Wednesday, March 28, 2007

If God wanted to drive us mad

I was perusing the Sydney Morning Herald today and read this article about a family afflicted with Huntington’s disease, a rather unfortunate genetic disease affecting the brain. The father and one daughter of the family have worked impressively hard to find a cure and their work has lead to the location of the human chromosome that contains the Huntington’s gene.

But it was the very end of this article that got me thinking. The father of this family, Milton Wexler, has recently died. The article concludes:
Wexler's daughters survive him. Both chose not to have children but there is still no cure, and he persuaded them there was nothing to be gained by having the test. "If the gods want to drive you mad, first they tell you your future," he said.
While THE God is perhaps very merciful in not revealing to us what our individual future might hold, in this life, giving us the grace for it one day at a time, one of the very things that fortifies us for whatever comes and provides our sure hope IS what God tells us of our ultimate future:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Rev 21:4

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Engage

The ENGAGE Conference website has now gone live. To quote the website: ENGAGE is a new conference that will bridge the gap between church life and work life. With an emphasis on real-life issues and life-changing application, ENGAGE is a fresh approach designed to meet the challenges for today's working Christian (who might be struggling with the disconnects). The conference is on in October this year, so start planning.

They have fantastic speakers lined up, namely Justin Moffat, from Christ Church in New York City, and Chris Chia, from Adam Road Presbyterian Church in Singapore. They also have a conference blog and are looking for some input so that the speakers can focus on the real issues that people struggle with. So, take and look and let them know what you would particularly like to have discussed at such a conference.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Does Richard Dawkins Exist? - A Parable

I found the link to this on Byron's blog (on which he also has a great post on voting Christianly - well worth reading the post and the comments on this one) and so I decided to do something even worse than just link to someone else's blog on my blog and to just copy the link on someone else's blog to someone else's blog.

I was discussing "The God Delusion", in passing, with friends over dinner a while back, not that any of us have read the book (can't say as I can be bothered, feeling like I am familiar enough with his arguments, which he has apparently just gone to extremes on in this book) and one friend was saying that, while Dawkins rants about the weakness of "religion" and how it is a virus of the human race etc, his own particular views, and the way people so fanatically follow them, has just become a "religion" in its own right. I wonder how Dawkins would feel about that idea?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The opportunity of weakness

Life has slightly got the better of me lately, to the neglect of this blog (and I started this on Saturday then just left it as a draft, thus the old date when today is Tuesday). But I have been reading The Life of Prayer by Edith Schaeffer again lately. One thing I find really encouraging about the works of Edith and Francis Schaeffer is the way their Christianity works into every fibre of their being and every moment of their daily lives. I could write out whole chapters but this is just one section that has been helpful to me of late, when I needed to do something that I found it really difficult to do, because God would have me do it:
Our prayer ... is to be one of thanksgiving that Christ suffered all this and so much more for us. Then we are to turn and ask for help, His strength in our miserable weakness to endure what we need to be enduring with patience (not ours but His) and to be, as well as to do, what no one else could be. Of course we are allowed to ask for deliverance from this "round of battle", but so often we are wasting an opportunity to do and be that which we could not do or be in any other set of circumstances. There is an opportunity for learning more reality, not only the reality of Christ’s suffering, but the reality of His strength in this particular set of weaknesses, His comfort in this particular sorrow of separation or pain, which could be missed! ... I so often pray, and have so often prayed through the years, Lord, don’t let me waste this opportunity to learn what You want me to learn, to be what You want me to be, to prove to Satan that I really love you, as Job did, not just the good things you give ... Overcome the temptation to waste the discovery of what God’s strength in our weakness time after time is in a wide variety of weaknesses; to waste the circumstances during which we can find out that His grace is really sufficient, not just for other people we read about in the Bible, not just as a theological concept, not just as something to read at morning prayer and appreciate during a period of comfort, but to call for in the very midst of troubles ... It is in such times that we know we are not doing things because we are terribly efficient, or very clever, or physically in great condition, but because the answer to our prayer for help has been, not a changed circumstance with everything going well, not a removal of pain and suffering, but it has been instead an outpouring of His strength, to do what He would have us to do or to simply have a patience (not our own) or a surge of increased trust of Him whereby we may whisper, Lord, I don’t understand this, but I love You and trust You.