Judging 2017-20

 Judging  2017-20

Why do we judge!”?

I would think that we do so, because we are what we are; judgmental in nature because we are human. Make sense?

No? Well, that may be so, but there are probably good reasons why we are so. And really, that’s the way it is, so live with it. If we say we do not judge, think again, do you, do we? Probably yes, in some way, sometime, somewhere.

Being judgmental tends to make us too quick to judge and very critical of another person or thing and somewhat makes us a judgmental prig. That, by the way, means one who offends or irritates by observance of properties (as of speech or manners) in a pointed manner or to an obnoxious degree.

I would not like to be considered priggish, but If I am, so be it.  I really do not think so, but I do not like the thought of being that way.

Anyway, most of us judge others; period!

Now that this is said, I again, ask WHY DO WE JUDGE!????

I would think that the way we measure ourselves, is how we measure others, and therefore assume how others measure you too. REALLY?

Let us say that we have standards in life!  First off, what is a standard that we use? I would believe it is by our authority that we use as a basis of comparison in life. Therefore, it is something we can use as a basis of judgement such as morals, habits, ethics, or anything considered an approved model to compare.  Close enough.

IF we use a yardstick for ourselves, we also use it to judge the rest of the world, good or bad or indifferent.

Let me talk about religion.  I recently was reflecting on how religion plays a rule in life for some people. If someone thinks that value comes from their faith in a higher power, then they will view others by THEIR faith (or lack of faith) in a higher power.  This is not fair to the others, because WHO says we are right or our religion is correct or not correct? We need not judge when it comes to religion; period!

Someone told me that it is OK to judge those that did something bad, and that is why we have police, courts, judges, and jails. I believe when someone goes outside the accepted norm of life and breaks the law, for instance, then there are rules that are in place to prosecute those offenders.  If I am on a jury, then I will judge the offender once all the facts by the prosecutor and defender of the accused are presented.  Wow, I have become a judgmental person, I guess.

There are many instances where we can say that judging is NOT wrong! There are many ways to show how we measure ourselves against others, and I will leave with this thought.

Judge not, lest ye be judged!

Den Betts

Cross Experience 2017-18

                                                Cross Experience  2017-18

This past weekend gave us insight again, on how our Savior lived, died and was resurrected to give us the promise of eternal life.  So be it.

One of the songs we sang at Celebration Lutheran Church, was “Where You There When They Crucified Our Lord”. That song always get to me.  It is somewhat of a sad song, with much meaning.

I was meditating today and the scene of the crucifixion was imprinted on my mind. I started to remember the Scripture writings of the experience that our Lord, Jesus Christ went through.

In this respect, I WAS THERE!!!! 

I could see the three crosses stuck in the holes on the hill of the Skull as it was called.  I could smell the odors of the area where death was lingering, the smell of feces and urine was present from unwanted voids from the many people that had been put to death there. 

I could hear the wailing of the people that were in attendance to observe the deaths of those on the crosses and of those to be yet hung.  The Roman guards had a long list of those that required them to put to death.  It was not a nice scene or one to be a part of at that time.

The three on the crosses were there as described.  They were attached to the wooden trees with iron stakes that impaled their wrists to the horizontal beam. This helped to prevent the victim to pull loose and fall to the ground. It was not a pretty sight to see and I was emotional about it.

I was a spectator, and as such, I somewhat also had freedom to move around the area, which was strange to know and do at the time.  I did so.

I went past one of the three and looked up at him. At that moment he was not moving, or making any comments.  He looked ghastly and drawn and near death.

I finally arrived at the cross of Jesus Christ.  I hesitated to look up at Him.  I looked at one of the guards and he eyed me to see what I was going to do, if anything.

Jesus looked down at me.  He focused his look right at me.  He cocked His head and whispered something to me and I strained to hear.   He repeated it, and I got closer to Him and heard.  He said, “I know who you are”.   He said the exact same thing to me when I was observing Him get baptized, by John the Baptist, which I have reported on before. 

This statement startled me! It made me think of the baptism and what I saw then.  I was an observer then, as I was at the cross, and it made me think of myself and my relationship with God and Jesus.

