Posts Tagged God

The Rescue of a Dog

So much evil going on in our world- murder, and torture, and rape.   Human lives so little valued, destroyed as just so much collateral damage.  I think that’s why the rescue of a mere dog touches me.  Perhaps if being kind to an animal is worth while, there is hope that extending mercy to humankind is also possible.

It reminds me that unlike us, an Almighty God does not have to triage his resources- they are unlimited. Important things do not go unattended while he fritters time and effort on minor issues.

It reminds me that I have to listen to his nudging because there will be times when he wants me to spend time and money and energy on items I have mentally put on my  “Z” to do list.

If you have missed watching the dog who escaped the Tsunami- its here.

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What was Isaac thinking?

Looking at the story of Isaac, one is struck by his peaceable characteristics.  No sign of rebellion, only trust and obedience, on the day his father announced he was going to offer him as a sacrifice.  Deeply attached to his mother, and then deeply in love with his wife. No hint of second love interests or concubines.

Rather than create issues with the Philistines, Isaac moves and moves again, digging one well after another. He obeys God and does not go down to Egypt.  He receives the promises.

What was he thinking then, when he called in his elder son , to bless him in words, diametrically opposed, to divine prophecy?

Rebekah had been given the word.

“Two nations are in your womb;
And two peoples will be separated from your body;
And one people shall be stronger than the other;
And the older shall serve the younger.”

And here is Isaac intoning to the supposed Esau,

“Be master of your brothers,
And may your mother’s sons bow down to you.

What was he thinking?

Out-stubborning God?

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When a foreigner prays. . .

I was watching the news last night and they briefly interviewed a lady from Benghazi, Those interviewing seemed dubious about the rebels capabilities. How did she expect them to succeed?  “Only God” she replied, “Only God.”

I thought about  King Solomon’s prayer that I have recently been reminded of. He entreated God to answer the prayer of the foreigners who would come to his newly dedicated temple.

When one appeals to the God of the Universe, he responds.

If those protesting in Libya are feel inadequate,  if the coalition making air strikes is confused about leadership and objectives, and if human lives are at stake- wouldn’t this be a good time to ask God for guidance?

If those battling nuclear meltdown are finding their technological skills taxed, wouldn’t this be a good time to ask God for help?

He, who is not restricted to temples made with hands, will surely answer.

Solomon’s prayer is still relevant.

“Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name —for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm—when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house,  then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you.

Not being Jewish, I am of course a foreigner, and I believe God answers.

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Esau was a Redneck

A hunter, and tough.

Jacob was a wuss, cooking lentil stuff.

One strutted. One connived. Forget sucking thumbs in utero.  These two practiced kick-boxing in the womb and never grew out of it.

The apparent perfection of Genesis 24 unravels quickly in Genesis 25.  This is the “chosen family.”  Why so messy?

It’s not so hard to weigh in against the Gaston, of Beauty and the Beast but what’s to root for in Jacob?

Paul writes of the twins:

. . .though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call, Rebekah was told, “The elder will serve the younger.”
As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So it depends not upon man’s will or exertion, but upon God’s mercy.
Does this help?
I keep butting up against God saying,  “I am God, you are not.”

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So untidy

Life, that is.

Libya for instance.  I read the news, and was horrified when Gaddafi troops poured fuel over their own and immolated soldiers unwilling to fire on protesters.  There were reports of patients killed in their hospital beds, their bodies taken away to remove the evidence. Clean-up crews scooping up corpses newly slain and sluicing away the blood to tidy the streets of Tripoli.

I prayed for justice, against the perpetration of evil.

The world at large, the powers that be, seemed hung in the stays.

Now I watch sleek needled fighter planes take off to make and enforce a no-fly zone  and part of me says, “These are the keepers of Guantanamo Bay, and Private Manning,” can I trust them either?

I remember Morris West’s haunting novel Harlequin.  In the fight against unquestioned evil Harlequin comes to the crunch,

But I couldn’t deceive Bogdanovich and he wouldn’t let me deceive myself. . . Came the day when a decision had to be made. I went to see him at the flower shop. He was playing with a tiny kitten, a stray that had wandered in from the street. He asked me to state exactly what I wanted.  I told him: my money back, and Yanko’s life for Julie’s. He didn’t argue the decision. He simply broke the kitten’s neck and laid it on the desk in front of me. Then he said, ‘That’s what it means, Mr. Harlequin. Can you do it?”

