“Cheerful is today’s WORD. Mack and Jake did quite well with an inch of snow at 5 AM. I have been planning to sweep the back patio to make short trips while it snows all day. I am challenged to be cheerful. But wait, I have so much to be grateful for. 2 tails wagging every time I walk in, or get out of bed every morning, or when a treat appears by magic. The things that need to be done, make a day, a day. Without the gifts I have, what would make dinner more than peanut butter and jelly. Where would the treats be, or the fall jackets or the winter jackets. I have spent my life watching snow fall and have a white back yard vs brown today. To keep moving every day is the benefit of activity.
I will watch the snow melt and the grass become green, and the seasons bring all the things that the seasons bring. All the things I see, or fix, or clean, remind me that GOD is busy making a new billboard everyday to enjoy. That creates cheerful, and tail wags, and a good walk, and a gift of life. Have a cheerful day and see the billboard that GOD created for you and the dogs. OUR CARES AND PRAYERS GO WITH YOU EVERY DAY.
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?
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”.
I always seem to have a Saturday in waiting. Rest is a priority but the list doesn’t stop there. Laundry, vacuum, dishes, food, think.
Tough to think about a full plate. How fortunate to be in a position to move along one project and then another. Maybe miss one to pass along to tomorrow. Tomorrow seems to be convenient, but I have seen that it never seems to appear. What can you do on tomorrow anyway? I have yet to see the calendar that starts with tomorrow. Anyway, off to do things today. Tomorrow will have to wait. Stay safe and warm. OUR CARES AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.
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.
Why is there such a need to authenticate Jesus for us to love?
I watch the TV shows on the religious channels. I listen to the pastoral speeches and sermons, especially at Christmas. We open our Bibles and stress all the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, the Old Testament this and that, ‘And in the book of….. it says….’
And it is nice to be able to find reference to Jesus in scripture, but is it necessary to authenticate Jesus for us to love?
Sometimes I believe we expend more energy in trying to authenticate the messenger than we expend in living the message.
Would the message loose its value if it was given by an itinerant Rabbi, or a Buddha or a Shaman? Is it less important if given by a steeplejack or a cab driver?
Is ‘Love One Another’ a more powerful charge coming from GOD’S son, or GOD’S servant, or simply one of GOD’S children? Is ‘Love One Another’ an empty request coming from a Muslim or a Jew, or an agnostic or an atheist? Is it a message to be idly dismissed as an empty dream not worthy of attention when issued by ‘just’ one of GOD’S children?
To the other extent, now that we have authenticated Jesus as the messenger, when will we implement the message? When the time is right for us? When Jesus calls us on the phone? The week before He ‘returns’? Now that we have accepted the mantle of Christian will we demand an end to aggression, whether in defense of, or in spite of?
Authenticating the messenger is of no value until we choose to implement the message. Our lives will not change until we live the message. Our only chance for heaven on earth will pass us by if we wait to meet Jesus in heaven. Jesus is in the humblest of messengers, the one we just walked by because he wore a turban, or hadn’t shaved this week, or smelled, or wore a ‘biker’ shirt. The one who doesn’t attend church each week because no church would accept his or her lifestyle. We walk by Jesus daily. Until we stop and get to know Him, we will never find, nor have a hope of seeing, heaven on earth.
It is not necessary to ignore the messenger, it is humbling to realize how committed Jesus was to the cause. It is necessary to implement the message, not to whom we would wish, but to whom Jesus would wish. Everyone.
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.
Years ago the DalaiLama was asked how he enjoyed his birthday. He Responded “Why would I celebrate the birth of my sufferings day?”
I personally have been blessed every day of my life. All of you who get this are a most important part of my life. All 70 years of it. Of course I would celebrate it. GOD has been very good to me. I intend to enjoy another bunch of years to share with you.
I have moved forward during the time I have been given every day. It has been a gift from day one. Others in my family made different choices. Some called it hell and made their decisions accordingly. I have outlived them. I have called it LIFE.
I have been blessed by GOD helping others to develop vaccinations and medicines and surgeries to be available to follow the choices of myself and others. GOD has provided the doctors, the nurses, the caring from others. GOD has provided the pharmacists and more friends I could ever count.
We all make choices. I choose LIFE and the opportunities that GOD has provided for every day.
I share with you that your choices are for LIFE. ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN is a choice YOU make. The results of YOUR LIFE are from choices YOU MAKE. HOW YOU make your choices affect the LIVES of others whether you wish to accept the results of your choices or not.
LIFE is meant for living. Be the BEST that you can be and share as much of LIFE as you can.
Have a wonderful day and know OUR CARES AND PRAYERS go with you every step of the way.
I see so many people today living what appears to be an artificial life. Trying to find ‘happiness’ in drugs, or alcohol, or cigarettes, or parties, or the bars. They want all the appearances of being ‘happy’, but there is no depth to their emotion, or substance to their existence.
I see so many people now a days, as we get farther and farther from our religious roots, no matter what the cultural religious structure, trying to get meaning out of life through artificial means.
Whether hiding in alcohol, drugs, sex, parties, or the trappings of success, the true meaning that grows out of a sincere appreciation of the gift of earth and life seems to be absent from many lives, young or old. We seem to live to feed our egos. We live to impress others and cultivate their worship of us. We focus on how we perceive others to view us and strive to make that the most impressive perception possible. Fancy cars, big houses, more of this or that, a false happiness, a paper mache image of who we aren’t rather than who we truly are.
The focus on success in sports or business or in the stock market, to be wealthy earlier and not to have to work to get it is the American litany. When the dream confronts reality we resort to artificial life, the trappings of happiness without the depth.
Authentic life requires respect for the gift that this creation is, the Earth, and respect and honor for the gift of the people that share it with us, and to whom it also was given. We have lost a lot of respect, for the Earth; for our neighbors, for their faiths, and beliefs. We have lost compassion for their toils, and their struggles, and their pains. The ‘me’ generation of the 70’s is now the ‘what’s in it for me’ generation of the new millenia. This hollowness is manifesting itself on many fronts, but the biggest hit is in relationships.
Relationships have become hollow, without substance. They have turned into reality plays, but the reality is not the real structure of emotion or love, but rather a reflection of what we feel happiness should appear to be like as seen from outside of us, not experienced within us.
This is probably an ages old dilemma, the basis for the Tao, or the Upanishad, or Proverbs. This search for true happiness comes from the spirit within us and not from outside of ourselves.
I call this Authentic Life. Enjoying and appreciating the gifts of this world and its people. Supporting these people as gifts and treasuring their hearts as your own. From this comes the full cup within, the life everlasting, the love spirit of which Jesus speaks, and Lao Tzu and Buddha. The eyes with which we view the world, see the majesty of the creation, and cherishes all of its elements. When we have achieved Authentic Life, we are living and appreciating creation in its fullest. Live from the heart, appreciate from the spirit, respect and cherish the gift. In this you will live an authentic life, and its fullness and energy will reside inside of you as a well for others to draw from.