TEST NOT : SH*T HAPPENS

TEST NOT : SH*T HAPPENS

Do Not Test the Lord your GOD (Matthew 4:7)

So often I hear on the news that GOD will save me. Or I have faith that GOD will save me.
A young boy told the pastor that he hated GOD. The pastor asked the young boy “Why? What did GOD ever do to you?”
The boy said “I prayed to GOD to help my Grandma when she was sick and she died.”
The Pastor asked: “How did you want GOD to help?”
The young boy said: “I wanted him to make her feel better. She was in a lot of pain. Now she has died.”
The Pastor replied: “Your Grandma was very sick. She was in a lot of pain from her illness and would not survive. Is she in a lot of pain now?”
“No.” said the young boy.
“Did you pray that she would not be in any more pain?” The pastor asked..
“Yes, I did..” The boy responded.
“Then GOD answered your prayer and she is not in any more pain. She has gone home to be in Heaven with GOD and Grandpa.”

GOD knows ALL. GOD is ALL. When asked what to call GOD if asked, GOD said “I AM. Tell them I AM sent me.” (Exodus 3:14)

Years ago I directed a church service for a group of campers that camped every weekend in a small county park in western Minnesota. I did this service for a friend who asked me to do this as a mission to the community over the summer months. There was one camper with his family that was there most every weekend. He was the Fire Chief in a small rural town not far away. Mostly volunteers and himself. I was taken aback the first Sunday he came to “Church in the Park”. I had already done a few Sundays and had gotten to know many of the camper families. He was the second pew table back. He wore a simple yellow T-Shirt with a saying on it in black. SH*T HAPPENS. It caught me off guard for a few moments, but after a few moments of thought I could see from a Fire Chief, in a small rural town with an all volunteer Fire and emergency staff, just how appropriate a place like the “Church in the Park” would be for such an observation to be brought to the children of GOD and GOD’S focus on wisdom.

We often meet GOD more in times of challenge than comfort. With today’s news from a virus, in addition to social relevance, as well as human behavior we feel that we should be protected by GOD from everything because we “believe”. I look at the news and over and over and over GOD is feeding us his warnings through the voices of virus experts, neighbors, strangers, friends and more to warn us of what may lie ahead. Not because GOD is guessing, but because GOD knows.

We shout that we are free to do what we wish. GOD sends a separate message, Free Will is not insulation. And the man in the second pew has a message that is the truth of life. The fireworks that start a fire, or get in a child’s eye and potentially blinds them is not expected, but SH*T HAPPENS. It is usually a human choice that causes many events that could easily be avoided by heeding the warnings that the GOD they say they believe in has already warned them about and that history has many times proven it’s reality.

GOD’S promise of forgiveness does not change the outcomes of free will. Do not test the Lord your GOD. There is very little that GOD has not warned us about if we simply pay attention and attribute to GOD’S warnings to apply to all of us.

TEST NOT YOUR GOD, SH*T HAPPENS

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH
Passion and culture and unconditional love.

Throughout his travels Jesus, the man, was surrounded by crowds of people seeking to be healed by Jesus.
None of them seemingly, approached Peter, or James or Luke or Matthew or any of the other disciples to be healed. Many over the years have discussed the nature of Jesus’ healing.

In fact, in his own community of Nazareth, stopping in as the healer of so many, Jesus found healing to be difficult. “A prophet is not recognized in his own hometown”.(Mark 6: V 4-6) he said. And he could work no miracles there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Nazareth was a community of laborers, farmers, and just ordinary people. Probably only around 100 or so occupants. Jesus was the same Jesus in his hometown even while spreading his message all around it as an adult. The people debated about the renowned healer back in Nazareth. In Nazareth the people knew “Joseph’s boy”, or “Mary’s boy”. For years the culture there was immersed in “CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH” (John 1:45).

