Last night during Clemson’s heartbreaking loss to Alabama, Jesus reminded me that His followers are not the winners of the world. I railed against that and then was convinced to own the truth of it. My need for Clemson to be victorious has been my one blind spot in my personal crusade to rid myself of attachments and identifications and to complete my journey as a follower of Jesus…the kenotic path to union with God.
Last year, I boldly blogged about my fervent prayers during the National Championship because I felt the world needed to see a football program of coaches and players, who openly give credit for their lives and performance to God, be victorious. My prayers were not for God to favor Clemson but were toward the quarterback Deshaun Watson who seemed cowed by the physical hostility he was receiving from the Alabama defense; I prayed for God’s presence to get through to him…for Deshaun to remember Whose he is and to feel that power. I was not alone in my prayers and Deshaun rallied. Clemson won that game.
Last night, when Alabama was once again making it personal, I tried everything I could think of to influence a win…everything short of making a deal with the devil. But Jesus, in His gentle, tender way, reminded me, “My followers are not the winners of this world.” Dammit.
I was reminded of the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane where one of the disciples took a sword to fight back the guards who had come to take Jesus to His crucifiction. Jesus corrected the disciple then and He corrected me last night. I argued, “But Jesus, don’t you want the world to see us victorious? Don’t You want to win?” Well, of course He does..just not in that way; that’s not how it works. I need to go back and read the Sermon on the Mount.
I worry about Dabo, too. I knew we (he and I) were in trouble when I saw the video clip of him dribbling grass from his fingers onto the playing field. I recalled how he picked Tulane for his practice field, and why, and the same hotel in New Orleans that he stayed in 25 years ago, and why. Those moves of superstition are no better than my daughter and myself donning every item of Clemson clothing and paraphernalia that we own to “set the mood,” a bit of juju, as one commentator put it.
Dabo is in a very difficult position…one of teaching these young men how to live a Christ-filled, Christ-guided life in a segment of the world where the goal is always to win…regardless. The biggest lesson Dabo has to teach is how to lose…and not just losing gracefully and the lessons to be learned from it, but also why losing self identity and self importance is key to having given your life to following Jesus. For a football coach whose job it is to teach them to win games, that’s tricky. You have to fight to win in order to learn from the loss. Jesus showed us this over and over. Even the Apostle Paul danced the tricky dance of “to lose oneself is Christ” but also to not only run the race but to finish it.
It’s a paradox. You must give your all to attain the goal but go through the ultimate loss at the pinacle to achieve the prize of salvation. It’s twisted but it works. If coached properly, this loss will be a huge gain for those young men…and the coaches. My prayers are with them now.
My prayers are also with me because I see that I have been holding out this need for Clemson to be victorious….holding it separate from everything else in my life that has been damaged or destroyed. I had a friend years ago who gave everything to God, except one area of his life. He lead several AA groups, coached children and adults in TaeKwonDo, but kept his multiple sexual relationships out of his commitment to God. That did not go well for him…or others.
Not only did I realize I was fiercely attached to and idetified with the need for Clemson to win, I found myself deeply hating Alabama’s head coach. Everything about his motives, values, and demeanor has been offensive to me…but I have no buseness hating on anyone !!! (God, forgive me.) Following the guidance of AA, I will pray for Nick Saban to be victorious and also for him to learn of the love of Christ…the love which motivates Dabo Swinney and the Clemson players.
Thankfully, much good came about last night: my daughter dug deep into her own well of wisdom to help me see all of the aspects of my blind spot and to lovingly help me deal with it. She pointed out how the unpalatable tenor of Saban does not necessarily extend to the team; we watched the small interview of the ‘Big Guy’ on the Alabama team who made the unexpected touchdown; his demeanor was just the opposite of Saban’s. Da’Ron Payne was modest, humble, and grateful for having been given the opportunity. Bless him. Perhaps he will be the spark in Saban’s camp that turns Saban’s influence from a cancer to something healing. Maybe. I will pray for that.
Go TIGERS !
I’m torn…not between Clemson and anyone else winning the championship games, but between Clemson remaining special (if not unique) in its culture and other schools incorporating into their own programs what Clemson has had for a long time. Granted, it will take a while for these other schools to completely reform; it starts with recruiting the right sorts: players and coaches. But some schools are at least giving lip service to the change. Nick Saban of Alabama has begun saying the kinds of things Dabo Swinney says all the time; Saban just doesn’t know what he’s saying, yet. By that I mean Saban is intentionally using the same words but there is no deep knowing at the heart level, and you can’t fake the real thing. When Saban gets around to understanding what he is saying, then he needs time to cycle through the seasons to process out the players who were recruited for all the reasons Alabama has been recruiting players. Alabama’s criteria have not been the same as Clemson’s.
