WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SAY

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SAY

Unorthodox Christianity is getting more pronounced as time moves on.

What was once a beginning of one culture is now 30,000 individual denominations of Christians, in churches around the world and wanting to decide the lives of others from their pulpits. How many churches wave a banner that says “WE ARE THE “REAL CHURCH”. “WE KNOW WHAT GOD WILL DO TO YOU”. “IT WAS WRITTEN IN A BOOK FROM 2,000 PLUS YEARS AGO FROM A CULTURE IN JERUSALEM ABOUT A CULTURE THAT NEVER ACCEPTED A CHRIST ON THEIR OWN GROUND”. That culture fell in love with with an itinerant preacher whose beliefs resulted in him being crucified by many of those leaders who are clueless about JESUS, a good Samaritan who was born in Bethlehem in what today is Israel.

And you wonder why I called it UNORTHODOX.

I may comment on my dogs, or my help from those who have helped me for so many years that when I hear of an Orthodox debate about just what GOD is going to do to someone else, I wonder how they figured that out. Or the result of some situation that shakes your head and a life decision is expected to be made by someone that you will never know who that person is. You will never know, and that you are basing your judgment on a religious or political decision from a Church or a judge or a Supreme Court that is going to allow many to decide a decision based on how someone who GOD has known their entire life, every day every hour and who GOD will be with every day and moment for the rest of their lives vs. any judge or church or politic whose knowledge of this person is unknown to them and yet fully known to GOD. That person from birth has thought about that decision and every day has asked GOD for help. GOD gives GOD’s reasons and GOD’s Reason alone. If GOD enters your sphere and says LOVE ONE ANOTHER and an Itinerant Rabbi says “FORGIVE THEM FATHER THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO” How do you know what GOD is thinking?

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SAY?

GOD KNOWS.

SUPPLEMENTS OF LIFE

SUPPLEMENTS OF LIFE

GOOD MORNING ALL

Doing a bit more research today getting ready for surgery next week. I am not supposed to eat herbal supplements prior to surgery. Not being a dietitian, I looked up the National Institute of Health on “supplements”. There went my entire diet. (Not really). It is interesting all of the “supplements” we all have access to. Some, though, are very helpful to know about. I think I am doing OK. Good water is safe.

Today’s word reminded me of a dear friend from years ago who had been diagnosed with liver cancer and was told he had just a few weeks to live. We were walking one morning (As we did every morning since he was told) when he mentioned “You know Dennis, I’ve never seen the leaves greener, the roses are redder, the smells are more sweet and intense, it is simply a beautiful day. Do not miss any of them in your everyday life “.

Life is a beautiful place to hang out. I have been so blessed by that profound commentary from my friend at a cherished time in his life. My entire life was changed since that day. We rush and rush and work and work. The magnificent world we have been given is often ignored or passed by for the sake of other things. With next week ahead, the reminder to see the beautiful in the everyday is a blessing. May all of you see the beauty in nature that surrounds us in some way every day. The list of all the supplements of life is the gift for us all. They affect each of us in some way. More than just food supplements there are streams of water, sunrises and sunsets. I have been blessed to be in the mountains with the giant sunsets and lakes and fountains. Looking over the ocean, a morning fog (even in Iowa). GOD created all the supplements of life, for each and every one of us. In billions of different ways and billions of unique smiles.

As I watch the news I am reminded of what JESUS forwarded to us from GOD. The most important supplement we have been given the opportunity to share:

LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Have a blessed and a beautiful day and know that OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU EVERY DAY.

ME, 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

EACH DAY

EACH DAY

Each Day

Unorthodox Christianity can cover a lot of ground. When I first started Unorthodox Christianity I followed a typical Church driven idea to tell people what you need to know to follow the scriptures and analyze them and maybe even debate now and then. The more I moved forward with it the more questions I asked myself. What I have written below is a more common writing of today vs then.

