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Archive for the tag “theology”

Innocence and Theology

Mark 10:14 – But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

The other day I was driving my daughter home from her work. She works for a local Christian camp. She was talking about how she was writing Bible studies for the half-day students because the current series was not directed toward the age group she was responsible for. She wanted to do an entire weeklong series on “Finding Jesus.” As she was explaining it to me, she was explaining the plot line of the Disney movie “Finding Dory.” It was pure innocence, using the story of a fish-finding story to explain how we come to know the risen Creator of the universe.

As she spoke to me I found all these ways to poke holes in her theology.

But I kept my mouth shut and listened.

She explained how easy it was to find Jesus. She pulled a few Bible verses here and there, used a lot of Disney references, and showed a lot of passion in her voice as she explained it to me.

If a seminary graduate who has studied hermeneutics, Greek and Hebrew would listen to her speak, he would stop her from teaching this to the younger minds than hers.

But I sat and thought about it for a minute.

First, I thought about what Jesus said about children.

Matthew 18:1-3 – At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Now, please understand me that Jesus is not talking about becoming like children in ways of wisdom, but in innocence.

As adults, we tend to overthink situations so much more than children. If a child is angry or happy or sad they show their emotion and then, unless there is a significant outside influence like abuse, divorce, and death, the child will remember the major points of why they feel the way they do, but the details will be foggy. According to one study, “early emotional experience literally become embedded in the architecture of their brains.” (“Children’s Emotional Development is Built into the Architecture of their Brains,” National Scientific Council on the Developing Child)

While children are imprinting their brains, they simply do not have enough history to distort their realities. Adults, on the other hand, color everything we experience with our past.

Colossians 2:8 – See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

I think of it this way, what is the main thing at church?

When we look at church today, we focus on a lot that is not Jesus.

We package it up as Jesus, but it isn’t Jesus.

Music is great, but music isn’t Jesus.

Small groups are awesome, but they aren’t Jesus.

Mission journeys are needed, but they aren’t Jesus.

But people tend to make them Jesus.

Just like holidays. I think of holidays that celebrate the military or freedom. During those days in church, when freedom or the flag or the military is announced, the applause gets louder, there is cheering, and the church gets a great feeling.

The amount of excitement around those topics outweigh the excitement for hearing about the Savior of mankind.

But let’s look at the Hebrew church for a moment.

By the time the book of Hebrews was written and delivered, there were up to 100,000 Christians inside of Jerusalem. The majority of those Christians were members of house churches, what we would consider either a small group or an underground church. Most of those house churches had approximately 20-30 adults at it. That means there would be about 4,000 churches in Jerusalem during the distribution of the book of Hebrews.

The book was written to Christians in Jerusalem.

Now, before this letter came to those churches, what did they use? They used other letters.

So when the messenger brought the Letter to the Hebrews to the first church in Jerusalem around 60 AD, there were still 3,999 other churches that had yet to hear this amazing book!

The churches would spend all night studying the Word. They would consume it!

Matthew 4:4 – But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

We don’t consume the Word.

We consume the music. We consume the fellowship. We consume the opportunity to serve those who don’t have as much first world stuff as we do.

But we don’t consume the Word.

The church in Jerusalem consumed the Word.

And they changed the world.

They were able to affect people across several generations.

And they were able to build a foundation for faith throughout further generations.

They consumed the Word with an innocence and excitement similar to how my daughter shared the Word as she understood it with those younger kids.

Just What Theology Are You Listening To?

Ecclesiastes 1:1-5 – The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.

I grew up listening to rock music. From the time I was young, my favorite band was KISS. I distinctly remember a day when I was about 10 or 11, my grandma was visiting us and I had an old KISS album playing on the record player. The song Hotter Than Hell came on and I proceeded to serenade my grandma with that song.

Ephesians 5:19 – Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart

She laughed it off. I enjoyed myself. I thought everything was ok.

For anyone who ever listened to that song, there is A LOT in that song that a young child should never listen to. For one, it talks about taking a woman back home to where there is “so much to do.” I can only imagine that Paul Stanley is not talking about baking a cake or changing the oil in the car. Even more than that, he is trying to pick up a married woman as she shows him her wedding band.

35 years later, I wish I could go back and apologize to my grandma for that moment.

