Greetings from Beantown!

Beantown?!?!  Nobody said anything to me about Beantown!?!?!  I apologize, you are correct, you didn’t get the memo because I didn’t send one. 

So just a quick update on what is happening with the Strickland family.  Some of you have been asking what’s going on, so I wanted to give you a heads up.  This is the really abbreviated version of the past couple of months:  Happy. Sad. Happy. Breakthrough. Blindsided. Numb. Upset. Bored. Waiting. Angry. Silent. Excited. Scared. Boston.  That’s it in a nutshell.  Maybe later I’ll expound on the entire sequence.   But today let’s talk about Beantown…aka, Boston, MA. 

I left Charlotte, NC this morning at the butt-crack of dawn for a flight to NYC then on to Boston.  I arrived in this beautiful city a little after 11:30am.  I figured out how to take the subway close enough to my hotel, got checked in and headed out to see what Boston was all about.  Now I’m back at the hotel planing my day for tomorrow. 

So you say, great you are in Boston, but why?

Basically, to see if this is where God wants us to be.  Kind of a loose answer I know, but that’s all I got.  For the past year or so, I’ve been hearing God say a couple of things, one is Boston, the other is some nonsense about planting a church.  Scary exciting!  But any ride with Jesus is bound to be an exciting one.  Pray for me.  I’ll be in the city until Friday when I come home.  I’ll be exploring job opportunities here and just trying to listen for the Heartbeat of God. 

 God, if you want us here, make it happen, we are willing. 

…Stay Tuned

  1. Have fun up there!

    And I may or may not speak for all the other ladies out there who were given the name Dawn, but whoever came up with the phrase, “(did something)…at the butt crack of dawn…” sucks.
    my 3 cents worth. 🙂

    • Leland Stone
    • January 24th, 2008

    While I believe that individuals may receive personal communication from God, it is my view that such communication is rare. Further, I believe that the primary means of Divine communication is the Bible, and, IMO, those who claim to “hear from God” have an extremely high burden of proof to meet.

    Perhaps some do hear God, and it may be that their experience was — to them — self-authenticating. But for me to understand their claim of hearing from God as anything other than wishful thinking and/or coincidence, there must be some means of objectively testing that claim. [Such testing completely conforms to Paul’s admonition to try all things.]

    That being said, can you share the means by which you authenticate purported communication from God? More importantly, how would you determine that a purported message (impression, leading, however you wish to term it) is NOT from God?


    P.S. to Dawn: As a former member of the construction industry, I have seen an unfortunate number of butt cracks, which crawl from nether regions to assault and offend the unsuspecting viewer. Dawn, in contrast, rises in grace and delicacy, relieving the night of its silent watch and inviting the day to begin in brilliant newness. I add my hope to yours that the blog’s host will rethink ever linking the words “butt,” “crack,” and “dawn” in the same sentence 🙂

    • Stephen
    • January 24th, 2008

    Awesome, now I know where I want to go on my next big city vacation. BEANtown….. Is that town good for the heart…

    As for the former commenter on the voice of God. Open thine ears, he who has an ear let him hear…. God speaks at all times to all people in all situations. Does he give you a billboard and slap you on the forehead or hit you with a divine mack truck that says hey this is where you need to be and this is what you should do…. sometimes. that would be the only extreme situation that I would find to be a rare form of God speaking to you. but God speaking to us clearly in our lives and yes even through our own wishful thinking. Let us have in us the mind of Christ, literally and figuratively, It is not I that live but Christ in me. I can give you Biblical insights in and out of context just as you could.
    To say that God wants me here at such a time as this maybe harsh, but to say that God will not help me find my place in life at such a time as this is equally harsh.
    God’s specific will is clear
    1. Salvation
    2. Thanksgiving
    3. Prayer
    4. Bible Reading
    5. Christian Fellowship
    6. Loving Relationships
    7. Witnessing
    8. Sexual purity

    Other than that we must weigh in where we are in life Socially, financially, and Spiritually. Pray and then listen to God speak directly to us. through Scripture first then through life at all times. What’s the purpose of being still to know that He is God, if he doesn’t speak. How can Paul say that God is revealed to us in nature if God doesn’t speak. D’art, Leland if you are looking for a bullhorn from heaven. STOP…. For Elisha he wasn’t in the Storm (life wrecks, finacial breakdowns, getting crapped on), He wasn;t in the Earthquake (relocating to a turbulant place, not knowing where to turn next) He wasn’t in the Wind (tinking too much, worrying about tomorrow, facing spiritual and physical death), but in the small voice….
    That voice said:

    Wanna hear from God, shut up and listen. That’s all I have to say about that.

    PS: BUTCRACK OF anyone is nasty…. but butcrack of Dawn is always dark and hard to get up to 🙂

    • Leland Stone
    • January 24th, 2008

    Hm. Not entirely useful, Stephen.

