Jul 272013
 

IMG_0570To me and countless others over time, Crater Lake is the most beautiful place on earth.

For those unaware, it is a volcano that blew up, collapsed into itself and slowly filled with the clearest water on earth.

Another cone came up through that, and now it’s the deepest lake in North America, seventh deepest in the world.

It is a wonder of the world, breathtaking in it’s unspeakable beauty.

What it really is…is a scar.

A scar of God.

Before the cataclysmic explosion it was “just” another mountain in the Cascade range, a home for myriad animals and Native Americans.

The eruption was powerful, terrible, awesome.

The mountain was destroyed along with all the surrounding area.

There was nothing beautiful left.

If you had lived here and managed to survive the blast, you would have had to move on…the life you had known before was no longer.

It was all over…but it wasn’t.

Slowly, the land healed…and what God created in the devastation was far greater than what had been before.

It took a very long time, a very long time indeed.

Now, people come from all over the world to see the scar of God.

Some of us find healing in it.

The transformation has triumphed over the devastation.

It always will.

Make your own application…and now, it’s all yours today.

 

 

  113 Responses to “Open Blogging”

  1. I completed a 5K run today without stopping!! What a blast it was.

  2. Beauty from ashes…

  3. I haven’t yet figured out how the water stays pure with no river feeding it and no runoff. It should be stagnant like the Dead Sea.

  4. Congrats, Erunner!

  5. Healing and beauty from devastation…wow!

  6. Nonnie,

    We can’t discount how devastating the devastation was…or the ability that God has to transform it.

  7. Beautiful.

  8. Beautiful.

    Can I ask a question with the hopes that those who know more than I might have an answer?

    What percentage of churches have ONLY ONE Sunday service?

    Obviously (?) all house churches…..but overall.

  9. jtk,

    I don’t know that this has been surveyed recently…but from just a local look, I would say the majority only have one service.

  10. http://www.puritanboard.com/f47/how-many-your-churches-have-2-services-morning-56424/

    I found that discussion; interesting.

    From here, other than a few house churches I know (4x mentioned in the NT), NOBODY else has only 1 service.

    I wonder how many house churches there are as a percentage of the whole.

    Thanks, Michael.

  11. What a queer question when sooo many churches do tv, radio, podcasts…..

  12. I’m not dogmatic about it, just curious.

  13. In my neighborhood there are a bunch of little churches…they barely have enough people for one service.
    Religious media and church are very different things…

  14. I posted a comment, but it lost it. I will try again.

  15. Since returning to MS, I have noticed how many churches there are compared to SD. A lot of churches, but few of them large.
    I did a google map search and it returned 27 churches in a 10 mile radius.
    I think that number is too small, because some churches I pass on the way to church aren’t listed.
    None of them are large enough for 2 services.
    I think the majority of churches in America are small, struggling and definitely don’t have a radio ministry.

  16. Very nice.

    Crater Lake reminds me of me – devastation followed by restoration.

    Also, I’m very deep. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. “Religious media and church are very different thingsโ€ฆ”

    I’m wearing my choir robe, Preacher
    ๐Ÿ™‚

    Although my in-laws church that allegedly projects a holographic image of the pastor occasionally may change all that, especially if he says he needs help from Obi Wan Kenobi

  18. Amen. Beautifully true….. Frankly, I think ‘destruction’ ‘cataclysm’ and ‘explosions’ are God’s will for most of His kids….. severe mercies…. diamonds out of coal, pearls out of grains of sand, etc……

  19. I mentioned on another thread the other day that Crater Lake is the best bike ride on the planet…33 miles of constant uphill or downhill–either labor or exhileration, constant beauty, and the cleanest air around. My next ride there will have the additional backdrop of Michael’s observations from today.

    Paigemom–there’s an outline of a book there… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Two weddings to cater today, so I’m out until late.

