TEST NOT : SH*T HAPPENS

TEST NOT : SH*T HAPPENS

Do Not Test the Lord your GOD (Matthew 4:7)

So often I hear on the news that GOD will save me. Or I have faith that GOD will save me.
A young boy told the pastor that he hated GOD. The pastor asked the young boy “Why? What did GOD ever do to you?”
The boy said “I prayed to GOD to help my Grandma when she was sick and she died.”
The Pastor asked: “How did you want GOD to help?”
The young boy said: “I wanted him to make her feel better. She was in a lot of pain. Now she has died.”
The Pastor replied: “Your Grandma was very sick. She was in a lot of pain from her illness and would not survive. Is she in a lot of pain now?”
“No.” said the young boy.
“Did you pray that she would not be in any more pain?” The pastor asked..
“Yes, I did..” The boy responded.
“Then GOD answered your prayer and she is not in any more pain. She has gone home to be in Heaven with GOD and Grandpa.”

GOD knows ALL. GOD is ALL. When asked what to call GOD if asked, GOD said “I AM. Tell them I AM sent me.” (Exodus 3:14)

Years ago I directed a church service for a group of campers that camped every weekend in a small county park in western Minnesota. I did this service for a friend who asked me to do this as a mission to the community over the summer months. There was one camper with his family that was there most every weekend. He was the Fire Chief in a small rural town not far away. Mostly volunteers and himself. I was taken aback the first Sunday he came to “Church in the Park”. I had already done a few Sundays and had gotten to know many of the camper families. He was the second pew table back. He wore a simple yellow T-Shirt with a saying on it in black. SH*T HAPPENS. It caught me off guard for a few moments, but after a few moments of thought I could see from a Fire Chief, in a small rural town with an all volunteer Fire and emergency staff, just how appropriate a place like the “Church in the Park” would be for such an observation to be brought to the children of GOD and GOD’S focus on wisdom.

We often meet GOD more in times of challenge than comfort. With today’s news from a virus, in addition to social relevance, as well as human behavior we feel that we should be protected by GOD from everything because we “believe”. I look at the news and over and over and over GOD is feeding us his warnings through the voices of virus experts, neighbors, strangers, friends and more to warn us of what may lie ahead. Not because GOD is guessing, but because GOD knows.

We shout that we are free to do what we wish. GOD sends a separate message, Free Will is not insulation. And the man in the second pew has a message that is the truth of life. The fireworks that start a fire, or get in a child’s eye and potentially blinds them is not expected, but SH*T HAPPENS. It is usually a human choice that causes many events that could easily be avoided by heeding the warnings that the GOD they say they believe in has already warned them about and that history has many times proven it’s reality.

GOD’S promise of forgiveness does not change the outcomes of free will. Do not test the Lord your GOD. There is very little that GOD has not warned us about if we simply pay attention and attribute to GOD’S warnings to apply to all of us.

TEST NOT YOUR GOD, SH*T HAPPENS

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH
Passion and culture and unconditional love.

Throughout his travels Jesus, the man, was surrounded by crowds of people seeking to be healed by Jesus.
None of them seemingly, approached Peter, or James or Luke or Matthew or any of the other disciples to be healed. Many over the years have discussed the nature of Jesus’ healing.

In fact, in his own community of Nazareth, stopping in as the healer of so many, Jesus found healing to be difficult. “A prophet is not recognized in his own hometown”.(Mark 6: V 4-6) he said. And he could work no miracles there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Nazareth was a community of laborers, farmers, and just ordinary people. Probably only around 100 or so occupants. Jesus was the same Jesus in his hometown even while spreading his message all around it as an adult. The people debated about the renowned healer back in Nazareth. In Nazareth the people knew “Joseph’s boy”, or “Mary’s boy”. For years the culture there was immersed in “CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH” (John 1:45).

The culture in Nazareth had grown up with the outside comments concerning Nazareth that nothing good comes out of Nazareth. The boy and young adult Jesus lived in a cultural environment that was based on “CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH”.

