Old Lighthouse

Old Lighthouse
Outer Banks USA

Monday, February 2, 2009

I have been posting comments on the Rice Patch the past few days. The subject is about forgiveness.  Instead of taking over Ricks blog I thought I would post on here. 
      Forgiveness hits hard in all directions and it is a part of many problems in organized religion today.  I have seen the issue of divorce held on people to the point where preachers will not marry people who have been divorced.  I have never understood this at all.  I have seen preachers hold up as an example some vile person who God saved.  They will proudly point out in detail the things God has forgiven them of.  They will say that the sin is buried in the sea, as deep as east is from west, never to be remembered again by God against us.  How do people on one hand preach this and then turn around and hold something against certain people.  I see this type of what I call "situational forgiveness" as the downfall of many self proclaimed men of God.  They pick their pet ideas and prioritize them to there liking. How else do you explain coming down so hard on an issue that the bible is so very clear on. Are they forgiven or not? If they are than get over your power trip and let it go.  If not look at them and tell them that they have committed a sin that is unforgivable.  Don't let them be a participating member and than tell them there not worthy of your blessings when it comes to marriage.  This is one example of the standard operating procedure when it comes to forgiveness being used as a club for personal gain.  I have blood squirting out of my ears and eyes every time I think about this control tactic.  There are so many things in the bible that need no explaining and if simply followed, as written, will lead everyone to heaven.  Why do we let these people convince us that they know more about this than we do.  The bible clearly states that a child could figure it out. 
  Just line up the issues that have split lifelong friends and family and take a good look.  Most of the issues had nothing to do with salvation. Most of the time it is a situation of people taking sides on an issue because of who they think is right and not what is right.  I have a suggestion.  Let's concentrate on the red letters in the bible. These are the word of Jesus. When we get that right then we can talk about these man made issues that keep Gods children at each others throats today.  I am not impressed that you say you have seen the light when it comes to the book of revelation and cover up for sin right under your nose in broad daylight.  We do not have a lack of knowledge.  We have a lack of confidence. I am really trying to not give into the temptation to do what Rick warned against.  "Throwing the baby out with the bath water."

Monday, January 19, 2009


 Compromise:  To back up on truth.
 Compromise:  To find a middle ground where we can agree.

      The first 30 years of my life was spent around people who would not, and were proud that they did not compromise.  This is great if your always right.  What about people who find new truths all of the time.  I agree that you should not compromise on your convictions.  Is there not a huge area where we can compromise with others? 
  I no longer feel as if I have done something wrong when I try to see it from there view.  I no longer feel like I need to pick up that stone and throw it to show others how holy I am living.  I think of the story of the woman at the well and I do as the people there did.  I hang my head in shame for the flaws in my own life and walk away thankful that I am not being stoned for my sin.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gray areas?

