Saturday, January 23, 2010

Apparently, God is an Arsonist




















"God set our store on fire because we are adding a liquor store," said She-who-shall-not-be-named.

I am with holding the name out of respect and good manners. But anyone from the Cub Shack knows who I am referring to...most likely because they have received an earful from her at one point or another. (Plus, I wrote about her before. She is one of the reasons why I don't like to call myself a Christian, but instead use different terms.) The other day I got an email from a friend at work. She was wondering how to act, and what to think when having to interact with this person from work. Let's just say that it is less than easy to be around her...plus I swear her piercing laugh (Cackle) sounds exactly like a flock of ducks in a pond. (Am I right, Mick?)

This situation that I am writing about falls easily on the foot heels of what I wrote about in my last post...displaying the Fruit of the Spirit, and such.

Over a year ago, we had a small fire in the construction area of our store. In fact, it actually WAS in the new area where we were adding on a liquor store. She-who-shall-not-be-named has some physical issues that keep her from re-stocking the shelves and such. So she was given the arduous task of sitting out front and explaining to people that the store was closed until we could get cleaned up and re-stocked. She proceeded to explain to everyone that God had intervened to punish Cub Foods for adding on an area that would sell the demon of liquor. (Didn't go over that well with the management, I should add.)

She-who-shall-not-be-named also has a few other catch phrases that she sprinkles liberally in conversation with customers. Her favorite is, "I don't work for the store. I work for God." And based on her behavior, I am oh-so sure that God is very appreciative of her efforts on His behalf.

Now, I know that everything I have said thus far comes off as sarcastic...and it is. (Hey, I had an amazingly crappy day at the store...I need to vent!) This person makes it very clear that "She loves Jesus, Damn it!" And you better do what she advises, or you're going to Hell. What most folks respond with...at least internally is, "But I don't want to be like you. You're no fun at all!!!"

OK, so it would be easy for me to go on with snotty comments about said individual. Honestly, she really does set herself up to be a very slowly walking target. But I do not think that helps the situation much. It's easy to gossip and make jokes behind someone's back...and I'm guilty.

So I decided to be proactive with this person. I almost always have a book with me for breaks at work. I decided to bring in a copy of Brennan Manning's The Ragamuffin Gospel, and loan it to She-who-shall-not-be-named. I picked out 4 chapters for her to take a look at. All of them deal with how much God loves Believers even when they don't believe it for various reasons. I am just hoping to get her to think a little bit, and maybe to jar her a bit out of the way she acts.

Honestly, there are so many people out there who call themselves Christians, but have no joy, no peace, no love, no NOTHING in their lives. (No Fruit of the Spirit I would argue.) If they have anything at all on display, it tends to be man-made religious crap and plenty of "Works." That is absolutely true in the case of this person.

I figured that it was just easier to challenge her in this method. Manning's writing is excellent! Plus, it's hard to interrupt words on a page. Hopefully, this will lead to a discussion between she & I at some point. All I really want her to know is that Jesus deeply & unconditionally loves her. I think that if she truly understood that in her heart, she might behave just a bit differently.

I'll let you know what happens.

In the mean time, I'll leave you with this from Brennan Manning. Remember, he is talking about people who call themselves "Christians." Just give it a listen. See if you find something of comfort in his words. I think he might be on to something.



I hope he's right, because it is like a sword through my heart every time I listen. Could God's love REALLY be that big & overwhelming? I hope so.

Peace

Joe

7 comments:

  1. "I hope he's right"

    He's not. Jesus will tell the sheep and the goats exactly how their hearts were.

    I like a lot of what Brennan says, but he leaves out some of the truth of Scripture.

    A sinner is saved by Christ. He saves us. if we are saved from our sin, and God's warth, then we will know we are, and we will love Jesus, and love His Word, for He is the Word.

    It's scary to take such license in saying things that are not Scriptural.

    God sent His Son to die on the Cross for us, so that we will not perish, but have eternal life with Him, and nothing can seperate us from this love, that is in Christ, and no one can snatch us out of Jesus' hand, nor the Fther's hand. (John 10)

    The reason any sinner is allowed into heaven is because of Christ's death for him or her, and their sins, not in part, but the whole, have been nailed to the Cross. And God alos imputes His righteousness to us! (2 Cor. 5:21)

    have a great Lord's day.

