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Showing posts from 2009

Catching Up...

It has been quite a while since I've posted! There has been a lot going on with school and writing curriculum (which I'm making very s..l..o..w progress on) and trips to Ohio...I just haven't felt like I've had much to write about.

My brother Sam spent the summer with me in Missouri. His twin sister Sarah was supposed to come for the last part, but Sam and I decided to postpone returning to Ohio for the trade. Two weeks after we were supposed to go back and I was supposed to bring her to Missouri, on july 24, Sarah was suddenly diagnosed with stage 4 cancer...without treatment she would have had 2 to 4 weeks to live. However, she has the only kind of cancer that is treatable with chemotherapy at such a late stage, so praise the Lord, she is still alive and fighting! So I took Sam home in August and spent three weeks with them before I had to return for the start of the semester at AGTS.

On September 6, my uncle ended his own life, and I returned to Ohio for another three…

On Speaking in Tongues: A Response

This post is a response to a blog by a well-known author whom I greatly respect, and whose blog I very much like to follow. The post I am responding to does not change that. Karen Hancock is, in my opinion, a very insightful blogger and a tremendously talented Christian fiction author. The post to which I am responding can be found at this link: http://karenhancock.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/opposition/. In this posting, Ms. Hancock opposes the idea that speaking in tongues is a gift of the Spirit for the Church today.

First off, it seems from her description that (hopefully) well-meaning individuals attempted to "force" Ms. Hancock to accept speaking in tongues as legitimate and to seek this gift for herself. The Holy Spirit is a Gentleman; therefore, if tongues are of God, then they should not and cannot be forced on anyone. I believe these people's efforts were out of line and did not represent a rational view of those who believe speaking in tongues to be valid. I would…

Pain and Suffering and God

On July 24th I found out my 17-year-old sister, Sarah, has cancer. Shocking, horrible news. But I did not lose faith. My God is Healer; He is Faithful and Good. He remains these things whether or not He heals my sister. (However, we did get a little bit of good news after that - the kind of cancer she has is treatable with chemo even at this stage, and there is a good chance that the chemo will take care of everything.)

No, I did not lose my faith and confidence in God. But I did let myself get a somewhat grim outlook on life.

I began to think back on some things from earlier in my life. I have already lost a sibling to death, 11 years ago. A year before that, another little brother got his foot run over with a lawnmower while I was babysitting. Two years before that, the same brother burned our house down while I was babysitting.

Destruction. Divorce. Disease. Death.

I too often contemplate the meaning (or seeming lack thereof) of life; so all this dwelling on the hard things caused me t…

Prepare the Way for the Lord

Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite groups:

"Prepare Ye the Way" by Caedmon's Call

The Word of the Lord came one evening
Concerning His bride's great sin
He'd send down His Word to renew her
To prepare for the Bridegroom again

The Word said repent
From seeking vain glories
While the gifts in the Lord's name you give
Repent of all the first stones cast to kill
While your own self-righteousness lives

Prepare ye the way for the Lord
Prepare ye the way for the Kingdom
Prepare ye the way
Prepare ye the way for the Lord

The Word said repent
And turn from your strivings
Repent and turn from your hatred
Repent from the doctrines of men that divide
And fear like the wedding gown ripped

Walk in His love like newborn children
Walk in His love, let the wedding gown mend
Walk in His love, with humility come with pure hearts
And cast all your cares to the wind

The Word of the Lord came one evening
Concerning His bride's great sin
He assured me we will be forgiv…

Some Deep, Theological Thoughts on the Trinity...

While the rest of the U.S. is asleep, I am thinking about the Holy Trinity. So, I decided to blog about my thoughts.

It is my nature to try to understand things. While I know I will never fully comprehend God, it does not stop me from trying!

So first, I was contemplating the Trinity in this way (keep in mind there are flaws to this thinking, which I will explain afterward):

Because we as Christians claim that our Trinitarian God is One (and we are monotheistic)...we begin all our thoughts on the Godhead with the person of the Father - the God who first revealed Himself to the Jews and their patriarchs. We know that this God revealed Himself more personally to the world through the man, Jesus Christ. In fact, we believe that Jesus was (and is) God, incarnate (in human flesh). Hebrews tells us that He (Jesus), having lived a human life, among humans, within the constraints of human time and the natural laws of physicality, can identify with the human situation in all of its details.