    In order to determine that an impression, wishful thought, leading, guiding (or however one describes the purported communication from God) is genuine, I need criteria by which such things may be evaluated. Perhaps more importantly, I need a means by which the communication may be demonstrated as false.

    Your list enumerates several prescriptions and proscriptions that ARE useful and unequivocal; there is no Christian who can argue — the way Amy Grant tried — that God told them divorce is okay, for example. That’s clearly anti-Scriptural. Ditto on murder, rape, etc., etc.

    Less useful is your advice to simply shut up and listen, as though doing so would yield authentication. Contrary to your suggestion, St Paul says to test all things, to see if they are good. This admonition would apply even to leadings, hints, impressions, or wishful thoughts received in quiet contemplation. Back to square one.

    What are the criteria by which purported communications from God may be assessed? There are plenty of gray areas not specifically addressed by Scripture, and I would hope you wouldn’t advise someone to make a critical decision (whom to marry, where to live, what career to pursue, what education to acquire, etc.) simply on the basis of a strong internal emotional response.

    BTW, your exegesis is flawed on several points: Paul’s statement that God is revealed in nature does not mean that salvation may be discovered by studying the stars or biology, for example. Further, God is not always depicted as speaking in a small voice; to Ezekiel His voice was like the roar of rushing waters (Eze 43:2) on the cross He cried out in a loud voice (MT 27:46), and on the day of resurrection He will speak a loud command (1 Th 4:16).

    • stephen
    • January 24th, 2008

    ì regret that i could be of no help. you are correct that Paul says to test the spirits. insomuch that they are inline with the will of Christ.
    To prescribe a set of rules to the voice of God, is to put God in a box or under a microscope so that we can logically explain Him. Basically the same herisy as the gnostics.
    Your search seems to be for a way to disprove a message from God, not prove. As if disproving sometbing proves something.
    I agree and as I tried to say in my previous reply that emotion is not a soul answer to knowing something is from God.
    For example. Does God want Salvation to be preached in Boston, YES. Does God want believers in Boston to gather together and show His love to win others to Him in Boston, YES. Is D’art equiped to spread His word, YES.
    But the question is does God want D’art in Boston. Fortunately for us God speaks, audibly, and inaudibly. God is speaking to everyone who reads this blog and our replies.
    I still think we should shut up and listen, then investigate the impulses ans emotional impressions we may or may not have wished upon ourselves.
    Paul was speaking to people who had a basic knowledge of the ancient writings of the church and the firey preaching of those who had been with Christ, and of course now to us. I guess my question is what test are we looking to apply to disprove an impression from God, an ancient one or a moedern one.

    PS. i like thee conversation, thus far. Sorry for typos i am responding via cell phone.

    • Leland Stone
    • January 28th, 2008

    God IS “in a box,” if by that you mean He functions within boundaries and has limits. It is these limits that help us apprehend (or “incompletely understand”) and communicate with God.

    God cannot lie, He cannot cease to be, He does not sin, never becomes exhausted, and cannot be overcome by another more powerful being (because, of course, there is none). In short, God cannot be anything but God. It is this “box,” this set of boundaries, parameters, and definitions, that aids our apprehension of God.

    The previous list of “do’s and don’ts” was helpful, in that it was solidly Scriptural and unmistakable. It’s a sound and reliable list that offers objective and consistent criteria for determining conformance of behaviour to God’s expressed will.

    Now compare that to the means by which modern church culture recommends “testing” the leadings or impressions that are said to “come from God.” The criteria are subjective, inconsistent, and — most troubling of all — impossible to falsify. That is, there is no means by which the supposed communication may be demonstrated as NOT being from God. This is cultic behaviour, and — if the vaguely Christian-sounding terminology were eliminated — it would be immediately be recognised as superstition and rejected as such.

    Contrast this modern approach to “hearing from God” with the ancient (and canonical) method: Prophets who spoke a word from God staked their lives on the accuracy and authenticity of that word (DT 18:20); there was no confusion regarding the origin of that word (DAN 5:25, I COR 12:3) and that word was always accompanied by objectively verifable corroboration (EX 11:1, GEN 6:9, John 2:19…there are examples throughout Scripture).

    The standard for determining whether and what God spoke was set exceedingly high, by God Himself. In my view, any claim of “God says…” has to meet that same standard.

    • Leland Stone
    • January 28th, 2008

    Clarification: Paragraph 4, sentence 3 should read: “That is, there is no means by which areas of behaviour not specifically addressed by Scripture may be falsified… .” Thus, if someone “hears God” telling them to marry a certain individual or take a specific job, and there’s nothing in Scripture to contradict that “word,” then – typically – there is no other, objective means of falsifying that claim. Sadly, the individual’s “word from God” is then given the authoritative status of Scripture.

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