Saturday, 13 April 2013

An Eight year olds theology

My husband and I are on a journey. We are seeking and in the beginning stages of learning about the Holy Spirit and the filling of his power for those who believe on Jesus Christ as Saviour. I was asked earlier this week whether I had spoken to our boys about what we had been learning.

Ninja - 8 year old son, eldest, thinker, perfectionist, lego lover, dead keen on being a Ninja when he grows up, or a Zoologist.
Sumo - 6 year old son, youngest, doer, effervescent, lego lover, keen on being a Sumo Wrestler when he grows up, or working at KFC, so he told me last year.

I took an opportunity for a brief discussion with my two boys during our devotions one morning at the start of our school time.  Ninja was interested in the gifts of the Spirit and I was telling him about Pentecost and tongues of fire (Acts 2), speaking in tongues and the like, it was a very simple conversation, I didn't want to freak him out. I was telling him how speaking in tongues can be a public gift or a personal prayer language, a time when your own spirit communes with the Holy Spirit, in a language you don't know or understand - then he nailed it.
He said "it's like a secret code between your heart and God's."
I was taken back. I smiled, "Yes, I think it is just like that!"

I should talk to this boy more about theology, because he pulled another one out on me tonight, Ninja and Sumo share a room, and Sumo said he was scared of monsters.  After a little discussion, Sumo told me that Satan was telling him about the monsters.
I said "we need to pray to Jesus and then tell Satan to go away in Jesus name" and then I proceeded to lamely add " Ninja is here to protect you".
Ninja piped up and said "Don't worry, God's got a force field around you, Satan can't hurt you."

From secret codes to force fields, children understand theology more than we know.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Why does bad stuff happen? Ann Voskamp sheds some light.

I am reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I've not read a book like this before, mostly because this book is pure poetry. Beautifully written poetry from life, a life of dirty dishes and painful memories.

Eurharisteo - Thanksgiving.
EuCHARISteo - Charis - Grace.
EuCHARisteo - Chara - Joy.
Grace, Thanksgiving, Joy. Eucharisteo. This is what the book is all about.

In all my life time of seeking understanding and seeking some more, I have never come across an answer to the question; "Why does bad stuff happen?", that has ever made total sense to me and my theology.

Until now - yet I'm not totally there with it, but I have found an explanation that fits better than any so far - this side of forever.

So many of the reasoning's offered to me have always left me questioning the power and trustworthiness of God. Some have even seemed like they are excusing or defending God's sovereignty. Does the Creator of All need our excuses? Do we stand as advocate at the defence of Almighty God? Just wondering... have we made God that small that we need to defend him? 

I'm not sure why but knowing what I do now, it gives me confidence I can trust God fully.  He is fully trustworthy, He is fully powerful, He is fully compassionate, and He is moulding and making his clay - into something beautiful.  He is the Great Potter.

When God allows - I'm sure there is a certain element of 'allowing' but I can see now that God does more than allows, He orchestrates, He doesn't give Satan some leash to play with our lives. God plans and works for good - because He is a good God and He cannot be or do anything other than good!

I am not deluded and my life has not been void of trauma, I hear my own protest screams as I write that, so I implore you to read the book, Ann Voskamp explains it better than I ever could.

"The dark can give birth to life; suffering can deliver grace." AV
""There was nothing beautiful ... about his appearance" (Isaiah 53:2). He became ugly that we might know beauty. The God of the Mount of Transfiguration cannot cease His work of transfiguring moments - making all that is dark, evil, empty into that which is all light, grace and full." AV
God is mysterious, my puny brain wouldn't be intrigued and my spirit wouldn't be captivated by Him if He were easy to figure out, and by no means do I feel like I can figure Him out, but this I do know, man's reasoning is inadequate, shamefully inadequate, the Word of God gives us the message throughout that God is Holy and good, He is all powerful in all things, He is creator of all.  And us?  We deserve nothing, He gives grace, which we don't even deserve a crumb of, let alone a buffet.  And His version of Grace is not answerable to our reasoning.  We think bad, ugly, evil, God see's Christ in it all, goodness, beauty and perfection. That is the transfiguring moments. So this truth is what we need to grasp, when life seems darkest, ugliest, filthiest, by some miracle of  Grace we can give thanks to Jesus for his transfiguring cross.  Eucharisteo, Thankfulness, Grace and Joy will come.

Read the book, it's really worth taking some of your precious time on.