Text Size: Zoom In

Poison Ivy or Wild Blackberry

Years ago I chased a softball into patch of poison ivy. Ever since, I’ve been looking for it (not the ball but PI) along the edges of wooded areas, in fields, and even among the myrtle of our yard. Haven’t forgotten the weeks of blisters, itch, and discomfort.

Along the way, I’ve appreciated the simple reminder, “leaves of three, let it be…or leaves of three, don’t touch me.” Another I recently ran into is “Hairy vine, no friend of mine.” That might be one to remember in late fall or winter.

As you may know all too well, at times toxicodendron radicans can be a bit tricky to identify. Not only does it have some lookalikes such as the wild blackberry as pictured here, but PI can also have varying colors and appearance depending on the season and growing conditions. Because it can grow as a vine on tree, as ground cover, or even as a bush, seems like I’m always thinking about it whenever I’m off the beaten path.

So why did God create poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac?  I don’t know but will take a guess. Could it have anything to do with the fact that our Creator has designed our physical world so that,  in many ways, it mirrors the world that we cannot yet see? As trees, sheep, birds, cows, donkeys, clouds, rain, light, and darkness… all have spiritual counterparts– is it possible that poison ivy also has its own message for us? (Sometimes I wonder whether every spiritual truth has a physical counterpart).

Is it possible that “poison ivy” could be whispering just below the threshold of our hearing, “If something as passive as little o’le me can give you so much misery, what about the dangers the Bible talks about?

I’m guessing that someday we’ll look back and say that learning to identify the difference between wild blackberry and poison ivy was nothing compared to “our need to know”  the difference between love and lust, hope and false hope, concern and worry, faith and presumption, or flattery and words of encouragement.

Even if the need for such identification and discernment between safe and harmful likenesses has nothing to do with our Maker’s intent… PI has me thinking about the dangerous lookalikes of every good thing…

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+69 rating, 71 votes)

51 Responses to “Poison Ivy or Wild Blackberry”

  1. poohpity says:

    I think that is why it is so important to know scripture well so that we are able to discern what is real or a lookalike. 1 Thess 5:21, Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 John 4:1, Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Phil 1:9-11, And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

    There are many lookalikes and knowing God’s word has given us a guide to understand God and what is from Him and what is from someone who is masquerading as one who claims to be from God. Even those who claim to be walking with God and those who are in it for their own personal edification or glory. Sometimes it is very hard to tell the difference you really have to be on your toes.

  2. Hisgirl4life says:

    Mart, when you said about poisen ivy, “If something as passive as little o’le me can give you so much misery, what about the dangers the Bible talks about?”, it reminded me of all the brokeness of this world and how many examples of it we see within nature, in ourselves, and in the world. It appears to be a sign from the very beginning fall from grace in the Garden of Eden with human sin vs. a Holy God.

    Reverence of God and accountability to Him seem to be a constant struggle within humanity. That reminds me of the song “I can Only Imagine” that talks about the day Jesus comes back. Will we sing? Will we dance? Fall upon our knees? The Bible reminds us that on that day every knee will bend, everyone will bow before the King of Kings. Until then, there will be poisen ivy, mosquitos, rattle snakes, even sparing that we shared about previously.

    We are made in God’s image, but someday, if we believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin, we will be made perfect and live eternally with Him. Can you imagine…no more poisen ivy :)

  3. scout1 says:

    Mart –

    Thanks for the post. What I thought about was if you intentionally got into the poison ivy or if it was unexpected. I’m going to assume that it was the later. If that is the case. . .then how does your example of relating it to the Bible account?

    We can know many things about many things. But we can’t know all about everything. So, if you didn’t intentionally get poisoned . . .then sometimes I didn’t intentionally sin. But, we still both live with the consciquences. Even when we don’t think we have sinned and yet we are not in the will of God for our life we are still off the mark. Right?

    So, to conclude, I rely on daily prayer and decernment with a splash of wisdom from God, everyday and moment by moment if necessary. We can’t know everything but God does.

    Keep away from the poison ivy and look for the wild blackberries instead. It’s the one that produces fruit- that makes all the difference!

    :) Me

  4. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    Mart – Your comment, “Sometimes I wonder whether every spiritual truth has a physical counterpart.” Brought to mind two scripture references: Gen. 2:15-17, NKJV; Gen. 3:1, NKJV:

    The Spiritual Truth –
    “15) Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17) but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

    The Physical (carnal) Counterpart –
    “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, *“Has God indeed said,* ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

    The serpent’s question, “Has God indeed said…” was (from a spiritual standpoint) poison ivy for Eve, not wild blackberry.


