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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

While I really love Eugene Cho’s blog about Pat Robertson’s thoughts on Haiti, I have a few remarks of my own to share.

“It never ceases to amaze that in times of amazing human suffering somebody says something that could be so utterly stupid, but it like clockwork happens with some regularity.” — Robert Gibbs

It is difficult for me to believe that Pat Robertson and I serve the same Jesus.  But, we do.  And ya know, I say stupid and insensitive things sometimes too.  In fact, the taste of foot still lingers in my mouth from my most recent ridiculousness.  However, the consequences of Mr. Robertson’s remarks are much greater than mine (hello James 3:1).

Those things which Robertson has rightly taught from the Bible have influenced people for good, and that should be acknowledged.  Yet, his comments about Haiti were both odd and insensitive and their influence far-reaching.  Not only are his faithful followers more apt to wrongly judge Haitians, he also added to the the resistance of many to Christianity.  Thankfully, some recognize that his words were not representative of our faith.  In Keith Olbermann’s response to Mr. Robinson he said, “It is laughable now to call him ‘Reverend.'”

There’s a part of me that feels badly for Robinson.  His ignorance is not entirely his fault and his intentions were likely good.  (No sarcasm intended.)  There’s also a part of me that wonders how much revenue he will generate from what I view as a thoughtless and even (subconsciously) bigoted rambling.  All press is good press, right?  I also wonder whether he still feels justified in what he said or if he recognizes his ill impact and holds any remorse for what he has done.  (His website, for the record, doesn’t exactly imply the latter but, rather, seems more to justify/defend.)

I feel like Olbermann shared my pity and frustration when he addressed Robertson and Limbaugh:
Mr. Robertson, Mr. Limbaugh: your lives are not worth those of the lowest, meanest, poorest of those victims still lying under that rubble in Haiti tonight.  You serve no good, you serve no god.  You inspire only stupidity and hatred.  And I would wish you to hell but knowing how empty your souls must be for you to be able to say such things in a time of such pain, I suspect the vacant, purposeless lives you both live now are hell enough already.
I don’t agree with what Olbermann said but I certainly share the emotions behind his words.

Yet, with all this mixed emotion, I can do one thing.  Pray.  (That, and forgive.  Okay, fine.)
Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ – to Mr. Robertson who, like me, sometimes unknowingly wreaks havoc with his words; to the beautiful people of Haiti who have suffered so much loss in the last five days that only Father God could truly understand; and to all those who have and continue to support and love Haiti – may they be successful in meeting their physical, emotional, and eternal needs.

Update: Here’s a statement from Dr. Myles Munroe, a Christian speaker and author in the Caribbean.

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Grace and peace to you.

I write exhausted, unsure, and struggling with fearing God… because I know that I have been spending a lot of time fearing man.  And so I share with you the things that I am trying to meditate on:

Let the weak say, “I am strong.” / Let the poor say, “I am rich.” / Let the  blind say, “I can see.” / It’s what the Lord has done in me.   Hillsong

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!  Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!  There is no want to those who fear Him.  The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  Psalm 34:8-10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Proverbs 1:7

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.  Proverbs 29:25

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Luke 12:32

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:6-7

And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  But I will show you whom you should fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!  Luke 12:4-5

Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.  And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.  Acts 9:31

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.  For God brings every work into judgement, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.  Ecclesiastes 12: 13-12

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On a recent snow day I sat in my favorite coffee shop grading an overwhelming stack of papers.  The lovely barista, a bit of an edge to her style, is probably about my age and apparently has recently become homeless.  She broke up with her boyfriend with whom she had previously lived.  I learned this while not-so-accidentally eavesdropping on a conversation she had with one of her customers.  (Whoops!)

After a while, another gentleman came in.  He must have been a regular, they seemed familiar.  As the man described to her a job he recently applied to he explained that the starting salary was mediocre at best but that the benefits may make up for the pay.  That’s when he said something that made me stop and think.  “I’m praying on that one,” he stated matter-of-factly, “I don’t pray so much but I have been lately.”

And isn’t that true of this economic crisis?  People are praying.  People who are not normally given to prayer are finding themselves crying out to a God who they may or may not believe will answer them but hoping that some way some how, he will do just that.

During small group discussion last night we unintentionally revolved a good deal of talk around the idea that it is in our brokenness that we find ourselves turning to God for our identity.  People whose identity is normally found in a job title are finding that without it they have little left of themselves.  And they’re praying.

So I’m praying too.  That the loving God, Jesus Christ, would reach out his loving arms and give an identity to these title-less souls.  That his unmerited favor and peace beyond understanding would guard and guide the hearts and minds of those who cry out, broken.  And that the rebound of this nation would be not only economic, but spiritual, bearing fruit that remains.

Amen.

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