Passage Overland 2015-41

We were on a trip to San Antonio, Texas via an Amark train. I remember the trip paralleling the Mississippi River and seeing the homeowners that put their junk stuff, out of sight behind their garages, in clear view of the train passengers. The trip was wonderful, even after I went to the bathroom and pushed the wrong button. Instead of flushing the toilet, the shower came on and I left the bathroom dripping wet with my clothes on. My wife stood there and just howled with laughter, looking at the water drip from my nose onto the floor below.

Passage Overland  2015-41

The clickity-clack on rails so thin

A lulling sound to ears so round.

Fleeting through the countryside.

 

The underbelly of the land – beside

Backyard garbage on vivid display

Throwaways of peoples being passed.

 

Too, scenic wonders of hills and dells

Rivers, bayous, so very grand,

All exposed to travelers eyes.

 

Speeding by with detached care

A journey made from here to there

An echo of the past, now in the air.

Den Betts

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Christian Disciplines for Lent 2015-40

Christian Disciplines for Lent   2015-40    (Neat that it is #40)                

Don’t want to give up chocolates for Lent? Or, pizza, cookies, TV, Internet, etc? These are a sampling of things people give up for Lent. These are something we choose to not have to perhaps show God that we are sacrificing something for the purpose of denying ourselves for the remembrance of Jesus Christ and what He did for us up to the time we celebrate Easter.

I question—- are these things, by giving them up for 40 days, bringing us closer to God? This has been debated by church people over and over again. Let me also ask this. How about doing something different? Instead of giving up a trivial thing, could we DO something for Lent that has meaning and DOES get us somewhat closer to God?

Our pastor suggested this and gave us some examples of what to do.   Everyone can try doing what was suggested. What is it????

Let us all endeavor to follow a Holy Lent whereby we honor sacrifice by taking on disciplines that will enrich our life with Christ and help us more fully appreciate the suffering and death of our Lord and the glory of resurrection on Easter morning. This is a different type of doing!  I challenge you to try this!!!

Last year in December, when I started this blog, I posted twelve disciplines that can be attempted. They are listed under DISCIPLINES and the posts are numbered from 2014-15 through 2014-27. If a reader goes to the “About” page on the top Menu, and on the right or bottom area,
scroll down to where the Disciplines are listed under Spirituality, you will find them.

I think that some of them are appropriate to try and I have summarized them under each title. Which ones to try????  Well, I will use the ones Pastor suggested. Meditation, Prayer, and Fasting are good ones to look at for now or pick another one if you wish.  I realize now that ANYONE can partake of these disciplines, as a way of life, regardless of any faith or belief, if they have a god to listen.  Just a thought…….

Quoting Pastor, “Resist the temptation to go all out or expect too much of yourself in the beginning. Disciplines are something that we grow into… they take time to work over our old habits and instill new ones!! Choose one, and do your best at it throughout Lent.  God calls us to center on Him, to listen for the voice of God calling out in the wilderness. God’s voice is there. Come journey with us as we seek to quiet our lives more attentively to the voice of God.”

Since I Meditate and Pray daily anyhow, I am going to try Fasting as a Discipline. It will be MY Lenten way of sacrifice, but it will be a MODIFIED fasting one, which I have done  before. That means I will adapt it to my age, my health and will not be a somewhat Normal Fasting that is written about by others. It WILL be between God and I and He will understand..   Another thought— “To be able to fast is another gift from God” This Fasting is a Spiritual fasting and not a lose weight type of fasting, BTW…….. Ask me, if you have questions, ok?

Den Betts

A Man 2015-39

 

“Just how do we feel about those that are not of our kind or looks. It is so easy to be judgmental and turn away from those not like us.  We do have much to learn about being more tolerant and forgiving to others that do not appear like us”

A Man   2015-39

I saw a man as if in a dream,

His hair was long like a once called hippy.

 

The sandals he wore appeared as old as he,

The smell of sweat was in the air, not clean.

 

Looks are not true of a man and his beliefs,

But, only are signs of what and how things just are.