  5. Regina says:

    Wow! Hisgirl4life – You and I were thinking the same thing! You said, “it reminded me of all the brokeness of this world and how many examples of it we see within nature, in ourselves, and in the world. It appears to be a sign from the very beginning fall from grace in the Garden of Eden with human sin vs. a Holy God.”

    And so did I, just in a different way! Had not read any of the comments when I posted mine! Love the song, “I Can Only Imagine” too!

    Scout1 – I want to speak to your comment, “…then sometimes I didn’t intentionally sin. But, we still both live with the consciquences. Even when we don’t think we have sinned and yet we are not in the will of God for our life we are still off the mark. Right?”

    As a Christian, it’s *intentional* when we give in to temptation (sin). James 1:14-15, NLT says, “14) Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15) These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

    Want to share another scripture reference…

    1 John 2:16, NKJV: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

    A sinner, one who is not born-again, is not concerned about “intentionally” sinning because his spirit-man has not been *regenerated*, made new in Christ Jesus. 2 Cor. 5:17, NKJV, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”


  6. marma says:

    Mart–kind of reminds me of the wheat and tares–another analogy from nature used in Scripture==they grow up together but one is useful for food, the other probably takes the nutrients away from the wheat and has no value, but looks similar enough to the real thing when it is growing that, I suppose you have to wait until the differences really show.

    Just as with the PI and wild blackberry…you know them by their fruit. However, with PI, even before then you know it by their negative aspect.

    Makes me think too that we get hints along the way when something isn’t good for us, or a person doesn’t have the reality of Christ in his or her life.

  7. marma says:

    Poohpity–Interesting how the discernment you quoted starts with love, “love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…” as we tend to think disernment begins with knowledge–or maybe they are so closely linked together that you need both to be discerning?

  8. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Luckily we don’t have poison Ivy here, but we have a few other nasties like nettles and brambles but they ware their colours on their sleeves and are easy to see.
    God put all these things here to warn us.
    If the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil had had a sting or black and yellow warning stripes, perhaps Eve would have heeded the warnings. She was warned by God Himself, but the fruit had a delayed poison and she was decieved into thinking it was good.
    God has given us clear warnings of what to do and not to do, yet we still do them!
    Like almost everything in life it does not sink in untill we get our fingers burnt. Luckily God made us in such a way that we can heal, and we find healing in Him. But some injuries are crippleing and the effects can last a lifetime. So take heed when you are stung and, like Mart, look out for the signs when you are eating wild Blackberries supplied by God and beware of the Ivy that lurks with it to sting you!


  9. foreverblessed says:

    Poison or good fruit?
    When having a discussion, sparring as was the last topic, things could get heated.
    Then is our behavior good fruit or is it poison?
    Bob in NC asked, if we ask for wisdom, watch out, God will deal with it.
    One thing in dealing with the hidden sins that are still deep inside us, is having a clash with fellow christians.
    Then it is not a matter whether I am right, but a matter of what comes up in me:
    If it is irritation, resentment, sprit of judgment, and even anger.
    It is not the other persons fault,
    It is poison that is still in me, and through the clash comes to the surface.
    Be happy when that is so, because now I can deal with it:
    Ephesians 3:30-31:Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
    (Instead) be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as in Christ God forgave you.

    So in a clash, I can stop myself have a good look in what comes up in me, and then deal with it quickly, throw it out, and immediately ask God to fill me with His Kindness and Goodness, His life. So that my inner being is renewed in the knowledge and image of its Creator. Col 3:8-10

    (This sounds so easy, but in reality I most of the time dwell on how wrong the other person is, and that he/she should change so that I can have a quiet life. But it is the other way around: I must change, the poison must out, so that in my inner being there is quiet life, new Life from the Creator, what- and however the other person is doing.

