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

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.

FOR LOVE

FOR LOVE

GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNING ALL

I have learned so much being back in Iowa. An appreciation for Ethanol, a whole new world of doctors and excellent nurses, as well as Wind Chill, and now “Snain”. I discovered it during this morning’s walk with the dogs. As we were walking it suddenly got colder. The Wind Chill had raised its ugly head instantly. I pulled the built- in hood of my winter work coat over my light weight ball cap. I could hear something falling onto my hood. I looked around and could see nothing. I saw no birds flying overhead and no squirrels were about. No bugs or gnats. And then, I saw it. “SNAIN”. An almost invisible drip combination of RAIN droplets becoming SNOW drops before my very eyes. It didn’t create the little drops of rain that creates a wet spot on my cap or jacket, it was “SNAIN”. I am amazed at all that Iowa has to offer. I shook my head and went inside and got a cup of coffee. Who knows what a day will bring? First Wind Chill and now SNAIN. Where is Tony Randall when you need him? (This last piece is a test of your overall knowledge of word development).

Enjoy your day and be careful should the SNAIN start falling in your world. OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

ME, Mack and Jake

FOR LOVE

It is Easter this week. A prayerful time and a thankful time. It is also an every day time. I looked at the news this morning. For sure this day’s response above was light headed. I did so because the day is still with me and all of us. Each day is a gift from GOD to approach each day with thanks giving in spite of what the lead news is on TV. Others who choose to live in the negative and harm the innocent for whatever reason they choose. Be it greed or power or in spite of we have a world of difficulties every morning. It makes me often wonder if my dad was correct in his assessment that Earth is Hell.

And then I see something. I watch the news and find so many people helping so many others. They are not responding to a rule of law. They are not helping their family,  relatives, or neighbors. They are helping people. More people that they do not know and they will never meet. Each one they help will say thank you without even knowing their name. These helpers may change their regular day, in their regular location. They start off their Normal day. A joke at work. A funny story remembered from some book or word or picture or nice day. In today’s technology they are helping people in nations around the world. They are LOVING ONE ANOTHER. Not because they have to, but because they want to. They are not all Christians. They are not all Buddhists, or Hindu, or Tao or even unattached to religion of any nature. Somewhat hidden in the day, the day came about. Life has been done however it has happened. How we approach it is how we become. Approach it FOR LOVE.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER  and appreciate the opportunities the day has brought with it.

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

MEMORIES — 1-19-22

MEMORIES — 1-19-22

GOOD MORNING ALL
Today I keep my joy, joy, joy joy deep in my heart, deep in my heart today.
The world is surrounded by joyful music.
Whether it is freezing cold​ or summer heat, a smile comes to mind when the thought process comes to remind me of special days, events, people, friends and the dogs. When it is 9 degrees I remember knocking on doors and shouting Happy Halloween in Minnesota. When it is 90 degrees I remember jumping in a swimming pool in Billings Montana. Joy can not hide inside and life can not frown when memories are remembered. Remembering life isn’t buried in sadness, it is people I laughed with, people who made me smile. It is music that brings them back to life.
Life is a journey of challenges, and of gifts and do you remember when. I have had more smiles than frowns. I have had more opportunities than not. Enjoy the memories. When I sit down to write these little tidbits I think Thank You. Have a wonderful time despite the weather, grief, loss, or tears. Life is an adventure. Life is filled with memories. It is a time of throwing stones across a pond, and a time of gathering them up. (Eccesiasties- 3 vs 5).  OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU ALWAYS.
ME, Mack and Jake
WHAT DO YOU SAY?

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

The news this SUNDAY MORNING reminded me of the day, May15,1968 a tornado rampaged my birth town of Oelwein Iowa.  My cousin and my Grandmother were about their day and the sirens went off and my Grandmother grabbed my cousin Tim and pulled him down into the basement of the family home and they found a safe shelter in the basement. The porch on the southside of the home was gone. Blown away and  not found again.  My Oelwein friends lived next door and a tree limb had blown right through their living room wall. The elm trees along their street had blown over. A corner of the high school had been damaged. Damage was everywhere. I sat in my home a couple of hundred miles away in Kansas City and made arrangements to get on the bus and head for Oelwein. Four had died, and the damage was extreme. I was 16 years old then. A friend of mine from Minneapolis met me there.