Yet, the spirit of Jesus did not buy into it.

When in Jerusalem once with his family as a young boy, he stayed over to listen to the speakers in the synagogue and increased his knowledge of the scriptures. It was 3 days before his parents figured out that he wasn’t on the road back home and another 3 to locate him in Jerusalem. When asked why he stayed behind his spirit acknowledged “I would expect to be in my Father’s house” . His spirit was forever in a different place than Nazareth. He grew up beyond the culture he grew up in. The carpenter’s son was destined to become the best know individual, with the most impact on history of anyone, ever.

Those who never knew Jesus before found healing through Jesus where healing had been otherwise absent in their own lives. I have often wondered why that was.

The biggest difference I see is the seekers for healing believed that Jesus could heal them or their friends, or ailing relatives from what they had been told by others.

And (very important) Jesus believed that He could heal them.

The belief that Jesus could heal them, or an individual they brought to Jesus to be healed shared a common bond. The key to the healing was this common bond of love.

Unconditional love. It did not question the culture or nature of the individual.

Jesus knew the power of a common bond that superseded the debate of others. It was a bond created that magnified their faith individually and created an energy that healed beyond the knowledge of those around them. It became infectious.

Many changes are challenging America and the world today. The largest is the concept that “CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM ….(fill in the blank)”.
That is simply not true. CULTURE can develop and create change. An individuals Culture has to believe that what they have been taught about, or what they have grown to believe that other cultures are about, have been lied to.
Within the world today there are numerous cultures have been told throughout history that “CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM …….”.

If you have heard this from others, or outsiders, even family has ostracized you for whatever reason, JESUS is an example that you can rise above what you have been told by others. In every culture there are stories of those who have followed in the same footsteps of Jesus within whatever NAZARETH they started in. Your very own Culture has the names within it. Today there is a new paradigm developing in the greatest expanse of social movement on a scale unparalleled in Human History.

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH was the mantra of Jesus’s culture. With a passion to help people, heal people, a belief in fairness and justice, and with the example of the cross as a measure of the passion of the message of Jesus to love one another at whatever the cost, it is in our lifetime reaching fruition more than ever before in history. LOVE ONE ANOTHER is a new paradigm throughout the world, whether or not supported by politicians or all people. 

GREATNESS COMES FROM NAZARETH is the history from Jesus’ example today as much as ever. From whatever Culture you are from, the challenge to grow above it is the challenge of the planet. Politics will not save us, politics crucified Jesus, and in so doing created the most well known example of the power of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE that could ever have been painted by a human hand.

Cherish your own cultural examples and LOVE ONE ANOTHER and you can change the future…… TODAY.

Jesus For President

Jesus For President

THE CROSS HAS BEEN POLITICIZED

The President of THE DIVIDED STATES of AMERICA has raised a BIBLE in the air using a sacred place of the worshiping of the sacrifice of Jesus, committed to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. A photo app to pat himself on the back in front of that CHRISTIAN CHURCH to insure the CHRISTIAN vote for DONALD TRUMP. I would suggest to MR Trump (To be sure there is nothing in his demeanor to promote a UNITED STATES of AMERICA ) that would ever relate in any way shape or form to Jesus of Nazareth.

It would be irresponsible of me, under the banner of Unorthodox Christianity, not to comment on my concerns for the future of the United States of America. In thinking of what to say, I reach back to another election post issued in 7-2-2008 that demonstrates the progress we have made as Christians
to create a better nation through the sacrifice of Jesus on
a cross 2,000+ years ago.

