Reflections

Reflection

As I sit here, I am reviewing some of the writings of my life. There are words, and poems, and songs. There are tidbits and stories. It is hard to save them all and yet more difficult to destroy. I often reflect on how much of my life will be lost to the hazards of time?

Will we have made a difference as a result of the journey?

Will we have touched some people meaningfully?

I believe many of us ask these questions as we grow older.

Perhaps it is a question we ask should we ever become wiser.

I pray always that some will be saved.

And that the time has not been wasted.

She Prays For Me – For Mother’s Day 2017

Something for Mother’s Day. From some time ago.

So there I was, searching for a song to sing Sunday for Mother’s Day. There just are not a lot of songs that people are familiar with about Mothers for the sake of Mother’s Day.  In a moment of desperation I wrote one. It was written for a compilation of my mother, my Grandmother, and my Aunt Vera. These are the primary group of women who filled the role of “mother” in my growing up. That role of “Mother” also, and often includes many different women for different people. In this “new age” Mom can be Dad. For some it may be the mom of a best friend where they spent a lot of time, for some a relative or mentor next door or at school. In the “new age” “mom’s role has been reshaped by care providers, counselors, mentors, relatives, neighbors and many others. In many ways this is a large change, because the role of Mother has always been a most important task to our created order.  In a country of single parents and restructured lifestyles, “mom” can be many different people.

This song, though, is about a central characteristic of what a Mom is to me, that care person who holds concern for you so deeply that prayer becomes the gift and the measure. Enjoy, and may this lyric be meaningful to you, as it is to me.

Click on the ‘play’ arrow and the song will load.

For lyrics and a bit more music visit my WIX site click below.
http://webletelpaso.wixsite.com/dcwheelermusic/she-prays-for-me

 

 

Familiar Faces

Who did you see in the crowd today? Did you see a familiar looking face? Someone you know, or someone you knew years ago? I saw a familiar face in the crowd the other day. Someone I knew very well. It’s not that I hadn’t seen him the crowd in many days or years. It wasn’t that I remembered him from past employment or from school or college.

It was the frown. It was that tired look. It was the “off to work again” look.  I turned a bit and saw my own face reflected in a store window. It was the same face. Where did the energy go? I look harder now for the happy face. The, “I’m in love with today face.”  I guess it has to start with me.

Be the familiar face that causes people to smile and not frown. Lighting up your little corner of the world lights up other’s corners. And then, when you see your reflection in the mirror, you smile too. Make today a place of familiar faces, happy and blessed ones.

Which Child?

Which Child: from 5-24-98  by dennis wheeler from my Sermon Series.
A variation from which a preceding post took direction. Be patient.

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
It sounds so simple, come to me as a child, become like little children.

“Daddy, could you open this jar of jelly for me?”
“Mommy, could you reach that box for me?”
“Daddy, could you help me build a boat out of these 2×4’s.?”
“Mommy, could you help me learn to ride my bike?”
“Daddy, could you help me with my homework?”

Is this the little child we are to take to God?

I remember the first time I heard this child, perhaps you remember this child also:
“I CAN DO IT MYSELF!!”
Is this the child we take to God, the child who now knows so much that we can afford to sell the encyclopedias, give up the internet and needn’t seek out answers from anyplace else?

“Dad, is it ok if I moved back into my old room for awhile?”
“Mom, can I borrow your car, mine has run out of gas.”
Is this the child we take to God, the child who has confronted an issue too complicated to fix in the current time frame allotted and is now willing to seek parental help?

“MY GOD, MY GOD , FORGIVE ME, I AM A SINNER!!”
Is this the child we take to God? At the bottom of a deep well where the light is just a pinhole in a darkened sky?

It seems that as we get older, we learn to rely less on God’s help, and more on our own ability to accomplish tasks. The child who knows it all still sometimes needs their parent to open a pickle jar or get the bike down from the rack in the garage. They may still need you to help them by steadying the bike as they are learning to ride, but all too soon it is “….see you later.”

Initially they need you to get the bottle ready, they need a touch and a hug… And then there is that magical day – “I CAN DO IT MYSELF’.
At some point, many points in our lives, we are more than willing to let God take over…..the lowest parts of our lives, when all else has failed…..”God, you there?” and then, as we get back on our feet again…..        “I CAN DO IT MYSELF!”

