Think on these things

 I was listening to a CD today that talked about te source of depression and for many people it is a chemical imbalance in the brain – this is fact – but what is a lesser known fact is that it is the way we think that causes the chemical imbalance – not the chemical imbalance that causes the way we think!  Next year I’m going to be studying (as part of a diploma in Life Coaching) NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming.  the basic premise of NLP is that “The map is not the territory”, that is – the way we think about the world is not how the world is i reality – it is our impression, our thoughts of the reality. how we think therefore affects so much of what we do, in fact how we think affects every part of our lives and our actions.

Paul was a very clever man, he knew well before modern psychology ever realised this truth, that our thoughts are far more powerful than we realise.  Thinking on ‘these’ things can indeed ensure that our lives are lives lived in holiness and Christlikeness…if we were to set ourselves the challenge on this blog to respond to every other persons comments only after we’d considered the Philippians list, how do you think that might affect the nature of our responses and in fact our posts and comments?

To see the image below in its entirety visit In God’s Image


53 thoughts on “Think on these things

  1. IMHO I honestly don’t think that NLP is either compatible with Christianity nor necessary, or even life-coaching which I would have thought was a more New Age/wordly thing. God has said in His word that he has given us all we need. Of course we need to find out what the problem is, what the remedy is, and do it but that is more common sense than anything. NLP does change people – I have seen this in a friend – and as a Christian we are not really supposed to look to things to change us outside of God’s word.

    I know that not everyone would agree with this. One could argue backwards and forward ad infinitum, but as we are told that unless we become as a child we will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven, to keep it simple, I would say either we believe what God says in His word and have faith that he knows better than we do, or not and we invent other ways of doing things….

  2. Sorry I have just realised that I didn’t read through this before posting and my wording and punctuation is not the best!

  3. God has said in His word that he has given us all we need.

    Does that include healing of cancer and curing psychiatric illness?

    What does the Bible say about getting your car fixed when it breaks down?

  4. Indeed – I’m certain your views are solid for yourself. I once sold life insurance and the husband of a friend of mine wouldn’t entertain even talking to me about it as he felt purchasing life insurance showed a lack of faith in the bibles promise that God would provide for all our needs. I simply asked him if he kept a spare tyre in his car or if he relied upon God to fix the flat if it ever occurred?

    Susan your suggestion that NLP is not compatible with Christianity holds no water at all – for the exact reasons Bones gives. Although i’d love to read your reasons.

    Nice of you to pick upon and comment on the NLP as opposed to the main point of the post though, which was entirely biblical.

  5. or even life-coaching which I would have thought was a more New Age/wordly thing – so have you ever played sports or been coached at work on how to do something? Your comment here shows a lack opf understanding as to the nature of life coaching..which in all honesty, I too used to think was a complete wank!

  6. There are many people opposed to or who question the effectiveness of NLP, both Christian and secular people.

    The Bible exhorts us to rejoice, think on things, be strong, fear not – many different things that involved the changing of how we think and feel.

    Take one. Rejoice! The Bible tells us over and over to rejoice.
    People will say that they can’t because they feel down or the circumstances aren’t conducive to rejoicing. So what do you do?
    Pray to God so you can rejoice? No, God’s word tells us to rejoice.
    Then we have to decide how we practically do that.
    If in order to do that, you have to make a conscious decision to refuse certain thoughts, and take control of your thoughts through imagery, or manipulation of your body, then I see nothing wrong with that.

    NLP is not something mystical or supernatural.

    The bible talks about “lifting up your heads” ‘ looking up” “rising up”

    The irony is that if you tell someone that there are ways to improve your mental state besides medicine they’ll call you a Christian who doesn’t understand science and is out of touch.
    But if someone says very similar things but calls it NLP they’ll listen.

    Fear not! is another one. We all know the verses – there’s hundreds of examples. But how do you practically do that?

    Body posture, physical control, focusing techniques etc – we all do them to some extent consciously or unconsciously. I see no problem with them at all.

    As long as people realize that no matter how much you use NLP or positive thinking or whatever and no matter how successful you are at self-mastery, you still need to deal with the sin question.

    Many people take different kinds of medications whose effectiveness wears off if they continue the same habits of thinking, posture and lifestyle. So with most forms of mental illness, just dispensing medicine has its limitations.

    Hint for some of you. Spending hours arguing about different churches and ministers and trying to prove how bad or wrong they are is probably one of the worst things you can do for depression.

