I awoke from a dream asking a question: Would we sin less if we could see God? I don’t know what the dream was about nor does it matter, but it got me thinking. The short answer to this is no. Having God imminently present among us, or revealed to us in some way, in itself, would do very little to change our hearts, no more than he being powerfully present among the children of Israel kept them from falling into sin or Jesus being among the Jews stopped them from rejecting him as Messiah. Remember, Lucifer fell in the very presence of God.Continue reading
We are exhorted to trust God throughout Scripture. It is a biblical essential. A scriptural definition of trust in a single word is confidence, revealing that matters of trust toward God are inextricable of the term faith, a spiritual hallmark. My guess is that if you asked most Christians if they trust God or trust in him, they would say yes. But what does trusting God look like and how does one know they are confiding in him? That is my goal here, to envision it. Continue reading
The best gifts I’ve received have been those that were unexpected or completely out of my control. What I mean by that explains a peeve of mine today where increasingly people feel an undue burden with pleasing others with what they give. We want people to like what we give them, but today we stress over how satisfied they will be if our gifts are not to their liking. Our charitableness must bow to lists of buying options or we give gift cards and money so there is no question that one got what he wished for. I’ve fallen into that trap, too. But that practice robs the giver of the joy that comes with presenting a particular item that has first filled their heart for the special one. Continue reading
I sat in the courtroom for jury duty and thought about the people and situations that featured there. My mind flitted about, thinking of the accounts they told while in the dock. Good and bad folk came to accuse and defend, but only the truth mattered here, although sometimes it must have been hard to confess. Truth reveals. As a juror I was “the system”, a peer to try my peers; yet I concluded how little difference there was between me and them, the ones who really were guilty. The only divergence I could posit was they acted on impulses I denied.
Kayaking was a newly introduced pastime for me, and this was my third time on the river. This portion of the river, above the dam, was very calm and incredibly beautiful. I joined folk from church and a co-worker, her first time kayaking. Everyone was excited to get started.
My co-worker and I chatted with the attendant who was very cordial and reassuring to her because she was concerned about capsizing. “It’s virtually impossible to flip the kayak,” he told us. He explained how the instructors were required to pass rigorous tests that included attempting to capsize; it would really require work to do so. Continue reading
Drawing close to God will destroy our assumptions about who he is. That is a good thing and shouldn’t be a surprise. A growing relationship is a learning process that helps us discover things about ourselves and the other, replacing error with knowledge. We assume many things about God and about his motives. People will proclaim “God won’t let” this or that happen, and I will think, Don’t be so sure about that. The notion develops when we are not intimately acquainted with God in a bond cemented by relationship in the best and worst of times, often at his behest. It is to trade insight of his character for low-level spiritual experiences that do no more than keep us excited and “churchy”. Continue reading
A lesson I’m still learning is the eternality of God’s word. Isaiah 40:8 states, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” That poses no problem for many of us when we relate it to the word of God as “the Book” or divine rule for humankind. But I find myself becoming farsighted and doubting at times when relating that verse to the quiet assurances the Lord has instilled in my own heart.
One of the most important posts on this blog is entitled A Faith Forged in Relationship. There I write, “God doesn’t ask us to trust him blindly. In Scripture and in our lives, he has always revealed himself…revealed his character and made sure that we never have to trust in One we don’t know or understand.”
Each day I opened my apartment door to a breathtaking close-up of Mount Fuji. Often I’d stand for minutes gazing at it, studying it: the timberline, the crevasses, the snow capped peak, when it wasn’t shrouded in clouds. The volcano towered over the coastal region, the land rising from sea level to over 12,300 feet in less than 40 miles.
From Fujinomiya where I lived, the mountain stood about 22 miles away, but it appeared to be “in the backyard,” affirming to me the scale of colossal things. Our Sun is 93 million miles away and still appears as a sizeable disk in the sky. Yet the Sun’s actual diameter is nearly 110 times the Earth’s diameter, like comparing the height of a nickel to a door. Beside it we would see nothing else but it.