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Law and Order

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In the beginning there was one Word. One rule. One voice. One law. One “don’t do this”—surrounded by beauty, truth, and goodness.

Yet there was more in the wonder than the eye could see.

The one “don’t do this”— became a compellingly dark hole, an irresistible pull, offering the right language and leverage— to test the freedom of a beautifully ordered life.

In the chaos that followed, the one rule became many, and then more, and still more until the world was filled with rules, and laws, and regulations that seemed to be made— just for the breaking.

Who could have predicted? Even the best and briefest of laws, engraved on stone, by the finger of God— were quickly thrown on the ground and shattered—by Moses.

We know our history. A few weeks after the Exodus, a newly born family state agreed to a social contract of law and order. In the shadow of Sinai, the will and voice of the people was heard unanimously voting to keep all of the laws given to them. 40 years later, their children repeated the promise in the presence of Joshua on the threshold of a Promised Land. Centuries later, after seeing what happens when everyone does what seems right in their own eyes— and after demanding a king who would be more to their liking than one they couldn’t see—another generation promised to do everything God told them to do.

The social unraveling that always followed eventually ran its course. Proud law makers on the right and powerful enforcers on the left—joined by the force of reason to unwittingly kill the only One who had ever loved them.

Messengers of the unforeseen miracle that followed announced that the way forward would not be by law—but in the spirit, and by the Spirit—of a new liberty—“against which there is no law”.

The main spokesperson for the New Way was as much of a surprise as his message. As a former expert in rabbinic law, Paul knew that good laws have their place and use. He knew even someone as flawed Caesar was needed. But he’d experienced a way of understanding law—and grace— that he, and a growing number of other fresh voices were willing to die for.

Consumed by all that he had come to see in climactic events of Jesus, Paul became the one to tell us that while all things are now lawful, and while we are no longer under law, the new way offers truth, goodness, beauty, and wonder—against which there is no law.

So am I just imagining it? Or are people like us—who think we “get “ this New Testament way of life—still inclined to turn a list of what we can’t do—like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—into Old Testament-like rules of “do this!”

Love. Look on the bright side. Don’t worry. Be patient. Be nice. Be good. Keep your word. Go easy. Just do it!!! Until realizing to our own betterment that— we haven’t, and still can’t.


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183 Responses to “Law and Order”

  1. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    “Law and Order” is a buzz-word, along with “security” and perhaps “social justice.” Sadly, in the world as it stands these terms mean different things to different people, it seems to me. We live in a society that is polarized into competing camps.

    So long as I fully acknowledge and celebrate that Jesus is leading me by both a road-map and a compass, that is, by the Word and the indwelling Holy Spirit, then it may be with me, Mart, as you said:

    “Love.
    Look on the bright side.
    Don’t worry.
    Be patient.
    Be nice.
    Be good.
    Keep your word.
    Go easy.
    Just do it!!!
    Until realizing to our own betterment that— we haven’t, and still can’t.”

    The qualities on the list are not mine to own. They are gifts of the Spirit through Jesus’ sacrifice, as I experience it.

    10C/50F here & cloudy with rain in the forecast.

    Blessings all day,
    Maru

    PS Have to wonder about “be nice” and “be good.” Seriously?

  2. street says:

    it seems to me that these new hearts that are in Christ are truly new or they are painted over with with wood hay and stubble. sometimes it takes awhile to know and understand new construction or new way of living. thinking of vast wonder of creation compared to the vast wonder of His love!?!? who could get it right all the time? it doesn’t hinder or hobble the One Who Loves.

  3. street says:

    maru, liked your compass and map. the rational thinking always gets me lost.

  4. remarutho says:

    Have to agree, Street! Paul told the Corinthians:

    “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

    If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.

    It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.”

    Jesus is our chief cornerstone, it seems to me.

  5. remarutho says:

    It seems to me, “the Day” Paul speaks of is going to clear the air in this world of woe.

    We may do it right, or we may do it wrong, but the Lord looks on our hearts and knows our intentions, however poorly we manage following Jesus! Thank heavens!

    Maru

  6. street says:

    got stuck on maru’s phase social justice. thinking all you have to do to see it work is to visit a grave yard. love, at the cross, is so much better, get crackin.

    Psalm 34:18
    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    15
    May their sins always remain before the Lord,
    that he may blot out their name from the earth.

    16
    For he never thought of doing a kindness,
    but hounded to death the poor
    and the needy and the brokenhearted.
    17
    He loved to pronounce a curse—
    may it come back on him.
    He found no pleasure in blessing—
    may it be far from him.

  7. poohpity says:

    I know for myself any time I have tried to do the fruits of the Spirit I fail just as I have failed at keeping the laws, so keeping in mind the can’t do’s seems almost as important as knowing the do’s and not doing them. Just more lists either way of finding out I am incomplete and broken but not to be loaded with guilt or shame rather to show my need of the One who’s love is greater and more powerful than anything I could have ever imagined.

    That same love has never changed from the foundations of the world till the end of the world as we know it. I change as in my thinking, understanding, faith and desires but God never changes.

    Law and order is a foundation and guideline to stop chaos from reining but has anyone ever been able to fully abide by the rule of law, no, but some people do not get caught. The speed limit on our highways is 65 and I set my cruse control at 69. Four miles over cause I know that the police will not stop me for that, lol.

    God knows even when others may not see, He does and YET went to such great lengths to prove how much He loves us.

  8. SFDBWV says:

    On the “books” in every state and federal ledgers are two kinds of laws. One meant to protect people and the other to protect the “state”.

    Violations against people and violations against the state.

    If you are a thief and steal from someone it is a violation of law against a person, if you speed and break the speed limit it is a violation against the state.

    In most all cases each law is in place for the benefit of all people, both individually and as a community.

    In our faith it is very similar. Trespasses against the person and trespasses against God.

    In the “big ten” the first “law” is to secure God as the only God, most of the remainder are laws intended to secure the rights of the individual to live a safe and protected life.

    Jesus said if you love God and your neighbor you have fulfilled the requirements of the “law”. With one exception, to follow Him.

    So if we accept Jesus as Lord and His sacrifice as our punishment, we receive the Holy Spirit and in following in the footsteps of Jesus we are living in accordance to “Kingdom” laws without thought of any of it being a “law”.

    Instead it is simply a way of life.

    Cloudy and 40 degrees in the mountains, most of our trees are bare now as we await the coming winter snows.

    Steve

  9. joycemb says:

    Mart this is a fascinating post. Years ago when I was new in the faith-or my interpretation of it anyway-we received instruction in Sunday School about how all the other denominations got it wrong; except ours. For years I was even afraid to walk past another church for fear that someone might think I had been inside and had lost my salvation. Oh I can follow any law you put before me :-). It turned to bondage but got worse when I confronted someone of another denomination about my newly found truth and you know what she said? She said, “but you are a Christian so you have to love me anyway”. Wow, so then love and doing good became my new religion, my new rule to live by. So much so that when I failed I felt intense dislike from God. It was all performance based. Eventually though I learned I could not keep up I cor. 13 and had to admit to myself that I am NOT the Son/Daughter of God. Yet He chose to identify Himself with my sin laden self. That still amazes me, grace. Grace enough for all sorts of expectations I have about myself and others.

    I’ll be thinking about this a while, thanks again Mart.

  10. street says:

    maru said,”It seems to me, “the Day” Paul speaks of is going to clear the air in this world of woe.”

    seems to me, i and many others are looking for ” the Day” here and now. for we have had enough night and we know nothing good is in our flesh. we also know the God will not with hold “any good thing” from us. it is tough to rejoice in any affliction. thinking that Salvation does clear the air of this world of woe.

    godliness with contentment is great gain.

  11. street says:

    6 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.

    These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

  12. street says:

    after looking up the verse of contentment i noticed law and order are one yoke and the cross of Christ is another yoke. thinking some,under law and order, may seem to be right with God and some under the cross may seem out of favor with God. either way there is going to be brokenness. may Your Light and Healing come quickly.

    Psalm 51:12
    Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

  13. joycemb says:

    Brokenness seems to be the only way to get out of this world alive

  14. street says:

    brokeness is life in that we agree with God against our own will.

  15. street says:

    Yet there was more in the wonder than the eye could see.

  16. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All —

    Mart, you spoke of the prophets foretelling Baby Jesus’s birth:

    “Messengers of the unforeseen miracle that followed announced that the way forward would not be by law—but in the spirit, and by the Spirit—of a new liberty—’against which there is no law’.”

    The fruit of the Spirit is not of Law & Order. So, the Apostle Paul encourages all who follow Jesus:

    “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him,

    in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift,

    awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end,

    blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    All we have of spiritual riches is a gift — thank you Jesus!

    Maru

  17. street says:

    an irresistible pull, offering the right language and leverage— to test the freedom of a beautifully ordered life.

    one pull was deception and death, the other pull light and life.

    In the chaos that followed, the one rule became many…
    the darkness increased!

    quickly thrown on the ground and shattered—by Moses
    no wonder? they could not save us, we looked for another till we surrendered to God’s love. the looking may have stopped and the living has begun. working out your Salvation in exile is easier when you follow the map and compass. it is a joy to come across fellow sojourners and share what we know and how God has guided us and protected us and that we are not alone. yet when you need help it is time to turn to God every time.

  18. street says:

    Centuries later, after seeing what happens when everyone does what seems right in their own eyes— and after demanding a king who would be more to their liking than one they couldn’t see-

    adam could not become God so God became like man.
    what a Savior! adam wanted to become like God but could not because he was made a creature in His image. adam could not think of anything he would like to be more like than God. he aspired to be like the One he admired through deception. the sad thing is he was already made in His image. satan had the same problem, but he did not receive mercy. mercy is to lead you to repentance and Salvation not works. people say the world is quite fallen and they are right, yet mankind has received so much mercy and love from God. may more taste and see that the LORD is Good.

  19. street says:

    you know mart our tendency towards idolatry is unbelievable! it leads to blindness deafness dumbness and hearts of stone.

  20. street says:

    another generation promised to do everything God told them to do.

    The social unraveling that always followed eventually ran its course.

  21. street says:

    the new way offers truth, goodness, beauty, and wonder—against which there is no law.

  22. joycemb says:

    I remember hearing on a Christian radio station in the 80’s that the generation that is walking with Jesus begins to unravel with the next and that more often than not the grandchildren end up going their own way. I was the first generation in my family to walk with God. I wondered if I was walking in vain if this was the case, yet obviously decided to keep on and pray for future generations. I think the active working of the Holy Spirit (helper) makes the difference since Pentecost. There will never be another flood God told Moses. Why would God make that promise if He was going to give up on us? I think He holds us tighter than anything we think we can do to make sure He’s happy with us.