  20. He is the redeemer of all things.

  21. When I began the ministry in Mississippi, I was in Choctaw county and we had more than 20 Southern Baptist Churches in our county association. That did not count all of the other denominations. Geographically it was not a large county and population wise it was rural with Ackerman as the county seat. Churches abound in MS and they are small and typically have one Sunday service.

  22. E-Runner…congratulations on your run!

    Paigemom…wow! Absolutely!

    Michael…so glad you made it to your standing stone and hope you were restored ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Let’s say that the volcano erupted after Noah’s flood. How did that pure water get there? If it was an underground spring wouldn’t it have been contaminated by the eruption? How could it have sprang up after the eruption?

  24. Gary,

    I believe most scientists think it’s rain and snow melt.

  25. That’s a LOT of rain and snow.

  26. I think there is consensus among scientists that such a massive amount of ice/snow melt is accurate – and only several thousand years ago…of course I doubt many would mention a global flood as a preceding cause.

    http://geography.about.com/od/climate/a/glaciation.htm

  27. The water in the crater could be from rain during the flood but not from sea water. Also, the eruption looks perfect enough to be post flood.

  28. Sorry Gary, I meant the Flood causes the dramatic changes that resulted in this massive ice “age” – not that the Flood filled the crater.

    The snow and ice after the Flood, I assume, is what filled the crater

  29. That does make sense. I heard a Christian scientist talk about a mini ice age after the flood.

  30. That link above was a secular site, and there is no reason whatsoever for a Bible believer to doubt what seems like clearly a scientific fact. It’s like discussing fossils. Of course fossils are real, and not some trick of Satan to deceive – the thing is, the Flood caused most of the fossils

    The changes to this earth after the Flood would be amazingly catastrophic, but at the same time, there would be no people (at first) to be concerned with because the only 8 around landed in Turkey. I’m sure this massive melting of ice and snow is what covered various land bridges that otherwise would be visible but now are covered in relatively shallow water (relative to the great ocean depths).

    On the other hand, I’ve posted on my facebook this week a couple things in the name of “science” that are purely fantasy island, and not the slightest bit scientific by any working definition of the word, but they advance the atheistic evolutionary view and thus are needed.

  31. jtk,
    I think most Lutheran churches have one Sunday service and then Sunday school. Most Lutheran churches are small.

    Usually, the salt water Lutheran churches are larger and have multiple services.

  32. MLD makes a good point. Many many churches have technically two services, but they are different – Bible study (Sunday School) and worship service. In my experience at such a church for a couple years, the Sunday school was far less attended. This I believe was unfortunate because the worship service’s message was always an evangelistic message – and so all of God’s people were told each week they needed to be saved, even after they were (and this church taught eternal security as well).

    If given the two choices, people should have skipped the worship service and come to Bible study if you ask me….

  33. laughing and crying . Thank you, Michael. Holding onto the goodness of God…

  34. We need corporate worship and we need fellowship. I feel sorry for any Christian who doesn’t have friends they can chew the fat with.

  35. JE,

    Thank you…I know how well you understand.

  36. The comments after the article say just as much as the article itself. Quite sad….

  37. Erunner,

    We are a very sick people at times…some of those comments were straight from the pit of hell.

  38. Agreeing with Michael’s 39! What’s the matter with people?

  39. That article on Warren was good. The comments are disgusting. And the sad thing is probably almost all the comments are from people who are supposed to be Christians. One thinks if the comment field was filled with people who didn’t claim Christ, they would be much more civil and much more sensitive towards the subject matter. Sometimes we as Christians can rise above the morass of the world by Christ’s power. Other times we can make the world wonder why anybody would ever want to be a Christian.

  40. And the sad thing is probably almost all the comments are from people who are supposed to be Christians
    ————————————————–
    I read a bunch of them, Kevin, and I am going to disagree with you on the “almost all” – though there is no doubt that many are coming at Warren from a Christian angle of sorts,

    But there are a LOT of haters of all things Christ and Church commenting in those posts.

    And there are several definitely Christian posts of support too.

    We don’t ALWAYS have to be the only bad guys in the room.

