost

too dark to see.  Am still

on the road crew. It's not too bad

but gets a little hairy once in a while.

We had our first guy killed today,

another one of the wounded

isn't expected to live.

Will let you know if something real

exciting happens.

Love ya,



Warwise this place comes & goes—

some days nothing at all,

others, the whole war seems right here.

I'll be glad to leave this damned country.

I've never been this jumpy before.

The worst part is I can't help it.



Greetings Brother Ben,

Yes, you are my brother, the introverted progeny of World War II … have you ever wondered why Dad would, when trucking in the South during the 1930s, play a deaf mute:



I found Winter Bananas,

apples I tried before

Dad died. In that first orchard

somewhere in Indiana, the fellow

picking apples was deaf & dumb, but

he wrote

the price for a bushel

on my yellow school tablet.

I didn't know then that

years earlier Dad & Dan Gentis

played mute

in a restaurant. The waitress believed

their act, joked about what she'd like to do

with them. It was a game.

I didn't understand

how the fellow picking apples could

tell customers which to eat,

which to store.

Dad just knew

like he knew where to find


My words are familiar to you for you have Upriver, Beyond the Bend, the poetry collection in which both scribblings can be found.

The waitress believed the silence of Dad and Dan Gentis, dead now for a quarter of a century. She was herself with them, disclosing thoughts/lusts she would have been ashamed to otherwise utter aloud, but she spoke what she normally would have concealed because she believed her words couldn’t be heard. She truly believed they couldn’t hear what she said—and apparently they didn’t blush when she expressed what was in her heart, her inhibitions suppressed because of her belief, faith in their deafness.

That is the definition of faith [Greek, pisteos], belief upon which a person acts. And by God not seeming to hear prayers, not openly intervening in the affairs of men, God—my spiritual Father and apparently yours—gets to see and hear us as we are, our faith [belief of God] evident by what we do when no human person is watching our every move.

There are only sixteen months difference in our ages, but because of circumstances that were really beyond either of our control, that little bit of physical difference manifested itself in me being promoted into the last of the War Babies’ generation, entering college in 1963, while you remained a Baby Boomer … with God, the visible physical things of this world precede and reveal the invisible things of God (cf. Rom 1:20; 1 Cor 15:46), with outwardly circumcised Israel forming the shadow and type of circumcised-of-heart Israel.

Mom told of Dad playing deaf and dumb, his stuttering posing no problems for him when he pretended he couldn’t speak. In 1969, when visiting relatives in Indiana, Dan Gentis himself told me the story about the waitress. At the Kizer family reunion in 1997, Uncle Jerry also told the story of the waitress vocalizing her thoughts.

Last night, I finished reading your memoir, Gift of Journey … as you grew in inner confidence, the world around you—the culture in which you lived—shrank in importance (an interesting juxtaposition) until you fully participated-in and actually helped shape the culture as expressed in spotted owls and, I imagine, YUM logging, a dirty word in a chainsaw dealership.

As the culture caught up to you, encompassing you, the words of others became less prominent, and your words more so. Thus, chapter seven was about your spiritual journey, which you have just begun even though you believe you have journeyed far … God willing, you will complete this journey, but as you have already observed, when things seem to be going well, you get blindsided and knocked for a loop. I suspect, however, that you will recover, figuratively landing on your feet when the time comes for you to address what presently remains concealed from you.

You came to visit in your green and white Volkswagen minivan—this was before I moved North in 1974—and in your memoir, you make the conscious decision to omit those times when you visited. I can understand why you omitted writing about coming up to get meat, but neglecting to write about shooting my flintlock (about Judy shooting the flint left-handed) is the sort of literary decision the author of Matthew’s Gospel makes when he places Jesus in a scarlet garment when being mocked by Roman soldiers whereas John Mark in his Gospel places Jesus in a purple garment, the correct color for mocking someone who is allegedly of royalty (cf. Matt 27:27–31; Mark 15:15–20).

A text can be deconstructed through what has been included and what has been excluded; through what has been changed from the source (or source text) for the text. Thus, your omission of visits—of you giving me the 2-quart Thermos in 1983 when I visited you in the Methow Valley (I still use that Thermos)—opens up what you write so that I can see my introverted kid brother who was always the better fisherman, and will most likely be the better fisher of men.

The one to whom you have listened spiritually is correct, Christians should not park their brains with their cars when attending worship services. I would have been disappointed if you were one who had.

When you ventured to the Coast in your Volkswagen minivan, you said you didn’t remember much of your youth. At first I didn’t believe you—how could you forget so much—but I came to accept what you said; for the trauma you’d undergone during the previous dozen years, especially the trauma of living with Nyle and Caroline, would not have been memories anyone would have wanted to recall.

