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.”

Relationships

HeartOn this Valentines a note that I carry over from my signatures.

“Who you know is not as important as how you treat the people that you meet.”

This carries over from “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

Valentine’s Day is about “love”. It is about how we build and maintain relationships. Whether these relationships are deeply personal, workplace, casual or a simple hello, how we interact with people we have known for years or moments defines us as a human being. From the stand point of Jesus, “Love One Another”” was never followed by exceptions. If there are those who are not inclined to the golden rule, or simply do not grasp that humans are basically chameleons who reflect their environment, one must simply move along, do not force a reaction and do not look back. (“Wipe the dust from your feet”.)
Ours is a role of reflecting our Teacher’s message. When we accept the banner of “Christian” we accept a powerful message that people should recognize by how we interact with them.  If we do not reflect Jesus’ message in our own actions, the message we are teaching send the wrong message of what it is a “Christian” is. It is because of what I have seen in others who proudly raise the “Christian” banner that “Unorthodox Christianity” was born.
What makes “Unorthodox Christianity” unorthodox are its roots in the red print of a concordance Bible. No caveats, no exceptions, no exclusions, no racism, no sexism, nothing other than “Love One Another”.  It is much more difficult to be an “Unorthodox Christian”, than it ever will be to wear the banner “Christian”.

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadows of lost souls, I shall not fear them for thou art with me. Thy word and thy example comfort 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 struggle. 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 will dwell in the house of the Lord forever…” (the 23rd Psalm applied to me.)

“Who you know is not as important as how you treat the people that you meet.”
dw-2-14-2018

GOD IS LOVE

GOD is LOVE. When Jesus (believed to be the ‘Christ’) preached amongst us He was Jewish. When Jesus died on the cross He was “King of the JEWS”. Jesus was never “Christian”, outside of the attachment of a term that was corresponding to his teachings. You will know the followers of Jesus by their adherence to his teachings and His primary message was to simply “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”. The true measurement of a believer in the teachings of Jesus is not the attachment to a philosophy that has grown out of a feeling of preference, but of an attitude of “Love One Another” as it is exemplified in their everyday lives. Jesus was not a fan of the religious implementation of the leaders of His own chosen religion, Judaism as expressed in his own words.

Many brand themselves to be “Christian” to garner the preference of a group of theoretically like minded individuals whose attachment to each other promotes a single secular agenda that Jesus warned us about: “Be careful of those who come in my name”.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER is not judgmental based on adherence to a group that is “acceptable” or otherwise. LOVE ONE ANOTHER simply loves. People of all cultures and races and religions have adherents that LOVE and adherents that HATE. A follower of the teachings of Jesus among any of them, is simply required to “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”. You will recognize them by THAT attitude, and by no other measure exclusively.

“Been There, Done That”

Satchel-Paige-Dont-Look-BackSatchel Paige was a black baseball pitcher from a time when most black pitchers played in their own leagues and specialty leagues around the country and then into the big leagues after the late 40’s outside of their own specialty league. Commonly called the best pitcher of all time, he was known for many of his quotes on life. The one I have always remembered is “Don’t look back. Someone might be gaining on you.”

Searching the Past. It is often dangerous to search the past. It is too easy to fall back into it rather than move forward because of it.

“Been there, done that.” may be the better philosophy. Putting your mind in the past can challenge your decisions and can make it harder to leave the past in the past.

When you search the past for your future, you miss out on the present. Enjoying life is immersing yourself in the present, not searching out memories, or focusing on yesterday’s dreams.
Taking in what every day offers today should be more rewarding than looking back on what could have been and was not or what was put off for a rainy day that may not ever come.

As I have aged past that point where I often thought I’d never make it to, I reflect sometimes. You can literally get lost in the past of your life. What you thought you would have time do and what you maybe did and shouldn’t have. You can get lost in the stories of what happened ‘then’ when friends got together, and remember later that it was not really ‘that way’ at all.

The past was the formation of today, but today is the formation of tomorrow. The someone that might be gaining on you is someone who grew up with you. And “YOU” are not quite the same. Not the same goals and objectives, not the same demeanor, and a different attitude. When you look too far back you miss the time that is available to you now. There is a tendency to rush to nowhere. Perhaps a cup of coffee and a glance about the countryside of today is in order more than just once in a while.

Enjoy the day…They are too precious to ignore for the sake of other things.  dw

Faithology

In high school and college I studied ‘ologies’. There was sociology, psychology, geology, physiology you know. As I got older and started the journey of living there became churchologies, Scientologies, and I have forgotten what I am certain were others (like workology).
But one ‘ology’ stands out in my history that I did not study in school but that I have studied in living.

I call it faithology. It is the study of having faith.

I have faith in my own destinations. That the decisions I have made and continue to make carry with them an idea that faith connects to a real place. That what seems to be directionless one day, proves to be understandable the next. That one step forward and perhaps 2 steps backwards, eventually moves forward in the scheme of things.