    Interesting article and I look forward to what you get out of if Greg.

  7. Hint for some of you. Spending hours arguing about different churches and ministers and trying to prove how bad or wrong they are is probably one of the worst things you can do for depression.

    I couldn’t agree more. I think at its core NLP is putting into practice the very thing the Philippians verse is talking about.

  8. Thinking more about it, I can’t see that NLP or life coaching or time management or anything like that is problematic for Christians – depending on how and what is taught.

    On the contrary Christians often expect God to zap them and take problems away and it doesn’t usually happen like that.

  9. “Hint for some of you. Spending hours arguing about different churches and ministers and trying to prove how bad or wrong they are is probably one of the worst things you can do for depression.”

    Hint for self. Bashing people with satire and sarcasm is also one of the worst things I can do for depression, disappointment and anger.

  10. “Hint for some of you. Spending hours arguing about different churches and ministers and trying to prove how bad or wrong they are is probably one of the worst things you can do for depression.”

    Q. Never a truer word was said. I have to try harder to be aware of my own cynicism and anger – and work on replacing them with something more wholesome.

    One has to be trusting but not naive. Shrewd but not calculating.

    As wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

  11. Thanks very much for asking Q. I know you enquired before, but I havent had time to respond.

    No, not that good yet. Two more visits to ER this week. I appreciate your concern and prayers.

  12. Bit of a cricket nut myself.

    Came across this interesting story of one of the Windies former fastmen.

    Winston Davis demolished Australia in the 1983 World Cup with 7/51. He later made a decision to follow Christ. After answering God’s call, he got involved in religious work and went with a group of Christians to build a church at St Vincent where he grew up. The land had to be cleared. While cutting a tree, he was knocked down by a branch that hit him on the back of the head.

    He’s now paralysed from the neck down.

    Winston Davis is paralysed, but not in spirit

    Former West Indies fast bowler Winston Davis, paralysed after a freak accident, tells Sunday MiD DAY how spiritual awakening has given him a new lease of life

    Winston Davis cannot do the things he used to 14 years ago. We are not referring to bowling fast, which he did for the West Indies and several other first-class teams. We merely mean walking, lifting a cup of tea, or even a glass of water. The man who resides at Bewdley in Worcester spends most of his day in a tilting wheelchair.

    Running and bowling fast for the West Indies seems so very long ago. We are welcomed at the door by Anna, who resembles tennis player Monica Seles. She is personal assistant to quite a star, not so much for his cricketing deeds, but for how he is facing up to life after suffering a fall in 1997 that paralysed him neck down.

    In March 1997, Davis (now 53) decided to become a Christian. After answering God’s call, he got involved in religious work and went with a group of Christians to build a church at St Vincent where he grew up. The land had to be cleared. While cutting a tree, he was knocked down by a branch that hit him on the back of the head.

    His critical condition forced doctors to transfer him to a hospital in Florida where he spent several months before they sent him to Bewdley in England for further treatment. Davis just didn’t make a complete recovery.

    He doesn’t like the word ‘coping’. “People come to me and say how you coping and I say I am not coping, I am living. You go from crying to living,” he says. He recalls the early days after the accident: “I cried everyday. I used to bawl like a cow. I believe God used my tears to wash away my sorrows. Can I test that scientifically? No, but I believe that.”

    Inspirational words adorn the walls of his modest, small rented home: “ONE DAY AT A TIME. SHOW ME THE STAIRWAY I HAVE TO CLIMB. LORD, FOR MY SAKE, TEACH ME TO TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME.”

    He is well reminded of his playing days and family through photographs of his former teammates on the walls.
    Since he played most of his Tests against India, it is apt that the photographs were shot in India — the West Indies team to India in 1987-88 and a photograph of the fast bowlers on the 1983-84 tour — Davis himself, Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Wayne Daniel and Eldine Baptiste.

    Davis married an English lady, who he met in Australia in 1984. She lived in Bewdley. Now she has moved to a nearby town. Through his stint at Northamptonshire, Davis settled down in England. “I do all the things I can do. What I can’t do, I have people to help me for,” he says. The tilting wheelchair works on a car battery.

    When Davis wants to move around, he pushes the golf ball knob from his right hand forward. When he wants to sit back, he pushes the ball to another direction. He won’t call the wheelchair his best friend. “It is a useful tool. It helps me.

