"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Smile of Providence Is All Around: Just Look

109 comments:

Clif Cummings said...

This is so cool! Thanks for the providential reminder.

KevinB said...

Hard not to think of william cowper's "God Moves in a Mysterious Way".

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace; Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

Precisely the verse I had in mind. Dr. George Ella, a member of our church and distinguished Christian historian and author, has called Cowper's poetry the finest ever produced by saved man.

Anonymous said...

"I sought the Lord, and He heard me... " Psalm 34:4 :):):)

L's Gran

Anonymous said...

" shall the

Sun of righteousness rise;

with healing in His wings.. . . "

Malachi 4:2

Lin said...

I am reading a bio of George Washington Carver to my daughter. I am so blessed to read how he saw God in all of creation..even in roots, different kinds of grasses, colors, etc. and related scripture to every aspect of his work and life.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Wade

There are miracles all around us; we are too busiy or too blind to see them.

Thank you for sharing this one with us. :)

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

I set it as my laptop background.

What a great reminder that we stand in the smile of His Grace because of the finished work of our Lord.

Dad

Anonymous said...

DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn's rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush;
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.

~Author Unknown~

Robert I Servants said...

When we consider this verse:

Daniel 4:14
He called in a loud voice: 'Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches.'


... together with this one ...

18Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches."

...and this ...

Revelation 18:2
With a mighty voice he shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird."


It is clear that birds do not symbolize Providence, but rather at times Judgment and at times Mercy. This is no doubt because birds are widely known to be the modern descendants of dinosaurs, since sometime after July of 2517 BC. No serious scholar would dispute this.

Therefore, as rational beings bound by both conscience and perpiscuity, we are left to conclude that either Wade Burleson, by his association of birds with Providence, is at the very least disingenuous, or, more probably, a Theological Liberal. Or perhaps a Legalist. Or all of the above. The conslusion is inescapable.

From the Cooperative Program Jerusalem
Robert I Servants

Wade Burleson said...

Robert

If I didn't know any better I might think you had accidently swallowed some bird poop with your morning cereal.

Smile,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Robert Servants said, "Therefore, as rational beings bound by both conscience and perpiscuity, we are left to conclude that either Wade Burleson, by his association of birds with Providence, is at the very least disingenuous, or, more probably, a Theological Liberal. Or perhaps a Legalist. Or all of the above. The conslusion is inescapable."

COMMENT:

No, Mr. Servants.
I do not understand that at all about Wade.

Here is why:

In Christian symbolism, a bird often represents the coming of the Holy Spirit 'descending in the form of a Dove' .

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the Gospel of St. Matthew? This is the first Gospel in the New Testament of our Christian Holy Scriptures.

You can find reference to this poetic symbol in Chapter 3, Verse 16.

So Wade, who is VERY up on the Scriptures, would be conscious of that verse.

But there is something else we know about Wade: he has compassion for suffering people. We know this quite well, as it has cost him in his dealings with the 'leadership' of the mission board.

Wade is aware of the tension of the times: politically and economically for his readers.
Wade would want for the readers of his blog to have a quiet moment to reflect on and appreciate one of God's gifts to us of comfort in this lovely picture.

NOW,

Here is something you might want to pick apart, if you understand what it means. It is NOT something that can be taken literally:

A small boy asked a rabbi:
"What is God?"
The rabbi answered, saying:
"What is not God?

Good luck trying to understand this if you could not recognize God's blessing in the gift that Wade was sharing with us.

Respectfully,
L's Gran

Anonymous said...

Bird poop? NOW, I'm laughing.
Thanks, Wade. I needed that. :)

P.S. I think it was probably
"horse feathers" in that
cereal. :)

Wade Burleson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Ain't it the truth? Ya put up a stunning photo and give the credit to the Creator of all things and someone calls you a liberal!

Does that mean the birds are liberal?? :-)

grace
wtreat2centurytel.net

Elisabeth said...

For some reason Robert I Servants from the co-operative program Jerusalem reminds me of Robert I Masters from the Southern Baptist Geneva.

His comment struck me as some pretty funny sarcasm, actually. I loved the "bird poop" comment too, Wade.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Servant,

If you are based in Israel, as your organization is labeled, then you would already know this famous quote :

"In Israel,
in order to be a realist
you must believe in miracles."

- David Ben-Gurion

Anonymous said...

Elisabeth said, "For some reason Robert I Servants from the co-operative program Jerusalem reminds me of Robert I Masters from the Southern Baptist Geneva."

Some of us might notice more of a resemblance to one Peter Lumpkins who often blogs here. I wonder if they know each other. Sounds like they have some similar views.

Anonymous said...

Grace said:

"Does that mean the birds are liberal?? :-)"

Well, Grace, you know the old saying: "As free as a bird."


Uh oh, my husband just reminded me of another saying: Jail-bird.

I, not-so-humbly,
and in-no-way-subordinate,
stand corrected. This time. :(

Anonymous said...

In reference to what Robert I servants said:

Where does one come up with such negative comments about a picture of a bird? Seriously, can you not enjoy God's creation he gave us.

The definition for Providence: Divine Guidance and care.

