Tuesday, December 30, 2008

7 Lbs is Too Heavy a Load for a Man

'this is an upload from my blog www.jayopsis.blogspot.com'

Went to the 10 PM showing of "7 Pounds" with my oldest daughter and good friend Ron Smith.

Stayed awake...

Came home thinking about pennance, mistakes, and the problem of evil, which is a bigger problem with the absence of God.

I know, I know.... it's only a movie.

(This will contain spoilers)

When a person makes a tragic mistake, you have to keep the sovereignty of God in the picture. He can bear the weight of tragedy. We do make mistakes, but He allows them. And He controls them. He can even make it for good (Rom 8:28)

We experience consequences, even major life changes- years of pain and regret.

But the message of hope in God is that we do not have to do pennance. We cannot pay for our debt ourselves. We can't give marrow, and liver, and heart, and money, and eyes and undo the damage or mistakes.

Will Smith's character goes looking for those who deserve his gifts. He looks for good people.

The gospel of grace is so much better- it says we do not have to be worthy or good to receive the gift.

In the end, the main character breaks under the weight of the regret- giving his life so that others may live. It is a noble task... one that the Bible recognizes.

"One may die for a good man"

But again the gospel is better..... "But God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"

In the end... the problem of pain exists whether we put God in the story or not. It is an easier weight to carry when He is present. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Christ has borne the load already.

Do you really believe that God can bear the weight of your mistakes?

Another empty tale, another Hollywood moment, another unnessesary sex scene..... (ever experience sitting next to your 15 year old daughter in those moments?)

We did have a good chat on the way home...

I am off to bed now, thanking God for the gift of forgiveness and I do promise to not text and drive.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Woke Up Thinking Football

Once the season is over, I'm ready to escape the game for awhile. Then, at some point I will come back to it.

It is hard to put into words the pain of the end. When you make the playoffs, you realize that only one team will end without a killing. But you jump in with both feet and fight like crazy to stay alive.

What a great season for our team- it feels good to exceed expectations. The low point was after game 5- but to our kids and coaches credit, we never stopped working and turned it around. We won 7 in a row, won the region title, and ended up a state quarter-finalist.

But that last loss, man... it hurts.

We did not play well in the last game. Not sure why. We had a good week of practice. We took the opening drive down and scored, but even that drive wasn't without mistakes.

We had several assignment busts the rest of the game and we were a beat up team physically. In the end, the other team out performed us, especially their Mr Football running back.

In the locker room afterward, it was really sad. Our guys truly loved the game and one another. We had all the Srs line up and all the other guys came by and hugged them. Our seniors handled it well. They were sad, but did not grieve like their life was over. There was strength and brokenness. They were real in their hurt, free to cry... but showed a lot of dignity also. No blubbering silliness.

The hurt I feel is different. It goes deep. Every loss I have ever suffered as a head coach wounds me to the bone. I truly hate to lose.

When we lose the last one, it hits me for about 2 weeks. I go on living, treat my family well, put on a warm outer front. But inside, I play the game over and over. What would I do differently?

But I am healed now. My mental game is now re-working system- dreaming and scheming- ready to do it all again.

My prayer is that I never lose my desire to put the process under the direction of Christ. I hope that through the joy and sorrow, I continue to preach and model the gospel. Without it, this is all just phantasms of futility.

May God be glorified in victory and in loss.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Question 2: Why are there so many starving people in our world?

This response is part of a series of responses back to the challenge: 10 Questions that all Intelligent Christians must answer.

This is a great question if it comes from an honest and open heart. The tone of the question is important here. Is it a ‘childlike why' that will listen to the response or is it a ‘cynical, angry, bitter why' that represents predisposed experience that will not listen to possible explanations?

Why starving people?

Sometimes it is a ‘religious’ or ‘political’ issue. Some of the starvation in the world comes from people turning their back on the true God to follow faiths that are founded on falsehood.

There is enough resources to feed everyone. The fact that we do not, is our fault and another great indicator of human sin and shortcoming.

A Shocking Statement:
Matthew 26:11 (Jesus speaking) For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.

Free to Not Feed: God allows injustice for a time. He will bring to judgment all who have corrupted mankind by greed and selfishness. Unless Christ covers us, I think we all fail the test. I admit that I have done very little to alleviate hunger. A problem is not world hunger, the problem is me.

