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"If you read any of the mystics, or any decent theology—Catholic, Protestant, kabbalistic—the one thing they all agree on is that God is beyond any human concept or category. That’s why Moses can’t look at Yahweh. That’s why, in Judaism, you can’t even spell out God’s name. The human mind can’t conceive what God is. God doesn’t have a sex or anything else."

"Then why is he a man with a long white beard on the Sistine Chapel?"

"Because that’s what the masses like."

"The masses?"

"Some people need a picture. Any great religion has to be inclusive. And to be inclusive you have to accomodate different levels of sophistication."

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

In the Dark of the Night

I LOVE Grey’s Anatomy.  It’s pretty much the one show that even though at times it absolutely sucks…I stick with it.  I stick with it because of episodes like the bomb episode in season 2.  The Denny episode in Season 2.  The shooting episode at the end of season 6.  The prisoner episodes in season 5.  The wedding episode in season 4.  And for last night’s episode in season 8.  And if you didn’t catch last night’s episode…go watch it.  It’s the type of episode that makes you contemplate your life.  Contemplate the small things that we complain about when major life changing hardships are happening all over the world.  Right this very minute someone in the world was in a major car crash where one or more people will not walk out alive.  Right now…people are dying on operating tables.  Right now children are dying of preventable diseases around the world.  Right now people are dying of AID and HIV and Cancer.  With 7,000,000,000 people in the world right now…someone is always suffering…and we need to stop complaining and be aware of those things.  Realize that just because the suffering isn’t happening to us doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. 

I’m currently reading the History of Suicide by Jill Bialosky.  It is Jill’s way of struggling through her sister’s suicide…trying to make sense of it and come out on the other side…and she says, “I wondered if a baby inside me could die from the fear and pain the world held out.  My obstetrician assured us that the womb was protection, like insulation in a house, but I did not believe him because I knew then it was possible to die from grief.”  The world is a messed up place…and we aren’t doing anything!   Five years ago, I went on a missions trip to Rosebud, South Dakota…and in the moments when I returned I remember being physically bothered by the fact that I work a job where I sit at a desk for 8 hours every day and don’t help people.  I, like many, have fallen into the statutes of our society about what it means to be normal and what it means to get by.  Well…I’m sick of it.  I want to help people.  I want to recognize that the suffering that is happening all over the world is so much worse then mine and I want to reach out to those people! 

Please Lord, give me the strength, wisdom, and guidence to reach out to the people that need help.  Allow the Holy Spirit to do a great work in me so that I may be able to do your will.  I love you and I want to see people the way you see them.  Please show me how Lord.  I can’t do anything without you!  Bless Your Names,  Amen.

Weight

I have realized that I’m really self conscious about my weight right now.  I weigh the most I ever have and I’m fairly positive that it is due to my medication change…but it still makes me really self conscious.  I wear shirts and change them in the middle of the day because I don’t feel like I look acceptable.  Sigh…my boyfriend is wonderful…tells me that I’m absolutely perfect and beautiful…but I feel differently about myself.  I’m not a fan.  Granted I don’t think that there is anything wrong with weighing more then I do…sigh…I just hate that feeling of having to buy clothes that are 2 sizes bigger because all of mine don’t fit.  Sigh…I know that God made me and that he did it exactly the way he wanted it to be…I know this…but I’m just not happy with myself right now.  I’m a pretty girl and could look a lot prettier!

Tree of Life

So…I’m watching Tree of Life…I have wanted to watch it for a while now…and so far I don’t know what to think of it.  It’s majorly different…depressing…and…weird.  I am pretty sure for the last ten minutes there has been an opera song playing and the screen showed weird pictures of the earth like…fire rolling…moon…stars…weird things…I don’t get the artistry in this one so far…I’ll write later with an update on the finished product.

New Direction

So…I’ve been considering a new job for years.  I have worked for my father for over 6 years now and I finally think I’m ready.  Kinda surprising…kinda terrifying…but…I don’t make enough and honestly I’m not challenged at this job at all!  I am a smart person…I want to use it.  Plus…I want to help people…in some way…so…pray for me those that actually take the time to read this…and I’m steppin out in faith.

If Love Wins Is God Just?

(I wrote this the morning the book came out…so it’s a little old but the truth in it still remains)

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.—1 John 3:1

Love wins…this is the title of the new book by pastor and author Rob Bell. If some of you do not know Rob Bell, he is the well known pastor of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the creator and star of the Nooma video’s, which many church’s have used in their curriculum at some point or another. He is also the author of five books dealing with the Christian faith, such as: Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, Drop Like Stars, and his most recent Love Wins.

