Tag Archives: what God is like

What God is Like

I’m on vacation at home. It has been a wonderful week with two of our grandchildren! I haven’t worked like I usually do, and have focused on just relaxing and enjoying them. It’s been a great experience. God helped me realize one morning that most of my life I have been focused on making people right rather than knowing and enjoying them. It’s the way I viewed Him for many years.

Now I see Them(One God–three persons) as wanting us to know Them and walk with Them in relationship through the process of every day, no matter what others do or what happens. To experience Them every day–Their love, Their kindness, Their goodness, Their laughter, Their joy, just Their presence, in all of everyday life, no matter what others do or what happens. And it is beginning to make me see and treat others differently. It’s about time! Safety and control were always so huge.

Our influence for good in the world comes from drawing not pushing (God told me that), from making God look good because we are so good to be around and we are clear and comfortable about identifying ourselves as Theirs. I really can’t even comprehend that yet!

Could it really be that powerful? Do I know–see–encounter–experience enough people that it would really make a difference if I was just full of God’s goodness? If I just lived with Them and soaked in Their love? If I just focused on the good in everything and everyone?

I’m not put together that way, but God seems intent on me getting this. Right now I’m thinking of people who raised their kids erring on the side of love, people I thought should provide some discipline. I’m not talking about giving-in or neglect, but truly focused love, and in adulthood the kids turned out well.

I think of Jesus who drew people to him, inviting. He never told us to go make Christians, he said go make followers (disciples). The only way you can do that is by drawing, making them want to follow. It seems to work for the dark side. Isis plays on the desire for power and revenge, expressing discontent, anger, and hate AND in the name of God! They draw many malcontents from our society.

And what does it take to experience God’s goodness that way? The only thing I know for sure, at this point, is choice. The second thing I suspect is some time alone with God, getting to know Them. Ruach (Holy Spirit) is closest, and Jesus is the easiest place to get to know God. That’s why this year I’ve added to the titles of God-in-a-Box, “Know God in a Year #…” because this may be the most important choice you will ever make.

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When Bad things Happen…

I think God gets blamed for things He doesn’t do.

Many think if God is sovereign–all powerful–why do we suffer?

Especially if He’s already won?

Why doesn’t He stop things?

In my first job out of college–teaching in the California women’s prison, the number one question I was asked was, “If there’s a loving God why did He allow what happened to me as a child?”

It’s taken 40 years to come up with a good answer, and I call it The Story Behind Our Story.

I made it the last chapter in my book, The Worst Evil–Losing Yourself, and truly, I told it as faithfully as I could through human eyes. The gist of it is that God values love and freedom. He wanted a government based on love and that requires freedom.

Love is a choice, not a feeling. And it requires three things:

1.  beings capable of making choices

2.  real alternatives to choose

3.  that God allow and honor their choices.

It’s important to note here that God started us out with only good–we  were only attracted to good, only responded to good.

Originally we didn’t have this pull to evil or selfishness. Now we respond to good and evil. We’re pulled both ways.

So what happened? If we were only good…why is there evil now?’

First, we have to learn to think much bigger than we have been taught.

We have to understand that if God desired only Love, then He had to allow freedom.

We have to be allowed real choices that are really respected.

Creation was great until He was opposed, but then He had to allow the whole thing to play out.

Because the entire universe needed truth to be evident to all.

I’m sure that God tried over and over to reclaim the dissident–show him where he was headed, what would happen if he insisted doing his own thing.

But once evil is embraced, it takes hold –like cancer–it destroys good.

The war was on.

Now the question arose: who is responsible?

If God had completely separated from the opposition, they would have died.

But the whole watching universe would have wondered who caused their demise?

Enter, the developmental model.

The plan to give creatures procreation was a great stage for the truth to become obvious. It’s my belief that it was already a design in God’s mind, as another means of showing love. But now, though extremely risky, it was also the most powerful demonstration of good and evil choices.

If we embrace love we hand it down to  our offspring–even with broken natures.

If we embrace evil we hand it down to our offspring with its resulting death.

Again, we were started out good–with freedom.

Choices become the building blocks of our identity (also known as character).

Twenty-plus years as a Family Systems Therapist proved to me that generations usually repeat their dysfunctions. Sometimes getting better, sometimes getting worse.

Perception is a choice. There are always two ways, at least, to see things. But evil is resident here.

I like things simple. So I believe the Genesis story. And how exciting that science is catching up to endorsing it!

If evil moved in with Eve’s choice, then the Garden went from 99% good and 1% evil to 50% good and 50% evil.

God put a boundary on evil inside of us. He gave us a hatred for it. (Genesis 3:15) So I believe that it has to keep balanced unless we choose or agree with one or the other.

God doesn’t want us to be afraid. He will keep safe what is His. But He won’t force you to be his friend.  Neither will He force you to heal your brokenness.

The good news is God is always looking for ways to get through to you, to show you His Love. He doesn’t give up until you can’t hear or see Him anymore, until you truly are “done” with Him. And He is the only one who really knows when that is.

If you need a bigger, better picture of God, and suffering, come to my blog for five minutes a day. In a year you will have the most compact and comprehensive picture of God available. http://Godhelps.net/God-in-a-Box

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“God isn’t like That!”

I’m sitting in my gazebo listening to trees sighing, baby birds cheeping, the warm morning sun on my back.

I’m smelling the sweetness of white Freesia, in a vase in front of me, intermittently wafted with the fragrance of Honeysuckle, overflowing the corner beside me, as I watch the Mockingbirds feed their babies. Their nest is just across from me, built inside the wrapped vines of Pink Bower Vine, six feet away.

This must be close to experiencing heaven, I think.

I watch the birds swoop in and land, deposit their treasures into squeaking little mouths, and fly away for more.

I marvel at their instincts–the care that looks like love to me–yet comes from a tiny bird brain, and I think You really can see God in nature–that’s what God is like–making tiny creatures look so loving even though it’s all just instinct–reflective of His love.

I love it that the parents aren’t afraid of me. (I’m down here every day, writing; they’ve obviously gotten used to me.) I’m reluctant to leave my idyllic retreat to go to work–hearing people’s pain. I don’t mind if I can help, and usually I can.

Maybe I am like the birds to God–feeding little squeaking minds. Even though my tiny brain can’t comprehend His love, I “get” just enough to be able to help others, and  assure them He is real and cares–the Biblical description of faith… It’s a good job.

But I hear so much of what God is not like, so much pain inflicted on people: deaths, divorces, people who can’t get past limiting beliefs given by their parents. Rejection, jealousy of siblings, pain of abuse, misinterpreting actions of preoccupied parents, all steal our joy, leaving us wondering where is God?

So much of what happens here is not reflective of God, not representative. God isn’t like that! Especially the occasional massacre of innocents that shocks and debilitates our faith. We know it isn’t God. Yet atrocities cause questions.

“Why?” we ask.

“Where is God? How can He be loving? Why doesn’t He stop it?”

There is a short answer. But most people don’t find it very helpful, love and freedom.

The long answer is in my blog, God-in-a-Box–Your Inbox, at http://Godhelps.net which will be starting again April 14. You can sign up to have it come to your inbox five days a week. It’s less than 250 words a day. In fact, you can sign up here on WordPress at http://911forsoldiers.wordpress.com and I hope you will.

There you will learn, one day at a time, for a year, the Biblically-documented story of the war we live in, and why Jesus came to our planet. It’s a great story. Perhaps the greatest. And you’ll get to see what God is really like.

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