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What If We Collapse?

Judean Beast of Burden

The apostle Paul writes that God will not give us more than we can bear (1 Cor. 10:13).

Many caregivers have used those words in days of overload to avoid the breaking point of their own health, sanity, and spiritual despair.

But why then did the same author admit in another letter that, while caring for the church in Asia, he experienced troubles that went far beyond his ability to endure—to the point that he and his co-workers came to the point of despair? (2 Cor. 1:8)

Admittedly the second text describes the apostle’s recall of a “moment” that moves to a more positive outcome (2 Cor. 1:9); (2 Cor. 4:5-10)

But do we need to be careful in assuring others that “God will not give them more than they can bear”? Doesn’t Paul use those words with a story of “temptation” running in the background (1 Cor. 10:1-6)? Are we supposed to notice that after talking about “a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” Paul immediately writes, “So my dear friends, run from idols”…

Seems to me that this is about a God who, “even through the collapse of our bodies, emotions, and financial resources,” can protect a faith that will live to see the wonder of his  faithfulness… rising above the rubble of dead idols and the dying embers of old temptations?

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175 Responses to “What If We Collapse?”

  1. jon614 says:

    Mart, Thanks for the new blog – I was just wading through the last one with all the comments, in awe and amazement over the thoughts and thoughtfulness of our blogging friends, when my computer shut down for some updating. When I came back on, you had a new entry up. The idea that we will be burdened with the world to the point we realize that God is in charge has always been one I have clung to. And when the burdens seem unbearable and I wonder just how much I have to believe – that is when I understand that God doesn’t have me in a contest to see how much I will bear, but the world is the unconstant in a constant life with God. He is the constant. My retirement is just a few days away – finances will be different – the burdens will mount up – God will be there for me and I will adjust according to His will – it always happens. I think number 5 on your list in the last blog is one that I too often am representative of – self reliance. Relying on Him more will put things in the right perspective. May you all have a great day in God’s hands.

  2. yooperjack says:

    Mart: Your topic fits in with what I heard this morning on TV. “No matter what hardship we go through in this life it doesn’t even come close to what we have been saved from.” “That being eternal Hell”.

    What a conforting thought that is, I always say read the end of the Book, we win.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    “What if we collapse?”

    From the moment I entered this community of believers and the curious, I explained my positions presently in life, and have continued to share my life experiences so as to give me a little release and also share my faith walk with others.

    This is what is unique and special about this blog and Mart’s wisdom and patience with all of us; that we can bear ourselves here warts and all. Especially exposing the thorns in our lives that God has not removed from us that both tests our faith and exhausts our spirit to that breaking point.

    I have the dual pleasure of not only exposing my own faith walk, but also from time to time sharing my son Matthew’s as well. As his is the more urgent to him and the one lacking the advantage of more life experience and having experienced the most loss.

    Seemingly dozens of times a day Matthew reaches that point where he has no more spiritual energy to continue on. Many times I have asked God what is the point and purpose of allowing Matt to suffer to the point of losing hope and give up belief that God cares anything about his suffering and disappointments.

    Matthew has gone from a budding believer at age 21 to believing that God does not love nor care about him at all at age 33. Matthew will agree with me in prayer for the needs and blessings of others, but defends himself from continued disappointment by not believing God will do anything for him.

    All the while privately hoping for release from his present situation, which only intensifies his disappointments that leads to more frustration and anger.

    There is collapse here many times a day, but the safety net we have is each other and each of us our faith that God will yet deliver us. Our faith being the stronger safety net.

    Whereas I see God’s provisions abundantly given here in my home and life, what I see Matthew only sees as his continued suffering and disappointment.

    Our peace is a very fragile existence, and causes me to be in constant prayer for our continued comfort….I cannot collapse or rest from my responsibilities and so trust God to carry me when I am weakened.

    Of course I have spoken of our battle against the trials in our life not the temptations, but there is always the temptation to just give up and give in, to collapse and not want to survive any longer.

    Sometimes all I can do or say to Matthew is hold him and tell him I love him, no matter what, whereby he resopds to me in kind.


  4. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    I don’t know what it is like to be a care giver or get to that point of being overwhelmed by “the workload”.
    I do know some on here who are care givers and know they have to trust God almost everyday, not to help them give the care, they do that out of love, but to give them the strength to continually see the suffering and pain in the one they care for.
    I myself have faced collapse financialy and even this week have had my hours reduced again and my pay day moved so as to put me under even more strain. Also the government is reducing benefit payouts due to the fiscal tightening they have to do to keep the “markets” and money lenders happy.
    This topic is very apt for me as this morning I have been asking God again “How much longer must I endure this, can’t I just have a few hundred pounds in the bank as backup”.
    Of course, He is my backup, my supplier, my all in all.
    He brings me to this point again and again in order that I may be refined and lose yet another god, idol or desire for sin.
    Like I said on the previous topic, if I try too hard in my own strength I fail, it is only at the point of collapse that I cling to and trust in Him.


    Been so mild here this winter I am having to cut the grass in the garden this afternoon.

  5. BruceC says:

    So many times in our walk with God it seems as if we are at the end of our rope. But then we awake the next day. And even though we find those same hardships await us we realize that the Lord got us through yesterday and He is still Lord of today. I watched my Mom years ago wither away and die from cancer. And yet; the more she withered and suffered the more she looked to the Lord.
    And although there are times we get almost to that point of despair; we still have the Hope He gave us. Even unto death we know that He is beyond and has conquered it.
    Jesus is the One who gives us the ability to “keep on keeping on” that we in ourselves do not possess. If we try on our own strength we fall flat on our face. But He never walks away and helps us up each day. Praise His Name!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  6. dja says:

    Steve, just last night, I was praying for Matthew and for you and Glenna as well. I have recently been receiving emails from the Joni and friends site, and reading her different daily devotionals, I have been struck by all that she has gone through physically, and how the Lord is using her in the lives of so many. God, indeed, has a purpose in every situation, and no one can even think that they truly understand another’s situation unless they have been there. My prayers for Matthew have been that the Lord will hold his heart and give him a peace and comfort inside even if his circumstances never change (but, of course, we pray for the desired change if it is His will!)and that the Lord continues to strengthen you and Glenna inside and out.

    Having lost 4 babies through miscarriages, I always wondered why and what good that was for me or anyone. Years later, after the Lord had blessed us with 3 children, I met a woman who was so cast down because she had miscarried. Because of what I had gone through, I sat with her and listened to what I truly understood, and I was able to give her understanding and words that someone else couldn’t. I hadn’t planned those words-they just came out. The amazing thing was that I didn’t know her before that day, so, the Lord used a stranger to help her.

    Jon, I know what you mean about “fixed income”. Both my husband and I are retired and so much has increased in what we need to pay out since we retired. I thought when we were older things would get easier, but they haven’t. It’s a day to day leaning on the Lord and not relying on ourselves. It’s actually a great place to be:-)

    Bob, you too have been in my prayers as well as others on this blog. Financial tensions within, I truly understand. Enjoy this beautiful weather you are having even as you mow the grass:-)

    Yooperjack, you made me think of 2Corinthians 4:16-18. Thank you for your encouragement!

    Cold and rainy (No snow and I’m good with that:-)in NEPA. Have a blessed day!


  7. SFDBWV says:

    Matthew and I just completed his 8 walking trips from our living room to the kitchen and back, a distance of about 25 feet per trip. I am almost 6 foot 2 inches and Matt is 6 foot 5; I find it neat that because I am just that much smaller than he that he I fit together perfectly in order to be able to walk as we need to do, his right arm around my neck as he and I walk or stand.

    I can see that as God’s interaction with me even from before my birth to be just that right size for when I would be needed for that job.

    If Matt falls while walking it takes 3 men and a great effort from Matt to get back up off the floor.

    I can see a great many things God did in my early life to prepare me for where I am right now. Whereas it gives me great encouragement I am also eager to be able to see more ahead of me. Not for my purposes but for Matthew’s.

    I have learned many lessons these past 12 years one of which is that, it is only when I have no desires other than the fulfillment of another’s desires that I am nearing the attitude Jesus wants for me to have.

    However there is a trap in that attitude, I can not control the attitude of another and find myself suffering only because they suffer.

    As stated earlier I come here for a break from life and seek fellowship and release, I am not alone in this matter. However sometimes instead of release and comfort I find myself embroiled in more battles.

    Often I am accused of being prideful by pooh or more recently accused by Gary of being unforgiving.

    Unfortunately these are two people I have failed and failed to present myself in a better light, so they will forever attempt to discredit me and attempt to draw me into an argument with them. I don’t want that and so am forced to ignore them, that in itself only widens the gap between us. Too bad I would rather be friendly, but I can not control their attitude only suffer because of it.

    If the blog is ever in jeopardy of collapsing it is because we allow bitterness and anger and negative feedback to dominate the conversations. As Mart has tried since my participation to be the peace maker, he too must also suffer for he cannot control the attitudes of those of us who write our thoughts here for the world to see.

    At the same time I have made some wonderful friends here and have been encouraged by many others. Love produces love and I have come to love many of you. I hesitate to name you all only because I may omit someone and would feel bad in doing so.

    I will make a pledge to you all to do better in finding a way to present the truth all the while stopping short of accusing another or bringing unkind or negative comments into play.

    We may weaken but will never fully collapse as long as we place all we do on that solid foundation of Jesus of Nazareth.


  8. foreverblessed says:

    Here are some thoughts that come up directly after I read the above from Steve, there is another way, the way of humility: my mom would tell me, you have to make the first step. and I thought that it was unfair, why not the other one. It is the same with God, He tells us to do good to those who hurt us, why is that, why does He not change the other one so that I can have a more comfortable life.
    There is one answer that I understand now: because God has found a way in Your heart, and not in the other, so He can direct You, and not the other. Although in this case I know for sure God is also working in the other.
    Sometimes we suffer to get more humble, I am not saying any of you is. But it happened to Job, which some of us are reading now. He did not have a good picture of who God really was, even though he was obeying all of God’s commands. But Job was frustrated God would not bless him, even when he was obeying Him. And just there was the crux of it all.
    I have read in some old books, forgotten which it was. that the afflictions of Job took 20 years, that his first wife died and that he had the other children by his other wife.
    He could see God at the end of his ordeal:
    Job 42:4,5,6

  9. yooperjack says:

    Steve: You gave a perfect example of a believer haveing the ability of seeing the hand of God in their lives when you said God made you the right size to fit your sons body. How cool is that, Praise God. Someone not born again or not walking in the Spirit would never see that if you hit that over the head with it. LOL

  10. yooperjack says:

    foreverblessed: You said: “Sometimes we suffer to get more humble.” I’m glad you didn’t say God makes us suffer. I would say, suffering deffinetly will make us humble or bitter; many will look to God for strength. That is the silver linning.

  11. poohpity says:

    Steve, I have never accused you of anything. I have often suggested that being in the situation you are in from your community, family and from posts on this blog would put you in the situation of being in control that others may not have the opportunity to do things on their own because you do everything for everybody. I have also said that is a lot of responsibility for one man. I know from past conversations with you and your family members that your health is not the best and have often wondered out of compassion what would happen to Matt if anything happened to you because he does not allow anyone else to do things for him not even cook but you.

    There has been times when I went to you one on one about some of the things you taught on here and asked if it would not be better to say, that was how you understood things not necessarily how it truly is. I did not post those things on the blog I went to you individually to express that concern and then it was brought back to this blog by you and then turned into a full blown battle towards me. No one but you knew what I said to you in private. I understand your attitude towards me because I seemed to have bruised something but that was not my intention at all. It was to offer a way of presenting your opinions that would leave others who follow you and your posts to seek for themselves the truth.

