Dying Man’s Dialy Journal – 2 Boxes

January 31, 2008

I am taking the easy way out again today. I have received an email that so eloquently states my thought, there is really nothing more to say.
> God’s Boxes
>
> I have in my hands two boxes,
> Which God gave me to hold.
> He said, “Put all your sorrows in the black box,
> And all your joys in the gold .”
>
> I heeded His words, and in the two boxes,
> Both my joys and sorrows I stored,
> But though the gold became heavier each day,
> The black was as light as before.
>
> With curiosity, I opened the black,
> I wanted to find out why,
> And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole,
> Which my sorrows had fallen out by.
>
> I showed the hole to God, and mused,
> “I wonder where my sorrows could be!”
> He smiled a gentle smile and said,
> “My child, they’re all here with me..”
>
> I asked God, why He gave me the boxes,
> Why the gold and the black with the hole?
> “My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
> The black is for you to let go.”
>
> We should consider all of our friends a blessing
> Send this to a friend today just to let them know you
> are thinking of them and that they are a joy in your life.
>
> A ball is a circle, no beginning, no end.
> It keeps us together like our Circle of Friends.
> But the treasure inside for you to see,
> Is the treasure of friendship you’ve granted to me.
>
> Today I pass the friendship ball to you.
> Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you…


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Special Prayer request.

January 31, 2008

I have just received a special prayer request from a dear blogging friend Jo. Please I ask all for prayers, here is Jo’s message:

Hi Bill, Can I be greedy and ask for a few prayers to be sent over this way. My Aunty is in the middle of her brain surgery as we speak, trying to remove the tumor. It’s a 50/50 chance. Any prayers would be appreciated……………………… Thanks heaps
Love Jo
xx


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Spirit within me

January 28, 2008

Had a good weekend, quiet but good. I am feeling well and just plain excited to be alive.

We were blessed to be able to share our home with a very nice young man from Thompson. Zack, is the son of a very good friend of Vi’s and came to the city. Zack we enjoyed your company.

I am happy to see people are slowly joining my totally non-exclusive group of friends. I thank each a every one so very much. I again invite all to join our wonderful little group, maybe with time we can turn it into a wonderful big group. For any that may have missed my original post on this, I invite you to read the page, shown at the top of the screen, titled “Spirit within Me”. By clicking into that page you will read all about my friends and what the purpose of that page is. I thank and welcome all that have “signed up”.

I have been thinking a lot about this sort of thing a lot lately. I believe that contained with in each and every one of us, lies an inner light. The very essence of you, call it your soul, your spirit what ever, within that light is pure goodness, pure love. I believe we are all born with that light shining brightly and that light continues to shine just as brightly through our entire lives. Sadly as we grow and mature the events of our physical world can cause us to see things differently, maybe even warping or distorting our views.

As an illustration of what I mean, I picture the flame within as being like a beautiful lamp, here in our physical world. It is a beautiful light that brilliantly and beautifully lights the entire room. I picture the negativity in our lives as being the equivalent of a shade we would put on the lamp. As soon as the shade goes on the lamp, it doesn’t outwardly seem to give off the same light. With progressive events in our lives we continue to put thicker and thicker shades on the lamp. This continual adding of additional thicker shades, gradually diminishes the amount of the light that can be seen. Just because the brightness of the light is blocked doesn’t mean it is not there. It is still there as bright and beautiful as it ever was. For anyone of about a million reasons we have just covered the light, sometimes we have covered it so well, we can no longer even see or feel it. We have to know, it really is still there just buried under the mountain of issues in life.

Many have written to me about the wonderful feelings they have enjoyed by doing simple small acts of kindness. Truly helping another, not out of necessity but out of just wanting to. They write of the warm glow they feel inside, that comes from true acts of kindness, a giving from the heart. It truly is such a wonderful feeling. A wonderful feeling I hope that we all as a group can share. That as a group we can share our stories, love and support each other on this venture.

I am sure it is safe to say, everyone would agree there needs to be changes made in the way the world is today. I am sure we agree on that. But then I question, how as only one individual can I hope to make any change “in the world”. Here is but one line from my last post.

“You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.” I have read this before and then always just seemed to take it as applying to loved ones etc.. I now realize that it at any given moment apply to any and everyone. If I am drowning and a stranger jumps in the water and saves me, at that time that person means the world to me. It doesn’t even have to anything nearly as dramatic. There is just no way to tell how even a seemingly insignificant gesture on our part may affect the lives of others. A single smile can light the entire world as a group we can do much better than light the world we can make it shine.

