Category Archives: pain

Thoughtful Thursday: An Almighty, Good God Allows an Evil World?

Human Brutality, one of the World's worst evils.

Here is a response to a difficult subject: Evil and human suffering. Your comments are valuable here. Thanks for reading.

The following are comments from a former classmate Marty Schoffstall as placed within the comment section on blog site of Theology Professor Ken Miller.

From Marty:

Dr. Dorsey [professor of Old Testament Studies] says that the story of the prophets (a rather large portion of the canon) looks like this:

(1) God Is Allowing Wickedness…
For a season…. and the wicked to succeed in their opposition to Him to temporarily triumph over Him (and over those loyal to Him). He may allow them to spurn Him, mock Him, humiliate him, or persecute those who remain loyal to Him.

(2) God is redirecting their evil….
to accomplish his own good purposes. The deeds of the wicked play into God’s hands and are used by God to further his own semi-secret agenda. [During this time when evil appears to prevail], God’s children are encouraged to: (a) Trust God, (b) Wait patiently for the time when God will intervene and right all wrongs, (c) Remain loyal and obedient to him.

(3) Finally, God dramatically intervenes…
to defeat his enemies. God is vindicated the wicked are punished; and those loyal to God are rewarded.

Now as my old friend friend Dr. Cunningham from UVA who was a very competent Roman Catholic Theologian on the side used to say:

“…mercy and justice are always in tension. We want mercy for ourselves, and justice for the other…”

Eventually we grow a little wiser and want some mercy for the other as well; however, we can never give up the concept of justice completely. Some decisions are so revolting (like genocide) that they must rigorously opposed, some people are so broken (like serial killers, serial kidnappers, etc) that we invest enormous time and money in the criminal justice system to stop them, they are horribly corrosive to society, they must be stopped.

How do you respond?

Wacky Wednesday. No coffee? (This could be you) Caption Please.

Wacky Wednesday is the alternative to Jon Acuff’s Serious Wednesday. It’s meant to be the opposite of Jon’s SCL posts, because some of us need that humor boost, midweek.

I don’t know the story here. There is a distinct possibility that this man, in a deparate attempt to get his monring brew, threw on his sister’s clothes and made a mad dash to Starbucks. Maybe the long line did him in. I don’t see anybody helping him, but I think he needs a caffeine IV drip. Stat!

What’s your take? What happened just before this photo was taken?
Give us a good caption for this scene.

HAVE A GREAT WEDNESDAY.

What happened? Give this a CAPTION!

 

 

Need one more humor boost? Warning for parents. This one is PG 13, but imagine getting your teen this for Christmas, and forcing them to wear it to school? (What were they thinking?) ahhhhh!

X-<

HA! 5 ways to know if you need a vacation

squirrel fights (Flikr)

To be fair, if you’ve never seen a golden-mantled ground squirrel (a.k.a. “chipmunk” by people who get confused?) with a switchblade, you really should tweet this.

1. The squirrel fights in your yard look choreographed.

2. You start going to the store for just odd things, like tapioca or beef jerky.

3. You wonder if time in a prison cell could have its upsides.

4. The garden hose has become your version of a “water park”.

5. You use a beach towel after a shower to add more adventure and pizzazz to your life.

oops forgot one: You realize “pizzazz” has the word “pizza” in it, and that causes a food fantasy for Boardwalk fare.

Let the wild rumpus start!

What tells YOU that you need a vacation?

It’s the Jumpsuit: A Daredevil’s Life-Evel Knievel

photo by Bill Wolf, 1970s Evel Knievel

Yes, I pretended to be Evel on my bike minus the crashes. A sense of adventure is an enviable quality, although sometimes a compromised frontal brain lobe can complicate the situations with very bad lapses in judgment.

I found this “15 things you didn’t know about Evel Knievel poster design.” Despite the thrills, his life was tragic and sad. That being said, there’s something I love about him. Maybe, in the end, it’s more about the cape and jumpsuit.

