I wonder as I wander....

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Helen, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    It may sound strange, but that would be nothing new for me...

    Why was I born me? Why not in line for the throne of England, or a starving child someplace? Why after Scotch tape and computers had been invented and not in the Middle Ages? Why was I born into a family with enough money and not into a struggling family? Why was I born the oldest and not somewhere down the line? Why am I a girl and not a guy?

    These questions, on and off through a good part of my life....

    And then Joseph, here on BB, challenged me on something regarding Calvinism, which I am against, by pointing out Romans 9:22. When I read it in context I did not have a problem with it, but that's another post. What caught my eye this time was something I had read probably, literally, hundreds of times before and never realized it was actually the answer to all those ponderings for so many years:

    "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common purposes?

    This, I realized, had absolutely nothing to do with salvation yes or no, but with who we are, individually, and the circumstances of our lives.

    God will be glorified no matter what we do. But we can, like Pharaoh (as Paul points out several verses before) oppose God so that He will be glorified in showing down the opposition (us), or God can be glorified through us, if we want Him. That is the choice we have. God will be glorified either way.

    And each of us is born into a time and set of circumstances which God has chosen in order for us to be in a position to be best used by Him -- whether we are rebels or His. But our position in Him is what we have a choice about. Again, God will be glorified either way.

    And that is what Paul is talking about in Romans 9.
     
    #1 Helen, Dec 24, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2006
  2. Purple Lady

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    Amen!

    Thanks for the reminder of who we are and why we are really here.
     
  3. Helen

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    thanks...I edited it to correct some misspellings in the quote. I was looking over my shoulder at the Bible and did not check what I had typed.
     
  4. SBCPreacher

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    Helen,

    I don't believe that any of us are mistakes - we are all in the place and time God has intended. What is important is what we do with the place and time God has given. Although I know I fail the Lord many times, I pray that my life - right here, right now - brings glory and honor to Jesus Christ. I pray the same for you and my other BB brothers and sisters.

    Thanks for causing us to think about these things.
     
  5. Bob Farnaby

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    Worth checking, you may be in line, around the 1 759 592862 nd spot...

    Regards
    Bob
     
  6. Joseph M. Smith

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    Thank you for this posting. It strikes me that the text you have lifted up helps us recognize that whoever we are is given us as an opportunity to love and serve God, and that wishing we were someone else is one of the most fruitless and faithless things anyone can do. Another text ... "I have learned, in whatsover state I am, therewith to be content."

    As for being in line for the throne of England ... be grateful you are not close to that! One of the most useless occupations in the world! Have you ever watched the Queen's speech as she opens a new session of Parliament? "My government will ...." Ridiculous, as she has no authority any longer, and reads only a dreary laundry list of initiatives to be put forth by the party in charge. She has no input on it, and the speech does not "sing" at all. Useless.

    Maybe she has second most useless occupation ... exceeded by Vanna White on "Wheel of Fortune", walking back and forth across the stage to wave at letters that turn on their own instead of by hand, as they used to.

    Seriously, we do have to wonder how some people find meaning in their lives/occupations ... but there we are, back at the spiritual discovery you have pointed to.
     
  7. Martin

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    ==I can answer that question for myself. God knew that power in my hands could be a very dangerous thing so He wisely gave me no power. :saint: Besides I could not live in those stuffy castles around all of those stuffy people.

    ==I think the Biblical answer to this is found in Acts 17:26-27. God "determined" where we should live and when we should live. God is sovereign and these choices are in His hands.


    ==Shame on you! :laugh:


    ==Well I would disagree. I think it does have something to do with salvation when you examine "where" Paul mentioned this (ie...context). Paul has been talking about why God chooses some and not others (Rom 9:11,14-19).

    ==But what does Paul say about God and the Pharaoh? Does he simply say that Pharaoh opposed God? No, he goes much further than that. We can't seperate verse17 from the verses that came before it. Notice...

    "For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion". So then it does not depend on the man who wills or on the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture say to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My Name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth", so then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires" -Rom 9:15-18

    There are some ideas in there that are uncomfortable for everyone (Calvinists included). I think the point, however, is that God does whatever He pleases and His Word always does what He sets out for it to do. God did not force Pharaoh to have a hard heart however apart from God's grace that is all anyone's heart will be. God chooses, in His grace, to have mercy on some and He chooses to allow others to remain in their sin. Those He has mercy on the Spirit of God will use the Word of God and the Gospel message to bring them to new life (Ez 36:26-27, Jn 3:3-8, Jn 6:37,44, etc). Those He chooses not to have mercy on remain in their sin and they will harden their hearts to the message of the Gospel. This is known as the doctrine of "preterition".
     
  8. Helen

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    Yes, Martin, I know the doctrines you believe in, and I disagree with them. However what I was trying to talk about in the OP was how that particular verse in Romans 9 suddenly hit me as the exact answer to those bits of questions that have popped up in my mind on and off for many years.

    And if that is a help for anyone else, then I thank God.

    But I don't want to discuss Calvinism here, OK?
     