KUDOS TO THIS BROTHER: Another Christian responds:

"Brain begins by creating the same straw man in this question that he made (and which I refuted) in his first question. He wrongly assumes that the Bible claims that God promises to grant all your wishes (to be charitable, many professing Christians do make this claim, but I believe that like Brain, they are in error). Then because God seems to be granting a lot of your wishes and not the wishes of starving children, Brain concludes that there must be something wrong with your view of God. If you do believe that God grants all our wishes, then Brain is right and something is wrong with your view of God. Brain's question should make you feel uncomfortable and make you wonder why starving children aren't getting their wishes answered. But as demonstrated in my rebuttal to his first argument, the Bible does not teach that God promises to grant all your wishes.

In this question, Brain tries to trap the believer even more by treating the phrases "a loving, caring God" and "a God that grants all your wishes" as interchangeable. He says, "Then you push it out of your mind because it absolutely does not fit with your view of a loving, caring God." What he really means is that it absolutely does not fit with your view of a God that grants every wish that every Christian makes (or even most wishes that most Christians make). It does not fit with a "vending-machine" God. By making the equivocation, he traps Christians who do think God is loving and caring into his alleged contradiction, but this is really just a bait-and-switch maneuver. He baits with "loving, caring God" and switches to "God that promises to grant most of our wishes." He actually has a good argument against Christians who already agree with his equivocation and who consider "a loving God" and "a vending-machine God" to be synonymous. I agree with Brain that such Christians have a contradiction in their belief system and need to work it out. I'm not one of them.

And notice also that this is not an argument against the existence of God and in no way disproves God's existence or even makes God's non-existence a more likely alternative to His existence. The difficulty he raises is real, but it doesn't prove God doesn't exist. It just proves that a God, Who grants all or most of our wishes doesn't exist. It is perfectly consistent to believe that God exists, is loving and caring, and does not grant us all our wishes.

But if He's loving and caring, how could He let those children suffer?

That's a great question. I'm glad you asked. I'm afraid you just can't pin this one on God. How can you let those children suffer? We have enough food and wealth in the world to feed everybody. The world is verdant and abundant in resources, so there's absolutely no reason why anyone should starve. So why does it happen? Surely you and I aren't doing enough. But even if we did the best we could, it probably wouldn't be enough to solve the problem because of the political situation in countries where people starve. Starvation in the 21st century is mostly a political weapon. Even if you tried to get food to some of these places, warlords and governments would just seize it and feed their army with it.

But shouldn't God be able to do something about it?

God created humans as free moral agents, that means that we have the freedom to choose how to live and interact with each other. Only free agents are capable of Love, which is the highest of all goods, so without our existence as creatures of free will, none of the created world would be capable of the highest of all possible goods, Love. Yet our free agency necessitates that we are able to choose evil and to hurt each other instead of loving each other. That's built into the definition of free will. If all we can do is love, and we have no say in the matter, then we can't love after all- we'd be mere automata. We have to be able to choose not to love, or else we cannot love in the first place. This is why all sorts of evils and suffering exist in the world, because we have used our free agency to choose evil and suffering for ourselves and each other rather than love.

But can't God create free agents that always love? All things are possible with God, or are you admitting that all things aren't possible with Him after all, that He is not Omnipotent?

Oh no. Nothing of the sort. To elaborate, allow me to quote C. S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain:

"[God's] Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to Him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to His power. If you choose to say 'God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it', you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can'. It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God."

If you haven't read the book and have earnest questions about the problem of evil, pain, and suffering in the world, I highly recommend that you get a copy. It's a very short read and an inexpensive book packed full of excellent critical thinking about God and the existence of pain and suffering in our world:

You're just making rationalizations.

Come on, be fair. My answer isn't some strange excuse for God like the one Brain offered that, "God wants these children to suffer and die for some divine, mysterious reason." This is a pretty strange excuse. I agree that it's not consistent to say that God is loving and that God wants children to suffer and die. That's a contradiction. I believe God wants no such thing. It is not a contradiction however, to believe that God doesn't want children to die because He is a loving God, but that children do suffer and die anyways because humans are free moral agents, and it is consistent for a loving God to create free moral agents who are capable of love, and that in order for them to be capable of love, by definition they must be capable of evil. That answer may not satisfy you if you don't believe in God, and I don't consider it to be an argument for God's existence, but you must concede that it answers Brain's challenge. You must concede that it is internally consistent, does not resolve into contradiction, is not an evasion, and actually makes a lot of sense.

Posted by W. E. Messamore"

VISIT HIS BLOG: http://www.slaying-dragons.com/

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why Won't God Heal Amputees?

