Straight Talk With God - In the Frying Pan - My Test of Faith - Final Chapter
Ronald C. Bachner's Story
First Published March 28, 2013 (Not Including Updates).
I write this article or hub because we have all likely wondered from one time or another what God is saying to us when we pray, if indeed he is saying anything at all. We ask ourselves if God is speaking to us. Does he hear our prayers?
I have been trying to walk and live by God and his example for over 35 years. It has been a long journey of many hills and valley’s over the years. The one thing that has always happen in my life and trials that I have experienced and gone through during these 35 years is that God has never forsaken me or was he late in my opinion in coming to my aid.
I thought and believed this for 35 years until recently. I could not understand why during my recent and faith testing trial God did not show up as I had prayed, wanted, and needed. I still do not understand and are searching for answers. I wonder and wondered do I know God. This event or trial in my life has been going on in my life for 17-18 months approximately. I have friends, acquaintances, church members, prayer groups, and others praying for me in this trial that I was enduring. When these people learned God did not deliver me from my Egypt trial they could not understand it. I did not understand either. I still do not understand. They and I are questioning ourselves as to what happen and why our prayers were not answered (as we had prayed). We all are now questioning our faith or we are at least evaluating it. It is not easy for them or me. I know they have not given up, nor I.
By now you are probably wondering what happen to me. In my profession and business I deal with municipalities and property owners in the capacity of code official, inspector, enforcement, and consultant. It is a profession requiring numerous contacts with a variety of individuals over a variety of different matters on numerous levels and understandings, each with their own set of circumstances and facts. In my position I made thousands of decisions regarding a variety of matters on behalf of the municipality. It is my position where everyone judges you according to their own different standards. It is often a difficult position that is misunderstood by the general public, municipal officials themselves, and often the property owners themselves.
In short, last year (May 2012) I was charged criminally with bribery (in the matter of $200.00) and oppression. They did not charge me with theft. I have lived with these events and pending charges praying for deliverance from God as I knew I did not commit these acts that I was eventually charged. A jury trial was held recently and I was found guilty (March 2013). What a shock it was when I heard the verdict. My first thoughts were where was God because I know he knows I did not commit these criminal offenses I was charged with. The police conducted a three plus year investigation talking to numerous people (30 plus as I understand it) and only charged me with one incident which they knew about since May 2009. They did not prove I retained the money at trial, only that I received it in the course of my municipal duties. All monies received were turned in to the Borough Secretary. It is unclear what happen after the money was turned in to the Borough of East McKeesport Borough Secretary.
As I indicated above my first thoughts at trial when the verdict was being announced was where was God? How could he not answer my prayers and the prayers of many other praying for me? This brings me to my story or place where in 35 years God always delivered me from my ordeal or trials, or he provided an answer that built my faith and trust in accordance with his word. It did not happen this time. I am now lost.
As a side note the issue was that the property owner paid $200.00 for a fine that was paid to the Borough and not through the court system which forwards all fine money to the borough on non traffic matters. While my attorney informed me that this was not illegal it was improper. One attorney even said what I did is done everyday in this town. While I know it was ignorance back then (2009) on my part (and later corrected) there was no criminal knowledge or intent and it certainly was not bribery. It was also not oppression as the property owner could of proceeded through the court system, he did not ask and I had no preference. He even thanked me in the matter but at this time he was now working with the state police as a confidential informant. While he had the opportunity to pay by check he knew he was now under cover and expected to pay by cash. This is again, hardly oppression.
During the past 15-17 months I thought I was in a frying pan while I endured these charges that I hope and prayed they would be thrown out or withdrawn at some point. I was wrong. The charges were not thrown out or withdrawn. It was not a frying pan test of my faith (the trial).
My faith is now in a frying pan as God did not deliver me as I and many others had prayed. I am now struggling to understand and find answers. I do not know what to tell others and where this will all lead.