I had a different relationship with Caroline than you and Ken had: I was, in her words, bitching Kizer, for I didn’t hesitant to tell her that I’ve seen cows hurt worse than the steak she served, and still live. I fished with worms on six-pound line, not with single eggs on one pound leaders, in the high country, and I caught more trout than she. I never apologized to her for being messy, leaving dirty clothes laying around, and certainly not for floating feces that wouldn’t disappear when toilets were flushed, something that plagued her as long as I lived-with and worked for her. So I was surprised when I found in her papers, after she passed away, apologies you’d written, that Ken had written, that she had demanded from the two of you. I read them, and felt anger that she would demean you in such a way. I also understood why she never demanded that I apologize for any of those things I did that annoyed her: yes, Mom referred to me as Sonny the slob, but I’m easy going until I get angry … after Dad died, the anger was always present, but was unfocused. It didn’t get in the way as long it remained unfocused; it was only when it became focused on a person or an object that it caused me problems, an example being the eight students that jumped me at Monmouth when I took a basketball away from them. They jumped me with a teacher watching, the teacher doing nothing—and I hurt those eight boys, the reason I was taken from sixth grade and placed in seventh grade before we moved to Rose Lodge. My shirt was covered in their blood.

It was at Rose Lodge where you, Ken, Caroleah, and I doubled up on grades, thereby permitting me to do three grades in one year and still be the largest freshman, at the top of the class, fall 1959. It was that fall, when trying to prove Lyle and Seventh Day Adventists wrong about Sabbath observance that I became cynical: under the New Covenant (Jer 31:31–34; Heb 8:8–12), the Law [Torah] will be written on hearts and placed in mind so that all, small and great, know the Lord. We do not, however, yet see the Law written on hearts; for if the Law were written on the hearts of Christians, their righteousness would exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt 5:20). Presently it doesn’t. So if the First Covenant, the covenant made on the day when the Lord took the fathers of Israel by the hand to lead them out from Egypt [this covenant found in Ex 12:43–51], was old and growing obsolete but still in effect a quarter century after Calvary, when did it end? For it certainly hadn’t ended—been replaced by the New Covenant—when the epistle to the Hebrews was written.

I became cynical when I realized that the whole world could be wrong; that greater Christendom could be wrong about the Sabbath, not that I intended to keep the Sabbath. But I understood that if a person were to imitate Paul as he imitated Christ Jesus, the person would keep the Sabbath as Paul did, as Jesus did, as the Churches of God in Jerusalem did (whom Paul told the saints at Thessalonica to imitate — 1 Thess 2:14) … unlike you who has made a spiritual journey, I was drafted [unwillingly drafted] into the Body of Christ a dozen years after knowing that if a person were to call him or herself a Christian, the person needed to walk in this world as Jesus walked—and you cannot do that when walking in this world as a Gentile, a person of the nations.

Yes, I was spiritually drafted in 1972, just when things were going well for me. I was still working at the pulp mill, but I was also working fulltime in the shop, building very accurate rifles (less than half MOA), catching more steelhead than lawfully allowed, killing many more deer, as you know. I certainly would not have voluntarily chosen to become religious, but I was forced to either lie to myself about what I knew or act upon what I knew. And you know what happened after that, events that got me to Alaska when I had no money.

In trying to prove Lyle wrong about the Sabbath, I convicted myself, with the “out” I took in late fall 1959 being that there was no proof God existed. After all, where was God during the Holocaust, or when Stalin was murdering millions of his own citizens? How does a Christian answer the questions posed by the sons of Korah in Psalm 44, verse 9 on? Was God asleep? Slumbering? Unable to hear the prayers of those who worshiped Him? If not, why didn’t He answer petitions made to Him?

Or was God doing what Dad and Dan Gentis did, hearing but not hearing what was being openly said in their presence because others thought their words couldn’t be heard?

What I came to realize is that the Adversary remains the prince of this world—and will remain the prince of this world until dominion is taken from him and his angels halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation (cf. Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18; 12:7–12). The “God” that the world worships is the Adversary, who passes himself off as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14–15).

The Forest Ranger you met the day you shot that forked horn, your first deer—the Ranger that influenced your career choice—was John Van Hyning, whom I had met a couple of years earlier when Lyle took me with him to cut pads off John’s Cletrac’s dozer … John lived across Highway 18 from the Ranger Station and about a half mile off the highway. He is the one who did most of the work of knocking down the fire in the cabin Mom bought across Salmon River from Widow Creek: he put a two inch pump in the river and held the nozzle overhead with one hand as he drenched the insides of the cabin through broken windows. He was a big guy, about six feet six, and even as strong as I was at the time, I couldn’t begin to do what he did as we fought the fire until the Devil’s Lake Fire Department arrived nearly an hour later. It was because of him that there was something left for us to rebuild. You helped with the rebuild, learning basic carpentry from Lyle.

