Golf Is Kind Of Like…

If you’ve ever played a round of golf, you know how impossible it is to be any good at it. And please, spare me the comments about those PGA Tour “pros”. They had me fooled for a long time, too.  But if you look close enough, you’ll see that most of what they do is just an illusion and the rest is the magic of television. “But what if I’m watching in person? How can that be television?”,  you ask. If I knew their tricks, don’t you think I’d be out there making a sweet living instead of informing you of all their charades? You better believe I would and I’d be laughing all the way to the bank. But alas, I don’t know their tricks and I’m too lazy to get out there and practice so the best thing to do is complain about it to you.

Magnets! I knew it!

There are some good things that come from playing golf, however. It takes around three hours for me to finally give up and throw my last ball into the water and only five minutes of that is actually swinging a club. Needless to say, I have a lot of extra time on my hands to think or cry or whatever. I spend most of that time thinking, mostly about how much I would get if I pawned my clubs, but about other stuff too. I like to come up with clever metaphors about golf. Two of my most profound are: Golf is like a vacuum cleaner; it sucks. The other: Golf is like a black hole; it really sucks. Every once in a while, though, I’ll make a shot that looks like it came from one of those cheating PGA Tour pros. My emotions well up inside of me and I convince myself that I could do that on every shot. Meanwhile my brain keeps telling me, “I think you’re forgetting something, mainly how awful you are.” I tell my brain to shut up because what does he know? I base all my decisions on emotions and it hasn’t failed me yet. Except for that one time when I thought it would be a good idea to buy that barbell that you shake. Yeah, that was dumb. It doesn’t work.

The Rock: “I don’t smell what this thing is cooking, Jay.”

But back to the metaphor thing, playing bad golf and then hitting a great shot kind of sums up my spiritual walk as well. I wander on the golf course, most of it spent in the rough trying to find my ball, and then 3-putting for a double bogey. But then there’s that shot. I wander through life, most of it spent in failures, and then going to sleep just to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow. But then there’s God’s grace. Just like I can’t explain that shot, I am dumbfounded by His grace. And the best part is God doesn’t need TV magic.

Hitting a great shot in golf is like God’s grace; you don’t deserve it so just be quiet and take it.

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Happy Resurrection Day

As I was sitting in church last Sunday, halfway paying attention and halfway playing Angry Birds, I’m pretty sure that I heard my pastor say something about Easter being this Sunday.  I’m not 100% sure because sometimes he mispronounces Esther. He mispronounces Philippians too and I don’t know whether to turn to it or get out a map of the South Pacific. Anyway, the point is that I got my new high score in Angry Birds and nobody can ever take that away from me.

“You hear that you stupid Iphone? NEVER! I don’t even care that you’re spying at me through my own camera. You can’t spy into my thoughts. And right now I’m thinking one more peep out of you and you’re getting replaced with an Android. They’re better phones anyway. I mean at least they’re compatible with Flash and that’s more than you can claim. UGH, I hate you…and yet I can’t quit you. This is so complicated.”

 

I went ahead and gave my pastor the benefit of the doubt and assumed that he was right about Easter quickly approaching. When I got home from church I opened my Bible and decided that I wanted to learn all about Easter that I could. I feverishly started looking for Easter in the Bible and after searching for what seemed like five minutes, I was discouraged to not have found it. I had a Strong’s concordance lying around so I decided to consult it even though I had no idea what it was for. I just thought it was a bigger Bible. I scanned all of the E’s and I found no Easter. At this point I started to get a little worried. Everyone at my church was ranting and raving about how much they were looking forward to Easter and my pastor was proclaiming that Easter is the most important day of the year. I wanted to sit down and think this through. Should I be the one to tell them that this “Easter” they’re talking about is nowhere in the Bible? I didn’t want to hurt their feelings because I saw how excited they were. Maybe it was because I was using the wrong Bible. I had been looking through an NIV but maybe Easter was in another version. I looked at the King James. No. HCSB. No. NASV. No. CEV. No. YMCA. No. Every Bible I looked through didn’t have one single mention of Easter. The lack of evidence was beginning to pile on. Was I the one who was going to have to go in front of our church and tell them the very bad news? “Why me?”, I shouted as I fell to the floor and pounded my fists on the ground out of frustration. I could just imagine the look on Mrs. Johnson’s face as she heard my grim report. She had been going to the church since its founding and always gave me an encouraging word and a junior mint every time I saw her. It pained me to think that I was going to crush her hopes. But I couldn’t keep this from her or the rest of the congregation because the obligation was too great.