It is common to question your attorney and his preparation, the witnesses, or others, even though we all (including myself) could have done better. I know and believed God will make up the difference where we are lacking, he has on many occasions. I believe if God was planning on delivering you from your situation it would happen. I personally had surrendered to the fact I had to rely on God as I did not believe my attorney was prepared even though that is what they are paid to do.
The stress and problems that these matters have created are enormous. My life became dysfunctional at many times with bouts of depression. My faith tested and still is being tested. My finances are destroyed and severely impaired due to the lost of work and clients, spent savings, debt incurred, and so on. My business acquaintances and relationships strained. My reputation is tarnished in some eye’s whose relationship I valued. Will people respect me with a conviction? All of this is on top of other issues I was and are still confronting me. It has caused me to review much in my life especially the world around me and relationships.
While the above is important to me my most stressful matter is my relationship with God because it has, was, and is the most important of my life.
THE UNWRITTEN ENDING:
I am still dealing with this and this story is still unwritten. I am praying and continuing in faith. I do not believe the God I have known for 35 years failed to deliver me. He did not deliver me with this matter as I wanted or expected but my test of faith begins as I wait for him to reveal his will or plan so I may better understand what had or has happen and why. I know God has not forsaken me. I am engaged in straight talk with God like I was never before as I can not allow the little voices we hear some days go forward if they are not coming from God. We must be sure and there can be no doubts. I am confident God will reveal his plan for me and provide answers.
I admit I felt forsaken after the verdict and the days thereafter, but I have not left his side and I know God has not left me as he has given much insight in to this matter, the relationships around me, and other matters. I have returned to that 35 years old relationship and the hope provided. He is stretching me. I am just not sure of the path right now but I am keeping the/my faith.
As indicated above it does not matter regarding the charges I know at the end of the day there was no bribery or oppression and the money was delivered to the borough secretary's office.
Please stay tuned as I wait, pray, and learn more for his plan for me in this matter. Your prayers are welcomed. I will update this hub as events unfold and God reveals his plan.
If you have read this far I urge you to continue in your faith. God did not give up on you and I know he has not given up on me. Thanks.
UPDATE 1 (5/1/2013). I am continuing in my struggle to understand God's plan and will for my life. I am trying to remain positive and faithful. There has been some positive developments. I am considering a post trial motion but that is not sure due to the financial difficulties I am having. God is slowly talking to me and I am in constant reflection on the relationships of my life. I am definitely lawyered out. I will update in another 30 days or when more information is available. Thanks for reading.
UPDATE 2 (5/19-21/2013) I am feeling better. I believe God has answered some prayers but I feel a lot has been lifted off my life. A post trial motion will be filed. I have a new peace about me and matters. I will have more someday as my relationship and views have changed due to this matter and since the trial. I am better spiritually. I hope to write a couple of hubs on faith and some new insights on my prayer. I am still struggling with all the problems and financial issues. Again, thanks for reading. I will be updating soon. I urge you do not give up your faith and conversation with God. It is very difficult many days staying positive and upbeat with this world. The roller coaster is still there.
UPDATE 3 (5/30/2012) After review of the record that I obtained from my previous attorney whose service was terminated I learned that the DA's Office provided him with copy of the Borough's deposits and receipts for the period in question which the Borough provided the DA's office. My attorney never provided this information to me for my review and assessment even though he received it three months before trial in December 2012. There is an entry for a $200.00 deposited June 11, 2009 which was credited to the refuse account. The question is was the confidential informant's refuse account checked for this credit as he nows has a citation paid at taxpayer's expense and has likely received a credit on his old refuse account (He no longer owns the property)? A review of the trial transcript indicated that neither my attorney or the District Attorney directly questioned the states key witness on the $200.00 which I find strange. Since the District Attorney had the records regarding the $200.00 why did they not investigate for a statement from the Borough Secretary and deliver the findings to the defense prior to trial. It is clearly a poor investigation on both my attorney and the District Attorney's Office, including the state trooper, in my view.