I don’t know the whole story, but a Clemson player recently transfered out of the program. I noticed that the story gave some statistics and then enumerated the accomplishments of the player’s father. I suspect this player came into the Clemson program for the wrong reasons. It occurs to me now that most Clemson recruits emphasize the attraction of the strong family feeling among the Clemson coaches, players, and staff. I have also noticed how often the opinion of the player’s mother is key. I suspect that one major criteria in whether Clemson wants a specific recruit or not has to do with how open the young man is to a new strong fatherly influence…which he will definitly be under once working with Dabo Swinney and the other coaches. You will be coached, taught, nurtured, encouraged, but also tested and held accountable. When you emerge from the other end of this journey…this education and training tunnel…you will be a man your mother will be proud of and the world will look up to.
I believe that as long as Clemson is special in this mind-set of selecting those open to the program; training, nurturing, and proving them inside then outside; and encasing the whole thing in love; Clemson will continue to be second to none and victorious to the end. This is business. This is the business that Dabo Swinney is in. This is the business of life and all institutions in the business of preparing young people for life would be wise to line their programs up with what Swinney has built. That includes schools, churches, youth programs, and the military. Commanders in chief, headmasters, scoutmasters, and head coaches should start with the heart and then work with the mind and body, instilling a culture of fierce love and tenacious grit, that does not tolerate indulgences of poor conduct born of fear (racism, abuse, disrespect, hatred,…)
Some aren’t called to such programs…but all could be. All should aspire to be.
So, I’m torn. Part of me wants Clemson to keep its culture unique like a secret..and to always win. The other part of me wants this culture to spread throughout collegiate sports into professional sports and out into the fandoms, neighborhoods, public schools, military, and beyond; all of them will benefit. In many cases, it isn’t possible to be selective in who you bring into a program but it is always possible to be selective in the leadership, instructors, and coaches. And it must always start with the heart.
Two years ago, in January of 2016, I dictated the following into my cell phone. I was in the process of moving from North Carolina, where I had lost my job and was having to vacate my house, walking away from the mortgage, to South Carolina where my brother was letting me move into a vacant 60-year-old house trailer of his:
I’m driving through Travelers Rest, closely watching my gas gauge because I am just about out of gas…the orange empty-tank light is on. I have about a dollar seventy five to my name and I’m making plans. There’s a gas station at the Green River exit on 25 and I’m thinking of offering to clean the bathroom in exchange for two gallons of gas. I’m recording this because I’m thinking about what it’s like to live like this…for the people who live like this every day of their lives, and can’t get out of the downward spiral.
All of my life, when I have come across people who live this way, hand to mouth, I have been skeptical; I have thought that they somehow had a choice and chose to live this way, either because they were lazy, wasteful, and stupid or because they had an entitlement mentality…used to someone bailing them out…so used to social programs that they knew no other way to live. They didn’t seem to know how to take care of themselves.
God was I wrong. I find no satisfaction in this. Yes, I have been wasteful and at times, stupid. But, lately I have exhausted myself in trying to survive, wrestled with ways of working things around to make it through the month, the day, the next hour. And I almost made it. But now I need just a little bit of help. And that is so hard. I believe it takes more strength to hold my head up and survive this…and to ask for help…than it did to work my 9-to-5 government job for 22 years.
I will make it through this. I know I will. I’m having to convince my daughter that she, too, will survive this because she, too, is overdrawn and facing rent day. But I’m also having to teach her that this is a God lesson in humility. This whole scenario is destroying my pride. And that is a good thing…a God thing. To live on the same level with the people who live on the streets or in their cars or in 60 year old house trailers with the floors falling in… it’s a good place to be.
God, forgive me for all those times when I have felt superior to people who have nothing. Forgive me for making them feel bad by looking the other way or not smiling, for not looking them in the eyes, and not offering to help. And for all those empty-headed idiots who say people who live on the street do so because they want to…it makes me…well, it makes me mad enough to cry.
