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Stress Test

Yesterday, I was staring out the 7th floor window of our  Singapore office, watching a tropical rainstorm move in, and thinking about the snow that is beginning to fall back home.

At some point I noticed the garden or plant nursery on the roof of a building below and wondered whether it was someone’s hobby or business. Since space is at a premium here, my guess is that these plants are being raised on the roof to sell on the street.

Then I noticed in the background the biggest pile of heavy rocks (at a building site), I had ever seen. When I asked what it was, I was told that it was a pile of 500 one-ton blocks.

But why?

My source went on to explain that, in Singapore, it is common practice to compress the ground and test the foundational supports in this way before building a high rise. Someone has apparently decided that it is better to know sooner, rather than later, whether the substructure of a building can support its own planned weight.

I had never seen this done before. But it got me thinking about a proverb that says, “If you fail under pressure, your strength is not very great” (Prov 24:10 NLT).

Now as I looked at this huge stacked “stress test” I began to think about how weak I often feel in the presence of problems that seem far beyond my own ability to endure.

As I thought about such problems I was reminded that no one– with faith, or without it, is immune to the kinds of problems that make us want to run away, fear for our sanity, hit the bottle, or even long for death.

Then I thought about what life threw against people in the Bible like Job, Joseph, Ruth, Esther, Mary, Joseph, Paul, and Peter.

Recalling their experiences I was reminded of why the Apostle Paul wrote of their combined stories that they “Were written for our learning (i.e. insight and perspective), that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom 15:4).

Remembering that people of faith have suffered just like everyone else in the world seems like a good reminder that the problems that tempt all of us to curse, run, drink, steal, kill, or maim, are part of what it means to be born into the human drama.

And what remains for all of us to learn, one at a time, over and over, is that we are safest, not when we are feeling the strongest, the safest, or the most honorable, but rather when we are feeling weak and afraid enough to run to the only Source of real strength.

Looking back I can begin to see how many of those stress tests I went into with way too much confidence in myself and natural circumstance. Some of the resulting cave-ins I’d like to forget- even though I probably can’t afford to.

Yet, along the way I’ve also gotten a taste of what Paul learned. Under the immeasurable stresses encountered in serving Christ, he concluded that “when I am weak, then am I strong” (2Cor 12:10). The kind of challenges that would seem say that God had abandoned him ended up giving him a chance to discover for himself the reality of God’s presence and grace. He learned enough to be able to assure others that God’s strength finds occasion to show up in the weakness of those who look to him for their help (2Cor 12:9).

At this point, some of us are probably also thinking of the prophet Isaiah who, expressed with such lyrical eloquence– what remains to be found when we learn not to panic, or run, or self-destruct, but…to wait on the Lord  (Isa 40:28-31).

Over the years, we’ve heard this many times from one another. But the stories don’t seem to get old. And just now, I’m guessing that some of us might need to hear what others have found… when their own strength had been exhausted.

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92 Responses to “Stress Test”

  1. bubbles says:

    5 1/2 years ago circumstances were very difficult. Many times we say we are “exhausted”, but during this time my strength physically and emotionally were gone. It felt like there was no one to help. The ones who should have did not or could not. I cried so hard for so long a vocal chord was bruised. I have never felt so alone. I lost 27 pounds in 12 weeks. I was so exhausted that simply talking required effort. And yes, I did long for death. There are things worse than death, I thought, and God forgives us.

    Towards the end of this time, I came across 2 Timothy 2:19 “The Lord knoweth them that are His. . . ” and Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good. A stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knoweth them that trust in Him.” These verses made a huge difference. He KNOWS us. He KNOWS those who are His. It is hard to explain how these verses touched my soul, but they did. Our Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need when we need it. These verses are precious to me because they were so helpful during the most dark time of my life.

    I want to thank the four individuals on this site who know me for refraining from using my real name here.

  2. remarutho says:

    Hello Mart & Friends –

    I spent a season twenty years ago in which I felt that the world had pivoted 180°. I also cried, Bubbles, and felt such loss and sadness, at first I wanted to escape the pain of life – and felt a couple of times an irrational urge to veer in front of an eighteen-wheeler to end my sense of meaninglessness. I was in shock for three days and did not eat or sleep. I could not form a coherent prayer in my own words, but I could praise. I would sing praises and read Scripture aloud. I did see a Christian counselor – who prayed with me and searched the Scriptures with me.

    I found Isaiah 43:1-3. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine…” How I clung to that assurance – that no ordeal would ever shake me loose from my Savior! And that I was still a person with worth in God’s eyes. The transformation that took place in that six-year season was amazing! I have learned in the years since then that passing through raging waters and through fiery testing are accomplished by God, if I will release any sense of control or steerage. At bedtime, my seven-year-old and I would sing: “God is our refuge, and God is our strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth be removed – and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea! Hallelujah – for the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns!” (Psalm 46:1-2)

    A dear saint in my life at that time said, “You do not know it now, but when this passes, you will be stronger for the testing.” I did not believe her, but I listened. She had been abandoned as a baby – and grew up with adopted parents. That was her credential for offering me advice. She was right! I believe the Lord desires to stress-test his servants. He will not entrust his gospel to us until there is a desire to please “God who tests our hearts.” (1 Thessalonians 2:4) Blessings, Maru

  3. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Bubbles and Maru – thanks for sharing your experiences. That takes a lot of courage to open up and let others see the things that often times remain hidden.
    Maru – 1 Peter 3:13-17

  4. remarutho says:

    Thanks for the 1 Peter passage, Tracey —

    I have loved that part about “being prepared to make a defense to anyone who askes you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” Our witness is forged out of trials.

    Makes me think of the effect persecution has upon the church as the body of Christ. All that pressure — like the stack of one-ton blocks — heats up the holy love of the saints until it is white-hot. Christians do best when there is opposition! — Maru

  5. sonchild2 says:

    We’re in a stress test at the moment. Hubby has just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Both of us require surgery this week, removal of a lump and a biopsy. The results will determine the kind of treatment needed. Isaiah 43:1-3 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine…” is my baptism verse! I was thrilled in my heart to be reminded of it here! Only God can give the peace that passes understanding while we are at our most vulnerable and weakest! Thanks for your prayers!

  6. hera says:

    is it really the stress test from God? someone told me that God does not test people, it is because of their own doings, or something else, if then they are in the situations that they fall into..and how do we know, be sure, of the purpose of anything at all, including the various trials/tests? – wait, i think i have mentioned this line before, sorry :)
    then,wait on the Lord.. i dont think i know for sure how or what that means – in concrete, everyday actions – what do we actually do, how long is the, is it..time frame? to me if there is a thing worse than death is “lifeless” life.. death itself, in my opinion, is not bad except if the way or process is long,long,painful and sufferful. perhaps, even, in a way death is better than living a life of “flat lines”.. all zeros, nil, hollows, aimless, blandness.. .
    as for reading the Words, some days the Words do speak, but most days, they don’t, they just look like ants lining up…:) just like prayers, there are days when prayers are so easy, but some days i dont even know what syllable to utter..
    i thought it has to do with the brain and age, so if you learn more and the older you get, the wiser you’d be and the more able you are to deal with these things, but now i am not so sure? if only there is a way to know what is our, each, purposes exactly including the time frame…

  7. SFDBWV says:

    Here in the USA before a reputable construction company would build a sky scraper or high rise structure, engineers would employ the use of geologist’s to determine if the ground beneath the planned structure can support the building.

    Even in less stressful construction needs the ground beneath the structure is compressed over and over again to make certain that the foundation is solid before construction on it begins.

    The stress test here is the intelligent use of tools and experience from others before moving forward with construction plans.

    The wisdom here is to be prepared for whatever may come your way. However when it comes to life we can try and be prepared but life has a way of throwing the most unexpected circumstances into our pathway and few of us are ever able to prepare for it.

    In life a wise person has based their faith on the solid foundation of Christ, that foundation will stand the test of time as well as weather any of life’s storms.

    The problem is when does a person learn this fact? Have they been taught this from their youth? Did they learn it before the storms of life engulfed them or because the storms of life have gotten their attention?

    Is there only to be one storm in a person’s life or is it a running struggle from birth to death?

    Is the purpose of a stress test to prepare you for what comes next or to see if you can cope with anymore?

    If it is a test, then who is giving the test and what is the benefit to them for testing us?

    Is it to prepare us for a use we are yet aware of?

    Sometimes the weight of stress simply destroys its bearer; is that the test, to see if we can survive or die under its weight?

    Jesus said “come unto me all ye who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

    Is that why on so many grave stones it says “Rest in Peace”?

    We all struggle with each of our own personal tragedies, as mentioned in the last topic, we can either center on those struggles or look beyond them to the blessings God provides in the midst of the valley we may be in, always keeping our eyes fixed on the promises of Christ and stand fast on that faith based solid rock of our salvation Jesus of Nazareth the Christ.