I stood with mouth open and eyes open, looking up at Jesus. Then, I saw that by looking down at me it caused the crown of thorns placed on his head to move and disturb the wound they made.  A drop of blood formed on one of the thorns and I watched as it rolled down the cluster of wooden spikes in His head. 

Then it dropped toward me.  I watched as it sped to meet me at the bottom of the cross. I did not move. It continued falling and SPLAT, it hit me on my forehead.  I backed up away from the cross. I continued backing until I came to a boulder, behind me. 

I looked up at Jesus and my eyes teared and I wept.  His look was one of compassion and love and His head nodded up and down.

I thought of today’s Eucharist communion practice where we hear, “This is the body, given for us, then this is the blood shed for us”.   I raised my hand and touched my forehead where the drop of blood from my Savior Jesus Christ had landed.

My finger found the spot and it came away red with the liquid life of Jesus.  I looked at it and then I did something that was foreign to me, I kissed my finger where the blood was smeared on the tip of my finger. 

I, at that time, felt the Presence of God be a part of me.  His blood that he shed, was shared with me.  I knew at that moment what it was all about.  He, Jesus Christ DID die for me, DID give me the opportunity to live forever in paradise with Him.

I was blessed with His presence in person before at what I called The Happening, I had experienced His presence before after I had the stupor, I in my prayerful meditation had once again had His presence be brought to me like, when He was baptized my John the Baptist in the Jordon River.

Oh, my God, my God, how can I thank you for your blessings!

Peace be with you all

Dennis Betts

The Cross 2017-19

                                                                             The Cross    2017-19 

This is what I have published before in 2014, and represents what I feel about “The Cross”, which I wear to remind me who I am, what I am and why I am in relation to God. The cross is, like I state, a symbol, but to me, also, a way of life now.

Easter is a few days from now. I heard a man refer to it as “Resurrection Day”. That was interesting, as Easter is a day when we do remember Jesus on the Cross, but Resurrection Day is the day where it all comes together and is why we are Christians, and why we have the promise of eternal life, and not just the life we live here on Earth.

The Cross

A symbol to some, a statement for

others, a means of expression;

a way of telling a belief of

the mind in a way using no words.

 

A simplistic unadorned object

from the earth, representing a

means, a way of reaching the

universe, the heavens above.

 

An object signifying pain

and death, of cruelty beyond

description, but promising a

life of joy beyond belief.

 

A sign of a son of God

of suffering for the sons

and daughters of the Father

for the promise of eternal life.

 

Den Betts

 

Broken World!?!- Then and Now? 2017-17

Broken World!?!-  Then and Now? 2017-17

I have heard the words “Broken World” in relation to our existing Earthly existence several times lately. It has to do with world events, the way we look at things, sometimes regarding religion, but is not a Wikipedia source to examine.

I can handle the ways it is used to describe how things are now.  We have many instances to use as a reason to call our world broken today. 

I think of just the past one hundred years leading up to today that can be used as examples. The WWI, the WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, the Iraq/Afghan War, the various mini skirmishes all over the world that have been highlighted, all are part of man’s actions that have put us at jeopardy in living a decent life.  This week we had an escalation in Syria with the air attack in Syria due to chemical bombs by the Assad regime against civilians.  

Those are wars/incidents involving man against man, nation against nation, and show us just how uncivilized we are to one another. Granted, many were started by an individual that created a reason to begin fighting one another.  They gave us justification to begin the art of war towards others.  Pearl Harbor is an example, of a nation starting something they could not finish, due to many reasons.

Little things like the drug war (?) being waged against the opiate epidemic, street crime, gang warfare in the cities, show just how we fight, fight, fight one another. I am not claiming we should NOT act toward “the others” that do things badly, just stating that we indeed, live in a broken world. 

This is NOT new. Go back through time and it is obvious that the world has been broken for a long time. I think of this current “Lenten season” where we take pause and recap what happened to a man/God named Jesus Christ.  He lived in a broken world of His time.  Rome had taken over the Jerusalem area and were in control. Thousands of Jews were killed on crosses and left there as a reminder of just who oversaw the area; the Romans.  Zealot Jews were fighting against the Romans. It was probably not a good time to live in this area of discord. 

