Why The Stinking Tree???

I remember a very sweet time with my son Dylan, reading in Genesis, the story of the fall.  Now the story of the fall isn’t so sweet, but Dylan’s response was:  “Stupid Adam, screwed it all up for us”.  Haha – I love it!

For me, my burning question has always been, “Why did God put the tree there, where they would be tempted???”.  I mean, I don’t want to question God, and that isn’t my intent.  But this question has come up for me many times.

Recently, God revealed to me that my question itself is rebellious.  No surprise – and most would probably just say, “Duh”.  But this was really something I had never considered – when I am asking that question I’m not trusting that God’s ways are higher than my ways.   And I’m kinda blaming him for their temptation and fall into sin.  God never tempts us – ever.

I’m reminded of this passage in James:

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

And I’m reminded that my questioning God for placing the tree where he did (Or even its existence) is like questioning or blaming God for my own sinful nature.  He did not give us our sinful nature.  He gave us free will.  Something perfect, without flaw.  We contaminated it.  Don’t believe me?  Jesus has free will too…..

So I don’t think I will ask that question anymore.  🙂  But I did find this interesting post, which does help answer my question a bit.  Funny how God brings me to it, after I’ve laid it down….

http://christianthought.hbu.edu/2012/10/08/why-did-god-create-the-tree-of-the-knowledge-of-good-and-evil/

Jeromy Darling…

So I know this guy named Jeromy Darling.  Great guy, love him to bits.  He’s an amazing singer, an amazing songwriter, a tremendous worship leader.  He’s crazy in love with Jesus Christ, crazy in love with his family, crazy in love with his wife, crazy in love with his kids.  You’ll hear him talk passionately about any of those topics – and I mean PASSIONATELY.  I especially love when he talks about pinching his sons’ cheeks – haha, awesome!

So I met Jer about three years ago, when I started playing on the worship team at Evergreen Church in New Hope Minnesota.  Jer was the worship leader at the time.  I tell you, when I started attending at Evergreen, I was in a period of my life where there was a lot of emotional pain.  Man, worshipping corporately, when you are suffering inside is sort of weird.  At that moment, it’s like nobody else exists but you and God.  Jeromy was used to bring me closer to the Lord in those moments, and I can speak first-hand about how God uses music to comfort and heal.  Very powerful, very emotional worship!  Some of Jer’s songs still stop me in my tracks…..

So I started playing on the worship team.  I had some great opportunities to learn how to play guitar in ways I’d never done before.  I’ve never been a lead player.  I don’t have chops to do all those fancy-schmancy solos, so I opted to try and learn “tasty licks”.  Not sure I do that well – but Jeromy’s songs and his style lended very well to this, and I did learn quite a lot how to play well.  And how to NOT overplay.  Great, great stuff, and worship with this team has been A – MAY- ZING!  God is moving in this church, and I’m so blessed to be part of it.

Well – Jer moved on from the worship leader role at Evergreen New Hope.  But I still get to play with him as part of his little group, “Jeromy and the Brethren”.  Been doing this for almost a year now.  We’ve done a few shows, outreach events, etc.  We have one in particular that I’m most excited about.  We are playing for prison inmates tonight.  About an hour.  Then – this is the best part – we get to spend time in fellowship with these guys!  Guys I likely have nothing in common with – other than my tattoos.  🙂  Oh, and the fact that I’m a sinner in need of a savior.  And that I’m broken, in need of a healer.  And that My failed life has been given hope through Jesus Christ.  These guys, who may be lonely, scared, alone – God is giving us an awesome opportunity to bless them with our time and our hearts.  And I wouldn’t be part of this, if not for Jer.  Thanks for that bro….

So I pretty much think Jer is the bees knees.  I think you will too.  Check out some of his music here, and read a bit about him on his website here.

And please pray for us tonight – and for these men we get to meet, that God will do a mighty work in their lives, lasting beyond tonight.  I know he will…..