Share your thoughts about the man.

15 Things You Never Knew About Evel Knievel
Via: Motorcycle Insurance

“1 foot in the grave and 3 feet on a banana peel”

Would this sign work for people too?

Sometimes we get awfully close to the brink. Maybe 94 steps. Could that take a day? A week? Two weeks?

What does it take to take a few steps back?

Rest? A new Perspective? A change?

In the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox, the euphemism “1 foot in the grave and 3 feet on a banana peel” was used to describe a fox in a precarious spot.

What we often don’t realize is that the “brink” is just the first of many.

When have you felt “at the brink”?

What was the result…or how did it turn out?

People are Shambolic

This sign is kind enough to give us an accurate bio and caution statement.

Like this sign, we all have sharp edges, but we seldom advertise as well.

Here the main fact: People are shambolic. You are, I am, and anybody else you can of think is too, at least in some way.

I like that “shambolic” is a word. I really do. Words sometimes excite me like a day trip to Atlantic City might enthuse a slots player. When I find a word that’s a good fit, or a new word I’ve never come across, I feel I’m part of a small but effective coup that has just taken back a fortress in Mediocre Illocution Land. I believe that’s somewhere between Middle Earth, Krypton, and the Death Star, but I’m not positive.

Shambolic basically means something or someone that is emblematic of being in shambles.

The cold hard truth is that people are either in the middle of being shambolic, just coming out of being shambolic–in the same manner as a person whose ferocious fever has just broken (quite ill, but just a bit better), or worst of all: one can be a person who is headed right for a shambolic state–whether he knows it or not. Actually, I’m sugar-coating it. Each particular circumstance is just half of it, our inherent weaknesses are most are the other half.

I’m sorry I don’t have better news, but this isn’t sunday morning church… I’m not asking for your tithe, so I have no need to butter you up, or put a little pep rally together. I can just tell it to you straight.

I’m not afraid to say, I don’t think there is a cure for being shambolic, despite how we seem to seek one.

Have you ever known, or have been a perfectionist?

Is this classic denial for a shambolic person? Bingo. Darn, kind of an Atlantic City reference/call back….um, not bingo, um…I mean, yes indeed! It is. Denial is what happens when we haven’t figured out what’s really going on fully, or haven’t had the courage to accept it, and move onward–grow.

But this bit of new is our reality. We are mortal and flawed. (Now don’t act liked you are shocked, you’ve known it all along…)

Be this as it may–We don’t have to just muddle through. Yet, being realistic helps us to grow personally and spiritually.

Here are some ideas for struggling through the human condition:

1. Full awareness/Humility.

2. Regularly reminding ourselves of #1 (afore mentioned).

3. Dependence on God (Higher Power, The Great Spirit, The Supreme Being, or whatever word for The Highest One, you prefer that happens to not be you).

4. Prayer. Meditation. Rest. (They’re all closely linked, so I plopped them in #4 together. It’s efficient, okay?)

5. Unaccounted generosity to others.

Many more ideas remain.

What are some others you can think of?

The Precious Rest

early twilight

I was allured by this Flickr picture the second I saw it. It seemed beautiful, yet also strange. A genuine napping red fox in a field of tall clovers? Curious.

The image info told that it was indeed this fox’s last rest. Possibly rabies did him in. What a mournful occasion, but what a comely little beast.

(I apologize that I haven’t been able to find the image again, to properly link to the artist. If anyone can help me with that, I’d appreciate it.)

Come to Rest

From madness to rest

You’ve wandered too far and then too close

You’ve grown weary

You find yourself in the soft clover

Feeling the pull of death’s slumber

There is some precious beauty about you

In this early twilight

In your last breaths

In your grassy bed

So fragile, mortal, yielding

What was wild and fierce, unpredictable

Now laid down, quieted, helpless

Will you awake in another field with new rabbits?

Will you suffer no more?

Lay your head down

Come to Rest

Your thoughts or comments are welcome.