Author Topic: feedback requested: How do you experience God?  (Read 2011 times)

R. T. Fouts

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2013, 11:24:36 PM »
I don't think we have to have the overly pious Lutheran comment about sacraments to embrace the concept of experiencing God.  There is a difference between experiencing God generally, and interpreting such experience as if it were some sort of divine revelation other than what it actually is.   Natural revelation is still revelation -- just take it for what it is.  We experience God, in a sense, every time we breathe... every time we open our eyes... every time our hearts beat... by virtue of being a creature.   Special revelation lifts the veil, so we can appreciate it.   More than anything though, I think I experience God through struggle.  Tentatio.   The things that have driven me toward God, strengthened my faith, haven't been the mountain top experiences... but the crosses... trudging through the muck and the mire of life.   In those moments, when my utter dependence upon God is all I have left, I find "experiencing" God at work is the most profound. 
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John, an Unlikely Pastor

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2013, 12:54:43 AM »
I don't think we have to have the overly pious Lutheran comment about sacraments to embrace the concept of experiencing God.  There is a difference between experiencing God generally, and interpreting such experience as if it were some sort of divine revelation other than what it actually is.   Natural revelation is still revelation -- just take it for what it is.  We experience God, in a sense, every time we breathe... every time we open our eyes... every time our hearts beat... by virtue of being a creature.   Special revelation lifts the veil, so we can appreciate it.   More than anything though, I think I experience God through struggle.  Tentatio.   The things that have driven me toward God, strengthened my faith, haven't been the mountain top experiences... but the crosses... trudging through the muck and the mire of life.   In those moments, when my utter dependence upon God is all I have left, I find "experiencing" God at work is the most profound.
there's no moment when God can do more than when we come to him and say we can do nothing
it's just amazing
Peace to you, John
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John_Hannah

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2013, 09:11:29 AM »
I hesitate to talk about experiences of God in the world because outside of the Scriptures and the place where Jesus' promises to be, one can be duped into believing ....


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Charles_Austin

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2013, 11:48:31 AM »
I'll bet it means "On Leave From Call."


readselerttoo

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2013, 12:57:14 PM »
Yes, I am on leave from call at the moment. 

In terms of experiencing God it is important to note that within the God's Law/God's Gospel framework outside of God's clear promises of faithfulness to his people (ie. not just to Israel but now since Christ open to all) in the Scriptures and the promise that Christ offers in the sacraments, the book of nature (experiencing God in the world) or human reason are not guarantees that Jesus and the Father are at work exclusively.  Satan and his deceptive activity can make one think that the beauty in nature on the golf course on Sunday morning is an experience of the saving God (it may be or it may not be. who is to say for certain?).  So it is important to note to atheists that experiencing God is also something that atheists do encounter but as the hidden God, or the God of wrath, as Luther notes.  Savvy atheists would acknowledge that they do experience God but it is the God who met Adam and Eve in the garden who not only clothes them but also places them under various curses ala Genesis 3.  So the book of nature is not to be trusted.  God's promise of faithfulness in Genesis and then in the New Testament (ie. in Christ) is rock solid and only good persuasive techniques or constant proclamation can bring it to the ears of atheism.  Our mission continues... God's blessings.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 01:05:46 PM by readselerttoo »

Weedon

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2013, 02:22:46 PM »
There is a hymn the Orthodox sing called the Akathist of Thanksgiving. Note the ways in which it describes experience of God and how the CULMINATION is the Eucharist (not in contrast, but as the final and fullest):

http://www.saintjonah.org/services/thanksgiving.htm

John, an Unlikely Pastor

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2013, 03:49:50 PM »
Yes, I am on leave from call at the moment. 