The more people I talked with, the more people fell into the category of disenfranchised. The more I heard about their first visit, or return visit, to a church environment was followed by comments similar to “I did not feel welcome”. “I did not feel that I belonged there”. “It felt that I wasn’t ‘their’ type”.

Analyzing scripture left something out for them to grasp and get familiar with. I wondered just what was missing.

The most common desire among most seemed to be a relationship. Not necessarily with the people in that church setting, but the building of a relationship with GOD, and JESUS. A relationship that they could grasp. One day a week for a couple of hours simply was not creating the environment of a relationship that some people would truly find trust in a short term setting.

Most every day I wake up with a relationship. It may be with family, or my dogs and wagging tails that welcome me every day. Not just 2 hours a week. Just about everyday I cross paths with the neighbors. I say hello to, wave at, smile with, talk about the weather. A constant feeding of relationship that builds familiarity. It also builds conversation and a measure of trust.

I feel welcome. I feel like I belong. I feel comfortable. And when life happens, I find the neighbors who help shovel some snow, or help with a problem, or asks me to sit down and they ask how things are going.

When I was very young I did Sunday School and such. I went because my family took me. We finished church and went off to lunch. I forgot all about GOD or JESUS and I remember how good the lunch was. I had the stories about GOD and JESUS in the BIBLE that came with the SUNDAY SCHOOL. I started thinking about GOD. I started to read the books at home. I stared at the night sky and thought about the huge creations before me. I was curious who GOD was. I decided to just ask GOD about why all people weren’t good. And the relationship started. I was never afraid of GOD. A friend asked me what I thought about JESUS. I mentioned that my dad, a sales manger, once said that the secret to sales success is getting right to the man (or female) in charge. I felt that I could just as easily talk to the man at the top. It started small and finally we had built a relationship. We covered a lot of ground over all these years. If you wish  to build a relationship with GOD, go for it. I could keep going on and on about the years we have already built. But it started with my questions and it developed before me. How did it work? It wasn’t magic. You will discover that GOD has ways to communicate with you that you may never understand how, but you will understand by taking it to GOD. You will discover it. GOD will find many ways to talk with you. Many times you will be surprised by it. As far as I am concerned that is the purpose of the relationship with GOD. It is not a weekly event. it happens EACH DAY.

The message below is something I do every day to the people who are most important to me. Sometimes it becomes part of the blog. This idea of relationship can not be built with rules, it is built with trust that comes from familiarity. GOD will establish the relationship with you. You my get mad at GOD. You may thank GOD for something that gets pointed out to you.

This blog today is called EACH DAY. Enjoy it.

GOOD MORNING ALL

Just trying to relax and enjoy a day off. One would think that the older you get and the less “Work” you have to do, the easier life becomes. So far the easier part has yet to appear very often. When I was a young man the idea of a vacation was the goal of life. Today life is the goal of life. Fortunately each day is an achievement. Thank you all for your help, prayers, and encouragement. You have made it all worthwhile. OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

Have a wonderful day.

ME, Mack and Jake

We hear a lot about when we get to Heaven and how our relationship with GOD is going to be something special. You are in Heaven each day right now. Heaven is not a new beginning. Birth was the new beginning. The relationship with GOD started years before your birthday. GOD appreciates you and encourages you. Not years from now but EACH DAY. As my Aunt Vera(my daughters namesake) said over and over again for years and years, “Isn’t that Wonderful”.

Enjoy EACH DAY. It starts that way, every day.

GOD BLESS.

OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

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.)

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
SUNSHINE

SUNSHINE

Smiles or Frowns       

Matthew 5: 14-16 You are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a bushel; they put it on a lamp stand where it shines for everyone to see. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in Heaven.

