HOW DO YOU KNOW

HOW DO YOU KNOW

HOW DO YOU KNOW

I have listened to, watched on TV, blogged and much more as I have heard the words of people and clergy and various churches from so many different Christian denominations throughout many years over my time in life. I must be a Christian as I decided many years ago that I just could not pin down one group and say to myself “These folks are RIGHT ON”.

HOW DO I KNOW HOW GOD WILL REACT TO ME?

So on 8-04-02 , as the internet developed, I believed in UNORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY and established my own internet theology. It has grown tremendously as the questions developed from all over. Yes, NO, Maybe?

Initially I looked at my website and ran across a few readers until one day my website developed a surprise. Instead of a few readers the number overnight was 45,000 instead of 5 or 6 and the website was frozen. I had to move beyond my original hosting service and the site became a WordPress host. I still owned the original domain as well as a WordPress domain for Unorthodox-Christianity since I moved beyond my original host. In the last 20 plus years the whole discussion on the internet expanded into different versions of Unorthodox Christian whatever as well as what does Unorthodox mean?

As one listens more and more to a great variety of denominations building themselves over the internet the variety that started 20 plus years ago has become a thundering debate about what Christianity is about. I do not have the time or experience to cover the 45,000 denominations that are known about in the entire world. I can guess that there are many doorsteps that question and debate their own beliefs which go on and on to claim themselves THE RIGHT ONE.

THE RIGHT ONE” idea developed immediately apart of the original message of GOD and the legends of the victories or the losers in a single culture over thousands of years. The stories and the debates have not existed in agreement since the beginning of the stories.

I have mentioned before the story of my question to my 2nd grade Methodist teacher in the fifties about how GOD dealt with people. She asked if anyone was questioning how GOD dealt with people. I raised my hand. “What Dennis” she asked.

Why didn’t GOD just make good people?” I asked. It seemed like a logical question to me. History was just too full of war and death and it did not seem to be getting any better as we went on and on with war. As I got older in the 50’s and 60’s no one could answer my question? FREE WILL was the answer I got most of the time.

In the original book that many churches handed out to their children when they graduated from Sunday School (and the still do, throughout the world) the book I received started with Genesis 1 when GOD explained in verse 1 – 26 GOD said: “Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves”.

And then in verse 27: “GOD created man in the image of himself, in the image of GOD he created him and female he created them”.

I guess that is what UNORTHODOX may have been meant to mean.

Today there are many versions of Orthodox Christians. Most tell different stories and different legends. And there were wars and there were winners and losers. There are pages of excuses as to why and where “Like us” went away, or “Us” was different than what we know of GOD.

The story of Jesus developed lots of debates in the corners of his conversations. I have come to be very simple about GOD and Jesus. Father, Son, all in ONE, it makes no difference to UNORTHODOX. The message has been simple and strait forward,

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.

That is my story of UNORTHODOX in it’s simplicity.  The NEW TESTAMENT can exist with these few words of peace and one more.

FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.

AND FROM UNORTHODOX:

HOW DO YOU KNOW HOW GOD WILL TREAT HIS CHILDREN MADE IN HIS OWN IMAGE?

HOW DO YOU KNOW?

ON GOD’S PORCH

ON GOD’S PORCH

ON GOD’S PORCH

So let me see, SUNDAY, October 2. I am still here and I have the sharing of Two Guardian Angels keeping track of me. This morning’s walk included about 7-8 squirrels as we walked to the park and back. It is interesting to have squirrels stop what they are doing and then up the tree to the closest limb and just stop and stare at us as I stop by to say hello.

Each one, different trees, as we made our way to the park and back.

“You’re doing well, have a great day, take care of yourself”.

They were making my day as I moved about.

We are not alone in this Iowa universe. The Owls chat, the squirrels chat, the other dogs say Hi, and I smile and say hi. They record my progress one to another, to another to another. We are all entities that watch the sunrise and sunset. They feel the air get cooler and the wind blows more, or less. A human walks by and says “What a beautiful day”. The journey of more than people.

As you go about the day see all the creatures that GOD has provided you, as well as the people of a world that GOD enjoys. OUR CARES AND PRAYERS GO OUT FOR ALL OF YOU, AND ALL OF THEM.

THERE IS ALWAYS A GIFT ON GOD’S PORCH

ME, Mack and Jake

The Gift of Every Day

The Gift of Every Day

So I am moving forward from therapy and rehabilitation and now preparing to head back to work. I have been blessed by doctors and nurses and house cleaners and my dog watchers and on and on. GOD reserved more than one person to help me. Every day the neighbors were saying how have I been doing. How are the dogs? How have I been motivated by so many nearby. I have had more smiles from people I share walking the dogs with.

