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…..

 

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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.

ORDINARY PEOPLE

ORDINARY PEOPLE

The Meek Shall Inherit
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth. (Matt. 5: 4-Tyndale NT)

If song does not automatically start push arrow button on left.

A number of summers ago I was asked to perform at an outdoor revival meeting called Break Down the Walls in Salt Lake City, UT. On one particular afternoon there was a fiery evangelist preaching his Full Gospel Message. In the best tradition of fiery Full Gospel preachers he jumped up and down and shouted and gestured wildly as he moved from one side of the stage to the other, “THANK GOD that Jesus came for us sinners. That Jesus came here, to the other side of the tracks”.

He went on to discuss how deeply we are in sin and why we suffer and how great it was that Jesus came for us sinners. I thought immediately of a young lady on a retreat I was on who commented that she didn’t feel she could find Jesus because she hadn’t been ‘hurt’ enough in her life to find Jesus.

I sat back and thought to myself, Thank GOD that JESUS came for the little lady who always sat in the back of the sanctuary and made a cake or a meal for every funeral at the little white church I had attended in western Minnesota. That Jesus came for the school teacher who stopped in after Sunday school class to help clean, or mow the lawn. The neighbor who took a dessert bar to the family next door when there was a loss or a celebration.

I thought, “Thank GOD that Jesus came for the ORDINARY PEOPLE. The ones who live ‘normal’ lives, who aren’t necessarily fallen angels or alcoholics, or from broken homes or live broken lives. Yet we all have challenges for that is what “normal” truly is.

I translated my thoughts into the above song above called ORDINARY PEOPLE, just like you and I. 

Enjoy.

Ordinary People ; w/m Dennis C Wheeler 2002 Lyric:

Ordinary People, just like you and I, He chose ordinary people to be followers of Christ. Ordinary people with ordinary flaws. He took ordinary people with Him to the cross. 

Ordinary people living ordinary lives. To be priests among the people were the chosen ones of Christ. From the walks of daily living, they followed as He talked, From the shores of fishing villages to the dark day of the cross.

It is the promise we’ve been given that it isn’t where we’re from, it isn’t what may be our status or our color or our jobs, we’ve been called to tell the people of the sacrifice of Christ. Grace for ordinary people is the reason that He died. 

Jesus called the ones to follow who would boldly tell the truth. It was a call of faith and courage for what He was about to do. Just like ordinary people, at first they ran away, I am so much like those people it was me He came to save. 

There is always hope for sinners, for forgiveness is His call. Called as ordinary people separated from our GOD. One the cross He called out to us, to those standing in the street. HOPE for ordinary people is what Jesus came to teach.

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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

HARD TO SEE

HARD TO SEE

THE RITUALS

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take. (A childhood prayer)

Come Lord Jesus Be Our Guest
And let this food to us be blessed…..Amen

The rituals of life surround us every day. I was out to lunch with my sister the other day and she bowed for prayer as we always did at home and prayed the above daily dinner prayer. I remember the many dinners as a family growing up and now passed. I stopped to remember the prayer I always prayed when I went to bed as my mother had taught me as a child.

The daily ritual:
Wake up, walk the dogs, or take a shower, or eat breakfast more often than not the same thing.
I turn on the news and watch our traditional morning program.
I drink coffee and off I go to work.
Now, for awhile, it has been the Pandemic. Am I 6’ away? Do I have my mask?           Is it safe?

The rituals of our new virus-day are, by now, pretty much incorporated.
With more time on my hands than I have ever had in my life, it almost feels uncomfortable.

I was walking the dog in the morning the other day and I was watching to cross the street to be sure I was at least 6’ away from the people coming toward me. I crossed the street again later for the same reason. Not because I worry about them so much, because I am at risk now and I am concerned about my health as well as others that I come into contact with. I said my ritual daily prayer that I have prayed every day at sometime for the last 30 years. I cleaned up from the dogs. I thought about when will work open?

And then it happened. I smelled something. It was the blooms from the maple tree. And then from from the bushes. The flowers that had been planted at the Park I walk to every morning. The recently mowed green grass. I looked up and around and the picture had blossoms on every bush and tree. It was a kaleidoscope of colors that I had walked right past. Sometimes it is too hard to see the blessings that are so obvious we fail to recognize them as blessings.
When I got home, I added this to the word that I forward everyday for my daughter and a few close friends.
Another day just full of opportunities to smell the trees blossoming and the flowers growing. The planting of a new world for us to partake of.
Take time to smell the roses and then thank GOD for the blessings of the day.

You see, Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we get caught up in the rituals. The gifts are like that drawer of cards from well wishers that meant a lot one day and made my day but have moved to the hard drive in my brain.
I remember the first day at work at a new job not long ago just before the virus took over the thoughts. I mentioned a common welcome to a new co-worker: “How are you doing?” I asked.
Blessed.” was the singular reply.
I hope that I can recognize that sentiment for myself every day for the rest of my life.

Count your many blessings, NAME THEM ONE BY ONE”. There is always something special to name each blessing. To move outside of the ritual to focus on each gift for awhile and rediscover just how blessed I have been.

GOD is always at work for everyone everyday. Thank you GOD for the blessings. I appreciate them all. Even the ones I don’t always see.

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.

It’s True

It’s True

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I Decided to post a song of mine that I wrote a number of years ago for this Easter Sunday.  Unorthodox Christianity as I see it follows the story, believes in it, and tries to live it. The song seems appropriate for this day. One need not agree. One can even debate it. For me, and my house….. It’s True.

Click the left button to start.

Lyric:

The women say……..   It’s empty now
His body’s gone……..   and He’s Risen
Oh It’s True…..Oh they say that it is true
          He has risen from the dead for me and you

They have seen him once again… and He’s forgiven all our sins
You can praise and join along….   They couldn’t kill the savior’s love
            Oh It’s True…..Oh they say that it is true
          He has risen from the dead for me and you

It’s so hard to comprehend….. For I stood and watched Him die
But they say they’ve seen Him risen and the truth can’t be denied
I had placed Him in the tomb…And then I turned around and cried
Now they say that He is risen and His love is still alive
Oh It’s True…..Oh they say that it is true
          He has risen from the dead for me and you

And then I see Him…….

Touch my feet and touch my hands
Put your fingers in my side
You can see the tomb is empty and this truth can’t be denied
Oh It’s True……Jesus is seen and He’s Alive
He is risen from the dead and He’s the Christ

Touch my feet and touch my hands
Put your fingers in my side
You can see the tomb is empty and this truth can’t be denied

Oh It’s True…Jesus is seen and He’s Alive
He is risen from the dead and He’s the Christ…
Oh It’s True…Jesus is seen and He’s Alive
He is risen from the dead and He’s the Christ…

IT’S TRUE…….

 

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.