Does God Cause Pain?

I've been mulling over an important idea over the past few weeks. It's stemmed from things I've seen written in several books over the years, by authors whose spiritual opinions I respect. I might be wrong in my interpretation of their words, but from what I understand, they have stated quite strongly that God does not cause suffering. He may use it, but not cause it. “[He] does not prefer and promote suffering and pain.” [1]

When I first read such statements, they seemed true. However, in…

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A Matter of Rights

Last month, Pastor Higa did a sermon series on the early church, as described in the book of Acts. One of his messages was on the passage describing that time when Paul and Silas were thrown in jail.

[T]hey grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.”

A mob quickly formed against Paul and…

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The Plenty in Pain

Over the past year, I've experienced intermittent pain in my arms and hands. Sometimes it has been so bad that I can't write or type. Sometimes it's been almost non-existant. During the time we were in Canada, I was unable to get a proper diagnosis, though physiotherapy seemed to help.

I decided to try Japanese physiotherapy, which Peter extols as much more effective than the Canadian version. Off I went to the orthopaedic surgeon for a physio prescription—you can see one in Japan with minimal…

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Do I Really Matter?

When I was a little girl, I couldn't help wondering if God was a narcissist. He always wanted to be praised. He never seemed to get tired of people praising Him. He always seemed to want more. 

What kind of person always wants all people everywhere to praise Him? I thought. He must be either very full of Himself, or have a very fragile ego.

Later, I found myself more at peace with the idea of God always desiring our praise. He loves us, after all. He wants to show us His love—and He does so…

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Keeping Holy in a Clash

Since coming to Japan as a missionary, I've been learning a lot about what it means to live in social harmony. The preservation of the wa, a sense of social unity, is extremely important in the Japanese culture. By comparison, our native North American culture seems increasingly harsh, impatient, and rigid to us.

North Americans value truth, honesty, and personal rights and freedoms above almost everything else. But I wonder sometimes if we also lose something incredibly precious when we…

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