    How do you think your attacks whether covertly or overtly have affected others. There has never been an apology or even an admission of wrong in any way, the conversations just go on as if nothing ever happened. It does not show weakness to admit when we have wronged another by name calling, voicing an unsolicited opinion or by demeaning them.

    Job 32-34

  12. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart, What if we collapse? You could also have said, What if we don’t collapse? We certainly have not come to the end of ourselves, unless we surrender all to Him, which to me is the total collapse of self.
    Collapse is perhaps the only real true place to start the totally surrendered walk with Christ. Isn’t Paul in 1 Corinthians 10-13 speaking to temptation that is still haunting us, but not yet overpowered us? Instead even if we are at the very point of our end, there HE also Provides a way out to help us through. If not, we would not survive even our first wits end. We are not to give in, as others who have no resolve, but to live in Christ victoriously over this temptation He speaks of which is so common to all man.
    In Christ we have this victory, but in the world of self rule, we only have our defeat awaiting our choice.
    I’ll collapse early in the battle of the mind, as to surrender even my defeated thoughts to Him who can give us the Victory over this temptation.
    Which I have not done here when I’m tempted to respond too quickly at inflamed words, labels and accusations, but I am now givng them to Him for my greater resolve.
    But, not that sin we relentlessly return to, because that we have not yet overcome, as the temptation alone still rules over us. That is where the flesh is weaker, than the faith we have in Him to overcome it.
    That only trap that I see here is this relentless suffering of our own choices. Not what we are to bear beyond our ability, like a handicap, or a disease process that is beyond man’s abilities to correct. But, even in our handicaps, or our unbearable circumstances, don’t we still also have a choice to make. We either choose to allow for sin in our lives to rule us, or to allow God to have Provision over that power of any sin, or sinful thought that now separates us from His Power over it.
    That choice we must always bear, for He does not make that choice for us! IMHO
    Mental disorders do not apply to what I’ve tried to convey here. Perhaps we should never stop praying for those who suffer with them, or those who helplessly allow sin to rule over them either, but if we release them to Our Lord for His Provision, then perhaps we won’t suffer ourselves to the point of collapse for them.
    God gives us the promise that we and our household will be saved, that is not saying that we will not suffer in this world. To me, only our brothers and sisters in Christ, truly represent that household. Gary

  13. yooperjack says:

    Poohpity: Most men write and talk different than women. We are more “Straight talk no Bull” it’s because of the comptition thing with each other. Women are more careing and gentle not wanting to hurt feelings.

  14. poohpity says:

    Jack, this only my opinion but men do not like to be held accountable by women because it injures their manhood especially those men who feel women are second class citizens. It has been seen many times on here a man can say the same thing to another man but if it is a woman then offense is taken. Repeatedly it has happened on this blog.

  15. yooperjack says:

    poohpity: That’s been that way sense the begining of time. Not their manhood our stupid “EGOs” is the problem. Look at the different religions and the Bible how woman are treated.

    Will it change? Only when Jesus returns. I’m not sure but maybe in Heaven there won’t be a gender?

  16. poohpity says:

    It would be nice for those of us here who are in Christ Jesus would see no color, no gender, no nationality and no slave or free but all are One in our Lord and Savior. But again many live by the outside (flesh) and not by the heart which is why I love the Lord so much and lack respect for any who feel themselves better than other folks.

  17. yooperjack says:

    Pooh: We have no idea who will drop in here, I read the post for a month or so before posting. My hope is to maybe reach the lost souls that are searching for the truth that the world is in such short suppy of. That is why I tryed to put arguing to rest. We are a testimony for Jesus. I am called to witness and teach that is it.

  18. poohpity says:

    My hope is the Lord who will protect our faith to bring us into His wonderful presence when He calls each of home. No matter what the trials, loss, troubles and suffering we face here our hope is in the Lord. It would be nice if we did not cause more troubles than what life itself already dishes out and we can help others by not having them look to us for answers but by directing them to the Lord where all hope is found rather than our misguided and often selfish misrepresentations of what we think we know. Then when things collapse around us as they will our lives are built on a firm foundation that nothing in this life can take away because it is held in heaven beyond decay.

  19. SFDBWV says:

    When I got Matthew out of his shower and kicked back comfortably in his easy chair listening to his music and waiting for his dinner at three, he experienced one his episodes.

    When they occur, he panics and calls out for me that he needs my touch reaches for me with his right hand in a constant griping motion. I hold him tightly and he tells me over and over how sorry he is.

    This lasts for as long as 15 or 20 seconds followed by nausea and complete memory loss, he can’t recall the day or what he has already done barely can speak and is very quiet and he is deeply confused.

    I have to fill him in on today several times before it sinks in and slowly he remembers. This occurs with an irregular cycle and seems to not be brought on by any single event or emotion.

    I have had him to all the specialists and testing all to the same conclusion, they don’t know and don’t come back.

    Does this break my heart? You bet it does, it brings me to that place where all I can do is trust that God is in control and I just have to believe Him and leave it there.

    Do I wonder why and do I ask God for help? You bet I do, so he gave me a dream and with it peace over why.

    Is my heart ache less? I must say that yes in some way not needing to know why softens the pain a little but entrenches my resolve to see it through to the end.

    Della, Glenna also had miscarriages and ended up with a hysterectomy at a young age. However God gave her 4 young step daughters to raise. Thank you for your prayers and love.

    Jackie, isn’t this the way it is supposed to be? Our living for Christ and exposing Him in our actions not just our preaching. Thank you for your kind understanding words.

    As for me and my house we will stand with the Lord on that solid foundation of Jesus Christ and as a result not collapse under the weight of the cross we bear. Not because of us, but rather because of Him.


  20. SFDBWV says:

    Gary, at the top of my last conversation with you I offered my sentiments from a heart of love, sadly it was not received as such and for that I am sorry that my direct words to you hurt you, as that was not my intention. It was my mistake to give in to an impulse and say anything at all to you at that time.

    Please allow me the opportunity to offer you an olive branch of peace and accept my heart felt apologies for hurting your feelings. Let us start over anew and fresh.

    May we together offer Christ as the only answer to anyone’s heartache and hope in a world of hopelessness.


  21. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, it is almost unbelievable what you and Matt and Glenna have to go through, the more you write about your situation at home, the more staggering it is. You must have built a lot of perseverance already to have come this far.
    I pray for you and your house too, that you may be covered in love from God, that He may bless you and keep you,
    Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble Psalm 41:1

  22. yooperjack says:

    Poohpity: We are “Ambassadors” for Christ we are the only Bible some people will get to read or will even read. If we are not sure about our understanding of the Bible we can take them to church or Bible study. We are living, walking, talking represenitives of a living Spiritual God. People judge more by what they see then what they hear or read that is a fact.

    Are we still on topic, I get so focused on subject I forget the topic.

  23. poohpity says:

    In an article written on Nov 2011 “A Faith That Works” by Mart one of the bullet points said, “BECAUSE WE BELIEVE each will give account of ourselves to God, we want to be so aware of our own sins that when it becomes necessary to give attention to the wrongs of others, we will do so with care rather than conceit and with conviction rather than condemnation.”

    BECAUSE WE BELIEVE in the promised return of Christ, we want to live every day of our lives in a way that reflects hope rather than despair, love rather than hate, and gratefulness rather than greed.

  24. poohpity says:

    Jack, we are still on topic read the last paragraph of Mart’s post.

  25. fadingman says:

    I’ve been working on a study of Job for quite some time, and had written this still incomplete and somewhat disorganized snippet about God sometimes allowing us to go beyond what we think we can endure:

    We tend to look at the trials of Job and wonder how we would do in Job’s situation. The way I usually think about it is “I wonder if I would be strong enough to hold up if I lost my family, my possessions, my health, etc”, or more often “I know I would not be able to hold up!” The problem is that it is not a matter of how strong we are.

    God knows exactly how much we can take in our times of testing, and He custom tailors these times for each one of us. And sometimes, as in the case of Job, God tests us beyond what we can take (by our standards). The purpose of these times is to weed out of your life all things that you consider “strong” except for God Himself. That may be confidence in your ability to withstand the test. It may be confidence in your understanding of who God is. It may even be confidence in your own faith (as opposed to the God of your faith), God can bring you to the point where your misplaced faith crumbles. These tests are to lead you to trust in God regardless of what your mind or heart says.

    God sometimes allows our mis-focused faith to fail so that we learn not to trust in our faithfulness but His. (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

    We may say that we cannot be prepared for Job-style epic calamities in our lives. But we are only thinking of preparation emotionally, physically, and mentally. However, Job was prepared (even if he may not have felt so), because he retained his trust in God. (…his faith and his fear remained).

    By our standards, there would be no way to be prepared for such a tragedy as Job suffered – not physically, emotionally, or materially. But God knew that Job was prepared – that Job would endure spiritually (Psa. 15:5). Otherwise he would not have permitted this to happen (i.e. and prove Satan right). Job endured in a different way – in a way that God knew he would. His faith in God endured (1:20-21, 13:15-16, 19:25-27), his loyalty and respect for God endured (1:21), and his integrity endured (27:5, 31:1ff). All of the characteristics mentioned in 1:1 endured.

    I may lose my grip mentally (like Nebuchadnessar in Daniel 4:33), emotionally, or even spiritually (like the popular story of Robert Robinson, author of “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing”), but God has me in His. There’s still no need to fear.

    Enduring sufferings is not about retaining our joy, or not getting confused or frustrated with God, or maintaining our sanity – we may fail in all of these areas. We may come out emotionally scarred for the rest of our lives. (Wounds heal, but scars remain.) That is ok. Enduring suffering is about trusting God regardless, even when it seems He cannot be trusted.

  26. yooperjack says:

    The biggest thorn Job had in his flesh was that nagging wife of his, speaking death to him. Did you notice the devil didn’t kill her, that, nagging; better not write what I was thinking, “evil thoughts go away”. LOL

  27. poohpity says:

    Sometimes people present a snip-it of the things happening in their lives and never show the bigger picture. I know a family that has allowed their daughter in her disabilities to over eat and that has caused her to become more dependent on her mother for her care. The mother does not change her eating habits because it causes so much strife but she is at a point that she has a hard time being able to care for her because she weighs to much. Sometimes when our care inhibits the best interests and growth of an individual it cripples them further than need be. The suffering then becomes worse because of not being able to do the hard things. I think that God is like that with us, He helps us to be all that we can and if holding back some of the suffering, trials and troubles will not help us grow our faith.

  28. yooperjack says:

    I think that is called enabling them; I happens in many relationships. People confuse that with love.

  29. yooperjack says:

    It happens; getting tired I guess.

  30. Jwigg says:

    The word for “temptation” in 1 Cor 10, “peirasmos” carries both the connotation of “temptation [to sin]” and the meaning “trial [difficult, trying situation]”. Every trial is potentially a “trigger-point” for sin or a temptation. This is surely evident in Satan’s dialogues with God in the first two chapters of Job.

    As a carer myself, I know that feeling of “running on empty”… When life has us painted into a corner, we are left with no self-sufficiency… our sufficiency must be from God [2 Cor 3:5].

    Mart, I’m so glad you encourage us to read both Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth in conjunction with each other. It does seem that Paul’s “escape” from life’s trials was none other than that God in Christ was with him through all life’s firestorms. 2 Cor 4:7-12 is not the only “paradox” passage in the epistle: Chapter 6:3-10 uses expressions like “poor, yet making many rich”. Faith demands a Christianity that is bigger than “plastic smile” spirituality… we are to be able to do all things, not just the nice and easy things, through Christ who strengthens us.