Many people ask “Where is GOD”  because of Unorthodox Christianity. They can’t find GOD, or Jesus in their every day and I am supposed to know all about it. As I get a smile for the dog “Liberty” or give a treat to “Daisy” or have “Harry and Chloe” run up to me to share a treat that I get called the Candy Man can. It is the smile on a 3 year old when Mack or Jake smile with them. It is the smile of a mom and dad playing with their kids at the park. There isn’t enough space to write down all the smiles, all the concern, all the friends who started as neighbors and have become friends.

And then someone asks, “Just where is GOD”.

Times get tough. Tragedy stands at doors, in the weather, in the floods. “Where is GOD”. Of all the things we have happen in our lives to say, “Where is GOD”. I watch the news and can not see where GOD isn’t.

My surgeon, I found out, came to work on me on His Birthday, to be sure that the procedure was done in a timely manner rather than run a risk for having to wait until the surgery fit the schedule. It would have been very risky over a wait until the schedule was in my schedule. Every day the news reflects GOD in motion. Every day people are helping others, rescuing people through the floods, fires, and they wrap their arms around the ones whose family, friends, or neighbors to not make it here. Not for the sake of GOD or JESUS not being there at the right time. For the sake of GOD and JESUS are there helping the helpers. Not just a few who come home.GOD and JESUS are busy every day, and every where and every moment in every place are the helpers of GOD and JESUS.

A cohort at rehab asked me the other day just what will I do when rehab is over. I put it this way:

“For right now, for me, it is better to make some progress daily, then have no daily to experience at all.”

GOD and JESUS are everywhere. All the time. Some days life starts over for some in a new experience. Some days life is a gift of the every day. GOD and JESUS  know what life is. Don’t miss those who’s job it it is to care. NO one should question where GOD is or where JESUS just might be.They are so far beyond your capabilities do not measure them by who we think they are. Just look at the every day no matter where you are. GOD and JESUS are there. And they are doing just what they do always.

AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE ALL CAN SHARE THE GIFT OF THE EVERY DAY.

THE BOOKS ARE NEVER FINISHED

THE BOOKS ARE NEVER FINISHED

“ORDINARY PEOPLE”      Click on music if it doesn’t start by itself.

CONFIDENCE

So on July 15th, 2022 GOD stopped by while I had Open Heart Surgery at GOD’s own bequest. GOD didn’t want me to do this just with the help of some excellent doctors and nurses. GOD always prepares and never gives up on a project. The first thing GOD did was prepare the  project with GOD’s gift in the hands of the people that the above song is all about. Not just me, not just a few. Once GOD had put all the pieces of this project together over a period of a year and a half. GOD got so many people to help me, to watch the dogs, to drive me here and there, and a whole team of encouragement givers appeared. As I was talking with a couple of the encouragers the other night they asked me a question. “You have done all of this so well with your surgery, and your positiveness. Just how did you do it?”

I thought about the question for  a few minutes and the word came to me. “CONFIDENCE”. I was getting ready to be off to bed and I found myself remembering with a group of people from a song I had written years ago. The song at the beginning of this writing. “Ordinary People.” I talked to my encouragers. “Confidence is not just a gift. If you do not mind me sharing. Confidence is not born of one event. It is born of a lifetime of events of “Ordinary People” who have shared their “Confidence” in hundreds of events in my life. ORDINARY PEOPLE who have shared my lifetime in so many situations”. I shortly left for bed. But I was not done with this note for this lesson.

You see we often make a huge mistake when we miss the values of Unorthodox Christianity. We think that the Bible’s have all the stories. We write them down and memorize them from Bible school to Bible College to Sunday School and all kinds of Bible Studies. There are all kinds of Churches and stories about what will happen if you don’t believe this story, or that story. The truth of GOD is this:

THE BOOKS ARE NEVER FINISHED. THE “ORDINARY PEOPLE” ARE NEVER DONE. GOD has provided us with enough encourgers and personal stories of so many events over lifetimes of stories that they have become libraries that have filled the ages of writings, and stories, and songs for you to share with and lives to learn from. They surpass the few books that we ascribe to our Bibles and we miss the thousands of books that have become thousands of years of events throughout the world. GOD knows that the few books we attribute to the “Bibles” are such a small volume of the works of GOD and “ORDINARY PEOPLE” that telling people what GOD has in mind for our lives doesn’t scratch the surface of just one ORDINARY PERSON, let alone thousands, let alone billions that have become just who we are.