Spring has sprung in Iowa as the temperature is going up after weeks of extreme winter. Spring is a wonderful feeling and the memories of spring days with mentors and friends makes me smile. The sheer number of people that have crossed my path and have made me the me I have become over all these years, has been the gift of a life that often makes me shake my head and say thank you GOD for all. If I prayed a prayer of thanks for all of them every day I would have no time left to enjoy what would be left of the day. Thank you GOD for that sunshine of memories.

When I look to my Bible for strength during hard times I think of how so many of my mentors have made such an impact to me by the way they responded to their difficult times. I have read many blogs and many renderings of what GOD is, or what Earth is. It seems often that SIN comes with the territory of Earth. It makes me wonder why would GOD create such a place. When I analyze just how complicated it has to be to create the inhabitants of Earth from a plant to grow, a baby to grow and be born, whether animals, humans, trees, flowers or any of the objects you see or are so small you do not notice to think that a Loving GOD did to be so subjective makes no sense.

Is the journey of life on planet Earth meant to serve a jealous GOD, or is Earth meant to provide a Spiritual journey that provides the opportunity of a physical life to be engaged in the physical nature of GOD’S provision. As I was walking about working the other day I saw two people one right after the other. The first walked by with a frown that seemed to be permanent on the elderly face. The second walked past with a smile that could light up the darkest night. For sure there are tragic events. For sure mankind has the ability to create tragedy. It is the same story for the Cardinal that sings on that first day of spring or the squirrels chasing each other from trees across rooftops in a city that exists as a playground. 40 below zero is the same cold.

What is the purpose of creating life anyway. Do you ever wonder.

Years ago as young man just starting out in the retail world I found myself working in a department store in St. Paul Minnesota. I got off the elevator in my new assignment to have a well dressed much older gentleman, well into retirement age, say hello with a smile as natural as a sunrise. I was caught off guard and responded and asked for directions to my new assignment. He responded and went about his job in the furniture department. When I got to my job assignment I asked my manager who he was.

I was surprised when he responded: “Smiley. We all call him smiley because we have never seen otherwise. He’s had his bad days over his life like all of us, but that smile lights up every day for all of us”. I remember Smiley quite often 40 some years later when the Spring SUNSHINE comes out after a long stretch of very cold winter with snow falling and cloudy like we have seen this year.

Earth is an element now occupied by by Billions of people. That is what Earth is. You being alive on Earth is not a mistake. It is a gift. Every vision of the Sun is a blessing.

I discovered a few weeks ago when I passed out at work and fell backwards onto a concrete floor. I felt nothing. I did not know anything that happened and was being placed in an ambulance when I figured out that I was being loaded in an ambulance. I was being asked many questions like what day it was, who I was, what day of the week it is. It required no time to occur. A concussion, what became 8 stitches in my head, and yet no pain. The first thing I recognized was that I was alive. I had a gap of time that could have had any type of result. I had another gift from GOD and the help of many people to give me that gift. It was Earth. These things happen. Many reasons that have been reviewed. Every flash of SUNSHINE is a smile. It put Smiley in a new light. It put so many mentors in a new perspective. GOD did not create a Sinner’s paradise, GOD created Earth for us to enjoy.

There are an estimated 30,000 different denominations of Christianity. Being confused about which one you follow is to be expected. There are Asian Christian Churches for whom EARTH is not a home for sinners. It is the home for people. Will you have your light shine in a smile, or will you hide it in a frown. Everyday of SUNSHINE is a gift and a blessing and represents a new day, everyday.

Hide it under a bushel NO, I’m gonna let it shine. Everyday.

THE MOST IMPORTANT

THE MOST IMPORTANT

THE MOST IMPORTANT

Who is the most important?