This response is part of a series of responses back to the challenge: 10 Questions that all Intelligent Christians must answer.

Question back: How do we know he hasn’t? I do not have enough knowledge, time, or experience to investigate all of history to know if God has not healed an amputee.

Amputation is a last resort of the medical science to save the life of a person at the brink of death. A limb or a foot affected by gangrene may cause the death of a person; but because of amputation, people are saved from death.

Question back: How many people have been healed because of amputation?
What if an amputation was God’s way of preserving a person’s life a little longer that they may contemplate eternity?

Any unanswered prayer is at the prerogative of the Deity.

Out first problem is the very concept of a God. He is the Creator and I am a creature. I have asked questions, “God why did You allow this? Why won’t you do this?” I think He hears these cries in a similar way I hear my small children begging to go to the candy store right before supper. At the zoo one time, my 5-year-old daughter wanted to stay and watch the flamingo pool. She started crying when I finally pulled her away to go down the path to other exhibits. It did not bother me at all to see those tears, I knew that something much better was coming. It wasn’t 60 seconds before she was in awe of the full visual of the entire zoo.

The Christian amputee (I’m sorry I know this sounds arrogant)

“Thank you God for my life, look at all I do have. You made my body. Have Your way with me. I am looking forward to the day when I will be whole, body and soul.”

A Shocking Statement:

Jesus says in Matthew 5: 30 "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell."

As a rational Christian (I know that is an oxymoron to my detractors) I understand that this is figurative and shocking for effect. But the principle is very clear- God is not worried about the amputee's body, He is very concerned about His soul.


Christian Group Offers Amputees Support
Published: February 15, 2008 OPELIKA, AL NEWS
To make this team, there aren’t any tryouts held and every roster member gets inked to a long-term contract.
The C.A.S.T. Ministries (Christian Amputee Support Group) is a non-profit support group for amputees and their families that officially incorporated in November 2006. Next month, C.A.S.T. Ministries will hold its first ceremony, which will address the topic of amputations that resulted from medical and health-related illness or diseases.
Woody Thornton, 39, is one of C.A.S.T.’s trainers.
Thornton is also a double amputee.
Thornton was involved in an accident involving a train in 1989 that cost him both his feet.
A few years ago, Thornton had a series of revision surgeries on his legs.
While the married father of six - four girls, two boys - leads a very fulfilling and active life now, he knows firsthand the fear and uncertainty of what a life-changing event like an amputation can entail.
“In my experience, most people who suffer an amputation know very little about what to expect or what can be done to help them,” Thornton said.
But through a combination of spiritual faith and family support, Thornton hopes that C.A.S.T. can change that.
One of the services that C.A.S.T. offers amputees are personal visits from C.A.S.T. trainers. They assist with everything from praying with recent amputees to offering friendship and and an ear to listen “With our visits, we hope to come alongside these individuals and their families and offer them support
based on God’s word,” Thornton said. “In the process, we hope to create friendships that will last.”
C.A.S.T. will welcome guest speaker Becky Guinn, a Chambers County native who lost both her arms and legs due to an adverse reaction to medication she received in the hospital in 2002.
Since that time Guinn has returned to her job as an art instructor and is currently in her 11th year of of teaching at Valley High School in Lanett.
It’s stories of courage and perseverance like Guinn’s that Thornton says personify what the C.A.S.T. is all about.
“Our motto ‘Life defined ... Not Confined’ is derived from 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10,” Thornton said.
“Those verses tell us that if we must boast, let us boast about our weaknesses.”
“It took me a while to figure out that sharing my story could actually strengthen others,” Thornton added. “People recognize me or know who I am by my legs, but through Christ I am empowered through this weakness instead of being confined by limitations.”

This question does not bother me. In the end, a person of faith can actually magnify the Creator in the midst of this suffering. God can be honored in spite of such a significant loss! What a miracle!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Simple Apologetic

In light of the atheists getting bolder and colder and sensing the growing antagonism to religion in general, I feel it is time to publicly explain “the reason for the hope that is in me”.

My model begins with the existence of God. I believe that all arguments begin with, “Is there a God?” If we begin with man, we start at the wrong place. A lot of people base their whole world view within their own existence, what a mistake!

I answer the question in the affirmative. There is a God. There is too much order, too much beauty, and too much opinion regarding good and evil to explain it away to natural, random occurrences. My own inner life points to mystery beyond me. The world under the microscope is too wonderful for me to accept blind chance and the expanse and beauty of the heavens is too majestic to cynically attribute it to uncoordinated randomness.