  8. oneg2dblu says:

    hera… your words seem so very human, so very simple and understandable. So both testing, and so stressful. After reading your text, or test, I’m found thinking this… How do we define this little bit of Faith we do have, into the greatness of what we do not know? How do we seem to find a glimmer of hope, were no possible outward finding provides any momentary answer. It is found only in the living out what we do know now, what we do experience now, and what we choose to believe right now. It is Who we get all the answers from!
    There can only be two sources. One is light, one is dark, and we get to choose! One is light, and one is heavy, and we get to choose. One is found inside of us, and the other can be also, we get to choose that as well. To coin a played out piece of advice,” You makes your choices, and you live or die with them!” Life is both the tester, and the stresser. But life itself does not make you choose, you make yourself, your own choices. We who know Christ is living within us, and where His Spirit lives, we choose to believe differently. That alone separates us from the dead amoung us. May God give us His Light, His Lightness, and His Ability to see the difference. In Him do we choose to live and breath, right now! I pray that is your choice as well. Gary

  9. florida7sun says:

    Thank you all. Thank you Mart. Thinking about your post this morning I pictured the statue of the ancient Greek Titan Atlas outside Rockefeller Center straining to hold up the world.

    Muscles taut, arms extended and knees bent, he strains to accomplish the impossible.

    From a personal perspective, the weight of the world can be overbearing at times. Air pressure on our bodies at sea level equates to 14.7 pounds per square inch. Although I am over six feet tall and in pretty good shape (for my age), I cannot lift the air on my body. It would crush me like a tin can, if it were not for the counterweight placed inside me.

    Through creation God provided.

    After the fall of man, the weight of sin on our lives is also overbearing. Death and despair, pain and heartbreak, tears and confusion can all crush us. However, through redemption God provided.

    When we are weak, He is strong. Through His resurrection we are freely offered the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love. Once received, we are made new in Him and desire always to be in His presence. There we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

    In looking at the pictures you provided I am always enlivened when I fly or climb above cloud level. The sun is always shining. The weight of the world is no longer of any consequence. Troubling things that once seemed huge and unbearable are now inconsequential. They have been removed from view.

    I have changed my line of sight.

    The same is true when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. His Word and His Spirit bring truth and perspective to life. There is no reason to fear. There is no reason to be troubled. We can rest in Him and in fellowship with other believers as we share with one another.

    Jesus died and rose above the earth.

    Atlas is a myth. No one can lift the world on their shoulders. No one can save themselves. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

    Praise the Lord He lives now and forevermore.

    Love to all, Ray

  10. BruceC says:

    The Book of Job has lots to say on this matter. And lately that is who I feel like.

    A couple of years ago we were really hurting(as we are now) and we didn’t have any idea where we were going to get the money we needed for firewood. We were just over the limit for HEAP. I sat in my little workshop outdoors and literally poured out my tears to the Lord and wept.
    It felt like my spirit was being steam cleaned.
    A little later I went to check our mail and in it was a check for almot $600 that was from a place where I had previously worked before my illness. They had an auditor do their books and found that I was owed this money from the retirement account; of which I had no idea of! I had only worked there two years before getting sick. I told my wife and we both praised the Lord. Later while outside in my shop again; it really hit me. This time the flow of tears were out of gratitude and awe for my Lord. His mighty name be praised!!
    Whether it is bad choices we make, our sins, others actions, or the Lord allowing us to pass through a Job-like time for His glory we must remember that there would no problems if sin never entered the world and that the tough times are basically the result of it.
    Let us pray for His wisdom and guidance that we add as little pain and suffering to this world as we can and that when we can we become a crutch to those having difficulty in their walk.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  11. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart, In your brief you said,”Someone has apparently decided that it is better to know sooner rather than later whether the substructure, can support its own planned weight. I know I left a few words out, but bear with me! PUN
    That use of that word someone,took me immediatly down another road. As I took apart your choice of words, and read this into them.
    The word apparently, has the word parent wrapped well within it. So, your someone, became to me a parent figure, like a loving father, who would sooner rather than later, and fully knowing the weight of the world we would have to bear, lovingly provided for us a way to stand up under it!
    I really enjoyed the way your shared your perspective, or view out that window, with your conveying first, the life living in those trees, before you focussed on the dead weight of those blocks.
    The sooner we can choose that same perspective when we are stressed or tested, the better we will support its planned weight. Gary

  12. jam200 says:

    Am going through my own stress tests with raising funds for Teen Challenge in Alberta, Canada. The obstacles seem so large, but I have to remember my job is to show up and let God get the results.

    When I am strong, God can’t work through me, but when I am weak, He becomes the light to guide and show me His way. Praise God for His power and His grace.


  13. fadingman says:

    In the last 8 days, there have been at least four unrelated deaths, including two suicides and a stabbing, affecting our relatives and friends. My wife has been struggling with severe back pain for a couple of years, and is trying to endure until surgery in January. There’s a lot of stress at our jobs. We have many more difficult things going on in our lives and in those close to us. Stress has been the norm for a long time.

    But I find stress is good when it brings me to greater reliance on God. When things go smoothly I don’t pray enough, so I appreciate when difficulties come if they teach me to come to God’s throne more (for myself or others), force me to let go of the trivial for the more important, and lead me away from hope in man and temporal things to God and eternity. Stress is a test that can have great benefits spiritually (James 1:2-3,12).

  14. hera says:

    to Gary, thank you for the post. :)

  15. yooperjack says:

    Gary: you have to be a Michigander to understand my “handle” ha! ha!
    Anyone that has a stressful job knows training is so important. A policeman many say after a heroic act, “My training kicked in”.
    In life we are in training right from birth. We will learn from others and from expirance. “Sclool of Hard Knocks”
    I’m at the piont in my life when stress comes if I can’t handle it I simplely turn it over to the Lord and go to bed. Why should I be concerned about something I can’t do anything about?
    Hollidays are very stressful for some.

  16. oneg2dblu says:

    yooperjack… I did my bootcamp trainig for the Navy at the Great Lakes in November and December. T training qualified me for a many things, but didn’t make me Michigander, so you are one up on me. It is amazing how much of our knowledge comes with where we grew up, and how much we gain through the experience of living through it.
    Thank God he doesn’t grow us up so much that we then can claim we know it all! Turning our stressors over to the Lord, is really the same as passing our worst test, because he definitely scores us on a curve, by allowing “all to come through” looking better than we deserve. Gary

  17. Rocky says:


    Thank you for triggering a thought process.

    I’ve seen dark times & in my tears God has seen & felt my pain and has heard my cry. And every time my faith has grown stronger.

    The funny thing that I’ve noticed in recent years when I do things that don’t honor God just as I catch myself, I enter a trial, my question becomes two fold, is this a trial? Or is this a punishment?

    To hear the words from believers discounting what I am experiencing becomes more painful when they say things like God will never punish you. Knowing all along that the Bible clearly tells us that when much is given to us, much will be expected of us.

    And then He appears with the biggest unconditional surprise once again, when He totally delivers me, and I experience His unconditional love at a level I never thought could be possible.

    Thank you Lord


  18. oneg2dblu says:

    yooperjack… I took a few courses in the School of Hard Knocks myself, but,I did not major in typing… :)
    What I did learn is this… you’ll have to keep taking that same hard test of life, over and over, until you master that part which causes you to learn to turn it over to God! It sounds like you got an A+ on that one!
    You can equip yourself with many titles, and with more degrees than a thermonmeter, but if you haven’t God as the Lord in your life, you missed the grade point, or the passing grade, by ONE! For there is only One God, and for us, He is found in Jesus the Christ, Our Saviour! To Him alone, we give all Glory, Honor and Praise! Gary

  19. Rocky says:


    I’m not as smart as I look myself, Once I have completed typing my response I press Ctrl A on my keyboard, and then I press Ctrl C, I minimize this page and I call up MS Word, I then press Ctrl V, and make the spelling and grammar corrections.

    I then press Ctrl A, Ctrl C, return to this page, the initial text may still be highlighted if it’s not make sure that your cursor is in the box and press Ctrl A.

    Then press Ctrl V.

    If your text is highlighted, simply press Ctrl V.

    I hope I didn’t add to your confusion.


  20. davids says:


    Bless you for addressing the needs of the youth and bringing God’s love into their lives. I have been reading “The Cross and the Switchblade” and it is wonderful to see how God provides.

