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One-Of-The-Worst-Feelongs-In-The-World-Is-Having-To-Doubt-Something-You-Thought-Was-Unquestionable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doubt can be a scary word. As children we are taught that some things are just true and we accept that. As we grow older we begin to realize that not everything we were taught is true. Our exposure to the world makes us begin asking questions. Some of the truths that held us up are taken away. We find ourselves in a dark place.

Many of us believe that doubt is the opposite of faith but I don’t think that. I think the opposite of faith is disbelief. Doubt is not sinful. It is a nudge to push us forward. It makes us question and by doing so…grow. It makes us search for God and look in places we have not explored.

Don’t be afraid of doubt. Embrace it and look deeper, listen more, learn and grow.

God in Jesus is unchangable

Religion tends to prefer and protect the status quo or the supposedly wonderful past, yet what we now see is that religion often simply preserves its own power and privilege. God does not need our protecting. We often worship old things as substitutes for eternal things.

Richard Rohr

I-Change-Not-CLCBCOnline-www.clcbconline.com_

A study that I attended was about  how people view God. Each of us has our own view and to define it can be difficult. There are some people for who God is part of something visual. They may feel closer to God in the church they have attended all their lives. The only difficulty comes when something in that building is changed. The connection can be shaken. That is why changing something we have associated with our faith all our lives can be so distressing.

We can’t stay connected to the past. We have to live in the present. The words of the service may change, the building may change but our faith must stay connected to Jesus Christ himself.

Did we forget?

We have Halloween coming our way. It is sad that all religious connection has been lost. People only think of parties with costumes and children trick or treating. Even the churches which offer alternative options don’t usually talk about the origin of the holiday. It is fine to have fun with the day but we should not forget the connections with our faith. Here is the history of that day from History.com.

all hallows

Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2019 occurs on Thursday, October 31. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating sweet treats.

 

 

We are not perfect

James 3:2-10 

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. …

learnfrommistakes

We are all human. We make mistakes. Not one of us is perfect. Always be ready to ask forgiveness for the things we do wrong and know that Christ has died to grant us forgiveness.

God is waiting

Psalm 94:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

waiting

Sometimes we are overwhelmed with problems. Worry takes over our thoughts and easily escalates into anxiety and possibly panic. When our emotions take over it is hard to take a breath and remember our real strength doesn’t come from us.

It is God who is there for us just waiting. All we have to do is call out and we will receive the consolation we need. Turn toward God. He is there.

Hang together?

Mark 3:25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

Unfortunately this seems to be the culture we live in. There is so much division that people can no longer hold a civil conversation. It is so frightening that the divisions are increasing. Years ago in the US there was another man who talked about standing together. We may not be able to do it again until we are invaded by aliens and we have to all join together to stay alive.

hang-together-or-hang-separately_orig

 

Imitate God

We so often want God to think the way we do. We are right and our view of justice should be done. We often think about an “eye for an eye” which actually tells us to not ask for more retribution than we are actually due. But God is not us and does not look at things the same ways we do.

Aug-18-Eph5.1-Imitate-God

As Isaiah says of God, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). Yet I am afraid we often pull God down into “our thoughts.” We naively and erroneously think fear, anger, intimidation, threat, and punishment are going to lead people to love. Show me where that has worked. We cannot lead people to the highest level of motivation by teaching them the lowest. God always and forever models the highest—love—and our task is always to “imitate God” (Ephesians 5:1). From the meditation of Richard Rohr

God is love and love is always his answer.

Too much?

We read this psalm in church this morning and I almost don’t think it needs much discussion except to say that we are the society that has to have storage containers to store our extra “stuff.” Think about it.

moreclutter

Psalm 49

The Folly of Trust in Riches

Hear this, all you peoples;

    give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
both low and high,
    rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak wisdom;
    the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb;
    I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.

Why should I fear in times of trouble,
    when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
those who trust in their wealth
    and boast of the abundance of their riches?
Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life,[a]
    there is no price one can give to God for it.
For the ransom of life is costly,
    and can never suffice,
that one should live on forever
    and never see the grave.[b]

10 When we look at the wise, they die;
    fool and dolt perish together
    and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves[c] are their homes forever,
    their dwelling places to all generations,
    though they named lands their own.
12 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
    they are like the animals that perish.

13 Such is the fate of the foolhardy,
    the end of those[d] who are pleased with their lot.Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
    Death shall be their shepherd;
straight to the grave they descend,[e]
    and their form shall waste away;
    Sheol shall be their home.[f]
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
    for he will receive me.Selah

16 Do not be afraid when some become rich,
    when the wealth of their houses increases.
17 For when they die they will carry nothing away;
    their wealth will not go down after them.
18 Though in their lifetime they count themselves happy
    —for you are praised when you do well for yourself—
19 they[g] will go to the company of their ancestors,
    who will never again see the light.
20 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
    they are like the animals that perish.

Jesus the way

Jesus came to us as an example. His life tells us how God wants us to live. He flouted all the culture of the day and showed us how to love unconditionally.

jesus talks

The Example of Jesus ] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life.

Are Bible characters perfect?

There were no “functional” families in the Bible. After all what do we mean by “functional.” Do we mean that they don’t make mistakes? I doubt it.

broken

The Bible uses flawed characters to let us know that no one is perfect. Yet somehow, God used them to do his will. Some of them went dragging their feet but they went. We are all flawed but God can use us. If you let him!