  9. pinoybaptist

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    Have had the same musings all my adult years, Helen. Even before I was converted.

    Before conversion:

    why wasn't I born into a rich family ? why wasn't I born Bruce Lee ? Why wasn't I born to be George Patton ? Why wasn't I born Masutasu Oyama ? Why wasn't I born in Japan ? Why wasn't I born in America ?
    and stuff like that....

    After conversion:

    Why wasn't I born in Christ's time ? Why wasn't I born John the Baptist ? Or Luke ? Or Paul ? Why wasn't I born during David's time ? Or perhaps before the flood ?

    But God caused me to be born who and what I am, and worked His will on me, and now I have a hope in Heaven, and that's good enough for me.
     
  10. David Ekstrom

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    I agree with you about God's sovereignty. But if practice determined belief I would probably be found to be the worst atheist. How come my church isn't bigger than it is? How come I don't have what I want? How come, how come, how come . . .

    For whatever reason, I find myself where I am with what I've got. I've got to take responsibility to grow my church. I've got to work hard at doing what I know to do and doing it with excellence. And I've got to be willing to change myself and what I'm doing as God shows me more. Instead, I want to whine and make excuses.

    The drama of my life is that there's a battle to engage and there's progress to be made. If it's hardfought meager gain, even if it's a hard fought loss, that's God's will. Perhaps the struggle is more important than the outcome of the battle because, no matter what, the war is won.
     
  11. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Helen,

    The verse you quoted is Romans 9:21. The verse which I challenged you with in the other thread was verse 22, which reads:

    Which circumstance in life is being referred to in this verse? Who are the objects of wrath, prepared for destruction?

    BTW,

    The reason you were born where you were, with the opportunities to hear the Gospel that many children in oppressed countries never recieve, is 100% because of the grace and mercy of God on your life.

    Thanks,

    Joseph Botwinick
     
    #11 Joseph_Botwinick, Dec 25, 2006
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  12. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Are you kidding?:laugh:

    From the very first post:

    Joseph Botwinick
     
    #12 Joseph_Botwinick, Dec 25, 2006
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  13. Scarlett O.

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    :laugh: :laugh:
     
  14. Scarlett O.

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    Ahh.....a great notion to meditate on as the new year rolls around!
     
  15. John of Japan

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    My favorite verse in connection with this subject is Psalm 37:4--"Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." I believe that every single human being was created with a purpose to glorify God in a special way. If you are completely surrendered to God then as He guides you in His will you will learn of things that were the desires of your heart (put there in the womb by God as He shaped you) that you would have never seen fulfilled if you had not followed God's will. Is this making sense?

    By coming to Japan I had some desires of my heart fulfilled which never would have been fulfilled in the homeland. You may think some of these are silly, but here are just a few examples:

    (1) Growing up, I wanted to be tall. In the States I was average, but upon stepping off the plane in Japan I was immediately above average in height! :smilewinkgrin:

    (2) Growing up I loved chicken noodle soup. The first time I had ramen noodle soup in Japan I loved it!

    (3) Growing up, my family made fun of me once when I tried to learn a little Spanish, so I was turned away from language. But coming to Japan I learned that I had a talent in language, and the two years of Japanese language school were the most enjoyable years of my life!
     
  16. Helen

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    Isn't it great that we are fit with just the talents and attributes that will fit in with what it is He has for us? So many people are afraid that if they ask God to take over in their lives that somehow they will be stomped on, smashed, made miserable...

    And it's just the opposite. There are challenges and disciplines from the Holy Spirit, and our lives get 'trimmed' so they will bear fruit, but in the process I find myself becoming the person I always wanted to be inside. I am also finding laughter comes more easily with time and I enjoy people more. The talents I have are exactly the ones which are needed in the life I have been given.

    I'm glad you enjoyed language school, John. I look at you in awe over that! I had five years of French and I remember once sentence of it!
     
  17. saturneptune

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    Helen, a very uplifting thread, and is much appreciated.
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Well, except for that first day when I was so nervous I tossed my cookies when I was getting out of the car at the train station! [​IMG]
     
  19. pinoybaptist

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    Well, time is catching up with the likes of us, John. 20 years ago, my shoe size used to awe my countrymen. Size 11.5 EE. Well, guess what, 11.5 seems to be becoming the average right now.

    5'9" was tall for my countrymen, and up till the early 80's anything over six feet was a monopoly of basketball players.

    Well, my grandson, 14 years old, now stands 5'8", and still stretching.

    Your height might soon become pretty average in Japan, whatever it is.

    :wavey:
     
  20. Joseph M. Smith

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    As we speak of births, tonight I am prayerfully awaiting tomorrow (Wed Dec 27), when my daughter will give birth via c-section to her third child and first son. My wife and I are keeping the girls tonight, and the younger one, Jackie, 4, admonished her mother when she said, "Wish me luck, girls". Jackie said, "There isn't any such thing as luck, Mommy. You have to pray." Out of the mouths of babes ... especially when they go to a Christian preschool.

    My heart is full!
     

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