I was going to have to be very careful the way I approached this. I couldn’t just make this announcement in front of our church because either they would dispel my membership or form a lynch mob and beat me until I recanted. I don’t blame them, though. If someone walked up to me and told me there was no donkey in Donkey Kong, me and my fists would help them quickly change their minds.

Yep, definitely a donkey.

 

As I examined this from every angle, I found that the best way to tell this was to speak to my pastor directly and then he could deliver the bad news. This was perfect because they wouldn’t do anything to him because finding a new pastor would be too much of a hassle with all the search committees and whatnot.

I pulled into the parking lot of the church and I sat there contemplating whether I should go through with this. I finally built up the courage to go do it. I got out of my car and started toward the pastor’s office. About halfway there I started to completely regret my decision so I scrambled back to my car. I found a pen and a piece of paper and scribbled the words ‘No Easter’ on it. I went up to the church door and jammed the paper between the frame and the door. I walked away feeling so relieved that I could do this while keeping commotion and confrontation to a minimum. I was almost to my car when suddenly I heard a voice calling to me.

“Hey, Aaron!”, I heard the voice call.

“Here I am Lord.”,  I said as I looked upward. The voice called again.

“Aaron, what are you doing?”

I soon realized it wasn’t God who was calling me so I turned around to see who it was. It was my pastor. I figured he was calling me over to thank me for breaking the news to him in a subtle and respectful manner. I walked over to him and noticed he was holding the piece of paper in his hand. Before I could get out a ‘you’re welcome’, he held out the paper and asked me if I put it there.

“Yes sir” I said, “and I’m sorry you had to find out this way. I wanted to tell you face to face but I knew how heartbroken you would have been and I didn’t want to see you like that.” The pastor rolled his eyes as he seems to always do when we talk and he asked in a rather condescending tone,

“What do you mean by ‘No Easter’?”

“Well sir, I knew how much you and others were so excited about Easter so I wanted to go home and read all about it. But when I started reading, I couldn’t find the word Easter anywhere in the Bible. I decided to tell you because you always correct me when I’m wrong so it’s only right for me to correct you when you’re wrong.”

“Let’s go into my office.”, he said as he crumpled up the paper.

My initial thought was ‘let’s go into my office’ could mean so many different things. We could be going in there to have further discussions on this. He may have some kind of reward in his office that he was saving for such an occasion. Or it could mean the same thing it did in high school and I wanted no part of that. We walked into his office and I sat down in the chair in front of his desk as he reclined in the big leather chair behind the desk. This was starting to bring back memories of the high school experience and like I said, I wanted no part of that. I got up to walk out hoping that he wouldn’t notice but unfortunately he did and he told me to close the door while I was up. I was used to fear tactics like this. My principal used them on me all the time. His main goal was to make me so scared that I soiled my pants. Well the joke was on him because he was too late. However it did make for an uncomfortable rest of the meeting between us. I sat down and allowed him to begin the interrogation.

“Aaron, I know that the word Easter is not in the Bible”, the pastor began to explain. However there was something about his voice that triggered my eyes to glaze over and my ears to tune out. It happened like clockwork every Sunday morning and so from that point on I only picked up every couple of words. The rest is just paraphrased.

He continued, “Actually the word Easter derives from an Old English word that was attributed to an Anglo-Saxon goddess. They held a feast in her honor during the spring but eventually it died out and since “Passover” was a well established festival, Christians celebrated it instead but the Easter part stuck.”

“Groovy.”, I said not knowing how to respond because I had no clue what he was talking about.

“The main thing you need to remember, Aaron, is that it doesn’t matter when it is or what we call it; the whole reason behind this celebration is to give God glory and to exalt our Savior, Jesus, for his death, burial and resurrection. Because of God’s grace,  Jesus did all that for us so we can have salvation and eternal life. Do you believe that, Aaron?”

“Yes sir.”, I replied while nodding.

“Good, now stand up and come over here.”, he said while motioning me to come near him.

At this point I had regained full consciousness and was very hesitant but I soon realized he wasn’t going to let me leave until I did so. I walked over to him and he opened his arms as if he wanted to hug me.

