Process

D L Henderson
7 min readJun 14, 2024

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May 12, 2024, Edited June 14, 2024

Part One

Any process, big or small, like life, living, learning, deciding, doing… Any question about who, what, why, when, or where, requires a process called “thought.” Thinking, however, is taken for granted, as if it were automatic. So, it is often underutilized.

My concerns in my writings include understanding God, Jesus, and the Bible. Most of my concerns are about misconceptions and misunderstandings which undermine a fair and proper analysis.

My claim to this being any of my business — as opposed to not being any of my business — comes from my experience which, in turn, comes from God’s interventions in my life, actual life experiences, not just frivolous conjecture.

Look, I am now 74 years old, and I used to be “as dumb as they come,” hard headed, slow on the uptake, and socially ignorant. I’m still exhibiting at least two of the four, but I believe I have made some progress.

Being married for 43 years, we have five adult children and seven grandchildren. I’ve been hired. I’ve been fired. I’ve been rehired. I have quit…

Now, I am once and for all retired and reaching my expiration date. I used to be an athlete. No more. I used to be able to climb ladders, but this year, Patty has had to do all of the climbing and pruning of the apple trees… All rather normal and mundane experiences.

In the past, I did have some remarkable adventures, and I hope everybody has those.

Still and all, the big change in my ordinary life occurred when I called on God to rescue me from disaster — one of my adventures gone very, very bad.

After praying to God and being rescued from that impending doom, I was very quietly led, as I hitchhiked, to a small group of Born Again young adults. They were living in a kind of hostel hosted by an elderly Missionary who had returned from the Yakama Indian Reservation up in Washington State.

Every evening they sang and prayed and shared what Jesus had done in their lives — beneficial and extraordinary things.

This was a loving, family oriented group, from different places and of different nationalities, and I felt quite at home there. After God had dramatically intervened to rescue me, that environment didn’t seem strange or awkward to me at all.

In a couple of weeks, in one of the evening fellowship sessions, I was overcome with the realization of what a big mess my life had become, and it wasn’t anyone else’s doing. It was me. Not my parents, not the Vietnam War, not the government, not God. It was not anyone or anything else there to blame. It was me.

As the old hymn recognizes, “It’s me! It’s me oh, Lord, I’m standing in the need of prayer…” So, crying out in sorrow for what I had done to

myself, I got down on my knees, begging Jesus to forgive me, and to

come into my life.”

He did.

I followed Jesus being water baptized down in the Pacific Ocean at Morro Bay, CA. I began to read the Bible as instructed — first the New Testament through a couple times, and following, the Old Testament, the entire Bible from cover to cover. I only got one or two corrective revelations — all of which were new to me — yet, they were such vibrant understandings of those verses… Just a very few, but it was a start.

This amazing process had just begun, and my slowness that I just wrote about has always gotten in the way, from that starting point all the way through to today.

Through it all, I finally realized I had also done hurt and harm to others, and started to seek forgiveness and reconciliation from those I could find.

However, as the apostle Paul wrote to the Believers in Philippi, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Phillipians 1:6, New Living Translation.

God certainly has been patient with me… and he will be patient with you, too, whenever you see your need to start the process of calling on God and turning to Jesus and beginning to read

the Bible in a new light…

Part Two

My testimony in Part One refers to process. And, as I stated at first, any process, big or small — life, living, learning, deciding, doing, and anything I have left out — requires thinking… and not only thinking but doing. To accomplish anything requires acting upon whatever your decision about it might be…

Biblical Christianity is just like everything else in living life. It is a process. Unfortunately, it has become a stale and casual thought process which can only arrive at an indecisive resolution — given little importance and priority. In Christianity it has become a trite and oversimplified decision — often based on parental or social conformity — not on an individual’s personal and thoughtful choice.

After all, we often ask, “Aren’t there more important things to think about?

In hindsight, for much of my life, I would have said yes… Now, I say no.

You see, my life before I began the process of Christianity (and it

is a process), I was distracted by all the same things every other person

is distracted by — like work, home, children’s activities, dating, R & R, TV, social media, Sports, etc. etc. Of course, everyone needs times for resting. What I am trying to emphasize is, outside of work and other responsibilities, that might be all we do… rest.

However, let me insist that becoming born again and working to

incorporate God, Jesus, and the Bible into my life has not always taken

away those distracting activities. Yet, those activities have been

moderated or excised based on whether or not they are helpful or harmful to myself or to others.

If they are holding up my progress, I can choose to let them go and choose the more helpful activities for myself — as well as for considering others’ benefit.

God wants to build within us a loving and helpful character so we can grow to be helpful and loving towards others who, after all, even around the world, are our neighbors.

God intends to enhance our lives and to ease our burdens and to

keep us safe from harming ourselves or harming others. Jesus said He

means to enrich our lives…

Look, in Jesus’ own words, he said, “I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give {people} a rich and satisfying life. — John 10:9–10, NLT.

He allows us to live our lives and to learn from our mistakes until

our trust in Him grows so that, in that process, we will learn to make

better decisions for ourselves and our families and even for the sake of

our neighbors, by including Him in the process.

Unlike many unbelievers’ accusations, Biblical Christianity is not a trap nor a prison nor a puppet show.

In fact, Jesus came to set us free!

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” — Galatians 5:1.

Finally, membership in any organization — religious or secular -

doesn’t make a person a “good person” or a Christian. Associations might have a structure of moral virtues and comforting lifestyles, but there is so much more which becomes manifest when Jesus is in a person’s life.

Life is more than we know… more than what can be seen with our eyes… so much more than what we can touch and feel…

Yes. There is a process, and it begins with a choice to accept your

responsibility for your own condition… It isn’t about a balancing act of

weighing good versus bad. It’s ultimately an existential choice between the eternal world and the material one.

“Well,” you might say, “My life is pretty darn good right now…

Maybe later.” ( as in the song verse,”I’m a material girl.”)

That’s a cop out.

Material things waste away with their use.

Tomorrow may never come.

Whether young or old, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” — 2 Corinthians 6:2.

Besides, the way the whole world is going, do you see that it might be wise to think on making the decision sooner than later?

Going to God and Jesus and the Bible have done wonders for me

and Patty, and I know they will do wonderfully for you, too.

Seek God’s presence in your life.

Read the Bible with thoughtfulness.

The process begins, starting by talking at God, and then, you might choose to start talking to Jesus. Then, talking with God won’t seem so strange, and you will know that you can reach Him from wherever you are.

Listen for Him talking with you.

Prayer is a two way conversation — a process you can thoroughly get used to and thrive on…

Look, if you’re an ordinary guy like me, you need the living and extraordinary God in your life.

This is the before: “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth…”

Afterward, that all changes.

Jesus is extraordinary, but He lived His life on Earth as a very

ordinary man, doing extraordinary work, because He is the Son of God.

Please, consider turning to Jesus, asking Him to be a part of your life.

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between