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

ON EARTH AS IT IS….

ON EARTH AS IT IS….

For years I have heard many sermons about living life for a future existence somewhere in a place called Heaven. Are you living to die? Or are you living to live?

Jesus said, “Pray to your Father this way: (Matthew 6:9-): Our Father who 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 trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation (but when we have been tempted -dw) deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen”.   

“ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.”  I have pondered these words over many many years and I keep hearing a similar thought over and over, again and again and again.

How do we perceive HEAVEN to be. I often talk to people who are so stressed out
because they feel that won’t make it. But Jesus is offering an alternative that has the potential to take you there, now. How about “ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”.

If you believe you do things again and again and again,
what is your incentive to do it in any one particular way vs another?
Should Jesus be the way or perhaps Mohammed, Lao Tzu, or James?
How does your ‘way’ fit into Heaven on Earth?

When things are tough, do you bag this life and start over?
What is the point?

If the object is the experience, then experience it.
Take it in, enjoy what is there to enjoy; sorrow where there is sorrow,
hurt where there is hurt, heal where there is healing.
Leave a little behind before you go.
Breathe the air in the morning.
Watch the sunset at night.
Touch the lives you’ve been given,
Take care of your charge.
Learn from the journey.
Enjoy the stay.
Be thankful for the gifts.
Give what you can.
Lead by example.
Risk your heart.
Respect others.
Allow belief.
Realize that some have not arrived.
Learn from those who have.

And when the journey has run it’s course,
Be grateful for the opportunity. You may be asked
“Would you like the opportunity to do it over again?”
ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN…..

 

**Ads are a matter of assisting to pay bills and do not reflect any endorsements by me.

MAGA 2

Quite some time ago I decided I was not going to blog again about Donald Trump and allow him to gain some notoriety from it. I just figured to offer this quick update.

**** This blog was first published on July 15,2016.

Making America Great Again

We have  been promised, “they” are going to make America Great Again. We have more wealth than any nation on Earth. I thought that wealth was the measure of success and greatness. We have more super wealthy than ever before. 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’?
Was the day before we became committed to create the most personal wealth for a very few people, is that the day we were great once? We seem to have achieved that goal already.

When will we recognize that we are great ‘Again’.

Will we be great again when all the jobs come back from overseas and other countries and every American has a well paying job with the promise of social security and affordable health care? Will we be great then? Will we be great when our police officers and fire fighters and first responders and soldiers are paid as well for their life sacrifice as our basketball players are paid to play a game?

Will we be great again when our cities and states and government find the investment in safety and security of our people is more important than the profitability of the campaign contributors? When the quality of life bonds add policemen and more patrol cars instead of lining the pockets of our wealthiest members with fluff projects to pay them back for their campaign contributions? Is this the measure of great once again?

When will we be great again? Great is an attitude of helping one another, not finding more creative ways to take advantage of them. It will be interesting to watch and hear just what our new leaders believe Great Again consists of. Having already been put in a position of great trust over their lifetimes, I fail to see the signs of the times reversing under either of their leadership backgrounds. ‘Your fired’ or ‘I didn’t mean to do it’ does not strike me as the recipe for great again.

Will great again be for the regular guy, or will it be more of “left out again”? Time will Tell.

On May 15,2016 I wrote this post concerning Make America Great Again. I asked the question of just “when” from history was Donald Trump going to reflect that time in our History was He going to base his Make America Great Again theme on.

As I have been watching the daily news around America  I have had a chance to really nail down the time in our History that Donald Trump was going to focus on.

WhiteHouseConfederate FLag

From the Trump Constitution:
OF the Trump, By the Trump, For the Trump.

I would only ask Trump to find a better time in our history to focus on this go round. I am tiring of the REAL NEWS.

**Ads reflect income for helping pay bills. Does not necessarily reflect any endorsements or product support by myself.

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.

LET GOD KNOW

LET GOD KNOW

LET GOD KNOW

In the midst of attack it is hard to think positive. In the midst of despair many will shutter themselves not just in a house, but from the people who can help them. Whether one says “I didn’t want to bother you” or “You have enough to worry about without me.”

