“The Chair”

The Chair

“The Chair”

I was watching MLB Quick Pitch this AM and looked into my office and saw this chair of my Mother’s from when she was a kid. As you can see it broken. One of my sons brought it down stairs a few weeks ago, and asked me what to do with it, my first reaction was to trash it, but then I caught myself and said put it in my office, I will try to fix it! This morning I was looking at it looking at the chair and thought, that how most of us live our lives, we hold on to the past, even if it broken?

Many things in life are worth fixing, but we have to watch what we hold onto, most times we would be better served if we left the past in the past. Most of us hold onto the past with a vengeance, most of the BAD, and some of the good, mostly the BAD. Many of you can remember verbatim, some long ago hurt inflicted upon you by some other unconscious soul, LET IT GO! I see most of us hold onto the past, our past, and we think it’s real- HISTORY, but it’s not, it’s subjective at best, but most of us don’t realize that, we think our history is true?

For example, when my parents were alive about 10 years ago, my sisters and I were talking with my Mom and Dad about Christmas’s when we were children. So we were all reminiscing about the days of our childhood, and I was struck by how different our memories were, five of us all in the same house, all remembering things differently. Obviously, we usually remember things from our personal point of view, but the problem is we think that’s “history” or “true”? It’s subjective at best, and can be the source of much pain, at it’s worst.

The past is gone, can you hold onto the good memories, sure, but you hold on to the bad memories as your own peril. I see that much of the pain in this world comes from past slights, miss-spoken words, and the need to right all the time.

Jesus talks about living for today, and seeing with new eyes, the narrow path, all pointers to show us how to live in the here and now, for tomorrow has enough worries of its own!

Jesus calls us to Radical Love and Radical Forgiveness, the kind of Radical Love and Forgiveness that can only come when your operating from your highest best self, that part of you that comes from God.

That radical love and forgiveness that asks nothing in return, that’s when you’re working from your highest best self. I also know it has to starts with you, you must trust the system enough to know you are forgiven and loved yourself. It has to start with you, if you’re not good for yourself, you can’t be good for anyone else, PERIOD! I also know if you can’t let go of the past, it will be very difficult to forgive yourself and others!

The past as you know it only exists that way in your mind, no one else! How you see yourself is the major factor on how you see others and how you see the world. The smallest, shallowest part of that equation is your limiting factor, you cannot be or see any larger than your smallest thought. So sometimes we just need to throw that chair out, and move on with our lives, the past can be wonderful, but it can also be the chains that keep us tied to where we are!

Peace!

Required reading for this post:

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Do yourself and everyone around you a favor and read them!!

My take on the “wages of sin”

So I have found that it’s much more difficult for me to post when the weather gets nice. Between yard work and baseball and wanting to spend more time outside, it’s been harder to sit down and write a post.
This week I found some inspiration, I was speaking to a friend of mine and she said something like, you know back when you use to sin! I just started grinning, laughing on the inside, when I use to sin, hell I sin every day! It’s that on good days the sins are different than you might think. I have had this thought in the last few months, I have this idea of “soft sins” or the small sins we tend to over look, the big boy sins tend to take care of themselves don’t they, usually if they made the top ten list, you must deal with them, they will force you to, one way or another.
It’s those small buggers we tend to miss; they’re the ones that do the most damage?
You know the ones like being passive aggressive, or with holding love because you are pissed off, or judging yourself or others. Usually the way you treat others is how you feel about yourself on the inside.
So when I use to sin, like today, or every day. I know what my friend meant; we were talking about how I am working with my kids to make sure the first comment out our mouths is a positive one, unlike the usual negative ones we start with! The interesting part is that I now realize that they got that habit from me, I had help, but it starts right here, at the top (lol, its Fathers Day, so I will pretend i am at the top of the heap here at home).
So of course my friend thinks I am better than I really am, we are all works in progress, not works of perfection, but I do try, sometimes I don’t get very far, do I do try to make my life and those around me a better place!
To me sin is missing the mark, like an archer misses the bulls-eye, but we are still on track. God doesn’t keep score, ever! Most of the time I think the bigger problem is that we keep score for ourselves and for others! It’s not your job EVER!
So free yourself, and others, sin is missing the mark- when we choose to move out of God’s grace, God never moves away from us, EVER!
God is always there broadcasting the same message to the world- Grace-Peace-Love- Forgiveness-Joy.
If that’s not what you see at least some of the time, you need to get the corrosion knocked off your receptors. Remember in the beginning, this Jesus movement was called the good news, if it doesn’t feel that way to you; you need to do some internal cleaning!
Peace, love, joy to you.
I have a game of backyard football to get to!

