“Thomas, called the twin, who was one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. (After Jesus had risen.) When the disciples said, “We have seen the Lord.” He (Thomas) answered, “Unless I see the holes that the nails made in His hands and can put my finger into the holes they made and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.”
Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them, “Peace be with you,” He said. Then He spoke to Thomas, “Put your finger here, look, here are my hands. Give me your hand, and put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.”
Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him:
“You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet Believe.” (NJB)
Have you ever doubted?
I can pray for others for them to believe
But do I pray for me to believe?
I pray for miracles for others,
But do I believe in Miracles for me?
Do you you think that I believe in the stories about the healings of Jesus. Or do I fit in the mold of Thomas? But do I believe… really? I have read, but I did not see.
(Feel Free to Join with me:)
“Forgive me GOD for there are times when I doubt. I can see you helping others, but I can doubt seeing you in similar circumstances for myself. The words “FAKE NEWS” resonate in my head in our new age. And I find a part of me that may doubt.
“Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil” (The Lord’s Prayer)
I pray: let me reconnect to you in my quiet and private space and review all the events, and the people, and the protections I have seen you provide for me and I KNOW you must be involved. Sometimes I may find myself feeling like ‘Doubting Thomas’ yet I am surrounded by your blessings for me to see.”
It is easy to pray for others. It is easy to point out the stories to others and discuss in a Bible discussion about belief. It takes a conscious effort and that communion with GOD (Love) to focus on what GOD has done for me. I may not have seen the nail holes or placed my hand in the hole in His side but I can see the work that GOD has done for me throughout my life. Too much to list in this space. Many of you may talk coincidence. My heart knows the truth.
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet Believe.”
From Psalm 23: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
I have seen the things that GOD has done for me. That is more than enough for me. Really.
Been busy with work and all. Thinking of what messages to write and have been disappointed with the content. I do have some thoughts about life in ‘tweetdom’.
I am a firm believer in the message, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
I see our politicians, especially the ones who fight for the ‘Christian’ vote, are having a tough day with that one. It is always easier to throw stones than put yourself on the line. When you are afraid to put yourself on the line you have perhaps missed that whole part about “The GOOD NEWS”.
Religion is not a feel good concept, it is a lifestyle not a sales pitch.
What was it Jesus said once? “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
LET GOD KNOW
In the midst of attack it is hard to think positive. In the midst of despair many will shutter themselves not just in a house, but from the people who can help them. Whether one says “I didn’t want to bother you” or “You have enough to worry about without me.”
There were a number of disciples on a boat in the lake. A storm came up and the boat swayed from side to side and threatened even to capsize. It was as though all was lost. Then they saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter was shocked and called out to Jesus from the boat. Peter asked Jesus if he could walk out to him. He then chose to walk to Jesus and made a few steps on his way and began to sink. He called out to Jesus to help him to be saved from sinking. Jesus pulled him up and they entered the boat. Jesus commented “O ye of little faith”. Immediately the weather subsided and it was calm. The disciples all bowed down and recognized Jesus as the Son of GOD. (Matthew:14: 22 )
Peter, when recognizing he was sinking immediately called out to Jesus to let him know he needed help. NOW.
Perhaps you are the person at the beginning of this post. Afraid to bother GOD or Jesus and ask for help. Maybe you feel that “O person of little faith” will put GOD and Jesus against you. Perhaps you feel that Jesus and GOD are too busy with others to devote time to your concerns.
Jesus is a radical event to our belief systems. He was then and is to this day. Accept that you are like so many for whom Jesus is a comforting thought but may not be proactive on your account.
LET GOD KNOW. LET GOD KNOW that you could use a comforting voice on the phone or via e-mail or a text. LET GOD KNOW that the events of the day are overwhelming your senses and you do not know quite how to address things. Everyday becomes another unexpected day off with all the challenges that it brings. Everyday wakes up with a question about what do I do today. Moving about the countryside has different challenges than a snow storm or a thunderstorm. Getting in the car and getting out of the car at the grocery store is a concern rather than a relief.
LET GOD KNOW. GOD will do something just for you. Be observant and pay attention and you will discover just what GOD can do, just for you.
The talk on the net and around town is now let’s get back to work. Let’s turn our attention to the economy and move on. Because some important government official thinks it’s a great idea. Or because you do?
Move on to where?
