Recipe For A Happy Child 1/2 t.care 1 C. kindness 2 C. security 2 T. safety 1 C. love 2 C. loving parents 4 C. Real Christianity Blend together with care, kindness, security, safety, love, loving parents and Christ teachings. Keep hot at all times, never let get warm. Mix thoroughly. Bake forever. Makes one happy child.
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The word "iconoclast" originally meant someone who destroys religious images. Iconoclasm reached its height in the eighth and ninth centuries when religious icons were highly controversial; the practice also became commonplace following the Reformation. In recent centuries, however, the word "iconoclast" has come to connote one who destroys ideas. Any person who displays revolutionary or countercultural thinking is liable to be labeled an iconoclast.
In July of 1960, C. S. Lewis watched his wife die of cancer. A year later, Lewis, under a pseudonym, published an account of his struggles with grief. The book A Grief Observed (which quickly came to be recognized as Lewis's own work) is a raw and heart-wrenching monologue. In it, Lewis expresses the feeling that God is ruthlessly destroying any of Lewis's preconceived notions of who God should be. Lewis recognizes that his own idea of God had become a "graven image," one that he himself fashioned and expected to remain motionless. He writes,
"Images, I must suppose, have their use or they would not have been so popular. (It makes little difference whether they are pictures or statues outside the mind or imaginative constructions within it.) To me, however, their danger is more obvious. Images of the Holy easily become holy images-sacrosanct. My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of his presence? The incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins. And most are 'offended' by the iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not." (Footnote 1: A Grief Observed (Faber and Faber, 1964).)
It is inescapable that we will latch onto images of God; in fact, that is the way our finite minds work when attempting to grasp the infinite. Our view of God is often heavily influenced by our parents and role models. It may also be influenced by the advantages or disadvantages we have had, as well as every other significant life experience.
One's idea of God is always changing. God himself does not change but remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. In contrast, the believer's idea of God always falls short of the truth and must be continually toppled with the aim that it be rebuilt and come closer to the truth. As Lewis discovered, pain is frequently the instrument God uses to remind us that our "idea of God is not a divine idea."
Has your pain shattered your view of God? It requires desperate faith, such as the faith Lewis demonstrated, to believe that God has not departed and left us in pain, but is instead refashioning our impressions of who He is. God does not shatter our ideas of Him gleefully as a spoiled child ruining another's sand castle. Instead, he lovingly wrenches from us the false gods we cling to so that we can have the real thing. Scottish theologian Samuel Rutherford was known to remark that when cast into the cellars of affliction, he was reminded that this is where the great King keeps his wine. (Footnote 2: qtd. by John Piper in Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1996), 222.) The redeeming purpose of suffering in life is that it may send us into the arms of our maker.
Do you want to know God as He is, or as you would like Him to be? I have a hard time honestly answering that question. I find myself clinging to the idea that God will make me always comfortable because He doesn't want me to feel pain. I might as well think that water was created to fill swimming pools, and has nothing to do with quenching my thirst or washing me clean. Betsy Childs
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-Arbitrator \ar'-bi-tray'-ter\ : A cook that leaves Arby's to work at McDonald's -Avoidable \uh-voy'-duh-buhl' \ : What a bullfighter tries to do -Baloney \buh-lo'-nee' \ : Where some hemlines fall -Bernadette \burn'-a-det' \ : The act of torching a mortgage -Burglarize \bur'-gler-ize' \ : What a crook sees with -Control \kon'-trol\ : A short, ugly inmate -Counterfeiters \kown'-ter-fit'-ers\ : Workers who put together kitchen cabinets -Eclipse \ee-klips' \ : What a Cockney barber does for a living -Eyedropper \i'-drop-ur\ : A clumsy ophthalmologist -Heroes \hee-rhos' \ : What a guy in a boat does -Left Bank \left' bangk' \ : What the robber did when his bag was full of loot -Misty \mis-tee' \ : How golfers create divots -Paradox \par'-u-doks' \ : Two physicians -Parasites \par'-ih-sites' \: What you see from the top of the EiffelTower -Pharmacist \farm'-uh-sist \ : A helper on the farm -Polarize \po'-lur-ize' \ : What penguins see with -Primate \pri'-mate' \ : Removing your spouse from in front of the TV -Relief \ree-leef' \ : What trees do in the spring -Selfish \sel'-fish' \ : What the owner of a seafood store does -Subdued \sub-dood' \ : Like, a guy who, like, works on one of those, like, submarines, man -Sudafed \sood'-a-fed' \ : Brought litigation against a government official