Wade's title was "The smile of Providence is all around: Just look".

How is that not God showing us he CARES about us? Doesn't he share his beauty out of love and CARE?

I enjoyed the picture and it was very uplifting to see Gods beauty in it. :)

Anonymous said...

"The English name Isaac is a translation of the Hebrew term Yiṣḥāq which literally means "may God smile."

A wish of mankind: for God to smile. :)

Bob Cleveland said...

as i looked into the sky

a bird dropped whitewash in my eye

all i say is my oh my

i sure am glad that cows don't fly

amen

Anonymous said...

It would seem appropriate to me that Mr. Burleson give credit to this picture where credit is due. That might be difficult however seeing as the buzz on the net surrounding this picture (which is in some cases almost 2 years old) is that the birds where air-brushed.

While I affirm the sovereignty of God in all things, I do not believe He is the Provisor of this Photoshop Phake.


Thank you and goodnight,

~The SBC Watchdog.

Steve said...

Probably a fake, since the presence of the scavenger/raptor pictured below the matching birds would certainly have caused the others to rush away. Scavengers and raptors stay very high until just before descending to feed/hunt, and the others would have to have seen it and fled, unless guided by an Immortal Hand.

A really cute shot, however.

Tom Parker said...

SBC Watchdog:

Let me get this straight--you are saying God can not put three birds together-that looks like a smile. Pitiful.

Wade, thanks for sharing such an uplifting photo.

Byroniac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Byroniac said...

I agree with SBC watchdog. Not that God can't do it, but it's probably a fake. It's a cute picture though.

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker,

Can you read? Or do you just pull thoughts out of the sky and place them on the net without thinking?

You would have to be a blooming idiot to get out of my post that I in anyway denigrated the sovereignty of God.

I am simply reporting what has been said about the pic for almost 2 years.

I am simply reporting that once again Wade has spoken before he has done all the research. If he can't get it right on a simple picture, how can we take his attacks of the leadership in the SBC seriously?

Btw, that was not a question directed to you Tom Parker. I would not trust your juvenile ethic to count your own fingers.

We at the home office know who you REALLY are,

~The SBC Watchdog

Anonymous said...

Dear SBC Attack Dog,

You wrote to Tom: "We at the home office know who you REALLY are,
~The SBC Watchdog"


A simple perusal of your style: content, tone, sarcasm, spelling, etc. reveal who YOU really are. :)

ATTACK DOG: WE HAVE OUR EYE ON YOU.

Our rallying cry is: Remember the seventy-seven missionaries martyred by the fundies!

We speak in support of the REAL 'Home' Office. Yes, the one on the TOP FLOOR.


-Supporters Of HIS Seventy-Seven

Anonymous said...

Supporter of the 77 (Wade):

Spelling? No spelling errors exist in my posts. You sound like Obama, attacking through lies which no one actually goes and checks.

I am he (or she) who cannot be revealed.

PHOTO UDATE: It is has been revealed to us at the home office by an anonymous source that this picture in fact CANNOT be from God. From His perspective it appears to be a sad lady. :)


~The SBC Watchdog

Tom Parker said...

The SBC Watchdog:

Notice, I put my name to my post. Who are you? I'm not bullied easily and your attacks do not bother me at all.

Wade, once again absolutely beautiful picture for those who can see the beauty of God.

Wade Burleson said...

Watchdog,

If I have anything to say to you, I'll sign my name, unlike yourself.

Also, I received the photograph from one of our members who is in the Air Force. Whether or not it is real I'll live up to those familiar with fake smiles.

Wade

bryan riley said...

I just shared a similar picture and story - even squirrels speak of God.

Thy Peace said...

The "original" of this image comes from this link:

God's Smile

The image is in jpg. You have to be a "friend" to download this image. You can analyze this jpg, to see if photoshop left its residues. Normally, photoshop leaves something in the meta data.

I have not done the above, but would encourage one of you to do it. :-)

Thy Peace said...

In the above link, I sent earlier, if you go the "folder", it has this sentence:

This is the link to the folder:

My Best Photos

"The photos that I have taken that I like the best"

NativeVermonter said...

It's somewhat amusing how an innocuous photo, or "photo," can quickly turn south. Mr. Parker, in his initial comment, SBC Watchdog did not in any shape or form cast any doubt or dispersion on the abilities of our Mighty Creator.

SBC Watchdog, I do feel you made an illogical leap to go from a simple posting of a picture (fake or otherwise) to questioning a person's ability to make critical judgments.


Also Mr. Parker, I feel I must state the obvious here; your comments both on Brother Wade's blog as of late, and recently to Mr. Joe White on Brother Ascol's blog would hardly qualify as Iron Sharpening.


Let's hope today's thread can make a comeback, much like my beloved Red Sox.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

Maybe Watchdog's name says more than he realizes:

watch
DOG-DOG-DOG-DOG-DOG

He acknowledges he is a dog, but he really should not insult dogs like that. I have four dogs and none of them act like him.


I wonder if he is more watch or DOG.

I think his comments answer that question.

Tom Parker said...

nativevermonter:

Please point out the error of my ways.

