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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Questions for God

So I'm going through a Beth Moore Bible study right now titled The Patriarchs. In Genesis 18: 16-33 God talks to Abraham about what is going to happen to Sodom and Gomorrah. God tells Abraham that Sodom will be destroyed because of the sins of the people. Abraham reacts like I would and thinks, "What about the innocent people?" Here is what I have never thought about before this study, God allowed Abraham to have this conversation with him ... to voice these doubts about His plan. I've read this account tons of times and never thought twice about why it was in the Bible.

This summer, one of my precious 1st grade Sunday School students and preschool choir students (siblings) lost their father (he also has an older son) to a long battle with breast cancer. He was a wonderful Christian man. He was an encouragement to me everytime I encountered him. When he passed away in July I really didn't see how that could be God's plan. Surely his children and wife still need him?

Now, just 2 months later, I feel like I am facing very similar circumstances. One of my sister's closest friends Kenny was diagnosed with melanoma this year. I think he is 35. He is married with 2 kids (ages 7 and 6). The oldest boy is good friends with my nephew. The cancer has proven very aggressive and has not responded to treatments. It has moved into his liver and his spine and the doctor's are not giving him much hope right now.

Here is where I feel like Abraham. I know my God! I know what He can do! He can take every bit of cancer out of my sister friend. He could have done that for my friend this summer. He chose not to heal Troy this side of heaven and I don't understand why. Will he choose to heal Kenny? I've always felt so bad for questioning what God was doing. God invited Abraham into this conversation about Sodom and Gomorrah. I feel like He wants us to know Him. I don't want to continue questioning why these things happen, but I think it's OK that I want to know God's plan and want to know God's in control.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hurricane Katrina

OK, so this opinion has been sitting with me for a while and I just have to get it out! It's been a year since the hurricane of 2005 and here is Brad Pitt in my People magazine comparing New Orleans to the devastation he has seen in Haiti and Ethiopia. What a travesty that we in America have not done more to save New Orleans so superhero Brad must come save the day (or whatever other celebrity you want to insert into the story). Well, here's my issue. Many people have sent tons of money (yes even our government) - enough money that New Orleans was able to throw a humongous party known as Mardi Gras six months months ago!!!! IMHO that shows horrific mismanagement of funds locally by the government.

I was expecting a huge turnover in that government when the elections were held so that this city could be rebuit into something they could be proud of. Instead, they reelected the same crooked politicians that have abandoned them for the past year. The same ones who told them to go to the convention center with hundreds of buses waiting around the corner yet didn't use them during the hurricane! These are the leaders you want New Orleans and yet you complain about the lifestyle you are left in when it is the one you chose.

I am saddened for those who are too young to do anything about the position they are in. They are being raised in a city that values gambling and partying over rebuilding homes and restoring water and electricity. How do we explain that to these precious children? Better yet, how do we make their lives better? The government can't do it by just sending money. They tried that early on and were taken advantage of. Now there is so much paperwork involved (and it appears to be necessary because of the number of people who stole money from the government early on) that it takes forever to get anything done. So truly the only way change is going to happen in New Orleans is person to person. That's why I think it hasn't happened yet ... too many people are waiting for the money to arrive and not the people. New Orleans need leaders to change the city and people ready to work. That's my opinion!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Private Prayer Languages

So my Sunday School teacher keeps bringing this up and even posted a comment that sent me to do a little research about this. Of course I have an opinion. Whether it's any good or not is irrelevant. It's mine! So Reverend Dwight McKissic speaks at the chapel service of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary last week and referred to the fact that he and others used a private prayer language. He knows that this is hot topic with the International Mission Board right now. Now SWBTS has pulled his sermon from the website. My first thought was that he was not saying something that was false, but the manner in which he delivered it was disrespectful. I feel like he was being insubordinate to those he was invited to speak under. Then I read the letter he posted to Dr. Paige Patterson. While maintaining his difference of opinion with Dr. Patterson, he submits to his leadership and agrees to have further sermons proofread for content. He points out why he believes his point was scripturally sound, but agrees to continue to support the seminary. I sincerely hope that the IMB and SWBTS can eventually embrace the Biblical view of private prayer languages, and I feel like the way he worded this letter could be much more effective than the sermon to the chapel students.