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Circle of Care

P1040169Have you noticed that we start out believing that nothing is as important as our own needs and desires? Then we gradually learn that everyone else’s needs are just as important— but, for us, and necessarily so, not in the same way.

Something similar can be said for those we love. We begin believing that no one is as important as our own parent, child, spouse or friend. Then we gradually learn that everyone else deserves to be cared for just as much—though, for us, and necessarily so, not in the same way.

First things are first for a reason. How could we ever love or care about someone else if we don’t know what it means to be loved and cared for? How could we value someone else if we don’t value ourselves?

Maybe this is why we no longer see our world as we once did. We are experiencing— each of us, one at a time, what it means to be human—eventually, and hopefully, for the sake of others.

Even Jesus was worshipped as a child, received gifts, learning what it meant to be cared for, protected, and taught— before willingly allowing himself to be despised and rejected, sacrificing his name, honor, and everything else we tend to cling to—to share everything he is, and everyone he loves— with us.

 


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207 Responses to “Circle of Care”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    In more recent history, as I am certain the subject has been around far longer, the debate of breeding verses environment was comically portrayed in the story “My Fair Lady”.

    My dad used to say to me that there was nothing more helpless than an infant human as it would quickly die without its mother or some help to survive.

    But my studies have shown me that there are many species of creatures who need help to survive from birth to an age where they can take care of themselves.

    The study of nature has some pretty startling examples of there being few norms in creation. As it is found that sharks will even eat their siblings while developing in the womb.

    It would at first glance seem that fish like snakes are born fully able to fend for themselves, but then you find that some care for their newborns until they are able to more likely survive alone.

    So what makes us be concerned about others or at what age is it we begin to be sensitive to someone other than ourselves? Is it learned or is it “coded” into our genetic makeup?

    Is it possible that some people never have the instincts to care about anyone other than their own self-interests, no matter what they learn, experience, or are urged to do?

    It would seem in our lives that there are some who may fit that mold.

    That even in what may seem as generosity or benevolence to some is still only serving some self- motivation?

    Is the care of others only an instinctive reaction to ensure our species, or is it a divine intervention coded into our genetic make-up by our Creator called “love”, that is only truly awakened when we add the catalyst of the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth into our beings?

    Is that then the true “Circle of Care” and cycle of life?

    Steve

  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    The Circle of Care seems to widen as we stay close to Jesus and allow Him to shape our perceptions and judgments.

    As you say, Mart, we start out comprehending the world from the platform of our own needs — just as Baby Jesus needed all the care any infant does. Here’s the wonder: that God came down to dwell in flesh — with all its needs of food, shelter and love.

    Can it be we grow up in His ways enough to let go of everything we ever claimed to want or need, so that there is more and more room for Him in us? Just asking.

    There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars…At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:25, 27, 28

    Joy at Advent!
    Maru

    5C/41F here with forecast for more rain. Some rivers at or above flood stage.

  3. joycemb says:

    Interesting topic Mart, I’ll be thinking about this all day while seeking the LORD for insight on how it may help me understand love better. Thanks.

    The weather here up north has been unusually warm this month shortening winter by the same. Yet, I am still looking forward to springs’ renewal just as Jesus makes us all new creatures when we accept Him into our lives.
    Blessings to all!
    Joyce

  4. joycemb says:

    Thought 1,

    do I value others as I value myself? Not often enough. Some days I don’t value myself at all, but thankfully my hope is always in God Lamentations 3:19-26 NLT

  5. street says:

    Emmanuel

  6. joycemb says:

    God is here, yes! Yet my flesh still awaits the ultimate healing when the flesh is dead!

  7. street says:

    Is the care of others only an instinctive reaction to ensure our species, or is it a divine intervention coded into our genetic make-up by our Creator called “love”, that is only truly awakened when we add the catalyst of the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth into our beings?

    Is that then the true “Circle of Care” and cycle of life?

    thinking of those that never heard of Jesus and their responses to the world around them. their conscious accusing them or defending them. empathy and compassion, gifts from God and selfless in giving. what ever you did to the least of my brethren you did it to me. humans, made in the image of God.
    yes the devil in active and we tend to give him too much credit. it is looking to God and His Word that changes hearts and minds. peter walking on water began to sink and turn to the Lord and cried out, “Lord, save me!” and He did. again and again. circle of tears.

  8. street says:

    joycemb the flesh is already dead and we are alive to God in the Spirit He has given us. we breath in, we breath out, till we sleep or the wedding feast. let us be alive to God and others in Christ Jesus.

  9. joycemb says:

    Thanks street, a confirmation to me that I need to get back into a gospel preaching/teaching church. ( if my PTSD permits) I’m forgetting important things I used to know. Getting older is taking away important memory. I need to hear these things over and over I think. Trials take their toll also and I am almost to the cracking point these days. I will never forget God though, and He will never forget me. That circle cannot be broken.

  10. street says:

    Matthew 4: 1-11
    thinking about how this relates to the circle.
    so glad He got it right all the time on our behalf to free us from certain death. now certain life!

    17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

    so much more in Romans 8

  11. jeff1 says:

    It takes patience to trust God and there are times when I needed answers but they did not come!

    God didn’t always answer my questions but He did teach me in His silences.

    I am only just learning to trust God because it takes time and I fall by the wayside many times on my journey.

    I have learned that it is not I who is faithful to God but God who is faithful to me and it is the most humbling of experiences.

    I believe I must learn to trust God before I can be steadfast in my walk because it is doubt that causes me to wander from His steadfast ways.

    Known only to Him are the great hidden secrets
    I’ll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
    I know not what the future holds
    But I know who holds the future
    It’s a secret known only to Him

    In this world of fear and doubt
    On my knees I ask the question
    Why a lonely, heavy cross I must bear
    Then He tells me in my prayer
    It’s because I am trustworthy
    He gives me strength far more than my share

    Known only to Him are the great hidden secrets
    I’ll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
    I know not what the future holds
    But I know who holds the future
    It’s a secret known only to Him

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Thinking about something Mart said in the last topic, “of a life we didn’t ask for.”

    Every day several times a day in between “I love you dad” Matt says he would rather have not been born than have to live the life he has been given. And also if I really loved him I would give him a gun and let him kill himself.

    Then he will tell me he has no value and no reason to live.

    Many times I can only reply that I love him and that we don’t live for ourselves, but rather for each other.

    This is and has been key for me my entire life. That my life isn’t as important to me as it is to someone who needs it.

    As I have learned about human behavior and observed it in the actions of many, I can say that I pity the person who only thinks of themselves first and foremost. They will never have enough of anything, and always be looking for more never to be happy or satisfied.

    In this subject Mart asks “How could we ever love or care about someone else if we don’t know what it means to be loved and cared for?”

    When my father was about 5 years old and his brother about 2, their father died. His mother married a man who along with her would lock the boys in a closet of the house and go to the beer joint to party. After numerous beatings from her new husband her brother beat him severely and ran him off. She then put her two sons on a train with name tags on them and sent them to an orphanage in upstate NY. Their dad had belonged to an organization that provided for orphan care of its members children if needed.

    She remarried again to a man who was a WWI vet and upon learning of the boys he went to NY and brought them home after they had been there about 5 years.

    By the age of 10 my dad had learned a lot of things, but the one thing he did know was the difference between being loved and not being shown love.

    There is of course more to his life story, but as for his being my father, no one could have loved me more nor made certain of my care aside from my mother, than he. To him family was everything and that meant no matter what we remained a family.

    So to partly answer Mart’s question as how could we learn to love or care for another unless we have been loved and cared for, the answer might just be because we were not loved and not cared for and blessed enough to know that the difference is how we are to treat others in spite of how we have been treated. Altering the “Circle of Care” for a better outcome.

    Steve

  13. phpatato says:

    Steve

    Your story is a lot like my husband’s. His father was an abusive alcoholic. A monster when drinking but the best kind of a father when sober. My husband while in his late teens would take a beer and then stop. He said his memories of his dad was first and foremost in his mind. He vowed to himself that he would never drink in case he became an alcoholic to become the monster his dad was. He is from a family of 13 children. Needless to say there wasn’t much love shown to him. His mother I think was just too busy having babies, with the care of the younger ones being turned over to the oldest daughter. The situation was that he wouldn’t know what it was to love someone else IF it was up to him being shown by example how to love. He purposed himself to learn how to love, I think because he missed out being loved. Did he do a perfect job? No. But he did his best, in his own distorted kind of way. He told me when I met him that I was going to have to tell him and show him how to love. Hard upbringings produce hard people, in most cases. One has to be determined to break the cycle, or as you say, “alter the Circle of Care for a better outcome.

    I’m glad your dad broke the cycle because he raised a wonderful loving caring husband, father and friend.

    Pat

  14. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve your heartfelt stories are so deep they are always inspiring and Pat you followed suit. I find it amazing that 2 people that were NOT shown love and were abused as well became exceptionally loving people. The excuse of never knowing love as a defense for unloving nasty people tends to fade in the shadow of your Dad, Steve and your husband, Pat.

    I visited with a life long friend today and she added something to my personal belief on our divided country that is as sad as it is dead on. I said that the government loves to see us divided because then we have very little power in small numbers. I complained that “we the people” don’t unite and stand together on ANYTHING. I pointed out that S S effects EVERYBODY…Gays, women, Blacks, Native Americans, Legal Hispanics,anti Trumpers and all of the forementioned have mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, etc. If they don’t all care about their elderly family members..well they TOO will soon be elderly so it effects them..it should be a priority……. so WHY aren’t we uniting in massive numbers and taking a stand to stop them from destroying SS. I have long believed that our government keeps us divided to keep us weak in number so they can tend to their self serving agendas. I never really understood why all of us can’t see that. My old friend added a piece of the puzzle that brings it into clearer focus. She said that “we the people” in general are very selfish/self serving ourselves and we want what we want and really don’t care much about everyone else and that our elected officials are very aware of that selfishness and know that our selfishness serves THEM well.

    I think that the current state of our nation generates from the reality that far too many of us NEVER GET PAST THE BELIEF THAT NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR NEEDS AND DESIRES!

  15. jeff1 says:

    Did God get it right? Yes! History repeats itself and man keeps making the same mistakes!

    Will men believe that? They didn’t believe it in Christ’s day and I don’t believe things have changed much.

    As I get to know God, I also get to know that His way is not our way.

    “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do”! is as relevant today as it was when Christ said it.

    God of grace, and God of glory,
    on your people pour your power;
    crown your ancient church’s story,
    bring its bud to glorious flower.
    Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
    for the facing of this hour,
    for the facing of this hour.

    Lo! the hosts of evil round us
    scorn the Christ, assail his ways!
    From the fears that long have bound us
    free our hearts to faith and praise.
    Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
    for the living of these days,
    for the living of these days.

    Cure your children’s warring madness;
    bend our bride to your control;
    shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
    rich in things and poor in soul.
    Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
    lest we miss your kingdom’s goal,
    lest we miss your kingdom’s goal.

    Save us from weak resignation
    to the evils we deplore;
    let the gift of your salvation
    be our glory evermore.
    Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
    serving you whom we adore,
    serving you whom we adore.

  16. SFDBWV says:

    “Maybe this is why we no longer see our world as we once did. We are experiencing-each of us, one at a time, what it means to be human-eventually, and hopefully, for the sake of others.”
    Mart.

    Realization can be a friend or a foe depending upon which side of the pendulum you find yourself.

    In the beginning in our youth we see the world through eyes of anticipated excitement, a new adventure at every turn, a new opportunity just around the corner.

    In our experiences we are learning everything.

    I have heard it said that “Youth is wasted on the young.”

    That saying comes from the fact that once we “learn” how to live and what is most important in life, too often our lives are coming to an end and all of what we have learned will die with us.

    Hopefully as we enter that time in our lives when we are older and more experienced we *do* see the world very differently, or else we have learned nothing and have only grown older not wiser.

    It can be said that the worst things of life often mature us the quickest.

    Another old saw goes like this, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

    War can turn a spoiled kid into a caring friend or an alcoholic, the outcome then how life is lived for the remainder of their time on earth. That one point in their life when they are either awakened or run from life.

    Who or what is the difference between people’s choices? Is it fate or God?

    I want to believe it is God that effects the choices we make in life, not just our own instincts. But then why do so many make the wrong choices?

