Archive for the ‘Faith’ Tag

The Butterfly Effect   1 comment

buterflies

This is from the blog See, there’s this thing called biology . . .:

The butterfly effect is this idea that suggests that a butterfly fluttering it’s wings
on one side of the world, has the ability to impact the weather on the other side of the
world. It speaks to the inter-connectedness of us all and points to the fact that for
every action there is an equal reaction. The theory was received with some mockery,
became a thing of myths and urban legends, and eventually became accepted
by science itself.

Ideas like the collective unconscious and the butterfly effect demolish the belief
that a man can be an island unto himself, orbiting his own little planet and creating
his own little reality. Instead, everything in the world, including us, exists in a
kind of symbiosis, and the tiniest little thing we do, like a butterfly fluttering
it’s wings, has an impact on the world around us. Every kind word spoken has the
power to alter the fabric of the universe, to change someone’s destiny, to rewrite a
story. So does every cranky word, every famine, every war…..oh crap……

When I first learned about the butterfly effect, I had an anxiety attack, which
eventually progressed into a full blown existentialist crisis. One of the fun
things about being a Christian is that you can have a good existentialist crisis,
stare into the abyss, let go, free fall…and you’ll land in hysterics about three
feet down at the foot of a King. Plunk! I’ve done it so many times, I imagine the
angels just roll their eyes and say, “it’s that crazy woman again, questioning the
nature of Creation. Must be a girl thing. Seems to be some part of their design.”

At least that’s what happens when you’re a Christian and have the Lord’s favor.
If you don’t have His favor, you may well plunge into the abyss and the angels
watch you go by in a free fall and sing, “wheeeee, look at that one go!”
I have no idea and no desire to find out. It’s a long way down to the bottom
of the abyss.

We really do create reality for ourselves and for those around us. Everything we do,
no matter how small, has an impact on those around us and on those not around us, and
on those yet to come. People are far more important, far more valuable to the equation,
than most of us realize. Every single one of us, every word spoken, every breath we take,
every thought we have, alters the very fabric of the universe.

It’s a huge responsibility, enough to trigger a good existentialist crisis, and
underscores the profound implications of the Greatest Commandment.

Our lives really are the greatest love story ever told and we are called to live them
as if we are all madly and passionately in love with every breathless moment. As if
that is not the most awesome thing ever, our lives are only the first chapter.

truly, madly, deeply

Contrary to Common Sense   9 comments

oswaldchambers

Oswald Chambers, 1874-1817

“We hear it said that Jesus Christ taught nothing contrary to common sense: everything Jesus Christ taught was contrary to common sense. Not one thing in the Sermon on the Mount is common sense. The basis of Christianity is neither common sense nor rationalism; it springs from another centre, viz. a personal relationship to God in Christ Jesus in which everything is ventured on from a basis that is not seen.”

–Oswald Chambers

_____

“One must be a great man indeed to be able to hold out even against common sense.”
“Or else a fool.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

_____

“The warrior of God is not the man of muscle and a strong jaw, but the man of un-utterable weakness, the man who knows he has not any power; Jacob is no longer strong in himself, he is strong only in God, his life is no longer marked by striving, but by reliance on God. You cannot imitate reliance on God.”

–Oswald Chambers

The Book of Job   1 comment

godwants

This is from the blog See, there’s this thing called biology . . .

Job is one of my favorite books in the bible and I can never give a coherent answer as to why.
What can I say, the poetry is just lyrical, every phrase speaks to me, and each time I read it
I discover something new. It’s an ancient text, probably one of the oldest books in the bible.

For those who don’t know the story, there was a man in the land of Uz 
whose name was Job…..Satan shows up before the Lord and there’s a bit of a wager going on,
a challenge attempted. I think Satan is bored because he’s been going to and from about the Earth 
and walking up and down in it. The Lord says to Satan, have you considered my servant Job, 
that there is none like him in the Earth, a perfect and upright man….Satan tries to tell God
that Job’s life is pleasant that he’s very blessed, and that’s why he’s a good man and loves God.
Satan says, take all that away and he will curse you to your face. And God basically says, whatever.
Do what you want with Job, just don’t kill him.