    Things like this give you a certain amount of independence,” he says. “If I was sitting in a normal chair and if I wanted to move, someone would have to come and move me. With this chair, I can go up and down. I go for my ‘walks’ in the wheelchair. I have a manual wheelchair too, as a back up. I have been on a tilting wheelchair since 2004. This is my fourth chair.

    “I have a busy life. I am involved with the Worcester County Council, working with groups of people with disability. I am on various committees to ensure affected people are looked after.” Handling the financial front is confronting, but Davis doesn’t make a big deal about it. Getting money for his treatment was a big worry when he suffered the body blow.

    He had retired from the county circuit and in those days, there was no cricketers’ association like there is in England now. Also, it is never easy when one is not an England player. Cricket writer Matthew Engel wrote a piece in The Guardian about Davis’ plight, and readers were encouraged to donate money for his treatment.
    Around 34,000 pounds were raised and the Winston Davis Trust got formed.

    “To live with a disability in the UK is not cheap. It is very challenging. But there are government schemes set up so people like me can apply and receive help,” he says. His attitude towards money is: “Money is a tool to be used to get the things you use in life.” Ask him about which of his former teammates come to Bewdley to visit him and Davis cannot come up with a name.

    “When I went home, I saw the guys I played with. England is a different society. I am not always here,” he says without a trace of complaint or regret. When I ask him how much he has improved since 1997, he says. “I don’t think I got anything back. But I have gotten stronger, both physically and mentally.

    Let’s put it like this – you can do a lot of things with a computer, you can discover new use of it and that is what happens with me. I have met people similar to me and they are still carrying their burden. They have no peace. Within a short span of time, God has given me peace. I don’t lie on my bed thinking what I have lost ¦ I never did that. When I wake up, I cannot wait to get out of bed. Some people stay in bed. I want to be able to do things. God has given me the chance to do that.”

    “The day will come when God will pull me out of this wheelchair and I will walk again,” he says as we say goodbye. The world knows Davis for his seven for 51 against Australia in the 1983 World Cup. He was hammered by David Hookes and Kim Hughes in the first five overs of his 10-over spell. He said he didn’t like bowling down the slope at Leeds. Skipper Clive Lloyd changed his end and Davis claimed seven in five overs.
    Winston Walter Davis needs a change of ends again.

    How I got paralysed
    In November, 1997, I went up a mango tree to cut a branch but I was struck at the back of my hand by another branch which was entangled with this branch. The blow I received at the back of the head was a tremendous one. My neck was broken there and I got paralysed neck down.
    We were clearing the land to erect a church which is yet to be erected.

    http://www.mid-day.com/sports/2011/aug/070811-How-Winston-Davis-fought-paralysis-to-find-peace.htm

  13. Greg, I’d like to discuss more about Life Coaching, NLP, goal setting etc. And where that fits in with evangelical thinking about the will of God and God’s plans, destiny, purposes etc. And the whole question of how much we are in charge of our lives.

    First, re controlling emotions. We talk about the fruit of the spirit, being healed, God giving joy, and some Christians talk about demonic problems. NLP people eg Tony Robbins assert that we can totally control our emotions. Learn how to within minutes or even seconds be happy, confident, not fearful.

    Second, RIck Warren and others talk about finding you purpose in life. Some talk about the plan God has for our life. But many people who just decided to do what they want end up being in better shape than many CHristians who pray, tithe, and wait for God’s direction.

    How much of our lives can we just plan = ie. write down all our goals (simply what we want to do) and then set out to achieve them.

    I know Christian women who waited so long for God to bring a partner that they are past childbearing age. Whether they prayed or just “left it up to The Lord” it just didn’t happen.

    And most of the successful people I know, just kept at doing what they wanted to do and knocked down doors to get there.

    Lots of questions in there so just answer any way you like.

    I realize all of use have different approaches to the Bible, but I’m interested in conclusions you’ve all reached esp that many of us are in middle age. If you were 17 again….would you have done things differently? If so, how much differently would you have approached life.

  14. We’ve discussed and criticized churches for how and where they plan new churches.

    The JWs and Mormons simply decide that they need to preach the gospel to everyone on the planet and just systematically do it. And every you go there are beautiful Mormon churches and those build-it-in-a-weekend JW Kingdom Halls.

    So maybe Christians do too much navel-gazing and sitting on their butts.

  15. HI Q, these are some great questions and I will deal with each of them as best I can.

    Our emtions are amazing things…most people think that we are at the whim of our emotoins, that we jhave no control over them whatsoever, however we do have complete control at all times over our emotions…however you are feeling right now is directly due to your choice to feel that way or not.

