GOD’s Open Door Policy

opendoorI read a bit. I read the news and read commentary. I pay more attention to the Christian take on things due to the name of my blog and do not, probably, write enough in defense of us.
The commentary I hear too much is that GOD, a loving GOD to me,  is also a judgmental, stern and harsh patron. The GOD I have grown up with is referred to as “LOVE”. LOVE does not close windows or lock doors. LOVE does not criticize, LOVE comforts. The office of GOD has an open door policy. One needs not require a judgmental GOD. The man in the mirror tells me when I have done wrong, made a mistake, or fallen short of my example  Jesus. Too often the mirror judgement is more damaging to me than any.
LOVE understands. No one on the face of the Earth has walked my journey, encountered my fears under my circumstances, made the same decisions for the same reasons. Save One. LOVE (GOD). If we knew everybody’s everything we may eventually learn to understand. GOD has walked the journey with me. Every minute, every day, 24-7. When someone says that you have to earn your time with GOD it is a lie. GOD knows EARTH. GOD knows that people are not always kind to other people. GOD KNOWS HELL. For too many that is EARTH. GOD knows what you have tried to accomplish, and what mountains you have had to climb. GOD (LOVE) does not stand on the sidelines of life. For all who ask, seek, or even irregardless, we have done the climb with LOVE’s help. Whether dressed as a parent, or a friend, neighbor or stranger, LOVE has helped with my climb.
LOVE will help you with yours.
Enjoy the day for the opportunities it represents, not lament it for the negatives of a past that has perhaps occurred. Make your corner of the world a nice one. A comfortable place to hang out for someone LOVE sends your way.

LOVE has an open door policy, let no one tell you otherwise.
“FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.” (Jesus of Nazareth)

Houston – The Love

“Dad (my daughter wrote today)
The pictures of the flood are just incredible. It’s heartbreaking, but also heart warming to see people helping one another.”

I answered my daughter: “Yes it is. Disaster can bring out the best of the human spirit. The disaster comes from the physics of Earth. The help is the hands of people.”

Some in the religious communities are calling Hurricane Harvey a judgement of GOD.

Jesus requested, “Love One Another.”

GOD is plenty powerful enough that the wicked fall and fail without GOD’s help. In the crowds of millions affected by the flood are the greatest people on Earth. They include the best mothers, fathers, bosses, employees, Pastors, Priests, Shamans and simply people. They are just like us who have been fortunate to be somewhere else during the disaster. They join the ranks of people all over the world that have been devastated by disaster in their own corner of the world, large and dramatic, or a car wreck or a heart attack. During Katrina we looked at the protections built into other parts of the world, but Nature plays no favorites. What my daughter saw and we have watched on the daily news is the sheer power of LOVE to take hold of the human spirit and motivate it into positive action. Neighbors helping neighbors. People jumping into cars and trucks and driving to help other humans in need. There is no “I’m only going to help White people, or Black people, or Latino people or just Jews, or Muslims, or Christians. They are going to Houston to help people in need. Disaster UNITES people to help one another unlike any other event that crosses the paths of history.
And GOD puts people there to help. GOD plans for the future by placing people where they are needed the most. The term I use is “GOD watches out for the ignorant and uninformed.” And many more will come over the next many, many days and even years. There will be people that we disagree with that will be helping those who disagree with them. There will be people that cause us to by angry who will accomplish miracles and then call it the everyday.

“On Earth as is it in Heaven.” Pay attention and see it on the news, on You Tube or the internet. What is the Heaven you aspire to visit someday? You will see it on TV now. It is “Love One Another” in action. No buildings, no leaders, no politics. That is what makes people Great, helping one another.

Pray for the victims, pray for the helpers. Give strength to their stamina, and assistance for their help. Someday it will be us. It may be a big and dramatic event, or just in the neighborhood. This was the vision of Jesus, love your neighbor as yourself.

On The Job Training.. OJT

OJT  Keys

The journey has taught me a lot to this point of it. I wasn’t much of a school person after about year two in college. I didn’t go to law school, or doctor school. I was a history major with a minor in business. I started working young, full time. I’ve had a wide variety of job experiences over the years, but I did not study the hows at the community college. I had what we called OJT. On The Job Training.
For as diverse as the jobs have been, the training has been essentially the same.
On The Job Training.

Oh, every so often, someone rode with you in your car, or told you how to fill out this report, turn in this order, check payroll, schedule help, interview-hire- and terminate people, for about two hours. People that train people to do stuff first go to school to learn how to talk fast. Real fast. And in about two hours everything you need to know about everything is disseminated and they are gone and you couldn’t write fast enough to get it all down. “Here are your keys. Enjoy.” Now you are experiencing On The Job Training or OJT.