This is such a win/win situation. The recipient of our kindness will obviously benefit for the very act itself. We will benefit, from the warm glow that we will feel inside. Maybe, even managing to take at least one layer of shade off of that light within.

There is a ripple effect to goodness and kindness. Lets create not ripples but waves.

Please check out the spirit “within me page”. Also please let me know what you think of this idea.


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Stress Management

January 26, 2008

Often I receive emails that contain such a wonderful or meaningful message, I feel I just have to share. I look for these as so many have writing skills beyond my own and convey a message I would like to but, couldn’t do so in such an elegant manner. I received this from Kerry a very dear friend.

Stress Management:

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water? ”
Answers called out ranged from 8oz. To 20 oz. The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on
how long you try to hold it. “If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.”
“In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes. ”
> He continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. ”
“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden. ”
“So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work/life down. Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow.”
“Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can. Relax; pick them up later after you’ve rested. Life is short. Enjoy!
And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

1 * Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
4 * Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
5 * If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
8 * Never buy a car you can’t push.
9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
10 * Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
11 * Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.
13 * When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
15 * You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once
17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box .
18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today .


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My thinking/Be a Man

January 24, 2008

This may sound strange but the past few days I have been thinking about my thinking, where do some of my thoughts come from. Now I am not talking about here on the blog, I believe I know that. I am talking in just every day, day to day stuff.

At times I wonder about the old brain tumor. It is there, about the size of a large walnut. It’s located on the right frontal side. This is I am told the part of the brain that we use for things like judgement, control of impulsive actions, actually quite a few things that sort of determine the person I am. Our brain is naturally contained within the confines of our skull. Being confined as such, there is no natural room for swelling or for such a thing as a tumor. Within this confined space the tumor then just squishes other parts of the brain, compressing these parts into un-natual shapes and positions. It can’t help but have some sort of affect on you.

Hey, maybe I am really a big jerk, it is just the tumor has rearranged the brain in such a way, I am able to pass myself of as a reasonably nice guy. Now isn’t that food for thought, hmm.

I am what I consider to be a deep thinker and not prone to acting impulsively but I have notice that now arising and will just have to be more aware.

Just realized something, if I write something stupid or ridiculous, I can just blame it on the tumor. lol

Stepdaughter Lynelle was here all last week and as we talked. During her visits we usually find some time to chat, about anything and everything. Now memory guy is coming through again. I can’t actually remember what it was that we were talking about but what ever it was, it got me thinking about male/female roles in life.

First off, I believe in equality in every aspect, no exceptions. OK, that is a given. But, my mind is wandering along the lines, is there or should there at least be one additional expectation of men. Maybe some of this stems from something I can remember my mother saying when I was young. You know how somethings just sort of stand out or stick in your mind, well this is one of those for me.

“Always be a man. A real man is a gentleman. A gentleman always shows due respect to others. Under no circumstances would a gentleman ever hit a woman or anyone smaller than himself. He will always stand up to protect and defend his loved ones, himself and anyone in need.”

There may have been more, that I don’t remember. I like to consider myself a gentleman. Have there been times in my life where I know I have fallen short of that definition, sadly yes. But, it is something I have tried to generally live my life by.

I know there is an equally good argument about the ladies standing up and maybe one day I will post my thoughts on that. But, today I am just talking about the men and specifically in the home, thoughts on other areas of life will likely follow.

I just can’t fathom how any male that sees himself as really being a man, “the man of the house” could use his possible greater size and strength to do anything but protect your loved ones. There is no circumstance, situation or event, as angry as you may be, that could justify violence against women and children. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS, NONE. It is time for all real men to stand up and be counted, show yourself as being a man. If anyone realizes in their hearts, changes could be make. How about starting that change today, right now.

As men, we do often possess a larger physical stature and even greater physical strength. Let’s use that in the way it was meant to be used.

I guarantee, I will never strike a woman or child.

I guarantee, I will never use my size to bully anyone, ever.

I guarantee, if we hear a noise in the middle of the night. I will be the one checking it out, baseball bat in hand.

I guarantee, if anyone says or does anything, I ever perceive as being done to intentionally hurt my loved ones. I will be in your face, immediately.

