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.

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

SELFISH GRACE

SELFISH GRACE

SELFISH GRACE?

The Lord is my Savior and my Guide” (adapted from the 23rd psalm of David)

Saving Grace is referred to often as a gift from GOD for belief in the teachings of Jesus and many of the prophets. And disciples.

What is it exactly that I am being saved from?

What is the purpose of this saving grace?

Jesus gave the ultimate example of GOD’s saving grace when He was crucified on a cross for preaching love one another to a hostile audience of those who were profiting by the taking advantage of an entire population. They convicted Him of sedition because too many of those who were being taken advantage of them agreed with Him. Love One Another had become the ultimate threat to the powers that be. Two thieves were crucified along with Jesus. One of them taunted Jesus for not saving himself along with Jesus if Jesus really had the power to save. The other condemned his partner thief and pointed out “We are only getting what we deserve, but Jesus has done nothing to deserve this.”

Jesus mentioned, “Today, you (the second thief) will be together with me in Paradise.”

Recognizing his own wrong doing, and Jesus’s lack of guilt, was rewarded by Jesus for making that determination was a proof that GOD recognized a spirit had learned the ultimate lesson of life by admitting his own behavior was wrong and carried consequences and not blaming someone else for it. Saving grace was his reward.

What exactly do I need to be saved from?
Others?
Myself?

Does it save me from stressing over right and wrong?

I told myself once that if I was afraid of getting a speeding ticket the easiest fix to that stress was to drive the speed limit. Wisdom is acknowledging the simpleness of it all.

Saving me from hurting others?
Or for not hurting others in the first place.

The word SIN moves about the territory of religion quite openly and quite broadly today.
Some say we are born sinful. Some say temptation causes sin. What becomes our sin?

How can you be born sinful? Everyone has the choice of being sinful or not. But what is sin? What is it to watch for? As I thought about it there is a simple judgment to decide.

For me, I found my life was more complicated when I asked for things that benefited me and could have easily hurt others, whether I would recognize it as such or not.

What I needed to be saved from was my own selfishness. SIN is a simple word for selfishness. My own ideas of right and wrong are challenged when the direction that I am moving in is to feed my own selfishness.

An Uncle once said “In our rush rush society, there is never time to do things right, but there is always time time to do it over.”

One of the WordPress Bloggers (Mr. Ropeka) says to always take time to talk to GOD at least 3 days about change before before you decide what direction to go in.

My father-in-law was a city engineer in a small town in western Minnesota. I stopped by his city shop one day while he was working on the city police car. He stopped and stared at the engine for what seemed the longest time and I asked “What are you looking for?”
He said: “What is the easiest way to do it right the first time before I do it wrong the first time and have to fix it.”

Selfish decisions get the project off on the wrong foot. Getting back on the right track can be tiring and much more difficult than not being selfish in the first place. I think most of the world’s pain is caused by selfishness. Often the word that best describes it is sin, another word is evil.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (The Lord’s Prayer)

You lead me along the right paths (those of your own choosing) that I might serve you there” (adapted again from Psalm 23.)

GOD works overtime to help you find the right direction, the right decision and the right move. It is not rocket science, it is all around you in the people that GOD has cross your path. It has always been up to me to decide.

What do I need to be saved from? An enemy? A neighbor? A bully?

More than that, it is to save me from my own selfishness.

Sin is when your own selfish wants negatively impacts the quality of the lives of others.

Grace is when you recognize the risk and do not pursue it, or you admit the wrong, ask for forgiveness and pray for the strength not to pursue it ever again.

It is truly Amazing this Grace. (Thank you – John Newton)

LIFE IS

LIFE IS (for Jim)

Every day I am fortunate enough to wake up to life.
Seems simple until life wakes up also. Life is all.
 I wrote the other day:
The Purpose of Life is to Experience It
And so what is “IT” like?

For me it goes something like this:

I Believe in GOD, yet I do not know how GOD works.
I have seen the work of GOD and try to live within GOD’s power.
I am comforted by GOD yet GOD remains a secret I can not unlock.
I wake up to a new day with new possibilities and opportunities.
I need to say thank you to GOD every day.
I believe in Jesus,  the SON.
I also believe in Jesus the “SUN” of GOD as the light of the world.
I cannot hide from living.
Living is the purpose for creation.
Life is all of it’s own stories.
Life is always it’s own choices.
Appreciate every day and move forward within it for that is my purpose.
Be the example that Jesus wants me to be for the people who cross my path.

In the envelope of LOVE are people.
People come in a great variety. They are short, tall, in between. They have different colors. They come in cultures. Without the lines on a map of the nations, they are simply people who are unique, inhabiting different areas on the planet known as EARTH. Their differences make them unique. Knowledge comes from the sharing of life with these people and their experiences and the sharing of their ideas, discoveries, attitudes and beliefs. LIFE has been a unique story from each of them as well as for me.
To be enveloped by LOVE brings comfort and a certain amount of peace that many people may miss out on because they don’t see people, they see politics.
These who miss out on Love do not often see LOVE because they refuse it.