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  2. So, as a sheep myself, Jesus WON'T tell me how much he loves me when I finally get to see him?

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  3. Don

    I agree with everything you said, and the funny part is that so would Manning. Be careful about taking his words, or anyone else's out of context by not looking at the big picture. All he is really saying is, that as a Believer...saved by Jesus' work on the cross, that Jesus then is insanely in love with us. (That pretty much sums up the entire book) Anyone can yank some sentences out of place and damn a whole book.

    The fact of the matter is that I NEED to hear things like this. It gives me, a guy who loves to condemn himself on a regular basis, hope and peace in my heart. It might not be the way that everyone connects to Christ, but it helps me a great deal.

    P.S. Speaking of taking someone's words out of context. "Have a great Lords day?" I thought every day was the Lord's Day? But if you are referring to the Sabbath...well, "Scripturally" that would not be today, Sunday. That would have been Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. You get where I am going with this? :) :) :)

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  4. There's good evidence for Sunday being the Lord's Day:

    "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day" Rev. 1:10

    Acts 20:7 & 1 Cor. 16:2 also refer to Sunday as a special day.

    Sunday as the day believers come together for worship is a teaching from Scripture as Baptism mode would be, or eschatology. These are things that are true, but not essential. However, they are truths in the Bible.

    To make dogmatic statements like Brennan did to me is wrong.

    If He said, "I would have to think one of the things the Lord will say to us is such and such", that would be fine.

    Does the Lord love those He died for? Absolutely.
    Why does Christ love us, even before the foundations of the world He loved us?

    I don't believe we will ever know why He loves those He has chosen to save.

    I don't know why He loves someone who is a blasphemer, hypocrite, and fool like me. But He does.

    The Word of God is where the children of God will receive our encouragement and edification in His truth and love. It's from the Word that joy fills our hearts. It's from His promises that peace fills our souls. And it's from the Spirit's making His truth and wisdom become part of us, that He pours His love into us, and so it fills our hearts as well.
    I dis like this Brennan Manning. Thanks for posting him.

    Have a nice Sunday!

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  5. You sure you want to keep reading my blog? It will only cause you a further headache.

    Why say "Thank You" for posting someone you obviously dislike? I will be posting stuff from various people and their various perspectives on Christian Spirituality...some you will agree with, others you won't.

    I always welcome the "Take" on finite people's views as they wrestle with the infinite "Truth of Christ." None of us have it 100%, despite what our chosen theology tells us. (Again, if I don't see the Fruit of the Spirit & the Character of Jesus in it...Thhhhpppttt!)

    I don't want to make you mad, or dissapoint you, but I do want to let you know what you are in for.

    BTW: Honestly, as far as context is concerned, I think you kinda missed the big picture of what I was trying to say in those posts. Forget the dicing & slicing of various sentences! You tell me, What was I trying to get at in that last post????? Read it again! Honestly, what was I actually trying to say about this lady from my work, in your opinion?

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  6. "I am just hoping to get her to think a little bit, and maybe to jar her a bit out of the way she acts."

    I guess you are trying to help her see things your way. Which is fine, when your way is from God's heart as well.

    Not that any of us are perfect, but we surely can know and understand that there's a truth, a Gospel truth, and we need to share the truth with love and compassion.

    I have met ladyies like this one. there are self-righteous people in the Body of Christ. Hopefully the Lord will open their hearts, and bring conviction upon them, as He does for all those who seek, ask, and knock, and genuinely look for the truth. God's grace is is what we need.

    I alwsy try to remember this saying: "But for the grace of God, there go I."

    It's difficult thing to walk in faith with the truth. Some people are going to hate you. I meed to be able to repent constantly. And God has been faithful to me, even when I'm not faihtful.

    We have a marvelous Savior!

    And you may be right about you and me discussing things.

    I do have friends who think I'm a fool. Weird, but some unbelievers actually have befriended me.

    I respect them, and simply share the truth from the Bible, and try to love everybody, for that is the greatest way we can show our love for Christ, when we "love the least of these".

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  7. Here's to "she - who - shall - not - be - named". Listen, or thy tongue will make thee deaf. (Old indian saying)

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