The culture in Nazareth had grown up with the outside comments concerning Nazareth that nothing good comes out of Nazareth. The boy and young adult Jesus lived in a cultural environment that was based on “CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH”.

Yet, the spirit of Jesus did not buy into it.

When in Jerusalem once with his family as a young boy, he stayed over to listen to the speakers in the synagogue and increased his knowledge of the scriptures. It was 3 days before his parents figured out that he wasn’t on the road back home and another 3 to locate him in Jerusalem. When asked why he stayed behind his spirit acknowledged “I would expect to be in my Father’s house” . His spirit was forever in a different place than Nazareth. He grew up beyond the culture he grew up in. The carpenter’s son was destined to become the best know individual, with the most impact on history of anyone, ever.

Those who never knew Jesus before found healing through Jesus where healing had been otherwise absent in their own lives. I have often wondered why that was.

The biggest difference I see is the seekers for healing believed that Jesus could heal them or their friends, or ailing relatives from what they had been told by others.

And (very important) Jesus believed that He could heal them.

The belief that Jesus could heal them, or an individual they brought to Jesus to be healed shared a common bond. The key to the healing was this common bond of love.

Unconditional love. It did not question the culture or nature of the individual.

Jesus knew the power of a common bond that superseded the debate of others. It was a bond created that magnified their faith individually and created an energy that healed beyond the knowledge of those around them. It became infectious.

Many changes are challenging America and the world today. The largest is the concept that “CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM ….(fill in the blank)”.
That is simply not true. CULTURE can develop and create change. An individuals Culture has to believe that what they have been taught about, or what they have grown to believe that other cultures are about, have been lied to.
Within the world today there are numerous cultures have been told throughout history that “CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM …….”.

If you have heard this from others, or outsiders, even family has ostracized you for whatever reason, JESUS is an example that you can rise above what you have been told by others. In every culture there are stories of those who have followed in the same footsteps of Jesus within whatever NAZARETH they started in. Your very own Culture has the names within it. Today there is a new paradigm developing in the greatest expanse of social movement on a scale unparalleled in Human History.

CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM NAZARETH was the mantra of Jesus’s culture. With a passion to help people, heal people, a belief in fairness and justice, and with the example of the cross as a measure of the passion of the message of Jesus to love one another at whatever the cost, it is in our lifetime reaching fruition more than ever before in history. LOVE ONE ANOTHER is a new paradigm throughout the world, whether or not supported by politicians or all people. 

GREATNESS COMES FROM NAZARETH is the history from Jesus’ example today as much as ever. From whatever Culture you are from, the challenge to grow above it is the challenge of the planet. Politics will not save us, politics crucified Jesus, and in so doing created the most well known example of the power of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE that could ever have been painted by a human hand.

Cherish your own cultural examples and LOVE ONE ANOTHER and you can change the future…… TODAY.

THE ADVOCATE

THE ADVOCATE

The Advocate

It was one of those stormyish Midwestern nights. The kind of weather storm that comes in from the way west and you can see and hear it moving closer. The sky gets very still and the birds stop chirping and take cover in their nests and in bushes.

The little girl heard the thunder coming closer.

Mommy”

Mommy says: “It will be all right, I’m right here, just stay in your bed, Jesus is with you.”

The thunder came closer, and then the lightning flashed outside the bedroom window.

Mommy”

I’m right here, your OK Jesus is with you. Just stay in your bed, everything is under control.”

And then the lightning struck as though right outside the bedroom window. The thunder crashed to where the house shook and the china in the china cabinet even clattered downstairs. At that same clash of thunder and lightning the little girl was in Mommy’s bed.

Honey”, Mommy said, “It will be all right, Jesus is with you.”

But Mommy, I need Jesus with skin on”.

John 14v16(njb): “I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate (protector) to be with you forever, that spirit of truth whom the world can never receive….”