    Is life like a stick drawing?  Is everything stark black & white. Some people think so.  It is set in stone that there is no gray area.  When black stops, white starts and thats it.  
    I have been considering this for some time now and was drawn to a sketch my son was working on.  I noticed that some of the sketch wasn't finished.  Some of it looked like the stick figure I mentioned.  It was very black and white. Very flat on the page. Very simple.  As you move up the page, you see an area that looks like it might be finished.  It has many tones of gray in it.  These gray areas make the sketch stand out on the page. It feels like you could reach out and pick it off of the page.  Why do we resist letting others have there "Gray areas."  It seems that even when some gray is permitted in our lives we look around to make sure our "gray" lines up with everyone else's "gray"  Is this how it is supposed to be?  Did God make all of us so different from each other for us to turn around and put people into molds that makes them all the same?  I think It is very possible that God likes different.  He sure likes color.  Look around and try to explain why God would make everything so complex and colorful.  
I just have a hard time thinking that god would do that and then have people put these same colorful people into a black & white, stick figure mold.  I know, that person's gray is not the same shade or size as yours.  So what!  Have you ever considered that it might be OK.  
    Just like when you drive by that house being built down the road.  No, you wouldn't build it like that or paint it that color.  Would you consider talking to the builder and trying to make him see that you have a house down the road and he needs to come take a look.  Would you tell him that because the style of his so called house does not match yours, so it is not considered a house in your mind?  No. We live with the fact that they like there house like it is. That doesn't effect our home.  
   Why can't we do the same thing with peoples personal relationship with God.  Yes if you see someone making a major mistake that matters like the structure (Salvation.) stop and offer some insight in the proper manner.  If it is just the siding style or color please keep driving.  There is no good to come from you interjecting your opinion at this time.  No it doesn't make you look smart or wise, It just makes you look like you are trying to stuff them in your mold.
   I have been trying to focus on lighter subject but I think with my birthday right around the corner I am kinda stuck on the things that I think matter.  Before you read this keep in mind I spent the Holiday in the Hospital this year so don't think I have anything or anyone in mind.  The Holidays always bring people together who might have differences.  These are people who have to put on a good face for the family or the in-law's.  I think the same thing happens at Church.
  You see my mind never quits.  To sleep at night I use the tools of distraction to get my mind to slow down enough to sleep.  I have found that if I have the radio on, it distracts my thoughts long enough to let me go to sleep.  I have always had the need to know how things work and have put a lot of effort into study how everything around me works.  I enjoy getting a new piece of equipment and going over how it works.  I will study the prints and take things apart on a brand new item to satisfy my need to know not only what it does, But how it does it.  I know it's weird but thats me.  You see when I get on an Airplane to fly I know how the parts for that plane are made. (I was a plant manager for a jet engine parts manufacture for years.)  You see I don't sit down and wonder what could happen. I know the weak links.  I know first hand the strengths and weaknesses of the manufacturing process.  This is a good thing when it comes to flying. I know that the process produces a near flawless plane every time it is followed.  This works the other way also.  There are some  things I observe and think " I am glad those people are not making planes." As you may see my mind works overtime on such things.
   Getting back to the distraction  thing I have been wandering if we do this same thing with our relationships to some extent.  Just like that early AM thought that you should not be in bed wasting time just laying here, but working on something important that is on your mind? Have you ever been talking to someone and think,  I should not be talking to this person about the weather, war or politics.  We should be be having a conversation about things that really impact our relationship.  I am talking about the basic things we all need from our family and friends.  Love, Support, Encouragement.  But no, We turn on the radio. We distract ourselves with the noise of subjects that we can agree on, we stick to the safe stuff.  Why do we hide from the solution?  Is it too hard to face. I think that the more we learn about the process of listening to and understanding someone who thinks different than us on any given subject the more we realize that it takes some hard work to except that person for what they are.  It takes effort to love and support someone who you do not agree with.  So we stay on the narrow road of tried and true subjects that everyone agrees on like, what the weather is doing.  I know what your thinking.  I battle this even as I put my thoughts down right now.  It goes something like this. "It's not worth it, every time we try to talk about that it goes bad."  It only makes things worse.  I say all of this to show you that I have put a lot of thought into this question.  My question is                  WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE PEOPLE THINKING?   
    I have found that I can figure out how something works most of the time.  On the other hand I haven't made that much progress in the field of how people work.  It use to be very simple for me.  I surrounded myself by people who supported my way of thinking and I refused to consider anything new.  This kept things simple.  No conflicts.  It seemed to work.  Well one day I decided to ask A question and I found out why things stayed so simple.  It was as simple as moving people like me to the edge.  Just a nudge from being lost.  What do most people learn to do in this situation?  They sit there and shut up.  They talk about the holy standard or about how happy they are that they are not like "That lost group way over there." Is this a distraction? Some would say there are things way more important than if your love for God has led you to believe that the style of your garments will sway Gods mind on judgement day. 
     I am the person who when someone says "look over there" I look at there hands.  I am looking for the real reason things look like they do, not how you want me to see things.
I have seen so many Magic tricks that I don't take anything for face value anymore.  
  Are we so distracted by the slight of hand that we can not see what is really happening?  Are our thoughts so molded by the pressure of others that we no longer think for ourselves?    
   I think most everyone would say that someone who treats his fellow man with disrespect has no standing on larger issues. So why do we fall for this trick so often?  Faith or Family, it seems we kind of like the distraction of the lesser issues.  They are easy to follow.  We are successful at meeting this or that goal and it makes us feel good about ourselves.  The important things that we are overlooking are right in front of us but we are looking to the right or left and don't see them.  I wander if for most, that is just how they like it.   

