Author's details

Name: Kim
Date registered: March 3, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Taking God with me — September 16, 2014
  2. Sandpiper's Thoughts: The role of the servant — September 15, 2014
  3. Sandpiper's Thoughts: It’s not who you are — September 12, 2014
  4. Sandpiper's Thoughts: It’s not what you bring… — September 10, 2014
  5. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Where do we go? — September 9, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. connexions: Millay’s “Conscientious Objector” on International Conscientious Objectors Day — 1 comment
  2. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Forming a Line — 1 comment
  3. connexions: Ten clichés Christians should never use — 1 comment
  4. connexions: Simone Weil, b. 3 February 1909: 6 pensées — 1 comment
  5. connexions: 3 short quotes from Bonhoeffer (b. 4th February, 1906) — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Sep 16 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Taking God with me

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In 2 Kings 5, after Namaan is healed, he returns to see Elisha again.  Interesting that this time Elisha comes out to talk to him.  Namaan says, "Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel; please accept a present form your servant." (verse 15).

When my cousin was a young child, his parents explained to him that God was everywhere - not just in Church.  So one evening, their family went to a drive in movie (remember those? - I miss those).  When they got there, Alex rolled down the window and yelled, "Hey, God, we're here!"

Namaan didn't understand that God was everywhere, so he asks for two mule loads of earth to take with him to his home so that he would have God with him.  We (I) giggle at that, but do we do that?  Do we try to control where God is and what God sees?  Do we fail to confess our sins in an attempt to not tell them to God?  I always disliked the verse of Psalm 139 that says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.  See if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting" (Verse 23-24).  Someone once asked me, "What would you do if Jesus asked to come to your house?"  I would ask him to wait an hour so that I could go clean it.

We don't control where God goes or what God knows.  He goes everywhere and knows our "inward parts."  I know we know that; I know I know that, but do I really know that?

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Sep 15 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: The role of the servant

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Are we tired of the story of Namaan yet? I love this story, with all its layers and happenings.

When we last left Namaan, he had been told, by a messenger, to go wash seven times in the Jordon.  He goes on and on about how the rivers in his home are so much better than the rivers in Israel.  He is disappointed that Elisha didn't come out and wave a hand over him to heal him.

His servants approach him and ask, "Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, 'Wash, and be clean."? (verse 13b).  Interesting that the writer doesn't record a verbal response from Namaan at all.  Namaan goes and does what Elisha commanded, and Namaan is healed.

I don't know the relationship between Namaan and his servants.  Was it hard for them to step forward and confront this angry general?  Or was there relationship more open, and words such as this more acceptable and even expected?

Do you have friends who will point out where you go wrong in your spiritual life?  Do you have someone who would say to you, "Why are you so angry?"  or "Why are you making this so difficult?" or "Have you considered that you might be wrong?"  Are you open to friends who hold you accountable?

And are you willing to be that kind of friend to someone else?  Will you risk the other person's anger or rejection of your thoughts?  Are you open to the idea that your suggestions might be wrong?  The accountability friend isn't a "fixer;" he is a mirror of thoughts - a reflection of God's leading in the person's life back into their eyes.  That's a lot harder than being the person who just shares an opinion, because it means removing all personal motivation, and placing the other person's well being ahead of your own.

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Sep 12 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: It’s not who you are

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Continuing on with the story of Namaan, we left him standing outside of Elisha's house, waiting for the prophet to come out and see him.  What does Elisha do?  He sends out a messenger to tell Namaan, "Go, wash in the Jordan seven time, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean." (verse 10).

Instead of being grateful for this, Namaan is insulted!  How dare this lowly prophet not come out and see him in person?  How dare he give him such a mundane task to bring healing.  Namaan is much better than this!

Do we think too highly of ourselves?  Do we have expectations of what we think is fair, or even more, what we believe we deserve from God? From other people? Does our pride and our sense of self-worth sometimes stand as a barrier between us and God?  Between us and other people?

I wonder if that is one of the reasons the Bible tells us that God can reach us better in our weakness than in our strength, and that in our weakness, God becomes our strength?

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Sep 10 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: It’s not what you bring…

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Next in the story of Nahaam, beginning with verse 9, Nahaam goes to see Elisha. He goes to what I picture as a small, unassuming home with horses and chariots and all of his accompanying paraphernalia.  Can't you just picture it?  He is bringing all that he considers wealth, all that he sees as status, and he appears at Elisha's doorstep, expecting a cure.

Many years ago, my grandmother was ill.  I remember my grandfather telling us that he had made a bargain with God.  He would quit smoking if God would heal my grandfather.  She did get better, and he did stop smoking, but I never really thought that God was part of the deal.  Grace is free, and I believe God wanted my grandmother to be whole and healthy, EVEN MORE than my grandfather did, which is unimaginable.  I'm glad he gave up smoking, and God probably was, too, but it wasn't a bargaining chip.

As silly as Nahaam looked coming to Elisha's house with his riches is how we look, coming to God, expecting to bargain for grace - expecting to make a trade for healing.  Grace has already been given to us, and healing will come - be it physical or not - if we will allow it.  I just don't believe that God picks and choose who will receive a miracle based on what we bring.  Do you?

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Sep 09 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Where do we go?

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Namaan's story goes on in 2 Kings 5.  He goes to the King of Aram and tells him what the young girl had said.  And the king of Aram said, "Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel."  (verse 5).

Namaan goes to the king of Israel with the letter, and with gold, silver and clothing - customary gifts for a king.  The King of Israel doesn't know what to do - he can't heal the man, and he thinks this is all a prelude to war.  Elisha, the prophet, hears of what is going on, and sends a message to the king, "Why have you torn your clothes?   Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel."  (verse 8b).

Who do we go to instead of God?  Who do we place in God's place?  Where do we go, assuming that we will find healing and wholeness when all along God is waiting for us?

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Sep 09 2014

connexions: A little wisdom and hope for troubled times from Etty Hillesum

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Esther “Etty” Hillesum (15 January 1914 – 30 November 1943) was a Jewish woman whose letters and diaries, kept between 1941 and 1943, describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation [Wikipedia]. She perished in Auschwitz. One moment it is Hitler, the next it is Ivan the Terrible; one moment it is the Inquisition and the [...]

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