THE SERVANT SYNDROME

THE SERVANT SYNDROME

What I have learned the most from my ‘relationship’ with Jesus, the Christ to the original followers, has been the idea of coming to the table as a servant. Not a King, or a Boss or a buddy or even so much a friend, as it rings more often ‘A Servant’.

It has built an issue of servant-hood that that has been more focused on it’s relationship to others vs it’s relationship to yourself. Servant-hood that ignores yourself as one worthy of attention, pours energy out in buckets, but energy in gets barely a drop-or two.

Being in a mindset to do unto others at the expense of your own needs for yourself is as harmful as any particular evil you may corrupt yourself with. The accomplishments you may make in your servant-ness to others is not always a source of a full cup for yourself.

The strong focus of servant-hood needs to be balanced by a determined effort to include your own wants, needs, and desires. A father absorbs the joy of a child’s excitement when you do things together, but watching a child struggle without your help does not fill your own soul. In the same way I have to recognize that the same GOD which Jesus calls Father, does not want the journey in this place Earth to be lonely and one sided.

In the BBC series “Downton Abbey” the lives of the servants were as much a focus of the writer as the relationship of the servants to the masters. An ‘empty’ servant needs to keep their own needs as a personal focus to enjoy the journey rather than emptying the cup before it gets around to the one in the mirror.

I do not believe that this life journey was ever designed to ignore your own needs or your own journey and the many, many gifts placed at your own feet by your “Father” in Heaven. I think, too many times, we set aside the direction that GOD has planned for us, to create a journey for ourselves that we feel is proper and acceptable to GOD, i.e. A Servant.

If you see this in yourself, be the servant for yourself once in awhile and begin enjoying the life that GOD has prepared just for you. Enjoy the hobby, the meditation, the sport, the people and the journey. A Father does not help prepare his children to have the best life that he feels they will enjoy, to watch them change the plans out of an interpretation that means only be a servant to others. LOVE believes that loving yourself and serving yourself is equally as important as loving your neighbor. After all, one of the lessons we often learn is written “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Too often I think our focus on Serving only others leaves us in a position where we do “Love our neighbors as ourselves” which lacks the knowledge of what Love is all about. Loving ourselves by servanting ourselves gives us that comparison to know what true Servant-hood means. Servant-hood should not be a task that we are charged to do, but one that has knowledge of what being a servant means to others, by what it has meant to you.

For me, the guitar in the corner is not meant for the value of the guitar, it is a tool by which I can serve myself as much as others. Loving yourself by teaching yourself that measurement, will help you truly “Love One Another as Yourself.”

Paths

It is one of those seasons again. One of those seasons we refer to as change.
It is often intimidating and filled with question. Will it be positive, will it be scary or may it be peaceful and exciting. Win/Win is rarely the face of change. There was a man who confronted times like these often. Few believed Him. It was in times like these that His advice was to share a moment with His mentor.

“My Father which art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom Come,
Thy will be done on Earth,
As it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who have trespassed against us.
Lead us not into tempataion
(But when we have been tempted)
Deliver us from evil.
For yours is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.”

Not a bad place to start to seek a friend and a mentor for yourself.
The journeys come with no guarantees but you needn’t make them alone.
There is one who will always have time to listen, and who will always find
time to pray just for you.
“Seek and you shall find,
Knock and it shall be opened”

Such a co-pilot is GOD’s greatest gift to all of us if we but choose to open the box….

Lead By Example

Lead By Example

Lead By Example

Millions (Not thousands), HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of citizens, born, adopted, raised, immigrated, brought as slaves, and followed others to AMERICA over hundreds of years looking for the modern day Promised Land. Not one, but EVERY culture in the world is represented. Not one, but EVERY nation, current or passed is represented in those MILLIONS.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (Preamble to the United States Constitution)

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” (Presidential Oath of Office)

I just took a break of writing this note to let my adult dogs outside with the neighbor’s puppy that we are watching out for while they were out of town to learn how to ‘pee’ in the yard and not the house. I took my dogs out with me to “Lead by example” so that the puppy would learn what is acceptable vs what may get her turned into the local rescue mission for going in the house by mistake. This bad habit is the #1 cause of pets being turned in to the various animal rescue leagues around the country. I want to be sure the same doesn’t happen, per chance, to this puppy.

