Playing In the Cold (#537)
Wayne is back from the land of puppy dogs and rainbows and shares with Brad some of the lessons and experiences of the trip. They also discuss the horrendous violence in Florida this past weekend and where we find God in such tragedies. In spite of the brokenness of our world, how is God the most joyful presence int he universe? We don't need to blame God for the horrors off our broken world, but celebrate him in the midst of them as we become those who put joy and healing in the world instead of more pain and hurt. As Wayne learned in Canada, if you can't find a way to play even in the midst of your greatest pain or challenges, then they will win and drive you more deeply into bondage.
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Good discussion on the Orlando shooting. A much more thoughtful conversation than what it currently dominating the media.
To Brad’s comments about Islam and its tenets, we could even pull out verses in the Bible that don’t sound very lovely. Obviously, we don’t have Christians, by and large, going out killing in God’s name, but we do have people like the Orlando pastor pretty much blaming the shooting on the victims’ lifestyles and even applauding it. So, I think in all of religion, the possibility exists to pervert texts to our own ends. I don’t think we Christians get a pass and actually we have to be careful that we don’t wander over into the Pharisee’s shoes of thinking, “I’m glad that I’m not like that”. (This isn’t directed at Brad, but at all of us).
There can be glorious joy in the middle of the worst suffering. It is a secret that few find and it is part of the wonderful Hope we have in Jesus. I lost my 16yr old daughter in 1999. God sent me a friend who wept with me but also brought me the gift of laughter in the midst of sorrow . Looking back I know that her death and the few years following were the absolutely worst and very best of my life. God was so present, I lived joyously loved while my heart and life was strewn at my feet in a million pieces. I would not wish that pain on anyone, but I would love to give away the abandoned care I found in the arms of Jesus. I am a better person, mother, friend for my experience and I would not bring her back if I could. Laughter was part of my salvation and it was the most ‘Spiritual’ of gifts.
An example of three prominent Christians who find comfort in believing that God ordains suffering:
One pastor’s apt response:
“Nein! Not having a benevolent God nor living in a benevolent cosmos would be kinda bad news.” – Jonathan Martin
This podcast provides a wonderful corrective to the notion expressed in the TGC discussion about God ordaining tragedy. The. thoughts expressed in the last five minutes regarding our very existence as proof that God cares, a God who knows something beyond what we fear, and the non coercive love of the cross that transforms were especially helpful. Thank you.
Man guys this is a great conversation. You mentioned that fact that a lot of people believe that the tragedies happening on our world are orchestrated or condoned by God. These are, God believing/ God fearing people. I just can’t wrap my head around that. This frame of mind also lends itself very well to the non believers. Ammunition for their cause. I have heard many atheists use this angle as the prime reason for their non belief. Saying things like, “who wants to follow a god that allows people to suffer and be massacred everyday.” “Who wants to follow a god that inflicts punishment such as this.” “If there really is a god, why isn’t he stopping these horrible tragedies.” And on and on and on….. I don’t think God rewards the good deeds and punishes the bad ones….I just think he loves us through it all. We live in a fallen world. A world where man has free will. God is providing me with the support I need through the good times and the bad. lessons are learned in both instances. The end of this GJ is GREAT….”you can’t micromanage love” YES!…so good. Reminds me of something you said in transitions: “You cannot command love.”
2 concepts I have pulled from your conversations that have shaped (reshaped) my ideas bout God and life: 1. You cannot command love. 2. God does not punish or reward…he loves.
It’s been awhile since I listened. Good stuff fellas! Bless ya!
My heart went out to all the people who seemed to suffer so much last week in Florida also. I read some blogs, etc. by believers who were really torn up.
Then I came across the podcast below that made me wonder about another “random, lone gunman” violent spree. I think my mind said to my heart, “just a sec before you react again as you have to so many acts ( Boston marathon, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, etc).”
I hope you won’t be offended, and believe that I bring this perspective to help us know some truth. I love you guys and your messages and wondered what you may think because you’re thinking guys. I can’t ignore patterns that folks notice even if they are contrary to a common view.
The video/podcast is the “X22 Report” for June 13. I respect the presenter. Ignore the music, etc.
Would love any feedback.
Marianne, I looked at this site briefly and my yuck meter went off. This just seems like one of those doomsday/conspiracy sites meant to breed fear rather than wisdom. I don’t find these to be particularly helpful either in understanding what’s going on or responding to it in a Godly way.
Thanks for at least going to the website and being honest.
I find that most often my “yuck meter” registers when I am looking for truth, but pushing beyond that (my paradigm) I am usually rewarded.
Keep on bro broadcasting Jesus’ love.
I discovered The God Journey post in the post-500 era. I believe our loving Father brought it to me at just the right time. My husband Jay passed away in Dec. 2015 due to complications from MS. I didn’t expect to be at widow at 40 years of age. My world has been shaken to the core. I have found that I have questioned God, life, my own identity, and just about everything during this time of grieving. I prayed in my grief and sorrow for a bigger and closer relationship with God. In therapy the other month I talked about my struggle with identity now that I’m not a wife and caregiver. I sensed God saying to me that my identity is to be loved. I was a bit puzzled. Then soon after I discovered your podcast and the picture is becoming clear. I am almost done reading He Loves Me and love what I am reading. I can’t get enough of this truth. Hardship has opened my eyes to see my view of God has been small and limited. He didn’t act as I expected and I was disappointed. But He is much bigger and more loving than I realized. I see now that I often used God as a system and means to an end rather that seeking Him in relationship. My view of Him has been tied to circumstances and my own performance. I have marinated in many grace teachings over the years but it has been all too easy to fall back into routine system living rather than relational living. I have a lifetime to learn but I know my eyes have been opened to a simpler and more profound purpose of living loved. I pray to grow closer to Him, experience His love, and share this message with others. In fact, I have been invited to share from my church pulpit a message on grief and grace. I pray God’s loving heart comes through in the words I share on July 10th. Thank you Wayne and Brad for being guides on this God Journey. I am gratefully on the trail with tears and smiles and a new openness to know my loving Father.
Hi Christie. I am deeply touched by your story and so grateful that some of our things may be helping you through this season. My heart really goes out to you with the loss of your husband. I had a brother die of MS at 49 and know a bit of what you endured as caregiver and watching someone you are connected to so deeply taken from you by such a brutal disease. I prayed for you today that’s God’s outrageous love will continue to grow in your heart and that you consider all that is wonderful about him in spite of your loss. I have no doubt that what you share on July 10 will be filled with life and that it will deeply touch others in the simple power of your example of finding love and grace in the midst of such tragedy. This world can be incredibly cruel, but his way of navigating us through it until we really come to the Life hat is Life is more marvelous still. Thanks for contributing to this conversation and may you know his full healing in your grief that takes the sting out of every memory and fills you with joy that you got to share the life together that you did. You’re a courageous woman, worthy of honor and deeply treasured by the Father.
Here is a link to the audio of the message I did on grief and grace today. Your book He Loves Me and the podcasts highly inspired me and framed the message. I thank you and God for the new focus of living loved. ?? http://fb.me/81nXcjdsn
Thank you Wayne for this beautiful response. It is a treasure to me!!! I so enjoy being part of this conversation. I’m in Boca Raton, FL. When you are next in the South Florida area for a group event/conversation, I will definitely be there. Regardless, I hope to have more conversations on this journey that are life-giving and draw me and others to God and His loving heart. It is a journey and He is winning me over into a better way of life–the unforced rhythms of grace.