It’s been over 20 years now since I have been able to say Happy Mother’s Day to my MOM. Since I have been fortunate to have other MOMS in my circle of friends and relatives there has been no lack of people to say it to. Yet, your MOM is a special commodity.
Mom was not perfect. Unfortunately (or very fortunately) she was born human. GOD (LOVE) knows she tried. I remember MOM teaching me to iron because she got exhausted with all my changes of clothes. She taught me how to make sandwiches, because she knew (and probably hoped) that the days would come when self sufficient would be important. She was passionate about politics and she taught me about people and the structure of the true politics in her view of the world. She could not offer wealth, but she offered something much more important, encouragement. There is a saying I always attribute to my mother, “Dennis, no matter whether you like it or not, always eat the free food.” Truly she meant more than food placed before me at the homes of friends, relatives, even guests.
She meant the foods of relationship, caring, friendship and love. She meant “Never be discouraged by the gifts of life that are not always perfect. Enjoy each gift and be grateful for the opportunity to share of your own. Do not let unrealistic expectations tarnish your gifts. Appreciate the opportunity to treat others as mentors and learn from them, the rights, the wrongs, the passions, the fun, and be grateful for the opportunities when your perspective has confronted loss.
I am grateful every day knowing that the spirit of my MOM is available and around whenever I need it, whether requested or simply appearing in a remembrance. Be sure to acknowledge those about you today that give, share, and partake of a Mother’s Love on this special day of the calendar year.
Enjoy the day….. dennis
I read this the other day from a posting person that I admire . “Christ says we are made to serve Him and allow Him to make the choices in our lives.”
The first thing that came to my mind is a story I tell about my relationship with “GOD”. I know what “GOD” looks like. There is a large bruise on “GOD’s” forehead where GOD’s palm has struck the forehead as “GOD” utters…..”Dennis, you’ve done it again. I had it all planned out and coordinated and now you change the direction of your life…”
The choices of GOD are not always so apparent that my choices coincide with “GOD’s” plan for me. My favorite poem talks about ‘The Road less traveled.” Why do I so often settle on the road less traveled?
Because “GOD” has never failed me in my choices. “GOD” mentions after saying how I have “Done it Again, Now I have to rewrite the plan I set up for you the last time.” Right, or wrong, the journey takes many twists and turns. This is not news to “GOD”. Perhaps “GOD” is pre-aware of the directions I will take and the design of my personal tapestry has already been prepared for the seemingly new direction I am moving in, which “GOD” has been aware of since the beginning. I have been allowed a second chance.
Each one of us is the architect of our own individual journeys. Often times the choices are less than wise, but always based on events within our own lives or compared to that of others. Where we do not always do well at predicting our own future, GOD can. The tapestry that surrounds us is too complex for us to sort. Consequently ‘free will’ often gets the best of us. How many times does GOD come across this over the history of the universe and the entities that reside there?
Have you made a mistake? Many? GOD understands what you even cannot see.
“Forgive them…..they know not what they do.” This is a quote from the GOOD NEWS.
Jesus brought a new perspective on GOD that we today call “GOOD NEWS”. It has never been FAKE NEWS. ‘FREE WILL’ comes with challenges, and is never “free”. Whether others judge you or not, you judge yourself. If you never judge yourself, your actions have their own judgements. Free is never free. A poor concept to extend.
This is where “Forgive them, Father…” comes from. The harsh Father who theoretically casts out the lost from the path to eternal life has given us an advocate. Jesus. A Jewish carpenter from a town called Nazareth.
“For they know not what they do….”
Those calling for Jesus’ Crucifixion did not know much more than they were told what to say in the middle of the night by armed advocates.
(At the risk of censure, our politicians perform about as well as the disciples did, and they theoretically know ‘the rest of the story’. )
Knowing “What A Friend I have in Jesus” and His stance on forgiveness does not make the mistakes free, it makes them forgiven because whom amongst us has not done things that “we know not what we do” or the repercussions as a result of our choices. For those mistakes will never be “free.” Not to me… And at some point in time our stewards will discover how not “FREE” their decisions have been. But they are understood and forgiven by one who lived the reality of life on Earth. One who has seen the powerful place self before others. Somewhere in a book I read years ago it is said the “The meek shall inherit the Earth.” Perhaps because only the “meek” shall survive the”Powerful.”