Where was I. Oh, The Presidential Oath of Office and the Constitution.

I’ve discussed the whole discussion about Making America Great Again many times. This is my last time.

One of our President’s ardent supporters came to visit us here in El Paso last Saturday. (Where I live). He came here specifically to help his hero achieve what was important to his hero and many in Congress and the country. He came to help those who wave the flag of Jesus as their Savior and call themselves Christians.

Jesus died penniless on a cross for preaching “Love One Another”, and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This hero worshiper killed 22 predominately Mexican cultured residents and visitors and injured 20+ others. He stated they need to all go back to where they came from. Most were at where they came from.

“Lead by Example”.

Is this, honestly, what Christians believe the example that Jesus would use as the Leader of the most powerful nation on Earth if he had positioned himself as the President of the United States? Would he see himself as the President of just a part of the voters and wealthy donors?

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The President of The United States.

It doesn’t say “President of the DIVIDED States”. We talk about Abraham Lincoln. Both Republicans and Democrats wish to claim his allegiance to them come voting time. What exactly did Lincoln do? He created the United States. The cost was very high. Now our President has become the hero to many who wish to help The President and his party divide it. Is this truly the key feature to Making America Great Again?

I do not wish for this “Great America” for our children to inherit. Most of the world has been blessed by our extremely creative group of citizens. The millions of us have come to win Noble Peace Prizes, develop great inventions, put men on the Moon, and medical discoveries that have saved lives all over the world. Our diversity built railroads and airplanes and saved the world through 2 world wars. What made us great was UNITED, and we will never be great again as long as our example is trying so hard to divide us for the sake of getting elected.

Mr. Trump, Be the LEADER of all of us. You are supposed to and you promised us you would. Need I say More.

I have said enough.

No Test At The Table with GOD

I remember when they handed me my daughter just getting off the plane at 5 months old. It was like being handed a sack of groceries with no manual or recipe to follow.
For 40 years now I have watched over, watched with, shared with, mentored, prayed for, and loved my little, now adult sackful of groceries. As the challenges have played out, the past has grown into her reflection that comes with the consequences of choices made that conflicts with the present and a measure of regret establishes a threshold in her spirit. It happens to all of us in varying degrees of measurement.
I think of the Frank Sinatra song “My Way”:
“Regrets, I have a few, but then again too few to mention.”
The regrets have had time to settle into the reality of what my life is. (The greatest book ever written: “LIFE IS” – the entire commentary on life in a single page of two words by my friend James Parsons (not the actor).
For my daughter the timing is too soon  for the measurement. She called me to ask my opinion.

We grew up religious.  This blog has always been called Unorthodox Christianity since the late 1990’s. Unorthodox for a reason. It is a different box. As I read the commentary of other bloggers about the judgement of GOD in all sorts of circumstances, I can see where a person would feel like there is no help for Heaven and not saving grace. This is where this writing is coming from.
Just like getting my daughter as a sack of groceries from a plane at 5 months I have been the caretaker for a child of GOD. A “GOD is LOVE”, God.
I have been the caretaker since she was 5 months old and I have done my best and will always strive to teach her what GOD has taught me. But I haven’t been the only caretaker. There have been many, but one really stands out in my mind.   GOD.

You can develop any image of GOD that serves you, but GOD has been with you, as with my daughter, since the womb. There has always been a set of footprints next to my daughter since the beginning. Even when she doesn’t have a set of footprints next to them, as the story goes, because that is when GOD carried her through a difficult time. GOD does not wake up on a Tuesday 40 years later and start throwing darts at his children for what they have done in the last 40 years. GOD already knows. GOD has walked every step and more. GOD knows the most important fact “WHY?” Mine will never  be a vengeful GOD. GOD will be an understanding entity that knows why decisions were made. GOD was next to me during the peer pressures. GOD was next to me with the difficult decisions, and when I made the wrong ones. GOD provided the mentors, the teachers, and even the strangers whose comments in a moment, that was their only time with me ever, made all the difference in the world. So I told my daughter this:
“There will be no test at the table with GOD.”

There is nothing about you that GOD does not already know. You have already lived the circumstances and payed whatever price may have resulted. There is no need for a test. The prodigal son squandered his inheritance in awful ways, and when all was said and done there was a feast at home to welcome him.

