THE MANUAL IS MISSING

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

There was a day, many years ago, when my daughter first entered my sphere. She was 5 months old and came via delivery on an airplane from Korea. There were many who gathered with us at the gateway entrance at the airport. The traveling companion stewardess brought her out and gave her to me. They also gave us a bag full of essentials to take with for a 5 month old girl. She had diapers, an extra set of clothes, a small hairbrush and wipes. As she was passed around among the crowd, I went off to a corner and began looking at just what the bag contained. I looked through it again. I couldn’t find it. I looked again.


THE MANUAL WAS MISSING

When I bought my first car I looked in the glove compartment and there I found a manual on how to figure out how the mechanicals worked. How to turn the lights on, the windshield wipers, the interior lights and how to work the radio. As well as dimensions and what kind of fuel to use. And so much more. Certainly a child must come with a Manual. How to be a dad, how to raise a little girl, how to teach. I was a bit overwhelmed.

I didn’t come with a Manual either, at least not at the beginning.

How many of us find ourselves lost, not prepared for the things of life as things happen? Today more than ever. What is a pandemic? Why can’t I just go get a vaccine and call it a day. Why is there politic, why don’t churches all believe the same thing. In Sunday school as a fourth grader I asked my teacher, “Why didn’t GOD just make good people?” I learned that that question was not discussed. Yet I wanted to know why. I have always wanted to know why. Why are things the way they are with an all knowing, all loving GOD?

religion_10

When I was done with Sunday School I was given a concordance Bible. A Bible where what Jesus said was written in red. I sat down and read the Red Print. Then I read the Old and New Testament. I had found the Manual.

Certainly it was not that easy. When I was reading Proverbs, or Wisdom, or the Psalms,  a parable from Jesus, or an apostle’s comment I recognized similar events or challenges that I had seen in the neighborhood, or a story on TV, or behavior that I recognized in my peer group. I read a simple set of rules that were put down by GOD.

Ten Commandments

These are a good start. If you find life being challenging do not refuse the Bible because it is “religious”. Look at it as an owners manual. A touch of history where when certain people did this or that their actions caused reactions. There is a story in the books that are about your challenge, both causes and corrections. Too many have their Manual sitting on a shelf covered in dust when it can be the start of a knowledgeable life that can make more sense or make pre-planning a norm and not reaction.

Have a wonderful experience when you sit down with the Manual and the one who wrote it. dw

SATAN IS NOT A GOD

SATAN IS NOT A GOD

A lot of evil has been attributed to Satan, a fallen angel of Judaism. I have a somewhat different view.
I see SATAN as an instinct that needs to be confronted in ones life for one to move on into the promise of LOVE on Earth. If GOD is LOVE, then Satan is the opposite of LOVE, the yang to LOVE’S yin. I have never been able to ascribe any kind of humanity or divinity to SATAN. I don’t see SATAN as a controlling angel, I see SATAN as a controlling attitude.

We people adore developing acronyms. I have such an achronym for SATAN. Success AT ANother’s expense.
Oh how we humans are so adept at doing this. If LOVE is created out of a bond of equality, caring, sharing and mutuality of affection, then SATAN is the manifestation of trying to take out of a relationship or circumstance a disproportionate measure of energy than ‘one’ has invested in ‘it (the relationship or circumstance)’.
The SATAN attitude draws resources out of a relationship for personal gain, satisfaction or security but does not invest a similar contribution into the relationship.

The measure of a relationship may simply be that it is either a friendship where LOVE becomes manifested through its participants, or it falls into the realm of “what’s in it for me?” Only GOD seems to be capable of bringing this LOVE attitude to relationships.

Satan, on the other hand, is a poor administrator of relationships, whether they be among individuals, groups, states or nations. The challenge is turning away from the survivalist mentality and embracing the LOVE mentality, that is the whole challenge of the Christ. Often humans ascribe to GOD a belligerence born out of preference. Then they extract a license from that attitude. Religion is from man, GOD is LOVE. One needs only LOVE, one does not need religion, per se, to LOVE. What one can use are examples of what LOVE is when manifested as a human entity. For the Christian, JESUS becomes this example. For others the journey may be different. We are not the judges.

I believe the KINGDOM on EARTH will only be born out of this LOVE and we must be careful not to taint the religion to use it for personal control of people and personal power, and personal satisfaction. Even Jesus ascribed HIS own ‘power’ to one greater than HE, and often thanked that power of LOVE for its intercession in His own life. We will be wise to do the same and judge much less.

LOVE causes us to care and share and reach out and give a hand up. GUILT should never be our motivation, and personal reward makes the giving quite shallow indeed. LOVE is the destination, not Success AT ANothers expense. The choice will always be ours. Our affiliation to either attitude will always be our choice. I would offer up to you the example of Jesus.

GOD blesses. GOD bless you, this day. (originally written 2-22-2005)

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AGAPE LOVE

AGAPE LOVE

Agape love is not a manufacture of people, it is the creation from GOD. It is a state of realty.

Agape love is not a manufacture of people, it is the creation from GOD. It is a state of existence between two spirits as people. I am more and more convinced that the pleromic love JESUS speaks of (Love one Another) is not a one sided exchange. To be in ‘agape love’ is to be in a state of mutuality. If this emotion is not jointly held in common, it is not love but merely infatuation, or desire or lust, or business but it is not love. I believe that agape love is a shared emotion created jointly between two people. ‘Love’ is not a one way street as so many seem to present and/or live it. The word ‘Love’ often is used to mask possessiveness or control. It is often a word interchanged with lust or desire. I do not believe the ‘love’ to which JESUS refers is anything but this agape love that is a creation out of the mutual affection between two people that even the participants find difficult to describe. Once found, it becomes a most difficult emotion to duplicate for it depends on this mutuality between two people that is such a rare discovery. I have also found that its discovery is incomprehensible in its scope to the physical, its reality in a daily existence lived by just a very few who risk convention to pursue it. I do not believe that there are too many who truly believe that GOD can perform what seems to be impossible through something as elusive as this spiritual emotion people often casually refer to as love. That may be why it is so difficult to live its promise, we do not allow it to ourselves. We perceive it to exist only in a specific life structure that may, in fact, vary between the spirits that share it among themselves. Rather than be defeated by circumstance, this agape love has the power to overcome circumstance, but it can only do so in its mutuality, for that is the source of its existence. “What is impossible for men, is possible for GOD”. It is no wonder that the teachings of Jesus have seemed so radical. The basis for agape is so very elusive, even to those who have discovered agape love in one another. Agape Love is a different emotion. The risks of this unconditional Love can scare people from entering into it. The spirits know that ‘from the heart’ opens up the heart for hurt and risk. Yet the experience of it is profound. It’s power in its mutuality scared those who felt threatend by it and they could not accept it. Those who experienced it sacrificed themselves to carry its message to the masses.

Agape Love is not an idealism, it is not an attitude, it is a real gift from GOD.

 

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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”.

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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.