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.

THE ADVOCATE

THE ADVOCATE

The Advocate

It was one of those stormyish Midwestern nights. The kind of weather storm that comes in from the way west and you can see and hear it moving closer. The sky gets very still and the birds stop chirping and take cover in their nests and in bushes.

The little girl heard the thunder coming closer.

Mommy”

Mommy says: “It will be all right, I’m right here, just stay in your bed, Jesus is with you.”

The thunder came closer, and then the lightning flashed outside the bedroom window.

Mommy”

I’m right here, your OK Jesus is with you. Just stay in your bed, everything is under control.”

And then the lightning struck as though right outside the bedroom window. The thunder crashed to where the house shook and the china in the china cabinet even clattered downstairs. At that same clash of thunder and lightning the little girl was in Mommy’s bed.

Honey”, Mommy said, “It will be all right, Jesus is with you.”

But Mommy, I need Jesus with skin on”.

John 14v16(njb): “I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate (protector) to be with you forever, that spirit of truth whom the world can never receive….”

A good friend used to say to the the congregation on our retreats “You may be the only Jesus that someone ever sees…”

There will be many times in your life, whether you profess Jesus or disagree with all religion, when GOD will call upon you to become the advocate that is Jesus with Skin On. You will comfort them and be the messenger for “LOVE”. You will hold their hand, wipe a brow, comfort them in sorrow, pull them out of their river. You will be the friend, acquaintance, co-worker, or even stranger that reminds them that LOVE EXISTS ON THE PLANET EARTH. In that moment you will discover a special kind of love. Unconditional.

John 14 v 25-27: “I have said these things to you (Jesus to His disciples) while still with you: but The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my Name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world can not give, this is my gift to you”.

Many I have never met have prayed for me. Many whose names, cultures, beliefs, and ideas have prayed for others under whatever banner they believe because GOD is not DEAD, but because LOVE LIVES. And because of your moment, you touched someone with LOVE and created JESUS with SKIN ON. That is what JESUS is all about. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. It is the message of Unorthodox Christianity.

But Mommy, I need Jesus with skin on”.

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Light A Candle

Light A Candle

Light A Candle

Click above arrow on left to start song.

Light A Candle is a song I wrote in 2001.

On September 11, 2001 there occurred an event in New York City that changed the course of humankind forever. A terrorist attack on the World Trade Center killed thousands, and more in a plane crash in Pennsylvania, and a plane attack on the Pentagon. In my safe world in Salt Lake City I called in late for work and was told to turn on the news immediately. As I turned on the TV, I watched plane 2 fly into Tower 2. We all can tell similar stories for when we heard. The immensity  of the event changed the everyday. That Sunday I went to church. Our friends from Pakistan came in that morning and the fear was in their eyes and it touched my heart. They had moved to America for religious freedom as they faced terrorism in their own country for their religious beliefs. They were neither terrorist, nor even affiliated with the country the Terrorists had come from. But they were victims. Sometime later many of us from that church and other churches gathered at a memorial given to pray for the victims and the country. The hate was at the forefront of political and national rhetoric, as one would of expected it to be. War was in the air. And I remembered my personal choice of Christianity. I had no problem with the concept of justice for those responsible, and some day they may all see the justice that they deserve. But at this memorial, by Christians, I presented a song I was inspired to write by the one whom I profess to believe in. 

It is self explanatory and is also located on my dcwheelermusic.com website. As appropriate as it was then, I post here on 6-7-2020 for the events of our last two weeks are as hurtful, and even more universal in our country today. Racism under any banner is unacceptable for we are a country that has attempted many times to make the dream of Ellis Island be available for everyone who chooses to be a member of our American family. In memory of George Floyd and all who have had to fight the battle of racism, not of terrorists from outside us, but the people within us.