So many came to help. I fixed fences, the chimney on Grandma’s home. Cleaning and sweeping and very fortunate that the damage was minimal to Grandma and my friends there and my cousins from across the back-street were all OK. Today I think of years of writing Unorthodox Christianity and think of the so many who have died, so much loss of homes, workplaces, shelters, and so much more that happened in Kentucky and nearby. How fortunate I am for living in Des Moines Iowa and not being a victim of one of the 20+ tornadoes. I watched my morning Church show like I always do and thought “What DO You Say?” “What do you say, religiously?”

GOD is all over Sunday television. Prayer and the sermons about Jesus and the stories of His birth for us to share that has become Christmas, and gifts and get togethers and families together now changed forever for those affected by 20+ tornadoes. Thousands affected  both there and relatives and friends who heard from the relatives of friends that they grew up with and hearing of the devastation of their home towns and all the people who lost their lives. The TV sermons are talking about the birth of Jesus and the gifts of GOD. “What DO you say?” How do I, sharing Unorthodox Christianity, answer the questions of WHY?  There will be lots of “Why’s” in the lives of so many.

GOD BEGINS IMMEDIATELY. So many who survived. So many first responders. So many who started immediately checking on their neighbors, their neighbor hoods, and their relatives. So much power of prayer to fill the voids as the phone calls are made, the homes and lives to be rebuilt. The stories of miracles after miracles that saved so many from a tragedy  brought on by the physics of nature. GOD IS AT WORK IMMEDIATELY. The world is a world of constant change. GOD NEVER STAYS AWAY. GOD DOES NOT STOP HELPING. GOD knows the physics of the world. GOD knows the natural risks of LIFE. The instant power of the prayers of millions go to work to console, to help, to care.

“WHAT DO YOU SAY?”  “OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.”  “OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU ALWAYS.”  We can not be everywhere, we can not offer as much help as we would like, but OUR CARES AND OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU ALWAYS because GOD HAS BEEN AT WORK IMMEDIATELY. The power of your prayers feeds miracle after miracle because GOD NEVER STOPS CARING FOR ALL GOD’S CHILDREN, YOUNG OR OLD.

GOD BLESS YOU EVERYDAY.

AMEN

LIFE: ISN’T THAT WONDERFUL

LIFE: ISN’T THAT WONDERFUL

Life: Isn’t that wonderful.

I remember lots of people in my life as a result of the words or phrases they use in their life. I am sure there are many in your circle whose cherished words of thought stand out for a great many reasons. Today’s featured image is a picture of one of my treasured people. My Aunt Vera. It has been a long time now since I could talk to my Aunt Vera but I will never forget a saying that was the core of her spirit. “Isn’t That Wonderful?” There was never a bad day that she couldn’t find a sliver of Wonderful in her day. It is easy for a day to linger on with negative thoughts all day, or week, or years. I remember her comments about the poems I would send her that would find their way to her favorite magazine. “Isn’t that wonderful,” would be a comment. “Too much rain?” “Isn’t that wonderful?” Too little rain? “Look at that sun, Isn’t that wonderful?” It created in me a search for the wonderfuls.

I have the opportunity to talk to all kinds of people on a work day. I look at it as Job Security. The other day it was a Vietnam vet using a wheel chair. I watched his progress from outside the food court, and then in line, and then to a table. Then back to the line to grab the food and take it to the table. His Vietnam hat was his story that I am sure is remembered by so many. As he was getting ready to leave he was struggling to clean up the table and take his trash to the trash receptical. I reached out to help. “Do you need any help?” I asked.

“Legs don’t move as well now. I can handle it,” he said.

I went ahead and helped saying, “It is what I do.” When I cleaned off the table he responded with “Thank you”. I asked if he needed any more help.

He mentioned no, but he did begin a short conversation of his challenges.

The list of various surgeries and doctors visits, the loss of his wife this last year. Open heart this and that, the new pacemaker and more transpired over just a few minutes. What do you say after all of that?

Have a good day?” I said.

Yes: Thank you” was the reply. Appreciating another day irregardless of his challenges, was his attitude.