    An example…you’ll have to read this next secton and follow the instructions before I can go on. For me to go on would actually mess up the example.

    Picture yourself doing something or being somewhere where you have felt the happiest you ever felt. Look at the things around you and take it all in. Feel the emotions.

    Now picture yourself screwing up that image like a paper ball and throwing it away as hard as you can.

  16. I have heard of the book and just read a little bit about it, I think I might get a copy to read – looks good.

    Our brains are far more powerful than we realise adn for the most part Christians ahve treated as evil or sinful or satanic anything that helps us to achieve our full potential…a potential which has been hard wired into us by our creator I might add!

  17. Some talk about the plan God has for our life.

    I don’t believe that God has a ‘plan’ as such fo rour lives other than for us to live a rich fulfilled life in relatoinship with God’s self – I do believer that we need to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in our lives by acknowledging that we will do such adn such adn go to such a place as long as “God wills it” but this is not becuaser God has our lives mapped out in their minutae…that is just part of proper humility – it is good for us to remember that we are the work of God’s creativity – but the flip side to that is that we have the ability to achieve and live far beyond what we give ourselves credit for.

  18. Just thought i’d throw out some stuff I’ve read recently in articles in response to the shooting.

    These facts and figures I am taking at face value, but I understand if they are disputed. Obviously though we have a huge problem with mental health in the US (and I’d say Australia too).

    The big question is what is the reason for the mental health issues we have now. It’s been posited that we need to spend more on mental health – but look at this.

    Adam Lanza’s mother had an income of 200k a year and so I assume could afford professional care for her son.. She stopped working to look after him full-time and was in the process of having him admitted to hospital against his will – which he discovered and was extremely angry about.

    It’s said that even using the same test, depression is 5-8 times more prevalent than it was 50-70 years ago among young people. This includes the Great Depression, WW2, the height of the Cold War.

    And this statistic. 40% or incoming college students of major universities are taking medication for depression, ancxety or other mental illnesses.

    40% of the brightest (and probably most prosperous) students in the US are taking medication for mental illness.

    Is that not staggering?

    So, why?

    Think of the advantages young people have now.

    Probably all of those young people have computers and access to social networks so there is more opportunity to communicate not only with peers, but also with people from all walks of life from different countries.

    People have much more access through books, TV, internet to information re mental health.

    Young people shouldn’t have problems with guilt issues re sex, because now they can have more sex, watch more sex, and indulge in different kinds of sex without punishment or condemnation.

    So we now have a society where young people are told more than ever that they are worthwhile, can become anything, can have guilt-free sex with themselves or others, that there is no hell or condemning God waiting to punish them.
    (compared with previous generations)

    So, what’s up?

    Or is it that 40% or more of the young people in the 1930’s, 40’s 50’s etc should have been on medication?

    Sorry for the big question when you are all heading into Christmas mode.

  19. What the fricken hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
    Does not God have our lives mapped out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
    So then we worship a God that Does KNOW, THAT DOES NOT UNDERSTAND,(everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
    So then, God is a Know nothing ‘NUMPTY’ is he?

    Are you all Dumb or something!

  20. ” Sorry for the big question when you are all heading into Christmas mode.”

    Got this weird notion, that we should all start praying for Zorro.
    Sometimes we all need help , yeah!

  21. Greg (in post)
    Thinking on ‘these’ things can indeed ensure that our lives are lives lived in holiness and Christlikeness…if we were to set ourselves the challenge on this blog to respond to every other persons comments only after we’d considered the Philippians list, how do you think that might affect the nature of our responses and in fact our posts and comments?

    I do believe you’re catching Word of Faith!

  22. Q,
    The medical profession may have to take some responsibility for the high rates of medication amongst young people. 40% is ridiculous.

    It’s now being said that the Newtown killer was addicted to gun-related computer games.

    I’d like to know what connection these games have with increases is psychotic behaviour. Is anyone doing any tests on these games, or are the production companies allowed to place their products on the market without any research, restrictions or recommendations?

    If a large percentage of youth are deeply engaged in games which require them to drive stolen vehicles, shoot people, or take control of populations, then it is little wonder so many are showing signs of depression.

    I wonder where the concepts of discipline or self-control comes into present levels of parenting or child rearing?

