Country Living Series

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Update on the Doles

My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves. (Proverbs 3:11-12)

I'm pleased - no, thrilled - to report that the Doles are getting back on their feet. The community (and lots of readers!) have rallied with generous help like you wouldn't believe. I can honestly say that their needs have been met (or are being met, depending).

I cannot thank everyone enough for their charity, generosity, and prayers that uplifted the Doles during this excessively difficult time. It brings tears to my eyes to think of all the wonderful people there are in this world.

Thank you all so very, very much.

17 comments:

  1. The good Lord stands in the gap. I'm glad they are feeling His grace.

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  2. Do religious believers not find it tiresome that to sustain their faith they always need to give god the credit and never the blame?

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  3. Quedula, do atheists ever get whiplash from swiveling their heads away from God's glory?

    Charitable giving? (snap!) "What are you talking about?"

    Outpouring of love and assistance? (crack!) "Haven't seen any, why?"

    Unwavering faith in the face of adversity? (pop! OUCH!) "Nope, none of that here!"

    You have my pity and my prayers.


    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

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  4. Sorry Steve - you've lost me . . . . :(

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  5. After giving your comment a little more thought Steve, I THINK my answer is "no".

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  6. Steve, ask yourself this question: do believers in the Abrahamic god (I presume you are one) ever get whiplash from swiveling their heads away from the the glory of the Invisible Pink Unicorn?

    No?

    There, you can now understand what your question means to me and why I had difficulty answering it. But thanks for the challenge!

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  7. Invisible pink unicorn? Faith in God is believing in what you cannot see but see and feel the effects. We can't see the wind but feel it as a cooling, refreshing breeze on a hot summer day, and see how it moves the trees and the world around us. We can't see God but we feel and see how HE affects the lives of People. You see a peace and strength that passes all understanding from people with faith in God who experience terrible tragedy as God carries them through. You see God inspiring people of faith being charitable to people they do not know and in ways that most people would not do due to their selfish nature by God inspired giving that provides exactly what the people in the middle of the tragedy need, just at the right time that they need it. Coincidence? I do not think so. The next time you feel the refreshing breeze on a hot summer day know there is a God who created the wind to provide relief that you cannot see but can feel the effects.

    Steve from NC

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  8. Steve from NC. Your responses have convinced me of your need to believe what you do. Can we move on from that? What I do not understand is how or why this need arose. Was it implanted in you by indoctrination or psychological problems or did you find from experience that you needed these beliefs in order to to be able to live a caring, charitable life?

    Do you believe in Satan? If not, and humans, not your 'god', are to be blamed for the evil that they sometimes do, (e.g. child molestation by catholic priests), why should they also not be given the credit when they perform charitable acts?

    Do you think that atheists somehow feel inhibited from performing charitable acts? Did you know that the Atheist group on the microfinance website KIva has far out-donated any other group including the christian one?

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  9. You asked for an explanation of what believers think and why they think it and I attempted to share my experience. You are right in that I need to believe as I do because it is my belief that completes my life, gives me peace to go asleep at night, to have great joy when things go good, and to have peace when things go bad. No one forced me to believe as I do. It was my choice as I searched for something to fill my life instead of emptiness I found when people let me down, and when business success only filled my heart with happiness for the moment. God replaced the emptiness with joy that is not dependent on my current circumstances. Yes, I believe in Satan as he is my enemy as his goal is to convince people that they do not need God, and to commit acts that will somehow hurt God's character like the molestation you mentioned by priests. God's servants are not always perfect but it does not change the choice we all have to accept or reject God in our lives. I do not think that atheists can't perform acts of kindness. All humans have the choice to do so. I was using that as an example to show how the changed mindset of a believer encourages them to love God back with their lives by loving the people around them and meeting their needs through giving. I have tried to answer your questions but do not know if it will help you completely understand as I believe the differences in the atheist and believer's mindset will make it hard for you to understand as it will not make sense to you and may seem foolish what a believer in Christ believes. I do not feel that I am superior to you or look down on you for not believing. It seems you are truly searching for answers and I have tried to share my experience hoping it will help you as you search to understand. My prayer is that one day you will find what you are looking for in the hope, peace, and love of a personal relationship with God.

    Steve form NC

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  10. Thank you Steve for your very thorough answer.
    I have always thought that believers in a Satan as well as a God are adopting a logically defensible position. But, as you will know, this is not the position taken by mainstream christianity; hence my first comment on this thread.

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  11. I'll have to disagree with you there. Most believers do believe in Satan who tempts them and wants them not to beleive in God but it is not Satan that is to blame. Each person is still to blame for their wrong choices and God is never to blame,as we are still responsible for our actions no matter how hard the circumstances (Ex: The Doles) that happen to come into our life. We bring some trouble on ourselves with our decisions and some things just happen in life. Sometimes we are the victims of the wrong doing of others. It is not who we blame that matters, but how we respond to the situation. God often teaches us the most out of these situations and brings good out of bad. We often grow more as people out of bad situations and a believer's faith grows as God sees them through the bad times with His strength and peace.


    Steve from NC

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  12. Steve,
    Do you think god might be more pleased when an atheist does a kindly act than when a believer does? God being omniscient would know that the atheist is being purely altruistic and not expecting any heavenly reward.

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  13. I believe God is pleased when we follow His commands that are in HIS word, the Bible. He loved us by creating us and offering forgiveness for our wrongs so that we can have a personal relationship with God during this life and for eternity in heaven after we die. God is pleased when we make the decision to accept HIS love for us and not reject Him as part of our lives, as that decision is what determines where we will spend our eternity with God or separated from God. You are correct when you say God is omniscient. He knows our heart and our thoughts better than we do. God offers His love to each of us and we have free will to accept Him or reject Him, and He knows who will and who will not accept Him. The believer in God does the acts of kindness as it is a natural outflow of a life where God resides. It is a "thank you" to God for the heavenly reward God has already promised to give, and not to earn the heavenly reward. The heavenly reward for the believer is all about spending an eternity with a God that we now see and experience partially, but will then see face to face. So I believe the premise of your question is wrong. I believe God is pleased with those who accept Him and His love as part of their life. The decision to accept or reject Him is the more approprite question to determine if God is pleased with a person in my view based on my personal life experiences and my extensive study of God's Word, the Bible.

    Steve from NC

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  14. Sorry I asked the wrong question Steve. Be happy.

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  15. Quedula,

    No problem. May you find what you are looking for in your search to understand this life and what believers in God think ,feel, and believe. I pray God will reveal Himself to you and you will know Him personally if you ever desire to.

    Steve from NC

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  16. Quedula, do atheists ever get tired of being in denial about how totally spectacularly utterly wrong Christopher Hitchens was about the War in Iraq? That Iraq didn't cause 9/11? That no WMDs were ever found in Iraq? That Ahmed Chalabi is not Iraqi President? That the Iraqis didn't throw flowers? That Iraq is now a Shiite theocracy? That the Middle East is now ablaze in violent Islamic fundamentalism?

    Okay, I already know the answer to it: NO, they don't.

    Patrice, your regular readers may not know who Christopher Hitchens was, but Hitchens is a god to atheists, so Quedula knows and reveres him.

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