This is faithology. One has to practice it to learn to believe in it. It does not always rely on a religion, but it does rely on belief. It is a practice that can accept challenge, and a determination to keep moving forward. For some it flies in the face of practicality, for others it seeks the end of the rainbow. For those who hang on to it the world contains many new treasures. The ocean without faith contains only water. Those with faith found new countries.

The perception of darkness, when challenged by faith, discovers the light.

It is not for everyone. It is the road less taken, and the impossible dream. It learns to swim by jumping in. It also becomes the never ending story. For the desperate and disenfranchised it becomes hope.

Faithology……Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.. dw

Perfect ???

PERFECT?

As a REALTOR® I sell homes. Primarily, I sell brand new homes. When I am talking to customers I try and stress the fact that even brand new homes are built by humans who are not ‘perfect’ and subject to some occasional problems. In a similar conversation with a vendor, he made the comment “Only GOD is perfect.”

I quickly responded by saying, “I disagree….God made me, and I am not perfect.”

Not being perfect should relieve a lot of stress that seems to be put on us to be ‘perfect’ by others. A perfect attendance record. A perfect writing, or memory, or performance. A perfect shape, haircut, makeup, wardrobe. Why do I need to be ‘perfect’ when the one who made me obviously is subject to difficulties in manufacture.

Certainly there are facets of life that we can not control and these facets of life cause lots of stress. The checkout bill at the grocery store is stressful. The envelope that cries out, “I am your bill for ______” causes stress. The doctors office, the dentist? Life is stress. Often times it is compounded by a feeling that one is alone in the stress of life. And one of the largest stresses I have found is “PERFECT”.

It is important to me that I take GOD out of the “Perfect” realm. That the universe of creation is much larger than anyone can conceive, especially those responsible for much of our religious interpretations. So too our concept of GOD must go beyond what we can understand. Jesus tried to emphasize that GOD is a separate entity from our Earthly kingdom. GOD thought highly enough of this planet and it’s ‘people’ that GOD is constantly helping and encouraging us to become better stewards in the universe. It is our designed lack of perfection that creates achievement. More things have been discovered through our lack of perfection than our firmness of knowledge (e.g. the Earth is flat).

Perfection is a cruel host and causes many psychological and physical issues in and of itself. GOD may be “perfect” in GOD’s own way, but God’s Own Way is not to be confused by mankind’s concept of what ‘perfect’ is.

I am not perfect. GOD made me that way on purpose. Not being perfect causes me to ask why, and why not. Had I been born perfect, where would I have ever gone to achieve? What would I have done in my life?

It is helpful to know that we are all in the same boat. It is also the measure of GOD to know that GOD has assigned a helmsman to the boat that we are in, who sometimes falls asleep on the job, but always gets up in time.

I can handle that. GOD BLESS.

Fake News

Much of recent history discusses ‘Fake News’.
As Bill Clinton might say, “I guess that depends on what ‘Fake News’ means”. That in and of itself depends on what ‘Fake’ means and what ‘News’ means.
Fake: Not the truth? Imagined? Artificially fabricated? Speculative?
News: Information on a recent event. According to witnesses. Substantiated.

It is interesting just how much “Fake News” is about THE NEWS lately. I can not recall a time in my lengthy past where the “Fake News” was so much of “THE NEWS”. When I was young it was also referred to as “yellow journalism”. News that had been manufactured by the creation of events that became news by themselves. It is tough enough to watch the news in general, be it local or national. Now I have to figure out what “Real’ news is.

Yet I do know something about people.
If you do not want to get a speeding ticket, drive the speed limit. Often I see the privileged fly by me down a side street only to see the brake lights come on suddenly and then, oddly, I see a police car drive by from in front of me. I have to guess that they really knew the speed limit, they just ignored it because they were, how would I put it, special, or perhaps they felt that they were exempt. I had friends who were never so dressed up as the day they went to court. Why, all of a sudden, did they appear with short hair and a suit? Who were they trying to impress and why? Couldn’t they get by being the who they were every day? Is that like “Fake News”? Is like “Fake News” only viable when you get caught breaking a law? No one has ever gotten a speeding ticket for actually driving over the speed limit, have they? They must all be victims of a cruel society that picks on them because of their cultural status, color or race? Is it “Fake News” when the reality is too harsh to become “REAL NEWS”?

I have read a lot about “FAKE NEWS” lately. I have also discovered that “FAKE NEWS” has also been called “LIES” in the past. It knows no political preference, no cultural preference, no financial status preference and is not exempt from its own natural results. No wonder America Being Great Again is such a challenge to our politicians. They are totally unaware of what “Great” means. I would even settle for “GOOD” news.

Oh, BTW, there has been “GOOD NEWS” in the past. I believe it’s purveyor’s name was Jesus…something. They would have us believe that his news was “Fake News” also…..