Simply Love One Another

Simply Love One Another
Dennis c Wheeler, 2006

Through years of storied prophets
In every religion known to man
The license of behavior draws
A craftiness of what you can.

The simpleness of  love each other
Fights against the grain,
No matter what religion says
Instinct fights this bold refrain.

From early on the echo chills
The encounters of the soul,
Simply love one another
Stretches instinct to the bone…

Yet storied prophets tell the tales
Of the power held by love
And the foolishness of kingdoms lost
For the test of trusting guns…

So I will add my name to those
Who prophesied the dream,
That love one another
Is not such a complicated scheme…..

From me: Songs of Honour, Nobler House April 3, 2006

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.

The Real Jesus

From 4-10-2007 (brought up to date)

The whole scene of Jesus has been so distorted in our minds eye by grand movies with huge sets and fancy settings. Where we see Jesus Christ Superstar, a handsome movie star in a clean white robe, the people saw an itinerant street preacher who was ‘despised’ and rejected of men, not comely to look at. Thin and ‘average’.
Without the miracles, Jesus would have lived, preached, and died without much notice. No new calendar, no Christians, probably no Koran, no crusades, and a completely different history.
We have created a legend that has become pretty and acceptable. We can not understand why anyone would not jump on the Jesus bandwagon. The walking was down crowded alleyways in Middle Eastern Earth, dusty, dirty, and smelly with no deodorant, no shaving cream, and no breath mints. There probably wasn’t a closet full of clothes to take a clean robe from daily. The beds were blankets on the ground or in hard bunks. It is said that the man himself was born in a stable. Standing in the presence of Pontius Pilate was a man who probably did not look much different than a thief or, at best, the most common of commoners. When Jesus spoke he was a carpenter’s son and not a priest.

His message was beyond radical, it was crazy. LOVE ONE ANOTHER was not going to save anyone from the Romans, or the tax collectors, or the Priest who sat in the seat of honor. ‘Kiss my ring’ was not invented by the Pope or some French King, it was a traditional realm of power, a perk of status.
Jesus would have been seen as a commoner in the temple, expressing ideas that were so far out in left field, and then slowly but surely, over 3 years it got worse. Now a bit of a politician, a teacher proclaiming a kingdom of GOD radically different than that espoused by the priests, a position also in opposition to the Sadducees, the politicians of Jewish society. Worse yet, he was gaining a following. Think of John the Baptist in the wilderness, wearing animal skins and eating locusts and wild honey. They thought Jesus was the Baptist. This is not the image of a handsome Hollywood actor who just walked onto the set and then retreated to his trailer. Everyday, 24/7, healing the sick, preaching a message of LOVE in a world of hate and prejudice. Every rumor of healing threatened the seats of power. Every healing brought 100’s more to the neighborhood to be healed. Some out of desperation, some out of greed, some out of love for others. Think of the reactions among the priesthood upon hearing of a crowd of 5,000 men (plus women and children), not once but at least twice. The stories we read about are merely highlights out of a life of touching the sick, the unclean. To the traditional Jew, Jesus would have been the uncleanest of the unclean, the commonest of the common, and the least likely to be a Messiah.

Inside of this man, though, resided a very special spirit that was recognized almost immediately by others. Fishermen debated with him until he proved that what He said had an other worldly prophetic power.

“Cast your nets there,” Jesus said to a group of fishermen headed by a scurrilous old salt named Simon (to be called Peter).

“Been there, done that, ain’t there,” responds the tired fisherman.

“Just try it,” responds Jesus. Somehow the authority in his voice commanded a respect that one wouldn’t expect from this Simon. We are told Simon went back out, did as was asked, and couldn’t reel in the haul without breaking the nets.

In the end Simon and his brother follow this teacher and become “Fishers of Men”.

I tried to find a picture of this real Jesus on the web to put at the top of this post (looking under ‘Jesus Images’) and could not. If you have an idea, feel free to forward it to me.

So all that said, in today’s terms, was it all fake news? I believe because of what the followers did. They risked their lives to spread his simple message. They would never have thought of doing that had there not been substance to the stories. No magic publication of a million copies to change the world. Just the sayings of a carpenter’s son spread by word of mouth. I wonder how Twitter would handle “Love One Another” today.