It is almost strange reading that last point. I know it to be true. The strange part is I am a very easy going relaxed kind or guy. Very little upsets or bothers me, say or do something to me and I will very likely just laugh it off. Do the very same thing to my family, different story all together.

A direct question to every male reading this. Are you a gentleman, a real man or merely an over sized jerk pretending to be a man? Give it some thought before you automatically reply.


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Writing/Center of my being

January 23, 2008

I am feeling good, tired but good. Sad that all the grand kids have gone home and will miss them all. Small children have such energy and are constantly on the go. Even if you are not actively involved in what ever it is they are doing, it is somehow tiring just watching them use up so much energy.

Saw my doctor on Monday. He is still concerned about the diabetes and the complications it may pose, with my heart. He spoke of foreseeing a major bump on the highway of my life coming soon. Major bump, minor bump it is all a matter of perspective, back to my two ways you can look at everything. I am excited about my life and am ready for all that live brings to me.

I just backed up to restart this paragraph as what I am saying fits right in with something a dear blogging friend Jill, asked of me. To share any tips I may have on writing. Sharing tips on my writing style now that is a tough one, I don’t think I have a style. I think of this as my journal and just sit and write what ever thoughts are in my head. When I think of it, that makes it so much easier for me. No planning, no editing nothing, just write what comes to mind. When I see the obvious work so many others put into their posts I realize how easy I have it. OK, back to what I had written before.

Today, as with most days as I come to the computer, I had no idea what I would post about, that is other than the little bit on family and health. I have to admit at the very beginning of the blog I used to fret about this a little. Sort of like, gee I am writing something on the internet I should have something maybe even meaningful to say. I don’t worry at all about that anymore. I just come and type whatever. I know something will come to me, it always does.

I do though have a process or ritual what ever you wish to call it that I do every time, prior to writing anything. I come to the computer and just relax for a minute or so. Trying to get myself into a semi meditative state. I then say a simple prayer asking God to give me some thoughts that I may share that may help someone, anyone. I then ask the Arch Angels, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael, and all the Angels in the heavens to come to my side. To guide me and assist me in understanding and sharing any message that may help someone, anyone.

I used to come at times with somewhat of an idea in my head of what it was I wanted to write. After my little ritual, I would actually start off, title the post and go to it. More often than not I would be surprised when finished, to see my thoughts had actually taken me in an entirely different direction. The title I had previously selected and typed in some how came no where close to applying to what I had written. I give every post a title but now wait to see what I have written before I name it. Some times when I am finished I think for a moment or two on what I have said and am some what surprised, thinking, huh, I never thought of it that way before.

This is why so often I refer to myself as a rambler and not a writer. I just start off and ramble on. If in fact I do on occasion come up with a thought that may strike a chord with someone, due credit should be given where it really belongs.

Today, is a perfect example of what I am saying. Beyond an idea about the first couple of thoughts, I had no idea of what I would write about. The computer is in the office/den/library what ever you want to call it. I am surrounded by many many books. I finished my first couple of paragraphs and still had no idea on what if anything I would write. I just sat back wondering, my eyes with out any thought just wandered over to one of the bookcases, lined with books. My attention was immediately grabbed by the bright gold cover on one particular book. I couldn’t just off hand think of what the book was, so had to get up and get it to check it out.

It is titled “Taking Time To Just Be”. A Helen Exley giftbook. As soon as I saw the front cover I knew immediately which book it was and knew it contains many wonderful quotes containing such wisdom.

I said a quick prayer asking for guidance and randomly opened it. I share with you a quote by Lao Tzu, from Tao Te Ching.

“We always hope someone else will have the answer. Some other place will be better, some other time it will all turn out well. This is it. No one else has the answer. No other place will be better, it has already turned out. At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and what you want.”

I had to read that a few times before it hit me as to how it applies to my life. I am the one in control of my life, I am the one responsible for my life. Yes, I can look to others for guidance or suggestions on issues in my life. But I am the one that must accept responsibility for my life. I am the one that must face my own issues, deal with them and I am the one that must face the consequences of these decisions or actions. No one else should be making my decisions for me (that excluding children). I am only now really seeing, I, at the center of my being, containing the spark of God’s love, do have the answers for me.


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Making the best on any situation

January 22, 2008

Today is a day I am really not feeling spry. Had an outing planned this morning but am just not going to make it. As always it will pass soon.

I see today a very nice comment left by very good friends, Hal and Lois. Has me thinking back to when I first met Hal.

