Sunday, August 29, 2004

Thoughts on prayer

These are the thoughts I had while listening to some teaching on prayer they are totally unrelated to each other.

Do I really believe that prayers matter?

If the future is not set completely, then God can make a difference in Tolani's health.

I should pray to that end if I answer yes to question 1.

But, what if I affirm both ideas and God Does not choose to enter into our lives and heal her?

I do not know.

What if I Choose not to pray?

God will not enter in and heal.

So is the future set completely? God forbid. God is Emmanuel here with us. God can move if I move toward him.

I used to believe
I used to pray
I thought it mattered what I said
Somewhere I stopped believing
what's the point if God knows it all anyway?

I used to pray
saw lives changed
Saw God move
Was it all an illusion
Was it all a lie

I heard a myth
so many times
I started to believe that God knew all
So why pray
doesn't matter anyway

But now I see
All that God does
For you and me
So I am left without choice
I will draw near to God
God will draw near to me

Its time to pray

10 Comments:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Even though You can choose to heal or choose not to, I pray for Tolani's health. You will receive the glory for healing in Your way and in Your time. I know You don't need us to pray for her healing, but you want us to in reverence and love for You. You love Tolani and Bill. I pray that t You want to show them that love in tangible outcomes and ways they understand. In the name of Jesus, I ask You to impart Your healing touch, so when Tolani is healed, they will know it was You and only You. You heal whom you choose to heal, I know that. But, selfishly, I ask for healing for my Christian sister, Tolani, and confidence of that future healing for my Christian brother, Bill. May You receive the honor and praise for healing in the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Lloyd
lmf4@mchsi.com

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:30 PM  

Prayer is not to change God or to manipulate or appease Him into doing our will or "fixing" our circumstances. Prayer is to change us and help us to consider and meditate on what God's will for us in our circumstance.

By Blogger Jesus is my Propitiation, at 12:45 AM  

Bill,

I think you are asking great questions. I do believe that prayers can move God. Look at Isaiah and Hezekiah's interaction and his prayer to God that prolonged his life another 20 years, when God told him that death was very near.

As to the anonymous poster. If prayer's only purpose is for me to understand God, then why did Jesus say that with the faith of a mustard seed we could move mountains? Why are we told to pray for others? Understanding. Heaven forbid that the whole reason I pray is for intellectual ascent to God. Or even spiritual ascent to God.

No, we pray because God can change his mind about the matter. Moses argued with God about killing the Israelites several times and God changed his mind about them. They were allowed to live. Our prayers can extend the life of people in some occasions. If they couldn't I would slash my wrists as I flipped off God for being so cruel.

Prayer matters because God is a father who listens to the desires of his children and if he wants to he can grant them the desires of their hearts. Not because he is Santa Claus or that I can arm wrestle God (although Jacob wrestled with God) into doing something he doesn't want to do, but because we ask in order to recieve. If we did not ask I believe that we cannot recieve it. If my child is hungry but does not ask for food I will not give it to him. If I ask if he is hungry and he does not respond I will not give him food. If he asks for food I will give it to him.

By Blogger Dwight, at 8:58 AM  

Dwight,

I suspect I should have known you would be critical of another's heart-felt prayer of intercession for others. Are we critiquing prayers now?

The prayer was not intended for your criticism or critiquing, nor has doing so helped the situation.

It is clear that Bill seeks answers in ways that he can understand and see. Most of us do! Sorry you feel that seeking that understanding is not to your liking. Even with the observations made by Jesus in the "Mustard Seed" illustration, he knew men and women needed to understand the implications and would see results. Sometimes people pray, but perceive they don't see things happening or mountains moved, even when they have great faith. God does what He wishes, when He wishes. We can only ask!

I just don't understand why you would be critical of another's prayers. It only seems argumentative for argument's sake.

Lloyd

Lloyd

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:42 AM  

Dwight,

I suspect I should have known you would be critical of another's heart-felt prayer of intercession for others. Are we critiquing prayers now?

The prayer was not intended for your criticism or critiquing, nor has doing so helped the situation.

It is clear that Bill seeks answers in ways that he can understand and see. Most of us do! Sorry you feel that seeking that understanding is not to your liking. Even with the observations made by Jesus in the "Mustard Seed" illustration, he knew men and women needed to understand the implications and would see results. Sometimes people pray, but perceive they don't see things happening or mountains moved, even when they have great faith. God does what He wishes, when He wishes. We can only ask!