I learned about Jesus on Sundays. Sometimes. I got a Bible when I was ‘confirmed’. I asked once in Sunday School, “If GOD is a great creator, why doesn’t God just make good people?” I was asked not to ask any more questions.
So GOD took it upon itself to teach me another way.

On The Job Training.
Mom and relatives supplied more and more expanded Bible’s. I listened to sermons and drew out what I could. I meditated on what I had read. My Aunt, the Christian Scientist, encouraged me to learn more. I studied Jesus within the red print of concordance Bible’s and found a few who followed the things that I had read, and more who do not appear to have looked at the book at all but say they follow it word by word. More people who have called themselves Christians, have taught me what it isn’t. They have become examples of what not to be when throwing the Banner around. GOD through in a bunch of OJT. I was lucky in that most of the people I met in church were the stewards of caring in the little tiny churches that have crossed my path. They brought food for the funerals, the weddings and the births. They taught Sunday School and took kids on ‘retreats’. Many became Mentors by their example. The politicians stood out. They all seemed to have had signs made for their foreheads that said VOTE FOR ME.
On The Job Training has taught me more than anything. GOD has seemed to be much more of a great educator than book writers.

Jesus said once, “Be careful of those who come in my name.” He, also, spent a lot of time in On The Job Training. My guess is that you have also. And what has On The Job Training taught me?

I call it Unorthodox Christianity..
Thanks for stopping by.

The Gepetto Syndrome

THE GEPETTO SYNDROME

I believe that it will be impossible for people to get beyond the Gepetto Syndrome; that is, GOD the puppeteer, controlling our lives as with strings, or as I often hear, GOD bringing good and bad things to us as individuals.

I hear the preacher talking in terms of GOD providing this and that, and testing this and that and I find myself praying for “preference” for my friends and relatives as though GOD would show some sort of preference for one entity over another. I feel we have created a GOD who chooses one sibling over the other, a cosmic “GOD ALWAYS LIKED YOU BEST”. GOD always gave you more, better, wealthier, better job, better status, more opportunity. GOD dealt out more talent, or perseverance or, gave more and better gifts on your birthday. GOD will personally attend to one more than another.

Jesus, when asked about the kingdom of GOD, always related to this ‘kingdom’ place as a place of LOVE. We pray out of love and compassion for our fellow friends, associates, relatives, countrymen. It is the power of unified LOVE, not a mystic sibling preference that drives this power of the universe. I pray out of compassion and love for a fellow spirit on the journey. I don’t realize it, but that is the kingdom, that attachment through the spiritual emotion that is the unifying life force.

This is why it is so difficult for people to grasp the kingdom and the teachings of Jesus, because we are seeking and expect to receive some sort of spiritual preference from a father who loves one of his children more than the other. We have created a spiritual warrior who will be on “our side” and “fight the good fight” against his very own children because we have prayed enough; or one who quickly abandons us because we have not prayed ‘enough’. This is not the GOD of Jesus. Jesus did not bring a warrior GOD, Jesus brought the KINGDOM of GOD. This kingdom is comprised of LOVE and COMPASSION. This GOD is a unifying force that treats all equally. The key to peace, and the key to bringing that kingdom upon the EARTH requires all to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. It is no wonder the kingdom may be a place one forever aspires to and never attains, and the utopia of literature rather than the reality of our existence.

Over and over again, the spirit is on a journey to establish, or to find this kingdom on EARTH, or wherever the journey takes us, in whatever form, in whatever place it finds itself in. No wonder the spirit seeks it so fervently in its wanderings in this place.
Enjoy the journey and make it your best journey yet.

More Than a Father To Me

Happy Father’s Day to my spiritual Dad

*Click on the left hand start button.

 

What sort of a relationship do we ascribe to Fatherhood? Peace, joy, love. Perhaps it was discipline, teaching, concern. “Wait till your Father Gets Home”.

And when Jesus talks about “My Father which Art in Heaven.”   This is my take on it.

dw-2002

Heaven and The Other Place

Heaven and The Other Place – 6-7-17

I have read and heard so many sermons over all the years. Many different church affiliations, as well as independent writers. Lately I have heard another set for discussion that has always sparked my interest. To simply paraphrase, “if you do not believe that Jesus is the son of God you are doomed to Hell for all eternity.”

That seems pretty straight forward. As someone who comments on occasion with my unique perspective, I extend some thoughts. My comments are usually blogishy short, bare with.

As I have read it, Jesus, long before He became the Christ of world renown found himself hanging from a tree with nails securing his hands and feet after a whirlwind trial which ended by committing him to death by crucifixion. On either side of him were two thieves. According to the Book of Luke, Chapter 23 verses 39-43 (The Jerusalem Bible) this discourse:

One of the criminals hanging there abused him.

Are you not the Christ?” he said. “Save yourself and us as well.”