“Give me a hug.”, my pastor suggested.

“No way. What are you, mental?”, I replied. He walked over and embraced me before I could get away. I was so close to escaping but unlucky for me he grabbed my legs so my attempt to jump over his desk ended with a loud ‘thud’.

The hug wasn’t so bad and to be honest I could have used a hug. I leaned back and asked, “Since Easter’s not in the Bible I don’t want to say it anymore. Is there any other way to say ‘Happy Easter’ without actually saying those words?”

“How about ‘Happy Resurrection Day?'”, my pastor replied.

“Happy Resurrection Day.”, I told my pastor as I went in for the rest of the hug. I reflected on the day and felt very satisfied on how it ended. There was, however, one question about Easter that I knew only someone with a Masters of Divinity could answer.

“Just one more thing, how come Easter bunnies lay eggs while regular bunnies don’t?” My pastor immediately stopped hugging me and pointed toward the door.

“Get out.”, he said while shaking his head.

I headed toward the door and just as I was about to leave, I turned around and with a huge grin, looked at my pastor and said, “I think I’m going to sit on the front row Sunday”.

He facepalmed. I left.

Yeah it was something like that, Captain Picard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 More People In The Bible Who Would Put Chuck Norris To Shame

Allow me to preface. Chuck, I mean Mr. Norris,  if you’re reading this, I mean no ill will toward you or your skills or your Total Gym. The only reason I use your name is for hyperbole so that everyone will know that these biblical figures are reaching heights of awesomeness only obtained by yourself and Mr. T. Of course, as you know, it always helps to have a little backup, especially while patrolling dangerous downtown Dallas. And Trivette was always there to back you up–except for the two episodes he wasn’t in. What’s up with that? Anyway, just like Trivette was always there for you, these three guys had a pretty reliable ally as well. You may have heard or read about him. He’s pretty famous. Oh, who am I kidding? I know you have a relationship with God. I read* your book. And truth be told, you’re probably fine with me saying these guys could shame you because you know it wasn’t their doing but rather God’s. I have to assume that because the thought of you not being fine with it makes me wake up in cold shivers. So please don’t take this the wrong way because I mean no harm. All I’m trying to do is put off my real work by writing a few stupid blog posts. It means nothing. I guess I’ll let you get back to being the baddest man on the planet and whatever that consists of. Oh, I forgot, you’re never going to read this because:

Chuck Norris doesn’t read books. He stares at them until he gets the information he wants.

 

*-skimmed

 

# 3:     Paul

Paul is a peculiar fellow in that he didn’t always have God on his side. In fact, at one point in his life, he tried to kill those who did. That all changed one day while he was traveling down a road when, all of a sudden, he was literally blinded by the light. He converted to The Way and started to proselytize instead of persecute Christians. But with the Roman government mad at him and Christians still afraid of him, he was at an awkward position to say the least. He harkened back to a previous awkward time during junior high when he had just got braces and tried to recall how he coped with that situation. “Not well”, he whispered to himself. He finally had to trust God in the situation and when he did he became the greatest Christian missionary and one of the most important people of the last 2000 years. One day Paul was having a particularly bad day mainly because he wrecked his ship. Once he was safe and on shore, he met up with some locals and found out the name of the island was Malta. He really couldn’t have cared less seeing that he just came from a shipwreck and it was raining and cold. All he wanted to do was build a fire and get warm. While he was gathering wood, a viper sprang from a pile of wood and latched onto Paul’s hand. The islanders figured he was an escaped murderer and Fate was playing a cruel joke on him. They watched in anticipation of his certain impending death. Paul walked back to the fire with the viper dangling from his hand. He sat down in front of the fire and noticed that everyone was staring at him like they had just seen a ghost. “What?”, he ignorantly asked everyone around him. “You’ve got a snake on your arm”, one guy replied. “Oh”, said Paul while grabbing the snake and slinging him over his shoulder in the woods behind. Everyone waited patiently for Paul to fall over dead. It never happened. The locals then started to claim that Paul was a “god” but he quickly set them straight by pointing out that even if a “god” could get shipwrecked, they surely wouldn’t do it out in the boonies of Malta.

Malta: The droppings of Italy (Sorry Maltans, I’m sure it’s a nice place.)