  41. I like this article. It’s probably one of my favorite’s you’ve written.
    Has nothing to do with the physical crater itself for me.
    Thanks for writing it.

  42. Steve, you could be right about the Warren comments as I only read 10-12 of them and then couldn’t stomach any more. At least of the ones I read, the large majority were giving me the impression that they were coming from Christians.

  43. I hear you, Kevin. There is some tape on the MSN.COM (Nbc) link to the story I saw earlier – it shows just how emotional a moment this was today.

    Even when I was unsaved, I can’t imagine going out of my way to dog someone like that – much less a professing believer doing so.

  44. What Warren went thru was horrific and no parent should have to go thru it. That being said I still think he is a false teacher.

  45. Sol,
    Can you give us an example of Warren’s false teaching?

  46. Gary,

    I have done my research on this guy, I was list ening to his radio program a few weeks ago and he totally watered down some scriptures to make it more enjoyable and palatable to the hearers, you know a good ole fashion itching of the ears. Thats just the tip of the iceberg, Gary do your research and be a dectective. He is ecumenical to the bone and his 40 day purpose drivel was just him making merchandise of Gods people. That book was a waste and total self help crap.

  47. This seems to be par for the course on Warren.
    Someone says he is a false teacher, but they don’t really know why themselves.
    Then they tell you that you should go and look at his teachings yourself.

    If you say someone is a false teacher, that is a serious charge and you should be able to back it up.

    SolRod, you are the one making an accusation. Prove it or just be quiet.

  48. Sometimes what we think is “Christian” is limited to what fits within a fairly narrow scope of what we have come to recognize as legitimate expressions of Kingdom truth.

    However God is bigger than that.

    Joel Osteen and Rick Warren, for example, often feel the brunt of the limited-scope view that engenders rejection.

    But that rejection is driven by religious narrowness, not the love of God.

  49. I agree with Derek: What is the specific statement by RickW that is in error?

  50. Derek,

    Ill say whatever I feel is the truth. I’m at my grandpas to eat some fried chicken and I’m posting ony phone so sorry w ith my new promotion at work I don’t have time to bore people with long post. However think about this, what true teacher of God would dismiss prophecy and our Lords second coming by telling beleivers to take our eyes off those things? The coming of our Lord is our blessed hope and any man that tells me not to worry about that is a false teacher who is trying to deceive me. Sorry but I will not be quiet for you, get over it and stop expecting people to agree with u, be a grown up and have thick skin

  51. Rick Warren breaks the Bible into digestible and pragmatic pieces for the masses.
    That offends pseudo-intellectuals

  52. Even his inauguration prayer when Obama first got elected was a joke, he said that angels in heaven were dancing for joy because a black man became president. Yeah right Rick, Angels are happy that we have a president that endorse homosexual psuedo marriage and favors easier ways for women to murder their babies

  53. I guess London, if breaking down the word for the masses means watering scripture down then yeah Rick does that, he changes meaning to scripture.

  54. Rick is just another celebrity preacher sorry ill pass, I got the word of God don’t need Warrens weak book

  55. Rick forgot that we already have a purpose as beleivers its to preach the gospel and make disciples not go after our dreams

  56. Yawn. Again with the thick skin thing. All I asked for was facts and had a question for you.
    I am curious for an answer, much like you seem to be a lot.

    As usual SolRod throws the bombs, but they are really only firecrackers.

    How wonderful it must be to accuse people and not have to back it up.
    Ah, the internet where everyone is an expert in their own mind..

  57. So many responses, but no meat to the accusations.

  58. As I tries to tell Uriah the other day, who sounded much like the commenters on the article, I can list specifics about doctrinal disagreements I have with Rick Warren, but that does not make him a false teacher.

    I’ll bet I have the exact same doctrinal differences with Sol Rod – do our differences make one of us a false teacher?

  59. I’m sure many are befuddled knowing Greg Laurie immediately stepped in for Rick upon his son’s tragic death.

    The arguments will never end concerning Rick’s relationship with satan which is quite sad.