I just don't understand why you would be critical of another's prayers? It only seems argumentative for argument's sake.

Lloyd

Lloyd

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:43 AM  

Dwight,

I suspect I should have known you would be critical of another's heart-felt prayer of intercession for others. Are we critiquing prayers now?

The prayer was not intended for your criticism or critiquing, nor has doing so helped the situation.

It is clear that Bill seeks answers in ways that he can understand and see. Most of us do! Sorry you feel that seeking that understanding is not to your liking. Even with the observations made by Jesus in the "Mustard Seed" illustration, he knew men and women needed to understand the implications and would see results. Sometimes people pray, but perceive they don't see things happening or mountains moved, even when they have great faith. God does what He wishes, when He wishes. We can only ask!

I just don't understand why you would be critical of another's prayers? It only seems argumentative for argument's sake.

Lloyd

Lloyd

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:43 AM  

Hey Lloyd,

My comments were not directed at you, because you posted your name and e-mail.

My thoughts were posted against Jesusismypropitiation who is more anonymous than you were.

I wasn't criticizing your prayer at all. Sorry about the misunderstanding and the fact that you think that I am so heartless to critize your prayer. I thought your prayer was quite comforting actually.

By Blogger Dwight, at 9:17 AM  

Dwight,

I'm sorry as I misunderstood. Please accept my apology. It is clear that I did not read your response correctly.

God bless you!

Lloyd
lmf4@mchsi.com

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 PM  

Sorry if I seem anonymous to you. I think I'm as anonymous as you are, but maybe I don't know what I'm doing with blogger well enough, yet, and you are not as anonymous as I think you are.

I like your analogy of a parent - child relationship. If I know my child is hungry, I will feed him whether he asks for it or not. If he does not tell me, I might not know he is hungry, but I probably will. I know my child well. I know what time of day he gets hungry, I know what kinds of foods he likes, and I know when he's been snacking between meals. I will also make him eat his veggies, whether he wants to or not, and keep him away from too many sweets. I know better than he does what is good for him. God knows better than me what is good for me. God knows me better than I know my son.

From our perspective it may seem that God changes, but God does not change from His perspective. "Is God a man that He should change His mind?"

Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt. Then he was falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison. He was forgotten by the one man, the cup bearer, who could help his fortune. Joseph never is recorded as getting mad at God or doubting Him. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph's brothers were fearful that after Jacob's death Joseph will exact revenge against them, he says, "you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good." See that? God did it to him, too. God also had him thrown in the pit. God is to blame for his sale into slavery, too. The brother's had a plan and God had a plan. The brother's motives were evil - God's motive was good. Same action, two different plans, two different motives. Because all things do "work together for good" even when we don't see it or understand it.

By Blogger Jesus is my Propitiation, at 10:14 AM  

Hey Dwight,

I would like to extend the same invitation to you that I have extended to 1 John 4:10/Jesus is my propitiation, Lloyd Micheal, and Paul Munro, I think its time as Pastor's we come together and rightly divide the Word with 1 John 4:10 and give Bill and Tolani a break. So come on down and we can all share together and hear exactly what 1 John wants to say, express or lecture on. It ought to be a good time of fellowship, so please come join us.

Goofy

By Blogger Concerned Citizen, at 10:46 AM  

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Friday, August 27, 2004

Poverty

Over the last few days I've heard about this new census report on poverty that shows poverty increasing.

I just say on channel 11 (fox) that the number of children living in poverty in LA has increased by 10% from 02 to 03.

This makes me both sad and a just a little bit (read lots) pissed off.

Why? What can be done?

Does anyone else think this is wrong?

1 Comments:

Poverty is relative really. Poverty in the US is not exactly the same as poverty in most other third world countries.

I feel sad about poverty too sometimes. And its always the kids that suffer, especially when one or both parents have a drinking/drug/gambling problem.

By Blogger Josh, at 4:48 PM  

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Romero

Gordon asked me for some reflections on Oscar Romero.

I had only heard of Oscar Romero through my brief interaction with Liberation theology. I walked into Borders and saw this book sitting on the bargain rack. It looked intriguing because it is an interview of sorts. The author interviewed a number of people and started putting this story together. So all I learned about Monsenior was from a combination of his own words and other peoples memories.

One quote cut me to pieces "the essence of conversion is change."