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve, olive branch accepted, my brother in Christ. Like the dove who brough it back to the arc, I can now sore freely again with all God’s creation. I am blessed by your words. God does answer prayer! To Him go all Glory,Honor, and Praise.
    When you spoke of this event about Matthew today, I saw in my heart the possibility of his suffering, as a type of siezure that completely takes him away and without your being there for him I’m sure it is terrifying and also through some miracle goes unremembered. Nothing diagnostic, just an impression about the way you described the event unfolding. Probably the hardest part is not being in control and not feeling or rmembering at the same time. God does protect us when we suffer beyond our ablitiy, and in medical terms he gives us an event called “shock” where we shut down when the physical trauma is overwhelming to our body. I know that not one tear falls without God’s knowledge. He sees mine now for you and your son,who dance with this scene over and over. Thank God we do not have to go it alone once we have tasted His Grace and Mercy, He lovingly holds us forever! Gary

  32. oneg2dblu says:

    I sometimes even will use Soar, but only for those who are more particular… LOL

  33. Mikek says:

    It seems the posts have drifted once again, off topic. “What if we collapse?” If we do, it is ok. God who purchased us with His own blood, who sustains us will also recover us if we collapse. We should strengthen one another with the verses you cited, among others. Paul dealt in reality; he addressed fears of others and expressed his own fears and he provided hope and encouragement to the early church through his reality based messages.

    We do fellow believers and unbelievers a disservice when we do not allow them to collapse, to faint, to get angry now and then, and I might add we are not in agreement with Paul, if we do not recognize the weight the world often places on our shoulders and offer to help them bear it and if we cannot bear it for them, remind them of the one who can.


  34. bratimus says:

    Mart’s Topic question What if we collapes?

    If we look at how God lifts us up after the collapse or tying time is showing we aren’t given more then we can bare. Like a baby learning how to walk sometimes they fall sometime they laugh and smile and get back up, sometimes they cry but still they get back up.

    When we don’t get back up thinking given to much to bare, is us giving up.

  35. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart and Friends –

    Mart, you wrote:

    “But do we need to be careful in assuring others that ‘God will not give them more than they can bear’? Doesn’t Paul use those words with a story of ‘temptation’ running in the background (1Cor 10:1-6)? Are we supposed to notice that after talking about “a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” Paul immediately writes, ‘So my dear friends, run from idols’…” (1 Cor 10:14)

    The apostle Paul’s journeys in Asia brought him extreme stress: “If with merely human hopes I fought with wild animals at Ephesus, what would I have gained by it?…Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more; for some people have no knowledge of God.” (1 Cor 15:32, 34) The Greeks he is talking to are in a pagan and degenerate culture. He reminds these new believers in Jesus who are trying to live resurrection life in a boiling pot of temptation and godlessness that the story “occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did.” (1 Cor 10:6)

    The story Paul mentions is the Israelites in the wilderness after they were freed from Egypt. All were given the miraculous care and protection of God’s presence out there for forty years. (1 Cor 10:4) And still, “God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.” (1 Cor 10:5)

    Number 4 of “Reasons Real Christians Can Look Like They’re Not” is Unchanged Tendencies. The Lord seeks to be first and only Resource in the life of his people. There is much in the surrounding culture that is not of God – and can be used for “stress relief.” If we do not turn toward the spiritual Rock, that is Jesus Christ, we are in jeopardy of sustaining forces that crush us and cause us to collapse. Without vital faith and reliance upon him, we surely would put some idol in his place – perhaps even our own self-confidence. Christ is the “Way out” of the traps of unchanged idolatry — old, “dependable” coping mechanisms. (1 Cor 10:13)


  36. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru, I really found myself very attracted to that list of the contemplative elements of conviction, being a latent law abider myself, attracts me to it helplessly.
    I went to print it out and my printer did not respond because it wanted to first be massaged with a bright shiny new ink cartridge. It is a devil and must have its needs attended to first. But, I did not give up the fight and played with it several times, pushing the print button to no resolve. Needless to say when I got home from the store and satisfied all its needs, it got upset with me,and in its shear defiiant wanton nature it printed out several copies!!!
    I shared one with a couple at church last night because that is what I do; I share any word that I feel God puts in my hands, but first it must also fall in line with His. What I could not relate to them directly was where or why it appeared on this blog, but I sent them here as well. Perhaps you could fill me in, for I have needs just like that demanding printer, but I also know the devil is not in the details, when you find yourself Asking, Seeking, and Knocking, for then you are also being Obediently His. :)

  37. remarutho says:


    I will obediently pray that your printer will gratefully receive what “(s)he” needs spiritually from the true source — and thereby be truly transformed, as you have been!

    ;o) Maru

  38. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    My reference to “Reasons…” at 7:47 a.m. today is properly titled: “Ten Reasons Real Christians Can Look Like They’re Not.” It is part of the Discovery Series of study guides published by RBC — Google to find it, or go to the previous topic in BTA, where there is a link in Mart’s post.


  39. remarutho says:

    …I might also humbly suggest that anyone at all could benefit from actually reading the study guide I mentioned…truly just a suggestion. Maru

  40. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru I just tried looking it up on the Discovery Series page but did not find it, due to my lack I’m sure, I just need perhaps even more specific direction.
    I find that if my personal “short list” starts with just one question, or one word. If it is answered properly, it is paramount to answering all the rest.
    My short list would be this one word… Disobedient?

  41. SFDBWV says:

    Mark 15: 21 and Luke 23: 26 both give testimony to a man named Simon who was given the actual cross Christ was to be crucified on in order to bear it for Jesus to the place of crucifixion.

    This was because the physical state of Jesus was so weakened that He could not bear the weight of the cross and needed help.

    Mart has asked “What if we collapse”. If we collapse under the weight of our cross, I would hope that I have help from my fellow man as did Jesus, I already know God will provide and produce the means for my rescue. However He will sometimes give each and every one of us an opportunity to bear another’s burden with them to ease their struggle.

    So if we collapse look up for a helping hand to help pick us back up, I hope I am never guilty of not providing that helping hand when needed from another.

    Snowy and 14 degrees f today in West Virginia.


  42. remarutho says:

    Hello Mart & Friends —

    I trust the following will not offend anyone here:

    On this page, after Mart’s post — find <<Previous.

    Click on it.

    In paragraph five of Mart's discussion there, find “Ten

    Reasons Real Christians Can Look Like They’re Not.”

    Click right on that underlined title.

    The text of the study guide will appear in a window if your pc accepts pop-ups. The linked site includes further links to the Scriptures referenced.


  43. bill34sl says:

    In reference to what might appear to be conflicting verses: 1 Cor. 10:13 versus 2 Cor. 1:8, there were times that the Apostle Paul would write something of his own thought not necessarily God’s (1 Cor. 7:12). But God allowed them to be included in the Bible anyways. Paul wouldn’t have been able to write the other epistles to the other churches if God did not provide a way out for him of his seemingly overwhelming despair. He wouldn’t have reached martyrdom if he passed out of faith along the way. God sure provided an “escape route”. Most of the time, the way out is not the one we’re expecting. Breaking points differ from one person to the other. The reason why most of us are still writing on this blog despite life’s tremendous heartbreaking experiences, is because God has not overloaded us like what we might have thought. My heart goes out to our brothers and sisters here who are undergoing difficulties in their present lives. I, for one was not free of those. All my family members died agonizing deaths, my mother, father, and sister all suffered debilitating pain for years before passing away, while I was in big financial distress. It’s like watching them waste away and I couldn’t do nothing much. How many times, after reading other peoples account of sufferings, you might say : “been there too”, was how many times God provided a way out for you, probably more. Three days before my sister died, my daughter was born. God gave me a gift so I could carry on, easing the pain I felt inside. I pray to God in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he give us increased faith each passing day.

    Blowing snow here in Toronto.

  44. yooperjack says:

    Steve: In this counrty we turn to the government when we collapse.

    Winter has returned to the Copper Country. I just got finished blowing 3 foot of snow from my driveway. It’s 13 degees.

    Hey! I found a short cut to this blog: beenthinking.org then I put it on my tool bar. Don’t laugh, not too long ago I didn’t know how to turn this thing on. LOL

  45. yooperjack says:

    Bill34sl: That happen often where one dies and another is born. Almost like a replacement takes place.

  46. poohpity says:

    I was wondering this morning if some of the idols that can led us away from dependence on God are not our own, resources, abilities, strength, intelligence and understanding. In those passages Paul used the journey through the wilderness as an example for us to follow that no matter what happens in this life to not grumble against God 1 Cor 10:10 NLT.

    So it would seem that no matter the obstacles we go through in this life our faith is in the hands of God. God will protect it and keep it safe even though we are falling apart for a time.

    As Job’s friends tried to find explanations for the horrible state he was in they actually compounded the suffering but God was right there with Him through all of it and because of His trust in God he came out the other side rejoicing. Talk about collapsing under the weight of problems and rather than offer support through the hardest parts his friend tried to fix his problems and put a meaning on them by trying to place a sin problem on the troubles.

    We know that one day we will be free from suffering and decay Romans 8:21; we will rise above the rubble and ashes where our faith is kept save.

  47. poohpity says:

    Job 35-37

  48. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… thanks for the help brother, I must have been speed reading the first time through that post, not seeing the link. Gary

  49. SFDBWV says:

    Is it not just marvelous that the USA was founded by Christian people based on Christian principals and even though always under attack by the enemy still provides the basic needs of its citizens.

    Jackie in my entire past 12 year story, I had to quit my job in order to stay home and take care of a wife dying from cancer and a son who was just waking from a coma. Faced with no income at all I never concerned myself with my financial predicament as I just assumed God would provide.

    That first year it was the Christian churches in my area that came to our rescue and helped us to survive, until such time as social security could take over for us.

    I do not consider social security as an entitlement as it is something my wife and I as well as Matthew earned and paid into it. Besides God will provide from the riches he possesses even from the treasury of the enemy.

    Bill, God bless you and thank you for your story.


  50. yooperjack says:

    Steve: I hear you brother, I’ve been on S.S. for 22 years the 15th of this month. That heart attact all most killed me but it just wasn’t my time yet. So many of my friends died and never drawed a dime, one was 3 weeks from retirement.

    My statement about the government is that it’s really getting to big. Our debt = the GDP now. That can’t be good, something has to give. God has an unlimited suppy as you and I know but our Goverment doesn’t and will collapse if something isn’t done.

  51. SFDBWV says:

    Jackie, I remember reading that you often write to the opinion page of your news paper. Most people who do so are politically aware and informed on current issues both nationally and locally….Good for you, do not be a part of the silent majority, if our founding fathers had kept quiet and not spoken up we would not even be a nation.

    An old friend died a couple days ago she was 92, I bought her fathers house from him when he was 95 he died 3 days shy of his 100th birthday.

    I live in a small town that keeps getting smaller, and as people like Gerry pass on, the world I am familiar with seems to be passing away as well. It is interesting talking about collapsing, so many times it seems that the entire world around us is collapsing and everything familiar is fading away.

    We can do nothing to stop it only watch it and feel a sadness for the memory of it all will someday be forgotten.

    I often feel as if God has simply placed Matthew, Glenna and I here under His wings as the only future is the coming end and He has put us in storage until that hour comes when we are all called up together.

    Trying to make sense of every thing will drive me crazy, maybe it has already…

    Be careful and stay warm today, I got all my plowing done I am going to, do and am just glad to be in as the high today has been 16.