You say to me" Also Mr. Parker, I feel I must state the obvious here; your comments both on Brother Wade's blog as of late, and recently to Mr. Joe White on Brother Ascol's blog would hardly qualify as Iron Sharpening."

Please be more specific or I will not be able to improve my iron sharpening.

Thanks in advance to your constructive criticism.

Wade: If I am out of line on any of my comments please point them out to me.

Thy Peace said...

Please do not disparage Watchdog's name. There are some good watchdog's. Though most in the establishment, think they are of the Devil and the Evils of Satan.

Example of good Watchdog:

FBC JAX WATCHDOG

I am certain, the SBC Watchdog will NOT like FBC JAX Watchdog.

NativeVermonter said...

Mr. Parker,

You can accept or reject my opinion, frankly, it neither: "picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg."

Good day to you, Mr. Parker.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

We might cool it just a bit. Engaging in conversation with anonymous flamers is ultimately not productive. It has a tendency to spiral downwards.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I apologize and will stop.

I promise I will do better in the future.

As always I accept you advice and I am done trying to converse with the anonymous.

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade, your words reveal you to be wise. God bless you, Sir.

Anonymous said...

Oh Wade, don't be so dramatic. You allow a ton of anon posts and don't give them this much grief. :)

Alas however I was trapped. Goto the jax watchdog website. I am one of about 10-15 choices so far which you can chose from on that site's spy gadget. Or at least you might be able to guess what city I am in.

Anyway, it is still possible Wade, that you, by the posting of that picture, have broken at least 10 different OK state laws, ignored 13 federal statutes and other international copyright laws as well as Exodus 20:15.

Shame, shame,


~The SBC Watchdog

Anonymous said...

After a downward spiral, the only other direction for birds to go is: TO SPIRAL UPWARDS

We do well to follow them.

And so the cycle begins again. . .

God Bless You, Wade

Bob Cleveland said...

Arguing with anonymous flamers is like wrestling with pigs. You both get muddy, and pigs like mud.

Anonymous said...

"I am certain, the SBC Watchdog will NOT like FBC JAX Watchdog."

I am certain you are wrong. I happen to believe that Dr. Brunson’s reported activities, if true, exhibit much of what is wrong in the SBC empire today...indeed the evangelical empire. I tend to sit on the other side of the isle from Wade on Conventional politics and usually agree with what is said on SBCToday. But when Tim Rogers says this: "If someone wants to donate land for me to build a house, it is no one else’s business." then I think we can see that our understanding of what a pastor is has become so skewed that the cause may seem hopeless. Yes Mr. Rogers, I do believe it is the business of the people at JAX to, at the very least question the monetary gain of their pastor. And when emails and letters and phone calls consume all the time of Mr. Mac, then he might consider closing the computer and shutting off the phone and being a shepherd to his sheep.

~The SBC Watchdog

Byroniac said...

I did not mean to say that I agreed with all of SBC Watchdog's post, just that the picture could indeed be fake (possibly). I like the picture, though, and hope it is real.

Elisabeth said...

To SBC watchdog and all:

You know, when I saw this, I thought it might be a fake. I didn't say anything at the time because:
1. Fake or not, it is a cool reminder of God and of nature.
2. Fake or not, it is a beautiful picture.
3. I like art. I like to see what people can do with photos.
4. Fake or not, it is a piece of art, that causes mental and emotional responses in people.
5. Fake or not, this picture is an expression of worship of the person who made it.

Lighten up.

Thy Peace said...

SBC Watchdog: Thanks for the correction. If you wish to be SBC's Watchdog, can you please start a blog of your own, register your sbcwatchdog with google for an email address and so on.

I do not think Pastor Wade made any errors in posting a picture that is in the public domain or at least being widely circulated in LOT of the blogs and other sites.

G said...

Bob,

Pig Wrestling is somewhat of an enjoyable spectator sport, as witnessed by the crowds at county fairs when such events are held.

However, I would liken this more to the quote which has been attributed to many, most famously Mark Twain, which you know:

"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

Seems appropriate.

Gary in Norman

Anonymous said...

Byron: You're a good man.

E'liz: you totally missed the point.

Wade: You remind me of Obama. Someone said the other day that he is known for velvet gloves and steel fists. :)

~The SBC Watchdog (henceforth retired)

Anonymous said...

"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

Depends on the pig. :)

Miss P.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

With all the birds, dogs, pigs, and assorted sheep and a few goats here this morning, you COULD do a "Blessing of the Animals". :) I know it is done in October. It's okay, it is an inter-faith thing. The animals don;t know from denominations, they just know when we care, and I think they know when they are blessed, too. :)

"The Blessing of Animals is an outdoor worship service held each year on the Sunday in October closest to the Feast Day of St. Francis (October 3). All people who love animals, along with all pets and their human friends, are invited to this service, which focuses on God’s gifts of animals, the natural world, and our responsibilities as stewards of God’s creation."

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bob Cleveland,

I forgot to add cows, or maybe what you were talking about was 'winged-bovines floating above us in the air'. I get confused.

Dave Miller said...

