Perspectives on Stress

Perspectives: 6-14-17

There are so many tidbits of psychology and sociology around that I collect some of them. You may be familiar with:
“Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it is all small stuff.”
“Life’s too short to worry about that.”

With all the discussions that go about how we approach our daily lives, “do this, don’t do that”, and the push me pull you of human behavior moves forward. But today is about perspective. I read a lot into the scriptures, in light of the present days unfoldings. The tidbits that have been developed about our societies, our religions, our perception of how “God” may or may not approach our futures, does one sure thing. It causes Stress. Lots of stress. Purported to be among if not thee most hazardous health condition in the world.

In the arguments of “why do you put up with this or that,”  whether at work or at home or at church or the club, is a beckoning for stress.

Political corruption, taxes, demands, the state of terrorism and international political and financial posturing causes stress. The response of GOD to your humanness causes stress. And then there is your perspective. Maybe you have noticed, as I have, perspectives change. My scripture reading interpretation changes as my path crosses a contradiction or a newer interpretation.

The news causes stress. Prejudice causes stress. At times it seems someone left the stove on too high and the melting pot that is the USA is boiling over. And that causes more stress.
A simple tidbit like “Life’s too short to worry about that,” meant one thing to me at 18, a different thing at 40, and a totally different thing at 65.
“It’s all small stuff” can become big stuff as your ability to respond ages.

Scripture has always been a home for debate. How will GOD (**Allah, Buddha, pick your personal choice) accept me, in all my weaknesses. Will GOD* forgive? Will GOD* punish. Will I venture to hell, will I be a Hero? The rhetoric causes stress. The results become and demand a personal perspective, because all stress is personal. How do I handle such stress?

At this stage of my journey I hold on to one tidbit. (My) “GOD is LOVE.”

As measured against a broad scope of condemnation in much of the scripture I see quoted, “GOD is LOVE” stands out as a ‘Columbo’ moment. “Something here doesn’t fit. There are some loose ends yet.”

My stressful moments are often measured by the human responses of a specific action, not LOVE’s response. In my case, An all knowing “GOD” has traveled the journey with me. That all knowing GOD has a measure of knowledge about me that NO ONE else will. My stress diminishes when I recognize that GOD so loved the world that GOD gave his only begotten Son (or SUN) so that whomever would believe in GOD would not perish but have eternal life.” That my ordinary-ness grows out of GOD’S spiritual and instinct driven creation, as well as being influenced by how I have been treated, accepted, or rebuked by others, both trusted or unknown. I have met saints, and yet they were all humans. I have met humans that haven’t matured much beyond animals. I have reacted as an instinctive human, and I have tried to react as a decent one of those. And I have been condemned, and threatened, and where I was going after death and what I was going to do there.

And through it all I have been promised within the scope of the GOOD NEWS (read the red print only) that one day I will have the answers from the source. To me, that is the purpose of religion and faith. Comfort.

War and hate is a distortion of the plan. And terrorism breeds terrorism. A bully is a bully. And that environment does not strike me as one of peace. Your daily living establishes the territory you reside in. Is it stressed to the max, is it peaceful? Are you hopeful?
Your reactions are measured by where you are at in life and how it is structured. More often than not by others. Put your FAITH in LOVE to find peace. Not the condemnation of those who wish to power over you, or prosper from you. “HOPE is the realm of LOVE.” “GOD is LOVE.” GOD will know from how we treat others, whether our journey has respected the teachings or how we may have turned our backs on it.

Love one Another” is a red print program. Let your perspective look beyond what you see and hear and journey to what you can not. The spirit inside of you connects to a place that is often beyond the scope of others. Find that place of comfort, and peace. Even if only in moments.

Here is another tidbit that seems lost in today’s cultures: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Would those who willingly do these things to us, appreciate having those same things done to them and not happen to us? In Congress they call these things “Congressional Exemptions”. To a terrorist or a bully they are called collateral damage.

To GOD I believe GOD has another perspective. (A writing for another day, check back)

Heaven and The Other Place

Heaven and The Other Place – 6-7-17

I have read and heard so many sermons over all the years. Many different church affiliations, as well as independent writers. Lately I have heard another set for discussion that has always sparked my interest. To simply paraphrase, “if you do not believe that Jesus is the son of God you are doomed to Hell for all eternity.”