Monday, January 12, 2009

      This morning I am again thinking about the facts concerning God and my place in this thing we call life. Does the God I think of really exist? I am not saying, is there a God? I am asking is God the God I have been taught he is.       My first hurdle is the teaching that I am made after his image and I know that I could never send my children to hell.   My first thought is that I do not have anything in me that is drawn to a God or anyone who has the potential to do such a thing.  So I wander, am I doomed or is there another God other than the one I have in my mind.            My dealings with God have always centered around his unconditional love for me.  I can not love myself any more than I feel God loves me. That has always been at the center of my spiritual problems.  I feel about myself how I think God feels about me.  For the most part that has been a very dark road.  Until now I have just stuffed it and played pretend.  I was in the middle of people who claimed you can obtain a perfect walk in Gods eyes.  What does that mean?   People say that this means God holds you to what you know.   If this is true then why are people so hung up on what others doing.   I can't even take care of my own stuff how do people find time to judge others?  I think God looks down and says, "What are you doing. I have shown you the beam in your own eye and your picking at that other persons splinter."  It is refreshing to talk to people who are going thru what I have.  I have never been able to claim that I have lived like God wanted me to.   God has given me a very defined target and that target is way, way off.        I can't think about how far I am away from my target.  I just have to get up each day and take a shot.   It feels like I like I am shooting at a target with my little Bow and Arrow and I look out and I can not even see the target.  All I can do is aim as good as I can and let it rip.  The nice thing is every day I get to step up a little closer to my target, That is, if I decide to take another shot.  I haven't even put one on the target yet let alone hit a bulls eye.  I am getting better every day. Not as much my aim but making the decision to take another shot today.  I have learned that my aim only gets better with practice and instruction from others who have been there before me.  I now give credit to those who TRY.  I am so ashamed that I use to judge people by outward things.  God tells us the most important things are on the inside and guess what.  We do not have the skills to see that part of a person.  Its like men have come up with outward things and rules that they think shows them what's on the inside.  This is not possible. 
      I have been in management for years now and I see the same thing in industry.  When the people are not doing things management has instructed the boss will try to figure out what the problem is.  It could be that the worker needs something you can not see unless you talk to him and he or she lets you INSIDE.   Cracking down on this employee about the outward stuff like being on time or starting your job as directed will do nothing to help production. The problem is something you can not see.  The problem is most bosses say "I told them to do this or that and they did not listen so they can hit the road."   The sad thing is the Boss has no idea what the real problem is.   If that employee would have followed the bosses advice and conformed to his commands the boss would have thought, "What a good employee, he is OK on the inside because he followed my instructions.  The fact is the employee is still broken and needs help but the Boss thinks everything is OK.    He is fooled by his own rules.  He probably thought if the employee follows my outward rules that means everything is good on the inside.  NO.   It may show that this person is playing the game.  It is so much easer to play along.  The employee gets by with murder on everything else as long as he conforms to the RULES.  All this produces are foolish men who THINK there in charge and a bunch of hypocrites trying to fit in.                                I am trying to live life like a road trip.  No I am not at my final destination but I am making decent time considering the traffic.  Instead of beating myself up every day for not being there yet I give myself credit for the progress I have made.                                                                    I end with one question.  What did Jesus mean when he told us to be like him. Is that possible? Did he mean to strive to be like him? If this is what he was saying do we have to except the fact that we will never be just like him.  Is the fact that you get up every day and strive to be like him but never reaching that goal a total success?   

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

        Following are some examples of Ministers saying one thing, but doing something else.  Do you recognize any of these?  If you do, you may be as cynical as I am, when it comes to Organized Religion.  I guess you could also be offended.  If so, all I can say is Read Matthew 23.  The Ministry, I sat under for 30 years, were Pharisees by Matthew's Definition.  I am in no way saying that the Talks are wrong, at face value.   Just that the Walk is hypocritical.  Some of these ministers, when confronted explained: "It's not hypocritical, it's just a double standard."  I'm still thinking about that one.

The Talk: "Hi brother Smith, Hi Jim."

The Walk: The "Brother" in front of Smith is code for: "I believe you are a child of God and if you don't change anything, I will see you in Heaven."  Brother Smith has never met Jim, but the fact that he was not called "brother" tells him unless Jim changes something, he won't be part   of that reunion.  No facts.  No questions.  Just a harsh conclusion.                                                                                  

The Talk: "You need to get it from GOD."
The Walk:  This phrase means, Talk to GOD and he will show you the same thing he showed me.  If not, I will have some forbearance with you but there will come a TIME when you should have gotten it already. 

The Talk: "The Bible has all of the answers."

The Walk:     This means that the Bible is the inspired word of God and that God inspired me, to tell you what it means.  I will also be here, for you, anytime you need pummeled with guilt when you don't agree with me, I mean the Bible.  You know Me and the inspired word of God are almost the same thing.  The only difference is someone wrote the Bible down and I speak my truths.

The Talk: "Trust God to heal you."
The Walk: This means that you should forget what you have learned about your body.  Ignore the fact that washing your hands kills germs.  Eat it, God will take care of things.  You ate it and you haven't pooped in days.  Don't take a laxative.  God will take care of things.  You didn't take the laxative and that huge thing pushing out of your stomach is starting to concern you.  The non stop pain that has kept you up for the last 72 hours is kinda getting on your nerves too.  Do not see a doctor, God will take care of things.  He was a good christian; so God decided to take him home.

