Archives For suffering

Hello and welcome back!

It’s great to see you!  Remember last time?  We took a little trip back into time to the Garden as Satan planted the seed of disobedience and Eve was being seriously tempted?

Let’s return again to that exact time in creation!

[…continued from 03/14/13]

The last post ended just as Satan had pretty much opened the door to Eve’s ego.  Satan is coiling, flicking his forked tongue, and selfishly gloating over the look of selfishness he had planted in Eve’s eyes.

“Thaaat’s riiight!” Satan whispers to himself in ecstasy as Eve timidly reaches towards the forbidding fruit.  The sun is shining gloriously and it is a beautiful day in Eden.  It is difficult to tell at first because the change is so subtle.  Suddenly, it becomes quite noticeable — it’s too quiet!

Wow!  We already know what happens next!  I’ve read it, you’ve read it, and all of Christianity has read about this creation-changing incident in Genesis.  Doesn’t seeing it, as it happens, cause you to want to shout out, “Noooo!”

Shhhhh!  It’s God’s plan and nothing can stop it.  Be quiet.  Let’s watch.

There is just something unsettling about the first sin ever committed by mankind.  As all of creation waits in suspended horror, Eve’s fingers slowly but surely extend and everything plays out in slow motion.  Her fingers begin to close upon the forbidden fruit that almost seems to shimmer in the mid-afternoon sunlight.

 

“Surely we won’t die!” She whispers, “The serpent told me we would be gods!”

 

“Go ahead, make my daaaay,” Satan continues to whisper over and over as he waits with baited breath.  Eve tightens her grip on the fruit, slowly begins to pull it, and suddenly—the stem suddenly separates from the body of the fruit and—the unbelievable and horrifying deed is completed.

Disobedience has gone from a temptation to action.  The first temptation has been acted upon.

“Yesssss!”  Satan hisses, gleefully coiling around and around as Eve takes the first bite.  She then hands it off to Adam who sniffs it and then, slowly raises the fruit to his mouth and takes his portion of the deadly curse that has now fallen upon mankind and all of creation.

Sin and death has now been turned loose in creation!

“Oh yes, oh yessss,” Satan weaves around bobbing his head in time with his chant.  “It’s over, it’s done!  I win, I win, I winnnn!” He hisses loudly!  Eve looks at Adam and Adam returns her gaze, “What have we done!” Adam shrieks.  Adam takes Eve’s hand, dropping the forbidden fruit on the ground and begins running.  He has no idea where he is going, he is just running, running, and running deeper into the trees.  There is no place to run.  There is no place to hide.  Sin—is now in the world.  Everything has changed.  He turns towards Eve, who is looking bewildered and frightened.

“Surely we won’t die!” She whispers, “The serpent told me we would be gods!”

“Well,” Adam glares before responding any further, “I don’t feel like any god, I feel scared and lost!”  Both of them begin looking around.  They then begin gathering the large fig leaves from the branches—threading small vines through them, making coverings for their new-found nakedness.

Can you believe that?  Reading about it is hard enough, but seeing it is mind blowing! They have everything they could possibly want!  They have it all but they trade it for a lie!

They trade eternity and perfection for forbidden knowledge, knowledge that leads to death and separation from their Creator!  Listen!  Do you hear something?

Mid morning turns into afternoon and as the sun begins casting ever elongating shadows upon the ground, a voice is heard softly calling:

“Adam, Adam—where are you?  [To be continued…]

 

Until next time!

 

Zach

 

QUESTION:  WERE BOTH ADAM AND EVE THE FIRST DISCIPLES SINCE THEY WERE THE FIRST TO FOLLOW THE COMMANDS OF GOD?

Living In God’s Rest

February 17, 2013

Hello Everyone!

I pray you are all well and have had a wonderful weekend and a restful and enlightening Sunday!  Speaking of restful Sunday, I am so excited and honored to be able to introduce you to a new book that will bring new focus on a subject as old as history.

A good friend of mine, Nancy LaPointe—who is a Christian counselor and an author — has a recently published her new book entitled, Living In God’s Rest: At Peace In A Chaotic World.  Rather than rush right into this book review, I would like to present what I perceive to be an intense experience in discovering God’s rest and peace for the author.  This experience can be yours also!

I personally met Nancy and her husband for the first time through a mutual friend.  Nancy and her husband came to our mission church on the Mescalero Apache reservation in SE New Mexico to offer their gift of service during a revival we were holding.  The second time that we worked together revolved around her providing Christian counseling for one of my church members.

She is the real deal and her main purpose for writing this book is in obedience of her call from God to do so.  That being said — let us take a look at what I call a very Spirit-filled and spiritually enlightening experience.  Yes, that’s right.  I said a spiritually enlightening experience, not just a great read from a great book.

Nancy has a way of making God’s truths come alive.  Her writing style is one of lively communication, a — from her to you — verbalization in written form that expands your thinking about God’s word while lifting you to new heights of understanding and application of God’s truths.   In other words, her new book is an experience of meeting God face-to-face as you lose yourself in its pages.

Nancy’s book is organized into 16 delightful chapters that take you on a journey of understanding, desiring, and finding God’s rest.  It is full of biblical Scripture references that provide contextual truths as sign posts on your journey of discovery.   God’s rest for yourself and those you love can be found within its pages.  You will find extremely comforting and beneficial meditations on Scripture that provide the living water from the well of Jesus’ love.

This book paints a picture, in well chosen and thoughtful prose, revealing the Chaos in the world and God’s answer to it.  With stunning narrative and talented story-telling, Nancy paints that picture in multi-colored dimensions that not only make her words come alive but allow her words to sink deep down inside — providing  a warmth of understanding that you can’t bear to put down.

This is one book that provides a three-dimensional look at the many aspects of resting in God.  Unlike other books that touch on this subject, the reader comes away from the experience with a deep and abiding desire to have a closer walk with Christ.  Learning how to live in God’s rest allows you to see yourself in perspective, to notice the anxiety that comes from running from crisis to crisis — depending on self.  You discover and gain experience putting your faith and trust in Him.

Nancy describes the experience of putting on Christ and His righteousness and seeing yourself and the world in like-mindedness with Him.  Nothing can grow your faith better than seeing things through His eyes.  The medical profession has known for decades that rest for the body is one of the best medications one can have for physical illnesses.  Nancy provides a worldview from God’s plan for us.   She provides guidance in discovering your path to living in God’s rest for healing damaged emotions and the damaging effects of depression.  We are vividly shown how to recognize positive change, how to prevent satanic deception, and to be humble and accepting of God’s sovereignty in our lives.

This book also tackles the subject of suffering in the lives of Christians and sheds truth on this subject in a way that opens the heart and provides understanding.  The last two chapters of Living In God’s Rest wrap this package of the pearls of wisdom that are found between its covers.  I choose to allow you to discover these blessings, like a child opening its long-awaited presents, because the joy is in the discovery!  Happy discoveries!

Until next time!

~Zach

 

Question:  What would it look like for you to find God’s rest in your life?