Why Believe or Connect with God 2018-96

Why Believe or Connect with God           2018-96

This is a simple question that came to mind when surfing the Web the other day.

An article stated that many millennials (Born between 1980 and 1990’s) do not go to church or any religious place, due to many reasons that were listed. Not only is that a fact but they list “No Religion or belief” as a reason, in most cases.

The thing that was interesting were the comments below the article which were stated by various people responding to the article. I scrolled down and read them, and my first thought was a little over the top of understanding. The reasons were bonified, but they or many of them, were pure hokum. 

Some were legitimate, and I agreed that they had a case, but not against all religions regarding the church portion.

First off, it DOES take “FAITH” to believe in a God or in his son Jesus Christ, the man-God.  Nobody has the ability to look back in the past and see the wounds that Jesus Christ had from the Cruxificition at that time. So, doubting Thomas did and it convinced him that Jesus was who He was, at that time. We today do not have that luxury of seeing and believing with something right in front of us. So, I can understand, somewhat, why the lack of faith is present in society today.

But, using the reasons for not going to church that were used, is a stretch.  I will list some now and explain my thoughts. I could probably write a full discourse about each item, but will not do so now, and only a concise, short thought for each of them.

1. Churches are hypocritical in their thinking.   There are some churches and people that go to them that are hypocritical in practice.  That is not right but is a fact. I will repeat this— NOT ALL are that way. To use this broad statement is not only incorrect, but inconsistent with reality.

2. Churches are money grabbing and should be taxed.  Churches need money to exist, support community endeavors and pay for other needs.  To tax them is not going to do anything, except put many out of existence.  If any church DEMANDS people to give money to them or to tithe at 10%, then that is THAT church or religion, NOT ALL of them. If you tithe fine, if you give what you can, fine, if you just go to church and not contribute, fine, so be it.

3. People are judgmental.   Not right, but is so in some cases where humans are going to and exist. This is true in society as a whole, not right, but a fact. But NOT ALL are that way. People being judgmental exists everywhere, so saying a church or religion is so, is a fact, but not the absolute truth.

4.  People in churches are prejudicial towards gays and blacks (if a white church). Not right, but if so, they do NOT represent the majority or churches in general, as a whole. There ARE churches in most locations of the country that have an accepting attitude of everyone welcome; they have to be found and usually on the internet  they state this fact.                      

5. Children are molested by leaders in the church. This HAS happened and is wrong and sometimes, even covered up, but does NOT represent churches in general.  I would think that this is even a rare factor overall for churches in general; sad but true.

6. Too many rules, regulations, dictates, and laws. The only list that counts are the Ten Commandments, for the individual, and internal church ones are subject to change if needed and desired. There has to be some way of guidance for any organization to run and function. Many churches have “Constitutions” that show how the church is run, how it should react to situations, and these are needed, just like the country of the United States, has now.

7. Too many churches with just old people in them. That is a problem for some churches in certain locations, again due to the times.  Getting younger couples to attend is difficult if there are none now in a particular church. Maybe if those young people attended, that church would change for a betterment.

8. Fake stories in the Bible equal lies.  The Old Testament has many “stories”, which are there to make a point, but they do not mean the story is accurate or absolutely true.  They are stories; period. Some religions have beliefs that everything in the Bible is correct, which is wrong in my mind.

9. No proof of Jesus being the Son of God.  There is no birth certificate of Jesus; again, Faith works. The desire to believe also has to be there, and if not, well that is too bad.

10. God does NOT show Himself or talk to us today.  Hmmm, I will deny this as a fact and say that maybe the person did not look or listen, therefore did not see or hear. God is everywhere and most importantly, always Present, always aware, always active, for those that need. He is also alive, to those that will just give Him a chance to react to our needs.

ll. Prayers not answered.  Depends on the prayer and circumstances, which may or may not be accurate of a statement.  God does His thing in His way and in His time, so this is not an absolute. If a prayer for winning the lottery, for instance, to a certain person is not answered, it does not mean He is not there, just was not your time to win. If a wife or mother died and you prayed that they would not, perhaps it was time for them to go; sad!!!  God works in His way, not ours and that is hard to understand for many.

I would rather those that commented did so with honest reply’s, instead of personal hokum type responses. To give a reason for not believing or not going to church for a GOOD reason is one thing, but I don’t think many of the above, are bonified reasons overall.

If it is easier to sleep in, go play golf on Sunday morning, or attend a soccer team match at your kid’s high school, but these are excuses, not reasons for not going. It is also easier to not believe, because believing DOES require commitment and action on our part, which many refuse to do; also sad!!!!