“FREE WILL” is a lie. Our actions cause reactions whether we like the results or not. It is to me, in those moments, reassuring to know that 2,000 years ago a mentor of mine pleaded for my forgiveness even in the place where I judge myself. And He will do that for me forever. “What a friend I have in Jesus….”
Satchel Paige was a black baseball pitcher from a time when most black pitchers played in their own leagues and specialty leagues around the country and then into the big leagues after the late 40’s outside of their own specialty league. Commonly called the best pitcher of all time, he was known for many of his quotes on life. The one I have always remembered is “Don’t look back. Someone might be gaining on you.”
Searching the Past. It is often dangerous to search the past. It is too easy to fall back into it rather than move forward because of it.
“Been there, done that.” may be the better philosophy. Putting your mind in the past can challenge your decisions and can make it harder to leave the past in the past.
When you search the past for your future, you miss out on the present. Enjoying life is immersing yourself in the present, not searching out memories, or focusing on yesterday’s dreams.
Taking in what every day offers today should be more rewarding than looking back on what could have been and was not or what was put off for a rainy day that may not ever come.
As I have aged past that point where I often thought I’d never make it to, I reflect sometimes. You can literally get lost in the past of your life. What you thought you would have time do and what you maybe did and shouldn’t have. You can get lost in the stories of what happened ‘then’ when friends got together, and remember later that it was not really ‘that way’ at all.
The past was the formation of today, but today is the formation of tomorrow. The someone that might be gaining on you is someone who grew up with you. And “YOU” are not quite the same. Not the same goals and objectives, not the same demeanor, and a different attitude. When you look too far back you miss the time that is available to you now. There is a tendency to rush to nowhere. Perhaps a cup of coffee and a glance about the countryside of today is in order more than just once in a while.
Enjoy the day…They are too precious to ignore for the sake of other things. dw
What day are we to strive for that we are going to base the idea of ‘again’ on?
Of the people, by the people, for the people? Is that the day when we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to attain?
Was plantations and slaves the day that we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to bring back ‘again’?
Back in July of last year I posted Making America Great Again – Really? An excerpt of which is above. Little did I know how quickly I would be answered. Life can be scary.
The last few months, culminating in Charlottesville of last week, has developed a pattern of what “AGAIN” means that seems to be developing in America “Again”. The excerpt above seems to nail it. Was plantations and slaves the day that we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to bring back ‘again’?
1859 nails it. Just before the Civil War. Seems to fit perfectly. A little prior to Nazi Germany, but right (pardon the pun) on for the white supremacists. It was also a perfect time to be great again if today you benefit from stock in large corporations or invest in business or have a similar situation that would profit greatly by it. A time before income tax, minimum wage, OSHA, big government, No health care, no clean air, no unemployment, no benefits, rules or regulations. Slavery was the order of the day, (I guess a case could be made for free board and room by the Washingtons and Jeffersons and Jacksons of the day. All of whom who shared the Presidency with our current “leader?”
The conflict between the North and South was as similar to Republican vs Democrat then as it has now become. The theft of private property then is very similar to the “Eminent Domain” of our present day cities, or counties or states to find the property to assist the owners of the campaign PAC’s who supplied the money to put them or their ‘charge’ into office, to have a convenient and cheaper way to satisfy their need to make money out of a location that merely housed ‘people’ rather than add to their financial success. The American Indian can forward a discourse on the World of Rich Business of then, vs now. I remember the music of the day referenced by a song from my generation “Owe my soul to the company store”. Of course our modern CEO’s eliminate employment by moving employment totally out of the country for what conforms to the Great Again theory of “FREE” “profitable” business. The law of the land was Success AT ANother’s expense. Which still reigns supreme in America. Low wages and no benefits = bigger profits and a testimony that says “I made myself a Billionaire all by myself.” Patriotism and profit are not considered to be the course of action for “Great Again”. Making America Great Again is not as important as making MYSELF wealthier again.