It has been a long time since I’ve read the book.  I no longer remember the plot.  But that paragraph has never left me.

I still pray to the righteous Judge of all the earth, because I believe that prayer is a critical element in the universal war against evil.  I pray that the Judge of all the earth will do right.

The tangles are so untidy that I can hardly follow the threads.

I hang on to the belief that, “He is God and I am not.”

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Blood, Guts, and God

They get sanitized out of the News.

Yuri Komuro, emailing CBC wrote

“We watched … the tidal wave swallowing up the village. But what you probably missed (and [what was] probably edited out by the time it was shown in Canada) was this tidal wave swallowing very quickly cars and people. Everyone at our office who was watching this live broadcast gasped, cried in horror. It was like a scene from the movies but deadly real.”

I thought about the tsunami scenes, and the news clips from Libya that I have watched.  The cars carried through flood waters are always empty, participants are usually stranded on housetops or being winched up into helicopters.  Protesters in Libya are manning weapons, or lying in hospital beds with up-to-date medical equipment hooked up and doctors hovering.

Once I saw a picture of a young soldier with blood ominously edging his mouth.  Once, in News covering the earthquake in New Zealand, there was a sentence describing the relief at the Christ Church cathedral when no bodies were discovered inside-though it didn’t overtly mention God or thanksgiving.  And somehow even the media cannot resist pictures of Islamic protesters bowed in united prayer.

But basically, it is not only Gaddafi who covers bodies with sand, washes away the blood, and sanitizes the news.

At least I would like to think that those in trouble still cry out instinctively to their Creator in trouble, and thank him when they walk out of dangerous places alive.

I would hope that man, so confident that he can control, and run the world satisfactorily by the strength of his intellect and improved technology, is given pause when God shakes the foundations, unleashing the smallest fraction of potential destruction.

I’m not too sanguine about it.

But I know that the same media that sanitizes God out of the news, clips out the blood and guts.

And I know the blood and guts are there.

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Do you say your prayers in Latin?

Less than a month from now the New Testament in the Nkonya Language will be dedicated.  Is this significant?

This clan head and elder, never had the opportunity to go to school.  He now reads his own language fluently and the realization that God speaks Nkonya changed his life.

Foster Ofori,  shared his uncle’s story with us. Foster said:

“Before I started working with the Nkonya Language Project I could not pray in Nkonya. What I knew was, that God understood Twi, or Ewe, or English. So I always prayed in one of those languages. But if I used them, I saw myself that it didn’t reach and wasn’t adequate. I had to force to pray little by little. And even if someone else prayed, I didn’t understand everything.”

“At this work place, where Nkonya was being written, I heard a white person praying in Nkonya and I realized, surprisingly, that God understands Nkonya.

So I began learning how to pray in Nkonya bit by bit. Since it was my own language it didn’t take long. Truly, if I am praying in Nkonya I can see that there is spirit in it in a way that wasn’t there when I used other languages. It came through my praying in Nkonya that my wife, my children and my ‘Junior Father’ – my father’s younger brother, all pray and make their requests to God in Nkonya today.”

“The greatest thing is what has happened to my Uncle. Originally he owned a shrine and worshipped its god. He was the last of my living Uncles, and we had no idea of how we could persuade him to become a Christian.”

“Then he heard me praying in Nkonya and that made the difference. He told me afterwards, that because he had never gone to school and didn’t know how to read, he thought that he could not become a Christian. But, when he heard me praying in Nkonya his reason for not being a Christian finished. He saw that he could pray to God in Nkonya and that God would respond. This realization moved him deeply because he had been troubled for some time by a dream he had dreamt.”

“In the dream, God and Satan were dividing up the dead. When they finished separating them into two groups, God’s people were given white robes and a separate place to stand. An angel stood before them holding a plate covered with a white napkin. He put his hand under the napkin and served communion to each of them and they were all happy. However, Satan’s angel stood in front of the ones who belonged to Satan, holding a raw chicken head. He cut small pinches off it and this was the only food that was given to them.”

“After the dream my uncle used to worry about what God would do to him after his death. But now he has seen that he can pray in Nkonya and God will respond and that it is possible for him to join the Christians if he dies.”

“Truly, I started to teach him bit by bit in Nkonya. Now he has been baptized and has taken the name John and he worships God.”

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