Baptism of Jesus Experienced 2017-07

Baptism of Jesus Experienced  2017-07

I attended a retreat last night that was sponsored by the Jesuit House of Parma, OH. This retreat will be an ongoing weekly thing during Lent at Celebration Church where I attend The overall title of the retreat is Living Prayer: My Life In God.

The theme last night was about “Gospel Contemplation”. This is where a Scripture passage is used to seek an openness to the Holy Spirit for guidance in life. A passage from the Bible was read, relating to the baptism of Jesus. We were asked to allow our imaginations to read into the passage and see what transpired.

This passage was where John baptized Jesus and is described in Mark 1 Verse 9-11.  In this it reads: “At the time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descended on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven. “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

We were then allowed time to think about this passage and project ourselves into contemplating this passage from the Gospel. The following is what I experienced:

“I was aware of myself. I was in the water in the Jordon River. Many people were being baptized by John. The people were speaking, but I could not understand them; I presume it was Aramaic, which I could not follow.

The water was warm, it was flowing around me and came up to my stomach. I was “the watcher”, in case people were swept downstream from where John was standing in waist high water.

One person came into the water and John led him to the spot he was using to immerse people for baptism.  This person was Jesus, as it fit the scenario, in my mind.

John took him by the hand, and then wrapped his arm around Jesus holding his back. He was talking to Him and then lowered Jesus backward into the water. John held him under the water for a short period and then lifted him upward with his arm.

Jesus was radiant and smiling as he came up to the surface.  Then, an extremely bright light filled the sky. The clouds were blown away and the sky was a vibrant blue, with the sun shining, bathing all that the rays hit around us.  A quivering halo effect enveloped both men as Jesus was highlighted by the intense rays shining down. A voice boomed from above and shook the earth and made the water of the Jordon dance.

“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” The people on shore were scared. They backed away from the water looking upward. John stood with open mouth as he held onto Jesus. He looked awe inspired with open eyes, first looking at Jesus then upwards, then back to Jesus.

At that moment Jesus looked at me. I stood in the water, sort of dazed.  He stared at me, cocked his head to the side then nodded up and down.  I looked at Him and said, “I know who you are and what you are.” He chuckled a bit and said “Peace be with you for I know who you are too.”

About that time a gong rang and the time for contemplation was over.  I sat and thought about what I experienced and recalled when I had another time with Jesus, which I will relate later this month.

Peace,

Den Betts

Jesus Came 2017-05

                                                                                    Jesus Came 2017-05

Jesus came – NOT just to prepare us for living for eternity, but to teach us how to live daily. The early Christian church life was originally called” The Way”. The way of life that was so different than the rest of the world at that time. Jesus was a teacher; a teacher of life and He still is as such. His words from before, written in the Scriptures are His words for us today, and we have just to listen and learn. He came for those then and for us now and His words are not stale, ancient or void of meaning. The “Way” is here today for us to find redemption and understanding. Listen to the words, Listen………

Den Betts

Breath of God 2016-69

The Breath of God  2016-69

God breathed on me and touched me in the process. I don’t think this was/is a normal everyday occurrence and is NOT an easy thing to contemplate.

Actually,  it was a somewhat scary thing to occur, which I called “The Happening” at the time. I since then thought “Why doesn’t He do this more often and to more people? I would guess He does, but it goes unnoticed by us mortals, at the time, or ignored.

What was days, weeks, months and a year, is now years ago, when this happened. I am still wondering “why me?” Why in the world me? Was it to give me an affirmation of belief in God? I have to say “Of course.”  Was it a gift? Without a doubt!

There were no directions or any explanations that came with this “touch” and I realize I am on my own to find out why, at this time, as I was when it happened.

Was I changed? Absolutely!!!!! Did I change others in some way? Don’t know!!!!

Have I accepted all this?  I think so, but still have questions, but am dealing with them…

It makes me believe that GOD   is   Alive, He    is  Active in our lives,  He  is   Aware, and His  Presence  is with us always……

I feel I am ONE of the most fortunate people alive and feel so, so, so blessed.

Thanks be to God.

 

Dennis Betts

Earth Brother-Sister 2016-05

I think of all the conflict, hatred, bad blood, and religious turmoil on Earth that we see on the news regularly. Do not people of all faiths, heritage, race and ethnicity realize that we are ALL brothers on this planet? We do not HAVE to exist in perfect harmony, but there is NO reason for the horrible relationships that occur on a daily basis.

I don’t care what God, or even if people believe in God, but, common sense should rule. Each of us has to share what we have and exist together, in a better way than what we do. The God I believe in said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34). And that should NOT be that difficult. It takes an effort, leadership, desire, etc., but it should NOT be that hard of a thing to do.

 

Earth Brother-Sister   2016-05

 

Be my brother/sister

 

ye of another race

 

Hold my hand

 

as we both say grace.

 

Be my brother/sister

 

ye of another faith

 

Let us both believe and live

 

in eternity, when we leave.

 

Be my brother/sister

 

ye of another heritage,

 

Down  through time

 

may be greet as friends.

 

Be my brother/sister,

 

ye of this planet Earth

 

Not of blood,

 

but one of worth.

 

Den Betts

President’s Message 2015-153

I decided to post something that I wrote this week for the Church Council of the church where I belong, and where I am the presiding President. I did so, because it is about a time whereas many celebrate this time of year in their own way. I cannot deny that I am religious, but I look at myself in a more spiritual way. Regardless of your beliefs or nature, you hopefully will get something out of this post in my perspective.

President’s Message 2015-153

It is THAT time of year again!  What time!???  The time that we all celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ if we belong to a Christian faith.  How wonderful and the word wonderful is just not enough.