    I am hoping and praying that whatever Rick has planned to reach out to the mentally ill is blessed by God in a big way. We as a body have ignored, let down and even hurt these poor souls for far too long. The numbers of those in the church at EVERY level who are struggling are staggering. They hide, self medicate, and even lie to keep their dirty secrets. We should be ashamed. Instead we attack those who try to make a difference in Jesus’ name. What is wrong with us???!!!

  60. I had to stop reading the comments over at the Warren article. It was literally making me sick to my stomach.

  61. I’m not a Rick Warren fan. But a few years back, after hearing/reading so much negativity about The Purpose Driven Life, I decided to read it. Here’s what I got from it: My highest purpose in life is to worship and glorify God. Woe…now there’s some heresy for you!

    But what do I know? I liked The Shack too.

  62. Yes, CK, but if you would have bought that book on tape and played it backwards, you would have heard Warren chanting the praises of Satan and the Antichrist. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  63. I knew I must have missed something, Kev. I’ll try that in my spare time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  64. See Sol is proving my point.

  65. Well just finished fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob after a brutal leg workout, life is too good to argue about Mr. Warren, agree to disagree. As far being a puesdo intellectual I’m not an intellectual type, more of a hands on doer type

  66. Ur talking to a high school drop out so I’m never gonna be the smartest guy in the room but you don’t have to be to know what the Bible says. Sometimes people let their intelligence get in the way of their faith

  67. Some people let their ignorance get in the way of their faith.

  68. Basically what I expected.

  69. I embrace in the faith anyone who names the name of Christ, as long as they were baptized in at least 42 gallons of water.

  70. Since this is open blogging might I remind you that the Dodgers just might run away with the West!!! :mrgreen:

  71. I agree with erunner! ๐Ÿ™‚

    And the Rockies are tanking! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  72. Derek – good article by Sam Storms.

    I took these last 3 weeks teaching through Hebrews 6 to get to today’s punchline, that God just wants us to hang on – hang on to his promises and get to the promised land. Don’t worry about cleaning up your act, don’t try to figure out God – just hang on.

  73. I’ve now lost count of how many times we’ve asked the Warren haters to name the specific doctrine he denies that makes him a false teacher.
    They can’t do it (because there isn’t one), so they fall back on vague mutterings about being ecumenical or emergent, but they can’t define those either.
    If you’re going to accuse a brother, you better bring the facts and the proof.
    Otherwise, you’re doing the devils work you love to blame on Warren.

  74. I went through a phase not that long ago where listening to Rick Warren explain things in that overly simplistic, formulaic sermons were exactly what I needed.
    His points were short, not too deep but full of pragmatic solutions to every day issues.
    I listened to the live stream faithfully for weeks.
    He never said anything that would cause me to be concerned about his sincerity or orthodoxy.
    Silly to say he’s a false teacher just cause you don’t like his style.

  75. I like his style of Christianity. I like his preaching too. He is a lightning rod.

  76. Frankly, considering some things Piper has said about tornadoes and abusive husbands, I find it ironic that Piper’s fan club pressured him enough that he felt he had to interview Warren on his beliefs in preparation for that conference a year or two back.

    You may recall that I wrote then that if I was Warren, I might not have been so gracious and accommodating. But that little hoop-jumping session spoke quite well of Warren.

    I still remember that Warren was spending the whole year reading the collective works of Jonathan Edwards.

  77. Bottom line is Rick mixes Pyschology with the truth of the word of God. His sermons often have self help feel good drivel that is taken from LGATS. This is done to draw the mainstream in so as to appeal to the masses. Listen to him speak at conferecnes and it is the same garbage pimped by the self help cult seminar crowd.

  78. Rick also back pedals in the face of scrutiny. Rick backed off his endorsement of Prop 8 when questioned by Larry King when he previously openly and passionately supported it.