  52. yooperjack says:

    Steve: what you just stated is the reality we are the old guys now.LOL LOL

  53. SFDBWV says:

    Gary, thank you for your post in accepting our friendship and setting us both free, I wanted especially to thank you for your kind words concerning Matthew and I and say you have described with remarkable clarity what it is we do here daily, we do indeed dance. A term I heard another use long ago in his therapy.

    I also am reminded of the two songs I have mentioned before, one by Garth Brooks called “The Dance” and another from Lee Ann Womack called “I Hope You Dance”.

    Though their meanings are somewhat different from the dance here between Matt and I, the meanings in these two songs are about life and even if we knew the outcomes and even though life is cruel and sometimes painful, dance and embrace life victoriously.


  54. narrowpathseeker says:

    There are very few faults that I can find in others that I have not been guilty of myself somewhere down the line. When I get caught up in fault finding, the Holy Spirit usually reminds me of the why, when, and where of that fault of mine that correlates with the one I am pointing out in others. I have also been guilty of debating angrily in the presence of others out of a “puffed up” sense of exalting myself over others. After many many times of being chastened, I now try to look to lift others or bridle my tongue. I hope this is one of those lifts for someone here.

  55. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, thank you for your love and understanding of the life my family and I live.

    Isn’t that what we all are doing? Completing the Book of Acts and living our lives under the influence of Christ, showing our weaknesses and strengths all the while exposing our need for Christ as well as our faith walk with Him.

    Like many others I have met here, I am blessed to have walked a little of it with you.


  56. poohpity says:

    narrowpathseeker, it takes some a really long, long time if ever to come to that realization. That is very admirable in my estimate and uplifting. I think when we really look good at our true condition we understand the grace and mercy of our Lord and are more willing to show it to others. If we are already on our knees before the Lord we do not have far to fall when our estimate of our self and the world around us collapses. There are those who think so highly of themselves when they stand before the throne they will think the angels are singing holy, holy for them. :-) Boy will they ever be embarrassed.

  57. oneg2dblu says:

    bill34sl… just read your 11:17 comment about Paul’s reaching statement, but it does say they were already married. I believe God hates divorce, and if one is already married it is perfectly fine to stay that way. The conflict with God’s word to me would be if we were a believer before we get married, then, we are not to be unequaly yoked to an unbeliever. Or,just living together outside the confines of marriage are also not acceptable to God. So, I may have missed the opposing juxtaposition of your point, showing a conflict with the word, or God’s view. Gary

  58. yooperjack says:

    poohpity: I don’t think there will be very many standing before the throne. We serve an awsome God.

  59. yooperjack says:

    We’ll all be flat on our face in the very presences of His glory.

  60. poohpity says:

    I know the reality of falling to our knees or flat on our face in heaven or even here but there are those who consider themselves to be without fault because as narrowpathseeker mentioned do not see their own inconsistencies because they are looking at others.

  61. poohpity says:

    There are those who are close to the Lord and really desire His will for them that will be humbled and sometimes it takes what we see as being in control of the world around us to collapse before we are brought to our knees in humility. In those times we can see that our faith is being held in the hands of God, secure in His care not in us.

  62. yooperjack says:

    pooh: I know what you ment but that is their problem it will come around to them in time. What goes around!!!! Trust me.

  63. yooperjack says:

    Just a thought pooh; have you been watching this political show on TV. They are the masters of what you and narrowpathseeker are posting.

    If we could change people like that we would have to remove their free will. And if God is able to do that but doesn’t who am I. Read the end of Job and Gods responce to Jobs question “Why me LORD”. “Job where were you when!!!?”

  64. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, shamefully I can STILL relate to those who think too highly of themselves. When I am thinking “too lowly” of myself for any length of time, I find that I sometimes overcompensate and cross right over that narrow path into the “too highly” side. The progress is mostly that I am Reminded and don’t drift as far over to either side and my stay is much shorter. I think that if we recognize someone in such a state that we are to pray for them and we are to warn them in a loving kindly manner.

    This past year I was given the opportunity to talk to a loved one about this the day before she died. I told her that when we stood before God we would not be answering for what others did to us or anyone else or even to God. We would all be answering for what WE have said and done. She agreed and let go of a lot of garbage in those last hours before death. I try to keep that in mind and pray for those who are walking in the same shoes I used to or still do wear at times. I am fairly sure that somebody prayed for me.

  65. yooperjack says:

    narrowpathseeker: “WoW’ that would be a good sermon topic. “A big AMEN” On the other side of that coin is the one that feels so unworthy that it is hard for God to bless them with healing or peace of mind etc.

  66. narrowpathseeker says:

    Jack, you are absolutely right and they need our prayers too.

  67. SFDBWV says:

    If I offend I am sorry as it is not my intention nor is my comments directed toward any individual.

    Having (hopefully) put that disclaimer in place; I am moved to comment about our praying for another to either not have too much self confidence as to be arrogant lacking humility or not having enough self confidence and feeling inferior. (I hope I said that right).

    I would rather pray for me not to concern myself with my judgments of another but to have a heart to see their best qualities and if they are confessing Christians be glad and happy for them to know that they too will share in the glory of God to come same as me.

    It seems if we center on love for others the little or big things that we see as wrong with them may shrink in importance over time.

    Warming up to 15 degrees f. this morning and another 5 inches of snow overnight, still snowing.


  68. oneg2dblu says:

    I agree let’s pray for both sides of that coin that may questions us. “Where were you when, as when you were in your past trials like Job, and also, Where are you now?”
    As a born again believer, I think we all know where ywe came from. To me, the greater question would be, “Where are you now?”
    That question can be seen as obviously the more needed, when we read through the list of “Ten reasons why Real Christians can look like they’re not.”
    Does the life we live now, that is to many here seen as no longer Under the Law, or the Ten Commandments, also one we now live no longer accountable to this list of reasons as well? Or is it just another loving, but also condemning question?

  69. oneg2dblu says:

    Sorry I posted that accidently as I wanted to finish my thought… Or, for those of us who know we can not ever be cut off from the true vine, do we then also reject some heavy pruning? Gary

  70. bill34sl says:

    Gary: Thanks for reading my post. Yes, you missed my point. It’s nothing about getting married or divorced. That’s off topic. What I said is that Paul at times expressed his own opinion independent of the Lord’s (1Cor. 7:6). He said so in 1 Cor. 7:12: “But to the rest I,NOT THE LORD,say…”. May peace be with you.

  71. yooperjack says:

    Steve: Some times when a person seems arrogant they’re not, they just know who they are in the Lord. They’re a child of the King, the head not the tail, on top not below. They prosper when the rest are losing their shirts,they receive healing for their bodys and minds, they are or were delivered from all kinds of bad habits. They beleive the Word without doubting, they get healed by speaking to the mountains. They speak life to they’re self and others, not death.They just enjoy the abundant life and want to share it with others but are called arrogent, know it alls etc. They live the living Word.

    They don’t need our prayers we need to listen to them and find out what they are doing that we’re not.

    On the other side of the coin the one that feels unworthy needs to hang with Christians that will buield them up not make them worse. I never agree with a person that cuts their self down if they’re a child of the King. They don’t need prayer they need to know who they are in the Lord.

    We are heirs and joint heirs with Christ. “WOW” let that sink in and it will rid one of stinken thinken.

    Religious people are the ones always comepareing them selves to others. They were always on Jesus case. He called them snakes, dogs and other animals. I wouldn’t have been so kind.

  72. BruceC says:


    I agree only in part with what you say. There are many devote Christians that do not prosper financially, that suffer from illness or disabilities, and that do not get healed because they “speak to the mountain”.
    Corrie Ten Boom is one that comes to mind; and her family that did not survive. And those that were martyred for Christ. Like the early church where they were turned into human torchlights.
    I have seen folks stand up in church and shout out that they claimed their healing and only to wind up in the ER or worse; dead months later.
    Been around lots of brothers and sisters like that and found most to be of the critical and judgemental type. Sorry; that is just my experience. Have seen many leave those bodies too for those reasons and others.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  73. infiniti07 says:

    I know of a brother in Christ who is suffering tremendously over issues that are overwhelmingly difficult. His wife is severely ill and is abroad and cannot be with him here in Canada and he is struggling to make ends meet because he is at an age which unfortunately puts him at a disadvantage to be able to sustain himself and his wife. More than that, and even though this is difficult for the two of them, my friend is very generous in contributing to the cause of many abroad at the risk of not taking care of himself and his wife.

    There are many times in my life and certainly in recent years I have been severely challenged in my faith and each time I can claim that my faith has pulled me through because I have the firm belief that God is in charge and He knows the situation of each one of the billions of people around the world.

    Although we probably all wonder why there is so much hardship and why it has to happen to us, we probably also realize that none of us can claim being able to follow the path of Christ constantly and waver at times (as the letter of James mentions)to the point of regressing in a big way, only to be pulled out of it by the grace of God and His Spirit.

    jon614 commented that God is the constant and we are not and are often self-reliant. The big picture for all of us is that we are saved by grace and no difficulty comes close to facing eternal separation from God.

    This community is caring, therapeutic, non condemning, non judgemental and is the kind of community that shares insight, pain, “warts and all” (as commented by SFDBWV).

    Matthew and SFDBWV, is not alone, I have a family that is splintered and only one other has recently (past year) come into faith. I agree with SFDBWV that this blog and community of faithful is a safety net and helps each of us at various times to persevere and continue with a positive outlook.

    Christ is figuratively and actually the leader of this global community of believers and all the faithful, those who slip into periods of disappointments , frustration and anger, as well as those who seemingly have a life with less struggles, is the figurative body and each one of us has a specific part to play in life which is assigned to us by God. Together we are knitted to support, build up and sometimes reprove each other all for the purpose of spiritual growth which God continues to prepare us for eternity.

    God has a plan and it will come to pass…I believe we can all be comforted to know that through the generations of trials and tribulations described in His Word, nothing has ever been proven otherwise. He never ceases to amaze me each time I look back at a seemingly impossible situation, only to say to myself, I could have put myself in less of an ordeal if I had only listened to Him and trusted Him sooner.

  74. poohpity says:

    narrow, that reminds me of Romans 12:3 NIV. I believe we really grieve the Holy Spirit when we look at a brother or sister in judgment rather than looking at them with tenderhearted mercy realizing that none of us are perfect and we each carry faults, some are just more obvious than others. :-) But we all got ’em. I wonder if we do not expect more from someone who calls their self by the name of Christ but boy can our expectation collapse quickly. I can not begin to say how many times I have let myself down my something I have said or done but God forgives me as He does everyone.

  75. yooperjack says:

    I know what you are saying BruceC I’m talking about the ones that do figure it out and do live the abundant life and are not judgemental.

    Thanks for elaberating on my point no sorry nesseary I’m a big boy and am learning every day, there are gray areas in life.

    I’ve learned that we really have to watch what we speak with our mouth, we can speak life or death not only to our self but to others around us. I could give you a few unbelievable stories but not on this blog.

  76. poohpity says:

    I believe those of the world look at us and say things like,”Boy they call themselves Christians yet they are so judgmental and critical of everyone” and they are right. That is judging another by the world’s standards. If we really understand the mercy and grace we all have been shown it may be more a reflection of the forgiveness we have found in Christ and the great love we have been given.

  77. oneg2dblu says:

    bill34sl… Oh, that point! LOL I look at the entire word of God as approved by Him, my legalistic nature says this, that even if a word that is given otherwise, and not prefaced with, “This is what the Lord says,” is also not only allowed but by its very presence of being contained within the word, to me, it says it was created, authored, published, interpreted and understood to be within His Divine Plan for us all! Just as I also appear to sometimes speak for myself here, or do I? Just a thought…as we all are in our own way each bringing all things back to that Narrow Road!
    I trust we all have benefited and enjoyed your bringing that passage to light. Thanks for sharing! Gary

  78. poohpity says:

    Job 38-39

  79. yooperjack says:

    The world has no idea what it’s like to walk in the Spirit, they think we’re arregant and judgmental when we are just confident in our Lord. Praise the Lord I feel like preachen, His grace is so wongerful. We are a child of the King of the universe. Our God is an awsome God there is no other like Him.