I thought the picture was cute.
I was amazed to see that there were 5 comments on a pictures of birds that looks like a smile.

You guys are fighting and calling names over a picture of birds! This may be a new low.

I will wait until Wade's next screed calling my view of the trinity "Semi-Arian" to pick up the sword. At least that's worth arguing over.

If we can fight about the theological implication of a bird picture, we are a mess.

Dave Miller said...

"there were 55 coments"

Thy Peace said...

Now there are 58 comments :)

kooljim said...

Does said pig wear lipstick?

Anonymous said...

"I am simply reporting that once again Wade has spoken before he has done all the research. If he can't get it right on a simple picture, how can we take his attacks of the leadership in the SBC seriously?"

This is really what it is all about, friends.

But, you are going to have to do better than this, watchdog.

I remember when Ben Cole told us that Patterson wanted him to go through all of Rankin's sermons/speeches looking for evidence of Charismatic behavior in order to ruin his credibility within the SBC. He was even willing to use our tithe dollars to pay Cole to do this!

This is just more of the same type of tactic of trying to ruin Wade.

Lydia

Thy Peace said...

"Wade: You remind me of Obama. Someone said the other day that he is known for velvet gloves and steel fists. :)

~The SBC Watchdog (henceforth retired)"


I did a google search on the above ... and I find that the above phrase is attributed to Palin (the most), Obama (next) and also McCain. Go figure.

Thy Peace said...

I have tried to show the origins of the picture. On further cursory examination, that picture might not be from the links I gave. If you examine the pictures in that folder I gave a link to, you will notice that picture (God's Smile) resolution is OFF, compared to the other pictures in the folder. This leads to me to conclude, that maybe God's Smile did not originate with this person.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I am reading these comments and shaking my head. Is it any wonder God can't get through. His message gets dissected until it gets lost.

Anonymous said...

AMEN! Debbie, I agree with that... And yes I am a SB woman who said AMEN! Uh-OH! :)

debbiekaufman said...

:)

Anonymous said...

Lydia said,
"I remember when Ben Cole told us that Patterson wanted him to go through all of Rankin's sermons/speeches looking for evidence of Charismatic behavior in order to ruin his credibility within the SBC."

'to ruin his credibility within the SBC'

What kind of human being treats another human being like that?

The Golden Rule in reverse is: to not do to another what you would not want him to do to you.

There is something perverse about this type of behavior: detroying another's reputation.

It would be kinder to murder the poor man than to seek to destroy his reputation. And to try to involve another soul in the act: that just makes it so much worse.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

Think of Genesis 28:16 when you look at your picture of the birds.

Some people will see nothing more than some birds flying.

Other people will recognize the sign of God's presence among us.

These others, like Jacob, will say,
"SURELY THE LORD IS IN THIS PLACE, AND I KNEW IT NOT."

We need, like Jacob, to wake up from the dream, and realize that God is not so distant from us.

He is very near.
And, He is smiling.

Thanks again for the gift of the picture. Priceless! :) L's Gran

Wanda said...

Dear Wade,

Thank you for sharing this beautiful reminder of how God is in control. I see the "Hand of God" in my life all the time, not only in the BIG things but in the tiniest details. My discovery of your blog is an example of divine providence. It absolutely asounds me what a magnificent God we serve! I love Jesus Christ more with every passing day.

Blessings,

Wanda

Wanda said...

Let me say it again --this time with the correct spelling!

It absolutely ASTOUNDS me what a magnificent God we serve!

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

One of my favorite passages, Proverbs 3:5-6 includes the admonition to acknowledge God in all our ways. That word acknowledge means to ascertain by seeing.

You are blessed to be able to see Him in this photograph, regardless of from whence it came, and notwithstanding the fact that some may not be similarly blessed.

DefenderOfTruth said...

Hmmm....I can't make up my mind if you guys are suffering from pantheism or panentheism....eitherway, a very dangerous view of The Holy Lord God Almighty.

Anonymous said...

Defender of Truth:
what box is your god in?
smaller the faith; smaller the god

Anonymous said...

When I first read Robert I. Servant's comment I just took it as a reflection of his thoughts. Then all the comments on it, so I reread it and concluded, it must be satire.

Since I like to laugh, and believe that laughter is one of God's great gifts to us, I often find humor even where others do not. As one who has faced down cancer and a few other serious illnesses, I have learned to take laughter when I can find it and joy in the little things that can brighten even a rough day.

Also, I have used humor in comments here from time to time. It is said that dictators and such cannot bear laughter, and pointing out how ridiculous their views/actions are can bring their downfall. Consider the story of the emperor's new clothes.

So Robert if you meant it seriously, please excuse me, but I wonder if you are laughing behind your keyboard and wondering why it was taken seriously.

Susie

Anonymous said...

To Defender of Truth:

Am I only a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? Do I not fill heaven and earth?
(Jeremiah 23:23,24)

In Psalm 139 David wrote,

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. [Psalm 139:7-12]



In Matthew 28:20b Jesus told us,

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

God is with us, now and forever more. L's Gran

Anonymous said...