So Satan goes down to Earth and every possible evil starts to befall Job. It’s gruesome, his sheep
are burned alive, his family is killed, he gets covered in boils. Job however, is a fighter and good
at the spiritual warfare, so he falls down and continues to worship God. The Lord giveth, the Lord 
taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

Job’s wife is extra special, she tells Job to just give up his faith, that this is all his fault.
His friends are special too, they blame and condemn him. They tell him that he must have
done something wrong. They say if he would just become a more righteous, things would get better.

What follows is Job having a conversation with God. Job never waivers, he just surrenders more and more.
Fine, I’m a wretch and what if God does hate me? Sounds reasonable, I hate myself right now. He will not
curse God, instead he tries to understand the nature of God, to reason his place in the universe.
Chapter 38 is my favorite part. God answers back, out of the whirlwind,  who is
this that darkens my 
council by words without knowledge?..Can you bind
the sweet influences 
 of the pleiades or loose the bands of Orion?…Who hath put
wisdom in the inward parts? Or who hath given 
 understanding to the heart?
God is saying, you do not know what you think you know. You did not hang the
stars in the sky. You are not God, I am. As this conversation proceeds, both Job and
God speak to the wonder of Creation, to the nature of God, to His awesome power, and to
people’s place in the whole structure of things.

When Satan fails and is finished with Job, God restores. The Lord blessed the later end of Job more 
than his beginning…After this Job lived 140 years..so Job died, being old and full of days.

There are numerous lessons to be found in the book of Job, but the one that I always remember is that in all
conflicts with God, all moments of despair, the error is always going to be on my end. Always. God is God.
He doesn’t make mistakes, he’s always in control, and he’s never wrong. I may not like what’s happening in my
life, but God is always there to either offer comfort or to help me change my perspective. God is good, all of the time.

Spiritual warfare, that’s why I like Job. He’s a fighter, but he also knows the power of surrender.

 

thca2vxd35

 

Posted June 12, 2014 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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The Gospel of Martyrdom vs the Gospel of Success   1 comment

christian_martyrs_last_prayer3

The Gospel of Martyrdom vs the Gospel of Success

How the Apostles Died
Killing the Prophets

Spiritual Desert   6 comments

Spiritual Journey

By Lynda Parham

It would be nice to travel a road high on top of a mountain continuously experiencing God’s presence. We may experience that mountain road at times but our road will also take us through the valley and the desert where no mountain can be seen. The desert is dry, sandy and dusty with no moisture to be found. We dig and dig a little deeper only to find more sand. Are we looking and digging in the right place? We do not sense God’s presence. We may even be praying and reading our Bible during these times but still feel spiritually dry. God is always with us but at times unnoticed. If you are like me, I prefer to have the wind at my back with smooth sailing ahead where everything is going great. Where relationships couldn’t be any better, opportunities in life are endless, work is very satisfying and life is perfect. No boredom or dryness to be found. But let’s face it, life can be drab, boring, routine, or make us feel like we are barely hanging on. We may even feel like everyone else is on that mountain road when we are on the desert road alone. In the desert it can get really dark and cold. We may find no hope, no excitement, stress, a lonely road with nothing in sight and it may be lifeless and dull. No place to stop and rest. The wilderness is lonely and we feel unprepared to be in this place. No sign posts or GPS for directions. Nothing looks familiar, just a vast desert that came upon us gradually because we were cruising through life and we had fallen asleep at the wheel and ended up here.

I was recently talking with a friend about being spiritually dry only to find there are many people who are feeling the same way. I have traveled this road many times in my life. One day being on the mountain road and experiencing God’s presence cruising through life with the wind at my back. I know I do not suddenly appear in the vast desert but come here gradually over a few months. I realize I am never ready for any desert journey but I always find that I must go to God and find out what I am to learn while I travel this road. The one thing I love about being in the desert is coming upon an oasis. Finding that place where I can stop and find nourishment to quench my thirsty soul. It gives me strength to continue the journey in the desert until I can find that mountain road again.

Spiritual dryness is nothing new. Ever since God formed life, there has been times when people experienced dryness spiritually. It takes walking through the desert to transform our lives, to deepen and expand our faith. To strengthen our spiritual walk, it is best done in the quiet, deep and darkest places found, far from any noise and distraction of our daily lives. We will be able to find the mountain road once we have done some work to our soul. This can be the most important time in our spiritual journey with God. In order for God to bring us closer, he needs to strip us of ourselves. He may take away the good things to bring the best in our lives. He strips away our worldly and selfish desires setting us free. He wants to draw us to him alone. He may have to refocus us on something great he wants us to do with our lives. He is the only one that can sustain our spiritual life during this time. We have tried everything we could but only he can take us where we need to be.