You must come to me as the little child, make yourself like the child, dependent on God’s help. Somewhere in life we go from being a child of faith to being a skeptical adult. When exactly do we lose faith that God is available to help us?

  • I remember golfing with my Dad. He was as consistent a golfer as I have ever met. He would take innumerable perfect practice swings, a swing honed by hours of hitting little wiffle golf balls in the back yard. He would play a few super golf holes and make some tremendous shots. Then I would begin to hear, “How did I do that..” He began to analyze his success. And rather than just swinging away naturally, he would try to duplicate “the secret”. His game went to heck in a hand basket. He had lost faith in that natural swing and thought that science could make it “perfect’, never realizing that the swing he had was perfect for him already.

“Yet, I hold this against you, you have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”
The church that John was writing to in Ephesus was a reflection of these same people that Jesus was talking to. Probably a lot like us. They had drifted away from the faith in the word that had motivated their beginnings. They had attained a great height as a powerful church, but were slipping. John was saying “get back to your roots, be that child of faith again, rely on God again and not yourselves alone.”

“I CAN DO IT MYSELF”, it is often not the young church that is struggling, it is the older, wiser church that stumbles. I have attended many a board meeting, in many churches and religious organizations and the debate goes like this:
“We don’t have enough money in the bank.” (When did my daughter ever concern herself with money. “Dad, isn’t that a nice blouse. shoes, slacks, etc”. Nothing outlandish, but always items she felt I’d provide.)

“We don’t have enough members.”( I remember moving to Kansas City as a teenager, it took forever to find friends. When I moved to Billings from Minnesota I told my daughter  “you’ll find friends.” When we moved to Salt Lake my daughter, in turn, said to us, “You’ll find friends.”)

“God didn’t answer that prayer of ours way back when.” (Garth Brooks says, “Thank God for unanswered prayer.”)

“We’ll never make that mistake again”. That is often the closest to becoming like a child again many churches get, or ourselves.

The only failure is the failure to try. You must change, you must become as one of these children to enter the kingdom of God. The youthful, “help us God”, church of Ephesus, (or you) had become the older and wiser, mature, thoughtful, thinking, pondering, debating cautious conservative church of Ephesus.

“You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen.” At what point do we grow out of faith? At what point do we construct our “I can do it myself” religion or personal faith.

When I change, and go to Jesus as a child, what am I taking with me? Fear, guilt, hate, anger, the boogieman in the closet or under the bed, depression. Maybe success. Maybe I am spending too much time figuring out why good things are happening and have gotten complacent with my God. Success has bank accounts, balance sheets, logic…faith has prayer, and a belief that when Daddy tosses me up in the air, Daddy will catch me on the way down. Faith may be being able to do it yourself, but is also wise enough to ask for, count on, and expect God’s interaction with us. As humans, we constantly struggle with the idea of doing it ourselves. Independence is a goal, freedom is our motto, nobody tells us what to do. Don’t trust anyone over 30? They never said I’d be over 60. Unfortunately, in the midst of doing it ourselves comes ….life….up the side of the head, in the heart, in our minds, against our dreams.
This is the child that goes back to God, this is the church that goes back to God. The Living Bible translates the passage: “you don’t love me as at first. Think about those times of your first love (how different now!) and turn back to me again and work as you did before.”
I CANNOT DO IT MYSELF.
BUT YOU DO NOT NEED TO.

I NEED YOUR HELP: a favorite writing goes: “My precious child, I have always been with you, during those times of your life which were the toughest, where there was only one set of footprints in the sand, that is when I carried you.” God carries people, families, churches, organizations…children. Come back to God as a child, with the faith that says, “I can’t do it, but you can, and I am here that I might be of help to you.”

“I will dry every tear that you cry…..Because you are a child of mine”   Amen.

Whomever your GOD is, I pray for you that your God is as helpful to you, as mine has been to me…  dw

Eternal Life, an Update on The Earth Experiment

“To those who believe in me, the Father shall grant them eternal life” (paraphrase).

So like what is this eternal life? Mom and Dad (or a friend or close relative) have passed away many years ago. Haven’t had coffee with them lately and probably will not. Unless you have had the dream when they come back briefly sitting next to you in a bus, on a train or plane or while on a walk. Maybe even when you drift away at the coffee shop. A few comments made that you are aware of, yet have a hard time resurrecting not too long after awakening from the initial dream……

Have you ever been there, above, before.