 

 

# 2:     Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

Before all you smart-alecks say anything, I understand that is three people but they all experienced the same event and I’m not going back up to the top to change the title to ‘5 more people…’. The event that I referred to, as you all may know, is when they took a little dip into a fiery furnace. King Nebuchadnezzar had about had enough of all the funny business of worshiping something other than himself so he made a gold statue and required the people to bow down to it. When the king got word that Shad and his boys weren’t bowing he had them come to his office. He again explained the rules and told them to bow. And again they wouldn’t do it. King Neb was quite hot at this point (no pun intended) so he ordered the furnace to be cranked up from roast to boil and to toss the three guys in it. The fire was so hot that the men who led them to the furnace died without even going into it. So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fire never to be heard from again, right? That’s what ol’ Neb thought. They were surprised when they heard a whistling sound coming from the furnace. They looked inside and noticed four men instead of the three that went in. And sure enough, that whistling noise came from them as well as they did four stanzas of the Andy Griffith theme. Neb pulled the three guys out, not even smelling of smoke, and declared for all to worship the God of these three because no other God can save like that.

“You’re right, Abe, it is a little balmy in here.”

 

   

# 1:     Jacob

One afternoon, Jacob was traveling with his two wives, two maidservants and eleven sons. (There’s a sitcom waiting to happen.) 

I can’t wait for the spin-off: The Adventures of Baby Benjamin! 

While they were traveling, they came up to a stream called Jabbok. Jacob had his family cross the ford of it and after, sent across the rest of his possessions. Jacob was left alone on the opposite side of the river minding his own business when something very strange happens. The Bible says that while Jacob was alone, a man wrestled with him until the next morning. After wrestling all night, the man decided that he’d had enough and told Jacob to let him go. Jacob declined and said that he wouldn’t let him go until the man blessed him. The man asked Jacob his name and Jacob told him. He then said that Jacob would no longer go by that name but rather Israel because “he struggled with God and humans and overcame”. Jacob inquired of the man’s name but he wouldn’t say and left Jacob with a blessing. Jacob named that place Peniel, meaning ” I saw God face to face and yet my life was spared”. Hold. On. One. Second. Jacob wrestled with…God? And lived? They should name a country after him or something….oh, wait.

Of course it did come with a cost. God touched Jacob’s hip so he had to walk with a pimp limp the rest of his life. This is why Jews only eat Hebrew National hotdogs. No ifs, ands, or butts.

Wrestle with God? Even the greatest wrestler of all time, Shawn Michaels, couldn’t do that.

 

Click here for the first four guys to shame Chuck.

 

 

How Children’s Sunday School Ruined Our View Of The Bible

The main thing I remember about Sunday School Literature as a child was that every story in the Bible was presented as a cartoon. And the whole purpose of cartoons is to emphasize the fact that it’s not reality. Yeah we talked about death when it was mentioned in the story but I had no concept of what death meant at 4. Frankly, the only concept I had of pain was when I fell off my bike or when we couldn’t watch Barney/Sesame Street some mornings during kindergarten. Everything was usually painted in a non-violent, non-controversial, rainbow unicorns with glitter kind of light.  It wasn’t until I learned to think critically that the Bible started to become reality to me. I was conditioned growing up by having all this cartoon Sunday School literature jammed down my throat that when I pictured the Bible stories in my head, they would play out as cartoons.

Hey I know them. That’s David, Joshua and a nice Israeli family.

 

I still fight that urge even today. For instance, go to your nearest lake and imagine the waters parting all of a sudden. You just can’t do it. Now imagine that happening in a Yogi Bear cartoon. Not only can you actually see it happening but you can’t stop giggling over how Boo-Boo keeps a straight face while saying the things he does. Now I’m not saying we should show 3 year olds The Passion of the Christ or give them real-life images of Israelites stoning women and children but as adults we need to “put away childish things”and I know I just took that out of context but it kinda works here.  Let me give you a few stories that, if you’re a Derp like me, will leave you scratching your head.

  • Jonah and the big fish

I always thought that Jonah was swallowed by a whale until I was informed as a child that I was stupid and ignorant for not knowing that the original Hebrew clearly translates to ‘fish’. How simpleton of me. Just for the sake of simplicity and the fact I don’t care if it was a whale or a fish, we’ll stick with a whale. As a child, our Sunday School books would have given us something like this:

Looks pretty comfy

 

When in reality, Jonah would have been in this for three days:

If you didn’t notice, that is the stomach of a whale. Lucky for Jonah he came out the entrance instead of exiting out of the business end of the whale.

