Getting Closer to God 2018-36

Getting Closer to God  2018-36

To get closer to God involves taking a step, or many steps, in the overall process. The first “step” is to decide that you WANT to get closer and could involve saying first, that you believe in God.

Saying this and believing it are two things. Maybe having some doubts would be in order and this, I think, is ok.  For instance, I KNOW there is a God, the one God of the Universe, BUT sometimes the evil one puts doubting roadblocks in my mind and that is to be expected. 

OK, let us say we are sure, in our minds, that there is a God, or at least, are trying to believe it. The first sure step is done now, so moving onward…

Anyone can say they believe in God, but to take the plunge and continue toward getting closer to God, has barriers to getting closer to Him, and if anything, we do that ourselves with our own volition.

Another thing, we cannot have a time driven goal to achieve getting closer to God, it does not work that way. Setting a date to accomplish this goal is not the answer, doesn’t work that way.

Earlier, I mentioned an overall process involving many steps. Any steps taken in getting closer, are not numbered 1 – 2 —  3 or anything like that type of system. There is NO SET ORDER or DIRECTIONS to be taken in getting closer; simple as that.

I have written before, that in the process, I have taken 2 steps forward and 1 backward in my quest to get closer to God.  I remember reading a book by St. Teresa of Avilla, a 15-century psychic, and she described her journey in the book “Seven Mansions” which was likened to moving through rooms with doors and when she went through rooms with doors and was going from room to room, she found that there was, at times, another door that had to be reckoned with in her journey, which was unexpected. Another 2 forward and 1 back type of journey.

Sometimes we MUST do this in our quest —- visit the past room before continuing onward. This can be frustrating, upsetting, and demoralizing. We want instant gratification and sometimes do not want to wait or be sidetracked in what we are doing. 

A good start on our journey is to begin with the Spiritual Disciplines as outlined in Richard J. Foster’s book, “Celebration of Discipline”. In it, he has us study the 12 tools for spiritual growth, which will also guide us in getting closer to God. It is an easy read and organized well for any to understand and follow.

One book to use on our journey is Josh McDowell’s book “More Than a Carpenter”, which gives an overall lead into believing in God. Another, is C.S. Lewis book “Mere Christianity”, which gives an overview of being a Christian.  I believe all are at Amazon.com for purchase.

The very best book to read is the Bible and to use the Scriptures as a guide to God’s way of life.   The Old Testament tells stories of the Hebrew living from the time of Abraham, and this is a great way to hear the history of God.  The New Testament is about the man-God, Jesus Christ, whose life, as written, is the mainstay of the Christian faith.

This post is NOT a detailed plan of getting closer to God, but instead, a guide to begin the journey. There are various practices I could, and maybe will in the future, mention to give insight as to how to make the journey better or at least be on the right track to continue.

I welcome any questions, suggestions or insight about this posting.

Peace,

Den Betts          bettsden@gmail.com

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Religious NUT !? 2018-08

Religious NUT   !?    2018-08 

I recently met a friend, that saw me and said, without any hesitation, “Are you a religious nut now?” This was out of the blue after I had just met him again, after a longish period of time. I was totally surprised, at that moment of time, by his question.

I looked at him and blurted out, “cashew or almond?” My reply was an off the cuff retort and somewhat of a smart-ass answer to him.

He was not expecting this and just stood there and blinked a couple of times.  I regrouped and asked, “WHY do you ask?” This wasn’t going well for him I guess, and he was noticeably embarrassed, perhaps for asking and doing so as an introductory hello statement.

I left him off the hook and offered “Is this because of the cross that I wear?” being the only thing that came to mind right away. I started wearing a cross, that I made, after an incident, which changed my life forever; another story later, perhaps…..

He looked down at it, at my chest, and said, “Eh, no! It is actually because of your posts online that you make and that I follow. You seem to post a lot of religious things now!”

I paused and thought a moment, and then said, “Yes, I have begun or continue to post my thoughts on what I believe!”

He asked if I was trying to preach to people, including himself. I told him no, and that I am just telling my story on how I feel towards God and Jesus Christ. I continued and stated, “I believe in what I believe and feel that I, as a fledging disciple of Christ, want to let others know how I feel, in relation to where I am in my journey.”

He asked, “What journey?”  I looked at him and could see he was serious and I said, “My journey in getting closer to God!”  His comeback was, “Oh!   OK!”

I guess that satisfied him and we went on with what I would call normal conversation. Later I thought about what we first discussed.

He was more used to my OLD self and not the NEW me.  I get that! I appreciate his honesty in asking me though.  We were friendly in the past and I did or do not want to jeopardize our relationship. I let him know that I am still the person I was before, but have a different look at life now.

It is unknown, how many people think his way and it does not matter. If any have problems with what I post, move on, and don’t read them; easy as that. I do hope that you read them, and in the reading, get something out of them.  I am always open to questions of any sorts about my new life now.

As I have expressed before, I will still love you, respect you and Yes, still like you too.

Thanks be to God,

Peace,
Den Betts                            bettsden@gmail.com

Rite of Passage 2017-49

Rite of Passage  2017-49

The change from one aspect of life to another, but it can take a meaning in so many ways of life. When the social standing is affected by the “Rite of Passage”, then we can look at the “Self” in a different way than before it happened.

We all have experienced this ritual of life that changed us so very much in the process. This can occur for others to see and experience with us or it can be of a secluded event for only ourselves to be affected and known.

For me, it is one, which I have been blessed or made more whole, but most definitely it changed me in many ways.

Years now since it began, the Rite slowly evolved, adapted, tweaked, and became what it is today.  A journey of life everlasting. One that is mine to own, accept, attest to, take credit for, in its endeavors.

I have become more introspective, much more caring toward others, less aggressive, having a feeling of humbleness, with less prejudice, and more contentment, and above all having love towards others, all others.

Again, I claim this “Rite of Passage” as my own, mine to ponder, enjoy and live to its fullest. 

I jump up and over from one stone to another in getting closer to God and Jesus Christ. I visit one room of life and continue to the next, opening and closing doors to experience the ramifications of what each has to offer and how I can become closer to the One I love.

There have been setbacks, two steps forward and one behind, but overall, it has been one of getting closer and closer to God in the process. The realization that it is about ME was inspirational when I finally realized it as such. It was, and is, not necessarily about me with others, even though others are part of the equation.

The journey was long in coming, and since it began, it has been more than interesting and wonderful,  and truly enlightening. My journey began March 3, 2010 and the “Rite of Passage” began at that time. Time does fly by for all of us, and it is hard to contemplate that it has taken me so long to realize the things I know now. 

Sometimes the ritual of life does have a long and tenuous experience of time, and I do not regret the time it took, or is taking, but instead relish existence of the Rite in all its glory and consequences.

 Life is good, God is Great, and life goes on.

Peace,

Den Betts