Thursday, May 31, 2007

GOD on Mute Part 3

(picture is from Schindler's List)
I have to admit that so far GOD on Mute by Pete Greig is a MUST READ. I want to quote the whole book, but that I cannot do. So, here is the thought provoking quote for this week….

“Theologians refer to any systematic Christian response to the problem of suffering as “theodicy.” (literally theos dike, the justice of God). The problem to which theodicy seeks to respond is expressed succinctly in the first seven words of Christ’s prayer in Gethsemane. “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you.” In this juxtaposition of God’s love and power, we have the very heart of the problem of suffering encapsulated in a single sentence: His love means that He must surely want to end most (but not necessarily all) suffering, and His power means that He must surely be able to end it. So why doesn’t He? It’s a profoundly important question, not least because so many people have lost their faith in the face of suffering……Theodicy seeks to explain why God in His love and power allowed that tragedy to happen to a bunch of His people gathered in His name to worship. Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t just speak in an audible voice or in a dramatic dream or send an angel to visit a cynical friend for whom you’ve been praying for years? Doesn’t God care about him or her? Yes! Isn’t He ale to reveal Himself to her? Of course! Theodicy tries to make sense of such important questions.” (P.59)

What are your questions or thoughts?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

GOD on Mute

GOD on Mute Part 3 coming very soon....sorry for the wait......

Thursday, May 24, 2007

GOD on Mute Part 2

In his book GOD on Mute, Pete Greig spends time on “Learning to Lament (p. 82).” Grieg goes on and asks the question “Where, I wonder, is the mystery and the mess of biblical spirituality? What place is there in our happy-clappy culture for the disturbing message of books such as Ecclesiastes, Lamentations and Job?”

In our community of faith we have this thing called Refuge: a concept that there are some people who need to HIDE because the storms of life have been so vicious. They need a place where they can find safety, maybe connect with GOD on a different level or connect with a community of people who have been through it as well. I often wonder if it is in that safety where lament takes place?

To fell or express sorrow or regret for:
To mourn for or over
To feel, show, or express grief, sorrow, or regret
To mourn deeply

Greig writes “Lamenting is more than a technique for venting emotion. It is one of the fruits of a deepening spiritual life that has learned to stand naked before God without shame or pretense. In fact, long before Gethsemane, Jesus Himself has pronounced that those who mourn are blessed (See Matt. 5:4)! “Implicit in this statement,” notes Walter Brueggemann, “is that those who do not mourn will not be comforted and those who do not face the endings will not receive the beginnings.” Honest lament can express a vibrant faith; one that has learned to embrace life’s hardships as well as its joy and to lift everything – everything- to the Father in prayer. As the author Richard Foster says of the lament psalms, “They give us permission to shake our fist at God one moment and break into doxology the next.” (p. 85)


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Post coming Soon

Be patient,

I am coming up with a new post on GOD on Mute!

Monday, May 14, 2007

GOD on Mute

OK….now it is time for the Book Review called God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer. The author Pete Grieg opens up his personal life and shares with us the story of his wife, Samie, who discovered she had a tumor in her brain the size of an orange. He elaborates on the surgery and the aftermath of the surgery and where GOD is in all of this. The book elaborates the struggles that we all have with prayers that appear not to be answered. Before I begin to quote from the book….allow me to ramble.

Everybody struggles with the reality of this thing called unanswered prayer. Many times we call out to GOD feeling that He has to answer and not only that He has to grant our requests and that is the only answer that we expect. To some, scripture is full of promises that if we only have enough faith or we will get whatever we ask (providing it is in GOD’s name and according to His will) we will get what we want.

Prayer is a very interesting thing. Many people pray for simple things: like a parking spot (I have before!) We pray for GOD to intervene when we are in trouble, we pray (and say thanks) when things have gone our way. But what do we do when GOD is silent?

I do E-devotionals for many people in our community and I sent one out and this was the reply;

Hey Gerry,

But what about the people starving in Indonesia or Africa? I don't understand why their basic needs, food and water are not being provided by God. Or at least that's how it appears. This is one of the things I struggle with personally. How do you deal with and understand that? I would love to hear your insights. Is it our fault because we do not give enough? or help enough? Children die there every day because the basics needs to survive aren't there. Please help me to understand this.

So this got me thinking about unanswered prayer! What about those who are believers but find themselves in the midst of pain and suffering and calling out to GOD to intervene?


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Reading!

This was a reading that was done by a young teen at our worship gathering last Sunday....

He is the First and Last,
The Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation
And the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and
The Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is,
And He always will be...
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated,
And never Undone!

He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!

The world can't understand him,
The armies can't defeat Him,
The schools can't explain Him, and
The leaders can't ignore Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him,
The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him, and
The people couldn't hold Him!
Nero couldn't crush Him,
Hitler couldn't silence Him,
The New Age can't replace Him, and
Oprah can't explain Him away!

He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness,
Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty,
Powerful, and pure.
His ways are right,
His word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and
His mind is on me.
He is my Redeemer,
He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and
He is my peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and
He rules my life!
I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light, and
His goal for me is abundant life.

I follow Him because He is
The wisdom of the wise,
The power of the powerful,
The ancient of days,
The ruler of rulers,
The leader of leaders,
The overseer of the overcomers, and
The sovereign Lord of all
That was and is and is to come.
And if that seems impressive to you,
Try this for size.
His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me,
Never forsake me,
Never mislead me,
Never forget me,
Never overlook me, and
Never cancel my appointment
In His appointment book!

When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!

He is everything for everybody,
Everywhere, every time, and every way.
He is God, He is faithful.
I am His, and He is mine!
My Father in heaven can whip
The father of this world.
So, if you're wondering
Why I feel so secure,
Understand this...
He said it and that settles it.
God is in control,
I am on His side, and
That means all is well
With my soul.
Everyday is a blessing for GOD Is!