Years ago I was attending a seminar on how to be a successful person. The were a number of speakers that told their personal stories of success. They were successful sales people, entrepreneurs, manufacturers of items, sports people and such. There were successful, “How to be a Successful Speaker” people. It lasted a full day and at the end we listeners were presented with a lobby full of cd’s to purchase, books to purchase, T shirts to purchase, mugs and all kinds of paraphernalia to purchase to learn about how to be successful. They told their stories about how they built their businesses up from the ground up. They told their stories about how hard their success ventures were accomplished and how much they did and how high up the ladder they climbed to be a wealthy, successful and truly important person that they had become. I was somewhat impressed, so to speak. In the midst of the speakers was one speaker who was a military pilot who was shot down on the wrong side of the enemy and worked his way back to safety. He very much impressed me by one thing he, and only he, of all the speakers said. “GOD encouraged me every step of the way”.

All the others attributed their success to some form of me. I did this. I accomplished this. I worked so hard, I was the secret of my success.

I have thought about that many times over the years. And every time I think of it I am reminded of an incident that happened to me years before that seminar.

I was doing my job as a vendor salesman for a large product company in a Western Minnesota store. I was having one of those “Another day” days. I was doing my job setting up one of our displays and resetting our shelf space when a customer, an older gentleman, came up to me and asked what I was doing. I mentioned, “Me, oh I’m just a salesperson doing my job. No one important, just a salesman.”

He shook his head and responded in all sincerity: “Just a salesperson? You are THE MOST IMPORTANT person in your company. Without you doing what your doing the company would not need anyone to do anything and your company would go out of business. The delivery people, the secretaries, managers, the bosses and the owners would not have jobs. No sir, you are not just a salesperson, you are THE MOST IMPORTANT person in your company”. I was completely caught off guard. For the lack of what to say at his response I said “Thank you. I appreciate it”. I smiled and turned back to my job. In the time it will take you to read this section I felt I should thank him some more and looked back where he was standing. No where. I walked to the check stands. No where. I walked through the store and looked out into the parking lot. No where. He literally had just disappeared off the face of my earth. In that simple moment he changed me and my approach to life was changed forever.

I realized in that moment just how important we all were as individuals. The secretaries who did order processing. The people who worked the assembly lines and took a break once in awhile. The packaging people and the designers. The people in the distribution centers and the people who cleaned the offices. The people who designed our advertising and designed the displays that I would put up. All of them deserved that one unknown individual to give them a hard worker award and say to them “You are THE MOST IMPORTANT person in your company”. I would have to call it my GOD defining moment. I do not believe in a loving GOD because I have faith that GOD may be a real thing. I know GOD because I KNOW GOD.

Do not shortcut yourself and your importance to your company, your family, your friends, your neighbors even your enemies. Even if it appears that you are not THE MOST IMPORTANT person you change peoples lives everyday. People you know, and those you do not. That is a show of love, concern, and pride in what you believe.

Try it. Test it. I had opportunity making cold calls when at another company in another town a few years later and designed and had printed a HARD WORKER AWARD which I would fill in the name of the secretaries I would call on and give them to each of them when I left that first time encounter. So many smiles I can not tell you, and so simple. Try it. None of us are successful by ourselves. We are successful because of all of those who have touched us in the crossing of our paths. They have made someones day, every day.

Jesus said this to his disciples; “By doing this, for them, you have done it for me, and they will know that you are disciples of mine”. Doubt me? Look it up under Jesus on the internet.

YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT

RESTORES MY SOUL

RESTORES MY SOUL

RESTORES MY SOUL 

The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,
He leadeth me beside still waters
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in the paths of right-eousness for His name’s sake.
(Psalms 23 kjv)

Years ago I read the 23rd Psalm over and over again and felt it was talking to me. I just couldn’t seem to relate. For me it was missing a few things for me to relate to. What was it saying to me. The above is just a part of the 23rd Psalm, but it will apply for this discussion.

The Lord is my Saviour and my guide. I shall have all that I require. (Not all that I want, what I require. I will still have more than many do).
(When the fields that I have been tilling have become brown and barren), He bids me to lie down in green pastures.
(When my Faith has been 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 your own choosing, that I may serve you there).