UPDATE 4 (6/18/2013) Today sentencing was completed with probation given. I thank the judge. It was a difficult day reliving this matter and knowing the facts and knowing you did not commit the crimes charged. There are too many people who know just a little bit and not enough. The un-professionalism of some of the players in this matter is disturbing to the conscience. I continue to pray to God and put my fate in his hands. My new attorney will be filing a post trial motion within ten days of today's sentencing, this as per the rule of court. I thank everyone who is praying for me and this matter. I am especially thankful for a few close friends who know me and support me. I urge readers to continue in the faith during your trials.
UPDATE 5 (7/3/2013) The post sentence motion was filed by my attorney and we await the next step. The motion seeks reversal of the conviction based on the evidence not supporting the conviction plus other matters. I continue to pray in this matter and it continues to be in the hands of God. I am still struggling financially and are attempting to start a new career which is what I wanted to do long before this matter happen. I am looking for that career where people thank you for what you do for them. I do recommend you read my hub "Winning The Game Of Life." Thanks for reading.
UPDATE 6 (7/31/2013) I continue to struggle with God's plan for my life and an explanation as to why God did not come to my aid as I have wanted in March or even sooner. He has been faithful due to some insights he has given me. He has revealed much to me about me, the people around me, and some life lessons for lack of a better term. I guess I am waiting on some confirmation and some doors to open. I am trying to change directions in many areas of my life. It has not been easy on many fronts. I have not given up, my faith is stronger and some clarity is present. It will be a long journey. I am healing on some levels. More specifics will be given in the future. The court has not ruled on the post sentence motion filed late last month. I continue to pray for this matter, my finances, my new direction, as I try to move forward. I am thankful for some close friends, their support, and those who pray for me and they who know the truth. God knows the truth and I must trust in him.
UPDATE 7 (9/2/2013) I am doing better having made some decisions on a new direction in my life. The post sentence motion process continues. I am more at peace with my world and surroundings as I try to move forward. Some pieces are falling into place. Still too many days with bouts of depression. I will expand on them soon. I am writing a new hub on the subject of Satan and misconceptions many have of him. Stay faithful in your walk with Jesus Christ. Thanks for reading this story.
UPDATE 8 (9/20/2013) As of this date Judge Borkowski has not ruled on the motion filed by myself and my attorney. It has been over eighty plus days since filed. It is my estimate that Judge Borkowski has until end of October 2013 (after speaking with my attorney today) to rule or not rule on the motion. I am waiting and preparing for expiration of that time frame knowing and believing that it is in God's hands. I continue to try to transition to another line of work that will satisfy me. It is not easy as I struggle with a variety of issues identified above. There are pluses taking place that I welcome and minuses that I have no control over.
UPDATE 9 (11/5/2013) As of this date I am awaiting the order of the court which I understand denied my attorney and our motion for post sentence relief. I have not received the order and do not know if it was a denial through operation of law or if it is denied with written comments. I will post when known. I am learning to forgive. I have to move on in life. It is not easy. The review for any appeals and other motion for post sentence reconsideration is being reviewed. Thanks for all who have prayed. Stay in faith.
UPDATE 10 (11/24/2013) I met with my attorney a few days ago and received the order of the court denying post sentence relief. It was a standard denial with no comment. I spoke with my attorney about appeal and other options along with facts of the case. I am unsure where I am going as of this date. He explained that the appeals court do not like appeals for in effective counsel and the other matters we have to argue. He said Pennsylvania has a different process to proceed under. It probably does not matter as financially I am being pushed to the limits. I have decided to write another Hub entitled "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ronald C. Bachner - Questions Not Answered." This hub will review the individuals in this matter and my comments. There are too many matters that speak to un-professionalism and incompetency that far exceed my act of withdrawing a non-traffic citation which in itself is not illegal. As indicated in my last update I am trying to move on and keep my life together. I am learning to forgive but it has its moments when I think of the incompetency and it raises its ugly head. While this matter has caused considerable damage I know I cannot let it control my life or they win more from me. I urge you all to continue in faith as it is the only hope in this world. I continue to try to fill in the pieces and make a new path in life.