If you just plain don’t believe in God, again, I understand, and both of us will find out someday which was correct. 

Peace,

Den Betts

                                bettsden@gmail.com      = email

                                thebettsden.com             = Blog site

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Jesus is the Light 2018-93

Jesus is the Light   2018-93

I have heard this expression before, but never gave it much thought, through ignorance of either not caring or not knowing.  Anyhow, something lit up in my mind and this thought that Jesus is the Light is something that triggered my brain to contemplate what it meant.

First off, I looked up “Light” in the Bible references and the three passages listed at the end of this discourse, came up to give me illumination of the question, why is Jesus the Light of the world.  

Well, at that time, for Him to declare himself the Light of the World meant that He was the exclusive source of spiritual life and no other source was available to mankind then, or even now.

In His time, he was saying that the light of His TRUTH, the light of His WORD, the actual eternal LIFE was what He declared of Himself, the very light of the world and anyone that perceives the true light, will NEVER walk in spiritual darkness.  

Of course, we will walk in darkness if it is dark outside.  A fact! BUT, we, with Jesus being the one we will follow, we will have the light, the truth and most importantly, eternal life.  Yes, eternal life will be the opposite of darkness, the light of eternal life…  Simple as that.

That means something about us too.  Just like the moon reflects the light of the sun, we as followers of Jesus Christ, will reflect the light of Jesus so that all can see it in us as believers. Through the Holy Spirit, we do things, we do deeds based on faith, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, the light of Jesus shines through us to others.

This is somewhat of a burden for us in a way. To be witnesses to the world ourselves, we must be people of faith, honor God, be trusting, honest in all that we do and say. We want or should want the light we have, that is given to us, be there for all to see and enable others to also leave the darkness and come into the light of love, through Jesus Christ, the savior of mankind.  We WILL become sons and daughters of light, if we try to do so.

I had some help from the Scriptures in writing this, based on various passages, which I admit.

 

JESUS IS THE LIGHT!!!!!

John  8:12   “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”.

John  12:36 “Put your trust in the light, while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.”

John  12:46 “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in the darkness.”  

Listening to Hear 2018-92

Listening to Hear    2018-                                                               10-26-18

Events in life, sometimes make one pause and take stock in life, about living. Too many take life for granted, and in doing so, go through living, without truly experiencing life itself.

How so?  Well, one way is in bypassing the things that make life interesting. Letting schedules go, routines, rules to dictate how we see life going on around us are some ways.

Taking time to bend down and actually smell the flowers that we pass by on a walk in the woods or nature trail is an example of slowing down in life.  Taking the time to stop and listen to a little child when they ask us a question, instead of saying “later, not now” to them.

I find myself still not expecting an answer when I pray to God. It may be due to my not taking the time to listen for a reply. Yes, He does answer our prayers, if we try to hear what He has to say. It is still eerie to have Him comment on what I asked Him, yet I admit, I do not listen enough.

Part of taking life for granted is not expecting something to happen. Therefore, we continue on our way, oblivious to what goes on around us.  Such as hearing God tell us something we could hear if we listened.

Many of us are fixated on conversing with our I-Pad, tweeting and liking on FB, which I will not criticize other than say it is a way of communication that is different than in the past. Some things are lost in the process, which is sad, but a way of life now.

If we become techno-nerds, and lose sight of those things around us, it will be a loss for all of us. I think that keeping in touch in whatever way we do is not bad, but we have to realize there is a cost to all of us in doing so.

What cost? It is different to all of us, and individually, we have to account for the price we pay.

Take time to hug a kid, a mother, father, or loved one and look into their eyes and see the appreciation of your doing so with them. Say hello to God sometime and, well, take the time to listen and you MAY hear Him reply to your prayer.  It does take work in this respect.

Peace,
Den Betts       
betttsden@gmail.com
=   Email

                           thebettsden.com          =  Blog

A Man 2018-88

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, or are different in many ways.

A Man   2018-88

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

bettsden@gmail.com    email

thebettsden.com             blog

Message Heard 2018-86

Ever wonder if you heard something and did not know what it was at the time? Sometimes I have, and it is somewhat disorienting at the time, the unknown, rearing its head when we least expect it.

Message Heard 2018-86

Beside a thatched dwelling

In front of a smoking fire

Bones, stones, and shells,

Fly to a mat of woven grass.

Foretelling a future, a decision

To be made, fate itself in limbo.