When some children of a friend I know lost their parents to a drunk driver, the drunk driver lived. The driver had all the choices in the world to not drive when drunk. The parents killed were given no choices. It was not their fault and was not a judgement by GOD. GOD, in fact, marshaled sooo many people to help instantly. Within moments of the knowledge of the event our phone rang. Our lives changed and our direction in life forever.
The corona virus is similar to the drunk driver. You can carry the virus and not know it. You may never know it. Some people drink and do not get drunk or do not choose to drive. Many drink and do not care what happens when they start their car. They do not expect to kill anyone. We have already spent a trillion dollars over all the years to advertise about the dangers of drunk driving. That does not stop the drunk driver from driving or people from getting hit and killed by them. And when the courts are all done the drunk driver moves on and the dead are dead. The children are raised by relatives or friends, or a caring someone.
When you are not the one who dies life goes on. If you give the disease to your child, or parent or neighbor or good friend and they die are you willing to accept the responsibility for your choices?
And what about the economy?
When America was just a ship of people we started with nothing and have gotten this far. We can do that again but we need people to do it. There were no billionaires. There were dreamers. Hard workers. People who wanted to build a new society. This society has survived world wars, and we have survived Civil wars. We will survive Corona but need to do everything we can to do it as safely as possible. Not just for the ones at home, but the care givers and everyone who risks their lives to protect people they do not know to provide all that is necessary to help those who have contracted this disease. When we choose to help reduce their risk, we help ourselves to survive. Not every man, woman and child went physically to war, but they and their families were affected by the wars themselves.
We will survive this event with the American spirit and our perseverance through our beliefs behind us. Inconvenience did not stop the Mayflower.
And for all of you who are working to help keep us and me as safe as possible I will be eternally grateful. Thank you.
Welcome to our new world of world wide stress.
I was asked by my store manager at Dillards in Salt Lake about 20 years ago just how I handled stress when he was interviewing me for the dock manager job. I thought about it a minute and replied “I throw time at it.”
When it seems like there is too much to do, one’s stress level goes up exponentially to the task at hand. When stress happens I remember what I told him then, I throw time at it. Time is the one commodity that even though it seems like you never have enough of it, organizing your time is still a way to help move through a stressful endeavor. And at midnight the beauty of time is that it starts all over again for another day of opportunity.
In this current time of all of our lives, the level of stress can be overwhelming. Take a few moments when the stress fills up your brain to take a deep breath and ask for some nearby help. GOD covers a lot of ground in a given day. Not just you but a few billions of others look for help from that mystery person inside of us and GOD can help through a friend or even a stranger to extend a helping hand. LOVE is a universal word and should not threaten your beliefs, but can calm your spirit in a moment of meditation.
We may all look different on the outside but the mechanics, for the most part, are the same. Take that opportunity to reset the clock and let time and LOVE fill in the rest.
GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU AND SHINE LOVE UPON YOU
“The Lord is my Savior and my Guide” (adapted from the 23rd psalm of David)
Saving Grace is referred to often as a gift from GOD for belief in the teachings of Jesus and many of the prophets. And disciples.
What is it exactly that I am being saved from?
What is the purpose of this saving grace?
Jesus gave the ultimate example of GOD’s saving grace when He was crucified on a cross for preaching love one another to a hostile audience of those who were profiting by the taking advantage of an entire population. They convicted Him of sedition because too many of those who were being taken advantage of them agreed with Him. Love One Another had become the ultimate threat to the powers that be. Two thieves were crucified along with Jesus. One of them taunted Jesus for not saving himself along with Jesus if Jesus really had the power to save. The other condemned his partner thief and pointed out “We are only getting what we deserve, but Jesus has done nothing to deserve this.”
Jesus mentioned, “Today, you (the second thief) will be together with me in Paradise.”
Recognizing his own wrong doing, and Jesus’s lack of guilt, was rewarded by Jesus for making that determination was a proof that GOD recognized a spirit had learned the ultimate lesson of life by admitting his own behavior was wrong and carried consequences and not blaming someone else for it. Saving grace was his reward.
What exactly do I need to be saved from?
Does it save me from stressing over right and wrong?
I told myself once that if I was afraid of getting a speeding ticket the easiest fix to that stress was to drive the speed limit. Wisdom is acknowledging the simpleness of it all.
Saving me from hurting others?
Or for not hurting others in the first place.
The word SIN moves about the territory of religion quite openly and quite broadly today.
Some say we are born sinful. Some say temptation causes sin. What becomes our sin?