JESUS FOR PRESIDENT

7-2-2008

Politics and religion seem to be running hand in hand in this years election quorums. Many fictitious facts, and lots of idle speculation about pastors, beliefs, concurrence, debates, etc. I am often times amused when the “true” Christians debate the fact that Jesus was a Jew, celebrated the Jewish holidays, resembled all those whose heritage stems from the Middle East, and otherwise can not conceive of a non Christian Jesus. Fact of the matter is, were Jesus running for President of the United States the debate would not be whether or not he would be a good candidate, whether or not he is a good man, whether or not he has enough experience in human and international relations (one would think the theoretical son of GOD may have a handle on such things), but the debate would center around his Jewish birth and whether or not He still clings to his cultural upbringing and beliefs. Being that there were no Christians in Jesus time, and no Christ for that matter, until after Jesus’ death, it would be difficult to categorize Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth, as anything but Jewish stem to stern. The Christian right would therefore dismiss Jesus as a qualified candidate without debate. They would also strive to slure his character and fight to be sure he did not get elected to a position from which he could drag the country into perdition.

The most recent debate seems to center on whether Obama is a true Christian and whether McCain is conservative enough (whatever a conservative enough Christian consists of). So lets see, if Obama was Muslim as many contend, then certainly he must have succumbed to the ultimate goal of the evangelical movement and converted to Christianity when he had seen the light and been saved and thereby fulfills the greatest goal and objective of all evangelical Christians which is to save the world through the Christian belief and acceptance of Jesus as the Lord and Savior (whatever that means) and therefore He is the ultimate victory for all evangelicals and his election should be fought for and supported whole heartedly with sermons from the pulpit as to the great victory of Christianity that his election would represent.

McCain, on the other hand, is not conservative enough, does not seem to be saved enough for his ideals are not conservative enough, even though most conservatives can not espouse just what conservative is.

It is so confusing when we go out into the political marketplace searching for a faith system and not for a good man. Perhaps the difficulty comes when we search for Jesus in a man, for when we do that, even the Christians come up short. I don’t see Jesus as being political enough. Would Jesus say: You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” enough. He wouldn’t hand out enough perks, money or benefits, and otherwise would espouse love not war and throw our whole economy into the toilet to save the planet and help each other. Your right, a true Christian like JESUS would make things worse, not better to have in a President of the United States.  (7-2-2016)

So here now in 2020:

Here is a President of a now DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA who promotes himself to be a good Christian using a religious home of worship for Jesus of Nazareth’s sacrificing of his life on a cross, Held up there with nails in his hands, blood on his brows and back, stabbed with a sword in his body and with the sun blazing on his body and then have the audacity to say “FORGIVE THEM FATHER THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO” just before he died. This politician then creates a Political theater for this poor Jewish carpenter whose mantra was LOVE ONE ANOTHER by shouting VOTE FOR ME, DONALD TRUMP.

Well, we have been told in church forever that JESUS will be back. Exactly what do you think JESUS is going to have to say to DONALD TRUMP? Keep in mind the DONALD was holding the BIBLE up in his right hand with a church framed right behind him to get an endorsement from CHRISTIANS with the news of JESUS inside the book by having peaceful protesters pushed aside by his own police using force and bullying and attacking the press after just saying that he (DONALD) cared about their welfare? That word NEWS in that Bible is not FAKE NEWS unless he was holding a FAKE BIBLE. What would JESUS espouse to DONALD TRUMP? “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”, “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”.  What will JESUS’ heavenly father (GOD) say to DONALD TRUMP: “THOU SHALL NOT KILL, THOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME, THOU SHALL NOT TAKE MY NAME IN VANE.
I want to be as far away from that discussion on the day it happens as I can. 

I could go on simply by quoting what Donald Trump has tweeted and say “Do unto Others as you would have them do unto you” must be beyond his capacity to read a BOOK such as THE BIBLE.

VOTE

I will vote my conscience as I pray for all of us to survive for every day that the Donald Trump keeps tearing America to pieces. If you respect him vote how you wish. This year it is a vote for THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA, not THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA. 

 

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GOOD WEEKEND or NEW BEGINNINGS?

GOOD WEEKEND or NEW BEGINNINGS?