“There will be no test at the table with GOD.”

You have already lived the circumstances. Now is the time, at the table with GOD, to decide how you go forward in the future. Jesus commented to one of the thieves he was crucified with, who had recognized what his own personal activity had resulted in. Jesus recognized the thief’s understanding from the vision of a mentor who had only known Jesus for a morning in a horrific experience that a set of steps walked next to that man, Jesus. Jesus recognized his understanding and offered the judgement of GOD to him. “This day you will be with me in paradise.”

‘THERE WILL BE NO TEST AT THE TABLE WITH GOD.” People set more than enough judgement on themselves, they do not need the help of GOD for that. In fact, you can not tell GOD something about you that GOD doesn’t already know, or shared with you.

ON POLITICS – The New Immigration

ON POLITICS – The New Immigration

ON POLITICS : The New Immigration
Religion has always had a political forum. Religion controls many countries. We in America are not exempt. In fact we have more religions and different versions of religions, vying for power than any other nation on the face of the earth. I call these comments ON POLITICS, not because Religion is exempt, but because Jesus told us to watch for them.

Todays Subject: Re: Effect from Illegal Immigration

A friend forwarded the following note to me the other day.
A former teacher at a Title 1 school said, and I totally agree with her:
This teacher really lays it out – it can’t get much worse.”

Nine hundred teachers just got laid off from the Los Angeles Unified School District. They are $650,000 over their annual budget. The following comments by an English teacher help to explain one area that looms large over California’s educational crisis. I hope each person receiving this mail will read it carefully, all the way to the end. It is sad what is happening to our great country, all because our politicians are afraid they will miss out on a vote. What a travesty!
This English teacher has phrased it the best I’ve seen yet and it should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or Independent.
From a California school teacher….

As you are listening to the news about the student protests over illegal immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of: I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large southern California high school which is designated a Title-1 school, meaning that its students average in the lower socio-economic and income levels. Most of the schools you are hearing about are Compton, South Gate High, Bell Gardens, Huntington Park, etc., where their students are protesting – these are also Title-1 schools.
Title-1 schools are on the free-breakfast and free-lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I’m not talking about a glass of milk and a roll. But a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make the Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. (Our tax dollars at work!)
I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75% or more have cell phones. The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids. (More of our tax dollars at work!)
I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department, or risk losing funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything. My budget was already substantial, but I ended up buying new computers for the Computer Learning Center, half of which, one month later, were carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America. (More and more of our tax dollars at work!)
I have had to intervene several times for young substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students here in the country less than 3 months, who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them putas (whores) and throwing things, that the teachers were in tears.
Free medical care, free education, free food, free day care, etc., etc., etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled not only to be in this country, but also to demand rights, privileges and entitlements?
To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society, because they happen to like their gardener and/or housekeeper, and they like to pay less for tomatoes, I say: Spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the true costs.
Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new diseases, etc., etc., etc. For me, I’ll pay more for tomatoes.
Americans, we need to wake up. The guest worker program will be a disaster because we won’t have the guts to enforce it. Does anyone in their right mind really think they will voluntarily leave and return?
It does, however, have everything to do with culture: A third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by age 15, and that refuses to assimilate, plus an American culture that has become so weak and worried about “political correctness,” that we don’t have the will to do what is needed.
If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone you know including your Congressman and Senators.
Cheap labor? Isn’t that what the whole immigration issue is about? Business doesn’t want to pay a decent wage. Consumers don’t want expensive produce. Government will tell you ‘Americans don’t want the jobs. ‘But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase “cheap labor”is a myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as “cheap labor.”
Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or $6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an income tax return, he gets an “earned income credit” of up to $3,200, free.
Also….
1 He qualifies for Section-8 housing and subsidized rent;
2 He qualifies for food stamps;
3 He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care;
4 His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school;
6 He requires bilingual teachers and books;
7 He qualifies for relief from high energy bills;
8 If they are, or become aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI;
9 Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare (All of this at taxpayer’s {our} expense);
10 He doesn’t worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowner’s insurance;
11 Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material;
12 He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour
in benefits;
13 Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00/hour left after paying their bills and his;
14 The American taxpayers also pays for increased crime, graffiti and trash clean-up.
Cheap labor? Yeah right! Wake up people! These are the questions we should be addressing to the Presidential candidates for either party.
We must take action or we will all go down the drain because a few don’t care. And if you think this is bad, just wait until a Democrat becomes President and the redistribution of wealth becomes the norm in this ex-Democracy.”