Though I see the truth of living everyday and I live the challenges of life everyday the joy of living can get lost in the reality of the experience every day.
The Good News, the BAD news, the FAKE news.
The nice people, the caring people.
The struggles of surviving in a body that has it’s own strengths and weakness.

Every day is on a road that has it’s own challenges.
The living is what life is.
Love is in my surroundings.
Love is in your surroundings also.
Love is in the constant examples of love in action.
Love is a well of HOPE to drink from.

Life begins each morning in the news. It may be happy, it may be a crime. It may be sorrow, it may be a difficult prognosis. It may be a war event, or a Success AT ANother’s expense event.

I can choose to be the GOOD NEWS of Peace and Love and of LOVE’s existence on EARTH for us to be a part of.
I was born and given an opportunity to experience life. All the things we see and do. All the choices that we make. All the choices that other’s make that impact our life at some point in time.
I think the choice that my spirit makes to experience life again and again and again becomes my purpose. Even GOD, in the example of Jesus, promises opportunity to share LOVE and HOPE and PEACE, even with the harsh realities of living that any day may represent.

The power of LOVE will always be a source of HOPE and ENERGY whether the day holds a cross, a storm of nature, an illness or a moment of temptation.
LIFE IS an experience. Every day. I am here to be a part of it.

GOD is in my toolbox.
Jesus is in my toolbox.
My family, my friends, neighbors and mentors are in my toolbox.
The strangers that GOD sends by are in my toolbox.
They are a part of my every day.
It is up to me to utilize this every day.
I can open my toolbox for myself or for others.
HOPE SURROUNDS ME.
HOPE SURROUNDS YOU.

Enjoy the opportunity that every morning represents.

Every day I say: I LOVE YOU GOD
And for all of you I say: GOD BLESS.

And for my daughter I say: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.

THE SERVANT SYNDROME

THE SERVANT SYNDROME

What I have learned the most from my ‘relationship’ with Jesus, the Christ to the original followers, has been the idea of coming to the table as a servant. Not a King, or a Boss or a buddy or even so much a friend, as it rings more often ‘A Servant’.

It has built an issue of servant-hood that that has been more focused on it’s relationship to others vs it’s relationship to yourself. Servant-hood that ignores yourself as one worthy of attention, pours energy out in buckets, but energy in gets barely a drop-or two.

Being in a mindset to do unto others at the expense of your own needs for yourself is as harmful as any particular evil you may corrupt yourself with. The accomplishments you may make in your servant-ness to others is not always a source of a full cup for yourself.

The strong focus of servant-hood needs to be balanced by a determined effort to include your own wants, needs, and desires. A father absorbs the joy of a child’s excitement when you do things together, but watching a child struggle without your help does not fill your own soul. In the same way I have to recognize that the same GOD which Jesus calls Father, does not want the journey in this place Earth to be lonely and one sided.

In the BBC series “Downton Abbey” the lives of the servants were as much a focus of the writer as the relationship of the servants to the masters. An ‘empty’ servant needs to keep their own needs as a personal focus to enjoy the journey rather than emptying the cup before it gets around to the one in the mirror.

I do not believe that this life journey was ever designed to ignore your own needs or your own journey and the many, many gifts placed at your own feet by your “Father” in Heaven. I think, too many times, we set aside the direction that GOD has planned for us, to create a journey for ourselves that we feel is proper and acceptable to GOD, i.e. A Servant.

If you see this in yourself, be the servant for yourself once in awhile and begin enjoying the life that GOD has prepared just for you. Enjoy the hobby, the meditation, the sport, the people and the journey. A Father does not help prepare his children to have the best life that he feels they will enjoy, to watch them change the plans out of an interpretation that means only be a servant to others. LOVE believes that loving yourself and serving yourself is equally as important as loving your neighbor. After all, one of the lessons we often learn is written “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Too often I think our focus on Serving only others leaves us in a position where we do “Love our neighbors as ourselves” which lacks the knowledge of what Love is all about. Loving ourselves by servanting ourselves gives us that comparison to know what true Servant-hood means. Servant-hood should not be a task that we are charged to do, but one that has knowledge of what being a servant means to others, by what it has meant to you.

For me, the guitar in the corner is not meant for the value of the guitar, it is a tool by which I can serve myself as much as others. Loving yourself by teaching yourself that measurement, will help you truly “Love One Another as Yourself.”

Serving GOD

From The 23rd Psalm

 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

For many years I have made the 23rd psalm the stallwart of my daily devotional. Every day.

I have expanded it to relate to my life and my interpretation of just what these writings mean to me and how they reflect my faith and the path that my life has become. From the challenges of the Lord GOD of David, to the existence of Jesus “The Lord is my Savior and my guide” and the good news he brought forth.