From wikipedia:

Panentheism (from Greek πᾶν (pân) "all"; ἐν (en) "in"; and θεός (Theós) "God"; "all-in-God") is a belief system which posits that God exists and interpenetrates every part of nature, and timelessly extends beyond as well. Panentheism is distinguished from pantheism, which holds that God is synonymous with the material universe. [1]

In panentheism, God is not exactly viewed as the creator or demiurge but the eternal animating force behind the universe, with the universe as nothing more than the manifest part of God. The cosmos exists within God, who in turn "pervades" or is "in" the cosmos. While pantheism asserts that God and the universe are coextensive, panentheism claims that God is greater than the universe and that the universe is contained within God. [2] Panentheism holds that God is the "supreme affect and effect" of the universe."

Anonymous said...

Wade, I do like the picture. I had earlier received it in email from two different friends. Whether the photo was as taken or helped along by someone later, it conveys a great message.

With all the questions about it I sent it to snopes.com who often check unusual photos sent around emeail to see if they are actual photos or have been retouched. An answer has not yet appeared on their website.

Nevertheless, I like the picture no matter who provided it.

I think of the day I drove down a street and on one side was a painted statue of a horse in front of a school and on the other side a live horse grazing in a field. Each, the created and the made, had their own beauty.

Another time I was standing next to a friend looking up at the sky where a jet stream crossed a long strip of cloud. He said, "The handiwork of God and the handiwork of man."

Whichever this picture is, it is worth sharing. Thank you.

Susie

Anonymous said...

GOD IS WITHOUT LIMITS

Anonymous said...

I know plenty of people who became disillusioned with religion and God, because when they were four they were told that God was this old man with a beard who lived in the sky. I'll take 'God is everywhere' over that any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

"In theology, the doctrine of divine simplicity says that God is without parts.

The general idea of divine simplicity can be stated as, that the being of God is identical to the attributes of God.

In other words, such characteristics as omnipresence, goodness, truth, eternity, etc. are identical to his being, not qualities that make up his being.

In Christian thought, God as a simple being is not divisible; God is simple, not composite, not made up of thing upon thing. In other words, the characteristics of God are not parts of God that together make God what he is.

Because God is simple, his properties are identical with himself, and therefore God does not have goodness, but simply is goodness.

In Christianity, divine simplicity does not deny that the attributes of God are distinguishable; so that it is not a contradiction of the doctrine to say, for example, that God is both just and merciful.

In light of this idea, Thomas Aquinas for whose system of thought the idea of divine simplicity is important, wrote in Summa Theologiae that because God is infinitely simple, he can only appear to the finite mind as though he were infinitely complex.

Anonymous said...

“Christ, shield me this day: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.” Patrick of Ireland

Anonymous said...

". . . in my experience God speaks most often through whispers, not shouts. God is found in the shadows, rather than blinding light. And sometimes the whispers are very low whispers . . . "


Dean William Willimon

Anonymous said...

HIGH FLIGHT

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr


.

Ronald Reagan, addressing NASA employees following the tragic loss of the Challenger 7 crew on STS-51L, used the poem in a well-remembered line:

"We shall never forget them nor the last time we saw them, as they prepared for their mission and waved good-bye and slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God."

DefenderOfTruth said...

" Anonymous said...
Defender of Truth:
what box is your god in?
smaller the faith; smaller the god Sat Oct 18, 11:32:00 AM 2008"

Anonymous....that's my point, my God isnt in any box. And this my friend is panentheism in it's purest form...

"Lin said...
I am reading a bio of George Washington Carver to my daughter. I am so blessed to read how he saw God in all of creation..even in roots, different kinds of grasses, colors, etc. and related scripture to every aspect of his work and life.

Thu Oct 16, 05:42:00 PM 2008"


Let me ask you this? If God is "in roots, and different kinds of grasses".....why would He someday burn (or destroy) Himself up since this world will be destroyed someday?

The fact of this matter and your comment to me is, my view of God is MUCH greater than yours. I would certainly never say He is "in dirt".

This post is proof positive of this text warning:
Romans
1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

This is EXACTLY what this post is doing!

DefenderOfTruth said...

TO: "Anonymous said...
To Defender of Truth:

Am I only a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? Do I not fill heaven and earth?
(Jeremiah 23:23,24)

In Psalm 139 David wrote,

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. [Psalm 139:7-12]



In Matthew 28:20b Jesus told us,

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

God is with us, now and forever more. L's Gran

Sat Oct 18, 11:38:00 AM 2008"

I will answer your question with this:

Isaiah
29:16 You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, "He did not make me"; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?

Clearly anyone that agrees that God is "in" the clay.....doesn't understand Who God is.

Clearly, you are regarding Him as the clay.

Clearly, the earth is God's footstool....He is not contained "in" these things.

Isaiah
66:1 Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?

Many in this thread have put God on a level of a footstool.

Byroniac said...

DefenderOfTruth, I'm speaking for myself here, but I do not see where the thinking behind the word "in" necessarily equates to "is" when the Creation is the context. That is a key distinction. No one here has suggested that God is somehow not completely distinct from His creation.

