when there’s no answer to the WHY, ask WHERE…

Well, The Mom took the first page of the cookbook, and made 4 different cracker recipes yesterday! While one log of dough was hardening a little in the freezer, she was making up the next one. Two of them were "make a log and slice thin", one was to be rolled out to fit the baking sheet & broken up after baked, and one you roll out and cut the dough into squares. The Basil Crackers and the Black Pepper Crackers were "OK" (maybe not worth the trouble), but the Cayenne/cheddar Crackers and the Bacon & Tomatoe Crackers (she used bacon bits, and tomatoe paste) are SCRUMPTIOUS! So they’re put away to take on holiday in about a week’s time.

Now. Our church’s sermon theme for the summer is "When Skeptics Ask"; people were encouraged to put their questions in a box, over the last several weeks, and now those questions are being used for the sermons. The first one was "Where is God in Suffering?" We usually just pick out the things that "grabbed" us, but this time we just feel like copying Sharon’s notes almost word-for-word. She does an excellent job of providing some point-form notes, with "fill-in-the-blanks" (I guess she’s trying to make sure people are paying attention?:))

First of all, she worked at proving that having doubts and asking questions is a good thing. If we’re asking questions it means that we’re learnING, not learnED. And the opposite of faith is NOT doubt (honest doubt), but unbelief (pushing God away). So, "Job teaches us that the living God desires an honest relationship with us where we can: 1) argue with Him, but not blame Him (‘The Lord gave and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord.’); 2) ask questions of Him, but not demand answers; 3) get angry with Him, but not push Him away. (‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him… I know my Redeemer lives…’). Doubting God’s Love, doesn’t diminish it."

Then she went through several ways that people try to make sense of suffering, some of which are just wrong (‘It’s God’s will/God’s punishment’), and some only partly true (‘suffering makes me grow’–but so can praise; ‘God will bring good out of it’–but He can also work without it). The last point is that "Life is a mystery, but God is with us". This is reminiscent of another study, about handling suffering/depression, where one of the first steps was just to recognize that God IS–sometimes that’s all you are able to do.

"Feeling God’s suffering doesn’t negate His presence."  Remember that WHATEVER you go through, God feels it–"In all their distress he too was distressed…" (Isa. 63:9)  *worship*

Walk to Rivendell:  We return to the Great East Road.

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