What is a “Shadow Merchant”?
The emergency room doctor had become a thorn in my side. He was demanding. He was demeaning. He was defensive. It was obvious to me he had suffered a painful experience with radiologists in his past practice. Pleasing the man was almost impossible. Every interpretation I gave him was insufficient. I was taking too long to report his ER cases. I was too vague in my reports. I was wrong with my diagnoses. You name it, he never appreciated my hard work.
As a radiologist, I was used to this kind of treatment. I’ve been in the business for almost 40 years and recall how poorly we were regarded at the beginning of my practice. Times have changed and radiologists are integral partners in patient diagnosis and treatment and we are accepted as equals by our colleagues in other specialities.
But that was not the case years ago with this emergency room physician. He sat in my office while I was going over the findings of a CAT scan of a patient’s abdomen and pelvis. He told me he was leaving our hospital for another practice. I was ecstatic but didn’t show it. In a rare moment of honesty he looked at me and said, “You know, I practiced in a military hospital before I came here. The radiologist there was not that proficient. That’s not a commentary on the military. Just a commentary on the person. Your group has done a good job while I’ve been here and I wanted to thank you before I left.”
I was stunned and he shook my hand. He stood up and before he walked out the door he said, “You’re the best of the shadow merchants in your group.”
“Shadow merchants?” I asked.
“Yeah. That’s what we call radiologists in the military. Shadow merchants. You live in the shadows and make a living by interpreting shadows on your films. Shadow merchants.” He walked out.
There is a suggestion for authors, write what you know.Read the rest of this entry
Why I Wrote “The 11th Demon”
My friend Mike Licona contacted me to meet him Abilene, Texas to interview a man who came back from the dead. How could you resist such an offer? At the time, Mike was head of the Apologetics division of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Man, was that mouth full! He had received word of a man whose near death experience was so fascinating, he couldn’t resist interviewing him. He wanted me to come and review the man’s medical records to see if there was a medical reason for his out of body experience.
I arrived on a cold December morning and put the address in my iPhone. Soon, I pulled up in front of a flat building with the title, “Love and Care Ministries”. I soon met a man I can only call Julio and learned that due to a nondisclosure agreement we could not share his story. Mike and I interviewed Julio anyway and his story was truly amazing. I had studied everything I could find on near death experiences from an objective and scientific point of view and Julio’s was a classic case of NDE. In fact, a scientist had developed a grading scale on elements of NDE and Julio’s story fulfilled almost all of the minimal elements. Later, the director of the ministry informed me that Julio had told that story over and over for years and the details had never changed. When one fabricates a story, one cannot help but embellish and add to it over time. Julio’s consistency smacked of authenticity.
Later that evening, we had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Julio had never met me, you must understand. He had never heard of me before I walked into the ministry offices that morning. He sat across from me at the table and paused and glanced over my shoulder. His intense gaze then fell on me.
Follow Up on Interview with Dr. Stan Monteith
I had a wonderful time talking to Dr. Stan Monteith on Radio Liberty. Those of you who may have caught the interview heard me mention some books. I thought I would give you the title of these books.
Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of Near-Death Experience by Pim Van Lommel
This book is a very scientific exploration of the phenomenon of Near Death Experiences and raises the idea that our consciousness attaches to our physical brain like a radio wave is received by a radio. Turn off the radio and the wave continues. Turn off the brain, and our consciousness continues. Interesting, very scientific discussion.
The Demise of Guys by Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan
This book from a secular point of view is a thought provoking and frightening look at the trend among young men in our society. The death of intimacy and the adoption of virtual relationships, video gaming, and pornography is explored. And, the implication for our society is discussed. Very insightful.
Hostage to the Devil by Malachi Martin
A fascinating account of demon possession by Malachi Martin. This book features true accounts of demon possessions and reads like a novel. You will find it riveting and frightening, but ultimately redemptive. In the Jonathan Steel Chronicles, my character, Cephas Lawrence, was inspired by Malachi Martin.
Finally, an excellent beginning book on the design behind the reality of the universe from a Christian perspective:
Why the Universe is the Way it is by Hugh Ross
I want to thank Dr. Stan for having me on the show. It was a great, wide ranging discussion of many topics of concern for our changing culture.
NOTE: BOOK SIGNING!
I will be signing copies of “The 12th Demon”, “The 13th Demon”, and “Conquering Depression” on Saturday, January 5th at our local LifeWay in Shreveport from noon to 2 PM. Check out the “EVENTS” tab for details. I would love for as many of you to come as possible to help me thank our local LifeWay for allowing me to have a book signing. Free T Shirts!!!!
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