A few years later, I would find myself making the decision to follow Christ. In the single moment, I actually broke in half every KISS album I had and threw them in the trash and started listening to groups like Sweet Comfort Band and Petra. For those of you who don’t listen to Christian rock from the 70s and 80s, that would be like trading in KISS for Journey or Rush.

As time went on, I found a little Christian music station on the radio (FM90.3, WJTL) that had a “3 hour rock block” every Saturday night headed up by Fred McNaughton and a few others. The first song I heard on there was Daniel Amos’ Travelogue. To this day I have no clue what that has to do with Christianity but I loved the flanged guitar intro and creative use of drums throughout the song.

More and more I got into Christian music.

Why?

Because I could have the sound I loved and feel I was listening to something that praised the God I loved.

But that wasn’t always the case.

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

The Christian band Jacob’s Trouble once said in concert that they use music to break down the defenses so that they can slip the message they want you to hear into your mind and soul. Now before you condemn them for being sneaky and underhanded, that is a very real thing for all musicians. How many times do you say during a song, “that song really moved me!” I’m sorry to say, that was not b accident. It was well planned out to make you have that reaction.

It is why church services have a formula for their worship music. Most churches do 3-4 songs. The opening song is really upbeat and gets the blood pumping. The second song is upbeat, but allows a little bit of introspection and reflection. The third song (if there are 4 per service) is very upbeat and meant to get you ready for the lights to raise and get you into the mood to shake peoples’ hands. You want to fellowship with people. You feel good about saying “hi” to the stranger next to you. The fourth song is usually a very slow song. This is a song of true reflection that usually contains something that touches upon the sermon topic. This is the song that gets your heart ready to hear the message. It slows you down, gets you reflecting, and, yes, sometimes I have cried during this song.

But what about all those songs? And what about that Christian station you listen to throughout the week?

More people quote Christian song lyrics than they do Scripture. And many times the people believe that the words are coming directly from Scripture.

A lot of times, that simply is not true.

Sadly, there is a LOT of bad theology in the CHRISTIAN music we listen to.

Ephesians 4:14 – As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming

Part of the problem lies in what we see as the purpose for Christian music. When we see music used in the Bible, the overarching theme of music is to PRAISE GOD. The music is never meant for the unbelievers. It is meant for believers.

Today, entire record labels are created to reach the lost. Just look at Lecrae, Tedashii and the 1:16 Clique. They go out with a focus of reaching the lost for Christ.

But Fred, aren’t we supposed to go out and reach the lost?

Hmmm….I don’t know if we are truly reading the same Bible if that is our only mission in the church. Jesus’ Great Commission to us is to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have taught you.”

We get stuck on that word “Go” but we rarely focus on the word “disciples.”

Much of our music is “Go” music.

Very little is “disciple” music.

When I heard Daniel Amos for the first time (and, by the way, I still love their music, but I have a different view of it) I thought these guys were amazing Christian scholars. Without even realizing it, their album praised the name of William Blake more than it praised the name of Jesus. As a matter of fact, the name of Jesus is not said once in that first album that I bought. And this band put out 14 albums under the name Daniel Amos (or DA in their post-punk years), 7 solo albums by the lead singer Terry Scott Taylor, 6 albums as their pop alter egos of The Swirling Eddies, and 11 albums as another alter ego (this time Americana and Country music) of the Lost Dogs.

In total, 38 albums since the band went public in 1976. And they still tour today!

But with some very flawed theology over the years.

Titus 1:10-11 – For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain

And that was painful to write because I grew up emulating them. My Mohawk years were because of their song Home Permanent (“my hair points to the sky, the place I want to be”). My entire senior year of high school was spent dressing like them on their Vox Humana album. As a freshman in college I wrote a lot of poetry, some published in local mags, that people said sounded like a dark William Blake.

I idolized Daniel Amos.

And their bad theology.

It wasn’t until YEARS later that I started to realize that their music was Christian in name only.

And a lot of the Christian music scene of the 70s, 80s and 90s was the same.

One of the pioneer Christian punk bands was Undercover. For years they played raucous concerts that pogo’ed and moshed and slammed to songs like God Rulz, their re-write of Holy, Holy, Holy, and Three Nails.

Years later, their lead singer, Ojo Taylor, can be found teaching music at a college in the mid-Atlantic area. In an interview with him for Christianity Today, he came out saying that after spending all those years in the Christian music scene, he realized that he just could not believe in what he was singing about. He became at best agnostic and more likely, atheist.

