A False god to Bring You Comfort in “The Shack” (“The Shack” Review, part 2)
“True worship must worship God as He exists, not as we wish Him to be. The essence of idolatry is the making of images of God. An image is a shadow, a false representation. We may not bow before a statue or a figure, but if we make an image of god in our mind that is not in accord with God’s revelation of himself, then we are not worshipping in truth….” writes James R. White. “If we love Him and worship Him as He deserves, we will not dare to ‘edit’ Him to fit our desires.” “Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew…
The Tapeworm Gallery: Freedom
I see you signed up for another round of Celebrate Recovery at the church two towns over. Still angry and bruised, ha? I knew it. I think you should do CR again. It worked wonders the first time—especially for that anxiety and depression. So go ahead and rehash all your resentments, guilt, shame, anger and fear that stem from your wholesome childhood. Because I enjoy watching you run in circles. I meant to ask, how’s your narcissistic mother doing? Tell her hello for me. And that I said, “Thanks,” for leaving you emotionally emaciated. I get why you don’t feel like praying. Talking…
Warm and Fuzzy Feelings do not Equal Faith
There I was walking that long path to the university yet again. I knew every crack in the side walk. I knew where the weeds had finally broken free and where the deep puddles would collect after a hard rain. I could gauge how late I was to class based on the faces I met scrambling along the way. Guys and gals who drank way too much the night before drug their inanimate bodies to their 7:45 classes. The skaters, which was still a thing then, weaved in and out of the crowd, I had to fake left and fake right to escape them. Every day I would walk that…
Masquerade vs. Truth
It is almost dusk on the Willow City loop at the height of bluebonnet season in the Texas Hill country when this adorable animal walks out of the brush several yards in front of our car. We stop the car to watch and admire him. A brief thought flashes through my mind, “Oh, I kind of wish we had some property in the country so we could take our new friend home”. The animal walks toward our car, rubs his nose on the bumper at which point my husband gets out of the car and snaps his picture. Getting back into the car my husband closes the car door and…
Photoshopping Life, Take 2
When Ray and I visited the Galapagos Islands, one of my favorite pictures was the two of us with a gigantic tortoise. Unfortunately, my big ol’ red purse was on the ground in the picture too. So I photoshopped it out. At our son’s wedding, one of the ushers wasn’t wearing his boutonniere when it was time for the formal pictures. “Not to worry,” the photographer said. “We can photoshop it in later.” During my daughter-in-law’s holiday family picture taking, someone suggested photoshopping in a beloved uncle, since they were missing him. “No! He’s been dead for two years!,” someone else responded. “You don’t photoshop in a dead person who…
An Open Letter to the New York Times Editorial Board: Maybe There Is a “Why” for ISIS and Evil?
From “The Fundamental Horror of ISIS” 10-2-14: "Comparisons are meaningless at this level of evil, as are attempts to explain the horror by delving into the psychology or rationale of the perpetrators…as Roger Cohen, the New York Times columnist, wrote in a recent piece about ISIS, there is no “why” in the heart of darkness." (“Yet, in the end, there is no why to the barbarism of ISIS. There is no why in Raqqa. Evil may adduce reasons; they fall short.”–Cohen)—New York Times Editorial Board Dear Editorial Board, I commend your tacit admission that none of the usual subjects can explain the YouTubed beheadings, the systematic rape of…
Job, Do not Despise the Wisdom of the Youth!
With Job's three friends he was also angry, because they could not find an answer, and so declared Job guilty. Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job, because the others were older than he was. But when Elihu saw that the three men had no further reply, he became very angry. So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite spoke up: "I am young, but you are elderly; that is why I was fearful, and afraid to explain to you what I know. I said to myself, 'Age should speak, and length of years should make wisdom known.' But it is a spirit in people, the breath of the Almighty, that makes them understand. (Job 32:3-8 NET)
Job, With Friends Like These Who Needs Enemies?
When Job's three friends heard about all this calamity that had happened to him, each of them came from his own country– Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to come to show sympathy for him and to console him. But when they gazed intently from a distance but did not recognize him, they began to weep loudly. Each of them tore his robes, and they threw dust into the air over their heads. Then they sat down with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, yet no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was…
Job, Suffering is Part of the Job
The purpose of this study is to understand the role of suffering in a Christian’s life. We will be studying the classic case of suffering found in the Book of Job. Realize, God describes the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10); therefore, we will be starting at the end of the story and working our way to the beginning.