February 10, 2021


The Bubbles 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine
Believe it or not.
That doesn't matter either.

What matters is what we do.
What matters is how we live our life.

Believe anything you want
as long as it
enables you to do what is needed,
what is called for,
when it is needed,
where it is needed,
the way it is needed,
in each situation as it arises
all your life long.

When people ask me if I'm a Christian,
I say, "Unconditionally!"
And go on to explain that by saying,
"That means no strings attached,
no conditions to be met,
no expectations to live up to,
in a word: No Theology!"

Of course, they protest:
"But you can't be a Christian 
without theology!"
And, of course, I reply,
"Of course you can.
Jesus didn't peddle theology.
He told people what to do:
Love your enemies.
Love your neighbor.
Love one another.
Love yourself.
No theology.
Believe whatever you feel like believing.
Just do what is called for,
when it is called for,
where it is called for,
the way it is called for,
and let that be that."

People like theology 
because they can talk about it
without doing anything.
But when something needs doing,
there is no talking about doing it.
There is only doing it or not doing it.

No talking allowed.



Barn on Mormon Row 06/23/2001 — Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming
We are never more than
a slight perspective shift away
from seeing all things new.

It is all an optical illusion.

We are looking at it like this
and we need to look at it like that.

Whatever is is what we say it is.
What we say it is is a function
of how we are looking at it.

If we sit with it,
looking at it,
wondering what else is there,
how else we might see it,
what different ways of interpreting it
we can come up with...
we create cracks
in our construct
where the light can shine through.

We are thinking about it like this
and we need to think about it like that.

Write down how things are,
and ponder the list,
looking for ways a new hermeneutic 
can transform your world.

It is all right there,
waiting to be seen.
We have the eyes.
We only need to start 
using them differently.



Country Cemetery 03 05/16/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Lancaster County, South Carolina
What does wanting know?
It knows what it wants,
but it doesn't know what
it ought to want.

It knows how to want
what it wants,
but it doesn't know
how to want
what it ought to want.

It doesn't know
what is worth wanting.
What is worth dying for.
What is worth going to hell for.

wanders through the wasteland
of emptiness
wanting everything,
certain that what it wants
is only one major purchase away.

Freedom from our bondage to wanting
is as simple as stopping it.

Replace wanting with needing.

What do you need to do
what needs you to do it?
What needs doing?
What is called for
in each situation as it arises?

What are your gifts?
Your specialties?
Your virtues?
Where are they needed?

What is your life asking of you?
What does your life need from you?
Begin making inquiries.

"What do you (your life) need from me
here, now?"
"How can I be of help to you,
here, now?"

Stop thinking about wants.
Start thinking about needs.

What needs to be done?
What do you need to do it?

A meaningful life is found
in answering those questions
throughout each day.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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