General revelation also points to a life beyond this life. Are the seasons merely a coincidence? The life cycle of a butterfly points to rebirth. I was praying one day to see God and as I drove into work on a foggy morning, I saw hundreds of spider webs. They had been invisible for months, but now their design and beauty were clearly seen. The visible world does point to the invisible God.

My next question requires me to ask, “Is there revelation or evidence of specific communication from this God to man?” Again, I believe there are two that give credence to the other. Jesus Christ is a clear manifestation of God and His nature. He did make that claim. He gives support of both the New and Old Testament. Is there valid support of these two revelations? The answer is yes. History supports both in spite of an entire system bent on destroying this precious truth. A seven day work week has been handed down to us from somewhere. The disciples died for a myth? The Bible survives? How?

And no other purported revelation holds water. They are all cheap imitations from a constant enemy.

And finally the message: Who could have made this up?


So there are always the attacks. I’m simple-minded, poorly educated, and have committed intellectual suicide to shake hands with faith. How do you respond to this?

I feel like when someone discounts God on the basis of reason, they are doing the most foolish thing of all. When the Bible speaks of the ‘unforgivable sin’ and ‘blasphemy of the spirit’- it has to be this. When someone says, “There is no God, no angels or devils, no heaven or hell” they are lifting their life experience and powers of reasoning to a god-like status. ‘I must become God to kill God’, Nietzsche understood this.
I’m thankful that I am under-educated enough to keep a healthy self-suspicion of my intellect. Is reason trustworthy enough to gamble on eternity?

What does the Bible say about our ability to reason?

Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

I Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. [6]

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

If you are raising your fist against God, please reconsider. The promise is that those who repent and believe will be rescued. Cry out to Him before it is too late!

“The riddles of God are more comforting than the answers of man” G.K. Chesterton

Monday, December 01, 2008

Walking Through Wounds With Joy and Hope

Life wounds….. there is no getting around it. It isn’t always tragic, it sometimes just pricks like a thorn. But it’s those little tears that can add up the most. Life lets you down.

I want to thank Bill Delvaux for opening a window to explore this, because it is these hurts that point us eventually toward heaven and it is pain that inexplicably keeps the heart alive.

Life is often a series of disappointment: Robert Frost correctly asserted that ‘nothing Gold can stay- even the good moments are fleeting and drift away in slivers. I always thought it was appropriate that Pip experienced all the shock of seeing his world collapse in “Great Expectations”.

“All the truths of my position came flashing on me; and its disappointments, dangers, disgraces, consequences of all kinds, rushed in in such a multitude that I was borne down by them and had to struggle for every breath I drew.”

But it was the subtle letdowns that he noticed first:

My (new) clothes were rather a disappointment, of course. Probably every new and eagerly expected garment ever put on since clothes came in, fell a trifle short of the wearer's expectation.

A big part of Christian maturity is accepting the ‘beautiful letdown’ as a reality that does not dampen joy or hope.

The apostle Paul makes this point vividly clear in Roman 8:18 “ For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because [6] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…”

But it is not an easy lesson to learn. It must be experienced by faith over time. It means silent suffering and patient endurance. It really is like birth pangs that ebb and flow with variations of intensity.

I have had my share of deep hurts.. including the loss of my mom.

But it is the subtle wounds that can exasperate, partly because they send mixed messages. Is God angry with me? Is this deserved discipline? Is He protecting me?

I look back over old notes regarding a time in my life where I sought a head coaching job. I ended up being the runner up four times in a row! My reactions were all over the place… sometimes anger, sometimes laughter.

Look at some of my former journal entries:

