Tag: God

Underneath the Water


He had repeatedly told me that it was important to him that I be there. He would be getting baptized for the second time in his life. His first was at 13 when he was at a jamboree – he confessed that he got caught up in the moment and took the plunge.

Now, a 36-year-old father of four, he believed it important to consciously, thoughtfully, and publicly — as an adult — recommit his life.

If There Is No God, Then Gods Are Everywhere


“Who is the number one god?” There is a scene in the 1996 movie version of The Island of Dr. Moreau that is worth discussion. Based on H. G. Wells’s famous novel, a shipwrecked man is confronted by the mad scientist, Dr. Moreau. The doctor is creating half-man, half-beast people to unite the best of both species. Of course, he utterly fails.

At the end of the movie, the beast people have taken over Moreau’s laboratory. The shipwrecked man is now alone, facing the fury of a hybrid species. Thinking they are now the island’s god, the animal people seek to rid themselves of the last man. It is then he asks the question, “Who is the number one god?” causing the beasts to turn on each other.

Such a scene-summary tells us about the two doctrines that run through every discussion about every subject: (1) Who is our authority? And (2) Who are we as humans?

Patience: My Problem with God


I have a confession to make. I am very impatient. For example, please don’t pull out in front of me while driving on the road, then slow down. And whatever else you do, please, at the grocery checkout counter, do not take out your checkbook to pay the bill. I struggle with biblical commands in Galatians 5 to exhibit patience as the fruit of The Spirit or my responsibility to exhibit patient endurance during suffering, according to 1 Peter 2.

My real problem is that as much as I believe in God’s sovereignty, I don’t always like it. I struggle with God’s plans, His wisdom, His ways, His schedule, His will for my life. In essence, my problem with patience is my problem with God. But what is ironic is how much God has been patient with me! Romans 2 says God has exhibited kindness, forbearance, and patience toward me. Jesus tells the story of the merciful, patient king in Matthew 18 who forgave his servant. But often, I find myself in the second half of that story where the one who is forgiven does not forgive another who owes him. Colossians 3 says that God’s forgiveness of my sin should result in me showing compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience toward others.

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There are troubling passages in the Bible, and I wish to address one of the most troubling. Anyone who reads the Bible all the way through will be struck by the fact that God seems to tell the Israelites entering the Promised Land (Palestine) to drive out and kill all the Canaanites  and the other […]

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Living in the tension; reflections on pregnancy and motherhood


When I was pregnant with our first son, I told Mustangman I was one and done. “I’m never doing this again!” I said with great conviction. Pregnancy was hard on me physically- 18 weeks of constant nausea, back pain, and debilitating pregnancy induced carpal tunnel that meant I could no longer perform surgeries after 26 weeks. Even holding a pen or opening a can of soda water was excruciating. My husband saw how difficult pregnancy was for me, and said “ok” in response to my vow to never have another baby.

When our son was stillborn at 33 weeks, I was frantic to get pregnant again immediately. During induction, even before he was delivered, I told my husband that I wanted to get pregnant again as soon as I could. I had no idea how much I would miss the kicks and hiccups I felt while our son was alive inside my belly. It wasn’t until his kicks had stopped that I felt an overwhelming need to feel kicks again. Four months later, I fell pregnant. The second time around, pregnancy was easier physically, but emotionally much more difficult. I simultaneously loved and hated being pregnant- I wanted it to last forever, but also wanted it to be over right away. 

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There is a common thought, which is that Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same God: We may have significant disagreements in some areas, but we all worship the same God.  In fact, our church was visited by an American Christian missionary living in a European nation and ministering the Gospel to Muslim refugees […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they react to Gen. Milley and Gen. McKenzie telling lawmakers they recommended keeping 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan to avoid the very debacle that ended up happening – a recommendation Pres. Biden denied just last month.  They also hammer New York Gov. Kathy Hochul for forcing health care workers to lose their jobs unless they got vaccinated by midnight.  In addition, they cringe over Hochul saying that God wants everyone to be vaccinated her urging supporters to be her vaccination “apostles.”  And they sigh as Biden suggests we need a 97 or 98 percent vaccination rate to get back to normal.