By "in" I take that to mean, that God's presence is everywhere, at least within the scope of His omniscience. He is aware and knows intimately everything that can be known, from the distance between galaxies to the empty space in the nucleus of an atom. If there is such a possibility of an "inside" of the subatomic particles, then God knows this as well, and would very well be present there. Certainly His omniscience observes it in intimate detail.

That is not anywhere near saying the same thing as that He "is" His creation, or depends on it in anyway (in fact, Creation depends on Him). I'm personally uncomfortable with the word "panentheism" and the concept might be possible, but it is a mystery. I'm satisfied that God's omniscience knows all things and in some sense, He is present everywhere (Psalm 139:7-8), which seems to be the opinion of the Biblical writer (note the two extremes written of here, which are more extreme than mine because they are not based on mere measurement of distance).

debbiekaufman said...

DefenderoftheTruth: To defend the truth, you first have to tell the truth. This is a Christian group here, so to say what you have seems to be someone just looking for a fight because no one here even closely believes that, and I think you have been on here long enough to know that. Word of Advice: Go fight somewhere else, you are fighting against those who are completely the opposite in belief as your portrayal.

And I will think you braver if you give your real name and quit hiding behind screen names. Own your words.

Byroniac said...

DefenderOfTruth: Also, you keep using the word "contained" as a modifier for the word "in". I think you are the only one here using that word or even referring to that concept. If anything "contained" God it would necessarily imply a dependency relationship: God depending on the container to exist. That is NOT what is being said here. The word "in" denotes mere presence, and at the very least, the awareness of omniscience. In order to use the word "contain" you would have to define other concepts, such as what is God, where is God, how is God, etc. So I can affirm God is everywhere without denying His essential deity or distinction from Creation.

Anonymous said...

To Defender of T.

Where exactly do you believe that God is?

What do you think He is?
A material Being or a Spirit?

How do you think God interacts with His creation?

Please help us to understand you better. L's G.

Anonymous said...

To Defender of Truth,

I have been reading and studying your remarks.

I think I understand something: you are NOT comfortable with the poetic symbols in the Scriptures.

If I am right, unfortunately for you, Holy Scripture is absolutely FILLED with many beautiful literary symbols and metaphors and parables and psalms.

I don't think anyone can experience the FULLNESS of the Holy Writings until they can begin to enjoy the beauty and majesty of the language contained therein.

If you recognize this as a problem, you can try this:
read verses OUT LOUD. You will hear the sounds and symbols with your ears. Or have someone read to you certain passages, so that you can HEAR them. For example, the Psalms were meant to be prayed out loud or sung. This is a different way of experiencing the Scriptures. It might help you to enjoy the majesty and mystery of the words.

If you live alone, you can listen to the Scriptures read aloud on a CD.

Am I correct that you may be reading something in a literal way, that might be symbolic? It would certainly explain why you see things the way you do.

Let us know. L's G.

Thy Peace said...

My take on what DefenderOfTruth (DOT) is saying and others are saying is this:

Others see God in nature.

DOT is thinking we are saying God is [in] nature.

This is where the confusion seems to originate from.

From my reading of God's word and from my experience, I see God everywhere. I see the reflection of God in the Church Choir, on their faces when they give glory to Our Lord Jesus Christ. I see the reflection of God in the writing of some of the bloggers and commentators.

Clearly God can not be defined by experiences.

I offer this prayer of Teresa of Avila:

Christ Has No Body

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Elisabeth said...

We were just doing rehearsal for tomorrow, and our lead singer said "Where I always picture Jesus in here is sitting on that bookcase." :)

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace said,
"Clearly God cannot be defined by experiences."

Some feel that we are humans seeking to experience the spiritual realm.

Others feel that we are spirits seeking to survive in the natural world.

I think it may be a lot of both. :)


Long time ago, was a song by Judy Collins. It had something to do with; 'and Jesus was a sailor that walked upon the waters; and He spent a long time watching from a lonely wooden tower; and when He knew for certain only drowning men could see Him, He said 'all men must be sailors, then, until the sea shall free them. . . . "

The spirit within us is seeking its creator: the Spirit of God:

"Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee."

It is said that we can only see God through the cracks of a broken heart.
But I have seen God reflected in the joyful eyes of a little handicapped child. Beautiful !

:)

Anonymous said...

James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938)


(A Negro Sermon)


"AND God stepped out on space,
And He looked around and said,
“I’m lonely—
I’ll make me a world.”

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

THEN GOD SMILED ,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said, “That’s good!”

Then God reached out and took the light in His hands,
And God rolled the light around in His hands
Until He made the sun;
And He set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said, “That’s good!”

Then God himself stepped down—
And the sun was on His right hand,
And the moon was on His left;
The stars were clustered about His head,
And the earth was under His feet.
And God walked, and where He trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then He stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And He spat out the seven seas;
He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed;
He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled;
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
AND GOD SMILED AGAIN,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around His shoulder.

Then God raised His arm and He waved His hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And He said, “Bring forth! Bring forth!”
And quicker than God could drop His hand.
Fishes and fowls
And beasts AND BIRDS
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
AND SPLIT THE AIR WITH THEIR WINGS.
And God said, “That’s good!”