A good friend used to say to the the congregation on our retreats “You may be the only Jesus that someone ever sees…”

There will be many times in your life, whether you profess Jesus or disagree with all religion, when GOD will call upon you to become the advocate that is Jesus with Skin On. You will comfort them and be the messenger for “LOVE”. You will hold their hand, wipe a brow, comfort them in sorrow, pull them out of their river. You will be the friend, acquaintance, co-worker, or even stranger that reminds them that LOVE EXISTS ON THE PLANET EARTH. In that moment you will discover a special kind of love. Unconditional.

John 14 v 25-27: “I have said these things to you (Jesus to His disciples) while still with you: but The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my Name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world can not give, this is my gift to you”.

Many I have never met have prayed for me. Many whose names, cultures, beliefs, and ideas have prayed for others under whatever banner they believe because GOD is not DEAD, but because LOVE LIVES. And because of your moment, you touched someone with LOVE and created JESUS with SKIN ON. That is what JESUS is all about. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. It is the message of Unorthodox Christianity.

But Mommy, I need Jesus with skin on”.

**Ads reflect income for helping pay bills. Does not necessarily reflect any endorsements or product support by myself.

GOOD WEEKEND or NEW BEGINNINGS?

GOOD WEEKEND or NEW BEGINNINGS?

I am getting too used to my “Have a good weekend” on assorted emails to my family and friends. My perspectives have changed a bit with my cancer treatments and the covid-19 agenda. At my age,now, the concept of endings seems to hit closer to home than I wish to think on. My Therapy has 2 weeks and 2 days in June to go and, hopefully, I expect to be ahead of the game for quite some time. So I felt that my life should be looking towards those New Beginnings every week rather than endings. SOOO
Enjoy the day that GOD has poured out for you.
Cares and Prayers
Have wonderful Beginnings today
dw  5-9-2020

HARD TO SEE

HARD TO SEE

THE RITUALS

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take. (A childhood prayer)

Come Lord Jesus Be Our Guest
And let this food to us be blessed…..Amen

The rituals of life surround us every day. I was out to lunch with my sister the other day and she bowed for prayer as we always did at home and prayed the above daily dinner prayer. I remember the many dinners as a family growing up and now passed. I stopped to remember the prayer I always prayed when I went to bed as my mother had taught me as a child.

The daily ritual:
Wake up, walk the dogs, or take a shower, or eat breakfast more often than not the same thing.
I turn on the news and watch our traditional morning program.
I drink coffee and off I go to work.
Now, for awhile, it has been the Pandemic. Am I 6’ away? Do I have my mask?           Is it safe?

The rituals of our new virus-day are, by now, pretty much incorporated.
With more time on my hands than I have ever had in my life, it almost feels uncomfortable.

I was walking the dog in the morning the other day and I was watching to cross the street to be sure I was at least 6’ away from the people coming toward me. I crossed the street again later for the same reason. Not because I worry about them so much, because I am at risk now and I am concerned about my health as well as others that I come into contact with. I said my ritual daily prayer that I have prayed every day at sometime for the last 30 years. I cleaned up from the dogs. I thought about when will work open?

And then it happened. I smelled something. It was the blooms from the maple tree. And then from from the bushes. The flowers that had been planted at the Park I walk to every morning. The recently mowed green grass. I looked up and around and the picture had blossoms on every bush and tree. It was a kaleidoscope of colors that I had walked right past. Sometimes it is too hard to see the blessings that are so obvious we fail to recognize them as blessings.
When I got home, I added this to the word that I forward everyday for my daughter and a few close friends.
Another day just full of opportunities to smell the trees blossoming and the flowers growing. The planting of a new world for us to partake of.
Take time to smell the roses and then thank GOD for the blessings of the day.

You see, Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we get caught up in the rituals. The gifts are like that drawer of cards from well wishers that meant a lot one day and made my day but have moved to the hard drive in my brain.
I remember the first day at work at a new job not long ago just before the virus took over the thoughts. I mentioned a common welcome to a new co-worker: “How are you doing?” I asked.
Blessed.” was the singular reply.
I hope that I can recognize that sentiment for myself every day for the rest of my life.

