Where Is God? Where Did He Go?

questionDon’t misunderstand.  Many miracles have been performed in my short life so I know God has shown up.  I have much to be thankful for and I’ve been showered with blessings — my daughter, my mother, true friends, our homes, our land, the vehicles we drive, different interesting and fun jobs, the ability to work from home so I can raise my child, forgiveness, love and laughter — just to name a few.  But as many struggles take place in our lives, I suppose our faith (or lack of) is tested.

I realize we weren’t promised a rose garden.  We were warned this life wouldn’t be an easy one.  We are asked to believe in God and in Jesus and what Jesus did and still does for us.  I believe all that without question.  Miracles have transpired to cause me to believe in God.  I’ve never questioned Jesus.  I have a great love for him.  And it’s not that I don’t love God.  I do.

A friend brought up some relevant questions concerning God that have me questioning his intentions.  Actually, I had already been questioning.  While I understand we are not supposed to question God and we do not have the capability of ever understanding his reasons or intentions of why he does what, isn’t it the human condition to question when it comes to things that are so tragic and impossible to understand?  I mean, it’s in our nature to want to understand, right?

We are expected to have blind faith, to rely on God, to trust in him and not to worry.  We are not to worry about tomorrow because it’s not here yet.  But what about today?

What about the person who lost their home because they didn’t have enough money to pay their mortgage?  And they didn’t have any family they could stay with until they got back up on their feet?

What about the homeless man that’s too far away from a shelter or food pantry to eat or sleep?

What about these horrific acts of terrorism that abruptly and senselessly steal the lives of hundreds and even thousands of people (men, women, children, infants)?  How are we to make sense of this?

How are we to send our tiny innocent children to school when a crazy person might show up and change our lives forever, breaking us, tearing away pieces of our soul?  We are not supposed to live in fear because exhibiting doubt, worry and fear is to not fully trust and have faith in God?  How can we not live in fear when all this is going on around us?  Our God is bigger?  Bigger than we can understand?  Bigger than all these tragedies?

We are supposed to pray and petition God daily.  We are to put our faith and trust and reliance in him to take care of us and to answer our prayers.  All we have to do is ask and trust and believe.  That’s what the Bible tells us.  But the Bible was written by man, yes?  By several different men, in fact.  It’s been translated so many times, has it not been twisted to distort or even completely eradicate the truth?  Some words and meanings in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek (the original texts) do not even have correct English translation.  Just something to think about.

I read Matthew 7:7 (NIV) all the time:  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  As well as Matthew 21:22:  “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  And Mark 11:24:  “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  While I realize when we ask God for something (and yes, I know he’s not Santa), his answer to a prayer can be no, don’t these verses say “it will be given to you?”  And I know that it’s in his time, not mine.  I’m glad he waited on some of the answers he’s delivered.  Sometimes, he’s been lightning fast to answer, which I’m also happy with, thank You, God, by the way.

What about the other stuff?  How are we to make sense of these things that make no sense?  God has a reason for everything.  I understand that.  But what are we to do with that?  How do we get out of bed in the morning when we know what could be potentially waiting just outside that door?  How do we let our children out of our sight for a moment?  Why does he wait so long to answer when we do need him right away?  Why does he perform a miracle to cause a non-believer to all the sudden believe but not do this for another?  He doesn’t give us more than we can handle?  What about the person who just committed suicide because she just couldn’t take it any longer?

At times, I’ve felt God turned his back on me.  I know deep down in my heart that it’s not true.  He’d never do that.  Even though I can be filled with bitterness, anger, resentment and blame and even scream out at him with what can be a trash mouth at times, he does not and will never turn his back on me.  I have found great comfort in this.  At other times, I feel the need to turn my back on him.  Yes, I said it.  I feel a bit of guilt admitting this but I’m just being real.  How many of you have felt the same?  And I consider myself a Christian.  I am a Christian.  I am also human and filled with human emotion and feel the need to express myself to God and to Jesus.  I know they understand my heart so I feel a little less guilt for being real.  God appreciates authenticity more than fake respect/reverence.

No, I’ve not read all of the Bible, yet, but I’m working on it.  I also know the devil can tempt you do bad things and maybe it’s the devil tempting me to question God.  But maybe it’s also my humanness to question.

Don’t you question?

What do you believe?

How do you deal with all the struggles of daily living and all the evil that’s in the world, just outside your front door?

How do you deal with not knowing?  Not understanding?

How has your faith been tested?

And how do you stay faithful?

Do you believe it’s sinful to question God?

 

 

(Photo courtesy of mashable.com)

Shiny Pennies

Carol B Sessums:

This is so true. Let us know if this resonates with you.

Originally posted on adoptingjames:

us-pennyYou probably do it too.

The cashier says, “That’ll be $16.18.” You dig through your wallet or purse and you pull out a twenty, a dime, a nickel, and three pennies. But as you’re digging through your pennies, you see that you have three dingy, rusty ones, and one brand new, perfectly shiny one, minted in 2012.