How can you be born sinful? Everyone has the choice of being sinful or not. But what is sin? What is it to watch for? As I thought about it there is a simple judgment to decide.
For me, I found my life was more complicated when I asked for things that benefited me and could have easily hurt others, whether I would recognize it as such or not.
What I needed to be saved from was my own selfishness. SIN is a simple word for selfishness. My own ideas of right and wrong are challenged when the direction that I am moving in is to feed my own selfishness.
An Uncle once said “In our rush rush society, there is never time to do things right, but there is always time time to do it over.”
One of the WordPress Bloggers (Mr. Ropeka) says to always take time to talk to GOD at least 3 days about change before before you decide what direction to go in.
My father-in-law was a city engineer in a small town in western Minnesota. I stopped by his city shop one day while he was working on the city police car. He stopped and stared at the engine for what seemed the longest time and I asked “What are you looking for?”
He said: “What is the easiest way to do it right the first time before I do it wrong the first time and have to fix it.”
Selfish decisions get the project off on the wrong foot. Getting back on the right track can be tiring and much more difficult than not being selfish in the first place. I think most of the world’s pain is caused by selfishness. Often the word that best describes it is sin, another word is evil.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (The Lord’s Prayer)
“You lead me along the right paths (those of your own choosing) that I might serve you there” (adapted again from Psalm 23.)
GOD works overtime to help you find the right direction, the right decision and the right move. It is not rocket science, it is all around you in the people that GOD has cross your path. It has always been up to me to decide.
What do I need to be saved from? An enemy? A neighbor? A bully?
More than that, it is to save me from my own selfishness.
Sin is when your own selfish wants negatively impacts the quality of the lives of others.
Grace is when you recognize the risk and do not pursue it, or you admit the wrong, ask for forgiveness and pray for the strength not to pursue it ever again.
It is truly Amazing this Grace. (Thank you – John Newton)
“The Lord your GOD is one GOD,
Thou Shalt have no other Gods before Me.”
How confusing can this get? Which GOD is writing? Which GOD should I Pray to, today?
GOD the FATHER?
GOD the MOTHER?
GOD the GOD of LOVE?
GOD the PUNISHER
GOD the JUDGE?
GOD the I AM?
GOD the AVENGER?
GOD the ANGRY?
GOD The GOD of I WILL GET YOU for that?
GOD the FEAR ME GOD?
GOD the FRIEND GOD?
GOD the CARE GIVER?
All of these descriptions have been attached to GOD from acquaintances, and bloggers, and Pastors, and Sunday School teachers. They come from movies and tv dialogs, music and more than I will ever have room to list. It will always be your choice as to which GOD will be yours that you pray to.
Many blame GOD that things happen that they don’t wish or pray for. Many blame GOD for the results of tests, for illness or so on and so on.
Many justify their own behavior by saying they are merely performing GOD’s will. Many think GOD is dead. Many believe there has never been a GOD in the first place.
Wars throughout the the world for centuries have put GOD on one side and not the other. The participants, though, each claim to be the warriors for their “GOD”. (I won’t even get into the names for “GOD”.)
I, personally, consider myself to have been fortunate. The only GOD I have known is GOD my friend. The GOD is LOVE GOD. My GOD is a GOD of “GOD watches out for the ignorant and uninformed.” (Like me.)
When I got the feeling to clean my parents old black and white TV that my parents gave me for my apartment when I was 20, I wiped off the picture tube with a white towel and ended up with a black one. 49 years later I can appreciate today giving up cigarettes that moment and be grateful I was no longer living and breathing the air of their life. In fact, I have outlived them by many years now.
Life handles the rest.
For me GOD is not someone to be blamed for the results of my mistakes.
When I make mistakes GOD reaches out to help. When I am moving in the wrong direction, GOD prepares the way for a new beginning through another mentor or friend, or neighbor, or someone who is passing through with a comment that may only have value to me. It may come to me through the TV show I stumble upon and it catches my attention because it was just what I needed to hear, RIGHT NOW. To build my relationship with GOD has required the use of the words, THANK YOU, GOD.
To build your relationship with GOD you may need to define just what is GOD to yourself. What role does GOD provide for you. What do you pray to GOD for? What do you expect from your GOD.
It will always be your choice, for your reasons. For your circumstances.
Which GOD do you live by?