In terms of experiencing God it is important to note that within the God's Law/God's Gospel framework outside of God's clear promises of faithfulness to his people (ie. not just to Israel but now since Christ open to all) in the Scriptures and the promise that Christ offers in the sacraments, the book of nature (experiencing God in the world) or human reason are not guarantees that Jesus and the Father are at work exclusively.  Satan and his deceptive activity can make one think that the beauty in nature on the golf course on Sunday morning is an experience of the saving God (it may be or it may not be. who is to say for certain?).  So it is important to note to atheists that experiencing God is also something that atheists do encounter but as the hidden God, or the God of wrath, as Luther notes.  Savvy atheists would acknowledge that they do experience God but it is the God who met Adam and Eve in the garden who not only clothes them but also places them under various curses ala Genesis 3.  So the book of nature is not to be trusted.  God's promise of faithfulness in Genesis and then in the New Testament (ie. in Christ) is rock solid and only good persuasive techniques or constant proclamation can bring it to the ears of atheism.  Our mission continues... God's blessings.
I read CS Lewis Surprised by Joy a few years ago and it might be time to read it again.  It convinced me that God is in search of the non believers as much if not more than we might be.  Sometimes the rocks will cry out as witnesses to God's grace and glory.
Peace to you, John
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John, an Unlikely Pastor

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2013, 03:50:54 PM »
There is a hymn the Orthodox sing called the Akathist of Thanksgiving. Note the ways in which it describes experience of God and how the CULMINATION is the Eucharist (not in contrast, but as the final and fullest):

http://www.saintjonah.org/services/thanksgiving.htm
thanks for the suggestion it will go into the consideration as we get ready for this Lenten series.
take care, John
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R. T. Fouts

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2013, 10:04:11 PM »
Luther's comments on experience in his 1521 commentary on the Magnificat are excellent.   It is one of my favorite of his writings.   
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John, an Unlikely Pastor

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2013, 08:46:42 AM »
Luther's comments on experience in his 1521 commentary on the Magnificat are excellent.   It is one of my favorite of his writings.
I have not looked at that in a couple years.  It might be a good time to think about it again.
Thanks, John
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ANewLeaf

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2013, 12:00:23 AM »
How about "mutual consolation of the saints"?

I've had conversations that, when I reflect on them (a day, a week, a year) later, I stop and think, "Whoa.  That was a "God thing."

ANewLeaf

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2013, 12:23:20 AM »
Or dreams.  I had a dream once. 

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2013, 12:32:26 AM »
For sure:

1. Sacraments.
2. Welcoming "little ones" in Jesus' Name.

Maybe:

3. A vision (stick-figure angel pulling up stick-figure me) as I was bleeding in a foreign field.
4. Comforting dream during seminary that being with God was understanding everything.

Pete (Deus salus est- Salvum me fac Deus meus!)
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David Garner

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Re: feedback requested: How do you experience God?
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2013, 08:07:40 AM »
A parallel I see between Lutheran worship and Orthodox worship is the fact that it entails the five senses.  That's why I always appreciated those occasions when our Lutheran pastor would break out the incense.  So for me, I suppose I would respond first and foremost in the Liturgy, for that is where God has promised Himself to be.  Now, that means icons, incense, song, litany, homily, Eucharist, etc.  And for us, the sense of touch when we, for example, venerate an icon or the cross or the Epistle book, or touching the priest's vestments as he processes by with the gifts.  As a Lutheran, I think to many of the same, except icons are replaced with Durer woodcuts and stained glass windows and crucifixes, and touch is replaced with dipping my hand in the fount as I approach the altar and crossing myself.

Apart from the Liturgy, one could make an argument that we experience God in all things.  My perception of His presence, however, is usually appreciated in prayer, reading (I finished Romanides' "Outline of Orthodox Patristic Dogmatics" yesterday evening), listening to music (....while listening to Ancient Faith Radio....), and sometimes most profoundly, in watching and interacting with my wife and children.  Where I should appreciate His presence the most is when I hand a few dollars to the beggar who cannot afford to eat, or similar acts of mercy, for "whatever you have done for the least of these, my brethren, you have done for Me."  Unfortunately, pride wants to block the door of such experiences.  Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).