UPDATE 11 ( ) This update was lost 10/9/2014 while adding a link. I am trying to recover it. Thanks.
UPDATE 12 (1/5/2014) I am unsure where I am at in my efforts to clear my name. I am reviewing the matter and transcript. The next step is a Motion under the Post Conviction Relief Act. The success rate is debatable even though my attorney believe we have very good issues and reasons. I believe they are genuine. I am in "Straight Talk" with God on the correct direction to go. I received an email this week from a former employee I worked with at this borough who made some observations they saw at the borough which were interesting observations. I am mentally getting stronger and having my eyes open on the Bible. The new hub I am writing is coming along and should be published soon. Everyday brings a new challenge. I am continuing to get on my feet financially but it is difficult. I tried volunteering and working with seniors plus job applications but was denied due to the conviction. So much for those with an open mind or do not judge. I am lucky for my friends who know the facts. I urge anyone fighting their own battle or injustice to stay faithful and talk to God sincerely. Until later.
UPDATE 13 (2/14/2014) My mind and path are beginning to become clear. I am receiving new revelations and growth regularly. I see some of the relationships that were in my life from a clearer perspective. I am shaking off burdens that keep you from enjoying life and knowing God. It is to early to know what the next step will be in clearing my name as funds are limited and must be paid before the next leg of any legal work. I know that regardless of what happens I am becoming stronger and I know the charges were baseless and I am not guilty. I will not kid you I am in a very difficult position with many challenges to overcome. I will have my new hub up soon as I have just been so busy on day to day matters. The hub will pose some questions regarding the whole matter and make some comments. I urge anyone going through a trial of any kind to not lose faith as I know there are many valley's and peaks in life.
UPDATE 14 (4/24/2014) The hub is coming soon as I have been busy with other matters. I am still struggling with the same problems identified above with the added problem of a health issue. I also have had three deaths in the last six weeks. They were Irene, a second mother, a friend of 35 years mother in law, and my sister. I thank all for your continued interest in this matter and prayers. It is and has been a difficult time and I hope to be able to given better news shortly. My faith is in God. Thanks.
UPDATE 15 (6/3/2014) I have decided to file a motion under the Pennsylvania statues known as the Post Conviction Relief Act. It will based on the ineffective assistance of counsel of my trial attorney. Some of the points are described above. This will be my last opportunity to clear my name of a conviction that I know I am not guity. I did not take or offer any bribe, keep any $200.00, or oppress any property owner. I ask for your prayers. My hub will be published soon as I have other issues and problems I am dealing. My apologies for the delay. I know it was promised long ago.
UPDATE 16 (6/27/2014 and 8/28/2014) I have posted my article entitled "The Case of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ronald C. Bachner. My attorney will be filing a PCRA (Post Conviction Relief Act) Motion likely in early Semptember 2014. While it is important to me to clear my name my relationship with God is being tested and I will be focusing on it until the PCRA matter is resolved one way or the other. If you are in a trial of your own please stay faithful as it is the only way to move forward. This will be my last post unless God delivers me from my legal and personal problems resulting from this situation. It is in His hands. Thanks for reading. Note: Update amended to reflect new date for PCRA filing.
UPDATE 17 (11/6/2014) I have deceided to continue updates. The petition under the post conviction relief act of pennsylvania was filed last month. The Judge or Court has ordered the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to file a response to the petition. My attorney and I are awaiting the response from the Commonwealth. I continue to pray for God's help in this matter.
UPDATE 18 (12/13/2014) The Commonwealth has filed their response and the Court has ordered the defense to file a response to the Commonwealth's response. Personally, I am still struggling with a number of problems. I know I am getting stronger and my vision clearer but I still have an uphill battle in front of me.
UPDATE 19 (2/4/2015) The Commonwealth and the Petitioner (the defense) have filed their responses. We are now waiting for the Court's next step or response. I continue to struggle to find a new direction in my life. I am slowing working my way through this. There is much going on and I hope to update soon as matters unfold both on this matter, my new direction, and on my relationship with God who I know is still there. Thanks for reading and your prayers.