  21. bill34sl says:

    Blessed be all of you for finding strength and refuge in the Lord during your life’s darkest moments. Trying to end it all is absolutely not what God wants us to do. That is why we’re still here giving each other words of encouragement. 1 Cor. 10:13 says “No temptation (test) has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”. Maybe God wants to test our faith in order to strengthen us spiritually. In physical terms, people do rigorous exercises to keep themselves fit. Maru was right to mention that once we passed life’s trials, we become stronger. Thus, we become big brothers and sisters in Christ to our little siblings who are just experiencing the same turmoil in their lives.
    Words of wisdom from the wise king: “Anyone who is among the living has hope – even a live dog is better off than a dead lion”. Ecclesiastes 9:4

  22. jam200 says:

    Thanks Davids. God is good. Keep praying for us. Juan

  23. oneg2dblu says:

    bill34sl… you post a great point about God not wanting us to end it all! All His Creation is precious to Him, and any choice to snuff our light out, probably does not come from Him! Steven did not stone himself, nor did Christ did not impell himself, but I believe Judas may have done himself in. This is a dark time for many, and just when it should be a feastival of light instead. I do pray for those who suffer through this time of approaching light. Thanks for posting my favorite verse for changing us, because it works just when we feel so helplessly unchangable. It is truly a Gift from God to all who fully embrace that verse. Gary

  24. oneg2dblu says:

    Rocky… from the heart of one who has not read the entire directions, thank you for bringing out the parts I needed to know about how to help proof my text. Now that you have empowered me to display a more well written appearance, could you also pray that the Lord who impreess upon me, when I need to quiet myself as well! “lol” Gary

  25. oneg2dblu says:

    Rocky… “from the heart of one who has not read the entire directions, (and may not be able to apply them if even if I had) thank you for bring out the parts I needed(and I now hear for myself as you just posted them for all to read)to know about how to help proof my text.” Just like the word of God, even the little parts of instruction you gave, work so well when actually applied properly. Gary

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    Rocky… you post a very interesting thought process, thinking, is it a trial or a punishment?
    I would think it could be both, as it probably punishes God, for us to put “ourselves” through the trials we don’t pass, and then have to take again until we come to our senses, turn from our wicked ways, and return to Him who will forgive us our trespasses as we relent those to Him. Until then, we continue to suffer ourselves through our repetitive sinning, ongoing disobedience, and unfortunately for some a soon to be birthed unbelief, that God is even there or caring. There is a word given that says things like, in Luke 11:28″ Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Then there is also in Luke 13:27 “I do not know you or where you come from. Away from me, you evildoers!” I’m thinking that trial or punishment comes upon those who sometimes bring it upon themselves, as they choose to continue to believe what is not written, over that which actually is. To me, only true repentance brings true forgiveness! If you think you have forgiven someone, but still suffer through it, perhaps not! If you think you have repented for all your sin, but still suffer through it, perhaps not! Perhaps today, you will be free from your relentless ongoing sin that still holds you captive! I’m not pointing here at you, Rocky, but to all who suffer for they will not listen and obey. “Forgive us Lord for feeling we don’t need to come to you daily, in our asking for your Forgiveness!” Gary

  27. Rocky says:

    Gary, you’re a funny man, I love your humor.

    On a serious note, concerning trial or punishment, I couldn’t agree more with you. I don’t think you were point fingers at me; we all need some sort of accountability.

    Sometimes I sink into a depress mode, and don’t have the energy to spend time with the Lord, then the beliefs that I had from childhood seem to creep up.

    Like if I ignored my parents for a week, but now I need their help, perhaps a ride to the theater, how can I possibly ask them while I’ve ignoring them. Similarly how can I ask God for a blessing or to have favor on me while I’ve in essence been ignoring Him?

    Yes, I know the truth will set me free, but like the color of my skin, how do I change it with more than simple rhetoric?


  28. poohpity says:

    I can not even begin to tell all the times the Lord has addressed my hypocrisy. The times with my mouth I have said, “oh I am trusting you in this situation Lord” yet I do everything in my power to get my way and in my time and how I would like it done. Then the Lord says to me “so you are trusting me?” it is then I have to admit no I was trusting me. Then there are those times when I say, “I will praise you Father in all things” then something I really wanted gets taken away like my health, or a relationship, or a car. Then first thing I do is cry and say “why me Lord?” and He says “Why not?”.

    When I left the life of addiction and all it entailed and began this journey with the Lord I assumed that this new life would be free of all troubles and problems, oh how sadly mistaken I was. Since walking with the Lord I have had more losses, more health problems, financial problems, relationship problems and rejections than ever before. The big difference now is that over the years I have learned that my will is not God’s will, my strength is not God’s strength, what I would call peace is not what God calls peace, what I used to call love is not the same as God’s love and what I called trusting in God was actually trusting in my abilities.

    It is very hard to come to a point where we put aside what we think we know, to learn what God would have us learn which to me is the real stress test and for those of us who think we are toughies according to the world’s standards are really just very controlling people who want others to say “wow, how did you get through that?”. Meanwhile your health is failing because the stress eventually shows up in your body then you finally admit I was trying to do it all myself now I am so broken that I need to let God have the control because there is nothing left of me. That is the point when God says “Are you ready to let me do it now?”.

    Hind sight is always the best experience because it seems when we are in the midst of the fire our child like nature comes out kicking and screaming but as we mature in our faith and relationship with God things seem to come on a more even stream because we know who we have holding us and who is the rock we stand on and that never changes. The roller-coaster ride turns into a smooth safe road no matter what obstacles come in the way we know who is sitting in the drivers seat. I can not wait to get to that point.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Mart has asked for personal stories from us concerning our life’s struggles and how we might have grown stronger in faith as a result.

    I have thought about this for a while and have come to wonder where to begin? Do I begin as a baby when I needed the care of a parents love for every necessity?

    Yet then there are some babies who never know the warmth of a parents love. Aborted or even birthed into some garbage can in a public restroom and left to die, many do. Some babies are tortured and murdered by the very people who conceived them. While others are snatched away from loving arms only to be brutalized and murdered by the darkest and most vile humans among us.

    Was the ordeal of these unfortunate babies a stress test? Did they fail because they died?

    Death begins at birth we are told, how long the time between is as well kept a secret of God as is His return.

    During that time we have to live, if we are born into a society or family that has heard and kept the Gospel, we then will have a large step up from those who are not. We may have a church education from our earliest memory or have heard scripture quoted all of our young life.

    Will that then mean that the trials we encounter from our earliest memories were stress tests placed upon our little spirits in order to grow us up as stronger Christians?

    Does that mean then that the trials and tribulations of non Christians are a different test for a different purpose?

    I see that cancer is a non discriminating killer. It kills Christian and heathen alike. All too often death isn’t enough for this killer, it has a way of taking every bit of dignity from its victims before a long and lingering death.

    Are we to assume that cancer is a stress test?

    Before I drag too many of you down into a state of depression, I want you all to know I have seen the face of death and especially the face of the worst of cancers reach. I also have seen the beautiful face of grace under fire and courage immeasurable from young and old alike who face their fate without fear or regret. Accepting their present state to be the will of God and going into eternity believing the next face they will see is Jesus’ and their pain and suffering will be over.

    Personally I do not think every negative circumstance in a person’s life is a trial given them from God. Yet I believe that every trial is an opportunity to show the face of Christ.

    I believe that as the happenstances of life cross our paths we can apply all that we have learned from Christ to them and in so doing be a living example for Christ in opposition to non believers.

    Do we blame God for testing us, or do we thank Him for the gift of faith enough to carry us through the next heartbreak?

    Fix your eyes upon Jesus and walk on the stormy sea of life, though the storm is still there so is Christ, reach out to Him and be safe and content.


  30. poohpity says:

    Rocky, I do not believe that God punishes us, he may let us experience consequences of our behaviors but nothing compared to what we deserve. I also believe that we are corrected so that we will go down another path if we are open to learning. Christ took our punishment on His back and then on to the Cross, I could be wrong but I sincerely hope not or we are all in a lot of trouble.

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    I beleive the entire bible, or His Story, is filled, (although I have probably not read every word of it) with the stories about the trials and tribulations of the human condition, and how God wants us to react toward them and Him. What we do with that knowledge, what we do with our life’s situations are really left to us. If we would just do the right thing, Focus on Him, Follow Him, and He will help us make the right choices, to ultimately decide for ourselves.
    Being an advid cyclist in my past, allowed my to experience how people who have just passed by you and focus on you in the rear veiw mirror, tend to also be drawn into your lane. My life lesson was this…It seems we get drawn closer and closer to what we are focusing on! “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look fully into his wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His Glory and Grace.” Gary

  32. bubbles says:

    Proverbs 3 says, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither be weary of His correction. For whom the Lord loveth, He correcteth, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is more precious than the merchandise of silver and the gain thereof than fine gold.” So Solomon tells us here that God does chasten and correct us because He loves us just like a father does a child.

    But who are WE to tell another fellow believer that God is punishing him/her?? That is between that person and the Lord. Who are we to determine WHY something is happening to them? I would not ever DARE say that to someone else. I am even afraid to think such thoughts.
    It scares me to even think this way because God could punish me for trying to remove the speck from someone’s eye when I have a plank in my own.

    I recall my mother repeatedly begging God for forgiveness of any sin in her life when she was sick with cancer. So I can suppose my mother thought she was being punished by God allowing her to have cancer. To this day I do not understand why she died at a very young age. I don’t dwell on the WHY any longer. It happened. God knows best. God does not make mistakes. God is good. Always.
    However, I would like to know. When I was younger I thought God would tell me why when I got to Heaven. But now that I am older, I believe many of the things that we concern ourselves with here will no longer matter when we are there.

    Better than trying to analzye the “WHY” of someone else, it is better to encourage and uplift that one with kindness, Christian love, and prayer. Let the one who is having the difficult time search their own heart and soul. That is not for others to do.

