I 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 journey has taught me a lot to this point of it. I wasn’t much of a school person after about year two in college. I didn’t go to law school, or doctor school. I was a history major with a minor in business. I started working young, full time. I’ve had a wide variety of job experiences over the years, but I did not study the hows at the community college. I had what we called OJT. On The Job Training. For as diverse as the jobs have been, the training has been essentially the same. On The Job Training.
Oh, every so often, someone rode with you in your car, or told you how to fill out this report, turn in this order, check payroll, schedule help, interview-hire- and terminate people, for about two hours. People that train people to do stuff first go to school to learn how to talk fast. Real fast. And in about two hours everything you need to know about everything is disseminated and they are gone and you couldn’t write fast enough to get it all down. “Here are your keys. Enjoy.” Now you are experiencing On The Job Training or OJT.
I learned about Jesus on Sundays. Sometimes. I got a Bible when I was ‘confirmed’. I asked once in Sunday School, “If GOD is a great creator, why doesn’t God just make good people?” I was asked not to ask any more questions.
So GOD took it upon itself to teach me another way.
On The Job Training. Mom and relatives supplied more and more expanded Bible’s. I listened to sermons and drew out what I could. I meditated on what I had read. My Aunt, the Christian Scientist, encouraged me to learn more. I studied Jesus within the red print of concordance Bible’s and found a few who followed the things that I had read, and more who do not appear to have looked at the book at all but say they follow it word by word. More people who have called themselves Christians, have taught me what it isn’t. They have become examples of what not to be when throwing the Banner around. GOD through in a bunch of OJT. I was lucky in that most of the people I met in church were the stewards of caring in the little tiny churches that have crossed my path. They brought food for the funerals, the weddings and the births. They taught Sunday School and took kids on ‘retreats’. Many became Mentors by their example. The politicians stood out. They all seemed to have had signs made for their foreheads that said VOTE FOR ME. On The Job Training has taught me more than anything. GOD has seemed to be much more of a great educator than book writers.
Jesus said once, “Be careful of those who come in my name.” He, also, spent a lot of time in On The Job Training. My guess is that you have also. And what has On The Job Training taught me?
I call it Unorthodox Christianity..
Thanks for stopping by.
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.
In keeping with my previous post about interpretations based on the idea of an Unorthodox Christianity:
I believe the Bible is divine scripture in that the interpretation to you of its word can so fit your circumstance that it may be read differently by you on any given day depending on your perspective and your needs of that day. To make a blanket statement that “this is what a particular scripture really means” belittles the power of the scripture to move us, and motivate us, and lead us toward the promise of the kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, from the place we are at on any given day.
One such day I sat with one of my favorite scriptures to apply it to the struggles of that day. I have prayed it in this version for perhaps 25 years now, pretty much at least once a week and many times, (the most difficult times), daily. Bold is the verse as written, regular is interpretation to the day’s or life’s events.
Dennis 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my savior and my guide,
I shall have all that I require.
When the fields that I am tilling have become brown and barren,
He bids me to lie down in green pastures.
When the waters of my life are turbulent and I feel as though I am cast adrift,
He leads me beside still waters.
When my faith is sorely tested and I am ready to give up,
He restores my faith and mysoul to me.
He leads me along the right paths (those of His own choosing),
That I might serve Him there.
Though I walk through this valley of the shadows of lost souls,
I shall not fear them for thou art with me.
Thy word and thy example strengthen me.
Even now, this very day,
You are preparing the future before me in the presence of my enemies,
Even in the midst of my own personal struggles.
You anoint my head with oil and once again my cup overflows with your bountiful blessings.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
With a site called Unorthodox Christianity I feel this is a good time to clarify some of the logic behind it. The name alone draws interest. I see lots of definitions across the internet. What can you expect here, from me? Below is from my original site and I place it here to put this site into it’s proper perspective.
TRUTH IN ADVERTISING:
Understand, these writings, songs, poems and opinions may incorporate the teachings of one Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by Dennis Wheeler. These interpretations are based on the experiences of Dennis Wheeler, and on the relationships that I have had along my own spiritual/physical journey. Dennis Wheeler is a human being with flaws and is far from perfect. Unorthodox Christianity is for ordinary people.
I personally believe that all the world’s religions should be advertised according to their proper doctrinal basis: Examples:
Catholic: The interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by Saul/Paul a converted persecutor of Christians and extended through the hierarchy of the Catholic Church through a reining individual referred to as Pope. Throughout the centuries such interpretations have also been subject to changes throughout the lifetime of the organization due to the changes of “Pope”s. .
Protestant/Lutheran: The interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by the monk/scribe Martin Luther.
Protestant/Presbyterian: The interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by the preacher John Calvin.
Protestant/Methodist: The interpretation of the life and teachings of the life of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by John Wesley.
Mormon/Latter Day Saints (LDS): The interpretation of the life and teachings of the life of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by Joseph Smith.
Islam: The life and teachings of ‘the prophets’ as interpreted by Mohammed.
Buddhism: The life teachings according to Buddha.
Whether you use the word interpretation or revelation is irrelevant to me. These belief systems grow out of a human source and should be advertised as such. It is for the individual to decide which interpretation of this life is relevant to them and which can offer practical assistance to their everyday life.
Watch for more definition-ish writing to describe Unorthodox Christianity by me in the near future.
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. LoveOne Another is the charge, and Leave the Victory to Him.
Every day I receive the Daily Word, a small spiritual comment for the day in my email inbox. Today’s Daily Word (1-17-17) was on spirituality. At the end of each Daily Word comment is a Bible Verse that relates to the comment of the day. Today’s bloggish stuff from me is based more on this Bible verse than on the comment.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face.—1 Corinthians 13:11-12
I rarely comment on the Daily Word when I forward to relatives or friends but today is an exception.
A comment on today’s Daily Word: I would prefer childish ways, less negative, fewer concerns, more acceptance, less fear. Never forget childish ways, it keeps you young.