    When we realize that in serving others our own desires fade from importance, that in caring how we affect another makes us more conscious of what we say, do, or more importantly what we may not say or not do.

    God set up laws to try and beat into people how He wants us to treat each other. Jesus came and showed us how to.

    We can either learn and see the view of our world change, or not learn and only complain because the world around us doesn’t give us what we want. Because our view has stayed the same, the world being for us, not us being for the world.

    Thank you Pat and Pearl for your kind words and experiences in life and in learning.

    48 and a wet morning in the mountains.

    Steve

  17. joycemb says:

    “— before willingly allowing himself to be despised and rejected, sacrificing his name, honor, and everything else we tend to cling to—to share everything he is, and everyone he loves— with us.”

    This to me is the hardest part of the journey, to be willing to give up everything I’ve fought hard for to become nothing so that Christ takes the lead in my life. I’ve worked hard and gotten awards and honors for jobs well done, both secular and religious, yet they mean nothing next to the sacrifices Jesus made for my salvation and that of the whole world. I always was an overachiever probably to make up for the lack of love in my life, and approval. Accolades are about as temporary as a snow flake though, beautiful yet there was nothing beautiful about Christ’s death as Isaiah prophesized and the Apostle’s attested to.

    “Fix your eyes on things above and not on things below”. It always goes back to perspective, trials do that for a person. Thank you God as we celebrate the Advent season that you did not leave us alone in our sin. And thank you for trials! Yes, I mean it! With joy even!

    Blessings and love to all as I watch the temporary beauty of snowflakes falling with a smile on my face and in my heart.

    Joyce

  18. SFDBWV says:

    Jesus has taught us a great deal about how to live. The key here is that he taught us how to *live*.

    Jesus’ purpose was the cross. Foretold in ages past that He would come and defeat sin by being God’s offering of the perfect sacrifice for mankind.

    How then are we to honor His sacrifice, if not to live as He ask?

    We cannot all be Pastors, or Preachers, of a congregation, that is a calling from God and requires an anointing from Him. However we all can take care of each other and share our faith with others as we go about our daily work.

    While every Christian cannot be a Pastor, Preacher, or charismatic speaker or writer, we can be whatever we are called to be.

    Christians are laborers, welders, nurses, doctors, secretaries, electricians, miners, loggers, taxi drivers, clerks and certainly mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles and even just the people next door.

    While the people Israel were in the wilderness God fed them with manna, but when they entered into the Promised Land they had to fend for themselves, but be blessed for their work.

    God’s work, Jesus’ request is that we love each other and by loving each other we go about our daily work and life in the spirit of being like Jesus in how we treat each other and how we help each of us to live a peaceful life. This may require a great many forms of jobs and each job will be the calling of the person who takes up their purpose/cross and follows after/behaves like Jesus.

    Jesus came that we might have life and life abundantly.

    If you look closely God created man, then made a way for man to be forgiven for his sin and return to his intended created design. This is God’s completed “Circle of Care”

    Live and honor Jesus’ sacrifice.

    36 degrees and windy in the mountains.

    Steve

  19. joycemb says:

    Psalm107:1-2

    1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

    Thanks to God for delivering and healing my soul from sin, coming full circle from the womb to the cross!

  20. joycemb says:

    Gal 2:20 NIV
    I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

    New Living Translation
    My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    In reading the news this morning I couldn’t miss the story of Dolly Parton who has stepped up to help the people in Tennessee who lost their homes and or were displaced by the fires this week.

    Through her charity she is giving affected families $1,000, one thousand dollars, a month, until they are back on their feet.

    This is Christianity in action.

    Steve

  22. SFDBWV says:

    In the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox faiths they have Priests, Nuns, Friars, Monks, Abbots and some I am sure I have forgotten to name that all have given up a normal life in order to serve God without, wives, children or traditional families.

    I do not believe there is any such special “Orders” in the Protestant faith. Though there are some that have earned the status of being cults that do.

    What it means to me for my old self to die with Christ on the cross is for my former sinful nature to have died as I now live for Christ. I cannot *be* Christ, but I can live with Christ/The Holy Spirit in me, and live as He directs, not as I direct.

    I think unless you have never been under an unction or anointing from God/The Holy Spirit, you might have trouble understanding what I say, but once under the anointing nothing can or will prevent you from accomplishing *His* goals through you. It is a driving force in you that you cannot control or stop. It is an awakening and a fellowship like no other, and you know it is of and from God, leaving you wanting more.

    Do whatever it is that you do and do it to the best of your skills and judgement, acknowledging God all the time and your life will be complete and satisfactory. Find your purpose, by asking and allowing God to control your life following in the footsteps of Jesus in placing others above yourself and always being led by love.

    All out of time.

    Steve

  23. street says:

    steve said,”While the people Israel were in the wilderness God fed them with manna, but when they entered into the Promised Land they had to fend for themselves, but be blessed for their work.

    God’s work, Jesus’ request is that we love each other and by loving each other we go about our daily work and life in the spirit of being like Jesus in how we treat each other and how we help each of us to live a peaceful life. This may require a great many forms of jobs and each job will be the calling of the person who takes up their purpose/cross and follows after/behaves like Jesus.

    Jesus came that we might have life and life abundantly.”

    enjoyed reading your last two post. i had a little problem with,”Promised Land they had to fend for themselves, but be blessed for their work.” don’t think they were ever abandoned, paul speaks of their return and high position in Romans after their disobedience is finished. as for works paul said no man could boast, i thinking faith is rewarded not works. works never gets it right before God. thinking of rags and falling short when it comes to works. faith and works comparison are not close to each other. thinking of abrahams faith in receiving what was promised even though we know it is future, and against everything we know and experience now from the material perspective.
    yes we are to love each other and this is best accomplished by abiding under the Authority of the Holy Spirit and the Word. this i think is so tough because of His Humility and the boundaries He has given us and respects. thinking love and trust breaks down these boundaries that were never to be there in the first place. just thinking, this is where we are now.
    boundaries are eliminated at the cross?

  24. joycemb says:

    Thanks Steve that makes sense. Paul said, 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Is this what you mean by divine unction?

  25. street says:

    thanks joycemb i needed that One!

  26. joycemb says:

    Dear Steve I hope you don’t think I am trying to cause trouble. My question is an honest one, just trying to understand as I’m not that familiar with your church, thanks! When my mother was saved in her 70’s it was a Church of God she went to and they did a lot of very loud, fast preaching and expected the Holy Spirit to move at every service in spectacular ways. I witnessed mom go into trance like states where she would say things she said God told her to say and she was very intense. She often did this at home by herself also. I myself was in the Charismatic Movement for many years but never saw anything quite like she experienced and spoke. Churches can be so different yet all serve the same God :-) Hope you had a good nights sleep! Joyce

  27. joycemb says:

    Street not sure what I said but you are welcome!

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Joyce, if you look up the word “unction” in the Concordance you will see it means anointing. It is my understanding as well as experience that if God has a work He wants accomplished through you He will anoint you with the ability and power to accomplish His goal.

    In the OT the Holy Spirit came upon them that God wanted to say or do something through them. It was never their abilities to accomplish anything, but God’s alone.

    Too many people step out on their own ahead of the anointing and fail. Then are disillusioned followed by doubts about themselves and even their views of faith.

    For me the word unction is that urging or push that God places upon you to accomplish His goal, the anointing or ability to accomplish is given you, but then He pushes you toward accomplishing it and you can sense the urgency and drive that accompanies it. You sense His presence in such a way that you are without doubt that what you are about to undertake will succeed or in some cases turn out better than you thought possible. Almost as if you are just going through the movements and someone else is controlling you. All the while feeling an urgency to obey the drive in you.

    Sometimes you may have no idea what it is that God is doing with you, only that He wants you to do this that or the other with no idea the outcome or even for who.

    I am probably sounding confusing, sorry, but it is difficult for me to put words together to explain an unction and why I said if you have not experienced it you may not understand what I mean. Or possibly you have experienced it in a different way than I.

    Steve

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce please don’t fear, I see your question only as curiosity nothing harmful in any way, I hope my answers don’t impart any negative feelings as well.

    I was raised in a Brethren Church as a child, attended and was baptized in the United Methodist Church, have attended Baptist Churches and here at the end of things attend The Church of God when able. I would consider the retired Pastor from the Bayard Church of God to be one of my best friends and my families Pastor still.

    Speaking in tongues is a hot button issue in many people. And sad to say sometimes condemned from the pulpit of some churches.

    The Scripture is clear on the matter, as some do and some do not speak in tongues, this is a gift of the Holy Spirit and like all things from God, at His discretion as to who, why, when etc.

    I am almost certain you have woken in the middle of the night with an urgency to pray, not knowing why or for who, just that you must pray. Sometimes with just moaning and groaning.

    The belief that you only speak in tongues in church and always have to have it interpreted is not correct. Your mother an example of what I am saying.

    I hope this answers some of your question.

    It is 31 degrees and cloudy, I have spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove and Matt is in between exercises. I do hope all of you who read this are blessed today.

    Steve

  30. poohpity says:

    Although there can be problems and at times conflict but on a whole it is easier to love parents, family, kids and friends especially when they return that love and agree with us(Luke 6:32-34 NLT) but it takes divine intervention to love those we deem as enemies, not worth our time, less than or are below what we think of ourselves. (Luke 6:35-36 NLT) That is what the Holy Spirit can do in our lives but never making us mindlessly do anything. God is a God of purpose not chaos. That purpose seems to bring people together to get to know our God with the results of compassion, unity of purpose to tell and show people how much they mean to God. It does take a special anointing not necessarily with oil(unction) but with the power of the Holy Spirit to do something other than what the flesh dictates. The flesh dictates loving those who return it that does not take anything special that is common.

  31. joycemb says:

    Thanks Steve yes that makes sense and yes I have had many experiences you describe, mine started in a United Methodist church also, then I was influenced by the Charismatic Catholic movement which brought me into a Charismatic church where I eexperienced much love as you Pooh describe being probably known as the most unusual of those needing healings which I received many many miracles. I was and am still used by God for mini missions as Steve says. I wouldn’t describe it as “chaos” as much as being called for a specific purpose that is not part of my plans or different from what I’d planned for the moment. Gods ways are not like ours yet we all do have a common mission to love God and love others with many examples of that in Jesus’ teachings. Yes pooh we have a long way to go in loving as God loves, we can start though with loving those who can’t /won’t give us the love we certainly don’t deserve in the first place. Or even the love we think we deserve :-). People’s love falls far short of the Ideal. We’re not home yet though. Blessings to you both, with love as I am able to transmit here, Joyce

    Ps. I am beginning to regret all the complaining I have done here about my past bad experiences with churches, counselors etc. Please accept my apology, as I understand Gods precious love more and more I am beginning to see Love more clearly and think about all the blessed experiences I’ve had through the years that also came from imperfect counseling and churches. We are never told to focus on the negative but on whatever is “true honest just lovely pure, of good report etc”. Letting go by Gods grace only, as usual. Thanks to Jesus.

  32. joycemb says:

    Steve for me it was experiencing the power behind the written Word that led me to do things I would have never normally done. He’s always been able to take me out of my comfort zone and to live and move radically in the moving of the Holy Spirit, it is as you said being compelled to do something extraordinary out of loving obedience. You have no choice because you choose to serve. My first experience after the Holy Spirit encounter I was led to share what God had done for me from the pulpit to a very complacent congregation. I was scared to death almost, and even more so as I “saw” myself engulfed in a cloud like mist that I knew no one else could see. The pastor who never preached on how to be saved was in tears. He eventually left the pastorate and went into office work for the denomination.

    It is the Power of God that saves. Think of all that happened with signs and wonders at Jesus death. God still moves today over the death of one sinner who turns to life in Christ Jesus.

    He welcomes all to come, just as you are. He’ll do the rest.

  33. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Thanks to all for the great stories of how learning to love others does not necessarily arise out of us being loved in childhood. The Lord can have his way with willing hearts!

    Mart, you wrote:

    “Even Jesus was worshiped as a child, received gifts, learning what it meant to be cared for, protected, and taught— before willingly allowing himself to be despised and rejected, sacrificing his name, honor, and everything else we tend to cling to—to share everything he is, and everyone he loves— with us.”