    Last week I heard the sermon Corrie ten Boom gave, the door to repentance, it is on you tube, she is telling about how much hatred came up in her heart when the campleaders were beating her sister because she was not working hard enough.
    She thought it was justified, because of the mean treatment. (a good fruit).
    Her sister told her to love her enemies, “Corrie, only love, love”. But Corrie struggled, it was only hatred. (poison. Then she prayed to God, that she did not want to hate, and asked Him to fill her with His love, and God answered. And His love flowed in her, and cleansed her. It was such a relief.
    Corrie already was a long time born-again christian, so if even she had this hatred, how much do I still have hidden in my heart?
    In fearce adversity God uses it to cleanse us from our inner poison, we did not know we had, our heart is deceitful above all things, Jeremiah 17:9.
    But thanks to God, who gave us Jesus, we can give all this posion to Him, and He gives good fruit to us instead, what a big deal!

  10. SFDBWV says:

    Mart ask why did God create poison ivy, oak, ect..Then guessed that maybe God designed the physical world to mirror what we cannot see in the spiritual…

    I am once again blown away by the interaction of the Holy Spirit within us all…How He speaks and we are all able to hear Him at the same time.

    Most who have been reading this blog know it is my habit to go out into my backyard where I feed the critters, stand and pray each morning.

    This spring as the fern began to grow, well above me in a more perfect alignment to the rising sun, a large different type of fern grew up. Almost overnight, it towers above the rest and has a yellow color instead of green. It has fronds that seem to spread out as if in prayer, basking in the glow of sunlight.

    I was so struck by this abnormality that I took a picture of it and named it as my counterpart. Almost as if God had placed it there as a copy of my efforts in prayer.

    It’s edges are browning now, as fall approaches, but it still stands above the other foilage. Reminding me to face God, pray, and bask in His light.


  11. SFDBWV says:

    If I take the concept that things of a spiritual nature can be manifest in this physical world. Then I can see clearly how and why there are such unfriendly plants as poison ivy ect.

    Even our founding fathers had a flag with a rattle snake on it saying “Don’t tread on me”….unless you are prepared for the consiquence.

    All of the poison and dangerous things in nature are warnings to us as well.

    Do not heed the warnings and pay the price.

    There are plenty of poisonous people in our midst, who are by themselves harmless; But because they follow after a poisonous spirit they themselves are poisoned by it and like the itch poison ivy creates…it spreads.

    I know people who need not touch poison ivy in order to come under its effects, just be close to it and they swell up like a balloon and are layed up for weeks getting over it.

    I liked the analogy of which plant produces fruit and which produces…poison, thanks Lynda.


  12. pegramsdell says:

    God also says be gentle as doves and wise as serpents. Also…what about the wolf in sheep’s clothing? Discernment is a gift from God. To tell what spirit they are of, and what spirit we are of????

    But….we who are born again have One Spirit. We should be of one mind and one heart. Loving each other and Him.

    ….and what about bugs???? yuk!

  13. Mart De Haan says:

    Scout1, you’re right. I ran unintentionally into that patch of poison ivy. So the illustration isn’t about intentionally breaking a principle of God, but rather about our “need to know” and recognize spiritual danger.

    In so many ways we can be very naive about people who charm us, and will say anything to get what they want from us.

    It is for these kinds of challenges that I think Solomon emphasized wise sayings that begin with a healthy view of the Lord (that pushes us to Him rather than away from Him) and that offers “prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth” (Prov 1:4) and to the rest of us too :-)…

  14. scout1 says:

    Thank you Mart. I’ll be doing more reading from Solomon. I have a situation that I would love “to know” if it is spiritual danger or God’s plan that I don’t understand.

    I will run to the Lord and pray more about it. . .seems I need “prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth” (Prov 1:4) and to the rest of us too :-)…


  15. SFDBWV says:

    Peg, I got a good laugh from your post…what about bugs.

    Have known lots of people who are insects….It’s where we get the phrase “Don’t bug me”

    You should be aquainted with bugs, living in Florida.

    Yet we also have the dragonfly that eats mosquitoes, and the butterfly that is in itself a miracle.

    The famous Monarch butterfly takes four generations to complete its migration from Mexico to Canada and back. A lesson for us all that each leg of our journey is for the success of the whole body.

    Enjoying a rare cool day, here in the mountains of West Virginia.


  16. Regina says:

    Good Morning All,

    Enjoyed reading all of the comments this morning!

