Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Changes To The Lord's Prayer????

     This is just a “weigh in” and maybe a little lesson in logic.  For me personally, when I began to think of God, Jesus, The Bible and how they influence our lives more logically and less emotionally, my relationship with God began to blossom like never before.  I have learned to try and put my basic emotions aside when trying to decipher God’s plan for me and try to look at every situation more logically.  As a result, I have achieved a personal peace and happiness I would have deemed heretofore impossible.  That being said let me get to the point of this short post.

     The big story in the news today is the Pope changing the wording in the Lord’s Prayer.  After 16 years of research into this particular matter, he wants us to change the phrase “Lead us not into temptation” to “Abandon us not when in temptation”.  As with most people, I balked a little when I first heard this but after some logical consideration, I have come to the conclusion he is correct.   Logically put, The Lord does not “lead” us into temptation.  Satan is the one who tempts us and he does so every chance he gets.  He is the evil one who seeks to tempt us into behaviors that will distance us from our God.  It therefore stands to reason that it is actually a little silly to ask God not to “lead us into temptation” because that is not what he does to us.  When Satan tempts us, many of us need God’s help to avoid that temptation so it just make sense that we would ask God not to abandon us when Satan is dangling that delicious looking hook in front of us.

     Those of you who know me know that there are many aspects of many religious dogmas to which I simply can not subscribe.  By the same token, there are many aspects to which I do subscribe simply because I can see the logic.  I have yet to discover any organized religion to which I can totally believe and in which I can immerse myself.  My advice to all has always been to establish your own personal covenant with God.  The personal relationship you and God establish between you is not necessarily identical to the relationship He establishes with someone else.  Therefore, think for yourself but be careful to never disparage the relationship someone else has established with God.  We are all individuals and it only makes “logical” sense that the established relationships we have with God are also distinct, indivisible entities as well.

     May God shower you with His love and remember, God is good all the time and all the time, God is good.

Friday, September 14, 2018

So Many of the Elderly Need Us

     I’m writing here, not as a preacher, but as a man of some years.  That’s just another way of saying “an old man” by the way.  I recently found myself greatly saddened by the death of Burt Reynolds.  I don’t know why I was as saddened as I was as I have seen many pass in my time.  Greats such as the renowned evangelist, Billy Graham, one of my favorite comedians, Harry Anderson, one of my favorite singers, Aretha Franklin, and many more and that’s just in the past year.  In addition, let us not forget family.  I am one of the elders in my family now as most of those who came before me have gone before me as well.  The only thing I can figure is the death of Burt came at a time when I was in an introspective frame of mind.  Getting older seems to be defined in part by how many people you know and know of who leave this world.
     What I was pondering when I heard of Burt’s death was simply the state of the world and oh my goodness what a state it is in.  I won’t beleaguer the point as all one has to do is watch any news station for about 15 minutes.  It’s not limited to present days, however, as a look back in recent as well as ancient history shows us many equal and even much worse times of turmoil.  Most people don’t seem to understand the relationship between turmoil and the human race.  I had an elderly uncle tell me once that he believed God in his wisdom limited our life spans for a reason.  He said our minds are not equipped to be able to handle but so much change in our surroundings.  I wonder now if he had a point since I have heard so many people my age and older state very plainly their readiness to leave this world.  It breaks my heart to hear someone say this.  It’s as if the weight of what they have been through has resulted in their forgetting what a wonderful gift God has given them. 
     Maybe what I have said here will give you a little more insight into the workings of an aging mind.  There are so many of the elderly that have no one in their lives with whom to simply sit and talk.   I implore everyone reading this to consider the joy they could bring to an elderly person’s life by simply being available.  Open your minds and you may also discover a wealth of knowledge they are more than willing to share.  If you give a little of yourself and in doing so bring forth a smile, is that not truly an example of “love one another”.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Journey to Abundance

     It has been a long time since I have posted here and for that I do apologize.  The spiritual journey I have experienced has been long, arduous, and at the same time, richly rewarding.  I want to relay here, not what I have done, but what I have learned. 
     God created humans for companionship.  We chose free will and in doing so, many of us walked paths that did not include God in our lives.  In other words, we fell woefully short of our intended purpose.  One can only imagine the magnitude of the sadness God must surely feel because of our shortcomings.
     There is one thing above all else we must remember.  We are god's children and he loves us, as my mother used to say, "warts and all".  God is infinite and unfailing.  He never turns his back on us as we have done to Him.  At any point in our lives, all we have to do is speak to Him and He hears but what He wants is to live within us.  He wants companionship.  He wants love.  So the question becomes, how do we give God what He wants.  There are two main answers to that question.
     What we need from God is forgiveness.  None of us is perfect and all of us have sinned.  Many of us feel unworthy of God's love because of the sins we have committed.  What so many of us don't understand is the expanse of God's love.  There is simply nothing we could ever do that would keep God from forgiving us.  In order to get to that point, we must first forgive any who have wronged us.  That is not always an easy thing to do but it must be done.  How can we expect God to forgive us if we have someone we can not forgive?  Start by simply saying aloud that you do forgive that person you feel did you wrong.  You are not going to believe yourself when you start so say it again.  Some will feel the forgiveness  in their hearts fairly quickly.  Others may have to say it out loud hundreds of times before their heart gets the message.  Don't quit.  Keep saying it to yourself whenever you get the chance and at some point your anger and disappointment will simply cease to exist.  While this path sounds difficult, you may find it even harder to deal with the other aspect of forgiveness.  We must learn to forgive ourselves.  We have all heard people say, "I am my own worst critic".  What we must tell ourselves is if God is willing to forgive us then we must also be willing.  God gave us free will at our request.  Like a good parent He is letting us travel the roads we choose in the hope we find the road that leads to Him.  He has never deserted us or turned His back on us and He hears and sees all we do.  It is said that in order to receive His forgiveness, all we must do is ask.  That is true beyond words and explanation but you won't know it unless you believe it.
      The other answer is love.  We must learn to feel love for every person we see or even think about.  No one is better or worse than we are ourselves and all of us are children of God so in essence we are all brothers and sisters.  That train of thought may make it a little easier to love.  Then you must consider that it is a daunting task indeed.  As humans, it is hard to love the person who just cut you off in traffic.  It's hard to love the murderer sitting on death row but he also is a child of God.  He also has God within him.  Where this gets dicey for some folks is failing to understand that loving someone does not always mean liking that person and we certainly can not always like or love what another person does.  Try just loving the person as a child of God and let everything else go. 
     Work on love and forgiveness.  Keep both things in the forefront of your mind and they will get easier and easier, not as you get used to thinking about them but rather as God gains a stronger and stronger foothold within you.  The fulfillment you will feel in your life will enrich you like never before.  Forgiveness and love are two things you can work on and ask God for and you will receive them.  Of that there is no doubt and once God is strong within you, you will be strong in His love and the abundance you will have in your life will almost be overwhelming.
     I love you.  No matter who you are reading this, know that I love you but much more importantly, know that God loves you.