The co-founder of the Newsboys in 1985 left the faith and calls himself an atheist.

Look at some others: Katy Perry, Roger Martinez from Vengeance Rising, Jennifer Knapp, Leslie Philips, Pete Stewart of Grammatrain, Scott Kerr and Andy Verdecchio of Five Iron Frenzy, Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying, Jason Barnes of Haste the Day, and David Bazan from Pedro the Lion. These are just a few!

The danger with music is that it DOES break down those defenses. It allows in whatever the singer is singing. And if that is not Bible-focused, then there is a danger of replacing the truth in your spirit with a lie.

Hebrews 13:9 – Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.

This is true even today in our churches.

The theology in the music can be damaging to the overall message you want your listener to receive.

Here is an example: In Christ Alone.

This is a beautiful song. But I want you to look at the theology of it. When you read the lyrics for it do you see the blatant Calvinist view? “From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.”

I am not saying that I don’t hold a somewhat Calvinist view of the church and theology in a lot of what I do. But how divisive is a song like this to non-Calvinists?

What about another example? How about Shine, Jesus, Shine. This song was among Britain’s top hymns in 2005 and was written in 1987. The line goes “shine on me, shine on me…” that I want to bring to the fore here. When we call to God continually to “shine on me” we are playing with the idea that Jesus is primarily concerned with our personal prosperity and that individual relationship benefits us as believers. The New Testament is pretty clear that the lyric should have read “shine on us.” The New Testament is about the community of believers.

How about the song, “Let My Words Be Few.” This song was given the dubious title of the “Jesus is my boyfriend” song. The danger with placing so much of our faith in Jesus with our emotions is that emotions come and go. Our love for Christ goes beyond emotion. Our music needs to reflect that.

What about a song that causes confusion? Let’s say, Cornerstone (My Hope is Built on Nothing Less). Let me start by saying I LOVE THIS SONG! But one REALLY needs to know the Bible to understand where the imagery is coming from for this song! Much of this song is based around the Biblical passages to Jewish Christians who were tempted to return to Judaism. While this song is theologically accurate, does it truly have a place in a seeker-driven church? How many will sing that song and not truly understand the imagery in it? How can they praise God if they don’t even understand what they are saying?

Or what about the action songs? A good example is the song “Hungry.” The line goes, “I am falling on my knees offering all of me.” How many of us are standing there in the sanctuary with our arms at our sides muttering these words nonsensically. Many people fear alienation and making a spectacle of themselves that they sing the lines of the songs deadpan.

I haven’t even hit all the major theological issues with our music today. For example, I didn’t even touch upon the songs that say I will be happy when I have Christ. Or songs that speak too hypothetically, such as “I can only imagine” (ooooh! there is sacrilege! That song was the impetus for propelling Christian music into the mainstream permanently!).

We as church leaders need to be cognizant of what we believe God’s call for our church is and target our music to those moments. We need to make sure that our own theologies are not compromised by using a song that counters it.

And we need to simply get better music. Honestly, most of the music is too repetitive and monotone to be truly good. If the lyrics had to do with someone’s girlfriend, the song would get laughed off the radio and iTunes. But when we tack God onto it, it seems like even the most suckish song turns platinum.

But that is a topic for another day.

2 Peter 3:17 – You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness

How Far is too Far? How Little is too Little?

Galatians 5:24 – And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

There is no doubt that if you are a Christian, or if you know a Christian, that you have heard many of the theologies of Christianity…partly.

I am sure you THINK you know everything about what Christians believe about hell, salvation, justice, grace, mercy, and our stances on homosexuality, abortion, and even gun rights. But I am here to tell you that everything you know is most likely wrong.

That’s right. I said it. You are wrong.

So, Fred, are you proclaiming that you are right?

Well, yes.

I hate to sound so crass, but I truly do believe that I have studied my Bible pretty intensely and know that correct Christian theology when it comes to each and every one of those items above as well as many others.

Right now you are probably sitting there thinking that I am really full of myself for claiming that.

Maybe in your eyes I am. In my eyes, I simply view it as confidence.

The Bible did say that the things of God would confound those who do not know Him.

