Life has greatly changed in these last 30 years or so. I can only speak from an East Coast New Jersey perspective. I remember when love really was looking in someone's eyes and enjoying that person's company. I remember when doubting a person without a reason usually didn't occur. I remember firm handshakes and eye contact that meant something. I remember when a handshake was more than a business-type maneuver. Believe it or not, I remember when business and government actually gave money back without our demanding or requesting it.
All of a sudden it seemed that everything changed. Job placements deceased, the belief that humans needed a "Higher Power" deceased, and the word "love" became associated with escapism. The "good" old fashion way no longer seemed "good". Things of character were replaced with "if it looks good and gets by, then who can judge?" This mentality has led to the collapse of our economy, good government, and trust in leadership.
What could I do to try to change things? What could you do? What would Jesus do? There had to be someone, somewhere who still believed that I (or you) could make a difference in our area for the better.
I tried religions and other "organized" bodies. They all had one thing in common. They would all mold "God (Higher Power)" into their image. Some would even create "holy books" of this "God" that really enforced their own power structure. If any of these "ways" were true, our world would face less wars, dysfunctions, and greed. The religion walk had some good points, but it wasn't for me. I really believe what Jesus told Nicodemus, that God moved how He chose to move (like the Wind), and He called whom He chose to call (like John the Baptizer).
My life was in shambles. My financial institute repeatedly failed me and then attacked my character when I complained. I tended to have a Joseph relationship with my spiritual brothers and earthly family members. I was always "pushed" or forced out. It took me years to realize that God had other plans for me. My agenda to be "quiet and do my part" was not enough for God. God would Oversee the "pushing" to get me to where He wanted me to be. In poverty, I attempted to donate sometimes coins, other times dollars to charity. I was immediately placed on a "donor's list" and endlessly contacted by other solicitors.
I began to realize that the God of the Bible and the way that modern humans attempt to worship Him appeared to be in contrast. Yet, I also witnessed the early deaths, the legal problems, the court trials, the break ups, the infidelities, and all that goes will serving a "made God of the Flesh".
When I think of Jesus, or any "Holy Man", I see a person who stood on His or Her own. This was a person who heard the Voice of God (the Wind-John 3:1-16). Jesus, who represented such a Man, told Nicodemus (who represented organized or structure religion) that God's Servants must obey God not men or women (Acts Chapter 5).
I became an Ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church for these reasons: 1) I am allowed to follow God's voice. There is no person or body in the ULC which attempts to dictate what I am or am not to do (as long as I do the right thing), 2) We truly are One. This is the motto of the Universal Life Church. "God" wants us to strive beyond our human shortcomings and look out for the better good of all, 3) I'm actually doing what I truly enjoy doing! I AM A MINISTER OF GOD! It's a joy and a Freedom from all organizations and human made rules (which often tend to be oppressive), 4) I see God's Presence and hear the Voice of God in nature, in life, in animals, in insects, in study, and in supernatural manisfestations of the Most High God. The final reason I enjoy being an Ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church is one that I did not expect or ask for. My concerns are respected more by onlookers. Actions are more readily taken against unethical persons or those who exploit the elderly and others.
I wish to encourage everyone to listen to the Voice of God, however God talks to you. God has Higher Callings to offer. We don't have to accept the dysfunctions of life. I'm a firm believer that God will bless us with our needs, if we are willing to let Him lead us in His will.
Pastor Gary Colin Booker is a Minister of the Universal Life Church. You can contact Pastor Colin at firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.webspawner.com/users/comingagain
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