Kyle Lake Died

Sometime last year I read a helpful little book called “Understanding God’s Will.” I googled up the author, one Kyle Lake (pastor of the church David Crowder attends–University Baptist in Waco), and emailed him a short note thanking him for taking the time to write the book. He wrote back to me and said thanks, which I thought was pretty classy of him.

So I was pretty shocked this morning to read about his death. He was about to baptize someone and he reached to adjust the microphone which then sent a current through his body, killing him in the baptistry.

Wow. He was about my age and he just dropped like that while doing a fairly routine part of his job.

My heart goes out to his family and his church. This has to be an incredibly hard time for them. And that poor woman who was getting baptized–I wonder how she’s processing all this?

Paula’s Grandfather Died

Paula’s maternal grandfather died earlier this week. He died very peacefully and comfortably, as far as anyone can tell. It was one of those expected things–he was 80 and had been ill for quite a while. He’s survived by his seven children and his wife.

I only met him a few times, but I liked him. He was a very kind man and very skilled at making things. Also, I think it’s cool that he spoke Cajun French at home to his family. A lot of people from southern Louisiana seem just like people from Genericville, USA, but he was the real deal. He was like all those Cajun chefs you see on television, except he made birdhouses instead of meals.

He’ll be missed.

Fortunately, he had such a large family that his wife will be well-looked after. Almost all their children live within a few miles of the family home.

They Look The Same

Yesterday Dana was sitting on the toilet attempting to wipe her bottom with tissue paper. After she felt that she had accomplished her mission, she lifted the paper to blow her nose into it. Logical from a certain vantage point, but disgusting nonetheless. Needless to say, I laughed like a madman.

Anne Rice–Christian

Anne Rice (the vampire novelist) has become a Christian.

“For the last six months,” she says, “people have been sending e-mails saying, ‘What are you doing next?’ And I’ve told them, ‘You may not want what I’m doing next’.” We’ll know soon. In two weeks, Anne Rice, the chronicler of vampires, witches and—under the pseudonym A. N. Roquelaure—of soft-core S&M encounters, will publish “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt,” a novel
about the 7-year-old Jesus, narrated by Christ himself. “I promised,” she says, “that from now on I would write only for the Lord.”

Incidentally, her novel is getting rave reviews.

The advance notices say she’s pulled it off: Kirkus Reviews’ starred rave pronounces her Jesus “fully believable.”

You might also want to check the Wikipedia article on her.

The Worst Vegetarian In The World

I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals--I hate plants.I recently had occassion to be pummeled at Halo 2 by Dylan, who is quite possibly the world’s worst vegetarian.

You see, he hates vegetables. He thinks they taste nasty.

He doesn’t have any convictions about the moral superiority of vegetable consumption. He doesn’t seem to have any worries about the sustainability of a carnivorous society. It’s not a spiritual thing for him. He doesn’t really fit into any of the standard vegetarian categories.

He just doesn’t eat meat. He apparently survives on assorted junk food.

Why does he live this way? Because he was raised a vegetarian and now can’t digest meat and doesn’t want to go to the trouble of training his body to process meat again–I’m not quite sure what that would entail, but it sounds as though unpleasant digestive moments are involved.

I just thought that was hilarious. A vegetarian who hates vegetables. 🙂

By the way, you can buy that bumper sticker at http://bumperart.com/ if you’re a bumper sticker sort of person.

Student Administers Test

I received an email from a student asking whether it was okay to “put God to the test.”

I just came back from a strange church service, and I have a question. Lately, I have been learning quite a bit about God up there. The pastor’s wife shouted out loud that the Lord wants us to “test” him in prayer, meaning see if our prayers are answered. I was confused about this statement, as I recalled the temptations of Christ, when Satan tempts Jesus, and Jesus quotes scripture, “thou shalt not test the Lord your God.” Am I getting caught up in a technicality, or is there some merit to this claim, which I do not understand? I can see how God would want us to pray and ask for proof in life, but I feel such a strong injustice to this thought. Any thoughts?

As I frequently field this question or a variant thereof, I thought my response might be of more general interest.

Are we to test God or not?

In Deut 6:16 we are commanded not to put God to the test. In Malachi 3:10 God tells us to test him.

Is this a contradiction? No, not at all. The Hebrew word in Deuteronomy 6:16 is nacah http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?word=05254
whereas the word in Malachi 3:10 is bachan
http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?word=0974

So what we have is two words in Hebrew that can both be translated “test.” Some tests are forbidden and others are commanded.

So what are we forbidden to do? Jesus tells us not to tempt God in Luke 4:12 (quoting Deuteronomy 6:16). If we look up Deut 6:16 (“Do not tempt the Lord your God as you did at Massah”) we will notice that it is a reference to Exodus 17, wherein the Israelites demand that God do a specific thing to prove he is with them. That’s the same temptation Satan set before Jesus: make God perform an action of your own choosing.

However, we read in Malachi 3:10 that God desires us to test his goodness and his faithfulness. We are to expect God to perform actions of his choosing.

That makes sense. In the first case we are giving orders to God, in the second case we are receiving orders from God. In the first case we are trying to be God ourselves, in the second case we are allowing God to be God.

Perhaps we could phrase the distinction thus:
“Don’t try to tell God what he ought to do, but expect God to do what he has promised to do.”

So in your specific case, it all depends on what sort of prayers you’re expecting God to answer.

Did that help clear it up?