Is God still here?

The problem of “a Better Place”

This entry is part 15 of 21 in the series The problem of ...

What are we really doing when we say someone’s in “a better place”?
Being nice? We think so.
Lying? Probably.
Is being honest better?

It Will Happen Again

It will happen again. Why?  Because we insist on freedom from religion.  Freedom from God. What is it? It’s Orlando – the mass killing – the child killed by an alligator. It’s Sandy Hook – more mass killings. It’s your neighbor – beaten up by her husband / boyfriend / lover – again. It’s all the things we want to put an end to.  Insist we can do it on our own.  And ignore the real problems. Post Views: 55

Do we have the leader we deserve, need or both? Revisited

Look at the candidates we have running for president of the U.S. today. Do we need either of them? Do we deserve both of them? I wrote on this topic about a year and a half ago.  The original is here. Post Views: 133

God or the Devil – who is winning you over?

  “”It’s a test, David. Don’t you see? I bet those demons told God that you would run with your tail tucked between your legs at the first sign of difficulty.” She shoved her finger downward. “But God said, ‘No! Not David Chance!’” Yes – the image at the left is kind of cute.   And that’s how too many people view the devil / demons. And angels as well. They’re just a “story”.  Maybe even just a way to make funny commercials where we choose between food that’s good for us versus something that we want to eat that maybe isn’t do good. Post Views: 5

Three Tragic Verses – One Unavoidable Conclusion

When presented with the facts, no matter how much we don’t like what they say –  sometimes the conclusion is unavoidable – The U. S. will not help Israel at a critical time – and we will be part of ushering in “The End”. Three tragically depressing verses from the Bible are these – Eze 22:30 “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. Zec 12:3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Post Views: 5

The problem of Global Warming

What’s the real problem of Global Warming? Arrogance. Here in California where I am, you can no longer build a house with a fireplace.  At least “regular” people can’t.  I’m sure that with enough money and loopholes, the rich people can do it.  But the average person can’t.  Because we will make global warming worse. There are also days when those of us in old houses that do have fireplaces are told we can’t use them.  Because we will make global warming worse. I’m waiting for the day when we’re told we can’t use our outdoor BBQ any more either. Because we will make global warming worse. Arrogance. Seriously. Look at this picture:   This is a picture from a forest fire raging in Alberta Canada as I’m writing this. Now – ask yourself – does this contribute to global warming? Does it maybe contribute to global warming more than some fireplaces and bbqs? And it’s not like this is the only fire.  There are lots of them. When I was in school – we used to be taught that things like forest fires were “nature’s” way of taking care of those forests.  The old / dead stuff was burned […]

The problem of religion and politics

  Do politics and religion really make strange bedfellows? They concluded that many Christians left the church because of the church’s active affiliation with conservative politics. You’d better believe it!  On both sides.  But the issue I have is why “the church” aligns itself with either side of politics.   And since they do, why isn’t everyone upset about something related to this? The simple fact is – in my opinion – neither part gets what Jesus taught. And therefore, unfortunately, “the church” isn’t really supporting what Jesus taught either. BTW – did you notice how “my opinion” became fact? Just checking to see if you’re paying attention. Post Views: 11

The Problem of Healing (or Not)

    Does God still heal today?  Yes. What does the word “heal” mean?  That depends.   This is from a very special article I wrote almost four years ago.  I’m updating now and moving it over here to prepare for a class that I’ll be doing soon.  Updates for that purpose will be in italic rust colored text, so you can tell the original portions. Here’s the verse that got me started on the road to updating this article – Jas 5:13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. The question that came to mind are these – What does “sick” […]