Well, I did it. I stopped at the Green River exit and asked the attendant if I could clean the bathrooms for two gallons of gas. He deferred to the manager. First, she takes her calculator out to figure how much two gallons is going to cost her, asks me where I’m going (Weaverville, NC, is 61 miles from Travelers Rest), and how many miles I get to a gallon (Honda Fit, 34 mpg.). She looks up and tells me she’s already cleaned up and they close in 10 minutes, so, “no.” I wait. She waits back. So I leave, with no gas.
I drove 61 miles on an empty tank, like the miracle of Hanukkah, all over again.
I’m now at my daughter’s apartment in Weaverville where it’s warm. But, outside, it is 19 degrees and I’m thinking about the people broken down by the side of the road, or ‘sleeping’ under bridges, or in their cars, or even in shelters. I beg God to bless them, if not in this life then in the next one. And, please, God, if they sleep, let them know in their dreams that someone is sorry–very sorry–that someone cares for them even if there is nothing she can do to help, and that she loves them.
That was two years ago. My life still hovers quite close to the ground but, thanks to my brother, my home is warm and snug…even snuggier than before becasue my daughter now lives with me in this 60-year-old house trailer. Try as I might, it remains a constant battle to stay afloat financially. But we are fine; we are doing okay…okay enough to pay a small token forward. I have put a small amount of money…enough to buy two gallons of gas…in a red envelope with instructions for the gas station attendant to hold onto this envelope until someone comes in, needing just a little bit of gas to get home.
God bless them.
…the Gift of Fore-Giveness
Okay I’m playing with the words, perhaps, but walk closely with me here, if you will:
It seems it is time to address dark generational issues in my life and in the lives of those close around me. During my work yesterday morning, looking at the evidence of painful and sensitive generational issues, I backed away from the specific situations for a bit and looked at the dynamics of incarnations and karma, in general. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation or even karma, I think you can accept that ‘sins of the father’ can be visited on the son.
So, I was thinking about how my mother treated me and I extrapolated that out to how she was treated as a child by her parents (based on stories she told us about her mother and father). Then I thought about how, if souls reincarnate, why they reincarnate: to either ‘get it right this time’ or to pay for what they did in their previous incarnations.
Without going into the details of the patterns, clues, and repeating tendencies, (and there are many) if I look at all of this from a distance, without attachment, I can see how one generation plays into the next and how the law of Karma explains why.
Then, it dawned.
What if I stand in the infinite, the eternal, the non-time space and…holding in awareness all of my incarnations through history…I forgive all those souls who have hurt me therefore owe me a karmic debt? Then, what if I ask those souls whom I have hurt through history, therefore those souls to whom I owe a karmic debt, to forgive me?
“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
We’re talking a whole chunk of forgiving…past, present, and future. That, to me, would be a Gift that Counts. AND, if enough of us do this kind of work, that is how all souls can be forgiven.
The culture that is instilled and nurtured within the Clemson Football program is able to spread throughout the NFL (and everywhere else in the world) because it is a living thing and is backed and supported by The living thing…Christ.
Deshaun Watson is a student of that culture and continues to study and do the work of that culture because it lives in him.
Christ lives in Deshaun. Christ was instilled in Deshaun probably before he was born. Christ has been kept involved in Deshaun’s life through the love of Deshaun’s mother and the coaching of Dabo Swinney. Christ is invited, welcomed, and received in all aspects of the Clemson Football program and is recognized and acknowledged at each step of the way. Christ spreads through the Clemson Nation.
If I have any sway, I will keep Christ involved in Dashaun’s life and the Clemson program through my prayers because that’s how it is done.
By the way, another word used for this presence is Love. It is spread and emmanates through the love shared among the players and coaches and in the way the young men are taught, advised, and coached along. In truth, this Love is The Reason for the coaching, in the first place.
The battles and challenges in life are for spiritual growth; it is for all of us. Young men can learn this and can face these battles on the streets…or they can make this spiritual journey on the football field. I’ll take pads and helmets and the risk of injury over guns and drugs with the risk of so much worse, any day.
This is what the Clemson Culture is about: winning the game.
In that winning, these young men win the battles and challenges that strengthen their souls, hone their skills in facing obstacles and hardships, and clarify their vision and practice of Fierce Love.
The love instilled and nurtured in these young men might look soft at times…like in the gentle and tender way Deshaun gave his income to the cafeteria workers, but make no mistake: The Love of the Clemson Culture is Fierce…and that is the nature of the love which is required in our world today.
