Loving Our Neighbor 2019-28

Loving Our Neighbor        2019-28

What does “Loving Our Neighbor as yourself” mean, that Jesus stated as being one of the greatest commandments?  In Mark 12:31 He stated this, along with “loving God with ALL your heart in 12:30.

He said this when asked by His disciples, what the most important commandment was and this loving your neighbor is an essential component of “love of God.”

This is all and good, but when I ask,” Who is your neighbor?” It is NOT just the little old lady next door or the guy up the street! This does not exclude anyone and is all inclusive; period!!!!

It includes poor people, rich people, the good, the bad and the in between, and probably those you want to not even like, let alone love in any way…. It includes others of other faiths, creeds and ethnicity.

If you do NOT love God or not even believe in Him, then you would not even consider this commandment by Jesus.  I understand that feeling by you, BUT, if you are an advocate of Jesus and do not believe this, then it is not you that has a problem with this commandment, it is Jesus that has a problem with YOU.

Jesus and God the Father are very loving of their children of Earth. People on Earth have opinions on what God thinks and what He will do and what He will decide in each of our fates in life. I would think also, that God has the final decision about each of us and if we cannot do deeds of things to get into the Kingdom of God and are accepted by God through Grace. But, are their rules or things that God demands from us that do prevent our being accepted into the Kingdom? If not, and then, therefore, does God love us unconditionally, regardless of what we do or not do?  Convoluted thoughts, I realize……

I do not know and  only God knows, and He will let us know when the time comes for us to know.

 

Peace,

Den Betts

Understanding Prejudice 2019-025

                                                Understanding Prejudice    2019-025

Understanding prejudice is something that I feel, cannot be done. Prejudice is tied to intolerance to a degree, which is also something that cannot be understood. Can hatred be the factor that feeds those that endorse or hold fast to these beliefs?

What other influences would lead those having such despicable thoughts towards others? The hatred for anything is NOT a justifiable defense for prejudicial intolerance. Neither is using any religion or religious dictate for having thoughts that go against normal decent beliefs.  I would think that the word normal is the key word here.

Self-avowed racists or some that claim they are not, but ARE, due to their words used or actions taken, at times, do NOT care if they are looked at as prejudicial or intolerant. Also, God fearing, holier than thou advocates, that use their Bible as weapons to try and prove their righteousness and disapproval of others are examples of why the problem with religion is religion itself.  

Liberals AND conservatives that stretch their beliefs either to the far left or right and show the world their prejudice and intolerance to others on the other end of the spectrum need to learn what compromise means.

Many, but not all, major faith groups use a variation of the Golden Rule in their beliefs. This thought of “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you is sometimes forgotten.

Listed below are some prejudices that are common, but there are more I am sure. Since I am a Christian, I will use an excerpt from the teacher Jesus Christ as an example of how I feel people could look at others. 

In Mark 12 versus 29-31 it states that Jesus told His disciples how they must adhere to the following: “The most important (commandment) is this:  Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love this Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.”

In other words, being prejudicial and intolerant is NOT the way to be, if you are a Christian and want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  In Luke 14:27 Jesus also said, “And anyone who does not carry His cross and follow Him, cannot be my disciple.”

I just used the Bible to show some thoughts, not as a weapon, but as a guide to living life with Jesus, so you could still call me a hypocrite for doing so, if you wish. 

It is so too easy to show our feelings about something that is prejudicial towards anyone, but if we do so it identifies it as a factual feeling experience, and it can give us an opportunity to change ourselves as part of the process of change and healing oneself.

[RACE]   [AGE]  [RELIGION]  [EDUCATION]   [VOCATION]   [ETHNIC BACKGROUND]   [HABITAT OR LOCALE]

[TRIBAL/CLANS]   [SEX/ SEXUAL ORIENTATIOIN]  [WEALTH/INCOME] [DISABILITIES] [TATOOS/PIERCINGS]

[PET PREFERENCES]   [CASTE BELIEFS]    [MILITARY CHOICES]   [DWELLING ENVY] [SPORTS LIKES]

[MENTAL DISORDERS]   [COUNTRY ORIGIN]   [MARITAL STATUS]   [POLITICAL AFFILIATION]

[DRESS HABITS]   [HAIR STYLES]   [DISABILITIES]   [GENETIC DISORDERS] [DISEASE DISORDERS]

Peace,
Den Betts            bettsden@gmail.com    email or thebettsden.com Blog Site

Love God TOO much? 2019-024

                Love God too Much?     2019-25

Can we love God too much, and think of Him more than we should?

