Did God Do This?

Last summer Tyler and I did a bible study  on God’s sovereignty. One of the questions you wrestle with when you talk about God’s sovereignty is to what degree does God control life on earth? Does He control things like the weather, car accidents, earthquakes in Haiti, planes flying into buildings or lightning destroying statues of His Son?

Not sure if you knew of this statue before, but it actually was one of the ten tallest statues in the United States.  It had a lot of nicknames; Touchdown Jesus and Big Butter Jesus being the most common.  The “King of Kings” statue as the church calls it stood tall encouraging those speeding past on I-75 for many years until last Monday night when it was struck by lightning and burnt to a crisp. This is the kind of story where I don’t know whether to laugh at the coincidence of lightning taking out a statue like this or wonder if God was showing His disapproval of this statue (maybe He prefered a darker complexion) or something going on at the church. 

What is your first/gut reaction? Coincidence or God’s Providence?

(Thanks to Marko for tipping me off to this story. You can read more about it HERE including a local news report on the statue)

The Soul of Parenting

Growing up did either of your parents tell you that there are things that you simply wont understand until you are a parent yourself? My mom still loves to tell me this frequently…usually when she is trying to express the unique love a parent has for a child.  Recently I watched the first two episodes of LIFE a new Discovery Channel series that follows in the footsteps of their award winning Planet Earth series.  I am usually not the nature show kinda guy (I am from Detroit remember?)…admittedly I tuned in because it was in HD and was narrated by Oprah.  Surprisingly I was sucked in and enjoyed learning about the complexity of life in the animal kingdom.

In the first episode I was particularly amazed at the story of what great lengths a mother frog will go for her babies. She climbs all the way to the very top of a very tall tree with a tadpole on her back, which is the equivalent of miles for her to travel to drop her baby in a pool of rain water formed in a center of a plant.  Even more amazing is that she doesn’t do this once but multiple times for each of her little ones and continues to feed them with her own eggs for weeks!  Amazing! Later on they shared about a giant octopus that once pregnant finds a cave and lays there to her death to simply take care of her 100,000 baby eggs.  Now that is devotion! I see that kind of devotion in a lot of the parents I work with in middle school, parents working multiple jobs to get their kids through college, some driving everywhere under heaven to make sure they are socially involved. Sadly I also see some lacking the short of devotion needed to raise a kid in today’s world…ones who seem to have given up a long time ago and are merely hoping they turn out well. 

Oprah quotes someone  saying that the “soul of parenting is the capacity to sacrifice.” I think this is what my mom is getting at…this unique bond between parent and child seems to be instinctual scientists might say. I however believe it has to do with us being like our Daddy…that whole “made in His image” thing? The heart of our Father is to sacrifice for His children, which is the very thing we celebrate this Easter week.

If you haven’t yet check out LIFE on Discovery pretty cool stuff.

It’s Still Raining

I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it’s still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
“I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I’ll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I’ve cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can’t find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Burn us up.

I continue to wrestle with the circumstances of life. Why does God let stuff happen? Yeah I know all the platitudes and greeting card answers my fellow Christians are quick to give…but some stuff no human answer will satisfy.

For my talk this coming Wednesday I am telling the story of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego to illustrate taking a stand.  As I read through their story again I was struck by their faith in God: they were willing to burn alive instead of worshiping an idol. Whew…sets perspective pretty quickly. My faith is weak compared with theirs for I would bow down to escape far less than being thrown into a fiery furnace.

I love Shane & Shane’s song; “Burn us up…”which talks about being willing to burn. Check it out;