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that He had made.
He looked at His sun,
And He looked at His moon, 65
And He looked at His little stars;
He looked on His world
With all its living things,
And God said, “I’m lonely still.”

Then God sat down
On the side of a hill where He could think;
By a deep, wide river He sat down;
With His head in His hands,
God thought and thought,
Till He thought, “I’ll make me a man!”

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled Him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of His hand;
This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till He shaped it in His own image;

Then into it He blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.
Amen. Amen."


AND AMEN !

Anonymous said...

Psalm 8:4

"What is Man
that Thou art mindful of Him?"

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah 31:3

"And I have loved you with an
age-old love . . . "

Wanda said...

I agree with Debbie Kaufman's remarks to Defender of the Truth who is too cowardly to reveal even his first name. That speaks volumes to me!

Someone has already provided the Wikipedia definition of the word Panentheism. That Wikipedia definition also equates panentheism with unitarian beliefs, as promoted by Ralph Waldo Emerson during the 19th century.

I can assure the supposed Defender of Truth that we are not Unitarians here; we are Christians! When I observe that photo, I don't question whether it's a fake. For me, it symbolizes that God is in control. In other words, He is providential as the heading of that post indicates.

I wonder whether Defender of Truth has ever experienced God's providence in his own life. I hope he would know how to recognize it, but I have my doubts based on the comments he has shared here.

God is in control whether we choose to see the evidence with our spiritual eyes or not. I choose to see the "hand of God" and thank Him for how He is guiding my footsteps each and every day. What a mighty God we serve!

Blessings,

Wanda

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Wanda,

Who knows why Defender did not give his or her name? I think it might be that the person finds our rejection painful, but still feels the need to speak out, to reach out. And to reach out to US.

Rejection is a hard thing for some people, I think. That's why I don't want to make assumptions about this Defender. I want, at least, to listen and attempt to understand, if only to learn what the experience teaches me about myself. Can I accept this person where he or she is? I MUST TRY.

I wonder,
if Wade had put the picture up with just birds flying and NO 'smile' pattern discernable;
HOW MANY OF US WOULD HAVE NOTICED that God's Providence was still visible there, all through the picture?

We look for extremely dramatic evidence of God's intervention and His miraculous Hand.

We look for Him in the Mighty Thunder and the Terrible Lightning. and we ignore the soft rain that our Gentle Father sends to nurture our spirits.


I am going to recommit to looking for God's blessings in ALL things. And I am going to recommit to THANKING Him for all things: even those trials in my life that have taught me to try not to judge others. I am no better than them, so maybe, knowing this, I can try to reach out to help them, and, in doing so, in His mercy, God can reach me.

God's providence CAN be found in the small things, too. A little child's joyful sense of wonder finds the glory of His 'blessings' in what we see and dismiss as merely 'ordinary'.

This science teacher with a Master's Degree knows that a rainbow is 'just' sunlight being broken up into its colors by rain droplets. That's all it is. That is what I 'think' I know.

The day my father was laid to rest; there was a soft rain ,
and a rainbow came.

This SAME science teacher knows that the rainbow that appeared on that day was God's gift of loving-kindness to His grieving child.

It's God's beautiful gift of the RAINBOW I will remember, when I think of the day of my father's funeral; not my father's waiting grave.
My father's spirit is with God now, somewhere on the far side of that rainbow. And his blessed memory is safe in my heart.

The God that rules the laws of nature that made that rainbow; this same God is the One who holds my father safe now in His loving care. That is what I know 'for sure'.

You are right, Wanda, God IS in control. He sends His blessings to us in unmistakable ways, when we need them most. Reading your words has often been a blessing to my soul. I thank God for this, too. :)

Good Sabbath,

L's Gran

Thy Peace said...

This is to point readers of this blog to wonderful articles being posted by Cindy:

Real World Distractions, CBMW, True Woman and Womanhood, the FIC , Neoconfederates....

True Women and Making a Manifesto Manifest

I Just Love That Kevin Johnson! More on the True Woman Conference

True Woman Gives Birth

Surviving a Conference Part I: Making Memories

Prerequisite I for Surviving a Conference: Understanding Christianity, Hypnosis and Anticipation

Prerequisite II for Surviving a Conference: Understanding Basic States of Consciousness

Surviving a Conference Part II: Examples of Building Anticipation

I believe there are more to come.

Good work Cindy. God bless you, Sister.

Anonymous said...

"Where is God?
God is where He wants to be."

Prof. Wimsey Dumbledorff

Anonymous said...

Dear Byroniac,

You wrote:

" No one here has suggested that God is somehow not completely distinct from His creation."

There is this to think about:
" and the Word became Flesh, and dwelt among us. . ."

When and how God enters into His Creation IS a great mystery to us. We simply do not understand His ways. They are above our ways.

L's G.

Anonymous said...

Where is Slim?
He is where is wants to be, too. But I'd rather he came back, at least long enough to tell
MRS. DUMBLEDORFF to stop making all those darned PICKLES ! She says she's using some receipe from one Adrian Rogers. We have jars of pickles all over the house. Mrs. D. is out of control I have begun to feel like I'm living with Aunt Bea in Mayberry.

