For Whom The Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls………

So its like this….. I used to start many of my sermons this way…

We seem to be narrowing down the ‘great again’ reference point. I am confused by it.

When were we free from illegal immigration?

1491 (not counting the Vikings from Norway.) That was quite some time ago.

Which group has brought the most productive people (not necessarily citizens, few blacks were legal citizens, all of the English were not initially, and the Carolina’s were reserved for the criminally inclined illegal immigrants.

Perhaps it was the Irish.

The Germans (We fought two world wars against the Germans).

The French? They sold us much of the west way over priced.

The Spanish. We took a big part of the Southwest from them and now whine about the people that came with it.

The Italians. Criminally inclined? Mafioso? Fought them in World War II also.

The Middle Easterns? They are comprised of some of our most astute money lenders and investment contributors, as well as oil suppliers. They also didn’t contribute much more than that plus a native Jewish carpenter that has become the centerpiece of our primary religion that we so staunchly protect that we have forgotten His ascribed teaching of Love One Another. (Leading by the example of dying on a cross from a middle Eastern native, doesn’t hold much weight in the new “Great Again” forum of one of our more prominent “Christians” and associated political factions.) I must be missing something.

The Nationwide railroad system was built by orientals, legal and illegal. And we fought wars against them also..

Whose children stayed or were deported with their parents? None that I have read much about until we have since decided to be “Great”.

Who was Tom Sawyer?

Doesn’t “Trump” mean to Succeed AT ANother’s expense?

Things that make you say hmmmmmmm.”

Free Will – NEVER FREE

I read this the other day from a posting person that I admire . “Christ says we are made to serve Him and allow Him to make the choices in our lives.”

The first thing that came to my mind is a story I tell about my relationship with “GOD”. I know what “GOD” looks like. There is a large bruise on “GOD’s” forehead where GOD’s palm has struck the forehead as “GOD” utters…..”Dennis, you’ve done it again. I had it all planned out and coordinated and now you change the direction of your life…”
The choices of GOD are not always so apparent that my choices coincide with “GOD’s” plan for me. My favorite poem talks about ‘The Road less traveled.” Why do I so often settle on the road less traveled?
Because “GOD” has never failed me in my choices. “GOD” mentions after saying how I have “Done it Again, Now I have to rewrite the plan I set up for you the last time.” Right, or wrong, the journey takes many twists and turns. This is not news to “GOD”. Perhaps “GOD” is pre-aware of the directions I will take and the design of my personal tapestry has already been prepared for the seemingly new direction I am moving in, which “GOD” has been aware of since the beginning. I have been allowed a second chance.


Each one of us is the architect of our own individual journeys. Often times the choices are less than wise, but always based on events within our own lives or compared to that of others. Where we do not always do well at predicting our own future, GOD can. The tapestry that surrounds us is too complex for us to sort. Consequently ‘free will’ often gets the best of us. How many times does GOD come across this over the history of the universe and the entities that reside there?
Have you made a mistake? Many? GOD understands what you even cannot see.

“Forgive them…..they know not what they do.” This is a quote from the GOOD NEWS.
Jesus brought a new perspective on GOD that we today call “GOOD NEWS”. It has never been FAKE NEWS. ‘FREE WILL’ comes with challenges, and is never “free”. Whether others judge you or not, you judge yourself. If you never judge yourself, your actions have their own judgements. Free is never free. A poor concept to extend.
This is where “Forgive them, Father…” comes from. The harsh Father who theoretically casts out the lost from the path to eternal life has given us an advocate. Jesus. A Jewish carpenter from a town called Nazareth.

“For they know not what they do….”

Those calling for Jesus’ Crucifixion did not know much more than they were told what to say in the middle of the night by armed advocates.
(At the risk of censure, our politicians perform about as well as the disciples did, and they theoretically know ‘the rest of the story’. )
Knowing “What A Friend I have in Jesus” and His stance on forgiveness does not make the mistakes free, it makes them forgiven because whom amongst us has not done things that “we know not what we do” or the repercussions as a result of our choices. For those mistakes will never be “free.” Not to me… And at some point in time our stewards will discover how not “FREE” their decisions have been. But they are understood and forgiven by one who lived the reality of life on Earth. One who has seen the powerful place self before others. Somewhere in a book I read years ago it is said the “The meek shall inherit the Earth.” Perhaps because only the “meek” shall survive the”Powerful.”