    Steve – I think it’s interesting that the phrase, “dont bug me” got it’s orgin from people who act like insects. And like you said, some insects are beautiful *wild blackberrys,* and some are dangerous and ugly *poison ivy,* so, I second pegramsdell’s comment..yuk!

    foreverblessed – You said, “So in a clash, I can stop myself have a good look in what comes up in me, and then deal with it quickly, throw it out, and immediately ask God to fill me with His Kindness and Goodness, His life. So that my inner being is renewed in the knowledge and image of its Creator. Col 3:8-10”

    That so true. Had an experience like that last year at work. One of my co-workers didn’t like me, so she reported something that I had done innocently (something that she found out from another co-worker) to my supervisor. Our supervisor asked to speak with both of us privately, and in the meeting I felt like the supervisor was more understanding of what my co-worker had to say about what I had done than she was about what I had to say (in my defense). I resented her for that, and I allowed the resentment to stay. Long story short, I realized (a couple of days later) that I had a few minutes to pray before the meeting, but I wasn’t thinking about (prayer at the time) asking Jesus to come to the meeting with me, and trusting Him for the outcome. I know I was operating in “my” own strength.

    Like you said, it sounds easy “to have a good look at what comes up in us” but we know it’s not, I think it takes missing the mark a few times in order to be mindful of what we don’t want to come out of us when we face opposition or when someone disagrees with our point-of-view.

    Thanks again everyone for sharing. I’m always blessed by your comments.


  17. Regina says:

    Still thinking about insects…

    Some insects are beautiful but very dangerous (the Death Stalker Scorpion), and some insects are ugly (Ant Lion Larvae) but very beneficial.

    Did some internet research to find the DS Scorpion and the ant lion larvae. Was hard to find an ugly, benefial insect.

  18. pegramsdell says:

    I like the part about: “the dragonfly that eats mosquitoes.” lol

  19. scout1 says:

    Hi Regina!

    Thank-you for your comments on my comments! What I meant by “Even when we don’t think we have sinned and yet we are not in the will of God for our life we are still off the mark. Right?”

    I was referring to times when we are not breaking any principles but we are not in a place where God wants us to be (either physically or spiritually). I remember hearing a preacher say that he wanted to stay at a certain church and God called him elsewhere. He wasn’t sure at first and made other arrangements that he thought was the will of God. But his other arrangements were not what God had in mind. God then re-directed him and the situation change and so did his desire to do what the will of God was. But, for awhile he struggled with the right way. The will of God way.

    Sorry if I didn’t make myself understandable.

    Have a good one.


  20. SFDBWV says:

    Am also amused at Marts comment about being able to recognize the difference between love and lust….

    It is one of those concepts that cause me to think that peoples lives are upside down…everything we need to know when we are young,…we don’t learn until we are old.

    It also reminds me of the wisdom an old Amish farmer taught me when I was young, when he told me that every marriage isn’t made in heaven…

    Way too often when we are young, lust is the reason for marriage not wisdom and love as defined in scripture.

    And so the poisonous results…


  21. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, even if we start out in the wrong way, we can still turn around and do it with God,and make it a real love thing.

    Scout1, about not being sure if we are in the will of God:
    I remember when I was asked to join a ministry, I asked God about it, whether I should. He gave me the scripture: Therefor I call her: Rahab the Do-Nothing Isaiah 30:7
    Which immediately stood out as meaning: Do-Nothing.
    And yet, after that, I started to think it over, it could also mean, You are doing nothing. So now I can do something in the ministry. And so I joined, also because I really wanted to play the piano
    After a while I sensed that I was not in the place where I should be.

    Not to be afraid to make mistakes, God is ever standing at our side, cheering us, encouraging us. He says: Sorry you missed, but go on, next time you will be a better listener.

  22. scout1 says:

    Thanks for sharing foreverblessed! That is what I was talking about. You were not doing any sin -yet- God had something else for you. Thank you for the encouragement.

    Steve -thanks for noticing my analogy of which plant produces fruit and which produces…poison! Just Great!! Now can you help us with the plants that produce poison fruit??? :) (It’s always somethin’)


  23. poohpity says:

    Knowing the difference between “love and lust, hope and false hope, concern and worry, faith and presumption, or flattery and words of encouragement”. Sometimes these lookalikes are hard to tell apart because sometimes we have convinced ourselves of our own lies. When we are able to look into our own lives and truly know or identify those things in ourselves we can change our direction but unless we carefully examine them we can be fooled just as we can be fooled about PI and Wild Blackberries.

