Casting the First Stone

Been busy with work and all. Thinking of what messages to write and have been disappointed with the content. I do have some thoughts about life in ‘tweetdom’.

I am a firm believer in the message, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

I see our politicians, especially the ones who fight for the ‘Christian’ vote, are having a tough day with that one. It is always easier to throw stones than put yourself on the line. When you are afraid to put yourself on the line you have perhaps missed that whole part about “The GOOD NEWS”.

Religion is not a feel good concept, it is a lifestyle not a sales pitch.

What was it Jesus said once? “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

For Whom The Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls………

So its like this….. I used to start many of my sermons this way…

We seem to be narrowing down the ‘great again’ reference point. I am confused by it.

When were we free from illegal immigration?

1491 (not counting the Vikings from Norway.) That was quite some time ago.

Which group has brought the most productive people (not necessarily citizens, few blacks were legal citizens, all of the English were not initially, and the Carolina’s were reserved for the criminally inclined illegal immigrants.

Perhaps it was the Irish.

The Germans (We fought two world wars against the Germans).

The French? They sold us much of the west way over priced.

The Spanish. We took a big part of the Southwest from them and now whine about the people that came with it.

The Italians. Criminally inclined? Mafioso? Fought them in World War II also.

The Middle Easterns? They are comprised of some of our most astute money lenders and investment contributors, as well as oil suppliers. They also didn’t contribute much more than that plus a native Jewish carpenter that has become the centerpiece of our primary religion that we so staunchly protect that we have forgotten His ascribed teaching of Love One Another. (Leading by the example of dying on a cross from a middle Eastern native, doesn’t hold much weight in the new “Great Again” forum of one of our more prominent “Christians” and associated political factions.) I must be missing something.

The Nationwide railroad system was built by orientals, legal and illegal. And we fought wars against them also..

Whose children stayed or were deported with their parents? None that I have read much about until we have since decided to be “Great”.

Who was Tom Sawyer?

Doesn’t “Trump” mean to Succeed AT ANother’s expense?

Things that make you say hmmmmmmm.”

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….”

The “American Supremacist” Culture

Following on the lines of Simply Love One Another.
Would you be so kind as to hang in there with me here.

There has been a considerable amount of press and activity lately centered around the term “White Supremacy”, and it’s preponderants  called “White Supremacists”. In regards to the currents ‘news’, I have to sympathize with the ‘other side’ because I am white, and not much of a “Supremacist”.
If there is one thing that I have never been much of it is “Supreme”. As a member of the simple working class, I have experienced quite an interesting diversity of “Supremacy” over the years. Because of this, I have a Dennis perspective on how our country has become so divided along the lines of “Supremacy”.

Much like I look at religion, I find “Supremacy” requires a huge caveat along the lines of “Truth in Advertising”.

No news has been written much about German Supremacy, or Black Supremacy, or Asian Supremacy. (There are more potential Asian Supremacists in the world than any other cultural group, but I just never hear about them). You get the idea.

I have seen many I call the “EDUCATED SUPREMACISTS”. They carry a degree in their back pocket that qualifies them to be  “SUPREME”, ( do you know any of these people?) They can be recognized because laws do not apply to them unless accompanied by a police car with lights on top.

On any given day, I hear or read about the Democrat Supremacists or the Republican Supremacists and why one is better than the other, irregardless of their color.
I, unfortunately, remind you that I am not supreme. Consequently very little that I get involved in matters much in the scheme of things, but my Senator or city council person is close to GODLY in his (or her) impact in the daily world.

I will defer the “RELIGIOUS SUPREMACISTS” to another writing.

And all this has yet to deal with two huge competing segments of “AMERICAN SUPREMACISTS”.

Women and Men.

Women and men I have discovered come in all kinds of colors and cultures and often find themselves in positions of “Supremacy”. I guess the “White Supremacist” example has not been wasted on many of these. It is just that this supremacy is hidden in the background, much like the now infamous “Gay Closet”. This level of Supremacy needs to be brought out of the closet and examined for what it also has become.  This kind of “Supremacy” also results in acceptable bullying, abuse, condescension and the general overall air of “My Success at YOUR Expense”, that often is shared as the American “Dream?”