    Happy is a poor word but I’m a poor human :-)

  23. bubbles says:

    It is the fruit of the Spirit… not fruit of US.

  24. street says:

    Messengers of the unforeseen miracle that followed announced that the way forward would not be by law—but in the spirit, and by the Spirit—of a new liberty—“against which there is no law”.

    Paul became the one to tell us that while all things are now lawful, and while we are no longer under law, the new way offers truth, goodness, beauty, and wonder—against which there is no law.

    all things are lawful now? i struggle with this one. i understand God’s free hand in human history and know He is Holy, Just, and blameless in all His actions. it is staggering to understand that the elect are absolutely blameless in His sight forever. this serving in the Spirit and not the flesh should be a tantalizing thrill ride of mercy and grace. a free hand in love trained and lead by the Master. the landscape will never be the same.

  25. jeff1 says:

    Should be a tantalizing thrill ride of mercy and grace!

    Religions get in the way of mercy and grace, each claiming to know God better than the other and each setting their own standards as to what is acceptable and what is not!

    The younger generation are not being led by religion and this is no bad thing.

    God is not a Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, etc. etc. nor is he American, English, Irish, etc. etc. but we all try to see him as being on our side.

    My dad got it right when he said it is for me to align myself to God and not the other way around.

    Righteousness in God’s eyes means much more than man’s righteousness, man has only scratched the surface of what righteousness really is about.

    Thank God for His patience as well as mercy and grace for how far we have wandered and how right God gets it when it comes to mankind.

    Thinking the fact that I am not enjoying it as I should maybe that I am not one of the elect. (God’s chosen)

    Saved because of HIS MERCY AND GRACE and not because I am blameless before Him.

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Thanks Mart, it is well with my soul to know I am not alone in building a long history to get to my point.

    I chuckled yesterday morning when I first read the subject thinking wow that was a lot to read to conclude that we just keep painting ourselves into a corner we cannot escape from.

    Jesus didn’t freed us of the burden of the Law of Moses just to give us a new set of laws. Living a moral life should be etched into our souls once He enters our lives.

    Whereas He took our punishment for us, we can honor His sacrifice by living for Him as he would live.

    “Just do it” is more than a “Nike” commercial

    35 degrees and cloudy this morning. Daylight won’t appear for a couple more hours.

    Steve

  27. poohpity says:

    That is just it. God did not just give us another set of laws; people turned living by the Spirit into another set of laws so they could brag about something but that is not what it is at all.

  28. poohpity says:

    The gifts God gave us to reach out to people in His name have been turned into a means to judge, condemn, feel superior, put down others, pride rather than a means of service, unity, oneness and humility.

  29. poohpity says:

    It is not a list of to do’s but an outward flowing/pouring of what fills our hearts and minds. A cup that runs over!

  30. joycemb says:

    I can’t agree with you more pooh, as we found out in the last post living by the broken rule does not work!

    Steve I am reading through Isaiah again and find this Isaiah 7:9 “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all”. Rules of conduct do matter to God even as Paul describes in his prison epistles and John in his 3 short letters. And living poorly does cause God sadness. Living a God honoring life is what we all want.

  31. foreverblessed says:

    To me it comes down to this: all that Jesus commanded us to do is impossible for us to do.
    I found this again painfully true the last couple of weeks
    And I would like to thank my brothers and sisters here for praying for me. I had a struggle in what to do with unrepentant family members. I was at a loss, while always believing that God would give me a way!

    It is a matter of saying to God: Your will be done, not my will.

    Help me with my old self I do not want to live according to the whimps of my old self, I do not want to live by the broken rule!
    Please fill me with Your Love!

    If their would be no Jesus, who gives His Life to us when we ask in humility and in repentance of our old ways, we would be nowhere

  32. foreverblessed says:

    But you prayed for me and that night some miracle: I felt so light! So free, all that had happened that was bad, didn’t matter any more! All was well with my soul!

    Thank you for your prayers and for your concern!

    We are nothing if God did nog give us peace, love, Joy!
    That’s why we can say, we live a life of grace!

  33. foreverblessed says:

    I was touched by Psalm 89:14, Street gave it a few days ago:
    Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You,
    who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.

    Learning to acclaim Jesus, and saying no to the old man,
    having crucified the old man!
    Gal 2:19-20

  34. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, while I agree with you that humility is not what is happening among christians I do not see it as my place to judge. It is the external behaviour I see and speculate on; while God knows the heart of all.

    I know that I have judged others unfairly at times and I am sure they have done likewise to me not knowing the full extent of a person’s circumstances and struggles.

    It is only when a person shares their difficulties do we empathise with them but many keep their struggles to themselves.

    People are complex, I believe God expects me to examine my own desires and motives and in doing so; see my own failings; which will bring about; my own humility and in turn make me more compassionate and understanding of others.

    I must leave judgement to God and see myself as equally in need of God otherwise I too get judgemental as it is a human failing of us all.

    We can end up with the pot calling the kettle black if you get where I am coming from.

  35. poohpity says:

    Viv, I think you misunderstood what I said. I said that judgement comes when we turn our gifts from God for the means for our own personal use. I in no way condoned judging anyone just the opposite. When we look within at our own lives normally we often see there is no room to talk into or about someone else as you said. Could you please show me where you think I said that is our place to judge? I am curious what you read to lead to that conclusion.

  36. street says:

    poo said,”That is just it. God did not just give us another set of laws; people turned living by the Spirit into another set of laws so they could brag about something but that is not what it is at all.”

    constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

    Christian’s get hood winked into friction on a regular basis with wood hay and stubble or even get their mind or heart pressed out of shape, but they never remain in that condition, God would not allow it. we do know some leave the truth and never come back and their condition is far worse. thinking of david asking God to examine his heart because he could not do it himself.

  37. street says:

    i certainly would not ask another human being to take the plank out of my eye either.

  38. jeff1 says:

    I did not say that you said it; I said that I do not believe it is our place to judge but that in my humanness I have judged people by their behaviour and then realized that a person’s behaviour is not my business but God’s business and the only behaviour I have to watch is my own.

    I am equally capable with other believers of wandering and falling into danger and words can be misinterpreted so I have learned to leave it with God and focus on my own desires and motives because I can not change another; only God has the power to work in each of us.

    I have learned that silence can be the best option because I often put my foot in it with words that people can misconstrue and damage the relationship with another; where God will work in due course in that person.

    I find that I learn during God’s silences and so too must others.

    I had been reading your 9.08 9.13 and 9.43 posts and I was just recording my thoughts and the fact that I have a natural tendency to judge and it is a struggle I take to God and leave with Him.

    What I am saying is that while I agree with your posts I was raised with the ten commandments and a God of Wrath and have to focus on ‘Christ’ to move from this way of thinking. I expect there are other believers who struggle with this too. My heart tells me one thing but my head tells me something else!

    God has the time and patience that I find humans do not have! This is just what I have learned in my lifetime.

  39. street says:

    Proud law makers on the right and powerful enforcers on the left—joined by the force of reason to unwittingly kill the only One who had ever loved them.

    pride power reason lead to death

    lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, the pride of life.
    pride of life apart from God? doesn’t last long.

    humility, non resistance, faith, life? thinking consent is a much better rule than power. especially when they have proven they love you and know what they are doing. new rule new life. no law Holy Spirit free hand.

    the plot continues.

  40. joycemb says:

    According to Isaiah 11:3-4 NIV:

    He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
    4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
    He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

    Jesus judges with righteousness, yet the law judges with condemnation! Paul understood that (Romans) yet we still struggle with it. Seems to me the order we desire only comes through looking to the One fortold of way back in the 8th century BC. Not with our senses–seeing and hearing– but with His righteousness alone. I love this topic:-)

    Have a blessed day in Jesus all!

  41. joycemb says:

    Having access to the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis) has sure twisted our thinking hasn’t it? Ugh

  42. poohpity says:

    No matter how hard I try I still miss the mark. Does that mean I should give up on trying to do my best, no! But sadly the harder I try the more inclined I am to judge others when they don’t. The more patience I have with me and the more I understand grace I am willing to give everyone else a break.

    The old voice in my head saying you will never be enough, do enough to make the goals I have set for myself or think others have set for me, the more discouraged I become. It is like I have an imaginary whip and under it the burdens are so great until I realize that there is Someone who is helping me carry the load. That same Someone has never thought for a moment that I could be perfect nor does He expect me to be. Wow what a relief.

    His measuring stick is quite different than mine or that of any other person, His measuring stick is based on GRACE not my performance but on His desire to have a perfect relationship with this imperfect person. I know I will always be imperfect and God knows I will always be imperfect so why not stop expecting perfection? It is really not feasible at all so why is so much energy placed on a problem that will never get solved in my life or in the life of others? Go easy on your self and others, be patient, be kind and turn the measuring stick into fire wood. ;-)

  43. joycemb says:

    Asking myself a hard question this morning. Do I value law and order over justice and righteousness only Jesus can and has accomplished? When did I get off the narrow road?

  44. poohpity says:

    Joyce the road is only narrow on the way to get to heaven. It is broad on the ways to get to that narrow road and broad in so many other ways but only one narrow road to heaven. I do not think God will let you get off of that one since He holds the keys to that path.

  45. joycemb says:

    I do not agree with the “once saved always saved” argument. Scripture can be easily overlooked to allow for that stance, but ALL of scripture must be weighed in order to correctly discern the truth of it. Hard truth is just that, hard truth. Jesus never said it was easy, but He said if we follow Him, we will know the truth and it will set us free. Free to do the hard things He requires of us. See the sermon on the mount.

  46. poohpity says:

    How often do you lose your salvation? So you if believe you can lose it then it follows that you have to earn it in someway, right?

    All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. (1 Peter 1:3-5 NLT) John 10:28; Eph 2:8; 2 Thess 2:13

  47. poohpity says:

    Joyce when will I learn not to give you any words of encouragement because it seem to always result in some kind of attack or another.

  48. joycemb says:

    “Some people’s assurance of salvation is a delusion (Mt 7:13-14). To enter the narrow gate of the kingdom we must knock, that is, request that God make us citizens of his kingdom (vv. 7-8). The difficulty of Jesus’ way includes embracing by repentance both persecution (5:10-12) and the ethics of the kingdom taught in the Sermon on the Mount.”