Hal and I shared a hospital room for a week a couple of years ago. We were both being tested for brain activity or maybe lack of it. Actually, we were both being monitored for seizures. We each had I think it was 16 electrodes and wires attached to our heads and were being monitored 24/7. Our activity or mobility was limited to about 2 or 3 feet from our beds. Actually for each of us our stay in the hospital was 2 weeks, we were just room mates for one of the weeks.

Now lets face it being “stuck” in the hospital for 2 weeks like this could be a pretty trying time, hard to endure, seemingly never ending. But truly every experience is what you make it. My week with Hal as a room mate proved to be one of the most enjoyable and memorable times of my life. Hal, I thank you buddy.

Those that know me, know I love playing practical jokes. Hey, you have to do something to liven things up when in the hospital like that. Anyway, Hal and I were shown how to disconnect ourselves from the machine, for bathroom breaks. We sometimes cheated and disconnected ourselves for more, shame on us.

Any way to the prank. I talked to one of the nurses and she was in on my plan.  I got an adult diaper when Hal wasn’t around. I had saved some peanut butter from my breakfast tray and smeared it, inside the diaper in the appropriate places and pour in some water. I then hid the diaper under unsuspecting, Hal’s bed. He returns and we just carry on business as normal. That is until the nurse, the one that was in on it, next entered the room.

I then said something to the effect: “Hal, buddy I am sorry to do this to you, but I know you have a problem that the doctors and nurses aren’t aware of. There is help for this, buddy and I am sorry but for your own good, I just have to tell the nurse. The shocked puzzled look on Hal’s face was priceless. I then said to the nurse, “if you look under Hal’s bed you will find something that will show you what the problem is.” Even more surprised look on Hal’s face. The nurse looks under the bed and pulls out the apparently soiled diaper. She showed a look of mock surprise. Poor Hal was speechless.

I quickly explained and a good laugh was had by all. Hal, buddy you were a good sport and a great room mate.


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Ever Changing Life

January 20, 2008

I haven’t been around to much the past week or so. I have been preoccupied with some very wonderful company. Vi’s daughter Lynelle has spent the week with us, together with her two children Seth and Sadie. Grandchildren are such a delight, such a wonder. Seth just turned 1 and Sadie will soon be 4. A young niece and nephew have been over to play a couple of times and the house is usually a noisy bedlam. The family room in the basement is littered with a mountain of toys, puzzle pieces, games and everything you can imagine. In fact all such stuff is scattered all over the house. Such “clutter” is something we are just not used to, but I really don’t care. Kids are kids, let them have their fun while they are here. There is nothing that can’t be picked up or straightened up later. I hope they have nice memories of the visit and always look forward to coming back. I never want to be seen as a scary stern grandpa.

In my last post I wrote of live being a journey. We travel along the highway of life without the benefit of any sort of road map. Each and every day we face the journey anew often heading into or facing new and unexplored territory and adventures. Faith will not necessarily help you avoid bumps in the road but will help you through them. We may on occasion hit a bump in the road, or even a construction site on the road, where we may seem to get mired down in the mud. I have come to realize these “construction sites” on the road of life are not really in the road of life at all. Instead, are sites for me, to help construct the inner me. Spots where I can grow as a person. How often have I found myself in such a situation and blamed the highway, never stopping to think of how to get myself past the situation or how to learn from it. Easier to just blame the highway for my problems to just blame life for my problems, its not my fault this or that happened. So very often that is true, life does bring us unexpected or unwanted turns in the road. What is even more important than what life brings us, is how we learn to deal with it. Each bump in the road or detour thrown at us, helps to mold and create us into the people we are. We can grow, flourish and shine brighter than ever before. Or, we can get mired down and seemingly stuck on the road of life.

What is important for me to always remember, we are on a journey and as such are always moving. Just sometimes we move at faster pace than at others. I know there have been times when I have allowed myself to get mired down and seemingly stuck. Times when I looked ahead and could see no improvement in the road, my life just seemingly have no improvement is sight. I so easily blamed the road and felt it needed work, on reflection I can now see that it was the inner me that needed to work and life was giving me a slow down period in which to do it. That is also when in fact I allowed myself to forget the mere fact life is not stagnant but continually moving forward. I was not stuck just moving forward at a slower pace. There is always the next bend in the road and how am I to know what wonders await me.