I am getting too used to my “Have a good weekend” on assorted emails to my family and friends. My perspectives have changed a bit with my cancer treatments and the covid-19 agenda. At my age,now, the concept of endings seems to hit closer to home than I wish to think on. My Therapy has 2 weeks and 2 days in June to go and, hopefully, I expect to be ahead of the game for quite some time. So I felt that my life should be looking towards those New Beginnings every week rather than endings. SOOO
Enjoy the day that GOD has poured out for you.
Cares and Prayers
Have wonderful Beginnings today
dw  5-9-2020

DISCOVERING THE SIMPLE

DISCOVERING THE SIMPLE

GOOD MORNING to a Tuesday

I look forward to the day to discover what it has to offer. I have pursued life over a bit of the west and have fond memories. My dogs, however, find themselves entranced by any great number of blades of grass. Would that I could discover all that can be discovered even in the most basic of GOD’s creation. I wonder what my life would look like in a slow motion video on the order of a time lapse video of a flower growing and then blooming. So much discovery just outside the door. Maybe I have been inside too much.      

Just a note from an observation I made many years ago, Persistence is a blade of grass growing up through an asphalt walkway.

Have a wonderful day.

HEAVEN OR HELL

HEAVEN OR HELL

Heaven or Hell

The Pandemic forges on. As the days grow longer and more of them with the same news, it seems our attitudes, probably rightfully so, take on a more negative turn in the background of our normal attitudes. There have been many positive news stories about the survivors, the heroes and the essentialers that are the core of the news. None of us asked for the Pandemic. It is here and we will deal with it the best that we can as we, as humans, have done since the beginning of time.

From GODLY retribution, to the onset of the “Revelations”. To: “who did it?”. To: what are we going to do about it? There are and will be enough books to read about it, movies to be made about it, and debates to fill all the hours of our lives for the rest our lives.

The Pandemic is making life a different environment for the world we are living in.

Or is it really different?

Many years ago, before the Pandemic, my father (on Earth) had made for himself a difficult life. I am sure I have made enough poor judgments in mine and perhaps you all have also, to make it as difficult as I have chosen to. On his dying days my dad said, “Dennis, this is Hell” It was his honest opinion. I have now outlived my father for some years now and many more I trust. The things of life just didn’t seem to go his way. His way was not as conducive to his own health as one has choices over. His attitude had developed into a “This is HELL mentality”.

He had run into the Success AT AN – other’s expense way of doing life and business that has permeated the human condition since the beginning of time. To this day this ‘SATANIC’ attitude has many followers. There have been enough people to take advantage of others for their own success or enjoyment forever. In the BIBLE the example could be ADAM and EVE, or Caine to Able. Most of the BIBLE has scrolls and stories about more people being taken advantage of than not. It is hardly a profound discovery. Who hasn’t been cheated out of money, or bullied out of ego, or destroyed by this attitude in the midst of their ordinary lives. They have been made slaves to plantation owners, or as one secretary mentioned to me years ago about upper management: Slave dies, buy another slave. This is not just an American concept but it is world wide and always has been. Billions have died from it.

Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth in the middle East a couple of thousand years ago succumbed to it. And He new about it going in. And why was He killed? For telling people that GOD was love and to Love One Another. And “To do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

Many of the wealthiest in the world claim to be followers of Christ. Jesus also mentioned for us to be careful of those who come in Jesus’ name for they shall lead even the elect astray. Be careful, the Anti-Christ of revelations may also utilize a professed following of Christ to suit it’s own success at the expense of others, For the Anti-Christ to come as an obvious enemy is forgetting the Trojan Horse. You may consider it to be a follower. Behavior will tell a different story. Much like the virus, the SATAN attitude exempts no one.

We have done more in a few months to combat a disease to save lives around the world than we have done to save the environment for thousands of years, let alone recently within a hundred. What the mysterious “They” are saying is that some entity manufactured the virus. Scientist say it is not man made for the things that man makes have human markings on it. Think of it as made in (pick a place to insert here).

Herbert Spencer, a contemporary of Charles Darwin coined the phrase “Survival of the Fittest” (1864). The phrase was adopted by Darwin to be utilized in a companion book to “The Origin of the Species’ (1859) called ‘The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication’ published in 1868.