NOW MY COMMENTS ABOUT THIS – Dennis Wheeler

Keep in mind that I have been watching this “immigrant” event from El Paso, TX and no miles from the Mexican boarder. It comes from hearing the press and politicians complaining that El Paso and other border communities do not take care of or provide for these immigrants up to “their” standards. That in May, 2019 a month ago, 140+ THOUSAND immigrants came across the border somewhere and were simply dropped off at these border towns to be taken care of from overnights, to many nights. And it does not stop for catch up. It merely adds more, day after day after day. None of the politicians who came down here to make political statements to bolster their political campaigns and desires wrote checks to pay for the supplies, bought blankets or clothing or helped plumbers run water lines for clean water to go into vacant buildings that were never designed to absorb thousands of people immediately and then more the next day and the day after that. None of the ACLU people, investigators, Congress people have taken any to their homes to feed them, cloth them, or adopt their children. None has paid for us to bring them to their home town so that they would have the opportunity to show the world how it is done “right” in California (57,000 HOMELESS), or Ohio, or New York, or Chicago. This is where my response comes from.

I want to go back a moment to remind you of a comment from the above teacher diatribe:

It does, however, have everything to do with culture: A third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by age 15, and that refuses to assimilate, plus an American culture that has become so weak and worried about “political correctness,” that we don’t have the will to do what is needed.”

I agree with this opinion from the cost issue save one fact that does not appear on any nightly news investigative report.It does not appear in any major newspaper. It is not the topic of any political campaign or nightly politically focused channel discussion.
All that money goes to some sort of business in America, or is sent home to the family or business or government from which the immigrant has come.
The breakfast that gets thrown away, the computers that gets graffitied, the day care People, the cell phone people.

The money that business makes off of illegal immigrants is the issue.

Not the illegal for merely taking advantage of it.

All these immigrants represent a charge to get them to America. Who is paying the Bill? Do you know why?

Businesses know enough in America that it is well worth their effort to be sure that the welfare line stays long and for a long time. The govt money paying all these businesses is where our 20 trillion dollar debt has come from. It makes it look like we have great employment to keep the welfare line taken care of, the crime controlled, the border patrolled and on and on. Giving more tax breaks to businesses merely adds an incentive to them to bring more welfare on line. Not less. The culprit is not the poor. It is the same people we just gave a bunch of tax breaks to.
Do the math. The grocery store makes more, hires more people. The school district makes more from the government, per student. The food producer, the manufacturer, the shipper and distribution people, the farmer, the lawyers, the doctor’s, and on and on and on. I have heard this diatribe before and it never answers the question
“WHO GETS THE MONEY?”
BUSINESS. Property rentals, tents, construction workers to provide for housing, grocery, clothing, medical, and on and on. This is not just welfare for immigrants, it is welfare for BUSINESS because we have let BIG BUSINESS send all our jobs to other countries to MAKE MORE MONEY.
What is on our MONEY? “In GOD we trust.” MONEY IS OUR GOD.

Stop the welfare and you stop immigration at its artificially created high.
The Congressional votes you speak of are based more on campaign contributers making money off of welfare and not losing business than to fiscal responsibility made necessary caused by our wealthiest to invest more in themselves than our nation.  The debt has mushroomed over the years to feed the rich and not to make us “great again”. We can not be great again owing more money as a nation than any nation has ever been on the face of the earth. Trillions of dollars in GDP paid for by trillions more of national debt doesn’t strike me as the foundation for great again. To artificially create people’s income based on debt helps no one. The part time worker who used to be the full time worker with benefits is now being supported by trillions in fake money to create more billionaires. Go figure. That same part time worker who is making less for his hard work which makes the company do well but it does less for them is only being rewarded for his or her hard work by creating an enormous debt load for their children so that the owners and investors can take advantage of their effort.

In my world of Unorthodox Christianity I explain it like this:

Success AT ANother’s expense.

America will never be great again based on a huge debt load to have the appearance of great wealth. Buying GDP with fake money and debt is not the recipe for GREAT AGAIN. It is the recipe of disaster. Until we, as a nation, choose to invest in AMERICA again and spread the wealth around to all those who helped create it, we will never be “GREAT” again. Ever.

