Theological Insights from a Modern Perspective

Archive for July, 2018

TLP Inspiration: July 28, 2018

TLP

Beautiful but Deadly

Good Saturday from the Heartland.

There are some things in this life that are absolutely beautiful.  Some are alluring, some are natural while others are man-made.  They might catch our eye or arouse our senses.  They may seem entirely harmless… and they might be good in and of themselves…

…but they can be deadly.

Take this gorgeous tiger for instance, God outdid Himself in the design, it’s simply beautiful, but I don’t think I’d want to walk up and pat him on the head.

Kitty, kitty, kitty!

That beautiful creature just happens to be a killing machine…

More often, we become entranced by things of beauty and make them more important than they are in our lives.  I really enjoy old Victorian architecture; it is beautiful.  Every little detail can be a work of art, and nobody can say it’s immoral.  The question is how important will…

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Naked Before God: Trials and Tribulations

TLP

Praying in true humility can be difficult for us, particularly early in our Christian walk, yet for many of us, getting through the trials and tribulations of this life may be even more difficult. These are times of disappointments, problems, hardships, and sometimes these can lead to despair and desperation; we might even begin to wonder if God has forgotten all about us. Even worse, we might begin to think that God is exacting punishment upon us for something we have done or not done; oh yes, these are hard times indeed.

More than any other time in this life, times of hardship are times when we need to approach God’s presence holding nothing back, laying everything out in the open, times when we need to bare all before the God who sees all anyway. This is not only a time for praying in humility, it is also a time…

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Weathering the Storms

2209464-bigthumbnailLife is full of storms that we all have to weather, some are easier than others. Paul had a literal storm to weather, but in any case storms can bring into question the strength of our faith, and were we seek and find comfort.

Over the past two years I have had what seems like a never ending sea of storms, one after the other. Things started off with the onset of arthritis in my right hand (and the realization that I am allergic to every arthritis medication), that was soon followed by a bout of plantar fasciitis. The hardest thing any parent has to deal with happened last year when my son passed away at the young age of 34. Next came a sprained tendon in me left arm, which I am still dealing with (the arthritis and sprain have kept me from posting much as typing is not easy). In January of this year I started having severe back pains, which turned out to be massive kidney stones. The kidney stone required two operations to completely remove, with the end result of inflaming my prostate to the point that it now requires an operation to get it back to functioning properly (awaiting word on when that will occur).

Medications I have been on to deal with the pain have had me dealing with the side effect of depression. The most severe cases have passed, though I still have times where I have trouble convincing myself to get up to do anything. Doesn’t help that I have some restrictions on my activities (haven’t been able to hike for better than 9 months now).

I am not looking for sympathy, I write this to simply point out how the storms of life can hit us.

The hardest thing has been not being able to attend church services, it has been 4 months now since I have attended liturgy. Our faith is what we turn to when the going gets tough, we seek the words of consolation from Scripture, from others attending, and from the words of our priest/pastor/rabbi. It’s difficult when those resources are not available to us, so we turn to other sources of comfort and consolation. I have found, and rely upon, that replacement here on the blogs I follow. Most specifically they include:

Don Merritt’s The Life Post

Church Set Free, featuring Paulfg and Br. Francis-Claire

But, most especially, the short Christian motivations from Dr. K. L. Register. Through the months many of her posts feel like they have been directed specifically to me as they have fitted my mood and needs like the proverbial glove.

To be sure, my storms are no worse than many, perhaps you, have had, and far less than those others have experienced. I spent 30+ years working with disabled youth in one way or another, and it is amazing how children handle problems that bring adults to the very edge. Wheelchairs, mental acuity. obstacles our society places before them (and refuses to remove), yet they continue on with nary a bad word for anyone. Their love of us “normals”, their close (and unwavering) relationship with God (in whatever form they relate to Him in), has been an inspiration to me through the years. Next time you find yourself with nothing to do check out a local Miracle Field or Special Olympics event and just watch in awe as they deal with their problems, then ask yourself if you would have similar strength and still have a smile and hug to share with those around them…even strangers.

My faith has seen me though the hard times of the last two years, and I hope will see me through that which is still down the road. I write this now because the different operations I have ahead of me may preclude my return to the blogging world as anything more than a follower of other’s blogs. Again, do not feel sorry for me, nor look at this as an request for sympathy, I write this as an encouragement when storms come into your lives, seek out the Lord through the encouragement of Scripture and the writings of others. Let their words lift you out of the depression that hard times impose upon us, know that God has more planned for you in both this life an the next. Allow him to work through you, and your problems, to act as an encouragement to others.

God Bless.

TLP Inspiration: July 9, 2018

TLP

Good Monday Morning from the Heartland.

Some time back I came upon a scene; this tree grabbed my attention because it was unusual…

The unusual thing about the tree isn’t the scar, but how well it has done in spite of the injury it sustained.  I’m not sure exactly what happened to the tree, my first thought was a lightning strike, but who knows.  It seems likely that whatever happened was storm related in some form…

We all deal with storms in our lives, sometimes literally, other times the storms are of a different sort.  Many of these are caused by our own actions and choices, many are not.  More important than anything else is how we respond to them.

When times are tough, do we let the circumstances keep us down; do we let circumstances defeat us?  When we are hurt by life’s storms will we dwell in our…

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Naked Before God and the Wonder of it All

TLP

Last time, we ended with my saying that in this next post, it would be time to look at the concept of naked before God in a practical rather than an abstract way, so it might seem odd to begin with the wonder of relationship with God. Yet I think you’ll see that this is exactly the right place to begin.

Small children view the world around them quite differently that we adults do; they can still see their worlds with a sense of wonder. When I was a small child, my Mom was proud of her roses; she had roses in bloom year-round. I remember that as a small child, I loved the smell of her roses and it never even occurred to me that boys would be thought weird for smelling them. However, I grew up, and now I am not really sure what they smell like. As…

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