I live in a community (neighborhood, county, state,…) where closed-mindedness is the norm. I would say racism is the norm but the attitudes and fiercely-held beliefs are not limited to preferences in the shade of skin or ethnic group or even ancestry…although those are very strongly separated classifications.
People around here are deeply resistant to changing how they think but then so are people all over the world. If it is not what they grew up with, if it is not what they are familiar with, if he is not like me in (you name it: dialect, clothing style, vehicle type, licence plate, food preference,…) then it is wrong and therefore to be condemned, resisted, and (if possible) destroyed.
Two years ago, Lawrence Krauss, “Humanist of 2015,” was quoted as saying “Organized religion, wielding power over the community, is antithetical to the process of what modern democracy should define as liberty. The sooner we are without it, the better.” I won’t venture (right now) into all that is scary with that sentiment, but he demonstrates my point beautifully; Lawrence Krauss rejects everything about organized religion because it is not what he knows, is not what he is familiar with, and people who participate in organized religion don’t sound like the people he associates with…or him.
My own beloved college-educated, successful business-man brother threw out hundreds of dollars worth of organic food from my sister’s house because he “didn’t recognize any of it; I don’t eat that stuff.”
The short-cut suggestion to remedy this issue is ‘education.’ Doctors in hospitals all over the world struggle with patients’ refusals to follow prescribed improvements in diet and lifestyle and have thought the solution was education. Pamphlets and discharge instructions with pictures and pleas have done little. Helps and therapies seem to have no sizable impact. My next door neighbor was hospitalized for 10 weeks last year for complications from surgery. During this time he was given patches and drugs to help him withdraw from his addiction to smoking. He lived smoke free among others who were smoke free for several weeks and he even admitted he felt great off the cigarrettes. On the drive home he stopped and bought a carton and lit up before he got to the front door.
These people are not willing to face their fears of the unknown. “You sound wierd!” “I don’t eat that stuff!” “I don’t think my nerves could take it.”
Some fears are huge. “What if there is not enough to go around? Somebody has to go without. Why does it have to be me?” “If we let them have their way, they are going to take over!” “One day they are going to rise up and kill every white person they see!”
It’s fear. That’s all it is…fear. Fear of deprivation; fear of the unknown; fear of unbearable whatever. But it’s just fear.
So what’s the solution? How do you help people who have unreasonable fear? You must help them one person at a time. In the way a parent helps a child who is fearful of the monster under the bed, you show them over and over that there is nothing there to be afraid of. You show the person different from you that there is nothing for them to fear from you. You demonstrate that there is more for them from people like you than hate. You demonstrate that different is okay…and safe…and sometimes good.
I have two neighbors…brothers…who were both raised in this closed-minded community. One went into the Navy and worked beside people of a different color and national origin. His brother did not leave home and has never worked beside people different from himself. One is not fearful of people who are different; the other one is …but it looks like hate, not fear.
There are specific things we can do that help get through to people who have closed minds, fierce preferences, and fear. First, be gentle with them; they will not listen if you are forceful or you are yelling. Second, get to a point where you see things at their level …so that you can understand why they are fearful. Third, allow them to vent. Hold them in a safe environment so that they will be open to revealing what causes them to be fearful, (Sometimes, that’s all they need.) Their venting might be scary for you but you are the stronger one here. They need to know…to see proof…that the resolution is stronger than their fear. In other words, you need to love them.
If you have ever been a parent and you were faced with a child who cried out, “I HATE YOU!” then you know the dynamic I am describing: you allowed the child to cry out the unthinkable…and then you assured the child that everything between you was still okay; you still love the child ‘the whole thing…all of it…without end.’ (Yes, I’ve been there.)
One more suggestion: use words that are not usually used in these discussions. Avoid the cliches and button words; you know what they are.
This is how loving is done. This is how healing begins. This is the work of Jesus.
By the way, I commend Senator Tim Scott in the way he met with President Trump; Scott introduced Trump to himself….in all of the aspects with which Trump is unfamiliar and that is what is necessary for a change of thinking…
Irma has reached South Carolina and we lost power an hour ago. (I’m composing on my cell phone…by candle light.) My first thought when the power went out was that it would be back on soon because we live so close to the source… the dam. But then I remembered the prediction of wide-spread power outages. Such a prediction is a good one because, electrical grid-wise, we are all connected. That’s how and why brown-outs and black-outs occur…one city knocking down another.
