Essence of Thought 2016-18

 

What are thoughts and how do we come up with the many that we do? I believe when I wrote this, I was thinking too much (and maybe still am).

Essence of Thought  2016-18 

Begone, begone ye cursed thoughts,

Take off and flee to a different day.

Let my mind be at rest for a fleeting moment,

To regroup for a haggard stay.

 

Interest wanes for continued love,

In dismay, my mind wanders still.

Perish the Devil for allowing this,

A wicked way of fortunate bliss.

 

A rusty pinnacle of frozen tableau,

Given in time for decrepit spray.

Alas, the heart beat continues still,

Allowing a millennium of joy, I pray.

 

Where is the harbinger of celestial upheaval,

To judge those left behind.

Thoughts remain to drip to oblivion,

Finally peace reigns in my time.

Den Betts

“TO” 2016-17

                                        “TO”      2016-17

To appreciate life in its fullest, with all the UP’s and DOWN’s of existence

To realize living is, in fact, a luxury of life itself and of being

To know that existence is a wonderful facet of life, we enjoy

To recognize we have to take the BAD and GOOD, as part of our enjoyment of being

To understand our time on Earth is a microcosm of a future period of eternity

To discover that life’s “Earth journey” was, in effect, a test for living that life of eternity

To grasp the significance of our being on how and why we do exist

To identify those things that make up our self within our Selves

To fathom that we are children of a higher being than those of our parents

To accept without knowing the mysteries of life

At this junction I welcome you to add your things to the “TO” list!!!

 

Den Betts

Getting Closer to Jesus Christ 2016-16

                                          Getting Closer to Jesus Christ 2016-16

If we believe in Jesus Christ, we could do many things that would allow us to get “Closer to Jesus” in a way that would solidify our relationship with Him. Why use the word solidify? I do so; to say we could make our unity with Jesus stronger or to be reinforced in the process of our living as a Christian.

I can only express my own trials of doing so, to give others an idea of what it is like to do this. First off, it is NOT easy! It is a process to a degree. We are all, in some way, in different stages of being closer to Jesus.

I remember an exercise a number of years ago called REVEAL. This was something that was put out by a religious group, for many churches of different faiths to participate and find out where the church as a whole belonged, and, where as individuals at the church were in their relationship with Jesus.

I remember a chart that showed “stepping stones” for where each person was in life. Remember, we are ALL in various stages of growth and maturity:

Stages of Steps

First was a stone called “Exploring Christ” where people in this group had a basic belief in God, but they were unsure about Christ and His role in their lives.  I wonder how many of us have this way of thinking. I would think that a new member or a younger member would normally fit in this group, without any criticism at all about them.

The second stone was “Growing in Christ” and people in this group have a personal relationship with Christ. They had made a commitment to trust him with their salvation and for their eternity, but they are just beginning to learn what it means to be in a relationship with Him. I believe countless number of people are balancing on this stone, clinging and hovering at this junction of their lives.

Another group and thirdly, were those people that were “Close to Christ”. These folks depend on Christ daily for their lives. They see Jesus as someone who assists them in life. They turn to Him on a daily basis; they look to Him for help and any issues they face on a regular basis. Quite a number of people belong or believe they belong to this group and stand on this stone.

Lastly, the last stone are those that are “Christ Centered” and these people identify their relationship with Jesus Christ as the most important relationship in their entire lives. They see their lives as fully surrendered to Jesus and his agenda, subordinating everything to His will and His desires.  Actually, this stone is not crowded and probably the percentages of people on this stone are few or very low.

So, where do we belong on these rocks of life? The thing is, sometimes we change our position in life and where we stand. We move forward and backward and it depends on circumstances just where we are in our relationship with God and Jesus Christ. So, the stones or rocks remain in place, but we skip from one to another.

