Archives for posts with tag: Rob Bell

A friend of mine, whose cancer was in remission just heard that it (the cancer) is back.  That brings to mind all the things we are taught about death and dying and heaven and hell.

It also brings up a host of questions that seem to become more and more prevalent as I become older myself and I see death’s sweeping hand taking people closer and closer to me; Is heaven really a place I will go when I die?  Will I go there if I said the Baptist sinner’s prayer and not the Presbyterian’s or vice a versa?

Assuming that I got it right on the sinner’s prayer and that heaven is an actual place where I will see my deceased loved ones and enjoy no judgment, no right and wrong and . . . get to actually be with Jesus . . . why would I want to put myself through hell on earth to stay here and not go on to utopia?  That mindset just doesn’t seem to make sense . . . do we truly believe what we hear about utopia . . . heaven?!

Could it be that when we have terminal ailments . . . me with my blocked arteries . . . my friend with cancer . . . that that is the time that God intends for us to come home to Him?

Could it be that by exercising our free will and seeking out medical care we extend our time here on earth . . . beyond what may have been God’s plan?

Or, did God put the medical care here for us in order that we could extend our lives . . . so that we could continue to positively impact others’ lives for longer than we would have?

We westerners have been trained and taught that that is just what we do.  We get sick, we do everything in our power to get well.  This mindset goes from the smallest sniffle to the blocked artery or bone cancer.

Or is our advanced medical care technology and system just something God allowed us to figure out in order to offset the processed and otherwise unhealthy foods that we have come up with to cause many of these terminal ailments?!?!

I can’t tell you that I have answers to all these questions that I pose this morning.  All I can tell you is that God knows everything, including, what is best for us!  We just have to talk to Him but more than that, we need to listen to Him for His direction and guidance in our lives.  That is an easy statement to make . . . just listen to God and do what He says . . . I am the living proof that that is a life long and super challenging task . . . I make progress  . . . I lose ground . . . I make progress . . . I lose ground.  Hopefully, overall, I make progress in God’s eyes.

I think it boils down to a couple of central messages, one of which is: “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 
John 14:5-7 (NIV).  We have to first seek our creator before we can hear from Him the direction for our next step.

Thank you for reading and for your support,

Blessings,

Pat

I don’t know about the rest of you but, when I hear  new paradigms in my life, my deflector shields seem to just automatically snap into place.  Sort of a My life is pretty much in equilibrium here . . . don’t mess with it!  kind of an attitude.  You ever do that?!

It’s interesting how when we hear or read something that challenges our current paradigms . . . especially in something as foundational as our faith life we all react and process it differently.

My wife Kris, for example, takes in the new information with sort of a that’s nice attitude and adds it to her belief system or tosses it out . . . pretty much immediate processing.

Me on the other hand . . . I tend to process things In terms of absolutes . . . black or white . . . right or wrong.  When I discover something that challenges my paradigms . . . especially my faith, my first reaction is that I’ve had it wrong all this time!  Ever do that?!

Thankfully, I am learning more and more about myself as I mature (OK, perhaps mature is a strong word . . . perhaps get older is more appropriate!).  But the good news is that I now have learned to not take my life so seriously.  Now, that is not to say that we should take nothing in life seriously . . . but seriousness needs not to be our full time jobs.

I’m sure that each of us can see ourselves somewhere in this spectrum of processing new challenging ideas . . . especially to our faith.  So, as we consider Bell’s book or any other influence which challenges our current faith beliefs and where heaven and hell might really be . . . at least we can do so knowing that we too have had a faith that has worked in our lives.  A faith that we truly believed God is with us, guiding and directing us a lot of the time.  A faith in which much of the time we can sense God’s nudging.

To say that we had it wrong all this time is probably too strong.  To say that a new paradigm may be a healthy way for my faith to grow even more is probably correct!

Who ever said that the way we think about our faith in God is the way God wants us to see it?!?!  After all, our current relationship with God has been largely influenced by our upbringing and teaching . . . oh yeah. . . . by other humans from their paradigms!

My experience is that while we all have to guard our hearts . . . we also have to allow new ideas and perspectives through.  It is through the continuous challenging of where we are that we can move ahead!

Let’s all continue to read . . . go to conferences . . . retreats . . . and study . . . and in so doing,  strengthen our faith!

Thanks for reading . . . Blessings!

Pat