Friday, May 30, 2014

An alternate career path that I did not follow was to be a high school social studies teacher.  I did get the degree for that path while at Purdue University.  History can be amazing reading and research.  I am especially fond of the Civil War in its shaping of who we are as a country.

Jeff Shaara's book, A Blaze of Glory, is a retelling of the Battle of Shiloh.  This battle in Tennessee involved over 100,000 soldiers and amassed over 24,000 casualties over two days of hard fighting.  A devastation wrought that had not been seen by our country previously.

Shaara is a compelling author who does well in portraying a battle with lines that were miles long.  I found the dialogue that he created in this historical fiction to be wanting at times, especially early in the book.  The real strength of the book is how Shaara provides at least three perspectives:  of generals overseeing vast armies on a chaotic battle field, of the man with the musket who could barely see the enemy charging let alone the map of advance or retreat, of the historians who have interpreted the impact of this battle upon the war.

I recommend this book very much.  Thankful to my mother who loaned it to me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

3 Truths: 300 words (in the answers)

1)  When we get to Heaven (what ever that is for you), I am confident that you and I will be offended by who God has allowed entrance.

Those missing in “Heaven” will be those who chose not to enter.  When face to face with God, who would opt out?  God so loves us as to respect even that choice.  God makes a way for absolutely all of God’s creation to live forever.
We cannot fathom the reach of God’s love.  God created us.  God named us good.  The Bible is vastly about God trying to be in relationship with us.  Jesus’ resurrection is a climax of God’s endless attempts.  Given God’s effort and power, God does not deny our entrance.  God’s grace extends beyond our comfortable boundaries.
2)  When we get to Heaven (what ever that is for you), I am confident that you and I will be shocked at how offensive we are to God.
Through our soul we most fully know God.  Our five senses, amazing brain, creative imagination all limit God.  We personify and objectify God.
We are created in the image of God.   The difference between the “image” and God is vast.  God gave up nearly all of what it is to be God to be able to walk among us as Jesus.  That is merely a glimpse of the difference between us and God.  You’d be offended if a relationship demanded you be nearly nothing of you?
Singing God’s praise for eternity sounds boring, until you see God face to face.  
3)  Being offended / offensive is a human experience that does not plague God.

Being offended assumes the other has power to offend.  Jesus becomes offended when we mistreat each other or God’s house.  Jesus does not become offended when we mistreat Jesus.  
Assuming the power to offend assumes the power to appease.  We cannot appease God of our own effort.  God always chooses to love us. 

Jesus’ resurrection is less about God’s power over death, that was easy for God who created life.  Jesus’ resurrection is more about the commitment to a relationship with us.  Jesus’ resurrection is a sign that “being offended” does not plague God thus we are all chosen.