The news of the era that comprised the Civil War made American Armament (and European) makers discover the profitability of war and the weapons to wage it that has carried forward to this day. Business has found war quite economically advantageous. And the ‘bully pulpit’ of present day world leaders. When Health care became a burden, the country seems to have divided over the merit of concerning itself with taking care of its citizens, or for some of our citizen’s the answers would be to kill or deport as many as necessary to make it less of a burden on others apparently.
This is the seed of news media. Of our social media, and of too many who owe too much to the powers that put them in office. A swamp that rather than being drained is merely being covered by algae, and tweeting birds.
More than any, I would like to see America the Great. We were headed toward great at one time. The Civil War began a movement toward a level of Civility in the United States. But that Civility was extinguished almost immediately with the assassination of a President whose name is held up as GREAT and invoked often by those who seemingly have no knowledge of what made him great. It was not division that made him great, it was the pursuit of UNITED that made him great. UNITED is what will make us GREAT. It seems Great AGAIN is confused AGAIN.
In high school and college I studied ‘ologies’. There was sociology, psychology, geology, physiology you know. As I got older and started the journey of living there became churchologies, Scientologies, and I have forgotten what I am certain were others (like workology).
But one ‘ology’ stands out in my history that I did not study in school but that I have studied in living.
I call it faithology. It is the study of having faith.
I have faith in my own destinations. That the decisions I have made and continue to make carry with them an idea that faith connects to a real place. That what seems to be directionless one day, proves to be understandable the next. That one step forward and perhaps 2 steps backwards, eventually moves forward in the scheme of things.
This is faithology. One has to practice it to learn to believe in it. It does not always rely on a religion, but it does rely on belief. It is a practice that can accept challenge, and a determination to keep moving forward. For some it flies in the face of practicality, for others it seeks the end of the rainbow. For those who hang on to it the world contains many new treasures. The ocean without faith contains only water. Those with faith found new countries.
The perception of darkness, when challenged by faith, discovers the light.
It is not for everyone. It is the road less taken, and the impossible dream. It learns to swim by jumping in. It also becomes the never ending story. For the desperate and disenfranchised it becomes hope.
Faithology……Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.. dw
The Last Revelation
Always remember as you read, this site is called Unorthodox Christianity.
As I have once again perused the Book of Revelation in my New Jerusalem Bible, I have many questions with The Christian Book of The Revelation of John. I believe it is not necessarily all about a meeting with the GOD to which Jesus ascribes himself. I believe some of the revelation is more about the meetings of the Anti – Christs who appear as who John interprets as GOD to John of 1,500+ years ago.
The Anti-Christs are not a solitary Human, the Anti-Christs are of an ideology that is adhered to by human beings and an original physical element that Darwin called ‘survival of the fittest’. It is an inherent instinct. In his letters to the seven Churches in Revelation the position of following SATAN (who I consider to be an anagram for Success AT AN..other’s – expense, and it’s adherents living within the chosen cities, is one to be avoided and that their behavior ‘adulterates’ the position of Jesus which is to love one another ‘On Earth As It Is in Heaven’. The Revelation goes on to present a vengeful GOD that is inconsistent with teachings of Jesus. I also recall a comment from the cross, “Forgive Them Father, they know not what they do.” I see Jesus as the lawyer on our behalf, not a purveyor of punishment.
I also follow a GOD, as referred to as “GOD is LOVE”, who, I do not believe requires Humans to bow down to GOD for GOD’s satisfaction. Free will and Grace seem foundational to Jesus. Why would a “GOD is LOVE” GOD take a creation of GOD’s own and destroy it as punishment for what GOD created in the first place. What I see here in Revelations is a Human being driven by a ‘survival of the fittest’ instinct as the human norm, interpreting a vision of a future event from a lifetime of examples of human instinct and education 1,500+ years ago. This human attitude at work is the way it has been since the beginning of time (survival of the fittest). To have this instinct being accepted by and manifested by GOD for GOD’s own ‘personal’ positioning just doesn’t fit. To me it seems against the teachings of a Jesus that I try and adhere to. The commentary ascribed to ‘GOD’ seems more to be directed by a Human being whose personal position in the room could be equated to GOD (in GOD’s own environment), and interpreted as ‘GOD’ to someone unfamiliar with the life and times of future events. The vision I present below shares behavior and ideas, and actions, with logical conclusions that are represented in the vision of John. The vision is so far beyond the realm of John’s human interpretation that I can see this great counsel meeting being interpreted as originating with GOD rather than the result of human activity centuries down the road done to humans by other humans. GOD forcing people to “LOVE” GOD is inconsistent with the meaning of “LOVE” and our small planet is but a spec in the creation of GOD for so much attention from GOD beyond the obvious warning that this Revelation provides.