Vi’s brother, Henri occasionally leaves a comment and each and everyone of them has contained such great thought and wisdom. I thank you Henri. Through his words as he explains so beautifully, we are never really stuck.

I want to ensure all see it, so I am copying it here:

Have you ever watched a tree grow?
Have you ever watched a flower open?

Such processes take place slowly and subtly. Only through watching a film, sped up, do we get to see how they really occur.

This is why, sometimes, we can feel as if there really is no movement in our life. Nothing is changing or moving on, then suddenly, one day, we realize that things are very different and they will never be the same again.

Have a great Sunday.


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Wonders of it all

January 17, 2008

Had a really excellent day yesterday, enjoying wonderful company. It all really re-enforced the knowing that love is really what is most important in this world. This world of ours truly is a most wonderous place. We just need to take the time to stop look around and enjoy it.

A dear friend yesterday also suggested I check out a site, wonderofitall

Now I didn’t actually time it but it is only maybe a minute long, but what a powerful message contained within that minute. I have been back and watch it 5 or 6 times and each time I do I seem to get more out of it. The title pretty much says it all, the wonder of it all. This struck me as such that I could do many many posts on what it contains and over time am sure I will. I certainly encourage all to read it, but I mean read it and think about what you are reading and not just skim through, it will be well worth your time.

At one point it asks a question, wording to the effect, have you ever stood on the shore of an ocean and just looked out. The vastness of the ocean can leave you in awe, as it on the horizon it seems to stretch right to the sky. The sheer vastness, the magnitude of what you are seeing can leave you in awe. Now this refers to the ocean but it would equally apply to a mountain, forest or really anything in nature. We are in awe at the sheer size and beauty of what we see.
We are in even greater awe when we realize that everything we see as huge as it is, is only one small part of all that there is within this wonderful world of ours. No matter how far we can see, it is still only one small part, one really minuscule little part of the wonders, of the beauty of this world.

The more I thought about it, the more clearly I could actually see how this applies to our lives. We can look to our future as we see it may be, we can look to our past, we can look to our sides and see all the events that are currently happening around us. No matter where we look or how hard we look, all we will see is one tiny, minuscule bit of the overall picture of our lives.

The world is filled with beauty and wonders that stretch far beyond our eyes, what we can see at any given moment represents just one very small part of the big picture, the true beauty stretches far beyond what we can see. Also with our lives, truly what we can see at any one given moment only represents just one very small part of the over all big picture.

Beauty and wonders in life surround us, sadly it may often be just beyond our sight range, or at least so it seems when we are in the midst of a crisis. Another wonder is that life is a journey, we do not remain or should not remain stagnant in any one spot. As we travel this journey we can always be comforted by knowing that the true beauty may be just around the next corner on the road.

I need to remember this when faced with the next “crisis” in my life. Great beauty and wonders surround me.
At the moment my range of sight may not be great enough to see over the horizon or past my field of woe. But, I am on a journey. If somehow I could magically look at the road map of my life. I would the more clearly be able to see any “crisis” really only represents on small bump in the road. Or possibly be seen as a construction site on the road. A construction site in which it was I that needed to learn to more successfully avoid, the potholes in the road.

It really does give me a lot to think about.


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Religion According to Bill

January 15, 2008

Yesterday was a good day, even so I managed to sleep away much more of it than I had planned. We are blessed and so pleased to have Vi’s daughter and two of her grandchildren Seth and Sadie visiting us for the week Seth just celebrated his first birthday and Sadie will soon be four. Seth is at that really cute stage where he is just learning to walk, and can do so quite well if holding on to your fingers. It amazes me as I see him occasionally take a fall from a full standing position to land flat on his bum and not even be phased by it. It is said he is wearing a diaper so it gives him extra padding to cushion the fall. Now, granted it has been quite a few years since I wore a diaper but I look at those little things and can see there just is not that much padding there. So diaper or no diaper, I know if I took a fall from a full standing position and landed straight down on my bum, I think I would consider myself crippled likely for weeks. I have to admit I am not as tough as a 1 year old.

Sadie is also a delight and is teaching poppa many new things. I usually don’t spend much if any time laying on the floor, but that is the position I am doing my learning. Sadie has taught me how to color using a magic marker and how to do jig saw puzzles. Learning really can be a fun time.