    How could Jesus give up everything of worldly comfort, honor and good name to become the ultimate sacrifice for a fallen creation?

    I believe He could do it because when He left the heavenly realm, He did not leave His relationship with His heavenly Father or the Spirit of Truth. He lived deeply connected to God and was willing to give Him everything.

    It seems to me I am still growing up — hopefully living in and behaving in the larger and larger circle of God’s care. Paul said:

    “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)

    A great Bible teacher used to say, “Let Jesus stand tall in you today.” I see that as being wiling to act out the faith He has planted in me. Perhaps He must bend over to fit into my heart when it is too small to contain His fullness.

    Joy all day,
    Maru

    6C/42F and cloudy in the valley today. More rain forecast. Some folks have sand bags along the ditches and creeks.

  34. joycemb says:

    Thank you Maru for that encouraging and humble post!

  35. SFDBWV says:

    I am an early riser, so is Mart, which always makes me a little gun shy in writing anything as the topic discussion gets long. I too often write something and when I post there is a new subject up and I feel as though my effort was wasted. Then again no effort is truly ever wasted.

    As I reread some of the conversation this morning Maru’s last post reminded me how Jesus changed the world and brought love forward into a world of darkness.

    How since many people who never knew the warmth of love experience it because of His love.

    How at this time of year when we hear the carols sung and the chime of the Salvation Army kettle tenders the sense of loving each other comes alive.

    Causing many of us to say we wish the season of Christmas with its good will toward men would continue all year, as it should.

    Yes, Jesus brought true love into a world that rarely experienced it and as a result changed the world.

    Light snow covering this morning, at 29 degrees.

    Steve

  36. poohpity says:

    It seems that God started this world with love then through the deception of one of His fallen creations, the one who wanted to be worshiped rather than worshiping the One who called him into being drew Adam and Eve away from that love, but we know in the end it will come around full circle when the New Jerusalem comes into being.

    Every living creature ate plants and the people had fruit and vegetables. God provided everything they would need out of love but that was not good enough they wanted to be like God and it seems that has still been the human beings down fall since then.

    When we accept His love for us that comes pouring out unto others and just like us we did not deserve it or earn it, it was given because of who God is. It is humanly impossible to love like God and I do not think God expects us to but as we grow in His love we begin to imitate it by way of grace although never perfectly that seems to be why God asks us to make allowances for our faults and the faults of others.(Col 3:13 NLT; Eph 4:2 NLT)

  37. poohpity says:

    Really grasping the concept of grace and that it was God who first loved us seems to be the bottom line for every believer. The starting point of the circle. We can not give away what we do not possess. God gave it without ever expecting it in return however how we treat others shows that we have embraced that wonderful gift to us.

  38. joycemb says:

    Pooh I think God did expect to be loved back. “Love the LORD your God with all your heart mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself” . It’s that circle thing :-) Jesus’ sacrifice was born of love, what a shame for that to be wasted by receiving that great gift and then keeping it to yourself, or receiving and looking the Giver in the eye and then saying thanks, I don’t need You anymore. Hope I’m reading you right.

  39. joycemb says:

    Or are you talking about grace? God didn’t expect grace in return, however He doesn’t need our grace does He? Just me thinking again :-)

  40. poohpity says:

    Why because He commanded us to love Him? Do you follow all the other commandments? Do you go to someone and say I love you now you have to love me back? Let me know if that works?

    The circle seems more like 1 John 4:19-20 NLT

  41. poohpity says:

    He loved us before we even knew of it. Does that sound like someone who expects it back? God does not expect anything of us because He knows us so well, our thoughts before we even do and how we will behave before we act. So obviously He already knows so therefore expectations do not fit with God’s character however people have expectations but God does not seem to work like that, we do, nor does He think like we do. So we can not put Him in a box of our understanding, He is so much bigger more than anything our minds can comprehend.

  42. poohpity says:

    Joyce, I have yet for you ever to read me right, just not on the same page even nor do I expect you too. Although occasionally I see a glimmer and do not give up hope in God’s work.

  43. joycemb says:

    All ten commandment are summed by love God and love others. That did not change in the New Testament. The scriptures you posted earlier are commands to love others. Jesus came to fulfill not abolish. Glad you are praying for me though:-) Thanks I can use all the prayers I can get!

  44. poohpity says:

    No they are not commands they are the results of our beliefs and the work of God in our lives.

  45. joycemb says:

    I think love can be misused these days. I hear people say God loves me so I can do whatever I want, is that love? Whatever we think of God, whatever sort of box we put Him in, there is a two way relationship built on mutual love. Do I love Him as much as He loves me? NO! I never can, but yet He requires our love and devotion as we cast aside all idols to follow Him. That has not changed either. I can see why you say He knew us before we were born so He loves us without our loving Him, because He has always existed. Yet Jesus said we are to love God, and it was not just a suggestion. But a command. We’re talking on two different levels here. That’s why we have troubles here. Each level is not “better” than but just different levels of understanding. I accept and understand where you are coming from. Would you be willing to accept where I am coming from, for the sake of unity without put downs and insults, which I have been guilty of myself? I am extending a hand of peace for Jesus’ sake.

  46. poohpity says:

    I do not believe God requires my love or anything else from me. It seems the harder one tries to get others to like or love them the more hatred, anger and ill feelings develop. Love is not forced nor is it expected, we give out love because it comes from within not forced but sort of a out pouring of what comes from the heart and whether one gets it in return or not does not change our care for the person just because it is not returned.

  47. joycemb says:

    Micah 6:8 what does the LORD require? You have quoted this many times pooh. What does it mean to you?

    When Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved Him, Jesus being God in the flesh, seems as though loving God is another requirement/command of God. Without loving God our works are meaningless.

  48. joycemb says:

    God is not like us, He sent His only Son to die for our sin. I’d say He tried pretty hard to make us love Him :-) And even those who try to deny Him He still pursues, that’s love too.

  49. street says:

    poo said,”Love is not forced nor is it expected, we give out love because it comes from within not forced but sort of a out pouring of what comes from the heart”

    this love that comes from within…..does it come from us or does it come from God?

  50. poohpity says:

    street, I have been talking about the kind of love that comes from God. That is the kind of love that does not expect anything back and is freely given. People’s love often has expectations attached. So when we have believed, experienced and accepted God’s love then it comes from within us. So the answer to your question would be both.

  51. poohpity says:

    street, God is the origin of love, it would not be if it were not for Him.

  52. joycemb says:

    Pooh, blending Truth with heresay is still a lie. You deny any responsibility toward God yet expect nothing but love from Him, period. I believe your position is dangerous and deadly even. Just my thoughts..

  53. street says:

    dear poo i don’t think love can come from the flesh or self. i think it is either/or not both. i think you might agree sinful man is incapable of love. we know love from man is not reliable, but God is and His Love. thinking we have to abide in the vine, to produce fruit. this new birth is by trust in God not ourselves. thinking this trust is grafted into the vine. we are not the cultivators of the fruit or the makers of fruit certainly not the judges of the fruit. thinking we become children by trust and receive righteousness…. by abiding we become fruit bears, thinking also we are changed from the inside from what we use to be. the old self needs to be brought to the cross of Christ all the time. nothing is held onto, but Jesus. i think this is the essences of paul’s claim, he wanted know Christ and Him crucified. everything else is a snare, mostly self. oh by the way Jesus is alive and we are too.

    poo in the garden there was two trees. thinking we are of one or the other not both. you can’t sit under both. you will love one and hate the other eventually.

  54. street says:

    jocyemb i was reading in about some of the lamb sacrifices today and i found it interesting that the person could give as much or as little as they wanted.

    …and the grain offering with the lambs is to be as much as he pleases, Ezekiel 46:5

    thinking of the woman and the bottle of perfume.

  55. joycemb says:

    I must say its a pretty popular position in todays world though.

  56. joycemb says:

    @11:57 is part of my 10:40 post.

    Street yes she loved much because she was forgiven much.
    I’m also thinking of the widows mite, an example Jesus used for giving everything she had. God wants all of us yes or nothing. No fence sitting or lukewarmness.

  57. street says:

    i think the widow mite was to show the disciples everything we see is not seen the same way God see’s them. i think the widows mite is a symptom of what has already occurred in her heart. yes some would consider this a disease. sorry i was reading screwtape letters to nite.

  58. poohpity says:

    street, there are many who call themselves Christians who are very hateful bitter people and those who have not met Christ who act in such beautiful loving ways. Just look around. The trees in the garden really have no association to love by the one we sit under, what on earth does that even mean? The Tree of Life offers immortality and The Tree of Knowledge offers the ability to determine right from wrong, good from evil.

    In the bible the reference to loving one and hating the other was talking who we serve either money or God.

    Joyce offering a hand of peace then calling me a liar. Figures! Just because you may not understand something.

    God gives and because He knows us so well does not need to expect because He already knows. If one has experienced the love of God chances are they will return it not because they have to but because they want/desire to.

  59. joycemb says:

    I have learned that in some instances there can be no peace. But only Jesus is our peace between God and mankind. He is the one to look to, Him alone. Pooh there can be no peace between us until the Truth alone exists in your heart. And it’s something you can only find, no one can find it for you. Oswald Chambers talked about that yesterday. And today he talks about the battle we have within us to overcome. No easy way out, we must fight. Whether you believe that or not. Getting our ticket to heaven is only the beginning, unless the LORD decides like with the thief on the cross to take us home the very day we receive Him as LORD. We can only say LORD change me! It takes a willing heart and making better choices day in and day out. I fight the battle daily, the battle to be in agreement with what God wants of me versus what my body and soul want. I’m stubborn yes, but I keep trying every day. Why? Because I love Him so much and as Paul admitted he wants to do better but can’t on his own.

    So pooh, I’m glad for our conversation yesterday as now I better understand you. As I’ve told you before, I do not hate you, I feel nothing actually. But I can love you as Jesus does. With an open mind. And if I do feel upset with something anyone here says I will look to the cross, because He is the answer to all my problems. “Come, let us reason together saith the LORD.”

  60. poohpity says:

    If you love God so much then what makes you treat me like you do?

  61. joycemb says:

    Because I disagree with your philosophy of life, that’s why. And with how you interpret scripture, how you pick and choose what fits what you believe. Like saying God doesn’t command us to love Him when it’s in scripture a lot!

  62. street says:

    poo said,”The trees in the garden really have no association to love by the one we sit under, what on earth does that even mean? The Tree of Life offers immortality and The Tree of Knowledge offers the ability to determine right from wrong, good from evil.

    there may be no love on the surface when you look at the trees in the garden. yet they have a direct impact on man every day. for instant the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it did bring this and a guarantee of death. so much for love at this tree. separation from God doesn’t look good for man no matter how much good he knows. evil brings an end to a relationship with God.
    the tree of life, i think is God/Jesus, people sit under it every day reading it. some eat it’s fruit and live, others just read and are content with the knowledge of good and evil.
    the tree of life does have a love in it that at first look, is hidden just like death was hidden in the other tree. can we go back,? i think not. we are followers who rest under the tree of life. paul says we are grafted in, in the book of Romans. nothing is too hard for God.

  63. joycemb says:

    Street the widows mite story was also pointing out the corruption in the temple, the differences between a pure heart for God and being showy but falsely pious. So many lessons in that incident as usual. Yes her heart must have been changed already, wonder if she knew Jesus or had heard of him. So many interesting back stories we will know some day.

  64. poohpity says:

    Just because one disagrees with another does not mean you have to treat them badly. If you were to read your bible you might see that the things I write come directly from there but since you have a degree in bible you knew that right?

  65. poohpity says:

    If it were not from God’s word there would not be so push push back. I would get all the flattery and atta girls that are given on here when worldly teaching is spoken. By the way the women’s mites had nothing to do with the corruption in the Temple but about her giving all she could give from her poorness. Even though it was only a few cents it was all she had. Jesus teaching about greed compared to a heart full and dedicated to worship.

    Luke 21:1-4 NLT and Mark 12:41-44 NLT While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.

    3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”

    It says what it says. Rich people not the Temple religious leaders.

