Blaming God

I was going to write a big long post about blaming God when things go wrong. I drew inspiration from the story about Steve Johnson. He’s a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills who dropped a game-winning pass last night and blamed God for it. I’ll spare you the long, rambling post it turned into and just give you the salient point.

God can take it.

If things go wrong, question away. It seems to me the Bible is filled with men saying “God, why in the world did this have to happen?” Through that questioning, hopefully we pull a little closer to God as he answers those questions. He can handle it. We aren’t offending him by questioning. Sometimes God gives us a journey that is long and difficult to bring us to or strengthen our faith.

On the other side, don’t forget to consistently praise him when the good things happen either. We are a people who will blame God for every plane that crashes but won’t say a word of kindness for the thousands that land safely.

Spelling is fun

Since Cody started kindergarten, he’s really made huge strides. We’re so excited to see him learning how to spell and read. Over the holiday, we did a lot of driving. One of his favorite games was to spell signs as we passed them and ask what they said.

Last night on the way home, he had been very quiet for a while. Suddenly he started spelling. “Mom, what does h-o-o-t-e-r-s spell?” he asked.

Career choices

A big part of this blog is just documenting the great things about my kids so I’ll never forget them. Conner had one of those quotes today.

“I could be a farmer, but no, I’d rather be a knight instead. I’ll have a big castle.”

I miss being seven.

Same old sin, same old results

Over the course of the years I’ve subscribed to hundreds of websites. One that has always made me laugh is The FAIL Blog. Lately, I’ve noticed I’ve started skipping a lot of their videos. It’s not that they aren’t entertaining, it’s just that I know exactly what I’m going to get out of them.

If it’s titled “Bike Jump Fail,” I know someone is going to take a very painful spill off a bike in mid-jump. If it’s titled “Triple Flip Fail,” I know someone is going to eat some dirt during a failed triple flip. Sure enough, I click the play button on most and get exactly what I expect. I’m not saying it isn’t funny, just predictable.

Some of my sins have become the FAIL blog of my life. I see them out there. I know I’m being tempted to commit them and I even know the results. I know the brief moment of satisfaction sin brings is just that, brief. I know soon after I’ll regret it and have to ask forgiveness of God and others. Sins are predictable, and yet still hard to shake. I keep hitting the play button, even though I know the eventual results.

I sin because I’m trying to fill a hole in my life with things other than God. Everyone does. And even knowing it can’t fill that emptiness, we keep trying. Thankfully, through God’s grace, we are eventually able to conquer those sins. It’s rarely easy, but it is satisfying in a way committing those sins could never, ever be. We just have to run to our great King in those times and ask for his grace and mercy.

Living for God’s glory and avoiding security guards with tazers

This last Sunday we visited The Village Church in Highland Village, Texas. The Village is kind a home away from home for Becca and I. God has used their pastor, Matt Chandler, to greatly influence our lives, so it was nice to finally see him in person.

We arrived late and got the last two seats in the building. I almost geeked out when my seat ended up on the front row. I was in the splash zone. Somehow, I managed to avoid my urge to jump up on stage and hug him. That would have been a little creepy and I’m pretty sure they have security for just such occasions. Being tazed wasn’t on my Sunday to-do list.

Once I settled in for the sermon, one of the things he said that really jumped out at me is that the entire reason for our existence is to bring glory and renown to the the name of Christ. Of course, I’ve understood this for a long time, but I rarely take time to really think about it in regards to my life.

What areas of my life don’t seem to serve this purpose?

Turns out there are quite a few. If you take the time to really examine every part of your daily life, I think you’ll be shocked how much of it doesn’t serve that purpose. My goal this week is to really dive into things and see how it is bringing God glory. Do I work in a way that brings glory to God? Do I lead my family in a way that brings glory to God? Do I relax in a way that brings glory to God? I think it’s an important exercise to try out.

Note: I really don’t know if the security guards have tazers. They may be packing more heat than that or just a trusty Mag light. I really didn’t pay that much attention.

For future reference

My admittedly cynical definition of “election day”: The day a tiny portion of the American population comes together to disagree on which is the lesser of two evils.

A theology for suffering

Often times, we can go months or even years without any thought given to death. I’ve lived a pretty blessed life. Over the course of my 30 years, I’ve only lost a few people close to me. However, the events of the last two months have brought the fact that we aren’t promised tomorrow into stark focus. My brother-in-law’s death happened quickly and at such a young age, it didn’t really give us time to process everything until afterwards. Two weeks ago I helped with a horrible car wreck which, again, demonstrated that our time here is so limited. Then, this weekend, my dad’s boss was killed in a tragic car accident. He was just 26.

That’s a lot to take in for someone so unaccustomed to dealing with our mortality.

We spent the weekend in shock at yet another loss. I didn’t personally know him, but just having someone close to you lose someone suddenly has the same shocking effect. He was so young and no one had any time to prepare. I watched my kids play this weekend with a heightened since of emotion. I longed to protect them from this world. I longed to impart to them the wisdom that might some day save them from tragedy. But, I also acknowledge that I can only do my best. My mom asked if I could ever imagine losing a son. Even the smallest thought in that direction brings tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine it.

The one thing that has really made all this bearable is my belief in the sovereignty of God. My belief that he is in 100 percent control of everything that happens gives me hope. It gives me hope because even in the midst of horrific loss, I know he is still in control. This world is not a series of random occurrences that we just have to suffer through with no hope. I personally know plenty of people that don’t trust God in these times. One thing I don’t know, though, is how they do it. If I thought the fate of my children was in the hands of random chance, I don’t know how I could approach each day without locking them in a protected room.

I know three things. I know God is in control. I know he loves me. I know he does everything around me for my good.

These days, my good looks like some terrible personal tragedies that force me to rely on God. That increasing reliance brings with it a sweetness that I can’t describe. I thank God every day that he does not abandon us. I thank God that the “bad” things that happen aren’t because he is angry with me. He loves me and sees exactly how all this fits together in the grand scheme of things.

I’ve heard Matt Chandler preach about a theology of suffering a lot. I’ve never really and truly understood it until I went through suffering on a scale larger than I could handle on my own. The reminder, “God is good and does good,” has been what got me through a few hard months. It has become a sweet phrase to hear in my soul.