 

  • Lot’s wife

It was unfortunate what happened to her but you can’t say she wasn’t warned. I was always shown pictures like this when reading about her:

I had always imagined her looking like her original body except more salty. And the story always ended right there. I mean her death was implied but it was never mentioned. In reality she would look more like this:

 

This is a salt pillar overlooking the Dead Sea. Ironically, Sodom and Gomorrah were not very far from the Dead Sea. Even more ironic is that the name of this pillar is actually Lot’s Wife. I’m not saying this is actually Lot’s wife, however….but you never know.

 

 

  • Joshua and the walls of Jericho

This was always a fun story to read about when I was a kid. My favorite part was when the walls came down and then Joshua’s soldiers laughed and high-fived each other and then skipped to another city to do the same thing to some unsuspecting Gentiles. But wait…that’s not how that story ended. A good Sunday School teacher would have told us that after the walls came down, the Israelite army marched into the city and killed everything that had a pulse, except for Rahab and her family, and then took all their valuables. Yeah, that’s what a concerned, responsible teacher would have done. But alas, I still have pictures like this stuck in my head:

Apparently the citizens of Jericho were experts in medieval architecture.

 

In reality, Joshua was up against something like this:

There were actually two mudbrick walls with one having a 12 foot revetment wall underneath it. It would have been almost impossible to get over the first wall and even if they did the embankment was so steep between the walls, the Jerichoans would have no trouble picking off any ambitious Israelites. We know all this because archaeologists actually unearthed the revetment wall.

That thing that looks like a wall is the retaining, or revetment, wall. You can probably notice the steep embankment as well from this angle. Here’s a slice of the wall during an excavation done in the 50’s:

However there was one part that was not completely destroyed. The north side of the wall was still recognizable because they could identify houses that were built into the side of it.

This happens to be very interesting because there was a particular prostitute, who helped the Israelite army, who lived on the north side of the city. Coincidence?

 

 

 

3 Great Life Lessons We Can Learn From The Bible( Or Else You’ll Die)

Growing up, I was always battered with advice and “life lessons” from people who thought they knew better. Everything I experienced during my childhood always seemed to come with some sort of submonition from a concerned onlooker. In my formative years, my mother would always tell me to eat my carrots because supposedly they possess some magical cells that makes you see better. Now that I’m grown I’ve exposed that myth for the old wives tale it really is. My diet now consists of cheeseburgers and donuts and the last time I had my eyes checked I had 20/13 vision.

Cheeseburgers 1 Carrots 0.

And one time when I was at the zoo I happened to be walking by the bear exhibit and noticed all the food they had for the bears to eat. The zookeeper looks at me and says, “Hey, fat kid, that food is for the bears. The corndogs are over there.” Ok, he really didn’t say that but he was thinking it…and I was craving a corndog. I don’t blame them, though.  They probably took one look at me and thought, “I better give that kid some good advice because with the way he’s going, he’ll likely wake up in a dumpster one night wondering where his kidney and kneecaps went.” I’m glad those people cared enough for me to teach me some valuable lessons that I continue to ignore even today.

There are, however, genuine life lessons that stand the test of time. They come from the words of God and you would do your best to heed these with the utmost concern. Your life depends on it.

 

 

# 3     Never make fun of a bald man.

There once was this man named Elisha who was walking along the road when suddenly he came across this pack of hoodlums who were up to no good. The Bible doesn’t tell us but they probably spent most of their day making trouble in the neighborhood.

Elisha was getting harassed so much he was thinking about moving in with his auntie and uncle in Bel Air.

The hood rats gathered around Elijah and started to shout, “Get out of here, baldy! Get out of here, baldy!” Well Elijah didn’t cotton much to their sentiments so he did what any other creepy, old, bald man would do: put a curse on them.  Now this wasn’t one of those lame curses that you see from all those high school girls that claim they practice “witchcraft” when in reality they just want an excuse to dye their hair red. No, this was a real doosie. He called down a curse in the name of the Lord and then two female bears popped out of the woods and went to town on the wannabe gangsters. So please never make fun of that old bald man who lives down your street. He will put a curse on you and bears will eat you.

Dang! Your Bald! 

