Posted by: Ed | March 24, 2009

DIALOGUE, “SUFFERING” & THE WEEKEND THAT WAS

The whirlwind week morphed into a whirlwind weekend. No surprise there!

We continued our 3rd weekend with a message on “SUFFERING”. You could see this coming from the moment we developed this series. Of course we received numerous questions with all kind of gut wrenching stories & examples about this subject. Our only hesitation is that we have dealt with this subject several times. Also it seems to make its way into messages that are not specifically about this. But there is a reason that we deal with it frequently. Among other things – it seems like there are lots of people at Journey who are dealing this in a personal way – numerous people in their 30s & 40s with life threatening cancer, people who have lost children, siblings & parents in the last few months.

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I actually started working on this talk last week & began in earnest last Monday (my normal day off) knowing that my sched would be weird with the trip to Omaha. But I was still pressed for time & I woke up in the hotel on Thursday saying, O.k. God, now would be a great time to come through. I think the outline came to me in about 15 minutes. No Joke – 20, 25 minutes – max. I wrote it out on stationary. We had the basic “TOUR OF JOB” that was the message. I got the tour idea while surfing last Monday, but pretty much what you saw this weekend was what I scratched out at 7:30 CST. I got done & I laughed, HARD! Sometimes God’s goodness & answered prayers just have to make one laugh.

I gravitated to the Job overview idea, precisely because I wanted it to look different from the other talks we have done on the problem of suffering. My favorite part was the point from the very first word of Job – ISH – Hebrew for “man” or “a man”. The idea that we suffer as individuals is a thought I read in C.S. Lewis’ classic, must read, The Problem of Pain.

–    WORSHIP at the END was MONEY! Jason really felt like we needed to do this.  Especially on Friday when we didn’t cut the TW song. I loved the band configuration this week – the semi-unplugged look.

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–    I felt a real leading on Friday to “Worship in the face of that THING” that is so hard for us.  It was a powerful time of worship!
–    We did a great connecting song by “The Fray” called You Found Me. Our band rocked this song & it really connected. It was the perfect set up for the message.

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SKI DAY – I mentioned that as a part of his B-Day present, we took David skiing this Saturday. He actually snowboards. Bret (Bethany’s boy friend) and I headed up after the Friday service. It was sunny & there was plenty of coverage. Everything was good except for a little fender-bender David got in driving across the ski resort’s parking lot. Still a good day – should have budgeted bodywork for the trip. Here are some pics.

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SPEAKING OF BASKETBALL – I’m watching the last few minutes of Creighton/ Kentucky in the NIT. The Jay’s should have been in the big tournament. More importantly I am in 3 pools for the NCAA tourney. I’m in LAST PLACE in every single one. I’m behind children, women (no offense but it is hard on my self-image). I just hope I beat Linda in the 2 couples pools that we are in. I rarely do.

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Responses

  1. Ed,

    You gave a great teaching on Sunday about suffering. Although I’ve read Job several times, it never occurred to me about the ministry of presence by Job’s friends as found in 2:13. That was an astounding observation and a true ministry.

    There is an explanation of suffering that I learned many years ago that I would like to share and gather your thoughts. For me, it answers the question about why there is suffering in the world when we have a loving God. It goes back to the basic relationship between God and man. God is perfect; man is sinful. God can not stand sin; man can’t help himself from sinning (without the help of God). The punishment for sin is death, but Jesus came to redeem us from our sins.
    He created us with a free will which allows us to choose to worship Him or curse Him. So if we expect God to intervene in every situation where there is injustice or suffering, then we should also expect Him to also punish us when we sin (and I remember what the penalty is for that).

    Blessing,
    Mike Orcutt

  2. For the comment about women and children, I am root’n for Linda big time, although I don’t quite get the logic of a couple’s pool in which you’d bet against each other. But then I’m not into the March Madness thing so I’m a bit out of the loop on the pools, brackets, etc. But that’s not because I’m a girl….

  3. Ed-

    This time of year is beautifully gut wrenching. The games are a blast to watch, but if there is a team we are rooting for, they will lose..Then we’ll be sad. Kind of depressing.

    I was so bummed I didn’t catch up w/ you in Omaha. And I cracked up over the “budgeting for body work” comment on David’s fender bender.

    Also, I’m halfway through the suffering talk and LOVED the “ish” insight.

    David’s last entry cracked me up…

    – Mark

  4. Mike – great thought that leads to the key idea of the gospel: grace! Do we want God to get rid of all evil? Well then get ready to be swept up in all that.

    Lise,
    You are funny taking Linda’s side. Yes, it is a battle against other couples & the rational part of me should want my wife to do well even if she beats me, but then there is that male ego thing… Next year we’ll get you into March Madness – no need to follow b-ball all year. Seems like the less one knows the better.

    Markie – did you watch that Creighton game? GUT WRENCH CITY.

  5. Responding to your response – As the teams narrow down, I may check it out. We were a sports family, but the only basketball I was exposed to as a kid was the Harlem Globetrotters. Now they were the bomb.

    And a post script here – I just found a wonderful book – “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.” Journey folks may already know it as it was written in 2000. It’s by a woman and her target audience is women. But if you can put the “male ego” aside, the author’s got it going on. It’s worth a look.


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