The problem of hope

  Hope.  A problem?  Absolutely! A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. You have to realize where this quote is from to understand it.  Please – read on. The context for the quote above – President Snow: Seneca… why do you think we have a winner? Seneca Crane: [frowns] What do you mean? President Snow: I mean, why do we have a winner? I mean, if we just wanted to intimidate the districts, why not round up twenty-four of them at random and execute them all at once? Be a lot faster. [Seneca just stares, confused] President Snow: Hope. Seneca Crane: Hope? President Snow: Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained. Seneca Crane: So…? President Snow: So, CONTAIN it. Got it yet? Yes – Hunger Games.  I finally watched it a couple says ago.  In a way – I was surprised.  But in another way – I wasn’t surprised at all. As Christians, we believe that God is everywhere.  Given that – we should be able to see something of Him – well – […]

The problem of ignoring laws

  More and more, it seems that we live in a world where we pick and choose the laws we want to follow.  Even the President does it. Not surprisingly, his Department of Justice does the same.  Even the Supreme Court makes up laws when they don’t like the ones currently on the books.  Then the states decide that’s unconstitutional – and choose to ignore those laws.  Is it any wonder that individual people choose to do the same?  But is there a down side to this “make your own rules” way of choosing which laws to follow or ignore?   Obviously, there are “legal” issues, but I’m thinking about the moral issues.  What will this attitude do to our souls? Way back in the book of Judges, we read – Jdg 21:25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. Is that bad?  Well, here’s what prompted that statement. If you’d like to read the full background – start reading at Judges 19.  The way they got to the point where we’re going to pick it up is awful. Judges 19 starts off with Jdg 19:1 In those days Israel had no king.  And it goes […]

The problem of Global Capitalism

  In Fiery Speeches, Francis Excoriates Global Capitalism I think Pope Francis has been, for the most part, like a breath of fresh air.  But I think he missed the point on this one. From an article in the New York Times, we read – His speeches can blend biblical fury with apocalyptic doom. Pope Francis does not just criticize the excesses of global capitalism. He compares them to the “dung of the devil.” He does not simply argue that systemic “greed for money” is a bad thing. He calls it a “subtle dictatorship” that “condemns and enslaves men and women.” Notice – in the picture above, it has emphasized both greed and capitalism. Notice – in the Pope’s statement, he also used both greed and capitalism. But where’s the real problem? Is it capitalism?  Or is it greed? Guess how many times capitalism shows up in the Bible.  Of course – the answer is zero. Guess how many times greed shows up in the Bible.  In the NIV – it’s twelve times. twice in the Old Testament – Isaiah –  Isa 57:17 I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he […]

The problem of the death penalty

   Since the death penalty is back in the news with the Boston Marathon bombing trial, here’s something for you (and me) to think about.  It has to do with where the death penalty comes from, what crimes does it apply to today, and who is really the party with the best standing to impart justice.   Where does the death penalty come from? This one may not sit well with some people, but it comes from the Bible. The first instance where it’s mentioned is – Ex 21:12 “Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death. 13 However, if he does not do it intentionally, but God lets it happen, he is to flee to a place I will designate. 14 But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him to death. To be sure, there are a whole lot of other cases where the death penalty applied in those days.  Under certain circumstances, kidnapping could result in the death penalty.  The same was true for attacking one’s parents. In some cases, there was the concept of an “eye for an eye”.  Rather […]

The problem of tolerance

As I sit here on Silent Saturday – between the day Satan thought he won, because Jesus died on the cross – and the day Jesus actually wins when He is resurrected, I can’t help but think about the issue of tolerance.  It seems all sorts of people are calling for tolerance.  However, different people have different definitions of what tolerance really means. And so -the maybe not so obvious question – would God and Satan ever tolerate each other? Post Views: 7

Making Planets or Discovering Them?

Are we pretending to be like God? If you can imagine a planet, and then discover one that could maybe be a little like the one you imagined, that’s the same as making one, right? Apparently so.  At least one could get that impression, based on two different articles – one from and the other from Awesome stuff.  Sounds incredible. But how real is it? Have we become like God – able to make planets?   The article is titled How to make a planet just like Earth.   I enjoy cooking and baking, so I’m expecting to see a recipe, step by step, hopefully with pictures, ’cause I like to verify that what I’m making looks like it’s supposed to.  And for baking, it’s got to be really exact, otherwise the right chemical reactions won’t happen, and I’ve got a mess. I also enjoy doing woodworking, so a really nice blueprint with exact dimensions would be anticipated.  I’d really like to see some well laid out cut sheets too. Makes the whole thing so much easier. The article from is titled Earth-sized planets discovered by Kepler may really be Earth-like.  This seems to lower the bar for […]

Intro to Sura 68 – The Pen. God’s promises to Abraham, revisited.

