Monday, August 8, 2011

When God seems absent

Life could be so much easier to understand if God was visible and sitting down in the living room with me for a long chat. I could ask the tough questions, like why do people hurt one another; why does there have to be war and why do children die. Would He tell me? I wonder.

When adversity knocks on the door. . . and it will . . . why does God seem absent from my circumstances? It is easy to think that because I am a Christian, I should be insulated from this roller coaster ride of life filled with persecution; rejection or poor treatment from others. After all, we act like we are the priviliged ones here in the USA.

I have tried to treat others with compassion and do the right thing in my relationships. Why should I be subject to these inconveniences?

My faith in God should be strong enough to find the silver lining in any negative circumstance. Shouldn't it?

Is my faith limited to the blessings part of life?

Where is God when families lose their jobs, homes or health? When life dumps sorrow upon sorrow . . . does God even care? Have you wondered about this even a little?

I recently counseled a women who feels like God had abandoned her in a time of crisis and after all she had done to serve Him was a cosmic joke. He is totally she felt on that day. She asks and doesn't receive. She prays to a God who ignores her...or does He?

She asked me to pray . . . because I at least think someone is listening. She was looking for a new place to live; closer to work, within her budget and open to her dog. The search had not resulted in any remote possibilities. So, I not only talked to God . . . but He talked to me. Told me the town she should look in for a place, and to give it 2 days. I told her what I heard . . . and she scoffed. God doesn't talk back. Really?

Well, two days later, she had a place in that town, all requirements met . . .and she didn't know how I knew that would happen. I listened.

I don't always listen that well, but this time I did. She has a renewed faith because God finally heard someone's prayer. But what about when it seems like He's just not interested?

I think about Job who lost his home; land; family and friends. The friends he had left told him to curse God and die! With friends like that, who need them?

Things didn't turn around over night, but eventually everything was restored. All the followers of Christ lost their lives when they refused to deny him. I wonder . . . would I lose heart if everything went wrong?

There are examples every day of bad things happening to good people and adversity knocking on the door. So what do we do?

  1. Stop . . . breathe. Breath and Spirit are the same word and it is spirit that connects us to one another. That's why we care about injustice and pain.

  2. Be Thankful. Remember the things that have worked out in the past. Pray for others.

  3. If you can't change it, release it to God. Praise God for all the things He has done in the past, and Remember them during the hard times.

    You can see the hand of God in your life and the lives of others regardless of circumstances. There are prayers being lifted all around the world, by all kinds of faith followers . . . and God is listening. So, until we meet Him face to face to ask those hard questions . . . Listen and encourage one another. This too, will pass.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Eagle Christians

Earlier this month, I attended a conference called Accs West 2011. It is Allies of Christian Churches and we met at Mt.Cross in the Santa Cruz mountains. Mostly it is Christian Gay Pentecostal folks from Calif/Ore and Washington. Our theme this year is Isaiah 40:31. "They that wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength..." So what did I learn? We have been set aside for God's purpose and timing. Like the eagle we must wait for the right air currents to help us soar on our journey. Eagles can go 10,000 feet high, yet see a mouse in the field two miles below and swoop down to get a meal. I talked about "waiting" and how do we do that...With patience, hope, expectation, impatience...etc. You fill in the blank. Sometime we want to do anything but wait for God's timing...but it will always be productive when we wait in prayer for God's wind beneath our wings. I also talked about renewing our strength like the eagle...and how after about 60 years an eagle will go off by itself and use it's talons to pull out the old feathers on it's head and back. It will be bloodied by the task, but their strength is then renewed for the next 60 years...It's a needed part of their existance. Anyone need help pulling your feathers? We talked about mounting up with wings like eagles...the strength they have...and how all of our paper money has an eagle image. (I took an offering at that point) Many countries have the eagle as their symbol and there is much diversity in God's eagle creation...just as there is much diversity in God's family of Christian followers! We had a signing choir from Chapel of Peace in Onterio Ca. and if you want to be inspired, you should have seen the signs for eagle strength...What a blessing. Apostle Brenda Evans was our keynoter...Naomi Harvey was there to sing and share her wisdom, pastor Mary Mac and pastor Roi from So.Calif and of course, yours truely. For three days we worshiped God, and had great fellowship! My friend Kathy Baldock came from reno and met these very special people in my world! My partner, Becky, made some little nests out of coconut and roasted them...put some chocolate eggs in there...and we all enjoyed the image of tasting and beholding that God is Good! Wish you all could have been there.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What would you do? Just wondering

Well, I've started spending Thursday afternoons at my church to volunteer in the office. You never know who will come in, or what call will be next. Last week, just before quitting time, a woman came into the office asking to talk with a pastor. I'm the only one here, so I tell her while I'm not THE pastor, I am a minister, and how can I help? She tells me she and her husband are in town because her sister just passed away from Breast Cancer. She left a 9 year old son. They have been helping get the home ready to sell. Her husband has been doing the heavy work. He has developed blisters on his hands. He has type 2 diabetes and now has a blood poisoning and is too sick to drive to their home in the centeral valley. They filled their gas tank, but he can't drive and she is unable to drive because of an accident that left her injured. WoW. I said, "I'm happy to pray with you, but our church doesn't have any provision to assist in any monitary way. She said they needed to get a motel and her husband needed to get some medicine on his hands. I offered $20.00 of my own money, but that won't get them a room I listened to her story. I went on the internet to check local motels...nothing there that could help her. What could I do? Her husband came into the office and I could see he was in a bad way, and that his hands were indeed blistered. So, if you were in my place, what would you do? The need is genuine...and urgent. Dinner is waiting for me at home...No time to ask what would Jesus do. I'm here listening on His behalf. So...what would you do??? I decided to have them follow me to the nearest Motel 6 and went in and paid for 1 nights lodging for them. I told them it was in Jesus Name I was ministering to their need and when they got back home, they could send me a check when they got the money. I gave them my card. I drove home feeling pretty good that I had rescued someone...and wondered what Becky would say to my generosity. She supported my decision and I have decided that even if I never get a check from them, I still did what I needed to do. What would you do?