  79. He straight up lied on Larry King’s show, esplain that Lucy!

  80. Warren “totally oblivious” in refrence the homosexual marriage issue after he came out in huge support of prop 8, I say LIAR!!! Why is that the American Insittuional Church loves lukewarm back pedalers such as Tim Tebow and Rick Warren? Luke warm Christian celebrities for a Luke warm church, it’s no wonder. The Limp Institutional American church loves their watered down milk and cookies heroes with no Sack

  81. SolRod,
    Writing this while on break at work, so going to be brief.
    You still have shown no evidence to back up your accusations of false teaching.
    I believe he answered the Larry King thing on the Piper interview.
    Not sure in that though.
    But even if he lied, that isn’t false teaching. It is a sin, but not false teaching.
    Hohum

  82. Sol Rod – prop 8 is a political issue not a theological issue – so Warren may be double minded on his political views.

    But look at this – I hate that Rick Warren is a supporter of Israel – a nation that I think was established in 1948 against God’s will and not by God’s will… see how specific I can be, and I still don’t call RW a false teacher.

  83. Solomon, where’s all the “false doctrine” evidence you ascribe to Warren? The things you are parroting don’t include any evidence of false doctrine. Until you can bring forth specific doctrinal deviation from historic christian orthodoxy, it looks like you’re the one without a sack.

    Solly want a cracker?

  84. Well, I have searched the Internet and found one of those heretical statements, brought to us by some self-appointed doctrine sheriff:

    Rick Warren said:
    โ€œ… God gets pleasure watching you be you. Why? He made you. And when you do what you were made to do He says โ€˜Thatโ€™s my boy!โ€™, โ€˜Thatโ€™s my girl!โ€™ ”

    Can you imagine God gets any enjoyment out of watching (for example) MLD be MLD?

    That’s ridiculous. What more do you people need to see?

  85. I found this gem posted elsewhere on the Internet…

    “Bottom line at the end of the day everyone is responsible for their own walk and you wonโ€™t be able to blame a false church system for your lack of faith”
    -Solomon Rodriguez

    Makes me wonder, why all the rage toward Warren?

  86. PP Vet,
    That may very well fit my statement at #75

  87. Each and every church gathering which features a talking head more than the sacraments has the cult of personality at work to varying degrees. Rick Warren is no more dangerous than any other teacher. It’s up to each individual to hear the presentation, follow the points, question the premises and conclusions and live based on the conclusions they come up with on their own.

  88. Sol,
    Listen to Warren’s address to Liberty U and tell me how watered down he is. I loved that speech. Such passion!

    At the end of the day I will be responsible for my lack of faith in false teachers.

  89. I can think of several reasons to error on the side of caution with Mr. Warren’s messages (but I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a false teacher):

    1) The world loves him (has the salt lost its sting?).
    2) He dances around homosexuality being a sin because it’s bad PR. Larry King interview is a great source to examine.
    3) He didn’t think the bible was purpose driven enough so he penned a separate novel.
    4) He is a CFR member (I am always weary when a church blends with politics, fraternities or brotherhoods).

    As far as those who would demean the family over the loss of their son…please keep in mind that God keeps far more detailed records than the NSA ever could.

  90. Can you imagine how we would pick apart Luther. Edwards, Russell, or Calvin if they were our contemporaries? I snuck in a heretic but I’m not sayin’ which one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  91. Unless you are impacting as many people’s lives as Rick Warren is, both here in the US and abroad, then I think you should keep your judgements to yourself.
    Go start your own organization or church then come back and let us know how wonderfully well you’re doing and how you’ve made an impact for the Kingdom.

  92. London @ 94 “Unless you are impacting as many peopleโ€™s lives as Rick Warren is, both here in the US and abroad, then I think you should keep your judgments to yourself.”

    -Our works are as filthy rags unto God. The barometer is Christ…not “great men”. We should be looking up to God, not looking for man idols or to ‘be’ an idol.

    “Go start your own organization or church then come back and let us know how wonderfully well youโ€™re doing and how youโ€™ve made an impact for the Kingdom.”

    I already am the church (John 3:16), and do not need to start an organization to prove my worth to God. It was finished at the Cross.