Yours respectfully,
Prof. Wimsey Dumbledorff

Thy Peace said...

Cindy posted two more articles today:

Surviving a Conference Part III: Slipping into Alpha States

Surviving a Conference Part IV: Social Factors

I read them ALL. Very fascinating. I had not realized all this about thought control and mind manipulation, when one attends conferences. Also her website is full of useful information.

I am new to all this. I probably will not even remember most of it. But over time, with constant reading and exposure, and awareness, I might be able to identify when these manipulations take place.

God bless you, Cindy.

Byroniac said...

L's Gran, good point. Christ is God come in the flesh. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Hello Prof.

I have no idea what your talking about, but I'm here.

I have been out of town for a while, but I have also raised the bar on my "nonsense detector". It allows me to filter out more nonsense without feeling like I must respond to so many nonsensical comments.

Enjoy the pickles! :)

SL1M

Anonymous said...

Slim:

Mrs. D. has ordered labels for all the jars:

DUMBLEDORFF'S: The Pickle
With A Soul.

There's no stopping her now.
Who is this Adrian Rogers, anyway?

Wimsey Dumbledorff

Wanda said...

My husband just sent me a sweet e-mail, and it included this beautiful photograph! Apparently, it's making the rounds. I hope those who receive it will think of God's providence, as Wade was trying to do with this post.

DefenderOfTruth said...

Wow, lots of questions and points to respond to. But allow me to give you some insight.

First off; God is Spirit, Three Persons in One. I could elaborate, but I won't to not stir emotions from the emotional.

I am a new Christian by about 4 years now. Much of the last four years I have spent studying the Word of God and studying theology. God in His providence (yes I fully recognize His providence in my life) has many times over protected me from falling into the many heresies that are so prevalent these days. I don’t want to name any names of those He has protected me from so as to prevent you guys from getting excited. One of them however, is panentheism. Frankly, I am surprised that a self proclaimed Christian group here, would not be willing to correct Lin’s comments about a book she is reading that is clearly a panentheistic view and the dangers in it. We all have a propensity towards error according to the Word of God and we are called to minister to one another as a body of believers, ready in and out of season to give an answer, to rebuke and reprove if necessary.

I think what is most shocking to me is the name calling I am now witness to of this professed body on this blog and many of its pages. On this post, that I am a coward or other slanderous remarks such as “my god”, insinuating that I believe in a false god. Many folks in the Bible said that Jesus had a demon and you can go study for yourself the danger in making such statements. One of the most interesting and convicting things to me in the Bible is that not even the archangel Michael presumed to pronounce a blasphemous judgment on the devil himself, but instead said “The Lord rebuke you” (Jude 1:9). I think I will stay off the judgment seat and remain on the mercy seat where I belong. I am learning to not be critical of the work that God is doing in someone’s life, but I am willing to attempt to discuss where someone might wander off into a myth about God.

No, I didn’t come here looking for a fight, your presuppositions about me are clearly wrong. Fact is, I try and stay away from blogs because, for the most part, all I see is a bunch of angry people wanting to argue over stuff that really doesn’t matter. Yet, most polls show that 95% of “Christians” don’t share their faith. What an indictment on today’s professing evangelicals. Shame on me for not sticking to my guns to stay away from blogs, because I found them leading me into the sin of anger.

As for not giving my name; Well, I am not saying any of you are this way, but I have read stories about “Christians” who blow up buildings and kill others because they don’t agree with their view. To them I would say vengeance is the LORD’s, we are not to repay evil with evil. Bless those, bless and do not curse those who persecute you. I have read stories about how not so long ago “Christians” had signs on their church houses “no blacks allowed” (to put it mildly) and many other disturbing stories. To which I would say, God only sees one race and that’s the human one. But since I have a family; in my minute wisdom I find the internet a very dangerous place. Therefore, I never give out my real name in order to protect my family from radicals.

I was encouraged by what L’s Gran said about looking for and thanking God for ALL things, even the smallest ones. Yet I disagree with the assumption that rejection is painful for me. One thing I know is that people will always let me down and certainly reject me. But I cling to the fact that I know that my Savior, Jesus Christ, will never forsake me.

Finally, as someone corrected me when I was bordering falling into panentheism; God isn’t “in” those things, but His glory is in all things. I thank God for the men and women He has placed in my life to guide me away from strange teachings.

Eternal blessings of grace to you all in the Name of the LORD Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Dear Defender,

You wrote: "One thing I know is that people will always let me down and certainly reject me. But I cling to the fact that I know that my Savior, Jesus Christ, will never forsake me."

There is a theory in psychology about the 'locus of evaluation residing within'. These words mean simply, not to worry about what others think, but to be your own judge of what is right for you. You are right not to give others the power to cause you discomfort and the power to feel 'rejected'. Keep your dignity always and be encouraged. You are right. The Christ who was and is rejected and betrayed by so many, even as they say His Name; this same Christ will never reject you.


Be peaceful,
L's Gran

Anonymous said...

The Light reveals
God's winged creatures on a journey through time
Watched with wonder
that God is nigh