A Simile

I remember reading about Teresa of Avilla. She was a Roman Catholic nun who lived in the 16th Century from 1515 to 1582. She wrote an autobiography and what was called “The Interior Castle” which described SEVEN rooms in a mansion, which really somewhat parallel what the FOUR stepping stone segments.  If you get a chance, read about Teresa and her mansion with the SEVEN room concept.

I bring this up because Teresa of Avilla suggested that people go from one room of spiritual growth to another and sometimes back track to the previous room or to others they left behind. This is normal and the stone positioning is not linear and one way. Ultimately people in general tend to move toward a relationship with God and Christ. But, as individuals, their pathways can be very non-direct at times. Birds head south for the winter, but not necessarily in a straight line path and people do not take giant leaps from one stone to another in their faith either; it is a slow process at times with many ups and downs in the journey.

Where are We ?

I will leave you here to contemplate what I have stated. Think about it and try to understand where you are in life as a disciple of Jesus Christ. As you think, realize the following in your thought process of living as a Christian.

Now, in the Christian life the same stages of growth seem to apply for growing to Jesus Christ. People seeking to understand God and his plan come to a point of responding to the invitation to be born into God’s family. With the right nurturing (1 Peter 2:2), a newborn Christian becomes a spiritual infant. Jesus taught his early Kingdom converts and helped them grow into young disciples. He invited them to follow him and he would make them “fishers of men.” They had a time to learn and grow and begin to serve. Ultimately, as he was leaving this earth, he prepared his men for maturity by inviting them to remain in him.(John 15:7-8).These men went on to reproduce their lives and see many other new believers trust in Jesus and grow to maturity.

God’s Peace be with you,

Den Betts

Answers and Questions, plus Pascal 2016-15

Answers and Questions, plus Pascal   2016-15

This may be a depressing post to some, but in reality I feel that it has an upbeat and positive thought process to it. It has a point, which should be evident at the end, hopefully…..

First question: What would you do, what would you say, what would you accomplish or, in general, WISH for,  IF you knew you had only 14 hours to live? See what I mean—depressing!

A convicted person, who is on death row, has to at least think about it if he/she has only so long to live, and they may not be able to do or say the things they would like to say or do anyhow……

But in my scenario, you DO have some time to do or say something, what or how would you spend your existing time. I realize, some exotic answers are on the minds of some.

Would you tell someone how much you love them? This would be the chance to do so or tell them again!

Would you let someone know how much you are sorry for your actions in the past? Hey, you might have been holding back for a LONG time, so now would be your chance.

Before I go on, let me say that I am NOT telling you to make a decision that would precipitate this action, this is just an exercise. You are not allowed, under a decent code of deeds to willingly do something to yourself. I think of some that are so depressed that suicide is their only recourse, but they do not think of those that are left behind and their actions are a somewhat selfish act for their own purposes, which is so very, very sad. That is the disclaimer for this posting, so understand it…..,please!

Onward!!! I probably can think of a good many things I would do or could say in the time period I would have left here on Earth. Death is a certainty for all of us at some time. We all think we will live forever, in our mind; especially this thought was true when I was much younger, and I believe this is a normal thought process.

Now to the crux of this discourse: Life on earth is usually less than 100 years.  That is such a small amount of time in the whole concept of how long Earth has been around. Modern conveniences are relatively new to us; again less than 100 years.  We will probably NOT see Mars being inhabited or a Star Trek type space ship being manned, going through space, so those things are future things beyond our reality of happening.

Next question— For those that have doubts or think they are certain and KNOW there is NOT a God,  I ask — REALLY, what IF they are wrong? Eternity of life is on the line!!!!

BUT, what is eternity? That is a very, very, very long time period. Some could say it is forever. IF those that do not believe in the hereafter or of a God that promises such a long life, then it does not matter to them. I brought this subject up before and will do so again, namely Pascal’s Wager.

