I am always surprised by the things God does. How He provides. How He speaks. How He. . . .
However, when I look back over my life, I see His consistency in all things. He is always faithful to provide. He is always speaking. He is always working, loving, guiding, intervening. . . He is always. . . He is God.
If I reflect on His character and our relationship, it’s not surprising at all that He would do these things. Why am I surprised?
Maybe my surprise reveals my lack of faith? Or maybe it reveals the greatness of God? He is beyond my imagination and comprehension.
If you’re reading this on Facebook, please go to the actual blog post. The audio will not work on Facebook. http://stevecorn.com/2011/07/fathers-day-surprise/
Miranda helped Kasen and Kesleigh record an audio book for me for Father’s Day. It was a big surprise. It’s actually a book that Miranda bought that was set up for the recording process. Anyway, I took the audio and put it here ’cause it’s so cool. My kids (and bride) are AWESOME!
Miranda says that she didn’t coach them at all, but some of their answers are pretty perfect. Of course my kids are pretty perfect too. (I’m not biased either.)
Miranda: Where do you like to go with dad on a Saturday and why Kesleigh?
Kesleigh: The beach
Miranda: Where do you like to go Kasen?
Kasen: Go to . . . play volleyball.
Miranda: OK. And what game do you like to play with dad?
Kesleigh: I play a game
Kasen: That’s me.
Miranda: Would you and dad have more fun on a boat, a dog sled, or a spaceship Kesleigh?
Kasen& Kesleigh: A spaceship.
Miranda: and where would you go?
Kasen: to the moon and jump.
Miranda: You would go to the moon and jump Kasen?
Kasen: Uh huh.
Miranda: Where would you go Kesleigh?
Kesleigh: to the moon and jump.
Miranda: You would go to the moon and jump too?
Miranda: What else would you do when you were there?
Kasen: Uh. . . not slide down.
Miranda: Not slide down?
Kasen: No, because it’s too far.
Miranda: Too far. Kasen, if you and daddy were superheroes, what powers would you have?
Kasen: Fly super high. . . fast.
Miranda: Superfast. And what would your names be? What would you call yourselves?
Kasen: My name would be Batman an daddy’s name would be Superman.
Miranda: Those are good names. What do you think Kesleigh? What would your superpowers be?
Kesleigh: My daddy o Superman.
Miranda: He’s Superman?
Miranda: Well, what are you?
Kesleigh: I’m SuperBatman.
Miranda: Kesleigh if daddy were a king, what kind of food would he have at his feast?
Miranda: Ketchup? What else.
Kesleigh: Just ketchup.
Miranda: Just ketchup. Kasen, what kind of food do you think daddy would have at his feast?
Kasen: Uh. . . . sausage and biscuits.
Miranda: Sausage and biscuits. That’s a good food. Do you think your favorite food is the same? What is your favorite food?
Kasen: Grilled Cheese.
Miranda. Grilled Cheese. What is your favorite food Kesleigh?
Miranda: Cheese. Just cheese huh? OK – What kind of animals would daddy have at his castle Kesleigh?
Kesleigh: I don’t. . . some ketchup. . . some ketchup.
Miranda: What animals?
Kesleigh: some ketchup.
Miranda: Kasen, what kind of animals do you think daddy would have at his castle?
Kasen: Sheep and uh . . . uh. . . a king.
Miranda: He would be the king?
Kasen: Uh huh.
Miranda: Kasen, where do you think daddy’s favorite spot in our house is?
Kasen: . . . . in the bathroom?
Miranda: <laughing> In the bathroom? And what do you think daddy does there?
Miranda: He goes potty. OK. Kesleigh, where do you think daddy’s favorite spot in the house. . .
Kesleigh: He goes to get ice cream.
Miranda: When he goes to get ice cream?
Miranda: Where does he go to get ice cream?
Kesleigh: At. . . at Chick-a-lay. (Chickfila)
Miranda: At Chickfila? OK. If daddy could be the same age as you Kasen, for just one day, what do you think you would do together?
Miranda: You would swing? What else would you do with him?
Kasen: Umm. . .