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Talking to an agnostic/atheist friend the other day who studies physics a little bit or at least used to. He explained to me that he’s becoming increasingly convinced that we are living in a simulated universe. To which I responded, “Great!” He seemed perplexed by my reaction. When I asked him why, he responded that […]

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Why I’m Still Out of a Job


It ain’t because there is no work available. Let’s get that right out in front of everything else. All the world is screaming out for labor; look around you. Every Walgreens and McDonald’s is looking to pick up some extra help. If I were a video game character and I were playing through life as myself I would be picking up extra shifts in between job applications. I’d have a job in a week; a good job, one that my mother would be proud to tell her friends about. I’d still pick up shifts at McDonald’s; more money is better than less money, and there’s nothing wrong with those jobs.

Video game characters don’t get tired, not like real people do. I’d have an even better job a month after that. Not honestly mind you; I wouldn’t have given full value to that first employer, not enough to cover the costs of hiring and training me. Video game NPCs don’t fill out government paperwork. And they take it pretty well when you do things that’d seem skeezy to real people. But I’m not a video game character and I’m not moving up in the world.

‘Men Have Forgotten God; That’s Why All This Happened’


“Over half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn, May, 1983

I cannot help thinking that this is also the lesson to be learned both from COVID-19 and the riots that have visited American cities.

If you number yourself among those who believe in God, then you humble yourself with the knowledge that nothing happens by chance and that world events are the result of heavenly decrees – which may be brought on by human activity or the lack thereof.

There Will Be No Beauty Left


No churches with their glowing stained glass windows, no murals, no paintings of Christ with the children, no depictions of Mary being touched by God—all these will disappear if Shaun King has his way. He told his 1.1 million followers that all images of a white Jesus and his ‘European’ mother should be destroyed. White Jesus is a symbol of ‘white supremacy,’ and has been used over the centuries to oppress anyone not white.

How many of his followers will take his pronouncement and follow through with destroying churches, statues of Jesus and Mary, paintings, etc.? Should armed guards be stationed 24/7 to protect “The Last Supper?” What about the statue of Mary and Jesus, “The Pieta?” Wasn’t there an attempt years ago to damage that? How many paintings and murals with a white Jesus also show people of other races? In many of those, Jesus is seated among the people. Would an oppressor feel comfortable enough to sit with those he is supposedly oppressing?

The Atheist and the Acorn


This starts with a joke. Not a particularly good one, but perhaps the novelty will save the humor. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard it told.

An atheist is arguing with a priest as they walk through a grove of trees. “How can you believe in a God who created such a disordered universe? Look at these mighty oak trees. See the tiny acorns they produce. And yet the massive pumpkin grows on a feeble vine. If I had designed the world that situation would be corrected, let me tell you.”

Can we stop saying “God-damn”?


On this week’s podcast, Rob felt it necessary to say, “God-damn.” Last week, James was similarly compelled to say, “God-damn.”

My recollection is that Ricochet has a code of conduct which supports civility and prohibits vulgarity. Does this phrase not violate that code?

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Richard Dawkins has a new book out, guaranteed to continue the debate going on in the western world, and even the entire world, over the value of religious belief. Some think that religious belief is essential to healthy societies and happy lives. There is also the debate over whether a particular religious claim is, in […]

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Summer is trying to turn to Fall here in Northwest Florida without much luck. It’s Hot, Dry – no rain for 35 days. I watch the birds, bees, and butterflies take turns sipping from the bird bath and fluttering through the cold water spray from natural springs below ground when I turn on the sprinkler.  […]

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For the Love of God!


I have to write this while it’s fresh in my mind. Where do you stand in this world, in your life? As a property manager, I am responsible for checking on second homes (three and four story luxury beach homes) in a tourist area. My clients are mostly wealthy, very wealthy, and some are average. I love my job. I’m self-employed and I make my own hours. The idea for the job was my husband’s, a landscape designer and manager. I created this job because I have scoliosis and needed to bow out of my 35-40+ hour admin life because sitting and standing for long periods became intolerable. It was a great idea and I love my clients – but not for the reasons you think. While I treat each property as if it were my own, I have come to know very successful people on a different level.

So here we are during the week of the July 4th holiday – roads busy with cyclists, golf carts, beachgoers, and kids everywhere, I get a voicemail from an alarm company that an alarm has lost power. I hop in my car and head to the property. All ok, I unlocked the door and the husband pops out. The alarm failed because there was a breaker issue, my second one today. But the husband, a very successful, wealthy 66 year old man follows me out to my car in his bare feet and keeps talking… Tomorrow is his wife’s birthday, and he winks. He bought her a wine cooler and stocked it, I’ll shoot her a happy birthday text. She told me about his appendix attack and emergency surgery at 2:00 AM last year, but as he walks me to my car, he tells me more, that he’s had multiple strokes in the last year. What??