That seems pretty straight forward. As someone who comments on occasion with my unique perspective, I extend some thoughts. My comments are usually blogishy short, bare with.

As I have read it, Jesus, long before He became the Christ of world renown found himself hanging from a tree with nails securing his hands and feet after a whirlwind trial which ended by committing him to death by crucifixion. On either side of him were two thieves. According to the Book of Luke, Chapter 23 verses 39-43 (The Jerusalem Bible) this discourse:

One of the criminals hanging there abused him.

Are you not the Christ?” he said. “Save yourself and us as well.”

But the other (thief) spoke up and rebuked him. “Have you no fear of God at all?” he said. “You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. “Jesus,” he said, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Indeed, I promise you,” Jesus replied, “today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Third Day, the Resurrection, the Books that became the NEW Testament had yet to occur. The people who had convicted him and the priests who had mocked him questioned his authenticity from below the cross, “Come Down from the cross and prove to us who you are”

But that one rebel, without the benefit of the history of those next few days, and the writings of 30+ years later, or all of the interpretations of over 2000 years, recognized that he personally was getting what he deserved, but this other, this man who had done nothing wrong, but the legend of him helping people was known in the area, had been whipped and staggered through to this conclusion equally. He felt that Jesus did not deserve this, and asked Jesus to but pray for him once he had died and his spirit returned to his Kingdom, whatever that Kingdom he believed it to be. He sought no favors, and probably expected none. And Jesus not only accepted him, but had him accompany himself into paradise. What a shock to his system must that have been.

One, at the very least, recognized Jesus as innocent, the other merely felt that Jesus existed to save him from the punishment that even his companion felt they had coming.

One was taken to the Kingdom, and one probably ended in “Hell”. But where was “Hell”?

My Father led a challenged life. The challenges compounded by my Father’s own approach to it. The week before he died he offered this advice. “This (Earthly life) is Hell”.

My point is this, two thieves, by their choices, lived a life that may have reflected what we might consider to be hellish. One felt it should be free of charge and another recognized that what he had done was his own doing, not to be paid for by someone else. I hear the news, I read the papers, I side a lot with my father. On those days that I agree I look over the results of my actions over the years and have to be honest with myself that much of it is of my own doing.

And then I reflect on this passage “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

I believe in the Kingdom. I try to be a good friend, and I enjoy my conversations with Jesus and His Father. I remember Lyle, a close friend who thought the diet he was on was the best diet he had ever had. And then he discovered it was a liver cancer that produced the results and at 53 he was gone to the Kingdom within a few weeks. But during those last few weeks he made a comment that has been with me ever since, “You know, Dennis, the roses are redder this morning, the grass is greener. Don’t miss the gifts along the journey.”

The ensuing 30 years has brought me closer to Jesus’ ideas, and friendship by Lyle’s example. I have never questioned His capability to comfort. The hell that many choose to bring upon themselves is balanced by a creation to be marveled at if we do our part to take it in and even to make it better.

Many do not require a Hell for punishment. They choose to live it today. I do not require the condemnation of a third party for any reason that I may pass on to a place called Hell or purgatory or underworld. When I leave, MY OPINION, is this, and this is the worst thing that I believe anyone may hear.

God invites me to coffee after I have died. He asks “Dennis, I haven’t done Earth for awhile. Tell me, what do the roses smell like on a spring morning, or the cool air of evening feel like after a hot summers day in the mountains? Did you enjoy the friendship of the people I sent your way? Did you learn to love?…”

If I can not answer the questions this way:
“The roses are sweet, the cool air in the summer is refreshing, the mentors you sent became great friends, and I learned to love, by loving and being loved also.”
If I can not answer that way, the time was wasted.

And I see God shaking his head a bit and says “That is unfortunate. It was your only opportunity to enjoy it.”

If I can answer the questions positively, the time was special and I might even choose to visit it once again...

Even in the midst of the most difficult of days, or tragic events that cross my path along my journey, I know to take in the gifts that have been given to me and cherish that opportunity.
Will it be Heaven on Earth, or the other place?
My Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
On Earth,
As it is in Heaven.

Make every day special…..

Dennis 23rd Psalm

Dennis 23rd Psalm

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 my soul 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.    

(circa .1992)

 

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.

