“You lead me along the right paths, those of your own choosing, that I might serve you there. Even now, this very day, you are preparing the future before me, even in the presence of my enemies. Your word and your example strengthen me.”
In my world of Unorthodox Christianity, Jesus becomes my Example, not by his divinity, but by his perseverance. I remember a sermon given on a retreat that was based on a very simple concept. “Isn’t the blood of Jesus enough?” I don’t need divinity to sway my opinions, I need example. Mentorship has always been about example. Jesus’ example was to follow the teachings that he had been given over the years via the mentorship of those that GOD (LOVE) had placed before him for that very purpose.
“Even now you are preparing the future before me…” He had a unique vision of his place in the journey of the world and that future was based on an all abiding faith in LOVE. If only all of us could learn from his example. Not fixated on the Cross but abiding in our own resurrection. His example of persevering on through the challenges of life in spite of setback (in his case quite extreme, as was the result for many others) becomes my example when the hardship that I perceive in mine pales by comparison.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled for thou are with me…….”
“Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord (LOVE) forever.”
Who has GOD led you to be a mentor for? There is no coincidence, just a curve or right turn along the way. Why else do you think your here? Your spirit has been given eternal life, use it wisely and, yes, it will be challenging. Appreciate it and you will be blessed beyond your own belief. Not by “divinity” but by being led by example.
“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.
Satchel Paige was a black baseball pitcher from a time when most black pitchers played in their own leagues and specialty leagues around the country and then into the big leagues after the late 40’s outside of their own specialty league. Commonly called the best pitcher of all time, he was known for many of his quotes on life. The one I have always remembered is “Don’t look back. Someone might be gaining on you.”
Searching the Past. It is often dangerous to search the past. It is too easy to fall back into it rather than move forward because of it.
“Been there, done that.” may be the better philosophy. Putting your mind in the past can challenge your decisions and can make it harder to leave the past in the past.
When you search the past for your future, you miss out on the present. Enjoying life is immersing yourself in the present, not searching out memories, or focusing on yesterday’s dreams.
Taking in what every day offers today should be more rewarding than looking back on what could have been and was not or what was put off for a rainy day that may not ever come.
As I have aged past that point where I often thought I’d never make it to, I reflect sometimes. You can literally get lost in the past of your life. What you thought you would have time do and what you maybe did and shouldn’t have. You can get lost in the stories of what happened ‘then’ when friends got together, and remember later that it was not really ‘that way’ at all.
The past was the formation of today, but today is the formation of tomorrow. The someone that might be gaining on you is someone who grew up with you. And “YOU” are not quite the same. Not the same goals and objectives, not the same demeanor, and a different attitude. When you look too far back you miss the time that is available to you now. There is a tendency to rush to nowhere. Perhaps a cup of coffee and a glance about the countryside of today is in order more than just once in a while.
Enjoy the day…They are too precious to ignore for the sake of other things. dw
What day are we to strive for that we are going to base the idea of ‘again’ on?
Of the people, by the people, for the people? Is that the day when we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to attain?
Was plantations and slaves the day that we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to bring back ‘again’?
Back in July of last year I posted Making America Great Again – Really? An excerpt of which is above. Little did I know how quickly I would be answered. Life can be scary.
The last few months, culminating in Charlottesville of last week, has developed a pattern of what “AGAIN” means that seems to be developing in America “Again”. The excerpt above seems to nail it. Was plantations and slaves the day that we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to bring back ‘again’?
1859 nails it. Just before the Civil War. Seems to fit perfectly. A little prior to Nazi Germany, but right (pardon the pun) on for the white supremacists. It was also a perfect time to be great again if today you benefit from stock in large corporations or invest in business or have a similar situation that would profit greatly by it. A time before income tax, minimum wage, OSHA, big government, No health care, no clean air, no unemployment, no benefits, rules or regulations. Slavery was the order of the day, (I guess a case could be made for free board and room by the Washingtons and Jeffersons and Jacksons of the day. All of whom who shared the Presidency with our current “leader?”
The conflict between the North and South was as similar to Republican vs Democrat then as it has now become. The theft of private property then is very similar to the “Eminent Domain” of our present day cities, or counties or states to find the property to assist the owners of the campaign PAC’s who supplied the money to put them or their ‘charge’ into office, to have a convenient and cheaper way to satisfy their need to make money out of a location that merely housed ‘people’ rather than add to their financial success. The American Indian can forward a discourse on the World of Rich Business of then, vs now. I remember the music of the day referenced by a song from my generation “Owe my soul to the company store”. Of course our modern CEO’s eliminate employment by moving employment totally out of the country for what conforms to the Great Again theory of “FREE” “profitable” business. The law of the land was Success AT ANother’s expense. Which still reigns supreme in America. Low wages and no benefits = bigger profits and a testimony that says “I made myself a Billionaire all by myself.” Patriotism and profit are not considered to be the course of action for “Great Again”. Making America Great Again is not as important as making MYSELF wealthier again.
The news of the era that comprised the Civil War made American Armament (and European) makers discover the profitability of war and the weapons to wage it that has carried forward to this day. Business has found war quite economically advantageous. And the ‘bully pulpit’ of present day world leaders. When Health care became a burden, the country seems to have divided over the merit of concerning itself with taking care of its citizens, or for some of our citizen’s the answers would be to kill or deport as many as necessary to make it less of a burden on others apparently.
This is the seed of news media. Of our social media, and of too many who owe too much to the powers that put them in office. A swamp that rather than being drained is merely being covered by algae, and tweeting birds.
More than any, I would like to see America the Great. We were headed toward great at one time. The Civil War began a movement toward a level of Civility in the United States. But that Civility was extinguished almost immediately with the assassination of a President whose name is held up as GREAT and invoked often by those who seemingly have no knowledge of what made him great. It was not division that made him great, it was the pursuit of UNITED that made him great. UNITED is what will make us GREAT. It seems Great AGAIN is confused AGAIN.
In high school and college I studied ‘ologies’. There was sociology, psychology, geology, physiology you know. As I got older and started the journey of living there became churchologies, Scientologies, and I have forgotten what I am certain were others (like workology).
But one ‘ology’ stands out in my history that I did not study in school but that I have studied in living.
I call it faithology. It is the study of having faith.
I have faith in my own destinations. That the decisions I have made and continue to make carry with them an idea that faith connects to a real place. That what seems to be directionless one day, proves to be understandable the next. That one step forward and perhaps 2 steps backwards, eventually moves forward in the scheme of things.
This is faithology. One has to practice it to learn to believe in it. It does not always rely on a religion, but it does rely on belief. It is a practice that can accept challenge, and a determination to keep moving forward. For some it flies in the face of practicality, for others it seeks the end of the rainbow. For those who hang on to it the world contains many new treasures. The ocean without faith contains only water. Those with faith found new countries.
The perception of darkness, when challenged by faith, discovers the light.
It is not for everyone. It is the road less taken, and the impossible dream. It learns to swim by jumping in. It also becomes the never ending story. For the desperate and disenfranchised it becomes hope.
Faithology……Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.. dw
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.