For the above verses of the King James version, for me….. it says:

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 may serve Him there……”

One of the writers here on WordPress, Ropheka, josephsdailywalkwithjesus, is one I follow. He challenges me to follow the word, as he reads it, to a point of deep conviction. This verse is one of those great challenges.

He leads me along the right paths, THOSE OF HIS OWN CHOOSING, that I MAY SERVE HIM THERE.”

On any given day I question the choices I have made with ‘HIS’ prompting. And yet I am also convicted by my faith that God’s plan, whether I agree or not, I have been asked “TO SERVE HIM THERE”.

Whether it be HIM or HER or simply GOD, I have been asked to serve GOD (LOVE) there (which is now HERE). I can question everything, I can debate with GOD, but I have been asked to SERVE GOD HERE, no matter what that means.

My Faith is believing that there is a greater force that drives me forward. It super cedes my own desires. It is the truth versus my personal wishes. It knows the future where I only know the past. It is the conversation my spirit has with GOD where my humaness struggles with instinct.

When Charles Darwin studied the instinct, “Survival of the Fittest”, his missed “The MEEK shall inherit the Earth”.

So when confronted by the verse above in my every day devotional, I reflect on one other, “Those who believe on me, shall not perish but have eternal life.” Not an everlasting physical body, but an eternal spiritual one. It could be considered the “Survival of the Fittest SPIRIT.”

So here I am, on a unique path, “THOSE OF GOD’s OWN CHOOSING, THAT I MAY SERVE GOD HERE”. It is my task to accept what I question in faith that “GOD is always preparing the future before me.”

GOD has a future for all of us. I have always been blessed with great mentors.

Keep in mind one last turn of the phrase for my Lord, Jesus. “Please take this cup from me, but not MY WILL but YOUR’S Be done.” (paraphrased)

As I said, “He leads me along the right paths, THOSE OF HIS OWN CHOOSING, that I MAY SERVE HIM THERE.”

You can question, you can doubt. You can even debate, but You have been asked, “TO SERVE GOD THERE.”

 

Houston – The Love

“Dad (my daughter wrote today)
The pictures of the flood are just incredible. It’s heartbreaking, but also heart warming to see people helping one another.”

I answered my daughter: “Yes it is. Disaster can bring out the best of the human spirit. The disaster comes from the physics of Earth. The help is the hands of people.”

Some in the religious communities are calling Hurricane Harvey a judgement of GOD.

Jesus requested, “Love One Another.”

GOD is plenty powerful enough that the wicked fall and fail without GOD’s help. In the crowds of millions affected by the flood are the greatest people on Earth. They include the best mothers, fathers, bosses, employees, Pastors, Priests, Shamans and simply people. They are just like us who have been fortunate to be somewhere else during the disaster. They join the ranks of people all over the world that have been devastated by disaster in their own corner of the world, large and dramatic, or a car wreck or a heart attack. During Katrina we looked at the protections built into other parts of the world, but Nature plays no favorites. What my daughter saw and we have watched on the daily news is the sheer power of LOVE to take hold of the human spirit and motivate it into positive action. Neighbors helping neighbors. People jumping into cars and trucks and driving to help other humans in need. There is no “I’m only going to help White people, or Black people, or Latino people or just Jews, or Muslims, or Christians. They are going to Houston to help people in need. Disaster UNITES people to help one another unlike any other event that crosses the paths of history.
And GOD puts people there to help. GOD plans for the future by placing people where they are needed the most. The term I use is “GOD watches out for the ignorant and uninformed.” And many more will come over the next many, many days and even years. There will be people that we disagree with that will be helping those who disagree with them. There will be people that cause us to by angry who will accomplish miracles and then call it the everyday.

“On Earth as is it in Heaven.” Pay attention and see it on the news, on You Tube or the internet. What is the Heaven you aspire to visit someday? You will see it on TV now. It is “Love One Another” in action. No buildings, no leaders, no politics. That is what makes people Great, helping one another.

Pray for the victims, pray for the helpers. Give strength to their stamina, and assistance for their help. Someday it will be us. It may be a big and dramatic event, or just in the neighborhood. This was the vision of Jesus, love your neighbor as yourself.

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…..

Eternal Life, an Update on The Earth Experiment

“To those who believe in me, the Father shall grant them eternal life” (paraphrase).

So like what is this eternal life? Mom and Dad (or a friend or close relative) have passed away many years ago. Haven’t had coffee with them lately and probably will not. Unless you have had the dream when they come back briefly sitting next to you in a bus, on a train or plane or while on a walk. Maybe even when you drift away at the coffee shop. A few comments made that you are aware of, yet have a hard time resurrecting not too long after awakening from the initial dream……

Have you ever been there, above, before.

The Blog as a website can be challenging. Which do you hang out at? I’ve been touching up The Earth Experiment page.  Hit the button for my page The Earth Experiment above for the redo today.