    IVP commentary

    This backs my interpretation. As I said pooh, we must read all of scripture to understand what it says. You do tend to read through the eyes of an evangelist only. That is a very good gift, but does not include other things about Jesus teachings, etc. You are not wrong, just underinformed in areas you are not gifted in. But for my schooling I too would be underinformed about anything but mercy-my gift. I does no good to banter like ping-pong with certain scriptures. I learned that on this blog. So thankful for that. I respect your gift and know many have been blessed by it, thank you for being true to you calling/giftedness as you work for the Kingdom.

  49. joycemb says:

    Disagreeing is not attacking.

  50. joycemb says:

    If agreeing with your interpretation is encouragement to you I can see why you are disappointed/feeling attacked.

    I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

  51. poohpity says:

    Joyce you said, “When did I get off the narrow road?” You said you are a believer so that narrow road is the path to heaven so I just thought you had already accepted what Christ had done for you so I was saying in others words that we may fall, fail, doubt, etc. but we already have found that narrow path to God so how can one get off of it? Does that mean you no longer believe that Jesus is the road to God?

  52. poohpity says:

    So essentially you were disagreeing with something I did not even say.

  53. joycemb says:

    As usual.

  54. narrowpathseeker says:

    I think that if God gave us the ability to see ourselves clearly as we REALLY are there would be some of us that would need much prayer, comfort, medication and more prayer. Then I wonder if some of us are REALLY blind to our true character or if we just close our eyes because it is just too painful to see ourselves. Could that be why some of us are so contentious because we think if we make others angry we can distort their focus and blind them to our ugliness? How pitiful that one can’t even see that the harder we try to hide our ugliness that the more obvious and clear it becomes. When a person confesses their ugliness(which we all possess in some form to some degree) I see a truly beautiful soul!! There are some very beautiful souls on this site…and there are some potentially beautiful souls that can’t or won’t take our hands off our eyes.

  55. joycemb says:

    Praising God and rejoicing in how God used this current thread to answer a request I made a week ago. Thank you pooh for being the mode God used for further healing to this damaged soul. One never knows how God will answer prayer, but He always does:-) Thank you for being available this morning! God bless you my friend! (It wasn’t about what you said but how you said it, by the way.)

  56. joycemb says:

    Pearl there is healing available also for what you just described. Praying for humble hearts here.

  57. street says:

    Faith is the entire person in the right relationship with God through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

  58. street says:

    Psalm 34:1–22

  59. street says:

    Messengers of the unforeseen miracle that followed announced that the way forward would not be by law—but in the spirit, and by the Spirit—of a new liberty—“against which there is no law”.

    3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and your son [d]Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway to the [e]fuller’s field, 4 and say to him, ‘Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Aram, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has planned evil against you, saying, 6 “Let us go up against Judah and [f]terrorize it, and make for ourselves a breach in [g]its walls and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,” 7 thus says the Lord [h]God: “It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass. 8 For the head of Aram is Damascus and the head of Damascus is Rezin (now within another 65 years Ephraim will be shattered, so that it is no longer a people), 9 and the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you will not believe, you surely shall not last.”’”

    10 Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” 13 Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. 15 He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. 16 For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.

    looked like an unforeseen prophecy too. out of the unexpected. Jesus is like that all the time.
    been thinking of the free hand of God in all things. even job understood He could do all things.

    Job 42:2
    “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”

    all things is a little different than anything.

  60. street says:

    she will call His name Immanuel

    mary after being around Jesus a very long time and seeing and hearing the things he did definitely came the conclusion, “Immanuel!”

    thinking this is before Pentecost.

  61. jeff1 says:

    The difficult part of faith is trusting God in the bad times i.e. when evil is triumphing over good.

    This is when I find taking refuge in Christ gives me the peace and strength I need to trust again.

    It is not about me or the mystery of what God is doing in the world but the ‘ONE’ whose sacrifice has ensured my place in Heaven. This is the word of God and His promise to me regardless of my weaknesses or my poor attempts to please Him with my good intentions which often amount to nothing more than my guilt for knowing that I fail Him more than I do not.

    God’s goodness and mercy triumphs over a world where often it is difficult to see who is the perpetrator and who is the victim. I thank God that I can trust Him when in my weakness I can so easily blur His truth in search for my own.

  62. street says:

    So am I just imagining it? Or are people like us—who think we “get “ this New Testament way of life—still inclined to turn a list of what we can’t do—like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—into Old Testament-like rules of “do this!”

    this cracked me up when i read this tonight.

    thinking one controlled, by the Spirit, can not help but be loving joyful at peace patient kind good faithful gentle and under control. Christ like.

  63. street says:

    jeff said,” The difficult part of faith is trusting God in the bad times”

    even when common sense and the facts say otherwise, faith can see past them. we understand justice is coming, death, and it has been met at the cross, mercy. for the elect, and they do face a judgement, a little different than some of their contemporaries. abraham working to secure an heir through a surrogate was denied. the promise is good and our works are null and void. this living in the Spirit is a pursuit of living in His presents. i can see why the law was laying on the ground in pieces. no substitutes.

  64. jeff1 says:

    It may have cracked you up Street but I find myself trying to do these things in my own strength when I wander from ‘Christ’. It is He who draws me back to Himself proving how useless I am without Him.

    BECAUSE HE LIVES

    God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
    He came to love, heal and forgive;
    He lived and died to buy my pardon,
    An empty graves is there to prove my Saviour lives!

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
    Because He lives, all fear is gone;
    Because I know He holds the future,
    And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!

    How sweet to hold a new born baby,
    And feel the pride and joy he gives;
    But greater still the calm assurance;
    This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

    And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
    I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
    And then, as death gives way to victory,
    I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
    Because He lives, all fear is gone;
    Because I know He holds the future,
    And life is worth the living Just because He lives!

  65. joycemb says:

    Good morning all,

    I’m thinking about the Godhead, the three in one, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. If I am already in Christ I know the Father and am indwelt by the Holy Spirit. So actually what we do or do not do affects our relationship with God. How can it not? We don’t lose our free will, our ability to choose what we do each day, however, as happened to me yesterday God answers prayer– working in ways beyond my ability to choose or control the means of the outcome. Oh I may try as the post suggests, but in the end, as our friend Job found out, best to stick with the “better Way” and just leave the outcome to God, who always judges fairly yet doesn’t mean it won’t be messy.

    God chooses to see me as perfect in Christ, but He knows what a mess I am still. How can I not be? Its in my genes, environment, and the not-so-good choices I make every day. I just read an article that states scientists have discovered that trauma experienced by our grandparents has altered our genetic makeup. I guess the ancients already knew this though when they wrote that God visits the iniquity of the fathers down to the third and forth generations. Which is why “Just Do It” doesn’t do anything but give us a new pair of shoes to walk around in. Oh but new shoes feel so good if properly fitted, until they wear out,that is.

    Joy to the world because of Jesus!

  66. poohpity says:

    It is so easy to blame; “It is how you wrote it” rather than accept responsibility; “It is how I read it”.

    I taught in a class during the time I worked in a detox unit “Just Do It” using David as an example. Everyone was afraid to go against the giant(for them it was sobriety)but David knew that God would help as He faced the giant. So he took what was available to him, the three small stones, and just did it by facing the giant.

    David had to first admit there was a giant; then how weak and small he was compared to the task; then reject the advice to wear the kings armor and fight the battle the way everyone else said he ought to but instead using his own weapon the sling shot claimed the victory or outcome was in God’s hands. The Israeli army and his brothers looked at the size of the giant but David looked at the size of his God. So “Just do It” has a whole new meaning. The soldiers ran the other way but David faced him in the name of the Lord.

    For the things I face today I sure do need faith like David that I can overcome in the name of the Lord.

  67. street says:

    but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

    yes it does get messy. God is looking to the harvest and watching over His field. i still love mary thinking Jesus a gardener by the tomb. yes we are sheep indeed.

  68. street says:

    22
    But if they had stood in my council,
    they would have proclaimed my words to my people
    and would have turned them from their evil ways
    and from their evil deeds.

  69. joycemb says:

    I will not accept any condemnation relating to what God has miraculously done for me. Just a heads up here. What God has done cannot be changed! He has done what no counseling philosophy could. His ways are perfect. Blessed be the name of the LORD!

  70. street says:

    17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

  71. street says:

    so this line on face book…. i change some of the words.

    instead of using the excuse i am human to walk in the flesh, try believing in the Resurrection as a reason to walk in the Spirit. just thinking again. no substitutes.

  72. joycemb says:

    And no more cognitive dissonance, street.

  73. street says:

    that’s going to be tough on a site that encourages thinking!

  74. joycemb says:

    I guess it depends on what you choose to read?

  75. joycemb says:

    Renewing of the mind.

  76. street says:

    faith hope love. bringing peace with man. not the absence of conflict. let the joy continue. no complacency
    thinking it is still a work of God. thinking of the saints, i can not think of one who was not in the midst of a conflict. thinking they will take shots from all sides. it’s a good thing they have a shield.

  77. joycemb says:

    Amen

  78. street says:

    joycemb said,”I guess it depends on what you choose to read?” i could be illiterate and my mind would be just as profane. not trying to argue.
    denying myself and taking up my cross and following Jesus can do a world of good. no life apart from Him.

  79. street says:

    joycemb said,”Renewing of the mind.”

    thinking, returning to the joy of salvation.

    Romans 12:1-2 living sacrifice

    have to admit only God can hold us together on this.

  80. joycemb says:

    8:55 agree also yet by the grace of God changes do take place, whether through reading or hearing Godly instruction. We have ears and eyes for a reason, correct? God is the filter if we are Christ’s. Not arguing here either, just thinking. There is a difference between words that enlighten vs words that cause dissension. Nice chatting with you.

  81. SFDBWV says:

    Last night was “Trick or Treat” night here in our small town. I had more than a few people thank me for allowing the kids to have a good old fashioned fun evening. Our local church also had a pizza party following the trick or treat hours. That combination worked out very well.

    It was 40 degrees and Glenna sat on the porch swing wrapped up in her favorite blanket as I oversaw the goodies. Matt sat at his computer and enjoyed playing solitaire.

    I loved the evening as we got to visit with so many folks, the kids all decked out in their costumes and most all of their mothers were also. One fellow actually towed a trailer filled with kids and the trailer all decorated as well. The men and I got to discuss the many bear sightings we have enjoyed this year.

    Sometimes life can be good, I try and remember those days and give thanks for them.

    I made chocolate and apple turnovers this morning and as of this writing Matt has succeeded in getting to and doing his weight lifting exercises, next is his bike.

    Like Mart said, just do it, enjoy what you can and be thankful for it all.