A French philosopher (1623-62) Blaise Pascal came up with the thought that humans all bet with their lives, either that God exists or that he does not. Life ends abruptly or continues. If it is based on the assumption that the stakes are infinite if God exists and that there is at least a small probability that God, in fact, exists,  Pascal argued that the stakes are infinite IF God exists and that there is at least a small probability that God, in fact, does exist.  (Whew, long sentence!!!)

He argued that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. The neat thing is, if God does NOT actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (such as pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas they stand to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in Hell).

Pascal’s Wager was groundbreaking because it opened a new territory in the “Probability Theory”, but that is another matter for another time.

The possible answer could be in Pascal’s Wager where he used the following logic based on a God and used Christianity as a measure, but other religions also have the same thought process:

  1. God is, or God is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives.
  2. A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.
  3. You must wager (it is not optional).
  4. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
  5. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (…) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game– where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain. Confusing? Think about it for a moment or so!
  6. But some cannot believe. They should then “at least learn the inability to believe…” and “Endeavour then to convince themselves!!!!”

That’s it!!   Choices in life; to actually believe or to at least wager if you have doubts and if all else fails convince yourself that you are taking a chance in a lifetime to live forever or not. When the time comes, the countdown time will end.

In the meantime, I pray that belief in the Triune God of the Father, The Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will be with you in the reality of your mind. I have a another question then: “If you do believe in the Triune God, how are you living your life to get Closer to God; and with that thought, I will be posting another blog to address this last question just made……………………………………………….

Den Betts

Eco Echo 2016-14

I hear some people (and politicians) complaining of certain restrictions on what they must do in life that is different than before, based on climatology reasons, especially due to air pollution, created by us, the people. The same can be said for our water problems such as in Flint with the lead! Who is to blame? Who can we accuse? Who will pay for it? (Ha– I know some of the answers, but not all of them).

Eco Echo 2016-14

What will happen, who will say what, of the poor light

in a world of blight, if the sun doesn’t shine bright.

What will be said if the sky is so ugly, a poor display

turning from rich blue to dull grey, each and everyday.

 

Will there be finger pointing and yelling around then,

blame cast, accusations toward others, again and again.

Is the fuse already lit and the countdown begun,

to a daily dull filtering of our yellow sun

 

Shall the future of the world be dictated to  – now

by those of the present – we that befoul

Will our grandchild’s grand children despise our lot,

for waffling, wavering, wasting – for not saying NOT!!!.

 

Will the present haunt them like a ghost from the past,

in a forever struggle to live, breath and – just last.

Should the dollar, the mark and yen be the rule,

prescribing to all – until the world becomes so cruel.

 

What does it take to hear the sound of anguished din,

the echo of the ecology – crying in the wind……

Den Betts

Life’s Questions 2016-13

My mother was a writer of poems and submitted some to local contests. She never received a mention that I know of, and always told me how she HATED those that won, with poems that made no sense to her. Maybe the following poem that I wrote is the same and she is grinding her false teeth as I speak, from the hereafter; don’t know……

 

Life’s Questions 2016-13

 

The equation in life is but a paradox,

 

It sits on the verge of reality.

 

A balance, a draw either way,

 

From knowing or being lost in a void.

 

 

Multitudes of signals transpire,

 

With highlights of supposition.

 

The answer is but opinion,

 

One to be recognized for what it is.

 

 

It remains, as to who really knows all things,

 

Of life, with its totality of questions.

 

Who is to know what reality really is

 

From an existence that has so many inconsistencies?

 

 

Den Betts   (More at Questions in Life 2015-112)

Muslims and the Islam Religion 2016-12

Muslims and the Islam Religion 2016-12

I am not a Muslim, but as a Christian I still do relate to their religion in some ways. I do not believe in all the thoughts that Muslims have and in return they do not believe in many of the things I believe in with Christianity. Regardless, we can exist together, but only if we try to do so……..