1 Corinthians 2:14 – The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

You see, Christianity is really very simple. Humanity is very hard. We humans beings like to think, overthink, and then think again about something until we create a philosophy about it that fits how we feel at the time.

The difference between Christian theology and philosophy is that Christian theology is based on the timeless truths of Christ while philosophy is based on the inner feelings of a single human. When the philosophy of that single human go viral, then we turn that philosopher into something that either he never intended to be or should have ever been.

We turn the philosopher into a god.

But, Fred, what does this have to do with your topic?

Let me explain with an example.

And I am going to take a very hot button issue: homosexuality.

When the world sees the typical conservative church and many of our talking heads on TV, they see a church that is anti-gay. I truly believe that there are way too many churches out there that are anti-gay. Jesus was never one to discriminate against people for their beliefs. He simply loved on them until they realized their beliefs were wrong.

But we as humanity try to take the Bible, or any other document, too far. We like to spew a Bible verse out of context to demonize people and make them into something that, more than likely, they are not.

If you have ready my blog in since the beginning, you know that my brother was gay. He was also buried with medals from the Catholic Church for his missions that he did with his medical background. At his funeral, my mom, dad, and I were all amazed that he held knighthood in the Military & Hospital Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, and others.

I believe that if we simply cast out those who are different from us in the evangelical church, then we will be accused of being the exact same as the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ time.

Matthew 21:31b-32 – Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

But then let’s look at the other extreme. And let’s stick with our hot button of homosexuality.

There are those in the world that would say that homosexuality is something you are born with and it is not their choice to be gay. To that I say, “you are wrong.”

And don’t even TRY to use the analogy that you are gay from birth just like the black man is black from birth. That is an apples and oranges analogy. This what is known as a category error. It attributes the property of one thing to something else that does not have that property. Sex, whether homo or hetero, is an action. It is not a genetic condition. Homosexuality is a behavior that people choose to do. On the other hand, being born to a race is not a choice or a behavior.

So how should the church handle homosexuality? Or for that matter, any other sin?

The church is made up of individuals who are on a path to finding Christ. Discipleship is a lifelong journey. If we deny ANYONE the opportunity for the journey then we are clearly not doing what Jesus commanded in going out into all the world and making disciples. Disciples do not start off the journey knowing, or even accepting, all of the tenets of the Christian faith.

Colossians 3:5 – Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

But, on the other side of that, the Christian church should NEVER change our beliefs that were given to us by the inspired Word of God, because of some people who do not completely understand our faith disagree with it.

That means that when they expect us to perform a holy ceremony on something that blatantly goes against what we believe, then we need to say no. That means that we need to stick to our beliefs in the books of Timothy and Titus and say no to taking into leadership anyone who is VOLITIONALLY SINNING.

To the church, homosexuality is a sin. And there are many other things out there that are sins. So when I say this, I do NOT just mean homosexuality is the only litmus for this. But for the purpose of our example, we are going to use this.

If someone knows that Christianity believes that homosexuality is a sin, then they cannot be upset when they are told they cannot become a leader in a church when the Bible clearly tells us that ordaining a leader that is living in a volitional sin is not acceptable.

This would be the same if someone is choosing to live with someone they are not married to heterosexually as well.

So let me try to bring this to a close.

2 Timothy 2:15 – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

How far is too far? When the church clearly attacks people for their sin, whether that be our example of homosexuality or something else, then the church has gone too far in enforcing a human version of holiness. Clearly not of God.

How little is too little? When the church bends to the whims of those who are being discipled and yet do not completely understand or accept the views of the God-given church, then we are not enforcing God’s standards enough.

The church has a job to perform. That job is to be the voice of Jesus to a lost and fallen world. That job is to train up disciples of the true and living Christ. That job is to not fall into the trap of being like the Pharisees or Sadducees of Jesus’ time.

That job is to be a light to the world.

Let’s shine that light.

Matthew 5:16 – Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven

Surprises

Genesis 45:26 – And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.

This is not really a theological post. This is more personal. And that is fine. You know where I stand theologically. Sometimes it is nice just to share a personal story and give you a little bit of insight into the person who is writing this blog.

Too often we read a person’s blog and think to ourselves, “Wow! That dude has it all together!” But that isn’t the case…ever. No one is so perfect that they spew the Word of God from their mouths every minute of every day.

No. I fall short, my friends. Quite a bit.