    Steve

  82. poohpity says:

    wow Steve! That is the first time in a long time you have shared something fun and it brought a big smile to my heart. So glad you enjoyed your evening and morning. :-)

  83. street says:

    thinking about paul when he was thought of as unimpressive and there was nothing about him that commanded respect. yet his letter were weighty and tough on the soul. some thought he was a paper tiger. his warning to the ones who lived by a different gospel would be uncovered and exposed when he showed up. to be found out that you were not abiding in the presents of Jesus who be a very bad place to be. doubt is another terrible place to be too. law and order make place for both of these problems that plague mankind. oh the Sovereignty and Providence of God!

  84. SFDBWV says:

    Pooh I am glad you enjoyed our pleasant day along with us.

    The fact is we have lots of “good” days. Life in our world is always at the extremes. A blend of life that enables us to continue on.

    We laugh a lot. It is a gift that we can share laughter especially at the ugly things in life. Which is I suppose why we enjoy satire comedy so much.

    Today Matt and I will go to the grocery store in Keyser, WV. Along the way we will stop at Subway and have dinner. Getting out of the house is always good for Matt, seeing and getting to interact with others is especially good for him.

    It is all called “life” and we all live out each day some way or another. The best days are always when we can bless another.

    So I hope all of you out there today are blessed and can bless another in your own way.

    Viv, Matt got a new Kenny Chesney CD and one of the songs on it is called “Elvis and Jesus”. I immediately thought of you when I seen the title and heard the song.

    40 degrees and cloudy.

    Steve

  85. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Steve, for all his waywardness in his life I will always see Elvis with Jesus.

    Maybe its because like Elvis I see myself as wayward yet in his heart Elvis right up until his death knew who to turn to when the chips where down.

    Its a small world for it was my love of Elvis’s rock and roll that lead me to buying his gospel album ‘His Hand In Mine’, I was around 10 years old and when my sister leant it to someone and it was never returned to me I remember being very angry with my sister for not getting it back.

    It was some 40 years later when I managed to buy the CD (my original had been a LP)on the internet and it was like me winning a million pounds because I had not been able to get it anywhere here as I had tried everywhere but this is a very small country as you know and it was not easy available.

    I thank GOD for Elvis for whenever I was upset and doubted GOD I only had to listen to this album and I doubted no more.

    It was not just the beautiful words of the songs but the depth of the heart of the man who sang them, no one can sing that beautifully without being a blessing from God.

    There are just some things you know and you don’t know why you do but I know Elvis is alive and singing these songs with Jesus now.

    He may be absent in this world but in the hearts of the fans who loved him; Elvis and his music lives on and still inspires other well known artists today almost 40 years since his death. Michael Bubble said his voice had been ‘Kissed by God’ reiterating my belief that there are some things we know and cannot explain.

    You may ask me how I know my Lord is real (my Lord is real)
    You may doubt the things I say and doubt the way I feel(the way I feel)
    But I know He’s real today He’ll always be (He’ll always be)
    I can feel his hand in mine and that’s enough for me

    I will never walk alone (He holds my hand)
    He will guide each step I take
    And if I fall I know He’ll understand
    Till the day He tells me why He loves me so(He loves me so)
    I can feel His hand in mine
    That’s all I need to know

    I will never walk alone He holds my hand(He holds my hand)
    He will guide each step I take
    And if I fall I know He’ll understand
    Till the day He tells my why He loves me so(He loves me so)
    I can feel His hand in mine
    That’s all I need to know

    I can feel His hand in mine
    That’s all I need to know

  86. SFDBWV says:

    Good day to you Viv. Music has the most profound effect on me as well. Oddly it is seldom the words that touch me so deeply, but rather the music, even the tone of the singer’s voice is more music than words to me. Sometimes though when both the words and music come together it is almost supernatural.

    I have many favorites from many different singers.

    It is a well-known fact that when Elvis and Johnny Cash came to Nashville as young men they wanted to do gospel music, but was met with discouragement from record producers who in those days controlled the people under contract to them. Once both were able to do things their way they sang about their love for God and Jesus as Lord.

    Amazingly the establishment in Nashville has not changed much over the years as Dolly Parton still has to produce her own music and there is no one in country music more vocal about her Christian faith than she.

    I am glad you enjoy Elvis’ gospel music. I find something uplifting, soul stirring and very emotional in music and when there it always makes me feel as though I am in the presence of God.

    Be blessed my friend.

    Steve

  87. jeff1 says:

    I think you have put into words in your last chapter how it makes me feel also.

    When disbelief grips my mind; music speaks to my heart and I cannot quite explain it but I just know that God is reassuring me that all is well in His Kingdom and the strength I get from that gives me great peace of mind.

    Poetry has the same effect as music and the poems of Helen Steiner Rice are timeless and reflect the beauty of a heart touched by God.

    There Are No Words

    There are no words …. what can I say?
    At last her sweet soul winged its way
    To peace and freedom in the sky
    Where never again will she suffer or cry.

    It’s all part of God’s great plan…
    Which remains a mystery to man.
    We cannot understand His ways
    Nor can we count our earthly days.

    But who are we to question and doubt?
    God knowth well what He’s about;
    He knew she longed to “go to sleep”
    Where only angels, a vigil keep.

    The pain of living grew too great
    No longer could she stay and wait;
    She did not want to leave you, dear,
    But she had finished her work down here.

    So she closed her eyes and when she awoke,
    These are the words the Master spoke…
    “Welcome, dear child, you are home at last,
    And now the burden of living is past.”

    “There’s work for you in my Kingdom, dear
    And you are needed and wanted here.”
    So weep not, she has just gone on ahead,
    Don’t think of her as being dead.

    She’s out of sight for a little while,
    And you’ll miss her touch and little smile,
    But you know she is safe in the home above
    Where there is nothing but peace and love.

    And surely, you would not deny her peace…
    And you are glad that she has found release.
    Think of her there as as a soul that is free,
    And Home at last, where she wanted to be.

  88. joycemb says:

    Viv I think of the grace of God to Saul when David would play for him to remove his torment. The same grace still remains, I find it myself often.

    New International Version
    Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

  89. joycemb says:

    Viv, If you are interested, this site does a good job of explaining the verse I just posted, it can be difficult to understand, I think.

    got questions dot org › evil-spirit-Saul

  90. joycemb says:

    Viv I Hope you are not thinking that Sauls problem was a mental illness, because it wasn’t. But my point in sharing this scripture was to encourage that as you have said, music and verse are means God uses to calm a troubled mind. It works this way for me also.

  91. foreverblessed says:

    This morning I hada nice walk around the water parts in myarea, the sun shines and reflects so nicely in the water!
    God is good, He always is.
    His world is based on love.
    I remember when at universiteit, a Guy asked me whyI was Following all those rules, rules out of a book?
    At that time I could not give the answer of the Gospel of Grace.
    But his question always remained with me:
    Hosting because of a rule, a duty!

    While everything Idoshoulx be out of the love of my heart,
    a heart that is changed by Grace. A changed heart, the old reflexes of the fallen man crucified everytime it turns up.
    Laying all my sins and shortcomings at the Cross.
    And then asking for His love, peace, patience filling me!

    It sounds so easy, too good to be true!
    But that is the Gospel of Grace:
    I give all my blackness to Jesus He gives all His Light / Life to me!

  92. foreverblessed says:

    His question remained with me:
    Do I obey out of duty?

    Would I like my husband to do things because of a set of rules out of a book?
    Or do I want him todo things out of the love of his heart for me?

    Isn’t God like us?
    Doesn’t He want us to Love Him, and that love would be the motivation of our being and doing?
    1 John 4:16b (NIV)

  93. joycemb says:

    Yes, we obey out of love. If you love me, Jesus said…

  94. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, I did not misunderstand as regards Saul and believe that God uses the same tools to strengthen and comfort us today.

    To know God finds a way to let us know He loves us in a world where it is difficult to feel loved is so amazing and it encourages and strengthens our faith in Him as we hear others talk of similar revelations.

    I for a long time believed God was an angry God and wanted to hide away when I failed in my walk but now I know that God wants to encourage me and not condemn and it is such a burden lifted from me.

    I believe many still see God as an angry God because of wrong beliefs and I understand this from my own experience and it is not a good place to be but time is in God’s hand and there is always hope in His healing.

    Thank you for sharing.

  95. joycemb says:

    Praise God for helping you and myself also understand that God is not waiting to hurt us but to love and encourage us as we grow in wisdom and knowledge of who he is. Its so good being a child of the most high God isn’t it!!

  96. foreverblessed says:

    Law and order, a person who is in charge of a company, or country, can make his own laws, with the consent of committies (no more dictators in the modern world, hopefull)
    Today a film is released, a documentary by Anthony Baxter, ‘You’ve been trumped too’.
    Baxter says, in the election it is all words, here you can see what he has done.

    Making rules so you can have your own way, not for the best of the people, but for your own projecten, just like Berlusconi has done for years in Italy.

    Psalm 37:7-9 (NIV)
    Be still before the Lord and waiting patiently for Him;
    Do not fret when men succes in their ways..
    Refrain from anger and turn from wrath,
    do not fret- it leads only to evil.
    For evil men will be cut off,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

    v10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more,
    though you look for them, they will not be found.
    v11 But the meek will inherit the land
    and enjoy great peace

  97. joycemb says:

    Rereading this morning I remember coming to the harsh reality a while ago that the church does not meet NT standards and wondered if it ever really did or even could on this side of heaven. Forever I agree that men do try to make their own rules (some gleaned from the Bible even) in order to create their own little Utopias. Money and power go together, yet often power is a false illusion created by men of little minds (and little money) but lots of charisma. These are able to capture people with little real knowledge and education into becoming followers and worshippers even. I just also read 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 and it occurs to me the reason for this warning is to keep the body from being contaminated by outside philosophies and heresays. There is so much going on all the time, but I trust God that His church will prevail until we are called home. Actually anytime now BEFORE the elections would be good for me!

    Have a great day/evening all doing what you can in your own little places in the world, with love and blessings from above!
    Joyce

  98. poohpity says:

    That film sounds like what it has been like for years here. The politicians do what helps them, their friends and their families not taking into consideration the needs of the people. They loosely translate the law and our Constitution. The law does not apply equally to the government as it does to the people therefore the lawlessness has trickled down into our communities.

    We have one candidate that has made millions off of supposed service to our country and one who worked by building things to make money so does not need to hold office to get rich. Career politician or citizen who has worked. It was an easy choice for me since I have been watching what our government has not done and what it has done for almost 8 years now. My hope is in the Lord to bring about change for the people who live here and in turn will bring help around the world.