Just what are people looking for when they seek out GOD for their own relationship with GOD? What do the “Ordinary People” ask of GOD? More and more people have a harder time with a GOD who criticizes everything from a journey that GOD will sort out and that GOD will see lifetimes of challenges and changes. GOD will send ORDINARY PEOPLE to encourage so many encourgers over so many lifetimes to support so many. And suddenly it becomes lifetimes of forever lifetimes of “Life after Death”.

One thing I have gotten out of Unorthodox Christianity over all these years is pretty simple. ” Lifetimes of CONFIDENCE”.

THE BOOKS ARE NEVER FINISHED. THE BOOKS WILL ALWAYS EXIST. THE BOOKS WILL ALWAYS BE FOUND NO MATTER WHERE THEY MAY BE HIDING. THAT IS WHAT CREATES CONFIDENCE. AND CONFIDENCE IS WHAT CREATES FAITH. AND FAITH IS THE HALLMARK OF GOD.

“HE CHOSE ORDINARY PEOPLE TO BE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST.”

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Accomplished

As I was sitting down the other evening, and thinking about just what “Life Is” some 70 years into “Life Is”. Some things came to my attention. I found myself thinking about just what have I accomplished so far in my life?

I thought about my debt to asset ratio after all these years. I have seen many of the retirement preparations shows on the TV and how I have made it to this point. I am in the Social Security part of my life. I still work and probably will for the rest of of my life. The question rambled throughout my head just what have I accomplished?

I explain it to people that I am independently poor.

That word ACCOMPLISHED seemed to jump out at me like I had just entered into a boxing ring. Just what have I accomplished in my life? I have a long list of what I have wanted to accomplish. What I wanted in elementary school, or high school, or college. How about that first job, or the last one.

In the world of religion and GOD and JESUS and BUDDHA, and many more different religious groups and beliefs is UNORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY.

WHAT HAVE I ACCOMPLISHED?

How many of us ask ourselves what have we accomplished so far in this Life? People I have talked to in my life have asked me, religiously, in different ways, what have I accomplished in my life? So I asked GOD for a clarification.

Just what, GOD, have I ACCOMPLISHED in 70+ years so far?”

As though it was written by an ancient prophet from somewhere, GOD wrote it like this:

Life is not about all the things you may have wanted to do. Life is about all of the things that you have done. The people that you have met. The opportunities that you have had a chance to help of or be a part of something important or just fun.

Life is not about what I may feel that I have missed in life. Life is about the journey that I and you have been on as individuals. That is what started on the day I was born and won’t end until I have the opportunity to start over again, and again, and again. That has been called eternal life. It is a thief sharing a cross with JESUS that recognized that JESUS should not have been punished for being good, and Jesus’s response was “Today you will be with me in Paradise”. For a thief, It was recognizing that it was not for accomplishing the great things that he may have wanted, It was now about what he had ACCOMPLISHED in the journey. “Today I will be with Him in Paradise”.

The journey starts every day. It is all you have done and enjoyed and what has become your journey. It is about where you may have crossed the path with someone you will forever remember. The smile someone else brought to you face. The bottle of water that came over to you when you were working to help someone next door. It was watching a baseball game of the kids playing next door and the smiles on their faces. It was opening that first box of girl scout cookies.

It is not about me, it is whatever you have done and what it has become. It has become your life, your friends, your challenges. Your decisions. It is your story and your history for you. You have accomplished more than you recognize. You have worked on LIFE since day one. You can sit in your easy chair and smile at the things that have come your way and made you smile, or changed a disaster and met a friend you will only meet once and forever remember.

Unorthodox Christianity is rooted in an opportunity to take a tremendous journey through Life in what has been and is your world. Just what have you accomplished? You are on your way there, everyday.

Simply Being

Simply Being

GOOD MONDAY MORNING​ ALL

A wonderful day off. A bit cloudy, not quite as windy, not snowing, I wonder if I am still in Iowa.
Do you ever have a munchie day? Today is it. I have to get to the grocery sometime today so it may just be my reminder machine. I have heard so many at the gym complaining of the cold, I often wonder if we will appreciate simply being. For today my goal is to enjoy simply being. Have a wonderful day and enjoy the day that has been done for you. OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

ME, Mack and Jake

GOD’S IMAGE

GOD’S IMAGE

GOOD SATURDAY AFTERNOON ALL

I have had an interesting day. So different from the weatherman over the last many days. Cold and wind chill and wind chill and cold creates its own image of how the day proceeds. When I woke up at 6 AM to take the dogs out there was no wind and the sun was waking up right along with us. Make no mistake, I did not dream it.