I archive it here, because I can. And because its validity is as needed today well beyond the confines that it had then.  dwheeler 6-7-2020

w/m  all rights reserved..Dennis C Wheeler 2001-present

Light A Candle : Lyric w/m by Dennis C Wheeler 2001
Light a candle in the darkness that the world might see the light
In a world that lives with anger, may the love of GOD shine bright
In the hatred of the shadows, amidst the power of the dark
By the light of just one Christian, may the oceans of the hatred learn to part
Light a Candle   In the darkness
Light a Candle   Where you are
Light a Candle    In the darkness
Show the world   A place to start

In a world so bent on Anger and the power desired by men
Where controlling one another, is the foundation of our sin
We forget all of the lessons of the man upon the Cross
By the light of just one Christian may the oceans of the hatred learn to part
Chorus
We take a legacy of love into a world so bent on hate
That it cheers the death of others as though Glory was its fate
We must learn to love each other with compassion in our hearts
So by the light of just one Christian may the oceans of the hatred learn to part
Chorus (2x)
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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Jesus For President

Jesus For President

THE CROSS HAS BEEN POLITICIZED

The President of THE DIVIDED STATES of AMERICA has raised a BIBLE in the air using a sacred place of the worshiping of the sacrifice of Jesus, committed to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. A photo app to pat himself on the back in front of that CHRISTIAN CHURCH to insure the CHRISTIAN vote for DONALD TRUMP. I would suggest to MR Trump (To be sure there is nothing in his demeanor to promote a UNITED STATES of AMERICA ) that would ever relate in any way shape or form to Jesus of Nazareth.

It would be irresponsible of me, under the banner of Unorthodox Christianity, not to comment on my concerns for the future of the United States of America. In thinking of what to say, I reach back to another election post issued in 7-2-2008 that demonstrates the progress we have made as Christians
to create a better nation through the sacrifice of Jesus on
a cross 2,000+ years ago.

JESUS FOR PRESIDENT

7-2-2008

Politics and religion seem to be running hand in hand in this years election quorums. Many fictitious facts, and lots of idle speculation about pastors, beliefs, concurrence, debates, etc. I am often times amused when the “true” Christians debate the fact that Jesus was a Jew, celebrated the Jewish holidays, resembled all those whose heritage stems from the Middle East, and otherwise can not conceive of a non Christian Jesus. Fact of the matter is, were Jesus running for President of the United States the debate would not be whether or not he would be a good candidate, whether or not he is a good man, whether or not he has enough experience in human and international relations (one would think the theoretical son of GOD may have a handle on such things), but the debate would center around his Jewish birth and whether or not He still clings to his cultural upbringing and beliefs. Being that there were no Christians in Jesus time, and no Christ for that matter, until after Jesus’ death, it would be difficult to categorize Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth, as anything but Jewish stem to stern. The Christian right would therefore dismiss Jesus as a qualified candidate without debate. They would also strive to slure his character and fight to be sure he did not get elected to a position from which he could drag the country into perdition.

The most recent debate seems to center on whether Obama is a true Christian and whether McCain is conservative enough (whatever a conservative enough Christian consists of). So lets see, if Obama was Muslim as many contend, then certainly he must have succumbed to the ultimate goal of the evangelical movement and converted to Christianity when he had seen the light and been saved and thereby fulfills the greatest goal and objective of all evangelical Christians which is to save the world through the Christian belief and acceptance of Jesus as the Lord and Savior (whatever that means) and therefore He is the ultimate victory for all evangelicals and his election should be fought for and supported whole heartedly with sermons from the pulpit as to the great victory of Christianity that his election would represent.

McCain, on the other hand, is not conservative enough, does not seem to be saved enough for his ideals are not conservative enough, even though most conservatives can not espouse just what conservative is.

It is so confusing when we go out into the political marketplace searching for a faith system and not for a good man. Perhaps the difficulty comes when we search for Jesus in a man, for when we do that, even the Christians come up short. I don’t see Jesus as being political enough. Would Jesus say: You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” enough. He wouldn’t hand out enough perks, money or benefits, and otherwise would espouse love not war and throw our whole economy into the toilet to save the planet and help each other. Your right, a true Christian like JESUS would make things worse, not better to have in a President of the United States.  (7-2-2016)

So here now in 2020:

Here is a President of a now DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA who promotes himself to be a good Christian using a religious home of worship for Jesus of Nazareth’s sacrificing of his life on a cross, Held up there with nails in his hands, blood on his brows and back, stabbed with a sword in his body and with the sun blazing on his body and then have the audacity to say “FORGIVE THEM FATHER THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO” just before he died. This politician then creates a Political theater for this poor Jewish carpenter whose mantra was LOVE ONE ANOTHER by shouting VOTE FOR ME, DONALD TRUMP.