There were a number of disciples on a boat in the lake. A storm came up and the boat swayed from side to side and threatened even to capsize. It was as though all was lost. Then they saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter was shocked and called out to Jesus from the boat. Peter asked Jesus if he could walk out to him. He then chose to walk to Jesus and made a few steps on his way and began to sink. He called out to Jesus to help him to be saved from sinking. Jesus pulled him up and they entered the boat. Jesus commented “O ye of little faith”. Immediately the weather subsided and it was calm. The disciples all bowed down and recognized Jesus as the Son of GOD. (Matthew:14: 22 )

Peter, when recognizing he was sinking immediately called out to Jesus to let him know he needed help. NOW.

Perhaps you are the person at the beginning of this post. Afraid to bother GOD or Jesus and ask for help. Maybe you feel that “O person of little faith” will put GOD and Jesus against you. Perhaps you feel that Jesus and GOD are too busy with others to devote time to your concerns.

Jesus is a radical event to our belief systems. He was then and is to this day. Accept that you are like so many for whom Jesus is a comforting thought but may not be proactive on your account.

LET GOD KNOW. LET GOD KNOW that you could use a comforting voice on the phone or via e-mail or a text. LET GOD KNOW that the events of the day are overwhelming your senses and you do not know quite how to address things. Everyday becomes another unexpected day off with all the challenges that it brings. Everyday wakes up with a question about what do I do today. Moving about the countryside has different challenges than a snow storm or a thunderstorm. Getting in the car and getting out of the car at the grocery store is a concern rather than a relief.

LET GOD KNOW. GOD will do something just for you. Be observant and pay attention and you will discover just what GOD can do, just for you.

dw

Are You The One?

Are You The One?

The talk on the net and around town is now let’s get back to work.  Let’s turn our attention to the economy and move on. Because some important government official thinks it’s a great idea. Or because you do?

Move on to where?
When some children of a friend I know lost their parents to a drunk driver, the drunk driver lived. The driver had all the choices in the world to not drive when drunk. The parents killed were given no choices. It was not their fault and was not a judgement by GOD. GOD, in fact, marshaled sooo many people to help instantly. Within moments of the knowledge of the event our phone rang. Our lives changed and our direction in life forever.

The corona virus is similar to the drunk driver. You can carry the virus and not know it. You may never know it. Some people drink and do not get drunk or do not choose to drive. Many drink and do not care what happens when they start their car. They do not expect to kill anyone. We have already spent a trillion dollars over all the years to advertise about the dangers of drunk driving. That does not stop the drunk driver from driving or people from getting hit and killed by them. And when the courts are all done the drunk driver moves on and the dead are dead. The children are raised by relatives or friends, or a caring someone.

When you are not the one who dies life goes on. If you give the disease to your child, or parent or neighbor or good friend and they die are you willing to accept the responsibility for your choices?

Mayflower

And what about the economy?
When America was just a ship of people we started with nothing and have gotten this far. We can do that again but we need people to do it. There were no billionaires. There were dreamers. Hard workers. People who wanted to build a new society. This society has survived world wars, and we have survived Civil wars. We will survive Corona but need to do everything we can to do it as safely as possible. Not just for the ones at home, but the care givers and everyone who risks their lives to protect people they do not know to provide all that is necessary to help those who have contracted this disease. When we choose to help reduce their risk, we help ourselves to survive. Not every man, woman and child went physically to war, but they and their families were affected by the wars themselves.

We will survive this event with the American spirit and our perseverance through our beliefs behind us. Inconvenience did not stop the Mayflower.
And for all of you who are working to help keep us and me as safe as possible I will be eternally grateful. Thank you.
dennis

SELFISH GRACE

SELFISH GRACE

SELFISH GRACE?

The Lord is my Savior and my Guide” (adapted from the 23rd psalm of David)

Saving Grace is referred to often as a gift from GOD for belief in the teachings of Jesus and many of the prophets. And disciples.

What is it exactly that I am being saved from?

What is the purpose of this saving grace?

Jesus gave the ultimate example of GOD’s saving grace when He was crucified on a cross for preaching love one another to a hostile audience of those who were profiting by the taking advantage of an entire population. They convicted Him of sedition because too many of those who were being taken advantage of them agreed with Him. Love One Another had become the ultimate threat to the powers that be. Two thieves were crucified along with Jesus. One of them taunted Jesus for not saving himself along with Jesus if Jesus really had the power to save. The other condemned his partner thief and pointed out “We are only getting what we deserve, but Jesus has done nothing to deserve this.”

Jesus mentioned, “Today, you (the second thief) will be together with me in Paradise.”

