I didn’t get my hands on a computer until too late to put up a Bible study from Friday, it was on Revelation – we again asked a question, and Pastor Don answered our question, and tabled his planned Bible study. Tonight I have started visiting sites of those I subscribe to. That is a giant undertaking, so I do a few a day, trying hard to get to everyone at least once or twice a week. I value what you write, and learn so much from your sites.
I am reading an interesting book, one that I can relate too. The Deity Formerly Known as God by Jarrett Stevens. It is based on a book written by J.B.Phillips titled Your God is too Small
I haven’t read the Phillips book but want to now that I am reading this book by Stevens. In the book he first talks about different images we have in our minds when we think of God – The Cop around the corner, sweet old man, cosmic slot machine, talent show judge, all-you-can-eat buffet, and your parents….super-sized. He gives great descriptions of that, and honestly I can tell you that at various times in my life I have had those images of God during situations. Later, he tells us, he will get into what God is really like. The writing style is easy, and it is making me think.
Jarrett Stevens realizes that we all have destructive images of God, and we need to unpack them.
Here are a few good quotes. p. 22 “…we share the same basic problem; our insistence on crafting images of God that limit our understanding of ourselves and limit our experience with God. We’d rather have a small, custom-built God who meets with our emotional needs or suits our intellectual ideals, than a big God who can’t be controlled or contained.”
In the God viewed as cop around the corner, he talks about police radar detectors, and said that there are a few assumptions that we have about God. That God is lurking around the corner of our life with a radar gun, so he can add another negative entry to our permanent record.
I used to think of God like that, sort of like Santa Claus, making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. I failed the nice contest too much.
The sweet old man image has God as someone from an earlier time who can’t understand the complexity of the age we are currently living in. He dodders around his house in heaven, and smiles benignly on his grandchildren – us. This comes from keeping God tied to the concept of our time, so he gets older. We need to realize that God is outside of our time frame.There is nothing on this earth the He doesn’t understand, from computers to advanced science. He is still moving in and around us. And He may not make sense to us, but that is a good thing, because if we have a god who makes sense to our tiny minds, He wouldn’t be much of a god.
The cosmic slot machine talks about praying and maybe God will give an answer, maybe not. We see one person healed, another person not healed. Do we gamble and trust Jesus, or depend on ourselves, and what if we are wrong? He concludes, p. 47 “The questioning can easily lead to one of several conclusions:
He continues on p. 48 “The seeming randomness of God led me to believe at a young age that you should always hedge your bets and play it safe, our you could lose it all.”
I can so relate to that, I finally, when I started praying could only pray for others, for I felt that if God knew that I wanted something badly, He wouldn’t give it to me, so I only prayed for others and kept the desires of my heart “hidden” from God. I now know that that is false thinking, but I figured God was random, if He was even involved in our lives at all. I figured He walked away from earth a long time ago.
P. 52 “It’s no different for you and me. There is an invitation, a risky opportunity that God has given you. Will you take that handful of quarters you call faith and place your bet on God? The choice is yours. He gives you no guarantee that you won’t be hurt or suffer or even take some losses, but he does promise you this: he loves you, he knows you, he is with you, and you will win. Everyone who has ever bet their one and only life on God always wins. Cha-ching indeed.”
I am currently reading about the talent show judge, and it seems to be talking about works, and are your works more mighty and better than someone elses’. Are you doing enough, etc. I haven’t read enough to share yet.
I am so glad that God is giving me an opportunity to know the real Him, that He pursued me when I had closed myself off from him in such a deep way for so long. It is an adventure learning about God, and He is clearing my mind of mistaken ideas about Him. The relationship is sweet, but I know that I am barely sticking my toe into the water, and I am so carefully reaching out to Him. But honestly, life with God is far, far better than all the years I spent without God.
Have a blessed Saturday – this computer is prime territory to stake out these days, so not sure how much I will be able to get on the computer over the weekend. I will try to get Pastor Don’s Bible study up by tomorrow night.
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