Last week I wrote about how I am not perfect. This week, I want you to know that one of my (many) imperfections are that I am really bad at surprises. I blame this on my mom. Don’t get me wrong, my mom is amazing. She is one of the most loving people I will ever know in this world. She is gentle and caring and simply wants everyone to enjoy the moment they are in at the time.

But she is horrible with surprises.

I usually know what I am getting for Christmas by about March. My mom loves people so much that she just wants them to enjoy their presents, even when they don’t have them yet.

And I inherited this quality.

1 Kings 10:7 – But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard.

Mimi has known almost every surprise that I have ever tried to spring on her. Sometimes it is simply because it was planned poorly. But other times, I let something slip.

A good example of this is that I plan on asking Mimi to marry me in the very near future. I tried to ruin it a couple times by saying something either on social media or in a conversation with her. If she hasn’t figured it out by now, then she needs to stalk me a little closer.

This made me wonder if, biblically, God ever surprised us.

Look at Genesis 45:26. Look at 1 King 10:7. Look at 1 Corinthians 2:9.

God loves to do something so suddenly that no one is quite prepared for it. In the story of Genesis 45:26, Jacob passed out when he found out Joseph was alive!

So surprises are not something I am good at, but God is amazing at. I keep waiting for the next big surprise from God, the second coming of Christ. But in the meantime, God has a plan for each of us. When we stay in His will and desire, those plans always go beyond anything we could ever imagine. God really does want to give us the desires of our hearts.

And not only that, but He wants to surpass them.

1 Corinthians 2:9 – However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–

Theology, Koko the Talking Gorilla, and Rock n’ Roll

So my latest seminary class, Systematic Theology II, is teaching me about the differences in opinion between theologians on various topics.  The topic that we are discussing in class right now is the idea of the Trinity.  So I read St. Gregory of Nazianus’ writings on the subject and Gordon Fee’s book on the topic.  As I was reading both of their books, one thing came very clear, both of the views are human explanations of God.

My favorite band of all time, Daniel Amos, has a song called Darn Floor, Big Bite.  In it, they talk about Koko the talking gorilla.  Know the story?  Allow me to elaborate.  Koko was a female gorilla born in 1971.  She is able to sign over 1,000 words and can understand over 2,000 words of spoken English!  Everyone calls her ability to understand language as controversial.  One story goes, as Daniel Amos sings, that when someone asked her to explain an earthquake, she signed “Darn floor, big bite.”

Regardless of whether you believe that she was able to adequately explain an earthquake through her sign of “darn floor, big bite,” or whether you believe that she was way off base with her view of just what an earthquake is, one thing a painfully clear….Koko has a definition (right or wrong) of what an earthquake is in her mind.  She may not be able to explain it in scientific terms or even in words that don’t even seem to go together, but she knows what it is in her mind.

When it comes to the theology that is precisely what we are doing when trying to explain God.  We may not get it right, but we try.  Take the example of St. Gregory and Gordon Fee.  They have two very different views of the way that the idea of the Trinity came about, but at the end of the day they know that the Trinity is true.

St. Gregory bases his view on the Old Testament and the book of John.  He uses a lot of controversial views, though.  For example, he claims that the Bible isn’t always factual.  I personally find that statement of St. Gregory’s as wrong.  The Bible is factual.  You can laugh at me all you want, but I do believe in the creation account in the Bible.  I believe Noah’s ark was real.  I believe the entire Bible in its entirety.  If the Bible isn’t true, then it is false.  Therefore, the Bible is true.

Gordon Fee, on the other hand, looks at the views of Paul to make the claim that the Trinity exists.  Now, Paul was a missionary.  He was a church planter who was way too busy living out Matthew 28:19 to worry about analyzing every single word that the Hebrew Bible said.  He accepted the accounts of Christ, he accepted his conversion experience on the Damascus road, and he understood the Hebrew Bible.

At the end of the day, our minds are just way too small to understand the intricacies of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  I will never be able to explain them completely to anyone who asks me.  It is a mystery.  We are simply too small to understand the enormity of God.