  80. yooperjack says:

    His grace is so wonderful. The devil grabed my finger and put a g in wonderful. LOL LOL

  81. poohpity says:

    Nor could the world tell by our example. ;-)

  82. yooperjack says:

    Worldly people may think we are too good to be around them, but why would they think that unless we made them feel that way. I was onces asked: “Do you mind if we swear around you?” I replied: “I don’t like the “F” bomb and I don’t like the degrating of woman in any way. They were respectful to me and I was at their home so I respected them.

  83. poohpity says:

    I could care less if someone uses the “F” bomb however my skin crawls when they use the Lord’s name in vain. Can I change the way people talk, no, but God can if people allow Him to work. Do we walk as those who have been forgiven? Or Do we hold ourselves and others to higher standards than we are able to achieve? I really think we forget what happened to us they day we first accepted Christ into our lives the old life collapsed because we are forgiven for our sins not because we are able to live a sinless life. It seems we go from being so excited about Christ who paid our sin debt to demanding ourselves and others to live the letter of the law which we were dead to in the first place. It goes from what Christ did to what we do after and Christ’s redemptive work gets thrown to the wind because we go back to the law and how good we are, NOT.

  84. yooperjack says:

    pooh: I’m confused at your last post, what is wrong with liveing a sinless life? As long as we can admit we don’t do it in our own strenghth. Isn’t that our goal to be more like Him each day? I’m saved and sealed why dwell on that unless we have doubts about our salvation.

    I think I’m off topic so I will give it a rest.

  85. oneg2dblu says:

    Yooperjack… Where were you when? Is a good question to ask some after the trial, the trespass, or a life lived our own way. Good teaching, good sermon, and Amens all around the house!
    As a close second however to that question, knowing where we “all” were, when we were in our trials,
    I prefere to ask the now proclaiming Christian this,
    “Where are you now?” “Where are you now in your thinking, serving, tithing, loving others, and Obedience to God’s Word?
    Some prefere the first question, and may displease our God many times by their reaction of saying, “Who are you to ask me? Why do you judge me? You must be very pride filled to even present such a question. Who appointed you to be God?”
    But, it really just follows along with the word of God, as He also asked that of Adam, not because He wanted to judge for what he had done, for Adam had already knew his treaspass and was busy hiding and trying to cover up his nakeness, when God asked him as a loving friend, and because he wanted Adam to grow and continue to further judge himself, and make better choices. Adam was banned because the better choices of confessing and repenting never took place, and he continued to walk his own pride filled, better knowing way!
    When the issue comes home to rest upon us, we don’t always like the “Where we now are,” question,and we and God both know it!
    Before we lash out at others, do we first then ask of Him, “Where am I now, Lord? I am living a surrendered life of obedience, or am I still found in my old sinful self, and reaping only my ever hopeful future as already being forgiven?
    Yes, there is always the other side of the coin, but we
    in our already forgiven state, choose not to always be accountable to our fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ. If they should even ask for an account, we then say this, “Who are they to be judging of us?”
    The premise of that question of course can be as wrongly motivated, as not answering truly. for they do not see that it could well be in the Spirit of Christ, that is within the asker, who is the real one who is asking, us. We try to cover ourselves with all the,
    Do not judge verses, as we deceptively avoid the real question. Gary

  86. narrowpathseeker says:

    There is a quip “I learn something new everyday, even if it is to learn that which I learned yesterday was wrong” Reflecting on a lifetime of my many meals of “crow”, I try very hard not to get too adamant about my views. I THINK the debate over what God meant began with EVE and has continued through present times. One of the few things I know for sure is that God is real, He is all powerful, all loving, all holy and without Him I am nothing. I think about Proverbs 21:2 Thus I spend much time in prayer asking for a clean heart,a right spirit, and thanking Him for His Patience and all the countless blessings which I tend to take for granted. I now also pray the same prayer for all of His childen.

  87. yooperjack says:

    I like what narrowpathseeker said at his post 6:21 PM last night to his loved one. It is so true.

    This is why I never push my ideas or argue, nothing will cause bad feeling faster than someone being pushy or starting an argument. Say what you have to say and answer questions to the best of your ability then let it go. And never feel bad about saying: “I don’t know”. Some times it’s wise to just be silent. LOL

    A well known poet said: “Do what you know and when you know better you’ll do better.”

  88. oneg2dblu says:

    Sorry for my lack of being an effective communicator in my intentions of trying to call all Christians, (not the worldly who do not profess to know Christ,) but only the professing Christians to account of knowing in our hearts, that we all should be able to live a higher road now, whenever possible through better choices then those we made before Our Lord so graciously forgave us, and blessed us with HIS Spirit.
    Not perfection, but certainly change!
    Are we not more able now to show the world around us the change that has taken place in us, and the fruit which comes from knowing and abiding in Him?
    Living our new lives as though we have died to the old self, is to me the greatest testimony of a changed new life. Unless, we still choose to live in the same old law breaking ways of the past, that were forgiven us through our first confession of belief in Christ, and with the Conviction of His Holy Spirit given to us to help us to repent from our old ways. But, if nothing changes, do we then accuse the Lord of not wanting to change us, but only to forgive?
    That is the missing link here for me, as I call out for a needed accountability to the whole family of God. Yes, some others don’t get it and call it pride filled arrogance, which seems as foreign to me as having a presumptive evil, and selfish intent.
    Using the “f” word may not send us to hell, very true! But it does send a message of possible needed change as well in our speech patterns, where course speech and vulgar joking is not really profitable for a believer.
    If we really believe the word of God, we can make better choices, but we have to want to also!
    No intented to offend anyone’s different beliefs. Gary

  89. poohpity says:

    OK, who are you and what have you done with Gary?

  90. SFDBWV says:

    There is a connection to our topic in my wonderings this morning, but please allow me to talk freely for a moment.

    In Matthew 21: 17-23 there is a story of a fig tree that is cursed by Jesus for not having fruit when he came to it hungry, special attention to verse Matthew 21: 22 whereas Jesus says “All things whatsoever you ask, in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”

    In Luke 13: 6-9 we find a parable about a fig tree that was barren and when the owner told the caretaker to cut it down for it was taking up space another could use, the caretaker ask for more time to nurture it, if then it produced no fruit then he would cut it down

    I doubt I am alone in seeing unanswered prayer and when examined deeply see there being no reason for the prayer to be ignored by a loving God, yet unanswered it seems to remain.

    The collapse of our faith comes near when we are pushed to that breaking point time after time and left there in silence and in despair. The fear being if our prayers are unanswered is it because of something lacking in our prayer life that is the cause? Placing the power and responsibility on us as to why there is unanswered prayer.

    Many times when we find ourselves neck deep in despair we are only aware of the reason for despair not being aware that God has fed you manna during this entire time and clothed you with the sacrifice of others, our eyes fixed only on what it is that has brought us to that point of collapse.

    The problem being maybe we have in our mind seen an answer to our prayer and look for it rather than the answer God has in His mind and we unable to see it.

    Jesus came that the blind might see and the deaf hear, I think even if we are neck deep in despair if we ask God to allow for us to see and hear we may find that we are far better off than we realized. And replace that despair with joy and build our faith upon Him a solid foundation not a house of cards we have built with our expectations.

    Then when He comes He will find that one fruit He is pleased with the most…Faith.


  91. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    My thinking and prayer this past week-end are much in line with what you have shared, Steve. Reading E. Stanley Jones this morning, there is confirmation. Jones says there are “sub-Christian” answers to the cycles of need — and God fulfilling need here in this world. He lists several: pleasure, financial plenty, self-development, other religions and philosophies…even the Christian catch-all, “Well, bye and bye we will see a perfect heaven – we’ll just have to wait.”

    What I get out of this morning’s devo (Psalm 18:1-3) is the fulfillment of the in-dwelling Savior. He is holding us steady from within – and this is for now, and later and always. Jesus promised that he and his heavenly Father will come to us and make their home with us – by the constant presence of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:23) My all-too-human heart sometimes fails to see that God’s grace is sufficient for me, for his power is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Cor 12:9) Jesus is my “gyro” when I allow him to be!

    My prayer for us is that we are content now with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities for the sake of Christ – because when we are weak, he is strong. (2 Cor 12:10) Heaven is where he is.


  92. remarutho says:

    I’d better clarify: I am speaking of a gyroscope, not a “gyro” hearty Greek sandwich! :o) Maru

  93. yooperjack says:

    Steve: My experiance with unanswered prayer is unbeilf, we have to believe without doubting. Remember when Jesus had to take a person outside of town to heal him because there was so much unbeilf. In his own home town He healed very few because of unbeilf.

    I found when ever my prays were answered I was desperate and turned it over to God and believed as if it was a done deal. Never say if it is Gods will I’ll be healed that is wrong and will effect your believing it to happen, it is Gods will that we be healed, as a matter of fact the Word says: With His stripes we were healed. That is past tense “were”. So why is my wife not healed of arthuritis, I don’t know?

    In the Book of Danial, his answer to prayer was in one day; then another time it took three days. The angel was delayed the second time.

    We also can speak the Word and the name of Jesus to that sickness if it has a name and deman it to leave our body. That works for me. But I don’t have the gift to speak wellness to others.

    Some mountians God has given us the power to remove by speaking the athority of His Word and the name of Jesus. I have some friends I call when I am in a weaken state of mind and body, they are believers and do not doubt.

    God also gave us doctors, medications and hearing aids. I don’t care how He heals me I just want some kind of quality of life while I’m here on the earth.

    I’m still learning but can testify that our words are very powerful be careful what you say. That is a fact.

  94. bill34sl says:

    Steve: I believe you are correct in all your wonderings. I, myself, have unanswered prayers and couldn’t help myself but get upset at times. Maybe I didn’t have enough faith. Sure, I don’t have what it takes to displace mountains. But like you, I would try to understand the best I can, that in spite of it all, He is still there for us. I agree that oftentimes, we have in our minds the answers to our prayers and we look for it. I also knew for sure that God gave me things I didn’t ask for and later on would realize what they were for. Maybe it happened to you too. Even so, Jesus told his disciples the Parable of the Persistent Widow to encourage them to always pray for what they want and never give up (Luke 18:1-8).
    His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane seemed unanswered too and later on Jesus would cry: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Because there was no other way. But after that, He was restored to His former Glory.
    God Bless

  95. yooperjack says:

    Maru: I like that: “Heaven is where Jesus is.” There is an old saying:”My home is where I hang my hat.” The Spirit hangs His hat in my heart.

    bill34sl: We all get “A measure of faith” we don’t need anymore faith we just need to develop what we have. The greatest mountain was when you recieved the gift of salvation through faith. “WOW” that was big.

  96. SFDBWV says:

    Maru, that is an eloquent and beautiful comment this morning, you have captured the sense of my thoughts very well, thank you.

    Jackie, the first three or four years of Matthew being crippled and unable to use the left side of his body, he would get me to set him on the side of his bed and wait for him in the kitchen. He did not want me to be near him, as he fully believed he would rise up off the bed and walk to me.

    He believed it because he wanted it so badly and prayed so deeply for it, telling me he could *see* himself do just that; stand on his own and walk to me without help from me.

    Hundreds of times he would set there trying with all his might to get up, only to realize he could not.