Try it and see what happens.

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

Perspectives on Stress

Perspectives: 6-14-17

There are so many tidbits of psychology and sociology around that I collect some of them. You may be familiar with:
“Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it is all small stuff.”
“Life’s too short to worry about that.”

With all the discussions that go about how we approach our daily lives, “do this, don’t do that”, and the push me pull you of human behavior moves forward. But today is about perspective. I read a lot into the scriptures, in light of the present days unfoldings. The tidbits that have been developed about our societies, our religions, our perception of how “God” may or may not approach our futures, does one sure thing. It causes Stress. Lots of stress. Purported to be among if not thee most hazardous health condition in the world.

In the arguments of “why do you put up with this or that,”  whether at work or at home or at church or the club, is a beckoning for stress.

Political corruption, taxes, demands, the state of terrorism and international political and financial posturing causes stress. The response of GOD to your humanness causes stress. And then there is your perspective. Maybe you have noticed, as I have, perspectives change. My scripture reading interpretation changes as my path crosses a contradiction or a newer interpretation.

The news causes stress. Prejudice causes stress. At times it seems someone left the stove on too high and the melting pot that is the USA is boiling over. And that causes more stress.
A simple tidbit like “Life’s too short to worry about that,” meant one thing to me at 18, a different thing at 40, and a totally different thing at 65.
“It’s all small stuff” can become big stuff as your ability to respond ages.

Scripture has always been a home for debate. How will GOD (**Allah, Buddha, pick your personal choice) accept me, in all my weaknesses. Will GOD* forgive? Will GOD* punish. Will I venture to hell, will I be a Hero? The rhetoric causes stress. The results become and demand a personal perspective, because all stress is personal. How do I handle such stress?

At this stage of my journey I hold on to one tidbit. (My) “GOD is LOVE.”

As measured against a broad scope of condemnation in much of the scripture I see quoted, “GOD is LOVE” stands out as a ‘Columbo’ moment. “Something here doesn’t fit. There are some loose ends yet.”

My stressful moments are often measured by the human responses of a specific action, not LOVE’s response. In my case, An all knowing “GOD” has traveled the journey with me. That all knowing GOD has a measure of knowledge about me that NO ONE else will. My stress diminishes when I recognize that GOD so loved the world that GOD gave his only begotten Son (or SUN) so that whomever would believe in GOD would not perish but have eternal life.” That my ordinary-ness grows out of GOD’S spiritual and instinct driven creation, as well as being influenced by how I have been treated, accepted, or rebuked by others, both trusted or unknown. I have met saints, and yet they were all humans. I have met humans that haven’t matured much beyond animals. I have reacted as an instinctive human, and I have tried to react as a decent one of those. And I have been condemned, and threatened, and where I was going after death and what I was going to do there.

And through it all I have been promised within the scope of the GOOD NEWS (read the red print only) that one day I will have the answers from the source. To me, that is the purpose of religion and faith. Comfort.

War and hate is a distortion of the plan. And terrorism breeds terrorism. A bully is a bully. And that environment does not strike me as one of peace. Your daily living establishes the territory you reside in. Is it stressed to the max, is it peaceful? Are you hopeful?
Your reactions are measured by where you are at in life and how it is structured. More often than not by others. Put your FAITH in LOVE to find peace. Not the condemnation of those who wish to power over you, or prosper from you. “HOPE is the realm of LOVE.” “GOD is LOVE.” GOD will know from how we treat others, whether our journey has respected the teachings or how we may have turned our backs on it.

Love one Another” is a red print program. Let your perspective look beyond what you see and hear and journey to what you can not. The spirit inside of you connects to a place that is often beyond the scope of others. Find that place of comfort, and peace. Even if only in moments.

Here is another tidbit that seems lost in today’s cultures: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Would those who willingly do these things to us, appreciate having those same things done to them and not happen to us? In Congress they call these things “Congressional Exemptions”. To a terrorist or a bully they are called collateral damage.

To GOD I believe GOD has another perspective. (A writing for another day, check back)

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…..