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Have you ever put together a puzzle? My wife and I enjoy doing this sometimes.
Some are pretty complicated with thousands of pieces. Other's are easier, sometimes our grandchildren
"help out grandpa and grandma" with the easier puzzles. (and sometimes we need the help)

When we put a puzzle together, we have something of a process we follow. We almost always put
the edges together first, you know - the pieces that are flat on one side. So almost always, the border
of the puzzle is done first. We always have the lid of the puzzle box standing up right next to the puzzle so
that we can see what the end result is supposed to look like.

I call these reference points. Something to go by. Something that tells me what the "big picture" is supposed
to look like. But many times, we will find similar looking pieces and start working only on that one part of the
puzzle, perhaps a fish or a tree. We've been doing this a long time and we've gotten pretty good at it, but
sometimes, we find a piece that doesn't quite fot where we originally put it, and we end up having to move it.

One thing that happens, which is sometimes frustrating, is that you work on this puzzle for days, and you get right down to
the last piece... and it's missing. Uggghhh!!! I hate that! Maybe it got lost, or maybe the
dog ate it. Maybe someone else has an extra piece in their box they don't know what to do with.


We sometimes play a game where we put pieces from 3 or 4 different puzzles all in the same box.
Talk about a challenge!! That makes things really interesting.

I notice many people do this with their religious beliefs. They get their theology from many different places.
Some use the Bible exclusively. Other's use books, or sermons from their pastor. Other's will use other sources
such as the Book of Mormon, the Watchtower tracts, or even the teachings of the Dali Lama.

We have some relatives that call themselves Christians, but have a certain shelf in their living room with
many little statues on it. There is a statue of Jesus, as well as some Buddha's, Mary, a couple of Hindu
Gods and a native American "dream catcher".

We've had some interesting discussions over the years. They believe Jesus is "a" way, but not the "only" way.
Whenever they talk about theology, it's kind of hard to follow. It's sort of like they took the pieces from
4 or 5 different puzzles and tried to make one big puzzle out of it. The pieces don't really fit very good,
but hey if you get a big enough hammer... you can make those stubborn pieces fit.


That may be an extreme example, but I think some of us get our beliefs and theologies from different
sources that don't always line up with the Bible or God's will. Thenm we wonder why all the pieces don't
fit together so well.