  33. davids says:

    Steve, I think that you have put your finger on what makes me uncomfortable about this topic. It is wonderful to read about God’s Grace in times of trouble.

    Sin has it’s own consequences, praise God!

    But it rains on both the good and the evil. I cannot say that difficult times are stress tests from God. They are part of this life. For the Christian they are an opportunity to lean on faith. For the unbeliever, they are perhaps a push toward faith.

  34. bill34sl says:

    My brothers and sisters in Christ, I am just like anyone of you who has gone through the eye of a storm of life. For the last 10 years or so, that life has been throwing me truckful loads of lemons. But I figured you must have enough already, so this will not add to the list.
    Jesus said, God our Father makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matt. 5:45) I believe that also refers to the sufferings. Christians and unbelievers alike experience good fortune and traumatic undergoings in their lives. When a Christian suffers, we say it is a test from God even though he or she just unwittingly inflicted it upon himself or herself. When an unbeliever suffers, we say it is the consequece of his or her bad behavior. These may either be true or false. Jesus once asked his disciples what they think of the 18 people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them. Were they more sinful than the rest of Jerusalem because they suffered such horrible fate? Jesus plainly said “No”. The Bible say that Time and Chance happens to everyone. To believers and to unbelievers. (Ecc.9:11) Why? God knows. One may fall ill of incurable cancer while having a strong faith in God. Another, an atheist, becomes an instant millionaire by hitting the lotto jackpot with just a few dollars. Or it could be the other way around, the Christian winning a charity lotto and the atheist acquiring cancer. Time and chance. But the big difference here, and every now and then, is HOW WE CHRISTIANS REACT OR DEAL with whatever circumstances we find ourselves into. Whether that circumstance is from God or not. Whether we will involve God in it or we will take Him out of the scene altogether. This is what distinguishes us from the unbelievers. In popular parlance, it is “what separates the men from the boys”. We should be able to use our gift of wisdom in turning every situation around to our spiritual advancement not downfall. Life can be sad really. But those who learned to set their hearts and minds to the coming Kingdom of our Lord instead of this present world would handle life’s adversities much better than those who do not. I know to many (that includes me in the past), this is easier said than done. But that’s our lot. 1Corinthians 15:19 says: “If we who are abiding in Christ have hope only in this life and that is all, then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied”. (AV)

  35. remarutho says:

    Mart, you wrote:

    “…Job, Joseph, Ruth, Esther, Mary, Joseph, Paul, and Peter…Recalling their experiences I was reminded of why the Apostle Paul wrote of their combined stories that they ‘Were written for our learning (i.e. insight and perspective), that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope’” (Rom 15:4).

    Jesus himself told Simon Peter, “Simon, Simon, Listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32) NRSV

    Simon did not yet know himself well enough to know how he would respond when the pressure was applied. I certainly do not know to what extent testing will be permitted by my Lord in my own life.

    I believe you have it right, Bill, that we are given the “opportunity” in our own challenges – or in standing with our brothers and sisters in theirs – to take the risk of trusting that Jesus is guiding us. Then, we can allow his grace to win a victory in us and in the circumstances that seem to be more than we can bear. It seems to me we have to ask even for the courage to believe that nothing touches us except what God allows. Blessings, Maru

  36. oneg2dblu says:

    My Journal entry in part 12-3-11… “Lord who among us knows my way? Who among us is the way? Who needs direction, wisdom, caring, mercy, grace, and strength?
    Who is in control of all things but you Lord? You Lord, the Creator, Controller, Completer of all things, you are the answer to all man’s questions, concerns, cares, woes and worries. You tell us, do not let your hearts be troubled. Do we listen? You give us our breath, our numbered days, and then you allow us total freedom to do what we will, and what we choose to do with this life you gave us. The greatest victory, or greatest tragedy, and we decide things most times, just like those who do not know you. As you present yourself before us, we hear your words and abandon them as dumb. We feel your promptings and we become numb. We have only our next breath to take, and with it Lord, what decision to make. As we come to our senses, as we come to our Creator, as we come dressed in all we have, we come naked, deaf, dumb, blind, weak, lost and finally ready! You say to us, you have not because you ask not, ask anything in my name. We ask, Abba Father, help us to help ourselves! Tell us Lord if this is a, Victory or Tragedy? Reveal to us your will and we win. Reveal to us our will and we win also. For, when we come to you, we are always blessed! Bless us today Lord, as we come to you!”

  37. SFDBWV says:

    I find it disturbingly interesting that people still knowingly as well as unknowingly hold on to the basic yet ancient belief of “The Fates”.

    In Greek society they were known as Moirae in Roman Parcae, they were three beings that controlled the metaphorical thread of life for every mortal and immortal from birth to death.

    In Roman culture they were identified as Nona who spun the thread of life, Decima who measured the thread of life, and Morta who cut the thread of life and chose the manner of a person’s death. In the Greek they were known as Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.

    Even though we have been given the Word of God and the Truth of the Holy Spirit’s teaching still there is some old and ancient comfort found in believing that we are on a walk through life and that our actions and our troubles are all meant to be and are all part of a plan of life a supernatural being has predestined and ordained for us.

    It causes me to wonder if it is the common connection to being human that makes us feel and think so alike. Across all cultures and races of man.

    It also makes me wonder if it is once again a knowledge that Adam had concerning God that had been forgotten by men and attempted to be explained by worldly means. A knowledge that is basic to being human and a created being from God.

    Like our friend davids, I too am uncomfortable with this topic Mart has given us to discuss. Uncomfortable because as bubbles had stated concerning her mother, it makes people believe that whatever tragic circumstance they find themselves in is somehow a punishment or trial from God. When instead it is just life and the misery of living in a broken and fallen state of creation.

    We are taught to base our lives and our eternal futures on a solid foundation, in fact the only truly solid foundation in all of creation, Jesus the Christ. We are taught to do so, because as storms come we will be able to withstand them, the emphasis is that there will be storms.

    My son is crippled from traumatic brain injury, can’t remember most of his past and what he does remember is just enough to torture him that he can’t remember the rest. He struggles every day with even the simplest of tasks and is disappointed hundreds of times a day. His friends and even family has abandoned him, he is heart broken and lonely. He longs for a life he can enjoy, have a job, a girl friend or wife, children, friends, drive a car and even play the guitar again, he wants his own life.

    They all seem to have been denied him or taken from him. Am I or is he left to believe that God is responsible for his present condition?

    We survive together; just being together is a blessing. We enjoy what we can of the life we have, again another blessing. Each time I reach out and touch my son I appreciate so much that I can, he too needs the touch of his dad and the reassurance that I am still here.

    Every night Matt and I say prayers together for other people, for their benefit. Matt believes God will help others just not him.

    I recognize that God has been with Matt through every moment of his life and especially since his tragic accident, but then for Matt I am on the outside looking in, not him.

    I think the idea that God may punish people just for the testing of them places God in a position of being unfeeling and even cruel. I can accept that God allows the tragic circumstances in our lives but not as a test but rather as a testimony of His presence in our lives.

    My time is up and this has ran long, Good day and blessing to you all.


  38. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    Noticed you wrote out the list of Bible heroes who could easily have decided that everybody had it in for them. Among your listing is Paul. If in moments of weakness he ever indulged in the thought, “Why me, Lord?” he never wrote that to his flock. Rather, he wrote to the church at Rome probably about the time Nero began to light his garden parties with Christians coated in tar: “Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

    They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
    We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. (Psalm 44:22)

    None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (Romans 8:37-39) Message

    Thanks, Mart, for the prompting to remember whose we are, even under a 500-ton weight! May he cause us to be built up and to stand for him.


  39. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… I too, believe as you say, for it is written for us to believe. If we choose, and if we embrace what we believe as written for us, as truth.
    Truth is, God choose to tell us, excuse me, Commanded us in His Written Word, this very needed truth. In the first, of his Ten Commandments, “You shall have no other gods before me.”
    If, there is absolutely nothing that would separate us from the love of God, then why, would He feel it necessary to instruct us, excuse me “Command us,” to live in this way?
    Although, there is nothing that can separate us from the love “He” has for us… there must be *something* that can separate “us” from loving him, with all our heart, all our minds, and with all our strength. He clearly knows the heart of every man that He Created, and it can choose otherwise!
    That is why, I cannot fall victim to the Once Saved, Always Saved doctrinal teaching. For to me, the first real teacher of this type of doctrine is defined as well, and it is written in God’s Word for a purpose.
    It is Satan who said to Eve, in Genesis 3:4, the very same message,”You will not surely die!” This was said to someone who clearly knew God, and knew God’s Commandment, and she along with a world of others, fell for it! If it were not needed to be written, then why is it there!
    We being of that same fallen nature, always can through our free will choice, make the same wrong choice. It is why we must be told, or Commanded by the Word of God, to choose what is best for us!
    Like Eve, do we really understand the magnitude of choosing even innocently, even if our being deceived by crafted words, we surely can be led astray!
    Any false teaching and the innocent sin that follows it, our belief alone, can separate us from the garden of grace we now enjoy!
    Be careful about what words innocently become yours, and who is really leading you!
    I do not mean to point directly at you here Maru, for I do not know what doctirnal stance you choose to believe.
    Perhaps today, we will see all the truth in His needed Commands, and in His Word! Be Blessed, Gary

