Consequences or Entrapment

Suffering: for good or bad..Which is worse?

(Not referring to which is better, but to which is for lack of a better word, more challenging.)

Suffering consequences from wrong actions…

Or suffering the torture and entrapment of doing right?

Better to suffer for good than bad I know, but there is a certain sense, this side of hell at least in which suffering for good is just too extremely intense to bear.

Saints need perseverance, to endure to the end, but we also are called to be perfect which who can grasp?  When I am not perfect, temptation starts to loom, thus it becomes more challenging to turn back to right.  One wrong decision can cause a cascade leading to more suffering consequences and re-sowing instead of reaping.

I think maybe the one advantage suffering for good has is to avoid the Groundhog Day effect that comes with consequences, i.e., you keep repeating the same vicious cycle of apologies, patronizing, disappointment from others, others having an idea what you’ve been up to.  Ok, so that’s more than one advantage.

But my reason for writing is not to state the obvious but to make a case for suffering for wrong.  Solely because as David knew, suffering for right leads to persecution from outsiders incl. friends, or in Job’s case, from God.  He’s always testing our hearts for some reason.

I suppose with the subject of suffering, it’s like a long process of learning to walk.  Like…half a step..crash…another quarter step…fall…two steps forward…roll back down the hill and so forth.

persecuted for righteousness?

I have recently had the “privilege” of being let go from my church for 1 year at least.  I plan on moving on but anyway…

I was pretty miffed once I got the phone call from the police officer who officiates our Sunday services.  Not just miffed, but suspicious.

He told me it was the church’s prerogative to ban someone for any length of time due to it being a private institution.  But I later come to find out that the folks that complained about me complained to him, not to our pastor.  Furthermore I was informed by another source that he handled the decision on his own.  So I’m thinking separation of church and state?  First amendment freedom to worship in church of your choice?

After talking to the pastor, it was ultimately the church’s decision to comply with law enforcement’s decision but still their hand was forced.  

The nature of the complaints remain unknown to me.  But besides being kicked out of a place where I’m being fed and worshipping, the whole thing just looks a bit fishy.

What does Trust in God look like? part ii

Trust in God for King David was depending on God to rescue him from his adversaries.

Trust in God for Job was trying to reckon with and endure through what in the world God had done to him (for him?).

I’m sure many of us have experienced at least the felt blessings that come from being persecuted for righteousness.  But then there are those times when we feel just flat out persecuted.  Not knowing why or to what extent obviously conjures up the notion of trust.  

And our memories are only so good.  Praise God for his Holy Spirit bringing things to mind at the right times.  But I’m sure we’d all like a treasure chest of our experience knowledge to start with.

The first step is the hardest, said Indiana Jones stepping out onto the invisible bridge.  Here, trust doesn’t seem based on God’s goodness landmarks in our lives, so much as on His character we see in our relationship with Him.

Discernment, says the Bible, is obtained by constant practice.  That’s how you know God’s good and perfect will.  And that is where the relationship comes as well.  One day at a time, sweet Jesus. 

What does Trust in God look like?

Trust in God doesn’t depend on what He does for us so much as what He doesn’t do for us, or at least doesn’t appear to do for us.

“Though He slay me yet will I serve Him” – Job

Saying He is faithful in more often than not a statement of belief rather than saying ‘look what He has done’.  Sure.  we say it when God shows up, but the goal is to say It when we’re confused, disillusioned, feeling abandoned.

Maybe it’s because this is what trains our wills, to asccept His righteousness via our taking Him at His word, regardless of the circumstances.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.