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God in Our Imagination 060413
As spring wears into very early summer, I’ve begun considering the
nature of God. The flowers of spring and the rampant green growth
usually (every year!) lead me into a vibrant,alive spirituality. I
love God in the springtime for what he has done. And when I see the
beauty of spring, I love God. I love God for what it looks like he
has created. If instead, spring was filled with concrete,
overpopulated cities, despoiled hazardous waste landfills, blackened
and poisonous rivers and streams—if that’s all there was, would I
not love God?
A friend of mine basically left the church—all churches—because he
concluded that God was ultimately,a product of my imagination. He
saw, he said, that we didn’t know God, or know if there was a God,
because God was really, JUST a product of our imagination. He was a minster, and I hope he returns eventually to
being a minister again; he was good at it.
But, when I think about what my old friend had said and thought, I can’t
say I disagree much, except I do not limit God to my small ideas. God
exists independently of my mind, thankfully.
But God is still not clear to me—if I have a vision of God, it is
probably my own idea. For instance, I normally call God a man, and
seldom a woman, but neither is for sure. Gender is not necessarily
part of God’s being.
Despite acknowledging that my idea of God is basically of my imagination, I
still see my idea as proof that I love God, and that God is so far
beyond anything I could imagine, that my own ideas prove that God is
far bigger, more ‘infinite’ and unlimited, and more beautiful and
creative than any human or living mind can envision. Our limitations
prove the unlimitedness of God. So, I do not see this God as a
negative. Instead, a God that is forever infinitely beyond me is
exactly the kind of God I can love and worship.
I realize the above might not make sense, but that’s okay too. One’s
spirituality dos not have to be logical. Think about God, but not too
Pray for peace,
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The Message (MSG)
5 1-3 Listen, God!
Please, pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings,
my groans and cries?
King-God, I need your help.
Every morning you’ll hear me at
Every morning I lay out the
pieces of my life on your altar
watch for fire to descend.
don’t socialize with Wicked,
Evil over as your houseguest.
Hot-Air-Boaster collapses in front
you shake your head over
God destroys Lie-Speaker;
and Truth-Bender disgust you.
here I am, your invited guest—
I enter your house; here I am,
in your inner sanctum,
Waiting for directions
get me safely through enemy lines.
word they speak is a land mine;
lungs breathe out poison gas.
Their throats are gaping
their tongues slick as
Pile on the guilt, God!
their so-called wisdom wreck them.
Kick them out! They’ve had
you’ll welcome us with open arms
run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
guard over our celebration.
You are famous, God, for welcoming
for decking us out in
The Message (MSG)
memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.
It was the month of Kislev in the
twentieth year. At the time I was in the palace complex at Susa.
Hanani, one of my brothers, had just arrived from Judah with some
fellow Jews. I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there
who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem.
told me, “The exile survivors who are left there in the province
are in bad shape. Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is
still rubble; the city gates are still cinders.”
I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and
praying before the God-of-Heaven.
said, “God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his
covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands:
Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your
servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your
servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of
Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those
who have sinned against you.
treated you like dirt: We haven’t done what you told us, haven’t
followed your commands, and haven’t respected the decisions you
gave to Moses your servant. All the same, remember the warning you
posted to your servant Moses: ‘If you betray me, I’ll scatter you
to the four winds, but if you come back to me and do what I tell you,
I’ll gather up all these scattered peoples from wherever they ended
up and put them back in the place I chose to mark with my Name.’
there they are—your servants, your people whom you so powerfully
and impressively redeemed. O Master, listen to me, listen to your
servant’s prayer—and yes, to all your servants who delight in
honoring you—and make me successful today so that I get what I want
from the king.”
I was cupbearer to the king.
The Message (MSG)
day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their
way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a
man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down
at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going
into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the
Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked
him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up,
expecting to get something from them.
said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I
give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He
grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his
feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.
man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing
and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising
God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple’s
Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing
what they were seeing.