Does going to church all the time suffice to make Him satisfied with our efforts to show Him how much we like/love Him? What does it take to make Him realize we are sincere in our belief in Him? Are we content in our way of showing our love of Him and His son Jesus Christ?

Questions upon questions and most of us ARE satisfied with what and how we hold ourselves in thoughts about Him — NORMAL?!

With God as our Father and Jesus as our savior and teacher, what do THEY expect from us? Using the Scripture in the Bible as a reference or source, it is fairly clear, just what He expects, wants or desires from ALL of us.

It is somewhat easy to do for some of us and very hard for others, to appease God. Too many things we can use as excuses to do or not do, when it comes to NOT loving God in many ways. God has a simple wish that takes effort but is not a hard or difficult thing to do! What is that?

We are to seek and find God and his Kingdom FIRST, and put Him in our lives, above all else, as stated by His son Jesus. I would think that this means He wants us to follow Him and also become a disciple of His son Jesus Christ. We CAN say we do so now, and perhaps we believe this as a fact!

God is our heavenly Father, not our Uncle we see at reunions, or when we want to see Him. He wants us to put Him FIRST and more than just now and then—like on Sundays only.

We can still go to soccer practice, but maybe He wants us to think about Him when we are there. The football or baseball games can still be attended, but they should not be our prime enjoyment in life. We might think about submitting ourselves to God and to surrender ourselves to Jesus and this might be the things He and Jesus desire from us. This CAN be enjoyable if we allow it to be so.

Being a child of God and a disciple of Jesus, are FULL time endeavors and He expects and desires this commitment.  Neither of them wants us to be become 24/7 religious advocates in life, but He does want us to make or take a stand in our commitment in life to them.   

The responsibility of letting others around us know of the teachings of Jesus is ours too, where we tell others about his love for all mankind. This requirement also is there to make disciples of others that surround us, for that mimics what the Disciples of Jesus, did after His death on the cross.

No, I do NOT think we love God to much, just the opposite. I think He is not loved enough! Some of us have made their God a materialistic one and idolize things more than God Himself. This may be the “new norm” in today’s society and the Golden Calf’s like Ba’el, are the Gizmo’s that man has created, and now worship.

 We can believe in Him, we can love Him, we can submit ourselves to Him and surrender ourselves to our Savior, Jesus Christ. That is NOT asking too much of us from Him.

Peace,
Den Betts                           
bettsden@gmail.com  Email  thebettsden.com  Blog sitegod, Jesus CHrist

Religion’s Problem 2019-007

Religion’s Problem  2019-007

The problem with religion is —- Religion itself!!

This is NOT about an individual religion, but the concept of every religion that make up the religious experiences.

So, what is religion?  It is the basic organized set of beliefs, rules, ceremonies, dictates, dogma, etc. used in worshiping God.

The belief in a god that people are involved in, is called by various names in different faiths and identifies the various groups of that faith. Each faith or groups within that faith have specific beliefs that identify each from any other.

The first Christian faith group was called “The Way” and to belong to this group identified the followers of Jesus Christ. Then came the Catholic religion, followed by very many more faith groups.

Today, there are over 9000 groups within Christianity, that have their religious take on how to act, based on their defined system of believing. That is why the problem within religion is – religion itself.

To belong to a specific group within Christianity automatically excludes all other religious groups of followers. The different rules that each have are specific to that group, which makes the others different automatically.

We then can follow one that includes those things we admire, like, and make us feel good. Or, it could be a religion has beliefs that we want to follow, and we could care less if any others want to believe in what we want to adhere to in life. This is a narrow minded, one sided thought process, as such.

Many use religions as a tool to have and make that religion seem like the only or best one out there. If others do not see our way they are wrong, and we remain right.   WRONG!  Just another example of the problem of religion.

BUT, to use religion in a good way, the correct way, is not only hard to do, it is hard to come up with what actually is good and correct, versus any other.  So, religion itself CAN be a good thing, if we can agree what is good. I would like to think that most religions are of a good nature, and to believe in that religion or denomination is fine and no problems exist with them.  