  66. joycemb says:

    Context is important. :-)

  67. poohpity says:

    I love sharing all that I have learned about God, His word/Word and how much He loves and cares for us and bringing Glory to His name. This is the only place I have ever been that that love is turned into something vile. I point people to God not to me that is why I share bible verses because during that teaching they just come to mind. Not at all trying to be a know it all because I know I don’t know very much but I do know everyone has access to a bible whether they use that tool given to us to get to know God better but that is a whole different topic.

  68. street says:

    poo the Bible is not a tool. it is the Word of God make one wise unto salvation. i was in a men’s group Bible study and a couple men got real upset that i said God was talking to me. i asked them when they read there Bibles who was speaking to them. i took it that they will read differently from now on.

    Jesus said man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

    the Word of God doesn’t make our life easier like a tool….it is to bring about salvation and restoration of relationship between man and God that went bad. from what i understand we still get sick, we sin, and our bodies will still die, but God’s love mercy grace promises faithfulness are forever.

  69. street says:

    poo had a though, maybe we are the tools and God is the craftsman. thinking of a tempest and all the things getting caught up in it, crashing into one another. shaping forming molding into vessels. vessels that will hold and behold the Glory of God.

    Psalm 50:3
    Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.

    Psalm 55:8
    I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”

    Job 9:17
    “For He bruises me with a tempest And multiplies my wounds without cause.

    He is LORD of the tempest.

    thinking the place of shelter is the cross of Christ.
    He lives!

  70. street says:

    poo said,”If it were not from God’s word there would not be so push push back.”

    i have pushed back more than i can count. the thing i need to get right is pushing back correctly or speaking correctly like Jesus did all the time. even when Jesus spoke His 7 woes against the the priest there were present grace and mercy. some even followed after the resurrection. they heard, understood, repented, and believed. yet the nation rejected till the time of the gentiles is completed. all convents with God are good the New One is the best.

  71. joycemb says:

    Tool? Not at all. When I finished 4 years of college I knew less than when I started. Take a class on Biblical theology and you will understand what I mean. The emphasis in my college was on critical thinking. I found out that everything I thought I knew about the bible (and I got an award for knowing more than all others even) was so little really. Mart has a handle on this which is what drew me here. That said, a thousand denominations can read the same passage and decide their own take on it, and not be wrong but just settling on what seems right to them. But there are certain foundational truths that must be in place to be called Christian. The character of God being one of them. Because I disagree with someone doesn’t mean I’m attacking. But foundational truths are important to me as they were with Jesus and the early church. Many church councils through the centuries worked hard to weed out heresay. Its important to keep the Gospel and our theology clean and pure. Why? So that people aren’t led away from the Truth. And perish. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16

  72. narrowpathseeker says:

    Poohpity.. I do not believe that ANYONE here treats YOU badly. I believe that you take great offense to being spoken to TRUTHFULLY in a forthright manner. Yet you are downright rude, arrogant, and condescending to just about everyone and call that leading people to God. NO, it ignites people to anger and away from God. I have to wonder why anyone that knows the bible as well as you do, would come on a Christian blog as a rebel rouser and deliberately bait people into an argument. You are not lacking in IQ so you would HAVE to know that you are doing wrong. Yet even the very caring souls that give you the pity you say you pooh, and try to point you in the right direction, you attack. You refuse to admit ANY wrongdoing and never give any real apology. AND no one here turns love into something vile except you. AND YET, I believe almost everyone here prays for you, because that is what we are supposed to do….I hope your eyes get opened, your heart gets cleansed, and a right spirit renewed.

  73. street says:

    Circle of Care
    thinking of a circle where God is the center. people are arranged around the circle at varying distances around like a compass. lets say the closest one to the center of the circle is father way than the farthest person around the circle. how can that Be? it depends on the direction you are facing.

    looking for glimpse among the crowd.
    sometimes He is seen in the crowd.

    thinking of the serpent of bronze that was lifted up.

  74. joycemb says:

    Good analogy street. Maybe the “Iron sharpening iron” is how the circle begins to meld together, to unify. All in Christ and Christ in all. Any dross will fall out eventually.

  75. poohpity says:

    Tool- device that aids in accomplishing a task.

    In this case the task is learning about God, His relation to this world, His character and attributes, learning about human’s being and doing by their interaction with God and others, guide to living without causing as much harm as possible, etc..

  76. poohpity says:

    The circle is receiving God’s love and then giving it out to others as an act of worship and reverence for God. Giving what we have received.

  77. street says:

    that love can take many different forms. like kindness forgiveness patients firmness encouragement….sometimes a rebuke or the use of a bullwhip.

  78. street says:

    Tool- device that aids in accomplishing a task.

    this is how God views the law. it was a guardian till the appointed time. it could not accomplish what was intended because of the weakness of the flesh and the presents of evil in man. this law was a covenant made by Jesus. now that Jesus had died we have been freed from the law. not only freed from the law, He died to take the penalty of sin that was due us, jew and gentile. now we are free from the penalty of sin and free to be engaged to another. the same One Who freed us from death. not only that, He proved His love and faithfulness to us to the end, in that He was blameless. look to Him, treasure His Word, trust the Spirit of Truth He has given you. these thoughts come from Romans 7 chapter 8 is even better.

  79. poohpity says:

    street, Does not the bible have both the old covenant and the new covenant? Why only read Romans 7 or 8 and neglect all the rest? Treasure it all looking to God as your guide and tutor not leaning on your own understanding, thinking or thoughts. Jesus is the Word and the Truth believe in Him. John 1:14, 17

  80. jeff1 says:

    I am thinking as someone who was NOT brought up to read the bible but was taught stories from it, and got to know characters whose struggles show that getting to know God is also getting to know yourself!

    I used to believe I had to be perfect in obedience or I would not get to heaven.

    I failed in even getting close because I ended up hating my enemies and then feeling guilty for not being able to love or obey God’s commands.

    I find it difficult to love myself at times, never mind love others and I am only getting to know that God loves me because I believed He wouldn’t love me because I failed to obey.

    You cannot walk another man’s shoes; because your experience is personal to God and you; and you are expecting God to work the same in another and He may not because it is God who knows each of us and our needs, and works accordingly.

    I do not draw anyone to God by my works or my preaching for it is the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit and is the miraculous work of God.

    God has not allowed me to perish, but I deserve to and many biblical minded people would believe I deserve to but I am trusting NOT ONLY IN GOD’S WORD BUT HIS ACTIONS CHRIST CRUCIFIED, CHRIST RISEN and that HE WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE BOTH THE LIVING AND THE DEAD WHOSE KINGDOM WILL HAVE NO END. AMEN

    The Circle of Care is that God cares for me from the cradle to the grave and thereafter for nothing can separate me from the ‘LOVE OF GOD WHO IS IN CHRIST JESUS.’

    Why me Lord, what have I ever done
    To deserve even one
    Of the pleasures I’ve known
    Tell me Lord, what did I ever do
    That was worth loving you
    Or the kindness you’ve shown.

    Lord help me Jesus, I’ve wasted it so
    Help me Jesus I know what I am
    Now that I know that I’ve needed you so
    Help me Jesus, my soul’s in your hand.

    Tell me Lord, if you think there’s a way
    I can try to repay
    All I’ve taken from you
    Maybe Lord, I can show someone else
    What I’ve been through myself
    On my way back to you.

    Lord help me Jesus, I’ve wasted it so
    Help me Jesus I know what I am
    Now that I know that I’ve needed you so
    Help me Jesus, my soul’s in your hand.

  81. street says:

    poo 7 & 8 contrast the New & the Old. both are still good. it’s just that Jesus is the end of the Old and the beginning of the New. at no time did i ever say you only need 7 & 8. it seems to me you could not get there without following God. thinking God pursues us and he likes to be pursued too. it’s a delight of lovers.
    thinking of the
    THE GIFT OF THE MAGI
    by O. Henry

  82. SFDBWV says:

    Good day to you Viv, as I have often told you, your simplistic view of your salvation is healthy and enough. I think keeping things as simple as we can brings less complications and certainly less arguments.

    In our life we quickly learn that there is no shortage of opinions and certainly no shortage of those willing to express theirs.

    When we can reach that place where we go about our lives not bothering others and overlooking the ones that sometimes bothers us we are in a good place.

    However there are some who see our kindness as a weakness and think they can take advantage of it. They don’t realize that God is our ally and when they prey against our righteousness they fight against God and even if they believe they are winning they are not.

    You Viv do well in your Christian walk, it is a pleasure to know you and always refreshing to hear from you here.

    Steve

  83. SFDBWV says:

    It has been a wet couple days and cold. This morning it is 38 after an overnight warm up from 33 with rain. The damp air makes it feel much colder.

    I am reminded of how it was the day I was baptized as an adult. The people from my church assembled with the Pastor and I at a small creek with a deep recess called “Evan’s Pond” though only about 15 feet wide deep enough for emersion. It was a cold mid- October afternoon and only in the 40’s.

    However that water did not feel cold and when I came up out of it I was not cold at all.

    I pray my walk with God and with Jesus at my side that my faith never cools off nor gets cold.

    I am reminded this morning also about how BTA has cooled off as well. I remember soon after I came aboard as person saying to Mart that he had better get ready as the site was going to explode with overwhelming numbers as it was rich with participation and of good quality.

    However as it reached its peak in its message, as is always the case, it came under fire from the adversary that is always trying to discredit minimalize and detour Christian fellowship.

    It had its effect.

    Since we have been taken off the monthly email listing from ODB Ministries our numbers have reduced dramatically, but still able to get the message out and enjoy a quality of fellowship. The adversary though will never rest until he destroys everything.

    He has his effect.

    I remember once Mart saying he felt the pressure of coming up with a new topic, back when he changed it every 3 days or so. I am certain he feels more pressure now and sometimes wonders how long he can keep it up, or maybe if it is worth it.

    It seems to me there a lot of things that come full circle.

    Thank you Mart for this wonderful place and I do pray for your peace. As well for we to honor your efforts in what we write here.

    Steve

  84. cbrown says:

    In a bible study last Thursday at prison one of the inmates shared that he had been coming to the group for 3 weeks and every time when he left he felt at peace.In the bible study we were talking about light and walking in the Light. The discussion went to turning the other cheek and He said,”in here if you turn the other cheek you will have everything taken away from you and you will probably lose your manhood”.That inmate also confessed that his sentence had been extended a long time due to violence.We encouraged him to memorize 1 John1:5-10.Love to all.

  85. jeff1 says:

    Steve, I believe God directed me here because I needed to hear from people who studied the bible for the right reasons.

    I believe you do that here and that is so refreshing for me as I have heard too many use it to their own advantage points.

    I have said before you remind me on my father who was more focused on doing God’s will then getting into arguments on who knows God’s word best.

    The people in my life who I see as Godly people are the ones I see ‘doing their best’ and not ‘talking about doing their best’ is whom I consider more ‘Christlike.’

    I see that in many who do not claim any allegiance to God and I know God works in mysterious ways as well as ways I understand.

    The inmate is correct there are environments where people just don’t fear the worst, they know the worst does happen.

    It is easy to say you will behave in a Godly manner when you are not in a terrifying situation but I know how easy it is to deceive myself and so does God, thank goodness.

    It is God’s way and only God’s way that will change the world and man has proven this time and time again by history repeating itself.

    The truth is that non believers think I am mad for trusting in God today, while I think they are mad for not.

    The difficulties in the world today speaks volumes and only God and His Kingdom can put them right.

    I long for the day when His will is done on earth for I have had enough of ‘my way.’

    This is an observation from having worked in a male dominated environment all my life. You men are so much better at seeing things as they are; dealing with the situation at the time and not holding grudges.

    I too often have let things fester, by jumping to the wrong conclusion, and rather then dealing with it there and then I hold on to it and it never gets solved this way.

    Its good to share our weaknesses as it is our strengths for we all can learn from this and its what God wants for us to learn from each other rather than demean each other.

    This life teaches us, if we allow it to and learn from it because God is an eternal God.

  86. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I am honored and humbled that I remind you of your father, thank you for the honor and the encouragement.

    I too believe that there are few coincidences in life, rather that God places people in our path for each to be blessed by the other.

    My great grandmother’s house was marked by the hobo’s of the depression as a place to get a meal. She believed the words of Hebrew’s that sometimes when we meet strangers that they may be angels and whereby she genuinely was concerned for a hungry human, she definitely did not want an angel to go away hungry.