There was nothing extraordinary about this man. Its seems like he played the political game well. But he changed. He experienced conversion in his late 50's. Gradually he started defending what he had denounced. He spoke for the poor. He decided to live among them in a small house at the hospital. My picture of it is probably nowhere close. He was a prophet seeing current events through the loving eyes of God. He was a man of prayer often seen kneeling and communing with God.

He lived with his people when he didn't have to. He fought for his people even when sanctioned by the pope. He threw away his career for the sake of the poor the masses. Spoke out against the government that eventually killed him.

He was a thinker always seeing changes and processing them. Asking people what he should do yet was firm in his convictions. He was a leader who could have called for war and been made president. He effected millions simply by following God and living incarnationally with the poor. He stood up to America because we were wrong. Reading his words and others memories brought me to tears more then once.

Thank You God for the life of Oscar Romero. May his life continue to bless us and those to come.
Amen

0 Comments:

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Busy

Life has been busy these last two months. Chuck coming as senior pastor/officer has been a breath of fresh air. Tolani's illnesses have gotten me down.

But we also got a puppy on Monday. He is a lab mix (maybe beagle) who is very sweet. His name is Ted Theodore Preston. Yes after a caricature in the second greatest movie of all time. Silent Bob just doesn't work.

God's game is just around the corner go seahawks.

Life is good I am just scared something is wrong with Tolani I love her so much.

I will have more thoughts on Romero and Pinnock latter.

We get the internet installed tomorrow at the house so all will be well and more thoughts will come.

Blessings

1 Comments:

Hi, Bill!

I know you seem worried about Tolani's illnesses,which is understandable 'cause you love her so much and are concerned for her well-being.

The bottom line is to "trust God" and expect He will sustain you and lift you up. Just leave the matter in His capable hands and keep on ministering as you are doing.

Retain a good doctor for her, maintain your strong faith in the Lord, and things will be okay! He is always healing. We don't always know when and to whom, but He does! Isaiah 41:10

Blessings, brother!

Lloyd
lmf4@mchsi.com

By Blogger lloyd, at 9:58 AM  

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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Dreams

Gordon dreams of reconciliation Dwight dreams of empty space.
I dream of anything but the fear I feel now.
They say a brain MRI may be nothing but may be something.
May be easy to fix loose weight relieve the pressure all will be okay
May be hard tumor was the word
God I'm scared I love her so much
I'm on the verge of being paralyzed by fear
God help me

1 Comments:

We are praying for you both. Let us know if we could do anything to help.

Dwight

By Blogger Dwight, at 8:20 AM  

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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Big Brother and the Village

We hold these truths to be self evident that nothing is as it seems.

6 years and 5 seasons ago our creators endeavored to found a society based on lies and deceit. We are now engaged in a great contest to test whether this group or any group ever conceived can keep from going insane.

The Village bill of rights
1) you have the right to be lied to
2) you have the right to freedom but you can not enter the woods
3) truth is the right of very few
4) Truth being detrimental to society can only be know by the few
5) The holders of truth will hold power over those who do not possess truth

These two shows are awesome. Big Brother simply because no one is what they seem. The village was the best philosophical movie in a while. Can a society exist where the truth about reality is held secret? Can a society exist that is built upon myth. Furthermore is it possible for the myth to be more powerful then truth? Is the myth truth?

What is our myth? What if it is not true? What if our myth does not line up with reality?

1 Comments:

Hey Bill,

I'm rereading Alves, The Poet, the Warrior, the Prophet. In that book he weaves poetically our myths that we have told ourselves. In the process of weaving them for us to see, he is unweaving them as well.

Postmodern Language theory of Austin and later Wittgenstein tells us that our "reality" is based on a myth because of the limitations of our language to describe it. Therefore many things go unnoticed because they cannot be talked about. I would take that one step further and state that our bodies are also not capable of perceiving all of reality either (i.e. compare the visible light spectrum to the spetrum of light, compare the audable capabilities of humans to cats, etc). So we were obviously created with the limited ability to percieve all that really does exist.

Now back to the everyday life and out of human anatomy and physics. There has never been a metanarrative in the history of the world that all members of a given organization have been able to adhere to. Alves would say that you and I cannot even taste the same apple (even if you bit from the same apple) because where he was from apples didn't grow and when he first got an apple he was in his teens and he let it rot because he wanted to have an apple forever. We may have grown up with apples so the history that surrounds them is different and complex and thus the taste is different as well. But we could both tell the truth and say that apples exist and that "I love apples."