Well, we have been told in church forever that JESUS will be back. Exactly what do you think JESUS is going to have to say to DONALD TRUMP? Keep in mind the DONALD was holding the BIBLE up in his right hand with a church framed right behind him to get an endorsement from CHRISTIANS with the news of JESUS inside the book by having peaceful protesters pushed aside by his own police using force and bullying and attacking the press after just saying that he (DONALD) cared about their welfare? That word NEWS in that Bible is not FAKE NEWS unless he was holding a FAKE BIBLE. What would JESUS espouse to DONALD TRUMP? “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”, “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”.  What will JESUS’ heavenly father (GOD) say to DONALD TRUMP: “THOU SHALL NOT KILL, THOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME, THOU SHALL NOT TAKE MY NAME IN VANE.
I want to be as far away from that discussion on the day it happens as I can. 

I could go on simply by quoting what Donald Trump has tweeted and say “Do unto Others as you would have them do unto you” must be beyond his capacity to read a BOOK such as THE BIBLE.

VOTE

I will vote my conscience as I pray for all of us to survive for every day that the Donald Trump keeps tearing America to pieces. If you respect him vote how you wish. This year it is a vote for THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA, not THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA. 

 

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FEAR OR FORGIVENESS

FEAR OR FORGIVENESS

FEAR OR FORGIVENESS

In my world of Unorthodox Christianity the lesson of Jesus that I feel comes from GOD is written from the cross.

FATHER (GOD) FORGIVE THEM THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO”.

I am certain that my two dogs are GOD’S chosen gift to me. They represent the very example of GOD who has given me free will. When I get frustrated in a moment of stress and get upset with them, they lie down a number of feet away for awhile. Soon after that ‘while’ they come and sit down bedside me and whisper “Forgive him GOD, he does not know what he is doing”. I can not help but ask their forgiveness and recognize that nothing is free of response. Everything has consequences. I consistently meet good and caring people to offset the influence of the bad. But I would have a different GOD if I believed in a GOD of retribution. That is not the example of my dogs. Nor is it the example of JESUS. I have seen too many examples of a loving GOD that jumps right in to help at a moments notice even if I did not have time to ask GOD for it.

If I were to fear anything from GOD, I would fear GOD leaving me.

The prodigal son was afraid that his father would desert him from what he had asked and done……..His father welcomed him for the son he thought was lost was found. (Luke 15:11)

It is written “GOD would never desert you, or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:8)” . For me GOD is a force always at work preparing the Future for me as my life moves forward to embrace it. I do not ever wish to have to FEAR GOD’S wrath, I would fear GOD turning GOD’S back on me because I have failed to pay attention to the consequences as a result of my actions that disappointed the one who has given me so much to be grateful for.

UNORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY is about being forgiven by LOVE. By living my life knowing of GOD’S forgiving LOVE and concern for me. To me, there can be no such thing as a retributive ‘LOVE”. Retribution is a human emotion and subsequent judgment. If I suffer the judgment of human instigation for actions that I have brought upon myself, my advocate argues: “FORGIVE HIM GOD FOR HE KNOWS NOT WHAT HE HAS DONE”.

When I recognize that FORGIVENESS has to be MY COURSE or PRAYER, I recognize that GOD would not approve of what I had done and I pray “DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK ON ME”. I can choose a GOD whom I respect and do not want to disappoint, or I can selfishly embark on what I want to do to satisfy myself. I am too grateful to GOD for all GOD has done for me to ever fear GOD turning GOD’S Back to me.

Do I choose FEAR or FORGIVENESS?

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23)

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.