Recognizing his own wrong doing, and Jesus’s lack of guilt, was rewarded by Jesus for making that determination was a proof that GOD recognized a spirit had learned the ultimate lesson of life by admitting his own behavior was wrong and carried consequences and not blaming someone else for it. Saving grace was his reward.

What exactly do I need to be saved from?
Others?
Myself?

Does it save me from stressing over right and wrong?

I told myself once that if I was afraid of getting a speeding ticket the easiest fix to that stress was to drive the speed limit. Wisdom is acknowledging the simpleness of it all.

Saving me from hurting others?
Or for not hurting others in the first place.

The word SIN moves about the territory of religion quite openly and quite broadly today.
Some say we are born sinful. Some say temptation causes sin. What becomes our sin?

How can you be born sinful? Everyone has the choice of being sinful or not. But what is sin? What is it to watch for? As I thought about it there is a simple judgment to decide.

For me, I found my life was more complicated when I asked for things that benefited me and could have easily hurt others, whether I would recognize it as such or not.

What I needed to be saved from was my own selfishness. SIN is a simple word for selfishness. My own ideas of right and wrong are challenged when the direction that I am moving in is to feed my own selfishness.

An Uncle once said “In our rush rush society, there is never time to do things right, but there is always time time to do it over.”

One of the WordPress Bloggers (Mr. Ropeka) says to always take time to talk to GOD at least 3 days about change before before you decide what direction to go in.

My father-in-law was a city engineer in a small town in western Minnesota. I stopped by his city shop one day while he was working on the city police car. He stopped and stared at the engine for what seemed the longest time and I asked “What are you looking for?”
He said: “What is the easiest way to do it right the first time before I do it wrong the first time and have to fix it.”

Selfish decisions get the project off on the wrong foot. Getting back on the right track can be tiring and much more difficult than not being selfish in the first place. I think most of the world’s pain is caused by selfishness. Often the word that best describes it is sin, another word is evil.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (The Lord’s Prayer)

You lead me along the right paths (those of your own choosing) that I might serve you there” (adapted again from Psalm 23.)

GOD works overtime to help you find the right direction, the right decision and the right move. It is not rocket science, it is all around you in the people that GOD has cross your path. It has always been up to me to decide.

What do I need to be saved from? An enemy? A neighbor? A bully?

More than that, it is to save me from my own selfishness.

Sin is when your own selfish wants negatively impacts the quality of the lives of others.

Grace is when you recognize the risk and do not pursue it, or you admit the wrong, ask for forgiveness and pray for the strength not to pursue it ever again.

It is truly Amazing this Grace. (Thank you – John Newton)

Illness: A Catalyst For Change

Illness: A Catalyst For Change

Illness Is A Catalyst For Change

Whether it is a form of cancer (as in my case see below), or arthritis. Whether suffering through alcoholism or PTSD or whatever the physical crisis may be, a diagnosis of a life changing event can shock your system and generates any number of reactions. Whether it is us personally or a relative or a friend or acquaintance. The storms of life become a catalyst for change and those challenges of life can bring out the best of us, or the worst of us.

Our human bodies react to life and the reality of the life experience makes us choose what attitude we will bring to the challenge, the positive or the negative. All of this is not news. These challenges have existed since the beginning of time. When these challenges happen to the people we know it can remind us of the temporariness of life. One may react with “why me?” It may be “What did I do to deserve this?”

Over the years, many of the visits of mine to see others in my life who were in the midst of a life crisis taught me that the challenges of them all had one thing in common. Without exception they were the result of being human. One thing that I discovered is that they were not unique to an age group. They came upon people who expected the prognosis and those who did not.

Oftentimes these events draw out the religion, or lack of it, in many of us. Our discussion at church the other day pointed out that we often times find GOD as result of those difficult and challenging times rather than good times. Many important lessons to me over my life has been in the examples of those I have talked with, or seen on TV, whether young or old, and I have been exposed to their reactions to these challenges in their journeys. I have learned that GOD knows about these challenges and follows you as though He clicks the “Follow” button on a social website. And then GOD begins. GOD surrounds you, with friends and family and often strangers. Hope is the mainstay of GOD.