Miranda: What else would you do with daddy? What do you like to do with him?
Miranda: You like to go potty with him?
Kasen: Uh huh.
Miranda: OK. What else?
Kasen: Um. . .
Miranda: If daddy won a gold medal for doing something incredible, what do you think he’d win the medal for?
Miranda: Loving. For loving who?
Kasen: For loving me and Kesleigh.
Miranda: For loving you and Kesleigh? That’s a nice one. OK Kasen, look here. If daddy gave you a big trophy for doing something amazing, what do you think you would be doing that was so amazing for him to give you a trophy?
Kasen: ?????? <distracted>
Miranda: Kesleigh, what is it that you like about daddy?
Miranda: His kisses?
Kesleigh: <whispered> Yes.
Miranda: What else?
Kesleigh: and his birthday.
Miranda: And his birthday? Kasen, what do you like about daddy?
Kasen: For playin’ baseball.
Miranda: Cause he plays baseball with you?
Kasen: Uh huh.
Miranda: What else do you like?
Kasen: Uh. . . eating ice cream.
Miranda: Eating ice cream with him?
Kasen: Un huh.
Miranda: That’s a good one. OK. Let’s say we love you daddy.
Sometimes saying, “I’ll pray for you.” just isn’t enough. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Our friends have lived out this passage and I want to tell you about it:
We had an incredible experience last night!! A bunch of friends (both old and new) surprised us and showed up at our door Christmas caroling. It was Nov 20th. We gathered the family to hear them and when they finished singing, they explained that they knew our year had been tough (with my unemployment) and wanted to come “be the church” to us. They handed Miranda a gift bag and then (like the movie) one by one filed by and dropped $$$/gifts in. We were all in tears. In addition, we received tons of cards and beautifully written notes from people who were unable to come as well as financial gifts both large and small. Some of the small ones are incredibly touching too – from students and people who really don’t have much to give.
Their presence, encouragement, love, and gifts could not have come at a better time. Although God has carried us through this past year, we have had discussions lately about how we’d make it through the next few months. We’re learning to trust Him more and these incredible friends were the faces of God’s provision for us last night. I can’t describe how much of a blessing they really are. My friend Josh said that God could have just given us the $$, but instead, out of His goodness, He decided to bring His people together so we’d receive both $$ and encouragement. God knew what we needed. He is an incredible provider!! He is good!! And we are blessed!!! It’s truly a Wonderful Life!!! I am grateful, humbled, honored, and probably most importantly: I know the LORD and His character better because my friends and family have represented Him so well to us.
I’d also like to say a great big “THANK YOU!!” to everyone who played a role:
Those who came.
Those who sent messages or $$ or both.
Those who organized and planned.
Those who were sneaky and lied to us so it’d all work out.
Those who got the word out.
Those who drove such long distances to be with us.
Those who prayed.
Those who cooked.
We are especially grateful to God for bringing these people into our lives, for providing us with $$ and encouragement, and for motivating them to “be the church” to us.
I’m 39 years old now. There’s really not much in life that surprises me. Life has become very routine. It’s a good routine, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still a routine – well, for the most part. Even when things don’t go as planned, they really don’t typically surprise me. My bride and my son Kasen are the joys of my life, and yet, I pretty well know what they’re going to do. And if I don’t, they still don’t surprise me, ’cause I know their character – I know what makes ’em tick – what motivates them to act a certain way. I love the consistency of it all. I love the fact that my relationships are strong enough that I have come to expect a few things and am rarely disappointed. I love being able to anticipate Kasen’s laugh when I wrestle with him and the look on Miranda’s face when I reach out to hold her hand. I really love routine. I guess it’s probably true of most people. We like to know how things are going to go – what it’s going to feel like – you know, we like knowing, so we can be prepared to respond the right way. Maybe it’s a control thing or a prideful thing, but we still want to keep up appearances and pretend like we really have things together.
Anyway, all this is to say, Miranda and I have chosen to go against our own human tendencies for control and consistency. We decided not to find out if our next child is going to be a boy or a girl. We want to be surprised!!! We’re anticipating the moment of birth when the doctor will say, “It’s a beautiful baby __________!” I’m sure we’ll break out into tears of joy either way, but there’s something about not knowing that makes this journey more fun. It has become an adventure.