 

Should I criticize the longhaired or bare footed,

Or those that are not like me?

 

A man died for me once who was like this,

Would I judge him today like he was then?

 

Do I cast a verdict for those not like me,

The outside looks are not the inside thoughts.

 

The self-righteous man has much to learn,

From those that walk the ways of life.

Den Betts

Huh???? 2015-38

                   Huh????     2015-38

When does YES become MAYBE and NO become PERHAPS?

Does SORTOF turn into SOMEWHAT when you least expect it

Why does SURE morph into a definite NEGATIVE answer?

Yet allow the I THINK take over the conversation!

Will EXACTLY be mistaken for a SO-SO type acclamation?

And allow Question words to rule the atmosphere,

Saying  Who, What, When, Where and Why????

CONTROL is in the mind with PERCEPTION

Knowing what is THOUGHT and what is MEANT!

This SOMEHOW  may make certain readers understand

But in most cases the thought is Huh!!???!!

Den Betts

Disciple of Christ + Christian 2015-37

Disciple of Christ + Christian   2015-37

What are a Christian and a Disciple of Jesus Christ? If you have read the Bible it is stated many times about the followers of Jesus Christ who became disciples and journeyed with Him during His ministry before His dying on the cross.

Let me also state that this blog ends up being seen, at times, by many people of various faiths. That is great and if those of NO faith or a different faith read this, perhaps they will learn something or be aware of a different point of view. So be it….

I had a problem with the word disciple and what it meant, regarding me. I never had a problem in the past until a few years ago. Then it was thrust at me as to what the word actually was and I started to ponder it. The word was on my lips and in my mind and I struggled to think that I may be a disciple, but felt unworthy of calling myself one. It was a BIG word and to think that I could assume a word like that was unimaginable to me.

Affirmation of Baptism?

I fought doing so and in the struggle, I came to grips with it. It took time; a number of years actually. I can remember partaking in a church ritual called “Affirmation of Baptism”. My friend, Paul, was my sponsor to this event and I put off doing so for a year after it was suggested to me by my Pastor. This affirmation is done, even though the person is or was baptized early on or as an infant. It is not an everyday event or doing, but more of a reminder of the ongoing journey of faith, one is on.

Why did I feel like it was a struggle? I felt uncomfortable because it was a commitment on my part. I was almost ready, but not quite. History… I was baptized as a baby or at least the church where it happened had a record of the fact. When I transferred my membership from there, to one where I went 24 years later, they sent the records to the new church. This was after I was married and was going to church. Before that time, I was unchurched as a child and young adult.

At the service, I partook of my affirmation in the Narthex, with the water font situated by the door to the Sanctuary. The words were spoken and I had water from the font dabbed on my forehead. I requested that I have the time to make a statement. I did so and said, “I, with this affirmation, hereby submit myself to God and surrender myself to Jesus Christ!” I meant it! I was told later by a member that it was a most wonderful experience they had, hearing me and watching me have this happen.

So, I continued on my journey. I still had problems with the discipleship thing though. What right did I have thinking I was a disciple of Jesus Christ, I said. I was still me, and I did not feel any better than what I was before. I did feel that I was changing though.

My Spiritual Coach at the time suggested that I might have a calling to be an evangelist.  Wow, that seemed heavy.  I did not see myself standing on a soap box expounding about anything regarding God or Jesus Christ. I am NOT well versed on the Scriptures and have a terrible memory from an accident, so didn’t think that was a hot idea.

This was following what I call “The Happening” and I WILL tell you about that occurrence soon, maybe within a short time in the future. Suffice to say that I was on a journey and still am on one. It is a great and wonderful thing that occurred to me and it is probably a better read than this particular blog.

Disciple of Jesus?

Again, what is a disciple of Jesus Christ? This could be complicated, so I would like it to be less so. Simply put, being a disciple means more than just going to church. It really means you are a follower of God and Jesus and consider yourself a student or a learner who believes or adheres to the teachings of Jesus and make the teachings that Jesus taught a rule of life or how you conduct yourself.  This is not an easy task to be taken lightly, and should take some thought. I now consider myself a disciple, but still find it difficult at times to regularly commit myself to Him, but I try to do so regularly.