  99. poohpity says:

    According to our Constitution our founders never meant for there to be career politicians they meant for this to be a citizen government run by the people and for the people.

  100. SFDBWV says:

    I have such little time I feel guilty if I set here and read or post to BTA, but I am always thinking about the subjects and my friends here.

    Yesterday I was thinking about the Greeks influence and the Roman rule that learned from it how to be a society.

    The word “barbarian” came about as being any civilization that did not speak either Greek or Latin.

    A truly fascinating book to read is “The Persian Wars” written by Herodotus, who is called the father of history.

    Anyway there today is a reference to Roman rule on “Our Daily Bread”, an apt subject to our own here on BTA.

    When I just moments ago sat down and read pooh’s thoughts about the election here in the USA and hoping for the Rapture before November 8, I laughed.

    Clearly the USA is getting what it has created in its cauldron of political poison.

    Perhaps God’s judgements are simply to let people have their own way.

    Roman iron fisted rule and what sounds as cruelty is what is prominent in what people see or hear today about ancient Rome, however if you take a closer look, we here in the “western world” are who we are as a result of it. Our culture, our architecture, our legal structure even our language is as a result of it.

    We are, if you will, the remnants of the “western Empire”.

    Many will argue about Constantine’s conversion to Christianity and subsequent “law” making Christianity the official religion of all that was “Rome”. However the fact remains as a result all of the world heard the message of Salvation.

    And it became easier for government to maintain “law and order” from both a civil and religious sense as the “don’ts took on a deeper meaning other than just being against the law of man when incorporating God into the mix.

    Trying to separate such a mix creates some very difficult and confusing views.

    My friend Pat sent me a cute joke about the first “co-gender” toilet, it was a picture of an old fashioned “outhouse”. Very funny yet a reminder that as man’s laws may change, God’s does not.

    Over stayed my visit…

    Steve

  101. poohpity says:

    Steve, I do not believe I said anything about hoping for the rapture before the election.

    Making a law about the use of bathrooms shows just how much our Constitution is being ruined. That was an executive action which according to the Constitution is what the legislative branch is in charge of making the laws, the executive is to enforce the laws and the judicial branch interprets the laws but for the last 8 years the boundaries of those unique branches have been compromised. One of the candidates running now wants to appoint Supreme Court Justices that will uphold her ideology rather than upholding the Constitution. We will get more of the very same things.

  102. street says:

    Law and Order
    nations of rules
    been thinking about posts about nations. God gave israel the cup of His wrath to drink and she drank it completely. afterwards God said He would give the cup of His wrath to drink to “all” the nations. doesn’t look good for mankind in this.

    God also said He would call a people not His people, His people and a nation that is not a nation, a nation.
    Jesus was quite clear His Kingdom is not of this present world, yet we know He is waiting for His Father to make a footstool for His feet of His enemies. His is also interceding on the elect’s behalf as their High Priest. He also asks us to come to Him.

  103. street says:

    a Guy asked me why I was Following all those rules, rules out of a book?

    thinking i delight in Your Law Lord, because it is love for me and my neighbor. this faith that led abraham to mt moriah to sacrifice his son challenges the soul even today. God did make His name Great and did keep the other promises too. law and order trumped by faith. i kinda think sarah was a little upset with this story. abraham!, you what?

  104. SFDBWV says:

    Pooh with regards to what I thought I read clearly from your post, following your correcting me. This is so strange.

    I read it several times yesterday before posting and each time I read the words “BEFORE” the election” with before in capitals. Which is what made me laugh as I thought like most of us you seen nothing but a loss for whoever the people elect.

    My mistake, but it will remain a mystery to me how what I read several times is not there this morning.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Steve

  105. SFDBWV says:

    It has been said that looking back causes regret whereas looking forward is hope.

    Mart finishes his comments with “love”.

    We speak of songs and poetry and I am reminded of how many are dedicated to love.

    The sweet pain of regret and hungry lure of hope.

    I, like many of you I am sure, have heard people say what a nice story the Bible is, but for them it is just a “story”.

    For them their hopes are placed in the cold hard facts of this world and either in their own abilities or the abilities of someone they admire or trust.

    We who never actually seen Jesus nor heard Him speak have been captured by the “Hope” we believe in found there in the “story” of God and man, the Bible.

    Almost sad and pathetic we find ourselves trying to “do” what is “right” in order to receive that realization of acquiring that “thing” we hope for. And we place the hope of acquiring it through Jesus of Nazareth, because we believe what the Bible says to be “Truth” not just a story.

    Like little children we are made to feel that if we do what is right we will get what we want and if we “don’t” we don’t.

    It ain’t easy to just close your eyes and live a life of “love” when there is so much hate and anger around us and thrown at us.

    So it becomes another do or don’t in a way.
    “Do” accept Jesus as Lord and receive the desires of your heart.
    “Don’t” reject Him or face eternal punishment.

    Long off in the plan of God He will destroy death and hell and create a new heaven and a new earth.

    It is my hope in that new creation there will be no reason for regret only elated joy of living in the hope we in this one long for.

    26 degrees this morning and clear.

    Steve

  106. poohpity says:

    I am actually looking forward to the winner of this election being one who will follow law and order, one who is not a politician, one who will clean up the corruption in the government and will uphold the Constitution. I tried to look at the accomplishments of each candidate rather than their flaws because I know each of them has many. So my choice was pretty clear to me and I am really praying he wins. We need real change for the better not just talking about change as we had the last 8 years which did result in change but it was not the kind of change that helped our country or our relations in the world around us.

    It saddens me because it is the same with the bible as it is with our Constitution both give the fabric of what our nation was founded on but many never read either.

  107. poohpity says:

    “Do” accept Jesus and receive forgiveness for your sins and a relationship with Him to live this life being content.

    “Don’t” accept Jesus and live this life trying to find something to satisfy a need, hunger, thirst that will never be satisfied.

  108. joycemb says:

    Steve I know what you mean, these posts do tend to run together sometimes but I knew you had read my post, 8:56 am.

    In other news…… I was remembering once when I brought bananas for our apt. coffee and how one lady said she had forgotten to get them and didn’t have a way to the store again so could she please have a couple more. I said sure and she was so happy and felt blessed. I of course had no idea she was in need, but God did! Anyway, it made me think this morning about how we play by totally different rules than the secular world. When God says He will supply all our needs, He does. When God says trust in Me, fear not, follow Me, believe in Me, have faith in Me etc. we can know when we do theses things that God is real and will take care of us. And even when our faith falters, as it does from time to time, as Christ followers He still meets our needs. No secular government can do these things because mans rules always fail, always. So glad to be under a heavenly rule where surprises are common and always good!

  109. poohpity says:

    Viv, if you get a chance read Our Daily Bread for today and read the comment made by elderoy. When I read it I thought of you.

  110. SFDBWV says:

    My most profound apologies to you Joyce.

    I almost never read pooh’s posts and should have checked again at the top, sorry.

    At any rate I and Matt and Glenna join with you in hoping that the rapture comes “BEFORE” Election Day.

    Steve

  111. joycemb says:

    Steve no apologies needed, I read it as though you were reading the thread and picking up highlights. The best joke I’ve heard so far is: what is the worst part of the election? Answer: somebody’s going to win -( I hope God has a wonderful surprise going on in the background. After all.. His ways are not our ways, whether your name is Hillary or the other guys name. I’m voting for Jesus :-)

  112. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Pooh I read the comments by elderoy and he is right it really is a challenge to be a follower of Christ and I am more times ‘the sinner saved by Grace’ but each time I get up I feel God’s steadfast influence and His mercy.

    Next Sunday is our Service Of Remembrance and our Rector wrote this hymn for it on his visit to Delville Wood 2016 and I thought I would share.

    When war’s dark shadow cast
    Its pall of desolation
    Forth to the conflict came
    The flower of the nation,
    They came, they fought, they died to keep,
    The light of freedom burning.
    Their loss caused broken hearts to weep,
    For sons no more returning,
    No greater love than this
    Can one show to another,
    Than to lay down your life
    For friend or foe or brother.

    There is no greater love,
    That one can show another,
    Than to lay down your life,
    For friend or foe or brother.
    And there was one who showed such love,
    When all was black with evil,
    He came and broke the power of sin,
    And bought in blood our freedom.
    No greater love than this
    Can one show to another,
    Than to lay down your life
    For friend or foe or brother.
    On Calvary’s cruel cross
    Salvation’s work was finished.
    When He was bruised for me,
    And pierced for my transgressions.
    He came, He died, He rose, He lives
    To take my sins sorrows
    Because He lives, I now have life
    And endless new tomorrows.
    No greater love than this
    Can one show to another,
    Than to lay down your life
    For friend or foe or brother.

  113. jeff1 says:

    7th row up should read ‘To take my sins and sorrows

  114. street says:

    He knew even someone as flawed Caesar was needed. But he’d experienced a way of understanding law—and grace— that he, and a growing number of other fresh voices were willing to die for.

    Romans 8:20
    For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope

    thinking about how badly we need to have a robe of Righteousness and a pure heart. even with theses i think we could not rest till we till we see God. moses was know as a friend of God. he asked to see Him.

  115. street says:

    So am I just imagining it? Or are people like us—who think we “get “ this New Testament way of life—still inclined to turn a list of what we can’t do

    thinking of all the time between the beginning and the cross to the present not to mention the many years i have been here, God took His time in revealing Himself to mankind. some how i don’t think it could amuse Him when we try to put it into words. i think actions speak better and faith working against our own flesh and trust in His Word brings us to a place we really want to be. being ready to respond in season and out of season could only be done in His Spirit, not our flesh. the flesh is so unreliable, yet it is God’s instrument of choice for His Spirit. rejoice in your Redeemer for He is very powerful.

  116. street says:

    Jeremiah 31:34
    34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

  117. street says:

    it’s sad mart that the do’s and don’t premeditate the human heart of christian believers and a cause for much friction with each other. i was with a group of christian’s last night that are actively involved with serving others. yet when they came together they seemed like lost sheep among each other. the focus was the servers not the served. it was like being turned upside down. i know it takes time to built trust with God and even longer to with others because we are so vulnerable. we needs robs of righteousness as soon as possible. from what i understand this has happened. the heart needs to catch up to what God has done. thinking this can only happen when it is Christ centered. so i begin with do’s and don’t again. there has to be a way forward. “deny yourself take up your cross daily and follow Me,” said Jesus.

    in God we trust, for He is trustworthy and we are the works of His hands. conform me to the image of your Son.

  118. SFDBWV says:

    As long as we are conscious we will forever be faced with do and don’t from God or if still alive, from man. This is inevitable and without discussion.