We all smiled and the day changed to the TV after a long morning walk to the park. The computer expanded the TV to catch up on some reading and writing. The lunch treat became a couple chocolates, coffee and cinnamon rolls and a monster cookie. More habit than good idea. (You have to remember that GOD goes shopping with me once in a while). The computer led me to more reading and it is now 1:40 PM as I have tuned in to the WORD. IMAGINATION.

Most of you know I write this blog and a music blog and have for years. I would love to be able to sit back and take the credit for my imagination. The guardian angels (Mack and Jake) take me for walks. Go left, go right. Let’s go this way or that way. The clock tells me what time to go out, before the rain or after the snow stops falling. GOD helps me write the music via the people that GOD has entered into my life. Some to say hi and have a nice day. “Nice to touch spring”. Years of others to share parts of their lives with a part of mine. The blog and the music is merely the result of my interest in what GOD has shared with me over many, many years of choices and decisions and opportunities. Where credit is due, credit should be recognized for those who GOD has shared with me and my journeys.

Today there is a smile on my face that overlooked laundry, groceries, cleaning and assigned the day for what it is. A day off and moving forward. Have a wonderful day and know that OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

ME, and Mack and Jake

THE LITTLE THINGS COUNT

THE LITTLE THINGS COUNT

GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNING ALL

I have done lots of music in my life from my own music to worship music in churches, on retreats, in Barbershop settings, and on and on. When I think that my memory is fading the WORD for today pops up. One of my favorite retreat songs for kids goes: I’ve got the JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY deep in my heart, deep in my heart…….I’ve got the LOVE OF JESUS, LOVE OF JESUS deep in my heart…..and so on.

As soon as I looked at today’s word “JOY” The whole song bounced into my mind and the pictures of dozens of smiling kids filled my memory. The smile went from left to right and north to south and east to west. Sometimes I feel forgetful and that is when GOD shines a light onto a music folder and the smile appears. Too often we feel that GOD has gone on vacation and forgot to tell us where GOD has been off to. We feel that GOD doesn’t care, or GOD doesn’t exist or GOD is too busy. Then, seeming-lee without paying any attention, GOD drops a little GOD-SHELL to make sure we do not miss all that GOD is doing. We expect great things from GOD, or we do not have any belief in GOD. Great things are too often subtle and we do not recognize all the activity that GOD involves ourselves in. When you find yourself down and out there becomes a song in the background, or a memory to remind you, that GOD is so active that you think that GOD is too GREAT to deal with “just me”? Wrong again.

GOD is more a master of THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT.

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy …..Have a wonderful day. OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

ME, Mack and Jake

HANDING OFF THE GRACE

HANDING OFF THE GRACE

GOOD SATURDAY MORNING ALL

A very bright and sunny Saturday morning in Iowa. It started at 9* and is now at 25 on the way to the mid 30’s. The snow is melting from the bright sunshine and I am doing well from the adventure of a prep procedure at the hospital on Wednesday. It is a unique feeling to try and grasp the anesthesia as it wears down and it becomes less and less and then you discover all the things they did in a short period of work. Many people believe that GOD is enough and that belief will carry the day. As I watched the teams at the hospital and the camaraderie of the staff and their attitude of helpfulness they were defining the word GRACE to me.

Nothing is as valuable as GOD’s Grace through the hands of people and our animal companions. GOD requires hands, and voices and smiles and vision. So many times a wagging tail has changed my entire attitude as life moves on. 

When I look back on my life I can remember the times that GOD has handed off the Grace to others to teach me, correct me, and put a smile on my face. When I am asked by GOD to help others, it is often those previous examples of GOD’s GRACE through others that I invoke to put a smile on a face or a lesson from the background. I often get asked how I am doing and I respond the same way, every day and time. “I have made it this far”. Whether young or old, whatever race or culture, whether female or male, blue collar or white collar or no collar, they say they understand and “Yes we have” is a sign behind the smile. Each of you have a wonderful day and enjoy it.

OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

ME,

Mack and Jake (THE GUARDIAN ANGEL DOGS share GRACE with me every minute and everyday. It is a goal of mine to be more like them, everyday.)