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.

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

 

Out of The Darkness

Out of The Darkness

lunareclipse

Is it just me or is the world in the darkness? The other night here in El Paso we had a lunar eclipse. We got in the way of the sun and the moon the other night and the light reflecting from the moon slowly went to darkness. Through the whole event a slight ring of light pointed out the event or we would have never noticed it.
There is no question that it is a great time to be analyzing the Book of Revelations and casting forth stones and judgements. The difference between good news and fake news is blurrier than ever before. So what do I do?

“The decision of GOD is to punish the ‘guilty’. It says so in (such and such), (verse such and such) by GOD.” There you have it. A quick synopses of the book and I have said my piece.

There are those, however, who believe a bit differently. “Shine your light in the darkness. Hide it under a bushel, NO….” We are the ring around a hidden moon. No matter the darkness in the world there are those whose choice is to shine a light. Not a judgement, a light. I have not been charged with the future of any human or other animal on the face of the Earth. I have never been consulted by GOD concerning anyone. It is not my call.

That evil attitudes exist does not come as a surprise. That many choose Success AT ANother’s expense is not news, it is a mantra. My responsibility is to shine a light about my little corner of the world. It doesn’t seem to result in too many ‘hits’, ‘clicks’ or likes. I am not a soldier in a vast Christian Army. I am just a guy. The key is to persevere. The people who stumble into my light during my journey have not done so because of me. They have done so because of a power I can not understand and they probably can not understand either. As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.

Simply.

Serving GOD

From The 23rd Psalm

 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

For many years I have made the 23rd psalm the stallwart of my daily devotional. Every day.

I have expanded it to relate to my life and my interpretation of just what these writings mean to me and how they reflect my faith and the path that my life has become. From the challenges of the Lord GOD of David, to the existence of Jesus “The Lord is my Savior and my guide” and the good news he brought forth.

For the above verses of the King James version, for me….. it says:

When my faith is sorely tested and I am ready to give up ‘HE RESTORES MY FAITH and MY SOUL to me. He leads me along the right paths, those of His own choosing, that I may serve Him there……”

One of the writers here on WordPress, Ropheka, josephsdailywalkwithjesus, is one I follow. He challenges me to follow the word, as he reads it, to a point of deep conviction. This verse is one of those great challenges.

He leads me along the right paths, THOSE OF HIS OWN CHOOSING, that I MAY SERVE HIM THERE.”

On any given day I question the choices I have made with ‘HIS’ prompting. And yet I am also convicted by my faith that God’s plan, whether I agree or not, I have been asked “TO SERVE HIM THERE”.

Whether it be HIM or HER or simply GOD, I have been asked to serve GOD (LOVE) there (which is now HERE). I can question everything, I can debate with GOD, but I have been asked to SERVE GOD HERE, no matter what that means.

My Faith is believing that there is a greater force that drives me forward. It super cedes my own desires. It is the truth versus my personal wishes. It knows the future where I only know the past. It is the conversation my spirit has with GOD where my humaness struggles with instinct.

When Charles Darwin studied the instinct, “Survival of the Fittest”, his missed “The MEEK shall inherit the Earth”.

So when confronted by the verse above in my every day devotional, I reflect on one other, “Those who believe on me, shall not perish but have eternal life.” Not an everlasting physical body, but an eternal spiritual one. It could be considered the “Survival of the Fittest SPIRIT.”

So here I am, on a unique path, “THOSE OF GOD’s OWN CHOOSING, THAT I MAY SERVE GOD HERE”. It is my task to accept what I question in faith that “GOD is always preparing the future before me.”

GOD has a future for all of us. I have always been blessed with great mentors.

Keep in mind one last turn of the phrase for my Lord, Jesus. “Please take this cup from me, but not MY WILL but YOUR’S Be done.” (paraphrased)

As I said, “He leads me along the right paths, THOSE OF HIS OWN CHOOSING, that I MAY SERVE HIM THERE.”

You can question, you can doubt. You can even debate, but You have been asked, “TO SERVE GOD THERE.”