Count your many blessings, NAME THEM ONE BY ONE”. There is always something special to name each blessing. To move outside of the ritual to focus on each gift for awhile and rediscover just how blessed I have been.

GOD is always at work for everyone everyday. Thank you GOD for the blessings. I appreciate them all. Even the ones I don’t always see.

It’s True

It’s True

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I Decided to post a song of mine that I wrote a number of years ago for this Easter Sunday.  Unorthodox Christianity as I see it follows the story, believes in it, and tries to live it. The song seems appropriate for this day. One need not agree. One can even debate it. For me, and my house….. It’s True.

Click the left button to start.

Lyric:

The women say……..   It’s empty now
His body’s gone……..   and He’s Risen
Oh It’s True…..Oh they say that it is true
          He has risen from the dead for me and you

They have seen him once again… and He’s forgiven all our sins
You can praise and join along….   They couldn’t kill the savior’s love
            Oh It’s True…..Oh they say that it is true
          He has risen from the dead for me and you

It’s so hard to comprehend….. For I stood and watched Him die
But they say they’ve seen Him risen and the truth can’t be denied
I had placed Him in the tomb…And then I turned around and cried
Now they say that He is risen and His love is still alive
Oh It’s True…..Oh they say that it is true
          He has risen from the dead for me and you

And then I see Him…….

Touch my feet and touch my hands
Put your fingers in my side
You can see the tomb is empty and this truth can’t be denied
Oh It’s True……Jesus is seen and He’s Alive
He is risen from the dead and He’s the Christ

Touch my feet and touch my hands
Put your fingers in my side
You can see the tomb is empty and this truth can’t be denied

Oh It’s True…Jesus is seen and He’s Alive
He is risen from the dead and He’s the Christ…
Oh It’s True…Jesus is seen and He’s Alive
He is risen from the dead and He’s the Christ…

IT’S TRUE…….

 

CARDS of LOVE

CARDS of LOVE

My daughter’s grandmother has been sending cards out to people since as long as I can remember. When they are celebrating a birthday, or when they are ill, or when they need a kind message. I have always praised those who invest their time to help others. In these difficult times we are seeing the true power of Love One Another in action. Not just in a religious setting but in a world wide setting. To see how others are helping others they do not know and never will meet in countless ways is so encouraging. The power of congregation focusing on a single thing to help others that are affected throughout the world has never happened to this degree in the history of mankind. When one gets down, and discouraged or feels helpless the reaction of the human race to the pandemic is the most heart warming example of the power of the human race that we may ever see. I salute all those who rise to the occasion for all of us.

Enjoy the opportunities that each day provides to make someone’s day.

LET GOD KNOW

LET GOD KNOW

LET GOD KNOW

In the midst of attack it is hard to think positive. In the midst of despair many will shutter themselves not just in a house, but from the people who can help them. Whether one says “I didn’t want to bother you” or “You have enough to worry about without me.”

There were a number of disciples on a boat in the lake. A storm came up and the boat swayed from side to side and threatened even to capsize. It was as though all was lost. Then they saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter was shocked and called out to Jesus from the boat. Peter asked Jesus if he could walk out to him. He then chose to walk to Jesus and made a few steps on his way and began to sink. He called out to Jesus to help him to be saved from sinking. Jesus pulled him up and they entered the boat. Jesus commented “O ye of little faith”. Immediately the weather subsided and it was calm. The disciples all bowed down and recognized Jesus as the Son of GOD. (Matthew:14: 22 )

Peter, when recognizing he was sinking immediately called out to Jesus to let him know he needed help. NOW.

Perhaps you are the person at the beginning of this post. Afraid to bother GOD or Jesus and ask for help. Maybe you feel that “O person of little faith” will put GOD and Jesus against you. Perhaps you feel that Jesus and GOD are too busy with others to devote time to your concerns.

