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Archive for August, 2008

There is a lot of buzz in the blog world about the Lakeland Revival right now.  I really have not followed it because I really could have cared less.  I did question a friend when she expressed a desire to go.  At that time I was praying for God to heal Isaiah and wondered out loud if God could not show up in Idaho.  I now am in the loop about this so called revival and really wish I wasn’t.

I read Bill Kinnons post on C Peter Wagner distancing himself from Todd Bentley after he had an affair.  I encourage you to read his post here, it is brilliant as always.  That post spurred me to check out what was going on in Lakeland.  I wish I hadn’t because what I saw made me want to vomit.  In one video on Youtube a man with stage four Colon cancer is brought on stage and Bentley runs across the stage and kicks him in the stomach.  The man falls to the floor and Bentley says he had to do what God told him to do.  In another video he is telling the crowd about how God told him to kick an old women in the face. What god is he serving???  I am stunned that it took him cheating on his wife for people to denounce him.

My husband told me about an old legend about the Apostle Peter. The legend goes something like this.  Peter was in jail and some how escapes.  As he is running from his cell, he has a vision of Jesus walking back into his cell and that Jesus was going to die for him again.  He realizes then that Jesus didn’t suffer so he would not have to, but because of Christ suffering he is invited to join in the suffering.  He then returns to his cell and tells his captures that he is not worthy to die like his King and is crucified upside down. 

My friend Mark talks about how we are invited to share in the suffering of Christ, and that we as followers of Christ take on some of the worlds suffering.  This I understand.  I have spent the last two years in the mire with my friend, crying out to God to heal his son.  I have watch videos from Invisible children about the plight of Africa, I have faced the possibility of not seeing my children grow up as I battled breast cancer.  Life is hard, full of suffering and we get to share that burden as Christs followers.  I am trying desperately to make sense of it all and wrestle daily with the painful truth that this is it, this is life and that you hold those precious moments of happiness close to your heart because they may not come too often.

So, how do these things relate?  Maybe they don’t, but I will try to pull it all together.  I don’t serve a god who sits in heaven and hands out candy, nor a god who tells someone to abuse people.  The church, not all, but alot has turned God into pimp or a drug supplier.  Is that Jaded?  Probably, but I think it is true.  People sit in churches with plastic smiles on their faces complaining about the air conitioning, or that the worship was bad today.  How is it that people flock to a guy like Bentley?  Because we want an easy fix, we want to feel good, not have to work too hard at this Christianity stuff.   But, the God I serve invites me share in the suffering.  The God I serve is somehow there as a father screams in agony as his son draws his last breath.   He is there as children in Africa are left alone because their parents have died of AIDS.  I don’t claim to understand why my God doesn’t stop all the worlds woes, but I say yes to the invitation to share in these sufferings, to bare some of it somehow.

Someone like Bentley is left unchecked, put up on a pedestal, exaulted, and as is often the case those same people who put him there are horrified when he tumbles down.  I hate what Todd Bentley has done, but he is right now suffering and the people who were his supporters are now turning their backs on him.  I pray that God touches this man in the middle of all his pain and shows His true self to him. 

I choose to see God in the ordinary.  I choose to see God in the pain, in the sorrow and in the joy of everyday life.  It is not glamorous or pretty, I may not be famous, but I will meet God and have the privilege of sharing in the suffering.  I choose to live my life in community with other on the same path.

Here are a few links to post you may find interesting

Kingdom Grace

Sonja

Brother Maynard

Rickard

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We had a celebration of Isaiah’s life on August 12th for those who were unable to make it to San Diego for the funeral.  At the end Mark, who officiated, asked people to come up and share stories of Isaiah. After an adult led the way, some of Isaiah’s buddies bravely told stories, through tears and quivering chins, of their friend. It was beautiful to watch and to hear these young men ages 11, honor their friend who they dearly miss. It was so fitting that they, one by one shared memories that are seared into their hearts forever. I think it was the beginning of healing for these sweet young men. I know that there are many hard times for all of us ahead, but it is a good start.

Here is a pictures of some of Isaiah’s buddies the night they said goodbye to their friend.

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Evolution of Dance

This gave me a much needed laugh. It’s six minutes long, but worth sticking it out to the end. Enjoy!

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