Playing Chess With God

Stumbling into GRACE:

God and Chess?? Great read .. Take some time this is long but worth it …

Originally posted on disciplegideon:

This is a story of faith, chess, being 12 years old, Hebrews 11, and the greatest teacher in the world.  Warning: this post is over 5000 words…more like a short story really. I think you will find it worth the effort if you give it a go.  Be blessed,,,

On my way home one morning after my Tuesday morning group Bible study, I began to see a beautiful truth in the world. Maybe my thoughts were driven by the chapter we studied that morning, maybe it was by mere whim, and maybe the Lord was trying to say something to me, but nevertheless, a picture opened up to me that I just have to share.
We were systematically studying the book of Exodus, chapter by chapter; and that morning we discussed chapter 19 of Exodus. Each person in this particular Bible class is expected or at least encouraged to study the material and…

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The Word He’ll Speak

Stumbling into GRACE:

The Word we speak

Originally posted on Story of the Day--climbinghigher:

Story of the Day for Wednesday May 13, 2015

The Word He’ll Speak

http://www.alexabsalom.com/wp-content/uploads/listening-ear1.jpg

http://www.alexabsalom.com/wp-content/uploads/listening-ear1.jpg

Job answered the Lord . . . “You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I have declared things I didn’t understand.”

Job 42:3

Aristotle was the most revered of all the world’s philosophers. He believed that scientific experiment was beneath the dignity of a true philosopher. If something is true, you should be able to figure it out by simply thinking hard about it.

That is why, for almost 2000 years, no one contested Aristotle’s pronouncement that heavier bodies fall faster than lighter ones at a proportional rate. A ten pound cannonball, he maintained, will fall ten times faster than a one pound musket ball.

Galileo wasn’t the first person to disprove Aristotle’s notion. Simon Stevin had already refuted Aristotle by his experiment of dropping various lead balls from the church…

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The Scary Horrible Thing About Depression

Stumbling into GRACE:

May is Mental Illness AWARENESS Month

Originally posted on J.S. Park:

The scary horrible thing about clinical depression is that it can hit you any time, for no reason, from zero to freight train in a second.

At the grocery store I’m thinking about how to grill this salmon, and the next moment my chest caves inward like a curled up canvas of wax paper in a cruel gnarled fist. It’s the familiar feeling of drowning in slowly frothing grief, like disappearing in acid. It’s almost too familiar. I’m trying not to weep. I tell myself, Everything’s fine, everything’s fine, a cognitive trick to pull you out of the falling, but nothing is fine, nothing is fine. There’s nothing I can do. My basket full of trinkets is weightless and too heavy at the same time. I see people rushing to somewhere, but the illusion of significance slips away from me in a long, defeated sigh. I hate this part. My…

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When The World Around You Crumbles . . . .

Stumbling into GRACE:

Nothing we build can keep trouble away

Originally posted on hisglorysm:

I saw it in her eyes . . . a glazed fatigue that said she was just barely hanging on.  After stowing her backpack under the seat in front of us, she settled next to me with her 17-month-old daughter and a paper cup filled with a large scoop of ice cream.  Perhaps seeing the concern in my face or . . . just needing to talk, she said softly, “We have been flying for the past thirty-six hours . . . from Kathmandu.”  Having watched many reports of the devastating earthquake all week, the only thing I could think to say was, “Welcome home.”

Popular 200 ft. tower landmark in Nepal, gone in an instant.

As she fed her daughter spoonfuls of ice cream (the only thing the worried mother could get her little one to eat on their long journey) she talked about her experience.  She and her…

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Christian Joy Is Not Man-Made . . . .

Originally posted on hisglorysm:

There is a difference between “joy” as it is experienced in the world and Christian joy.

  • Joy in the world is much like that of happiness contained in a helium balloon.  Such joy can appear to be almost wondrous as it floats high into the sky.  However, the enjoyment is only temporary as it drifts out of sight and ultimately “pops” as circumstances change.
  • Christian joy is not tainted by adverse circumstances or the actions of others.  Christian joy is instead filled with the hope and wisdom of faith in Christ Jesus.