    It seems that we can identify lookalikes because we are lookalikes. You know like when you point a finger at someone you have three pointing back at you. Like the religious leaders in Jesus day called Him a fake when in reality it was them that were the fakes. I know this because there are many times when I feel something bad about someone and have to really do some soul searching in myself as to whether I find that bad thing in myself.

  24. poohpity says:

    Ninety years ago today Women gained the right to vote. Women were second class citizens that deserved the right to be seen and not heard. Jesus honored women repeatedly in scripture the PI took this long to be identified. The next thing was the PI of race which both still weaves it’s way through our society. Poison Ivy can have many faces.

  25. sbrewster says:

    “I was referring to times when we are not breaking any principles but we are not in a place where God wants us to be….”

    Could it possibly be that Mart was EXACTLY where God wanted him to be when he mistakenly ran into the PI? Does being in God’s will mean absence of pain and suffering? I’ve struggled with this way of viewing my life in Christ and I know so many who have with sincerity wanted to hear, know and be in God’s will – and who equate being in God’s will as a primrose path.

    If God’s will is something else besides not breaking principles, it all comes down to what the individual believes is God’s will (given it is not do to errant belief) at the time and if one is met with suffering as a result who can stand by and say it wasn’t indeed God’s will? After all, Mart learned an invaluable lesson that has stayed with him all these years – wasn’t the lesson learned the lesson God intended for him. He learned to “be watchful and don’t rush in” and I am sure it has had many applications in his life – not just looking for PI – but also remembering to look for the PI :).

  26. Regina says:

    Good Evening All

    Scout1 – Thank you for explaining what you meant in your comment. :-) I agree that if God reveals His will to someone for their life and that person doesn’t obey he/she would be off the mark. Thinking about Jonah…When God revealed His will to him, he didn’t want to do it (at first), and God had to redirect him (to say the least).

    Glad you’re back on the BTA blog. You were missed while you were away.

    Steve – Good comment on the wisdom needed to discern the difference between love and lust.

    Poohpity – Great historical perspective as it relates this blog topic (the PI of women as second class citizens and the PI of slavery in the 19th century).


  27. Hisgirl4life says:

    Although I’ve never had the unpleasant experience of recovering from a bout of poisen ivy, Mart, I can imagine you are much more aware of the “itchy” plant and a valuable personal lesson was learned, even though I believe you did not purposely run upon it playing ball.

    Some of our most valuable life lessons happen when we walk through the dark valleys in life…those challenging times that are filled with suffering and hardship. Those are the times I believe we are closest to God…when only He can deliver us. Yes, we can impatiently expediate our circumstances and often times invent creative ways out, but this often only creates even more difficult circumstances and prolonged suffering; or we can patiently wait for God to reveal himself to us and trust in his divine purposes.

    No Christian is ever exempt from pain or suffering. Suffering can occur as a result of the consequences of sin, but sometimes the suffering in our own lives is an opportunity for others to see God work in our lives in a miraculous way…an answer to prayer, a deliverance only He himself can take the credit and the glory for.

    I’m glad to see the photos of the three-leafed culprit. Just by Mart sharing his experience with all of us and showing the photo it has brought about an awareness in each of us and caused us to think about a possible relation found in God’s word. Each person has pointed out personal insights God revealed to them…isn’t it wonderful that God can gain glory from Mart’s experience with poisen ivy? I’m sure He is smiling down on you Mart and each of you for sharing from your heart :).

  28. Regina says:

    “Could it possibly be that Mart was EXACTLY where God wanted him to be when he mistakenly ran into the PI? Does being in God’s will mean absence of pain and suffering? I’ve struggled with this way of viewing my life in Christ and I know so many who have with sincerity wanted to hear, know and be in God’s will – and who equate being in God’s will as a primrose path.”

    Good point, sbrewster (and good to hear from you), God’s will does not [necessarily] mean the absence of pain and suffering. Thinking about Job…

    Job 1:8-12, NKJV
    8) Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” 9) “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10) “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11) But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 12) *The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”*
    Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

    God allowed Satan to inflict pain and suffering on Job, and though he didn’t understand his adversity, he did not sin against God.

    Want to share a few more scripture references…

    2 Tim. 3:12, NLT
    Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

    2 Cor. 11:16-33 (Paul’s trials and suffering for the gospel)

    Psalm 34:19, NKJV
    Many are the afflictions of the righteous,But the LORD delivers him out of them all.