 

Forgiven

There seem to be so many requirements of us Christians for us to be ‘Forgiven’. Often the requirements manifest themselves in the commentary of pastors and the prophets that it can overwhelm us. It creates such a monstrous anxiety to bear the burden of our humanity that doubt becomes the driving force versus a very special force that comes from within. 
One of the two thieves who hung from crosses in the company of Jesus prompted Jesus to use his “power” to save all three. The second thief, in all honesty, said that “they” were being punished for things that they had done that were knowingly wrong and could have been avoided by choices. Jesus, on the other hand, had done nothing to deserve what he was receiving. In addition ‘he’ asked Jesus to remember him in heaven. Jesus response was that this person’s request would not only be observed, but that “today you will be with me in “Paradise”. The Gospel is not “fake news” but GREAT News and GOOD NEWS.

To the crowd that followed Jesus’ journey to the cross and made fun of Him and chastised Him, Jesus had a simple prayer. “Father forgive them,  for they Know NOT what they do….”  and then “Into thy hands I commend my SPIRIT.”  
The mockers, the bullies, and the Judges have instincts that are driven by their instinctive humanity. They are products of the human culture. Win at all costs. “Success AT ANothers expense”. Jesus recognized this and had a unique foresight to put the conflicts of the spirit vs the human instinct into a perspective to be approached by LOVE vs culture. “Many will come in my name and will lead even the elect astray.” Jesus’ example should not be reflected of a position of power, but rather an example of the kingdom of the spirit. Many who fly the flag of Christianity do so from a political perspective, Jesus did it from a cross. Your spiritual journey may win no human conflicts, but your spiritual journey will stand the test of eternal life.

Jesus is your advocate. Jesus walked the walk, talked the talk, and took the hits. And yet Jesus has stood the test of time and the others are names that need to be looked up to be remembered. Do not underestimate the power of LOVE to reconcile differences. Do not underestimate the power of LOVE to discover inner peace and tranquility. And do not believe in coincidence. GOD is active, GOD provides, GOD teaches, and GOD pays attention. And GOD asks. GOD asks for your help. Life is different once we can say “What can I do?” All of the things that tempt you, tempted Jesus. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…”
“Father Forgive Them, they know NOT what they do..” 

Do not beat yourself up for being human, seek out the spirit within you and wake up to a new day. You HAVE BEEN forgiven, when you accept it for yourself…

DREAMS

Just what is Unorthodox Christianity? Where did it come from? For what purpose?

“Leave a little behind before you go.”

Unorthodox Christianity focuses on a lifetime of the results of Christian conversations with people from the churches I have attended, retreats I have been on, and my own observations in different forums from friends and neighbors, school to work to coffee. What I believe. I started this assemblage of my writings many years ago. For the most part it resides on notepads, music folders, Cd’s and others in boxes and folders, and corners of storage in my disheveled little world.  This internet forum became affordable and longstanding. As a result, on these pages is a part of me. I needn’t be my only fan, or critic. You also have notepads, cd’s, ideas.

I do more than just jot some religious or political philosophy down on my WordPress site. Today I spread a wing or two. Allow me this indulgence.

Dreams

Years ago I wrote a song.
“All of the dreams I had as a young boy
Shot down in flames of a middle aged man……….
There’s Still time to dream the dreams..”

I realized how much of me rests in folders and on note pads and Cd’s like the writings of my Aunt Vera that she had accumulated over her lifetime. I wanted to share what I could of me and a logical forum became the internet. And with the internet came many forums for different elements for just who dennis c wheeler had become.

What has your dream been? To leave your story behind? To write that book or see your music on the web? Maybe build your own e-book or have a place to share your pictures or poems. Your family history? Too much of who we are doesn’t survive us. I have been trying to change some of that for myself as well as others. 

Maybe your music could be similar to:
www.denniscwheelermusic.com

Maybe that book in your head could be like: www.theearthexperiment.com

Maybe your personal philosophy could land on a blog like this one: 
www.unorthodoxchristianity.com  

Maybe a business venture like:

www.denniswheelerrealtor.com

I have always wanted to be able to leave a little behind before I go. Find some permanent  home on the web to share what I have not had time to share with too many over the years of working and raising family. I have admired the forum that WordPress has created for soo many that I have read from in this forum and places like Newsvine, Facebook, Instagram and soo many others not to speak of what has yet to be developed. The web has allowed many of us to find a notepad or song or philosophy that doesn’t disappear into a folder in a filing cabinet forever.

All of us have stories to tell. Let me know if I can be of help. Contact me via any of the above, or here