John Van Hyning, in uniform, would have been impressive, but I don’t believe I ever saw him in his uniform (he was State Forestry). However, he took me to the homestead where he was born: that’s where I shot the deer the high school counselor tagged. I used a borrowed Model 340 Savage in .30-30, and I wasn’t impressed with the cartridge. But while I sat in the old springhouse waiting for the deer that had been in the orchard when we arrived to return to the still loaded apple trees, I also watched John split a pickup load of firewood in a very few minutes. I was surprised and amazed.

In fall 1960, during deer season, I climbed the ridge between the North Fork of Slick Rock Creek and the Treat River, slipped and jammed several inches of forest duff into the end of my .303 Enfield’s barrel. Knowing that I couldn’t shoot the rifle with a plugged barrel, I tried to poke out the duff with a dead branch, which broke off in the barrel. Now I was in trouble: I climbed to the top of the ridge, found a comfortable place to sit, and I cut a green hemlock bough and whittled a ramrod from the bough. And while whittling that ramrod, a doe ran up to me and stood staring from ten feet away. I didn’t then know that John Van Hyning was also watching me.

I cleared the barrel and the doe was still standing there, seemingly frozen in place—and I began to think that I might be able to harvest her. I slipped a cartridge into the chamber, and began to ease the bolt in. As you know, when the bolt engages the sear, there was a loud “click” … the doe was gone before I could shoulder the rifle, and John was laughing loud enough I could hear him. That was the third time I met him, and the time when he showed me better places to hunt.

I was surprised to learn that John, complimenting you for the job you did in dressing your first deer, would have a profound effect on you.

I don’t give much praise, nor accept it from others. I am my own critic: if the job I do satisfies me, then I’m content. If the job doesn’t, then I will redo the job until it does. What others have to say doesn’t much matter. And perhaps it is for this reason that I was called in January 2002, to reread prophecy: an audible calling, very much like Paul’s calling. Thus, I do not apologize for what I write, nor attempt to explain what I write beyond what I have written. For what I do is the mirror image (chiral image) of what the prophets of old did when they delivered the words of God in partially alphabetized Hebrew … at the Tower of Babel, linguistic icons were separated from linguistic objects—the bricks remained unchanged. What the bricks were called changed. Thus, the sound image used to represent an object was divorced from the object. And it has been through this separation of icon [the letters or sound used to represent a thing] from tangible object that the prophecies of God have been sealed and kept secret until the generic “time of the end.”

I don’t apologize for being called to reread prophecy … I wasn’t called to make disciples or to start churches. I wasn’t called to preach the good news to you. But because of what I write and have declared for more than a dozen years, attention will come your way when the Second Passover liberation of spiritual Israel from indwelling sin and death occurs; for all uncovered (by the blood of Christ Jesus) firstborns will be suddenly slain in a day, with the Passover in the days of Moses forming the shadow and copy of the Second Passover. And so great will be the liberation of Israel that the exodus of Moses’ day will no longer be remembered (Jer 16:14–15; 23:7–8).

A third of humanity—all firstborns, some 2.3 billion people—will suddenly perish, and because you are my brother, you will receive more attention than you want, especially as you mourn the loss of your firstborns because they refuse to believe God about taking the Passover sacraments of bread and the cup on the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month, this month beginning with the sighted new moon following the spring equinox wherever you are located. But don’t believe me; believe Christ who, on the First Unleavened [the day preceding the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] took bread and broke it and told His disciples to eat (read Matt 26:17 in Greek without adding the extra words translators have added).

Paul said that because the holy ones at Corinth took the Passover sacraments in an unworthy manner, there were many weak and ill, with some having died (1 Cor 11:20–34). Don’t let that befall you prematurely; for your journey will not be complete until you grow more in grace and knowledge than you have. But your growth is between you and Christ Jesus, not between you and me. I have my own growing to do.

I suspect Ken will be the one who cannot escape answering questions when the Second Passover occurs, not because he is or isn’t presently religious but because he also is my brother. But I haven’t seen Ken since he graduated from Stanford. You I have seen. You I know more about. You are the one to whom unwanted attention will come—and to be able to receive this attention without being overwhelmed, God has apparently prepared you so that “culture” becomes who you are and what you believe … in yourself, you will, or have already become the culture that will believe God when the Law is written on hearts and placed in minds and Christians are filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God. Blasphemy against the spirit will be returning to disobedience, the present way of the greater Christian Church.

Make sure that you mislead [deceive] no one, the better reading of Matthew 24:4 and Mark 13:5, the command Jesus left with His disciples.

Thanks for the copy of Gift of the Journey: there will be no retiring from the spiritual journey that you have to continue.