I can now say I am a disciple and have taken up the cross to follow Him, and to me, it means all the time, not just when I feel like it. Just saying I am a Christian involves my believing in Jesus and this would be in conjunction with an indwelling of the Holy Spirit that I feel resides in me. Wow..  And in the process I am trying to be an obedient disciple at the same time. The apostle Paul described the reality of taking up the cross and following the Lord: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Wearing a cross?

I might have mentioned this before as to why I wear a cross all the time. It is NOT to have others be aware of my beliefs, but instead, it is to constantly remind ME of how I feel towards Jesus. I show the sign of the cross when I take communion; not for others to see, but to remind me of the bread and wine and what it signifies. I do not care, if others do not wear the cross or show the sign; it again, is something I do for me and my dear Jesus. This is something I started doing after The Happening.

I will say that a Christian is what it sounds like; a follower of Jesus Christ and one that believes in what Jesus taught, in his time period, and who feel those teachings basically, still apply to today in this modern world. Some of those things are archaic, in a way,  and relate to His time and perhaps do not apply to today though. It was a different time and some of the happenings of then, are not prevalent now, I admit. I think I have to un-relate to how it is today in some cases, but do not have any exact examples to give you now. I think of slavery as an item that is not accepted in civilized society now.

I do not consider myself the perfect Christian or disciple of Jesus. I do try to do the things that Jesus would want me to do, but I fail often and truly admit doing so. I am not proud of that fact, but know that, with the Holy Spirit with me, around me and in me, I am forgiven for my inabilities of life.

Anyone can call themselves a Christian or a disciple of Jesus. I do, and I would (and hope others would also) refrain from judging myself as to how good I am one, or what I actually am. I believe Jesus knows how we stand as His follower and how good of a disciple to Him that we are actually.   Also, I feel I really know how I can relate to being a follower and I can judge myself. So can everyone!!!!!! Den Betts

Catalyst 2015-36

Catalyst    2015-36  

How many people do we know that are Catalysts? Do they affect people, but not really themselves in the process? How do they do so, and what affect overall do they make?

Being and sounding wise, without any effort to do so? Not taking a definite stance, but creating a definite way of life.  Questions, but perhaps no really good answers……..     

Catalyst

A person-thing of no change, but one that changes,

To alter a mindset of opinion, yet remain neutral.

A devils advocate that pleads a case for itself,

One that allows prejudice to be a foreign entity.

An observer of life, one that sees and listens,

And comments on the scene that has been seen.

A buffer between factions, ideals; open to all,

But allowed not to become a joiner of any.

A Solomon in wisdom, without the decision-making,

The sage of the hill, creating thought to others,

A person behind the action, not a part;

Creating inspiration and change for good or bad

Not affected by their actions, but affecting those they touch,

Creating a change again, and in the process making transformations

Den Betts

TIME HEALS 2015-35

TIME HEALS    2015-35

I offer this writing for those that need help in coping or know someone who does need guidance! I wrote this after I had such a time of need and it helped me. This poem was published in a number of magazines over the years and I have given it to people that really needed the advice. It is somewhat generic for many instances of life and maybe we could all take its sayings to heart. This is probably one of my better endeavors of writing that has helped many people in the past and I like this one more than most.

TIME HEALS    2015-35

T    –    Time is not forever,

Hold on for a while longer my friend.

I    –     It could have been worse,

Concentrate on what you have, not what happened.

M   –   My God is near when needed,

He is there regardless, you have only to ask.

E    –               Enjoy life when you can,

Every moment of happiness is to be cherished.

*          *          *

H   –    Have a rest when needed,

Take it easy, slow down, sleep if you have to.

E    –   Everyone seems to care,

You have so many friends, all praying for you.

A    –   A cry is OK,

An outburst of emotion is good for you.

L    –    Learn to cope,

There are so many ways of doing things, try them.

S    –    Smile !!

The best advice you should take.

 

Den Betts