The Slow Tide

lowtide

Have you ever found progress to be an exacerbating program. One step forward and 2 steps back? The rewards that one dreams will come this afternoon haven’t arrived yet years later? Are we expecting too much, too soon? Or, have we not been entirely lost.
When I look back at the years gone by I see different answers to the original questions. Answers I never could have conceived of in my wildest dreams. Yet, over the years, I have made progress. As I look back I see the wealth of the journey thus far. Not the financial boon as experienced by some, but a journey that that has been filled with memories that I would never trade and of mentors who will be with me throughout the rest of my journey. I truly have been blessed. Yes, moving forward can be a slow process, but it sure beats moving backwards.

dw

An Ode To Graying

from:   5-13-2008

I don’t much remember growing gray,
It just happened when I wasn’t paying enough attention.
But I don’t much care for graying.
Coloring the gray doesn’t change the aging
But the aging can color the attitude, and the attitude colors the living.

I think that the pinnacle of wisdom is when graying enhances ones attitude
Rather than darkens it.
The truth is that it should be one’s goal to spend as much time graying as possible.
The longer one is graying, the more life one is living.
The more time we spend in graying the more opportunity we are being given
To correct the courses of our journey.

A time to every season should celebrate every day that is spent in graying.
Every day that is spent in graying represents another day that we have been given to experience the adventure that is living.
Life and the living of its moments is the adventure and the purpose of our existence.

Who will cross my path today whom I can help?
Who will appreciate my smile and my laugh?
Who will achieve that goal that has been intertwined with mine within this dynamic called living?
And who will I meet today who will lend me another color to add to the palette of my painting?

Somewhere in the graying reside the building blocks of my life.
Each little stubble of gray houses the colors of my living that has brought me to this place in my life.
Those patches of gray that color my head and face are flashes of the Rainbows of my existence. Rather than being the absence of the color of my youth they are the inevitable trophies of the artistry of GOD.
It is merely my eyes that deceive.
As the graying presents its rainbow of wisdom my mind sees not the colors of a life that has been filled with adventure but rather a struggle that has consumed my resources.
That subtle transformation of graying is only the result of a mixing of the spectrum of colors of a life bred of challenges accepted and of choices born of faith and driven by a force within that refuses to give up.  The graying of my life is not the absence of color but represents a palette of experiences in the spectrum of the universe.

Were one able to view inside the gray, the vividness of the colors there would blind the eyes and stir the soul. Inside the gray are the treasures beyond measure and gifts yet to be opened. It should be my desire that I have twice as many days of gray for the true joy of the graying has been the painting of the picture, and may the picture of my life be far from complete. May the chapters be many and may the miles ahead be as plentiful as the miles of the past.

You should hide your eyes, my friend, for the colors of my gray are bright indeed and the palette of my painting is only beginning to be populated. dw
dennis3-8-16-250

 

Ordinary People

The song that you can listen to via the link below is called Ordinary People.

A number of summers ago I was asked to perform at an outdoor revival meeting called Break Down the Walls  in Salt Lake City, UT. On one particular afternoon there was a fiery evangelist preaching his Full Gospel Message. In the best tradition of fiery Full Gospel preachers he jumped up and down and shouted and gestured wildly as he moved from one side of the stage to the other, “THANK GOD that Jesus came for us sinners. That Jesus came here, to the other side of the tracks”.

He went on to discuss how deeply we are in sin and why we suffer and how great it was that Jesus came for us sinners. I thought immediately of a young lady on a retreat I was on who commented that she didn’t feel she could find Jesus because she hadn’t been ‘hurt’ enough in her life to find Jesus.

I sat back and thought to myself, Thank GOD that JESUS came for the little lady who always sat in the back of the sanctuary and made a cake or a meal for every funeral at the little white church I had attended in western Minnesota. That Jesus came for the school teacher who stopped in after class to help clean, or mow the lawn. The neighbor who took a bar to the family next door when there was a loss or a celebration.

I thought, “Thank GOD that Jesus came for the ORDINARY PEOPLE. The ones who live ‘normal’ lives, who aren’t fallen angels or alcoholics, or from broken homes or live broken lives. ORDINARY PEOPLE, like you and I.

Enjoy.

http://webletelpaso.wix.com/dcwheelermusic#!ordinary-people/xhypj