Does a treasure hunter know exactly what he’ll find at the end of his search?
How much fun would Christmas be, with unwrapped gifts under the tree?
It’s all kinda like those people who read the last page of a book before they begin the journey.
Yeah – I want to know how it’ll turn out, (if it’s a boy of girl) but I already know I’ve placed it all in God’s hands, so isn’t that good enough? This way, when the doctor says, “It’s a beautiful baby ________!” I won’t have any idea. My response in that moment will be the overflow of my heart.
I’m excited about that day, but I’m even more excited about our child. Will he/she look like Miranda or me? What will they like to eat? Will he/she play football with Kasen and I? Will he/she like to sing? Will he/she come to know Jesus in a life-changing way? What kinds of places will we go to together? Who will he/she marry? What will he/she fight with Kasen about? Will he/she live Godly lives and love the Lord?
I’m so grateful to God for routine and for surprises!!! Both are truly a blessing!
Kasen sure is happy, but he’s not near as happy as Miranda and I are about having him in our lives! Miranda took this one last night with our new camera and surprised me by sending it to me while I was at work. Fun stuff!!
Open Theology (also called “Freewill Theism”) states that God does not
know the future. He changes His mind in response to our prayers. This idea
comes out of the “Freewill/Arminian” position which says that because
of our freewill, God cannot know the future. If He did, then we don’t really
have freewill. John Sanders describes the three main points:
God is Sovereign, but decided to create us in such a way that we could experience a
reciprocal relationship with Him.
God made some of His decisions non-negotiable, but others are contingent upon man’s requests and actions. He truly responds to what man does. He knows the future as partly definite and partly indefinite.
God chooses to exercise general rather than meticulous providence. He doesn’t control everything that happens in a man’s life, but has flexible strategies for accomplishing His purposes.
They hold a high view of human freedom and even say that God will not violate our freedom.
They appeal to God’s testing of Abraham saying that God didn’t know if Abraham could be trusted with the covenant that He had intended for him. The verse actually says, “for now I know that you fear God.” (Gen 22:12)
Here’s what I think:
There are plenty of other verses which uphold God’s infinite knowledge. 1 Samuel 16:7 – God knows the heart. Psalm 139:1-2 – God knows all my ways, even the words I will speak. (That sounds like the future to me.) Anyway, considering these verses, we’ve got to either reinterpret them (and other which I have not mentioned) or reinterpret the Genesis passage. It seems more probable that the one should be reinterpreted than all the others. If you consider the book of James which interprets this Genesis passage, it becomes clear that the emphasis is on the fact the Abraham’s faith believed that God could raise Isaac from the dead. If the NT authors didn’t comment on God’s limited knowledge, why should our emphasis be any different? It seems pretty clear that James (Brother of Jesus) never imagined that God learned something that day, but more likely that Abraham did. Abraham knew his faith in new ways that day.
Here are some other thoughts regarding Open Theology:
How do you explain all the Scripture that describes God’s infinite understanding?
What about Jesus’ statement in John 8:58 “Before Abraham was, I Am.”?
What about prophecy?
Does God get surprised?
Does God get smarter as time goes on?
If God doesn’t know the future, then that must also mean that He is confined to the limits of time as man is. Doesn’t sound like much of a God to me – Like me, He’s imprisoned to time (which He supposedly created) like me. Like me, He doesn’t know the future. Like me, He gets surprised by other people’s actions.
I’m just not sure we have a god at all anymore. He seems a lot like me.
How does this make a difference for me?
Not at all – cause I can’t subscribe to this view. I will say that knowing the basics of these ideas will prepare me for discussions within the youth ministry that I work with. I feel like I should take some time in the future and study up a bit more on all of this so I can be more prepared. It seems like it might be an appealing theory for our culture that devalues God and uplifts man’s position. It’s probably a growing ideology that I should be ready to give an answer to.
(Info from “Does God Know Your Next Move?” by Chris Hall and John Sanders)