Scott, a friend of Lynelle’s dropped in yesterday, he brought with him a healing bowl. It is quite an interesting thing. It is very interesting, it is made of some sort of heavy metal. With it comes a piece of wood. You run the piece of wood around the edges of the bowl and it begins to hum and vibrate in your hand, which is said to have a healing quality in it. Scott was kind enough to lend it to me and I will be trying it out over the next few days.

A few days ago I received a very interesting email from a dear blogging friend. In it she stated it is obvious from my writings that I am a deeply religious person and ask which church is it that I attend that has given me such strong convictions. I answered the email in my typical tardy manner. As I did I realized this is something I should share on the blog as if I have given that impression to her, I very well may have done the same to others.

I suppose it comes down to your individual definition of religious. Over the years I have attended many different churches, different denominations.

Each I found to be very good very special in their own way. From that do I believe there is one right church or that one is necessarily better than the others, no I do not. Lets face it the essential message of all churches is essentially the same and really only differ in certain select areas. These differences are man made or man decided upon. Within any church you have a congregation, at times within that congregation you will have a difference of opinion. That difference of opinion may be over interpretation of scripture or what ever. The difference of opinion may even be small but the “dissenting” group may break away to form their own church. Preaching and teaching essentially the same message but with a slightly different view of certain scripture readings. Thus, we have hundreds if not thousands of different churches. I believe all are good, all are wonderful places of worship. The “right church” is the one, that makes each of us as individuals feel is right. I believe the worshiping of God is much more important than in which building we chose to do it. Most if not all I am sure will disagree with this next statement or at least not admit it. Many are drawn to a particular church because of the individual Pastor, Minister etc., by how charismatic the individual is, how good a speaker. I also believe that is fine, what ever it takes to make each individual feel drawn to worship.

In this next bit, I hope I offend no one. Your opinions and thoughts are just as valid as mine, just as right for you. What I am stating is my opinion. There are certain things I am uncomfortable about some churches.

The hard line literalists, follow our rules to the letter or you are a sinner and are kicked out of the church. I ask, wouldn’t sinners be the very ones you want to attract to the church to help and save them?

The churches that have almost like or even do have a dress code. I agree totally we should dress in our best to attend church. I ask this, what if due to economic conditions or what ever my best doesn’t measure up. Does that make me any less worthy in God’s eyes?

I believe a certain amount of pomp, pageantry, rituals and rites are very important in any church. It is only my opinion but I believe some that taken this way over board. To the point where I often wonder if I am spending more time in man made rituals than in actual worship.

I am uncomfortable with churches that seem to lead the congregation to the belief that they have been save and develop a Holier than thou attitude. They have been saved and as such their entry into heaven is assured. If your church gives you that attitude and you take comfort in it, good for you, and I mean that good for you. Personally, I believe there is a much Higher Power that we will all have to answer to and it is only He that will make that decision.

When I come out of church, I want to come out feeling good. Feeling good that I have just sent time in worship. My batteries recharged with the comfort the knowledge that God loves me, and that I love God. I want to come out feeling good, even knowing that I have sinned, made mistakes, I can change. I want to come out with the pumped up attitude, God is with me, I can and will change I can improve and better myself. I do not want to come out of church fearful the devil is lurking behind every bush and rock just waiting to pounce on me. I am totally uncomfortable with services that seem to preach more a fear of the devil than a love of God.

I have a huge beef with many that I refer to as hypocrite Christians. I am sure they can be found in every religion, in every faith. These are the ones that are the greatest Christians in the world on Sunday mornings. For that hour or so they represent themselves to everyone in hearing distance as being so totally righteous.  Suddenly, something happens and that character suddenly become the exact opposite for the rest of the week. What happened?

I imagine some will take what I have said as church bashing. That is not my intent at all, I do believe all are good. No one opinion is necessarily more right than the next, or at least who am I to say what is the “one right way”. What is right for you, is right for you and I respect that. I am merely stating my opinions on what feels right for me as I encourage all to do.

As for me personally, I do have my very strong beliefs. My beliefs are very very important to me. How did I come by them? A life time of experience, picking up bits and pieces here and there. A great deal of listening, thinking, praying and meditating. Do I attend a particular church? No. Do I attend any church regularly? No. When was the last time I attended at church for anything other than a wedding or baptism? Really can’t remember (but I am memory guy). Do I pray regularly? Yes, often many times a day. Do I believe I will go to Heaven? Yes.  I believe all God loves all of his children equally. Any judgement that may come will be based on the content of the heart.