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….”

By Example

“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.

LIFE IS

Oh the decisions of life can be so stressful. My daughter wrote me.
I wrote back:

I remember a paper about ‘life’ written many years ago by my friend James Parsons. The cover sheet said:
What Life is About.
You turned the page to page 1. It said.
LIFE IS..
And that was the whole paper. He got an “A”.
No decision made on any given day can not be changed, or made and then altered, or lived with. Every experience is a learning experience and each decision makes its own journey.
FAITH is about listening to GOD and making what you feel is the best decision based on the facts that you have been given being fully aware that GOD is perfectly capable of making changes to the course of the journey at a moments notice. You are not required to make life’s decisions on a moments notice for the most part without some prayerful thought and GOD’s input through the mentors that GOD forwards your way. You may even ask “What am I doing?” Until the end what may appear to be the dumbest decision may turn out to be the soundest.
Have a great day, take a deep breath, and enjoy a good nights rest in the home GOD found just for you with the company of a very unique individual who once prayed for someone to share his life with. And that perhaps you prayed for also. As was once said:
LIFE IS.

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)

Houston – The Love

“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.

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

On The Job Training.. OJT

OJT  Keys

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.