In my generational discussions “Survival of the Fittest” has been taken to assign it to humans (animals). The bigger and stronger will survive. The world however, has much smaller species that also are living and functioning entities that also have to adapt to the ‘environment’. Their worst enemy is mankind. This is because mankind has altered the environment and poses much more of a threat to a little understood virus we call COVID-19 than any other animals. Over the centuries Mankind has altered the environment in untold ways. Altering the landscapes to build bridges, make roadways, to mine for ores or drill for oil to feed cars and trucks and motors. We have destroyed the land to make diamonds for rings and Mountains to go skiing. And Mankind has forced the ‘viruses” to adapt, and to mutate to survive and as once was mentioned many years ago that the day will come when there will become a super virus that will then prey on their biggest threat,  mankind.

Welcome to today. We have been working hard to reach this point throughout history. This history is a story of Success AT AN -others expense and it has caught up with us. We will, no doubt, discover another vaccine, but survival of the fittest is not the measure of mankind, it is the measure of the planet and all the animals and creatures big and small that will mutate to survive. Mankind will not alter their SATAN embellishments. The environment will continue to change in response to our desire to be more profitable at anyone’s expense. The images from the virus events show how many people have chosen money over people time and time again.

The book REVELATIONS in the New Testament gives us an inkling of what is yet to come. It does not, and never has required of GOD to cease being a loving GOD. It has always been convenient to blame GOD for the wars and lives of mankind, rather themselves. Pick a name out of any news story of the coverage of the Pandemic to see this in action on any given day. Money over People.

If GOD wanted to get involved GOD is choosing to do it through all of those who are risking their lives everyday to save as many people as they can before a vaccine is formulated. From doctors and nurses and first responders to the manufacturing people to keep food moving down an assembly line, to a family knocking on the window of a grandparent to say “Hi, we still love you”.

Someday we may choose LIFE over MONEY. GOD’S (through JESUS) desire of “ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN” will be our new corporate manta. Hopefully we can embark on that ideology while there is still a chance. What the Virus does not harm, MONEY in the hands of SATAN’S followers and “LIKES” will.

We shall see what the next few months will bring.

IS the Pandemic making life a different environment for the world we are living in?  OR IS IT?

Was my earthly father correct? The rest of the story is yet to be written.

EASTER

Easter 2020

A card from a friend reminds me that the simplest of things can take us right back to the normalcy that we have been used to. Luckily the church I attend here has had an online hookup for the Sunday sermon for quite some time so that we all can share Easter Sunday even if remotely.

Enjoy your day and as an old favorite song of mine goes ” Count your many blessings, name them 1 by 1.”

Enjoy the day in the place that you call home.

dennis

CARDS of LOVE

CARDS of LOVE

My daughter’s grandmother has been sending cards out to people since as long as I can remember. When they are celebrating a birthday, or when they are ill, or when they need a kind message. I have always praised those who invest their time to help others. In these difficult times we are seeing the true power of Love One Another in action. Not just in a religious setting but in a world wide setting. To see how others are helping others they do not know and never will meet in countless ways is so encouraging. The power of congregation focusing on a single thing to help others that are affected throughout the world has never happened to this degree in the history of mankind. When one gets down, and discouraged or feels helpless the reaction of the human race to the pandemic is the most heart warming example of the power of the human race that we may ever see. I salute all those who rise to the occasion for all of us.

Enjoy the opportunities that each day provides to make someone’s day.

LIFE IS

LIFE IS (for Jim)

Every day I am fortunate enough to wake up to life.
Seems simple until life wakes up also. Life is all.
 I wrote the other day:
The Purpose of Life is to Experience It
And so what is “IT” like?

For me it goes something like this:

I Believe in GOD, yet I do not know how GOD works.
I have seen the work of GOD and try to live within GOD’s power.
I am comforted by GOD yet GOD remains a secret I can not unlock.
I wake up to a new day with new possibilities and opportunities.
I need to say thank you to GOD every day.
I believe in Jesus,  the SON.
I also believe in Jesus the “SUN” of GOD as the light of the world.
I cannot hide from living.
Living is the purpose for creation.
Life is all of it’s own stories.
Life is always it’s own choices.
Appreciate every day and move forward within it for that is my purpose.
Be the example that Jesus wants me to be for the people who cross my path.