How is your day going?” he asked of me.

Life is. Isn’t that wonderful”. I said.

You too”: he replied and he was gone in the crowd.

It would have been Aunt Vera’s reply. The automatic reply that is so set in my mind after hearing it so many times from my Aunt Vera it was most appropriate. GOD surrounds us with Aunt Vera’s for just these special times.

So Monday I will be off to a not so hard of a job. “Isn’t that wonderful”.

Have a wonderful day. Our CARES and PRAYERS will be with you all.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN “IF”

WHAT DO YOU MEAN “IF”

WHAT DO YOU MEAN “IF”     

From Mark 9: 23……

Jesus heard an argument that was going on in a crowd. “What are you arguing about”, Jesus asked. A man answered from the crowd. He said “Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to”.

You faithless generation”, Jesus said in reply. “How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me”. They brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father “How long has this been happening to him?” “From childhood,” he replied, “and it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us”.

What do you mean, ‘If you can ?” retorted Jesus. “Anything is possible for anyone who has faith”.

Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!” When Jesus saw how many people were pressing around him, he rebuked the unclean spirit. “Deaf and dumb spirit,” Jesus said, “I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.” Then throwing the boy into violent convulsions it came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said “He is dead”. But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up and he was able to stand. When Jesus had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately , “Why were we unable to cast it out?” “This is the kind,” Jesus answered, “that can only be driven out by prayer”.

What do you mean “If” you can? Have you asked JESUS “If you can”? Has life thrown you a curve and you have tried everything else and nothing is working for you.

Often JESUS is the last resort for help. Many times we blame Jesus when something goes wrong in life.

We are like the young boy who told the pastor that he was never going to go to church again because Jesus did not answer his prayer when his grandmother had passed away.

The Pastor asked the young boy what had he asked of Jesus. “To make Grandma better. That she would have no pain”. The young boy asked.

Where is Grandma now”; asked the Pastor.

Heaven?” the boy asked.

Yes” said the Pastor. “And she is not in any pain. And she never will be in pain ever again and Jesus did just what you asked”.

Jesus was known through the crowds of his day as a great healer. Many brought friends, relatives, and themselves to Jesus to heal them. The stories just like this one above happened daily, Many times a day. How many times have you gone to Jesus in prayer and asked Jesus “If you can, Jesus”; heal mom, or dad, or the pet dog or find the family cat”. You watch the news and a car accident takes someone you know or someone in common. Someone in church or down the street. Your best friend, your love. “IF YOU CAN, JESUS”.

Help the little faith I have!”

More often than not we have this discussion with Jesus, IF YOU CAN? long before we ever discuss life with JESUS as our savior or our friend. Long before we even take the opportunity to get to know Jesus. Many have a hard enough time believing in JESUS period. Let alone believe in JESUS enough to believe that He can.

Can Jesus? Nice stories, nice movies, but come on, Faith?

Why were we unable to cast out the unclean spirit?” asked the Disciples. “This is the kind that can only be driven out by prayer” Jesus replied. And Prayer is a learned function of life. It doesn’t just crop up because it is Tuesday. Take time to ask Jesus how things are going. Listen to the answers. It took you years to develop a best friend. Ask Jesus just what had to be done to make that best friend happen. Then LISTEN.

What Do You Mean “IF” you can. What do you mean IF you believe in ME. What do you mean Help the little faith I have!”

 Jesus asks as much of US as we ask of Him.

What do you mean, “IF”.    Please Help the little faith I have!”

Jesus CAN, If Jesus Knows. Start your conversation today.

COINCIDENCE

COINCIDENCE

GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNING ALL

What an appropriate Word for today. Prayers can be singled out for all of us for different reasons today and we can help each other with a simple enough prayer to remind us that GOD watches out for each one of us. Even when our prayer concerns overlap each other our prayers are each addressed individually. It may be a response from within our spirits. It may be a call from a co-worker, or a neighbor, or a relative or friend. It may come from a stranger we do not know with the right thing to say, and I am sure each of us has had that day when a TV show causes us to say “I sure did need that message today”. Coincidence is GOD’s norm. That said, enjoy today, the gifts it offers, and the opportunities it represents.

Our CARES and PRAYERS.

ME, Mack and Jake