    My heart would break again and again as his vision of his being *healed* would die a little each time he failed to be able to get up. His eyes shown his disappointment and many times he would just set in deep sadness and silently weep.

    I kept a journal of scripture verses the Holy Spirit gave me during those darkest days, they all speak of the promises faith brings and from whom it comes.

    I used to like getting readings from Kenneth Hagin before his death and was encouraged from his insistence to speak your miracle and stay steady on believing the Word.

    I have found over these past 12 years that pat answers and another’s answers are not always for those who are living their own personal suffering and sometimes only insult the sufferer.

    Sometimes the only encouragement we can offer is that we have faith that God is in control and even though we may not understand why and hate the suffering we see, just leave it there.

    Matthew has collapsed hundreds of times, but for now I am here for him and to comfort and console him, to encourage and uplift him. We have placed everything, all of our hopes, all of our tomorrows and our eternity on Christ. This is easy for me compared to Matthew’s trying to live, hope for a future and see none all at the same time.

    Life here is not for the weak nor the weak in spirit, but all who come here are either uplifted and amazed by the presence of God or walk away never to return; which speaks of their own view and lack of faith.


  97. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Bill, you too have an excellent grip on things and have blessed me along with others today.


  98. yooperjack says:

    Steve: My wife has been in pain for over 30 years, it is hard to watch. Your story is very sad, I don’t know the answer. I know I will not give up the hope that my wife will be healed. I’ve heard testimony of people being healed after 20 years of believeing for it.

    And there is a day coming!!!! Glory to God when we all will be delievered from this lifes ills and pains.

  99. poohpity says:

    What if the answer to the prayer we prayed is, no. Or even wait. God may have answered our prayers maybe not the way we would like but it is answered. I guess that maybe sometimes we have to just be thankful for God being who He is and not the list of I wants. I do not believe that Jesus came to heal and cure because there were many who were around who did not get healed or cured but in fact, He came to save. People started coming to Jesus because of what He could do for them in this physical world, like healing, feeding and teaching and those seemed to be the ones that walked away when they could not understand the reason for the Cross, when things got tough.

    I have come to a place where I worship God for being God. I thank Him for answering prayers with the answer He chooses because He knows the best thing for us all. It may not be what I think but I trust that it is the best way. When things collapse like physical bodies, emotional health, finances, earthquakes, floods and tornadoes we have have Someone to cling to, to get us through the tough times because we trust. If we ask He can show us how to dance in the rain and contend with whatever our illness, physical or mental and get through these struggles with our faith maintained, still praising Him in the storms.

    We have a relationship with God, the creator of all things, now that is something to rejoice about.

    Job 40-42

  100. yooperjack says:

    Pooh: Do you think Jesus would have had the following He had if He didn’t heal the sick, cast out demons,cause the blind to see, the deaf to hear etc?

    Just a thought.

  101. yooperjack says:

    Whoops!!! I guess you already answered my question.

  102. yooperjack says:

    Our heavenly Father like our earthly father wants to bless us, so I don’t mind asking Him for stuff. It is not the balk of my prayer life. Thanks giving is and praying for others.

    I heard testimony that this man was at a healing crusade to be healed; when he saw this little girl that was much sicker than he was; he started to pray for her and was healed himself.

  103. poohpity says:

    I do not know the answer to that but I could guess just knowing human nature I would say no it was through signs and miracles that many followed but it was when things got hard to understand that many walked away. I have never really understood how in the time of Moses when all those who were in the exodus doubted either after all the miracles. But when it came to trusting God they still grumbled and complained. I believe like spoiled children when they do not get their way, when they want something and how they want it they throw tantrums and walk away. When our faith is tested do you still trust God when you can not see Him working?

  104. poohpity says:

    There is nothing wrong with asking and the longer one walks with the Lord the more in line with His will our prayers will be. I think it comes down to how we handle the answers that shows more about our trust and faith.

  105. yooperjack says:

    pooh: I give Him lots of praise too, I like to do that when I’m driveing, Have to try not to get too excited so I end up in a snow bank. Do I trust him when I can’t see him working? Yep!!! I walk by faith not by sight.

  106. poohpity says:

    Jack, if you had a sick child and the community you live in did not have many resources to help that child would you pray for the Lord to bring in the doctors or OT or would you pray for the Lord to direct you outside of the community to seek help. Or would you treat the child yourself and ask the Lord to heal the child while not seeking as much help as possible knowing that there were much better resources outside of where you live? If you had to leave all that you have known all your life to go to a different place but it would help the child would you do it?

  107. yooperjack says:

    pooh; You bet, I would do what ever was good for my child. God gave us doctors, medications and cat scans. He also gave us healing ministrys and a formula for healing in His instruction manual if we ever figure it out.I whould pray that the Spirit would show me the way.

    I hope your questions were not a trick question because I’m no good at that. LOL

  108. poohpity says:

    No, it was not a trick question. :-) I just do not know what I would do because I have not walked in their shoes and that is what I learned from the book of Job. Hopefully they would pray and ask God for direction.

  109. yooperjack says:

    Another story: A man was stranded on the roof of his house in a flood. The man prayed to God to save him. Just minutes later a boat comes along, the man says no, God is going to save me. Later a helicopter comes along, man says no, God is going to save me. The flood finely drowned the guy and he went to Heaven. He ask God why didn’t you save me? God said: “I sent you a boat and a helicopter what more do you want from me.”

    We need to be in tuned to how God works it’s not the way we expect most of the time. “His ways are not our ways”. Thank God for that statement. I could care less how He answers my prayer I’m happy that He does.

  110. yooperjack says:

    I’m on a roll. LOL It doesn’t matter to me if God uses natural or supernatural means to bless me. And I could care less if you believe in healing or not I’m still here is enough proof for me.

    If you don’t believe God is in the healing business today you’ll still go to Heaven you may just get there sooner. LOL

  111. poohpity says:

    I was reminded in church this morning that in the great hall of faith in Hebrews that none of them saw the fulfillment of the promises of God to them but they had faith still. Hebrews 11:39-40 NLT

    Believe when I do not see it.
    Obey when I do not understand it.
    Giving when I do not have it.
    Persisting when I do not feel like it.
    Thanking before I receive it.
    Trusting if I do not get it.

  112. yooperjack says:

    pooh: Good post. Some people sleep in church. LOL

  113. SFDBWV says:

    I don’t bring up Matthew’s suffering for attention for him or my family. Rather I do so in hopes to encourage others,because Matthew never gives up, he hits rock bottom dozens of times and complains sometimes unceasingly about different matters, but he never gives up, never.

    I never give up either, not on Matt not on God. I have my job to do, my cross to bear as does Matt. But every day Matt gets on his weight bench and pushes himself to his limit, he puts all he has into what he can do and stretches the limit of what he can’t.

    This is what keeps us here from *collapsing*, each day is a new day and with each day comes a new hope.

    Matthew is better today then he was 12 years ago, and I know it, he would deny it but he is better than at the awakening from his coma.

    While in the ICU dozens of peopled prayed for Matt every day, and the local churches had thousands of people praying for him.

    The doctors said he would die, he did not, the doctors said he would never wake up from his coma, he did, the doctors fitted him with a feeding tube and told his mother to find a nursing home for him, he is setting here in his living room having just eaten his dinner and is enjoying a movie on TV.

    The answer to not collapsing is to never give up on yourself and never give up on Christ, accept His promises, believe Him and live then one day at a time expecting your miracle to arrive every day.

    The doctors at the University Hospital did not understand the power of the human spirit to heal and they certainly did not believe in the Holy Spirit, but when you combine these two elements together…miracles can happen.

    Please continue to pray for us as we always need your strength added to ours. Just on a side note, Jesus only withheld healing once in the scripture and that was so that He could provide an even more stunning one in the raising of a dead man 4 days in the grave…..

    This is our hope; we have had continued miracles and await the big one coming at the proper time.

    Love to you all

  114. narrowpathseeker says:

    In years gone by I can’t count the number of prayers I thought went unanswered. I had been seeking the Lord in diverse suffering physically, emotionally, and mentally from situations I had brought on myself through ignorance. As I grew in the Lord I began to realize that He had been leading me out of that era of trauma. I had been seeking God to serve ME. I know if I had gotten things MY WAY, I would have been firmly molded into a self righteous…self reliant…wretch. I thank God often for NOT giving me what I asked for back then.

    I still sometimes have prayer unanswered, but I know He has it under control and is doing what is best. However, once when a car was coming right at me and there was no escaping collision, my heart was in my throat for fear. I uttered a very quick,”In the name of Christ Jesus, forgive me my sins” because I knew I could die. INSTANTLY, I got this warm feeling and the PEACE that surpasses all human understanding. I closed my eyes and waited to crash. I didn’t! When I opened my eyes and I was safely driving on!! When there was not a thing I could do on my own…He was there for me. I don’t know WHAT He did but I know I was a recipient of a miracle.

    In recent weeks I have thought about that often and how I was weak…and how fasting makes us weak..I have started fasting with important prayers. Is anyone interested in a community fast sometime this week for those on here with unanswered prayer?

  115. poohpity says:

    I do not believe that any of our prayers go unanswered maybe not how we want them answered, when we want them answered or the way we want them answered but they are answered.

    Steve there were many people by the pool of Bethesda that were sick, disabled and in need of healing but Jesus only chose one to heal John 5:1-14. I do not know why but all those who are sick may not be healed in this life but we will be healed in the next.

  116. foreverblessed says:

    Narrowpathseeker, yes I am for a community fast sometime this week, what about wednesday?
    Thank you all for your stories, lots to meditate upon.
    God bless you all.

  117. poohpity says:

    Joni Erickson Tada, shows even though she is paralyzed from the neck down and suffers greatly daily her attitude is a reflection of her faith and the day she will stand and dance before the Lord. The Lord uses her greatly just as she is and she has helped many with disabilities that are seen and those that are not seen to have hope and trust in the Lord. Some people have disabilities that are not visible with the naked eye but they still suffer. At the beginning Joni used to be angry, resentful and asked why me but her faith in God turned it around to give others hope and the ability to use this collapse of everything she knew, to point people to Christ and His loving care.

  118. bill34sl says:

    That’s right Yooperjack, His ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55:8-9 explains it all

  119. oneg2dblu says:

    I believe God hears our prayers, every one, He answers our prayers, every one, and we are healed!
    If we consider that we were found dead to our sins, then a sure resurection through the Holy Spirit has already quickened us, and given us this new life we now live.
    There are only three answers to the prayers that God hears, YES-NO-WAIT!
    His timing is not our timing, so even if His answer is to heal a specific disease, that yes just may not be manifested in the way and timing we can now see.
    But, of course all that is by taken by the Faith that He grants us, and in that faith, do we walk daily. Yes, No, or Wait…we can still have the faith that He has answered us!
    So, we can “walk on” in faith with any of those answers, as if we already have it accomplished just by our asking.
    But, it must be also within His Will!
    Saying for things like, God get me that red caddy, may not cut it! Gary

  120. narrowpathseeker says:

    Forever, Wednesday is ok with me. Do you have any suggestions as to the time, what we will fast from, and the main course of prayer? I drink liquids but no food and abstain from TV, pc. I have never fasted with a group before so I am open to any helpful suggestions.

  121. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, I read Roman’s 12:3 and I am scratching my head. I have it in my mind that Paul also warned us not to think too lowly of ourselves along with not thinking too highly of ourselves. But, I could not find “lowly” anywhere in that entire chapter. Do you know if he said that in another letter or have I remembered that wrong all these years?! It won’t be the first time my memory has played tricks on me. Thanks for any help you can provide on this matter.