  40. remarutho says:

    Romans 5:8

  41. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… great verse! I love that verse, because within it, lies in the word “were.” It does not say (are). Which to me, does not say, “And who now continue obediently practicing their sin,” For to me, it gets the real power in the “change that takes place,” and that IS the real fruit of the message. We were saved from, and in spite of our sin.
    Yes, Christ died, (past tense) for us! But now, (present tense) He Lives! He lives in the displayed living change, where we are delivered from our sin into salvation! We are not saved to still go on sinning and without change, but rather to live a life of change, as born again with a renewed mind do we become living aa saved (present tense), and not a were saved believer.
    I get that grace message, and I Thank God for His Grace that gives us the faith to “first believe” while we “were still” not following Him.
    But, do we remain still, or in that moment of initial salvation, unchanged? Even after our new regenerated birth into following Him, who gave us this new life?
    I trust we were changed, from the *were sinner’s* lost without a shepherd, into recognizable sheep and no longer are we lost as goats?
    But, I may be wrong, because there seem to be so many once saved goats among us, who behave like they are okay to still be goats, instead of sheep.
    I see the word *were* as a real action word contained in that message. Where you were, is not as important to God, as where you are now! I remember what God asked after they had sinned, Genesis 3:9 “Where are you? For they *were still* hiding from God! Another great verse!
    In His Love, Gary

  42. poohpity says:

    It would be nice for every one to see the truth but truth be told, not many can except truth. They can see it in others but have a hard time recognizing it in themselves. If we are put into situations that will bring out stress maybe that stress will push us to realize the reality we are walking in and most of the time some may not be walking what they talk about. What we do and how we react in stressful circumstance will really help us to see our real selves and possibly accept the truth that the words that come out of our mouths is not what we really believe in our hearts. I guess that would be the difference in walking the walk or talking the talk.

    When Abraham was put to the test, God was first His son was second. When Joseph was put into the position of complaining about the circumstance he was put in, he did the best job he could in whatever position he was placed. The circumstances his brothers put him in, who meant it for evil, but Joseph knew that God could use it for good. Job no matter what happened in his life would not deny God. So the stress we are placed in show us the truth about our faith and what we truly believe in.

  43. poohpity says:

    Gary, please share with us, which among us still lives the life we lived before we were saved? You seem to know all of us so well please let us know which of us are not living out our salvation according to the truth of Gary.

  44. poohpity says:

    Since God has chosen to talk through you, show us our hearts and what is beneath the surface? Show us what makes the Lord sad in each of our hearts, Gary. Please be very precise so we know what we need to do to change and will you help each of us change?

  45. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh…sorry you have focused on the messenger, saying it is the messenger’s truth, instead of looking at the message. Then, if it becomes personal to you, it becomes personal between you and God, not the messenger. Only God can really convict anyone. I only share God’s word, and then, those He has convicted by it, may or may not, act according to that Conviction. You may have read the bible many times, but now you are trying to read me instead. Sorry, if I have distracted you away from His word, it is His underlying message, as we can all fall away, feeding our own desires. I’ve tried to convey that the things we focus on tend to draw us to them. Gary

  46. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Gary – I have to agree with Pooh that it is hard to understand what you mean when you say things like, “because there seem to be so many once saved goats among us, who behave like they are okay to still be goats, instead of sheep.”

    Do so many of us come across like we believe we have a license to sin just because we admit that we still do? I know that I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, not by myself. Since I have accepted Jesus into my heart, the Holy Spirit convicts,and guides me daily. Daily I need conviction from pride or selfishness among other things.

    I am curious. Do you believe that you are no longer sinning? To quote Oswald Chambers from Dec 1: “Who of us could ever obey God to absolute perfection?”

  47. remarutho says:

    Good Evening Mart & Friends!

    I am thinking my 8:21 a.m. quote of Romans 8:37-39 from The Message translation of the Bible may have been troublesome to my friend who posted at 10:43 a.m. today.

    Eugene Peterson is a good Greek and Hebrew scholar. His contemporary English translation of the Bible (The Message) has been helpful to many readers, teachers and preachers. Dr. Peterson is a faithful disciple of Jesus, and his work will bring to mind the KJ, NIV or RSV to the ear already well tuned to Scripture.


  48. poohpity says:

    Maru, it seems no matter what translations are used the truth still lies within the Words quoted. The meaning is the same it is just said a different way. There are those who do not have ears to understand the truths that are held within the pages of scripture, not that they will never understand, but at this time it sounds like a foreign language because the heart receiving them is not yet prepared or open to the Lord’s guidance and timing especially those who put themselves in the position that only the Lord holds.

    Sometimes when we point our finger and convict others it is usually something the Lord is trying to get across to the person who says they have the message. The message was truly intended for them but rather than accept it they accuse others. We know who is the source of accusations and the one who would lead us away from the truth.

  49. oneg2dblu says:

    tracey… no I do not believe that I no longer sin.
    I do believe I currently have my salvation, and I am a child of God, who will share in the Inheritance of his Kingdom, if I do not walk away from it!
    But, I do beleive salvation is “more than a mere moment in time for maintaining a believer’s eternal condition, because there are just too many instances in the word of God, about those who clearly were saved, and then fell away. They too experienced a moment of salvation, but it was not, a once saved always saved condition for them either. Our sin always separates us from God, unless we choose to believe a doctrine that says something else.
    I believe a constant ongoing relationship is required and when we are in our sins, we are not living in Christ, we are not focussed where God wants us to be,
    we are not serving Him, and we are in jepardy of losing “our” relationship, the one that we need to have.
    We could ask Solomon when we get to heaven, how knowing God “at one time” worked for him, but, he fell away. Because he lost “his” relationship with God. Not because he was forced by someone else, who plucked him out of God’s Hand, but because of his own wrong choices.
    That is only one of the “over one hundred times” that God has informed us about the cost of our disobedience.
    But, there are those who believe differently, and choose to say, if you fall away you were never saved to begin with. It is the “only position” they can make, about any situation that causes one to fall way, if you believe in the Once Saved, Always Saved docrtine.
    I would rather be like David who fell to his knees three times a day, then Solomon who was blessed beyond our wildest dreams, and still left God to serve other gods. He broke the first of the Ten Commandments, not to mention all the other multitude of sins that followed, but just that one sin alone, cost him his eternity. Don’t believe me, just ask God if it is possible for one having once tasted, to lose it all.
    1 Peter 1:3-11 seems to not mention once saved always saved, but rather gives a clear message about what is required, and mentions we were cleansed from past sins. Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle, should know a little something about salvation. Much value for us lies in his words, unless we choose to believe differently. He says, to make every effort, he says, we were cleansed from our past sins. Does he speak of partial, or half truths to you? The evidence against this once saved always saved is staggering, unless you are already convinced of another gospel. Then, it may be that you are now left unmovable, even in the face of this truth. But, I could be wrong, because it seems to me you think you “were” saved also! Gary

  50. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… ten forty three? “How demeaning and Sad! Here’s a small piece of advice from a very gifted pastor about the Message.. “You can’t get your doctrine from any “other gospel” than the Holy Bible!” Do you personally attest to the Once Saved, Always Saved position, as the only gospel truth for your Salvation. GARY

  51. oneg2dblu says:

    We certainly have a divided house! Maybe the Message has something to say about that as well, but we already know what the Holy Bible says, so we do not need another’s learned opinion. Gary

  52. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends!

    Mart, a brief search for facts about the geology of Singapore leads me to believe that this nation-city has been wildly active geologically in the recent past. I am no geologist, but it seems to me there is a massive urbaninfrastructure built upon terrain that is sandy and muddy yet containing areas of granite and shale. Building large structures could be a problem.

    No wonder engineers and architects test the proposed building site! If an area is subject to fresh water-flows or even tidal action, millions could be spent on buildings that wouldn’t last a generation before they tumbled down. Such failure could cause great loss of life.

    It seems to me the Lord calls us to examine ourselves before we claim that we bear the cross of Christ. The varied forces that overburden and undermine true disciples of Jesus will crack, and sometimes shatter faith. Can we stay the course and seek God’s will?

    Jesus said, “Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27)
    He immediately compares the Christian journey to building a tower (Luke 14:28). How can mere humans understand all the pressures and stresses that will come their way on account of carrying the cross of Christ unless there is some stress-testing – not
    pretended “what ifs,” but actual loads that are beyond mortal capacity – requiring divine strength?


  53. BruceC says:

    What is going on now is why I have a difficult time with forums/blogs.

