4 views of God?

I was recently challenged to read a newspaper article in USA Today about findings from a new religious survey conducted by Baylor University. Now, the article was long, but the information was really interesting. One of the main conclusions found by sociologists who studied the results was that how a person views God more accurately predicts that person’s values and politics than things like denomination or political affiliation.

One of the things that struck me when I read through the four different labels used to describe God and how Americans see Him, was that I can’t find one word to accurately convey who He is in my life. I happened to be doing a Bible study this week on Daniel and we were just at the place where King Nebuchadnezzar calls Daniel in to interpret his second dream and although 30 years had passed since Daniel accurately described his first dream, interpreted it, and then Daniel’s 3 friends were thrown into the fiery furnace but not burned and Nebuchadnezzar saw with his own eyes those three guys and one more that was “like the son of God” walking around in the fire but not even a hair of their heads was singed….Nebuchadnezzar still didn’t ‘get it’ when it came to God. He still wanted to think of the Most High God on his own terms, to box Him in and label Him just like the other gods of that day…very sad….and yet don’t we try and do the same thing sometimes? When we label God as this or that to better understand Him in our finite minds?

It’s great that the researchers and sociologists are understanding how people’s view of God powerfully affects everything else about their lives but to me it also should be a wake up call for those of us who seek to know Him as He truly is and to call Him friend to be about the business of sharing about a God who is love and acceptance and forgiveness and justice and peace and so much more, with those who may have a limited view of who God is and what He wants to do in our lives. If someone asked you those questions from the survey or watched the way you live your life, would they label God as Authoritarian, Distant, Benevolent or Critical according to your answers or actions? It’s an interesting thought and maybe a challenge for you and me to live in such a way that someone watching can see an accurate picture, or at least more accurate, of the God of the Universe- Jehovah…who has more facets to His personality and character than I can ever hope to know and understand, but how much faith would I have in a God who was what I made Him to be or one that fit into a little box that I could control?

What about you? How do you see God? Can you label Him with just one word? Does it really describe who He is or just who you can handle Him being? Think about it, because your view of God will impact all the other decisions that you make today and every day…even the secular world agrees with that.

rachel lovingood


Confessions of a hair don’t

Someone complimented me on my hair today and although that is unusual, it wouldn’t necessarily be worthy of commenting on except that it took me back a few months to when I went to see my hairdresser. I sat down and she began to comb out my overgrown, overdue for something hair. I watched in the mirror and was compelled to actually apologize to her for how bad it looked. My hair was completely hideous and it was all my fault. The dark brown roots, liberally sprinkled with gray, hung down a few, ok several, inches and below all that, frizzy, outgrown and what could only be called, brassy, blonde hair straggled past my shoulders in every direction.

“How did it get this bad?” I wondered, “I mean, I know I’ve been busy and I had a foot injury, and we moved into a new house, but those are no excuses for the shape my hiar was in. What started outas few highlights to brighten my face, had morphed into a completely fake blonde lower half of my hair. And though there is nothing wrong with highlights or hair color in general, I have to wonder if I do the same thing spiritually. Maybe I try to gloss over something in my life instead of dealing with it and then I “highlight” a few fake attitudes and spray into place some trite phrases so that people will be impressed by the ‘spiritual do’ I’m sporting when what I really need to do is get to the root of the problem and let God deal with my stuff, gray and all.

That day, we decided to go back to my natural hair color, minus the gray, and just sprinkle in a few highlights for emphasis-to bring out what God had already given me. Come to think of it, isn’t that what we all need to do? spiritually speaking…work with what God has given us, use the positives and negatives for His glory–let people see and know the real us? and of course the greatest lesson of all—don’t wait too long between those hair appointments!

Out of my comfort zone

This whole world of internet blogs is way out of my comfort zone. I talked with a girl today who even suggested me creating a My Space account and all i could think of was “At my age”…my kids would probably die…but i have enjoyed reading other people’s blogs and even though the name ‘blog’ is about the ugliest word i can think of, it may be good for me to do some things that push me out of the norm and routine of my everyday life…after all, doesn’t God continually challenge us to do things He commands no matter how uncomfortable they may be?

not that I think of blogging as a command form the Lord but more like if I practice doing things that are not the norm then when He does ask me to step out in obedience, maybe I will be more ready …and of course, i can know that obedience will have its rewards, blogging, I’m not so sure about…