Love wins speaks about the issues of Heaven and Hell and whether they exist and who gets to go there, this in and of itself sounds like an interesting topic, one that is not spoken about often, yet is a staple in the Christian faith. However, Rob Bell comes at this topic in a way that is contrary to what the word of God says. (Keep in mind I do not say this lightly. I personally own all of Rob Bell’s books, and up until last night thought that he was a rather good pastor that just raised some rather hard questions, however, I have been proved wrong.) Rob Bell takes a very Universalist stance within this book and within his beliefs. (For those of you that do not know what a Universalist stance is…it is the belief that all religions and all people go to Heaven.) This has upset many throughout the Christian community, yet, Rob Bell had not given any interviews (at least not to my knowledge) concerning the book and his views until last night. Last night Rob Bell was interviewed in New York City about his book (which released at midnight) and his thoughts on the afterlife. (The interview can be seen at www.livestream.com/lovewins, if you have an hour and fifteen minutes and would like to check out the interview yourself.) Within the interview Rob Bell continued to push a lax form of Universalism and promote the fact that God is love and that within that God wants to take care of us and heaven is about us, our needs and what we want.

Rob was very contradictory in many areas of the interview, and he acknowledges that at the end of the time. Yet, he holds fast to the fact that God is love and how could a loving God condemn someone to a life of torment? (Keep in mind that Rob Bell does believe that Hell does exist, however, he never says that hell is a literal place, other then to say that he believes hell is on earth…which is also where he said heaven is, in the beginning of the interview. Yes, I know very confusing.) This is an argument that I have heard throughout my years on the earth and I’m sure has been used on several occasions throughout time! It follows closely with how can a god of love let us suffer…In fact, with the current situation in Japan, I am positive that this question is being asked all over the world right now! And the fact is, this is not an easy question to answer! The question of suffering has been one for the ages, let alone the question of how a loving God could condemn his creation to suffer for a lifetime!

These questions are intense…and cannot be answered easily…but the fact is…God is love…and he does in fact have a plan, even though it may be extremely difficult to see it from our vantage point. In fact Isaiah 55:9 states, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” So, in order to save time and not claim to know the thoughts of God I am not even going to begin to touch on the fact as to why suffering exists or why God allows pain in the world, let alone natural disasters. (At least not in this blog post) All I am going to say is we serve a faithful God and we have to trust him in our times of uncertainty. Come to him with your doubts and your questions and he will give you peace.

The questions I am going to focus on though is the questions of: if God is love, and if love wins (as rob bell says it does) then where does that leave God? Does that mean that he is just a cute and cuddly being that wants nothing more then to please us? Where does the Old Testament come into that? Did God change over time? Did God decide that he was just being too hard on us, mere humans, in the Old Testament and decide that he was going to go ahead and save us so that we could be lazy and not have to give sacrifices? IS the Christian faith all about us? The answer to every one of those questions is a resounding NOOOOOO!

To start, I have been studying the book of 1 John. Now, if you have ever read the book of 1 John you would know that one of its main focuses is on love. Love for God and love for others mainly, and I have found that as I was reading 1 John 3 this morning I kept thinking…this chapter is talking about love and how we need to love others and love God and be righteous…but it doesn’t talk about God’s Justice. However, as a former seminary student, I remembered that this chapter was never meant to be taken by itself; because if you continue reading in Chapter 5 of this book John says, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. WHO IS IT THAT OVERCOMES THE WORLD? ONLY HE WHO BELIEVES THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD.”(1John 5:1-5) It’s a simple matter, really. It’s what the entire Bible is about. Christ came to take down the devil (1 John 3:8) and in so doing he came to take our sins away. Jesus says, the only way to the father is through him! (John 14:6) Yes, God is love and yes he absolutely wants to save his creation! In fact 2 Peter 3:8-9 says, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (NKJV) However, this being said…God is just! Hebrews 10:30-31 says, “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (NKJV)

In conclusion, God does in fact love us. In fact, he loves us more then we can even imagine. He created us, and breathed life into us, yet, the Bible is full of times where people turn away from him and he punishes them. He is a just God, and he is a faithful God…and there is a heaven and there is a hell and we need to continue to recognize the two! Do not be caught up in the words of false doctrine! (Especially by someone who quotes “the doctrine of Ricky Bobby”) For those that do want to read the book, I urge you to be careful and stand firm in your faith. Guard yourself with the armor of God before reading it, I know I will.

And remember this: He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.—Revelation 21:6-8. If this isn’t a clear indicator that God is love and still just in his ways, I don’t know what is.












Hell—“If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the win of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”—Revelation 14:9b-12

Heaven—The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.—Revelation 21:21

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