godwithoutassumption

A place for thought.


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Psalm 103:12


Psalm 103:12
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

I looked at this verse differently. What if you turn around? I was excited. It fit so well into the rest of the Bible. Repentance is an abrupt about face, turn from your sin and turn toward God right? So I shared it with three pastors. I’m thinking this will preach! But not only did no one get all excited and start to make sermon notes; they didn’t even like it.
Looking into it I think I now understand why. The modern day view of Grace is that our sins are made right. But sin is never right and can never be made right. God prunes the bad branches and takes them to the dump to be burned and while we are on Earth the consequences remain. Only Godliness goes to heaven. We work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
So how far is my sin from me? I’m a fairly normal guy. I read books and find descriptions of people who think a lot like me. I can be driving in my car singing worships songs (Walking West) until someone cuts me off for no good reason and I ride their bumper (Walking East) and then the love of God finds its way back into my heart and I back off and look for my place in keeping the highways safe (Walking West). I’m making an effort to walk toward God all the time, but I don’t and going from walking away from God and walking toward God is always an abrupt about face.
So what is the Grace God gives us? What is this undeserved gift that we should not be able to even conceive? I believe that because of the Grace of God we can understand what goodness is. We can make a choice between Good and Evil because of Grace.


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Just Who Is This God Person Anyway?


A small group of people, say twenty to a hundred thousand, could believe in Jesus. Maybe they just heard a few words He spoke or maybe they followed Him for years, but they knew Him. A larger group heard first hand the things He did and said. This group believed in the people telling them the stories. And then, of course, the Bible, short books written and dispersed, gathered and bound by people we do not know but believed by many to contain truth, believed by some to be completely true. By definition everything after the first small group is idolatry. We can believe, as has been labeled by some, in the Living Word of God. We can believe in a personality that within ourselves we know. And, by faith, we trust and hope that this personality is real, and that this personality is God.

#1. Trust, hope, and believe that there is a knowable right and wrong.

#2. Decide that good is better than evil.

#3. Through Faith know that God is that good.

My religion:

The first salvation is: the potential to do good. This salvation is given to everyone without reason of cost. The second salvation is: good is eternal. Could there be a better gift or more incentive? -david-


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You Animal!


Animals cannot sin. They follow a program that allows them to exist. A dog can be trained to bite or not to bite with a cookie (or several cookies). People on the other hand can make choices. Much of our lives are predetermined by our past and our surroundings but unlike animals we know and can choose between right and wrong. Considerer forgiveness. In the animal world forgiveness is not at issue, there is only now and next. Most of the time among humans forgiveness is not a practical choice. But if all humans can make a choice between right and wrong – can you see how forgiveness might work? Given the other person also can think and forgive? This is not logical it is faith and it can get you hung on a cross, or they could just take your credit cards.


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Super Kid, part three


School seems to be a necessary evil, I’m a kid, I go.  Over all it’s not a complete waste of time, I could see someday using long division.  Ricky, my best friend, waits for me at his house that is six houses up the street.  Ricky is the only nine-year-old at the school smaller than I am.  We’ve been friends since out first day of Kindergarden.   That first day of kindergarten – it wasn’t something easy to forget.  Ricky’s mom had dropped him off with hugs and tears.  She was just a kid too, only twenty years old.  But at the time it was a bit disconcerting to see a mom cry.  When she was out of sight Ricky was left standing in a room filled with kids his own age, a bit overwhelmed.  Then he noticed us in the carpeted part of the room.  We had piles of red cardboard blocks painted to look like bricks.  Rick wandered over where I was giving instructions to two teams of kids.  Ricky gave his standard introduction, “Hi, I’m Ricky.”

            “Hi Ricky, we need a wall right here and if you can figure a way to get a roof on our fort that’s what we need.   Your on our team.” I said.

            We worked much of the morning once everyone was clear on what a fort was and how to build one.  Our wall curved to form a half circle  – there was no roof.  A pile of hard wooden blocks was referred to as ammunition.  It was important to have lots of ammunition near by.

            With hindsight I see half a classroom of kindergarteners engaged in a creative project for a least an hour.  I’m sure Miss Hanna, our teacher, was very proud of her first day as a kindergarten teacher – her well-behaved brood content, at work and quiet.

            At this point I stood up and in a loud low voice – as manly as a five year old can sound said,  “This is war!  You’re the bad guys.  We are the good guys!” I picked up a hard wood block and threw it across the room knocking a few red cardboard blocs out of the bad guys fort.  Ricky, my second, from that day forward – picked up a hard wood block throwing it as hard as he could at the enemy fort.  His throw went high just above the wall of the apposing teams fort.  As luck would have it one of the bad guys looked above the rim of the fort just as the block passed its goal leaving only the kid’s forehead in it’s path.  I can still hear the scream  – kids cried, the teacher turned white.

            I remember sitting outside the principles office on a bench at the end of a long hall.  Seems like we sat there in silence for a long time.  I don’t remember how we got there.  The principle, a giant man, a very stern man – invited us into his office.  He seated us on a sofa in his office, side by side, our legs sticking our straight.  Our legs barely long enough to keep our shoes off the upholstery. 

The Principle pulled a chair close, bent over, looking into our cherub like faces said, “What was that about?”

I answered without a pause, without excuse – in a clear direct statement of truth.  “It was War.”