    Be blessed my friend you have already blessed my day, thanks.

    Steve

  87. street says:

    Then we gradually learn that everyone else’s needs are just as important— but, for us, and necessarily so, not in the same way.

    Then we gradually learn that everyone else deserves to be cared for just as much—though, for us, and necessarily so, not in the same way.

    First things are first for a reason. How could we ever love or care about someone else if we don’t know what it means to be loved and cared for? How could we value someone else if we don’t value ourselves?

    thinking of Luke 7:41-43

    Jesus has given man infinite value.

  88. jeff1 says:

    Yet, society as a whole has many people who do not feel valued.

    This world values the rich and powerful and it is not surprising because society has a tendency to look up to the rich and powerful.

    Money is power in this world and what makes it go around.

    Yet, how people ascertain their money is not always by honest means.

    My father’s honesty was above reproach and maybe it was because he was a civil servant who worked for the fraud squad that he was so.

    A farmer give him a bag of potatoes for filling out a form and my father gave those potatoes to his superior in case it would have been seen as a government official taking a bribe.

    When my mother said it was a gift for a favour he had done and he should accept it as such, he replied, it is today, but what about tomorrow.

    A wise man who understands human nature and its weaknesses.

    My father never used the words ‘I love you’ yet his actions spoke so much louder than his words.

    To have a loving father on earth makes it easy to understand how God is a loving father in heaven and yet it has taken me a lifetime to understand that God is all about ‘LOVE’.

    Some of us have the faith, some have hope, but those who have LOVE are nearest to God because He is the Epiphany of Love and beyond any love I have ever known.

    TO GOD BE THE GLORY
    WITH HIS BLOOD, HE HAS SAVED ME
    WITH HSI POWER, HE HAS RAISED ME.
    TO GOD BE THE GLORY
    FOR THE THINGS HE HAS DONE.

  89. street says:

    for us, and necessarily so, not in the same way

    thinking of people who do good works all their lives and do not know God ….building on sand.

    other dig dipper and build on a Rock….knowing in and of themselves they are weak, poor, helpless, oppressed dependent. when they get to the Rock a treasure of infinite value is discovered, mercy, grace, love! another Kingdom! sure there is wrath destruction and punishment of evil, Love would never let it continue. till that time cling to the Rock. paul calls it an alter for living sacrifices based on what we have received. first things first.

  90. poohpity says:

    street, that’s right it is easy for people to do good works and be kind to those who are kind back. It takes something special to care for those who do not return it or to be kind and care for those we see as enemies or do not particularity like or are outside our groups. That takes a touch of God. First thing first is experiencing the care, love and grace of God understanding how undeserving we are then we can give that out to others.

    It just takes really looking at ourselves and how often we fail, screw up, mess things up to accept what God offers then we are not so hard on others.

  91. street says:

    i find more comfort in looking to Jesus, as opposed to looking at myself, i get in big trouble when i look at myself and over analyze things. content of what we think and scripture we remember is one thing mood and attitude are the delivery vehicle. for me more car and train wreck. seems to me, not more Jesus, just faith the size of a muster seed. i have to admit i found the Rock, it’s the wood hay and stubble of street that needs to go. even in this, grace is sufficient. i take no comfort in muddying the water. the struggle for peace joy and love continue. finding this peace joy and love in God will go a long way in,”what it means to be human—eventually, and hopefully, for the sake of others.”

  92. street says:

    1 John 4:18-20
    18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

    Romans 5:4-6
    4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

    6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

    Titus 3:5-7
    5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs [a]according to the hope of eternal life.

    12 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

  93. street says:

    never thought about it this way before, God is love and the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead, therefor love too. seems like we need to get spending according to the faith He has given us. He gives us the time to spend each day too and it can’t be saved, get cracking, says the jar of clay. cracking a smile.

  94. poohpity says:

    If we never look at ourselves then how do we do what Jesus asked as in treat others as you would like to be treated? Or how do we love others as we love ourselves? Or how do we admit when we are wrong? Jesus teaches repeatedly for us look more at our own behaviors, words and actions then looking at those things in other people. He teaches us a new way. We learn different behaviors, words and actions by looking to Jesus as a role model then looking in the mirror at ourselves.

    One does not know their need for Jesus unless they have looked inside. It takes two people for a relationship.

  95. poohpity says:

    That was the point of this whole topic in the circle of care.

  96. poohpity says:

    Treat others as you want to be treated. Matt 7:12; Luke 6:31

  97. SFDBWV says:

    Today is that day that President Roosevelt said would live in infamy. The oldest member of our city council is a naval veteran of WWII at 93 years of age. At last evenings meeting he recalled what Pearl Harbor looked like when he arrived there later in 1943.

    This morning as I read the stories the surviving Pearl Harbor veterans tell of courage and sacrifice and yes the horrors of death I am brought to tears.

    Before I began to write this I remembered the book Mart brought to our attention, “Devil at my Heels “the story of Louis Zamperini. I so loved this story that I bought more copies of it and gave it to friends to read, one being my councilmember friend who remembered the man as well as many of the island places mentioned in the book.

    Too many things are taken for granted today as a spoiled generation hardly knows what the meaning of the word sacrifice means.

    Louis Zamperini returned to the people who imprisoned and tortured him, forgave them and offered them the greatest gift of all the knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth. I guess you could say he got even with his captors in a most unique way.

    Wherever you are today I hope you remember the day of infamy and the men and women who sacrificed their all for you and I, and perhaps you can see how many of us connect such a willing sacrifice to be akin to that of our Lord as He willingly died that we all may be free of sins grip and judgement for our failures. They also sacrificed what they had to give so that others might live free.

    Steve

  98. foreverblessed says:

    I wanted to thank Steve for bringing Mart and the blog up on Dec. 5.
    That reminded me of the fact that I wanted to ask you to pray together and lift up in prayer the daughter of Mart, the one who has posted here some time ago. Pray that God may greatly bless her, that we bless her, and love her. Pray that reconciliation will come.
    Thank you all! It is so my wish that we be a praying bunch together, make this blog worthwhile, especially while the topic does not change often.
    Abide the time! Name the best of the time we have here!
    Great is the Name of God, who does what we ask for in unison!

  99. poohpity says:

    Yes it was great when Mart used to write about new subject everyday to give us something to think about but there was always that one who would take the conversation in a different direction. Not much has changed with the exception that Mart has pulled back, took down the guidelines since they were not followed anyway, disconnected from ODB ministries and just let that person and his followers take over. It is a very sad day but there are still a couple who still enjoy talking and thinking about what Mart writes, a man who leads by pointing people to God and discussing principles we learn about and through God and His Word. A man who does not need the focus to be on him or live for the praise of people but enjoys leading us to think out of the box to expand our understanding of God and our relationship to Him. A man who never boasts about how spirit filled he is but admits to his shortcomings and that he does not have it all together. Mart has my utmost respect.

  100. poohpity says:

    Thankfully I still get to listen to him on Discover the Word and different articles on Our Daily Bread. Still learning Mart so thank you for your ministry and being an open fellow traveler on this rocky road of life.

    Respectfully
    Deborah

  101. joycemb says:

    Dear friends, seeking your prayers for unbearable pain that keeps me from walking sometimes. My surgery consult is Dec. 27. Going to the doc again today for muscle relaxers hopefully, thank you all!

  102. joycemb says:

    Lol when people think as on this blog one never knows what is going to show up! Caring takes many forms though:-)

  103. joycemb says:

    Pooh, if you know Jesus personally take all your irritations and disappointments to Him and He will help you to deal with them :-)

  104. poohpity says:

    Joyce, thank you, I do. ;-)

  105. street says:

    poo said,”If we never look at ourselves then how do we do what Jesus asked as in treat others as you would like to be treated?”

    dear poo i have looked at the law many times and have seen my true self. the interesting thing is i sometimes forget what i look like. i am tired of looking at the law and myself. looking at Jesus, the end of the law, i find peace and a love the gives hope. a hope that keeps me alive. we are told we can come in and go out and this we do. the hard part is walking out and staying in contact at the same time as when coming in. i guess you can call it our exodus. joshua and calib knew and understood how to come in and go out. so did abraham. they enjoyed life and vigor unlike their contemporaries. i think of josephy, from fidler on the roof, walking with his milk cow and wares talking to God. seems to me he knew how to walk with God too. learning to walk.

  106. poohpity says:

    If you do not examine yourself how do you admit to your faults, sins and failures with the intention of confession to God(1 John 1:9-10; Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; Matt 7:4-5; Luke 6:42)? How do you know whether you are walking in faith(2 Cor 13:5)? How do you know how wonderful grace is if you are not aware of the reason you were shown grace? How can you show grace to others?

    I have no idea what you are saying about coming in and going out or exodus or Joshua and Caleb or Abraham and how that fits in the reason not to be self aware, nor how fiddler on the roof has to do with it either? I am confused again, street.

  107. street says:

    poo said,”Or how do we love others as we love ourselves?”

    if we sin can we honestly say we love ourselves if sin causes our physical death? and in the end our spiritual death. seems to me something is stolen from us when we sin. paul said sin is utterly evil or sinful. when some one comes to Christ they receive something to replace what was stolen. i had a hard time with the idea of killing some one in Jesus presence, Luke 19:26-27. it was evil that is slain in His presents. remember, if your hand or eye? God is talking about the no holds bared in the removal of evil from self. thinking it will do no good to try and put out small fires when there is a raging inferno in self. thanks be to God through our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ! He sent the Spirit of Holiness , the Spirit of Himself to replace what was stolen looted destroyed by self and the advisory. we are told to love others as Christ has loved us….impossible to do apart from Christ, just like keeping the law. i can see why david delighted in the Law of God.

  108. SFDBWV says:

    Ephesians 3:16-21 KJV, Joyce I offer up this Scripture for you confidence and comfort, I pray you to be at peace and at rest.

    “That He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faiths; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

    Steve

  109. SFDBWV says:

    God bless you Foreverblessed, you are indeed a Saint.

    Steve

  110. street says:

    poo when david sinned grivously before God and he did. he was not the man he use to be. being a man after God’s own heart, he knew something was missing and he felt it. he owned it when nathan was sent. nathan was sent because God loved him and he was calling him back. we have a permanent nathan in our lives called the Holy Spirit. like david we can go against it and grieve it. so much better to walk upright.

    “…and how that fits in the reason not to be self aware”

    self aware is the knowledge of good and evil, death,
    God aware, knowing God, is life, true life. there is no other!

    we walk upright because it is a work of God not man.
    He makes us Holy and Righteous, the part we get to learn is to love! because He first Loved us. we can not love apart from the True Vine. the last I Am in John.

  111. joycemb says:

    Steve thank you for the prayer. Waiting for results from Heart and lung tests. Have had peace and feeling joyful all day.

  112. cbrown says:

    Joyce, you are in my prayers also. Love in Christ.

  113. street says:

    ditto

  114. joycemb says:

    Praising God! They thought I had a pulmonary embolism but after every test they could do found out it is gall bladder, even the doc was surprised. Hoping for surgery tomorrow. Grateful for praying trends, thank you all!

  115. joycemb says:

    Oops friends!

  116. SFDBWV says:

    Good news is always welcome Joyce, praise God. Both of my wives had their gall bladders out, some side effects, but much better than the pain.

    I am glad you got a good report.

    Steve

  117. jeff1 says:

    Thinking Street, that it is the Holy Spirit I see working in some peoples lives because it is reflected in their language and actions.

    The question is can God be at work in those who are not God aware because I know many non believers who do this better than believers.

    Why do some reflect it more than others yet not even be aware that they do!

    It seems to me that it is God who knows the vessel in which He can dwell regardless of beliefs.

    He does not enter when our behaviour and words do not reflect His character and in that respect it is ‘I’ who denies Him access to my vessel.

    Ir is ‘I’ who must discipline myself to allow Him access otherwise I will lead an unbalanced life which will look to others that I am very much a hypocrite whose life does not reflect Godliness in all aspects of it.

    To claim discipleship is very different than being a disciple!
    /
    Reflecting God is serious business and not one I should take lightly so if there is any grieving of the spirit (I must confess to such conviction) then I am in effect a poor champion for ‘Christ’.

    It is God who is faithful because He does not turn us away even when we let Him down continuously in our efforts to walk upright.

