Being pretty immobile, I got to see a lot of church TV, and while the vast majority of it is really solid teaching, there's some that absolutely makes my blood boil.
For someone in bad shape (and I don't count myself in really bad shape), it can lead to a loss of faith. I've been down that road.
First is the idea that God never gives one more than one can endure. There's something a bit passive-aggressive about this, because it makes you feel that if you can't stand it - if you break, as many people do - you're somehow unworthy, that your faith is inferior to that shown by others who shine through their trials.
There are things out there that can break us, and no, I don't agree with Ernest Hemingway that we become stronger in the broken places. We're just broken.
And this is where God comes in. When we face the unendurable, He can offer the only lasting comfort there is, the comfort of Hope...th Hope that came to life three days after Calvary.
We may be crushed, and never become stronger, but if that tiny spark still flickers, we can at least go from one moment to the next.
The second is the idea that when God takes something from you, it's because He has something better waiting, and your hands have to be empty to receive it.
I would not have dared to try that out on a couple I knew, who lost their only child in Viet Nam.
If God took Paul (his real name) away, all He left the parents was a hole blasted through their lives, an empty place that could never be filled.
But God did not kill Paul. A Viet Cong sapper did, when he activated a command-detonated mine. God's hand was not on the firing circuit.
What God could do, and did do, was provide a context for loss, and the ability for two totally torn-up people to go on, living their best for the memory of their boy.
It wasn't something better.
It was something they felt they had to try to do, and that they knew they could only dowith divine help.
bit of news..."Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart" has come home! Tate Publishing has gone south, and I regained the rights, so it'll soon be available in both Kindle hardcopy versions once again. In the meantime, if you absolutely can't wait (!), you can still get used copies from Amazon.
I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.
Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.