 

 

# 2     Don’t touch what is not yours.

After getting the Ark of the Covenant back from the Philistines, the Israelites were bringing it back to Jerusalem. On the way, the oxen, carrying the cart the Ark was on, stumbled. Uzzah didn’t want the Ark to touch the ground so he put his hand out to steady it. Bad idea. The Bible described this as an irreverent act and God was so upset that he struck down Uzzah on the spot. Needless to say, everyone got scared, especially David. He was so afraid that he didn’t even want to continue on with the Ark. So the Ark stayed in the house of Obed-Edom for three months while everybody was calming down. David saw where God blessed Obed-Edom so he went on with the Ark to Jerusalem, dancing the whole way. So please never touch what is not yours unless you want to die.

Go ahead, I dare you.

 

# 1     Don’t lie about your taxes. (Especially to God)

Ananias and Sapphira were two normal law-abiding citizens who also happened to be property owners. One day they decided to sell a piece of their land. After finishing the transaction, they were going to put their recent credit in the common purse. They didn’t have to give their purchase away but they wanted to show that God was more important to them than the money. Well just before they gave it away, they decided to hold a little of it back, we guess for a rainy day. Ananias walked up to Peter and handed him the money. The irony in all this was that the Holy Spirit had already told Peter that they had withheld money. Peter called his bluff by telling him that, much like everyone who ever existed, God doesn’t like to be lied to. Ananias fell flat dead. Later, Sapphira came up to Peter, oblivious to what had happened earlier and confirmed to Peter that the amount Ananias gave him was the amount they sold the land for. Peter, unamused, told her that the men who buried her husband were about to come do the same for her. She didn’t have much time to react seeing that she fell flat dead as well. So please, if you’re going to pay your taxes, do not lie about it. You will fall flat dead…someday. And for those of you who don’t even bother paying your taxes, go to your local library, check out Dante’s Inferno, go to Circle 4, Canto VII and read line 54 and imagine yourself doing that for the rest of eternity.

 

Spoiler!!!!!!!!!   You’ll be pushing giant bags of money up a hill for all eternity.

 

 

 

 

Just A Glimpse

Last Sunday morning our family cat, Shadow,  passed away. He was almost fifteen years old and he pretty much lived a healthy life up until a week ago. He had begun to show some muscular atrophy but we assumed it was an effect of getting older. Around Tuesday of last week we noticed that he would bump into things while he was walking. It looked like he was staring all the time so we decided to check him out. We took him to the vet and, sure enough, he had two completely detached retinas. It was sad to hear but we then realized blindness in a cat is a lot different from blindness in a human. Cats already have amazing senses and they really don’t need to see to live a normal life as long as they can smell, and touch things with their whiskers. It wasn’t until Saturday that he began to go downhill fast. We noticed that he was having a hard time balancing and he wouldn’t eat or drink anything. By Saturday night he really couldn’t move at all and we had to give him water out of a syringe because that was the only way he would drink it. I did some quick research on the Internet and he had all the symptoms of a stroke but I didn’t know for sure. We decided that we were going to nurse him Saturday night and then call the vet first thing Sunday morning. He didn’t make it to Sunday morning. The following day was pretty emotional and I even had a hard time making it to church. You can call me a cat lady and make fun of me all you want but I had grown attached to that cat and I loved him. When we were burying him early Sunday morning, I couldn’t stop thinking that I wish Shadow knew how much we cared about him.

I’ve had that thought and the image of putting him into the ground in my head for about a week now. I’ll never know if Shadow knew how much I cared about him and how much it hurt to lose him. I don’t think he did. It’s different from human death. It hurts a lot worse but you can still take comfort in the fact that the person who died knew how much you cared for them. Well, that thought eventually led to another thought. Is the same way I feel about my cat the same way God feels about us? The same way I wanted Shadow to know how much I cared for him is the same way that God desperately wants us to know how much He cares for us? I came to the conclusion that the two are not comparable but maybe…just maybe, I caught a glimpse of how God feels about us. It’s hard to comprehend but if what I felt was just a glimpse I can’t imagine how much it pains God to see us die. And to read what God went through and the price He paid to keep me from death puts a whole new perspective on it for me. It’s amazing that God can communicate with me even during a time of mourning in my life. You read about how great God is and how good He is and it’s hard to understand that but during that tiny glimpse of His grace I never felt more loved.