At some point in time, every day, I offer this prayer up to GOD (and the rest of Psalm 23) Whoever, whatever, and However GOD happens.

(When my Faith has been sorely tested and I am ready to give up), He restores my Faith (and my Soul to me).

The accumulation of writings called the BIBLE is so much more than a “Religious” writing. The Psalms are in the history of the Jewish faith. For me they are the story of life is. I chose it for today because I have seen much in my life but none that compares to 2020. It is a book that teaches a history lesson of a people struggling, as many do, of what is the purpose of GOD. GOD has been a creator, fighter of wars, a judge, a jury, and you name it. But here in 2020,   WHEN MY FAITH HAS BEEN SORELY TESTED AND I AM READY TO GIVE UP HE RESTORES MY FAITH AND MY SOUL TO ME.

FAITH believes that there is something greater than the times. There is hope. There is LOVE. There is caring. There are thousands around the world who put their lives at risk so that I can have (ALL THAT I REQUIRE). HE RESTORES MY SOUL that my FAITH is on solid ground. GOD does not require a church, GOD does not require follow the leader. Your own choices determine your own locations.

GOD does RESTORE FAITH which RESTORES MY SOUL. It may be In the smile of someone passing by. In the “Can I Help you”, at the store. In that feeling when you yell “GOD” And GOD whispers, “I’ve got your back”. 2020 has made many of us wonder where the world has gone. 2020 instills a risk of pain, loss and change for sure. All of us know someone whose future is changing dramatically. Know one thing from GOD. You ask, and GOD will RESTORE YOUR FAITH and your SOUL. 

AMEN

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

There was a day, many years ago, when my daughter first entered my sphere. She was 5 months old and came via delivery on an airplane from Korea. There were many who gathered with us at the gateway entrance at the airport. The traveling companion stewardess brought her out and gave her to me. They also gave us a bag full of essentials to take with for a 5 month old girl. She had diapers, an extra set of clothes, a small hairbrush and wipes. As she was passed around among the crowd, I went off to a corner and began looking at just what the bag contained. I looked through it again. I couldn’t find it. I looked again.


THE MANUAL WAS MISSING

When I bought my first car I looked in the glove compartment and there I found a manual on how to figure out how the mechanicals worked. How to turn the lights on, the windshield wipers, the interior lights and how to work the radio. As well as dimensions and what kind of fuel to use. And so much more. Certainly a child must come with a Manual. How to be a dad, how to raise a little girl, how to teach. I was a bit overwhelmed.

I didn’t come with a Manual either, at least not at the beginning.

How many of us find ourselves lost, not prepared for the things of life as things happen? Today more than ever. What is a pandemic? Why can’t I just go get a vaccine and call it a day. Why is there politic, why don’t churches all believe the same thing. In Sunday school as a fourth grader I asked my teacher, “Why didn’t GOD just make good people?” I learned that that question was not discussed. Yet I wanted to know why. I have always wanted to know why. Why are things the way they are with an all knowing, all loving GOD?

religion_10

When I was done with Sunday School I was given a concordance Bible. A Bible where what Jesus said was written in red. I sat down and read the Red Print. Then I read the Old and New Testament. I had found the Manual.

Certainly it was not that easy. When I was reading Proverbs, or Wisdom, or the Psalms,  a parable from Jesus, or an apostle’s comment I recognized similar events or challenges that I had seen in the neighborhood, or a story on TV, or behavior that I recognized in my peer group. I read a simple set of rules that were put down by GOD.

Ten Commandments

These are a good start. If you find life being challenging do not refuse the Bible because it is “religious”. Look at it as an owners manual. A touch of history where when certain people did this or that their actions caused reactions. There is a story in the books that are about your challenge, both causes and corrections. Too many have their Manual sitting on a shelf covered in dust when it can be the start of a knowledgeable life that can make more sense or make pre-planning a norm and not reaction.

Have a wonderful experience when you sit down with the Manual and the one who wrote it. dw