But there is one thing I do know.  God has touched my life in so many ways and at so many times that I know it is more than coincidence.  I know God exists because of the work He has done in my life.  Some of what I am about to share, I could never explain.  The scientists in the reading group would pass off much of it as coincidence, but it isn’t.  So here are a few of my stories:

1)      My conversion.  When I was a kid, I did not know I was allergic to hay.  My youth group went to a concert and got bales of hay and threw them down.  I dove in head first and woke up a few days later in a hospital.  I had a serious asthma attack and almost died.  By the time I was released from the hospital, my pastor asked me if I was ready to commit my life to Christ.  I did.  And from that point forward, I see God in every little thing that happens to me.

2)      About 12 years ago I was fired from a very good job.  The strange part is that a few weeks before getting fired, I was getting contacted by another company and within a few weeks after getting fired, I had another job lined up.  Coincidence? No.  God knew what was going to happen.  He started laying the groundwork for me to keep a steady stream of income.

3)      A few months ago I wanted to go to Peru on a mission trip.  I had no clue how I would afford the trip.  I kept putting off payment until I could no longer put if off.  I had been praying and praying.  Then my stock options paid off.  The stocks I had all went up and I cashed out.  The amount was equal to the trip to Peru, my vacation with my kids, plus a couple hundred dollars more.  God came in right on time.

Those are simply a few of my own stories.  God came to my rescue.  God came alongside me.  God carried me when I couldn’t do it myself.

The one thing that is the most inexplicable to me?  Just how true Romans 8:37-39 is.  “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  God loves me!  He loves me even when I don’t love myself!  He loves me even when I do stupid things!  He is there to comfort me.  He is there to pick me back up.  He is there to show me the right way to behave.  BUT HE LOVES ME!  Thank God I am loved!

Is theology important?  I don’t know.  I know that it has helped me understand just why I believe what I do, but it is not a necessary piece for being a Christian.  You simply need to know that God loves you, Christ died for and rose again, and the Spirit empowered you to share your story with others.

In closing, I want to share some of the lyrics to Darn Floor, Big Bite by Daniel Amos along with the link to the youtube of the song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MkputBpaq0

Illuminate my muddled heart
Sweep the shadows from my mind
So I might imagine what you are like
And understand the great design

Darn floor – big bite
You are earth, water and light
Darn floor – big bite
Can I ever hope to get it right, can’t get it right

For more of Daniel Amos, check out the following website:

www.danielamos.com

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Life&Love Trials&Tribulations Faith&Fortitude Redemption&Restoration.

Preacher Tim Loyal

Jesus is Lord

Mind's Seat

Set your mind on the things above

juliansherman.net/

Building A Business While Having A Life

J.S. Park

From Devout Atheist to Skeptical Pastor: A Blog For Busted-Up, Beat-Down People (Like Me)

Disciples Perspective

Join the Conversation. Prepare for the Confrontation.

politicalconnection

Connecting the world to Truth, so that Justice can be served

116 Boyz

Born Again Christian Male Gamers

Phillybookpick's Blog

GREAT BOOK PICKS -In the World of page turning thrillers !

Jayne Surrena

Fictional Memoirs

juleseddy1

A topnotch WordPress.com site

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

missjordanlee

twentysomething thoughts on grace, life, and health

soma

positive thinking

One Salty Dawg

Recent College Grad's Quest For Meaning

Blonde and Fabulous

some girls were born with glitter in their veins.

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

Morgan Mitchell

• Dreamer, Thinker, Blogger • |Loves Jesus| • College Student • |Living proof of a loving God to a watching World.| • #fivecollective

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Love Christ.Obey Christ.Share Christ

lets connect: twitter @cbailitz -OR- facebook.com/cbailitz

Cole Ryan

A Few Thoughts On Christianity

Moving at the Speed of God

Sharing the Thoughts and Adventures of David Jackson, Church Multiplication Missionary with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware

philliphowell

Tasting and seeing that the Lord is very good!

My Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Writing Sisters

Your Story - Our Story - God's Story

Chris Martin Writes

Sowing seeds for the Kingdom

God’s truth abideth still

Life & Faith through the lens of a student

By the Rivulet

A Writing Journey on the Life of Faith

Morning Story and Dilbert

Inspiring, Encouraging, Healthy / Why waste the best stories of the World, pour a cup of your favorite beverage and let your worries drift away…

Tea Cups and Grace

Life, faith and cups of tea.

True Warriors of God

Put on the full armour of God ~ Ephesians 6:13

Write For A Cause

The Spiritually Inclined Deductions by Jenine Silos