Illness Is A Catalyst For Change
Whether it is a form of cancer (as in my case see below), or arthritis. Whether suffering through alcoholism or PTSD or whatever the physical crisis may be, a diagnosis of a life changing event can shock your system and generates any number of reactions. Whether it is us personally or a relative or a friend or acquaintance. The storms of life become a catalyst for change and those challenges of life can bring out the best of us, or the worst of us.
Our human bodies react to life and the reality of the life experience makes us choose what attitude we will bring to the challenge, the positive or the negative. All of this is not news. These challenges have existed since the beginning of time. When these challenges happen to the people we know it can remind us of the temporariness of life. One may react with “why me?” It may be “What did I do to deserve this?”
Over the years, many of the visits of mine to see others in my life who were in the midst of a life crisis taught me that the challenges of them all had one thing in common. Without exception they were the result of being human. One thing that I discovered is that they were not unique to an age group. They came upon people who expected the prognosis and those who did not.
Oftentimes these events draw out the religion, or lack of it, in many of us. Our discussion at church the other day pointed out that we often times find GOD as result of those difficult and challenging times rather than good times. Many important lessons to me over my life has been in the examples of those I have talked with, or seen on TV, whether young or old, and I have been exposed to their reactions to these challenges in their journeys. I have learned that GOD knows about these challenges and follows you as though He clicks the “Follow” button on a social website. And then GOD begins. GOD surrounds you, with friends and family and often strangers. Hope is the mainstay of GOD.
Jesus had a cross to bear to be an example of the way he saw the challenges of life and the attitude required to survive them. The Cross was a testimony of the catalyst of change and the power of GOD to bring a new beginning out of whatever is happening. God walked with Jesus and the disciples that followed Him to Calvary and then they followed in His footsteps after His resurrection (or simply by the example he set for believing that LOVE ONE ANOTHER was a challenge well worth the risks.) It is their reaction that caught my attention to the power that lied within the stories I read in the Bible given to me as a graduate from Sunday school so many years ago.
The sudden accident or diagnosis challenges all of us at some time in our lives. The calling may be as loud as a Fire Alarm in the middle of the night that jolts us awake. The heart pounds, then you recognize what is going on. Sometimes it is as quiet as a prayer. Whichever way the catalyst comes one knows their life is changing in some way shape or form.
The other day my doctor was giving me my yearly overall blood test and reviewed the results with me in his office. He mentioned to me that my PSA count ( a measurement they use to track the health of your prostate in men,) was a bit higher than the normal for men my age (68). He set up an appointment with a urologist for me to double check the count which is in the function of a urologist. Pictures were taken, examination was made. The next step was determined to be a biopsy to answer some questions.
The call a couple of days later that a measure of Prostate Cancer has been found took my breath away. My memory immediately took me back to that group of mentors that GOD had put into my life over the many years as to how did they react to such news? Where had their emotions led them and where did they find strength of attitude and persistence. It was at that moment that I recognized how prepared I had been made for this day. Make no mistake, my education from my visits to others had made me aware that challenge has taken on a new form for me. Statistics tells me that thousands of others in this country and a million plus over all the world receive much the same message as I every year.
Yesterday I discussed the results of the biopsy with my urologist. Moving forward with the discussion of treatment options I chose to pursue radiation therapy. I believe in the research that has been done over the years and have been blessed with an internet that can provide many answers to what I am facing in this new journey as I move forward. This internet is a gift that so many have not had before just a few years ago. To be in a position with my website to share information about this illness and how I move forward is a blessing to be able to share. The shock of any such diagnosis can be a call to action, however the action becomes.
I tell you this for in my research I found information from many sources to provide me with answers. One very positive and extensive “book” I discovered was available, for free, through the Prostate Cancer Foundation. I encourage you to contact them to help answer some of your questions. My challenge is just beginning. I truly wish that I had been given this book when I had friends who had received a similar call as mine many years ago before the internet.
If you want to do research, the Prostate Cancer Patient Guide can be found at www.pcf.org . They do not try and choose any course of action for you. They do not sell a magic potions for you to purchase. It is information for its own sake and is very thorough and up to date.
Periodically I will offer updates in this forum of my progress and journey as I am presented with them.
Allow GOD to work within your lives as a mentor of help and a provider of HOPE. Jesus said: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life”. It is reflected in my logo. This has always been the foundation of Unorthodox Christianity since it’s inception.
Ask any questions of me that you wish. If you have been diagnosed or in reading this Patient Guide you recognize the warning signs that I did not recognize, my prayers are with you as many are praying for me.
Thank you for reading. Share this with anyone who may benefit from this information.