    These would be the years when we see the results of increased levels of pre-schooled children with lowered connections with parents, reduction of child corrective standards through fear of sanction by authorities, diminished Christian influence in schools and colleges, politically correct decision making practices and the rest impact society as the childhood products of the last 15 years enter the stage.

  23. No Eyes, God does not have our lives mapped out…knowing how they will pan out is totally different to having them mapped out to begin with. I acknowledge that in anything I choose to do I do it “God willing” – if it were not so then there would not be any reason to say I will do such adn such God willing – we would already knwo that whatever we did would be Gods will – becasue otherwise we could not do it!

  24. Steve I think the proliferatoin of games like WOW and COD (world of war craft and Call of Duty) have a great deal to do with the level of vilent crime around the world

  25. Steve, Greg – I’ve never actually played those games.

    Here’s an interesting exercise for you all. During this season you will probably catch up with older folks. Ask them why they think it’s different now.

    The other day I ask a relative around 80. Their answer was similar – back then kids didn’t spend hours playing killing games.

    Another answer was that in the old days the movies were simpler – they had good guys and bad guys and the good guys won and were the heroes. Recently (from a few decades ago), the hero or the one that seemed the coolest was often the bad guy who destroyed stuff.

    The article I read mentioned that there was more depression in 18-25 yr olds than in over 50s. But maybe that’s just because when you’re over 50 you realize (or were taught by our wise old PM) that “life wasn’t meant to be easy”.

    I’ll know I’m on a website frequented by older politically aware Australians if they know that quote.

  26. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

    4 The Lord has made everything [to accommodate itself and contribute] to its own end and His own purpose—even the wicked [are fitted for their role] for the day of calamity and evil.

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny.

    Like it or hate it , GREG!

  27. 3“You shall have no other gods before me.
    4“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments

  28. Having my life mapped out? So God inteded that I write the following?

    swdiubdsfviunadfv wefoiuwvcoanevonaepiv wvoinwevcp
    qowemdoewrvnbaevf
    a[epfdk v[aoedinvpoearm posmoj epokjvpoaejrvpowkmfp[w k0ewr gpowerkvf[pwKEF0-9H3408T U

    rEALLY?

  29. Psalm 139

    For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

    1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
    2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
    3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
    4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
    5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
    6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
    7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
    8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
    9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
    10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
    11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
    12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
    13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
    17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
    18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.
    19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
    20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
    21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
    22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
    23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

  30. Isaiah 14
    New International Version (NIV)
    14 The Lord will have compassion on Jacob;
    once again he will choose Israel
    and will settle them in their own land.
    Foreigners will join them
    and unite with the descendants of Jacob.
    2 Nations will take them
    and bring them to their own place.
    And Israel will take possession of the nations
    and make them male and female servants in the Lord’s land.
    They will make captives of their captors
    and rule over their oppressors.
    3 On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

    How the oppressor has come to an end!
    How his fury[a] has ended!
    5 The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked,
    the scepter of the rulers,
    6 which in anger struck down peoples
    with unceasing blows,
    and in fury subdued nations
    with relentless aggression.
    7 All the lands are at rest and at peace;
    they break into singing.
    8 Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon
    gloat over you and say,
    “Now that you have been laid low,
    no one comes to cut us down.”
    9 The realm of the dead below is all astir
    to meet you at your coming;
    it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
    all those who were leaders in the world;
    it makes them rise from their thrones—
    all those who were kings over the nations.
    10 They will all respond,
    they will say to you,
    “You also have become weak, as we are;
    you have become like us.”
    11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave,
    along with the noise of your harps;
    maggots are spread out beneath you
    and worms cover you.
    12 How you have fallen from heaven,
    morning star, son of the dawn!
    You have been cast down to the earth,
    you who once laid low the nations!
    13 You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to the heavens;
    I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
    I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
    on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.[b]
    14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
    15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
    to the depths of the pit.
    16 Those who see you stare at you,
    they ponder your fate:
    “Is this the man who shook the earth
    and made kingdoms tremble,
    17 the man who made the world a wilderness,
    who overthrew its cities
    and would not let his captives go home?”
    18 All the kings of the nations lie in state,
    each in his own tomb.
    19 But you are cast out of your tomb
    like a rejected branch;
    you are covered with the slain,
    with those pierced by the sword,
    those who descend to the stones of the pit.
    Like a corpse trampled underfoot,
    20 you will not join them in burial,
    for you have destroyed your land
    and killed your people.
    Let the offspring of the wicked
    never be mentioned again.
    21 Prepare a place to slaughter his children
    for the sins of their ancestors;
    they are not to rise to inherit the land
    and cover the earth with their cities.
    22 “I will rise up against them,”
    declares the Lord Almighty.
    “I will wipe out Babylon’s name and survivors,
    her offspring and descendants,”
    declares the Lord.
    23 “I will turn her into a place for owls
    and into swampland;
    I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,”
    declares the Lord Almighty.
    24 The Lord Almighty has sworn,