Asked the other day about my culture in a meeting that included primarily Latino people, I mentioned that I was classified as WHITE. The response clarified the question as to what Nationality was I. I responded that I was WHITE. I have never been asked on an employment application if I was Swedish, or German, or Irish, or Scottish (all of which I am). I had no other reasonable option but to list “WHITE”. I even have a tan from the El PASO sunshine, but automatically I am addressed in English vs Spanish. I have never been listed as a member of a “preferred hiring” group. I have never been listed as a member of a preferred educational assistance group. I have never been involved in a “WHITE HISTORY MONTH, DAY or YEAR.” I have yet to see a “WHITE ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS” or “WHITE MUSIC PERFORMING ARTS AWARD” show on TV. I have never been acknowledged as being German, or Swedish, or Scottish, or Irish, I have always been WHITE. I have never been “SUPREME.”
Yet what many in America now see is Dennis the “WHITE SUPREMACIST.”

The mysterious “They” never seem to see a “FEMALE SUPREMACIST” or a “MALE SUPREMACIST”. I have had many male and female teachers, instructors, bosses and bullies cross my path whose attitude has been to be “Supreme”.  I have never met a “BLACK SUPREMACIST” but I am familiar with the “BLACK POWER MOVEMENT”. Those who have, seen, know of, and have themselves been bullied and bossed by those in their own BLACK community. I have had bosses and co-workers that have crossed all sexes and cultures and they seem to be competing with the WHITE SUPREMACIST culture to succeed in the workplace as well as the political arena.

WRONG IS WRONG.

I have heard terrible stories of the (ANY CULTURE) teachers and coaches (ANY GRADE) that bully their students because they feel that they can because they feel it is free of charge because of their “Supremacy”. These people are no different than the “White Supremacist” of the daily news. The police officer who bullies people because they feel empowered to by their position making it free of charge are no different than the “White Supremacist” of the daily news. Thankfully I know of many more policeman and military personnel who I admire more than all others because of their sacrifice who are getting lost in the “POLICE SUPREMACIST” movement of some of their peers that is all over the daily news. These few “Supremacists” create a “POLICE SUPREMACIST” model that also needs to be acknowledged and acted upon. Often the model comes from the top down.

WRONG IS WRONG.

I have actually known some awfully bad people of all colors and cultures who should just be called BAD PEOPLE. These I would classify as “BAD PEOPLE”.  NOT to be confused with SUPREMACISTS.

I pray the day is coming when the applications simply ask:
“Check here if you are an “AMERICAN.”
You see all of the above people whom I have known have been “AMERICANS”. The ones who have had Pakistani roots, they are AMERICANS. The ones whose color was different than mine have been “AMERICANS”. The GOOD people as well as the BAD people have been AMERICANS. What AMERICA needs to do to become GREAT (not Again, but the FIRST TIME) is go back to our roots and evolve along with our nation. All men (and women) created equal. One nation, indivisible, melting pot of the world’s cultures, doing unto others as they would have them doing unto themselves, in LIBERTY and with JUSTICE FOR ALL.
Ellis Island should not be a figment of our imagination, it should be the bulwark of our success. At some point in time in our “American History” (for all but a select few of our citizens by number) Your family and culture came here through Ellis Island or similar port of entry, they signed their name, they took a pledge of allegiance, and they started contributing.
Some President once said “Ask NOT what your country can do for you, Ask what YOU can do for your country.”
History would record that that concept was beyond most of our citizens abilities of comprehension.

What America needs to be GREAT is AMERICANS.