    I would like to know Gary who appointed you to separate goats and sheep? Obviously you consider yourself to be a sheep; so I would like to know just who keeps your wool all nice and bright? Is it our Gentle Shepherd whom we come to for cleansing? Or is it washed in the soap of your own self-righteousness?
    I have been to churches where the critical, judgemental, uncaring, and self-righteous attitude reared its head enough to almost destroy people and the faith they have. Those doing it reminded me of the Pharisee and the sinner in the temple. “I thank you God that I am not like this sinner here; I do this and do that.” While the sinner confessed and couldn’t even raise his head. And the question was who came away
    Remember when you point a finger, four are pointing
    back. That is something we all need to keep in our heart.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  54. florida7sun says:

    The sun will soon rise in the eastern sky.

    Julie Ackerman Link offers a beautiful devotion this morning on “Peace” in ODB. Peace is a precious commodity: a sought after gem, a priceless pearl. We find it in Our Lord and Savior. We find it in His Word. The holiday of Thanksgiving has come and gone. The bones of turkeys have now been buried in landfills. Let us not just celebrate Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. Let us praise Him daily. Let us praise Him together for loving us so completely that He formed us in our mother’s wombs and shed His blood for us. Let us be thankful. In Jesus we have the Prince of Peace. Be at peace with one another.

    “Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” – Proverbs 15:30

    His Name is Immanuel. God is with us.

    Blessings to all, Ray

  55. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Brothers and Sisters –

    My thanks to those who have expressed heart-felt opinions in this “Stress-Test” forum topic. Great ideas and thoughts have been shared! The personal testimonies are wonderful. I am grateful.

    I have no intention of taking up again the dead subject of “the perseverance of the saints,” that sad fifth petal on the hard-Calvinist tulip also known as “once saved always saved.”

    It has been a joy and privilege to share with those who come to BTA with hearts and minds full of God’s love, and honest, open attitudes. I also appreciate those who follow the blog’s guidelines. :-)

    In Him,

  56. SFDBWV says:

    I am with you Bruce; this form of communicating between people is very stressful in itself.

    Mart is busy flying around the world and conducting the business of his business and has little time or desire to play mediator between participants here on his blog. I am certain he gave us this topic so that we all could share some life problems we are involved in or have been involved in and how we overcame them through our faith and he could be about his business.

    If this were a real table filled with people everyone would be talking at once arguing with one another some even getting up and walking out while still other ready to fist fight.

    Just like every where else in the world and any group of people.

    I have said all I need to say to express my thoughts surrounding the topic, but have not shared the struggles of my life and Gods interaction with them simply because that subject becomes a book that starts from birth and is not yet finished

    Also I must confess that unless I feel led to say something I try hard not to. Sometimes that is difficult as I want to jump in and say something from me just because I can and want to interject my 2 cents.

    In the Garden of Eden everything was perfect, until someone entered the story that caused a cancerous worm to enter the spirit of man….doubt.

    At the point of origin in the Garden there was, as we understand it, no written Word of God as God was available to Adam and Eve. Satan used his best talent in order to cause the fall of man….doubt. Satan put doubt in the innocent mind of Eve, and her doubt led to the necessity in her to test God’s only commandment.

    It is written now for our edification not to put God to the test, or as some interpretations say it, we are not to tempt God.

    Whereas we are to uplift one another and support each other in spiritual strength, this does not mean we are to over look wrong doctrine and lift up another who calls themselves Christian if what they say is incorrect doctrine.

    Any person who causes the young to fall into sin is given a special warning from Jesus Himself. A young Christian is the most vulnerable of all to being misled doctrinally because just like Eve they haven’t been exposed to God as much as the older and more experienced among us.

    As some here have stated clearly on several occasions, scripture explains scripture, the reproof of any scripture is found in the written word of God.

    The New Testament is emphatically clear that we are saved entirely by the grace of God through faith in Christ. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2: 8

    John writes in John 20: 31 “But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”

    1 John 5: 13 “These things I have written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may *know* that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

    In 1 John 3: 14 “We *know* that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren, He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” Reading on to 1 John 3: 23 John says “And this is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” And finally in 1 John 3: 24 “and he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and hereby we *know* that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.”

    What commandment? The commandment that we believe on the name of Jesus Christ and that we love one another. Nothing added to these two commandments are found anywhere in scripture, that can make us *doubt* our salvation.

    Jesus gives us clarity in Matthew 22: 37 through Matthew 22: 40, whereby he says “Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” “This is the first and the great commandment.” “And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

    Two commandments from Jesus, accept Him as Christ and love you neighbor. The first commandment assures your salvation the second proves it.


  57. oneg2dblu says:

    BruceC… I do not own, nor have I been appointed to the position your attempting to place on me. Nor, do I own the words you have chosen to display.
    I’m just a dumb sheep who follows the words of the Great Shepherd. I’m a sinner living among sinners. The divided house I speak of, started in the Garden. My wool is filthy with the world’s filth, and the words of filth that are thrown at me! But, if I continue to listen and follow His Word, even with my dirty effort, some of that filth falls off of me, and my load is lighter. Praise God!
    He still shows me the only way however, to cleaning up the filth the world and false teachers bring along with the goats that are now allowed to wander freely by His Grace!
    Maybe some day I’ll grow into a Pure White Lamb, but it won’t be in this BODY that now throws their dirt.
    For every time you throw your dirt at others, you lose some ground from where you now stand.
    Perhaps, the “urbaninfrastuctcure” of false teaching,
    has caused this great stress crack in the church, and the world ever since the words of Satan, that dripped with his most eloquent but deceiving lips, persuades us all to divide within ourselves.
    The answer you desire may lie in who appointed Eve and Adam into believing this message, “You will not surely die!” There is your root of the fracture that lies within every believer who follows that false gospel!
    I’m sorry that the verses I will follow because of their truth, will stress many of you who now feel eternally secure in the false teaching that you can not loose your faith, your current beliefs, or your salvation, because you once believed! According to Christ, who “is appointed” by God, to be the greatest authority and witness, on how dangerous our sin is, and how it can really separate us. But, some here will not hear his words as they are written. They appear to them, to be “what ifs.” What if, we were to go to the New King James Version and do an “IF” seach, without hearing anything other then His Chosen Words? Then, we would all find the most abundant use of that word “if” is there, specifically, to teach us our security is conditional to the words of God as written, and not to be translated by our modern day false teachers!
    Matthew 9:43-47, or Luke 13:9, NKJV. are just two I present for you, believe what you will.
    These may be found out of context, just like the “Ten Commandments are today for some of you, who are now well “beyond even them” in your chosen false belief.
    Perhaps Today! Gary

  58. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… According to the teaching of Jesus, five out of ten in the last generation who were once saved will experience this horrible fate (Matthew 25 1-13). That is fifty percent, 50%! The Lord could have said, none were snuffed out, or even two or three, but He said “half of those virgins” once had a lamp burning for God, but it stopped burning because it ran out of oil.
    Were they all not also awaiting their first love like we are? That same first love, found in Our Christ, that all Christians today are currently are waiting for, in His Second Coming!
    Why do you think God taught us this lesson, saying half of those who were burning for God, will not enter his banquet? Who among us, those in the church that burn for him today, do you see as the foolish ones?
    Jesus also taught: Matthew 24:10-11 “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”
    Do all those modern day false prophets with all their corrupted law, also qualify to be in that, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets?”
    I say yes, “And they hang themselves!”
    Unfortunately, multitudes, or half if you believe what Jesus taught, will follow them today, and also will hang with them! You see there are two sides, which will never meet here, and no one can stand well on the edge that separates them! “It is written!” Some see half truths, and some see half going directly to hell!
    Our persuasive attempts are useless, but His Word stands in the great divide and it separates the sheep from the goats. Human authority does nothing but argue its findings. As we divide the spoils among us and team up together supporting our side. We are hopeless at best, if we have succumbed to false teaching.
    My only reason I am here is to say, “Be Careful and weigh “all things,” according to the Word of God only!
    Be Blessed, Gary

  59. oneg2dblu says:

    florida7sun… you share a great gift with us,as you graciuosly apply the Balm of Gilead to help quench the fires of our human discord. You do not get stuck in the mire created, in the stress test of our foolish arguments you bring much wisdom. I love you for sharing that gift, which we all do not bring to the table of our thoughts! Be Blessed, Gary

  60. oneg2dblu says:

    My post on 12-3 at 9:45 PM, had a” typo,” and it did not reflect the message I was referring to. I am sorry for the confusion, as I was reading it form 2 Peter 3-11 (NIV).”His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness knowledge, and to knowledge self control; and to self control perseverance, and to perseverance godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, love, For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted, and blind, and forgotten he has been cleansed from his past sins.
    Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
    I will give God all the Glory for showing us the “other side” of the coin fist! Be Blessed,Gary

  61. poohpity says:

    It seems every human being goes through trials and stresses some wilt and allow stresses to get the best of them and come out on the other side bitter, angry, hateful and resentful attitudes. Although it would be nice if we as believers trusted God in those stressful times just like the ground was tested to see if it could hold the load but unlike the ground most of us grumble under the weight. To me that is very good because it is then we realize we were not meant to bare up under it alone. Paul gave all the glory to God in his letter to the Corinthian church “Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and it is not our own” he goes on in 2 Cor 4:8-10; “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we do not know why things happen as they do, but we do not give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. These bodies of ours are constantly facing death just as Jesus did, SO IT IS CLEAR TO ALL THAT IT IS ONLY THE LIVING CHRIST WITHIN (WHO KEEPS US SAFE).”. If we fail our stress tests then it would seem it is us trying to do things in our own power and not allowing the Lord to hold us up.