Jesus is a radical event to our belief systems. He was then and is to this day. Accept that you are like so many for whom Jesus is a comforting thought but may not be proactive on your account.

LET GOD KNOW. LET GOD KNOW that you could use a comforting voice on the phone or via e-mail or a text. LET GOD KNOW that the events of the day are overwhelming your senses and you do not know quite how to address things. Everyday becomes another unexpected day off with all the challenges that it brings. Everyday wakes up with a question about what do I do today. Moving about the countryside has different challenges than a snow storm or a thunderstorm. Getting in the car and getting out of the car at the grocery store is a concern rather than a relief.

LET GOD KNOW. GOD will do something just for you. Be observant and pay attention and you will discover just what GOD can do, just for you.

dw

Are You The One?

Are You The One?

The talk on the net and around town is now let’s get back to work.  Let’s turn our attention to the economy and move on. Because some important government official thinks it’s a great idea. Or because you do?

Move on to where?
When some children of a friend I know lost their parents to a drunk driver, the drunk driver lived. The driver had all the choices in the world to not drive when drunk. The parents killed were given no choices. It was not their fault and was not a judgement by GOD. GOD, in fact, marshaled sooo many people to help instantly. Within moments of the knowledge of the event our phone rang. Our lives changed and our direction in life forever.

The corona virus is similar to the drunk driver. You can carry the virus and not know it. You may never know it. Some people drink and do not get drunk or do not choose to drive. Many drink and do not care what happens when they start their car. They do not expect to kill anyone. We have already spent a trillion dollars over all the years to advertise about the dangers of drunk driving. That does not stop the drunk driver from driving or people from getting hit and killed by them. And when the courts are all done the drunk driver moves on and the dead are dead. The children are raised by relatives or friends, or a caring someone.

When you are not the one who dies life goes on. If you give the disease to your child, or parent or neighbor or good friend and they die are you willing to accept the responsibility for your choices?

Mayflower

And what about the economy?
When America was just a ship of people we started with nothing and have gotten this far. We can do that again but we need people to do it. There were no billionaires. There were dreamers. Hard workers. People who wanted to build a new society. This society has survived world wars, and we have survived Civil wars. We will survive Corona but need to do everything we can to do it as safely as possible. Not just for the ones at home, but the care givers and everyone who risks their lives to protect people they do not know to provide all that is necessary to help those who have contracted this disease. When we choose to help reduce their risk, we help ourselves to survive. Not every man, woman and child went physically to war, but they and their families were affected by the wars themselves.

We will survive this event with the American spirit and our perseverance through our beliefs behind us. Inconvenience did not stop the Mayflower.
And for all of you who are working to help keep us and me as safe as possible I will be eternally grateful. Thank you.
dennis

STRESS TIME

Welcome to our new world of world wide stress.

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Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

I was asked by my store manager at Dillards in Salt Lake about 20 years ago just how I handled stress when he was interviewing me for the dock manager job. I thought about it a minute and replied “I throw time at it.”

When it seems like there is too much to do, one’s stress level goes up exponentially to the task at hand. When stress happens I remember what I told him then, I throw time at it. Time is the one commodity that even though it seems like you never have enough of it, organizing your time is still a way to help move through a stressful endeavor. And at midnight the beauty of time is that it starts all over again for another day of opportunity.

In this current time of all of our lives, the level of stress can be overwhelming. Take a few moments when the stress fills up your brain to take a deep breath and ask for some nearby help. GOD covers a lot of ground in a given day. Not just you but a few billions of others look for help from that mystery person inside of us and GOD can help through a friend or even a stranger to extend a helping hand. LOVE is a universal word and should not threaten your beliefs, but can calm your spirit in a moment of meditation.

We may all look different on the outside but the mechanics, for the most part, are the same. Take that opportunity to reset the clock and let time and LOVE fill in the rest.

GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU AND SHINE LOVE UPON YOU