There has always been a cry inside of me. It’s hard to describe exactly, something akin to a hunger. It throbs and fluctuates, groaning to be born. But it always stops. I am somewhat afraid of it…is this the evil part of me? Is it an unquenchable thirst for pleasure and self-satisfaction that wants to destroy all the good intentions of my creator?
I am afraid because I know it is tied to my ego- that part of me that wants to matter, to be noticed, to be applauded as the winner of whatever race I am in. Is it evil? Does it miss the mark- what the English termed a sin?
I am also afraid because it may turn out to be a sham. Some wild excuse to sound pseudo-philosophical and be nodded to by the brilliant. It is so funny, I am a roller coaster between self-assertion and self-denial, self-confidence and self-condemnation…. and now I chastise myself for self-absorption.
I have lived long enough now to have more questions than answers. I have read the great writers and realized that I can’t even read, much less write. I have heard the great preachers, and realized I can’t hear. I have mulled over the great thinkers and realized I can’t think. The only really good thing I do is forget.
Then I soothe myself by finding someone lower than me, only to realize that I perceive him to be lower, I can see no farther into him than he can into me. So what is my premise?
I am glad I am not a mathematician or a scientist. I am glad I am not a lawyer or a doctor. Lord knows we need all of these. I am glad I am not a mechanic, or a plumber, or an accountant, but I am glad my wife is an accountant.
I am glad to be me. I enjoy appreciating the dull things. I do love life and all in all it is an easy one. There is a part of me afraid of God. Afraid that He will look down at me one day and say, “suffer”. I know there is pain a comin’- death of loved ones (update mom passed away in Jan 2004, brother in drug rehab 2004). I feel a knee twinge now, or get a gas pain in my side, or have heart burn and I pause..”is this cancer? A heart attack? Arthritis? Lou Gherig’s disease?” Then I pause again and say, “What a poor view of my Father I have”. God design is not zapping people out of their mirth; it is getting me to trust Him enough to ascend the mountain of His pleasure.
But I’m writing today to say that I fell trapped. I am a gold fish swimming so hard against the edge of the bowl that I am fagged out- (thanks for letting me reclaim the term). I am punching against golden puppet threads and am tangled. I see the air on my gauge at critical, but am too far under the surface to survive. And so I am crying out.
I do not want to be cut loose from my wife or my girls. I do not want away from my Lord. But I need to get away from this sanctuary. I have been too safe for too long. It feels so good to lie here and soak, but I’m afraid that if I stay too long I will lose my desire to ever move again. I’m too young to pull in my reins and rest. Will I then find I have saved all I have, risked nothing, but never gained anything?
So how do I approach this? How does God’s sovereignty fit in with my knack for manipulation and coercion? Can I push so hard that I go where God cannot bless me? Do I sit back and find I never arrived where He could use me? One has faith to sit and wait – am I showing faith by swatting every gnat in my eye?
I am discovering that the truth of God that states that He put eternity in my heart (Ecclesiastes) can feel sometimes like a curse- it is a madness that tortures me. So I am crying to you- Oh my Father- get me out or take me out or take out that part that wants out….just please help…. I am not demanding…. I am begging and it probably sounds like a whimper.

It is now more than 6 years later… and I see God’s purposes more clearly. But I am still a man who hurts… cut me and I still bleed.

Losses still hurt…. Arguments still frustrate…. Rejection still wounds me.

But I am more able to at least say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord”.

I see that the granting of tears, teaches compassion. Ravi Z is right, I will feel no passion to change until I feel the pressure in my own soul. There are seasons- A time to laugh and a time to cry- My prayer is that we always show compassion and love first- it is actually more important that the truth that comes later?

The question will come: Why?

There are a lot of wrong answers to the question of wounds and a few wrong responses to these happenings. I don’t have time to go into it in detail- but there is a growing Heresy within the evangelical church that is a new spin in age old unbiblical answers to these issues.

These heretics are not bad people- but unfortunately are giving advice that sounds good to the human ear, but really offers no real hope- in fact, in the end it robs them of a path to true recovery.

So hear me very clearly-God is great and God is good/ Great in that He is in control- He ordains these dark times and will use them to His glory. The very second you say that God is not in control, you began to rob Him of His Godness and you begin to believe that He is not trustworthy.

A surprising help to me is Psalm 107
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so- what is the so? Oh Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His steadfast Lord endures forever. Whom He has redeemed from trouble.

4-9 Some wandered- became hungry and thirsty- He led to straight way satisfies the longing. All of us are wanderers.
10-16 Some sat as prisoners- shadows of death- for they rebelled- example of substance abuse - you cannot escape- there are all kinds of dependency- the heart of the addict.
17-22 Some foolish- sowing and reaping-
23-32 Some just experienced storms of life- not making the team/ injury/ sickness
33-42- The general providence of God- divorce/bankruptcy/cancer/crime/ school authority and decisions of those in authority

Hear the promises in this Psalm:
Cry to the Lord and He delivered
Thank Him for His steadfast love
He satisfies- He fills the hungry
He brings them out of the shadow of death
He breaks the bonds- shatters iron and bronze bars
He delivers from distress
He sends His word and heals them
He delivers from destruction
He controls nature
He prospers
He shuts the mouth of the wicked

43- Attend to these things- consider the steadfast love- and SAY SO