Which three do you use to pay for your food?

The three old rusty ones, of course. It’s better to hold onto the shiny one. It’s prettier.

It’s shinier.

That’s what we do with the Gospel, isn’t it? Let’s be honest for a minute.

We want to fit in with our coworkers, so we throw in a few dirty jokes to get their approval. That’s a pretty dingy part of our character we’re spending on them, holding back the best part of us – the Christian part of us.

The part of us…

View original 153 more words

Take Away Tuesday

calendar So, I was working on my August calendar filling in all the days with Hallie’s PT, my writing (for fun and work), contracts (other work), cleaning, mowing days, Girls Nite, etc. and I thought to myself, “Self, others may benefit from these little handy dandy calendars, so why not share?”

You can print them and write in them.  You can type in them and print them.  You can change colors of fonts or highlight appts so it’ll stand out.  You can post them to your fridge, pin them to your office bulletin board, fold it and stash it in your pocket or purse.

So, here’s July for that last minute planning, as well as August so you can get a head start on your planning.

Let me know what sorts of printables and checklists, etc. you may be interested in.  Honey, I have a checklist for everything under the sun, planning Thanksgiving, planning Christmas, you name it!

Jul Template Proj Cal 2014

Aug Template Proj Cal 2014

Enjoy.  ;)

- Carol

(Photo courtesy of mashable.com)

Moses, with the Power of God, Parted The Sea

Exodus 14 (paraphrased)

The Lord told Moses to have the Israelites camp out by the sea.  Pharoah will think they’re wandering around in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.  God said, “I will harden Pharoah’s heart, and he will pursue them.”  What do you think this means?  He forced Pharoah’s heart to be hardened?  Anyway, when the king of Egypt realized the people had fled, he changed his mind and wanted them back under his thumb.

Pharoah took 600 chariots along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them.  All Pharoah’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops overtook the Israelites as they camped by the sea.  When the Israelites saw the Egyptians approaching, they were terrified and cried out to the Lord.

They accused Moses of tricking them and bringing them to the desert to die.  They claimed to be better off where they were, serving the Egyptians than to die in the desert.  Moses told them to not be afraid, stand firm and the Lord would fight for them.  Then God asked Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?  Tell the Israelites to move on.”

He told Moses to raise his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea to divide the water so the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.  How freakin’ cool would it be to have seen that?!  God said he’d harden the hearts of the Egyptians so they’d follow in after them.  Then the angel of God, who’d been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them.  The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel.  Throughout the night, the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.  So cool!!  I don’t think I knew this.

Moses did as God asked and the sea was divided, the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on the left and right.  The Egyptians pursued.  During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.  He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving.  And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites!  The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”  

Then God instructed Moses to stretch his hand over the sea so that the waters would flow over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.  So he did and at daybreak the sea went back into place.  Not one of those Egyptians survived.  When the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared him and put their trust in him and in Moses, his servant.

Who’s Up For Checklists, Calendars and Printables?

Are you a checklist sort of person?  Do you live out of a planner every day of your life?  Have a project calendar for Project A, B and C?  A different calendar for your family?

I am an avid list maker, have a planner, click in appts on my smartphone, have a family calendar on the fridge and a project calendar hanging in my office or attached to my planner since I work in the living room more often than I do the office.  Pitiful, right?

Well, if you are always on the lookout for checklists and printable calendars that are easy peasy to print and write in or type in from your computer and print, I have a free item or two to offer you for what I’m calling Take Away Tuesday.

Interested?  Check back tomorrow on Take Away Tuesday.

What types of checklists are you looking for?

Happy planning,

Carol

Question of the Week

I wanted to add a new weekly theme.  Thought it would be fun.  The question for this week is:

 

If you could do anything at all and you would not fail, what would you do?

 

Please play along.   Blog about it on your blog and link me in my comments and I’ll link you here so the peeps can read what you wrote or else just comment me if you don’t want to blog about it.  Bare your soul!  Live out loud!

If you are interested, I’ll post a new question each week, every Sunday.  C’mon y’all.  Let’s play.  ;)

I can’t wait to read what your answers are!

Cheers!

Carol

 

Consecration of the Firstborn and Headed for the Red Sea

This is Reading the Bible in 365 Days (although it’ll most likely be longer) and today, it’s on Exodus 13.

Consecration of the Firstborn

God told Moses to dedicate to him every firstborn male.  The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to him, whether man or animal.  What about female if she is firstborn, I wonder?  Nope, just the first of the sons born to each.  Same as the deal with Pharoah and each firstborn son.  And then Moses told them all to commemorate the day they came out of Egypt, out of slavery and to eat nothing containing yeast.  God was giving the land to them that he swore to their forefathers and they should observe the ceremony this month.

Crossing the Sea

When Pharaoh let them go, God didn’t lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.  God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”  So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.  The Israelites went out of Egypt armed for battle.   Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear an oath.  He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”  By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.   Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. How cool is that?  I did not know about that part.  Learning all kinds o’ stuff.