I thought about this and realize that things are what they are and don’t change, even when a Messiah is claimed by those that followed Him.  We still have a broken world of people that have FREE WILL to do or not to do something.  The promise of Jesus was salvation. That means not about today, but about later when we can look forward with eternal life with God. 

If this is not appealing to some, so be it.  We still must suffer the consequences of life today, while living on Earth! If the hereafter is not something we care about, we will find out if we should have considered it now. 

I am not looking forward to dying, but when I do die, I hope and pray that I am selected to live with God forever, afterwards.  It will be neat to talk to those preceding me and to find out some genealogical facts of life, they experienced.

A broken world must be lived in. We do NOT have much of a choice right now.

Peace,

Den Betts

Fragile Earth 2017-16

                                          Fragile Earth   2017-16

We, or some of us, take the planet we call Earth for granted at times. It has been around for such a long time we believe it will stay the same forever.  Or we hope.

We expect the Earth to continue to act like it does, going around the Sun, revolving each 24 hour day, having seasons occur like they do, etc.

IF we continue to pollute like we do overall, IF we stay the course on using up Earth’s resources that could be changed, IF we treat the Earth like an untapped vessel of goodness and wealth, we will find out eventually that we made a mistake.

Another thing, we live on a moving vessel that travels, again, around the Sun. That travel makes our seasons, makes our days and nights be a reality.

I ask, do YOU think this is a quirk of nature, that just happens or is there another reason we exist as occupants of a moving entity? I read a book, “More Than a Carpenter” by Sean McDowell that was telling his life story and trying to convey the fact that there was a man named Jesus, who was the Son of God and also a God that exists. I suggest anyone that has doubts, read this book.

In it, the scientific question comes up about various things that are doubted by many, namely Atheists. I will not spoil the results of his answers for you; again read the book.

One thing or question asked about our domicile name Earth, is thus. IF gravity were to deviate in a very small way, Earth would not be habitable. It had to be fine-tuned to one part in 1040, and that amounts to 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. The most economical and reliable explanation for WHY the universe is so precisely fined-tuned is because a Creator—- GOD—- made it that way.

There are other questions like this, but read the book and be enlightened. I dare you!!! Well, not really, but it was an interesting read and was inspiring to me. We would not exist if many things were to happen; both natural and manmade.

Our existence, again, is fragile, both individually and worldwide in scope. Climate change, per the scientists is a real concern, a real problem for us inhabitants.  Saying it is not so, we can do, but we also will suffer the consequences if we are not correct.

Den Betts

Prayng and Meditating 2017-15

Praying and Meditating   2017-15

A prayer is not really a meditative action, but would guess it could be related.

I meditate, which is when I contemplate or reflect on something, where I focus my thoughts or ponder about something. I, at times, come up with a plan or create a project to do in the future based on my meditative experience. I do not have a purpose in my thinking, but sometimes do have an innovative idea that I can react too or put into reality. 

I can combine the meditative time with prayers though and that is based on the contemplation that happened during this time. This is a quiet time for me—thinking to myself what is going through the convolutes of my brain.  Sort of neat….

Some could say that the meditation could have a spiritual practice to it that gives me purpose in life based on a religious thought or so. Perhaps!  The Buddhist meditation tradition does have some of that, but I don’t look at this as an ongoing way of understanding at the time.

Prayer is different.  This is a relationship with my God. It is not my silent thinking, but my vocal or outgoing way of talking with a Deity. Could a prayer be a devotional contemplation? I would think so, because of the two methods interacting at the same time. If I am meditating or reflecting about a religious thought and it goes over the fence and I am now discussing this with God, I have joined the two practices, in the same time frame.

Much has been published about how to meditate and how to pray.  It is, to me, easy to combine the two at the same time and do both.  To void the mind of extraneous thoughts while meditating and then trying to pray, can be an effort so it has a fine line on the doing of both at the same time.

So, I think they are related as I said, but still separate in their own way. If anyone does either that is great, for I get satisfaction when I meditate and extreme satisfaction when I pray so the best of two worlds is something to strive for in life.

Peace be with you,

Den Betts