If you are struggling with circumstances that are out of your control, or are trying to make sense of the hateful ugliness being reported in the news, then I encourage you to stop and consider the wisdom of James.*   In his letter directed to, “the twelve tribes scattered among the nations,” James sought…

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Two Ways To Confront a Crisis of Faith

Originally posted on J.S. Park:

shatteredclay asked a question:

Pastor! I find so much joy, hope, truth, and God in your words on an almost daily basis. Recently, I started a new job that isn’t my *first* choice, but I needed work, God gave me work, and I am trying to honor Him by doing this job the best I can. Yesterday, a coworker asked me how he could confront his recent “crisis of faith”! He’s doubting God’s existence, etc. I’m honored he shared with me, and scrambling to help him without overwhelming him! I KNOW you’re the man for this question!

Hey dear friend, thank you so much for your trust with such a huge issue, and I’m completely humbled by your love for your coworker. You’re really doing a good thing.

May I first say: Every person in the world will run into a crisis of faith. It’s inevitable. We need to…

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TV CHURCH

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I’m going to Church every Sunday. Church for me, right now, is in my own living room because I’m watching Church on TV.

You see, I am in the midst of Church-Follower crises. You might think I am judgmental. I’m supposed to love others, realizing we all sin and forgive others.

I am a sinner.  I will be the first one to admit my flaws. Well, that may not be true, sometimes; it takes me awhile to admit my errors. Eventually, through reflection and prayer, the Lord helps me and guides me through the admission, repentance and forgiveness process; praise Jesus for His amazing Grace.

So, what’s the problem? The problem is ME. Believe me when I say I have prayed and read and contemplated this mind set.

My hubby and I have moved quite a bit in our life-time. We’ve lived in four different states and gone to church in each town. I don’t want to discredit any one Church or any person. I am reliving this Christian process of mine while trying to understand my current state of flux.

One Church secretary called me at home and stated we were in the wrong Church – she told us to go to the Church across the Highway. It seems this Church had parish boundaries.

One Church was dying literally. The Church was in a small town just celebrating its 50th anniversary. The first families of this Church were dying and the members would shadow any new persons entering the Church. The attendees were under the impression they were being welcoming but if you met these attendees in a local Store they would ask why you weren’t in Church on Sunday or why you were no longer attending. It felt more like an attack than a welcome.

One Church was so into volunteering that they literally sucked dry any person who volunteered. You were then “on the list” and called for every ministry ever imagined. Honestly, no was not an option.

Several of the Churches we’ve attended over the last forty-two years of marriage had a Minister crisis. One of minister split the Church with his personal issues and other Minister’s had burn-out which literally split the Church or even closed the Church.

We’ve all read about Minister giving up – burn-out at an all time high. Ministers must delegate otherwise their passion for the Lord slowly seeps out. These Ministers find themselves breaking down under the pressure of working the everyday issues of the Church. Instead of ministering to the people they find themselves listening to members argue about the Church’s next step.  We must have volunteers to help on the different boards because it is imperative the minister and assistant Pastors reach out to their hurting parishioners. We must have volunteers but not the same volunteers over and over.

I try to understand this process of building a Church, ministering to others and trying to find the perfect balance of Ministry and Volunteering. But you see I am burned out too. I am tired! I am tired of trying to find a Church that doesn’t disintegrate with me along with it. I’ve given up.

Like Paul, I know what I need to do and don’t do it. I know what I need to show others but I hold back. I know I should shower love on others but I look away, again, I am a sinner.

I am sixty-three years old. I have raised my family in the Church, taught Church school, volunteered and tried to be Christ-spirited through all the ups and downs.

PRAYER:

 Oh Lord, I know others have life circumstances so much worse. I am not trying to be ungrateful. YOU have blessed my life in ways I never thought possible.

Lord, this crisis is has left a deep hole in my heart which only YOU can fill. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit. Give me wisdom and discernment. Lead me! Show me the next step and guide me towards the path you have for my life.

 

 

Breathing Holes

Stumbling into GRACE:

Take a deep breath

Originally posted on Story of the Day--climbinghigher:

Story of the Day for Monday April 27, 2015

Breathing Holes

And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good to be here. Let’s make three tents . . .

Mark 9:5

DSCN9966In October, 1988, an Alaskan Eskimo discovered three gray whales who were drowning. Surrounded by Arctic ice, the whales punched out a small breathing hole, but it was quickly icing over. The Eskimo returned with others who wielded chainsaws and pick axes to cut a series of holes in order to lead the whales back to open water.  The work was exhausting, but their story was picked up by the national news. Soon, oil companies and the military were donating equipment to help free Bonnet, Crossbeak, and Bone – the names given to the three whales. By creating a series of breathing holes, the rescue teams eventually led the whales to open water.

When we are overwhelmed by the…

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