Sunday, May 20, 2007

Taking a stand

Ok, here's a question: if you were invited to pray in a multi-religious event - perhaps even a government-sponsored event - and you were told you could not pray in Jesus' name, what would you do? The rationale behind the request is that the organizers do not want to risk offending any attenders or others who are participating.
One side might say the request is one more example of society catering to the preferences of every other religious or social group except for Christians. And to acquiesce would be an affront to God - it would be no different than a believer denying Christ in the face of persecution.
Another side might say the request is a minor issue and the pray-er should abide by the request if it allows him or her a platform for giving testimony to God. Who knows, maybe someone would hear the prayer and seek the pray-er out for more information about the God to whom the person prayed.
How do you balance between taking a stand for your faith and not offending those who hear?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm Blessed

My heart has really been drawn to the Psalms this past week. Each time I read David's laments, I'm amazed that he's able to conclude with statements like, "Yet will I praise Him." Seems that David's key to hoping beyond reason was in recounting God's faithfulness despite what he saw at the moment. So, in that vein, here's my list:
- I'm thankful for my wonderful husband who treats my mood swings with care and is an enabler to my caffeine addiction
- I'm thankful for the 8 months that God allowed me to love a child as my own
- I'm even thankful that after those 8 months God taught me, "It isn't about me," and helped me let go of that little boy
- I'm thankful that in my line of work I've met some of the most amazing, visionary, humble, godly people, and that they've been willing to share some of their musings with me
- I'm thankful for our new church which has brought us new friends and much-needed healing
- I'm thankful for the prayer room located on the first floor of our office space, and for the sanctuary it offers
- I'm thankful for every lesson God is teaching me, even the painful ones, because it truly shows He loves me too much to leave me in my fleshly condition
- I'm thankful that even though I decided to spray Round Up in our front yard in a vain attempt to kill weeds - not knowing it would kill everything else - my husband still finds a way to smile about

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Balancing Act

Last year I struggled to find middle ground between two extreme ideas: either faith relied solely on our ability to believe or it weighed exclusively on God's will to help. This week I've found another set of extremes between twixt there must be some balance. One camp says we're so special, just look at how much God loves us. Another camp says it's not about us, it's about Him. My dad first pointed me to these ideals in a book titled "Cat and Dog Theology."

Let's take the first camp and see where it leads. If God's love toward us is proof of our special status, then we can assume He would do anything we ask. There are several verses that support this theory. "Ask and it shall be given unto you." "All who ask receive." "our Father will give good gifts to His children." etc., etc., etc. So here's the conclusion: God loves us and wants nothing more than to bless us and to see us happy.

Ok, let's explore camp B. If it isn't about us, but God, then all of existence should be about seeing God glorified. This may require us to sacrifice our happiness, comfort and dreams if it'll bring Him glory. We should not complain about the tribulations we encounter because all things, whether good or bad, are part of the plan for God to be lifted high. Nor should we question His motives if all His promises seem to fail and we feel abandoned. So here's the conclusion: we're worthless, He is worthy, and we are blessed simply to be alive.

Seems as though there should be a way to believe God is all loving and merciful, but also to believe that life isn't about our happiness but about His glory. Thoughts?