Be Good To One Another

Fear brings out some interesting emotions in us all. Organized religion has known this for a long time and has had a pretty good handle on how to make it work for them.

Perhaps we all respond to stimuli the way our natural DNA tells us to. Some has to be cultural, but I think our gut reaction is from our spirit and how we relate to the world.

With the grief and sadness over the recent attacks in Paris and other global points, it has been interesting to see the responses on social media as well as National media. A portion of my belief has real frustration with the news and the bombarding and continuous pounding of points that they want to make. All the more frustrating when they don’t have all the facts, but they continue to repeat those points, and then the fire is started and everyone runs off half cocked on social media.

As a country I wish our heart was in to a crisis as much as our heads were. It seems we are in a host of places that we don’t need to be or at least at that point.  We don’t have to be the worlds savior and it’s healthier for everyone for those that can take care of their own problems, do so.

I’m all for thinking globally and helping others out, but some of it just isn’t our business. I’m not much of a political thinker. I try, but the more I seek the less I seem to know or believe.

That being said I have my own difficulties personally even trying to lace up my faith and my humanness in close proximity. At the heart of the worlds major religions, from my Muscogee faith and my journey with Christ, to all the others, love, peace, balance and harmony are the tenants. Man has done and continues to do horrible things to his fellow brothers and sisters and my gut reactions are not pretty. But then I look at a statue of Buddha or Christ, or Black Elk, and the tension amps up quite a bit.

As I face East every morning with sage and feathers for morning prayers, all I can do is try to connect with the Creator and be thankful. I hope whomever you pray to , you are asking for much of the same thing. And that we all try to lace up our faith with our humanness to somehow resemble a single mind and heart for peace.

Aho and Amen! be good to one another

Music for the writing of this blog post was Bob Dylans, ” Everything is broken”, “God on our side” and “Change my way of thinking”


God and Hate, or God and Love !

Perhaps it’s a misguided, utopian view of God that I hold, but when I think of the purest form of love, God, I have a hard time finding a place for the word “hate”. I’m told that God commands us to love. If we begin with hate, then there really isn’t any place to go from there, but if we begin with love, then a plethora of opportunities will be shown to us.

I guess for me personally, I’m just not so sure that I have all the answers. That there isn’t room for conversation. The whole God as a father image has always been a little weird for me, but if we do look at it that way for sake of conversation, then it changes everything. I couldn’t imagine my children doing anything that would make me hate them. I can deal with disappointment, frustration, and sadness. But hate, I just don’t see anything ever separating my love, for them and me.

I don’t see how a bridge could ever be built or understanding accomplished if I began and stayed in hate. So for people to speak for God and say that God “hates” certain behaviors, well I just don’t feel right about it. I doesn’t resonate in my soul as something that is of God.

I may be part of the problem here by giving the folks that espouse these views more spotlight. I think the media makes us feel like this kind of thinking is rampant, but that just brings everyone’s nerves to a boiling point. These folks are not a representative of the larger Christian community, that are trying to have an open, honest, redemptive walk with their Creator.

So what do you think? How do hearts like those ever soften? Does it ever flesh out in their own lives, where they are forced to lay down a sword and pick up a pillow for a dying relative? Please share your thoughts and insights, because we are all in this together, and we are all brothers and sisters trying to find our way.

Are You In Or Are You Out?

What does the word “Exclusive” mean to you? I guess it would possibly matter in what context you read it or heard it, right? Perhaps this morning when I read it, it just hit me wrong. I was in the mall, a place I usually don’t go. This was Nashville’s upscale mall, and it was an advertisement for a pair of sunglasses. They were on a way too good looking young model and the slogan read “Isn’t it great to be exclusive”. It just made me think of that word for a minute. The night before I had been at a function in a very well to do neighborhood, like home in the 2-3 million dollar range. Of course it had the gate, guards, the whole bit there to keep the common folks out. Does the word exclusive make us feel special? Where do we look to be or feel special, affirmed, appreciated? Where should we look? How is exclusiveness or inclusiveness present in our lives?

I know it’s all just advertising, and the folks in those neighborhoods are good folks and deal with much the same problems that we all do. I know it’s not a big sinister plan, but it did make me think about 2 words….Exclusive and Inclusive. Do we want to buy into the exclusive side of things so we feel better about ourselves?. What’s the lyric in the Kris Kristofferson song “Jesus Was A Capricorn”?

“cause everybody needs somebody to look down on

who they can feel better than anytime they please

someone doin’ somethin’ dirty decent folks can frown on

if you can’t find nobody else then help yourself to me”

It seems like when I read about the great religions of the world, they are all inclusive, not exclusive. Christ was definitely inclusive. Being inclusive sure feels better to me. Sometimes it just feels like a subtle thought process permeating our world, a way to feel superior maybe or maybe a way to not look at what might be lacking in our own spirits and lives. I often feel like that’s the way it is for me.

No big deal. Just something that crossed my mind and wondered if it did anybody else’s. Tell me what you think or how you’d respond to those words.

The Reluctant Christian

For a long time when people asked me if I was a Christian, there must have been a puzzled look on my face as I searched for a way to answer that question. The word Christian comes with so much baggage and expectation, and much of that I didn’t want anything to do with. I always tried to look at my faith through the eyes of someone who didn’t necessarily believe, or at least didn’t follow a Christian faith

I think what man has done to Christ is pretty amazing and many times comical. Sometimes intentions were good but many times God was just used to fill personal agendas. I wonder when looking down at the way some faiths are being lived out, if God is just shaking his head in a puzzled sort of way thinking, “y’all have missed it”. I think God gets the whole human experience in all we do, as we bounce along the bumpers of life trying to connect, to find that harmony, that union.

This may be a big limb for some people, but I’m not even sure we can disappoint him. The whole right or wrong thing. Perhaps there’s a bit of sadness when we make a decision that takes us out of that harmony, but even those are good to learn from. It’s always a journey as we move along the spiral, sometimes closer to our center, sometimes further away. But if we are intentional in our journey of faith, only being in harmony will feel right.

I have read about many forms of faith from Buddhism to Christianity. From Native America to Hindu. I think there is one Creator, and he gave us all a way to see him through our own cultures. . I am a member of a church and I find many good minds there and ones that allow me to expand mine. I hope my thoughts and beliefs will continually take shape as I grow older. For me, the walk and life of Christ is what I’m drawn to. It’s what makes sense and is what captures my heart. Most everything else that humans attach to that is suspect and up for grabs. Anything I don’t have to earn and is full of the purest love is for me. I believe we are all in this together and God shouldn’t be expected to fit in any one box. So with all of the embarrassing TV preachers, the confusion of trying to make sense of it all, I am happy to live within the mystery, and more comfortable in being the reluctant Christian. Trust your heart.