    What I do for God today (which will always remain private, do not let your left hand know what your right is going) would probably seem insignificant to some but I can assure you that what I do in secret is accounted for in eternity.

    So for you to say “what have you done?” You will never know, nor will any man, what I do is between me and the Father.

  93. Who said anything about 1) “great men” or 2) proving your worth to God anyway? Not me. You made that up.

    My comment was actually directed more to Sol than you though.

  94. MLD,

    I am curious about your following statement in #85:

    “I hate that Rick Warren is a supporter of Israel โ€“ a nation that I think was established in 1948 against Godโ€™s will and not by Godโ€™s will”

    Can you elaborate?

  95. Actually MLD I enjoyed your #75, very thought-provoking.

  96. Kid Dynomite,
    My statement was to show SolRod that I can disagree strongly with RW on doctrines and issues and still find no reason to call him a false teacher.

    If you are asking about the comment itself, I just don’t think that God had any intention to bring back a nation of Israel. Whatever people read into the land issues I think were fulfilled in Christ.

    It’s fine that Israel is there, and they can be a good ally… just like many other countries.

  97. London @ 96 “Who said anything about 1) ‘great men’ or 2) proving your worth to God anyway? Not me. You made that up.”

    If you were not implying Mr. Warren’s “greatness” and his visible works (kingdom building) as proof of his greatness, then I apologize profusely.

    Although I’d wager a can of pop that we’re just using semantics now.

  98. Hebrews 11 speaks of great people of God…so should we.
    Especially the ones that aren’t well known…

  99. Talking about unknown great ones…I just saw a Kenyan school people on priorities and it did my heart good.
    Some of the greatest Christians in this day and age are in real persecution and suffering and real poverty.
    Guess what they ain’t Americans.
    Remember the persecuted church and the poor around the globe.

  100. Wow. Free soda for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I don’t think of Rick warren as “great” by any stretch of the imagination.

    I limit that term, if I ever use it, for people like Mandela, Lincoln, and Churchill who although they have huge faults like the rest of us, took actions so bold it changed the course of their nation and the world

  101. No “great” humans in my book, other than Jesus if he did walk the planet as a man.

    Some “good” ones, though, even some really good ones. Probably the best of the best, most haven’t even heard of as popularity and notoriety often goes hand-in-hand with ambition rather than altruism.

  102. Funny, I didn’t know you had a book.
    Oh wait a minute, you didn’t mean literally or plain meaning, that was just a figure of speech.
    Whew, glad I figured that one out.
    I will take Jesus, you know the same Jesus who walked the earth, bled and died and rose again.
    I will take his book over RB’s any day.

  103. Derek, you do have your own book, it is your interpretation through your reason and conscience as to what you believe is true and correct and what you believe isn’t.

    That is fact whether you realize it or not.

  104. Every man fails somewhere or in some thing, no one is even close to being perfect so ill stick with Jesus

  105. Even men in the bible who are lauded failed miseranly at times

  106. MLD, you’re confusing me. You stated that you think the nation of Israel was established in 1948 against God’s will, but then you say that it’s fine that they are there. I was wondering why you think it was against God’s will for Israel to be established in 1948.

  107. Kid D,
    Perhaps I could have been more clear. Instead of stating “against God’s will” I should have just left it that God did not have a plan to reestablish an national ethic Israel. All of the land, temple, and Israel prophecies and passages have been fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

    The fact that man, created a nation in 1948 and called it Israel is of no biblical or theological consequence. Those who hold to biblical Israel in the end times, only destroythe gospel – but hey, that is it’s own conversation. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Look, since they are here, they can be used by us a good neighbor and allies … and we do USE our neighbors and allies. Israel, Peru?? no difference.

  108. MLD, Thanks for the clarification. Maybe that conversation will come up sometime soon. By the way, Jeter is back and Soriano is back in town. You scared?

  109. Kid D,
    The Yanks are going down! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  110. You were right! Bad guys won. Should be a good game tonight as well.

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