    “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
    and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
    25 I will crush the Assyrian in my land;
    on my mountains I will trample him down.
    His yoke will be taken from my people,
    and his burden removed from their shoulders.”
    26 This is the plan determined for the whole world;
    this is the hand stretched out over all nations.
    27 For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?
    His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
    A Prophecy Against the Philistines

    28 This prophecy came in the year King Ahaz died:

    29 Do not rejoice, all you Philistines,
    that the rod that struck you is broken;
    from the root of that snake will spring up a viper,
    its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.
    30 The poorest of the poor will find pasture,
    and the needy will lie down in safety.
    But your root I will destroy by famine;
    it will slay your survivors.
    31 Wail, you gate! Howl, you city!
    Melt away, all you Philistines!
    A cloud of smoke comes from the north,
    and there is not a straggler in its ranks.
    32 What answer shall be given
    to the envoys of that nation?
    “The Lord has established Zion,
    and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.”

  31. Greg, your answer probably sums up my thinking.

    I appreciate and acknowledge the verses that Eyes quoted – but they simply can’t literally mean that everything that happens was predestined or pre-planned to the nth degree.

    That would make anyone go crazy if you thought about it too much.

    The last episode of Gilligan’s Island was planned thousands of years ago?

    Greg’s typos? The State of Origin? the next example that I try to think of but I can’t think of anything….no I can! (The fact that i bought an Ipad??

    I think God knows everything. And we are free to do what we like – unless God intervenes and He can because….He can. But I don’t think He does to such an extent that He planned that a Macdonalds would be built down the street, but that yesterday they didn’t have vanilla shakes.

    But if He did plan all that…..wow!

  32. “I appreciate and acknowledge the verses that Eyes quoted – but they simply can’t literally mean that everything that happens was predestined or pre-planned to the nth degree.”

    So, Then, let’s all hate what the Bible Says?

  33. Okay here is what I think.

    Isaiah 14:24, 25

    I take those words as they are – that God at one time planned to crush the Assyrians. And it happened.

    That doesn’t mean I believe that God predestined the outcome of every monopoly game, the roll of every dice in Jupiters Casino, the election of every class president, or the latest car crash.

    Or even that I wrote this post.

    Maybe especially that I wrote this post.

    But then again …….

  34. 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.

  35. Eyes,

    I love Psalm 139.

    But I don’t think the Psalmist is saying God is planning every little thing we do. He is echoing Jesus’s words that the Father knows every hair on our head.

    And He would as He is the Creator.

    As for Isaiah well many of the king’s didn’t follow God’s plan. Did God plan that?

    How does evil factor into God’s plan?

    Does God plan for people to be raped, murdered, massacred etc?

    I love Jeremiah 29:11. That promise has helped me get through really bad times.

    11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    So in essence God’s plans are not to harm us. So when evil befalls us that can’t be part of God’s plan. The shootings in Newtown weren’t part of God’s plan, even though good may come out of it. Remember there were 30+ others before this.

    I think the story of the Prodigal Son is how God is with us. The Father doesn’t plan or micromanage his son’s day out for him.

    But he is always there for him, when his son needs him. He is in Newtown now.

    The rain falls on the good and the bad. Evil has happened to you and to me.

    How do you reconcile that if God plans everything?

  36. Eyes is a hyper-reformist and fatalist theologically. And showing signs of juvenile approach to discussion when thinking everyone’s considering God to be dumb simply because they don’t agree with his dogmatism.

  37. …..showing signs of juvenile approach to discussion when thinking everyone’s considering God to be dumb simply because they don’t agree with his dogmatism.

    Don’t bite Greg, don’t bite…

  38. Well the juvenile approach was towards you, Greg and Bones, by suggesting you considered God to be dumb!

    Maybe you think he’s right!

    I’ve never suggested you consider God to be dumb.

    I withdraw my comment. I’ll accept that Eyes may have a point to consider that you make God look dumb, and that it’s not a juvenile manner of discussion.

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