Not WHITE AMERICANS. NOT BLACK or LATIN, or GERMAN or SCOTTISH or ASIAN AMERICANS, or MIDDLE EASTERN AMERICANS.  JUST AMERICANS. One of my great acquaintances is an AUSTRALIAN AMERICAN. My partner is a CANADIAN AMERICAN. It has taken all of these AMERICANS to get AMERICA where it is today. The railroads were not built by just “WHITE” Americans. The Cotton and tobacco was not picked by just “WHITE” Americans. The clothes were not sewn by just “WHITE” Americans. The more AMERICANS the better, following John Kennedy’s dream. It is the desire for too many of us to be “SUPREME” that is getting in the way of America becoming “GREAT”. The problem is that we learn by example, and the examples can leave a lot to be desired.

Look at your neighbor for what your neighbor is: AMERICAN.
If your neighbor is not an AMERICAN citizen help them become one.
If we are worried about them taking advantage of America and the benefits it has become accustomed to providing, because of a lack of their citizenship, make a Presidential Decree and make them all citizens. Then they will all qualify for just what the rest of us Citizens qualify for. (Apply this to Congress also.)
When we deny the “DREAM” to one, we have denied the “DREAM” to all.
WE NEED AMERICANS. Not “Supremacists”. We have enough of the “SUPREMACISTS” already.

dw9-8-17

Great Again Revisited

From 7-15-2016
What day are we to strive for that we are going to base the idea of ‘again’ on?
Of the people, by the people, for the people? Is that the day when we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to attain?
Was plantations and slaves the day that we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to bring back ‘again’?

Back in July of last year I posted Making America Great Again – Really? An excerpt of which is above. Little did I know how quickly I would be answered. Life can be scary.

The last few months, culminating in Charlottesville of last week, has developed a pattern of what “AGAIN” means that seems to be developing in America “Again”. The excerpt above seems to nail it. Was plantations and slaves the day that we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to bring back ‘again’?
1859 nails it.  Just before the Civil War. Seems to fit perfectly. A little prior to Nazi Germany, but right (pardon the pun) on for the white supremacists. It was also a perfect time to be great again if today you benefit from stock in large corporations or invest in business or have a similar situation that would profit greatly by it. A time before income tax, minimum wage, OSHA,  big government, No health care, no clean air, no unemployment, no benefits, rules or regulations. Slavery was the order of the day, (I guess a case could be made for free board and room by the Washingtons and Jeffersons and Jacksons of the day. All of whom who shared the Presidency with our current “leader?”
The conflict between the North and South was as similar to Republican vs Democrat then as it has now become. The theft of private property then is very similar to the “Eminent Domain” of our present day cities, or counties or states to find the property to assist the owners of the campaign PAC’s who supplied the money to put them or their ‘charge’ into office, to have a convenient and cheaper way to satisfy their need to make money out of a location that merely housed ‘people’ rather than add to their financial success. The American Indian can forward a discourse on the World of Rich Business of then, vs now. I remember the music of the day referenced by a song from my generation “Owe my soul to the company store”.  Of course our modern CEO’s eliminate employment by moving employment totally out of the country for what conforms to the Great Again theory of “FREE” “profitable” business. The law of the land was Success AT ANother’s expense. Which still reigns supreme in America. Low wages and no benefits  = bigger profits and a testimony that says “I made myself a Billionaire all by myself.” Patriotism and profit are not considered to be the course of action for “Great Again”. Making America Great Again is not as important as making MYSELF wealthier again.

The news of the era that comprised the Civil War made American Armament (and European) makers discover the profitability of war and the weapons to wage it that has carried forward to this day. Business has found war quite economically advantageous. And the ‘bully pulpit’ of present day world leaders. When Health care became a burden, the country seems to have divided over the merit of concerning itself with taking care of its citizens, or for some of our citizen’s the answers would be to kill or deport as many as necessary to make it less of a burden on others apparently.
This is the seed of news media. Of our social media, and of too many who owe too much to the powers that put them in office. A swamp that rather than being drained is merely being covered by algae, and tweeting birds.
More than any, I would like to see America the Great. We were headed toward great at one time. The Civil War began a movement toward a level of Civility in the United States. But that Civility was extinguished almost immediately with the assassination of a President whose name is held up as GREAT and invoked often by those who seemingly have no knowledge of what made him great. It was not division that made him great, it was the pursuit of UNITED that made him great. UNITED is what will make us GREAT. It seems Great AGAIN is confused AGAIN.

