Church News Page

Church News Page

I’ve often thought about submitting a picture from one of the many inspiring Iowa ridge-tops I’ve hung out on, to the “Church News” page of our local newspaper. I go to these places to renew my soul, my spirit, and my appreciation for these unique places we have to enjoy and reconnect to the simple things of life. Some people call it “forest bathing” or “hiking” or “camping” or “hunting” or “fishing” or “bike riding” or “paddling” or “cutting firewood” or “working in the garden” or whatever you prefer. Nothing in nature questions you, and your mind is free to roam wild. This photo happens to be one of those many places along the Mississippi River with my two sons, Jed & Marcus.

I thought it would perfect for the Church News page because no matter what you believe, it can inspire and enlighten you even further. Local churches bring people, neighborhoods, and communities together for the greater good. Our quiet wilderness areas do the same thing, especially for the individual or a small group of friends. That’s why I want to put more of a priority on protecting and enhancing these kinds of opportunities for communities across Iowa. It doesn’t take that much of an investment because all it takes is a change in attitude of what’s really important in life! Organizations like the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation has done so much to protect Iowa’s most unique resources. I’d say it’s time we all pitch in.

Now back to the Church News page. I recently got a message from someone who had discovered my page and they asked about my faith in God and Christ. This is a subject that luckily we’re all free to think and believe what we want as long as we’re not hurting others or the commons in the process. Not that I need to talk about it or reveal what I believe because our individual beliefs shouldn’t really be a part of politics. That separation was specifically outlined by the founding fathers of the constitution for good reason (separation of church and state)…but our religious beliefs still get intertwined into politics all the time. I’m a totally transparent candidate, so I don’t mind sharing mine………

Dear Gary….. I checked out who you are from the sample ballot sent. I’m impressed on your pro life/choice stand, I do like it and I think we can attract more people to you with the concept of ending Abortion On Demand of healthy pregnancies. No surgeon would cut off an arm or take out a healthy appendix. why should healthy babies loose their lives just because they are inconvenient. I had my own business for 23 years and have some good marketing skills. So, here’s the million dollar question…. Where do you stand with God and Christ? just for my info, probably not a good idea for you to tout it for the public, but I’d like to know personally.

Me: That’s a really good question! Funny how that number 23 keeps coming up everywhere lately….I believe there is something destined to happen for me real soon!

I would love to discuss this around a campfire or remote ridge-top on a starry night in the wilderness because that’s when I feel most connected to everything around me, but alas…these are the moments we don’t take enough time with in life as it passes by in the blink of an eye. So I’ll give you the short answer. I know there’s an energy out there…. I don’t fully understand it, but have experienced it in many ways and daily. It’s all around us…. I call it spirituality and the energy of the universe…others call it God or Christ or Allah or Budda, and one friend of mine who is a Pagan sees it in the energy spirits of the animals or the sun, which is probably how the Native Americans saw things until we showed up and showed them a different way as we kicked them off the landscape and killed their families and cultures. The specifics of what you believe depends on how and where you were raised and who raised you. If the same child that was born and raised as a Christian was born and raised in the Muslim religion…that’s what they would be. No one is right or wrong because it’s all a matter of perspective and that’s what has to be recognized and respected….especially in our country because luckily we allow for that freedom.

I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school until first grade when my mom passed away. We switched to the adjacent public school (Bryant School in Dubuque) because there was a school bus that could take us to school since our dad couldn’t pick us up or drop us off. I went through all the CCD classes, first communion, and confirmation…so did all of my siblings. Funny how none of us go to church anymore.

I think I started getting different ideas when I started to know more about our natural world, and how individual species came about. I became more open minded about the things around me, which is what literally made me more connected and appreciative to the things around me. The uniqueness of every moment that will never be the same or repeated again in the history of the universe. That’s exciting to me and makes me even more appreciative and thankful for every moment. My background, understanding, and own observations about the natural world also made me realize how wrong the Bible got that description….they should have stuck to politics and controlling people’s lives because the writers were really good at that part. Not that I have anything against the good parts of the Bible, but there are some really awful parts as well that mostly get overlooked. Anyway, I’m sure I’m on a tangent….but I told you it was a campfire discussion 🙂

Bottom line is that I don’t call what I feel by any name because it is unique to how I feel and understand it. No one really knows for sure. I don’t really think there is any kind of deity type God that controls everything because that would immediately beg the question of what created that God….a God with even more power? I do believe there was a guy named Jesus….there has been a few of them over history….inspirational, kind, and well meaning people that step up to try and make a positive difference in the world around them. They suffer from the common folks that don’t pick up fast enough on the actual good they are promoting until it’s too late, and then they look back on it and realize they just crucified or didn’t bother to stand up for the very person that was trying to help them or the world around them. Sometimes I feel like Jesus (and don’t take that the wrong way) in what I’m trying to do, the message about our natural world we take for granted as we destroy it…..and I can only imagine what Jesus could have accomplished back in the day with a Samsung 7 Smartphone! lol

I hope that answered your question because there is so much more and no right or wrong answer….but let’s wait for that remote campfire on the ridge on that starry night!

Gary

 

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