Dennis Wheeler

The Way I Am

I have been very fortunate to have met many people in my life over these many years now. There is a whole set of these people that come to my mind as a group. They have come across my path in many different settings but their banner reads similar to this:

“That is just the way I am and if you don’t like it that is just too bad. I can’t help but saying what I say.”

Jesus said “You must move away from your parents to follow me.”

I struggled with that concept for years. Why would Jesus say such a thing about parents? My dad believed that dogs were the best way to handle civil rights marches in the day when they started.

“Love one another.” Not the same trip as my dad. The prejudices of those I held as peers were somewhat opposed to the simplicity of  “Love One Another”. Many “believers” are so far away from “Love One Another” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” I am constantly reminded of “Be aware of those who come in my name…..”.

“Just the way that I am” may be a poor excuse for behavior. Respect is often never easy.
“Walk in another man’s moccasins for his miles before making your opinion”. The cultures and their tidbits such as this are the place to discover. “Love one another” is so simple and so hard at the same time. What way are you going to be? Really.

Lyle Says..

GOD’s Mentors create actions. Such was a conversation I had the other day with a couple of workers in a testing center. We were discussing the rush rush of everyday life and how it seems that much is missed during it. I related a story of one of my mentors, Lyle.

Lyle was a neighbor and a great friend I had about (many) years ago. Lyle worked as a guidance counselor at a state hospital dealing with recovering alcoholics and had done so for 20+ years. In addition his faith was Methodism and I would refer to Lyle as a Christian. We had stopped for coffee one day and Lyle was somewhat distant, immersed in thoughts. I asked him what was going on.

“The great diet that I have been on and I have lost a lot of weight, has been liver cancer. It appears as I have just a few weeks before it wins. As a 12 steps counselor I find I have been going through all the steps. Today denial gives way to acceptance.”

I chose to spend my time with Lyle on  morning walks with Lyle during the ensuing days. I will never forget one of the last days. We met outside and were walking around the neighborhood. I asked how he was doing. “It is interesting, Dennis. The greens have never been greener, the roses never more fragrant….”

Not too much later Lyle passed away at 53. We had shared a number of great moments together. Leading a summer parks ministry program, and retreats. He got me to begin thinking and that ended up with my launching Unorthodox Christianity.com some years later when the internet took over the universe.

So I was sharing this story with the two workers during a lull in their testing and no one else about. THE RUSH RUSH OF EVERY DAY. I mentioned that it got me to thinking.

“What do you think is the worst possible thing that you could ever hear from GOD?”

I went on, “I hear and read lots about GOD’s judgement. I hear how judgmental GOD can be and how strict and difficult GOD can be to those who do not ‘toe the line.’ So I have developed this scene that better describes what Lyle says and I believe that developed from this incident. I image that I have passed away and am in whatever place one passes away to. I have lived most of my life as a human being. I am fortunate to be one of the few who knows what GOD looks like. GOD has a big dent in GOD’S forehead from the many times GOD has struck GOD’s forehead and has said, “Dennis, you have done it again. I had made all the plans necessary to answer your prayer and you have changed your direction and now I have to start all over again.” The truth is that GOD started over again, next to me the whole way. Providing new mentors, new friends, new jobs, and more education. On this day, I am now at GOD’s spiritual home. I have been invited to have coffee with GOD and I go in. I reiterate:

“What do you think is the worst possible thing that you could ever hear from GOD?” 

GOD sits back in the chair and asks me a question. “You know Dennis, I have not been to Earth for some time now. Tell me, what does a rose smell like on the first bloom of spring?”

I look back on my life and think. “I am sorry, I can’t say I know.”
God  shakes GOD’s head and says, “That is so unfortunate, for this was your only opportunity to find out.”
There was no hell or damnation. There was no screaming or hollering. There was a simple truth. I am ready for GOD, because Lyle says..’The greens have never been greener and the roses have never been more fragrant…… Stop and smell the roses…Lyle says.”

Today those ladies know what the roses smell like on the first bloom of spring. Feel free to share this story with your friends, Facebook and any other encounter. These are the messages all of us are given to share. We are the spokespeople for GOD. We are the mentors.rose-3756985_960_720