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.

The Real Jesus

From 4-10-2007 (brought up to date)

The whole scene of Jesus has been so distorted in our minds eye by grand movies with huge sets and fancy settings. Where we see Jesus Christ Superstar, a handsome movie star in a clean white robe, the people saw an itinerant street preacher who was ‘despised’ and rejected of men, not comely to look at. Thin and ‘average’.
Without the miracles, Jesus would have lived, preached, and died without much notice. No new calendar, no Christians, probably no Koran, no crusades, and a completely different history.
We have created a legend that has become pretty and acceptable. We can not understand why anyone would not jump on the Jesus bandwagon. The walking was down crowded alleyways in Middle Eastern Earth, dusty, dirty, and smelly with no deodorant, no shaving cream, and no breath mints. There probably wasn’t a closet full of clothes to take a clean robe from daily. The beds were blankets on the ground or in hard bunks. It is said that the man himself was born in a stable. Standing in the presence of Pontius Pilate was a man who probably did not look much different than a thief or, at best, the most common of commoners. When Jesus spoke he was a carpenter’s son and not a priest.

His message was beyond radical, it was crazy. LOVE ONE ANOTHER was not going to save anyone from the Romans, or the tax collectors, or the Priest who sat in the seat of honor. ‘Kiss my ring’ was not invented by the Pope or some French King, it was a traditional realm of power, a perk of status.
Jesus would have been seen as a commoner in the temple, expressing ideas that were so far out in left field, and then slowly but surely, over 3 years it got worse. Now a bit of a politician, a teacher proclaiming a kingdom of GOD radically different than that espoused by the priests, a position also in opposition to the Sadducees, the politicians of Jewish society. Worse yet, he was gaining a following. Think of John the Baptist in the wilderness, wearing animal skins and eating locusts and wild honey. They thought Jesus was the Baptist. This is not the image of a handsome Hollywood actor who just walked onto the set and then retreated to his trailer. Everyday, 24/7, healing the sick, preaching a message of LOVE in a world of hate and prejudice. Every rumor of healing threatened the seats of power. Every healing brought 100’s more to the neighborhood to be healed. Some out of desperation, some out of greed, some out of love for others. Think of the reactions among the priesthood upon hearing of a crowd of 5,000 men (plus women and children), not once but at least twice. The stories we read about are merely highlights out of a life of touching the sick, the unclean. To the traditional Jew, Jesus would have been the uncleanest of the unclean, the commonest of the common, and the least likely to be a Messiah.

Inside of this man, though, resided a very special spirit that was recognized almost immediately by others. Fishermen debated with him until he proved that what He said had an other worldly prophetic power.

“Cast your nets there,” Jesus said to a group of fishermen headed by a scurrilous old salt named Simon (to be called Peter).

“Been there, done that, ain’t there,” responds the tired fisherman.

“Just try it,” responds Jesus. Somehow the authority in his voice commanded a respect that one wouldn’t expect from this Simon. We are told Simon went back out, did as was asked, and couldn’t reel in the haul without breaking the nets.

In the end Simon and his brother follow this teacher and become “Fishers of Men”.

I tried to find a picture of this real Jesus on the web to put at the top of this post (looking under ‘Jesus Images’) and could not. If you have an idea, feel free to forward it to me.

So all that said, in today’s terms, was it all fake news? I believe because of what the followers did. They risked their lives to spread his simple message. They would never have thought of doing that had there not been substance to the stories. No magic publication of a million copies to change the world. Just the sayings of a carpenter’s son spread by word of mouth. I wonder how Twitter would handle “Love One Another” today.

Try it and see what happens.