UPDATE 20 (2/19/2015 I am still waiting to hear from the Court on my Petition which was filed by my attorney, I am struggling in many ways but financially it is getting difficult. It is hard to find work and it is hard to volunteer when they do a background check and reject you. This matter has affected me in many ways and it is still being processed. I find many people are less than upfront with you and you know what they are likely thinking. It is frustrating the lip service society gives when they isolate people like me in a difficult position. I am glad a few friends know me and offer emotional support. I will continue to move forward even though it is hard some days and you want to throw the towel in. There is a news article published last week if you google my name.
UPDATE 21 (4/11/2015) The Judge and the Court recently ordered a hearing on the Petition filed by my attorney Robert Mielnicki. I have placed it in God's hand as I now confront the problems and stress resulting from the inability to find full work as a result of the conviction and mistakes of many. I thank those who have prayed on my behalf. I do feel a mixture of positive and negative signs.
UPDATE 22 (4/26/2015) We will be having the final hearing on our PCRA tomorrow. I do not know if it will lead to relief but it appears the location of the specific CI $200.00 will not be resolved. I do know that I have to move on with my life and put this behind me and after tomorrow it will be in the Courts hands for an opinion. As I said I did not take any money from the borough. Thanks for reading.
UPDATE 23 (4/27/2015) The Petition for Post Conviction Relief is before the Court with hearing completed. The Judge will review the matter and render a decision. I myself have to move on and figure what is in store for me and the rest of my life. There will be no more updates until I figure where I am at with God and or a decision is rendered by the Court. I thank all of you who have had an interest in this matter from the beginning. Until later ......
UPDATE 24 (6/22/2015) The Court without issuing an opinion has denied my Petition for Post Conviction Relief. After two hearings and the petition and DA response how can you deny without an opinion? What are you to appeal? Someone's life is at stake. My prayers are unanswered or it is God's will that this has happen. I do not know. I do know I did not take any money from the borough or engage in the acts I was charged. I do know I am tired of the legal system, attorney's, and incompetence. I did not need to be told then or now that bribery or official oppression is wrong. After all this time the pieces do not fit in my view. Where is the money? It is clear the borough is missing $200.00 which should be in their account. What is in store for the rest of my life I do not know. My best to all who have followed this matter, offered encouragement, and prayed for me.
UPDATE 25 (2/20/2016) The Appeals Court (Pennsylvania Superior Court) is reviewing the Brief filed by my attorney Mr. Robert Mielnicki on December 29, 2015. The District Attorney did file a response. I am currently awaiting any word from my attorney. The Superior Court Docket Number is 1098 WDA 2015.
UPDATE 26 (5/27/2016) We are still awaiting a decision from Superior Court. This matter has forever affected my view of the world and tested my understanding and relationship with God in ways I never imaged.
UPDATE 27 (6/28/2016) The Court (Superior) has rejected my attorney's (Robert Mielnicki) arguments completely on appeal.
UPDATE 28 (10/17/2016) I hope to write someday where all of this leads. I do know God has opened my eyes to more biblical truth that main stream Christianity is silent on in most churches. I do know that any development with this matter legally will be because of the hand of God as I did not take any money from the borough or engage in the act of bribery. I do ask those who read this not to give up on God. He is there. I have been up and down a few mountains over the last four years and where I am at now is better then where I was. I am emerging on the other side and hope to comment more later. God has not forsaken you in your troubles, do not forsake him. You can have some straight talk with him. It has been of real benefit in my growth. Until later.
If you would like to know more of my thoughts please read the hub entitled "The Case of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ronald C. Bachner.
Link to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ronald C. Bachner and the Questions Unanswered.
- The Case Of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ronald C. Bachner And The Questions Not Answered.
My review of some of the actors and unanswered questions in the above named case. Please see my other hub entitled " Straight Talk With God - In the Frying Pan-My Test of Faith."
© 2013 Ronald Bachner