Audio from 6-21-15

My “False Self”

I am taking a online course with the Center for Action and Contemplation, based on the book “Immortal Diamond” by Richard Rohr. I highly recommend anything by Richard Rohr, his body of work is fantastic! Below are 2 questions the course asked us to ask ourselves, and my answers. I thought you might enjoy. Get the book!

The false self is the part of you that’s fully in this world, you need it to develop, but if life works right you move into more of your true self. The die before you die is about learning to let “this world” and its cares go so you can experience a “truer” life while your here in the dimension!

What have I learned from my false self?

I learned I built a damn good container for my second half of life. I learned that sometimes, or most times, its tougher to have “tasted” a small piece of my true self, but not be able to stay in that place….

It can be a terrible longing to get back there, but I know its a process, God comes at us disguised as our lives, but its easy to lose sight of that in the day to day life we live. I learned I don’t want a FALSE SELF any more, I want to live in a “world” that doesn’t exist.  I want to snap my fingers and create “heaven”, the problem is I know I can, I struggle when I “fail” to get back there. I am learning to deal with that too.

How have I died before I died? Apparently not well!

I catch glimpses, when my kids say your nicer now, or when I can lose myself in someone else. Or the times I can only see the joy and beauty in the world, or in others. When I can be on my “A” game more, and see less “them’s” and more “us’s.” This too is fleeting, like a mist that disappears with the morning sun.

I struggle on knowing that its on “me” to get back there, God is just an outpouring of love, the rest is on me, how do I stay in the “zone” longer? How can I continue to see others, all others, as loved children of God? Their problems -more a reflection of me, than of them… My lessons to learn, to grow through, to help others with on our journey. I am working on the “soft sin” of perfection, in myself, or more importantly projecting it to others!

So I try to die a little more every day, look for the beauty and wonder in everything, know its a dream- and a joy to be here, experiencing the wonder of it all.

My online response to why Christianity is loosing ground in the US.

Here my response to a article on-line to why American’s are leaving Christianity:

Most people get just enough religion to make them miserable, but not enough to show them a way to God.
I read many of the posts here, most of them might be true as to why many have left the “church.” We lost the mystery and awe that God can show us, we have everything, including God in a box.

S\he is energy(spirit) s\he can’t be contained in box.
Modern man, and I use the term loosely, have to make things fit, that’s what we are taught in school, we have scientific minds now. We have to be right because someone else has to be wrong…
God is more nuanced that that, there is beauty all around us if you can learn to see it.

Many\most people read the Bible as a literal book, but its much more than that, its not a history book either, but some how it describes the human condition very well, even 2100 years later. Literalism is not wrong, its just the lowest form of understanding. Literalist get caught up with the law, they quote a verse out of context and usually use it to hurt someone else or make themselves look good. Jesus saw a different God, not a law God, but a God of love.

The problem is Jesus was not a law guy at all, he was a love guy. Tough to build a religion on that, and the Catholic’s did what people do, they humanized it, and drug it to our human level. They have had a lot of help over the last several hundred years from a lot of different religions.

Why so many Christian religions now?

Our thought process has changed drastically over the last several hundred years to a scientific mind, we have to prove things , explain things, we have to “right” all the time. Where people of centuries past would be ok “not having to understand” everything, and I mean everything, in our modern minds we have to “prove” everything “all” the time. Somebody, thing or idea has to be “right” and by our definition – then somebody, thing or idea has to be “wrong.” If your not in exact agreement with them over a few ideas, “they” must be wrong, start a new Christian Religion.