So I w…

Nothing Shall Separate Us From the Love of God in Christ

Psalm 68:6 says that "God setteth the solitary in families...."

Just a few brief thoughts on that...

It has been a joy and a comfort to experience this promise in my own life. When I lived in Ohio, I moved in with my pastors when I was 18, two years after my brother had committed suicide - I was a depressed, grieving, lonely teenager who needed love from people who were not dealing with the same intense loss I was dealing with (i.e., my family). God gave me that in these pastors and their children. I had only known them for a brief time; I don't even remember exactly how the transition was made; I just know that that living situation was an influential shaping experience in my life. God set the solitary in a family.

Then I moved to Missouri where I knew no one; and again, I have experienced people who owe me nothing, taking me in and making me part of them. I spend holidays with these people, I keep their children overnight, I vacation with them - I live life with them. And…

Twitter and Torture

A few weeks ago I had a discussion with someone on Twitter about whether or not President Bush should be prosecuted for his role in Guantanamo. My stance was "no" and my friend's stance was "yes". I have been rethinking my general opinion of it ever since.

The fact that terrorists were tortured with the intent of gaining information from them does not trouble me. I "get it" that people who are willing to absolutely sacrifice themselves - go down with the ship and take as many people (often Americans) with them as possible - are not going to willingly offer up helpful information in an American court. There seems to me to be no other way of getting any information from these people who obviously could give us a little.

However, that said, it does bother me that those who administered torture to the prisoners at Gitmo in many cases seem to have actually enjoyed doing it! Even if a person "deserves" it (in one's opinion), it is NEVER justifia…

Living by the Word of God

Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

The "Word of God" is living, powerful, eternal and invisible. God saw fit to provide us with a readable version of His Word in the Bible, but the Word of God is not contained within the binding of any book. All the Bibles in the world could be destroyed, and God's Word would not be affected in the least - it would still stand, still exist and still be true.

We call the Bible "God's Word," and it is. But God's Word is not limited to just what is printed in the Bible. Sometimes God speaks into our current situation in life. Throughout the Bible we can read of individuals who besought God on their own behalf or on the behalf of someone else, to change His mind about something He had decided, or else to…

Just A Brief Thought

I find it interesting how, no matter where you go or with whom you talk, God always seems to speak the same message until you "get it". I was in Ohio for the last 3 weeks, and attended church there several times, plus a couple of Bible studies, and even preached myself a couple of times. Then I got back to Joplin and my pastor preached on the same things Sunday, and today we spent the day at the same little Memorial Day get-together, and talked about the SAME THINGS some more. It's like several different aspects of a single subject come to light over a period of time. God must have a message for this time that He wants His people to know. I've recognized this pattern in the past, too - God will speak something to me while I'm studying or praying, and pretty soon I'll hear other people start preaching on the same thing. I love it how God's Spirit is a unifying force in His Church, leading people to the same truth at the same time, even though they seem to …

Why Do I Believe?

My 17-year-old sister (who doesn't know I have a blog, and no one who reads my blog knows her) has told me recently that church "isn't her thing". This saddens me, and causes me to wonder if I have been the best example to her of real Christianity that I can be.

No, I haven't.

I had a small chance to redeem that tonight on the phone with her. I forget exactly how we got on the topic, but I shared with her why I serve God. Basically, I described to her how life without Christ is meaningless - I don't see the point of living and dying if there is not more to come. Why get up every morning and work my whole life...collect things...and then die and it all goes to someone else, and that's the end of me? What's the point?

The point is, I find purpose in Jesus Christ.

That is not the only reason I serve Him or believe in Him, but it is a major one.

I also told my sister that in recent months I have done some stupid things (that she knows about), riding the fence …

Why the Name?

Refractions are reflections of light (though usually imperfect); reflections are thoughts. In these posts I will share my thoughts, always keeping in mind that what I post is a reflection of Jesus Christ, the One who has completely and utterly redeemed my life from meaningless existence. Thanks for checking out my blog!