Thursday, November 30, 2006

"I will never leave you or forsake you."

“I will never leave you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5

Abandonment. A very real event and a very common theme in the world today. Many have had parents or a partner leave…no further contact. So many children of divorced parents internalize the leaving of the parent as abandonment. The sudden death of a loved one often leaves one feeling abandoned, even though it’s nobody’s fault. In the case of suicide, the abandonment can be more painful real. Even emotional distance in family, relationships and the work place cause people to suffer from a sense of desertion.

The problems of associated abandonment or perceived abandonment are well known. Many go through life fearing rejection. As a result they find it difficult if not impossible to form meaningful and intimate relationships. New relationships are simply out of the question as the woundedness of abandonment continues to cause people to withdraw and become emotionally and even physically isolated. With this comes loneliness. The person feeling abandonment often suffers from shattered self-esteem and self-worth.

Christians are not exempt from the problem of a sense of abandonment. In the same way some feel abandoned by parents, they also feel abandoned by God. When traumatic events happen, God can seem far away and even absent completely. With so much pain and suffering in the world, many have no sense of the presence of God… “he has abandoned us to our fate.”

But nothing is further from the truth. Abandonment has no part of the experience of a person of faith because it is not the reality with God. He promised his covenant people that he would never leave them or forsake them. (Joshua 1:5). His continued presence, from their release from captivity in Egypt until they became a great nation, was evident. Even when Jesus, the Son of God returns to heaven, he says to his followers, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20). We can count on God’s presence now and forever.

This part of God’s story can be the greatest gift of great comfort for those who suffer from abandonment and loneliness. The reality of God’s forever-presence needs fresh apprehension. Meditation on this great truth can help us internalize it and bring healing. But went a person is really stuck in their feelings caused by abandonment, it is you and I that are the presence of God in that person’s life. And when we ourselves are stuck with feelings of estrangement from God, it is the people of God who have the presence and wisdom of God that we need. The “demons” of abandonment don’t have to dog us!

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:6

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Jesus, the liar, lunatic or the Lord

Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different than anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips...

...I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him, "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell.

You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

From C.S. Lewis' , "Mere Christianity" Macmillan Publishing Co, New York, NY. Copyright 1952.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Set of the Sails

One ship drives east, and another west
With the self-same winds that blow;
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That decides the way to go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As they voyage along through life;
'Tis the will of the soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 10, 2006


"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

We cannot change our past ... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitude."

- Chuck Swindoll

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How the Mighty Have Fallen

The story of Ted Haggard is not over.

As someone who is pleased to be called by the name "Evangelical", this event is difficult and must be processed. In thinking it though and seeking guidance, I came accross one of my mentor "à distance", someone who I esteem highly. Gordon MacDonald knows from first hand experience about fighting and losing a spiritual battle. The link below brings you his thoughts, which at this point, are are a much more qualified voice than my own.

Gordon MacDonald Article


Monday, November 06, 2006

American Election Day 2006

Aren’t elections wonderful! Don’t they stimulate us! Don’t they make us think! We have the privilege of helping to choose those who govern us. Democracy, government by the people.

And how interesting! Elections are polls of opinion. We get to see some broad opinions. Yes it is difficult to see the individual opinions, and individual reasoning but the broad sweeps are interesting and instructive.

I hope you’ll excuse me for sounding so wide eyed, but I purposely chose to recapture a sense of awe of what is going on.

This American election seems to have been a multiple referenda:

On the many issues of the war in Iraq
On the content and style of the President Bush
On the American economy
On the environment

It seems that abortion and gay marriage, where there are strong majorities against each, have not been the issues people where most concerned about.

But what about the weightier issues of
fairness of economy for all peoples of the world
social injustice all around the world
helping the poor and dealing with poverty and hunger
drug addiction and the horrors it creates for user and producer countries
and the list goes on. How do we know what is priority?

As Christians we are to be in submission to the laws and rulers of a land. But we are also to live and promote righteousness, that is, we are to promote the values of God. So when we live in democratic countries, we need to promote the values of God. God wants us to act in a loving way toward everyone. He want justice for everyone, helping the down trodden. He wants people have the opportunity to seek him. God’s priorities are found all through the preaching of the prophets, the teaching the Jesus and the writings of his followers.

When we have elections, these must be the guiding lights to be our priorities. Fortunately, we can do much of that in the public arena. But the issues of righteous that involve personal and corporate faith must be lived in communities. Faith is a matter of the heart and not something we can legislate. But the values that come from faith, which are the values of God, can be.

At election times, we need to work hard to help people realize that we are voting our conscience and not forcing faith on people. Faith cannot be forced. Moral values however can be agreed upon and enforced. Elections need to continue to be referenda on values. For it is the values that we put in place that will guide us, and our elected officials, in how to govern a country and a world

And thanks be to God, that we have him to guide us as we sort through the difficult issues of picking elected leaders and the values that govern us.

Labels: ,

Friday, November 03, 2006

Paralyzed with fear...

"For the truth is that I already know as much about my fate as I need to know. The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze."

- Richard Bode, First you have to row a little boat

Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Straight Paths

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

We are curious creatures. We have been created in the image of God, yet we often act like there was no God at all. Large amounts of our time are spent looking after ourselves, by ourselves. And no wonder. In the past, society has educated us to be independent and self-sufficient. We are blind to the fact that this is an illusion. Part of he truth is that we must really on each other. But even society as a whole cannot exist on it’s own.

One of the great myths of our time is that education will bring freedom and peace to the world. Education will solve all our problems. With education, even AIDS can be defeated. Man’s great learning passed on to man, the great humanist endeavor, while having noble intentions, will ultimately fail as a savior.

God has made us in his image, a fact that needs to turn us to seeing things from his perspective. Our great gift of reason is to be informed by information outside of ourselves. In the world around us there are two great books, as Galileo once said: the book of creation and the book of the scriptures. Our life in this world must certainly include delighting ourselves with the study of of the world. But even the world, was created by God. The life we live was created by God. And so it is reasonable, that our life and our life lived passionately looking at the world around us needs a humble attitude of seeking God through “acknowledging him in all our ways. Then we’ll know how to walk in this world.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


He who serves his fellows,
is of all his fellows greatest.

- E. Urner Goodman

Labels: , ,