  122. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    Hope all is well in your lives! Wow! This was a hot blog topic indeed! I LOVE to chat with yall and I find that I’m not alone in my love and appreciation for this blog site! :-) I had an awesome day worshipping God with my beloved church family, and I hope you all had the same experience with your church family.

    I want to speak to Mart’s comment, “Seems to me that this is about a God who, “even through the collapse of our bodies, emotions, and financial resources,” can protect a faith that will live to see the wonder of his faithfulness… rising above the rubble of dead idols and the dying embers of old temptations?”

    I LOVE the thought of God protecting our faith! It goes back to what He told us… how that He will not put more on us than we can bear, but I understand that to mean we will still be tested with temptation and a choice to live a righteous, holy and victorious life before God or a carnal and mediocre life before Him. I’m reminded of the story of Abraham and Isaac. Thinking about how God knows all things, yet when Abraham raised his hand to slay his only son, Isaac, an angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. Do not do anything to him. *Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Gen. 22:11-12, NIV).*

    Did God discover right then and there the level of Abraham’s devotion to Him? Or did He already know what Abraham was going to do… since He knew him before the foundations of the world (before he was formed in his mother’s womb)?

    What if we collapse? That question brings another Bible verse to mind… Phil. 1:6b, NKVJ. May we all live to see “the wonder of God’s faithfulness” in our lives as we strive to do His perfect will…no matter the trials, adversity and temptations that we have to endure and overcome (Rev. 3:21).

    Love to all…

  123. Regina says:

    *NKJV :-)

  124. yooperjack says:

    Gary: God may give you a blue used VW bug and tell you to use the money you were going to spend on the red Caddy On the poor and homeless. LOL

  125. remarutho says:

    Hello Narrowpathseeker & Foreverblessed —

    I will fast and pray with you on Wednesday, January 18th, for that 24-hour period. Since everyone has different states of health, why not let each one choose anything from a water-only fast to fasting from luxury foods, media or entertainment, as (s)he may?

    My purpose is simply to seek the Lord’s presence — to praise and worship and listen for his voice. I will keep my usual schedule, using every meal and break time for praise and prayer. I will pray for each person whose name appears on BTA.


  126. poohpity says:

    Narrowpathseeker, I do not know for sure about any Romans passage that suggests that about being “lowly” but there are a few verses that may help. Psalms 138:6 NIV; Proverbs 16:19 NIV; Proverbs 29:23 NIV; 1 Cor 1:28 NIV.

  127. poohpity says:

    I think there is a big difference in being lowly and self abasing or talking about yourself as if you have no worth. We are told to love others as we love ourselves and it would not show much love to degrade and victimize ourselves.

  128. poohpity says:

    narrowpathseeker, we have always prayed for all those who have asked us to pray over the 4 years I have been here and Steve has always been a prayer warrior for those who have had requests that is one of his gifts.

  129. narrowpathseeker says:

    Poohpity, thank you for your help. I know this may seem like a trivial matter, but I have had that verse wrongly imbedded in my mind for so long, that I was certain that I would find the “not to think too lowly of ourselves” in some form or another written somewhere by Paul. I searched Strong’s exhaustive concordance and I searched an online bible and searched several versions including the Amplified and found nothing even close. I can only surmise that I read it misprinted at some time in some bible study material or in some Christian book long ago before I learned to carry a bible and check it our for myself. I can’t believe that no one has ever corrected me on that one! I have had this wrong for at least 40 years. It was your reference to Romans 12:3 that brought this all to light. I truly thank you.

  130. remarutho says:

    Romans 8:37 celebrates Jesus’ loving, incomparable gift…making us victorious in trials.

  131. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart —

    Combing through the Scriptures you have cited in your post, I am struck by the humbled/exalted self-description Paul has given us in 2 Cor 4:5-10.

    Your grey mule coming over the hill has no burden on his back. It seems to me the apostle is bringing to that troubled church not the Old Covenant, burdened down with law after law — deriving more rules and traditions piled on top of them — a heavy load.

    Rather, he is teaching the church at Corinth (and us) that he and his ministry team carry this New Covenant message inside themselves. (2 Cor 4:7) They do not master or wield the power of the Gospel — they simply bear the message to the churches.

    A friend in the Lord recently told me that she is a “cracked pot.” She explained that if she did not share some of her own testimony — her flaws and even her wounds — how could the light of Christ shine forth from her life? I believe our journey with the Lord — failures and victories — is our credential for ministry. His glory shines through the cracks.


  132. foreverblessed says:

    Narrowpathseeker, Maru, jan 15 9.34 pm, OK let’s do that.
    And if anyone wants to fast, it is good to prepare your body also in advance: start eating light meals already from today, less fat, beef is also harder to digest, so chicken or fish would be better, fruit and vegetables would be good too, drink more water.
    Jesus is Lord in our hearts, Kyria, Lord in latin, Kuria in greek. His thoughts are so much higher then ours, Bill gave Isaiah 55:8-9. I fast that we might let go of our own planning in our lives, and leave it to our Lord and Master, Jesus. That we proclaim Jesus as Lord.
    2 Cor 4:5-6,7 that we do not think too highly of ourselves, but show our cracks to each other that the Light of Jesus may shine through it for the other to see, that His grace brought us thus far.
    And whatever God will bring into mind.

  133. oneg2dblu says:

    I just looked again at that gray donkey picture. It is true he is not currently carrying a burden, or a vessel on his back, but he is birdled. It shows he has a master, a caregiver who helps protect,sustain, even direct him, and he reflects that to the world around him! A picture is worth a thousand words. Just a thought…Does the world around us,picture us, as

  134. oneg2dblu says:

    Do we display an “overburdened soul”, as in, “Woe is me!” Or, do we display a well bridled and willing countanence, always ready to do not only our assigned job, but also our best work for Our Master?

  135. narrowpathseeker says:

    Forever,thank you for the wise input. Maru and all here thank you for the Christian fellowship. I have long enjoyed and have been blessed by Mart’s monthly tract of very wise and profound insights as well as his very humble demeanor,(thank you Mart) but I didn’t know about this site until last week. I am very happy to be here and I am looking forward to spending much quality time with the Lord on Wednesday.

  136. oneg2dblu says:

    countenance, would display my best work, but I don’t always see the better, until I fail, or fall. Then, I get a second chance… What a Great and Loving God We Serve! Gary

  137. oneg2dblu says:

    He who knows all our falts, and still allows us to display Him. He who knows our every word before it is formed on our lips, and He also desires our prayers! Gary

  138. tracey5tgbtg says:

    The two comments from Gary and narrowpathseeker, both posted on top of each other at 8:18 brought to my mind these verses. Matthew 6:16-18

  139. oneg2dblu says:

    Here’s a suggested thought worthy of fastingfor. Let us fast become slow to speak, quick to learn, and Collapse ourselves before Him in a fasted total surrender of self.Let Him give each of us a particular area in our lives that needs His correction, reflection and improvement, as we display His change within us, and to the world around us. Gary

  140. BruceC says:


    Love your post from 1/15 4:11 PM. How true! Never give up! Never loose faith!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  141. SFDBWV says:

    3 below zero this morning and they are calling for rain this afternoon…..talk about a stretch.

    Bruce I am with you brother, even though sometimes we are neck deep in whatever, at least our head is above it.

    Keep smiling, keep laughing don’t let anyone steal our joy or our peace.


  142. SFDBWV says:

    As I think about it, even after Lazarus was buried and dead, his hope came and called him back from death to be once again among the living and with the Lord….More than one lesson here about hope and answered prayers.


  143. poohpity says:

    Day 16—Genesis 12-15

  144. poohpity says:

    I think that song “It Is Well” really is a good fit for this topic. :-)

  145. yooperjack says:

    Speaking of death. Why do Christians sing of Heaven as a glorious place to be yet hang on to this life as if it was all there was to eternity. When my quality of life is gone I will stop takeing my pills and die naturally. I died three times people: “It dosn’t hurt” as a matter of fact I was the only one that didn’t know I died. I had no clue. When I came out of it I thought I was on another planet, till the nurse took my hand; then I new I was alive. Hugs are good they let us know we are not alone.

    Just a thought.

  146. SFDBWV says:

    Jackie I have ask that question many times even here on this blog, it also makes no sense to me. However when Matt asks me a hundred times a day why is he still here and why don’t I just let him kill himself, my answer is always the same…..It is love that keeps us here not for ourselves but for another or even others.

    Can you believe it, it is 35 degrees and climbing fast.


  147. yooperjack says:

    Steve: I can believe it, we have 32 degrees but we got enough snow to make the snowmobilers and skiers happy.

    I would never want a person take their life but it would be nice to let people die naturally. A heart transplant for someone 90 or older or to go through cemo for six more mouth of life? I think money is a big factor guiding this. Go to a nursing home, it breaks your heart. If you have insurance they can keep you alive for a long time.

    Do you remember when people died at home; and the funeral was in their home. You could smell the coffee boiling and the sweet rolls in the wood stove oven.

  148. narrowpathseeker says:

    Jack, I remember and I agree! I also remember the outhouse and all business establishments being closed on the sabbath and prayer as the first act of the school day….at least here in CT. I also remember when even a person making less than a dollar an hour could afford to pay the hospital and doctors in full out of their own pocket.

  149. narrowpathseeker says:

    Ohoh! I just realized that my poor sentence structure implies that the outhouse was closed with the business establishments. I trust everyone will know that was not the case.

  150. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Jackie I not only remember when people died at home but also were born at home. It seems in order to make things *better* for us all some things are lost.

    Matt wants the same thing we all do off this planet and home with God, he only talks about killing himself because he tries to make things make sense to him. When pressed he would never hurt me in that way, never.

    It is a casualty of Matt getting better mentally, the better he is mentally the more he wants to be whole again, and the more frustrated he is because he can’t remember things the way he once did or be able to have a normal life.

    I understand it and any one with any sense would understand his frustrations and unhappiness as well. So it is ok for him to complain, he has a right to and a need to.

    We met a man since this matter of Matt being in this fix who’s son had been in an auto accident went home closed himself in the garage and killed himself. Just coming here and meeting Matt and seeing life here was so healing for him that he brought his wife for an afternoon visit as well.

    The Holy Spirit led him to our door, as he was on a spiritual journey and *accidentally* ended up here in our little town, when he stopped at the local bank, the people there told him he had to come see me.

    I love it when I can clearly see the hand of God in action. Our friend recognized the significance of his being here and at once said, he has supposed to come here.

    The Holy Spirit is still working among His believers, He will never leave us or abandon us, this is His promise.

    I didn’t intend to go on so; we still have plenty of snow also but are expecting rain tonight and tomorrow.


  151. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary…AMEN to your 8:34am post. Thank You

  152. poohpity says:

    You know it really says a lot about someone who can rise above the ashes of disappointment, heartache, sorrows, financial problems and physical aliments. I think it comes to a matter of how much we trust in our God to handle all that life at times dishes out that determines the attitude we show.

  153. yooperjack says:

    Steve: It’s amazing how God uses all sorts of people like Matt, You and I to do His will on earth. We all have our purpose for being. There are people that are in a fix; (useing your words) that are reaching people for the Lord that those millionare televangulist with all their fancy one linners and duds can’t touch with a ten foot pole.

    We just don’t know Gods ways. His will, will be done on!!!!

  154. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I am very touched by your God given strength and I am very glad that you “go on” even though you don’t intend to do so. I am very inspired by the stories, thoughts, and love for God you and others reveal in the posts here.