    The focus must always be on Him or I loose my way and my usefulness to God!

    The difficulty is my self awareness because I know exactly what I am without Him and the flesh is weak.

  118. poohpity says:

    It seems the ability to forgive, to show mercy and grace to those who do not deserve it, is a reflection of God. That is what sets us apart from unbelievers. To live life as a forgiven person circles around and shows that we believe God and what has been done for us.

  119. poohpity says:

    Otherwise we are taking what has been freely given to us in vain. When Jesus was beaten, rejected even by His own, dishonored, despised and then hung on a Cross naked in front of the crowds in shame, forgave. He forgave those who did not ask for it, did not deserve it and reconciled the world, those from the past, in the present and in the future to God through His sacrifice. He laid down His rights, privilege and deity for mankind. Rebellious mankind knowing that no one would ever be without sin while attached to this flesh but took their punishment.

    Then said if we believe in Jesus then do for others as He did for us as in forgiveness, grace and mercy. That proves to God we believe and honor Him above all else.

  120. SFDBWV says:

    Well, this morning after watching the birds eat and fly about the feeding areas of my back yard a Friend reminded me of something special.

    Happy Birthday Pearl.

    A little birdy told me.

    Hoping you have a very blessed day.

    Steve

  121. jeff1 says:

    Pooh says,It seems the ability to forgive, to show mercy and grace to those who do not deserve it, is a reflection of God.

    I would not agree, as I do not deserve it any more than the non believer, and they will just see me as judging them.

    I am a follower of ‘Christ’ who wants to attract another follower and there is no humility in judging another whom I want to attract.

    Walk humbly with God means just that, otherwise I will seem like I think I am God’s instead of following God’s will and it is a fine line to the non believer.

    I remain humble by confessing my own shortcomings to God and keeping a right relationship through repentance and confession which stops me from becoming judgemental to others and they then see ‘Christ’ reflected in me.

  122. jeff1 says:

    correction: seem like I think I am God

  123. joycemb says:

    “I remain humble by confessing my own shortcomings to God and keeping a right relationship through repentance and confession which stops me from becoming judgemental to others and they then see ‘Christ’ reflected in me.”

    Amen, Vivien

  124. street says:

    jeff your question comes at a time i have been thinking about a very interesting figure in the Old Testament. nebuchadnezzar, a gentile king and the greatest human king on earth, God’s love and mercy given to this man are similar to us too. as wacky and rebellious as we are, God was still working in Him and us to make vessels according to His own will and design. as neb. understood over time less of us more of Him. God made sure we have our daniels and nathans forever in Himself.

  125. street says:

    5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.

    so true sometimes brothers and sisters seem like strangers. yet we forget what it was like to be young and we forget we have a ways to go. God bless you with Himself.

  126. poohpity says:

    Viv, I do not see how judging someone has anything whatsoever to do forgiveness, grace or mercy. We do not judge because we have no room to talk especially when we are aware of our OWN sin, failures, faults and shortcomings. We forgive because we have been forgiven, we show mercy because we have been shown mercy and we extend grace because it was extended to us.

    When someone does something to us or to someone we love we can hold a grudge, seek revenge, become bitter, retaliate but to forgive, show mercy and grace is from God. It is the very basis and foundations of our beliefs and shows how very grateful we are for those things being done for us. Eph 4:31-32 NLT; Matt 6:14 NLT; Matt 18:33 NLT; Col 3:13 NLT

    Anyone can love those who return it, anyone can do good things for others but to forgive, show mercy and grace is a divine imitation of accepting that Christ did that for us and shows we believe.

  127. street says:

    When Jesus was beaten, rejected even by His own, dishonored, despised and then hung on a Cross naked in front of the crowds in shame, forgave.

    yes he did. when it happens to us, we can not complain because we earned it or… we endure trials because they were made for us to accomplish His will. it is better to bear the trial regardless….. of failure or doing good, because he Loves us. it is better to suffer for doing good than for sin. one of the things about God working in man is that man is unaware of it. many times israel is told look backwards and see His hand. when we look backwards are we seeing His hand or ourselves?

    Psalm 123:2
    Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He is gracious to us.

  128. poohpity says:

    “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

    32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

    “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:27-37 NIV

  129. poohpity says:

    I want to be forgiven, I want mercy and I want grace so for me to withhold that from others is to say that what Christ did was not enough. To me I think it was enough and more than enough because I know the things I have done. For those who think they do not have that much in their lives to be forgiven for usually they are comparing themselves to others not to Jesus and that was the pride that Jesus confronted with religious people who looked down on others.

    It bears repeating what Jesus taught about that;
    Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14 NLT

  130. street says:

    “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! [18] If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker. [19] “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. [20] I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. [21] I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

  131. street says:

    “An ordinary meal eaten with people of different social positions is in reality not an ordinary meal” (Reta Finger). See verse 12. Perhaps this is the way to true community.

    verse 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.

    the wild olive branches wait for the nature to be grafted in! what a day that will be!

  132. street says:

    sorry some of my comments are from scripture union today “Food of Faith?” and many other places too. i just find it all quite explosive. the tempest continues.

    Isaiah 26:3
    You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

  133. phpatato says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Narrowpathseeker!! I hope you have a fantastic day!!!

    XOXO

  134. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, I believe people say they forgive but do not always behave like they do proving that forgiveness is much more than words.

    If you have been hurt deeply enough and justice has not been done then forgiveness can take years for some people, and it can be a struggle to let go of the pain caused by the perpetrator, as often the perpetrator has shown no remorse for the offence.

    You are in effect judging a person, for not forgiving, if you say they should forgive, because God has forgiven them, but many do not feel loved by God when atrocity has struck them because they think they have done something that displeased God for Him to allow their suffering.

    It is not just saying you forgive but going through the process and asking God for assurance and strength to persevere.

    The process must ultimately bring me closer to God so that I feel loved and then I will feel forgiveness for the perpetrator.

    It is not just saying I forgive but feeling the forgiveness which God imparts.

  135. poohpity says:

    Forgiveness is not a feeling it is letting go of punishing someone, it does not mean what they did was right but letting go of retaliation or holding a grudge and that I will ever forget but I am putting it into God’s hands. Because it was not me who said, “forgive because I have forgiven you, it is not me who judges that is from God. Yes He has every right to judge but rather forgave. Love is also not a feeling it is the action you take to care for someone and in how you treat them whether you feel like it or not.

    You are so right forgiveness is a process and for me when I go through that process God has brought to mind all the things that He has forgiven me for. Then asks me, “who do you think you are not to forgive?”. Yes I have had many, many times that I have had to work through forgiveness, sexual assault, molestation of 2 of my children, people who have stolen from me when I had very little, people who have lied about me and to me, spread untrue gossip, beaten me up, knocked my eye through my eye-socket, been raped, hit over the head with 2 pool sticks for defending a old man from getting beat up, when the father of my children had a home and me and both my kids were homeless, oh my the list goes on.

    I know I can’t worship God when I hold hatred and unforgiveness in my heart nor am I able to show Him gratitude when I am bitter and full of self pity. I even have to work through forgiveness for God because I get angry with Him too. Then I have to work through forgiveness when I do something that is wrong.

    If I want to feel forgiven I will not hold me breath that comes from both knowing I am forgiven and taking the steps to give it to others. My feelings will do everything they possibly can to lead me in a wrong direction, I do not trust my feelings they change to often.

  136. poohpity says:

    Forgiveness is not dependent on whether the perpetrator admits wrong doing or asks for forgiveness it has nothing to do with them at all. It has to do with me and God.

  137. poohpity says:

    For me it has never been easy but not to much of what God asks of us is but He does help along the way. Actually He does most of the work I just trust in Him.

  138. street says:

    jeff said,”The process must ultimately bring me closer to God so that I feel loved and then I will feel forgiveness for the perpetrator.”

    is this not the point of the exercise?

    Deuteronomy 32:39-43

  139. joycemb says:

    I agree Viv that feeling forgiveness from God and imparting that wonderful forgiveness is the most awesome feeling in the world! Its a true walk in grace! Doesn’t matter what the sin or even just a social faux pax, there’s enough grace to spread around. Its a true learning PROCESS! And sometimes grace is hard to accept but the work of it is so worth it!

  140. street says:

    to share everything he is, and everyone he loves— with us.

    reality vs nothing.

  141. bubbles says:

    I’d like to ask a question about forgiveness. This is being asked because I wonder not to justify anything and not because I’m not forgiving someone.

    God does not forgive until it is asked for. When we are told to forgive without being asked for it, aren’t we being asked to do something God doesn’t do?

    If we are asked to forgive, we should readily. . .

    Perhaps when we say we forgive without the other party asking for it, we are actually saying we are releasing anger towards them.

    I don’t know. . . I cannot put this together.

  142. SFDBWV says:

    Bless your heart Bubbles, you are definitely on to something.

    Some say Adam’s sin was wanting to be like God, but I have never seen that concept in Scripture, only that he disobeyed. The original sin a different matter and for a different subject.

    However we are told to forgive when we have been wronged not in a future sense but as a result of being wronged. Though we should always be anxious to and prepared to forgive when ask.

    Some think that forgiveness from us is the same as the forgiveness we receive from God. It is not the same because we are not God, only a shadow image of Him.

    To think that no matter how badly we act we should not be judged for bad behavior but rather already forgiven because others are supposed to forgive is just not in keeping with living righteously.

    We should expect others to forgive us if we err and acknowledge our errant behavior, but not err and then expect forgiveness from those we err against as a prerequisite of their being Christian without asking.

    To expect another to give cart-blanc forgiveness for your bad behavior is just rude and seen as taking advantage, even abusing of the gift of grace.

    Good question bubbles.

    Steve

  143. poohpity says:

    Did Jesus die for our sins before we asked Him to forgive us? Yes. He did it before anyone even realized that He had. He died for the sins of the world before people even knew Him. Did Peter ask for forgiveness when He denied Christ, no, but Jesus restored him. That is why they call undeserved mercy, GRACE.

    People just want to look for reasons not to forgive so they can cling to hatred, animosity, anger, revenge because that is what their lives are surrounded by and they are safe there. To forgive is to be free from carrying around evil thoughts and feelings. God asked us to forgive as He forgave us because He knew the damage it causes within our own hearts not to do it. God wants the best for us.

    The only way one can abuse grace is by making others try to earn it. We did not earn God’s grace it was a free gift given to us because of who God is, nothing to do with us other than to receive it and give it away as freely as we received.

  144. poohpity says:

    If you do not forgive, how can you ask God to forgive you?

  145. joycemb says:

    We can and should forgive freely, however it does not mean that I want to hang around with someone who continually sins because even James says we are to be careful because the sins of others can pull us down with them. I know this well. Bad company corrupts good morals. Not that morality is our gospel but for Jesus we hope to display godly behavior in our lives. Lest we cause another to sin.

  146. joycemb says:

    The LORD has been speaking to me about my testimony of all God has done for me. When I was a child in the faith my history redeemed was on my mind and the seemingly never ending recovered memories that were being revealed on a daily basis. But as I am grown up in the faith its time to leave those things behind and live in the present. So now my testimony is day to day. Because in Him we live, move, and have our being. Today. Today if we will hear His voice…

    This may seem to be off topic and the current thread even, but it does effect how I relate to others in the circle of care. Not having my mind on myself and my needs or wants but on what is good for those I am with, that promotes Jesus.

  147. poohpity says:

    Who did Jesus hang around? Did he spend time with the religious people who were confident in their own righteousness or with sinners? How can we share the Good News if all we do is hang with Christians? Frankly I separate myself from people who say they are Christians but lack forgiveness, mercy and grace. I would prefer to be around people who know they are not perfect because I have so much in common with them because they recognize the need for Jesus. Living an intentional life for Christ to share what has been bought and paid for by Jesus.

    I am not speaking about people who are self debasing, or self victimizing, vying for pity or so arrogant but those who know they sin and are willing to admit it and are confident in the forgiveness that God offers or those who do not yet know of the forgiveness of God found in Christ Jesus.

    People who put their selves down and wallow in self pity tend to put others down too, as well as being full of hate and anger rather than acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes and there are lessons to be learned to move forward. On the other hand there are those who are so arrogant that think they only do good mostly and boast in how godly and spirit filled they are, and just doing that shows how far away from God they really are.

