Other Voices: Columns and Essays from Guest Writers

Tim Hack is a photographer who blends Scripture with image. He graciously offered Ecclesia! some of his photos so others may find  grace and peace from reading  God’s word and savoring His creation.  

This week, we are reminded how our Heavenly  Father cares for us.

Photo by Tim Hack

 

Mike Raha
describes himself as “just a guy from church,” yet he has taught classes on
spiritual practices, leads worship services in nursing homes, and travels yearly
to India to teach Spoken English at the Concordia Theological Seminary in
Nageroil, India.  A Stephen Ministry
Leader as well, Mike wrote several articles that I believe are outstanding. He graciously gave me permission to share them with you.

More thoughts from Mike:  September 10, 2011

When Life is not Fair 

When my son was three years old and something did not go the way he wanted it to, he was likely to say, “That’s not fair!” I would respond in a teasing, flat monotone, “Jeremy, life isn’t fair.” This happened several times until finally, in desperation, before I could say the words he did not want to hear, he added in a loud voice, “…and don’t tell me life isn’t fair.” Jeremy didn’t like to hear this particular slice of truth. But then, who among us does?

“NOT FAIR!”  These seem to be words out of every child’s rulebook on “How to Be a Child.” When they do not get their way, they resort to that cry. “You’re not fair!” There is no reasoning with the child because they are convinced that you have been staying awake at night thinking up new ways to mess up their developing lives. “Fair” to them means getting what their young eyes desire.

This is not so different than an adult’s feelings about the Father. He does not always give us what we want, but what is beneficial for us. God hears our every cry, but as a patient, loving parent, He only wants what is good for us. We cannot always know His plans, but our eyes of faith seek His hand in everything that happens. Sometimes, we just have to trust and rely on the Lord’s wisdom, which greatly surpasses our childlike attempts at understanding.

Trust God in faith. If you have doubts or fears, let Him know. If you think Him unfair, let Him know. Stay in communion with Him. He is our loving Father, and already is ahead waiting for us. Sometimes we need to be gently reminded of the Father’s love in our lives.

 

July 14, 2011

Sitting at the computer, banging away without any real sense
of what I am doing, or where I am going, is a regular pastime these days. The
computer has been “infected” by some sort of outside influence. Unwanted things
pop up unto the screen in the middle of a search. Screens change at will. The
“home page” isn’t there anymore. Instead, a page called “Zango” has made itself
the home page. Every time I uninstall Zango, it greets me again the very next
time I log on. Wow! Computers are great WHEN THEY WORK THE WAY THEY SHOULD!
Life is great too, when it works the way it SHOULD. I am way over my head
trying to fix this stuff! Each time I “fix” it, I announce to Linda, “Okay,
that should do it.” Reality is that my electronic poltergeist manifests itself
again and again with great impunity, and with some degree of what I call
e-arrogance! It is clear to me that I am in great need of outside assistance,
preferably by someone who knows what to do.

The predicament reminds me of St. Paul’s lament: “I do not
understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I
do…For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For
what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil that I do not want to do –
this I keep doing” (Romans 7:15 & 18-19.)

Somehow, my dilemma with the computer connects me with
Paul’s words. It seems like I ought to be able to do something to fix the
thing, but I am like an infant before its complex, electronic rattles, squeaks,
clicks and hisses. Each time I do my childish interventions, the THING
virtually scoffs at my efforts. As I click away, hoping for the precise
combination of keys, I am always hopeful that my intelligence will somehow
overcome the THING. But alas, at some point in the process I must confess my
ignorance and search for an answer beyond my feeble attempts to tame the THING.

So it seems with Paul. There are so many things in life I
want to do, and sincerely have the intention to do, but somehow I fall short
again and again. As I find myself in the dust of a fallen nature, I look up in
search of the One who can lift me. Sometimes I find Him in prayer, or a Bible
verse, sometimes in a sermon, or in my spouse, a friend, a song, a reading, a
greeting card, or elsewhere. I have learned through many humbling life
experiences that I cannot fix things myself. I must look to God, relying on His
Word, that He will never abandon us.

“’You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all
your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord…” (Jeremiah 29:13-14)

 

(Note: Follow my future blogs on Road to Emmaus page since Other Voices is now featured here. )

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2 Responses to Other Voices: Columns and Essays from Guest Writers

  1. Bill Webster says:

    Enjoyed reading it. Hvae often experienced it. God Bless You

    In Communion Bill

  2. Mary Ellen Gerke says:

    Sue–I thought I was the only one with a poltergeist in my computer! I admire and respect you for bringing St. Paul to mind during occasions of “e-arrogance.” I, on the other hand, tended to seek these keys: @#%!?%. With your inspiration, I promise to “take the higher ground” in the future! MEG

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