    Also thinking about Paul’s thorn in the flesh, and Jesus’ response that His grace was sufficient.


  29. SFDBWV says:

    I had some fun yesterday with the topic. I hope always to be able to see the lighter side of live.

    Many of our house plants that we enjoy for their beauty, are quite deadly to we humans shoiuld we injest them, and many of the foods we put on our table are avoided by the remainder of our animal friends.

    Animals seem to know instinctivily which plants to avoid, yet people are always pushing the envelope of forbiden foods to test their wit against tasting something…deadly

    As I think about it, pigs and humans and sometimes bears are the only true omnivores on the planet. Of course which include bacteria.

    Should make us kind of proud to be in such good company.

    The people who are always looking for healing medicines, look especialy to such poisonous and otherwise avoided plants. There being often some hidden treasure found, once a closer and more thorough investigation is made.

    I guess wisdom once again is the better course of action to take. Moving into all things with caution and curiosity…looking for something good and usefull in every thing including the poison ivies around us.


  30. foreverblessed says:

    Regina, thanks for your personal story too.
    Sbrewster, so right!
    And everybody else thanks for all your posts.

    One more thing I would like to add, if we are not sure whether our fruits are poison or good fruit, we can be like David who asked God:
    search me and try my heart Psalm 139:23

    God is true He will answer our prayer, and mostly as Sbrewster said: in adversity we are tried.
    But we can also have a clue ourselves, like Pooh said,(aug 18 3.46 pm), what we find irritant in others is probably a hidden sin in our own heart. Otherwise we would not be triggered by it.
    But our God is good, the most poisonous part in us will after repentance be the means for the most effecitve tool in saving more souls. Like an ex-alcoholic can help other alcoholics.

  31. rxman says:

    Mart’s comment about physical vs spiritual counterparts got to thinking about the beliefs of homeopathic medicine. Basically, it is the belief that a very dilute mixture of the compound that is causing the sickness is given then “like will cure like”. Even allergist can cause us to become immune to certain allergens by introducing small amounts into our system over time.

    In the physical we often can rationalize our sinning because it is not really one of the “Big Ten” or it is in a gray area. Over time we become calloused to that sin because it is increased incrementally.

    Makes me realize that I need to “nip” those sins in the bud as soon as they come to mind and not play around or rationalize them.

  32. poohpity says:

    Amen rxman!! I was thinking about that for the last few days some things seem like WB when they are really PI. Sometimes the things I think and do are in no way fruit of any kind except maybe lemons but God is not done changing me into lemonade. Somethings just take longer than others and usually it is the things I do with no thought about them, then He gives me a wake up call that it is not helping someone. There is more PI in my life then I would like to admit.

    We have to be careful about thinking something is PI when in reality it is WB similar to what Peter thought about Christ going to the Cross. Peter thought it was PI when it was the exact will of God. We really have to be more dependent on the Spirit of God and taking the time to really allow Him to sift us which may feel like PI when it is really WB.

  33. foreverblessed says:

    Rxman, you try to say that a bit of poison in the physical world is curing, but you cannot take that into the spiritual world, am I right? A little bit of sin is a little bit of sin, and is in no way a cure.
    a few verses to add to it:
    “Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?” 1 Corinthians 5:7
    “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” v8, also Gal 5:9.
    Thanks Pooh, mind boggling, but I get it, and I say amen.

  34. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Thank God He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us sort out the confusion!

    PI does not = WB unless WB is the result of PI, therefore WB is really PI if PI is the result?

    I will settle for E=MC2 it is easier to comprehend. lol


  35. Regina says:

    Good Evening All

    Just want to say hello and I hope all is well in your lives. Just relaxing at home…it was really hot in Texas today. Thankful for AC.

    Received an unexpected blessing yesterday, and I’m grateful… I’ve learned to thank God for the small blessings and not just the big ones. What seems like a small victory to some can be HUGE for others. Realized that I’ve learned a lot in the past 5 years from my Pastors and other believers. I thank God for wisdom. Can definitely recognize PI from WB a lot faster now.


  36. sbrewster says:

    Regina – thanks for the scriptures. To me all things point to our Creator, PI and WB….it all depends on perspective. PI to the unbeliever should be the seismic jolt to seek Him. PI to the errant believer should be the wake-up call to return to Him, but PI to the believer is a test to continue to follow Him – even if it takes you through a patch of PI.

  37. scout1 says:

    Hey Regina!