  148. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, you say love is not a feeling but an action you take to care for someone and in how you treat them whether you feel like it or not.

    That action is done out of duty and I have seen many do deeds out of duty and not love and it does not end well.

    If I do good deeds in my own strength I will burn myself out and get angry with others in the process.

    I am talking from experience here, I must get my strength and love from God. When I am in the right relationship with God it comes naturally but when I am not I am forcing myself and my duty becomes a burden to myself and to others.

    If my source is anything but God I will fail in my endeavour because where God is there too is love.

  149. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, you say love is not a feeling but an action you take to care for someone and in how you treat them whether you feel like it or not.

    That action is done out of duty and I have seen many do deeds out of duty and not love and it does not end well.

    If I do good deeds in my own strength I will burn myself out and get angry with others in the process.

    I am talking from experience here, I must get my strength and love from God. When I am in the right relationship with God it comes naturally but when I am not I am forcing myself and my duty becomes a burden to myself and to others.

    If my source is anything but God I will fail in my endeavour because where God is there too is love.

    I have to consider the needs of the other person and if I act out of anything other than God’s love then I may add to their burden rather then alleviate it.

  150. poohpity says:

    Viv, what I was saying is many base love on how they feel so then people fall in and out of it all the time depending on how they are feeling in that moment of time. If you are feeling sick or tired or hurt chances are one will not feel to loving. BUT if one looks at love as an action doing what is in the best interest of the one loved then even when one is sick or tired or hurt they can still do what is in the best interest of the one loved even if they do not feel like it.

    Look at the night before the Passion of Christ. He prayed for God not to have Him go through what He was about to go through, so He did not feel like it but made the choice to do what was in the best interest of ALL the people of the world, the forgiveness of their sin.

  151. joycemb says:

    Jesus was not affected by the sins of others, in fact his mission was to save people who sin. Our mission as the saved is to tell, not save. Only Jesus saves. Those who did not accept Him he died for anyway. I am not sinless enough to die for anyone, as Jesus was.

  152. joycemb says:

    The post at 11:50am is very judgemental and hypocritical. Jesus would never say those things. Human inference destroys, Godliness builds up.

  153. poohpity says:

    Joyce who said it was our mission to save? I said to tell others the Good News.

    Then on your next post from 1:17pm read 1 Cor 5:11 NLT; “I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.”

  154. poohpity says:

    2 Thessalonians 3:6 NIV

  155. poohpity says:

    Notice it does say unbelievers but those who “say” they believe.

  156. poohpity says:

    Notice it does NOT say unbelievers but those who SAY the believe.

  157. joycemb says:

    Thanks those are the scriptures I was too lazy to look up. Glad you found them.

  158. poohpity says:

    lol but you said me saying that was judgemental and hypocritical and Jesus would never say those things.

    Joyce how did your surgery go yesterday that we were praying for?

  159. joycemb says:

    They didn’t do surgery as planned but decided to wait. I have a consult in a week or so. Dr says low fat diet! Not easy for me but pain has always been the main motivator for me, sadly. Prayers so appreciated, thanks all!

  160. street says:

    circle of care?
    i remember reading about a camper who would save sticks from the previous campfire because it was easier to start a fire with these sticks then with the sticks that have not been in the fire dried and burned. it seems to me forgiveness genuinely given gets rid of the inflammatory tendencies of a burnt stick. you would also understand the tendencies of being protective too. these tendencies can come from God or man. may we be able to discern the difference. forgiveness, not saving the sticks or holding on to the pain. love covers a multitude of sin and is protective. God, love, is the way forward. in can not be counterfeited.

  161. joycemb says:

    6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

    It says believer, not those who say they believe.

  162. poohpity says:

    Well would the people who act like that just be saying they believe but their behaviors show differently just like those who do not forgive or show mercy or grace as they were shown just saying but not actually living by faith and following Jesus? It says we need to count the cost of what it takes to being a follower of Christ, we have to set aside our rights for the rights of others.

  163. joycemb says:

    Pooh you have an interesting spin on scripture. Hard to take it sometimes isn’t it when it doesn’t fit your theology? The reason there are so many different denominations and cults even. Step back and take a look at just why you may be viewed as an outsider on this blog as you say. And why you complain about some who have “followers” as you say. Looking at what Thess. actually says could it be that you are one of those considered “disruptive” so that people are having to ignore you? Street smarts don’t make for good biblical interp. I know that well.

  164. joycemb says:

    It starts as a direct command from Jesus and it’s about housekeeping in the body. (2 Thess. 3:6) It doesn’t put blame or shame on anyone.just a simple command, the word you are not crazy about pooh :-)

  165. joycemb says:

    I personally hate being told what to do, even if its good for me. Like giving up my daily intake of cookies and or ice cream. So glad I quit smoking years ago :-). Letting go of personal comforts is so hard. Even knowing Jesus is enough when my flesh is lacking is still difficult. We all have our personal battles though. I should not trust myself to think I know what is good for me. Because the results say it all, don’t they.

  166. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, may God strengthen your inner being, with His Power.
    I can feelwith your struggle. 14 years ago I went to the doctor,because ofheart rythm problemen. He asked how much coffee do you drink? 4 cups a day I said.
    You know what, try drinking no coffee, to see what it does to your heart.
    And immediately I felt this inner voice saying:
    “Yes I want you to do that!”

    So I knew this was from God!
    There I started my next day without coffee. By 11 I must have had my coffee. Not that day! It was such a suprises to me how “coffee” dominated my thoughts!
    And I thought that Jesus was my Lord and Master?!

    Then I saw why God wanted me to go without it, so that I would see that coffee was my idol.

    Jesus is all I need

    Is a song I sing often.
    Now these words hit me home.

    So may God bless you and help you too to make real in you, that Jesus is all you need!

  167. foreverblessed says:

    Denying what the flesh in us wants, that is to die to the old self. And Living the resurrected Life of Christ!
    The old out the New In!
    Stijging Psalms and hymns helps
    Someone was telling me this week: when you battle a personal problem, start learning scripture by heart.
    And she started saying out loud, by heart:
    Fil 3:10-11 (NKJV)

    May we remember that verse well!

  168. foreverblessed says:

    Phil 3:10-11 ( NKJV)
    That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being comforted to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

    By the way, I am not saying that anyone of you should stop drinking coffee, I am only telling my own story. The story of how the Holy Spirit is training me.

    And Chris, thanks for your update on the inmates, I always enjoy that! May God bless you, and them! Especially the one who gave that answer.

  169. foreverblessed says:

    …being conformed to His death

  170. joycemb says:

    Forever that is exactly my problem, letting food dominate my thoughts. I heard the Voice of conviction earlier but its so soft I sometimes wonder if I really heard it. And here you come dear sister with the same word! Thank you thank you thank you for sharing how the LORD helped you! I will replace those thoughts with scripture. God bless you!

    I just realized I’ve been too focused also on how to fix my own problem, as I am so used to having to fend for myself. God is the great savior of our souls and our helper in times of need, Yes!

  171. poohpity says:

    Things that come from our hearts and in turn out of our mouths can cause more physical, spiritual and mental damage than the food that goes into our mouths.

  172. joycemb says:

    Lol I guess if you are dead you don’t have to worry about that!

  173. bubbles says:

    God forgives only when we ask for it. . . so if we are to forgive without being asked for the forgiveness, isn’t that being asked to do something God doesn’t do?

    God says to not let the sun go down on your anger.

    I wonder. . is this wrong? I wonder if. . does that mean that we should always forgive when asked for it? Forgive readily, like God does.

    Not forgiving should not involve holding grudges; it should not involve having anger towards another. . .

    I don’t understand and am wondering. I could very well be wrong.

    I don’t hold anger against others nor do I hold a grudge. I was asking for information and not to justify anything.

    I don’t want to put something on here that is wrong or cause trouble.
    Thank you.

  174. joycemb says:

    I have been spiritually, mentally, and physically damaged yet God is equal to the task of making something good come out of it. The scripture forever posted I’ve just been studying and if we like Paul really want to know Christ then we will suffer, in the body as He did and in death with hope of resurrection. If we don’t really want to know Him. His voice, His passions in suffering then we are just on a religious ride. Hoping to attain to the resurrection without full confidence. Philippians 3:10-11

  175. joycemb says:

    Bubbles I too think your questions are interesting, thank you.

  176. poohpity says:

    Joyce, Thank you for the input. I want to be careful about teaching only what the bible actually says so I will prayerfully reexamine the things I share and get input from someone who has a close relationship with God and is actually familiar with His Word for correction. I know that I am still a student of the Lord and have much to learn. Since there is not much room here for those of us who are eager to learn but for those who are rather quick for the put downs, assuming, jumping to conclusions it is not conducive to a real learning environment.

    To everyone I bid y’all good bye. It will obviously be a better place for y’all if I leave and it will be wise, good and more healthy for me too.

    The Lord bless you, and keep you;
    The Lord make His face shine on you,
    And be gracious to you;
    The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace.”‘

  177. street says:

    poo said,”God gave it without ever expecting it in return however how we treat others shows that we have embraced that wonderful gift to us.”

    “He loved us before we even knew of it. Does that sound like someone who expects it back? God does not expect anything of us because He knows us so well,”

    Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

    Isaiah 55:10-12

    10
    “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
    They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer
    and bread for the hungry.
    11
    It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
    It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
    12
    You will live in joy and peace.
    The mountains and hills will burst into song,
    and the trees of the field will clap their hands!

    seems to me nothing gets done apart from the Word of God.

  178. cbrown says:

    I would encourage you to listen to “Discover the Word” 12/7, Wednesday,it deals with the Gospel as it pertains to forgiveness and I believe, says it is our mission as Christians to present the Gospel to a lost world that the forgiveness we have received is available to all.

  179. narrowpathseeker says:

    A childhood memory of starting each and every morning of the day in public school with prayer…..”Our Father” followed by the “Pledge of Allegiance” has me thinking.

    The choices we had to elect a president were very disturbing for me. A short time before the election I asked the Lord to do the choosing…then I began praying for His choice…then as I heard of those being chosen for his cabinet, I forgot that I asked the Lord to choose the president. This thought combined with the childhood memory of multi millions of children praying each morning across American reminded me how much better things were when prayer dominated the mornings.

    Could I ask all of His people here to pray every morning for our leaders and to ask that He touch their hearts and minds to give up their self serving agendas to give their all to peace and good will towards mankind. Then ask that He help each of us to examine ourselves that we too can give our all to peace and goodwill.. Also if we all asked our friends, family, church, etc to do the same…surely things will change for the better.

    Thank you and may we each have a super Blessed day.

    PS…Thank you Steve and Pat for the Happy Birthday wishes. I was Blessed. <3 Pearl

  180. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Pearl, I too was sickened at the eventual choice we here in the USA ended up with for a president, and even more sickened at the yearlong “debates”.

    It would appear that Franklin Graham shares your rosier outlook for the possible future for America. As he called for America to pray for the elections fearful of what a Hillary Clinton Presidency would look like.

    I remain cautious about the future, although remembering that God is always willing to give a reprieve for punishment if we repent.

    Repenting goes along with atonement and a change of nature a different course of action for events from that point forward.

    Certainly I will join with you in praying for our countries leaders and most certainly for a redirection for our people to repent and come to God, for revival.

    16 degrees and snow in the mountains.

    Steve

  181. SFDBWV says:

    Touching on the subject of forgiveness and anger again I am forced to look at this from stark reality. Chris reminded us earlier from one of his friends there in his prison ministry of what it meant to “submit’ while in prison.

    Is allowing yourself to be humiliated, raped, stolen from, pushed around and perhaps even harmed or killed show you to be a better Christian than standing up against evil and fighting back?

    If you found out today that your wife or husband has been having sexual relationships with another, perhaps for years, would you feel hurt and angry?

    Are followers of Jesus supposed to feel “guilty” for feeling angry or betrayed?

    Jesus took all of our sins to the cross with Him. We are not able to do the same. What we can do is forgive people who have done some wrong against us, when ask to. Yet there is also a responsibility that goes along with asking for forgiveness, the crime against the offended must stop and retribution at least offered in the spirit of atonement.