    What both governments, and I might add God, wants from us is to just do on our own, just do it.

    Live a lawful existence without question and without thought of doing any wrong.

    Man was placed in Eden, and right away God said it is not right that man be alone. Was this a mistake God made or a plan God had?

    I believe it God’s plan. Why show it as an afterthought from God? I don’t know.

    I am not convinced God has a learning experience identified as an afterthought.

    What was the purpose of man’s being there in Eden? Just another creature made of the elements to live out an eternal existence as overseer of the garden?

    I am not convinced of that either.

    It is said that God is love. How can love exist without someone else to love?

    In my heart and as I have said before to try and make sense of the whole of the “story” I think we are only privileged to “know” a part of the story, that our story only a part of a much bigger one we are not allowed or able to know as yet.

    The best any of us can do for now, is to do right by others however we can. To help where help is needed, to comfort where comfort is needed, to feed the hungry when we can and clothe the poor when we are able. To be a friend to the friendless and show kindness and compassion to all we are able.

    We may not be able to change the world, but we can change ours.

    Peace to all on a very nice fall evening in the mountains of West Virginia from me and my family.

    Steve

  119. street says:

    thinking of the do’s and don’t as related to the story of joseph. thinking God’s hand was heavy on him in a light way. take My yoke on upon you for it is easy and light.

  120. street says:

    jeff said,”Thinking the fact that I am not enjoying it as I should maybe that I am not one of the elect. (God’s chosen)”

    rejoice! when you encounter various trials and sufferings , God is at work in you for His Glory and your Good. do not suffer for doing evil, when we do,let it be for doing good and not evil. there is no reward for doing evil. it will pass away. God is always close, our hearts and minds need to be fixed on Him. if we are at work we should be working for Him. that will definitely bring fireworks to the work place to some. the hard part is working without the sin of pride or envy. thinking the motive is the Spirit of love for God. then again no laws against that.

  121. jeff1 says:

    Why do I wrestle with God so much, when my dad just got God; and the need for suffering in this world and he did it so well; and I am so weak and weary of it all and if it where not for others walk’s of faith like my dad’s I fear I would loose my faith.

    Why do I depend so much on others faith to keep me clinging to the cross?

    Why do my doubts so overwhelm me until I am strengthened by another!

    I knew my father’s righteousness was God given for no one makes the sound judgements he made without God’s hand in it but why are mine more man driven for they are unsound judgements yet God must have a purpose for me regardless of my weakness for I am part of the body of Christ; the weakest link; not the strongest link; but a link just the same!

    A jigsaw is not complete without the last piece is it?

    God knows the pieces and they all fit together; its all part of HIS plan and He knows just where the pieces fit.

  122. street says:

    good questions jeff. remembering paul saying God’s power is perfected in weakness. thinking of joseph being separated from his family in order to save them. Jesus being separated from His Father at the cross to save us! Jesus learn obedience through suffering. we learn love through suffering and interceding for others. we are called to be priest, isn’t Jesus The Great high Priest and we are to be conformed to His Image? don’t think we will be able to boast in anything, but Jesus. thinking these questions you asked can be best answered by sending time with Him. spending time with Him is great, abiding through the day takes practice and effort. obedience gets you there quicker.

  123. street says:

    i forgot to mention it is easier to abide in the day with Jesus, i think harder in the night. there is a thing called the perseverance of the saints that gets us through it. peter walking on water in the presents of Jesus and then sinking would a picture of the darkness i would think. Jesus is never far away. He made sure of it with the Holy Spirit. He was right in that it was better for Him to go away so the Spirit could come. it is interesting He was never overwhelmed with the crowd. remember when He said, who touched Me? we can not hide in the crowd.

  124. street says:

    dear jeff, thinking about the awful feeling of how bad we really are and the struggle we face on a daily basis. plagiaus was non believer who was comforted in the idea there was something of merit or good in him that God would save Him. this is not true our joy comes from God and His unmerited favor in Christ. in other words our joy should come not come from ourselves, but from a mercyfull and loving Father and Savior. thinking it is better to not find joy in ourselves, we get bored, but to find it in God.

  125. joycemb says:

    Dear Viv, yes you asked some very good questions. Self reflection shows vulnerability and humility. You are in process as we all are. I was reminded of the process in church today. It took great courage and strength but I was able to attend early service. I walk in alone, sit alone-as I have most of my adult life-and leave alone. It used to bother me, especially after my divorce with the shame involved. Yet in all the years of struggling to overcome my past what has happened is that I no longer need comforters, but am a comforter to others. I am as Paul said in Corinthians now able to comfort those as I have been comforted, by God. So this morning, sitting alone as usual, a choir member asked if she could sit with me because she was alone (her husband was not there). I said of course. Sitting there I thought, I’m always alone and often lonely, and this married woman asks for comfort from me!!!! Then I thought thank you LORD for this ministry of comfort you have given me. And that I’m never alone because Jesus is closer to me than anyone. Viv it’s taken many years for me to be content with where I am at, accepting that I am now being poured out as a sweet offering to Christ, in the midst of my own need; need that God has chosen to give me and use in order to fulfill His purposes for my life hidden in Christ. Rejoice that you are His and His plan is perfect for you.
    Blessings, Joyce

  126. joycemb says:

    The sermon today was on I Timothy 2:1-7 regarding the elections. He gleaned many good points reminding us of our vocation and goals as citizens of the Kingdom of God. Focus is everything! So glad I went today.

  127. joycemb says:

    The part that convicted me was that we are to give thanks for ALL our leaders, ALL! Wow, along with prayers for change etc.

  128. jeff1 says:

    Very difficult for me too Joyce, the one thing that I seen in this beloved country is that our Politicians let us down often more than the ordinary people did.

    This made me angry because those who where suppose to be leading where the problem and not the solution.

    I see it yet with our Politicians and it is why I believe that it with take a younger generation of Politicians to make a difference here.

    People here hang onto the past and that is not healthy for anyone but people do it just the same.

    Our own worst enemies is how I would describe many and I cannot live here and not get caught up in the reality of it all.

    I was thinking of my friend who died last year and she had lived in more difficult times than I did; during the first world war; and she said that our heads where filled with fairy tales but life was no fairy tale.

    I understood that comment because I had been raised on the same fairy tale i.e. find yourself a husband, have a family and live happily ever after.

    Life never does work out as I plan yet in my head it does not stop me from planning.

    God has His way and I know it is not to harm me for God is more concerned with my eternal condition than my temporary one.

    I do not always see what is best for me so I will trust Him not just with my Salvation but for my deliverance.

    Thinking what you said Street about finding our joy in God and not ourselves. I find joy in doing, its little things that matter to me but I find it difficult in a world where younger generations seem to believe its the big things that matter.

    The reality of the world I live in is that it is a materialistic one and as a woman I find the temptation is great.

    I went into a shop which has been decorated for Christmas and the display is out of this world.

    There is both beauty and ugliness even in things as there is in us.

    It is how GOD sees us that matters because I cannot say I am something I am not but trust God that He will find purpose in my life or even my death for that matter.

    This is the New Elvis Presley Album out for Christmas with the technology nowadays they have combined his voice with the ‘the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’ and it is called ‘the Wonder Of You’ and I have mentioned here before that this song he dedicated to GOD and not his wife as many thought.

    When no-one else can understand me
    When everything I do is wrong
    You give me hope and consolation
    You give me strength to carry on
    And you’re always there to lend a hand
    In everything I do
    That’s the wonder
    The wonder of you
    And when you smile the world is brighter
    You touch my hand and I am a king
    Your kiss to me is worth a fortune
    Your love for me is everything
    I guess I’ll never know the reason why
    You love me like you do
    That’s the wonder
    The wonder of you

  129. poohpity says:

    That is why I am so impressed at the courage of one of our candidates who made the choice to go against the political machine. Our federal government was created to be a citizen government but it has turned into a political nightmare. For anyone to run who is not entrenched by special interest groups or lobbyists take guts. It seems to be worse than any mafia or organized crime group but it is our government. I am so glad someone finally stood up to them. I was not looking for a Messiah because I already have one but I was hoping for someone to go against what I have watched happening to our country while those in Washington and their friends and family prosper off of the very tax dollars the American people sweat to give them and they totally misuse, abuse and think it grows on trees while the people are hunched over with a great burden.

  130. joycemb says:

    “The main spokesperson for the New Way was as much of a surprise as his message. As a former expert in rabbinic law, Paul knew that good laws have their place and use. He knew even someone as flawed Caesar was needed. But he’d experienced a way of understanding law—and grace— that he, and a growing number of other fresh voices were willing to die for.”

    Lord make us willing to die for the gospel, not for our rights, property, or success. Help us see your face and hear your voice in our busy ever changing world. Help us cast aside our own aspersions to become sons and daughters you can be proud of as we walk the dusty roads of planet earth. May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen

  131. foreverblessed says:

    To me, as a European, I am amazed at the fact that American do not want to play more taxes. We pay lots more taxes in my country. Americans who come here, at first are shocked at how much taxes they have to pay here. But after a while they see that the cost of living is not very high that you do not have to go to expensive private schools, that you do not have to go to very very expensive universities. That infra structure is running well. They see that the taxes are used wisely. That maybe some politicians are there for their own welfare but most are for the welfare of the citizens. Also the social welfare is a net that keeps you from becoming very poor when you lose your job.
    Anyway, what is said here ineurope, that it is the distrust between the two parties in the US, that has made the country lame.

    And I must say, your politicians are not half as corrupt as in some african countries, or as in Russia. Try living in Russia for a while, and then remember how well living it was in the US!

    It could be far worse!

    You can say, Lord come. But the main thing is:
    Lord come into my life Let me be a light sending out Christ’s light.

  132. joycemb says:

    Lol, a person has no control as to where they are born, and if we choose to stay in our country of origin there will always be better ways of doing things. Our country US is less than 250 years old and was a melting pot and still is of refugees from other nations looking for a better life away from wars, famines and oppression. Being a democracy there will always be internal struggles but also opportunities for freedom of expression–whether it be our feelings about race, creed or color. Oftentimes that freedom to express gets really really messy here, yet God is in the midst of it and praying Christians are what changes the darkness into light because our savior, warrior Jesus is our leader and guide! Prayer is the better way where on earth there is no utopia to be found. Please pray for our country that it would be a peaceful place for all Christians to live. Thanks forever!

  133. jeff1 says:

    It could be far worse!

    This saying bothers me because I really don’t believe that God intended us to compare to other countries or people in order to make us feel better about ourselves or our country.

    It is what it is and we are where we are and only God can help us. History has repeated itself and the only good news is that God knew it would.