 

Frayed leather garments

Darkened by sweat and time

Cling to an old one with the

Insight, interpreting the fall.

The bush resounds; drums beat

Signaling the message told

By the ancient one; for all to hear.

 

Far away, a man dressed in pinstripes,

Moves his head with ear upraised.

The Manhattan intersection beckons

He lingers with a quizzical look, squinting.

The man walks away in the crowd,

Wondering what he heard in the wind.

Peace,

Den Betts  @        bettsden.gmail.com = Email

thebettsden.com      = Blog

Blackness and The Light 2018-85

Blackness and The Light   2018-85

The epitome of the blackness in life is NOT defined by any other actions or inactions. The infestation occurs from many sources, which envelop us in ways that are terrible. This void of light can be made by things beyond our control.

Desolation can reign, where it will and what we do with this feeling of life occurrences can be changed; but it takes work sometimes if not all the time, to eradicate it.

The makeover to a venue of consolation is, or can be, a simple matter, but again it is an undertaking, which involves more than just a wish for betterment.

I can remember a time where the dark pit of despair lingered with me and that was not a pretty picture of life to experience. Some could say, I had every right to have those feelings, but, more importantly, digging out of that trough is a story I don’t want to rehash now.

Suffice to say, it took time, some professional help and understanding by those I love, that got me through it and on the road to normalcy. Nothing and I repeat, NOTHING is unsurmountable in life that cannot be changed around to a much better living. Nothing!

Yes, there may be a change in life, but this has to be accepted; period! Not easy, but the way of life today in this chaotic living we have now.

Black is a color, that’s all, and life can be changed to a brighter and more beautiful way of existence and expression.

When someone says, “I know how you feel” and you know they do not, tell them!!!!  I now say, that if you are living in the darkness of life, a blackness of existence, a period of desolation, I truly can say, I know what you are feeling, and I can only say also, there is hope, there is an escape, there is an answer.

It may not be what you want to hear, it may not be what you want to believe, and it may not be what you want to do, but the light will be exactly what you need to live again the way you want.

I have seen the light, I relish in the enjoyment of living, and my life is now one of acceptance of others, happiness of living, contentment of existence, and enjoyment of knowing the light of life is with me always. It is somewhat our job to become the sons and daughters of light, spreading this brightness to all that we know around us. I am content with living now, beyond my dreams.

Peace,

Den Betts

Question: What is the light?     

 In John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. 

In John 12:36, “Put your trust in the light, while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” 

In John 12:46, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in the darkness.”

Answer: Jesus Christ IS the light!!!!!!!! 

Who Am I 2018-84

WHO AM I  ?   –  2018-84

 

I KNOW who I am, but guess one person does not know; so, this is about them and what they asked me.

I will just use “her” as a means of identification, for some people “out there” might know her, or perhaps not, but I don’t want her to get any more involved.

Who am I!? Well, she actually, said, “Who do you think you are?” This was in relation to either an email or posting I made many weeks ago, but was a pointed question to me

Anyhow, she asked me, and I stopped and thought and thought some more. My journey with God has had its ups and downs, that have been self-administered.  The road has been one of self-contemplation, self-denial, self-doubting, and basically self-everything else.

So, her question, made me stop and think. Think seriously about myself and what my journey to find God was all about. Part of this questioning evolved talking with my Pastor and stating some things that were factual, and this was after, again, a self-analysis of what my journey was all about.

What did I tell her?!  Well, it popped out after giving it good moments of this thinking.  I thought I knew why she asked so it was based on this process of thought.  It was a simple statement and gave her something to also think about, at the time.

I said:

I am NOT more than what I am.

What you see and hear is all that I am.

NOTHING MORE!  I just am.

I am NOTHING more than what I am

And What I am is EVERYTHING that I am.

 

Not earth shattering. Not a real, definitive statement. Not an explicit thought, but it is what I think of myself, and for a reason.

Something happened many years ago that changed me.  It turned me, finally, into what I call being a disciple of Jesus Christ. In fact, I recently stated this in a blog, or told someone, that I am a “poor example” of being a Christ disciple or student of Jesus Christ, but identify myself as one, anyhow.

I make NO claims of being special. I am not anything than who I was before and am now.  BUT, I have been changed.  I have allowed God to enter my life by submitting to Him and have surrendered myself to Jesus Christ.   Both actions are what I feel I have done, but, also feel that I am not doing a good job of it.  I think I will write about this shortly, if I remember.

Peace,

Den Betts            Email: bettsden@gmail.com       Blog: thebettsden.com