Yes; we are involved in the merriment of the moment and yes we are doing the things we do now.   And yes, things are different now than when they were in the past, or at least I think so….

But, it would be easy to forget just why we look at this time of year the way we do. The things that have happened in the world and in the U.S. can be unnerving, but we must NOT let those things control our emotions or control us.

The Father, the son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are STILL with us. Their Presence is always with us; always.

I went to the bank to make a deposit to next year’s Christmas club and on the way out toward the door, I looked back at the two tellers and said, “Oh, by the way, Happy Holidays!” Then I stopped and restated, “NO, Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.!” They both looked surprised, smiled and said, “You too, Mr. Betts.”  (It was a slow day and we were the only ones in this small bank in Newbury)

The only thing I have against the Christmas time period occurs on Dec 26. It is like a veil is dropped and we are back to the grind of daily living, looking forward to the New Year and what it brings.  I do not celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, and on the 26th things change. All the Christmas music is off the air it seems; all the advertisements and deals are over, and we have plenty of time to play with our toys and look at what we got the day before, or consider returning or exchanging the gifts we received. But, Christmas has come and gone and that is sort of sad in a way.

I had a mirror (probably still do somewhere) showing Scrooge and written on it is “Bah Humbug” It was put out by my children years ago because I had, more than likely, an attitude that was not the best. We have not displayed this for quite a while now and I am happy about that fact. I look at my blessings of life and my feelings are now different. I get, I receive, I am blessed with a gift from God each and every day.

These gifts are reinforced each Sunday I go to church. Each sunrise allows me to sense the gifts from God that He presents to me. Every day, I am reminded that Jesus Christ’s time on the cross, allows me the chance to have eternal life with Him and my departed loved ones. Wow, what a gift Jesus gave us, that started on the day He was born and continues each and every day for us.

I do not have to return it or exchange it but I do cherish it and it is not just mine, but ours to know and enjoy. What a time of year it is; one to remember and continue with, always….. It is wonderful!!!!!!!

Peace,

Den Betts

Why God!!! “Oh Why????? 2015-146

Why God!!! “Oh Why?????   2015-146

A simple question that I do not have an easy answer, but ask!

I would like to ask God, “Why do things happen the way they do?” regarding so many things that occur each day, week, month or year.

I think I know the answer, but would like a confirmation on what I think…  God is where He is right now, and in a way, I believe He is with me as I type. He, in the form of the Holy Spirit, is present with me.

I could turn around, look to my right or left, or behind me and will not see Him, but He is there and I really think He is shaking His head at me. He is accepting me the way I am, who I am, and what I am. And. in that thought. I know He is wondering why I am asking such a stupid question of Him.

He knows what I am thinking and in the knowing, is not telling me the answer to the question, “Why!?” He knows I know the answer and His silence is so quiet, so, in a way, so wonderful. He is allowing me to look into myself and see, and hear what He knows I know.

I am sure, no, I am positive that He is asked, “Why” all the time. Look at the TV, hear the radio, read the newspaper, talk to someone, listen at conversations and the question, “Why” is asked of God all the time.

“Why did Uncle Charlie die; baby Jane, or any loved one we know?” It is not that they are now in a better place; they were good where they were, around people and family they knew! So that is not a great question to find out why.

“Why do people do stupid or horrific things they do?” Why do the ISIS followers do what they do to innocent people.  Do they ever wish they had those five minutes of their lives back, to think things out better?

There are billions of why’s floating out there that people could and do ask God about!

For every question of “Why” there is also a “Why not!” question. If there was a God, it is asked, “Why not, is the question of “Why didn’t God, save, fix, or stop, or anything like that” for things that did not go so well or were not the way we want them. “Therefore, there is not a God, it is stated, or He would have helped, saved or protected, instead of doing nothing.

God cannot win at times. Either He gets the credit or the debit of life in the process.

Crap happens; it is as simple as that.  He is with us always, regardless of what is happening. He is beside us when we are dying, being born, experiencing life in the joys and sadness at times.

But guess what!? Many times it is something He knows that we should try to know. We, as His children are responsible for our actions, or someone is responsible. We can look in the mirror and see what we have done with the shell we inhabit. We, as God’s children, are in control, sort of, with ourselves in our daily living.

If we want to abuse ourselves, hey, go ahead. He can sit behind us and shake His head and wish we do not, but it is our choice. We can go on with our lives, and either live the good life or reap the rewards of the bad life. Our choice!  This has been called “Free Will” and has been debated by theologians and scholars forever.

It is so much easier to give credit to God when things go right and blame Him when the opposite happens. He can take it!!! He will understand our need to thank Him when something occurs that He did not make happen, and when crap happens, He understands our frustrations of blaming Him for something that He did not make to occur. That is life.

So, go ahead and ask God, “WHY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” But, understand that regardless, He is with us always, not sometimes, or on occasion, but always. Give this some thought and perhaps say “Thank you God for being with me when I needed your presence, thank you when I needed you in my time of need, thank you, when things went well and the times when they did not go well, but thank you God, regardless!”

Den Betts

Alpha and Omega 2015-143

I guess I could cop out and say, “I just write them and do not necessarily understand them”, but that would really be lying. What concerns me at times is the fact that even though I write them, I actually do understand them, in a way, when I wrote the poems.

 

Alpha and Omega  2015-143

He said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega”

The beginning and the end

That which was and has become

 

The living was the existence

And the very soul of being

Change became the norm

With evolution, a maturity of life

 

A start with innocence

Experience was the outcome

And a conclusion of thought

Became a completeness of knowledge

 

That which was, is not anymore

Instead, an overall process of living

An involvement of simple simplicity

Of realization that what is — becomes was

Den Betts