But the other (thief) spoke up and rebuked him. “Have you no fear of God at all?” he said. “You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. “Jesus,” he said, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Indeed, I promise you,” Jesus replied, “today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Third Day, the Resurrection, the Books that became the NEW Testament had yet to occur. The people who had convicted him and the priests who had mocked him questioned his authenticity from below the cross, “Come Down from the cross and prove to us who you are”

But that one rebel, without the benefit of the history of those next few days, and the writings of 30+ years later, or all of the interpretations of over 2000 years, recognized that he personally was getting what he deserved, but this other, this man who had done nothing wrong, but the legend of him helping people was known in the area, had been whipped and staggered through to this conclusion equally. He felt that Jesus did not deserve this, and asked Jesus to but pray for him once he had died and his spirit returned to his Kingdom, whatever that Kingdom he believed it to be. He sought no favors, and probably expected none. And Jesus not only accepted him, but had him accompany himself into paradise. What a shock to his system must that have been.

One, at the very least, recognized Jesus as innocent, the other merely felt that Jesus existed to save him from the punishment that even his companion felt they had coming.

One was taken to the Kingdom, and one probably ended in “Hell”. But where was “Hell”?

My Father led a challenged life. The challenges compounded by my Father’s own approach to it. The week before he died he offered this advice. “This (Earthly life) is Hell”.

My point is this, two thieves, by their choices, lived a life that may have reflected what we might consider to be hellish. One felt it should be free of charge and another recognized that what he had done was his own doing, not to be paid for by someone else. I hear the news, I read the papers, I side a lot with my father. On those days that I agree I look over the results of my actions over the years and have to be honest with myself that much of it is of my own doing.

And then I reflect on this passage “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

I believe in the Kingdom. I try to be a good friend, and I enjoy my conversations with Jesus and His Father. I remember Lyle, a close friend who thought the diet he was on was the best diet he had ever had. And then he discovered it was a liver cancer that produced the results and at 53 he was gone to the Kingdom within a few weeks. But during those last few weeks he made a comment that has been with me ever since, “You know, Dennis, the roses are redder this morning, the grass is greener. Don’t miss the gifts along the journey.”

The ensuing 30 years has brought me closer to Jesus’ ideas, and friendship by Lyle’s example. I have never questioned His capability to comfort. The hell that many choose to bring upon themselves is balanced by a creation to be marveled at if we do our part to take it in and even to make it better.

Many do not require a Hell for punishment. They choose to live it today. I do not require the condemnation of a third party for any reason that I may pass on to a place called Hell or purgatory or underworld. When I leave, MY OPINION, is this, and this is the worst thing that I believe anyone may hear.

God invites me to coffee after I have died. He asks “Dennis, I haven’t done Earth for awhile. Tell me, what do the roses smell like on a spring morning, or the cool air of evening feel like after a hot summers day in the mountains? Did you enjoy the friendship of the people I sent your way? Did you learn to love?…”

If I can not answer the questions this way:
“The roses are sweet, the cool air in the summer is refreshing, the mentors you sent became great friends, and I learned to love, by loving and being loved also.”
If I can not answer that way, the time was wasted.

And I see God shaking his head a bit and says “That is unfortunate. It was your only opportunity to enjoy it.”

If I can answer the questions positively, the time was special and I might even choose to visit it once again...

Even in the midst of the most difficult of days, or tragic events that cross my path along my journey, I know to take in the gifts that have been given to me and cherish that opportunity.
Will it be Heaven on Earth, or the other place?
My Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
On Earth,
As it is in Heaven.

Make every day special…..

Dennis 23rd Psalm

Dennis 23rd Psalm

In keeping with my previous post about interpretations based on the idea of an Unorthodox Christianity:

I believe the Bible is divine scripture in that the interpretation to you of its word can so fit your circumstance that it may be read differently by you on any given day depending on your perspective and your needs of that day. To make a blanket statement that “this is what a particular scripture really means” belittles the power of the scripture to move us, and motivate us, and lead us toward the promise of the kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, from the place we are at on any given day.

One such day I sat with one of my favorite scriptures to apply it to the struggles of that day. I have prayed it in this version for perhaps 25 years now, pretty much at least once a week and many times, (the most difficult times), daily. Bold is the verse as written, regular is interpretation to the day’s or life’s events.

Dennis 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my savior and my guide,

I shall have all that I require.

When the fields that I am tilling have become brown and barren,

He bids me to lie down in green pastures.

When the waters of my life are turbulent and I feel as though I am cast adrift,

He leads me beside still waters.

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 might serve Him there.

Though I walk through this valley of the shadows of lost souls,

I shall not fear them for thou art with me.

Thy word and thy example strengthen me.

Even now, this very day,

You are preparing the future before me in the presence of my enemies,

Even in the midst of my own personal struggles.

You anoint my head with oil and once again my cup overflows with your bountiful blessings.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.    

(circa .1992)