The Blog as a website can be challenging. Which do you hang out at? I’ve been touching up The Earth Experiment page.  Hit the button for my page The Earth Experiment above for the redo today.

Tidbits 3-19-17

TIDBITS – PROVERBIALS

These are todays proverbials. You may recognize some from other venues, or comments
that you have heard. Little tidbits that enter my mind periodically and from time to time. I decided to jot some of them here today, and more are located on the page Tidbits. I will add to them periodically. enjoy. Feel free to suggest some you may have discovered also.

It is what you do when no one is watching that defines who you are.

I do not think that I can ever remotely access (learn) all the things that my spirit already knows by its root in the pleroma.

Nothing good comes from idle speculation.

Sex may be instinctive to the body, but long term companionship is the natural order for the spirit.

Where nothing is acceptable, love is merely an illusion.

The truth of reality is that permanent is really temporary, and perfect doesn’t exist.

Leave The Victory to Him

I have just been adding an old song to my music site. Remember, the title of this web blog is Unorthodox Christianity, and this song and its meaning and story embody what it is to be an Unorthodox Christian. The context meaning of this song is below.  The words to the song are below the story. Click on the left control button to play the song.

 

9-11-2001 was an emotional day for all of us, and it set off an emotional roller coaster we have been on ever since.  Many of the events surrounding that time come to mind. Where you were, what you were doing when you heard, the TV images, the angst, the reactions.

I remember the Sunday following Sept 11, 2001.

As they entered the sanctuary to pray, I could see the stress on the faces of my Pakistani Christian friends. The brush we were painting with as a nation was obviously very broad. I walked up and extended a hug. The hug and thank you I received were so warm, unlike any before or since. The tragedy had struck all of us irregardless of race, religion, location. It was an attack on the world, not just America. The victims came from around the world, all walks of life, and crossed cultural and religious lines. The darker skin of the Pauls was the skin that Jesus would have been wearing on that day. I am sure the pressure that He (Jesus) would have felt would have been just as intense.

A month later, as the United States response was taking shape, I found myself performing music at a Christian men’s retreat in central Idaho. The talk of the event was still very fresh, and vehement. As the weekend progressed the air was tainted by the anger. As often happens, I chose to express my opinion through the music GOD gave me. You are listening to that song as you read this. The message of JESUS, whom we professed to believe in and follow, was being sacrificed to our own survival of the fittest animal instinct.

I don’t believe that our response as a nation would have been reflected in the response of our teacher. Rather than contain the loss of life to those who weren’t waylayed for one reason or another, to those from every nation who were in the building or on a plane or fought the fires, the loss has been magnified to the families of troops from all over America and the world that have found themselves engaged in a war that is more politics than it has been protective. It has resulted in more terrorism, not less. If the terrorist intent was to kill as many as possible in one radical attack, we have certainly accommodated their desires quite well over the ensuing years.

Jesus was radical because His response to life’s events was so against our instinct. The challenge to follow the charge of Love One Another is as difficult today, and as remote to our leaders, as it was to the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus own world. I can only pray that the outcome to our nation today is not reflective of the outcome that came to the Pharisees within theirs who also chose to ignore the message.

‘Leave The Victory To Him’ is for those who may still feel that GOD isn’t big enough to fight GODS own battles GODS way. I don’t believe our future will be secure as long as we feel that we need to beat people into loving. Love One Another is the charge, and Leave the Victory to Him.

Thank you.

Leave The Victory to Him
W/m dennis wheeler© 2001

There is a gospel of the Christian that we must hold as true,

 It is a teaching of their master

That they are bound by nails to.

 It’s not a complicated concept.

It isn’t hard to understand.

Simply Love One Another,

and offer helping hands .

 Leave the Victory to Him   

 Leave the victory to Him    

   Simply Love one another  

   And Leave the Victory to Him..   

We often focus on conversion

and not the message of the cross.

For if you Love One another,

then the sacrifice is not lost.

For God can speak to every nation,

the only victory to win,

is to love one another,

 And leave the victory to him.

     Chorus

        Repeat 1st verse.