So we have myths built up all around us with fragments of truth showed in the holes. That is the way it is in my book and that does not shake my faith in God or my journey with Christ either. No one can be 100% truthful for a variety of reasons, the least of which is the intent to lie. Can truth exist with myth? It has to, because that is how we were made to be. Does that hinder us from being complete as your father in heaven is complete? No, God knows that we are this way and works with and in spite of it.

By Blogger Dwight, at 9:23 AM  

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Saturday, August 21, 2004

Thoughts on Abuse and Theology

I have been following Dwight and Rabecca's journey and reading Clark Pinnock's Most Moved Mover I am disappointed with the Church (global). Pinnock talks a great deal about the criticism, arguments, and abuse he has received. Many have disagreed both Calvinists and Wesleyans on various parts of Open Theism.

When Pinnock published The Openness of God he came under attack. Some disagreed the right way, through academic dialogue. Others have labeled him a heretic. I do not want to defend Pinnock here his books do that well. I want to discuss the issue of how do we respond to people who disagree with us.

There are those in the Evangelical world (a word that has many meanings I use it to denote all those not in the "mainline" or Catholic ,and Eastern orthodox) who see their job as defending the gates of Orthodoxy. (see MMM pg 10) He has been called a "heretic" "dangerous" and the like. Why?

Why is it that people lash out when people disagree. As an open theist will I be the recipient of a modern day inquisition?

I am an open theist because is is as pinnock puts it "consistent." If we have free will then there must be a measure of chance. If we are truly free then God can not know our choices. So while God knows some things and he knows then end (since God is the beginning and the end) he is present with us. God is truly Emanuel. Why does it frighten people to say God does not know the future? Why is it so scary to say that God's actions are contingent on ours? Why is it so unsettling to say that humans are truly free? Why are people afraid of a recognition that there are different voices in scripture? Scripture is not unified on anything especially the nature of God and Salvation. Why does that frighten? Help me out I do not understand.

The task of theology is not to defend orthodoxy. The task of theology is to know God. As those set aside to spend their lives in this endeavor the task of theologians and pastors is give people the tools to know God and their neighbor in their time and place. Let us stop defending and start knowing.

1 Comments:

What on earth makes you think you have a free will? You are not free to become a tree or a book or a cat. You are not free to fly unaided, you cannot take a trip to the Sun, you are not free to choose your genetics, your parents, your personality, your height, your build, your skin color, your hair or eye color (naturally) nor how many fingers and toes you possess. You cannot by your will alone move mountains. You cannot take careful consideration of your volition and thereby empty the ocean. You cannot make grass grow on the moon. You cannot even keep yourself alive for one second longer than it has been divinely ordained. You, oh man, are limited and bound in so many ways. Who do you think limited you thus? Are you so limited and out of control of yourself at your request, by your volition, as an act of your "free will?" Oh, no. God did this to you.

Read James 4:13-16
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

You may say, "I have limitations of my will physically, but I have spiritual free will." If you have such limitations on your physical being over which you have at least five senses which can report to you, plus you are cognatively self aware and aware of your preceived abilities and inabilities, are you more powerful with your will in a realm where you have no such reporting instruments?

Where in the Bible does it say that you may choose or reject God? On the contrary, Jesus says, "No one can come to me unless the Father draws him" John 6:44, and "No one can come to me unless it has been granted him from the Father" John 6:65.

No. Open Theism takes a very few verses out of context that refer to God as "changing His mind" or "Repenting of a decision," which are written from the perspective of attributing to God a human characteristic for the purposes of relating the doctrine of concurance to our feeble minds, and blows them out of proportion. The over whelming evidence from any serious consideration of the Bible is that God "knows the beginning from the end."

It is not "mean" to call someone a heretic that teaches that God does not know the future. It is accurate. For, if God does not know the future, then how can He promise to raise us up on the last day. If He is uncertain of what or when the age will end, how can He possible predict ultimate victory? How can He make a promise that all things work together for good if He does not know and have complete control over all things? If He then, having said these things, made these promises, is not, in fact in complete supreme control, He is a liar and not to be believed. That, my friend is heresy and the doctrine of demons and must be put out of the church before others, like you, are lead astray and lost, as it sounds like you have become.

