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Because I Said So!
Posted by Clare
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Almost everything God ever commanded or Jesus ever taught is counter-intuitive, even to born-again Christians. “Pass through the Red Sea, do not covet, trust my promises to bring you into the Promised Land, love your enemies, forgive 70×7, love others as much as you love yourself, no one comes to the Father but through me, today you will be with me in paradise.” I’ve read the beatitudes and thought to myself, “I cannot imagine doing all the things Jesus commanded consistently, and on occasions, I’ve have just plain given up and given in to some unspiritual impulse.” Obedience is hard!

Why? Why is it so hard to believe and obey God? What does my failure to obey God tell him about me?


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We’ll See
Posted by Clare
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There is an old Afghan story that goes like this;

A boy is given a horse on his 14th birthday. Everyone in the village says, “Oh how wonderful.” But a Zen master who lives in the village says, “We’ll see.” The boy falls off the horse and breaks his foot. Everyone in the village says, “Oh how awful.” The Zen master says, “We’ll see.” The village is thrown into war and all the young men have to go to war. But, because of the broken foot, the boy stays behind. Everyone says, “Oh, how wonderful.” The Zen master says, “We’ll see.”

I was reminded of that proverb a few weeks back when I met with a Christian man who sold his business four years ago. He had come to me because I sold my business 35 years ago.   He wanted to know what challenges he might face with his newfound wealth and time. At the time of the sale he was praising God for his good fortune to cash in, and use that time and money to invest in his family and the kingdom. “I’m so grateful to God for this blessing,” I remember him saying. And remembering this Afghan proverb, I said, “We’ll see.” My comment surprised him so he asked what I meant by that.


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On What Verses in the Bible Have You Based That Idea?
Posted by Clare
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It’s stunning to me how many Christians express their ethical, moral or political ideas strongly as if they got those ideas straight out of the Bible. Ideas like:

“God hates homosexuals!”
“America is a Christian nation.”
“You can’t believe in abortion and be a true Christian.”

Later in this blog, I’ll briefly address each of these. And it doesn’t mean you can’t find some teaching in the Bible that seem to support some part of these ideas. But here’s a question I’ve learned to ask people who make statements like these;


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I Sometimes Blog Because I’m Unsure What I Believe
Posted by Clare

(Yes, that’s me.  And yes, I still don’t use a computer to write my blogs.  Old School.)

My wife and I were out to dinner a few weeks ago and we were discussing how and why I blog. Specifically, how I come up with the topics for my blogs. Without trying to appear overly spiritual, I think the Holy Spirit gives me those topics. As I’m reading scripture, or listening to a sermon, or even watching the news. I often get this impression “that’s an idea you should think about more deeply.”

But irony is that often I’m not always sure what I believe about each topic, or why. To be sure I have an opinion on almost everything, but an opinion is not a fully formed thought, based on a biblical worldview.   So rather than just shoot from the hip, I’m forced to do some research. Several things often happen as I begin that process.


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