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God. Isaiah 50:10

Desiring and seeking God can draw us closer to him. There can be unseen beauty in the desert. May God bless you while you travel this desert road and quench your thirsty soul.

Blessings, Lynda

Life is an Adventure

Posted September 22, 2013 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Passing Through Belgrade, Montana   2 comments

th

22 August 2013

Yesterday I hitchhiked from Idaho Falls, Idaho through West Yellowstone and Big Sky to Belgrade, Montana.  I got a ride from Four Corners to Belgrade with a guy named Nate.  He was going to a Bible study.  We had a good talk about the things of God, he bought me a Quarter Pounder Meal at McDonald’s and he dropped me off at the library.

After the library, I walked to Mike’s place.  I hadn’t seen Mike since around 2009.  I guess I caught him at the right time because he was going to North Dakota and Kansas in a couple of days to see some relatives.  Mike has a lot of books in his house and I noticed a few books by Watchman Nee that I wanted to take a look at, but I was too tired.  I slept on the couch last night and got a good night’s sleep.

This morning I went back to the library in Belgrade, got on the Internet and checked my two blogs and email.  Just before I left the library, I looked up my book High Plains Drifter on the card catalog.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Belgrade library had purchased a copy of my book.  Two or three years ago, I had mentioned my book to somebody at the Belgrade library, but I didn’t know that they had bought a copy.

After I left the library, I walked to the supermarket and bought a loaf of bread.  I walked to I-90 and began walking west down the interstate.

I had walked around three miles when someone pulled over to give me a ride.  His name was Daniel and he gave me a ride to Butte.

Daniel was a Christian and he told me that he had heard about me and my book High Plains Drifter.  He said that about a week ago, he was at someone’s house at Hebgen Lake and they were talking about this guy who hitchhiked and had written a book called High Plains Drifter.  I was a bit surprised to hear that because High Plains Drifter has not sold many copies, but the book has been at the West Yellowstone library for at least a few years now.  Hebgen Lake is between West Yellowstone and Big Sky.

Daniel and I had a good talk about the things of God and he also gave me some of his lunch.  I told Daniel that my book High Plains Drifter was now in four libraries in Montana (Forsyth, Columbus, West Yellowstone and Belgrade).  If the Lord has seen fit to find a home for my book in four libraries in Montana, maybe the Lord will give me a home in Montana someday.

Daniel dropped me off in Butte, gave me some money for the road and I headed west on I-90.  I was very grateful for what had transpired that day in Belgrade, Montana.

Author

Not Bricks and Mortar, but Flesh and Blood   6 comments

Western_wall_jerusalem_night

By Tom Vander Well

Exalt the Lord our God,

    and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,

    for the Lord our God is holy! Psalm 99:9 (NLT)

I have a bit of a rebellious streak in me. I quickly get irritated by senseless rules and misplaced religious orthodoxy. We as humans tend to want to wrap rules around principles and attach sacred  meaning to silly things. I remember a crotchety old fart who got mad at me for letting children run and play in the church sanctuary instead of getting mad and giving them a stern rebuke. In his mind the kids were desecrating the holiness of the room. I told him that the sanctuary was nothing more than a gathering place (adding that I’d be happy to prove the point scripturally) and the sound of children laughing, running and playing where we met to worship was music to my ears. If there are a lot of kids having fun in the place the church just might have a future.

He didn’t like me very much.

In the ancient days when the psalms were written, there was central place where God was to be worshipped in Jerusalem at the temple. One of the things I love most about Jesus  is that he blew away old rules and established radical new paradigms. When a woman asked Jesus about worshipping in Jerusalem, Jesus said, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem….But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

In the new paradigm that Jesus ushered in, those who believe are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit and we ourselves become God’s temple. We don’t go to some church building that is somehow special, holy and sacred – we ourselves – our bodies – are the temple. We are made special, holy and sacred by God.  We don’t go to church. We are the church. It’s not bricks and mortar. It’s flesh and blood. Every time I hear a pastor telling me to invite my friends to church I shake my head and groan. Jesus’ intention was never for believers to bring friends to a central location to worship Him. His intention was that believers would worship Him by spreading out into every neighborhood and loving people.

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Posted August 9, 2013 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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