In the envelope of LOVE are people.
People come in a great variety. They are short, tall, in between. They have different colors. They come in cultures. Without the lines on a map of the nations, they are simply people who are unique, inhabiting different areas on the planet known as EARTH. Their differences make them unique. Knowledge comes from the sharing of life with these people and their experiences and the sharing of their ideas, discoveries, attitudes and beliefs. LIFE has been a unique story from each of them as well as for me.
To be enveloped by LOVE brings comfort and a certain amount of peace that many people may miss out on because they don’t see people, they see politics.
These who miss out on Love do not often see LOVE because they refuse it.

Though I see the truth of living everyday and I live the challenges of life everyday the joy of living can get lost in the reality of the experience every day.
The Good News, the BAD news, the FAKE news.
The nice people, the caring people.
The struggles of surviving in a body that has it’s own strengths and weakness.

Every day is on a road that has it’s own challenges.
The living is what life is.
Love is in my surroundings.
Love is in your surroundings also.
Love is in the constant examples of love in action.
Love is a well of HOPE to drink from.

Life begins each morning in the news. It may be happy, it may be a crime. It may be sorrow, it may be a difficult prognosis. It may be a war event, or a Success AT ANother’s expense event.

I can choose to be the GOOD NEWS of Peace and Love and of LOVE’s existence on EARTH for us to be a part of.
I was born and given an opportunity to experience life. All the things we see and do. All the choices that we make. All the choices that other’s make that impact our life at some point in time.
I think the choice that my spirit makes to experience life again and again and again becomes my purpose. Even GOD, in the example of Jesus, promises opportunity to share LOVE and HOPE and PEACE, even with the harsh realities of living that any day may represent.

The power of LOVE will always be a source of HOPE and ENERGY whether the day holds a cross, a storm of nature, an illness or a moment of temptation.
LIFE IS an experience. Every day. I am here to be a part of it.

GOD is in my toolbox.
Jesus is in my toolbox.
My family, my friends, neighbors and mentors are in my toolbox.
The strangers that GOD sends by are in my toolbox.
They are a part of my every day.
It is up to me to utilize this every day.
I can open my toolbox for myself or for others.
HOPE SURROUNDS ME.
HOPE SURROUNDS YOU.

Enjoy the opportunity that every morning represents.

Every day I say: I LOVE YOU GOD
And for all of you I say: GOD BLESS.

And for my daughter I say: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.

The Energy of Love

2020

For me, 2020 has begun as a year of change.

Whenever you encounter change you find yourself in a position of worry, concern and challenge. I replied to a text this morning from my closest friend and wished to share it with all of you for whom 2020 has become a year of change.

Thank you for your text. I appreciate your concern. I am not unemployed. I am working and am active in finding supplemental work, or at least a bit less physical. I’m still in real good shape and have learned how to compensate with my left shoulder to take the emphasis off of the arthritis in the right shoulder.

I have money in the bank and social security comes every month. Once the weather permits I will have my 2 dogs as companions. I will admit that the greatest strength a person can have is attitude. A positive attitude and a position of perseverance is the key. I planned on a lull if the retail world slowed down for a while. I have been bolstered by the  ideas from the people that GOD has put around me. Now the key is patience as all the pieces come together.

If history has shown me anything it is that my close relationship with my faith has been the keystone for my success. Wealth is not necessarily just the measurement of money, nor is it the measure of a successful living.

To be rich in caring people is the measure of true success.

The power and energy of prayer in a congregation of people can not be measured within limits. It is only measured by its LOVE.

Today is always a good day when you are in a position to smile at the good that surrounds you and the hope that it represents.

GOD surrounds you with things that you may not recognize as gifts. Take a better look and smile as you pick them out of the day. They have been placed all around you for your sake.

GOD BLESS.