God doesn’t work like that.
Seems to me science points to the unknown(God), more and more every day. Read about quantum physics or string theory. They find we know less and less all the time.
Isn’t  it wonderful.

We need to learn to sit with the unknown, revel in the mystery of it all, learn to see with new eyes. Know that we don’t know everything, and probably aren’t meant to, ever.
If you can dig a little deeper, sit with the unknowable, see with new eyes, its a marvelous adventure.

Peace

Let God back in, or turn the receptors back on!

So I was talking to guy I know through work , I really don’t know him well at all, but he is a good guy. We don’t get to talk that that often, but we had some time this week to get to know each other.

In the course of that conversation we got around to how I preach 3 Sundays a month. It always amazes me how that almost  always changes the conversation, usually for the better. I never know what I am going to get into, I guess that’s one of the joys in life, the surprise of it all.

So back to the conversation, he starts off by telling me of all the “things” he has , RV, motorcycle, boat, snow machine, etc. Also all the vacations he and his wife have been on, they have been blessed to see much of the country and the world!

I have to admit part of me was\is jealous of the life they get to live, and God Bless them they have earned it! On the other hand I was struck by emptiness of it all, I played that game for a long time myself, and truthfully I still struggle with how to be “of this world and not in it.” Sometimes I do it better than others, right now I am struggling with that part of me- quite a bit if truth be told.  That’s called Hell by the way. When you move away from God Grace, and make no mistake- we do it to ourselves.

When I preach about money, I like to quote Billy Graham “The wrong is not when men posses riches, it’s when the riches posses the men.” The riches use to ,and still try to posses me. More accurately, I allow them to posses my thoughts, again. That’s Hell , when we choose to move out of God’s Grace. That my EGO coming out again, to much of me and not enough God.

We are taught here in America, that more is always better, bigger is always better, achieving and pushing is “what” we do. If that’s  the American dream- then why are so many of us disillusioned with this “dream” and miserable? Why do so many of us end up asking ourselves, is this all there is, what am I about, what am I doing here?

So we think more of the same will “fix” that part of us that’s missing, that hole in us, but it doesn’t, we just try to get more. More of everything, more money, more toys, more neuroses, more addictions, more parties, more drinking, more travel, more house, more, more, more.

What we need is less, less of us and this world, and more of God. That hole we are trying to fill is the part in us that God should be filling in our lives. Make no mistake, God is always there, as constant out pouring of love, we just have to turn our receptors back on to receive her love.

Back to the conservation, this guy then proceeds to tell me how he is a regular at church , and where do I preach, etc . We talked a little more and he got emotional and tear’d up in his office, and told me he doesn’t think “he is good enough for God. ” That was not what I was expecting to hear from him, not in our first “real” conversation, but it was beautiful , the honesty of it, the purity of it.  I can I relate to that, that’s how I use to feel myself at times, when I had more pain and less of her Grace in my life.

I am glad he trusted me enough to open up to me!

I tried to help – “there is absolutely nothing you can do to make yourself good enough for God, nor should you try.”

It all comes from God freely

We are whole and compete with God, from the start, there is nothing you can do or say to make it otherwise, Nothing, Nada, Zilch.

To paraphrase Richard Rohr , “everything we need comes in the box from the MFG.”

William Sloan Coffin said ” we get just enough religion to make us miserable.”

Boy is that the truth for many of us! Or all of us some of the time.

The key is to know that we cannot do anything to stop God’s love “to” us, nothing, the rest of it comes from us, and  the noise we allow into our lives.

Know you are loved, you “are” love, and there is nothing you can do about it, just accept it as the free gift that it is, with nooooooo strings attached.

Fill that hole that’s missing in you, with the radical Love and Grace that passes all human understanding. Turn on you “receptors” and let God back in.

Peace