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August 08, 2006



"Our God is in the heavens, and he does whatever he pleases. Sometimes he brings pain to the righteous just because it’s his providential plan to do so. Not because they’ve sinned. Not because “they deserve it.” Just because.

Thanks for those words. We have a multiply-handicapped son, and last year my husband was diagnosed with cancer. At one point last summer I looked at him and said - "Do either of us have some unrepented sin that we need to take care of? - Because I'm not sure how much more of this we can handle."

Of course I know we're not being punished, but you also sometimes wonder "why?"

I truly believe that God's plan is just much bigger than we can even fathom - and we need to trust he will see us through this, "The Lord himself goes befroe you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forasake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deut. 31:8.

I check in weekly to the blog - you are all very challenging to me. Keep posting - I'll keep learning.


Kris: thanks for your comment. You guys are heroes of the faith. May God bless you as you rest in His good and gracious sovereignty.


Kris, I am concerned about you because you commented on a post written by Bob, yet without arguing about something or attacking Bob personally. It's fine. I'm just not used to this kind of behavior, that's all.


Just thought I would chime in on this post. This theology fits right in with what Jesus said in chapter 9 of John, "As he passed by, he saw a blind man from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing." So there is a lot more than just the theology of suffering in this passage, but I will just focus on that for now. Always suffering in a believers life is for God's glory, whether it is due to sin or not, God's ultimate goal is his own glorification (yes I know I sound like John Piper, but hey I agree with him). The reason this man in John is blind, HIS WHOLE LIFE, is so that God's works can be seen. Job 42:5 says, "I had heard of you with the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you." It is through God's work in our lives, often seen in the midst of suffering, that he receives glory (not exclusively, but please just follow my train of thought) This, I believe is the purpose of Job's suffering, not to mention the purpose of the suffering of those in the church now (alongside dicipline, cuz he does still use this). So getting back to this idea of the wicked will perish and the righteous prosper, yes this is the ultimate end of those 2 peoples, but often it is the righteous who suffer more during this life than the wicked, and in that finding joy to join in the sufferings of Christ, thus imaging him. Well it is now 1 AM, and I have made quite the long comment. I apologize if this is a stream of consciousness, but I so wanted to chime in, I hope it is edifying to you Bob, and to all others who read it, if any.




I enjoyed the post, especially the last comment: "Apparently, knowing Proverbs is not the same as knowing God." In a way it reminded me of James 2:19 and how easy it is to know the word, but not know the one who wrote it.



Some thoughts for Will and Bob.

Bob your first. Bob I am in a little place called Austin. We have hills and stuff here. It's pretty cool. We don't have a college world series but we have just about everything else in life that is good. I'm not sure how you lured Will up there but I'm sure it was by unnatural means; devious means. We here in Austin like Will Walker and we don't take his being stolen lightly. Stolen is the word Bob. I don't like coming back from a year in East Asia and immediately hearing that one of my favorite staff is being stolen from me. So at this point Bob I feel the Lord leading me rebuke you. I want to call you to Exodus 20:15. Lets dive into the Hebrew Bob. The word "steal" in Hebrew is ganab. It means to be a thief, kidnap or deceive. Bob I have heard good things about you and I just want to keep you from falling into sin. I am just trying to keep your sanctification in mind Bob. I will be praying that you will be able to free yourself from this slavery.

Will. Jesus' disciples got three years. I've only gotten three years. The problem is that your not Jesus Will. Paul encourages us to keep running the race. You can't think that you have already attained your goal Will. I mean have you ever read Philippians? It’s good. So doing the math there James and I have another year coming. Will there is also the issue of the promise you made to James regarding your time of departure from UT. There was promise of seeing his graduation. Again math here Will; one more year. You made a promise. Let’s look at what Proverbs 26:18,19 has to say about that. Madman Will. That's you. And do you know who your victim is. Me with a painful and deadly firebrand in my heart.


Pimple, I don't even know you, but I like you. You're going to have to take this one up with Jesus, though. The problem is that Jesus' Kingdom is bigger than Austin, Texas. It encompasses the entire creation, yes, even Omaha. Having just spent a year in Asia I am sure you know the global extent of the kingdom of God. And if all the laborers hole up in Austin because they like Longhorn football and Stubb's BBQ and beer at the DraftHouse more than they like the uncomfortableness of mission, then that's not exactly living for Jesus, now, is it?

We would be more than happy for you to move to Nebraska if you want to kick it with Will and me. We have lots of pretty single girls up here, too, and the Coram Deo guys are not snatching them up. Proverbs says that "he who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord" (Prov 18:22). In the Hebrew, that word "favor" is the word hen, which means grace. So if you really want to experience the grace of God, you need to find a wife, and there are some ladies in Omaha who would be suitable candidates. The offer is on the table, Pimple. I can't make them fall in love with you, but I can tell you this: if you don't ask, the answer is always "No."


Well I think I am heading to Greece with Jeremy Apel. But in all honesty I am really excited for you to have Walker up there. I love what your doing with Coram Deo. The thought of you and Walker in one church is awesome. I really hope I have a chance to come up and visit you guys and see whats going on in person at some point.

brenton brown

Enjoyed being with you guys very much this morning. Thanks for having us!


Thank you for sharing your thought process. The words you write resonate to one who knows the fires of suffering. I just wish I could turn the book of Job into a formula too - count on everything being put right side up again. (Of course he never got his first set of children back, don't tell me he got over that). But for the persecuted Christians in North Korea, or for others like myself, the ending is only predictable in one way: the glory of God.


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linda Bentsen

I have been a member at Southwest for 23 years! We miss Pastor Bob"\! Reading these comments helps me remember his wisdom and amazing Godly character. we all miss him terribly and still don't understand. Is it church politics subing as divine wisdom ...? why wern't we as faithful church attendees considered? Growth isn't always about numbers! Trying to come to grips, Linda Bentsen Romans 8.28 will still prevail.

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