    Unexpected blessing are wonderful! I’m so glad to hear you got one. I’m in Texas also -it was very hot today and I can’t keep my grass green, so I’m going to wait for God’s provision for rain! :)


  38. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Bob, you gave me a good laugh.

    As Peter did not want Jesus to suffer,
    how often do we resist to suffer, thinking it to be PI?
    While it is so clearly stated in the New Testament that we, as we will share in the glory of Jesus, we will also share in His suffering.
    Romans 8:17 it is stated the other way round: if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
    The suffering is part of the ministry of reconciliation we have. 2 Timothy 1:8
    “But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,” (if you put “suffering” in the keyword search on Biblegateway you will find many of these scriptures.)
    Oswald Chambers calls it: to be as poured out wine, and broken bread. And this is not a popular theme. I know I resisted it a long time. Always thought: why is this necessary: to suffer for the gospel, isn’t Jesus’ suffering sufficient?
    But slowly I get to know what it means.

    One example of suffering, I was visiting an old lady, who was depressed, and it took a lot of energy to visit her. I remember that many fellow christians would advice me not to do that, to love myself just as much as the other.
    But in my heart there was a burden for the soul of this woman. So I thought the suffering I had for this woman was for the work of the gospel. Some souls need much suffering.
    I just read a sermon of C.H. Spurgeon “carried by four” that some souls are so hard, they need 4 people to carry them to Jesus, in prayer, in teaching, in admonishing,in comforting. Luke 5:16-26,
    I am not saying we should neglect ourselves, we should go to Jesus and find rest, comfort, be loved by Him, and then go out into the world.

  39. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry Mart, we are wandering off the topic. Back to what you asked: is it love or is it … as a saying goes in our language: walking in the way of what God does, like little children can do, they tend to walk just right before your feet.
    My family is struggling at the moment with this question. My brother-in-law is addicted, and was internalised at the end of june. But today he has chosen to walk out of the clinique and is on his way back to Amsterdam. But guess what, one of his sisters came to pick him up by car. Instead of saying: if you think you can handle it yourself so soon already, then you can go back on your own.

  40. sbrewster says:

    Foreverblessed, eventhough I think I have probably not addressed what Mart was really talking about in his blog – the topic of suffering for Christ seems to have become virtually alien in the modern Church. We hear so much about the promises and blessings of God – and yes that message is necessary too because without the hope of that it would be virtually impossible to bear the hard reality of what it really means to be a follower of Christ in this world. But what grieves me is that some Christians are all too willing to embrace the promises but so unwilling to embrace the suffering. Sometimes we Christians mistakenly judge suffering as not God’s will. I reject that kind of thinking. There’s nothing in God’s word that says we won’t encounter the PI – we will!!! Being in God’s will does not immunize against suffering. Again, I know this is not what Mart meant – just my own take on it.

  41. SFDBWV says:

    The main thrust of the topic is about not being fooled by “Lookalikes”.

    One need only look at the world, and see the many religions that are just that….very poor imitations of the “Real Thing”.

    The “Real Thing” also called Himself the “True Vine”…And His Father the husbandman (gardener) saying every branch in Him that did not bear fruit, He would take away and every branch that beareth fruit He purges, so that it will bear more fruit. John 15..

    So we see that in the world there are many false religions, that want to look like the real deal…what sort of bareness comes from them?

    Then there are the false religions that do produce poisons, meant to seperate you from the truth and kill you spiritualy.

    They are known by the hate they spread, resulting in misery and death to all they come into contact with.

    Paul warned us that there would be many attacks against us, so we are to put on our armor to protect us from the poisonous darts that will come against us. Ephesians 6:13…

    Jesus of Nazareth, is the Christ, His Church are His witnesses, and He is the “Real Deal”. Christ offers forgiveness, and healing….Love personified.

    All other religions of the world are imitations, false, and all carry their own brands of poison.

    Do not be fooled. (Decieved)


  42. foreverblessed says:

    Sbrewster, yes, I am all with you!

    here is another tough one:
    “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to the suffering of Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church” Col 1:24

  43. foreverblessed says:

    I agree Steve, and the other part of the topic is the fruit in us:
    Is it the real thing or the look-alike.
    love or doing good to feel worthy.
    Do I have a ministry to show myself to the world, or am I a humble worker to show Jesus in the world?

