How big is your God?

Standard

Ever wondered how come some folks receive miraculous answers to prayer, live charmed lives, hardly ever get sick, depressed or even down, while other precious folks, true believers, kind, benevolent, seem powerless in the midst of troubles? I think the question above holds part of the answer. (For a great series on this see Mark Batterson’s “Chase the lion.”)
Which do you believe to be bigger/stronger/more powerful, God or cancer/adversity/ bankruptcy/etc. Understanding God is bigger than all these things put together and loves us unconditionally, not only gives peace of mind, it puts us in line for miracles.

Here are a few things about God I’ve come to understand over the years. (Perhaps you have others to share?)

1) A God “small” enough for us to figure out would not be God.
Man has a tendency to make god in his own image – ponder the old Greek and Roman gods for example with all their human flaws. One reason there are so many atheists around today is that they try to understand God with their intellect. A god who could be understood with the transient human mind would not be God. God cannot be put in a box and labelled, but He wants to be in intimate communication with us. He loves us, that’s why Jesus came, so we could understand better. Even so, our understanding is still as a child to a father, we take most things on trust, knowing “Dad can fix it”.

2) How can God be omnipresent (everywhere at the same time) in my heart, but also in yours, intimately concerned with every minute of our day? I found this hard to conceive till I realised if something is so much bigger it can envelope everything – best I can explain what I mean.

3) God is love.
There’s far more to this than the familiar phrase denotes. It doesn’t say “God is loving,” it says “God is love”. It also states, He is a spirit. Put that together. He is the spirit of love. When we feel love in any form we are feeling the tangible spirit of God. You might go so far as to say not, “I think therefore I am” but, “I love therefore I am.” When someone comes to Christ and/or receives the holy spirit this love is intensified.

4) Pride, (not immorality etc.) is the cardinal sin. The only folks Jesus ever got angry with were the Pharisees (the religious leaders of their day). They, not the Romans, had him crucified. Yet he was full of mercy toward the harlots and tax collectors etc. Pride is what caused Lucifer to fall from his top job as God’s light bearer. Pride destroys love, it’s humbling to love, it makes you vulnerable.

5) The “who made God” question. The answer to this is simple but hard to explain. As creatures born in time, living our lives in time, we cannot conceive being without it. Time is a part of the creation, God created time, He is not confined by it, nor will we be when we leave this life. Again, man tries to reduce God to his finite conceptions.

Well, there’s some of my Sunday morning thoughts. If you have any you’d like to add, please do. Have a great day everyone!

Learned from one of my characters.

Standard

Sometimes characters take on a life of their own. They often surprise me.
As the end of my first apocalyptic love story neared, I found myself writing a totally unplanned scene in which a bitter, sadistic character is given a second chance. An unplanned sequel “Journey to Redemption” materialised tracing his physical and emotional journey across a dangerous new world from Wyoming to Taiwan.
Presently, trapped in Los Vegas, he becomes henchman to an ex showgirl run crime ring. I thought this would be an exciting addition to the plot, but I’m seeing more and more as I write, how only in seeing himself in her can he begin to make the changes he needs.
How true that is of life, it’s often only when we see our own vices manifest in others we become desperate enough to change.

You only see part of the picture.

Standard

(Lessons gleaned doing a puzzle extending 6 inches beyond the borders pictured on the box.)

You only see part of the picture

There’s more to your life than you see.

You see what happens around you

But outside that framework there be

Unknown factors and measures

Images, colour and light.

Though to put the pieces together

It can be more of a fight.

Part of the picture you work on

Putting the pieces in place

The other unseen surrounding

You leave to My infinite grace.

Guessing at last what’s portrayed there

Trying to make sense of it all

Feeling your way to an image

You don’t have a sight to recall.

But think of the wonder in this child,

It’s much more exciting you see.

The whole of the picture completed

You’ll see it at last as I see.

We come to understand Him through the things that he made.

Standard

God is the ultimate artist, and, as we come to know Van Gogh, Rembrant, etc. through studying their works, so we can come to know God through His creations. Every flower, bud, tree, every creature great and small, the sun, moon and stars teaches. Even the vast nothingness of infinite space speaks of the emptiness without Him.

The artist is know by his creations. It could have been dull, boring, monochrome. Instead He made it diverse, brilliantly coloured, with millions of varieties, each interlocked, depending on each other. An artist of precision He balanced each element, each atom, with exact care to sustain life. He set us here, within His vast environmental sculpture to explore, to live, to learn for ourselves to create the good.