The only truly consistent view is that of the Othodox view of omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), Immortal, and Immutable (can't change) God I urge you to read, "The Attributes of God" by AW Pink.

By Blogger Jesus is my Propitiation, at 1:25 AM  

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Saturday, August 14, 2004

A lot

Well a lot has gone on this last week.
On Wednesday we found out Tolani would have surgery on Thursday for endometriosis. It went well I was very nervous and scared but all went well. This should help with pain and the miscarriages.
So I spent Thursday at the hospital and took care of my wife yesterday so I have a lot to do today to get ready for tomorrow.
The only thought I had this week is that I really love my wife I was so scared that something would happen I was more frightened then she was.
On Tuesday we celebrate our 1st anniversary wow!
I love her so much.
Anyway gotta go.

1 Comments:

Bill,

My prayers are with you and Tolani. I hope that she recovers from surgery and that it will help with her health.

Congratulations on your year anniversary. They say the first year is the hardest and I hope that that is true in your case as well and that life settles down a little bit more in those areas.

If you need to talk, call me or e-mail me.

By Blogger Dwight, at 7:48 AM  

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Monday, August 09, 2004

Oscar Romero

I am reading a book largely of people's memories of Monseñor Romero.

I am blown away by the transformation.

What would be TSA's response if officers started seeing an option for the poor today? I am drawn to the idea of liberation theology, I just do not know what it means today in western US?

But where were we in El Salvador? Where should we have been?

What do we do if a government opposes our presence?

Check Oscar Romero out or here

Blessings
May we all learn from the prophet and martyr

4 Comments:

The Violence of Love reduced me to a gibbering wreck!! It is a compilation of his addresses etc... Banging on about true freedom and hope seems to be a good beat for me to follow!

There are some sallies however who are on record for saying that such liberation theology is communism dressed as christianity!!?

By Blogger Gordon, at 12:11 PM  

Thanks Gordon.
Communism it may be, but what is worse communism or capitalism? Both are evil in thier extreems. The challenge is to find a middle road.

By Blogger Bill, at 3:14 PM  

Thanks Gordon
Liberation theology is not communism. But why is that charge so powerful. Labeling something capitalist should be just as bad. Communism and capitalism are both evil in thier extreems. The challenge is to find the middle path where the poor are defended and God is honored.

By Blogger Bill, at 3:14 PM  

I'm with you ...

...I just so surprised that anyone could rubbish the works of Romero etc... by attempting a slur.

I'd love to read some of your highlights from your reading.

By Blogger Gordon, at 12:20 PM  

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The Church, The West, and Pluralism

As I noted earlier I read Noll's book Old Religion in a new world. What I was struck by most was the idea that the West (Rockies on west) are very unique. I has never occurred to me before that other parts of the country do not have large Asian and Hispanic populations. Also there is a realization that westerners are very inclusive. The largest religious demographic is none. The west is different what does that mean for pomo's? What does it say that postmodern culture has come from the west in many ways. If westerners hold pluralism as an ideal what does that mean for the Church in other areas? What about Church in the West? Can a single church be pluralistic?

Just some thoughts it needs discussion.

We treat theological and ecclesiological matters as global or national. Do we need to go smaller? What does all this mean for denominations?

What does pluralism do to TSA in the west? What if pluralism as an ideal is spreading?

I have no answers.

1 Comments:

That is interesting Bill.

The Friends churches in Oregan and Washington (Northwest Yearly Meeting, encompassing George Fox University) have embraced (somewhat) the concepts of Postmodernism. In fact George Fox has a doctoral degree in Emerging Theology headed up by Sweet. They are taking this stuff pretty seriously.

We (Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting) are now being slapped in the face with it (primarily because of NWYM, and myself) and might deal with it shortly.

From what I have seen the other yearly meetings in America are still doing things the same way without thinking about these issues.

As for theological matters as global or national, I have always viewed them as individualistic (that is because of my American upbringing) and see a national or even a church wide theology as something to be avoided, in the respect of having a 12 point or more doctrinal statement that nails down our theological perspectives.

By Blogger Dwight, at 10:14 AM  

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I'mmmm Baaack

Well vacation is over.

I might have some picks latter.

Vacation was good

reading was done

Sleaping was done

Camping was done

Even a bit of hiking

All in all it was good


1 Comments:

Welcome back,

Hopefully you are well rested for what God is having you do.

By Blogger Dwight, at 10:04 AM  

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