Among other things, Sura 68 is a response to Muhammad’s sense / fear that his first revelation was from a Jinn (an evil spirit).  It confirms to him that he is not crazy or hallucinating. This second Sura, in order of revelation, is quite long.   Other topics in Sura 68 will be covered in later posts.  But I think this one will be quite revealing for non-Muslims. If you’re not a Muslim – I encourage you to read on, and probably notice some things you hadn’t considered before. If you are a Muslim – I also encourage you to read on, and maybe see a different perspective towards you as a person – from a Christian. If you’re neither one, it will still be a different take on an important world issue.  Nothing like what you’ll find in the news reports – where seemingly neither the Bible or the Qur’an are actually being read or understood.  Already, this has been a fascinating journey for me.  Something I just need to share. Post Views: 119

The problem of caring

  Caring can be depressing.   That seems odd.  Maybe even wrong.  But it’s true. Ecc 1:1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: Ecc 1:2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” Even caring.   It doesn’t matter whether we even know the people we care about.  If we really care about them – it’s still depressing when they don’t care.  And not because we can’t do anything about their lack of caring – because we can’t, and we know that.  It’s their lack of caring about themselves that is the problem. But that’s exactly what we’re called to do as Christians – Mt 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang […]

God, The Father – Friend or Foe? A look at Pharaoh.

“God has not forgotten you.”   When you hear that – does it make you happy? Or would you rather that God would just forget you?  Interestingly enough – if you really want Him to forget you, He will.  Eventually. But you have to ask yourself, “Is that what I really want?”       If you believe God’s your friend – you’re undoubtedly happy to remember that God will never forget you. If you believe God’s your enemy – you’re likely wishing that He would just forget all about you. BTW – if you answered that question with either yes or no – but you consider yourself an atheist – I have to ask you – who is it exactly that you wish would forget you? This is something I still don’t understand about atheists – how you can get so worked up over something that you are so sure doesn’t exist!  What’s the point?  Why waste the time? Or is it that maybe God is in you somewhere – trying to stir up your interest in Him?   So – let’s get on with it. God was cruel and mean to Pharaoh This is along the lines of […]

Where is God when we need him? – Mediterranean

  Six hundred migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean the other day, between Sicily and North Africa.     The boats landing daily on the shores of Europe are filled with men and women who need acceptance and assistance. So where is God in all of this? Shouldn’t He be taking care of these people?   Good question, you may be thinking. For more on the story, check out News (Sorry, this article is apparently no longer available).   As he often does, the Pope is focusing on people, when he says, there should be policy that “revolves not around the economy but around the sacredness of the human person”. But that’s putting the focus back on the people.  What about God?  Should He just be giving every country an awesome economy so there can be the “normal” governmental and business focus on growing economies and everything else will just work out?  Should God be putting together some awesome miracles to just solve the problem?  Is that what we’re hoping for? Don’t hold your breath. For the real answer – to see where God is in this – maybe we should all go look in the mirror. In spite […]

Is God Loving – or Angry?

Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Ro 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, Ro 1:19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  So – which one is it? To borrow a question from an old game show – ‘Will the “real” God please stand up?’   I’m re-writing this now for one person in particular – and for anyone who needs it in general.   Since I had a allotted amount of time in the original, it was pretty short.  The parts that I added for the online version are in rust colored italics.  I wrote this back in February, 2011 for a talk I was giving.  The topic was “Who gets the credit”.  Maybe that seems like an odd combination – asking “who gets the credit” and “is God living or angry” at the same time.  Hopefully, by the end, it won’t seem so odd.  And […]