Now Humans trying to force people to bow down and worship them, and respect them through threats and armies, kiss the ring on my finger and such, this I have seen through out history. Figuring that this would be GOD’s norm also is understandable as the old testament presents a GOD that humans can relate to for ‘Wait until your Father gets home” was never presented to me as a social positive. The tribal philosophy of engagement is not unique on Earth, it is what we call history.
The meeting that is represented to be in Heaven, and referred back to often in the narrative, appears to me to be a meeting of the HUMAN Adherents to the attitude of SUCCESS AT ALL COSTS being held in a room that John, with his background, could only image as having to be in Heaven because of it’s opulence. There is now and always has been such opulence in the hands of a small percentage of the world’s population. At this point in the time of mankind the opulence is well beyond the grasp of John. The plagues are not plagues of GOD, the figure represented as the GOD of all creation is actually ‘their (the humans) GOD, MONEY, the measurement of Power and Success on EARTH. A plague brought on by dumping chemical waste in what used to be clean water because it is cheaper does not have to come from GOD. Humans have been doing this for centuries. Very similar to Jesus’ attack on the Pharisees in the Temple, the setting I interpret as very representative of the Priests in the Temple at that time would be a similar event today. What is occurring in Revelations at our time in history, is being written by someone without our perspective and knowledge of the thousands of years of history since John’s Revelation.
Picture any Congress in the world, or a Parliament, the government meetings held in any nation. Picture a War Room Table surrounded by the keepers of the Power. OR…….
Better yet, Image a description of a company meeting to discuss how to maintain the profits of a war, without the war. A bullet, a missile, a fighter jet, an aircraft carrier, makes no money until used. An artillery device makes no money until the artillery, be it cannonballs, or bows and arrows, or swords and knives are replaced. Even in the times of the John of Revelations, these meetings were held in Kings Courts, Pharisees groups, Ceaser’s offices, even the manufacturing facilities of the Armor supplier for the Roman Army or the ship builders of the Vikings. Who traded what for arms and who made the money? Somewhere, someone, has to be discussing how to keep war flowing in abundance. Without it jobs are lost, profits do not exist, and the power is sacrificed. Add to that a religious philosophy of “Love One Another”, and the preference of a terrorist opponent would be a better alternative to the balance sheet than a world of peace. (And so it was in Jesus’ day.)
The balance sheet of peace is considered to be very small to businesses and investors now used to the profits of war.
Looking at how our world has advanced technologically in 2,000 years, we no longer require GOD to have stars (missiles) fall on the Earth. Hiroshima was a huge ball of smoke coming from the abyss. A submarine launched missile can easily be a fire breathing beast coming from the ocean and flying through a sky to someone who has never seen either. The conflict between two fighter jets in the sky can be angels attacking one another on the opposite side of their personal beliefs. None of this requires GOD’s wrath to produce. Mankind, following it’s own path, is headed there without the help of GOD. And we are doing that now.
And yet, 2,000 years ago, GOD sends a warning for us to pay attention to today. And we have paid no attention. It is too easy to blame all this on GOD and not accept the responsibilities ourselves. The evening news is a mix of GOD (miracle) and human events. We have to be careful not to confuse the two. We have an interesting, and perhaps short, future ahead of us if we fail to recognize what we have done and are doing.
Go ahead, pick your GOD, assign a name to your GOD. You will probably follow it with all your heart. Does your GOD move you toward peace with your GOD and fellow man? Or do you move toward assertion, power, and success at the expense of others? Which church was John writing to? Yours? Theirs?
The warnings have existed for years. They were given to you a thousand years ago and as recently as today. The price to be paid has also increased substantially. What price are you willing to pay?
Just some thoughts from a simple guy. dw 6-21-17