Some people feel that images of disasters and heart-breaking stories from around the globe are too much to handle (“I can’t do anything about it.”) However, in reaction to the news reports concerning the people in Texas and Florida, and even in Bangladesh, some internet friends and I have been writing about how we feel compelled to expand our compassion and concern out beyond our usual circle of friends and family. One dear friend in Ireland said that it has changed the way she prays for people. I’m inclined to agree with her because I believe in prayer. I also believe that this is a new era…a time for increased global awareness, accompanied by an increased capacity for global compassion.
In the same way that technology has enabled power companies to interconnect and support and back up each other, we are getting better at doing the same spiritually. On a very small scale, when I struggle emotionally, my close friends step up and fill in with comfort and encouragement until my ‘transformers’ are running again. Healthy extended families and support groups like AA have been working like this for generations but now our awareness of suffering and need is global. How can our compassion cover it all?
Inventors of technology will attest to the truth that necessity is the mother of invention. Our increased awareness of the needs and struggles of others has necessitated a greater need for deeper and larger compassion and, spiritually, I believe we are being granted that greater capacity… almost as if we are able now to turn the light switch on in a previously secret room. Whether mankind has always had the capacity to hold the whole world in its heart…but just didn’t use it much…or whether we have evolved to be able to hold the globe in compassion, I believe we are discovering that it can be done.
Writers like Krista Tippett, Jim Marion, and Cynthia Bourgeault address how we as a civilization are evolving in consciousness. Capabilities like nondual thinking, holding opposing views in a safe mediative space, and praying for the awakened consciousness of others are taking ‘helping others’ to a new level.
One of my friends cautioned me not long ago that I cannot heal the whole world…and she is correct… but I think we are getting closer to loving the whole world in compassion, all the time.
“Well, this is fate! …What do they call it when everything intersects?” “The Bermuda Triangle.” (wonderful lines written by the late Nora Ephron and spoken by Jay and Sam in the movie, Sleepless in Seattle)
A favorite fellow blogger wrote recently about letting God be God. I responded that she was absolutely right and that all I needed to do was show up. (I keep stealing her best words. Sorry, Donald, I don’t think you do have the best words, but I won’t get into that now.)
While I was in North Carolina, recently, I encountered several people who already had their ‘dukes up’ when I entered the room: sales clerks, buyer’s agents, and even a beloved friend. Driving home with the top down on my little blue wonder car, I felt like I was “getting the hell out of Dodge.” As I breathed deep and emptied my mind of the bits of discordant conversations, the scripture words “shake the dust off your feet,” came to mind.
Now, I am aware of the potential punishment due one who alters or disagrees with scripture, but when I look at the whole text,
If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city…
…I am disturbed. These words are from the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus sends out the twelve apostles “with the following instructions: ‘Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.’” Now, maybe it is because they are to try to reach out to the Jews; but this does not sound like the Jesus I know. I am reminded of the parable of the shepherd who goes out looking for the one lost sheep. Jesus does not tell me to judge someone as “not worthy” and therefore to “take back my blessing of peace.” Sure, there are swine who are not going to appreciate pearls but convincing them, much less judging them as unworthy, just isn’t my job. Let me explain what I mean…
In the verse, “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet,” I see that as wisdom for my psychological health. In a previous essay, I wrote about the techniques used to keep oneself safe when attempting to help others; I wrote about how healing ministers have a special prayer they pray to cleanse themselves of residual attachment to the pain, evil spirits, or even pride in having helped Jesus to heal someone.
However, I believe the process of acting as ambassadors for Christ does not end just because I have not been well-received; God’s work is far from over. If I give to someone a blessing of peace, I have planted a seed or embedded a grain of sand. I may walk away, but circumstances outside of my knowledge can, and likely will, cause that seed to germinate and, maybe years from now, will grow into belief and faith. I think of the seeds in the desert that lie dormant until the rains come. The image at the top of this essay was published in October 2015, in the Daily Mail . The picture is of the Atacama desert in Chile, “the worlds driest desert,” in late spring after heavy storms took place in March. In the words of the writer, “a magical transformation brings the area to life.”
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3294865/Blooming-marvellous-rain-falls-world-s-driest-desert-jaw-dropping-phenomenon-takes-place-year-s-display-spectacular-18-years.html#ixzz42z6FNd6z
This image above may be what I encounter on a daily basis, but my blessings are like a seed tossed out into that sand. Sure, I will shake the dust from my feet because I do not want to dwell on the rejection or seeming lack of acceptance of God’s love, but my job is done. Now, it is up to God…who will be God.