    I can not begin to say how many times my attitude has come out on the other side with bitterness, anger resentment and malice but the one thing I do know is that living in Christ he is healing that, not to say it is still not a process. Over the last few years with everything happening one thing, right after another until I really felt like I was drowning. I came to point when the only thing I had to do was look up and say “HELP”. I hope in the future that I can ask for help the first thing before all the ugliness starts and know that in and of myself I can come out on the other side but I do not want my heart to be so scared that it will never recover. With the Lord going through things with us and our brothers/sisters the load is sure a lot easier.

    Those men and women of great faith not only had their regular everyday struggles they also bared the stress of telling the gospel to others which brought a great amount of other pressures into their life which many of us do not contend with. Carrying God’s New Covenant brought about all kinds of other stresses as in 2 Cor 3:5-8 and they knew their only success came from God.

  62. SFDBWV says:

    Gary, please understand what I am about to say, I say with all the love I have in me so please listen.

    I quit trying to discuss things with you because it is very apparent to me that you lack understanding on a great many levels. It hasn’t been my desire to be drawn into an inane argument with you or anyone for that matter, for there is no good that usually comes from such action.

    You have crowned yourself with the illusion that you are a prophet; it is an illusion for you are no prophet. You do not speak for God, but only for your own thinking.

    My last comments are simply taken from scripture so your adversity to them means you take issue with the Word of God, not me.

    Our commission from Jesus is to make disciples of all nations not to condemn them. Our commandment from Jesus is to love our brothers not judge them.

    I feel badly for you Gary, for you really feel you have a God given purpose in telling every other Christian you meet that they are going to hell. Remember sir as you judge so are you judged.

    I do not doubt your zeal, but rather your understanding of scripture and your understanding of what love is.

    Your constant ramblings always going into your own beliefs on salvation is a distraction from whatever other topic we may be trying to explore and is not beneficial to anyone especially you.

    It takes away from your ability to be a good witness for Christ.

    Please Gary, preach Christ and especially Christ crucified, stick with the message of the gospel not of your own personal interpretation of who is and isn’t going to be accepted by God according to you.

    I am saddened that it has come to this Gary; I will not say another thing to you or respond to you as I will not be drawn into an argument of this matter again with you.

    I really pray that you can understand what I have just said to you Gary, and take it as advice for your enlightenment, I do not want to sound mean or hurtful toward you, I want to help you be a better person and this is why I have made this posting.


  63. davids says:

    I agree that it is distressing that this same subject seems to get interjected into many threads, always leading to division and bad feelings. It is innapropriate.

  64. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… this will be our last direct communication.
    I said, in the past, that when I took a test of the gifts of the spirit, strongest gifting , was the gift of phrophesy. I think if that reeks of pride to you, then I would suggest you never take the test, and cofess here what you’ve found to be your strengths in gifting for others here, said I claimed to be a prophet, and that is what you chose to stick it you crown of labeling me. you have taken this very syance with others here, saying you would nn longer reply to them, so this action is nothing new from you.
    We all have a limit, and I thank you that you know yours. Now, others here will have only heard that I crowned myself, thank you for your well chosen and misplaced words. The gift of prophesy is not a self-crowning gift except if others label you that, and others claim it. You have claimed it, it is yours!
    I too have quoted many verses, but others seem to label me prideful when I do. Go figure! Good bye, my brother in Christ. I hope your OSAS doctrinal beliefs, your praying for the dead beliefs, are also based in the word only. Like you say, I’m not capable enough to understand any of the word, I’ve used, because I put my own beliefs of salvation in them. I should have rather chosen your words, I guess! Your zeal I do not doubt either, or the zeal of false teachers who are in the church today, but, you do not understand the message in the word of God as I do. Sorry you have taken offence to my past hard words, that were directed to your way, because of my way of believing. I do not think every Christian is going to Hell, but I do believe the teacvhings of Christ apply to us, and it is a narrow road, and many will not find it! I hope that is not to prophetic for you! Matthew 7:13-14 NIV “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad in the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the raod that leads to life, and only a few will find it.” Those very verse, speak of the way of salvation, that I believe.
    But, as you say, that is my own thinking, so be careful. Suddenly prayers for the dead, has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Please know this, I’ll pray for you also. I feel like a better person already. Thanks for your helping me see you in this new light.
    Let me digress and share part of my jounal today, previously written… “Perhaps today Lord, may I not be the same person I was yesterday. Tomorrow, Lord, let me not rest on today, but for the moment I have been given, as long as it is today, May I praise Your Holy Name. Your mercies are new every morning for there I raise you up in Praise, to find you have favored me. You lift me up, that I may stand on mountains, You lift me up on stormy seas, and I am strong when I am on your shoulders, You lift me up to more than I can be.”
    Steve, that is the source of my enlightenment, and it did not come from you. I take no harm in your words, I hold you blameless as for you speak with the lips of your humanity, just like the rest of us, unless we are given to sharing verses for Him. Gary

  65. billystan454 says:

    After reading the December devotion from Our Daily Bread I couldn’t help but make a comment. God truely does love us all, I know this because not only have I received His mercy and grace at the moment of salvation, but I have learned from the people that He has put in my path just how wonderful forgiveness can be.
    For most of my life I allowed the abuse I received at the hands of my parents and other adults in my life, to control my every thought and action. I ate, drank, and slept ever changing thoughts of suicide and revenge, power to control my life. I was abused sexually, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I was so confused about life and thought that everyone felt the same way.
    Wellto make a long story short one day back in 2005 I entered the doors of a church, after years of absence. I ended up going on a regular and shortly after my first visit I became one of God’s soldiers. I had the love of my life, my wife. She, through being accepted by others, really did teach me what the word love means. Through the church I have made my home I learned to carry on when my wife died three years ago. Through both my wife and Eternal Life Baptist Church I’ve learned that by forgiving I was setting myself free of an extremely heavy load. God truely is love.

  66. florida7sun says:

    Claudia, thank you for your encouragement this morning.

    On my calendar today is “The eye of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” – Ephesians 1:18

    Beautifully written: “I keep His life in my heart, I keep His death in my heart. Not just through the storms, but every new day that I awaken. And I will keep them in my heart to the very last breath that I take in this world.”

    God bless you and all on BTA, Ray

  67. foreverblessed says:

    Billystan454, thank you for your testimony, thanking for sharing it with us!
    May God bless you with His great blessings in Christ Jesus.

    The stress test, this brings me to a book givento me by an old christian lady, when I left for a vacation in Turkey last two weeks: A tale of three kings by Gene Edwards.
    This book tells about the stresstest David had.
    He was chosen king as a young boy, but did he become a king immediately? He became a fugitive, had to flee most of times, had to hide in caves. And as I was in Capadocia, a strange and weird looking country, many many caves, and rocks with built-in houses, underground cities, we saw cave after cave, people have lived there, christians have been hiding there.
    And the story of David came alive.
    He became a broken man, his hope was in God, he did not think he would become a king, just the same way as Abraham was about to loose Isaac, his hopes in this life real down, but the more sure in God who would take care no matter how.
    What was the reason for this test? Gene Edwards comes with this explanation: so that the king-Saul-in-us is killed. The dictator-in-us must be subdued. We want to lead people, but we must lead them as God leads us, He never forces, He leaves freedom of choice, and so we must learn not to push people, not to bend there arms and say, this is the way you should go! We become dictators, unknowingly. That king-Saul in us has to be broken down just like that happened in David.
    And even later in life, when his own son Absalom would take the crown, David did not fight, he fled instead, looks like a coward man, but he would not take his kingdom by force, it was given to him by God, and he relied on God to give it to him. He even wasn’t sure whether God still wanted him as king. In hindsight it is easy for us to see, but David did not yet know what God wanted. He himself did not fight, he fled, and left the matter over to God.
    What made an impression on me, is this: This story is helpful today, with many broken churches, many king Sauls in leadership. We do not know in foresight who is the King Saul in our lives, and who is the King David in our lives.
    God knows, so we must not judge anybody: leave the judgment to God. Do not fight. let God do the fighting for you.
    The only thing left for us is to be like David, a humble man, pure in heart, a heart broken by sorrow and pain, but in relience on our God, who will be with us, in all things and all circumstances.
    Psalm 3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-8
    From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people

  68. oneg2dblu says:

    Claudia… thank you for sharing the lyrics to that song, and your well chosen words that give it your light
    to share with us. It really is amazing how God can bring out His Light even through us, who would have remained in the dark, till He enlightened us to a better way.
    That song was originally wriiten as an instrumental tune called, “Silent Story.” But, Praise God once He gets His Hands on us, we no longer remain dark and silent with our story about Him! To Him, be all Glory, Honor, and Praise for His Crowning Light can not be contained within us! Gary

  69. oneg2dblu says:

    “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song!”
    We don’t shine because we are the Light, we are light because we refelct it by His Hand!
    Be Blessed, Gary

  70. fadingman says:

    Observation: Some stress tests come in the form of people we have disagreements with. Whether we pass the tests or not has to do with how we handle those disagreements, not who wins.

