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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

If There Is A Loving God, Why Do Bad Things Happen?

This is a question that I and other Pastors often are approached with.  After a tragedy people struggle to understand how and all powerful, all knowing and loving God allow such a tragedy to occur.  Why didn't He stop it?

I am going to share some brief thoughts.  This is not a treatise, only a blog, so this will not be an exhaustive discussion of this topic. For a more exhaustive discussion I recommend Randy Alcorn's 2009 book "If God is Good".

God pulls no punches with us He makes clear throughout the bible that life on this earth is limited and that we will face trouble in this lifetime.

One of the most direct references to this is found in John 16:33 where Jesus tells us "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world".

Basically, what this means is that our life on earth is short, it will not be easy and we will face trouble. The good news is that when we are reunited with God in paradise we will know peace.

One of the best "human" explanations I have heard concerning this comes from former Baltimore Raven's Super Bowl winning Quarterback Trent Dilford.  Trent is a committed Christian who lost his five year old son, Trevor to heart disease .  In an interview for the book "Men of Sunday", Trent discussed  his son's death and offered these words " if the motivation for your faith is what's going on in the...years we have here on this earth, then you are missing the truth of God's promises. What God promises is eternity. This is not our home. When we make our decision to trust in Him and to follow Him, our home is with Him for eternity."
Why do we have to face trouble in this life?  The answer to that question is found in the Book of Genesis Chapter 3.  When God created Adam & Eve he gave them a perfect place to live, no problems, no troubles, but He also gave them free will.  They could eat the fruit of any tree but one.  Adam & Eve exercised their free will and choose to disobey God and eat of the forbidden tree.  God's punishment was that they and mankind to follow would no longer have a perfect place to live. We would be faced with heart ache and trouble.  That sounds cruel, but is it really?  Our life on this earth is limited.

We have the promise of redemption when our life on this earth is over. God sent His Son, Jesus to redeem us and to open the gates of heaven to us. We do not have to do anything. We do not have to earn God's forgiveness and redemption.  All we need to do is be ready to accept His most gracious gift.   Life in heaven is a perfect one, a life in which there is no pain, no suffer and no words that mean good bye.

The bad things we face on this earth are only temporary and the reward in heaven is great.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

By Adoption Armless Man Was Given A Second Chance

This past Sunday was Orphan's Sunday and I attended an event at Grace Community Church in Fulton, Maryland.  The event was sponsored by the Christian Alliance for Orphans (www.cafo).  It was a great program but the worship is what stood out in my mind.  Why?  Because it was conducted by an armless guitar player.  Yes, you read that right, an armless guitar player.  Let me explain.

George Dennehy is 19 years old and was born in Romania.  He was born without arms and placed in an orphanage.  Doctors did not expect him to survive.  When he was adopted by an American family at age 1when he only weighed 9 pounds. 

His family nurtured him with love.   He showed an interest in music and at age 8 his mom enrolled him in cello lessons. Yes, he plays with his feet. 

He later took up the guitar, which has opened up many opportunities.  George has won "Richmond's Got Talent", appeared live with one of his favorite bands, traveled to Europe to be on live T.V. & meet his biological family, he has gone to Nashville to write & record music.  He has also played for the Governor of Virginia, the Christian Alliance for Orphans, and at numerous churches & schools. He is now engaged to be married.

George is a perfect example of how we can overcome the challenges that life puts in our path.  His family is an example of how we can help someone achieve dreams that most would never think possible.

Remember what we are taught in Jeremiah 29:11.  God has a plan for each of us.  While we may not understand it, it is a perfect plan.  George is living out God's plan for him in a big way.  To learn more about George visit his website at