At War with God (James 4:4–10)   Leave a comment

Originally posted on Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

fleshPreviously, we saw there are wars happening within ourselves and wars happening with each other. Today, we will discover the primary reason we are at war with ourselves and, consequently, with each other: we are at war with God. We will also discuss how this war can be stopped.

At War with God (James 4:4–10)

The root cause of every war, internal and external, is rebellion against God. At the beginning of Creation, mankind beheld perfect harmony, but sin came into the world and this led to conflict. Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4) and lawlessness is rebellion against God.

How does a believer declare war against God? By being friendly with God’s enemies. James names three enemies we must not fraternize with if we want to be at peace with God.

The world (v. 4). This means, of course, human society apart from God. The whole system…

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Posted March 6, 2015 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

God’s Cathedral of Prayer   Leave a comment

Originally posted on

A version of this testimony was first printed in the Lamoni Chronicle, December 8, 2011 edition, in the section”Everyday Blessings.”

In 2007, my family and I left home for Thanksgiving.  We were living in Chicago.  We were traveling to Michigan to have the holiday with my family.  Margo, my wife, was a Chicago public school teacher and having a stressful year.  She wasn’t feeling well that day, but we hoped that some rest would be good and help her feel better.  The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Katy and Kenzlee (my daughters) piled in the car with Margo and I, and we left for a three-hour drive along Lake Michigan’s coast to grandma’s in Grand Rapids.

We arrived safely at my mother’s home.  The day of Thanksgiving, Margo still wasn’t feeling well.  She slept through most of Thanksgiving.  Friday evening, her headache and stomach pain worsened.  On the way to the bathroom…

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Posted February 6, 2015 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

A Walk with Jeremiah 5.1   Leave a comment

Originally posted on

IMG_444149099In Chapter 5 of Jeremiah, the central theme moves from grief to judgment.  There is a sense Israel and Judah are on trial.  The emotions of anguish and anger that seem to drive chapters 1-4 begin to distill to negotiation and reason.  There’s a reason to be angry.  Again, theology – or making sense of God – accompanies makes sense of circumstance.  The Book of Jeremiah was likely compiled while God’s people were already in Babylonian exile, as a witness and memory for the nation.  In other words, it was compiled not in real time but after the fact.  This means, the compilers have to make a sense of the people’s fate.  Jeremiah’s prophecies, in this context, make perfect sense.  He was right. It makes sense that Israel and Judah fell and were plundered because the nation had become corrupt.  Verse 1 comes right out and says it:

“Search its squares and see if you can find one person who…

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Posted January 29, 2015 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

A Walk with Jeremiah, 4.1   Leave a comment

Originally posted on

IMG_443980114I grew up hearing all the concern about the Old Testament’s angry and vengeful God.  This is certainly an important theological question.  Theology should be questioning the nature of God.  With all the emphasis on power and authority among many Christian preachers and believers, the nature of that power and authority is also important to consider.  Who wants to worship a God who threatens you whenever He doesn’t get what he wants?  (This kind of of God is almost always, certainly, a “He.”)

But, if one actually spends time with Old Testament scriptures, one can read the prophet’s encounter with God a different way.  This is the reading I’ve been searching for, and am finding.  Chapter 4 of Jeremiah is a good example of what I mean.

Sometimes, our wrestling with God’s anger is not about wrath or punishment.  It’s about natural or reasonable consequences.  As human beings, no one…

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Posted January 27, 2015 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

A Walk with Jeremiah 3.1   Leave a comment

Originally posted on

IMG_443463605If I continue to look through the lens of grief between estranged lovers, Jeremiah chapter 3 reads like a grief process.  There’s anger over betrayal, as well as the bargaining associated with coming to terms with a loss.  The bitterness comes through naming Israel’s and Judah’s whoredom.  Whoredom is the main theme of the chapter.  Jeremiah begins there:

“If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s wife, will he return to her?  Would not such a land be greatly polluted?  You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me?” (vs 1)

Interestingly, the Tanakh adds the nuances of the Masoretic text, the authoritative text Rabbinic Judaism, “Saying, If a man divorces his wife” or “I have to say, if a man divorces his wife.”   This nuance helps remind us that the prophet, speaking for God, is thinking in metaphor.

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Posted January 20, 2015 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

A Walk with Jeremiah 2.1   Leave a comment

Originally posted on

IMG_443110490God obviously needs us.  And, apparently, we need God.

Chapter 2 of Jeremiah reads like a letter from a bitter lover whose been taken advantage of, cheated on, and abandoned.  Many of us have been there.  Lost in love and mutual happiness, something happens and it all falls apart.  The memories of rapturous fulfillment are still palpable, but something’s changed.  The relationship’s broken.  They don’t need you anymore…of they don’t think they do…or they never did.

I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride…Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest…What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they want far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves?  (vs 2b, 3a, 5)

But, somehow, this is more than just getting lost in love.  Love between God and Israel isn’t limited to the metaphor of matrimony.  At least from the prophet’s…

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Posted January 17, 2015 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

A Walk with Jeremiah, 1.1   Leave a comment

Originally posted on

IMG_443023954For the next little while, I plan to be reading Jeremiah.  I’m doing it for my own study.  My plan with this blog is simply to post simple reflections based on my reading.  At this point, I don’t plan this to be an in depth academic study, but more impressions and reflections.  At times, I may input commentary information or wonder off in a long thought about something.  But, overall I simply hope to jot down the passages, themes, metaphors, and impressions that come to the surface.  I hope, for someone, the reading is worthwhile.

Chapter 1

The first chapter covers Jeremiah’s call and commission as prophet.  Thinking about it from an experiential point of view, verses 4-5 and 17 stick out.

vs 4-5:  Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I…

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Posted January 16, 2015 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized


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