God is never boring. Life is one amazing voyage of discovery if we open our eyes to see it.

jesus

God’s ultimate back up plan.

Standard

Yesterday I posted about how God always has a back up plan when things go wrong (Rom. 8:28). That set me to thinking of not just my little life, not even nationally, but about God’s global back up plans.
Yes, he has a back up plan for if/when we screw up this earth beyond redemption. It’s not about electing Christian politicians, edgy liberalist ideas, or law enforcement. It’s all explained in the book of Revelations (and a few other places). God’s ultimate contingency plan is to come rescue us (and the earth we were meant to care for).
It says, He’s going to take over with a whole new ball game, and this time we play by His rules, not ours. Finally, justice (and mercy – can’t have one without the other) will be meted out, our whole economic system uprooted, no more rich, no more poor, no more exploitation. The earth’s replenished land and resources will be shared by all, no more hunger, no more crippling mortgages. For sure there will be work, but wholesome, independent work, no more bosses! No more curse on the land, (no weeds, pests or fungus). Tame animals, less sickness, prolonged age expectancy etc. etc.
When I see us continually screwing up I remind myself – there’s a back up plan and its incredible!

Don’t worry, God’s got a backup plan.

Standard

Sometimes life can get scary! We take a wrong turn, make the wrong decision, or be on the receiving end of someone else’s – it happens (a lot!)

No need to worry, God’s got it. Our immense, inestimable, heavenly father always has a backup plan. It’s promised in Romans 8:28 “all things work together for good to those that love God and are called acording to His purpose.” It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go for that ball, but if we miss it, God will grab it and lob it in the right direction. If we took a wrong turn He’ll bend that detour back to the straight and narrow while we become wiser drivers along the road. If we fall, He’ll pick us up, dust us off, and set us, more humble, on our way.

I once got really down and discouraged at my frequent failures. Sitting gloomily pondering my stupidity, I noticed my friend’s two-year-old enter the room. Coming straight up to me (and with appropriate hand motions) he said, “God’s way up – down!” Talk about “out of the mouths of babes and sucklings!” I got the point and never forgot. It’s become a habit over the years, when I blow it, or something goes wrong, to try to guess what God is going to do to fix it – He’s full of surprises! Like the “Murder in Paradise” ( a fun who done it series) I seldom guess, unless He gives a lot of clues! Lol!

I must confess to still being a worrywart at times, but it’s life’s number one way to de stress for me to remember that, though I haven’t a clue how a situation could possibly be remedied, God always has a backup plan!

What is a church?

Standard

Many of us associate the word church with a building, but the original meaning was a group of believers. While a church building may be old, beautiful, a remembrance, or a masterpiece of creativity, it is an empty shell without the congregation. A true church is the sum of its members, whether they meet in a movie theatre, coffee shop, or simple home. Perhaps some of the strongest churches have met in forests, on mountains, even in cellars, during times of persecution (and still do in some parts of the world.)

A recent blog post set me thinking about churches. Probably the most diabolically clever move the enemy ever made was to make Christianity acceptable, safe. The ancient “church”, heartily relieved to no longer be hounded and persecuted, settled down to work in harmony with the prevailing worldly systems of its day. Sure, it had its revolutionaries, St. Francis, Luther, etc. But even Luther compromised when he saw where the truth of the scriptures was leading – the overthrow of the status quo. He sold out his followers and thousands died.

In every generation, and scattered throughout denominations one finds true Christians, always a minority. The proportion of these individuals in a church tends to decide how dead (going through the motions) or alive it is. A spirit filled pastor can sometimes bring a church to life, but the choice rests always on the congregation. It is not always shown by large numbers (think Noah and Jeremiah). In my experience small, personal churches tend to be more on fire, as they grow so do the problems. If you build something successful someone is sure to either try to destroy it or take it over – this happens!

The church I frequently attend is small, personal, accepting. They have all types and ages in their congregation, wealthy and privileged, to poor single mums from the counsel estate, 90 year olds to tiny tots (even teenagers). The pastors are sincere and loving. Testimonies, prophecy and prayer abound and are freely shared among the congregation both after and often during the service. It’s easy to see the love of Christ abounding. I notice how no one minds when a woman sings off key and two beats behind on every song, when several get up to help the one in a wheelchair, when someone breaks down in tears and the person next to them (not in any church position) puts an arm around them, when I see the free lunches offered to any that come (minus a sermon) and note the guy with a tattooed face I’d avoided sitting among them, greeted with a smile. While perhaps not as radical as my own beliefs (it still operates in conjunction with the “system”) I’d say it is an alive and growing church in the best meaning of the word.