I would like to add that sometimes I am met with true rancor; I usually have no idea what is the reason behind it or the source of it, but I can bet I have touched on something that needs God’s healing touch. Again, it is usually none of my business and, therefore, it is not my job to try to fix it. Furthermore, in cases such as that, I have likely planted a grain of sand that, God willing, will irritate the hearer until a pearl of wisdom is formed…but this can take years, just like within an oyster; I don’t need to see it happen. I believe and have faith; I move on. What happens over time is God business.
A young blogger recently indicated that he was concerned about the state of the salvation of his friends as they were facing college; my advice to him was to remember that their souls were in God’s hands and that his job was to love them, be kind to them, be there to answer questions, but to try to not judge or criticize them; God is not done with them and paths of their lives will be as diverse as the flowers of the world.
This same blogger, only weeks before, had expressed dismay over his own doubts and waverings of faith. When I replied with some of my personal experiences and with teachings and practices that have helped me, he responded with much self-righteous criticism and condemnation; he said some of my beliefs and practices were”Satanic.” Before I lashed out in self-defense, I had to remind myself that he is probably no more than 20 years old and, certainly, God is not done with him, yet, either. However, it would be prudent for me to give the topics mentioned in his attacks at least a cursory look… Balaam’s ass and all that.
When something like that niggles my soul, I am wise to reflect on the situation. I am not exempt from receiving seeds and sand from others who are unknowingly (or knowingly) acting on behalf of God. My beloved friend’s screaming at me that “Now, you’re just being contrary!” has merit; I am by no means a saint. I can be contrary. I can be mean-spirited. How do you think I recognize so well the mean-spirited ways of others ?!? I can only thank God, and my friends and family, that there are such things as forgiveness and understanding.
The point I started out with is simply this: my job is to show up. Jesus is not physically here to plant seeds and sand; I am. I am not equipped, or emotionally or spiritually healthy enough, to give appropriate correction to others. However, I can obey Jesus’ commandments to love God and to love my neighbor. The only way I know how to love my neighbor is to show up, be kind to them, to set a good example of what ‘love of God and neighbor’ look like, to not judge or criticize them, to allow them to be where they are spiritually, and to forgive them and have faith that God is not done with them, yet.
Addendum: As I learn more about the Law of Three, it occurs to me that as I ‘show up’ with seeds and sand, I may, in fact, be acting as Third Force…just a thought.
To God be the Glory
A fellow blogger is concerned about evolution; he believes the concept that life evolved from a single-celled organism dismisses belief in God and devalues human life. This is how I respond:
I disagree that what we are learning, and continue to learn, dismisses belief in God or devalues human life. God, even as documented in the Bible, has revealed Himself to man in ways that man can understand Him…in ways that man can handle…emotionally, conceptually, and intellectually. When He appeared to Abraham and to Moses, it was in glimpses and even then the men were dramatically affected by the experience. God, the Father, sent Jesus in human form so we would be able to receive Him and accept Him and listen to Him without the shock of His divinity; when he presented simple displays of His power in healing and changing water to wine or feeding the thousands, these simple examples were difficult for people to understand and accept.
The writers of the Bible wrote about God in ways that made sense to them…in ways they and others could handle and understand; they wrote in terms of what they knew…and even then it was mysterious and marvelous. The more we learn about our world, our universe, and ourselves, the more we learn about how amazing God is. God is so much more than what we know and are aware of. If God created us by a method starting with single-celled organisms, the whole concept is mind-blowingly creative and brilliant. The elegance of the processes involved are evidence of the masterfully-artistic mind of God.
Evolution, in no way, devalues human life. Man is special and unique among all of the creatures God planned: Man writes poetry, for example. All other creatures do what they do to survive. Poetry is not necessary for survival. Man seeks communion with the Creator. Do other creatures do that?
God is in no way threatened by science or technology. Quite the contrary, God is giving us the guidance to learn more about our universe…and more. God reveals Himself and creation as we are capable and prepared to know. And, the Holy Spirit is not computer illiterate; God nudges man to develop technology and inspires people, like you and me, to use it to distribute knowledge, wisdom, and guidance and to heal people all over the world.
God created this world and it is still a good creation. There is much wrong going on and God is aware. God loves. God wants reconciliation and gives us ample opportunities to do that..and to help others see that. God is excited…just as we are…as we continue to learn how magnificently and beautifully executed His creation has been…and continues to be.
Thanks be to God and to God be the Glory.