That being said, let me just say I do have a feeling of tolerance with what Islam is all about. Tolerance to tolerate, or put up with, conditionally, also to suggest a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices are different from others is a definition that I read. I can live with that word and do so. I was told that I should respect instead of just tolerate Islam, but I do not think I want to do that. Respect is earned and there is nothing that has been done for me that is part of the equation regarding Islam. So I will have tolerance toward those of this faith, and I would hope Muslims can understand this thought process.

There is too much history of Christianity and Islam that I do not want to get into right now. I do feel that if I was a Muslim, I would be concerned as to how the radical, non-moderate Muslims are projecting the thoughts to others about Islam. This means the extremist Muslims that do the horrible actions they do in the name of their faith.  I also believe that Reformist Islamists are a possible way to make the world better in its thinking and actions.

If they would want me to convert to Islam, they are not doing a decent and good job of showing how the religion works. I could get into the history of the time of Mohammad, but will NOT do so now.  I believe that other Muslims have to step up and do a number of things today. And, they will still NOT convert me to Islam; period……

The leaders of Islam in the form of the Ayatollah’s, Imams, Mufti and other religious leaders of the Islam faith, have to decide what they should do to improve the negative feelings of people not of the Islam faith. This may very well be impossible to do for many reasons. Again, reform the Islamic thinking!!!

That being said, I have also read that this may be impossible with the beliefs that Muslims have overall. For instance, I had a problem with trying to understand the thinking of the radical Muslims as stated in the paragraph about radical Muslims. They may NOT look at themselves as radical, or as terrorists, but instead, as true believers that are following the dictates of the founder of their religion. Does this mean killing, kidnapping, etc.? To them, maybe that is so. If this is so, then is the religion of Islam NOT one of peace and love, but instead war and hate? I hope not….. And I still think there is hope for the future with Islam having a key role in changing the thought process of the radicals.

When President Bush declared a war on terror and against terrorism, he did so with no great plan of how we would win that war and, in reality, we are not. You cannot win a war against terrorism. We cannot win a war against the Muslim followers that believe they are right and doing godly things in the name of their god, Allah; just is not going to happen. This group may be able to be curbed to a degree, but winning against those having ideological beliefs that they hold, will be difficult to accomplish.

I have read an article from the Baramas Group that goes into much detail (too much, actually) about various countries that have certain laws on the books about the Islam religion and the state. They do not separate church (mosque) and state, but have a faith based Islamic government. This presents many problems for not only Muslims, but non-Muslims that live there. Sharia law was not a Mohammad idea, but involved later after his death and this needs reformed also.

The countries are Saudi Arabia, that does this, and many of the countries in African and the Far East are also part of this believing atmosphere. I would not want to live in these countries because of this belief system. I would not really know how to react or instead behave there. I guess my living in a country that has religious freedom is where I belong. Even here in the U.S. we have religious freedom, but there is intolerance of other religious that still has an undercurrent here in the U.S. A fact of life!

The radical Muslims that are terrorizing the world are, in a way, on a Crusade of their own. Some decry the Christians for actions taken around 1100 to 1300 AD, whereas the Christians used religion as a means to do many things “in the name of God”. So, in essence, the Muslims that terrorize, are doing so, and many yell “All ahu  Akbar,  or God is Great” , during the course of their dastardly acts. In effect, these radicals are doing the exact same thing as the Medieval Crusaders.

The Islam followers were not really called Muslims then, but instead, Saracen’s. This term was used in the medieval era and was in regard to those living in desert areas in and near the Roman province of Arabia. This word is interesting and I encourage those reading this to look the word up.

Until we as a world, not a country, decide that those that do things in the name of God, are wrong and then when and if we unite as a whole to, NOT COMBAT, but instead seek out those that do the things they do and THEN talk, discuss, rationalize and try to convince them that the old archaic ways of thought, that many of their religious leaders promote, are incorrect for today— we MIGHT make inroads to having a more peaceful co-existence. After reading this long last sentence, I have my doubts that this would work……

Den Betts