    Men never fail to disappoint God for he knows what we are made of.

    Yes, I can look at Russia and other countries and say they are even more corrupt but does that make it right especially as Russia is a communist country so God’s expectations of her are not the same as those of so called Christian countries.

    What does God want from us today; but to admit that we need Him and stop wandering around in the dark like the lost souls that we are.

    ALL are like sheep and have gone astray, Jesus is not talking of communist Russia or non believers because they where not His to go astray.

    I know you people since before you where formed in your mother’s womb; we are the people who have strayed from His wholesome ways and we are the ones who need RESTORATION. GOD HELP US ALL.

  134. street says:

    after reading, “Time to Return” Encounter with God, from Scripture Union i thought of the do’s and don’t.

    the political and social upheaval of that time is no different then now and the remedy is the same. God changes not. God is such a better ruler then the sons of man. i am amazed He took on human flesh to accomplish His goals. oh for trust and bolder love in Christ Jesus.

  135. poohpity says:

    It is hard for people to understand who are used to the government being in control of their lives but here our Constitution was written by people coming from those countries who wanted to run their own lives without government interference. The Constitution was to control and limit the power of the government not for the government to control the people. It is created for the people and by the people to promote freedom of choice.

  136. poohpity says:

    I am not saying in anyway that one country is better than another because bottom line they are run by people and we have learned from history how that just causes messes upon messes. So in any country it will fall if enough people choose to do nothing, there will be no change if people are satisfied with the norm. The USA would not even be here if people had not revolted against government and in some cases the established church. There would not even be bibles for the everyday people if no one did anything to change things.

  137. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry Jeff, you are right, it is not good comparing.
    I was trying to say that insisting that US is in a terrible state, is besides reality.
    I remember Pooh telling she had been in an African State, and how thankful she was when she was back. Or was it other people I know who said that, when they came back from voluntary work in Afrika, that they had not known how blessed we are in the modern world.
    Country your blessing name then one by one.

    But Pooh, who then will repair all the bridges, if the Government does not do it?

  138. poohpity says:

    I never said I was glad to be back from Africa that has always been my love and the faith of the people there would put anyone to shame. I did say we in the USA throw away more food and there that even what we threw in the trash can they came finding purpose for even our trash.

    Since this administration has been in office our debt ratio to the income of our country is around 74% IN DEBT and if you count the external as well it is over 104%. In the Netherlands it is 65% in debt over income. This is from mismanagement of tax money and who pockets it is lining and leaving the infrastructure left undone.

  139. foreverblessed says:

    Count your blessings name them one by one.
    Thankful that we can have a church here, that we are free to have faith in Christ.
    That we can meet together in a real placeas christians.
    Thankful that we can have a Christian blog that we can read out of the bible, in the open.
    That it is allowed to have a bible in our times.
    Thankful that we can pray together.

    May God bless all of us.

  140. foreverblessed says:

    That we may have a bible in our homes. I am thankful for that!
    Seek the Lord while it is still day!
    It is still day!

  141. joycemb says:

    Amen Foreverblessed!

  142. joycemb says:

    “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.” Bible
    Then we can keep this blog a peaceful place to be.

  143. joycemb says:

    Even and in spite of what’s happening around us.

  144. jeff1 says:

    Yes, foreverblessed, I agree, we must continue to be thankful for the freedom we have in our own countries for to worship God.

    Whatever I believe about the failings of Government this is a secular world we live in and as such we are a minority and non believers rights are being seen as important as believers and the fact remains that we may one day find this world is not our home but then we already knew that didn’t we!

    We must change what we can but accept there are things we cannot change and God has not ask us to but to be faithful to the end of our days is God’s requirement of us.

    Jesus and His disciples days on this earth were not easy ones and if we are truly following in His footsteps then we may have to realize that neither might ours.

    Onward, Christian Soldiers!
    marching as to war,
    With the cross of Jesus
    Going on before.
    Christ, the royal Master,
    Leads against the foe;
    Forward into battle,
    See His banners go!

    At the sign of triumph
    Satan’s host doth flee;
    On, then, Christian soldier,
    On to victory.
    Hell’s foundations quiver
    At the shout of praise;
    Brothers, lift your voices,
    Loud your anthems raise.

    Like a mighty army
    Moves the church of God;
    Brothers, we are treading
    Where the Saints have trod.
    We are not divided;
    All one body we:
    One in hope and doctrine,
    One in charity.

    (Chorus)

    Onward, then, ye people;
    Join our happy throng.
    Blend with ours your voices
    In the triumph song:
    Glory, laud, and honour
    Unto Christ, the King.
    This through countless ages
    Men and angels sing.

    (Chorus)

  145. tiysh says:

    Good morning lovely people
    been quite some time now, glad to be back to share my thoughts as I learn from u also.
    Fruitful and lovely day to all!!!

  146. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you tiysh!
    (I have been here for 7 years, but I do not remember you?, but that is besides the point, that I am thankful for your blessing.)
    There are a few left here. But we are learning to have been thinking and share our thoughts, and keep praising God.
    It is a discipline thing, keeping our eyes on Jesus, and not reacting out of our old man.
    Street, I want to thank you for keeping us reminded of that fact, kill the old man: Put on the New man full of Hope and love for our fellow man/woman!

    The daytext for biblegateway yesterday was:
    1 Tim 2:1-2
    I add 1 Tim 2:3-8

    I was thinking about Steve saying, ( do not remember his words) it is hard to keep glorifying God with so much hatred around!
    Like Peter walking on the water He should not look at the waves but at Jesus, that is a discipline we have to learn, but His Holy Spirit is always with us if we keep the faith in Jesus

  147. SFDBWV says:

    Tiysh as Foreverblessed has stated I too hope you add your heart and thoughts here on BTA, as our contributors has dwindled to only a remnant.

    Not sure who to thank, but thankfully today is election day in the USA and I hope an end to junk phone calls from computer generated spin doctors telling me how to vote.

    From the endless garbage of opinions from “political” contributors on the news and seeing these two peoples “messages” every couple minutes on TV.

    In case anyone did not know the bad qualities of either candidate, each candidate spent all of their campaign time telling us what they are.

    This election is what a lost generation looks like.

    The need for Jesus has never been more evident nor has the absence of His moral compass clearer.

    In the OT God always got the attention of the “Chosen” people with a swift kick in the pants when they strayed from Him. Like parents of wayward children, when the kick comes all we as Christians can do is be of service to all in need and show the face of our Lord.

    Hope all is well for Mart as this subject ran out of gas quite some time ago. However I will leave you all with this thought. If you want to see “law and order” without mercy go any Friday to the place of public executions or the cutting off of hands, feet or tongues that is the religion of “law” in Saudi Arabia as well as any of the Islamic controlled countries with only a couple exceptions.

    I pray your day is filled with light and not darkness.

    25 degrees under a starry sky.

    Steve

  148. poohpity says:

    I guess I have never noticed then when one walks away from the Lord we get a swift kick in the pants but I have noticed that I am left to wander and have experienced being closer to God is where I would rather be. No shame or guilt heaped on my shoulders just open arms and a welcome home celebration.

  149. street says:

    Matthew 9:13
    But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    Matthew 11:28
    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

    Luke 14:26
    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple

    come, you know the way.

  150. jeff1 says:

    Men or religions that interpretate the word of God to suit their beliefs have been around for a long time and if you think you know the word of God then you are not going to change your mind or heart and your laws seem just to you.

    It is a problem that will not go away, here in my own country I have heard Protestants who believe Catholics are destined for hell and vice versa and they firmly believe they are right in their beliefs.

    It is a fact that the word of God means many different things to different people.

    Who is right? In each of their minds, they are!

    It is why my children have turned away from God because they believe religions are the cause of wars and strife in the world.

    Whether we see it or not many of no faith see religions as a reflection of who God is; and they are confused; because unlike those who have studied the bible for the right reasons they have no knowledge of either.

    As far as a agnostic or atheist sees it they don’t know whose interpretation of the bible is right and if it causes so much trouble in the world then maybe they would be better off not knowing.

    Institutionalised religion has been around for a long time and I am a member of a religion so I may see my religion as a tool to God but does God see it that way?

    Street is right I cannot be a disciple of Christ and be a member of a religion there is a conflict of interests!

    I as a believer in Christ can be a member of a religion but discipleship is a much greater commitment and not for every believer I would think!

    Also thinking Jesus’s disciples were men!

  151. street says:

    the record shows women where followers too and many of His encounters were with women of faith. they were gentiles and samaritans too. i can see why there will be no wall around his kingdom. it will be just too big and evil will be removed. think i read somewhere He would be a wall of fire around His subjects. sounds like the way it use to be before we realized we where naked.

  152. street says:

    jeff thinking of the do’s and don’t. religion and politics seem like the same thing. people are introduced to them and they go along with it till they get burned out on it. some even question what is going on, and wonder about all the craziness involved. but some look a lot deeper and find something even better. Hope!

    Isaiah 65:1 “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
    I was found by those who did not seek me.
    To a nation that did not call on my name,
    I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’
    2
    All day long I have held out my hands
    to an obstinate people,
    who walk in ways not good,
    pursuing their own imaginations—
    3
    a people who continually provoke me
    to my very face,
    offering sacrifices in gardens
    and burning incense on altars of brick;

  153. street says:

    it’s hard to reject the thoughts and imagination. it’s all i have known since i have grown up. it has kept me company and got me into a lot of trouble along the way. this idea of God is easy for me to believe. this belief in God has led me to Christ. Christ is my hope. His life work death and Resurrection is second to none. His love is more powerful than death. may it be found in the Children of God.

  154. jeff1 says:

    It seems that we get glimpses of God’s love but I have witnessed so much hatred that I am tired of man’s worldly love which is just temporary and hatred raises its ugly head again.

    We are not capable of God’s love, hope and faith in that we will see God’s love is what keeps me going; but I am too aware of my own struggle not to hate those who have hurt me to know that it is a struggle to the death.

    The fact is that hurt people, hurt people and it is a cycle that humans cannot break.

    Jesus holds the key to our eternity, without Him I would be nothing is a very true statement.

  155. joycemb says:

    Viv when we are asked to do what seems impossible there is hope!
    Matt 11:28 Come to me all who are weary and burdened (with sin) and I will give you rest.

    Talk to Jesus himself about your struggle with hate and ask him to help you to overcome it. (though he already knows about it). He will, he is very close and personal, closer than any flesh and blood friend!

  156. jeff1 says:

    I have woken up to hear that you have a new President of the United States and I was not really surprised to hear it was Donald Trump.

