Praiseworthy Enough?

I have a question I have been mulling over lately, a test, if you will. The test? “Is catastrophe praiseworthy?”  My hypothesis?  “Praiseworthiness can only be validated through the good that comes through God.”

One can not simply make a hypothesis without verifying it through empirical data.  Let me share a most recent experience to help you track with my theory.  A couple of weeks ago I learned a new term, “The Widow Maker“, which refers to the main artery in the heart.  My wife shared this terminology with me as she overheard multiple doctors discussing an astounding result – Kim’s Father, sitting in his hospital bed, alive and well!  Let’s go back a bit to Thursday night, the time of her father’s heart attack.  A massive blood clot entered his left coronary artery with a swift and fierce burning sensation.  To be clear, this is deadly, but not the same as cardiac arrest.  However, if not properly treated within less than 20 minutes, the Widow Maker has a highly effective kill rate as a result of cardiac arrest.  Empirical data: Kim’s Father had 100% blockage for more than 20 minutes; Kim’s Mother was present (phone in hand) at the onset; The Paramedics Post was literally a block away; The hospital – less than 2 miles away; The doctors identified the clot location, removed it and added a stint opening a path of blood flow, saving Kim’s Father’s life.

Let me add some more experiential data to a potentially theoretical praise.  Earlier in the morning, prior to Kim’s Father’s heart attack, I was discussing with my two oldest children how God intervenes to protect us.  My attempt was to communicate with Micah and Grace how the LORD intervenes in our lives to protect us, not knowing that He was going to do just that for their Grandpa hours later.  A common discussion Kim and I have with our children in situations like these is a matter of choice.  We can believe in great coincidences, or we can believe in a Great Physician who orders our circumstances for His great glory.  The latter is something we could go on and on about in how God was glorified through this life threatening event.

So I will leave you with one simple verse of Scripture to bring my hypothesis home.  “We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about His power and mighty wonders.”Psalm 78:4 NLT

I’d say that the empirical data speaks for itself in how praiseworthy our LORD truly is.  God is more than worthy of our praise, accolades and mad props – no matter what the circumstances are.

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Gratitude is a 4-Letter Word

Why is it so hard to say “thank you” and actually mean it?  Think about the times during Thanksgiving when peer pressure forces you to give one thing that you are thankful for.  You knew that moment would come didn’t you?  However, some people would rather perform their own appendectomy before they would give thanks. […]

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Fear, Anger, Hate and Suffering

A wise “man” once said, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering.” (Yoda)  Is what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri this process?  Before we start to validate points and point fingers, there is a little matter of business to attend to.

Looking at the four descriptors in the title of this post, we can quickly and easily confirm their origin, the place they first began.  Let’s use Scripture to address each one specifically.  FEAR; “[Adam] answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.‘” (Genesis 3:10)  ANGER; “The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.’” (Genesis 4:6-7)  HATE; “And I [GOD] will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)  SUFFERING; “But the Lord said to him, ‘Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.’ Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.” (Genesis 4:15)

Each of these benchmarks most definitely identify us as we enter into this world.  Only One is set apart from this process and only One can keep God’s will fully.  Let me be clear, it’s not you, it’s not me, it’s not even Billy Graham.  The One is our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.  As I type this part, in my mind I’m saying, “duh!”  However, God has also repeatedly revealed to me that many will disagree with this assumption and in the process, deny the true gift of eternal life.

Let’s get back to Ferguson.  Regardless of your stance on Michael Brown’s death and Officer Wilson’s story to the Grand Jury, we have to own both sides of ugliness that this riot-driven protest has brought.  Let me explain.  Over a decade ago I lived in Peoria, Illinois and I soon learned that I was the minority and I feared for my safety and life.  This process created an anger in my heart towards others who were different than me, racially speaking, as well as those who had enough money to afford whatever their hearts desired.  I began to hate groups of people, regardless of having any specific agitation towards them.  Ultimately this process led to my self-guided suffering.  WHY?  It all boils down to sin, mine, yours, everyone’s sin.

The only true weapon we have to combat sin is through the power of Jesus’ blood.  Jesus’ little brother once said, “Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20)  Is sin crouching at your door?  Not sure how to answer that question?  How about honestly asking God to reveal your fears, anger, hatred and perhaps the suffering that follows.  Although Yoda is a fictitious character, the words he spoke in Star Wars Episode 1 are a reminder that we might be one bad choice away from repeating Ferguson’s sin in our own home town.

In summation, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal…Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:1, 4-7)  Please read all of 1 Corinthians 13 to get the full effect of God’s consuming Love for His people and see how He protects us from the sin that knocks on our door.  All praise and glory are His and His alone.

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What Say You?

Have you ever caught yourself saying something that scared you?  Words that just leapt out of your mouth?  Perhaps something in the line of, “I can’t believe you are that stupid!” or “Does everything you touch end up broken?!”  Whether you’ve said similar things or heard these types of words directed at you, it flat out hurts. […]

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Why Do We Do What We Do?

As many individuals begin to realize the world around themselves – one would tend to (hopefully) notice that this world is not rotating around the beauty of them.  History has proven otherwise.  For example, the iconic lead singer of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain once said, “I don’t care what you think unless it’s about me.”  In […]

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FLOW – Part 1 – Exile

I’ve come across a new study on the Gospel and I’ve been quite compelled to share it with you.  But before I dig into Episode 1, I’d like to share the video trailer to this simple, yet deeply thought provoking artistic approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So without further or do… Episode 1 […]

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