“FREE WILL” is a lie. Our actions cause reactions whether we like the results or not. It is to me, in those moments, reassuring to know that 2,000 years ago a mentor of mine pleaded for my forgiveness even in the place where I judge myself. And He will do that for me forever. “What a friend I have in Jesus….”

GOD IS LOVE

GOD is LOVE. When Jesus (believed to be the ‘Christ’) preached amongst us He was Jewish. When Jesus died on the cross He was “King of the JEWS”. Jesus was never “Christian”, outside of the attachment of a term that was corresponding to his teachings. You will know the followers of Jesus by their adherence to his teachings and His primary message was to simply “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”. The true measurement of a believer in the teachings of Jesus is not the attachment to a philosophy that has grown out of a feeling of preference, but of an attitude of “Love One Another” as it is exemplified in their everyday lives. Jesus was not a fan of the religious implementation of the leaders of His own chosen religion, Judaism as expressed in his own words.

Many brand themselves to be “Christian” to garner the preference of a group of theoretically like minded individuals whose attachment to each other promotes a single secular agenda that Jesus warned us about: “Be careful of those who come in my name”.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER is not judgmental based on adherence to a group that is “acceptable” or otherwise. LOVE ONE ANOTHER simply loves. People of all cultures and races and religions have adherents that LOVE and adherents that HATE. A follower of the teachings of Jesus among any of them, is simply required to “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”. You will recognize them by THAT attitude, and by no other measure exclusively.

GOD’s Open Door Policy

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

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

The “American Supremacist” Culture

Following on the lines of Simply Love One Another.
Would you be so kind as to hang in there with me here.

There has been a considerable amount of press and activity lately centered around the term “White Supremacy”, and it’s preponderants  called “White Supremacists”. In regards to the currents ‘news’, I have to sympathize with the ‘other side’ because I am white, and not much of a “Supremacist”.
If there is one thing that I have never been much of it is “Supreme”. As a member of the simple working class, I have experienced quite an interesting diversity of “Supremacy” over the years. Because of this, I have a Dennis perspective on how our country has become so divided along the lines of “Supremacy”.

Much like I look at religion, I find “Supremacy” requires a huge caveat along the lines of “Truth in Advertising”.

No news has been written much about German Supremacy, or Black Supremacy, or Asian Supremacy. (There are more potential Asian Supremacists in the world than any other cultural group, but I just never hear about them). You get the idea.

I have seen many I call the “EDUCATED SUPREMACISTS”. They carry a degree in their back pocket that qualifies them to be  “SUPREME”, ( do you know any of these people?) They can be recognized because laws do not apply to them unless accompanied by a police car with lights on top.

On any given day, I hear or read about the Democrat Supremacists or the Republican Supremacists and why one is better than the other, irregardless of their color.
I, unfortunately, remind you that I am not supreme. Consequently very little that I get involved in matters much in the scheme of things, but my Senator or city council person is close to GODLY in his (or her) impact in the daily world.

I will defer the “RELIGIOUS SUPREMACISTS” to another writing.

And all this has yet to deal with two huge competing segments of “AMERICAN SUPREMACISTS”.

Women and Men.

Women and men I have discovered come in all kinds of colors and cultures and often find themselves in positions of “Supremacy”. I guess the “White Supremacist” example has not been wasted on many of these. It is just that this supremacy is hidden in the background, much like the now infamous “Gay Closet”. This level of Supremacy needs to be brought out of the closet and examined for what it also has become.  This kind of “Supremacy” also results in acceptable bullying, abuse, condescension and the general overall air of “My Success at YOUR Expense”, that often is shared as the American “Dream?”

Asked the other day about my culture in a meeting that included primarily Latino people, I mentioned that I was classified as WHITE. The response clarified the question as to what Nationality was I. I responded that I was WHITE. I have never been asked on an employment application if I was Swedish, or German, or Irish, or Scottish (all of which I am). I had no other reasonable option but to list “WHITE”. I even have a tan from the El PASO sunshine, but automatically I am addressed in English vs Spanish. I have never been listed as a member of a “preferred hiring” group. I have never been listed as a member of a preferred educational assistance group. I have never been involved in a “WHITE HISTORY MONTH, DAY or YEAR.” I have yet to see a “WHITE ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS” or “WHITE MUSIC PERFORMING ARTS AWARD” show on TV. I have never been acknowledged as being German, or Swedish, or Scottish, or Irish, I have always been WHITE. I have never been “SUPREME.”
Yet what many in America now see is Dennis the “WHITE SUPREMACIST.”

