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Note from Ken

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Just saw an interview of some celebrity recently about being angry at God.  Another was explaining how God was using Corona to teach us something, saying something about the lines that God was getting our attention by ‘hurting people’, or I suppose that was the bottom line to such a statement.  Actually, both those statements are the furthest thing from my mind.  I’ll explain.

It’s always fascinated me how unbelievers must think about some of the things we say about God in times like these.  Sometimes I can see why they are put off by such talk rather than drawn to God.  It seems often we take every opportunity during a major crisis for the self described defenders of our Faith to ‘tag God’ as leaving His fingerprints on the crisis.  That bothers me a touch because that’s my Dad they are talking about.  So, let’s see, let’s put weight to the two points of view in those kind of statements.  Explain to me where anyone should think it’s logical or appropriate to be angry at God. And who among us is willing to give a Loving God the glory for the virus impact on human lives? In my opinion you can only come up with some reason to be angry at God if you either have misinformation, maybe fake news about God, or you simply parrot the traditional things that have been said for centuries about Him.  In that traditional world, nothing changed much with the cross and resurrection. We just simply moved on in our story of an angry God and a foolish or stiff-necked people.  I get it, we have been saying things like that so long that it’s the first thing out of our mouths sometimes.  We teach it, we say it, we print it and when this is all over we will pack it away to be used again in a future crisis.

Here’s my point, this God we so easily believe deserves anger and accusation, this is the same God that has come from the other side of Genesis, before the foundation of the world to be with us, this Emmanuel God.  This God stepped into this world to be with us in these times, to be included with us during these times, we’re supposed to be believe He had something to do with doing this to us.  This God, our God, Who sent His Son to be harassed by the very creatures He Himself created, humiliated Him, those very same creatures flogged Him, spat on Him, hated and despised Him, nailed Him to a tree, and separated themselves from Him as he took His last breath.  That’s a God that at least deserves a bit of our anger right?  Hmmmmm.  We are a funny people, we are an interesting bunch to look at Love that way!  Is He such a God in our minds that we should investigate Him for what is going on here?  Please.  Jesus tried to show us the heart of the Father in Luke 11:11/Matt. 5:21: ‘If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father will he give him a stone?…If you then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.’  That’s God’s position now for all those that will receive, A God that is Love isn’t holding back. That was the accusation of the serpent to Adam.  It was the first lie and it’s still a lie today.  That is a whisper we should not believe. 

Jesus came for two reasons: first, to die on our behalf, to forgive us for our sins even for killing His Son.  Second, and this is found throughout the New Testament writings of Paul and John, Jesus came to give you a New Life, a new way to live life, a New Covenant.  A New Covenant!  Not to establish the old one but to introduce a New One.  Would Jesus have come even if Adam had not fallen?  I think He would have to establish that adoption relationship between God and creature, ie the following:

‘But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons.  And because we are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Song into your hearts, crying Abba Father.  Wherefore thou art no more a servant but a son; and if a son, then heir of God through Christ. (Gal. 4:4-7)

There is so much to say in that verse but let me narrow it down to just one thing:  We, the church, are sons.  Each of us have been adopted to the Father, Son and Spirit’s life as ‘belongers’ there.  Yes, Jesus came to die for our sins but also to adopt believers into the family of God.  We are His.  Is there anything that we should be angry at God about?  Is there anything that deserves that kind of thinking from us?

Is God’s hand responsible for this mess we’re in?  Should we accuse Him of such?  In times like these just the opposite is actually going on.  God does not move away, He is in our hearts for goodness sake; how far can He go?  He does not abandon the world. God does exactly what He did with Adam when Adam was such a jerk, He seeks us out, looks for us behind every bush until he finds us and embraces, not scolds.  He simply cannot be separated from us, nothing can separate us from Him.  If God pulled away the whole thing would blow up and return to cosmic dust.  (Col. 1:15-16) He’s holding all things together, He’s the only glue we have that stabilizes the whole world in a time like this.  His hand is stretched out, not pulled back.  

One last thing.  The Gospel is a response to a response.  It’s first, God’s response to us.  That’s the Father’s, the Son and the Spirit’s language to say, ‘No way, I’m not leaving them to themselves, I’m not giving up on them.  Let’s step into the whole mess and bring them from fear to Faith, from darkness into Light.  They responded to us by redemption and adoption.  Now we can respond to their response.  Repentance is not our persuading our God to graciousness.  That’s pagan thinking. His graciousness and forgiveness have already been established.  His Mercies are new every day.  They are a part of His character.  This God is not like any other god.  God doesn’t need His mind to be changed about us or be persuaded for favor, (as though you thought you really could). It’s our minds that need to be rearranged.  We must rearrange our minds to comprehend His first response: His Love.  Psm. 136:11-12 reaffirms that God’s arm is constantly reaching out because His Mercy endures forever, that is His response to us, what will we do about that, what will we say and share about that?  What will we say about Him?

There is a warning against apostasy found in Hebrews chapter 5.  In verse 12 it refers to elementary things, basic things, that we should return to.  Knowing the following is elementary in times like these and really sufficient enough for us, this should be our first thought instead of some of the ones I’ve heard:  ‘Jesus loves me this I know, the Bible tells me so….’  It’s not possible for me to be angry at God and knowing the Love of God doesn’t permit me to think God is holding back stuff because Jesus said His heavenly Father doesn’t hand out stones.

We Are Messengers NEW DATE!

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jane’s health status as of 07/19. SHE IS HOME!!!

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Many of you have asked for updates on Ken’s wife, Jane, as she has dealt with this illness that she has been facing. She has had a serious, yet treatable illness called Guillain–Barré syndrome.  She is HOME!  She is doing better than expected with her rehabilitation process. She has begun to take her first steps. (She walked, with a walker, for 21 feet yesterday.)  She has tremendous upper body strength. To go from COMPLETELY paralyzed from the neck down, unable to blink her right eye, to being able to take a few steps, is truly amazing. Many people have asked “how long until…” Here is what I will say to that. We will know how long when we look back after it is all over and see how long it took. We now know it was 6 weeks until she was off of the ventilator…8 weeks to hear her voice…10 weeks in Chicago…and 6 weeks in acute rehab.  To be honest, she doesn’t remember much of her Chicago hospital stay. She has been reading all of the cards in the past few weeks and has been so encouraged. All of the well wishes, cards, encouragement and prayers have been so appreciated by Ken & Jane.  THANK YOU, BVNers!