    Like Britain voting Brexit, it is very much part of God’s plan but a mystery as to how He will implement it.

    Why do people vote for controversial and extreme because they haven’t seen the fruits of their labours from the status quo.

    Desperate people do desperate things in the hope that it will make some kind of change to the fact that hard work, honesty and high values should be rewarded.

    Listening to others and my own thinking I have to say this that both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump have one thing in common; drive; at the age when most of us are thinking about putting our slippers in front of the fire they have it, and I for one have great admiration for anyone that driven.

    God uses those available to Him and Donald Trump has the staying power.

    As one of our TV presenter’s said we’ve heard what ‘Donald Trump’ the election candidate has said, but lets give ‘Donald Trump’ the elected time, because he will see things much differently now than he did as a candidate.

    He has to have been a shrewd businessman to get where he is today and he might just surprise us.

    Food for thought; the TV presenter had been in America getting feedback from voters and he said those voting for him said they liked his honesty even when they didn’t agree with what he was saying.

    An honest Politician, surely God could use one of them!

    On the humorous side when discussing how it would affect us here in the UK the comments where that when America sneezes the rest of us get the cold.

    Joyce,

    I do talk to Jesus, Joyce, but I am a struggler, have been all my life.

    I have inherited my mothers trait always questioning ‘why’, God, and the truth is God does not answer my ‘why’s.

    My dad never asked ‘why’ never had to, because he understood God better than anyone I ever knew.

    I know I am more prone to wander whereas my Dad knew God’s way like it was 2nd nature to him and that is rare to find especially in today’s world. I miss is guidance for I cannot trust my own and my dad was my rock.

    I know you had a very different relationship with your dad, Joyce, but in a way that has brought you closer to Jesus, if you see what I am saying.

    I am still lacking that intimacy with Jesus, and maybe that is why, I am still very much daddies little girl at heart, perhaps that is my stumbling block!

  157. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv, I have to say to you to stay the course. Your dad taught you well, never think of your relationship with him as a stumbling block in your views of life. Rather be grateful of the gift of a loving earthly father and the memory of him.

    I too woke up to the surprising news of a Trump win over Clinton.

    When I went to the polling place to vote yesterday the ladies told me they were setting records of the numbers of people voting.

    The news media this morning are giving credit to Trumps win as being that “white working class American voters turned out in force”

    I give credit to 8 years of Obama and 8 years of already having had their fill of the Clintons.

    Viv I think you are fine don’t let anything or anyone steal your joy.

    46 degrees f and light rain this morning from the top of the Appalachia’s in West Virginia.

    Steve

  158. bullwinkle says:

    I rarely comment but read each of your input daily. I appreciate each of you and your commitment to express your thoughts on this blog.
    I too was stunned at the election results, but I see it not as a choice of Donald Trump but as a referendum on the overreach of liberals. Forcing people to allow transgenders to use the restroom/locker room of their choice in our schools was finally enough to awaken people to a sinister force that has been overtaking our nation.
    I will pray for a healing in our nation, but fear that the divide between left and right will continue to grow.

  159. poohpity says:

    Out of all the percentage of voters per the news last night was that 81% of evangelicals voted for Trump. Franklin Graham went to all 50 states and had prayer meetings and many other men of God asked for prayer for this election. I am so excited and just as Trump requested guidance and wisdom so shall I continue to pray for him like I do for our leaders. Trump spoke to/for the people and the people took their government back.

  160. poohpity says:

    You know Viv, never have I seen both the right and the left as well as the media here been against someone like they were against Trump. But God!!

  161. joycemb says:

    “The joy of the LORD is my strength” Nehemiah.

    No one can steel my joy and neither can I steel anyone else’s joy if it comes from Jesus. Listening to Jesus alone brings peace unlike any other.

  162. bubbles says:

    This morning my prayer was for God to protect this new leader, and that he would LISTEN and TAKE wisdom from others.

  163. street says:

    1 Samuel 25:26
    “Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, since the Lord has restrained you from shedding blood, and from avenging yourself by your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek evil against my lord, be as Nabal.

  164. street says:

    Psalm 147:11
    The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

    Isaiah 40:31
    Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

    Psalm 69:6
    May those who wait for You not be ashamed through me, O Lord God of hosts; May those who seek You not be dishonored through me, O God of Israel,

  165. lovely says:

    Jeff 1 ,i appreciate your honest sharing in this blog , and that these are the things people faced that i believe most of even Christians came across. But God never intend for us to look to man for love, in fact when you are a disciple of Christ you’ll be persecuted, other words, you will seems weird in the eyes of the world, We’re not to depend on the love of man but the love of God which you can experience by your drawing close to God. No man has reach a perfect knowledge of God anyway no matter how spiritual , great a preacher he is or how long he has live on earth, until the day you die you’ll still be learning about God , He is really bigger than what your mind can contain. Back to the subject of the blog, we are not able to fulfill the law because we need Jesus to do that that’s why Paul say i can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me . Sometimes is not always the majority that wins, Look in the examples of the bible, Moses, Daniel, Elisha,Esther ( God only use a one man to change the nation) I guess that’s only then we recognized how powerful God is. using the simple things to shame the wise Isaiah 55:8 . Its not the crowd that wins, is God that wins..Because He is the want who creates

  166. SFDBWV says:

    “Law and Order”

    The news yesterday and this morning has “thousands” protesting in the streets over the results of the election here in America.

    8 years ago when Obama was elected president many people did not like him or his politics yet there was no *riots* over his election.

    The same people who *claim* to be “liberal” are anything but.

    They deny God, besmirch Christians, and demand the right to murder their own unborn children then riot when they don’t get their way.

    In the creation of the universe are set “laws” of how it exists and is held together. Laws that only God can effect. For man and all of creation we are *subject* to them.

    Jesus was sacrificed because God’s law demanded it.

    All of our complaining all of our whining cannot alter one law of physics, what goes up must come down.

    Prayers for our country, prayers for our leaders and “law and order” for our citizens.

    36 degrees and cloudy this morning, rain all day yesterday.

    Steve

  167. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, but isn’t it true that Trump is not s very good example of what a real Christian looks like? Doesn’t his words during campaigning not besmirched the way of Jesus?

    Thank you very much Street, for your scriptures! I keep them in front of my eyes!

  168. poohpity says:

    What does a real Christian look like? To me a real Christian recognizes what a sinner they are in need of forgiveness, mercy and grace. Of course there are those who call themselves Christians because of how good they think they are and then look down on others but we all know that in that case the truth is not in them and if the truth is not in them are they really Christians?

  169. poohpity says:

    I know it was not broadcasted all over the news but out of his own pocket during the floods in Louisiana and the hurricane in North Carolina, Trump sent trucks full of supplies to the churches in those areas full of things that people needed way before the anyone else came in to help.

    The governments are put into place to protect the citizens of their country, maintaining law and order and although many fail that seems to be what the intended purpose was. The churches are to take care of the spiritual needs as well as physical needs.

    Sometimes we pay more attention to the reports on the news stations which is sort of a mirror reflection even of people who share what they read in the bible taking things out of context to prove their point. The media reports on their biases not the truth but their opinions. So for me I always dig deeper and do not believe everything I hear but look around at what I see.

  170. foreverblessed says:

    On christianity today is an article by Max Lucado And a certain Eric Sapp talks on christianpost Nov 5, about his time working with Hillary, how often she prayed, before deciding.And how she is working hard in reducing the abortian rate. She is for children.

    What I think has worked against her is their former spindoctor. Who helped looking for bad details in the life of the opponents of Bill, years ago. He was direct, and then worked as a spindoctor for the republicans. Sending lies, naar truths, and just beside the truths for decades. And that now worked against Hillary.
    This is what Gary would have called, you reap what you sow.

    It does not help talking about that now. But I like christianity today about how we should stay the salt and light of the earth. In being gracious towards other opinions. In looking to God for Help, being humble and saying we do not know, but God does

  171. poohpity says:

    The leaders in the Democratic party paid people to come in during Trump rallies to start trouble and cause havoc disregarding the law. If you could see what has been happening on the streets of our cities over the last 8 years way before Trump was even running there has been murders and then to protest the murders there has been looting, burning and destruction. Hate promoting hate and then accusing and blaming others for that hate rather than seeing that hate comes from within a person.

  172. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, auto correct, the spindoctor of Bill was fired, and then worked as a spindoctor for the republicans.

  173. poohpity says:

    Oh my gosh forever, Hillary stands for abortion and even in her speeches promotes late term abortions even up to the last minute before birth. I do not know where you get you info from but maybe you ought to find another source. She says she is for woman and children but she takes money from foreign countries that believes in no rights for women and supports sharia law.

  174. street says:

    The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.

  175. street says:

    What does a real Christian look like?
    thinking it looks like one who wants others restored to God in peace and one another and not condemned. the only true motivating force for this is love, a love that comes from God and is sustained by God.

  176. street says:

    why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

  177. SFDBWV says:

    Wednesday, November 09, 2016

    GLEANINGS
    Trump Elected President, Thanks to 4 in 5 White Evangelicals
    Dramatic election ends with historic victory for Donald Trump.
    Kate Shellnutt

    Exit polls suggest that “Never Trump” was never a likely outcome for white evangelical voters, who showed up to support President-elect Donald Trump at their highest margin since 2004. Despite reservations expressed by many evangelical and Republican leaders, white born-again/evangelical Christians cast their ballots for the controversial real estate mogul-turned-politician at an 81 percent to 16 percent margin over Hillary Clinton. continue

    I thought Foreverblessed you may be interested to read this. From CT Direct.

    Steve

  178. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, Steve, I read it!
    My mother always has been a very right wing christian.
    She is old now ( that is beside the point of what I want to say), but has followed the american election closely.
    Yesterday she came and visited me.
    She said: I heard Trump say: If you tell a lie, and keep telling the same lie, people in the end will start belieging it!
    And then a few hours later she would repeat it: Yes, I heard him say:…about the repeating of the lie.
    At night she would say it again. So great was her shock about him saying such a thing.

  179. street says:

    25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

  180. street says:

    the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

  181. street says:

    appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

    oh to be found in Him!

    wherever your heart is, there your treasure is.

  182. street says:

    Living by the Broken Rule

    Law and Order

    new life of trust in God can change the old order. a trust based on and in love. except no substitute.
    no greater love than One who lay down His life for His friends.

  183. street says:

    All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. Nehemiah 8:3

    10 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.

    14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

    15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

    16
    “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
    I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”[b]

    17 Then he adds:

    “Their sins and lawless acts
    I will remember no more.”[c]

    18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

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