Jesus had a cross to bear to be an example of the way he saw the challenges of life and the attitude required to survive them. The Cross was a testimony of the catalyst of change and the power of GOD to bring a new beginning out of whatever is happening. God walked with Jesus and the disciples that followed Him to Calvary and then they followed in His footsteps after His resurrection (or simply by the example he set for believing that LOVE ONE ANOTHER was a challenge well worth the risks.) It is their reaction that caught my attention to the power that lied within the stories I read in the Bible given to me as a graduate from Sunday school so many years ago.

The sudden accident or diagnosis challenges all of us at some time in our lives. The calling may be as loud as a Fire Alarm in the middle of the night that jolts us awake. The heart pounds, then you recognize what is going on. Sometimes it is as quiet as a prayer. Whichever way the catalyst comes one knows their life is changing in some way shape or form.

The other day my doctor was giving me my yearly overall blood test and reviewed the results with me in his office. He mentioned to me that my PSA count ( a measurement they use to track the health of your prostate in men,) was a bit higher than the normal for men my age (68). He set up an appointment with a urologist for me to double check the count which is in the function of a urologist. Pictures were taken, examination was made. The next step was determined to be a biopsy to answer some questions.

The call a couple of days later that a measure of Prostate Cancer has been found took my breath away. My memory immediately took me back to that group of mentors that GOD had put into my life over the many years as to how did they react to such news? Where had their emotions led them and where did they find strength of attitude and persistence. It was at that moment that I recognized how prepared I had been made for this day. Make no mistake, my education from my visits to others had made me aware that challenge has taken on a new form for me. Statistics tells me that thousands of others in this country and a million plus over all the world receive much the same message as I every year.

Yesterday I discussed the results of the biopsy with my urologist. Moving forward with the discussion of treatment options I chose to pursue radiation therapy. I believe in the research that has been done over the years and have been blessed with an internet that can provide many answers to what I am facing in this new journey as I move forward. This internet is a gift that so many have not had before just a few years ago. To be in a position with my website to share information about this illness and how I move forward is a blessing to be able to share. The shock of any such diagnosis can be a call to action, however the action becomes.

I tell you this for in my research I found information from many sources to provide me with answers. One very positive and extensive “book” I discovered was available, for free, through the Prostate Cancer Foundation. I encourage you to contact them to help answer some of your questions. My challenge is just beginning. I truly wish that I had been given this book when I had friends who had received a similar call as mine many years ago before the internet.

If you want to do research, the Prostate Cancer Patient Guide can be found at www.pcf.org . They do not try and choose any course of action for you. They do not sell a magic potions for you to purchase. It is information for its own sake and is very thorough and up to date.

Periodically I will offer updates in this forum of my progress and journey as I am presented with them.

Allow GOD to work within your lives as a mentor of help and a provider of HOPE. Jesus said: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life”. It is reflected in my logo. This has always been the foundation of Unorthodox Christianity since it’s inception.

Ask any questions of me that you wish. If you have been diagnosed or in reading this Patient Guide you recognize the warning signs that I did not recognize, my prayers are with you as many are praying for me.

Thank you for reading. Share this with anyone who may benefit from this information.

Dennis

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.

The Greatest of Gifts

I have directed a few of my most recent posts at Change and the faith that it requires. I have been reminded that Change Happens. I have talked about my friend Jesus and discussed the power of love.

Tonight I was challenged to discover the greatest of GOD’s gifts to me.

Maybe it was my 23rd psalm:
The Lord is my savior and my guide
I shall have all that I require ………. (that encourages me to keep moving forward)

It must be Jesus and his gift of grace that forgives my human moments,

It must be GOD’s all encompassing love and mercy

and then I recognized GOD’s greatest gift to me.

The gift of recognizing the gifts GOD has given to me, the one’s I do recognize and the many more that have happened behind the scenes of my life that have brought me to this place of my life. For all I have done in my prodigal-ishness , the gift of recognizing that GOD has never given up on me and the help he has brought my way has made me the me that I have become over the last many years. The music, the teaching, the lessons, the tears, the gifts that I have benefited by and been challenged by. The people GOD has woven into my path, the many that have prayed for and helped me. To be able to recognize even such a very small part of all that GOD has done for me is a gift that I cherish and will forever hold dearest to my heart. Every day I awake I am closer to GOD because of what GOD gifted me with yesterday, let alone what lies ahead.

Thank you

“It is by what you do, that people will recognize you as a disciple of mine…” (Jesus)

“Who you know is not as important as how you treat the people whom you meet.” (dennis)

“Isn’t that wonderful.”  (my Aunt Vera)