  155. poohpity says:

    I think that the scriptures say that, referring to the TV folks, as long as they are bringing people to a profession of faith we need to leave alone. In the end times God will separate those who were doing it for God or their own pockets because they will all stand before the throne. How about those of us who have never lead a person to a saving knowledge of the Lord no matter how many works we do that one thing we are asked to do is left to others because of fear or not knowing what to say.

  156. yooperjack says:

    pooh: Your right but I didn’t name anyone just makeing fun of the church entertainment on TV we have today.

  157. yooperjack says:

    By the way some plant the seed, some water and some harvest,so don’t cut youself short. I’ve done all three over the years.

  158. poohpity says:

    Jackie, I have had the privilege of telling His story in this country and others while leading many to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That sounds like boasting and I am not in anyway because I know who has opened their hearts to receive Him, I was just a vehicle. I was referring to those who just hang around with other Christians and do not develop relationships with the unbelieving population so even seed spreading is done in the confines of the church walls.

  159. yooperjack says:

    I hear you.

  160. BruceC says:


    A Day is coming brother when Matt will be made whole and stand in the presence of the Lord; and He shall wipe away every tear.
    The Daily Strength by Joe Stowell for today 1/17 is very good about “collapsing”.

    Sunday we had minus 13 and Monday it was 15 below zero in the AM. We had a few inches of snow but not much. Left the blower in the garage.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  161. SFDBWV says:

    Narrowpathseeker, I am very pleased you have joined the conversationalists here on BTA. You are very informed and bring an intelligent and compassionate message each posting. I am glad you have joined in,

    Each time I read your user name I am reminded of an American Indian name, I guess because of the pathfinder portion, though I fully understand the statement; Glenna liked it also.

    Bruce I was just amazed at the rapid warm up we had yesterday, no wind or obvious change except a rapid rise in temperature from -3 to 46 in a few hours. Strange but welcome for sure. I always think of you when they show the weather in upstate NY as I do others here when I know of where they live (in general).

    We are up a little early this morning, it’s raining and Matt couldn’t sleep so we just got up. All is well so far today, blessings to all.


  162. nyekis says:

    Good people ,going through these post here has been such an encouragement.

    Octomber 2011,four members of my family died in a road accident,these were my wife,a sister,a sister in law and an aunt,the fiveth an anut has just left the hospital,she is the only one that survived that accident,and amazingly ,she was the oldest in the car while my wife at 34years was the youngest.

    My wife left me with a 6years old girl,The most amazing thing is that all the messages that i received from pastors and people was that God does everything he does to glolify himself.When such circumstancies happen in life,you are bound to hear many things being said, some people will bring theories as to why this happened,but the most important thing for me is that i have choosen to listen to his report, which is that there is nothing that happens without him knowing and that in everything we that are called by his name should and must give thanks.

    Three years ago,we were called to a hospital and were asked to make a decission about what we wanted to happen to our uncle,the choice was between putting him in the high dependance unit where the doctor were sure that even if he ever come from it alive he would be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life,or leting him stay in the ward bed and hence die peacefully,It was a difficult decission to the hospital but to us his family,his wife ,children ,brothes and us his nephews and nices,when each of us was asked what we thought should happen,we were unanimous that the life he live and his faith in God and how he believed that he was going to see God one day in heaven,we were sure if he was to make the choice he would have choosen to be let free to die and go to his father if that was God’s will ,and so we allowed him to remain in the ward bed,we went arround him ,prayed and left,but before we reached at the door,he pased away peacefull.

    These events have made me have even a stronger believe in God.

    Am i scared of how i will bring up my six years old girl,…no because i know God was still at the throne when my wife drawned inside a car,he could have saved her like he saved my aunt but did not,so he is still reighning even now and will see us through.infact he has alredy seen us through three months now

  163. nyekis says:

    So yes sometimes we feel like collapsing and yes sometimes we collapse but God is there to lift us up.


  164. SFDBWV says:

    Nyekis, Your story has touched my heart deeply; I am so saddened for your losses. Nothing I can say will remove your pain, only that what is now important is your daughter and you being there for her.

    There are blessing ahead for you both, and I pray with you for God’s presence and strength in this hour of your need.

    God loves you and so do I, I only wish I could put my arm around you and let you know you are not alone.


  165. poohpity says:

    Francis, it breaks my heart that the messages you heard from pastors and people were “that God does everything he does to glorify himself” in this time of great loss. My hunch is that the Lord is weeping with you as you weep and groaning as you groan. The thing that would bring glory to His name is that you share with Him all that is in your heart, the frustration, the grief, the pain, the anger and the uncertainty of what lies before you and to find a close friend to sit and listen as you share while mourning with you. That would bring glory to God while He is holding you as you collapse in His arms and not one of your tears is going unnoticed by our Lord and Savior.

    I pray that during this time you feel the closeness of our Lord and Savior like you have never experienced before and that he brings comfort to you, your daughter and your whole family in this very time of such great suffering.

    Thank you for sharing with us your story. Deb

  166. thanqlord says:


    Rarely do I disagree with you, let alone so completely, but I believe that you have missed an extremely important distinction here, and one of which we must be very aware. The text reads, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

    The specific issue being discussed is TEMPTATION. It is not a burden or load. The fact is that we are given burdens all the time that we are unable to hold up under the weight of. The point is that in these times of trial and burden, God wants us to come to Him for the strength and resources we need to bring us through. In fact, everything we encounter in life, whether we view it as good or bad, is specifically intended by God to draw us closer to Himself. His nature is “love” (1 Jn 4:8, 16) and “light”/goodness (1 Jn 1:5); we were created by Him specifically to be the objects of His loving nature.

    I have heard your approach taught in Sunday School classes and from pulpits before, and the same problems persist: 1) the teaching is not in line with the Word, and 2) it does not follow God’s disposition toward His created people and the relationship He is attempting to cultivate with each one of us. The logical path you indicate would have us be self-reliant, and this clearly is contrary to God’s Word.

    We must not read into the Bible that which is not there, nor follow the traditions of men in order to develop doctrines and dogmas that tickle the ears while denying God’s authority — or His love. I urge you to research this matter further, but primarily to pray and to seek His truth in the dichotomy between “temptation” and “burden” in this context. God bless you.

    Your BASIC
    (Brother And Servant In Christ),
    Rev. Don Ely
    Professor of Bible and Theology
    New Life Theological Seminary
    Charlotte, NC

  167. hamer says:

    God will not give us more than we can bear. (1 Cor. 10:13). How many times have we said this to ourselves and others as some chic statement will ratify the moment? Did Job have these words when he went through what he did? Did Christ?
    Christ words in the garden found in Matthew 26:39 “ My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want”. As we pounder what Christ bore as He walked amongst us and then what he bore on the cross. It give insight to God’s ways are higher than mine. So what we think we can bear is nothing compare to Him who knows us and knows what we can bear. I believe that strength comes in many forms and we see and comprehend only what we can or want too.
    Thus the trust factor comes that stripes away all that we think we know! It lays us bare and as vulnerable as a baby in the womb. There it is we are truly envelope in His Love and Peace that surpasses all understanding. Thus in that moment of time when we here or encounter those words “God will not give us more than we can bear” we might be able to grasp Christ words “not what I want but what you want”.

  168. apelila says:

    I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, to say I was shocked or stunned is an understatement. It was only a matter of days before I was angry at God…for allowing this. GOD did not cause this evil, BUT yes HE did allow it to happen to me…if we believe all the good in our lives comes from HIM than we must also accept HE IS in control of all things. I was angry that HE allowed this…that anger led me to despair in a matter of days.
    Despair is a place you go to out of choice.
    Being focused on the cancer and myself instead of GOD and HIS faithfulness is what led me to despair and once there; I was in satan’s territory. Read Eph 6:12 and understand what battle we really face, in my circumstance it appears as cancer…but if I were to continue to focus on the cancer the only place for me to go was despair and satan wins because my focus is off of God, my faith has failed me.
    When I confessed my sin of rebelliousness wanting my way and not surrendering to God’s will for me…which is to KNOW that even in this cancer journey God will never leave me or forsake me then I can depend on Him , moment by moment to take it away, carry me through or take me home. This is God’s will for all of us, complete abandon to His will for us, no matter what the cost. Without it we must ask ourselves do we truely believe? When we see another at the point of collapse…pray for your brothers & sisters that the bondage of despair will be removed from them and that their hearts will turn to Jesus and they will ask forgiveness for rebelliousness and that HE will grant them courage moment by moment, day by day so that HE will be glorified…this is not only His will for us, but our purpose on this earth.

  169. birderbea says:

    I have not been a part of this discussion, but you have motivated me to register. I have been very touched by your comments – especially fadingman’s “Enduring sufferings is not about retaining our joy, or not getting confused or frustrated with God, or maintaining our sanity – we may fail in all of these areas. We may come out emotionally scarred for the rest of our lives. (Wounds heal, but scars remain.) That is ok. Enduring suffering is about trusting God regardless, even when it seems He cannot be trusted.” I say Amen! Bea

  170. birderbea says:

    I am working my way thru this blog for the first time so please be patient about my bringing up comments so far in the past.

    On January 14, 2012 at 9:13 am oneg2dblu says:
    “…As a born again believer, I think we all know where we came from. To me, the greater question would be, “Where are you now?…”

    I understand what you are saying and don’t mean to be a smart Aleck, but I’m not so concerned with where I am now, as I am with what direction I am heading.

    I have so many faults/failings that I have to keep my eye on progress. What I am now is so discouraging – especially in my relationship with a husband of 52 years. Bea

  171. poohpity says:

    thanglord, if you will reread what Mart wrote you will find that he did make the distinction between the people using burdens and temptation. I am sure since you listed your professional background that you will be able to see you may have misread and misinterpreted what was written. Of course I could be wrong but that is part of being human.

    Deborah Johnson
    Child of God
    Saved by Jesus Christ
    Sealed by the Holy Spirit

  172. narrowpathseeker says:


    thanglord, IF Mart’s teaching is wrong(and I don’t think it is)I wonder if you could have presented your case in a more kindly manner. I think Mart’s humble and loving style is his strength. He doesn’t let his vast knowledge cause him to be condescending to those he is trying to reach. 1st Corinthians 8:1

  173. narrowpathseeker says:

    Apelila, I will be praying for you. Do you have family and/or friends close by? Please keep in touch with your progress in this difficult matter.

  174. Clive Belsham says:

    Last night while conducting a Bible study the truth hit me like a brick.

    “Those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    This is not only reserved for those who are coming to the Lord but is part of the Christian’s everyday experience.

    As Christians we need to be calling on the Lord constantly.

    In “calling on the Lord” we admit that our wisdom and our strength is insufficient – that is when the power of God kicks in.

    You will find God at the end of the rope

  175. viercol says:

    My heart goes out to those who are enduring such trials and tribulations, we don’t always understand what they are going through unless we’ve been through it ourselves. May the Good Lord encourage their hearts and see them through.
    While it is absolutely true that some are enduring tremendous pressure in this world, I feel it is also true that some of us are not able to put our struggles into proper perspective. We as Americans have been tremendously blessed for many generations, we have, as christian Americans, been “conditioned” by our culture to expect to prosper in this life. We don’t know what it is like to grow up and live in the strife that exists in other parts of the world and we cannot identify with that kind of life, myself included. There are probably millions of folks around the world who would give all they had to have the lives that we have, including our trials and tribulations. The word is quite clear to me when it says:
    You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ;
    Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind;
    But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
    Understandably, this is an unpopular subject to twenty-first century christians, but of course, God’s word never changes.
    I hope this can encourage those who are truly suffering hardships. God holds in reserve, when we reach our final destination, a reward for those who persevere in this life, and is working out His perfection in our lives today.

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