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Still growing

I haven’t written in a while, mainly because I have been so overwhelmed with school work. But I thought I would drop a line to catch up with reepicheepsrant. Here is what God is doing. I am still growing, thank God for this, because he is the reason. I am constantly fighting depression these days. Today is a good day though. I am learning that God is often found to be working away from where I think he should be working.

I have been studying Elijah for a few weeks now. In the story, Elijah prays that there would be no rain for three and a half years. He then has a showdown with the prophets of baal. He humiliates them and makes much of God. But then there has been a point of the text that I never really understood. Jezebel gets mad and threatens his life. The text then says he fears and runs. How can a man who just did what he did fear? It doesn’t flow with the text. Here is what I have found out. Barclay points out that the word fear could also mean, he saw. His eyes were opened. THis changes things for me. It means that Elijah saw what God was doing, and then his eyes were really opened.

Let’s not get too quick to judge him. I do this too, and I would lay odds that you do too. I see what God is doing, and then I run ahead of him. Think about it, Elijah has been showing God as big for four years! He sees what God is doing. God must be showing himself big and then making Carmel his showdown at the OK coral. Then when God is proven to be the real God, Israel will repent and it will go back to the days of David and the United Kingdom. But then a twist in the story. The king goes back to the queen and the queen calls the shots. She decides to kill the prophet of God. Elijah’s eyes were open to see that Israel’s king would not repent, and that Israel likewise would not follow God. We get upset when our Disciple Now t-shirts don’t turn out well. Elijah “saw” that God did not act as He should.

What was God response? He fed Elijah and let him rest. Then he carried him to a mountain. He did not come in the fire or in the wind, he came in a whisper. God does not move like we think he should, and we should praise him for it. He moves with divine love and knowledge. It tells me that I need to, minute by minute, approach God with what he wants. Not to see the trajectory and run ahead, but no matter how much he grows me, that I should approach him with every move.

God, please don’t stop crushing me with divine love and persistence.

A friend of mine in Seminary shared this with me and I thought it was worth while… Enjoy!Calvinix.jpg

Bad Bones

I am sitting in Baptist Identity right now… bored out of my mind, which is sad because I have been in here all of 3 minutes. I digress. I just started back from spring break, and it is hard to get started. I have so many things on my plate right now and so I spend my class time blogging, makes sense, huh? I worked on research all day for a paper I have coming up this week. I stopped to go pick up the kids and expected the worst. The kids have a tough time getting back from spring break as well. I picked up my oldest, and he did really well. I was very proud of him. I ran a few errands because I wanted to relish the short time of having children doing good at school. I finally got around to picking up my other two children. My youngest son (Middle Child) had been to the office 3 times that day and had just beat up a kid on the playground.

I went home and we began to talk about why he made decisions like that. We established the fact that he knew it was sin, and his parents would not allow him to behave in such a way. I then asked him, “What makes you do things such as kick your teacher and beat up kids on the playground.” His answer allowed me to have a very good parenting moment with my sometimes hardheaded middle child. He answered my question this way, the conversation went like this.

Cade: “It is because my bones are bad.”

Me: “What do you mean your bones are bad, what does that mean?”

Cade: “It moves my skin and makes me do those things.”

I wanted to laugh because of his explanation of his sin, but then I saw an opportunity to share the gospel. I corrected him only a little. I said, “well your bones are bad, but only because your heart is bad.” We had a good talk about how Jesus gives new hearts. We talked about how his day could have been different if he had listened to Jesus.

It was one of those pastoring moments where Jesus was speaking to my heart as I was pastoring my sons heart. I pray he understands and walks with Jesus throughout his lifetime. I pray the same for myself as well.

One night I had a wondrous dream,

One set of footprints there was seen,

The footprints of my precious Lord,

But mine were not along the shore.

But then some stranger prints appeared,

And I asked the Lord, “What have we here?”

Those prints are large and round and neat,

“But Lord, they are too big for feet.”

“My child,” He said in somber tones,

“For miles I carried you alone.

I challenged you to walk in faith,

But you refused and made me wait.”

“You disobeyed, you would not grow,

The walk of faith, you would not know,

So I got tired, I got fed up,

And there I dropped you on your butt.”

“Because in life, there comes a time,

When one must fight, and one must climb,

When one must rise and take a stand,

Or leave their butt prints in the sand.”

~ author unknown 

Bad Decisions

Last night I was in a class at school where we were discussing Baptist heritage. In this portion of class we were discussing William Carey and the modern missionary movement. Here my professor stated that Mr. Carey went to India because he felt God called him to preach there. He stated how his wife went insane because of worry and spent the last 13 years of her life in a padded room. Then my professor stated that he believes that God did not call William Carey to India, but William Carey called William Carey to India. He said this because he does not believe that God calls people to places that are dangerous to the family of preachers. I about fell out of my seat! He stated that though William Carey should not have taken his family to India, God can rehabilitate bad decisions. I must confess that this makes no sense to me. Is God a reactive God, or is He active in what he does?

I am going to pick one theme here and continue this story. I do this because I have other papers to write and I could be here all semester speaking of the mess I heard last night. If we are going to take the position in life that God can reactively rehabilitate bad decisions, then we are going to spend our life playing the “what if” game. My mother used to tell us time and time again, that we don’t play the “what if” game, because it does us no good. It is the whole, “Saddest words in speech or pen” concepts. If we are saying that God can rehabilitate bad decisions, then what we must do is measure all of Carey’s decisions. Maybe Carey made a bad decision when he went to India, but maybe he made a bad decision when he married his wife. Maybe it was not his decision at all, maybe it was his wife that made a bad decision when she married him. Maybe it was a bad decision not to trust God in India. Who knows, and may I add, who cares? Does it matter what happened in the past? Or may I offer another idea?

Maybe God is in control of the whole thing. Maybe he is active and not reactive. Maybe God, can use what we intend for evil as good. Maybe a king chooses his steps, but God directs his paths. I say this tongue and cheek, because God is in control. Someone told me along time ago, obey what you know to obey, enjoy what you can enjoy, and trust God with the rest of it. My plan is to obey what God tells me. Enjoy the ride. And when life throws a monkey wrench in it, trust God that he knows what he is doing. DOn’t look back too long, look to Jesus.

A couple of weeks ago I went to visit a church to hear a preacher. I went with my family and some family friends. We walked in the door and our friends were greeted with a warm welcome. The literally turned to us and said, “Hey, you guys.” They looked at our friends and said “we want to take you guys to lunch.” My friend was visibly awkward. We walked into the sanctuary and people scooted down the row to offer seats… to our friends. Two spots. We sat in the row in front.

For some reason, people just don’t like us. We have been in situations like that a lot, so much so that we don’t even notice it anymore. We didn’t even notice this until my friend brought it up later. It was visibly troubling to him. It has always been like this, and I don’t even know what it is. When people eventually get to know us, they love us. I don’t get it.

Who Knew?

I am a controversial communicator, who knew? I say this because I am booked for a series of camps this summer, and twice now, they have called me about things they consider controversial. Of all the things I have been accused of, this has never been one of them. I have been told that I take the bible too seriously. I have been told that I am too deep for students and many adults, but never in my short and unproductive years as a communicator have I ever been accused of being controversial. Maybe this has more to do with my culture than my actual beliefs. I find today that christianity has more to do with fitting into a mold than it does with relating to Jesus. This is sad, since the very purpose of our covenant to God is relating. I might lay off the speaking trail after this summer and focus on getting school out of the way. Who knows, maybe teaching bible somewhere is the best fit for me, since very rarely do seminary professors get grilled about private blogs.

This blog will probably get me another phone call, who knew.