Books I’m reading and personal stuff

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Lots of thoughts crossing my mind, all wanting attention. I will share what I can, but if it is disjointed, please forgive. Cool fact I learned and will try out shortly, if you hold the shift key down and hit enter, you do not have to have a space between the lines in a poem.Finished reading Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. It is a delightful book of epithets which tell a story of Spoon River. Each person buried on the hill has a few words to say and by reading all of them you get an idea of the interconnectedness of the people and a bit about their lives. One of my favorites isHortense Robbins

My name used to be in the papers daily
As having dined somewhere,
Or traveled somewhere
Or rented a house in Paris,
Where I entertained the nobility.
I was forever eating or traveling,
Or taking the cure at Baden-Baden,
Now I am here to do honor
To Spoon River, here beside the family whence I sprang.
No one cares now where I dined,
Or lived, or whom I entertained,
Or how often I took the cure at Baden-Baden!

**

Well that pretty much sums up or lives and work. Reminds me of  I Corinthians 3:11-15

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Mr.Hortense Robbins built his foundation with wood, hay and straw, and had nothing to show for his life, nor nothing for a remembrance. I pray that some of the works I do are more like the gold, silver and precious stones.

But even the works which seem good, if they are not the ones God wanted me to do, will they endure? Hope that I am at least doing some that God wants.

***Am reading Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan

He talks about how many Christians (myself included) live on the borderland “the barren but crowded place between two worlds, between the lost and the found, the old and the new, the damned and the redeemed, where so many of us get stuck.”

Then he talks about how we want to see God as safe (boy can I relate to that) but he says …”when I say we’ve made God too safe,I mean that we want Him to be comfortable rather than comforting. I mean that we want Him to be peaceable, to keep His peace, to be docile, rather than to be peacemaking and peace giving. And instead of being our hiding place, we would prefer God be our ace in the hole. And if that doesn’t work, we’d prefer to hide from Him” Then Buchanan says “And then we find, in the soft logic of our half-baked theology, that a too-safe god has no power to get us unstuck.”

**

I sort of agree with the above, with a caveat. I know that God has to put us in situations that grow us, much the same way that we grow our children. That if we keep coddling them, and not let them make their own minds up about things, take risks, and branch out and grow up and out of our influence we are not doing them any favors. But speaking as one who never had a chance to feel safety, I sure would like to feel God as safe for awhile, to be nurtured, and to be allowed to just rest as a child in God’s arms, not being forced into new territory when I don’t have the foundation. I don’t think I ever thought of God as an ace in the hole, and frankly, when I asked God to stop my father from raping me, Yes, I wanted God to act and act quickly. I think there is a difference between wants and needs. I NEEDED God and he let me down. sigh. I have much to work on regarding this.

****

Am doing the second of Kay Arthur’s Revelation studies, and it first involves reading through the book and marking certain words and terms with symbols.

In reading about the trumpet judgments where are escalating events of disaster that happens on the earth, I came to the passage in Revelation 9:20-21 “And the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.”

Funny how each time I read through the Bible (and I have read it many times cover to cover) so much more is understood. Reading this saddened me. The first time I read through the Bible, I focused on how God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (and assumed my heart was hardened, much as the people in the above passage). It was later readings that let me see that Pharaoh hardened his heart the first few times, then God honored that and let his heart be hardened. God will not force himself on anyone.

Then, this reading of the Bible cover to cover I have been seeing how many prophesies were fulfilled from the Old Testament. And in a moment of duh, I realized how Revelation is a prophesy for the future (now I knew that intellectually, but it hit home in a peculiar way today, I will explain). For almost 2000 years Revelation has been in the Bible. People have been reading it over and over, coupled with other books such as Daniel, Isaiah, and even Jesus’ own words in the Gospel that foretell of what will happen.

We look at what is happening in the world around us today, and in many churches the Pastors are speaking of prophesy, but in some churches that is not so, they are speaking those kinds of words that make God too safe (see quote of Buchanan’s book). We want to think that all will be saved, that things will be peachy, and it isn’t going to happen that way, no matter how much we wishful think that. Those are straw, hay and stubble ideas.

I used to think it was cruel how people were just offed in the Old Testament because of a sin, or how God would just knock out thousands of people, or the flood, or in Revelation the 1/4 of things destroyed, 1/3 of people, etc. Lots of people if you consider the population of the earth. Patently unfair it seemed to me. On a more careful reading of the Old Testament and I saw how many years were given between the warnings and the events of destruction. How God gave people a choice and practically begged them to Choose LIFE. The people chose to rebel and chose death.

These prophesies of Revelation have been around 2000 years, plenty of time for warning, people have the choice to read or not to read them, to believe or not to believe them. The actions have been held off until the Gospel is preached around the world, and now that is happening.

When events happen, especially those listed in Revelation, to think that people will see them occur, could use their eyes and read the prophesy, and still not repent of their murders, sorceries, immorality. That they cannot read the writing on the wall and realize their ultimate end, astounds me. It saddens me. Oh, I pray that people make the right choice.

Now I still have a long way to go in building my relationship with God, but it is hard to doubt what is written in the Bible. And all the prophets that prophesied in the Bible faced a major penalty if they gave a prophesy not from God, stoning to death. I think they chose their words carefully. Wish some of today’s so-called prophets did the same. But given the severe penalty of false prophesy in Biblical times, I sure wish people would pay more attention to what the prophets said, and act on it. Myself included.

Heather

About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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