If a religion uses the Bible Scripture as a weapon to make an asinine point, I have a problem with that religion and the people that believe and support it.  I think they could rethink what they believe in and go back and consider what the man-God who became the Savior of mankind thought and taught.

Peace,

Den Betts            email: bettsden@gmail.com          blog:  thebettsden.com

Disciples 20190-004

Disciples       2019-004

What is a disciple?  A follower of Jesus Christ who decides it is more important to follow Him and that takes precedence over all other things.  Sounds strict, direct, committing, or very definitive.

A disciple tries to act like and look like the one they are following, namely, Jesus Christ.  Being a disciple means submitting oneself to Jesus and becoming part of the spiritual development process in learning to live all of your life in this submission to Him.  The key here is the word “submit”. Another word could be to surrender oneself to Him.

Being a disciple of Jesus requires us to also strive to make disciples of others, teaching them to observe all that Jesus taught to His original disciples of his time. Sort of like “sharing” the news…..

I have found it is NOT easy to be a disciple, but easier to call oneself a disciple of Jesus Christ. Just like it is normal for many to call themselves a Christian, but where they do not practice at being one.  

The journey to get closer to God has many pathways with stumbling blocks in the way, at times. If I go to church, that fact does NOT make me a disciple of Jesus. If I do community service work, that fact does not make me a disciple either. 

Once more; submitting to Jesus Christ and involving oneself in the spiritual development of learning to live the life in the submission to Jesus is the path to becoming a disciple.  Just stating that I am a Christian does not make me a disciple of Jesus either.

Living the life of a disciple and teaching others what Jesus said and proclaiming the Word of God as written in the Bible are the beginning actions of being a disciple. This is NOT a part time endeavor, but a full-time life choice that again, takes precedence over all other things in life.

This commitment does NOT mean becoming a religious hermit or monk of some sorts, doing things in a monastery or other place of worship. It does require our lives to be changed to one of acting and living the life of a disciple and spreading God’s word to all. The goal is to make disciples of others that you meet or know and have them become as you are now.

It means not being afraid to announce that God’s presence is nearby, God is alive and active, and aware of all of us and more importantly, Jesus Christ is our Savior in life.  

It is NOT easy, but Jesus Christ never promised easy to His disciples that traveled with Him or to those in the future that want to make the claim of being one.   

Peace,
Den Betts

bettsden@gmail.com    Email

thebettsden.com            Blog site

Bah Hum Bug 2018-103

  Bah Hum Bug   2018-103

The season of Christmas is almost here.

To practicing Christians, this is a time of significance where the birth of the world’s savior is celebrated. For many, this is a time of (hopefully), good feelings, good times and a period of giving and receiving. To many, regardless of faith beliefs, it is a time to celebrate, regardless.

Overall, I feel both groups with their thoughts of why to observe Christmas have merit and it is good in my mind. There are so many traditions, acts of joy, ceremonies, and parties, other get togethers and good will occasions it makes for a wondrous time of year.

Some thoughts of this Christmas period:

I will say “Merry Christmas” to anyone and not “Happy Holidays”. If they celebrate a different holiday time and respond with their holiday wishes, I will wish them well.

I feel Christmas has become very much commercialized with gifts to one another the main focus.

When I was a child in the forties and fifties, I had NO idea why we were exchanging gifts or what Christmas was all about, so in some ways, nothing has changed for some of us. It would be great if something was discussed about the reason we celebrate Christmas, at least on Christmas day.

I know of someone who does NOT celebrate Christmas because he states, correctly, that Jesus Christ was NOT born on December 25th, but what he ignores is the fact that Dec 25th,is the day we celebrate his birthday anyhow. He also wants me to know that this date originated from a Roman festival of the god’s Mithra and Saturn which was adapted to the birth of Jesus.  He adheres to a cultish type religion that has many strange beliefs but claims to be a Christian.

One thing about the Christmas season is where I see all the good feelings of Christmas fall off the cliff and disappear on December 26t;; it is then, back to the normal way of existence.

I used to have (actually still do in a box somewhere) a mirror with a picture superimposed on it of Scrooge and the words “Bah, Hum Bug” on it. This was brought out each Christmas and was mine to look at and express my feelings of Christmas.

I don’t do that anymore, but instead, try to live my part as a Christian and remembering why Jesus Christ died for my sins.  I then think about the next religious holiday Easter and what that means to me too.   Maybe we all should do that.

Peace,

Den Betts

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