 Comment:  No, God let him walk through the door he opened himself.   This is about as crazy as waving off the Fire Department when your house is on fire.  Just stand there in the middle of your burning house.  It's OK, God will provide.  Would you look at that person and think he died trusting God to put out the fire?  God expects you to use the basic sense you were born with and let the Fireman and the Doctor help you.  I am not saying that God can't heal.  I've just seen many good people who thought God would heal them and it is now very clear that God had no such intention. 

The Talk:  "Wearing things that meet the Standard, glorifies GOD."

The Walk:     This means there are not specifics in the Bible but you know, I am close to God and he has shown me that it is a sin to wear any unapproved items.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, look around.  There are many sisters you can copy.  This will also help the world know what group you are a part of.   It also helps me know what's in your heart.  I can see that your heart is not right because you wear pants.

The Talk:    "God can do anything."

The Walk:   Anything, that is, but help you control a TV, or help you decide what modesty is, or help keep women from taking over the church if you treat them as an equal.  Maybe the talk should be, God can do almost anything and what he can't do I can take care of.

The Talk:     "I love you like a Brother. "

The Walk:  Brotherly love is reserved for you only if you are a brother.  Your act of betrayal by leaving the Church means you're not my Brother anymore, so I don't have to treat you like one.  As a matter of fact, I will probably treat people I don't know better than I treat you.

The Talk:    "There are no big I's or little you 's."

The Walk:  It's way more complicated than that.  There are different levels within the ministry.  In the churches themselves, there are different sizes and some are blessed by God more than others.   When it comes to the lowly flock, there are so many levels I can't keep track.  You know, there are the ones who do everything right.  They are such a blessing.  Then there are those that raise questions.  You know the type, always bucking up against the Ministry.  That alone puts them on a level lower than an out and out sinner.  At least a lowly sinner knows where he stands in this level thing.  Sometimes people just don't know who they are talking to; if they did, they would treat me with the respect I deserve because of my position.

The Talk:      "I believe the story of the one lost Sheep."

The Walk:   If they think that I am going to go after that ungrateful sheep, they have another thing coming.  I preached and warned them and they still left.  I have plenty of people right here who do what I say.  They just complicated things anyway.  Besides they're not lost, they decided to be where they are.  When they come to their senses, we will be here.

The Talk: "I believe the story of the Prodigal Son."

The Walk:  You mean to tell me, you left the truth and went to another land.  Now that you have decided to come back, don't think you're getting any special attention.  As a matter of fact, you need to show us that you're serious and prove some things before you're totally accepted. You should have known better anyway.

The Talk: " I don't have a TV because bad things come across it 
and You can't have one because you can't handle the 
The Walk: I'm a good christian because I don't have a TV.  Oh that?  That's just the internet. It's not the same thing you know.  It's a powerful tool that we can use to reach souls.  Never mind the fact that porn is the leading content on the web today and TV has more good choices, now, than ever.

The Talk: The Bible says:"The love of Money, is the root of ALL evil."

The Walk:   Yea I know what it says and yes I don't have a TV because I can't handle the temptation.  But money and material things are different.  I have control over the money thing.   Anyway, my pastor said I could make as much as I like; as long as I give at least 10% of it to the church.  Also 10% of a huge pile of money is  still a pretty big pile of money.  People look the other way on things, if they are benefiting from my money.  It also helps to keep down the questions, if you spread a little around.

The Talk:  "I don't wear new styles because it's worldly and flashy."

The Walk:  Hey Brother.  Let's take a ride in one of my many new cars, to see one of my latest houses.  You know, there is a big difference in what you wear and what you have.  And anyway, I gave more than required to the church; so it's none of your business.   

The Talk:  "Smoking is a sin because you are defiling God's temple."

The Walk:   Eating so much, that you harm your body more than smoking does, is not the same thing.  You don't have to smoke to live, but you have to eat.  That is why I haven't preached anything about eating too much.  It also wouldn't go over well, at home, with my fat wife.  She does the outward standard thing so well, so she deserves some slack.

The Talk: "Drinking is a sin, on any level, because you are defiling 
                                      God's temple."

The Walk:   I know the Bible says to drink a little wine for your stomach's sake, but you know   the wine they drank in the Bible time was just grape juice.

The Talk:  "The alter is a place where you should publicly humble 
                                      yourself before God."

The Walk:   You have never seen me at the alter because there has never been a reason for me to kneel there within the last 30 years.  That's for you guys.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I am starting this blog to put down my thoughts about everything. I mostly have questions and sometimes I think I know the answer. I am 45 years old and have spent the last 5 years trying to unlearn old things that were ingrained in me at an early age. It is like they are as much a part of me as my personality. I find myself having thoughts or opinions and then remembering that I no longer believe the way my mind tried to take me at first thought. I think "WoW" 40 years of indoctrination is very, very powerful.