Stumbling Through Life

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Please, God – Don’t strike me with lightning! I’m just trying to figure this world out. Sometimes I think and say things that are stupid. But sometimes, too, You tell me things that are so meaningful that I simply have to write them down. This blog is nothing more than a diary of some of these thoughts.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Does God Help Students Pass Tests?

"As long as there are tests,
there will be prayer in school."

Get it? Get it? Kids will pray for God to miraculously intervene, see, because they didn't study.

But will He? Does God intervene to help someone because they make a last-minute deal with Him? "God, I promise that if you help me with this, I'll go to church... pray more... be nice to my sister..."
Hmmm. I have a feeling God might see through that. I'm not saying He doesn't help us when we don't deserve it; I just think He's more inclined to let us experience the consequences of our actions. Test scores have borne this out. Study and you do well. Skip studying and pray as you walk in... not so much.

I do believe God answers prayer, but not (usually) in a spectacular way. Here's how it works: I pray well before the test day. I don't just pray for a list of "Stuff God should do for me." I thank him for my family, and for the rain, and I ask him to comfort my friend whose dad died, and, yeah, I pray that I'll do well in school.
Then, still in a positive state of mind, I get my books out and study. I get a good night's sleep. Oh, and I say a quick prayer again when I'm waiting for the test. It can't hurt, right? And...

A miracle!

I pass my test!

So, yes. I believe God does help students pass tests.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Peace, Love, Prayer

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Week: A Story of Human Frailty.

Starting with Palm Sunday, the day that Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-11) and culminating in Jesus rising from the dead, the people around Jesus, even his closest companions acted like hypocrites, cowards, liars and turncoats. These were the same people who, on Sunday morning, held an impromptu parade for him, saying:

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Mark 11:9-10

Within a few days these same people called for his death. Why?

He wasn't acting the way we wanted Him to. He wasn't saving people from their (earthly) oppressors. In fact, the first two things he did were to curse a fig tree (which I'm sure had people scratching their heads) and turn over the money-changers' table at the temple. (Hey, wait Jesus! We're the good guys. We're not the ones you're supposed to get mad at!) Then He was walking around talking a bunch of nonsense about "remembering him when he was gone." Before the week ended, he was dead... killed and denied by his own people.

Hypocrites. Cowards. Murderers.

When I feel frail and inadequate, I remind myself that I'm probably not much worse than the people that Jesus loved the most.

Peace, Love, Grace