    Hurt may take a long time to heal, but anger can quickly fade with a genuine attitude from an offender for being sorry for their offence.

    Without either I don’t think forgiveness will be complete until time erases the emotions of the event.

    Steve

  182. foreverblessed says:

    Chris, thank you so much for that link. That bible verse has been mysterious to me for a long time!
    John 20:22-23
    Does Jesus put a great responsibility on us on forgiving? Should we, as christians be more about forgiving, so as to proceed the kingdom?

    There are two subsequential things, forgiving and reconciliation.
    Forgiving is my part. Can be one sided, me with God, I leave the “wrath” to God.
    Reconciliation is two sided me and the offender turning from his old ways, and showing New Life, life from Christ

  183. street says:

    10
    “They will eat but not have enough;
    they will engage in prostitution but not flourish,
    because they have deserted the Lord
    to give themselves 11 to prostitution;
    old wine and new wine
    take away their understanding.
    12
    My people consult a wooden idol,
    and a diviner’s rod speaks to them.
    A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
    they are unfaithful to their God.

    you may wonder how and why i post this related to the circle of care. the old wine and the new wine caught my attention on this reading. the old wine, the law, new wine, the Spirit. don’t mix the two, Jesus is the end of the law, old wine and the beginning of the new wine. the Spirit sustained the saints of old not the letter. the letter kills. Jesus is the better new wine. there is no other. don’t mix the two, for there is never a reason too other than to justify yourself which is not going to happen. they did this in the old and in the new and it doesn’t work. come Lord Jesus, we are but sheep. let us forsake our ways and hearken unto your voice only.

  184. joycemb says:

    Just thinking, after forgiving is reconciliation necessary outside of say an organized church group, family or within a contractual sense such as marriage or a business partnership?

  185. joycemb says:

    Street we were posting at the same time, but thinking of what you wrote reminds me of Jesus saying you can’t put new wine into old wineskins. The Israelites messed up when they married into the pagan nations they captured as you know. But the new covenant married us into Christ, who lives in us.

    I was just listening to Max Lucado on TV and was so encouraged when he said that whatever addiction we struggle with we can’t control but Christ in us can! Such hope we have, the creator of the universe exists in us if we let him in. Oh how I pray that people will open their hearts to Jesus this Xmas season!

  186. street says:

    joycemb asked,”after forgiving is reconciliation necessary outside of say an organized church group, family or within a contractual sense such as marriage or a business partnership?”

    reconciliation with God is always necessary. when that happens we should be reconciled to each other. a point of order is noted here. there is no agreement between light and dark or good and evil.
    we can look to the law to see how well we are doing, but most of the time we don’t look close enough because that would be too painful. looking to Christ brings pain too, but with it Hope. rejoice in Christ not the law, Luke 10:19-21

  187. street says:

    Galatians 3:15-22

  188. street says:

    Galatians 3

  189. foreverblessed says:

    I had forgotten to say goodbye to Pooh, yesterday!
    May God bless you and keep you, may God be the circle of care around you and may you be a blessing to many around you!

  190. jeff1 says:

    I am thinking how I can learn from others and I learned from my earthly Dad that if I am not in the right relationship with God then my other relationships will suffer too.

    My father was a disciplined man in that he made sure his thoughts and actions were Godly and walked righteously by doing so.

    It takes focusing on God and not on myself or others to do this.

    I too often take my eyes of God and revert to believing I know better when I do not.

    My Dad tried to warn me of my folly many times but when I am wandering I am also not listening.

    Whatever God allows in my life He is teaching me the better way, His way, and it takes a heart and mind focused on God to know it.

    While I am sorry to hear that Pooh has left the circle, there are times in our lives, when a change is as good as a rest, and needed to move forward with God who is always providing for us.

    God is our circle of care but I too often miss that He has been caring by taking my eyes off Him and looking at the cares of this world.

    Street, I believe that you have the truth when you say there is an order in reconciliation and I must be fully reconciled to God before I can be reconciled to my brother/sister.

    Having the right relationship with ‘Christ’ in effect is having the right relationship with others.

    It is painful, because how far I have wandered, (thinking of myself) from His righteous ways.

  191. SFDBWV says:

    Only a couple subjects back we tackled whether or not Christians had just replaced one set of dos and don’ts for another.

    Did we learn anything from that discussion?

    What is it God requires of us? What is it Jesus requires of us? Are they not the same?

    What can we do to gain salvation? Romans 10:9 KJV “If thou shat confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

    There, you have done what is required of you, what you are able to do.

    The remainder of your life here on earth you will be tempted, misled, err, stumble, and occasionally fall, but your requirement of God has been met.

    You will always have that struggle going on in your spirit and “know” right from wrong because of the Spirit of Jesus that has taken up residence in your heart, but being human from time to time you will err in living the righteous life you want to.

    Remember though that Jesus bore your failures for you He is your reconciliation, your part is to accept that and trust it to Him.

    Have and show sympathy for others who fail as well.

    18 degrees f with flurries in the mountains.

    Steve

  192. joycemb says:

    Circle of care..it’s always sad when a friend leaves. Praying Gods riches blessings on Pooh also. She will be missed.

  193. bubbles says:

    Something happened that concerns my workplace that I cannot make public. I need you all to pray for this place tomorrow and that we and I would have wisdom to help others who are going to need it desperately. We will have extra helpers there tomorrow. Thank you.

  194. joycemb says:

    Praying bubbles

  195. bubbles says:

    Thank you. tomorrow is going to be hard. . . we really need to be the circle of care tomorrow.

  196. street says:

    bubbles in the New Testament we understand how sin is taken care of, the cross.

    in the Old Testament, blood sacrifice. yet even then there were even sacrifices for sins that we are unaware of.

    which brings me to the final point of sin.

    1 John 1:9
    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from “all” unrighteousness.

    Hebrews 9:13-15

    13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

    15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

    some one mentioned about the Holy Spirit bringing to mind when you appear before God to take care of that business before moving on.

    thinking about casting the first stone comes to mind here.

  197. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning All. Thank you to ALL who are praying every morning for our country and its leaders. I have included all world leaders as it seems the entire world is a frightening mess and I believe GOD is our ONLY hope. Also I included WORLD leaders as to include Pat, Foreverblessed and Vivian. Sorry ladies…I forget at times that we are not all Americans here.

    I am only into Exodus in a study bible, but it amazes me how my thoughts, prayers, devotional, and bible reading coincide with one another. This morning I was thinking how hopeless the world situation is if God doesn’t intervene. Within seconds I was reading about the Egyptians chasing the Israelites into the red sea and how hopeless they had felt. My devotional was on the amazing POWER of prayer and my prayer was a request to God to have mercy on us ALL and to touch the hearts and minds of our world leaders to hear His voice and to obey Him.

    Also praying for Bubble’s situation at work. May all have an abundantly Blessed day.

  198. SFDBWV says:

    Last evening after “Bubbles” talked a while with Matthew, she faithfully calls him every Sunday evening, she talked with me for a bit about her asking for special prayer.

    We here in our home prayed for the request she put before us. Asking for prayer is always a blessing as it honors us and places us before the Lord when we do.

    So I thank her for asking and including us in the matter.

    Earlier in this thread Foreverblessed ask for prayer concerning Mart and his relationship with his daughter Jen. Again this is something we ought to be about, praying for each other with heart felt compassion, sometimes with heartbroken compassion.

    Over the years here on BTA I have found friends and encountered foes, I have had to relearn how sometimes to manage both, remembering how fragile people’s feelings are and remain mindful of that when saying anything.

    Life can be a cruel taskmaster and sometimes our only comfort is found in each other. God provides everything we need, but sometimes a kind word or a simple hand on a shoulder can mean a lot.

    This is what is missing from such a place as BTA, a soft word, a hug or even a smile when needed.

    So as I pray for the request Bubbles has ask of me I also pray for all of you here and who just look in and wish I could share the more personal “touch” sometimes needed for reassurance.

    Be blessed today wherever you are.

    Rain and 42 degrees in the mountains of West Virginia today.

    Steve

  199. SFDBWV says:

    Looks like we were at the computer with similar thoughts at the same time Pearl. As always I pray you are happy and content and that you enjoy the study of Exodus. It seems we are all still sometimes in the wilderness.

    Steve

  200. bubbles says:

    Thank you, friends, for praying. This is a tragic situation, and it will take time to heal. Today was the most difficult day I have had in my career. We held each other and loved one another. Many hearts are broken.

  201. foreverblessed says:

    May God bless you Bubbles, and all those around you!
    Narrow, that really helped me, that Red Sea being opened.

    When I pray,I often veel hopeless, powerless. Deep down I feel I think: I have to do something. It is my own strength that is powerless and hopeless
    But….I am praying to God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth, thd One Who opened up the Red Sea in a hopeless Case.
    That is the One I am connected to!
    This morning my eye fell on Jer 29:11-14
    (It is all red colored in my bible)

    And it was just as if God was directly talking to me!

    We have a great God, thank you!

  202. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, thanks! Her name was Jen, I could not get the name, it was such a different one!
    Yes, lets pray, if God moves your heart to do so, our God Who opens up the sea.
    But often I am just sitting quietly in prayer, meditating onWho God is, and seeking the Rest in Him.
    Isa 9:6

  203. SFDBWV says:

    Something is wrong, it is now 17 days since this subject has been presented to us with no change or participation from Mart.

    I am concerned for him and hope my worry is for naught.

    There is a haunting song from REM titled “Everybody Hurts” as well as one titled “Losing My Religion”. Interesting that one often precedes the other in the lives of many.

    One of the reasons I believe that we as believers need to gather together is for the simple act of encouragement in our faith. I also know that sometimes we need to be alone with our thoughts as we allow God to speak into our hearts apart from the noise of the world.

    In thinking this morning about prayer and how we seek rescue from God in whatever it is that has its grip on us, I remembered as Foreverblessed mentioned the opening of the Red Sea how quickly we forget the last miracle God did in our lives as we cry out before Him for the next.

    In three events in my life once my rescue came from God I realized He was already working out the details for it before I even knew I needed help.

    I must keep such things alive in my mind when I come before Him with my newest request, that even though I have not yet seen the good outcome I seek, it is already being prepared by God even better than I could have imagined.

    I hope all is well for Mart, and would never want to make him feel as though he needs to keep inventing a subject for us to dissect. I am just concerned.

    It is 29 degrees f and cloudy this morning, colder weather coming.

    Steve

  204. narrowpathseeker says:

    This morning while discussing some of the stupid and/or evil deeds we hear of on the news daily, I was suddenly “Reminded” of the many many stupid and/or evil things I have done in days of yesteryear. Some of them were done in anger, revenge, desperation, and some total ignorance. While I am sure that I reaped what I sowed regardless of the reason for the sowing, I was never arrested or openly humiliated with exposure on the worldwide news!

    For that and for Teaching me to try to do better, I gave Thanks again to the Lord this morning for His Grace and a lifetime of care and took to praying for the people in the news that I tend to forget could be me if it were not for the Grace of God. THANK YOU LORD!

    I have read that God LOVES it when we pray to Him and that He WANTS to Bless us and those that we pray for….and I also remember that there was scripture references that confirmed that belief, but I can not remember the scripture.. I am sure someone here can pull that up… thanks…I hope everyone here has a super Blessed day.

  205. narrowpathseeker says:

    I also forget proper English…”but there “WERE” scripture references.. sorry.. Pearl

  206. joycemb says:

    God day all!

    The times are changing! Everyone has a camera in hand and we hear and see in real time often the sadest news, from the little girl in Aleppo, to images of cars parked kitty wampas in parking lots (as they do in my town to shame the owner). (Some people have nothing better to do it seems). But knowing we serve a God who is willing to forgive is what keeps me sane at times. How blessed we are indeed!

    The most memorable testimony I’ve ever seen was an interview years ago of Karla Fay Tucker, on death role for her part in the Manson murders. She was high on drugs at the time she murdered people but she met Christ in prison and she was a changed person! She was radiant with joy and the blessing of God was on her even as she walked to her death. Did her victims deserve justice, yes, yet today she is with Jesus in heaven. What hope we all have even in our sins. No matter how big or how small, Jesus covered them all at Calvary!

  207. joycemb says:

    James 1:2-4The Message (MSG)

    Faith Under Pressure
    2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

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