The mysterious “They” never seem to see a “FEMALE SUPREMACIST” or a “MALE SUPREMACIST”. I have had many male and female teachers, instructors, bosses and bullies cross my path whose attitude has been to be “Supreme”.  I have never met a “BLACK SUPREMACIST” but I am familiar with the “BLACK POWER MOVEMENT”. Those who have, seen, know of, and have themselves been bullied and bossed by those in their own BLACK community. I have had bosses and co-workers that have crossed all sexes and cultures and they seem to be competing with the WHITE SUPREMACIST culture to succeed in the workplace as well as the political arena.

WRONG IS WRONG.

I have heard terrible stories of the (ANY CULTURE) teachers and coaches (ANY GRADE) that bully their students because they feel that they can because they feel it is free of charge because of their “Supremacy”. These people are no different than the “White Supremacist” of the daily news. The police officer who bullies people because they feel empowered to by their position making it free of charge are no different than the “White Supremacist” of the daily news. Thankfully I know of many more policeman and military personnel who I admire more than all others because of their sacrifice who are getting lost in the “POLICE SUPREMACIST” movement of some of their peers that is all over the daily news. These few “Supremacists” create a “POLICE SUPREMACIST” model that also needs to be acknowledged and acted upon. Often the model comes from the top down.

WRONG IS WRONG.

I have actually known some awfully bad people of all colors and cultures who should just be called BAD PEOPLE. These I would classify as “BAD PEOPLE”.  NOT to be confused with SUPREMACISTS.

I pray the day is coming when the applications simply ask:
“Check here if you are an “AMERICAN.”
You see all of the above people whom I have known have been “AMERICANS”. The ones who have had Pakistani roots, they are AMERICANS. The ones whose color was different than mine have been “AMERICANS”. The GOOD people as well as the BAD people have been AMERICANS. What AMERICA needs to do to become GREAT (not Again, but the FIRST TIME) is go back to our roots and evolve along with our nation. All men (and women) created equal. One nation, indivisible, melting pot of the world’s cultures, doing unto others as they would have them doing unto themselves, in LIBERTY and with JUSTICE FOR ALL.
Ellis Island should not be a figment of our imagination, it should be the bulwark of our success. At some point in time in our “American History” (for all but a select few of our citizens by number) Your family and culture came here through Ellis Island or similar port of entry, they signed their name, they took a pledge of allegiance, and they started contributing.
Some President once said “Ask NOT what your country can do for you, Ask what YOU can do for your country.”
History would record that that concept was beyond most of our citizens abilities of comprehension.

What America needs to be GREAT is AMERICANS.

Not WHITE AMERICANS. NOT BLACK or LATIN, or GERMAN or SCOTTISH or ASIAN AMERICANS, or MIDDLE EASTERN AMERICANS.  JUST AMERICANS. One of my great acquaintances is an AUSTRALIAN AMERICAN. My partner is a CANADIAN AMERICAN. It has taken all of these AMERICANS to get AMERICA where it is today. The railroads were not built by just “WHITE” Americans. The Cotton and tobacco was not picked by just “WHITE” Americans. The clothes were not sewn by just “WHITE” Americans. The more AMERICANS the better, following John Kennedy’s dream. It is the desire for too many of us to be “SUPREME” that is getting in the way of America becoming “GREAT”. The problem is that we learn by example, and the examples can leave a lot to be desired.

Look at your neighbor for what your neighbor is: AMERICAN.
If your neighbor is not an AMERICAN citizen help them become one.
If we are worried about them taking advantage of America and the benefits it has become accustomed to providing, because of a lack of their citizenship, make a Presidential Decree and make them all citizens. Then they will all qualify for just what the rest of us Citizens qualify for. (Apply this to Congress also.)
When we deny the “DREAM” to one, we have denied the “DREAM” to all.
WE NEED AMERICANS. Not “Supremacists”. We have enough of the “SUPREMACISTS” already.

dw9-8-17

“Been There, Done That”

Satchel-Paige-Dont-Look-BackSatchel 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

Faithology

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