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When God Says No

  Is it inherent for sinful humans to hate the answer NO ?   God has often answered YES to my prayers, but even with His indwelling Holy Spirit, it’s when He answers NO that I struggle. Like with our nation. I prayed long and hard for things to get better. And in some small ways, they do seem better, yet even more evil has come down the pike—because God answered NO . Reluctantly, I learned to live with His decision—I wasn’t happy—but the prayer wasn’t exactly personal either. I blew out a sigh, shrugged my shoulders, and my heart settled with this—God is in control.   And then came the past two weeks. I prayed fervently for my granddaughter, Jayne. She’s a ballerina who pulled a muscle at a crucial time in her training. This may not sound like a worthy prayer, but when God said NO , I felt like a child in a department store who doesn’t get the toy. So, I did what any self-respecting kid would do—I threw a temper tantrum.   My mind knows God will bring good out of this s

The Gospel Paradox

  Have you ever thought of the Gospel as a paradox—a statement that seems to contradict itself?   In Sunday school, we are studying the book of Matthew, and one verse, in particular, jumped out. Jesus said, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him .” [1]   Hmm… only Jesus truly knows the Father, and He alone chooses those to whom He will reveal Him ?   Immediately, God’s Holy Spirit flooded my mind with accompanying Scripture. John 6:44 came first. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him , and I will raise him up at the last day.”   Wait…No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him. But no one can know the Father unless the Son reveals Him? A paradox , right?   But it continues because, in the very next verse, Jesus said, “It is written in the prophets, ‘ And they shall all be taug

Whatever Happened to Live and Let Live?

         I’ve always loved the movie The Hiding Place —Hollywood’s version of the life of Christian author and speaker Corrie Ten Boom and her family. The Ten Boom’s were arrested for hiding and helping Jews during the German occupation of Holland in World War II. Betrayed by Hollanders who prided themselves in obeying German law, the Ten Boom family spent several years in concentration camps. God graciously rescued Corrie, but most of her family died there.         More recently, I found another movie, The Zookeeper’s Wife , a true account of Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who also hid Jews when the Germans occupied Poland. Yad Vashem in Israel aptly recognized them with the “Righteous Among The Nations” honor.          I love Israel. And it breaks my heart to see the unquenched resurgence of anti-Semitism in New York City. Or to be reminded of Jews suffering at the hands of pure evil—Hitler and his Nazi regime.        But lest we forget, Hitler’s rise to power was slow at fir

Whatever Happened to Sin?

Many moons ago, when I was a freshman in high school, smoking was about the worst thing kids would do. By the time I was a senior, it was “going all the way,” if you catch my drift. Perhaps that’s when sin began to be erased, or at least the idea of sin .   Since then, humans have worked tirelessly to accept, normalize, and even protect sinful actions. What we once knew as sin —because the Bible said so and because our consciences made us feel it—no longer has that label.   Think about it. What thing, considered wrong and sinful when you were young, is fully accepted today?   The big one I mentioned earlier hits a bit closer to home:  sex outside of marriage, aka sexual immorality, or fornication, as some Bible translations call it. [1] Not only was it wrong, but we knew it was wrong and tried to hide it. (I didn’t come to Christ until I was married with two children, so that should explain a lot. And I take full responsibility for my part in the dissolving sin —which is why I’m writ

The Same God

    I love it when I find the Gospel in the Old Testament. To me, it confirms the Scriptural Truth that God does not change— He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. [1] And for some reason, I need this understanding settled within my heart to function in my daily life.   Lately, Job has been sort of my go-to book when I was feeling down. No matter how bad things got, it wasn’t as bad as it was for Job. Amid the horrific disasters God allowed Satan to perpetrate on Job’s life, even killing his children, Job did not charge God with wrong. In fact, he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” [2]   I find that fascinating—and so unlike me.   It’s possible in my rantings this past year, I did charge God with wrong. I pray I didn’t, but if I didn’t, I think I came very close. And I wasn’t really suffering.   Only God could have placed those words on Job’