  44. SFDBWV says:

    Then there is the warning of John 15, every branch in Him that does not bear fruit He will take away…

    What is the fruit He is talking about? He is speaking of the fruit of the Spirit…Galatians 5:22, Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith. :23, Meekness and Temperance.

    :25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
    :26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

    Vs 26 being the reult of the poison that comes from lookalikes, not people who are living in the Spirit as stated in verse 25.

    So it would seem that there are people who look like or try to present themselves as Christians, but are not and are known by their lack of Spiritual fruit.

    I realize this has all been said in the various statements from many of us already…just adding my little berry to the bowl.


  45. SFDBWV says:

    I see we are on the same page, foreverblessed.


  46. Regina says:

    Good Morning All

    You’re welcome, foreverblessed (8-19/6:38 am). Was definitely a life lesson for me, one that I pray I won’t forget.

    You’re welcome, sbrewster (8-19/10:03 pm). And you’re right regarding perspective as it relates to PI and WB.

    Hi Scout, :-) It’s great to know that you’re a Texan too! Sometimes it’s difficult to keep grass green during a Texas Summer, but the effort is worth it. Discovered over the years that it’s a blessing to have a desire-a willingness-to trust God for His provision. Isn’t it amazing to receive His provision and know that it came from Him?!

    sbrewster (8:09 am) – Great explanation on the topic of suffering for Christ.

    Steve (8:27 am) – Great explanation on the difference between PI – “Lookalikes” (Worldly/False Religions) and WB – “The Real Thing” (Jesus Christ, the True Vine)!

    Love your comment, “just adding my little berry to the bowl.”

    Off topic here… Todays ODB devotional was awesome. I mentioned awhile back that I didn’t really get the whole “carnal Christian” thing, and today’s devotional provided an excellent explanation of what it means to be a spiritual Christian and a carnal Christian. Want to share part of Today’s Bible Reading in this blog…

    1 Cor. 3:1-4; 9-11; 16-17, NKJV
    1) And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2) I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3) for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4) For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?

    9) For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10) According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11) For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

    16) Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17) If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

    Want to share the “Insight” portion too because it was definitely insight for me:

    The carnal believer mentioned in 1 Cor. 3 is a *true Christian* but lives in the power of the sinful flesh. The key to living a Spirit-filled life is confession of all known sin and yielding one’s heart to God (Eph. 5:18; 1 John 1:9). –Dennis Fisher


  47. foreverblessed says:

    Well, it might not be of topic: is it real fruit or not?
    Just to note, that christians can have shortcomings, meaning they come short in the real fruit. That does not mean they are lost, in the chaptre you qoute, Regina, 1 Cor 3:12-15:
    12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

  48. SisVee says:

    God Bless you for this and the pix…didn’t know about the blackberry leaves being so similar. Like some of the brothers/sisters mentioned, we shall know them by their “fruit”. The Word states that there shall be false prophets and teachers and ultimately the Anti-Christ; so how will we know who is who, what is what, and who to trust? Simply put, trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding! I always pray for discernment of good and evil, even in the church, as I have seen that not even all with Christian coverings are poisonless.

    Most of us have heard the old saying, “the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice”…well I endeavor to be that “blackberry” that I be known by my sweeter fruit in the kingdom…and I thank RBC for helping me grow!

    Taste and see that HE is good…and if what you savor has no “fruity” flavor, then it’s NOT His food! In Jesus Name! Amen.

  49. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Poison Ivy or Wild Blackberries.
    This is just a little aside again.
    When we rub against poison Ivy it irritates us, the same applies to wild berries as they also have thorns that can cut deep into our flesh. Even though we all can irritate each other Spiritualy we are all one.
    I often wondered how we would all “gell” or fit together in Heaven, all coming from such different backgrounds and cultures, some with accents that just grate on our ears.
    Then I noticed something so very beautiful on this blog. Although we all speak and act differntly we all write in a common language, in our case english, and I only hear my own accent and culture when I read what you all say.
    So, Regina in Texas and Foreverblessed in Amsterdam appear as if they have lived next door to me all my life.
    Not quite sure what I am trying to say, but it feels really nice.


  50. poohpity says:

    It put a smile on my face, Bob, and I understand what you are saying. I would love to hear all the different accents but for now I am stuck with my own. :-) Sounds like what happens when you put a wild blackberry in your mouth with the sweet taste makes a smile on one’s face.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.