  71. yooperjack says:

    I brought up this blog this morning and couldn’t believe you people were still arguing with Gary. If Gary wants to takes pride in his works, so be it. Many people believe like he does.
    I’ve been reading this blog for a long time and many that post here are very versed in the Word. Poohpity: you said you wished you could write what was in your heart, funny thing, just before you wrote that I was thinking how I wished I could write like you.
    Gary: Poohpity and Steve are mature Christians, study their post and try to learn from them and others. And please don’t be afraid to change your mind. I changed my mind about different subjects like, healing is for today. I went from cutting many things out of the Bible because religion says it was not for today, to believing the full gospel.
    I learned along time ago, I can’t change anyone and will get depressed if I try. I put my ideas out there, if you accept them great, if not so be it.

  72. oneg2dblu says:

    yooperjack… do you also see the bird as prideful because it sings, or just doing what it is designed and called to do? You have added to the labeler’s among us,another testimony of finding pride. Those who look for pride in others, find it all around them.
    Those that loook for forgiveness can’t find it within themselves, where pride has it’s root, but where
    Christ lives, pride no longer is searched for!
    I believe Satan looks for pride to be found in others, where Chrsit looks to forgive! Gary
    Isaiah 62:1

  73. poohpity says:

    I do not think God would have us disrespect another and on this site there are guidelines to protect the commentators and the author of the blog. To take conversations off topic to what we each feel needs to be talked about instead, is not loving. It is thinking what I have to say is more important than the guy who writes the blog which I have been invited to participate in and that is pride. If the messages are from God then there will be a time and place to deliver them, opened up from God. The delivery will be in such a manor that will cause others to reflect on what is said and not on the messenger.

  74. poohpity says:

    Paul who we know is a messenger from God said, “We try and live in such a way that NO one will ever be offended or kept back from finding the Lord by the way we ACT, so that NO one can find fault with us and blame it on the Lord.”. (2 Cor 6:3-4 NLT) I can not judge whether you are a prophet from God but I can say that the delivery method does not reflect the Spirit of the Living God.

  75. bratimus says:


    Enter and read write at your own risk

    Going back to the Kids table

  76. poohpity says:

    bratimus, warning taken and I will stop. Will you forgive me if I have offended anyone and pushed them away from reading this blog, the bible or from a relationship with the Lord because of my behavior. :-(

  77. bullwinkle says:

    Once again we find ourselves kicking around the same subject. Pooh and Steve almost always bring a message of hope and light, which is wonderful. Gary brings a different perspective, isn’t that what a blog is supposed to do. I don’t feel that Gary attacks any individual, but he does point out the sin that is in all of us. I fail many times and it is always a good reminder, Paul tells us that God’s grace is not license to sin (Rom. 6: 1,2) and I assume that most if not all that would come to this blog would agree. I will confess that I often become too comfortable in the world and it is good to be reminded that God is not pleased when I choose to disobey.
    Pooh and Steve, I love your heart for God and I am “proud” of what God has accomplished through your witness. At the same time I remember a time when a man gave a very stern warning to Bob of Cromwell and while it was harsh, it served to turn Bob’s heart back to the Lord.
    BTW, I miss you Bob, where did you go?

  78. poohpity says:

    Yea, let’s talk more about Gary, Steve and pooh. The saga continues. What could be more interesting than that? If it is attention we want so bad maybe if we give the whole topic over to the troublesome trio we can go to another subject.

  79. pegramsdell says:

    Thank you Deb, right?

  80. davids says:

    Poohpity, your sarcasm is also a bit off-putting to someone that tried to make a positive contribution. I am not looking so forward to reading this blog every day.

  81. SFDBWV says:

    Today’s “Stress Test”; Matthew has a doctors appointment at 10 am about 40 minutes from here, down from the mountains we live in.

    Matt wants first to be able to finish his bathroom duties then get his exercise bench workouts completed before we leave for our trip.

    The weather people are calling for a 4 to 6 in snow event this afternoon. We will be leaving in the rain and returning as it begins to freeze and snow.

    If everything goes well we should be safely home by the time the worst of the winter storm hits…if.

    I live in a river of stress and each and every day there is a constant balance of life that if all goes well will get me from one event to the other without too much difficulty.

    I doubt I am much different than most of the rest of us. I don’t know if these things are tests or not, but they certainly test my patience and my spirit every day, and like pulling taffy somehow make me a little more done each time I am stretched.

    My love and blessings to you all today.


  82. florida7sun says:

    God bless you Steve. I know the Lord will be beside you throughout this day and evening. Be comforted in His presence. As Jesus has given us His Word, His Spirit pours out to us His everlasting peace.

    “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

    Every day brings enough trouble of its own. Your testimony of His faithfulness through trials has been a blessing. I believe (as we get older) stress increases. It has in my life. However, the same is true of His grace and provision of protection. I am always amazed how our Lord responds when I discover, again and again, that I am clueless and helpless without Him.

    It’s when I praise Him in the midst of trials He demonstrates the power of His resurrection.

    Blessings to you and all on BTA, Ray

  83. foreverblessed says:

    Stress all around us. Today in my little church house group, we were praying together, and someone got a picture of a whirlwind turning and turning around on earth, but in the center it was quiet and peaceful. As if God was saying: -trouble all around, but where you are I am with you, right in the middle of all trouble there I am-
    No matter where you are, what is happening, God is with us, and all is well.
    I pray that peace from God for you Steve, and your son Matt, and for all others here. And I pray for more faith in God, that we can say with all our heart: God is with us, who (or what) can be against us?

  84. dja says:

    Steve, I pray for Matthew and you and Glenna each day, but am praying even now for a good doctor’s appt. for Matthew and safety in your travels.

    Living in NEPA, I know at this time of year, traveling conditions always put a big “if” on everything, and while I know that it is all from the hand of my Father in heaven, I many times struggle with the stress of it all.

    May the Lord be with you and your family as well as all the BTA family this day.


  85. bratimus says:


    Fresh stretched soft salt water taffy is the best, your just being stretched into perfection :)

    Safe journey today!

  86. pegramsdell says:

    God bless you Steve, Matt, Glenna, Pooh, Bubbles, and everyone on this blog. Love you all, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

  87. SFDBWV says:

    God bless and thank all of you for your prayers and concerns. Matt and I are home safe and sound as it has begun to snow quite heavily.

    We had heavy rain and dense fog for most of our trip down and back up the mountain, but the snow held off until we were safe in the house.

    It always gets to me how Jesus stated so clearly for me to not be anxious for anything, yet still I get nervous whenever I have to take Matt out on the road it is such a dangerous place and the simplest problems are magnified with Matt in the car, for me.

    Then when I get home I feel such a relief, and am so grateful for once again an uneventful experience.

    I guess such little things worry me because of the big things that have happened in our lives and I never know when the next one approaches.

    Unnecessary stress I would suppose.

    Thank you all once again for your thoughtfulness and love.


  88. SFDBWV says:

    I would also like to bring a woman, I only personally met last evening, up to everyone for their prayers for her. Her name is Amy.

    I have met her husband Neil and only once talked with her on the phone but know a great deal of her problems as she has been arrested several times for various disturbances.

    She is described by her husband as being bipolar, I have known some people who suffer from that ailment, but she is past that into another realm of suffering.

    She is very delusional and worse seems not to be able to recognize reality, only her view of it.

    There is a great sadness and terror in her eyes and her strained attempts not to erupt into a fit of temper is quite visible.

    She was forced to give custody of her two sons to her brother who lives several hundred miles from here in an attempt to keep them safe….from her. Yet she believes otherwise.

    So without too much ado I would ask that those of you who are led to pray for others please pray for Amy, for her healing and the salvation of her mind and her life.


  89. saled says:

    When I read Steve’s post this morning about the drive to and from the doctor’s in possible snow, I finally found the words to express what I’ve been thinking about this subject. I have no obviously large stresses in my life, but my life is filled with small stresses such as my family driving in snow for four or five months out of the year. I used to feel responsible for their safety, as though something I could say or do might keep them safe. The lesson that God has been teaching me is that I can’t do anything on my own. I can’t heat my house with wood, take charge of my mother’s finances, teach that little boy at school how to read, or keep my family safe in the snow. As I get older (55 now) I’m not as strong or smart as I used to be, and I am having to depend on God for help in the small things. And I find great hope in the belief that it is when we are weak that He can be strong.

  90. bratimus says:

    When it comes to little stresses, sometimes you have to look a those like the sting of a bee. One or Two at a time probably not a problem for most. But if you have the hive come at you at once is a huge problem.

    Guess what i’m trying to say is that even little stresses can pile up on you to one big stress point.

    That is why we should be in prayer over every stress so it doesn’t pile up.

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